Like nearly every other sheeple (sheep + people) in healthy-food-land, I’ve recently cut right down on the amount of sugar that I consume. The argument that sugar is an evil poison is extremely convincing and I find myself being swept along with public opinion.
Naturally though, my teeth are SWEET, so I’ve never felt the need to banish sugar from my life completely. I know myself well enough to know that it would be a futile exercise that would result in guilt and failure – two emotions that I just don’t need intertwined with my food experience. I love food, I love eating, I love cooking. And I love to cook for, feed and eat with the people I love.
So with that in mind, I keep the sugar debate in perspective. We don’t eat much processed food. We don’t drink soft drink or juice. Dessert is a rarity. Lollies are left for parties and most of the healthy treats I cook for the lunch boxes are fibre-rich with ingredients that nourish.
Which means on occasion, there’s room in our life for sugar. Not coconut sugar, or stevia or anything so fancy. Just sugar.
A couple of years ago, before the current sugar-fear exploded, the common food adage was, “Don’t eat anything your grandma wouldn’t recognise.” Luckily for me, my granny – like the rest of her generation – was extremely familiar with flour and sugar.
Unlike some foodie-types who claim to have grown up at their nanna’s apron strings, absorbing her food wisdom, my Granny was a pretty average cook. In fact it was a chore that she didn’t particularly like at all, which explains why good old fashioned crumble was on the menu so often. It’s a dessert that gives you a heap of bang for your buck. Just some chopping then a bit of massaging some ingredients together, into the oven and VOILA, the most gorgeous treat appears. And did I mention that it’s absolutely delicious, especially on a cold night, when eaten around a table with the rest of your family? It is. Try it.
Apple & berry crumble
Feel free to swap out the sugar for other natural sweeteners, as is the current trend. This is a traditional ‘grandma’ dish though, and I’m a big fan of making it with the traditional ingredients.
1 1/2 cups oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
100g butter, softened
3 granny smith apples
2 cups frozen berries
1/4 cup raw sugar
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Combine the oats, sugar, flour and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Rub the butter in with your fingers so that you have the consistency of rough breadcrumbs (you don’t have to be too exact here – a bit of lumpy butter works out just fine). Set aside.
Core and chop the apples. Toss into a medium sized oven dish (I use my 24cm round glass dish). Mix in the berries and scatter the sugar over the top.
Scatter the crumble mix over the top – leave it pretty loose – no need to pack it down neatly. Pop into the oven for 55 minutes until golden and bubbling.
Serves 2 adults and 4 kids.