There’s something so peaceful about being out on an acreage. If I’d had a choice I would have chosen to spend time at my sister’s acreage during the harvest season to be able to help can and preserve the season’s bounty. However I lucked out and they still have a few things to use up in their freezer from last year.
The only thing better than canning and preserving this year’s bounty, is finding fun and delicious ways of using up last year’s fruits and vegetables before the new harvest starts.
That is where the pureed pumpkin comes in. We decided to dig through the freezer and pull out things that needed to be used up. We pulled up a big bag of pureed pumpkin. I thought we could make a soup or gnocchi. After it had time to thaw we discovered that the pureed pumpkin was indeed pureed apricots.
I wasn’t too confident in trying my hand at apricot soup or gnocchi so a new plan was required!
This is what I came up with and they are quite delightful.
If you’re new to whole foods, this recipe might not be sweet enough for you, but don’t dismay, getting it sweeter is easy. I don’t normally advocate adding more sugar, honey or other sweeteners to recipes, but if you’re transitioning to new foods it’s important to introduce new foods and flavors in a gentle fashion so that your taste buds can adjust slowly, making the transition more enjoyable and most likely more successful. Processed foods had a ton of sugar and salt added. As a result, a newbie to whole foods may need to add more sugar and salt than the recipe indicates, to make it more palatable.
This is an easy recipe to make sugar adjustments and a good one to try if you’re just starting to reduce your sugar intake. The trick to reducing sugar intake is to first start by only using whole food sweeteners, so unprocessed sugars like honey, maple syrup, etc. Second, adjust the sweetness to the least amount of sweetness you think you can tolerate and still enjoy the item you’re making. Eventually, you’ll reduce the sugar more and more, little bit by little bit. Your taste buds will eventually become more sensitive to sweetness and you’ll enjoy less sweetened desserts than those found in restaurants or grocery stores.
Hemp seeds might be too far of a leap if whole foods are new to you. I’ve included some info on making changes, substitutions and additions to make the transitions to whole foods easier.
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- 1 cup almonds
- 2 cups gluten free oats
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup honey (vegans, use maple syrup or alternate sweetener)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
Put all the ingredients in a food processor. Process until almonds are ground and the dough starts to clump together, scraping the sides down with a spatula if need be. Put the mixture into a 9×9 pan. Using your hands, parchment paper or plastic wrap, press the crumb mixture down to get an even packed down surface.
Note: Taste the crumb mixture before pressing it into the baking pan. If it is not quite sweet enough, add another 1/8 cup -1/4 cup of honey or an alternate sweetener like maple syrup, palm sugar or a few drops of stevia. Pulse the food processor long enough to incorporate the addition sweetener. Taste and adjust again if required. Remember, it’s easy to add, but much more challenging to take it away if you’ve added too much.
3 cups pureed apricots
Spread the pureed apricots over the base in an even layer.
Note: The recipe only makes 2 cups of puree. Use 3 1/2 – 4 lbs of fresh apricots to get 3 cups of pureed apricots. Our pureed apricots had no added sweeteners. But the recipe linked above does use a few Tablespoons which will ease the transition to less processed foods. If you’ve already reduced your taste for sweetness and your apricots are quite sweet, forgo the honey altogether, as my sister did.
- 2 cups oats
- 1/3 cup hemp seeds (read below for possible substitutions)
- 1/4 cup flax meal (read below for possible substitutions)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 2 Tbsp honey (vegans, use maple syrup or alternate sweetener)
- 1/2 tsp cardamom
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Place all the ingredients and pulse until crumbly. Sprinkle the crumble topping over the apricot layer.
Bake at 350 F for 25 minutes. Allow the squares to cool. Refrigerate the squares. Because we are using coconut oil, and the inside temperature is often above 74 degrees, the coconut oil will melt and the squares won’t hold their shape at that temperature.
Note: To replace the hemp seeds, feel free to use almond meal, chia seeds or roughly ground nuts. Instead of flax meal, substitute a whole grain flour such as spelt, kamut, buckwheat (GF) or even almond meal. I’m pretty sure coconut flour, corn meal or even tapioca starch would work, but I have not tried it.
RAW: Baking this dish is not necessary and can be enjoying as is. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving to allow the coconut oil to solidify before slicing.
What are you going to make next with apricots?
I’m sharing this with Mangia Monday, Monday Mania, My Meatless Monday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, A Little Birdie Told Me, Fat Tuesday, This Chick Cooks, Cast Party Wednesday, Allergy Free Wednesday, The Tasty Alternative, What’s Cooking Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Simple Lives Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Freaky Friday, Fight Back Friday, and Foodie Friday.