Apple, Coconut and Hazelnut Crumble
Hello! It's been a hella long time since I wrote a blog post, or even really engaged with my social media. You might have been wondering where I've been. Well I've been in bed mostly, I hit a real low patch. Honestly mentally it was the worst I have felt in a long long while. I just suddenly didn't really know what i was doing with my life, what i enjoyed, where I was going and a break was very needed. I have finally got out of bed, and I'm actually feeling so much better. If you didn't know I was recently diagnosed with Borderline personality disorder, I haven't written about it too much on here yet because I'm still figuring it all out. BPD can lead to an unstable sense of self and I have definitely been feeling that over the last month. But this week I start some therapy, which I'm really excited about, for once I don't feel too nervous. I basically decided to look for therapy I could have online via skype, so my anxiety about keeping appointments, getting to them on time ect. is removed! And I'm really hopeful that for the first time seeking professional help will actually help. Also I decided to address some of the things that had been really bothering me in my life, I completely lost my routine after coming back from holiday and I really don't think that helped my mental health. I got a routine back, and I sorted my room out (with much help from Jamie). Getting a routine back was the first step, and a tough one. I sat down with jamie, and wrote a list of things I had to do every day. This included; getting up between 8 and 9, washing myself, keeping my room tidy, eating and getting to bed by 1am. These are the very basics, but even these are tough when you're struggling. We then made a list of things I wanted to achieve most weeks; exercise, yoga, painting, reading, cooking and spending time outside. Each day I try to accomplish everything on the first list, and at least one thing on the second list. If you too are struggling I would really suggest writing two lists like this, don't be scared to add things on the second list that scare you, (exercise freaks me out) and introduce it slowly in your own space and time. Honestly those two lists are the main reason I'm back here writing this and not still crying in bed (oh and jamie, as always!), I also realised that having a break is ok, initially I was beating myself up for being lazy and procrastinating, but once I started to use my time for self care I realised I was using it wisely. SO maybe I haven't been in bed as much as I thought I had.
All of this self care has left me feeling a lot healthier than when I was last writing a blog post, and I was basically just a quivering sack of flesh and bones.
This weekend I went to the Forward Ladies national award's ceremony in Manchester. my friend Sonia, who I met as she hired me a few months back to write some recipes for her company Q-Bag (which will be coming soon!), was nominated for an award celebrating her achievements as a woman in business. The event was so much fun, and super inspiring. It felt amazing getting to be there because of this blog, and getting the opportunity to network and promote the blog too. I left believing that I too could be a woman in business, and excited again to see where this blog can take me. I also left with a whole load of super cute dopey vegan stickers, that Sonia super kindly had printed for me, so if you fancy getting your hands on one of those drop me a message!
My plan from here on out is try to maintain the healthy routines I established while I was on a break, and ease myself back into blogging slowly but surely. Later this week a special guest post I wrote for someone else is being published, so keep your eyes peeled for that, if you feel like you need a bit more of me!
Last week I got back into the kitchen, it felt the right time to lay down my paint brush, get outta bed and back in the kitchen. I was inspired by a recent trip to my Grandma's where she gifted me and my mum with a whole bag of eating apples from her garden. There were a few varieties including Braeburns and Coxs, but she couldn't remember the names of them all. The apples in her garden were planted quite a few years ago by my Grandpa. I wanted to make something simple and uncomplicated that showed off the beauty of the homegrown fruit.
Crumble is a classic, and is the perfect chilly autumn evening pudding. The crumble topping is made with coconut and hazelnuts which I love for flavour and crunch. I used vegan butter to veganise it, and reduced the sugar from a traditional crumble by replacing the muscavdo sugar with maple syrup. This crumble topping is so good, Jamie ate it without the apples! (He's not a cooked fruit fan.) And you can totally swap the apples out for whatever fruit is local and seasonal to you. But I mean there's nothing better than classic apples, and in the UK they are in season right now so if you're not lucky enough to have a grandma with apple trees in her garden, even your local supermarket will currently be selling British beauties! To serve I used alpro soya custard, but it would be great with vegan cream, ice cream or just on it's own. Currently wishing I had more, so I'm gonna get on with writing this, and then make another pot!
Makes two individual crumbles in 7.5cm diameter by 5 cm depth dishes
For the fruit
6 eating apples (such as Braeburn's, I used a variety of British eating apples)
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons Maple syrup
1 cinnamon stick
Pinch of ground cloves
For the crumble
1/2 cup coconut flour
60g vegan butter
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
1/4 cup oats
1/4 cup halved blanched hazelnuts
2 tablespoons maple syrup (or another fruit syrup, I like maple for the flavour)
1) Peel and core the apples. Then cut into small (say 2-3cm but you don't have to be too accurate)chunks. Place into a large saucepan with the water, maple syrup, cinnamon, and cloves.
2) Simmer on a low heat, for 5-10 minutes until soft but so the apples are still holding their shape.
3) Meanwhile place the coconut flour and butter in a large bowl. Rub the flour and butter together until it forms larger crumble pieces. Add the oats, coconut, hazelnuts and maple syrup and mix. Place into the fridge for at least 10 minutes.
4) place the apples into the two dishes equally. flatten the apples down so there are less large spaces between the fruit. Place the crumble mixture on top.
5) Cover the dishes with tin foil and place into the oven for 20 minutes at 200'c. After 20 minutes remove from the oven and take off the foil. Place back into the oven for another 10-15 minutes, until the crumble topping is nicely browned.