November 10, 2011
With the right gluten-free recipe, you can have your cake and eat it too. That’s how I felt when I threw together these fast and simple apple raisin squares. It’s a relief to be wheat-free in a delicious way. And since they contain quinoa, eggs and almond flour, they also offer a decent protein hit.
The quality ingredients create a moist, nutrient-dense quick bread. But be forewarned, if you prefer things sweet, this sugar-free recipe will taste pretty bland. Then again, if you’re on a sugar-free regimen like I am, these squares will make you feel like you’re able to participate in the concept of “cake” and “dessert.”
Since I am NOT a fussy cook, I put the apples through the food processor with the peel still on. Why not? It provides such lovely fiber. If you have any extra grated apples, just spread them in a thin layer over the top of the batter before baking. They’ll dry into little shreds that texturally resemble coconut flakes.
By the way, there’s not a speck of refined sugar in these squares. Who needs it? The apples, maple syrup, plumped-up raisins and ground almonds do such a good job at providing natural sweetness. And if you’re never used almond flour before, you’re in for a wonderful experience. It brings a gentle sweetness and decadent density to any recipe.
As for the olive oil — I experimented with butter and canola oil too. But in the end, the olive oil won for its ability to add a depth that just isn’t possible with anything else.
I suppose these squares could be served for dessert. But I like them in the morning with a nice, cozy cup of tea. The best part of making this breakfast treat is that it only takes 10 minutes to throw the ingredients together.
The trick to this making this recipe is timing. If the batter sits around, the freshly grated apples turn watery. Next thing you know, you’ll be looking at a pan of mush; it just won’t bake right.
So make this quick bread quickly. Assemble all the dry ingredients, toss in the wet ingredients and then, go grate the apples. They will give a lot of juice that has to be squeezed out. The juice is delicious! Sip on it while your quick bread is baking. :)
In case you’re wondering, yes, I really did make up this recipe. I must’ve made it at least two dozen times. The results of my experiments went to my then-bf in hopes of getting him to stop relying on the empty calories of bagels and wheat muffins. I made them for him every week. No regrets.
Soooo, that’s the recipe. Right now, it’s the fall apple season here in New York state. The harvest at the farmers market is unbelievably varied and luscious. I’m using all types of apples for making these squares; they all work.
And here’s what else I do with apples: