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Easy, Nourishing Apple Crumble with an Almond and Coconut Crumb

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” was a statement you got told blindly as a child, forcing you to eat an apple through the fear of having to go to the doctor. Well, maybe it was told blindly, but there actually is so much truth behind the catchy phrase.

Although apples contain a relatively high amount of sugar,

Apples contain pectin, a natural fibre found in the skin and pulp, which is beneficial for gut health and has cholesterol-lowering effects. They also have a low glycaemic index, due to their high fibre content, which means this fruit is ideal for weight loss, or diabetic patients, as the sugar found in the fruit does not spike your blood sugar soon after eating it.

Apples contain bioactive ingredients that act as master gene regulators, ‘turning ON’ genes that are involved in longevity and decreasing oxidation and ‘turning OFF’ genes that would otherwise promote inflammation.

Quercetin, one of the main bioactives found in apples, has potent antioxidant and anti-proliferative effects as shown in a reduction in proliferation of liver cancer cells in a Cornell study, and in a 40-50% reduction in lung cancer in participants who took in a higher amount of apples in comparison to those who took in the lowest amount in a Hawaii Study.

Apples also contain a great bioactive compound called triterpenoid, particularly ursolic acid. This nifty bioactive has also been shown to have antioxidant, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and cardio-protective properties in humans. It has also been shown to increase skeletal muscle in studies done on rats, as well as decrease diet-induced obesity. Here’s hoping for the same results in human studies. Ursolic Acid is found mainly in the skin of the apple, so eating it raw or baking it whole apple is beneficial for this.

Although apples contain a relatively high amount of sugar, with one medium containing 18g of sugar, they are still considered to be a low glycaemic index fruit because of their high fibre content. This means that the sugar from the apples takes a long time to be digested and absorbed into the blood stream, causing a slower and lower rise in your blood glucose, avoiding both a blood glucose and insulin spike. This makes apples a better fruit option if you are watching your weight, monitoring your sugar levels or need sustained energy.

With all these health benefits, you are sure to get extra enjoyment out of this humble, warm, fragrant winter dessert – apple crumble.

Ingredients (serves 4-6)

 Cooked apples 

4 fuji apples
4 granny smith apples
1 ½ teaspoons Cinnamon
4 all spice berries balls
6 cloves
1 star anise
¼ cup of roughly chopped walnuts
¾ cup of water
¼ cup fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon orange rind
½ teaspoon vanilla extract (or 1/8 teaspoon vanilla powder extract)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
½ cup raisins


½ teaspoon coconut oil
½ teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon of juice from apple mixture
1 cup (or 100g) ground almond
¼ cup desiccated coconut
¼ cup flaked almonds


Cooked apples 

1 Cut and peel the apples into bite-sized pieces, discarding the core.  Set the apples aside in a medium size pot.
2 Add the water, orange juice, lemon juice, orange rind, honey, raisins, cinnamon and walnuts to the pot.
3 It is recommended to use a spice bag or empty tea bag to insert your hard dry spices such as your start anise, all spice berry balls and cloves, preventing you from fishing them out of the apple mixture at a later stage.
4 Place the pot with all your aromatic ingredients, on a medium heat, allowing it to simmer away for about 6-7 minutes with the lid on.
5 Once the apples are softening up, uncover the pot for about 4 minutes, allowing some of the liquid to reduce, but not all of it as you still want a juicy crumble.
6 Once the apples have absorbed the spice-full juice, remove the pot off the heat; take out your bag of dry spices and discard them.

The crumble 

1 Once the apples have stewed away for a few minutes, take a small pot; place it on a medium heat add the coconut oil, honey and a tablespoon of juice from your apple mixture.
2 Once the ingredients have melted together take the mixture off the heat and add the ground almonds and desiccated coconut, mixing it together to form a crumble consistency.

The assembly

1 In an oven proof dish, fit for an apple crumble, pour your apple filling, spreading it evenly to both sides allowing the juice to seep in between the apple cracks.
2 Spread your crumble mixture, using your hands, evenly over the top of the apple filling.
3 Layer the flaked almonds on top of the crumble, so that you have a good combination of crumble and crunchy almond flakes.
4 Place your crumble into the oven on 180 °c for 20 minutes and then a further 10 minutes to warm it up just before it’s ready to be enjoyed

*Tip It is so much yummier to serve this warm apple crumble with a coconut cream, or a homemade custard – I opted for a good old fashion, Zero box custard and it did the trick (sometimes it’s just more convenient to buy ready-made )


Nourish yourself to the sunrise.

Cooked with love,
Sunrise by HM

Nourished yet? Comment on what I should write about next?

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