The Apple Crisp (that is both breakfast and dessert!)

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Merry Christmas Eve! If you’re like me, you are anticipating lots of people in your home over the next few days. And if you’re like me, you want to have easy, no-fuss snack/meal/dessert options on hand so that everyone gets fed and feels loved and happy.

Enter the apple crisp, the single most versatile weapon in my recipe arsenal. YES I WENT THERE.

This recipe can basically be whatever you want to call it or frame it as. It’s breakfast! It’s dessert! It’s healthy! You can add milk to it, or yogurt (or nothing!) and it’s a yummy warm breakfast. You can add some ice cream to it and suddenly it’s a wickedly good dessert. It’s anything you want it to be! And I love how clean the ingredients are, so you are truly working with a healthy, warm, nourishing dish that is such a universal crowd-pleaser. Make it. I know you will love it.

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Ingredients:
- 4 cups diced apples
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup nuts, chopped (I like to do a mix of walnuts and pecans)
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. salt

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix together the oats, nuts, almond meal, syrup and salt.
3. Pour the apples into an 8x8 glass pyrex dish, then layer the toppings over it.
4. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is brown and a bit crispy.

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I typically double or triple this recipe when I have people over, and if I don’t, I still make a lot and freeze half of it. It’s one of the best things to eat first thing on a cold morning! Please let me know if you make it and enjoy it! I love sharing recipes with you that are staples in our household.


I hope the next few days are full of so much love and delight and laughter as you celebrate with your favorite people. Merry Christmas Eve to you all!

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How to Make Your Own Roasted Pumpkin & Apple Butter.

Happy Wednesday, friends! I promised you last week that I would share my roasted pumpkin & apple butter recipe with you, because I love you, and you're worth it, and because you need this butter in your life. Every single fall day. And actually, it's not butter at all, it's just that consistency and it's perfectly used like butter. Only better. It's BETTER BUTTER. It's so easy to make, you guys. This recipe just kills me, because it's SO easy and the outcome tastes like something out of Martha's kitchen. I truly feel like a little southern belle, keeping a stockpile of this in my fridge during the cooler autumn/winter months. It's delicious on anything - spread on toast, mixed into oatmeal, dolloped on yogurt, eaten with ice cream, smeared on baked chicken - the possibilities are literally endless. Literally. Just grab a few mason jars (I love these and these for canning), your crockpot and let's do this thing!

Roasted Pumpkin & Apple Butter.
Ingredients:
- 1 Sugar Pumpkin
- 5-6 apples, different varieties
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/5 tsp. Nutmeg

Method:
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Now throw your pumpkin in there. Just kidding! You have to wait for it to heat up - silly rabbit. But in all seriousness, don't bother attempting to slice that pumpkin - just put in on a baking sheet and roast it whole in the oven! It's seriously so much easier than almost hacking off your arm in an attempt to pre-slice it. There's no need. Once it's good and roasty, we can easily slice it and scoop out the seeds. So once the oven is preheated, place the pumpkin in the oven and roast it for 45 minutes. This is when you watch Netflix and chuckle to yourself about how domestic you are, ROASTING A PUMPKIN. Maybe Instagram it. It's that good.

Don't look too closely. I desperately need some new baking sheets. I have my eye on  these .

Don't look too closely. I desperately need some new baking sheets. I have my eye on these.

2. After 45 minutes, remove the pumpkin from the oven. It should be incredibly easy to slice open, which is exactly what you want to do. I first cut off the stem, then sliced the whole pumpkin down the center. Allow it to sit on a cutting board and cool a bit.

I shared this photo  on Instagram last week  because I loved it so much. My little kitchen helper and his little apple-stealing paws :)

I shared this photo on Instagram last week because I loved it so much. My little kitchen helper and his little apple-stealing paws :)

3. Once the pumpkin has cooled and is easy to work with, go ahead and scoop out the seeds and inner stringy meat. Put those aside in a bowl - you might want to do something with that mixture later! Roasted pumpkin seeds perhaps?

4. Then go ahead and scoop out the "good stuff" - all that inner pumpkin which is so creamy and sweet and earthy. You should sneak a taste; it's so good.

5. Place all the scooped out pumpkin into a crockpot. Set the crockpot over low heat.

6. Wash and dice up all your apples. I personally leave the skins on, because it's just extra work removing them. It doesn't make a difference when the butter is finished buttering - the skin will get all roasty and melty just like the rest of the apples. So only remove the skins if you have a thing about it. You don't need to. I did mention that this is the easiest recipe ever, right? Just making sure. This is where you chuckle to yourself again.

7. Toss the diced apples into the crockpot, along with the rest of the ingredients - maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. You will already be able to smell the goodness. Now close up the crockpot top and leave it alone!

8. Let the mixture cook forever. Like, at least 6-8 hours. I prefer cooking it on low for a long time, because it just gets that good, simmered situation going. I'm sure you could cook it on high for a shorter period of time, if you're in a hurry. I didn't mind taking longer with it, because it made my house smell like an autumnal haven of pumpkin glory. BONUS.

9. Once the mixture has completely broken up and reaches an even consistency, go ahead and load the mixture into your mixer or blender. You might have to do this in batches, depending on how big your blender is. I use a Vitamix (because God is good to me, and gave me loving parents who Christmas-gifted me a Vita, which I consider my child) but that's not necessary - any blender, stand mixer or hand mixer will work perfectly. Pulse the mixture on high for just a few moments, whipping it into a buttery consistency. Do not overmix.

10. Voila! Your butter is complete! Now load it into your canning jars and dole those things out like candy. If you can stand to give it away, this makes an amazing gift. I normally end up standing in the kitchen, eating the hot butter for like ten minutes before I can even bear to begin canning it. This recipe should make 4 16-oz. jars of butter. Unless one of those jars "suddenly disappears."

Eat and eat and eat and eat. This butter is shown with my Pumpkin Beer Bread recipe. Which is just a really good direction to go with it :) Let me know how this roasted pumpkin & apple butter goes for you friends! Happy buttering to you!

Taste: "Good Morning!" Green Juice

Good Morning Green Juice.

It's almost the weekend! To celebrate, let's add some healthy color to your morning routine! This is such a delicious way to get revved up and start the day. It's even better then a cup of coffee. That's right, I said it. I love drinking this in the morning because it feels really good to get in so many fruits and veggies so early in the day! Plus, it looks suuuuper green, but I promise it doesn't taste like grass. It tastes really tangy and refreshing (thanks to that hot hit of mint, mmm.)

This recipe serves two and is best if made in a high-powered blender, like a Vitamix, or a juicer.

Ingredients:

- 2 ribs of kale

- 1 handful of spinach (about 1 cup)

- 1 cup baby carrots (5-6)

- 1 green apple

- 1 red apple

- 1 lemon, skin and pith removed

- 3-4 sprigs of mint

- 1-inch piece of ginger, peel removed

- 1/3 cucumber, peeled

- 1 cup water

Method:

1. Place all the ingredients into Veronica the Vitamix (it's a bond, people), and secure the lid.

2. If you have a Vitamix: Select Variable 1. Turn the machine on and quickly increase speed to variable 10, then turn on High. Blend for 45 seconds or until the desired consistency is reached.

If you have a juicer/food processor: You might have to do this in batches. My food processor is only a 2-cup, so I would probably have to break this up into three separated batches. Or you could try to use a powerful blender, but just make sure all your ingredients are roughly chopped (the carrots might pose the biggest problem.)

Seriously, this is going to make you feel like a superhero. Now go and conquer your week!

Keeping your weekend green! And let me know what you think!

*This recipe was featured this week on Flat8 Magazine's website! Make sure to visit the site and check it out! Their content is so fun :)