Tag Archive for 'oats'

Apple Crumble

Over a decade ago, my English mother-in-law shared her basic and delicious apple crumble recipe with me. It is one of my favorite desserts of all times and I have made it countless times over the years. Mostly with apples, sometimes rhubarb or berries. I tweaked the recipe in various directions, my favorite change being the addition of almonds and extra oats, but mostly I tried to figure out how to get that crumb texture just right every time. I also ventured into the world of vegan, gluten and sugar free crumbles, which were still good, but perhaps a little too wholesome. There is no doubt that butter is a crucial ingredient in crumble and without it, it’s just not the same. A little goes a long way however, so don’t worry.

The best part of making crumble is how quick it’s done and how satisfying it is in the end. I have to admit, I much prefer making a crumble than let’s say apple pie. Pie crusts are not my friend, they take too long and are not fool proof. This crumble recipe on the other hand is so easy, you can give it to your kids and put them in charge. No worries.

My favorite apples to use here are Fuji apples. They taste great, keep their shape and still soften nicely. If you can’t get Fujis, ask your greengrocer for a good baking apple. Sometimes I add some cranberries, to make it a bit more interesting. As you can see not everyone in my family agrees with me…

Sorry, this recipe requires a scale, but this is how I inherited it from my mother-in-law. Go out and buy one as even in the U.S., metric recipes are becoming much more popular. You can’t beat the accuracy.



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Lunch Box Cereal Bars

And here is yet another lunch box recipe. These cereal or granola bars are full of fiber, vitamin A, and complex carbohydrates, helping your children to stay focused and energized, without the sugar highs and subsequent lows of so many commercial snack foods out there. Despite them being loaded with dried apricots, even Freddie, my fruit phobic middle child, loves them, which says a lot. They are super easy and quick to make, and keep for at least a week when stored in an air tight container. Once they’re out of the oven, let them cool completely in the pan before cutting, otherwise they’ll turn into crumbly granola instead.

Brown rice syrup, which is available in health food stores and well-stocked supermarkets, has a mellow sweetness and does a fantastic job keeping all ingredients sticking together. It’s much stickier than maple syrup on it’s own, so best not to skimp on it.

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Mix and Match Granola


Who doesn’t love a nutty, crunchy granola with a faint taste of maple syrup. Well, I do and I always eat more of it than I should. That’s one reason I get plenty of practise making it. It’s delicious and makes a wonderful gift in a decorative glass jar or colorful tin. Considering what you pay for organic, maple syrup sweetened granola these days, it’s so worth it making your own. It’s also easy and quick (except for the baking time) and you can twist the recipe whichever way you fancy.


4 cups rolled oats (not quick cooking)

1 cup almonds, chopped

1 cup walnuts, chopped

1 cup hazelnuts, chopped

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup sesame seeds

1/4 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

2 tablespoons walnut oil

3 tablespoons maple syrup or more to taste

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 250 F (120 C).

Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Stir together oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract and warm slightly in pan. Poor over dry ingredients and mix well to combine. Spread on paper lined baking tray and bake for 1.5 hours, stirring granola and rotating baking tray half way through. Remove tray from oven and let cool completely. Mix in dried fruit, chia seeds or anything else you fancy and store in airtight container for up to one month. It keeps best in the fridge or freezer.

Oh-So-Good Oatmeal Cookies


Makes 2 dozen


4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, softened
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup evaporated cane juice sugar, maple or agave syrup
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup wheat germ, preferably toasted
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup seedless raisins, chocolate or carob chips
1/2 cup toasted pecans, finely chopped


Preheat oven to 375°F (190 C). Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together butter and oil until completely blended. Whisk in maple syrup, egg, vanilla and salt; set aside. In a second large bowl, combine oats, wheat germ, flour and baking powder, then add to butter mixture and stir well to combine thoroughly. Fold in raisins and pecans.

Drop dough by the spoonful onto prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart, and bake until cooked through and golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Carefully transfer to wire racks and set aside to let cool completely.