Traditional deserts are usually made with unhealthy ingredients containing lots of fat (usually in the form of dairy or margarine – which is even worse as it’s hydrogenated) and refined white sugar which is not only bad for our bodies but also accelerates ageing and can be the root cause to some common skin problems. But if you have a sweet tooth you don’t have to go without the sweet treats in life because you can make all of these unhealthy favourites into healthy nutritious deserts that are actually good for you!
For the filling:
6 or 7 sweet apples such as golden delicious (I prefer to use naturally sweet apples instead of cooking apples as they are too tart and so need more sugar)
1/2 cup / 125 mls of water
4 tablespoons of coconut sugar (or natural sugar of your choice)
1 tablespoon of maple syrup
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
6 drops of medicine flower vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon of regular extract
If you have medicine flower extracts then a few drops of the red apple extract adds some extra apple aroma and flavour!
Chop the apples into small pieces and place into a large pot with the water and sugar, cook till the apples have softened (5-10 mins). Leave to cool down a little (make the topping while the apples cool).
Scoop out half of the apple mixture and most of the water and place into a blender jug with the cinnamon, vanilla and maple syrup (and apple extract if using), blend the mixture for a few seconds to create an apple sauce. Pour back into the pan and mix with the apple pieces.
For the topping:
3/4 cup / 75g of pecans
3/4 cup / 75g 0f almonds
1 cup / 95g of whole oats
1/3 cup / 4 tablespoons unsweetened desiccated coconut
3 tablespoons sunflower seeds
1/2 cup / 125 ml of water
6 drops / 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of maple syrup
Blitz the pecan and walnuts down to small chunks in a food processor, add the oats, coconut and sunflower seeds then pulse around 4 times. Mix together the maple syrup and vanilla to the water in a cup then pour over the nut and oat mixture. Do another 2 or 3 pulses to gently mix, I like the mixture chunky so don’t over do the mixture if you want to keep some texture to the crumble.
Place the apple mixture into an oven proof dish then place the crumble topping on top. Bake on a low heat around 180 C for 15-20 mins. The topping should look nice and dry, be careful not to let it brown too much. Store any left overs in an airtight container in the fridge, it will keep well for the week.