Today, I made frugal apple crisp and applesauce.  There is a trick to this apple crisp.  Apple prices are rising all the time, and right now garden vegetables are plentiful, so thanks to Bette Hagman’s cookbook The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Fast and Healthy: Wheat-Free and Gluten-Free with Less Fuss and Less Fat, I was given the idea to use zucchini.  Yes, zucchini!  It is one of those foods, kind of like tofu, that picks up the flavors of whatever it is cooked with.  I have modified Bette’s original recipe. Here is what I do:

1) Find a zucchini.  Preferably one that has been hiding and got missed, and consequently is pretty big and not very well suited for other recipes.  You can usually find any size zucchini at a farm market for around $0.50 this time of year, if you don’t have your own garden.  Slice it into quarters, or eighths, depending on size.  Scoop out all the seeds inside.  You just want the harder outside meat of the zucchini.  Slice each section into thin slices. These will actually look somewhat like thin apple slices.  You want about 2 quarts (a REALLY big zucchini might give you a double recipe).

2) Slice 3-4 apples and add to the zucchini.  Tart ones are the best at transferring the flavor to the zucchini.

3) Put the zucchini and apples in a large pot (VERY large if you are doubling the recipe), and add the following:

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar (I actually used 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup Xylitol – better for the blood sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
Mix all together.
4) Bring to a boil.  Then turn heat to medium-low and allow to simmer until the zucchini becomes translucent and soft, and tastes like apple!
This recipe makes enough for one good-sized pan of apple crisp.  I used about an 8 x 11 pan.  You can freeze the apple/zucchini filling portion easily if not using right away.  Pour the filling into the pan.
5) To make the topping, mix together:
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup Gluten Free Flour Mix
  • 2-3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • You can also add in 1/2 cup chopped nuts if you want
6) Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
7) Serve with vanilla ice cream if you want, that made it extra good!
Here’s our finished product (half eaten already!)
I know, you probably don’t believe it’s that good, but believe me, I have had my daughter’s friends over and served this, and those 5 kids were literally fighting over zucchini!
While I was cutting up apples anyway, I cut up about 10 more (I got about 7 pounds at BB’s Grocery Outlet for $0.49/pound), and threw them in the crockpot.  Add in a little cinnamon and 1/4 cup of water, turn to low, and about 6 hours later you’ll have applesauce!  You can either throw it in the blender to make it really fine, or mash it by hand for thick and chunky applesauce.

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  1. YOU ARE AMAZING!! I love the pictures and am SO INSPIRED by YOU!! Love to you!

  2. I love this idea and can’t wait to try it. I just wish I have some too large zucchinis to use. Thanks for sharing it at Gluten-Free Wednesdays.

  3. What a delicious way to use up zucchini… and make an amazing dessert! Thanks for linking up to Friday Potluck!

  4. Yummy – what a great recipe.. Loving your spot here.. So much creativity..I’m officially following ya with smiles.. I would LOVE for you to link your fall items to my fall crawl party going on today..Great inspirations. :)) TY

  5. Looks delightful! I am actually doing a fruit & veggie fast to detox now, so I could make this minus the sugar! I’d love to invite you to share this at my weekly link up, Healthy 2day Wednesdays everyweek! Blessings!

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