Apple and Pear Honey Crumble with Toasted Almonds

Optional Vegan, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free

Image

Ok, I’ve finally accepted it. It’s officially winter now in Sydney. I may or may not have attempted to hang on to Summer for a little too long this year. I may have bought a bikini yesterday. And a pair of shorts. But to be fair the warm weather lasted for ages! There were a few chilly nights, where I insisted on wearing summer clothes and ended up having to shelter under my taller friends’ armpits for warmth. But all in all this Autumn was rather balmy. 

It’s strange how in Sydney no one really accepts that it gets cold in Winter. All through Summer everyone’s super prepared with their chilled watermelon and beach trips, but come winter literally no one knows how to act. No one even owns proper coats, let alone umbrellas or *gasp* thermals. For the first time ever last night I actually used the heating in my room, thinking, “hmm. 28C seems like a pretty nice temperature.” One hour later I woke up sweaty and panicked, dopey from all the gas in my room. I had to crawl to the remote and turn the heat down. I had to crawl.

Image

So today this is my slightly better remedy for winter. Everyone knows the best part about winter is the dessert. It must be warm and it must be served with vanilla ice cream. Otherwise the criteria is pretty vague. We had a whole bunch of pears and apples sitting in the fruit bowl and at first I was going to make a pie, but who has time for that?! Also, I wanted to eat this particular dessert for breakfast. This was also why I made the crumble in individual bowls, so that no confused lost soul would accidentally think I made the crumble for sharing purposes. 

I decided to try some new flavours in the crumble as a little experiment, and they worked so well I knew I had to post the recipe. The cinnamon and honey go so well with the pears! I literally couldn’t stop eating it. But the flavour that worked best was the oranges I squeezed over the fruit to stop it going brown. We had heaps of oranges as well and I juiced a couple to stop the fruit going brown as I took photos. Holy moly! It made the filling so much better! I would possibly vote this crumble one of the best I’ve ever tasted. 

Remember to serve with ice cream. And you should probably wear woolly socks whilst you eat it, preferably whilst watching Brigitte Jones Diary. But it’s up to you 🙂

One Year Ago: Tangy Lemon Curd Frozen Yogurt

Image

 Apple Crumble with Honey and Almonds:

6 medium firm apples, peeled and sliced 

6 medium firm pears, peeled and sliced

juice of 2-3 medium oranges

1 heaped tsp cinnamon

2 tbsp runny honey, or maple syrup for vegan

For the fruit filling, combine everything in a heavy bottomed pan and cook, covered, on a low heat for about 15 minutes, until the fruit is soft but still holding its shape. Preheat the oven to 160C (320F). 

Image

For the crumble:

50g butter (vegan butter or coconut butter can be substituted for vegan) chopped 

100g wholemeal flour (almond butter for gluten free)

100g gluten-free oats

40g toasted almonds, chopped roughly

2 tbsp raw sugar 

25ml almond milk

Rub the butter and flour together in a bowl between your fingers until the mixture is crumbly but not doughy. Stir in the rest of the dry ingredients until combined. Pour over the almond milk and chop through the mixture with the spoon until everything is lightly crumbly. 

Spoon the fruit into an oven proof dish (or around 6-8 small ones). Cover with the crumble and bake for half an hour, until the top is toasty and golden and the fruit bubbling. Serve warm with ice cream.

Image

Vegan Coconut and Pear Cake and my 1st Guest Post!

Image

Hey guys! I’m doing a super exciting guest blog over at A Baking Girl today. This Coconut and Pear Cake I made for her was absolutely mind bogglingly delicious, so I recommend getting your bum over there and checking it out. 

Image

A Baking Girl is a really beautiful blog and like me, Rossi focuses on healthy desserts. She’s made some beautiful things! Including Healthy Chocolate Cookies and these Chocolate Mousse Cups that I want to inhale. I think her Strawberry Scones should be a necessary staple.
Image

Everything she makes looks amazing and her recipes are so detailed and accurate! I’m really honoured to get to contribute to her space. Hope you’re all having a beautiful week! And don’t get too excited but I’ve started planning my birthday cake. Get ready. 4

Carrot, Pear and Quinoa Crumble Muffins (vegan, sugar free)

Vegan and Sugar Free

IMG_6481

I am so, sooo sick of the election lead-up. Everywhere you look, Abbot and the Ruddmeister smiling and waving creepily, commercials of little children being cast in to darkness because nobody cares about their education! Ridiculous slogans like “stop the boats,” that will be played back in thirty years as an example of how backwards and racist Australians used to be. 

It makes me sad that in this “democratic” country so many people’s votes are shaped not by party’s policies, but by fear campaigns and propaganda spread by the media controlled by a certain someone I won’t name (Murdoch). I don’t want this post to be all about politics and I don’t want to alienate anyone with my views, but it’s hard not to say a word or two when the election is tomorrow! 

It’s embarrassing to think what overseas countries must see in Australian politics. It seems that every three years, all the darkest and ugliest sides of Australia come out and take centre stage for a while, even though most of these views are held by a minority for the rest of the term. For instance gay marriage has been a hot topic this election, and instead of playing out as a cooperative and respectful debate it has become a monster of homophobia, discrimination and name-calling. Within the parties too, not just in general society. It’s such a horrible point to use as a defining policy and it shines negatively on the entire liberal party to take such a primitive and old-fashioned stance. The worst part is, it’s gaining them votes, not losing them. 

IMG_6522

 Sorry about that rant! And on to these muffins. I love muffins but so often they’re the most unhealthy option in the entire cafe. They can be packed full of preservatives, sugar, margarine and other strange ingredients I’ve never heard of, especially if you buy them at the supermarket or make them from a muffin mix. 

That’s where these bad boys step in! Each muffin has a whopping 7 grams of protein! That’s an entire serving, which for a vegetarian is like Christmas come early. They are also intensely delicious. I had a little “taste test” so I could explain the quinoa flour flavour to everyone, and I ended up eating an entire muffin. They are fruity and sweet and packed full of flavours like coconut, sultanas, walnuts, carrot and pear and cinnamon and vanilla and are you drooling yet?? The honey flavour really shines through and gives the loveliest sweetness and crunch to these muffins. 

But it’s the crumble that takes them to the next level. 

IMG_6492

Coconut, sunflower seeds, poppy seeds, flaked almonds and nutty wholemeal flour come together in a medley of love to create a very crunchy and flavoursome topping. Don’t do what I did and pour hot honey over the crumble, because that will melt your butter like nothing else. Also don’t under-estimate just how much crumble your muffins can take! 

I have a terrible condition of overfilling my muffin cases, and this crumble topping was a great way of exercising control. Once the crumble’s on you can’t add any more muffin mix! Genius. These muffins are great the day they are made, but wait for them to cool down before eating them because all the flavours come together more. Also quinoa flour! What is that you may wonder? It is ground quinoa and it has an earthy, strong flavour that works well here because it is completely masked by the other ingredients. 

I wouldn’t know if you could substitute more than I have, but I would proceed with caution. It’s naturally gluten free so doesn’t behave like normal flour, and depending on the brand it can have a powerful “plant” flavour that can be overwhelming in lighter cakes. It’s very good for you though! So lets all continue to experiment with it and tell me what you discover.

Can’t get enough of your muffin fix? Here’s some recipes I’ve been eyeing this week:
Delicious Oatmeal Muffins from 101 Cookbooks
Mini Almond and Roasted Strawberry Muffins from Sprouted Kitchen so cute!
Plums and Almond Muffins from A Tasty Love Story look amaaazing.

IMG_6505

Carrot and Pear Crumble Muffins: Adapted from Ottolenghi 

Topping:

60g (1/4 cup) coconut butter, in pieces (or regular butter for non-vegan)

50g (1/2 cup) wholemeal flour

45ml (1/3 cup) runny honey or maple syrup for vegan

1 tsp olive oil and 1 tsp water

50g (1/4 cup) oats

25g (1 tbsp) desiccated coconut

30g (1 heaped tbsp) sunflower seeds

20g (1 heaped tblsp) poppy seeds

15g (1 tbsp) flaked almonds

In a bowl, mix with your fingers the flour and butter until sandy. Add the other ingredients and mix until crumbly with your hands. Set aside. 

IMG_6491

Muffins:

4 tbsp chia seeds mixed with 8 tbsp of water to form a gel (or 4 large eggs)

200g (1.5 cups + 1 tbsp) plain flour sifted with 100g (3/4 cup) quinoa flour (or all plain/half wholemeal)

1 tsp baking powder

2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp vanilla extract

200g (1 +3/4 cups each) each grated carrot and pear (apple works too)

270ml (3/4 cup + 1 tbsp) honey or maple syrup for vegan

160ml (2/3 cup) olive oil

50g (2.5 tbsp) desiccated coconut

100g (2/3 cup) sultanas

100g (3/4 cup) walnuts, chopped

IMG_6501
Preheat the oven to 170C (340F) and line 12-14 muffin pans. Mix together the flour, baking powder and cinnamon and sift well. In a large bowl mix the chia gel or eggs, honey, oil, carrots, pears and vanilla. Stir in the walnuts, coconut and sultanas. Fold in the flour mixture and gently combine. Spoon into 12-14 muffin cases and sprinkle with the  crumble generously, pushing it down so it sticks to the muffin mix. Bake for 18-25 minutes until golden brown and crunchy on top. Leave to cool and then eat them!

IMG_6534>

Healthy Pear and Walnut Muffins

Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Dairy Free and Low Fat

IMG_5132The sun came out today for the first time in TWOOOO WEEEEKS!!! Dance with me friends. I took my chubby dog Louis for a walk and tried to get him to jog. He went at a great shuffling pace for about ten minutes, then just sat down in the middle of the road and wouldn’t move until I kicked him in the bum. (Gently). 

 On the way home we saw the saddest sight! In the middle of the path there was a dead possum. He was all wet from the rain and his fur was all muddy, and his face looked so peaceful! Like he was sleeping. Pour little guy. Hopefully he died of old age and is up in possum heaven now. 

IMG_5089

 I made these muffins here when I got home, for my mum who can’t eat gluten, dairy, peanuts, cashews, berries, or oranges. This makes baking something she can eat quite a challenge. These are made with almond flour and sweetened with big chunks of pear and honey. The only fat is olive oil, which is very good for you. They are sticky and crunchy but still light, despite being gluten free. You could experiment with apples or different spices if you want, and even maple syrup in place of some of the honey. This is a good starting recipe for a lighter type of muffin. 

IMG_5083 Pear and Walnut Muffins: Adapted from these muffins./p>

270g (2.5 cups) almond flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 pinch salt

1 tsp each cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg plus a pinch of cardamon and clove powder

3 eggs

225ml (1 cup) olive oil

225ml (1 cup) honey

2 medium-large pears, skinned and cut into chunks

a big handful of chopped walnuts (or pecans, hazelnuts or almonds)

IMG_5107

Preheat oven to 170C (340F). Line 12 cupcake cases with cupcake papers. In one bowl whisk together your dry ingredients. In the other whisk the wet ingredients. Stir in the walnuts and pear and spoon 2/3 full into each muffin cup. Bake for about 20 minutes. These last well for up to 4 days. 

IMG_5123