by Audrey Hess
A different twist on apple crisp makes a duo with vitamin A-rich winter squash. This version also bumps up the nutrient density with blackstrap molasses, which provides calcium and iron.
about 3 pounds apples--any variety you like
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup cooked, pureed winter squash/pumpkin
1/2 cup blackstrap molasses
1 Tablespoon olive oil
5 cups rolled oats
1. Wash apples well, core and slice (peels can stay on --easier and provides more fiber!). As you slice them, place them in a 9-inch by 13-inch baking casserole.
2. Stir in the cinnamon.
3. Pour the water into the bottom of the baking dish alongside the apples.
4. In a mixing bowl, mix the pureed squash, blackstrap molasses and olive oil.
5. Stir in the rolled oats.
6. Sprinkle this topping mixture over the apples.
7. Bake at 350 F for about 40 minutes, or until apples soften.
Tip for using winter squash: Some recipes call for peeled, cubed winter squash. To avoid what seems to be the dangerous endeavor of peeling raw winter squash, I prefer to cook the squash whole then scoop out its flesh and puree it (using a blender or food processor). The winter squash puree can then be used in a recipe or frozen for future use. To cook it, when I have the oven on for some other purpose, I puncture the skin at a few places with a knife, place the whole squash in a baking dish and let it bake until the flesh is tender. The squash can also be cooked in chunks by simmering it in water, but I find that some of the flavor tends to be lost to the water this way.
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
2 apples, chopped
cooked, pureed flesh of one butternut or other winter squash (see above tip)
1/2 teaspoon salt
optional--1-2 cups water, broth or coconut milk
1. Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil in a heavy pot or Dutch oven.
2. Add the cumin, cinnamon and ginger and stir while continuing to heat for about 1/2 minute.
3. Add the apples, squash and salt and bring to a simmer for about 1/2 hour.
Note: This yields quite a thick consistency. If you prefer a thinner consistency, add an optional liquid at the beginning of the simmering stage.