Consider this post a love letter to one of my favourite desserts. To me, crumbles are a perfect example of a dessert that you can enjoy all year round, customise to suit the season, and cater to any dietary needs very easily without compromising on taste. I think the best thing about a crumble is that it’s so versatile. It’s definitely a good recipe to have up your sleeve when you need a fuss-free dessert that will please a crowd.
You can use almost any fruit – whether fresh or frozen – or a combination of whatever is in season. In winter, you can’t beat the comfort that comes from a warm bowl of apple and pear crumble, but a berry crumble with a big scoop of ice cream is a dream come true in summer. Stone fruits like peaches and plums also work a treat, and my love for any kind of rhubarb dessert is well documented in my archives!
While I love eating most fruit fresh, there’s just something magical that happens when it’s baked underneath a crispy golden topping until it bubbles up from below. Even if your fruit is not yet ripe – or even a little overripe – baking them into a crumble will bring out their best side. Berry season has just begun in the southern hemisphere, which makes it feel like spring is really here – hooray! If your fruit is in season and already perfectly sweet, you may not need to add any sugar at all.
Traditionally, the crumble topping is made by rubbing flour, butter and sugar together. The buttery clumps then form a blanket of golden deliciousness in the oven. Although you are likely to have these baking staples on hand whenever the crumble craving strikes, you can get creative by adding nuts and rolled oats for extra crunch.
Or you can go for a healthy alternative like I’ve done in the recipe below with quinoa flakes, coconut and almonds, and using coconut oil rather than butter. I loved the way the coconut and quinoa crumble baked up beautifully with a lovely crunchy texture and a lot of extra protein. I’m looking forward to experimenting with more healthy topping ingredients in the future like buckwheat, rye flour and different nuts. You really can’t go wrong. This recipe is a great jumping off point for trying out different combinations of fruit and toppings and seeing what you like the best.
I also experimented with using fructose-free rice malt syrup for the crumb topping rather than honey or sugar in the recipe below and was super happy with the results! These small tweaks make it gluten free, sugar free and vegan – well, until you add the ice cream that is! So I think you could definitely call this a guilt free dessert. In fact it’s so healthy, I’d happily advocate eating this for breakfast too with a big dollop of Greek yoghurt.
Related Post: Plum and Pedro Ximénez Crumble
Healthy Berry, Coconut & Quinoa Crumble
- 125g blueberries, fresh or frozen
- 250g strawberries, fresh or frozen
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger, freshly grated or ground
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, or seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean
- 1-2 tablespoons raw sugar, optional
- 1-2 tablespoons Chambord, optional
- 2/3 cup quinoa flakes
- 1/3 cup shredded coconut
- 1/3 cup flaked almonds
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 2 tablespoons rice malt syrup or honey
- To serve: Icing sugar, cream, ice cream or yoghurt
Preheat the oven to 180°C (355°F).
Combine the blueberries, strawberries, ginger and vanilla with the raw sugar and Chambord if using. Stir to combine and divide between 2 oven proof dishes.
In a separate bowl, combine the quinoa flakes, coconut, almonds, coconut oil and rice malt syrup and stir to combine. Spread this mixture over the top of the fruit. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until topping is golden and fruit is bubbling underneath. Dust with icing sugar and serve hot or cold with cream, ice cream or Greek yoghurt.