I may have gone a little crazy. Vegetables in dessert? It’s true, and you’re going to love it.
At least it’s not kale.
Well you see, I put vegetables in your dessert for good reason. This month is Earthbound Farm’s 30th Anniversary! Can you believe EBF has been dishing out organics since the 1980’s?? Like right after I was born!? Hello, I feel really old.
Pretty cool stuff, because when you think 80’s, you don’t really think organics. You think Twinkies and Pop-Tarts. I loved finding out that EBF started so long ago in their journey growing organics and bringing them to as many homes as possible. Over the years their efforts have proved extremely successful.
To celebrate their 30th anniversary Earthbound created a quick + fun quiz to learn your “salad sign.” You can find of if you’re an innovator, nurturer, champion, or an explorer. And when you complete the quiz you can snag coupons and be entered to win mystery prizes.
And who doesn’t love mystery prizes and coupons? Can we have a scavenger hunt, too? And then play flashlight tag?
Today’s post is sponsored by Earthbound Farm. Thoughts + opinions are always my own.Thank you for supporting the occasional sponsored post that helps fund all the deliciousness + behind the scenes action you see here. EBF was also kind enough to purchase this sweet spiralizer for me.
My “sign” from the quiz was “The Innovator!” So my goal this month was to try and create an innovative recipe. Something a little unexpected.
Hence, vegetables in dessert.
And, to make things a little more creative I used my new spiralizer to get the job done. Don’t worry if you don’t have one! I made some notes at the end of the recipe for two different workarounds.
Of all the squashes I think butternut has the sturdiest texture once cooked. I wanted there to be some bite. I also like the mild flavor of butternut squash and thought it would work well with the apple and pear.
To really make this dessert pop I’ve added a generous scoop of freshly grated ginger. It really brightens up the fruit and squash mixture and pairs expectedly well with the oats, cinnamon, and sugar.
My hope was that it the squash flavor wasn’t overpowering. After the photo below I ate about a cupful without even blinking, so it’s safe to say it wasn’t too squashy.
The apples are pears held up well despite being so thinly sliced and the squash provided a nice bite.
Do I have to tell you how good the topping was?
I’m thinking it’s pretty self-explanatory.
If you’re not sure what to do with the leftovers, there’s always the option of adding it to your morning bowl of pumpkin oats. Or eating it straight from the fridge. Salad topping? Too far? ……
Butternut Squash, Apple + Pear Crisp gluten-free, vegan // yields 8 servings
for the topping:
- 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
- 1/2 cup gluten-free oat flour
- 1/4 cup chopped unroasted/unsalted pecans
- 1/4 cup chopped unroasted/unsalted walnuts
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup muscovado sugar, or coconut/sucanat/brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons softened unrefined coconut oil
for the filling:
- 3 1/2 tablespoons muscovado sugar, or coconut/sucanat/brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 small butternut squash
- 2 large apples
- 2 large pears
- 2 tablespoons gluten-free oat flour
In a large bowl combine the oats, flour, nuts, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Stir together. Add the softened [not melted] coconut oil and cut in with a fork. Use your fingers to fully incorporate the oil with the dry mixture. Add a bit more oil if the mixture seems dry. Set aside.
In another large bowl whisk the sugar, juice, ginger, vanilla, and cinnamon together. Set aside.
Preheat your oven to 350° F.
Wash your squash and peel the bulbous end first until you get to the bright orange flesh and see no green streaking. Cut about 1/4-inch from the bottom to remove the end. Cut the stem end off top and then peel the straight portion. Cut a 4-inch piece from the straight portion.
Attach the squash to your spiralizer [check “notes” below for other options] with the blade B [for large noodles]. Spiral the entire piece and then measure out 3 generous cups of spiraled squash. Depending on the diameter of your squash you may have some leftover. Set aside.
Remove the stems from your fruit. Switch to blade A to make ribbons. Place the bottom end of each and apple and pear against the blade side of the spiralizer. Spiralize all 4 fruits and place in the filling mixture bowl. Add the squash and toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with the oat flour and toss again to coat.
Grease a 9 or 10-inch deep dish pie pan or cast iron skillet with coconut oil. Place the squash and fruit mixture in the pan. It should be just below the top of the pan. Sprinkle the topping mixture evenly over the fruit mixture and press down lightly.
Place in the oven for 40-50 minutes until golden brown in color.
Let cool for about 5-8 minutes then serve as is or with a scoop of ice cream.
To store: Allow leftovers to cool then place in a sealed container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat in a skillet or microwave.
- For the Squash: You really only need 4-inches from the top straight portion but it’s easiest to peel the bulbous end first so you can use it later. You can chop and use what remains from this recipe and roast in the oven, etc. Slice the bulbous end in half and deseed before cooking.
- If you don’t have a spiralizer: I recommend using the thinnest setting on your mandoline slicer for the fruits and use the 1/8-inch julienne blade for the butternut squash. Chop the apples and pears in half and remove the seeds before slicing.
- If you don’t have a mandoline: Use a julienne slicer for the butternut squash and cut thin slices for the apples and pears [1/8-1/16-inch thickness].
A fall, winter, or holiday dessert that is both gluten-free and vegan? I promise no one will know.