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Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand - Mother Teresa

VEGAN STRAWBERRY CRUMBLE

Strawberries usually flood the market early spring in Australia, meaning the Queensland and Western Australian strawberry growers have overproduced again with little profit to gain. Even though as a consumer I profit from this unforeseen blunder due to weather, my heart is with the farmer as they deserve to gain from their hard work.

When I think crumble, I think of apples, pears and summer berries with oat and coconut crumble topping. But I wanted to make a crumble in spring. A crumble that took little time to prep and cook, a perfect dish for a weekend brunch, or a dessert for when friends visit and don’t mind chatting in the kitchen between courses. So with an abundance of cheap strawberries in the markets and a packet of dried figs in the cupboard, I threw caution to the wind and added chopped ginger, thinking it would be a perfect flavour compliment to give a warm spicy flavour. I also thought, why not add a puffed grain instead of oats and use a few favourite nuts for crunch. I don’t think it matters which puffed grain you choose: amaranth, millet or brown rice are acceptable, yet realise the puffed grains differ in size with amaranth being the smallest. I selected to use pistachios as their bright green colour contrasted beautifully with the red strawberries; yes, it’s a visual reason, so it matters little if you prefer almonds. Since the strawberries are cooked over a high heat before they’re baked in the oven with the crumble, the strawberries can be fresh or frozen, making this crumble versatile and not seasonally restricted to spring. I used both a copper and iron frying pans to bake the crumble in and both worked a treat.

 

Health benefits:

·       Strawberries rank amongst the top 10 fruits and vegetables in antioxidants.

·       Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamins C and K and provide a good dose of fibre, folic acid, manganese and potassium. 

STRAWBERRY CRUMBLE

V, SF, GF, DF

Serves 6-8

 

For the crumble:

5 soft dried figs, roughly chopped

3 teaspoons fresh grated ginger

¼ cup pistachios or almonds

½ cup puffed buckwheat

½ cup flaked coconut

2 tablespoons maple syrup

 

For the filling:

5 cups strawberries

1 vanilla bean, deseeded

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ cup rice malt syrup

¼ cup chia seeds

 Preheat the oven to 180’C (350’F/ Gas Mark 4). Place the crumble ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside. Place the strawberries, vanilla bean seeds, cinnamon and rice malt syrup in a saucepan over high heat and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add chia seeds, stirring to combine and let sit for a few minutes for the chia seeds to start to jell. Spoon mixture into a tart pan and top with crumble. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the crumble is golden brown. Serve warm with coconut yogurt and fresh strawberries.

Enjoy!