Whether it’s because I’m the biggest procrastinator in Central Texas, or it’s because I’m currently lacking the sufficient funds (hello, broke college student); I have not been to the grocery store in over a week and a half. In fact, to put things into
perspective, I have exactly three apples, a Cliff Bar, a quarter-full bottle of Frank’s Red Hot, cinnamon and half a jar of PB2. After eating dinner at Chuy’s today, I came home to the biggest sweet craving. Nothing new of course, since my Achilles’ heel is my undying love for sweets. While I can say no to most unhealthy savory dishes, desserts have my self-control by the neck. I’m all for a slice of cake every once in a while, ( and I’ll never say no to a cookie), but for the most part, I like to look for healthy alternatives to satisfy my sugar cravings. Since there is not a day that goes by that I don’t yearn for a sweet treat after dinner, and because I am somewhat of a health freak, I’ve had to get pretty creative. Today, with my extremely minimal availability of resources, I’ve had to get especially creative.
Naturally, I turned to the three Honeycrisp Apples left in my fridge.
Very sweet in flavor with an irresistible, undeniably-satisfying crunch, Honeycrisps are not only my favorite apple, but my favorite fruit. Yes, it is a big statement to make in a world where pineapples and mangos exist, but it is one I can make with confidence. There was just nothing that contented me quite like a Honeycrisp. I knew I was on to something. After getting the apple from the fridge, I proceeded to reach for my little container of ground cinnamon hidden in the shadow of my cayenne pepper. What better companion to the apple than ground cinnamon? It’s a timeless pairing. I then asked my vegan roommate, Danielle, for her super fancy
bottle of organic, pure maple syrup (yes, it’s a mouthful). I preheated the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and began cutting half the apple into thin slices. After coating the baking pan with a light layer of coconut oil non-stick spray, I distributed the slices evenly on the pan. I then drizzled about two tablespoons of maple syrup over the apples and grabbed a spatula to make sure that they were entirely coated with the syrupy goodness. I ended by generously sprinkling both sides with cinnamon. After a pinch of salt, they were ready for the oven.
I let the apples bake for about 15 minutes, keeping an eye on them and stirring about halfway through. After 15 minutes, the apples were soft in texture and golden brown in color. I plated the apples and garnished with a little more cinnamon and, (because I was feeling daring), a pinch of cayenne.
My thoughts? The apples tasted exactly like apple pie filling with a subtle kick at the end. They were perfectly sweet and packed with the most incredible cinnamon flavor. Oh, and did I mention the entire house smelled like an apple-cinnamon candle around Christmas? Vegan, all organic, with no processed sugar is definitely something both healthy and delicious. At the end of it, my sweet craving was fulfilled and it smelled like I was living inside a fresh-baked apple Danish. So yes, it was a good night.