baking/ breakfast + brunch/ dessert/ gluten free/ quick + easy/ this is life

Take the calm with the chaos, and the chaos with the calm : Nectarine Strawberry Almond Crumble

Nectarine and Strawberry Crumble - gluten free

School is back and a new year has begun. We are entering a new rhythm – with an expanse of space and time before us – and as the year opens up before me, I am pondering thoughts of ‘home’.

I guess whenever something substantial changes in our day to day living, it opens up new possibilities, but can also leave us wondering where to start or even feeling a little lost. If you can anticipate these changes you can invest some serious thought about what life will be like after the change and who you will be in that space. But it seems no matter how much thinking you do beforehand, the actual reality is something that just needs to be dealt with at the time, in the space and moments as they now sit before you.

While I was pregnant I remember thinking so much about what it would be like to be living as a family, with a little baby of our own to look after. And when the time came it was what we imagined but so, so much more. More beautiful, more challenging, more everything. The world was different. It was magnificent, and I changed forever.

Life flies by so fast, and I have to consciously remember what those early days were like, where everything in the world had so much more gravity to it. The magic I felt in introducing a new life to the largeness of the world… I realised the wonder, that there is so much to explore and learn, and seeing the world through fresh eyes taught me to really see once again.

Those beautiful little sets of eyes that have been looking at the world alongside of mine are now seeing new things, on their own. A new world is opening up, a world of books and knowledge and infinite possibilities of a different kind. Which means that I am presented with an opportunity to open up my own world too…

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So I am exploring and embarking on new adventures, as well as looking at what really creates my sense of home.

Of course, home is where the heart is, and after travelling the world last year I learned how true that can be. You can make a home just about anywhere, especially when your heart is feeling full, but when your heart is feeling not so full it makes all the difference to feel support and love around you.

I am embarking on my new journey of having more time on my own. It’s been years since I’ve had more than an hour or two on my own. It has felt like a luxury, knowing that the whirlwind doesn’t really stop just because I’m not in it! When I have returned I have been almost always greeted by another, bringing me right back into the fold. Now the tundra of school life has begun for us all, and I am imagining what the days will be like, with more time flying solo.

I have plans and ideas and now also time; all that is left is to actually make them happen.

Strawberry and Nectarine Vanilla Crumble - gluten free with almond meal

I have always found it easy to jump to a task when I am asked to by someone else. You need that thing done right away? No problem. Something’s gone wrong? Let’s fix it, or talk about it till it doesn’t seem so bad anymore. But what I have also realised is that when it comes to my own projects I often get stalled. When I am the only one doing the asking I just find it so much harder to get stuff done. I have a million ideas or visions in my head, but where to begin?!

Before now I have always had the excuse of someone else needing me (like, right now!) so it’s been easy to push my own projects aside. And while it’s true that I still have others that depend on me, it’s for many less hours of the day. There is a whole big stretch there in the middle, and only me to decide what to do with it.

I started by reading through an old copy of Kinfolk, one that I bought a few years ago, but never actually got to read. Turns out the theme of that issue was ‘home’. Thanks universe.

I read a lovely little essay by Victoria Smith of SF Girl by Bay about what it’s like to live alone. Her situation is very different from mine, but it made me think about my own days and how to create a sense of home even when the house feels a little empty.

I can tell that ritual will be important for me. And continuing to see the world with those eyes that I have been wearing these past few years, even though the little eyes that I have been exploring with are no longer constantly by my side. In fact, the wonderment behind my eyes is now more important than ever, so that the world and my own company will excite me and nourish me, and give me something beautiful to share with the others when they tell me stories of their day.

Now is my time to take the calm with the chaos and the chaos with the calm, and to be fully present and relish both. With some newly refreshed eyes I can really enjoy when the chaos hits…

Nectarine Strawberry Crumble Gluten Free sweetpea darlingheart

Nectarine Strawberry Almond Crumble

A dear, dear friend of mine has just moved away. I miss our daily visits, but now when we catch up it is a special occasion, and all the more beautiful to see how things and people have changed and grown while little gaps of time have passed. Her new home has a grand old nectarine tree, and with her nectarines I made this nectarine strawberry crumble – a simple and homely dessert, to give nourishment to our bodies and fuel to our dreams.

8 nectarines, quartered
large double handful of strawberries, greens removed and chopped in half
juice of an orange
one vanilla pod, split and scraped

large handful of roasted almonds, roughly chopped
120g almond meal
2 tablespoons of coconut butter
2 heaped tablespoons of lucuma powder
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
a good pinch of salt
1/4 cup maple syrup

Pile the chopped fruit into a ceramic baking dish and preheat your oven to 160° celsius. Squeeze over the juice of an orange and scatter with the vanilla seeds; pop the pod in too.

In a small bowl stir together the almond meal, lucuma, cinnamon, salt and roasted almonds. If the weather is warm then stir the coconut butter directly into the mixture, but if it the day is cool then warm the coconut butter slightly in a little saucepan first. Mix through the maple syrup and use your fingers to crumble the mixture on top of the fruit.

Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until the topping is golden brown.

Serve with natural yoghurt or runny cream.

Nectarine and Strawberry Crumble - gluten free

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 - 6 Cooking Time: 30 mins

Ingredients

  • 8 nectarines, quartered
  • large double handful of strawberries, greens removed and chopped in half
  • juice of an orange
  • one vanilla pod, split and scraped
  • +
  • large handful of roasted almonds, roughly chopped
  • 120g almond meal
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut butter
  • 2 heaped tablespoons of lucuma powder
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • a good pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

Instructions

1

Pile the chopped fruit into a ceramic baking dish and preheat your oven to 160° celsius. Squeeze over the juice of an orange and scatter with the vanilla seeds; pop the pod in too.

2

In a small bowl stir together the almond meal, lucuma, cinnamon, salt and roasted almonds. If the weather is warm then stir the coconut butter directly into the mixture, but if it the day is cool then warm the coconut butter slightly in a little saucepan first. Mix through the maple syrup and use your fingers to crumble the mixture on top of the fruit.

3

Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until the topping is golden brown.

4

Serve with natural yoghurt or runny cream.

Notes

• gluten free • grain free •

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