Monday, September 20, 2010

Berry Crisp - the best version

crisp made with blueberries & peaches

Himalayan blackberries seem to cover the city this time of year. While these transplants can cause a lot of grief and disruption to the native habitat, they sure taste delicious. If you are so lucky to have some of these invasives in your yard, be sure to eat them up before you dig them out!

This summer, I've made this berry crisp at least a dozen times, with several different fruit combinations (strawberries & rhubarb, blackberries & blueberries, peaches & strawberries, blackberries & blueberries, and peaches & blueberries, etc). The black pepper in the crisp is inspired by a recipe in one of my favorite food blogs: 101 Cookbooks. The pepper is a great twist and a perfect compliment for for tartness of the berries.

Best Berry Crisp
Oh what a versatile recipe! Feel free to experiment with the amount of sugar based on the sweetness of your fruit.

3/4 cup spelt flour
2/3 cup pecans
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup natural cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup unsalted organic butter, melted

1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup natural cane sugar
1/2 lb blackberries (or mixed berries)

Preheat the oven to 375. Butter a 9x9 square baking dish.

Combine the flour, nuts, oats, sugar, salt, and pepper together in a bowl. Cut the butter into 1/4" pieces and add to the mix.

Whisk together the cornstarch and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the berries, and toss until evenly coated. Transfer the filling to the prepared pan, and crumble the dry mix on top, spread evenly.

Bake for 35 - 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling.

crisp made with blackberries & strawberries

Carbohydrates (grains, fruit, breads, pasta, & sugar) increase blood glucose levels which in turn triggers an insulin secretion. This response is a part of normal digestion and is necessary for daily functions. Overeating refined and processed carbohydrates can result in dramatic spikes of glucose and insulin in the blood. These spikes are damaging to our cardiovascular and endocrine systems. They result in lots of health problems including: insulin resistance, diabetes, weight gain, metabolic dysfunction, hypoglycemia, and fatigue. Combining carbohydrate intake with quality protein and fat sources, slows glucose uptake and insulin response, thereby resulting in better blood sugar stability and ultimately fewer health complications.

If you are to eat sweets, it's important to do so with moderation and quality ingredients. Literature is showing more and more that the quality of your ingredients plays a major role in the digestibility and biological response to your intake. If you choose to make your desserts and treats at home, you will avoid the dyes, preservatives and flavor enhancers that processed foods promise us. You can also choose to add those important sources of proteins and fat that provide so much benefit to our carbohydrate digestion.

This recipe includes quality sources of carbohydrates (oats and fruit), protein(nuts), and fat(butter). It's a delicious dessert without the crap and won't make your blood sugars go haywire! Enjoy, and tell me what you think!

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