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Ricki Heller’s Grain-Free Apple Berry Crumble and a Giveaway

Living Candida-Free


I’m excited to have Ricki Heller join me today as part of the blog tour for her new book, Living Candida-Free. Today Ricki writes about one of my favorite cooking ingredients: coconut oil and shares her fabulous recipe for Grain-Free Apple Berry Crumble.

But that’s not all…you also have a chance to win a copy of Ricki’s book.  Check out the end of this post for details and enter to win.

Now, here’s Ricki….


Anti-Candida Superstar Food: Coconut Oil

One of the myths about the anti-candida diet is that you can’t have indulgent-tasting food while following it. I love proving to people that nothing could be further from the truth!

Sure, you’ll want to consume foods that will help your body to kill off excess yeast, but surprisingly, there are many delicious foods that can help with that objective. One of the most enticing—and rich-tasting—is virgin coconut oil.

Coconut oil contains both caprylic acid and lauric acid, two powerful anti-fungal agents. And while some people will need to increase their consumption of these compounds with supplements, it’s always a good idea to use real food for healing purposes whenever you can. Enter coconut oil!

Coconut oil is also healthful in general. Although it’s composed mostly of saturated fats, this medium-chain fatty acid metabolizes differently from other saturated fats in the body. As a result, it doesn’t cause the typical negative effects on the cardiovascular system as other saturated fats (say, from animal products).

In fact, coconut oil actually contributes to healthy cardiovascular functioning; it helps to lower “bad” cholesterol levels, improve heart health, boost thyroid function, and even strengthen the immune system. In recent years, there has been evidence that consuming coconut oil may help prevent or reverse Alzheimer’s disease. Not bad for a delicious, versatile, vegetable-based fat!

When it comes to cooking, coconut oil can’t be beat. As a saturated fat, it’s solid at room temperature (it melts just below 76F), so it’s ideal for baking. It’s also extremely stable when heated, so it’s your best bet for sautéing, too. And it doesn’t degrade at room temperature—so there’s no need for refrigeration.

To help prevent or keep candida in check, use coconut oil liberally wherever you’d use another oil. Other coconut products, such as full-fat coconut milk and dried unsweetened coconut, also contain a fair amount of oil, so those can be beneficial, too. Whether for baking, sautéing or as an ingredient in desserts, coconut oil confers a creamy, luscious texture and flavor. And the bonus? You’ll be doing your health a favor, too.


Grain-Free Apple Berry Crumble

Grain-Free Apple Berry Crumble

Good for: Stage 2 and beyond

This fresh, not-too-sweet dessert is a great way to enjoy fruit once you reintroduce it to your diet. Because the topping is grain-free, you won’t need to worry about consuming your coveted grain servings for dessert.

Makes 4 or 6 servings


  • Coconut oil, for pan
  • 2 small or 1 large sweet apple (I used Gala) or pear, cored and diced very small (about 1/2-inch [1.3 cm] cubes—feel free to leave the skin on)
  • 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) mixed fresh or frozen berries (not including cranberries)—I use strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries; if cranberries are included in your mix, use 2 cups (480 ml) total
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) fresh or frozen cranberries
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) water
  • 30 drops plain or fruit-flavored pure liquid stevia (I use 20 drops lemon and 10 drops cherry-vanilla)
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) psyllium husks (optional—it prevents the juices from becoming too watery)


  • 1/3 cup (55 g) raw natural almonds
  • 1/3 cup (55 g) raw sunflower or pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) coconut flour
  • 1/16 teaspoon (0.25 ml) pure stevia powder, or 1/8 teaspoon (0.5 ml) pure liquid stevia, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon (0.5 ml) fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) virgin coconut oil, preferably organic

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a 4- to 6-cup (1 to 1.5 L) casserole dish with coconut oil.

Prepare the filling: In a large bowl, toss the apples, berries, cranberries, lemon zest, and cinnamon. In a small bowl, mix together the lemon juice, water, stevia, and psyllium, then drizzle over the berry mixture and toss again to coat evenly. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish. (Note: You can just toss everything in the casserole dish instead of dirtying a bowl, but I found the mixture very hard to coat evenly when the ingredients were so cramped in the dish!)

Make the topping: In the bowl of a food processor, blend the almonds, seeds, coconut flour, stevia, cinnamon, ginger, and salt until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Add the coconut oil and process until it’s incorporated.

Sprinkle the topping evenly over the filling in the casserole dish. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, rotating the dish about halfway through baking, until the topping is lightly browned and the filling is bubbly. Allow to cool somewhat before serving. May be frozen.

From Living Candida-Free by Ricki Heller. Reprinted with permission from Da Capo Lifelong, © 2015. Photograph by Nicole Axworthy.

I have a copy of Living Candida-Free for one person. (U.S. and Canadian residents only, please.) To enter, leave a comment below telling me what your favorite sugar-free vegan dish is. For extra chances to win, follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram and leave a separate comment for each one to let me know.   This Giveaway ends Sunday, March 1, 2015 at midnight, EST.  A winner will be announced on Monday, March 2rd.


{ 56 comments… add one }

  • c. fuller February 23, 2015, 12:17 pm

    I bought a 54 ounce jug of 100% unrefined,cold pressed, pure, organic, virgin coconut oil and am going through it so fast, you would not believe. I’m using it on my skin, my teeth, in food, on my fingernails and they are looking wonderful …….and were NOT before. I am so glad to see that you have written a book on the glory of this quality coconut and coconut oil.

  • Ricki February 23, 2015, 3:19 pm

    Thanks so much for being part of the tour, Robin! I’m thrilled that you liked the crumble. 😀 And good luck to your readers!!

  • Katie February 23, 2015, 10:52 pm

    I like making my own unsweetened granola

  • Katie February 23, 2015, 10:53 pm

    Following on Facebook!

  • Katie February 23, 2015, 10:54 pm

    Following on Twitter

  • Katie February 23, 2015, 10:54 pm

    Following on Instagram!

  • Katie February 23, 2015, 11:52 pm

    (I am assuming you mean sugar free “sweet”…) My favourite sugar-free dessert is a frozen banana split down the centre banana-split style with 1/2 drizzled with tahini, and the other 1/2 sprinkled with matcha. Both are favourites, but when I can’t decide I have 1/2 and 1/2 🙂

  • lori IL February 24, 2015, 12:38 am

    This recipe sounds absolutely yummy! I love any kind of apple crumble – it’s simply and so delicious to eat.
    Thanks for the chance to win.

  • Amanda H February 24, 2015, 4:11 am

    I’m looking forward to trying out some recipes with coconut flour – I’ve never used it before so I’m interested to see how it goes and what it’s like!

  • Amanda H February 24, 2015, 4:12 am

    Follow on FB!

  • Amanda H February 24, 2015, 4:13 am

    Follow on Twitter!

  • Amanda H February 24, 2015, 4:13 am

    Follow on Instagram!

  • Jessica Eagle February 24, 2015, 9:15 am

    Thanks for this giveaway !!! My favorite sugar-free vegan meal is a green smoothie or green fresh juice. Full of veggies !!!!

  • Jessica Eagle February 24, 2015, 9:16 am

    Following on Facebook

  • Jessica Eagle February 24, 2015, 9:17 am

    Following on Twitter

  • Marsha February 24, 2015, 11:28 am

    My favorite is avocado balls. They are a vegan chocolate ball rolled in unsweetened coconut.

  • Marsha February 24, 2015, 11:29 am

    I follow on facebook.

  • Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine February 24, 2015, 11:40 am

    My cocoa mug cakes!

  • Ashley February 24, 2015, 11:44 am

    I love green smoothies with fruit! Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Ashley February 24, 2015, 11:46 am

    I follow you on Facebook!

  • Ashley February 24, 2015, 11:47 am

    I follow you on Twitter.

  • Gina Senguptaq February 24, 2015, 11:50 am

    I love peanut butter balls made with peanut butter, oat flour, unsweetened coconut, and a few drops of stevia.

  • Ashley February 24, 2015, 11:55 am

    I follow you on Instagram!

  • Jen T. February 24, 2015, 4:07 pm

    Chocolate smoothie in a bowl. Frozen fruit, cacao powder, spinach, almond butter, maybe a little stevia, mixed together in the food processor and topped with flax seeds and cacao nibs.

  • Jen T. February 24, 2015, 4:09 pm

    I follow on Facebook

  • Jen T. February 24, 2015, 4:10 pm

    I follow on Twitter (@justaboutvegan)

  • Jen T. February 24, 2015, 4:10 pm

    And I also follow you on Instagram. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Marika February 24, 2015, 7:45 pm

    One of my favourite sugar-free vegan desserts is mango sorbet, made with just mango and banana—although this apple crisp looks like it could give that a run for its money! Ricki really knows her stuff. Thanks for hosting this great giveaway, Robin 🙂

  • Marika February 24, 2015, 7:46 pm

    Following on facebook.

  • Marika February 24, 2015, 7:46 pm

    Following on Twitter.

  • Nicollette D February 24, 2015, 8:50 pm

    This book looks amazing. I can’t wait to try some of these healthier versions of some of my favorites!

  • Nicollette D February 24, 2015, 8:52 pm

    Following you on Facebook.

  • Nicollette D February 24, 2015, 8:55 pm

    And Twitter

  • Nicollette D February 24, 2015, 8:56 pm

    Following you on Instagram!

  • Deb E February 24, 2015, 10:31 pm

    I love all things coconut and buy the gallon container of oil and 25 pound bag of coconut flour, lol, so I make my version of coconut balls with nuts, oil, coconut flour, mixed with the veggie pulp from my juicer. It’s an odd combo but I don’t waste a thing. Looking forward to checking out Ricki’s recipes too. I’m big on quick recipes with no-frills ingredients.

  • Deb E February 24, 2015, 10:32 pm

    I follow you on Facebook as Deb Dianne.

  • Deb E February 24, 2015, 10:36 pm

    I don’t have an Instagram account, but do follow you on Twitter @debbieeland

  • Alyson February 25, 2015, 7:53 am

    My fav unsweetened dessert is chai chia seed pudding! Just chia seeds, almond milk, chai tea bag and stevia. Delish!

  • Darlene February 25, 2015, 1:09 pm

    I love raw carob bites!!

  • Kathy Ross February 25, 2015, 3:43 pm

    I am actually trying to go sugar free for awhile. Possibly to a candida cleanse. This book would be a wonderful follow-up! I too, as a previous poster, love chia seed pudding. Chia seed, nutmilk, maple syrup, vanilla, and grated orange rind. Right now I am only doing fruit and berries 🙂

  • Lydia Claire February 25, 2015, 11:04 pm

    Chocolate Tofu Pudding.

  • Chely February 26, 2015, 7:48 am

    I love raw donut holes. They aare a nice treat and taste decadent.

  • Amy Katz February 26, 2015, 1:19 pm

    I love banana-raw cacao nice cream!

  • Amy Katz February 26, 2015, 1:20 pm

    I follow you on Facebook!

  • Amy Katz February 26, 2015, 1:21 pm

    I follow you in Instagram!

  • Mary in Maryland February 26, 2015, 7:22 pm

    My favorite sugar free dish is broccoli with noodles and black bean sauce.

  • D. Watson February 26, 2015, 8:55 pm

    Bought the ingredients today…will be making the crumble this weekend and I can’t wait! My favorite sugar-free vegan sweet is my home-made peanut butter flax crumble cookies…OH YEAH! Great… now I might have to make some of those too!

  • Jacqui Pappas March 1, 2015, 10:49 am

    Sugar free dessert would be an apple with nut butter.

  • Lydia Claire March 1, 2015, 9:37 pm

    I follow on Facebook.

  • Lydia Claire March 1, 2015, 9:38 pm

    I follow you on Twitter.

  • Lydia Claire March 1, 2015, 9:38 pm

    I follow you on Instagram.

  • Corrine March 1, 2015, 9:40 pm

    I like having smoothies sweetened with Stevia.

  • Corrine March 1, 2015, 9:41 pm

    I follow you on Facebook.

  • Corrine March 1, 2015, 9:41 pm

    I follow you on Twitter.

  • chickie brewer March 2, 2015, 12:31 pm

    I follow you on Facebook. I like the Grain-Free Apple Berry Crumble recipe. Its looks so good!

  • Adrian May 4, 2015, 1:28 pm

    This is great! I get all natural cookies from http://www.cooperstreetcookies.com and this would be great to try some recipes out with! Thanks so much!

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