Apple Quinoa Cobbler

Weeks ago, thoughts of Pumpkin-Spice Cheesecake Swirled Brownies and Espresso Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies danced in my head. The Jewish High Holidays were coming up! A perfect excuse to bake something totally delicious and indulgent and not have to eat it all myself? Oh, yes. Who eats healthy on holidays? Not me!

And yet when the night before Yom Kippur fell upon us and it was time to stuff our bellies before the long fast, we found ourselves noshing on two very different desserts, free of gluten, eggs, and dairy. So what’s left when you remove all of that? Plenty of good whole grains and good-for-you-fats, and tons of deliciousness. My taste-testers will swear to it.

It all started when I came across Ricki’s recipe for gluten-free, vegan Cookie-Dough-Topped Brownies on Diet, Dessert and Dogs. In general, I lack enthusiasm when it comes to making healthier baked goods with cleaner ingredients, which might by surprising because I put so much effort into making healthier versions of everything else I love to eat. The typical long ingredient lists usually turn me off, and that combined with the fact that I pretty much only bake when there’s a good occasion to do so makes me feel like I should just “go all out” when I do. But something about this recipe made me feel otherwise. I quickly went out out of my way to gather the necessary sorghum flour, coconut oil, and unsweetened baking chocolate (I had just about everything else!) and got busy in the kitchen.

I didn’t quite know what to expect, but when the hubby gave them two thumbs up, I decided they were good enough to serve to my family for our pre-Yom Kippur dinner. And because we have an unspoken rule that there must always be more than one dessert no matter how small the crowd, I still had to come up with a second recipe. I thought about making one of the previously mentioned indulgences, but I almost felt a little guilty doing so – like, I started something with this gluten-free, almost-vegan (because I used honey, not agave) brownie and I wanted to see how far I could push it. Not to mention, it seemed like a much smarter choice to fulfill our dessert cravings with good whole grains and good fats to sustain our energy throughout the fast, rather than loading up on refined sugar and other “bad” carbs likely to digest quickly and leave a feeling of emptiness.

That’s when I remembered Nisrine’s Strawberry Quinoa Cobbler recipe from earlier this summer. I never got around to making it then, but it seemed perfectly adaptable to the fresh, local apples readily available this time of year.

The result? This stuff was seriously good. Then again, I can’t think of anything not to like about warm, lightly sweetened apples with plenty of cinnamon under a hearty topping of nuts and whole grains. And knowing that it’s good for you? Brownie points, indeed.

Apple Quinoa Cobbler
Adapted from Dinners and Dreams
Printable Recipe

4 medium or large apples
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons (40gm) honey (or agave syrup, for vegan option)
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 cup dry quinoa (90gm)
4 tablespoons (80gm) honey (or agave syrup, for vegan option)
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup (1oz) pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Rinse the quinoa and place in a small saucepan with one cup of water. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 12-15 minutes, until water is absorbed. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, peel and chop the apples. Toss with the cornstarch, two tablespoons honey, and cinnamon. Pour into a 9″ or 10″ pie dish or similar sized baking dish.

When the quinoa has cooled off a bit, mix in the remaining ingredients (honey, coconut oil, vanilla extract, cinnamon and pecans.) Pour over the apples.

Bake for 40-25 minutes, until the topping is lightly browned and crisped in parts, and the fruit is bubbling through. Serve warm.

The featured ingredient in this month’s SOS Kitchen Challenge, hosted by Ricki of Diet, Dessert and Dogs, and Kim of Affairs of Living, is none other than the apple.The purpose of this challenge is to share foods that are vegan, contain no refined sugars, and only whole, natural ingredients. I’m pretty sure this fits the bill! Head over to check out plenty more wholesome, apple-containing recipes.

I’m also sharing this with Amy’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesday feature for 9/28 on Simply Sugar and Gluten Free!

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26 Responses to “Apple Quinoa Cobbler”

  1. 1

    Lindsey — September 22, 2010 @ 2:17 pm Reply

    That looks WONDERFUL!!!!

  2. 2

    Ricki — September 22, 2010 @ 3:01 pm Reply

    Sounds like a totally warming, delicious dessert! And one I could easily have at home–dessert, or perhaps even for breakfast ;). And so glad you liked the brownies, too. 🙂 Thanks for this creative and yummy submission to the SOS Challenge!

  3. 3

    Tasha — September 22, 2010 @ 3:29 pm Reply

    I can't get enough of apples right now, and this just sounds so good. I'm not really a decadent treats kind of person, so this is right up my alley!

  4. 4

    Jennifurla — September 22, 2010 @ 3:53 pm Reply

    What a great idea, looks like a great comforting dish

  5. 5

    Lisa — September 22, 2010 @ 4:14 pm Reply

    I never knew that quinoa could be used in a dessert and yours looks so delicious. I'll have to try this sometime now that I know.

  6. 6

    Joanne — September 22, 2010 @ 5:19 pm Reply

    I'm generally of the opinion that I should go all out when it comes to desserts as well. But when something is good, it's good, no matter how healthy it is! This cobbler sounds fantastic!

  7. 7

    Lizzy — September 22, 2010 @ 6:39 pm Reply

    I've been making Apple Crisp all week with the ten pounds of apples I got over the weekend. This looks like a much healthier and creative way to make use of those apples! Thanks for the idea Cara!

  8. 8

    Dawn — September 22, 2010 @ 8:53 pm Reply

    That's my issue with baking too. That long list of ingredients. I love this one. Even I could make it!

  9. 9

    Shannon — September 23, 2010 @ 1:09 am Reply

    how unique! i love it 🙂 i used to try to make so many shortcuts baking, but i've realized i don't like all the fake ingredients and i should just go with the good stuff, and work on that moderation thing!

  10. 10

    newlywed — September 23, 2010 @ 12:53 pm Reply

    This one looks awesome!

  11. 11

    Kerstin — September 23, 2010 @ 9:00 pm Reply

    I can't believe someone made a healthy version of my brownie recipe, lol. I have to admit that I'd rather go all out with desserts and eat them in moderation, but I actually really like your quinoa idea – I think I'd eat it for breakfast 🙂

  12. 12

    Barbara — September 24, 2010 @ 11:28 am Reply

    Quinoa in a cobbler? Never would have thought of it. I love it in salads….wish I could taste your dessert!

  13. 13

    Maria — September 24, 2010 @ 1:59 pm Reply

    I love this recipe! Great use of quinoa!

  14. 14

    flavourfulbounty — September 24, 2010 @ 4:15 pm Reply

    This looks so good. I love how you use the quinoa in the topping. 🙂

  15. 15

    QuinoaDietTips — September 24, 2010 @ 7:42 pm Reply

    This is an awesome recipe. I'll definitely try it. It looks gorgeous on the picture.:)

  16. 16

    Kim — September 25, 2010 @ 3:21 am Reply

    Thanks for participating! What a wonderful spin on cobbler – I love the use of whole grains instead of a ton of flour or something. Wonderful, simple, and healthy – you got it, darlin'! I'm glad to have found your blog as well! xoxo Kim |

  17. 17

    Kiersten — September 29, 2010 @ 10:50 am Reply

    That sounds like a fabulous dessert! I can't wait to try this out.

  18. 18

    the REAL girl — September 30, 2010 @ 12:31 am Reply

    This looks absolutely fantastic; I'm having family over for dinner tomorrow and I am so going to try this and the quinoa is so healthy!Thank you!!

  19. 19

    whitney blane — September 30, 2010 @ 5:10 pm Reply

    this looks so delicious! now i have to decide between this and an egg tahini recipe i found…so hard to choose!!

  20. 20

    grace — October 4, 2010 @ 2:14 pm Reply

    well, now, isn't this clever! clearly, i'd feel far less guilty about my third serving of cobbler if quinoa was involved. 🙂

  21. 21

    the REAL girl — April 5, 2011 @ 1:25 am Reply

    This looks absolutely fantastic; I'm having family over for dinner tomorrow and I am so going to try this and the quinoa is so healthy!Thank you!!

  22. 22

    whitney blane — April 5, 2011 @ 1:25 am Reply

    this looks so delicious! now i have to decide between this and an egg tahini recipe i found…so hard to choose!!

  23. 23

    Carolyn — September 27, 2011 @ 3:53 pm Reply

    Looks awesome!  I don't think I would care that it was "healthy".

  24. 24

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    Aika — February 11, 2019 @ 8:44 pm Reply

    Wow, this recipe is surely delicious just by looking at the photos. Your mini-experiment turned out really great. Thanks for sharing this!

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