Winter is beginning to bite, and Christmas is just around the corner, so, like me, even if you’re being careful to maximise nutrients with fresh food and the odd juice or smoothie, there are still times where only a warming, comforting traditional English pud will do! 

Puddings always conjure up thoughts of temple-achingly sweet, calorie-laden, guilt-inducingly indulgent encounters with cream, custard, sugar and the best kind of stodge. But fear not – although those puddings of legend are not exactly good for regular consumption if you want to keep your weight under control, there’s nothing wrong with a occasional foray into pudding heaven. So, what about a heavenly pudding you can eat more regularly through the winter, with real health benefits? Yes, they exist, and the first port of call has to be a fruity crumble, that most British of classic puds.

Health-wise, the choice of fruit is important. The less sugar you have to use in the preparation, the healthier it will be. Cherries are a fabulous choice, with their dark reddish-purple flesh shouting about their antioxidant, immune-boosting, free radical-fighting benefits. The crumble itself can be lightened by swapping out refined wheat flours for gluten free alternatives, and using a less refined sugar which lends texture and a toffee-like edge. Adding pistachios, oats, live yogurt and cinnamon ups the range of nutrients, co-factors, probiotics and essential fats to super-boost level. A healthy winter comfort pud? Absolutely! Just watch portion sizes……

Cherry Crumble (Gluten Free)

Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan)

900g cherries, stones removed (fresh, tinned or frozen)
2 tbsp light muscovado sugar or coconut sugar
2 tbsp brandy (optional)
a knob of butter
100g light muscovado sugar or coconut sugar
100g cold, unsalted organic butter, cut into cubes
50g gluten free porridge oats
50g shelled, unsalted pistachios (chopped)
100g rice flour
A pinch of salt

Spread the cherries, sugar, brandy (if using) and butter evenly in an ovenproof dish. Mix the dry ingredients well, then rub in the butter to reach the crumble consistency you prefer. To save time, you could use a food processor to mix the dry ingredients and chop the nuts and oats before adding the butter, and pulsing to the desired texture. Evenly sprinkle the crumble over the fruit, and bake for 35 – 40 minutes.

Serve with live Greek yogurt (mixed with icing sugar to sweeten slightly if the yogurt is too sharp) sprinkled with a touch of cinnamon to add a contrasting cold and tart foil for the sweetness of the crumble.

The cinnamon, along with the protein and fat in the yogurt, will help to regulate the release of sugar into the blood, preventing spikes and crashes, and making this a sweet but healthy treat indeed! Enjoy!

Want to put the foundation of health in place in your life? Take a look at the plans, foods, starter packs and events that do just that! If it’s a getaway reboot you’re after, hop on over to Nourish Retreats, my sister site, and come and work with a range of fabulous experts in health and wellbeing.