Summary: This winter has been an especially long one, and we find ourselves longing for sweet treats that won’t make us feel too guilty. Nothing is more satisfying on a cold winter’s day than a piping hot bowl of apple crisp. If you’re following a vegan, gluten-free diet, you might wonder how you can enjoy this succulent treat without butter and dairy-based ice cream. Have no fear, the dessert can be made to your specific dietary needs. We think it tastes even better than the milk-infused version.

This winter has been an especially long one, and we find ourselves longing for sweet treats that won’t make us feel too guilty. Nothing is more satisfying on a cold winter’s day than a piping hot bowl of apple crisp. If you’re following a vegan, gluten-free diet, you might wonder how you can enjoy this succulent treat without butter and dairy-based ice cream. Have no fear, the dessert can be made to your specific dietary needs. We think it tastes even better than the milk-infused version.

CRISP INGREDIENTS
6-8 medium-sized apples (enough to make 6 cups. You can use several different types at once, from tart to sweet).
Dash of fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup turbinado sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt

TOPPING INGREDIENTS
1/3 cup organic brown sugar
¼ cup gluten-free flour (We used Bob’s Red Mill rice flour, it works great)
½ cup gluten-free oats (old-fashioned, not quick)
¼ cup almond meal
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup melted vegan butter or margarine (We used Earth Balance, with stellar results)

INSTRUCTIONS
Hearty and Delicious Vegan, Gluten-Free Apple Crisp Chop apples into chunks. You can remove peels if you like, but it’s not really necessary. Peels are full of vitamins. Pour apple chunks into a large bowl and sprinkle them with lemon juice. Add turbinado sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and salt. Toss mixture until thoroughly combined and spread into greased 9X9 pan. We used coconut oil for the coating. It has a sweet, subtle flavor that is great for this dessert.

Meanwhile, wash and dry bowl so you can re-use it. Combine brown sugar, flour, oats, melted butter, almond meal, cinnamon and salt until the consistency is similar to wet sand. Spread evenly across the top of the apple mixture and pop into a pre-heated, 375 degree oven.

The mouth-watering scent of apple crisp will fill you with anticipation and nostalgia as the dessert heats up in your oven. Let it bake for about 45 minutes, until the top is golden brown and slightly bubbly. The apples should be soft but not mushy.

Place the pan on your counter and allow it to cool for about 15 minutes. Serve toasty warm! This dessert is great by itself or with a scoop of vegan ice cream. It’s big enough for 6-8 people, so be sure to invite everyone you know. You won’t have any shortage of friends. Cheer up – spring isn’t so far away after all.

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Summary: If you find you're in a pinch for a quick dessert, or have a large dinner on which to focus, this delicious recipe will make it look like you spent hours on it. Part of the reason it is so simple is because the base, the vegan and gluten-free chocolate cake, is pre-made by Amy's Organics and available at Whole Foods and the frozen section of most grocery stores. It is delicious, and doesn't even need to be baked!

If you find you’re in a pinch for a quick dessert, or have a large dinner on which to focus, this delicious recipe will make it look like you spent hours on it. Part of the reason it is so simple is because the base, the vegan and gluten-free chocolate cake, is pre-made by Amy’s Organics, and available at Whole Foods and the frozen section of most grocery stores. It is delicious, and doesn’t even need to be baked!

Vegan and Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Sweet Cashew Cream and Poached Cherries

*At least 2 hours prior to preparation, take the Amy’s Organic Chocolate Cake out of the freezer to thaw, and soak the cashews.*

Vegan and Gluten-Free Cashew Cream

1 cup raw cashes, soaked at least 2 hours
1/4 cup filtered water
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Put all ingredients in a blender, and blend at high-speed until thick and creamy. If needed, keep adding water in small amounts to get the cream to the desired consistency. Set aside.

Poached Cherries

1 cup distilled water
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 cups of cherries, pitted
Juice from 1/2 lemon

Heat all of the ingredients, except the cherries and lemon juice, in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently until sugar dissolves and the mixture starts to boil. Let it boil gently for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Don’t let it over-boil. Add the cherries and lemon juice and cook for another few minutes and remove from heat.

When ready to serve: slice the chocolate cake into serving sizes. Place each piece of cake on a plate, and spoon the cashew cream and poached cherries (preferably still warm), over each slice. Serve.

To top the entire dish even more, add some chocolate shavings as garnish. Simply use a vegetable peeler to shave some of your favorite chocolate into small shavings.

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