Is anyone else counting down the sleeps until the long weekend? I sure am! This Friday is Canada Day for those of us here in Canada, and I know that my US friends are also celebrating the 4th of July on Monday. The July long weekend has always felt to me like the first real celebration of summer, and I’m planning to spend mine truly enjoying the outdoors with a hike and some beach time. Do you have any special plans?
Today’s recipe is a response to a reader’s request, and one that I thought would be perfect with the long weekend ahead. One of my long-time readers, Sarah, sent me an email asking for an easy summer dessert that is both gluten-free and vegan. As you guys know, I don’t do a ton of baking but this felt like just the right opportunity to test out a recipe that’s been bubbling around in my brain a few weeks now, ever since I spotted peaches for the first time this season at the grocery store.
As a kid, I remember spending countless summers in Ontario visiting my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousin’s on my mum’s side. There are 7 kids in her family, all of which have kids, so there was nothing small about family gatherings. With up to about 30 people in attendance, dinners were always a group effort to put together and portion control was always pretty spot-on. When it came to desserts though, let’s just say there was never a shortage of those. After adding up all the sweet treats, we always had enough to feed an army!
Having a lot of food in the house always seemed to stress my grandma out a little, but if that food was of the sugary variety – donuts, muffins, tarts, cookies, pies and cakes – one person who never complained was my grandpa. He was the kind of guy, whom when asked which of 6 desserts he’d like to have, would request “a little of each”. In case you wondered, the dude was as skinny as a rake!
My grandpa did have some healthy habits outside of his desserts though. He golfed regularly, raked the leaves on his lawn in the morning (even if there were only like 5), washed his car, loved to play cards, and on the whole was a pretty social kind of guy. He had a thing for peaches, and when we’d visit, he always let me know that he had “an Essex peach with my name on it” waiting in the kitchen. To this day, eating peaches makes me think of him.
I like my summer desserts to be of the fruit variety, and when it comes to peaches, straight off the pit is my usual preference. However, if you’d like to make something a little more fancy and reminiscent of peach crisp, then this Gluten-Free Coconut Almond Peach Crisp is for you!
Typically, the gorgeous crumbly topping on these sorts of desserts is made with a mixture of oats, flour, butter and sugar. A heavenly taste, but not so great on your gut if you’re gluten-intolerant or if you’re vegan. For this recipe, I’ve used gluten-free oats – half of which I whirled in my food processor to turn them into flour, and the other half of which I kept whole. Rather than using brown sugar, I used a bit of coconut sugar and a pinch of stevia extract, which meant far less sweetener was needed than in your average crisp or crumble (and peaches are already pretty sweet anyway!)
To replace butter, I used coconut oil and this worked like a charm to hold the oaty bits together. You’ll want to melt it first as noted in the directions below, then stir it into the dry ingredients to get the best coating. After stirring in some flaked coconut and almonds, I spread the layer over my peaches (feel free to peel them if you want – I didn’t bother because there’s fiber in those skins!) and popped the entire dish into the oven.
The result were gorgeous, juicy and bubbling peaches under a layer of golden, lightly-spiced oat crumble. And because my grandpa would never have his desserts without ice cream, I served mine with a super simple banana-based ‘nice cream’, which I’ve also included the recipe for below.
Of course, if you’d like to modify this to make it a little more Canada Day-like or 4th of July-appropriate, you could totally swap the peaches for berries and keep everything else the same. If you bring it to any sort of long weekend celebration, I’m pretty sure you won’t leave with any leftovers…. and in that case, you might want to make a double batch. ?
Gluten-Free Coconut Almond Peach Crisp with Vanilla ‘Nice Cream’
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 35 mins
Ingredients (4-6 servings)
For the peach crisp:
- 6 medium or 4 large peaches
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 cup gluten-free oats, divided
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar + a pinch of stevia extract
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 cup flaked or roughly chopped almonds
- 2 tbsp flaked unsweetened toasted coconut
For the vanilla ‘nice cream’ (you may have some leftover):
- 6 ripe bananas, peeled
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- fresh mint, to garnish
Preheat oven to 375F.
Peel, pit and slice the peaches. Place them into an oven-safe baking dish and toss them in lemon juice.
Whirl half of the oats in a food processor so that they form a flour. In a bowl, mix together the oat flour, remaining whole oats, melted coconut oil, sweeteners, cinnamon, ginger, flaked almonds and coconut. The texture should be crumbly.
Pour the oat mixture over the peaches in an even layer.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the crumble is golden and juices are bubbling.
Serve hot or cold.
For the ‘nice cream’:
Toss all the bananas, vanilla and cinnamon in a blender and blend until completely smooth. The mixture should be thick, so use your blender’s tamper (that’s the long stick that you can insert in the top as the motor runs) to stir as you go. Alternatively, pause regularly to scrape down the walls of the blender.
Pour the banana puree into a freezer-safe container and freeze for 4-5 hours. Scoop and serve on top of the peach crumble with mint, if desired.
Now it’s over to you. I’d love to hear…
- What are you up to for the long weekend?
- What desserts (and they don’t have to be healthy ones!) would summer not be the same without?