The past week was spruced up with a read I have long meant to get around to digging in to, but put it off for too long in the name of all the fiction that I listed down first before my exams even started before June (exhale). Namely, it’s How Not To Die by Dr. Michael Gregor, which unveils a flurry of fact-based nutrition evidence supporting a whole foods, plant-based diet. Funny how just a year ago, or less even, I could never see myself buying into what initially seemed like pure trend. If the keto/HCLF/paleo diets all have their downsides, then why should I give two hoots about being a vegan? What’s the truth behind this ‘restriction’?
The answer, as we all swim in this vitriolic field of nutrition, would have to lie in the overlaps of the gargantuan venn diagram encompassing the evidence-based medicine and science, ethics and environment. Documentaries like Earthlings, Land of Hope and Glory (a new and wonderfully constructed documentary on the reality of the meat and dairy industries, like Earthlings 2.0), Forks Over Knives, and many Youtube videos on veganism illuminate a painful truth and cognitive dissonance most of us unconsciously drown in.
Every day is a choice, and I’ve made mine with conviction and confidence. This of course does not mean I am above anything or anyone, for to be human is to make mistakes. I’m happy to be the underdog, or just a friend. I type furiously as I think about how, sometimes, people talk without speaking, going in circles around moot points. But I am grateful for people who listen, feel uncomfortable, but try and understand. Life is a beautiful debate. It has taken me a while, especially regarding family, to admit to being preachy, or unnecessarily churlish, therefore sometimes, no matter how hard one may try to put forward a fact, the best option is to bow your head and accept that only time, and example, are the best ways forward.
As much as we are what we eat, we are also more than the sum of our parts. And there’s many a thing in our daily lives that can help us realise and appreciate this. Like yoga, intense work, a great book, poetry, nourishing food, people who can hold you accountable for things, and call you out when need be.
Now to be a fangirl over THIS apple crumble cereal that will dissolve your maelstrom of discontent. I can dump anything, literally anything into a cereal bowl, douse with milk and call it a day. You name it, and I will soak. Banana bread, chunks of a pumpkin tart, lemon meringue pie… oh and cereal, perhaps. Anything but something savoury, I guess. Kimchi and almond milk… maybe not so much. God forbid I will ever only be able toe at those two together.
Made with coconut and almond flour, coconut sugar and plenty of apple, I do wish I had a proper picture of the apple crumble itself, however I designed it to be perfect in the context of cereal– fluffy and crumbly, with hearty, soft chunks of apple to break through all that marshmallowy loveliness, perfect to dissolve at the right rate upon pouring in a river of creamy plant milk (whichever one you prefer, I’m partial to soy, oat or almond). Mildly sweet clusters of fluff, soft and cinnamony fruit.
Apple Crumble Cereal
Ingredients (enough for 4-5 bowls, store the rest in the fridge)
1.5 large or 2 small apples chopped into large chunks
100g rolled oats
40g almond flour
60g coconut flour (or use 100g total of either almond or coconut flour)
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves (optional)
1 tbsp soy yogurt or any other non-dairy yoghurt of your choice
60ml maple syrup
3.5 tbsp coconut oil
Preheat your oven to 162C and lightly grease a 9×9-inch pan. In a bowl, whisk together all ingredients except for the apples and cinnamon. Add the yogurt, maple syrup and coconut oil to this dry mixture. It may look dry especially if you’re using the coconut flour, but the mixture should stick and clump together together nicely when squeezed with your hands.
In a bowl, toss the apples and cinnamon together and dump it into the pan. Put the crumble on top, press down lightly, then sprinkle on more oats and cinnamon on top. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, no more and no less.
Once done, take the pan out of the oven, scoop as much as you want into a bowl and douse with whatever plant milk you like. I like to add more fruit, soy yogurt and tahini.