If you’re into quick and easy desserts with no oil, flour or sugar, this is the ticket! Baked pineapple has a wonderful texture and flavor, and the soft fruit contrasts well with the crispy topping. Vary the fruit according to your taste and the season. Pears and berries would be great!
2 cups diced pineapple (about ½ a fresh pineapple or 1 14-oz. can)
2 cups diced apple with skins (2 apples)
6 medjool dates, pitted and chopped into small pieces
¾ cups water, apple juice or pineapple juice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon Chinese 5-spice (optional)
1 ¼ cups rolled oats
¼ cup walnuts
½ teaspoon cinnamon
3 dates, pitted and chopped into small pieces
2 tablespoons water or juice
¼ cup dried, flaked coconut (optional)
1. In a bowl, combine all of the filling ingredients and toss well. Pour into an 8×8-inch pan (I don’t do any preparation for the pan; it doesn’t really need it).
2. Place all of the topping ingredients in a food processor and pulse very briefly (5 to 10 times), just until ingredients are blended (you don’t want to break down the oats too much). Spread over the filling evenly, and press down slightly.
3. Cook at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until topping is lightly browned. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Regular (whole) rolled oats work best (as opposed to quick or instant oats).
Chinese 5-spice is a blend of cinnamon, star anise, anise seed, clove, and ginger. You can buy it wherever spices are sold, or online.
When buying pineapple in the can, read the label to make sure there is no added sugar. The brand I get at Whole Foods is Native Forest and the pineapple is packaged only in its own juice; and it’s organic.
Any apples will work but a good baking apple, such as Braeburn, Gravenstein, Red Rome, or Granny Smith is extra good. Substitute one apple with one Asian pear or some berries for variety.
I used walnuts here, but you can use any kind of nut, or leave the nuts out entirely.
The topping after baking is crispy and crumbly (since there is no oil); but if you prefer a moist crumble topping, add half of a ripe banana (diced) to the topping ingredients.
Coconut is a high-saturated-fat plant food, so I tend not to include it in very many of my recipes; but pineapple with coconut is such an amazing flavor combination that I made it an option here. But feel free to skip it if you are avoiding coconut.