Hello! Welcome to Hope For Balance! Since it’s October, I decided my first blog post should be a tribute to fall and two of my favorite seasonal fruits: apples and pears! I’m also including a favorite seasonal recipe made by yours truly – my Pear Apple Crumble!
Can you believe we’re already a week into October? I feel like August and September just flew by, and October seems to be doing the same. We have to embrace fall flavors as much as possible before winter sets in!
Fall is my favorite season for many reasons – the changing of the leaves, the crisp in the air, pumpkin patches, bonfires, s’mores with friends, and so much more. I also love the seasonal produce that’s available this time of year. There are so many delicious vegetables and fruits that are at their peak this time of year. This means that they have the best flavor and contain more vitamins and minerals right now than during any other time of the year! To find out what vegetables and fruits are in season in your area, see here.
Pumpkin seems to be hyped up more than any other vegetable or fruit this time of year; I honestly don’t mind it. I’m not pumpkin obsessed (I’m more of a sweet potato and butternut squash girl when it comes to orange vegetables), but I really do enjoy pumpkin. Recently I’ve made several cheesy pumpkin pasta dishes, pumpkin baked goods, copycat Pumpkin Pie “Perfect” Bars, African inspired curry with pumpkin and peanut butter, and more… But my favorite recipe of the season contains no pumpkin. It contains apples and pears!
The Perfect Produce Pair (or Pear?)
I really love apples and pears. As if the crispness of an apple and the sweet juiciness of a perfectly ripe pear aren’t enough, both of these fruits have had a special place in my heart since childhood. Growing up, we had a pear tree in our Alabama backyard. The pears on that tree had a thick skin and were much harder than the pears you typically find at the grocery store, but I loved them.
Similarly, my grandparents had an apple tree in their backyard. My grandfather used to sit in a chair at the base of the tree to scare the birds away when the apples started to grow. I remember picking apples from that tree when I was just 5 or 6 years old. Like the pears, the apples had a thick skin and were a little tough on the teeth, but I loved them anyway.
Fall Family Traditions
Apple picking is one of my favorite traditional fall activities, and I think I can attribute that love, at least in part, to the childhood memories I have of picking pears from the tree in my backyard and apples from my grandparents’. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go apple picking this year, but if I had I’d like to think I would have eaten at least four apples during the picking process, then used the rest to make the biggest crumble the world has ever seen. And I would have used this recipe!
For all my apple and pear lovers out there this fall, my seasonal Pear Apple Crumble is for you! The filling is flavorful and perfectly spiced, and the crumble is just that – CRUMBLY in the best way.
More autumn recipes you'll love:
Nutrient Dense Breakfast or Better-For-You Dessert
This seasonal Pear Apple Crumble is nutrient dense. As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), I believe it is so important to nourish your body with foods that not only taste good but that are also good for you. And this recipe has my dietitian stamp of approval! It’s packed with fiber from oats, nuts, and seasonal fruit as well as healthy fats to keep you full and satisfied. The addition of cinnamon to this dish may help prevent spikes in blood sugar, and the lemon zest contains probiotics which help to promote a healthy gut microbiome.
I usually make this crumble in the evening, then heat up 2 servings in the morning and pair with a protein source like plain Greek yogurt, scrambled eggs, or lean breakfast sausage for a quick, balanced breakfast for me and my husband.
If you’re not a sweet breakfast person, no worries. This crumble doubles as a better-for-you, seasonal dessert! Just bake, top with vanilla bean ice cream, and serve.
Quick note: I don’t follow any diets or promote cutting out food groups just for the heck of it, but I do make gluten free, dairy free, and even vegan recipes on occasion so that people with different dietary restrictions can still enjoy them. This recipe is all of those things. NO gluten and NO animal products, just full of flavor and good-for-you nutrients!
What’s in This Recipe?
Apple – energizing carbohydrate with dietary fiber (keep the peel on for more fiber)
Pear – energizing carbohydrate with dietary fiber (keep the peel on for more fiber)
Seasonings – cinnamon, ginger, and salt
Cassava flour or tapioca starch or cornstarch
Lemon zest – contains prebiotics which can promote a healthy gut microbiome
Lemon juice – brings out the natural sweetness in the fresh fruit, contains vitamin C
Maple syrup – natural sweetener, rich in manganese
Vanilla extract – adds flavor
Gluten free rolled oats – heart healthy complex carbohydrate that is rich in fiber and B vitamins
Pecans – contains heart healthy fats, vitamins, fiber, and plant-based protein
Unsweetened shredded coconut – contains medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), fiber, and antioxidants
Coconut oil – contains medium chain triglycerides (MCTs)
Simple ingredients only. AND it’s totally customizable. Just last week I made it using half pecans and half pumpkin seeds because I didn’t have a full 1/3 cup of pecans. It turned out great!
Notes: If you’re making this ahead of time, pop it in the oven at 200oF around 15 minutes before serving to reheat. To reheat individual servings of leftovers, microwave desired amount in a microwave safe bowl on high for about 1 minute.
Pear Apple Crumble
Prep time: 20 minutes
Bake time: 40 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
2 cup sliced gala apples (3 small or 2 medium apples)
1 large pear, sliced
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger (or 1 T fresh ginger, minced)
1 tbsp. cassava flour or tapioca starch or cornstarch
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
Crumble topping ingredients:
1 cup gluten free old fashioned oats
2/3 cup raw pecans
2 tbsp. unsweetened shredded coconut
2 tbsp. maple syrup
2 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
1 tbsp. cassava flour or tapioca starch or cornstarch
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350oF.
In a pie dish, combine the filling ingredients. Mix with a wooden spoon until all of the fruit is fully coated.
Next, add the oats, pecans, and shredded coconut to a food processor. Grind for 1-2 seconds at a time until the oats, pecans, and coconut are chopped, but not fine. Add the remaining ingredients to the food processor and grind for 1-2 seconds at a time until combined.
Top the the fruit mixture with the crumble mixture, and bake for 40 minutes until the fruit begins to bubble and the topping starts to brown.
Remove from the oven, and serve immediately.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.