Every 4th of July, first day of fall, and almost any other day I asked, my grandma would bake her famous apple pie. With its golden flaky crust and fresh fruit filling smothered in cinnamon, the recipe probably looked fairly similar to just about every family’s recipe, but her oven must have worked a little magic because it always tasted just a smidgen sweeter and juicer than every other slice I sampled.
However, Grandma started slowing down the past few years. Aging knees and a knotted back began catching up to her, so she spent less time putzing around the kitchen and more hours napping in her favorite armchair. We all understood, and we crunched our way through the bags of fresh crisp apples for snacks instead.
But… When my friend Dorothy visited Apple Hill for her birthday and spent all afternoon picking fresh fruit from the trees, then came home and made a gorgeous pie of her own, I caved. I wanted a bite of apple pie!
Because I (a) lacked Grandma’s recipe and (b) thought it would be pure torture to turn on the oven during our random 95°+ fall heat wave, I went with the next best thing…
A Skinny Apple Pie Smoothie! With the same flavor as the filling, this refreshing drink is a fun way to curb your pie cravings. Even better, you only need 4 ingredients and it’s ready in less than 5 minutes—easy as pie!
Sorry, I couldn’t resist…
Moving on from that corny joke… Like I mentioned, this healthy smoothie consists of 4 ingredients: applesauce, milk, cinnamon, and ice. That’s it! I opted for nonfat milk, but any variety will do. Cow’s milk, soy milk, almond milk, rice milk—you name it. Just use whatever you already stock in your fridge; no need for a special trip to the grocery store!
For the applesauce, I used Mott’s unsweetened snack cups. I always keep these on hand for when I mix up my favorite chocolate truffles because I can never finish off one of the larger jars before the applesauce starts to mold. One of these snack cups is almost ½ cup—just about a teaspoon or two shy—and that’s good enough for me. Don’t open another one just for that last little bit!
To keep the recipe simple, I just used ground cinnamon. If you love the spice as much as I do, feel free to use more! I sometimes go crazy and double it, but I love cinnamon as much as chocolate. And that’s a whole lot. You could also add in a shake or two of nutmeg, if you’re feeling adventurous!
With my favorite blender 80 miles away in our storage locker, I only had my parents ancient one at home. Boy oh boy… It took me 7 whole minutes to finally break down all that ice! But if you own something newer than 30 years old, it should only take a few moments to blend the drink until it’s smooth.
Then pour in a glass, top with homemade cinnamon Greek yogurt whipped cream, and slurp through a straw to your heart’s content.
Because every apple pie deserves whipped cream!