Grain-Free Apple Berry Crumble (and a great new book!)

January 30th, 2015 at 5:05 am
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Grain-Free Apple Berry Crumble from Living Candida-Free

Before we get to this super healthy crumble recipe, there’s a new book on the block that you need to know about: Living Candida-Free by Ricki Heller, co-authored with Andrea Nakayama.

Ricki is a registered holistic nutritionist, award-winning blogger, author, and educator who knows her stuff. She’s also been my blogging pal for a number of years. When her new book arrived in my mailbox last week, I stopped what I was doing and sat down right away to start reading it, because I knew it would be chock-full of good things.

Living Candida-Free is a loaded with 100 recipes and a 3-stage program designed to restore health and vitality by teaching readers how to combat candida overgrowth. This sugar-related condition is a tricky one to diagnose, as symptoms can take many forms. Having lived with the physical and emotional aspects of candida herself, Ricki writes from a place of personal experience and wisdom.

In Part I of the book, Ricki and Andrea explain exactly what candida is and what you can do about it. There’s so much I never knew about candida until I read this part of the book! After outlining the cornerstones of the anti-candida diet and fleshing out the plan with expert precision (seriously, these women are thorough!), Part II is where things get fun in the kitchen.

I know firsthand that eating a restricted diet for a particular health condition can feel depressingly limiting. Ricki’s low-sugar recipes are nowhere near lackluster. Flip through the 100 plant-rich, vegan recipes in Living Candida-Free and you’ll quickly be inspired to grab your apron and get busy. Regardless of whether you have candida or not, I’d recommend this book for anyone seeking to heal and nourish by following a low-sugar lifestyle.

Living Candida-Free by Ricki Heller

I read a lot of food blogs and health websites. A lot of books come across my desk. I even work for a food magazine. And yet I can honestly say that good, flavorful, dependable, low-sugar, healthy recipes made with natural ingredients are precious things that don’t come along every day. When they present themselves in a book like this, you’ve got to scoop them up.

While I’m not vegan, I love nutritious vegan food. I’m already eager to make Ricki’s “Sour Cream and Onion” Kale Chips, Mojito Smoothie, Grain-Free Sandwich Bread, and Crimson Mousse.

Today’s Grain-Free Apple Berry Crumble recipe comes straight from the pages of Living Candida-Free. Thanks to Ricki and her publisher for generously sharing the recipe with us!

If you’re trying to cut refined sugar out of your diet, overcome candida, or simply love low-sugar and nutrient-dense food like me, Living Candida-Free needs to be in your life.

Grain-Free Apple Berry Crumble

Yield: 4-6 servings

Good for: Stage 2 and beyond

This fresh, not-too-sweet dessert is a great way to enjoy fruit once you reintroduce it to your diet. Because the topping is grain-free, you won’t need to worry about consuming your coveted grain servings for dessert.



Coconut oil, for pan

2 small or 1 large sweet apple (I used Gala) or pear, cored and diced very small (about 1/2-inch [1.3 cm] cubes—feel free to leave the skin on)

1?1/2 cups (360 ml) mixed fresh or frozen berries (not including cranberries)—I use strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries; if cranberries are included in your mix, use 2 cups (480 ml) total

1/2 cup (120 ml) fresh or frozen cranberries

Zest of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons (30 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)

1/4 cup (60 ml) water

30 drops plain or fruit-flavored pure liquid stevia (I use 20 drops lemon and 10 drops cherry-vanilla)

1 teaspoon (5 ml) psyllium husks (optional—it prevents the juices from becoming too watery)


1/3 cup (55 g) raw natural almonds

1/3 cup (55 g) raw sunflower or pumpkin seeds

2 tablespoons (30 ml) coconut flour

1/16 teaspoon (0.25 ml) pure stevia powder, or 1/8 teaspoon (0.5 ml) pure liquid stevia, or to taste

1 tablespoon (15 ml) ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon (0.5 ml) fine sea salt

1 tablespoon (15 ml) virgin coconut oil, preferably organic


Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a 4- to 6-cup (1 to 1.5 L) casserole dish with coconut oil.

Prepare the filling: In a large bowl, toss the apples, berries, cranberries, lemon zest, and cinnamon. In a small bowl, mix together the lemon juice, water, stevia, and psyllium, then drizzle over the berry mixture and toss again to coat evenly. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish. (Note: You can just toss everything in the casserole dish instead of dirtying a bowl, but I found the mixture very hard to coat evenly when the ingredients were so cramped in the dish!)

Make the topping: In the bowl of a food processor, blend the almonds, seeds, coconut flour, stevia, cinnamon, ginger, and salt until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Add the coconut oil and process until it’s incorporated.

Sprinkle the topping evenly over the filling in the casserole dish. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, rotating the dish about halfway through baking, until the topping is lightly browned and the filling is bubbly. Allow to cool somewhat before serving. May be frozen.

From Living Candida-Free by Ricki Heller. Reprinted with permission from Da Capo Lifelong, © 2015. Photograph by Nicole Axworthy.



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