Tag Archives: winter

Winter Warmer : Pear Mint and Ginger Crumble

Image 2This is a recipe from one of my favourite food blogs “Finger Fork & Knife”, which is a real inspiration to my own aspirations of becoming a food stylist / food photographer / food designer, if not only just as a hobby. I’m not quitting my day job any time soon – I have a mortgage!

Warm pear and ginger are some of my favourite flavours, coupled with the sweet and crunchy oat and nutty topping – with little bursts of saltiness dotted throughout – contrasted with the freshness of mint and zestiness of lemon, balanced with cold creamy vanilla icecream atop, makes this dessert a winter winner in my book. Pears are in season now too which is perfect as I’m a big fan of cooking seasonally and using produce at its optimum quality and availability.

I made a few ingredient substitutions in order to reduce the guilt when seeking comfort in this treat, but all in all this crumble is pretty wholesome (in terms of desserts), so don’t feel too bad.

Pear Mint and Ginger Crumble*

Serves 4-6

For the fruit

  • 4 large pears, peeled, cored, sliced – I actually forgot to peel mine. The skin has antioxidants, anti-inflammatory flavonoids and heaps of dietary fibre, so feel free to leave it on for added nutritional benefit.
  • 2-3 medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped – I used 3
  • 2 pieces stem ginger, chopped – I couldn’t find any so I used glace ginger and halved the amount of sugar used in the crumble topping to compensate
  • zest of 1 lemon – when zesting the lemon, do so over the pan, so that you capture all those flavoursome oils from the rind that splutter everywhere
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves

For the crumble topping

  • 1/2 wholemeal flour – I used wholemeal spelt flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats – next time I’ll try rolled spelt oats to reduce gluten
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar – I used 2 tbs to reduce the sweetness since I used glace ginger, and also to make it a tad healthier
  • 1/4 cup almonds, roughly chopped – hazelnuts would be yummy too
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 60g unsalted butter, chilled, cut into cubes – sorry, but butter makes everything better! Use organic grass-fed if you can.
  • Himalayan rock salt

Method

Preheat oven to 180C.

Put the sliced pear, dates, stem ginger, lemon juice and zest into a saucepan. Add a splash of water and bring to the boil. Reduce hear and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the pear has softened slightly. Remove from the heat and add in the chopped mint leaves. Stir gently to mix through mint then spoon into an oven-proof dish or divide between individual ramekins.

To make the crumble topping, combine the flour and salt in a bowl. Add the butter and rub with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs – this can also be done in a food processor. Stir in oats, brown sugar, almonds and sunflower seeds. Scatter the crumble over the fruit in an even layer and pop into the oven to bake for 30-35 minutes, until browned on top. Serve warm, with a big dollop of natural yoghurt, custard, cream or (my choice) vanilla icecream.

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IMG_2209*Recipe credit to Finger Fork & Knife: http://fingerforkknife.com/2013/06/30/pear-mint-ginger-crumble/

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Zing!

Picture of an immune boosting green smoothie

Immune Booster Green Smoothie

It’s getting darker in the mornings and you’re reaching for the extra blankie at night. Yep that’s right, winter is just around the corner. You can feel it in the air and in your bones. Winter means toastie hot chocolates (I’ll have an extra marshmallow please!) and a reason to pull out your fabulous suede boots, but it also means it’s flu season.

Stay phlegm-free this winter with this delicious immune boosting green smoothie. Now whilst I don’t normally advocate smoothies made with a whole lotta fruits (they can be very high in sugar), this smoothie uses citrus fruits only, which are relatively low in sugar. Plus, it’s worth all the nutritious vitamin C goodness you’ll be nourishing your cells with, to keep you fighting fit and strong as the mercury drops outside.

Ingredients

  • 2 oranges, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 lime, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 lemon, peeled and roughly chopped
  • large handful of spinach leaves – all-round nutritional powerhouse
  • small handful of parsely – vitamins A & C and anti-inflammatory
  • 1/2 teaspoon tumeric – antiviral and anti-inflammatory
  • 2cm-piece of ginger (more if you like a kick!) – anti-inflammatory
  • 1/2 cup coconut water (or just filtered normal water, it’s up to you)

Throw all the ingredients into a powerful blender (eg Vitamix) and whiz away. Easy as.*

Bottoms up!

Picture of green smootie ingredients

The ingredients

Picture of green smoothie ingredients in powerful blender

Peel, chop, blend..

Picture of an immune boosting green smoothie

Drink!

Picture of an immune boosting green smoothie

*This recipe is adapted from Teresa Cutter’s website www.thehealthychef.com

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