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?

Date, cacao and oat cookies

There’s something so homely about having freshly baked cookies in the house and when they’re as healthy as these there is even MORE of a reason to bake them!

Ever since I was a little girl I was always in favour of making cookies and cakes from scratch as then I knew exactly what ingredients were going into them.

Main ingredients

These cookies are full of complementing textures. The dates lend the cookies a slight chewiness whilst the almonds and cacao nibs provide a crunch.

Flax egg

I am not vegan but I often like to make treats that are. A flax egg is what vegans use as an egg replacer. When flaxseed meal comes into contact with water it becomes thick and gelatinous, like the consistency of a whisked egg.

Flax egg to bind

As you can see the flaxseed meal has thicken significantly and acts as a binding agent in the ‘dough’.

All mixed

I have used cacao nibs in these cookies however they can be quite bitter if you’re not used to the taste. I would recommend using dairy & sugar free dark chocolate chips instead.

Rolled and ready for baking

You will have to squish the ‘dough’ together when rolling to ensure the cookies stay together.

Golden cookies

These cookies will keep in a sealed container in the pantry for up to four days.

Date, cacao and oat cookies

Makes 25

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup almonds, roughly chopped
  • 8 fresh dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1/2 cup cacao nibs or dairy & sugar free dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 TBSP flaxseed meal*
  • 6 TBSP water*
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 2 TBSP coconut oil

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Line baking sheet with baking paper.
  • Whisk flaxseed meal and water in a bowl and set aside to thicken to make a flax egg.
  • Combine rolled oats, almonds, dates, cacao nibs, coconut and cinnamon in a separate large bowl.
  • Add flax egg to large bowl and mix together.
  • Add almond meal and coconut oil, mix until well combined.
  • Roll 25 evenly sized balls and gently press down with your fingers.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire rack.
  • Enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee!

Note: you can replace the flax egg with two free range eggs

Have you every used a flax egg when cooking before?

Blueberry coconut oat breakfast loaf

There’s nothing better than baking early in the morning. I love the smell of freshly baked food wafting throughout the house and I’m sure my family enjoys waking up to the smell knowing there is something tasty in the oven!

I think it’s about time I tell you a little something about myself: I dislike bananas immensely! I’m not sure if you’ve already noticed but none of my recipes have banana in them. Ever since I can remember, I just haven’t liked them.

This can sometimes be difficult when wanting to make a cake or slice as bananas are a really useful wet ingredient. However, I think I have found the perfect alternative: coconut yoghurt!

Dry ingredients

Almond meal is a great base for this loaf as it’s gluten free yet still really filling.

Wet ingredients

I’ve been eating coconut yoghurt for the past 18 months and actually hadn’t thought of cooking with it before. Silly me! You will probably see me bake with this little gem more often!

Fold in ingredients

The blueberries, almonds, oats and coconut give this loaf substance and all nourish the body.

Ready to be baked!

It looks slightly blue but I can assure you this is from the blueberries!

This loaf doesn’t have any sugar in it however if you prefer some sweetness just add some honey or 100% pure maple syrup to taste.

Freshly baked!

This loaf will keep for four days in a sealed container in the fridge.

Blueberry coconut oat breakfast loaf

Mades 1 loaf

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup almond meal
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut yoghurt
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Grease or line loaf tin with baking paper.
  2. Combine almond meal and baking soda in a large bowl, set aside.
  3. Whisk eggs in another bowl. Stir in vanilla extract, coconut oil and coconut yoghurt.
  4. Combine wet and dry ingredients.
  5. Fold in blueberries, coconut, almonds and oats.
  6. Transfer batter to prepared loaf tin. Bake for 40 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
  7. Slice and enjoy!

Note: you can substitute the coconut yoghurt for 1/2 cup mashed bananas

What do you eat for breakfast on the go?

Vegan ANZAC biscuits

As this Thursday is ANZAC Day it seemed appropriate for me to make a gluten, dairy and refined sugar free version of the traditional biscuits. I made sure I kept the traditional ingredients of rolled oats and coconut to ensure they tasted as similar to the original ones as possible.

Biscuit mixture.

As I didn’t use butter, I made them in the food processor to ensure they did not fall apart. By adding the oats in at the end this helped to maintain the shape of them.

You can make these biscuits in a mixing bowl but you may have to add more water/coconut oil to achieve the desired consistency.

All cooked

Coconut palm sugar gives the biscuits the ‘golden syrup’ taste that ANZAC biscuits are known for. This can be purchased from most health food stores.

Cooling down

This mixture made 42 biscuits, give or take a few depending of how big you roll them.

Let’s just hope they last till Thursday!

All set to be eaten

These will keep for 1 week in a sealed container in the pantry or cookie jar on the kitchen bench. Alternatively you can freeze half the batch for up to 1 month. Just let them defrost for 1 hour before eating.

You can definitely halve the mixture if 42 is too many!

Vegan ANZAC biscuits

Makes 42

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 TBSP 100% pure maple syrup
  • 4 TBSP water
  • 1 1/2 cup rolled oats

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160C/320F and line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
  2. In a food processor, process the almond meal, coconut flour, coconut palm sugar, baking soda and desiccated coconut for 1 minute.
  3. Add the almond milk, coconut oil, maple syrup, water and process for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the rolled oats and process for 2 minutes, or until it all comes together.
  5. Form mixture into small balls and flatten with your fingers on the lined trays.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden, then cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!

Notes:

    • Use 2 cups of coconut flour instead of 1 cup almond meal and 1 cup coconut flour
    • 100% pure maple syrup can be substituted for honey
    • The almond milk can be omitted for extra water

 Do you like to make ANZAC biscuits every year for ANZAC Day?