Apple and Blueberry Crumble!

WhoApple Crumble doesn’t love Crumble? Well, in my family we just adore it. As I have mentioned before my son loves blueberries and he really likes my apple and blueberry crumble. Apples and blueberries are packed full of goodness. The bonus of this recipe is it doesn’t take long to make and could be done in advance of your dinner plans.

The first reason I love this recipe is because apples are full of pectin. Pectin can provide relief from constipation and diarrhoea. It can also reduce cholesterol by lowering the unhealthy level that builds up in your body. However the main reason I love an apple is because pectin has an ability to make you feel full. Once it enters your stomach, it forms a gelatinous mass that may support weight loss by creating a feeling of fullness.

Blueberries are crammed full of antioxidants that will help fight cancer and they have antibacterial compounds that fight off stomach bugs. They are also known to help prevent eye damage and improve memory. We eat them frozen in this house, straight out of the freezer and we love them. However, they are one fruit that generally have a pesticide residue on them. It is best, if you can afford to, to buy organic. We don’t generally tend to do this as we buy ours from a local farm shop already frozen. The farm shop we go to does not spray their crops with lots of pesticides so I’m happy to buy from them.

Cloves are a fantastic spice in lots of dishes but, I think, they always go really well with apples. I use only a pinch of them at the beginning when stewing the apples as they can be very overpowering. They have a distinct flavour and you only need a little bit to spice up your meal. The best reason to love cloves is that they can aid digestion.  They also contain a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, iron, selenium and magnesium.

The topping for my crumble is, I think, the best bit. Instead of plain white flour I use spelt flour as it is easy to digest. It is easily soluble in water and contains less gluten than wheat flours. Soluble fibre can help lower unhealthy cholesterol and balance blood sugar levels. Spelt can also help with immunity as it has antibacterial properties that help strengthen the body. Alternatively, if you are a coeliac you could use brown rice flour.

Oats gives this recipe that bit of crunch that a crumble deserves and they are full of goodness. They can sooth nerves because they contain a natural sedative (alkaloid gramine) which helps treat depression, anxiety and insomnia. Oats are also easy to digest and they contain a soluble fibre which means you feel fuller for longer. No one will be going hungry after this dessert!

Coconut oil is my replacement for butter in this recipe. It makes a delicious alternative too. As I have written about before, I’m just nuts about coconuts nowadays. There are many reasons for this excitement but my main reason is that virgin coconut oil is not chemically treated. When heated at high temperatures the composition of the oil does not change, unlike other conventional oils so you still get all of the nutritional benefits as you would eating it raw.

Maple syrup is an amazing ingredient and a great alternative to sugar. The zinc in the syrup can help support men’s reproductive health and protects against prostate enlargement. It also has lots of manganese levels that help in the production of sex hormones in both men and women.

My final ingredient is cinnamon and gives this dish a lovely natural sweetness. Cinnamon is an antiseptic that helps fight fungal infections, bacteria and viruses. It also aids digestion by normalizing the levels of glucose in the blood. It has a mild anti inflammatory quality that has been used to aid recovery from colds, flu, sore throats, fevers and headaches. It is said that just smelling cinnamon will boost your memory.

Serves 4 – 6

Equipment needed

  • Potato peeler
  • Sharp knife
  • Lemon zester
  • Large Pan
  • Small Pan
  • Dish for crumble
  • Mixing bowl
  • Spoon
  • Teaspoon
  • Scales

Ingredients for the base

  • 6 – 8 medium apples
  • 2 handfuls of fresh or frozen blueberries
  • Juice and zest of a lemon
  • 2 pinches of cloves
  • 60 ml water

Ingredients for the topping

  • 100 grams spelt flour
  • 75 grams oats
  • 65 grams coconut oil
  • 50 ml Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon

Method

Preheat a fan oven to 180°c. Start by peeling the apples and removing the cores. Place in the large pan along with the water, juice and zest of the lemon and two pinches of cloves. Put the pan on the hob on a low heat and leave to simmer for 20 minutes or until the apples go slightly mushy.

For the topping

Place the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl and mix with the spoon. Melt the coconut oil and maple syrup in the small pan on a low heat. Do not let it cook, you only want to melt them together. Once they are melted, pour over the dry ingredients and mix until everything is coated with the coconut oil mixture.

Finally, once the apples have gone mushy, place them in the crumble dish. Cover the apples with the crumble topping and place in the preheated oven. Cook for 20 – 25 minutes or until the topping is a golden brown colour. Alternatively, if you want to make this in advance of your dinner plans then you can freeze both the topping and the base separately. Just take out of the freezer eight hours before you want to cook it.

We enjoy this dessert with a little bit of cream or organic yogurt or sheep yogurt with honey. It’s great warmed up for breakfast with the yogurt and honey or as part of a packed lunch too. It’s a nutrient packed dessert which can be enjoyed anytime.