No-fumble Apple Crumble

Apple Crumble with Vegan Ice Cream
Apple Crumble with Vegan Ice Cream, via Eat the Vegan Rainbow
Mmmmm, apple crumble! Need I say more? This sort of pie, sort of pudding, sort of fruit bowl has been my go to dessert for some time now for couple of simple reasons. First of all, it does not require much careful measuring and weighing as dough and batter based desserts do if the cake or cookies are to come out just right. Second, it comes together very quickly and uses ingredients that I have on hand almost all the time. So, in the words of the American football jargon from the title of this post, it is practically impossible to fumble this recipe. But just to make it even more error-proof I simplified the recipe further.

Apple crumble goes under another name that you may be familiar with and that’s apple crisp, because the characteristic topping this dessert has is crispy and crumbly at the same time. The classic recipe starts with tart apples, like Granny Smith, and then uses lots and lots of sugar to sweeten things up, some flour to bind things together, and lots and lots of butter to get the topping, made of nuts and oats, crunchy. So basically you star from delicious fruit said to keep the doctor away, and add reasons that will in the long run likely lead you to pay your doctor a visit.

Apple Crumble Apples
Apple Crumble Starts with Apples, via Eat the Vegan Rainbow
In my recipe I removed the flour to make it gluten-free (I used corn starch instead) and removed the need for butter by adding some walnuts and almonds to my topping. Walnuts excel in the amount of polyunsaturated fat they have and are a great substitute for butter here, and almonds add more monounsaturated fat and some extra fiber. Needless to say, both walnuts and almonds taste more interesting than butter so the crumble/crisp flavor will blow you away!

When it comes to keeping things sweet without adding sugar, I decided to use raisins as natural sweeteners and to get them to their juicy magnificence I soaked them in hot water for 30 minutes, then drained, before use.

Apples, Raisins and Cinnamon
Apples, Raisins and Cinnamon on Their Way to Apple Crumble, via Eat the Vegan Rainbow
One last note is that I used some lime juice and lime zest and at the end I think that this small amount of very aromatic citrus made a huge difference. The crumble was delicious and had a wonderful aroma, so much so that we ate the whole crumble in one sitting. So much for portion control!

Apple Crumble

What you’ll need:

4 large tart apples (Granny Smith or other)

1 cup raisins

1/2 cup walnuts, raw

1/2 cup almond, raw

1/2 cup oats

2 tablespoons corn starch

1 lime, juice and zest

1 tablespoon cinnamon, ground

Cooking spray

What you’ll do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C)
  2. Soak the raisins in 2 cups of warm water for 30 minutes.
  3. Cut the apples into slices and place in a large bowl. Squeeze the lime juice over the apple slices as you go and mix the juice in to keep your apples from oxidizing (turning brown) while you work.
  4. Drain the raisins and pat them dry. Add them to the sliced apples. Add lime zest, corn starch and cinnamon. Stir well to coat and combine.
  5. Spray the bottom and the sides of a square 8 x 8 in (20 x 20 cm) baking dish with cooking spray. Add the apple mix and spread around. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes.
  6. While the apple mix is baking prepare the crumble. In a food processors chop roughly the walnuts, almond and oats. You don’t want to make a fine meal, rather pulse the food processor and stop at a point where some of it is very fine but there are still plenty of chunky pieces left.
  7. Remove the foil from the baking apple mix and sprinkle the crumble on top. Don’t mix!
  8. Put the apple crumble back to the oven for another 15 minutes.
  9. Take it out of the oven and let it sit for 10 minutes to cool just slightly.Enjoy the Apple Crumble warm or cold!

Note on serving suggestions: I realize it is customary to serve warm apple crumble with cold vanilla ice cream, and that is swell! But give this crumble a try on its own – it is fantastic!

Note on peeling apples: I prefer not to peel my apples as peeling takes time and the peel adds a nice texture to the crumble. But if you like the crumble to be smoother then do peel them.

Note on the featured image: The featured image on the home page includes two small scoops of green ice cream. This is homemade coconut milk ice cream that owes its green color to food coloring – sorry for not coming up with something more natural… yet!

Copyright © Eat the Vegan Rainbow, 2017

Gluten-free Vegan Carrot Cake Muffins

GlutenfreeCarrotCakeMuffins_DONE
Gluten-free Vegan Carrot Cake Muffins, via Eat the Vegan Rainbow
Baking does not come easy to me and gluten-free vegan baking is even more difficult. But, creating a recipe for carrot cake muffins that fits into my philosophy of vegan cooking with minimal amount of added sugar was hard to resist. This recipe is simple and uses simple ingredients like carrots, apples, walnuts, and raisins. It also uses couple of ingredients that make this gluten-free and vegan, like flex meal, rice flour, and tapioca starch.

The result is a recipe that is fun to make, and works well as a family activity that can teach very young children about measurements and mixing, as well as using some basic kitchen equipment. Because the recipe uses ingredients that don’t require cooking to be edible (like carrots, apples, raisins) and don’t pose any health risk, unlike common muffin recipes that use eggs, the recipe is very worry-free when it comes to licking the bowl and spatula, putting messy hands in the mouth, or other types of ad hoc tasting that young chefs gravitate to.

One tip for making this into a smooth sailing assembly line is to use the food processor to do most of the work, and start by chopping carrots, followed by apple, then move to walnuts. Additionally, starting the flex meal vegan egg mix prior to all the chopping is a good idea as well. Finally, the mix will be sticky so do spray your muffin tin liners with some cooking spray. It will help peel the wraps off, and has minimal impact on fat content or the baking process.

This recipe makes 12 large muffins, and each muffin is very filling so you may want to start here and scale up if you find the muffins irresistible (which you will!). Do these muffins need frosting? I don’t think so, but if you’d like some then a frosting with a hint of orange zest would work really well and build on a bit of orange juice that I use in the batter.

Gluten-free Vegan Carrot Cake Muffins

What you’ll need (makes 12 muffins):

3 large carrots

1 Granny Smith apple

2/3 cup walnuts

2/3 cup raisins

2/3 cup shredded coconut flakes, unsweetened

2 teaspoons cinnamon, ground

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, ground

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 cup rice flour

1/2 cup tapioca starch

2 tablespoons flex meal

6 tablespoons warm water

Cooking spray

What you’ll do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C).
  2. Mix flax meal with warm water and set aside for 15 minutes.
  3. Wash and peel the carrots. Using a food processor grind the carrots to a fine grind. Put the ground carrots in a large mixing bowl. Core (but don’t peel) the apple. Grind it to a fine grind and add to the carrots. Next, grind walnuts to a fine meal. Add to carrots and apple mix.
  4. Add the flex meal that has by now become a very gooey and viscous to the carrot-apple-walnut mix. Continue to add the rest of the ingredients except the orange juice. Mix well and check for consistency. The mix should be soft and wet, but not so fluid that it runs from the spoon. Use orange juice to adjust and go easy as you may discover that you need to use more or less than 1/2 cup I list here. The total amount will depend a bit on how large and juicy your apple is!
  5. Leave the mix to rest for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Line the bottom of your muffin tin with liners and spray with cooking spray. Fill them with 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of the mix.
  7. Bake for 45-50 minutes then check for doneness using a toothpick. If the inserted toothpick comes out dry, you are done. If not, proceed for another 10-15 minutes.
  8. Take out of the oven and let rest for at least 30 minutes. If you plan to frost them let them cool completely before taking the next step. For a good vegan frosting recipe you can try one that uses coconut oil and add some orange zest for add kick!

Copyright © Eat the Vegan Rainbow, 2017