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I’ve just recently learned that going apple picking is a thing people do in the autumn months. I’ve never gone apple picking, but growing up we would pick pears off my grandparents’ trees; my grandpa would put us in the bucket of his tractor and lift us up high enough to pluck off the pears. It was always terrifyingly amazing, and my sisters and I would giggle and shriek as Pappy lifted us up into the trees. And every Father’s Day, as a gift for my dad, we would go berry picking in the hot Texas sun; running from bees and trying to not get jabbed by thorns. We complained a lot as kids, but, looking back now, we all enjoyed picking the sticky sweet berries in the hot morning sun, enjoying a shady picnic lunch before driving home, then eating berries and cream for dessert that night. So, based upon my fond memories of harvesting other fruits, I am thinking it’s time to instate a new family fall tradition- apple picking!
If you’ve gone apple picking this fall, I have the perfect dish to use up all those apples: Cinnamon Applesauce! Or if you’re like me and didn’t go apple picking, pick up a few extra apples at the grocery store, and it will be well worth it. Because whether you went apple picking or not, there is never a bad time for a warm bowl of homemade applesauce! Unlike many store bought versions, this applesauce is free of refined sugar, it is simple to make, it seriously tastes like the filling for an apple cobbler, and your house will smell amazing as it simmers on the stove. *drool* Not to mention, it is an enjoyable and healthy snack for your kiddos! I hope this sweet, spiced snack makes its way to your kitchen soon!
Serves 6-8, and could easily be doubled.
- 1.5 pounds of gala apples, diced, with or without skin (I left the skins on)
- 1/2-1 tbsp of ground cinnamon, depending on taste
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 cup of coconut sugar
- Enough water to cover the apples, about 4-5 cups
- Combine all ingredients in a large pot
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cover
- Let simmer about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until apples are soft and water is reduced
- Carefully mash apples to desired consistency
- Serve warm (my favorite!) or cold
- Store covered in refrigerator for 2 weeks
If you love the welcoming smell of apples and cinnamon, you would like my Apple Cinnamon Stovetop Scent! And for more warm fall-y treats, be sure to check out my Pumpkin Bread with Crumb Topping and Banana Bread with Granola Crumble; both are delicious gluten free, refined sugar free breads, and are amazing served warm with butter. With Thanksgiving fast approaching, all these healthier treats will sure be nice to have on hand! I hope you bake something scrumptious for you and your family. Make some new fall traditions…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!
This post contains a promo code and other affiliate links. If you purchase using the links, it is of no extra cost to you; just a small pantry fund for me! Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy.
It’s that time of year for candy and sugar crashes. I think we experienced our first set of sugar-induced temper tantrums yesterday brought on by all the treats Zemirah’s been having lately. We are still going trick-or-treating tonight, but will be limiting the amount of candy to one or two pieces, and keep the rest hidden away for potty time rewards…or for Mama and Daddy 😉
I am still working on finding my food freedom and living a balanced lifestyle, but you know what? A few pieces (not the whole bucket!) of the sugary, processed candy on Halloween is not going to kill you or your child! It’s a fun night for dressing up and eating candy, so let’s not spoil it with worrying. However, after tonight’s candy, you might need some help getting back on track, and I have just the thing: this delicious, refined sugar free pumpkin bread! It is also dairy free, can be made egg free using flax eggs (directions in this post), and gluten free! (I still have this promo code for 20% off a huge 3 pound bag of gluten free flour until Nov. 16th, good for all your gluten free baking.) This pumpkin bread is so flavorful and sweet that no one will be able to tell that it’s a healthier version, and you can snack away guilt free!
Pumpkin Bread with Crumb Topping
Makes one standard loaf.
- 2 cups of gluten free flour
- 1/2 cup of coconut sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
- 2 eggs (or flax eggs for vegan)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- For crumb topping:
- 1/4 cup softened coconut oil
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1/8 cup gluten free flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 F
- Grease a standard size loaf pan
- Combine dry ingredients for the loaf (flour through salt) in a bowl
- Whisk together
- Add wet ingredients for the loaf (pumpkin through vanilla)
- Stir together until well combined
- Spread into prepared pan
- In a separate bowl, combine all ingredients for the crumb topping with a fork, the mixture should look like damp sand
- Press the topping on top of the batter
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
- Store covered, at room temperature for 3 days, or in the fridge for a week
If you are looking for more pumpkin recipes, be sure to check out my Pumpkin Spice Cake and Pumpkin Pie Coffee Creamer; other non-pumpkin yet fall-y treats I have are Banana Bread with Granola Crumble, Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookie Bars, and Wholesome Chocolate Chunk Cookies! Plus my Apple Cinnamon Stovetop Scent to make your home smell like fall. I love this time of year *happy sigh*. I hope you have a fun Halloween night! Eat some candy, bake all the pumpkin bread…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!
Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice
The nights here in Southern California have been dipping down into the 50s; it’s so nice, crisp, and cool in the mornings. I just want to cuddle up under a big, fluffy blanket with a warm mug full of delicious, flavored coffee. Mmm. And since it’s fall, the flavor of the coffee should obviously be…PUMPKIN PIE!
Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte is kindaaa unofficially the official first sign of fall, and one thing’s for sure: the sugar content is spooky. In a Grande Pumpkin Spice Latte with 2% milk and no whipped cream there is… 48 grams of sugar! *cue dramatic thunder clap and flickering lights* That’s scarier than anything you’ll see this Halloween.
I’m not a huge fan of really sweet coffee, and have never actually tried a PSL; however, at this time of year, I love all things pumpkin-y, cinnamon-y, and spice-y. If you want to make your own homemade and healthier version, I have just the thing for you! This creamer is dairy free and refined sugar free…not to mention pure pumpkin coziness in a cup! It includes real pumpkin puree in the mix, which is great for gut health, and of course, delicious. You can mix the creamer right into your brewed coffee, or blend it up to make it foamy like a latte; I gulp it down either way. I hope you make a batch, or two, or 10 to enjoy this fall!
Pumpkin Pie Coffee Creamer
Makes two cups.
- 2 tbsp pumpkin puree
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan
- Warm over medium-low heat, whisking until well combined
- Remove from heat
- Pour directly into coffee to stir in or make a “faux latte”
- To make a “faux latte”
- combine desired amounts each of coffee and creamer in blender
- blend on low speed for 30 seconds until foamy
- Once cooled, store leftover creamer covered in fridge for a week (it still stirs in just fine when it’s cold)
If you like all things pumpkin this time of year, you should bake my Pumpkin Spice Cake and enjoy a slice along with your spiced coffee! If you make either pumpkin recipes, I’d love to see it; you can tag me on Instagram (mrsmollymills). Have some delicious coffee, cuddle up with your family, stay cozy…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!
There’s nothing better or more comforting than the smell of home. Every winter, my mom would put something on the stove that she called her “Christmas Scent”; it had citrus fruits with cloves and cinnamon. It was always so warm and welcoming walking into the house from the cold outside and smelling spices simmering on the stove.
I have been feeling nostalgic lately because, after four years here, our time in Oceanside, California is coming to a close. It is also starting to cool down a teeny bit, and the combination of cool weather and nostalgia made me want to create my own “autumn scent”. I saw all of these articles floating around Facebook about how scented fall candles cause lung cancer, which I don’t doubt, but honestly I just don’t buy candles because I’m not about to spend twenty-five dollars on scented wax just to burn it up. Instead, you can have your own fall scented HOUSE by simmering a few cheap ingredients on your stove. I hope you enjoy!
Apple Cinnamon Stovetop Scent
Not really for consumption. I’m sure you could eat it…but it would probably taste like perfume.
- One small red apple, sliced
- Half of one orange, sliced
- Two cinnamon sticks
- 1 tsp of cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- Combine all ingredients in a small pot
- Cover with water
- Simmer on low, uncovered, as long as desired, but don’t forget to turn your stove off before bed!!!
That’s it! Much cheaper than a candle, and your children may one day have nostalgic memories of mom’s “fall scent”. So make your house smell like home for your family…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!