Here at Cake Hunter HQ I'm sad to say that January isn't all pancakes and cookies and most of the time we are watching what we eat. In the best way though, for example, Saturday night I made an awesome chilli using turkey mince and loaded with sweet potatoes and other veggies. We didn't eat it with rice but just a little soured cream and homemade guacamole. I like to think it's all about balance and I see so many recipes for bland looking salads that I just can't deal and have to eat some chocolate instead.
Sainsbury's has launched a new campaign called ComFit focusing on putting these little healthy twists on delicious comfort foods. They asked me to get involved and try out one of the sweet recipes. I opted for the ultimate Winter dessert, the crumble. The twist is using coconut oil and agave to replace the butter and sugar and you would barely notice the difference. It was really seriously good. Rather than serving it in a sea of custard (as is my usual want) I served it with some half fat creme fraîche mixed with vanilla bean paste and a teaspoon of agave. This was a bit of a revelation to me and a brilliant alternative to custard or cream. The Wicked Good Vegan has a great recipe for vegan creme fraîche using cashews!
I think this would actually be a great breakfast idea as well and I'm kicking myself a little for not bringing the leftovers into work with me this morning. I guess it'll be waiting there as a nice post-gym treat tonight.
Pear, Cardamom & Coconut Crumble
(recipe sent to me by Sainsbury's with a few minor tweaks)
6 conference pears, peeled, cored and chopped
juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 tablespoon agave nectar
3 tablespoons pecans or walnuts, 1 tablespoon roughly chopped
5 tablespoons gluten free rolled oats
1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon desiccated coconut
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon agave nectar
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons coconut flakes, toasted
300g half fat creme fraîche
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or seeds from 1 vanilla pod
1 teaspoon agave nectar
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4.
- Make the pear mix. Place pears, lime juice, cardamom and agave nectar in a saucepan and bring to medium-low heat. Stir occasionally to soften pears for about 6-8 minutes. They should still retain some bite.
- Make the topping. Whizz 2 tablespoons of pecans or walnuts in a food processor (or alternatively, use a pestle and mortar) to grind. Mix together with the roughly chopped nuts oats, oats, sunflower seeds, desiccated coconut, coconut oil, agave and salt.
- Place pear mix in a ceramic ovenproof dish, followed by the topping. Place on baking tray for 20-25 minutes, until warmed through and light golden brown on top. Toast the flaked coconut on a baking sheet for around 8 minutes until golden. Sprinkle on top of the crumble when it comes out of the oven.
- For the creme fraîche, mix in the vanilla and agave and spoon on top of the warm crumble.
Thank you to Sainsbury's for sponsoring this post. Please go and check out the other comfit food recipes on their Homemade by You site.