by Buffy Ellen
Ever had friends pop round for dinner, and you haven’t had time to make dessert? Or maybe you’ve just had a sweet craving after your main course, when a bowl of fruit and ice cream just won’t cut it. If so, this is the perfect dessert for you. 10 minutes, one bowl (your food processor), and a super simple list of ingredients you’ll no doubt have in your cupboard right now. What’s more, it’s virtuously healthy, very low in sugar, raw (which means maximum antioxidants and vitamins), and it can happily also double as a luxurious breakfast or delicious afternoon tea snack. Whichever way you like it, these Mini Apple Crumbles are divine.
I made these one night this week when I had exactly one of the aforementioned occurrences. Dinner done, sweet treat needed (which is my feeling most, ok all, nights). I stared into the fruit bowl and there sat three lonely organic apples, waiting for some tender loving care. A few minutes later I’d pulled a handful of other ingredients from the cupboard, then a couple moments longer and we were enjoying dessert on the couch. Crisp and juicy red apples, a dash of lemon, all topped with a delicious (and almost instant) oat, almond, coconut and cinnamon crumble mix. You can easily double the crumble recipe, and roll the remainder into balls to pop in the freezer – which is exactly what I did! Mini Apple Crumble pots plus a batch of bliss balls in one sweet swoop.
I’ve spoken about the benefits of oats before here, and discussed the ‘are oats gluten free debate’ here. So today I wanted to instead focus on the fruitylicious star of our dish - apples.
An apple a day for blood sugar stability and immune system strengthWe’ve all heard the old adage, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. But what is really so great about apples to have won them that phrase? Two things stand out for me when reviewing the apple-centric research. Firstly, they’re high in polyphenols, wonderful compounds only found in plants, that are different to vitamins and minerals, but have a bunch of health benefits. One of these is they appear to stabilise our blood sugars, by slowing down the digestion of carbohydrates so they’re broken down less readily into simple sugars, reducing the rate of glucose absorption in our digestive tract, stimulating the pancreas to release more insulin, and encouraging receptors to take up more insulin, thus helping to get sugar out of our blood and into our tissues. All of these work to lessen the sugar load in our blood, and help achieve better blood sugar regulation in our bodies. That means stable energy levels, reduced sugar cravings, and happier minds!
A second key benefit of apples is their fiber level – which research has shown can improve the good bacteria in our gut (think kombucha, sauerkraut, fermented foods, why everyone’s going crazy for them right now). Good bacteria are strongly linked with our immune systems, and can prevent us from (a) getting sick, but also (b) fight against the proliferation of abnormal cells (which can lead to cancer), and (c) help protect us against developing autoimmune conditions (like Graves’, Hashimotos, Lupus, Crohn’s, rheumatoid arthritis etc). One important thing to note with apples is to always try buy organic or spray-free wherever possible (or grow a tree!). Apples are the sixth highest food in New Zealand with pesticide residues, with 81% of 288 samples taken from 120 orchards containing 20 different types of pesticides. It’s even worse in the US, with apples ranking second in the pesticide stakes, with over 98% of samples testing positive for chemical residues.
Back to our recipe, not only do these delicious Apple Crumbles take advantage of glorious seasonal apples, and are also so easy to make. I recommend using a sweet and crunchy red apple here, as the fruit remains raw so we want all that juice and crunch in our finished dish. I’ve made them on the only-just-sweet end of the spectrum, so if you prefer a slightly sweeter dish, increase the dates to 1/3 or even 1/2 of a cup. You can also up the cinnamon and nutmeg if you’re a lover of spices – they’re one of the highest sources of antioxidants, so if you like things more spiced then I say go for it!
I’ve made these individual crumbles in simple clear water glasses, which looks great as you can see the different layers, and have topped them with my new favourite coconut yoghurt from Cathedral Cove Naturals. If you’re a New Zealander and haven’t yet tried this brand I highly recommend, it has a wonderful smooth texture to it and subtle tang, that isn’t overpowering like some coconut yoghurts can be. It also doesn't contain any added sugar, preservatives or thickeners, like most yoghurts do, and is simply made with coconut plus dairy free probiotic cultures - just like you'd make if you made it at home! It’s so great to finally have a New Zealand based company making dairy free yoghurt, as opposed to us having to import it from overseas - carbon-friendly, AND delish.
Give these fabulous Mini Apple Crumble pots a go, and let me know what you think. Leave a comment below or tag your pics on Instagram @begoodorganics and #begoodorganics. I hope you love these, and enjoy even more the sweet pleasure of having dessert go from your mind to the table in under 10 minutes!
Til next week, stay happy and well.
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10 mins Serves 4
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Always use certified organic, local and fairly traded ingredients wherever possible
Crumble 1/2 c oats 1/4 c almonds (dried activated*) 1/4 c dessicated coconut 1/4 c dates 2 tbsp coconut oil (melted) 2 cm vanilla bean (scraped)** 1/2 tsp cinnamon Pinch nutmeg Large pinch sea salt
Apple base 1 1/2 large apples (~1 1/2 cups) 1/2 lemon
c = 250ml cup, tbsp = 15ml tablespoon, tsp = 5ml teaspoon
*I've used dried activated nuts, which you can learn how to make here. Alternatively you can use raw nuts.
**You can also use 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract, or 1/2 tsp vanilla powder.
Buffy is the founder of Be Good Organics, and loves creating delicious yet simple plant-based whole foods recipes.
Buffy also oversees our Be Good Organics online store, full of plant based goodies that she personally uses and loves. Sign up for our newsletter below to be the first to receive her weekly recipes.
by Buffy Ellen
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I'm Buffy, a food obsessed nutrition nerd, former financial research analyst and investment banker, and now - full time blogger, nutritionist and soon to be naturopath. I live in Auckland, New Zealand with my partner Tony, our two cats Zeus and Luna, and our cute-as-pie little girl Mila. Can't wait to share some healthy recipes with you! READ MORE HERE...
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