Life, style & food in the District
The in-laws are coming into town this evening to show of their new puppy and to pay us a little visit, so I want to have something delicious to offer everyone after we get back from dinner. (And let’s be real, I want the house to be flooded with that “she’s such a good wife” homemade baking smell.)
Since the vegan challenge started, I have absolutely steered-clear of vegan baking. A lot of the vegan recipes out there call for ingredients like margarine and egg replacers – and to me, that just seems so unnatural and processed and not even worth my time/money to try to figure it out. So instead, my laziness has left me leaning on vegan chocolate chips, soy ice cream and the fresh vegan cookies from Whole Foods’ bakery to satisfy any of my sweet cravings. But the time has come, my friends, to man-up and bake something delicious and naturally vegan.
Previous posts have touched on my dessert preferences, but just to reiterate: I am a pie/crisp/cobbler junkie. So what better dish to tackle than a fruit crisp/cobbler for my inaugural vegan baking weekend?
Traditionally, crisps, cobblers and pies call for butter (and a lot of it) to achieve the flakey texture of the piecrust or the “crumble” of the crisp topping. But since butter is out (and I want to avoid using margarine), I went in search of other alternatives. A discussion with my food guru, (other) Rachel, led to decide on using organic extra virgin coconut oil in place of butter.
The health benefits of coconut oil are off the charts, due mostly to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, which help to fight harmful bacteria and viruses in our bodies. Coconut oil is also known to help with cholesterol levels, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, as well as relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer.
And if you still aren’t convinced to use it after that list, coconut oil also makes your hair and skin shiny and moisturized! You know, so you can eat your yummy crisp while having radiant skin and silky hair…
So for this recipe, I just used two types of berries (blueberries and strawberries were on sale this morning, so that is what I went with). They are super sweet and ripe, so I didn’t add anything to them at all. For the topping, I stuck with the traditional ingredients like oats, a little bit of flour (if you wanted to get super natural, you could go with some almond flour), some brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and of course, I cut-in some coconut oil (solid at room temperature) to make that “crumble” that tops the fresh fruit.
After cross-checking some recipes online, here are the ratios I used:
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
Mix all of the above together in a bowl and then “cut-in” 1/3 cup extra virgin coconut oil. Sprinkle the topping over the berries and bake at 350 for about 40 minutes.
I can’t wait to serve some vanilla (soy for me) ice cream with it this evening! Vegan or non-vegan, I don’t think anyone will be able to resist diving into this!
Happy baking and happy weekend!