Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Stovetop Peach Blueberry Crisp (Paleo & Vegan)


“...the girls put their wits to work, 
and necessity being the mother of invention, 
made whatever they needed.” 
-Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

Since we don’t have a working oven at my family’s lake cabin in Minnesota, I had to be a little creative when it came to planning meals & treats. We made use of the stove top, outside grill, microwave & slow cooker for the main dishes & vegetables, but dessert was a little more challenging, especially considering my Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) dietary parameters.



There’s something about being around water all day that makes a person extra hungry. And, of course, the “I’m-on-vacation-and-am-allowed-to-splurge-a-little” thinking. In past years, splurging would have meant driving to the nearby gas station for half a gallon of ice cream & a can of Hershey’s syrup, or making s’mores around a beach fire, or eating packages of cookies. But thankfully, my family has been oh so understanding about what I can and cannot eat & they were on board with some AIP & Paleo splurges instead of our normal treats. We brought along some Coconut Milk Ice Cream , and I also made coconut milk panna cotta (with nectarines instead of berries).



Then one day, when the weather was grey, windy & rainy, I wanted to create a dessert that leaned more towards warmth and comfort than to cold & refreshing. We had some peaches that were nearly over-ripe & a bag of frozen blueberries that were originally slated for making smoothies. Almost immediately, the thought of a crisp/crumble came to mind….

But how do you make a crisp without the oven? Easy. First, toast the topping in a skillet, then, once the topping is done & moved to a bowl, cook the fruit on the stovetop. Spoon the cooked fruit into bowls & top with the previously made crumble. Voila, fruit crisp, sans oven :)



I’ve previously made gluten free crisps & crumbles (like this one and this one), but grain free baking is still a new territory to me. I’m still cautious about working with different ingredients, like liquid sweeteners (i.e honey & maple syrup), arrowroot starch, coconut flour, and even coconut oil, but I am attempting to be more brave in my experimentation. It looks like I’ll probably be following some version of Paleo for the rest of my life, so I might as well get use to it :) Fortunately, crisps and crumbles are a bit more forgiving & don’t require quite as much scientific precision as say a cake or cookie needs. 



Since I am in the reintroduction phase of the Autoimmune Protocol & almonds seem to be ok (just in not giant quantities), I used a mixture of coconut flour & almond flour in the topping, but if you’re not yet to reintroducing almonds, using more coconut flour would also work. As I toasted the topping on the stove, several family members could smell its fragrance & came over to see what I was concocting--that’s always a good sign.



When we were ready to eat dessert, I spooned the thickened fruit into bowls & let each person top their own dish with as much crumble as he or she wanted. I’m usually a fan of ice cream on my crisp (or whipped cream), but this time, I splashed a little coconut milk to mimic the creaminess. We were all satisfied by how delicious it was & no one felt deprived by this “healthier” dessert. I’ll be remembering this stovetop method in the future for times when it simply is too hot to turn on the oven :)


Stovetop Peach Blueberry Crisp
serves 4 

42g / 5 Tbl Coconut Flour
56 g / 1/2 c Almond Flour (AIP Modification: omit almond flour & increase coconut flour instead)
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
42 g / 3 Tbl Coconut oil, melted
1.5 oz / 2 Tbl Honey

300 g / 1.5 c Frozen Blueberries (may substitute fresh, but add a little water too)
2 medium-large peaches (around 400g), cut into thin slices, peeling is optional
2.75 oz / 4 Tbl Pure Maple Syrup 
1 Tbl Lemon Juice

Coconut Milk, for serving 
  1. To make the crumble topping: combine the coconut flour, almond flour, sea salt, and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Drizzle in the coconut oil & honey.  Mix with a fork until crumbly. 
  2. Toast the crumble in a large skillet over medium high heat, stirring constantly, for a couple of minutes, or until the crumble begins to brown slightly & smell toasty. Remove from the skillet & set aside. Give the skillet a quick rinse. 
  3. To make the filling: add the blueberries and peaches to the skillet. Drizzle with maple syrup and lemon juice  Cook over medium heat until the juices begin to boil. Cover the skillet, reduce the heat to a simmer & cook until the peaches are tender--approximately 10 minutes. Stir occasionally, as needed. Taste & add additional maple syrup if the filling isn’t sweet enough. 
  4. Remove 1/2 c of liquid from the pan & place into a small bowl. Into the liquid, stir in the arrowroot, making sure there are no lumps. Add the mixture back to the skillet and cook for an additional minute to allow the fruit to thicken & to cook out any starch flavor from the arrowroot. Remove from the heat. 
  5. Just before serving, spoon the fruit into bowls & sprinkle with the crumble topping (note: there may be leftover crumble topping). Top with a splash of coconut milk or a scoop of coconut milk ice cream. 
  6. Store any leftover fruit filling in the refrigerator. Keep any leftover crumble topping tightly covered at room temperature. 

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Saturday, September 6, 2014

August 2014, in pictures

I may have gone blog-silent (intentionally) for the month of August, but it still was an exciting month, filled with food & travels. Part of the reason for my travels was to see some of my family, but I also am under the care of an excellent doctor in Warren, MN. He's the more functional medicine oriented doctor who started me on this new lifestyle (basically a version of the Autoimmune Protocol of paleo) and oversees my supplements etc. Periodically I need to travel back for follow up appointments with him & some additional treatments. I planned this trip to be a little longer than most I've done in the past, specifically because I didn't want to spend the whole time back in the doctors office. Both my sisters were home for the first portion of the trip & my husband came for the Labor Day weekend. In between treatments, we spent some time at the family lake cabin on Tulaby Lake in Minnesota, and drove all the way to Chicago (and back again) to help my youngest sister move.

Here's a few favorite iPhone pictures, some of which have been posted on Instagram and Steller.  Side note: Steller is fast becoming one of my favorite apps! Go check it out if you haven't yet.


I made a couple pavlovas with lemon cream cheese & strawberries for some dear friends' send-off party. Though I couldn't have a taste (dairy, sugar, corn, egg whites etc…), everyone else really enjoyed eating them!  
Recipe can be found here (I just added some lemon juice & zest to the filling). 

An experiment in making grain-free and nightshade-free stuffed cabbage, using "no-mato" sauce. Yum! 

Pretty lingerie decorated cookies for a very special bachelorette party 
(click on the picture if you'd like to see it in a larger size). 

Now that I finally own a spiralizer, I want to spiralize everything! Zoodles for everyone! 

Mollie: Oh, you were planning on doing some yoga? I just thought this pretty pink mat was for me to lie on…. 

Sisters slacklining. I tried it, but I'm not very good (and it hurts my feet).  

Watching my youngest sister water ski.

Jumping into freezing cold water Tulaby Lake.  

Dinner on the screened-in porch at the cabin. The grilled marinated pork, with balsamic stone fruit, mashed butternut squash & sautéed spinach were all delicious (and autoimmune protocol compliant)!  

My mom makes waterskiing look SO easy…  

Our oven at the lake doesn't work, so one afternoon,  I created this no-bake stovetop Blueberry Peach Crisp 
with coconut almond crumble (Autoimmune Protocol compliant, with the reintroduction of almonds). 
Stay tuned for the recipe in the next post!  

We made a version of Mickey Trescott's Sear-Roasted Pork Chops, only we grilled them. 
They were so delicious that I forgot to take a picture after they were cooked!  

Now that I've successfully reintroduced a few foods, 
I'm cautiously venturing into the world of autoimmune protocol/paleo baking. 
This paleo zucchini bread was pretty good, but needs a bit of tweaking before I'd share the recipe. 

Driving to Chicago with my youngest sister & her new roommate.   

Pre-baseball game dinner at Rockit Burger. My bun-less, cheese-less, nightshade-free burger 
with sweet potato fries was a great Autoimmune Protocol option, 
though I did *really* want to try my sister's "breakfast for dinner" burger 
with doughnuts for buns, fried egg & bacon….

 Attending my first ever professional sporting event 
(and I unintentionally dressed in the colors of the home team).

 Fire! Our first experience at a Japanese steak house for Hibachi. I
 thought it would be a cross-contamination nightmare,  since I can't eat gluten, soy,
 dairy, nightshades etc. But thankfully, they cooked my meal of steak & veggies first. 

 Driving through the Twin Cities on the way back to ND. 

Somewhere in Minnesota. 

 Grilled marinated flank steak, roasted green beans & roasted potatoes for dinner at my parents house, 
where I tried unsuccessfully to reintroduce white potatoes.  *sigh, perhaps someday…  

Back to the lake for Labor Day Weekend--this time with husband too!  

Another dinner on the porch at the lake (Autoimmune Protocol compliant, again). 
Shrimp Scampi (Grandpa's favorite) over cauliflower puree.

Perfectly calm water during the golden hour. 

 Another gorgeous sunset. 

Fishing with husband in Grandpa's boat. I did manage to catch a couple fish! 
Though, I still need someone to bait my hook & take the fish off ;) 

Husband's catch: sunfish & crappies.

Husband's catch, cleaned, scaled, stuffed with lemon & herbs, ready to be eaten! 
farm Lake to table at it's finest! 

With the successful reintroduction of eggs (though not in large quantities), I've started making paleo mayo! 
Yay, condiments! This recipe from "The Healthy Foodie" is my favorite (and SO easy). 

Fun way to display vintage fishing lures at an antique store in Dorset, MN. 

Husband ate the most amazing looking churro ice cream cone in Dorset, MN.
I, on the other hand, ate an apple… 

 The end of another perfect lake day. 


Hot cereal for breakfast is a favorite childhood lake memory. 
Since I've successfully reintroduced rice, I splurged on some cream of rice cereal 
with blueberries & coconut milk (though I don't plan to eat rice often).  

The screened in porch just might be my favorite spot at the cabin. Miss Mollie agrees, too.  

Husband swims, while I just dip my feet in and contemplate the merits (or lack thereof) of cold lake water…. 

Goodbye, lovely lake cabin! Until next year! 

Stay tuned for my next post on making stovetop Blueberry Peach Crisp!