Summer has found a way to creep up on me. Without realizing it, our calendar has completely filled up until the middle of August. A last minute trip to northern BC this weekend has begun what will be a very busy, and fun, next month.
Adam started a new job at the beginning of July, from an electrician, to an electrician salesman selling huge electrical generators. He used to work in sales, his first degree was in marketing. So it’s been an exciting month so far! Along with a new job, came a new car (woohooo!) and my brother has a friend who owns a dealership up north, who happened to get us a great deal on a Jeep Wrangler Sahara; a car Adam had been eyeing for a while. So, we’re flying up this Friday and driving the 10 hours back down to Vancouver on Sunday in our brand new car!
Then, every weekend after that seems to be booked too! I have Provincials for baseball, then going down to the states with some friends, then to Merritt for a camping trip with my cousins, and then it’s the long weekend and the family is all going up to Osoyoos for the weekend/week. And finally – we’re ending it off with a bang in Vegas! Just talking about all that has made me exhausted.
I’m looking forward to it all, but I’m also a little stressed about school! I have tons of final assignments coming up, and I’m trying to finish them along with the regular homework assignments.
One thing I worry about while traveling and on vacation is eating healthy, and finding time for exercise. Usually if we’re in the states we’ll go for walks, or bike rides and swimming. In osoyoos there’s plenty of walking, and rollerblading or biking to keep us busy.
I try and pack health snacks and food, like preparing food ahead of time for camping. Usually weekends are hectic and busy which also means lots of snacking, usually on unhealthy pre-packaged type foods. I try to pre-make snacks, like homemade trail mix, protein pods, granola, lots of fruit and even veggies. One of my new favourite tricks is storing cut veggies in some water in a glass mason jar. It keeps them crisp, and super easy to take along with you.
I had some fruit leftover from camping that was beginning to soften, so I thought i would throw together a mixed fruit crumble/crisp with them. I also thought about how I could make it healthier than the sugar and butter laden usual fruit crisps.
I made the topping with two ingredients: oats & bananas. Two of my favourites. I simply pureed the bananas with some cinnamon, then tossed in the oatmeal. When it baked, it became a crunchy, delicious topping like a baked oatmeal dish (because, that’s basically what it is.) I also added a small tablespoon of applesauce, because I had it in the fridge. You can add it too, or just use bananas.
I find regular fruit crisps/crumbles can be mushy, the buttery top is usually oily looking, while this topping stayed crispy on top and slightly soft underneath.
The fruit can be anything you have on hand. I didn’t add any sugar to it whatsoever – fruit is naturally sweet, and baking it makes it even more flavourful. I’ve been trying to cut sugar out of my diet, and I can really feel a difference when I do. I’m calmer, more focused and my blood sugar doesn’t drop and spike. I sprinkled the top of the fruit with maybe a tablespoon of rice flour to thicken it up a bit. It also thickened up more the next day, too.
healthy Summer Fruit Crisp
sugar-free, wheat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, Vegan
2 Cups Rolled Oats (I like to us the TJ’s dairy free, wheat free, gluten free version, or Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Rolled Oats)
1 1/2 Bananas
1 Cup Blueberries (fresh/frozen)
1 Cup Raspberries (fresh/frozen)
1/2 cup blackberries (fresh/frozen)
I used a mixture of fresh and frozen fruit – the nectarines and peaches were fresh, as well as the blueberries. I had a bag of mixed frozen berries of raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries that I used as well.
To make the topping:
Puree the banana with a blender, and add a few dashes of cinnamon. Add the rolled oats and mix together well. Set aside.
Cut the nectarines and peach into medium sized chunks, and place in the bottom of a baking dish. Layer on top the rest of the berries, sprinkle with 1 tbs of wheat-free, gluten-free flour if you like (you can totally leave it out.)
Spoon the banana/oat mixture evenly on top of the fruit. You can sprinkle the top with a pinch of coconut sugar, as I did at the end too. I just discovered coconut sugar, and it’s pretty good. Not a great substitute for brown sugar, as it’s a bit dry but a great topping, or in place of refined white sugar. I had a scoop left of the oat mixture, and made a small cookie out of it and baked it on the cookie sheet for about 10 minutes.
Set the baking dish onto a cookie sheet.
Bake at 375 for 50-60 minutes. If the top is browning too much, cover it lightly with a piece of foil.
Let sit for 10 minutes, before diving in.
I topped mine with 1-Ingredient Banana Ice Cream, again, no sugar, no dairy.
It’s a perfect snack, dessert, or as I had it one morning, for breakfast (without the ice cream.) The entire crisp is sugar-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, and vegan. There’s still the same great, if not better taste as the ‘real’ thing thats saturated in butter and sugar.