NEW RECIPE and review! Healthy Fruit Crisp

Fruit crisp Gwyneth

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I’m cooking my way through Gwyneth Paltrow’s latest book It’s All Good. It’s full of super healthy recipes that look amazing.  I’m approaching my project as a busy mom on a budget who loves to cook.  I sort of feel like Gwyneth doesn’t understand the “on a budget” part of life, so my goal is to determine how approachable her recipes truly are.

Two days ago, I had my next Gwyneth Paltrow recipe lined up to test. It’s her “Flourless Anything Crumble” which consists of 4 cups of any type of fruit, some maple syrup, olive oil, lemon juice, and cinnamon (all things that are affordable and easy to procure). It also called for almond meal and quinoa flakes for the topping rather than the standard oats and flour. I set off for the grocery store and that’s when the wheels came off of this plan. The almond meal flour was $12.00 and the quinoa flakes were $10. There was a time when I would have guiltily spent $22 on ingredients that would have languished in my cupboard long after using them *one time*. Today, however, I decided that Gwyneth Paltrow could take a seat. I decided to still make the crumble because it sounds good and I had the other ingredients. However, I amended the recipe to use oats and flour because a $22 homemade fruit crumble does not figure into my plans or budget. I can imagine the typical household in this country probably feels the same way.

I thought the resulting recipe with my changes was quite good, although much less sweet than a typical crumble.  I used a mixture of frozen peaches and blueberries.  I would highly recommend setting your expectations a little bit low for this and approach it as you would when you eat a piece of fresh fruit with maybe a little added *extra*.  It was indeed quite healthy, tasted yummy, and I even had it the next morning for breakfast.  My 10 year old ate her whole serving with gusto and my husband had two servings and then asked if I could make it sweeter next time.  This isn’t necessarily a dish you would make as a dessert for a special occasion, but perhaps a healthy dessert alternative for a weeknight.

Here’s the recipe, adapted from the original featured in It’s All Good.

Fruit Crumble

Ingredients:

4 cups fruit of your choice (apples, peaches, berries, etc)

4 tablespoons real maple syrup (or more to taste)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 cup white whole wheat flour or gluten free flour of your choice

1 cup oats (old fashioned or rolled)

pinch of salt (I use sea salt)

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons butter (or dairy free butter like Earth Balance), cut up into small pieces

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Toss the fruit with 2 tablespoons (or more to taste) of the maple syrup and lemon juice.  Spread out into an 8×8 baking dish.  Mix the flour, salt, cinnamon and oats in a large bowl.  Stir in remaining maple syrup and the 2 Tablespoons of olive oil.  Spread the topping on top of the fruit.  Scatter the butter pieces on the top.  Bake until the topping is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling, about 30 minutes. Serve with homemade whipped cream or ice cream for an extra treat.  Or, heat up leftovers in the morning and eat for breakfast with yogurt.

Weekend Cocktails–the Blueberry Balsamic Liqueur is ready! 


I pulled out the Blueberry Balsamic Liqueur that’s been brewing/marinating/getting delicious in my cabinet for the last week. The directions said it should smell strongly of blueberries. And it did. So, I strained it through a mesh sieve and promptly tasted a bit. It was heavenly. I patiently waited until evening to settle in with a proper cocktail. A bit of the liqueur and some tonic with a few fresh blueberries thrown in for health reasons (antioxidants).

The verdict is that it’s totally fresh and delicious and would taste amazing in mojitos, lemonade, or with simple club soda and muddled oranges. Click the link above for the recipe!

HAPPY FRIDAY!

Weekend Cocktails –Blueberry Balsamic Liqueur 

blueberry_smash_646

Last year for my birthday my good friend Angie gave me a cocktail “cookbook” called Homemade Liqueurs and Infused Spirits. She knows me so well. I love a good cocktail. You know, antioxidants and resveratrol and all.  I had a lot of free time today with my 10 year old being in camp and so I decided to try my hand at the Blueberry Balsamic Liqueur.  What I love about making my own is that I know exactly what’s going in there.  Did you know that liquors aren’t required to have labels with their ingredients or any nutritional information?  They can put whatever they want in there and you wouldn’t know.  So, sometimes it’s nice to make your own.  I have more blueberries than I can handle right now (see my previous post about my kiddo going on a produce strike) so the Blueberry Liqueur seemed like a great choice.  The following recipe is inspired from the original in the book.  You take the blueberries, muddle them with the simple syrup, and then add in the vodka, wine and balsamic.  Put the lid on it, store it in a cool dark cabinet for a week, and when you take it back out, strain the mixture with a mesh strainer into a clean container. Seal it up, store in a cool dark cabinet, and use within 1 year (if it lasts that long).
Ingredients:

  • 2 pints fresh blueberries OR 1.5 lbs. frozen blueberries, thawed
  •  2 cups simple syrup (2 cups sugar stirred together with 2 cups water in a sauce pan over medium high heat, brought to a boil and then let to cool)
  • 2 1/4 cups vodka (I absolutely love Prairie Organic Vodka made right here in Minnesota)
  • 1 cup fruity red wine like Merlot or Cabernet
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

CHEERS!