Some of you may be thinking “welp, Liz has lost it. She’s been a vegetarian for so long that she has literally lost her mind.” I thought the exact same thing when my old coworker, whom is now retired, talked about swapping the famous “zoodle” vegetable, Zucchini, for the All-American Apple in a pie recipe.
Crazy, right? Who in their right mind would mess with apple pie???
Zucchini bread, I understand. It’s finely shredded and totally hidden. But apples in pie are so naked and vulnerable. And visible.
But she swore up, down, and sideways that zucchini would bake in a pie just like an apple…but with fewer carbs. And if that wasn’t enough, she reminded us of the eighty million tons of zucchini that will inevitably be growing in our gardens and piling up in our refrigerators.
She had me at carbs.
SO fast forward to the present. I’m not all about pie, but I’m all about crumble. And caramel apples. So I mashed up these two beauties and now I’m eating so much Caramel Zucchini Crumble that my close friends are getting concerned.
It’s. That. Good.
The moral of the story is this: don’t discount a recipe because you think vegetables aren’t fit for sexy, decadent desserts.
Aside from the health benefits and general tastyness of this recipe, there is another awesome aspect to this dish. The swap factor. You don’t eat gluten free or give a flying zucchini if it is low in carbs? Excellent. It can be whatever your heart desires. Substitutions are simple and effortless in this dish. Use store bought items or tailor it to fit any specific dietary need. Buy pie crust or make it. I just want you (and your tummy) to be happy. I alter things because my guts are allergy/sensitivity central.
Let’s get it baked, shall we?
Here is what you’ll need:
1. Crust 2. Caramel Sauce 3. Zucchini Filling & Crumble Topping
if you aren’t avoiding carbs or gluten, you could use a ready-made pie crust or prepare a simple graham cracker crust. OR just make this amazing and easy crust which is also the base of my lemon bars.
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour
1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill Coconut Flour (or sub more almond flour)
4 tbsp Butter, softened
5 tbsp Truvia Baking Blend
1/4 tsp Xanthan Gum (Optional thickener for texture)
Prepare an 8 in square baking pan with non-stick spray. Preheat oven to 375°
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Press mixture in the bottom of the pan, making sure it covers evenly to all four corners. Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until lightly brown. Set aside.
Caramel Sauce-Use this recipe or purchase a jar of caramel sauce, if you’d like to make it easy on yourself.
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup Truvia Baking Blend
1/4 cup Silk Cashew Milk
Cook butter and sugar on the stove in a medium pot on medium heat. Continuously stir. As the mixture bubbles, watch for the color to change from light yellow to a deep brown. BE CAREFUL not to burn the sauce. The color can go from brown to black very quickly. Remove from heat and add cashew milk. Stir vigorously and place back on stove, medium/low heat for an additional 2 minutes or until the mixture simmers and begins to thicken. Pour into a container and set aside.
Zucchini Filling & Crumble Topping
Four medium Zucchini, peeled, halved, and seeds cut out (picture shown above)
1 Lemon, juice of 1 cup Truvia Brown Sugar Blend (topping)
2 tbsp butter 1 /2 cup Pecans, chopped (topping)
1 tsp Cinnamon 1/4 cup Butter (topping)
1/2 cup Truvia Baking Blend
Add prepared zucchini, lemon juice, butter, cinnamon, and sweetener to a medium sauce pan on medium heat. Let simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until the zucchini becomes translucent. Remove from heat and using a strainer, separate the liquid from the zucchini filling. Most of it will cook off, but any remaining liquid could make the crust too soft.
Add the caramel sauce to the zucchini filling and mix well. Pour over the crust, spreading evenly.
Mix brown sugar blend, pecans, and butter until “chunky” and sprinkle over the zucchini filling. Bake at 375° for about 20 minutes. Let cool for an “easy to scoop” dessert or warmed with a side of Cashew Milk Ice Cream!
Mmmm, that’s how I do vegetables for dessert. I think I’ll go lick the last of the crumble crumbs from the pan now. Oh, and stay tuned for my post on July 1st. It won’t be your normal beauty post since I’ll be celebrating my 4 Year Vege-versary! I’m not sure what you’ll be reading…but it will be all kinds of vegetarian greatness.