|The best gluten-free apple crisp I've made. In this lifetime anyway.|
The I in my disease.
I've been pondering identity lately. As in, am I the I writing this as Gluten-Free Goddess--- or am I a word-free, less defined kind of I that isn't actually I at all, but merely a spark in the collective energy source that is the Great Mystery? Or Universe. Or Divine. Or whatever conceptual nomenclature you prefer.
Am I my thinking mind- or am I more of an essence, what we call soul, a truth beyond the assumed collection of thought patterns, personality traits, and personal history framed by a set of beliefs and separation known as the ego?
I do know I am not my disease.
One of the reasons I chose not to use the word celiac in my blog title was for just this very reason. I do not define myself as a celiac. In an identity sense. I do not identify with
Hello, my name is Karina. And I have screwed up villi.
But I am not my screwed up villi. Just as I am not my post-cataract lens implants. Or my mended broken hip. Or the silvery streaked hair that bristles like a squirrel on this prone-to-migraines head. I am also not this post-menopausal body that has brilliantly succumbed to a gravitational force superior than lunges and squats (in the end gravity wins, I am sorry to tell you).
The older I get, I find less and less comfort in defining myself at all- never mind defining myself by my various bodily quirks (not to mention, my southerly migrating butt). I derive no solace in my mental quirks either. My beliefs, or assumptions, or my random monkey thoughts. Even my skills are a poor capture of who I really am. I do not identify with how many paintings I've painted or sold, or how many likes I receive on Instagram. I do not crave recognition as a mirror. The alleged prize of fame and fortune remains less than compelling, my least urgent motivator.
I instead wander the hours of my days seeking answers that lead to more questions. Not answers that close the book. As in, subscribing to a system that has it all "figured out".
As Anne Lamott likes to say, certainty is the opposite of faith.
Certainty is finite.
The end of growth. It clips the wings of possibility- the bigger truth that exists beyond my small understanding. Closing the book on the question of Who am I, exactly? would be foolish. The Big Mystery is far greater and more full of awesome than I can ever attempt to imagine. And whatever micro-teeny part I play in this infinite universal system called Life, I intuitively know one aspect of it, thanks to five-plus decades of living. Whatever It is, It is fluid. Everything changes. Including time. The past, present and future. The Universe (it's expanding, you know, faster than they first calculated). My experiential perception of myself (also expanding). The I that does not exist, because the I is only ego. The nattering, unreliable voice in my head.
So if this I does not exist--- who is craving this apple crisp?
Perhaps the only sensible response is this.
Be one with the apple crisp.
Now that I can do.
Karina's Gluten-Free Apple Crisp Recipe
Recipe originally published September 2011.Ever since I started using quinoa cereal flakes in crisp and crumble toppings I've been dreaming of making an apple crisp. In the past I've used a pancake mix, or a blend of gluten-free flours to make a sugary topping. But quinoa flakes kick it up to a new level of flavor (not to mention, add a whole grain goodness to the endeavor). The texture is delightfully light. And the organic coconut oil gives it a buttery melt-in-your-mouth delicacy I haven't enjoyed since giving up moo-cow dairy.
6 apples (Macintosh, Delicious, Pink Lady, Gala)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons tapioca or arrowroot starch
1 cup quinoa flakes
3/4 cup sorghum flour (or brown rice flour)
1 cup organic light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup organic coconut oil
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease the bottom and sides of an 8x11-inch gratin or baking dish with vegan buttery spread. Set aside.
Peel and core the apples. Slice them and toss into a bowl. Sprinkle with lemon juice and toss to coat. Add the maple syrup and stir. Dust with tapioca starch and stir again to coat the slices. Pour the slices into the prepared baking dish.
In a mixing bowl, combine the quinoa flakes, brown rice flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and sea salt and whisk to blend. Add the coconut oil in pieces and using a whisk or a pastry cutter, cut the coconut oil into the flour blend until you have an even, sandy mixture.
Spoon the mixture all over the top.
Bake in the center of a pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes. Cover the top loosely with a piece of foil and continue to bake for another 20 minutes or so (depends upon the size/type of apples), until the apples are fork tender and the sides of the crisp are bubbling. (The foil will help keep the topping from browning too much.)
Allow the crisp to cool before serving- though slightly warm it is luscious. We had leftover apple crisp the next day, chilled, right out of the fridge, and Darling it was fabulous cold, too. It tasted like apple pie.
Baking time : 40 to 45 minutes.
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Quinoa flakes make this crisp and crumble topping light and delicate. If you cannot find quinoa cereal flakes (check your local market's hot cereal section) you can order them on-line. Yes, I suppose you could substitute rolled oats- but I find even gluten-free rolled oats rather tough to digest, and they make a heavier gluten-free apple crisp. Not nearly as lovely as using quinoa flakes.
I used brown rice flour and it was perfectly flavorful. You don't need starches- or xanthan gum- in this topping recipe. If you need to be rice free, I suggest sorghum flour.
To keep it completely starch free, omit the tapioca starch in the apple filling. I did, and it worked beautifully- though the juices would be thicker if you add the starch.
For more substitution help, please see my guide to baking with substitutions here.
This fabulous recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, corn-free, egg-free, soy-free, nut-free, and xanthan gum free. Holy tap dancing Goddess. That's a lot 'o free.