Taste: Stovetop Apple Crisp

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It’s the end of a long year and we’re all in the midst of holiday celebrations. Every spa and wellness pro deserves the chance to indulge in something sweet, and now is the perfect time to give yourself a well-deserved treat.

Luckily, there are plenty of simple ways to make desserts a little more wholesome with some fruit, grains and nuts. This festive Stovetop Apple Crisp uses all three, which add some fiber, protein and vitamins to the mix. Plus, the recipe is flexible enough that you can substitute any seasonal fruits and nuts you desire.

The dish is quick and easy—an apt description, considering it comes from Transamerica Institute’s Healthier Traditions Cookbook: Quick & Easy, which contains 19 simple recipes designed around whole foods and plants to encourage healthier eating. "The cookbook includes nutritional facts, evidence-based details about each recipe, and helpful tips that illustrate how making healthier meals can be an attainable lifestyle change," says Mihaela Vincze, public health expert and project leader of the cookbook at nonprofit Transamerica Institute.

According to the data on this recipe, "fewer than one in seven adults eat enough fruit," which makes this option a fun way to sneak in a serving even as you’re hosting or attending a holiday party. "There’s nothing quite like the scent of cinnamon and apples coming from your oven on a chilly day," adds Vincze. "The best part is that this recipe is easy to make and it’s healthy."

So, go ahead and treat yourself—you’ve earned it!

Stovetop Apple Crisp

Yields 4 servings

  • 2½ Tbsp. unsalted butter or coconut oil
  • ⅓ cup chopped pecans
  • ⅓ cup rolled oats
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • ⅛ tsp. fine sea salt
  • 2 tart apples, such as Granny Smith, Winesap or Pink Lady, sliced into wedges (about 4 cups)
  • 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

Line a plate with parchment paper and set aside. Melt 2 Tbsp. butter or oil in a pan over medium heat. Stir in pecans, oats, brown sugar and salt. Cook until mixture begins to brown, about 5 minutes. When topping is done cooking, transfer to the parchment-lined plate.

Melt another ½ Tbsp. butter or oil over medium heat. Add apples and sauté for 5 minutes, until soft. Stir in sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon; simmer 2 minutes. Top with oat mixture and serve warm.

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