Use the seeds instead of flour to thicken dessert fillings.
With the holidays come indulgences, but that doesn't mean you can't fit in quick workouts and make healthier versions of your favorite Thanksgiving dishes. In this series, Julia Heffelfinger, a Denver-based recipe developer, shares culinary tips for reinventing classic comfort foods. Previously, she showed us how to use garlic confit instead of butter for creamy mashed potatoes. This week: how to reinvent a classic American dessert.
"Instead of thickening your apple crisp with flour, try tossing the fruit with omega 3-rich chia seeds, which absorb the apples' juices. This helps thicken the filling while simultaneously adding more fiber and protein," says Heffelfinger. It's an especially great option if you are following a gluten-free diet and looking for an alternative to a traditional pie, she notes. "You can also try the technique with pears or cranberries this winter and then test it out on tender berries and stone fruit in the summer."
Pro tip: Use more than one variety of apple. "I like tart Granny Smiths with a slightly sweeter one such as Honeycrisp or Golden Delicious. These apples also hold their shape well, so you won’t be left with a bland, mealy filling," says Heffelfinger.
Apple-Chia Crisp with Salted Maple Yogurt
Serves 10 to 12