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Everyday Cranberry-Apple Crisp

There's nothing like apples off the farm. Last weekend, we got some great cooking apples from Kuipers Family Farm just outside Chicago. So many great options of how to use them! My dad makes a mean homemade applesauce, but I've always been partial to apple crisp. Normally, the recipes are loaded with added sugar and butter. Now, there's a time and a place for that. But it's not every day eating, that's for sure.

Everyday Cranberry Apple Crisp 1

Since I can't get enough of these flavors, I prefer to make myself an "everyday" version of desserts. Meaning, it wouldn't be the end of the world if I had it every day. Or, it's not indulgent enough to be a "once-a-year" treat. Save those versions for holidays and birthdays, in my opinion.

I happened to have some cranberries in the freezer (truth be told, they were left over from last year's cranberry binge buying). As a side note, cranberries last for a year in the freezer. Just get rid of the wrinkled ones, and they're ready for smoothies, muffins, quick breads, sauces or desserts.

Cranberries and apples both contain a good amount of pectin. To make a pie, cobbler or crisp, most fruits require a thickening agent, to create a sauce that isn't just water-thin. With the addition of the cranberries, a thickener isn't usually needed. If you like your crisps on the saucy side, you may need to add a little bit of starch (potato starch cornstarch, flour, etc). Otherwise, just a little honey (to tame the tartness of the cranberries) and water or lemon juice will do.

I couldn't wait to try it before snapping some photos. Something about patience being a virtue?

I couldn't wait to try it before snapping some photos. Something about patience being a virtue?

For the topping, I like to get creative. Oats, brown sugar and some fat are the basics. But cinnamon is a major player for me, as well as nutmeg and sliced almonds. I added a little bit of flour to help bind it all together. You could easily add chia, hemp or flaxseeds to the topping for some added nutrition.

Typically, a crisp gets served with vanilla ice cream. While that would be delicious, I also love it topped with some Greek yogurt. Vanilla is always a classic, but this year I tried it with Siggi's pumpkin spice variety. Oh. My. Heavens. This upgrade turns it into the most quintessential bowl full of fall.

Everyday Cranberry Apple Crisp 3

When you make the swap to yogurt from ice cream, you also get a delicious breakfast option. Not that I've done that all week or anything.

Everyday Cranberry-Apple Crisp 4

Nutrition Information: 180 Calories, 8g fat, 29g carbohydrate (4.5g fiber, 18g sugar), 2g protein