Who says you can’t indulge in a little dessert from time to time, right? The way to do it is to make a simple switch from refined sugar to the ultimate source of real sugar – fruit!
The benefit is a lower glycemic load treat that provides a soft rise in blood sugar levels and prevents a sharp spike in insulin. Save your carbs for the end of the day and indulge in a little sweetness after a wholesome lower carbohydrate meal. The key to successful dessert intake is to stick to portion size. So, don’t eat these goodies all at once!

These treats hold up well in the fridge and make for a great snack the next day too. The warmth of the cinnamon and nutmeg in this polyphenol-rich recipe hugs you like your favorite fall sweater. So gather the family around and enjoy a batch of these fresh from the oven!

Apple Pie Bars
Serves 2

For the Crust:
1/2 cup oats
1 cup almond flour
1 cup pecans
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)
1 egg
3/4 cup macadamia nut butter or sunflower seed butter

For the filling:

3 granny smith or pink lady apples chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
1 cup water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons arrowroot starch
Pinch of sea salt

For the Topping:

1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup pecans
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line an 8 x 8 square baking dish with parchment paper.

For the Crust:

Place 1/2 cups oats, 1 cup almond flour, 1 cup pecans, cinnamon and pinch of salt in a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the oil, maple syrup, egg and blend until the mixture forms a dough ball (it will be loose). Place the dough into the baking pan and press it into an even layer to form a crust, using your fingers or a spoon.
Next, evenly spread the almond butter over the oat mixture. Set aside.

For the Filling:

Combine the apples and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat, and cook until apples are softened. Stir in cinnamon.
In a separate small mixing bowl, combine the arrowroot with two teaspoons of water. Stir into the apple mixture until dissolved and thicker sauce forms. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, make the topping. When the apples cool off a bit and thicken, spread it over the crust.

For the Topping:

Combine 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup pecans, sea salt, 1 tablespoon coconut oil and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and pulse until a coarse crumble forms. Sprinkle the oat topping over the apples and bake for about 20 minutes. Do not overbake or it will be dry. Allow cooling on a wire rack completely before cutting into equal sized bars. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Naomi Whittel

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