What a great way to start the day! ‘It’s like having pudding for breakfast!’ This recipe is so beneficial for maintaining and supporting digestive health and they certainly pack a punch!! Read on after the recipe to find the health benefits. I’ve paired the Crumble Bars with a herbal infusion (‘tea’) containing a soothing blend of herbs, also great for hydrating the gut.
Certainly not exclusive to breakfast you can enjoy these crumble bars anytime. A perfect mid morning or afternoon snack, great as a pudding or you could even wrap one up for a packed lunch or as a great healthy snack for the children to take to school. If you need to follow a gluten free diet just make sure to use gluten free oats.
Makes 9 pieces
3 eating apples
1tsp ground cinnamon
6 Medjool dates, pitted, about 100g total weight
75g coconut oil
3tbsp maple syrup
100g ground almonds
100g rolled oats
50g pumpkin seeds
50g sunflower seeds
50g ground flaxseeds
Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
Wash, quarter, core and coarsely grate the apples. Place in a saucepan with the cinnamon and roughly chopped dates. Simmer the mixture, uncovered for about 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently until the fruit has softened and the mixture is thick. Set aside to cool slightly.
Melt the coconut oil and maple syrup together.
Place the ground almonds, oats, seeds and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Pour in the melted coconut oil mixture and stir well to combine.
Press half the mixture firmly into a lightly greased 18cm shallow square tin. Bake for 10 minutes, until lightly cooked.
Top with the apple mixture and then spoon over the remaining crumble mixture to cover and press down.
Bake at 180ºC for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely in the tin before cutting into squares. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
You could serve these warm with a little live natural yogurt and maybe a few blackberries, blueberries or raspberries. Simply reheat in an ovenproof dish for about 5 minutes at 180ºC.
The Breakfast Crumble Bars freeze well between layers of greaseproof paper in an airtight container. Thaw at room temperature for about 1 hour and if serving hot reheat as above.
This makes a single serving
1 star anise
1 sprig of mint
1⁄2 tsp fennel seeds
Place all the ingredients in teapot and a generous cup of boiling water. Infuse for 5 minutes before straining into a cup to serve.
Apples are a good source of fibre, in particular a soluble fibre called pectin. As it passes through the digestive tract it takes on water to form a gel. This gel helps to keep everything mobile and flowing smoothly through the digestive tract. Ensuring good gut motility will help ease the uncomfortable symptoms of bloating and ultimately make it easier to pass, thereby relieving the symptoms of constipation.
Dates are very high in a fibre called beta glucan. This will absorb water and swell to stimulate the stretch receptors in the gut wall, which provide the peristaltic action to help contents to move through the digestive tract and make it easier to eliminate from the body. It is worth remembering that increasing fibre intake without increasing water intake can have the effect of bringing everything to a grinding halt and will therefore make the symptoms on constipation even worse!
Oats are another good source of fibre in the form of soluble fibre called beta glucan. The fibre attracts water and will swell in the gut, this in turn stimulates the stretch receptors in the gut wall, which triggers the peristaltic action and keeps things moving through the digestive tract and ultimately easier to pass out of the body. Any waste left hanging around in the gut will start to ferment, releasing gas which often becomes trapped and uncomfortable and leads to bloating.
When flax seeds come into contact with water they form a gelatinous mass, which helps to keep things moving through the digestive tract and makes it easier to eliminate waste from the body. (Pinnock, 2015)
Mint is brilliant for helping to ease bloating and break down trapped gas. It contains an essential oil called menthol that will interact with receptors in the gut wall, which trigger muscle relaxation and help restore and regulate intestinal contractions. (Pinnock, 2015)
Fennel is known to be an intestinal antispasmodic. This means it will help to relieve spasms or cramps, often associated with bloating or constipation, in the digestive tract. They also have carminative properties, which means they will help to break down and remove any built up gas. Fennel is also known to relieve or soothe pain. (Murray, Pizzorno, Pizzorno 2006)
Pinnock/D Medicinal Cookery,. UK, 2015, Robinson
Dr Murray/M. Dr Pizzorno/J. Pizzorno/L. 2006 The Encyclopaedia of Healing Foods. Reprint Great Britain, Piatkus