Making Crumble - Gluten & Sugar Free - The Fermented Foody

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making crumble

Making Crumble – Gluten & Sugar Free

Isn’t crumble just one of the yummiest foods on earth?! I wanted to come up with a ‘must have’ topping that resembled traditional crumble, but would work with both warm AND cold foods.  Here it is ..

I’ve followed recipes for crumble toppings before, both traditional and wheat free.

A few weeks ago, in September, a neighbour kindly cut and gave me her entire stock of rhubarb from a community garden that has been started a few doors away, since no-one was using it.

I promised to make her and my husband a batch of crumbles with traditional toppings.  Which I duly did. Two happy people.  🙂

I then replaced the ingredients with alternatives for my own crumble (4 cups of gluten free flour, 2 cups palm sugar, 250g goats butter) and it worked pretty well.  I always like to experiment!

But I wanted to make something similar without sugar.

I don’t make sugary desserts for myself often, because then I just want to eat them! (Who said you wean yourself off the bad stuff and it doesn’t still taste lovely when you dig in now and again? I mean, its palm sugar, not refined, so I wasn’t being ALL bad, but it’s still sugar .. and I do try to avoid it more and more.)

So one evening a couple of weeks ago, I threw a few ingredients together, popped them in the oven and .. well, they came out so well, it’s now one of my fave toppings and satisfies my urge for a sugary crumble AND works brilliantly with my kefir desserts. Yayyy!

making crumbleMaking Crumble Crunch

Gather Your Goodies

For the Topping

1 Cup Almond Meal (if you’ve not used it before, see what this is in yesterday’s post)

1 Cup Ground Hazelnuts (I’ve not seen them anything but whole in shops, but any coffee grinder or mini chopper will powder them up .. they don’t need to be über fine, just a rough powder .. If you don’t have a machine, just wrap them in a tea towel and bash them with something – preferably not anyone’s head. They can’t have been that bad to you? Haha.)

1 Cup Sesame Seeds (This is your crunch … Woo hoo!)

1 1/2 Cups Flaked Almonds (NOT toasted ones – you’re going to toast them in a minute.  The pre-toasted ones never taste as good!)

1/4 Cup Flax Seeds (whole, not ground.  Hulled or un-hulled are equally ok)

For the Coating

3 Teaspoons Cinnamon

3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil

It’s Action Time

Mix all your dry ingredients together for the topping in a bowl.

Heat your coconut oil in a saucepan (unless you’re in a country where the temperature is over 76 degrees Fahrenheit, because it will be liquid already!)

Add your cinnamon and mix through the coconut, so your oil turns a lovely shade of orange!

Pour the mixture little by little into the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly, so everything has a coating of the oil. Stop pouring when you have enough.  Don’t overdo it, or the mixture will become soggy.

Pour onto a non-stick tray, or coat a tray with a thin veneer of coconut oil or cover a tray with tinfoil and coat that with coconut oil lightly.

Spread the mixture evenly, nice and flat, so all the nuts cook at around the same pace.

Pop in an oven that you’ve pre-heated to 160 degrees Circotherm for around 30 minutes.

Do check, because all ovens vary.  I would move the nuts and seeds around every 10 minutes with a large spoon, to ensure that they’re well browned.

Leave them out to cool to room temp and store them in an airtight container.

Mine have been going for 2 weeks now and still great! They would probably keep for several months, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to report back on this one, because I plan to eat them all waaay before then! 😉

Making crumble is easy AND sugar free now.  Right? 😉

Ooh, Really?!


How do I make my stewed fruit?

It’s the only time I totally sin and use a microwave for cooking is when I stew fruit.  (Don’t tell anyone!!)

Using a pan takes soooo long and it can get messy.  (I always forget to keep an eye and burn the fruit!)

I fill a deep, microwave-proof bowl with fruit and add a drizzle of honey/agave whatever .. no crunchy sugar involved, refined or unrefined.

No water is needed because the water in the fruit is sufficient.

Pop the microwave on for 15 mins, check your fruit .. then cook a little more if necessary.

Do put a plate on top of the bowl if you’re almost filling it. It can bubble over!

Then just leave it to cool and sprinkle with the crumble crunch.

The other way I make ‘raw stewed fruit’ .. I’ve only done with apples so far .. is to peel a few apples, add a drop of water to my high-speed blender, drop in the apples and blend.  It makes a lovely apple sauce and that, topped with the crumble crunch, is delicious too.  I’ll tell you how I make that before Christmas. (Along with my sweet’n’sour sauce, using home-made cider vinegar. Tee hee!)

Where can you sprinkle this topping?

  • Ice cream (it’s gorgeous with the orange kefir ice-cream!)
  • Stewed fruit
  • Fermented fruit
  • Fresh Fruit and yoghurt! (try to add some fermented berries into the mix, so you’re adding probiotics to your snack. 🙂
  • Frozen Yoghurt and fermented fruit, with a fermented fruit coulis drizzle
  • Soooo many things …

So … Will you be the first reader to invite me round to taste a kefir/fermented dessert?

I need a day off from making food sometime! (And there’s nothing like a good natter with a like-minded soul. 😉

Catch you soon!

KISSES - CBemail-signature1


About the Author Sarah Jackson

I love to experiment with food, write poetry, read, walk in nature, take iphone photographs, sing, cycle, watch good movies, documentaries, dramas and comedy.

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Leave a Comment:

Donna Boehm says

What is palm sugar

    Sarah Jackson says

    Palm sugar is a brown, unrefined sugar Donna. I source mine from a company that works with sustainable farms and doesn’t harm the environment, which involves taking sugar from the older trees.

katrina says

I have a bit of a sweet tooth and you had me at crumble and pushed me right over the edge with rhubarb. I do love me some rhubarb! I had never thought to cook the fruits in the microwave, though – great idea! Can’t wait to try this one!

    Sarah Jackson says

    He he. It’s my only concession to microwave cooking Katrina. Speed rules! I just add a little honey to the rhubarb and with no sugar in this topping, you’re rockin’n’rolling! (Ain’t it just the BEST? Which reminds me … there is rhubarb to cut in a local garden. Oooh! I wonder if the frost has killed it? Weep. Must check on the morrow.)

Rebecca Jones - Red Shoe Biz Woman says

Ooh, love this one, I dont eat gluten and avoid dairy so will give this a go, thanks Sarah

    Sarah Jackson says

    I just gave up gluten at the start of September too Rebecca! Looking for new ways to make traditional recipes, so I HAD to come up with a crumble topping. Word of warning: It’s additive. 😉

    Judy Bartholomew runs a gluten free blog:

    Check her out if you need any tips!

    I’ll be sharing more of my gluten free recipes too, when I happen to cook and come up with something worth sharing. Not all fermented, although the sauce does employ my home-made cider vinegar. Hey, I’m a foodie. Food is generally is addictive to me!

    I have a sweet’n’sour sauce and a roast chicken, leek and mushroom risotto dish I rustled up recently that went down will with Him Indoors, so I’ll share those too.

    Keep an eye out. 😉

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