Pumpkin Pie Stuffed Apples (Gluten & Dairy Free)

Pumpkin Pie Stuffed Apples (Grain Free with Dairy Free Options) - The Nourishing Gourmet

Warmly-spiced pumpkin filling is spooned into a hollowed-out apple shell that softens and caramelizes as it bakes. Topped with a simple caramel sauce this is a a rustic yet elegant fall dessert to serve to family and friends!

No need to limit yourself to pumpkin. This filling is based on a sweet potato pie recipe. I have also made it with buttenut squash and next up is kabocha. Carrot pie is also intriguing! My kids won’t go near winter squash in the lightly salted, roasted version that I adore. But this is one of their favorite desserts of all time. That’s a win in my book.

I’ve recently become even more excited about carotenoid-rich vegetables after discovering a new health benefit. Current research is showing that those with the highest serum-levels of carotenoids were 20-30% less likely to develop breast cancer. It’s probably a bit early to tell whether this is because those with more carotenoids are likely to be higher in other nutrients as well, but there seems to be at least some link since it has been noted across multiple studies.

Concerned that the apple shells may be too tedious? It turns out that hollowing an apple is easier than it may seem. This recipe calls for four huge apples (or 5 large) and the whole operation takes no more time than it would to make a crust – a sometimes stressful endeavor, in my opinion. I use red delicious because they are softer. Just half them, hollow out each side with a knife, then scoop out the center with a good spoon (a grapefruit spoon works well).

When you finish putting these together you are left with the perfect amount of apple with which to make an apple pie! Just toss it with some lemon to prevent it from oxidizing and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to put it together in the next day or two. Or try one of the savory apple recipes that have recently appeared on The Nourishing Gourmet.

Here are some apple recipe ideas:

Cranberry Apple Mini Pies (GF, if desired)
Apple Cinnamon Ice Cream with Salted Caramel Sauce (DF)
Apple Clafoutis (Grain-Free)
Potato Apple Soup with Caramelized Onions & Gorgonzola
Easy Pan-Fried Cabbage and Apples

We usually prefer our pumpkin pie chilled, but we love these warm. And you won’t want to skip the caramel. It’s definitely worth the quick extra step!

 

Pumpkin Pie Stuffed Apples (GF/DF)
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8 servings (1 pie)
 
These rustic little treats are perfect for fall. Mix and match different orange squashes or use your own pumpkin pie filling recipe!
Ingredients
  • 4 very large apples (I use red delicious)
  • 2 cups pumpkin or orange squash puree (here are instructions for making your own)
  • ½ cup full-fat coconut milk
  • ¼ - ⅓ cup coconut sugar (1/4 if you are using caramel sauce, ⅓ if not)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter (optional, for those who don't need it to be dairy free)
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg (preferably fresh grated)
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • lemon (sprinkle on apples to prevent oxidation)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. In a food processor, puree all pumpkin filling ingredients (everything minus the apple and lemon). Alternately you can use a good masher, however this will not work if your pumpkin is very stringy.
  3. Carefully and confidently, hollow out the apples - slice them in half (from stem to bottom). WIth a knife, carve out the apple on each side leaving the core intact, then scoop out the core with a good spoon (I used a grapefruit spoon). Leave about ¼" of apple attached to the peel. Sprinkle each shell with a little lemon before moving on to the next.
  4. Fill each shell with pumpkin and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until done.
  5. Serve warm with Easy-Peasy Caramel Sauce.

Potato Apple Soup with Caramelized Onions and Gorgonzola (grain-free)

Potato Apple Soup with Caramelized Onions and Gorgonzola (grain-free)By April Swiger, Contributing Writer

This rustic potato soup is delicately sweet, with caramelized onions and local apples, topped with savory gorgonzola. Not only is it nourishing-to-the-max with chicken bone broth, but it’s quick to put together and very frugal for even the tightest budget! This soup is simple enough for a busy weeknight meal (it has been devoured by my three year old son multiple times this week), but also has a touch of elegance with the addition of gorgonzola cheese in place of a traditional cheddar.

We’re officially in “soup season” as I like to call it. My crockpot is bubbling every week with homemade nourishing bone broth, and my freezer is always stocked with a few quarts for when I need it. Traditional bone broth has an abundance of health benefits ranging from helping intestinal disorders to the common cold (Sally Fallon, Nourishing Traditions, page 116-117). My husband and I drink a warm mug of broth, lightly salted, when we feel a cold coming on – and it really seems to help!

Potato soup is a favorite of mine, and I’m always looking for unique ways to serve it. I currently have twenty pounds of local apples, freshly picked from a nearby orchard. Traditionally, apples are paired with butternut squash, or sweet potatoes, but I loved the idea of a savory sweet soup with the humble russet potato and caramelized onions for extra flavor. Adding some gorgonzola on top gave it just the “bite” I was looking for.

I love keeping recipes simple, frugal, and nourishing, especially in the winter months when illnesses abound. You can’t go wrong when you use bone broth as your foundation. It’s easy to adapt this recipe for your taste as well. Add more apples or onions if you prefer it on the sweeter side, or switch out the gorgonzola for cheddar or brie.

Here are some other soups you may enjoy:

And check out Kimi’s Cookbook, (affiliate link) Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as well!

Potato Apple Soup with Caramelized Onions and Gorgonzola (grain-free)
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main
 
This rustic soup is savory sweet and very frugal. It could easily be enjoyed all winter long!
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 pounds potatoes, peeled and chopped (I used russet)
  • 3 medium sized apples of your choice (about 1-1.5 lbs)
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Gorgonzola cheese to top
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed pot. Add the sliced onions, a pinch of salt, and caramelize them for about 20-25 minutes until they are a deep golden brown. While the onions are carmelizing, peel and chop the potatoes and apples.
  2. When the onions are caramelized, add the potatoes, apples, broth, thyme and bay leaf to the pot. Salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat, and simmer until the potatoes are soft, about 10-15 minutes.
  3. Use a hand blender to puree the soup. You could also do it in batches in a countertop blender as well. I like to leave some chunks in the soup and not puree it completely.
  4. Top with a hefty portion of gorgonzola cheese crumbles.

 

Easy Pan-fried Cabbage and Apples

Delicious vegetable sides are easy to make, such as this simple Pan Fried Cabbage and Apple dish.

Delicious vegetable sides are easy to make, such as this simple Pan Fried Cabbage and Apple dish.

Green or red cabbage is gently cooked with apples in this simple, but delicious side dish. I find that when you are eating cabbage (or cauliflower) when they are freshly picked from the fields, they are especially sweet and flavorful. Here, I add some sliced apples to continue to sweeten and flavor the cabbage as it cooks. It is a lovely side to go with roasted meats or sausages.

This is an example of how easy it is to vegetables in a lovely way without much work!

I love this easy side dish and have made it several times in the last couple of weeks. I think I could eat the whole pan of it myself! I first tried it out because I was looking for a way to gently encourage my youngest (she just turned four) to eat more of her vegetables. While she wasn’t happy to see her small serving of cabbage on the plate at first, once we got her to try it, she seemed to happily eat the rest of it. I believe that is because of the magic of the apples, which give a delightful sweetness to the dish.

Two additions I am tempted to try is adding either caraway seeds, as they would add so much flavor, and are traditionally used with cabbage dishes, or, to take things in a different route, to add fresh ginger. I think that the cabbage, apples, and ginger together would make a lovely medley of flavors.

I’ve been making good use of my cast iron pans lately, and they served me well in this recipe as well. If using cast iron, I would cook at medium heat or below. If using stainless steel pans (try to use a thicker pan for better heat spread) use medium to medium-high heat.

Other Vegetable Side Dishes:

Easy Pan-fried Cabbage and Apples
 
Author:
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • ½ head of large green or red cabbage
  • 2 small, 1 large tart/sweet apple (green, Pink Lady etc.)
  • 2 tablespoons fat/oil of choice
  • Unrefined salt
Instructions
  1. Core the cabbage, and very thinly slice it. Peel the apples, and very thinly slice it.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat fat/oil over medium heat if using cast iron, and medium-high heat if using stainless steel. Add one piece of cabbage to the pan. When it starts to sizzle a little, add the rest of the cabbage and apples, and sprinkle with a generous pinch or two of salt.
  3. Cook, stirring often, for about ten minutes, or until the cabbage and apples are soft to desired texture. If using a cast iron pan, you can also allow the soft cabbage and apples to brown slightly at the end for a lovely flavor.

 

Grain-Free Pizza “Pockets”

Grain free pizza pockets - These freeze well and are so fun!With a crunchy crust and a flavorful filling, no one complained about eating a grain-free meal last night! These flavorful pockets were very satisfying and filling, and make a very fun lunch or dinner (I’d recommend serving it with a homemade salad with a yummy homemade salad dressing!). We aren’t a grain-free family, but since we are gluten-free, our meals often end up being grain-free. And with beautiful foods like these homemade pockets, everyone is happy (even those in the family who CAN eat gluten!).

Proving that advertisement to children really does work, I still remember when “Hot Pockets” were a new and very cool product. I’m quite certain that I begged and begged my mother to buy me some. I think she did finally once, and I was pretty happy. But I’m not sure I was actually that pleased with the actual product. Regardless, I don’t remember much about my experience eating them, though I still remember exactly where they were placed in the freezer that day.

I think I will remember these ones for the flavor, not where I put them in my freezer ten years from now. ;-)

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My Inspiration

As I talked about yesterday, I have been really inspired to freeze more foods lately. I talked about being inspired by two of the books in the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle (only on sale for a couple more days, by the way). What I didn’t mention was that this project was already on the schedule for my first experiment! They were inspired by the Grain-free Grab and Go eBook by Hayley from Health Starts in the Kitchen. This book is also part of the bundle (hey, when you have 73 eBooks, you end up with a lot of good stuff in there!). She has some a-m-a-z-i-n-g recipes in there. She has pockets for breakfast, pockets for lunch, pockets for dinner. Some are very American, some are Ethnic. They all sound great. I knew I had to try them.

Here’s Hayley’s book, among the other books in one of the categories of the bundle.

Following my own advice, I wasn’t so much trying to make huge amounts to freeze, but try out a few recipes to see what we liked best. These were such a hit, I’m definitely adding them to my list of recipes that are “good to freeze.”

Here’s what I tried out

I made three crusts. I made a slight adaption of Hayley crust from her book (I didn’t have the same seasoning, so I substituted), which was a tapioca and almond flour based crust. Technically, almonds are a food I am not supposed to have a lot of, so I wanted to also try out a very interesting alternative – yuca root crust. The third crust was completely accidental! When attempting to make Hayley’s crust the first time, I accidently poured in potato starch instead of tapioca starch! Turns out, it works just as well! I figured that was a good substitution tip to share with you all.

The almond flour/starch based crust firms up nicely, and is quite crunchy and delicious when cooked. The taro root crust is quite soft, yet still manages to be “bread-like” when cooked. We also lightly pan-fried these pockets for a crunchy outside, and then they were perfect.

I don’t have permission to share’s Hayley’s beautiful crust recipe with you all, since it’s part of her lovely eBook. However, if you aren’t able to purchase her book or the bundle right now, you could try this similar recipe here (just be aware that the ratios are different and I haven’t actually tried this recipe yet). For the amount of filling below, I’d double it.  I DO want to share my own tips with on making them however, and my own filling recipe.

You can also buy the bundle by clicking on the button below.

Grain-free Pizza pockets - These freeze well and are so fun!

For an almond flour/starch batter:

  • Don’t expect your first few to look perfect. Like most things it takes a little practice. At first I wasn’t spreading out the batter in the pan thin enough, so my pockets were too small for the amount of filling I should have been using. My first few were not beautiful, but they were still delicious!
  • Don’t overcook the batter when pan cooking your pocket dough. If it gets too crunchy, it’s harder to press together (if that happens moisten your fork with a little water).
  • Instead of pressing the edges together in the hot pan, I removed it to a plate, poured in batter for the next pocket dough, and while the first side cooked, moved to the plate, and pressed the edges together.
  • Put some music on and relax while you are making them! It does take a little time, but once you get a rhythm going, it goes much faster.

Grain Free Pizza Pockets - made with a yuca dough!

For the yuca crust

I got my recipe from Predominately Paleo, who I believe first created the “yuca dough.” Kudos to her for developing them!

A few notes:

    • The yuca has to be peeled, boiled, blended, and then cooled before you can work with it. This takes some time, but each step is very simple, and most of the time is not hands-on time, but waiting time.
    • The dough is very soft, and a fairly easy to break, so you have to make much smaller pockets.
    • Pan-frying them after cooking is the way to go. We also found that they could be cold in the refrigerator (as leftovers), and panfrying them warms them up perfectly. Win-win!
    • You absolutely should watch this video to see what you are going to be doing. It should take away any fears about the recipe.

  • Don’t overheat your blender when blending.
  • I loved the dough, but definitely think salt should be added to it. I’d recommend 1 teaspoon during the blending process.

To get the recipe for the dough (and another delicious filling) go here.

I also wanted to note that this method of freezing breakfast burritos would probably work great for these pizza pockets too!

Grain-Free Pizza "Pockets"
 
 
Next time, I am thinking of adding a red pepper, cubed mushrooms, and olives to the mix! This is enough to fill one recipe of the almond/starch crust, or the yuca crust recipe. Our favorite was the pork. Follow the instruction for filling the crusts per recipe you’ve chosen to use.
Ingredients
  • ¾ pound ground beef or pork, grassfed preferred for the beef
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • A generous pinch of thyme and oregano
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced or put through a garlic press
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1-2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese (we used goat), optional
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, brown the meat with the dried herbs and garlic. When cooked through, if needed, remove any grease with a spoon (tip the pan slightly to allow the grease to run to one side).
  2. Stir in the tomato paste and then salt generously to taste.
  3. If using the cheese, place a couple tablespoons on top of the meat filling before closing.