Apple crumble is usually served during festive occasions, but its origin is far from cheerful, as the dish became popular in the U.K. during World War I when people made the most out of the strict rationing of various foods.
Flour, butter and sugar were substituted for pastry and mixed with different fruits such as apples, blackberries and/or rhubarb, paving the way for the crumble that people love today.1
This Health-Boosting Apple Crumble Recipe adds a healthy twist to this well-known dessert. Healthy spices and the mild sweetness of coconut oil create a flavorful fruity feast. Whether you have a spoonful or two of this apple crumble, you can be sure that there won’t be any drastic consequences to your health.
Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 50 minutes
For the filling
- 4 organic green apples, thinly sliced
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tsp. of ground cinnamon
- 1 pinch of nutmeg
For the topping
- 1 1/2 cups almond meal or Dr. Mercola’s coconut flour
- 1/4 cup grass-fed butter or Dr. Mercola’s organic coconut oil, softened
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- Pinch of Dr. Mercola’s Himalayan salt
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 1 Tbsp. of grass-fed butter or coconut oil, to grease the pan
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine the filling ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
- In a separate bowl, mix the ingredients for the topping until completely incorporated, and set aside.
- Grease the bottom and sides of a 9x9-inch baking dish.
- Place the apples in the dish and cover evenly with the topping.
- Cover and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove cover and bake for an additional 25 minutes. The dish is done when the apples are soft and the topping browns.
This Health-Boosting Apple Crumble Recipe Is a Delight for Everyone
Unlike apple pie, apple crumble requires less technical skill since there are no pie crusts or lattice details to think about. The dish is quite easy to make, and even your kids can help prepare this dessert, provided that parental guidance is present, of course. Moreover, apple crumble is versatile, since it can be used as a topping for grass-fed yogurt or parfaits, or eaten on its own as a dessert or healthy snack.
Apples Are Packed With Antioxidants That Are Great for Your Health
With the variety of colors, textures and flavors apples have to offer, it’s not a surprise that these fruits are the second most popular fruit in the U.S.2 Apart from being delicious, crunchy and juicy, the health benefits that you can get from eating apples are timeless.
Apples are rich in vitamins, particularly vitamin A, which serves as a powerful antioxidant that assists in fighting infections and scavenging inflammatory free radicals. However, most of the fruit’s antioxidant content is found in the peel, so make sure to leave it on when eating apples or using it in your recipes.
Meanwhile, vitamin C in apples enhances immune system function and slows down aging, and B vitamins thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2) and pyridoxine (B6) work in tandem to release powerful enzymes that boost metabolism and other important bodily functions.
On the other hand, nutrients like iron, copper, zinc, phosphorus, calcium and potassium were shown to contribute to apples’ abilities in controlling heart rate and blood pressure levels, while fiber was linked to helping prevent LDL or bad cholesterol absorption. Lastly, studies have shown apples’ potential in decreasing risk for conditions such as:3,4,5,6
- Neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
Unfortunately, most commercially sold apples are contaminated with harmful pesticides. In fact, the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) 2016 Dirty Dozen list ranked apples as the second most pesticide-contaminated fruit. In order to reap the health benefits of these fruits, make sure you purchase organic and GMO-free apples.
If you only have access to conventionally grown apples, briefly soak them first in a solution of 10 percent vinegar and 90 percent water to help eliminate some of the pesticides and bacteria. Furthermore, apples are high in fructose, with a medium-sized apple containing a whopping 9.5 grams. Eating too many apples can lead your body’s fructose levels into overdrive, so always eat apples in moderation.
Why You Should Be a Fan of Coconut Flour
Coconut oil’s benefits have been emphasized time and time again, but it seems coconut flour will soon follow suit. This type of flour is made from fresh coconut meat after it’s pressed to create coconut milk and once most of the oil is extracted. This dried meat is then grated, with the finished product having a fine and powder-like texture.
Coconut flour can be used as a substitute to wheat- and grain-based flours in recipes, and delivers a mild and sweet coconut flavor and rich texture. I recommend using coconut flour for flour-based dishes since there is added nutrition you can get from it.
With 48 percent dietary fiber, coconut flour contains the highest percentage of dietary fiber out of the various flours available today. As such, it is very ideal for those suffering from insulin resistance or diabetes, since it won’t trigger spikes in blood sugar. Plus, coconut flour is also a good source of both protein and healthy fats, and is very low in carbohydrates (even lower than some vegetables).
When adding coconut flour into recipes, remember this general rule: You can replace up to 20 percent of the flour in the recipe with coconut flour, alongside an equal amount of liquid, without sacrificing the flavor or texture of the finished product.
If you’re completely substituting with coconut flour, keep in mind that you’ll need less coconut flour than grain-based flour. For example, if a recipe calls for a cup of grain-based flour, use one-quarter to one-third of coconut flour instead.
Mixing an organic, pastured egg per ounce of coconut flour is advisable too, since this takes the place of gluten and helps bind the mixture well. Raw honey, hemp powder, chia seeds or ground flax seeds (1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds in 3 tablespoons of water can be substituted for an egg) could also be used in case you don’t have eggs at home.
The high-fiber content causes the coconut flour to act like a sponge, and if you substitute the required flour in a recipe with 100 percent coconut flour, this can change the outcome of your dish.
Count on Cinnamon for a Flavor and Health Boost
What makes this apple crumble extra delicious is the blend of spices that enhances the fruit’s flavor, like cinnamon. This warm-hued spice is sold either in stick or powder form, and is popular because of its distinct fragrance and flavor. However, most people are unaware that this well-loved spice also yields positive effects on the body.
Minerals such as calcium, fiber and manganese are present in cinnamon, and this spice offers antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, antiviral, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that all potentially play a role in:
|Boosting antioxidant defenses
||Enhancing cognitive function
|Refining brain health
||Assisting with weight loss
|Helping treat sore throat and/or coughs
||Preventing conditions like heart disease7 and colon and liver cancers8,9
|Relieving ADHD symptoms10,11
||Helping diabetes patients by lowering blood sugar levels, improving insulin sensitivity and slowing down the stomach’s emptying time to decrease sharp blood sugar rises after a meal
Sources and References
Tags: Baked, Fruits and Vegetables, Gluten-Free