For those who are familiar with my blog, I have been experimenting with different ways of eating with the hope of feeling more healthy and energetic, whilst healing ailing digestive symptoms and unbalanced blood sugar levels. All summer I have been reading lots about the raw food and vegan movements and have become convinced of the health benefits of both (I will publish my findings in due course, hopefully). So, I have been trying to incorporate their ways of eating into my diet for the last two months, but not on a strict basis. However, over the last month I have taken on a strictly vegan diet, inspired by the many stories of wellness and wellbeing I have read. This is my fourth week into it, and I have never felt so great. I have also cut out caffeine, and am limiting my intake of sugary, processed, and artificially flavoured food. It may sound pretty daunting and even foolish since I already have to cut out gluten from my diet. But this is not the case, all that is demanded of these additions (or subtractions) from my diet is a bit of creativity, research, planning and open-mindedness. And honestly, it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice when finally feeling well is the result. I have been hesitant to publish this official shift on my blog, although I have alluded to it on a number of occasions, as I am yet to see how this way of eating will work out when I have returned to university, shift work and a more busy schedule. But any difficulties and slip-ups I may experience I will share with you here.
Onto the best bit, food! On Friday night we were going over some close friends of ours for dinner. Having informed the chef of my additional dairy free dietary requirements, she was uncertain as to what to make for dessert so I said I’d take care of. In the past, my last minute, pull out of the bag pudding has been Apple Crumble. However, the version I have made has dairy in it. Hence it was time to veganise it, with a few extra modifications. I know I just said that I am limiting my sugar intake, but a girl deserves a treat every now and again! The end result was great (but the husband did say the crumble component was more crumbly and dry than usual; no pleasing some people!). Here’s the recipe:
Tom’s Favourite Apple Crumble (serves 6)
1lb bramley cooking apples (or a mix of bramley and any eating apples), peeled and chopped into chunks
2tbsp demerara sugar
2tsp vanilla essence
Juice of half a lemon
50g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
6oz gluten-free flour (I used Dove’s Farm Rice Flour)
2oz ground almonds
3oz golden caster sugar
4oz dairy-free spread (I used Pure Sunflower Spread)
1tsp baking powder
Preheat the oven to 170C (fan).
Place all the filling ingredients in a shallow overproof bowl and stir to combine.
Place all the crumble ingredients into a bowl. Mix and rub between fingers until the crumble resembles fine breadcrumbs. Put in the middle of the oven for approx 30 minutes or until the crumble is golden brown. Serve straight from the oven, or leave to cool and store covered in the fridge until needed, and where it will keep for a few days. But be sure to reheat the crumble before serving with dairy-free ice cream or, my favourite, alpro soya chocolate or vanilla desserts. Delicious.