This post is sponsored by Les Vergers Hapi. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make The Green Life possible!
I got invited to go apple picking this past weekend and although I was excited at the thought of going (I hadn’t been yet this season), Saturday morning came and I suddenly felt lazy; a part of me just wanted to stay cozy at home and snuggle up with a cup of tea. I went despite my lack of motivation and it ended up being one of the most beautiful Fall days to date.
The air was crisp, with a warm autumn sun, with a beautiful array of oranges and yellows still decorating the trees surrounding the orchard. This day out in nature was a total breath of fresh air in my week and instantly what I needed to reset. A beautiful reminder that getting out of the house and into nature is always a good decision. Pure medicine for the body and soul.
I got to meet the Boileau family, 4th-generation apple producers, on their beautiful orchard in Havelock, in the Montérégie region. People with a big heart and an even bigger passion for what they do: growing apples. We were a small group, invited to their land to celebrate the launch of a new apple variety that they proudly introduced to the Quebec market this week: the Ariane apple.
What makes Ariane so interesting is that she’s the first commercialized apple to possess a natural resistance to apple scab (the venturia inaequalis fungus), one of the main diseases of apple trees. Ariane’s natural ability to resist to this fungus allows the Boileau family to significantly reduce the use of chemicals and pesticides on their trees (a reduction of about 70% in comparison to conventionally-grown apples!). The apple is sold totally unwaxed too, which is quite rare in conventional apples (yes, those shiny apples you’re buying at the supermarket are most likely covered with wax!).
In addition to being more sustainable and eco-responsible, the Ariane apple is delicious too. It’s sweet, acidic, firm, crunchy and juicy, which makes it a great apple for snacking.
I couldn’t resist trying it in baking too, and knew it would be perfect in this super cozy apple spice baked oatmeal. This oatmeal is seriously delicious, with a soft apple spiced oat base and irresistible almond buckwheat crunchy edges and top. But the real indulgence here comes from the addition of a luscious tahini-maple sauce drizzled on top. Seriously heavenly.
This makes a big portion, so you can make it and reheat it throughout the week for a convenient made-ahead breakfast. Or share it with your family or a group of friends for a weekend brunch.
This post was sponsored by Les Vergers Hapi and their new eco-responsible variety of apple: Ariane, now available at IGA supermarkets throughout Quebec.
Recipe adapted from Anna Jones.
Apple Buckwheat Baked Oatmeal + Maple Tahini
Makes 8-10 portions
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp cardamom
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup raw buckwheat groats
- 2 1/2 cups rolled oats gluten-free certified if necessary
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3 apples
- 1 tsp lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon juice
- 2 cups room temperature almond milk
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 tbsp melted coconut oil plus more for greasing
Maple Tahini Cream:
- 1/3 cup tahini
- 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 2 tbsp almond milk or other plant-based milk
- Pinch of sea salt
Measure your spices and place them together in a large bowl.
Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a 8 or 9-inch square or round baking dish with coconut oil.
Toast the sliced almonds and buckwheat in a dry skillet until lightly browned and fragrant (without mixing them).
In the bowl of spices, add the oats, baking powder, and half of the toasted almonds (saving the rest for topping).
Grate two of the apples and press to remove excess juice. Add the grated apples to the bowl of dry ingredients, along with the lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon juice. Mix well to combine.
Mix the milk with the maple syrup and coconut oil in large measuring cup (make sure your milk is at room temperature or the coconut oil will solidify. If it does, simply reheat on the stovetop to melt it again).
Spread out the oat and apple mixture evenly in the greased dish. Pour the milk and maple syrup mixture over it. Spread the remaining almonds and buckwheat evenly on top.
Slice the last apple thinly and squeeze a bit of lemon juice on top to prevent it from browning. Place the apple slices on the oatmeal. Bake in the oven for 35-37 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and crispy.
While the oatmeal bakes, make the maple tahini cream. In a small jar, mix together the tahini, maple syrup, milk and salt and whisk well. If the cream seems too thick, add a little more milk. It should be smooth and easily pourable.
Serve the baked oatmeal hot with a generous drizzle of the maple tahini cream, as is or with a spoonful of yogurt if you like.