Alright, my friends, you asked for some of my healthy, vegan shortcuts and secrets. I won’t make you guys wait for the Healthy Family Healthy You book to come out in the beginning of 2014. I’ll give you some scintillating previews now…

Per your Facebook requests…you want to know about using applesauce when making streusel. Truly, there is no reason to use margarine or butter for a streusel topping. Applesauce will give you the same effect without the fat, empty calories and guilt.

I’ve used applesauce instead of oil in cake recipes for years. That is a known substitution. However, I started to use applesauce for streusel after coming upon a recipe in Secrets of Fat-free Kosher Cooking [Kindle Edition] by Deborah Bernstein. It was first published by Penguin in 1995(!) and is now only available online in Kindle format. I’m not sure when I came into possession of it, but I think it was at Powell’s in Portland around “the year” 2000. The Amazon reviews are seriously from 1998! But I’m telling you… it’s worth it to buy for $5 on Kindle. Unless someone wants to start a bidding contest over my paper copy? 🙂

The streusel in question in this cookbook is for a pineapple/apple/cranberry kugel. It’s one of those that can go either way – as a side dish or a dessert.

I actually incorporated the apple sauce trick into 1 sweet and 1 savory recipe {ATTENTION! BOOK RECIPE SNEAK PREVIEW!!!} in my upcoming Healthy Family, Healthy You book.

The savory: Help, I have to make dinner?!? Shepherd’s Pie – Don’t you just love that title? You’ll have to wait on that one for the book. And it IS the easiest recipe on the planet!

The Sweet: Peach crisp over a bed of blueberries and raspberries

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This recipe is an adaptation of Deb Perelman’s (The Smitten Kitchen) adaptation of Nigel Slater’s recipe from Ripe: A Cook in the Orchard. Slater’s uses almonds, sugar and butter. Perelman’s adds old fashioned oatmeal, cinnamon and sea salt.

Here is my version, using two of my secret ingredients (vanilla and unsweetened applesauce).

4 ripe peaches (8 servings)
1/3 cup pecan meal (buy or make your own)
1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1 large container blueberries

1 large container raspberries

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Halve peaches and remove pits. Spray baking dish or corning ware with non-stick cooking spray. Place them cut side up in your baking dish. Mix the pecan meal, sugar, and applesauce with a fork. Spoon the pecan mixture into the center of each peach, then press it flat. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until you can easily slice through the fruit and the top is crispy and brown. Serve warm or at room temperature over a bed of the blueberries and raspberries. Optional: serve with non-dairy whipped cream or coconut milk ice cream.


You’ll also find this trick in the Healthy Fruit Crisp recipe from my Jewish Food Experience story about my garden.

Foraging in my Suburban Garden


Healthy Fruit Crisp

Here are links to

PDF’s of the article and the recipe pages.