The combination of apple and blackberry is a marriage made in heaven. I remember as a child, eating apple and blackberry pies as a treat and savouring every little morsel.
Apples are a good source of dietary fibre (helping you stay full), and vitamin C (helps the immune system and is necessary for the body to absorb iron properly). A lot of the nutrients are found just under the skin. For this reason, eat apples with their skin on and try to source organic apples to avoid the nasty pesticides.
Blackberries are a great source of dietary fibre, vitamin C, and a variety of antioxidants which helps to protect the body from inflammation (one of the root causes of many diseases). They’re also a good source of vitamin K (helps with the normal clotting of blood), and manganese (essential for healthy joint development and for effective digestion).
Of course, to get the maximum amount of nutrients from fruit, consume them in their raw state as many nutrients are destroyed during the cooking process.
Now that I’m on a quest to eat healthier, I still enjoy sweet treats but without all the refined sugar, trans-fats and other additives found in most store-bought desserts. I also wanted to create something that was gluten free. This Apple and Blackberry Crumble recipe is a great alternative, combining the smooth texture of soft fruit with the crunch of the crumble topping. Millet flakes and amaranth flakes (found at health food shops) are free from gluten, and are great when combined with almond meal for the crumble topping. Millet is a good source of manganese, whilst amaranth is a good source of phosphorus (assists in the growth of healthy hair, teeth and bones). Almond meal is a great source of protein, calcium, and healthy fats.
Apple & Blackberry Crumble Recipe.
Serves approx 6 people.
(Vegan, gluten-free, dairy free, sugar free, soy free)
Use a sweet variety of apple for this recipe. Many of the red variety of apples provide that extra natural sweetness compared with some of the green apples which can be quite tart. Once the apple and blackberry mixture is cooked, if you find that there’s not enough sweetness, then add maple syrup to suit your taste.
This Apple and Blackberry Crumble is delicious eaten on its own, or served with coconut yoghurt.
1 cup millet flakes
1 cup almond meal
½ cup amaranth flakes
⅓ cup pure maple syrup
6 tbsp coconut oil
3 tsp ground cinnamon
7 sweet apples (see my notes in the introduction)
1 ½ cups blackberries (frozen is fine)
¾ cup filtered water
1 tsp ground cinnamon
For the crumble, melt the coconut oil in a large saucepan along with the maple syrup and cinnamon. Remove from heat and stir in the millet flakes, almond meal, and amaranth flakes. Mix until well combined and set aside.
For the fruit mixture, peel the apples and cut into large pieces, discarding the core. Place into a large saucepan. Add the blackberries, filtered water and ground cinnamon, and cook on a medium heat for approx 20 minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C.
Carefully add the fruit mixture to a baking dish and smooth it out to an even layer. Spoon the crumble layer over the fruit layer and place in the oven. Cook for approx 25 – 30 minutes or until topping has browned.
Tastes delicious on its own, or serve with coconut yoghurt.