Back to Basics: Apple Crumble

This past weekend I graduated from university with my double degree! After four years of study it feels amazing to be finished this chapter of my life and I am definitely ready to start my career.

Graduated.

Apple crumble was always a staple dessert in our house growing up as it was the only dessert my Dad would eat. I think it was because he thought it was ‘healthy’ as there were apples in there… To continue the tradition and my ‘Back to Basics’ series, I wanted to make my own version of apple crumble that is actually healthy.

Seasoning the apples

As the apples become sweet when cooked, they actually don’t require a lot of sweetener. I used coconut palm sugar but you could use 100% pure maple syrup, honey or coconut nectar instead.

Crumble base

To ensure the oats are fine, I processed them with the cinnamon and coconut before adding the remainder of the crumble ingredients. This results in a light crumble mixture that is easy to enjoy!

Nearly finished…

The dates and coconut oil bring the oat mixture together and lend a slight chewiness to the crumble.

Crumbly mixture

Once processed, the crumble mixture is ready to be spread over the seasoned apples and will become slightly crisp on top once baked.

Ready for the oven!

The crumble will keep in the fridge for up to three days; just ensure it is covered with plastic wrap or a secure lid. If you don’t want to bake it straight away, it too will keep in the fridge covered for three days before being baked.

Back to Basics: Apple Crumble

Serves 8
Ingredients:
Filling
  • 6 green apples, washed and diced
  • 3 TBSP coconut palm sugar
  • 1 1/2 TBSP cinnamon
Crumble
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 TBSP cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • 8 fresh medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
  2. Mix all filling ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. Place in the bottom of a 25cm oven proof dish.
  4. Place oats, cinnamon and coconut in a food processor then process for 3-5 minutes or until fine in texture.
  5. Add dates, coconut oil and vanilla extract to the food processor then process for an additional 2-3 minutes or until it resembles a crumble texture.
  6. Sprinkle crumble mixture over filling until completely covered.
  7. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until golden.
  8. Serve with dairy free ice cream or dairy free yoghurt. Enjoy!

Note: I used CoCoLuscious coffee ice cream – it tasted delicious with the apple crumble!

**This recipe is not gluten free as it contains oats. Use quinoa flakes as a gluten free alternative.

Earthy and sweet dessert!

Well, it’s safe to say this was a hit with my Dad and the rest of my family. So, I guess this healthy version will become a staple in our house once again!

Superfood fruit and nut loaf

The Gold Coast Marathon was on this morning and I wanted to bake something portable for breakfast so I could cheer the runners on. I took a slice of this loaf and an almond milk latte down to the race and was very content!

This superfood fruit and nut loaf was beyond what I had imagined it to be. It’s quite dense and is full of good fats, fibre and flavour.

Soon to be applesauce!

By cooking the apples down they turn into an applesauce which provides a natural sweetness to this loaf.

Dry loaf ingredients

The chia seeds and flaxseed meal are binding agents which keep the loaf together.

As I used spelt flour this loaf isn’t gluten or wheat free. However, spelt is an ancient grain with quite a nutty flavour and the way that it’s processed generally enables those who are allergic to wheat to tolerate it.

Chopped nuts and fruit

The best part about this loaf (besides the taste) is that the ingredients are easily interchangeable. As long as you use the same quantities you can change the type of nuts and fruit you use. However, I would recommend keeping the dates as they too add a natural sweetness.

Applesauce

This is what the applesauce looks like once cooked down and whisked.

Ready to be mixed in

Be sure not to over mix the loaf as the gluten in the spelt flour breaks down fairly easily meaning your loaf will become crumbly in texture.

Baked loaf

It’s so tempting to cut the loaf fresh from the oven and taste your delicious creation but allow it to cool for 3-5 minutes. This cooling time ensures your slices do not crumble and fall apart.

Muffins

As I made a double batch I decided to make muffins instead of another loaf.

Portable breakfast!

This photo was taken right before I headed downstairs to cheer on the marathoners!

The loaf and muffins will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to three days.

Superfood fruit and nut loaf

Makes 1 loaf and approximately 7 muffins or 2 loaves

Ingredients:

  • 2 apples, washed and diced
  • 2 cups spelt flour
  • 2 cups oat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 TBSP cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups nuts, chopped (1/2 cup each of brazil, almond, walnut and macadamia)
  • 10 dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1/2 cup prunes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup goji berries
  • Pumpkin seeds/pepitas for topping the loaf

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F and line a loaf tin with baking paper.
  2. Place diced apple in a small saucepan with a dash of water. Simmer with lid on for 10 minutes, or until soft enough to whisk together to make applesauce.
  3. Mix spelt flour, oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, flaxseed and chia seeds together in a large bowl.
  4. Add water and carefully mix until well combined.
  5. Fold in the nuts, dates, prunes, goji berries and applesauce.
  6. Spoon into prepared tin, top with pumpkin seeds and bake for 40-45 minutes.
  7. Cool for 3-5 minutes, slice then enjoy with a tea or coffee!

Notes:

  • To make oat flour blend/process 2 cups of oats until a flour-like consistency.
  • If you don’t have flaxseed meal and chia seeds you could just use 1/2 cup flaxseed meal or 1/2 cup chia seeds instead.
  • You can top the loaf with extra chopped nuts if you don’t have pumpkin seeds.
  • If you’re making muffins bake for 25-30 minutes.
  • Halve the mixture if you don’t want to make two loaves.
  • You can toast a slice of this loaf then spread it with some nut butter!

How did you start your Sunday morning?

Apple and pear baked oatmeal

A lot of people find breakfast boring, probably because they eat the same thing day-in-day-out. Personally, this is my favourite meal of the day! So much so, two friends and I used to go out to brunch once a week – it was a great opportunity to try out many different cafes and to catch up!

I find I have a lot of inspiration in the morning and always loving knowing that I have started my day off with a great meal.

All the dry ingredients

This is such a hearty, warming breakfast. I will definitely be making this more often, yet I’ll mix up different flavours just to keep it interesting.

Dry and wet ingredients mixed

Dry and wet ingredients mixed

To give it extra flavour I used vanilla extract. There is often a lot of confusion as to what the difference is between vanilla extract and vanilla essence.

Putting it simply, vanilla extract is made from real vanilla pods and vanilla essence is commercially manufactured using chemicals. I definitely prefer to use the former!

All set for the oven

All set for the oven

This is the perfect dish to make ahead. Either make a large batch on the weekend so it is an easy breakfast during the week, or make it the night before so it’s all set to be baked in the morning.

Topped with coconut yoghurt and honey - all ready to be eaten!

Topped with coconut yoghurt and honey – all ready to be eaten!

I love these Le Creuset ramekins my sisters gifted me for Christmas a few years ago (they know me so well!). I find them the perfect size for a meal.

Apple and pear baked oatmeal

Serves 5

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds*
  • 2 green apples, diced
  • 1 pear, diced
  • 2 TBSP desiccated coconut
  • 2 TBSP raisins
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups almond milk*
  • 2 TBSP honey, extra for drizzling on top once cooked
  • 1 TBSP vanilla extract
  • Coconut yoghurt, to top the baked oatmeal*

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and prepare 5 ramekins or one large baking dish*. 
  2. Mix the oats, chia seeds, apples, pears, coconut, raisins and cinnamon in a large bowl.
  3. Stir in the almond milk, honey and vanilla.
  4. Spoon into the prepared dish/es and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes, uncovered.
  5. Once cooked, remove from oven and top with a dollop of coconut yoghurt and a drizzle of honey.

*Notes:

  • I didn’t grease the ramekins, the baked oatmeal didn’t stick to them either once cooked.
  • You can replace the chia seeds with oats – make it 1 3/4 cups of oats instead of 1 1/3 cups.
  • Use natural yoghurt in place of the coconut yoghurt – however this won’t be dairy free.
  • Also, use whole milk instead of almond milk – again, this won’t be dairy free.

These will keep covered in the fridge for up to 3 days. When reheating, just add a splash of almond milk to ensure it doesn’t dry out. Either place in the oven for 5-7 minutes or the microwave for 1 minute. I personally prefer the oven however I completely understand if you’re time poor the microwave is more convenient.

Enjoy these little pots of joy!

Buckwheat pancakes with caramelised apple

Every Sunday growing up Dad used to make pancakes as a weekend treat. This was definitely the day I looked forward to most as it was the only time we could eat ice cream and brown sugar for breakfast!! Nowadays I wouldn’t dream of having either, let alone for breakfast!

When I woke up Friday morning I was craving something indulgent to start my day. I decided to make some pancakes sans wheat, dairy and refined sugar of course.

Pancake batter

Buckwheat has a very earthy flavour and tastes wholesome, that’s why the caramelised fruit works so well with these pancakes. Buckwheat is also high in fibre and is gluten free.

Makes 12 medium sized pancakes

The batter can be made the night before if you’re time poor in the mornings. That way, all you have to do is cook them up and you have a delicious breakfast ready to go!

Caramelised apples

As the batter doesn’t have sugar in it, the apples sweeten the dish and also provide you with your ‘apple a day’.

Stack of indulgence

Buckwheat pancakes with caramelised apple

Makes 12 pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup quinoa flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, extra depending on the consistency you like your pancakes
  • Coconut oil
  • 2 green apples, sliced
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 TBSP cinnamon
  • Maple syrup for drizzling on top
  • Desiccated coconut for sprinkling on top

Method:

  1. Mix the buckwheat flour, almond meal, quinoa flour and baking powder in a large bowl.
  2. Gradually add the almond milk and mix until at the desired consistency.
  3. Heat coconut oil in a large fry pan over a medium heat. Spoon batter onto the pan. Flip pancakes when little bubbles start to appear and cook on other side. Repeat until all the batter has been cooked.
  4. In a medium saucepan place the apples, honey and cinnamon over medium heat. Stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, or until apples soften.
  5. Stack pancakes on top of each other, place the caramelised apples on top, drizzle with maple syrup and sprinkle with desiccated coconut. Then, enjoy!

I couldn’t wait to start!

You can top the pancakes with virtually any fruit that takes your fancy!

Happy cooking!