Hello wonderful folks!
I hope your week has been off to an awesome start! I’ve been trying to finish the manuscript I’m writing which is due by months end for presentation of my research findings in a scientific journal. While I’m looking forward to hopefully having my paper accepted and published, it certainly is a LOT of writing and I’ve had to put extra effort into staying focused.
Keeping on track with my fitness program and healthy eating has also been a little more challenging given the circumstances, but I’m almost there and looking forward to having this manuscript finished and submitted. As for the follow up post on my last piece in which I discussed my personal journey with depression, it’s a coming soon 🙂
The science behind depression is pretty complex and it’s a topic I feel deserves considerable attention. I’ll be doing my best to communicate the scientific information in such a way that makes it approachable and clear. I’m excited to have the opportunity to share such information about depression with you as I feel knowledge helps one to develop awareness and understanding, which fosters acceptance, and counters the stigma that tends to be associated with many forms of mental illness, including depression. So please stay tuned for that post.
Okay, lets talk about food! I don’t know about you, but when I’m under pressure and feeling a little stressed I tend to crave sweet treats. Unfortunately, as I’ve discussed before sugar does some pretty bad things to the body and mind (you can learn more on the specifics of this here), so finding a balance between satisfying my sweet cravings and keeping things healthy has been my focus.
While experimenting in the kitchen the other night, I happened to come up with a pretty darn tasty treat that also so happens to be reasonably healthy, and both gluten and diary free: Apple Pecan Maple Crumble!
This yummy treat is quick and simple to make, and reasonably healthy for a dessert. Real maple syrup replaces the traditional granulated sugar that most dessert recipes call for, or if you prefer honey can be used instead. It should be noted that maple syrup, while a healthier alternative to granulated processed sugar, still contains a considerable amount of sugar which is why it’s best consumed only in moderation. More information regarding the nutritional components of maple syrup can be found from this article published by Authority Nutrition.
So, how does one make this gloriously delicious dessert, you may be wondering? Well… let me tell you! As always, please try to use fresh, local, organic ingredients when possible. This recipe makes about two smaller portions, or one large one.
For the bottom…
- 1 large apple, peeled, cored, and chopped into small chunks
- 2 Tbsp dried dates, coarsely chopped (or raisins)
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp real maple syrup
For the topping…
- 3 Tbsp gluten free oats (or regular if you prefer)
- 1 Tbsp ground flax seed
- 1 Tbsp coconut flour
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 2 Tbsp real maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp pecans, chopped
- 1 Tbsp coconut, shredded and unsweetened (optional)
- Grease two small (or one medium sized) oven safe ramekins with coconut or olive oil.
- For the bottom layer, combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss gently to combine apples and dates with the spices and maple syrup. Pour mixture into greased baking dish.
- In another bowl mix oats, ground flax seed, coconut flour, and cinnamon together. Add in melted coconut oil, then maple syrup. Stir with a fork until mixture is thoroughly combined and forms a crumbly consistency. Stir in pecans.
- Top the bottom apple layer with the crumble mixture. Sprinkle with unsweetened, shredded coconut if you like.
- Bake uncovered in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown (note: time may vary due to differences in individual oven temperatures, so keep an eye on it and adjust timing accordingly). Allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
- Pause to think of one thing you’re grateful for, then smile and enjoy! 🙂
Well folks, I hope you enjoy this tasty treat as much as I do. This healthier alternative to traditional fruit crumble recipes is quick and easy to prepare, and aside from the extra sugar from the real maple syrup, it’s nutritious too! This is also a great one for anyone having digestive motility issues, such as constipation, as the ground flax seed and coconut flour are very high in fiber, which helps to move things along the GI tract and promotes gut health.
Wishing you all a wonderfully happy and healthy week!