August 1, 2013

Blueberry Crumb Cake (vegan)

I have not been able to stop buying blueberries for the past few weeks. They are not only at their peak of flavor, but are at their lowest price of the season as well. Eating them on their own, with cereal, or thrown into smoothies is always my preference, but when you have 2-3 pounds of them in the refrigerator it is fun to play with them. Like so many of my recipes, I set out to make this cake to be a little healthier than your standard white butter cake by using whole wheat flour and coconut oil instead. But it is still made with sugar and the verdict is really still out on coconut oil being good for you or not. I was after making something that the kids would gobble up in spite of the whole wheat vegan base and it worked.

The best thing about making this cake is that you can do it without a lot of time or effort and the kids can get involved in putting it together. It is delicious to have for dessert, tea, brunch, or a sweet snack. If you don't want to use sugar, go ahead and replace the sugar with maple syrup in the cake, but use the sugar in topping. If you want to cut down on the fat, omit the walnuts and replace them with rolled oats. Little adjustments such as these will still produce a yummy result.

Blueberries reign supreme in the world of antioxidants as they are an excellent source of anthocyanidins. These are the antioxidant compounds that are responsible for the purple and red pigments. Blueberries are also a great source of vitamins C and E, dietary fiber, pectin, manganese, and riboflavin. They help to protect the brain, eyes, and promote urinary tract health as they contain the same compounds found in cranberries that help to prevent urinary tract infections.

If you are like me and are hoarding blueberries right now because of they are so delicious and well priced, freeze a tray of them to enjoy this winter. Wash the berries and allow them to dry completely. Spread them out onto a parchment lined baking tray and freeze for about 8 hours or overnight. Once they are frozen, put them into zip sealed bags and store in freezer until ready to use.

Blueberry Crumb Cake

Serves 16

For all ingredients, please consider using those that are grown organically.

 2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and thoroughly dried
 2 cups  whole wheat flour (If you prefer a somewhat lighter cake, use equal   parts whole wheat and all purpose flour)
 3 tea spoons aluminum-free baking powder
 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
 2 tablespoons potato starch
 2/3 cup unsweetened soy or almond milk
 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 1-2 teaspoons lemon zest
 Crumb Topping 
 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
 1 teaspoon  ground cinnamon
 1/2 cup sugar or light brown sugar
 2 tablespoons coconut oil
 1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped or rolled oats to reduce fat

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Make the crumb topping by combining the flour, cinnamon, and sugar in a medium size bowl. Then add the coconut oil and use a fork to blend the ingredients together. Add in the walnuts or oats and set aside.

Brush or smear a teaspoon or so of  coconut oil around the inside of a 9 x 9 inch baking dish. Dust the dish with fine bread crumbs, graham cracker crumbs or flour and set aside.

Sprinkle the prepared blueberries with a couple tablespoons of flour, toss to coat them entirely, and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and potato starch.

Measure the milk of your choice, oil, and vanilla in a liquid measuring cup. 

Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and gently mix to combine. Do not over mix. Add the blueberries to the batter along with the lemon zest, and use your hands to fold it all together without popping the berries.

Transfer the batter to the prepared baking dish. Spread the batter to even it out in the dish and evenly sprinkle the crumb topping over it.

Bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Cool for about half an hour before cutting. Cut the cake into 16 squares.

Store at room temperature for up to a few days.

Categories: Cookies, Brownies & Bars, Desserts, Fruits, Kids in the Kitchen, Spring & Summer, Vegan Desserts

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