Every now and then you run across a low carb recipe that is not just good it is DARN good! The kind of recipe that makes you giggle to think you are actually eating low carb. The kind of recipe your family takes samples of to amaze “non-believers”. Today, we are going to discuss …..
Zucchini “Apple” Crisp
Mock apple pie using zucchini is really not something new. There are lots of recipes available for the sugar-loaded versions which is not part of a low carb lifestyle! Th
e obvious carb offenders are sugar and flour. Apples, though, carry a high enough carb count that they are caution flags for low-carbers. One cup of sliced apples contains 15 g of carbs! Add the sugar and add the flour crust and one innocent looking little piece of pie can contain almost 60 g of carbs! Ok. Now that everyone has recovered from their swoon let’s move on to your low-carb version. I based my review on the recipe found on the Maria Mind, Body, Health web site. Of course, I did make some substitutions and adjustments but the overall recipe and process remained the same. Let’s go make some Zucchini “Apple Crisp!
For this recipe, I used about 8 zucchini that measured about 8 inches. You ultimately want to end up with 6-8 cups of chopped zucchini. The smaller zucchini has seeds that are not fully formed. No one wants to see a bunch of seeds staring back from their dessert! The zucchini was peeled, and any visible seeds scooped out with a spoon and then quartered lengthwise and chopped into pieces about 1/4 inch thick… maybe even a little less than that. At this point in the recipe, I chose an alternate cooking method. Because I didn’t have the apple tea, I chose to steam the chopped zucchini for about 5 minutes until tender but not mushy. (If you choose to use the apple tea then Celestial Seasonings has a Cinnamon Apple Tea and also a Caramel Apple Tea that would work really well with this recipe.) The pieces were then drained and allowed to cool slightly and placed in a mixing bowl. I added the lemon juice. (Let me say right here that this is something you really don’t want to skip or skimp on. This gives the zucchini a little more authenticity if you will. By themselves, cooked zucchini is pretty bland. When you bite into an apple you notice they have a little acidity to them so you want to use the lemon juice to add that little acid bite to the zucchini. How much is really a matter of taste.) The sweetener and apple pie spice were mixed into the cooled zucchini. The recipe called for 1/4 cup of erythritol sweetener. I chose to up the erythritol considerably and added 1 1/4 cups of Sukrin Gold instead of the regular white erythritol. I swapped apple pie spice for the cinnamon and nutmeg keeping the same measurements used in the recipe. I also added a teaspoon of vanilla even though it was not called for in the recipe as well as 1/2 tsp. of Thick-it-Up to keep the juice from being too runny. I placed the filling in a 9×13 baking dish prepared with cooking spray. (Make sure you preheat the oven to 325º!)
I used the same ingredients for the crumble but I used them in different proportions. I used 1 1/2 cups almond flour, 1/4 cup unsweetened whey protein powder. I used 1 cup of granular white erythritol (Swerve), 1/3 cup chopped pecans and instead of 2/3 cup of butter, I used 1/2 cup. The butter was room temperature and not cold. It mixed into the dry ingredients much more easily. You just have to be careful with using softened butter because you don’t want to have a batter-type result. You want to those nice crumbles! The crumbles were spread across the top of the filling. To be honest, I did not use the entire batch of crumble. I only used about 1/2 and my crisp was nice covered and I had enough to freeze to use fro another dessert!
The baking dish went into the preheated oven for about 30 minutes. I know the recipe called for 45-50 minutes but I was in a bit of a hurry so I baked mine at 350º instead of 325º. After about 15 minutes I placed a piece of aluminum for over the crisp to keep it from getting too brown. Thirty minutes later I removed a gorgeous brown, bubbly heavenly smelling dish!
The most important part of the low down is that this was absolutely fantastic! My husband kept saying, “These aren’t apples?” He would take a bite and give a little laugh and shake his head and say, “These aren’t apples? That is absolutely amazing!” He even took some in to share with someone at work who was equally amazed! So the Low Carb Low Down gives this recipe two big thumbs up. I did change a few things but remember that things like sweet and sour and spiciness are a matter of individual taste. Use good quality low carb products and adjust the taste to suit you and your family.