An apple a day…

Apple crumble is sure to keep the doctor away, there is way more than one apple! I love apple crumble. It is a soothing food to me. It isn’t heavy, I can eat heaps of it without feeling ill and the biggest bonus, it has my most favourite spice in the whole wide world in it… Cinnamon! My love for cinnamon cannot be overstated. I add it to so many things even if the recipe doesn’t call for it. If the recipe does call for it I usually double it before even trying it the way the recipe states. Cinnamon is bliss!

This is an amalgamation of about 4 different apple crumble recipes that I have tried. I have taken elements from each recipe and altered them to my taste creating a whole new recipe. This is now my go to crumble recipe. It is very flexible on the fruit front, don’t have enough apples, add something else, I added some blackberries to the last one and it was delicious. Have lots of apples, add more. The ratio of fruit to crumble is purely personal. Don’t like nutmeg so much, omit it or reduce it. Love cinnamon, add way more, it can take it. This is a cinnamon level that is adjusted to general palate so feel free to add more!

Apple Crumble

7 apples

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup plain flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup rolled oats

3/4 cup desiccated coconut

1 generous tablespoon of cinnamon

1  1/4 teaspoons of nutmeg

1/2 cup of butter (can use coconut oil if you want it vegan)

2 tsp vanilla essence

Heat oven to 170C. Peel the apples and slice thinly. Place in casserole dish, sprinkling throughout with the teaspoon of cinnamon. If you use tart green apples you may want to add a bit of sugar as well.

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Crumble: mix flour, brown sugar, oats, coconut, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl. Melt the butter, add the vanilla essence to the butter and mix. Add to the dry ingredients and mix well. It will be crumbly.

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If you are unsure if it will fit in the bowl, wash the bowl you know it fits in and use that…

Put on top of the apples and bake in oven for 40 to 50 minutes.

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Ready to go in the oven

Bake til when you stick a fork in the apples are soft enough for your liking. I like them to still maintain their shape and some texture not be a mush, others like mush. Bake to your liking.

Enjoy. You can serve it by itself or with cream, ice cream, or custard or whatever tickles your fancy. It is delicious!!!

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A more natural clean

In my efforts to rid my home of chemicals, gone are all the antibacterial sprays and whatever else one uses these days to kill 99.99% of germs and bacteria. I clean the whole house with vinegar, water, bicarb soda, and soap.

The vinegar is great, I have it in a spray bottle and use it to clean surfaces like I would a supermarket spray.

I do sometimes like things to smell nice while I clean, enter the infused vinegar.

When it is citrus season, like right now, I fill a big jar with orange peels. I cut the flesh of the orange away to leave the zest and a thin layer of rind.

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Yes I know it isn’t quite full, I will add to it as I eat more oranges.

Cover them with vinegar. IMG_3629They will sink over the next day or so, then they should remain completely submerged.

Put the lid on.

Put it in the cupboard, and shake it whenever I remember, generally every few days.

After a few weeks the vinegar is orange in colour and smells like quite orangey vinegar. I make a couple of batches each Winter. When I am satisfied with the level of orangeness I tip the vinegar into glass bottles where it stores for months and months on end. When I need more spray I fill up my spray bottle somewhere between 50 and 75% of the way and top the rest up with water to dilute it a bit. It’s not an exact science. IMG_3655This is all I have left from last year. It is already diluted.

Then in Summer I do the same thing but with sage leaves instead of orange peels. Sage has antimicrobial properties all of its own, add that to the awesomeness of vinegar. Winning. I have year round cleaner. 2 scents. No chemicals. Clean benches. Money saved! If only I brewed my own vinegar…. A project for the future!

This also works quite well with my attempt at Zero waste living ( I am currently at very low waste living, have not achieved zero). There is a place near me that refills my 2L vinegar containers, so no packaging. The orange peels are from the farmers market, I purchase them without packaging, I eat the rest of the orange. No waste. The sage grows in my garden. Zero miles and free.

This is a cheap and easy alternative to some fairly harsh chemicals. Give it a try!