As we get closer to Christmas time seems to go faster and faster. The holidays can be so stressful and hectic, but they can also be really fun and cheery (and delicious). I try really hard to enjoy each moment and refrain from living in the future – planning and projecting. Cooking and eating keeps me in the moment. There are times when I’m cooking and I drop something or almost cut myself, it reminds me that I have drifted into thought, drifted into the past or the future, and it brings me back to the moment. To cook well and safely, I must remain in the moment, loose though focused, aware but adaptable. I always allow myself time to cook and to eat, not just to ensure that I get the proper nutrients to keep my body healthy, but to stay grounded and mindful too.
Today’s recipe would be lovely with ice cream for a desert, or with yogurt and a coffee or tea latte at breakfast or maybe even mid-afternoon on a cozy day off. It’s tart and bold and smells amazing. It doesn’t have as much sugar as you would expect, certainly less than most recipes, and is also gluten-free. The topping has nuts, oats and coconut flour, providing fiber and protein. The (healthy and good) fat content from the coconut oil, along with the fiber and protein, slows down the digestion of the sugars, giving nice, stable energy, and a long feeling of fullness. Berries are very high in antioxidants and other beneficial phytochemicals and low on the glycemic index. This recipe is quick, uses few dishes and has a flexibility with ingredients – perfect for these busy December days.
In the winter months berries can be extremely expensive and for us in Canada, they’ve traveled a long distance, losing valuable nutrients on their way. Frozen berries are a great, affordable option in the winter. They are often flash frozen within hours of picking, locking in nutrients and freshness. Remember that conventionally grown berries typically have some of the highest amounts of pesticides/herbicides – I strongly recommend buying organic berries.
- 2 cups frozen blueberries
- about 6 strawberries
- 2 tsp lemon zest (about the zest from one lemon)
- juice from 1/2 that lemon
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp cardamom
- 1/2 tsp ginger (I used powder, but minced fresh would be awesome too)
- 1 Tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 handful of walnuts
- 1 cup flaked or rolled oats
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp cardamom
- a large pinch of salt
- 5 Tbsp coconut oil
- Heat oven to 375F.
- Combine all filling ingredients in the skillet and cook on the stove top, on medium-low heat, for 10 – 15 minutes, stirring often. We want to develop and combine all of the flavors here.
- In a separate bowl combine all of the dry ingredients together, put the coconut oil in last and sort of squish it together forming little chunks and balls, this will make the topping crumbly. If you mix this too well, it will be a very uniform texture, for the topping.
- Remove the filling ingredients from the heat and drop the topping ingredients over the filling gently and loosely, I prefer a more rustic, asymmetrical dish, but please feel free to follow your preferences.
- Put into the oven and bake for about 35 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let it sit for a couple of minutes. The topping will get crunchy as it cools and the filling will gel a bit creating a nice texture variance between the two.
- Serve with yogurt, kefir, ice cream or a blended frozen banana.
Remove unused portion from the cast iron skillet and store, covered in the refrigerator. Reheat in the oven and enjoy again later.
I support organic farming and recommend that, when available, ingredients be certified organic.
Nourish & Flourish