Two Crumbles with a difference…

Two Crumbles with a difference…

Apple and rhubarb crumble - a dairy free recipe

 

I’ve always loved a good fruit crumble, however, the traditional recipe calls for butter, wheat flour and oats – all of which are not compatible ingredients for a dairy and gluten free diet.

But when I saw some beautiful pink rhubarb in our local store recently, I was inspired to try and create a traditional style crumble that I could enjoy too!

During my time as a pastry chef in NZ, I developed a rhubarb crumble recipe that became so popular it wasn’t allowed to come off the menu until we came up with another best seller. This became quite the headache for the head chef, who strongly believed a humble fruit crumble did not belong on the menu of a fine dining restaurant.

I’m not sure we ever found anything quite as popular to replace it with, but it did eventually come off and the head chef could once again breathe easy. New Zealanders really love their fruit crumble!

The key to the success of that crumble recipe was the following qualities: it was crunchy on top yet soft underneath; some chunky clusters of crumble mixed in with finer crumbs; threaded coconut; and just enough spice to have you wondering what that familiar flavour is.

 

 

Apple and rhubarb crumble with coconut yoghurt

 

With those qualities in mind, I set about creating a new crumble recipe that was dairy, gluten and refined sugar free…. and I ended up creating two recipes! One with oats and one without, as some people can tolerate oats even if they generally eat a gluten free diet.

The unrefined sweetener also has a big effect on how your crumble turns out. If you like a more chunky traditional crumble then pure maple syrup is the best choice, but if you like a finer crumble then use coconut sugar. One thing to note about coconut sugar, is it has a lower melting point so in a crumble it can burn a little around the edges at regular oven temperatures. The best way to avoid this is to cook the crumble at a slightly lower temperature e.g. 160ºC and keep an eye on it.

Feel free to get creative with the fruit combinations for either of these crumble recipes. I’ve used rhubarb and apple, and blueberry and apple here, but you could equally use any berries, stone fruit or otherwise to your liking.

One of the things I love most about these crumbles is they’re essentially like healthy granola on top of cooked fruit, which means eating dessert for breakfast just became a reality! 😉

If you have any leftovers they taste just as good cold, or can be easily reheated and are perfect with a dollop of your favourite coconut yoghurt or nice cream.

I hope you enjoy these crumble recipes, and if you post any of your creations to Instagram I would love to see them – tag me @swoon.food and #swoonfood so I can find them. Enjoy!

 

Apple and rhubarb crumble with coconut yoghurt (a dairy free recipe)

 

Apple & Rhubarb Oat Crumble (dairy free)

Serves: 4-6
Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes

3 apples
4-6 stalks of rhubarb
1 Tbsp coconut sugar

1/4 cup coconut sugar OR pure maple syrup (see above for the difference)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 cup oats
1/2 cup ground almonds
1/2 cup coconut thread
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp vanilla essence or powder
pinch Himalayan pink salt

Preheat the oven to 170ºC. Wash the apples and rhubarb well, and peel the apples if you are not using organic. Cut the apples and rhubarb into small cubes about 1cm square, and place in a baking dish. Sprinkle with 1 Tbsp coconut sugar.

To make the crumble place the coconut oil and pure maple syrup (if using – otherwise add the coconut sugar to the dry ingredients) in a small pan and gently heat until melted. Remove from heat. Combine the oats, almonds, coconut thread, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla and salt in a large bowl. Pour the melted coconut oil over the dry ingredients and stir to combine.

Pile the crumble on top of the fruit and place the dish in the centre of the preheated oven for approximately 30 minutes. The crumble is cooked when the fruit has softened (and will be piping hot!) and the crumble has turned a golden brown. Note: coconut sugar will create a much darker looking crumble than maple syrup.

Serve large spoonfuls of the crumble topped with your favourite coconut yoghurt or nice cream. The cooked crumble will keep covered in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Tip: If you don’t have ground almonds you can make your own by placing whole almonds in a food processor and blending until they resemble fine bread crumbs.

 

Apple & Blueberry Almond Crumble (dairy & gluten free)

Serves: 4-6
Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes

3 apples
1 cup blueberries

1/4 cup pure maple syrup OR coconut sugar (see above for the difference)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 cup ground almonds
1 cup coconut thread
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp vanilla essence or powder
pinch of Himalayan pink salt

Preheat the oven to 170ºC. Wash the apples and blueberries well, and peel the apples if you are not using organic. Cut the apples into small cubes about 1cm square, and place in a baking dish with the blueberries.

To make the crumble place the coconut oil and pure maple syrup (if using – otherwise add the coconut sugar to the dry ingredients) in a small pan and gently heat until melted. Remove from heat. Combine the coconut sugar (if using), almonds, coconut thread, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla and salt in a large bowl. Pour the melted coconut oil over the dry ingredients and stir to combine.

Pile the crumble on top of the fruit and place the dish in the centre of the preheated oven for approximately 30 minutes. The crumble is cooked when the fruit has softened (and will be piping hot!) and the crumble has turned a golden brown. Note: coconut sugar will create a much darker looking crumble than maple syrup.

Serve large spoonfuls of crumble topped with your favourite coconut yoghurt or nice cream. The cooked crumble will keep covered in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Tip: If you don’t have ground almonds you can make your own by placing whole almonds in a food processor and blending until they resemble fine bread crumbs.

 

 

Apple and blueberry crumble with coconut yoghurt - dairy, gluten & refined sugar free recipe

 

Raw Chocolate with Sour Cherries & Vanilla

Raw Chocolate with Sour Cherries & Vanilla

Raw Chocolate with Sour Cherries & Vanilla - pana chocolate style recipe

 

If you’re a raw chocolate lover you’ll most likely have heard of Pana Chocolate. For anyone who hasn’t, Pana Chocolate is an Australian based chocolate maker that produces one of the best tasting, raw, organic chocolate’s available. If you’re luckily enough to live near one of their Australian outlets you might have also tried their amazing raw desserts. For anyone who wants to see what I’m talking about, check out their popular Instagram page here. I have yet to sample Pana Chocolate’s raw desserts, but I have tried their chocolate and it’s pretty damn good as far as raw, dairy-free chocolate goes!

My eating chocolate of choice used to be milk chocolate hands down. The creaminess and melt-in-the-mouth quality of a good milk chocolate was by far my preference over a rich, dark block any day. Dark chocolate obviously has a lot more cocoa solids in it, so tends to be a lot harder with much less of the melt-in-the-mouth quality. The higher the quality of dark chocolate, the less milk products and sugar it generally has too. These days there are a lot more quality dark chocolate varieties available, including some with less cocoa solids making them not quite so hard or rich, however, they still don’t possess the same melt-in-the-mouth quality.

So I was pretty excited when I discovered Pana Chocolate as not only does it contain no refined sugar, gluten, dairy or soy, it also has a rich fudgey texture and literally melts in your mouth! It’s also organic and completely raw which means all the antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins and minerals present in the chocolate are fully intact and readily absorbed by your body. The only downside about this amazing chocolate is that it’s usually in high demand so you can’t always find it in store, and almost never find the flavour you’re after, plus it’s pretty expensive too.

Naturally this led me to try and replicate this chocolate, how hard could it be?! Obviously they’ve spent many years perfecting their recipe and method and they source specific raw cacao and cacao butter to create their unique flavour. But it’s not as hard as you may think to create a simple, fudgey, pana style chocolate that you can then add all sorts of flavourings to.

Because I love the qualities of milk chocolate I’ve created this recipe to reflect that with just 40% cacao, and combined it with sour cherries and vanilla. If you like a darker chocolate then by all means add more cacao and decrease the coconut oil quantity.

Have fun with this raw chocolate recipe, play around with the cacao percentage and try adding whatever flavourings or additions of your choosing. Nuts are great, swapping the cherries for freeze dried raspberries, or adding another flavouring such as orange all work really well. And even though the ingredients for this recipe can be a little pricey, you do end up with a lot more raw chocolate than if you were to buy a ready made bar! Enjoy x

 

Have you tried to make your own raw chocolate before? Any hints or tips or questions about this recipe – leave a comment in the section below!

 

Raw Chocolate with Sour Cherries & Vanilla

Raw Chocolate with Sour Cherries & Vanilla

1 cup raw coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup raw cacao butter, melted
1/2 cup pure maple syrup or rice syrup
1/4 tsp himalayan pink salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 vanilla pod, scraped
3/4 cup raw cacao powder
1 cup (150g) dried sour cherries

Note: the steps below ensure that you measure the coconut oil and cacao butter quantities in their melted form. If you measure them in their dry form you will be short. The reason I haven’t given the measurements for their dry forms (even though this would be easier!) is because it’s much harder to accurately fit solid raw cacao into a cup.

Line a small tray approximately 20 x 20cm or smaller with a double layer of cling film.

Bring a small pan of water to the boil and then turn off the heat. Place a heat proof bowl on top of the pan and add 1 cup of coconut oil plus a bit extra, and stir until melted. Measure 1 cup of the melted coconut oil and pour this into a second bowl. Any extra just pour back into the coconut oil jar. Repeat this step for the cacao butter (about 3/4 – 1 cup dry cacao butter = 1/2 cup melted).

When you have the melted coconut oil and cacao butter together in the second bowl add the maple syrup and stir well using a whisk. Add the scraped vanilla seeds, salt, cinnamon and raw cacao powder and give it a good stir with the whisk until everything is well combined. Pour the chocolate mixture through a fine sieve to break up any cacao powder lumps and remove any vanilla pod remnants. Add the sour cherries and stir to combine.

Pour the sour cherry chocolate into the prepared tray and spread evenly. Place the tray in the fridge or freeze to set (depending on how fast you want it!). When set, lift the chocolate out of the tray using the cling film edges. Peel back the cling film and cut into squares. Store the chocolate in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 1 month or freeze for 3 months.

 

Raw Chocolate with Sour Cherries & Vanilla

Green Soup with Adzuki Bean Topping

Green Soup with Adzuki Bean Topping

Green Soup with Adzuki Bean Topping

 

This is indeed another soup post, but this soup is so delicious I had to share it!

Soup is definitely a go-to recipe when I want something delicious and warm in a short amount of time. I also love the idea of soup toppings which I first talked about here as they really lift a bowl of soup into something way more interesting and flavoursome, and the combinations really are endless!

In my last soup post I talked about the different coloured soups I’d been making and this is the green soup in that series. You may have noticed when making green vegetable soup that it starts off a vibrant green colour but by the end of cooking it turns murky olive green. A vibrant green soup is so much more appetising than the latter, so with that in mind I adjusted the way this green soup is cooked to try and keep it as fresh and green as possible.

By cooking the hard green vegetables, such as broccoli and celery, very lightly so they remain a little crisp, they’re more likely to retain their green colour. For softer green vegetables, such as spinach, add them at the very end so that they’re only lightly steamed, and any fresh herbs can be added straight to the blender. The result is a very vibrant green soup, which also happens to be better for you as the nutrients aren’t subjected to quite so much heat! The other bonus about the cooking method is it only takes 20 minutes to make, making it a realistic week day meal.

The topping I created for this green soup is a crunchy adzuki bean, sunflower seed and coriander combination, with a little middle eastern spin from sumac and ras el hanout. If you don’t have or like these spices, this topping recipe is definitely open to variations so feel free to use whatever spices you like. Likewise, the soup recipe is a basic starting point. Feel free use whatever green vegetables are in season and that you have on hand, using the basic cooking guidelines detailed below.

This green soup with adzuki bean topping makes a delicious lunch or dinner, and it keeps well in the fridge for about 5 days. Hope you give this one a try, and would love to hear from you in the comments section below. Enjoy!

 

Green Soup with Adzuki Bean Topping
 

Green Soup

Prep time: 10 minutes  Cook time: 10 minutes
Makes: 6 bowls

1 head of broccoli
6-8 stalks of celery
4 cups filtered water
10cm piece of ginger
3 cloves garlic
4 bunches of spinach
1 large handful coriander
1 large handful Italian Parsley
1/2 lemon
salt & pepper to taste

Wash the broccoli, celery and spinach well. Cut the broccoli into florets and place in a large pan along with the water and roughly sliced celery. Roughly slice the ginger and garlic and add to the pan. Bring to the boil and then turn down the heat and gently simmer for about 5 minutes. The broccoli and celery should still look green and have a slight crunch. Add the spinach and place a lid on top. Don’t worry if it doesn’t totally fit. You are just aiming for the steam from the water below to wilt it a little. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

While the soup is cooling you can prepare the topping – see recipe below.

Once the topping is ready the soup should be cool enough to blend. You should be able to do this in two batches. Start by blending the first half of the soup until smooth, then add half the herbs and blend until you can see they are just mixed in. Repeat for the second batch. Combine the two blender batches again in the cooking pot you used, add a squeeze of lemon and salt and pepper to taste. Give it a good stir to ensure everything is evenly mixed then divide the soup up into your serving bowls and add the topping to the centre.

 

Adzuki Bean Topping

Prep time: 10 minutes  Cook time: 10 minutes

1 400g can adzuki beans
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 tsp sumac
1/2 tsp ras el hanout
freshly ground salt & pepper (to taste)
1/2 tsp coconut sugar
1/2 lemon, squeezed
1 large handful coriander, roughly chopped
Extra virgin olive oil

Open the can of adzuki beans, place them in a sieve to give them a good wash and then let them drain.
Heat the olive oil in a large fry pan and add the crushed garlic. Cook for about a minute and then add the sunflower seeds, sumac, ras el hanout, salt & pepper & coconut sugar. Cook stirring for a few minutes until you hear the sunflower seeds start to pop. Add the adzuki beans and stir a few more minutes until the beans are heated through. Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice and coriander. Give it a good stir and then add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Serve piled into the centre of a bowl of green soup.

 
Green Soup with Adzuki Bean Topping

 

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