Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie in a Mug

By Danielle Leavitt ’17

 

Pumpkin is the flavor of fall! From pumpkin flavored coffees to pumpkin desserts, it is always a welcoming and comforting treat. This amazing gluten free recipe combining pumpkin in your favorite coffee mug is easily made and can satisfy your fall pumpkin crave!

Ingredients:

1/3 cup pumpkin puree

1 egg

2 tbs maple syrup

1 tbs milk or almond milk

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

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Directions:

Mix all ingredients up in a mug. Microwave for 3 minutes or until cooked (it will still look moist in the center)

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That’s it!!! This recipe is very quick and easy to make. Fall never tasted so good!!

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Welcome Back to Harvard! Here’s What’s Happening

By Bovey Rao ‘19

As the summer draws to a close, many may be wondering what on earth has happened to Harvard Square. Many beloved restaurants perished with the remodeling of the Smith Center. Student favorites like Al’s are now gone, so our stomachs may be running a little on empty. A few other promises of summer openings were left unfulfilled, but this guide is perhaps a glimmer of hope for what has and will come to Harvard Square.

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Bao
Image from Tom’s Bao Bao

 

Tom’s Bao Bao – Chinese steamed buns, baozi, are the specialty of Tom’s Bao Bao. Various unique fillings are enveloped by airy white dough before being steamed to perfection. From the upscale lobster to the decadent chili beef, there are plenty of excellent options for a quick meal or snack. While slightly pricey, Tom’s Bao Bao is a great addition to Harvard Square for the adventurous student.

Waypoint
Image from Waypoint

Waypoint – Alden & Harlow is not only one of my favorite restaurants in Harvard Square but is one of my favorites in all of Boston. Michael Scelfo, the chef behind Alden & Harlow, recently opened a seafood restaurant, Waypoint, near Harvard Square. Following a similar small plate concept, Waypoint will hopefully become another Boston staple as it opened with excitement.

Upcoming

B. Good Google Maps
Image from Google Maps

B.Good – One of the favorite destinations for students seeking a healthier alternative to fast-food, B.Good was missed when it closed due to the Smith Center renovations. However, it is scheduled to return in a short while at the former O Sushi space. The fresh burgers, salads, and fries are things to look forward to in the near future.

en Boca
Image from En Boca Cambridge

En Boca – Mediterranean flavors are coming to Harvard Square from En Boca, a restaurant by the team from The Asgard and The Kinsale. Deviating from their other Irish pubs, Classic Restaurants Concepts is creating En Boca with Devin Broo from Bar Boulud. Originally slated to open in August 2016, the restaurant appears to be close to opening.

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Image from DavidsTea

DavidsTea – DavidsTea is a tea store that was started in Canada and has begun expanding into the United States. With other locations in Massachusetts, DavidsTea specializes in various tea related products from teas themselves to mugs and other accessories. The store is slated to finish in September 2016.

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Image from The Hourly Oyster House

The Hourly Oyster House – In the former Kennedy’s on the Square space, the Grafton Group is creating an oyster bar known as the Hourly. With well-established restaurants like Russell House Tavern, Park Restaurant, and Grafton Street, the Grafton Group continues to expand their empire with a seafood specialty restaurant in Harvard Square. It promises to provide extensive take-out options, perfect for students in a hurry. The Hourly is looking to open in early fall 2016.

Tatte
Image from Tatte Bakery and Cafe

Tatte Bakery & Café – It is obvious that I am a fan of Tatte Bakery and Café and perhaps was one of few students who was happy when Panera closed. Tatte will bring their fresh pastries and other delicacies to Harvard Square with a weekend brunch menu and cooking lessons. The space is currently under construction and hopefully will be opening in September.

sweetgreen
Image from sweetgreen

Sweetgreen – A large salad chain started by a group of Georgetown graduates is coming to Harvard Square. With the success of Sweetgreen in Back Bay, the chain planned to expand extensively in the Boston area. Highlighting local purveyors like Iggy’s Bread and Ward’s Berry Farm, Sweetgreen is bringing accessible farm to table to the square. Look for it to open in the fall.

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Image of Rialto from Forbes Travel Guide

Benedetto – With the closure of Rialto, Harvard Square lost one of its long-term residents. After providing upscale Italian cuisine to the community for over twenty years, the restaurant did not wish to continue after the departure of chef Jody Adams. Giulia chef and owner, Michael Pagliarini, plans to open Benedetto in the Rialto space, which I believe to be an exciting transition. Giulia has garnered stellar reviews, and hopefully Benedetto maintains the legacy of Rialto. The current opening date is ambiguously set in fall 2016.

Flour
Image from Flour Bakery + Cafe

Flour Bakery + Café – Harvard graduate and star baker (James Beard Awardee), Joanne Chang, is bringing her Flour Bakery + Café to Harvard Square. From the famous sticky buns to excellent sandwiches, Flour has become a Boston staple, and it was great news to hear that one is coming to Harvard Square. The Harvard Square branch is projected to open in October 2016.

Island Creek Oyster Bar Taste Savant
Image of Island Creek Oyster Bar from Taste Savant

Restaurant from Island Creek Oyster Bar/Row 34 – While the opening date remains the most distant, I simply wish to show my excitement for another restaurant by this group. Island Creek Oyster Bar is my favorite seafood restaurant in Boston after numerous memorable experiences. I look forward to what concept will be devised.

 

Featured Image from Wikimedia

“Fall” In Love: With Pumpkin Pie (Or Something Like It)

by Angela Yi ’19

This week, I had a desperate desire to have a fall classic: the pumpkin pie. I like to think of pumpkin pie as the taste of fall. Its sweet taste packed in a squishy orange gloop of heavenliness evokes the sensation of autumn. As I walked through the changing trees and piles of fallen leaves in Harvard Yard, my cravings for some pumpkin pie only grew. And so, I got out my phone, and – like a true foodie – immediately searched “best pumpkin pie” on my trusty Yelp app.

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Late night cravings, featuring Yelp.

The first pastry shop, Petsi Pies, listed on Yelp looked very promising. It had 4/5 stars out of 234 reviews, and the ones specifically on the pumpkin pie were positive. Best of all, it was only an eight-minute walk away. Unfortunately, Petsi Pies closes at 6:00PM, and my schedule for this week didn’t allow me to leave Lamont (AKA the Pit of Despair) until much later.

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Lamont pumpkin pie. Not the best, but enough to satisfy cravings for a night.

And so, despondent, I went out for a brief walk around Harvard Square and – lo and behold! – I saw that Pinkberry had new seasonal flavors out that included pumpkin pie. I’d never had a pumpkin pie-flavored froyo before, but I was desperate so I entered the store and had the pumpkin pie frozen yogurt for the first time.

I was pleasantly surprised. I’d feared the worst – that it would taste like a pale, cold imitation of my favorite fall dessert – but it actually wasn’t that bad. In fact, it was a nice blend of the best things about froyo and pumpkin pie.

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Pinkberry’s pumpkin pie froyo with toasted almonds and milk chocolate crunch toppings.

My cravings were sufficiently satisfied that night, and I learned to not be afraid to try new things. But next week, I’m looking forward to having a huge slice of some delicious, resplendent, and simply amazing gloop of heavenly wonder.

Hershey Kiss Acorn Treats

by Danielle Leavitt ’17

As always it’s a busy time in Harvard Yard. Tourists travel worldwide to see the infamous John Harvard statue, students study between classes in preparation for midterms, and photographers take pictures of the beautiful landscape and buildings at Harvard. But, mostly unnoticed, the busiest of all is the scampering squirrel who is gathering acorns and food for the upcoming winter. Especially now that winter looms and the bright colored chairs in Harvard Yard have been removed, the squirrel is even more noticeable as he stocks up on his impending feast for the next several months. The gluten free Hershey Kiss Acorn Treat is made in honor of the squirrel, in hopes that this winter, unlike the last, will be short and that the squirrel will have plenty of food to keep him satisfied. This recipe is very simple, but it is the perfect one-bite party snack that has an incredible chocolate peanut butter flavor.

Ingredients:

  1. Gluten free instant icing
  2. Gluten free mini vanilla wafers
  3. Hershey’s Kisses any flavor
  4. Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips

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Directions:

  1. Place mini vanilla wafers on a tray with the flat side of the cookie toward the top.

acorn22. Squeeze a small amount of icing onto the bottom of an unwrapped Hershey Kiss and place it onto the center of the cookie. Let sit for a few minutes to allow the icing to harden.

3. Place a small amount of icing onto the bottom of a Reese’s Piece and place onto center and top of the cookie.

acorn1This amazing acorn treat is a simple and tasty way to honor the squirrel and enjoy a great gluten free bite at the same time.
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A Trick or Treat Tasting

by Landy Erlick ’19

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If you noticed some bright orange signs and balloons on the sidewalk recently, you may have been lucky enough to stumble upon Harvard Scare in Harvard Square, the October 29th festive start to an event-filled weekend hosted by the Harvard Square Business Association. In keeping with the spirit of Halloween, the food sampling was both spicy and sweet.

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The set up boasted tables from great restaurants and shops in the Bow and Arrow district, including Boston Burger Company, Follow the Honey, Salt and Olive, Grafton Street, Hong Kong Restaurant, and Zinneken’s. To add to the ambiance, a talented jazz band called Scubaphone played through the whole event, clad in Halloween costumes no less!

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What the event lacked in grandiosity, it made up for in flavor. Grafton Street offered a beautiful spoonful of tuna tartar, and Follow the Honey – whose staff was decked out in fancy beekeeping gear – had a great selection from which you could taste.  Zinneken’s waffle bites were a delicious treat to end the night. Since they’re made from a dough and not a batter, they have a great, thicker texture that makes them all the more satisfying.

IMG_0166The sampling might be over, but these restaurants are here to stay.  ‘Till next year!IMG_0171

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Balls

   Picture4by Danielle Leavitt ’17

It’s that time of year again when the crisp air and clear blue skies invite you to participate in their splendor. Winter will be coming soon, and the return to fluorescent bulbs and forced heat can dampen anyone’s spirits. This is a great time of year to enjoy being outside, whether it’s to take a walk or run along the river, canoe, or even hike. Fall leaves, apple picking, and spiced cider are traditional treats that we eat this time of year. In my family, we make simple Peanut Butter Balls that are not only delicious, but very healthy and can be used as a seasonal post work out snack or used as an on-the-go snack. Each ball has 100 calories and 5 grams of protein, are gluten-free, and easy to make!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Natural Creamy Peanut Butter

1 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder

1 tsp Honey

1/2 cup Dark Chocolate Chips

1/2 tsp Coconut Oil

*all ingredients are Gluten free

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Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix the peanut butter, protein powder, and honey together until it forms a dough (you may need. to add a little more protein powder if the dough is not thick enough)
  2. Cover a plate with parchment paper. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place onto the paper. Place the plate with the peanut butter balls into the freezer to chill. The time will vary depending on the freezer.
  3. After the balls are frozen in place the chocolate chips and coconut oil into a small bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring and repeating until the chocolate is melted.
  4. Remove the peanut butter balls from the freezer and dip them halfway into the melted chocolate. Enjoy!The final product can be frozen for future outings or eaten right away. The combination of peanut butter and chocolate creates a creamy, nutty, and delectable bite. Fall treats can be easy to make, gluten free, and taste amazing!

Picture2The final product can be frozen for future outings or eaten right away. The combination of peanut butter and chocolate creates a creamy, nutty, and delectable bite. Fall treats can be easy to make, gluten free, and taste amazing!

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Pumpkin Muffins with a Spice

by Richa Chaturvedi ’18

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In an effort to test how yummy Buzzfeed suggestions really are, I spent my Friday afternoon making these pumpkin muffins!  Spoiler alert: never shall I doubt Buzzfeed again.

Pumpkin is always a tricky ingredient – it has an interesting consistency and tends to overpower everything else in the dish.  A basic rule of thumb for cooking with pumpkin is to enhance the flavor with the correct spice, but to make sure to incorporate more dynamic elements into the recipe so that pumpkin isn’t the only flavor. This is why I added chocolate chips to these muffins. Chocolate and pumpkin is actually an underrated combination, plus they look amazing together!

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The recipe also calls for pumpkin spice, which is just a combination of basic fall flavors: cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and ginger. Since I’m a normal college student, I didn’t just have those lying around so I was very generous with cinnamon and vanilla extract. It still tasted great! The big takeaway from this is that recipes aren’t set in stone. As long as you have the basic chemistry down, you can take liberties to personalize and experiment with the dishes you create. After all, you’re the one eating them so it’s really up to you.

Above all else, don’t be scared to try new recipes and ingredients. I’m basically inept – there was a period of time in high school when I was banned from using the microwave due to an unfortunate aluminum foil incident – but I was committed to making myself something nice and pumpkin-y and, I’m not going to lie, I crushed it.  It’s helpful to remember that if you don’t make yourself chocolate chip and pumpkin muffins, then you won’t be able to eat chocolate chip and pumpkin muffins. With that inspiration, go forth! And happy fall from Crimson Crave.

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Make it yourself!

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin spice
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 (16 ounce) can pure pumpkin
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 24 pumpkin-shaped candies

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F. Line 24 muffin cups with paper or silicone liners and coat with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a whisk, combine eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin. Add the flour mixture in two batches, mixing after each addition until uniformly combined.
  4. Using a large cookie scoop, fill the muffin cups nearly to the top with batter. Bake about 25 minutes, rotating the muffin tins halfway through baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean with a few crumbs attached. Cool completely.
  5. While the muffins are cooling, in a large bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth. Frost muffins using a spatula or a pastry bag and piping tip of your choice. Top with pumpkin candies.

*Recipe courtesy of CulinaryHill.com.

A Review of the Harvard Square Tasting Tour

by Christine Legros ’17

From the moment they place the pan-seared, bread-and-sesame crusted slices of tuna in front of us, the fish visibly coated in a crunchy crust but still raw and juicy in the center, I cannot help but congratulate myself on choosing a vegetarian friend to accompany me on this culinary tour of Harvard square. The tuna, whose portion my friend graciously transfers onto my plate, is so soft that the pink fibers of flesh seem to melt away under the slightest pressure of fork or tongue. It is served over a rice pancake, a lightly spicy pureed carrot swirl and little punctuations of “salsa verde.” In Grafton Street Pub & Grill, a restaurant that prides itself on its quality ingredients, this dish is an ode to New England’s fall. It seems to imitate the hues of the leaves that flutter right outside the locale’s entrance.

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This is our first stop in what soon proves to be a fast-paced, taste-bud-exalting, all-senses-stimulating tasting tour, sponsored by Trademark Tours. After hurriedly finishing up our tuna and “Barber’s Advice,” a pear-vodka cocktail made with sage, cumin, clove, all-spice, vermouth, maple bitters and prosecco, we head over to nearby Salt & Olive, an olive oil and vinegar seller. The manager gives us a brief history of olive oil, which was a source of currency, energy and heat in Antiquity, until the Greek Hippocrates discovered that olive oil was, in fact, particularly pleasant to the palate. She tells us what to look for in good oil: “mouthfeel, fruitiness, consistency and viscosity.” Freshness, we learn, is key to the quality of olive oil: the younger it is, the more flavorful and peppery it will taste. She gives us instructions on how to taste it: hold the cup in between your palms and swirl it so that the aroma develops. Smell. Sip. Coat your tongue. Exhale through your nose. The decisively fruity flavor of the oil soon covers our noses and tongues.

Balsamic vinegar follows different rules. Like wine, it must be sufficiently aged. The shopkeeper demonstrates the difference between commercial vinegar and one of their house varieties: when she swirls them in transparent glasses, all visible trace of the store-bought kind disappears from the glass in a few seconds, while the house vinegar coats the entire surface in a deep red hue.

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“This is what ageing does for you,” she concludes. “It’s pretty spectacular.”

Our faces all light up when we taste the vinegar, which is surprisingly rich and balanced, full of complex aromas.

“I didn’t even know I liked vinegar!” a woman explains, in awe. “This is amazing!”

We have time to wander through the store for a few minutes. We dip bread in oil and strawberries in vinegar, taking as many sips as we can from varieties that include “Eureka lemon fused extra virgin olive oil” and the rich, dark, woody “espresso-aged” balsamic vinegar. We are then directed to our third stop: “Follow the Honey,” a warm, tea-smelling store belonging to a “small family beekeeper and artist group.” We are introduced to two honeys: a light, crystallized one from Vermont and a darker Mexican concoction. The store emphasizes their commitment to conservation and sustainability. “All the collection,” we are told, “depends entirely on seasonality.” Today, for example, they have just received a lavender honey from Provence (“our most sought-after honey”) which tastes, as our group unanimously agrees on, like perfumed bushes and summer.

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We then visit two other Grafton group destinations: Russell House Tavern and—after a brief stop at Cardullo’s Gourmet Shoppe, the square’s specialist in international delicatessen—PARK Restaurant & Bar. At Russell House, we sample a spicy cocktail made with green chili vodka, and jalapeño and green bell peppers, aimed at “breaching the gap between the bar and the kitchen,” as one of the chefs explains. The cocktail elicits a variety of comments from our group. “This tastes like something you should eat,” my neighbor comments. A friend adds: “Like tacos or something.”

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The drink is served in combination with fried oyster. “You’re just supposed to shoot,” our waited informs us. “Just shoot.” The oyster’s fried saltiness, combined with the radish—crunchy, watery and fresh—and the exotic miso broth at the bottom of the oyster shell, is perfect when paired with our dry, peppery cocktail. At this point, my friend, who is having sudden doubts about her vegetarian commitment pulls out her phone to look up “The Ethical Case for Eating Oysters and Mussels.” She ultimately capitulates and decides to abide by her principles. While she sips her cocktail, I “shoot” both of our oysters with evident satisfaction.

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PARK is our last stop. We are presented with an assortment of toasts—grape, cheese and shredded tuna; cheese, blackberries, and honey; and a warm biscuit topped with apple sauce and cheddar—alongside one of their most popular cocktails, the “Tender Whim,” known to adapt to individual clients’ desires and the chef’s inspiration of the moment. Ours consists of Bourbon, cinnamon syrup, lemon juice, and a strong-smelling orange peel.

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The tour ends at 5:20 p.m., but in the dark, musky comfort of PARK’s leather couches, no one seems to complain. My friend and I pick up a book from one of the elegant shelves, but our waiter points toward a more mysterious object: a secret cigar box where clients leave notes. With our stomachs and minds inspired by the shopkeepers’ and chefs’ passion for their products, by our brisk, guided walk through Harvard’s autumn air, and by the excited, hectic, sensory overstimulation of the afternoon, we write down our impressions of the tour.

In Defense of the Pumpkin Spice Latte

by Richa Chaturvedi ’18 image2

Growing up in southern California, fall was never really a thing for me. When temperatures dipped into the 60s, we would bundle up in our leggings and uggs and head to class. The leaves never changed color because most of the trees were already dead (thank you California drought) and the ones that weren’t were palm trees.  But there was one thing that meant fall had truly arrived: the pumpkin spice lattes.

Pumpkin spice lattes, or PSLs, are fall’s gift to earth. In the last decade, Starbucks has sold over 20 million of them.  They’re everything wonderful and make everything okay. This year, for the first time ever, they even contain real pumpkin. But they are constantly attacked, which begs the question: why?

What’s wrong with enjoying a fall-flavored latte on a cold day? Why is it an offense to drink a coffee the same color as the leaves on the ground? I think people are entirely too critical. Pumpkin spice lattes aren’t basic because more than one people enjoy them. I’m not going to find coffee at some alternative venue with about three regular customers. It’s out of the way and, frankly, I don’t want to.

To those who say that PSLs disrupt the true taste and flavor of coffee I say the following: did it ever pretend to be coffee? Is it named as such? As far as I can tell, coffee is coffee and pumpkin spice lattes are pumpkin spice lattes. There’s a distinction there. PSLs aren’t trying to be something they’re not – rather, pumpkin spice lattes are wonderfully individual.

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And so am I. So the next time I’m late for class because I got stuck behind a long line of PSL enthusiasts at Starbucks, don’t judge me. Be jealous of me because I’m sipping on a slice of heaven.

Apple Cinnamon Bread

by Michelle Chiang ’19

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There’s something fundamentally satisfying about baking – the textures under your fingertips, the aromas caressing your nose, the flavors cartwheeling over your tongue. In the hectic, intellectually taxing routines of college life, it’s immensely therapeutic to create something tangible with your hands.

While many recipes require fancy equipment, expensive ingredients, or labor-intensive techniques, there are just as many – if not more – recipes that are cheap, easy, and relatively quick. There’s really no excuse not to bake, especially when you can get ingredients free of charge from the dining halls.

Here’s a simple recipe for a sweet time with friends!

Apple Cinnamon Bread (recipe adapted from Apple Cinnamon Bread from Two Peas and Their Pod)

This recipe will be featured on Well-Being Secrets, read about the health benefits of apples and make this awesome recipe: Link.

Serving Size: one 8×8 pan

Cook Time: 40-55 minutes

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Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

2 large eggs

1/4 cup canola oil

1/4 cup applesauce

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup sugar

3 medium-sized apples, peeled and diced

1/2 cup pecans (optional)

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Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Mix the ingredients very, very well.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, applesauce, and vanilla until smooth. Add in the sugar and mix until well combined.
  4. Slowly add in the flour mixture and mix until well combined. Gently fold in the apple chunks. 5
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan. (Optional: Arrange pecans on the batter. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over the top.)4
  6. Bake in 8×8 pan for 40-55 minutes, or until golden and a toothpick comes out clean. (Start occasionally checking it after 30 minutes.)

  Enjoy!3