Let me say right off the bat: this is one of my ‘go to’ recipes. I made this or a variation of it five or six times this summer. Probably because it’s too delicious, easy and quick—I can usually make it in 10-15 minutes (faster if you use frozen fruit) + 20 minutes cook time.
It fills a desire for sweets but relies on low glycemic fruit and coconut sugar to keep our blood sugar levels balanced.
My latest version used peaches but you can easily swap in any other fruit, fresh or frozen, that you may have on hand. I prefer fresh because certain frozen fruit like berries have a tendency to add more water to the mix — great if you like it really saucy — but in this case, I prefer a drier texture.
Since ripe peaches are in our area, let’s shine the spotlight on this deliciously sweet, yet low-calorie fruit. A few things you might not know about peaches:
- There are over 700 (!) varieties around the world;
- 90% of Ontario peaches are grown in the Niagara Fruit Belt;
- The expression “you’re a real peach!” comes from back in the day when you would give one to a friend you liked;
- Almonds and peaches are both in the same family so if you plant the trees together, you can end up with “bitter nuts”. I won’t even make a joke about that, as tempting as it is. Luckily peaches and almonds play nice together in this crumble!
A peach has roughly 40 to 65 calories (based on size) and scores fairly low/moderate on the glycemic index. Peaches also contain decent amounts of fibre, potassium, and vitamins C and A.
Vitamins A and C scavenge free radicals—by-products that regularly and naturally occur from lifestyle, environmental and dietary (of course!) factors, as well as bodily processes like metabolism—to help keep chronic disease at bay.
This is one of the reasons why it’s important to get a variety of fruits and vegetables because each colour family of fruits/vegetables contains different antioxidants that work to benefit specific areas of the body. In the recipe itself I mention that it’s preferable to use organic fruit for this dessert.
Here’s why: both apples and peaches appear on the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list.
What’s that? The “Dirty Dozen” are the 12 conventionally grown fruits and vegetables most likely to be contaminated with the most pesticide residues according to the EWG. These are apples, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes, hot peppers, imported nectarines, peaches, potatoes, spinach, strawberries, and sweet bell peppers.
You should always try to buy organically grown versions of the “Dirty Dozen” fruits/vegetables, if you’re able to, to reduce your pesticide exposure.
The list was recently amended to the “Dirty Dozen Plus” to include domestic summer squash (like zucchini) and leafy greens (specifically kale and collards). These were shown to include pesticides that are particularly toxic to the nervous system.
In contrast, the “Clean 15” are the 15 fruits and vegetables most likely to have lower levels of pesticide residues. These are asparagus, avocados, cabbage, cantaloupe, sweet corn, eggplant, grapefruit, kiwis, mangoes, mushrooms, onions, papayas, pineapples, frozen sweet peas, and sweet potatoes. Now on to the food!
Here’s how to make my favourite crumble:
Favourite Peachy Keen Coconut Crumble
*For the fruit base:*
- 2 cups of fresh or frozen peaches organic preferably*, chopped coarsely
- 1 apple organic preferably*, cored and chopped coarsely
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons of coconut sugar if your fruit is super sweet, you can likely eliminate the added sugar here
- ½ tsp . vanilla paste
*For the crumble:*
- ¼ cup almonds chopped coarsely
- 1/3 cup rolled oats regular, not instant!
- 2 tablespoons of coconut butter
- 2 tablespoons of shredded unsweetened coconut flakes
- ½ tsp . ground cinnamon or nutmeg
- * Organic is a better choice for both of these fruits. If you aren’t able to use organic fruit be sure to peel them so you aren’t ingesting the pesticides on the outside of the fruit.
Mix all fruit base ingredients together in a medium oven-safe dish (I do this to cut down on dishes – a nemesis when you like to cook as much and clean as little as me!)
In a small bowl, mix all crumble topping ingredients together.
Sprinkle crumble topping over the fruit base in an even layer.
Bake in the oven at 350°F for 20-25 minutes until the fruit is soft and the top is golden brown.
As I mentioned above, this crumble is versatile and you can easily swap in other fruit or fruits for the peaches.
For example, to make the Apple & Rhubarb Crumble shown above, simply replace the peaches with an equal amount of rhubarb. Yum!
What’s your favourite fruit or vegetable to eat during this harvest bounty time of year?
Life is a plate… Eat up!
Sources: Environmental Working Group