Back to Basics: Apple Crumble

This past weekend I graduated from university with my double degree! After four years of study it feels amazing to be finished this chapter of my life and I am definitely ready to start my career.


Apple crumble was always a staple dessert in our house growing up as it was the only dessert my Dad would eat. I think it was because he thought it was ‘healthy’ as there were apples in there… To continue the tradition and my ‘Back to Basics’ series, I wanted to make my own version of apple crumble that is actually healthy.

Seasoning the apples

As the apples become sweet when cooked, they actually don’t require a lot of sweetener. I used coconut palm sugar but you could use 100% pure maple syrup, honey or coconut nectar instead.

Crumble base

To ensure the oats are fine, I processed them with the cinnamon and coconut before adding the remainder of the crumble ingredients. This results in a light crumble mixture that is easy to enjoy!

Nearly finished…

The dates and coconut oil bring the oat mixture together and lend a slight chewiness to the crumble.

Crumbly mixture

Once processed, the crumble mixture is ready to be spread over the seasoned apples and will become slightly crisp on top once baked.

Ready for the oven!

The crumble will keep in the fridge for up to three days; just ensure it is covered with plastic wrap or a secure lid. If you don’t want to bake it straight away, it too will keep in the fridge covered for three days before being baked.

Back to Basics: Apple Crumble

Serves 8
  • 6 green apples, washed and diced
  • 3 TBSP coconut palm sugar
  • 1 1/2 TBSP cinnamon
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 TBSP cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • 8 fresh medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
  2. Mix all filling ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. Place in the bottom of a 25cm oven proof dish.
  4. Place oats, cinnamon and coconut in a food processor then process for 3-5 minutes or until fine in texture.
  5. Add dates, coconut oil and vanilla extract to the food processor then process for an additional 2-3 minutes or until it resembles a crumble texture.
  6. Sprinkle crumble mixture over filling until completely covered.
  7. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until golden.
  8. Serve with dairy free ice cream or dairy free yoghurt. Enjoy!

Note: I used CoCoLuscious coffee ice cream – it tasted delicious with the apple crumble!

**This recipe is not gluten free as it contains oats. Use quinoa flakes as a gluten free alternative.

Earthy and sweet dessert!

Well, it’s safe to say this was a hit with my Dad and the rest of my family. So, I guess this healthy version will become a staple in our house once again!

Coconut carrot cake pancakes with cashew lime dressing and maple walnuts

By now you have probably gathered that I love to cook! My favourite part about cooking (besides creating new dishes) is knowing that I’ve created delicious and nutritious food that my family and friends enjoy.

I made these pancakes for Mother’s Day as something special for Mum. Looking around the breakfast table, I loved seeing everyone devouring their stack of goodness and going back for seconds! It just reconfirmed to me that you can eat healthy and still really enjoy tasty food!

Pancakes cooking

I always like to test my food before serving so this little pancake in the middle was mine to taste!

Cashew dressing

This cashew dressing is so easy to make and really lifts the dish! It makes quite a lot but I always like to over cater to ensure everyone is able to enjoy plenty of food.

A MUST to make with this recipe!

The lime really contrasts well with the raisins in the pancakes and the maple walnuts.

Coated in sweet, earthy flavours

I prefer to make my pancakes without any form of sugar. Instead I like to add toppings, such as these maple walnuts, that bring out the flavours in the pancakes.

Maple walnuts

These maple walnuts provide the dish with a crunchy sweetness.

Indulgent breakfast!

Each dish will keep separately in the fridge for up to two days in a sealed container.

Coconut carrot cake pancakes with cashew lime dressing and maple walnuts

Makes 18 pancakes

Coconut carrot cake pancakes
  • 3 carrots, peeled and finely grated
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 TBSP cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • Coconut oil for cooking
Cashew lime dressing
  • 2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup water
  • 1-2 limes, juiced
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 TBSP maple syrup
Maple walnuts
  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 1/2 cup 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1 TBSP cinnamon
Coconut carrot cake pancakes
  1. Mix almond meal, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, raisins and desiccated coconut together in a large bowl.
  2. Mix carrots, eggs and almond milk together in a separate bowl.
  3. Add the wet mixture to the dry, and mix well.
  4. Heat a large frypan over medium-high heat and place 1 TBSP coconut oil in the pan.
  5. Spoon batter into small pancakes onto frypan. When you see little bubbles appear flip and continue to cook for 2 minutes, or until completely cooked.
Cashew lime dressing
  1. Combine cashews, water, lime juice, vanilla and maple syrup in a food processor/Vitamix/blender. Process on high until smooth.
  2. Place in a serving bowl and in the fridge until serving time.
Maple walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Spread walnuts on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  2. Place in the oven and roast for 8–10 minutes, or until fragrant. Remove walnuts from oven and set aside to slightly cool.
  3. Combine the maple syrup and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  4. Add walnuts to the bowl and coat in mixture.
  5. Spread coated walnuts and the rest of the mixture on the same lined baking tray and return to oven for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven once cooked and with a spoon keep moving for the first few minutes to prevent them from sticking together.

Note: you can make the batter the night before to save time in the morning – keep it covered and refrigerated overnight!

Have you too had a moment that reconfirms your healthy lifestyle?

Vegan cacao raspberry overnight groats

Overnight groats are a great way to enjoy breakfast on the go! The almond milk softens the buckwheat groats whilst the chia seeds thicken the mixture. I thought I’d find eating this mixture strange but they are surprisingly addictive!

With some early classes for university starting next week, these groats will be my go-to breakfast!

Breakfast on the go!

Vegan cacao raspberry overnight groats

Serves 1


  • 1/2 cup buckwheat groats
  • 1 TBSP chia seeds
  • 1 TBSP desiccated coconut
  • 1 TBSP cacao powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup raspberries
  • 1 TBSP almond butter


  1. Place groats, chia seeds, coconut, cacao and cinnamon in a glass jar. Mix until combined.
  2. Add almond milk and vanilla extract. Mix well and place in the fridge overnight.
  3. In the morning top with raspberries and almond butter. Enjoy!

Note: you can place the mixture in a bowl instead of a jar but make sure you cover with plastic wrap.

What do you eat for breakfast on the go?

Coconut raspberry cake

Coconut and raspberry are a match-made in cake heaven. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of this combination earlier! I love the pink colour from the raspberries throughout the cake, it definitely entices you to eat it. They also provide the cake with a tartness which contrasts against the honey used to sweeten it.

Cake batter

Even though this cake is quite dense, the batter is surprisingly ‘dry’. Don’t be alarmed by this, it will turn out once cooked!

Ready for the oven

Make sure you line the cake tin to ensure the cake can be removed easily once cooled. Don’t flatten the cake batter too much before cooking it as it doesn’t rise much. The little peaks provide a rustic look, plus they become crunchy once cooked!

Cooked and cooled

This cake is quite dense however I love the use of desiccated coconut as it breaks up the almond meal and provides another element of texture.

Cake time!

This can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Coconut raspberry cake

Serves 12

  • 2 1/2 cups almond meal
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries, thawed*
  • Coconut yoghurt for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Grease and line a 9 inch round cake pan.
  2. Combine the almond meal, desiccated coconut and baking powder in a medium sized bowl.
  3. In a jug whisk the eggs, coconut oil and honey and add to the dry ingredients. Mix until well combined.
  4. Fold through the raspberries and pour into cake pan.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool in the pan before turning it out onto a plate. Slice, serve with coconut yoghurt and enjoy!

Note: thaw the raspberries by leaving them on the kitchen bench, don’t microwave or heat them over the stove as they will lose their shape and add too much liquid to the cake.

Do you like the combination of coconut and raspberry for a cake?

Vegan cake pops

In recent years, cake pops have become very popular as a substitute to cupcakes and cakes. They are a fun bite-sized way to celebrate any occasion. These are definitely a real treat and the little morsels will be devoured by all your guests!

Ingredients for cake pops

These cake pops are surprisingly quite light and I like the fact that this recipe is not overly sweet.

Rolled into 8 even-sized balls

The ‘cake’ balls are rolled in the chocolate coating twice to add that extra layer of chocolatey goodness and to ensure that the ball is completely covered.

Cake pops almost set!

Placing the cake pops upright in small cups is the best way to let the excess chocolate drip from them. I also placed them in the freezer like this to allow them to set.


These will keep in the freezer for up to 1 week in a sealed container. However, before serving remove from the freezer and leave at room temperature for 20 minutes – otherwise they will be too hard to eat!

Vegan cake pops

Makes 8


‘Cake’ balls
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 TBSP rice malt syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 TBSP cacao butter
Chocolate coating
  • 2 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup cacao butter
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 TBSP rice malt syrup
  • 8 skewers
  • 1/4 cup desiccated coconut


‘Cake’ balls
  1. In a food processor, process cashews for 1 minute, or until crumbly. Add desiccated coconut, rice malt syrup, vanilla extract and cacao butter and process for 3 minutes, or until it all comes together.
  2. Form 8 round balls then place in the freezer for 10 minutes to harden (make the chocolate coating during this time).
  3. Take out of freezer and place a skewer in each ball.
Chocolate coating
  1. Place coconut oil, cacao butter, cacao powder, vanilla extract and rice malt syrup in a small saucepan over low heat. Stirring constantly for 2 minutes or until it has all melted and become velvety. 
  2. Place chocolate and extra desiccated coconut in separate shallow bowls and roll cake pops in just the chocolate coating.
  3. Place cake pops in small cups upright in the freezer for 10 minutes.
  4. Repeat the dipping process and finish by dipping the top in desiccated coconut. Place in the freezer for another 10 minutes. Then enjoy!

Note: you can substitute the rice malt syrup for 100% pure maple syrup or honey

Cake-like texture inside!

Have you every tried a cake pop? If yes, what did you think of it?