A very berry crumble

It’s berry season and that means it’s time to make crumbles, tarts and pies. This berry crumble is 100% vegan, gluten-free and the perfect balance of sweet and tart, tender and crisp. It’s worth making for three reasons: it’s healthy; it’s delicious and it’s easier to make than an elegant pie.

Low in granulated sugar (only 1 tablespoon!) and packed with oats, almonds, nuts, seeds and fresh fruit, it can be enjoyed for dessert with ice cream, as a mid-day snack or even at breakfast. In this recipe, I made the filling with a mix of blueberries and raspberries, but you can use any type of seasonal fresh or frozen berries or stone fruit such as peaches, cherries or plums.

The recipe is below.


Fruit crumble

Almond meal

Berry Crumble


Makes 10-12 slices

One rectangular oven-proof dish (approx. 28cm /11 in. X 18cm /7 in.) lined with parchment paper.

Base & topping

  • 1½ cups natural rolled oats
  • 1½ cups almond meal (ground almonds with skins)
  • ½ cup raw pecans
  • 6-7 fresh medjool dates (145 grams), pitted and softened in hot water
  • 1 tablespoon (tbsp) light oil (eg: grape seed, canola or vegetable)
  • 1 teaspoon (tsp) cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  • 2 cups rasberries (fresh or frozen)*
  • 2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)*
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar cane or brown sugar – omit if fruit are sweet.
  • 2 tbsps cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds

* Can substitute with chopped seasonal fruit or berries such as peaches, cherries, plums, blackberries, strawberries.

Fruit crumble


Preheat oven at 180°C / 350°F

1. For the base and topping:

Put the pitted dates in a small bowl and fill with hot water. Soak dates for 5 minutes and then drain & discard water.

Add all ingredients in a food processor and pulse to obtain a coarse and lightly moist crumb mixture.

Measure 1 cup of the crumb mixture and set this aside for the topping. Transfer the remaining crumbs into the dish lined with parchment and press it down with your fingers to form a firm and even base.

Bake the base in preheated oven on middle rack for 20 minutes until golden. Remove and set aside on a rack when done.

Note: while this bakes, make the filling.

2. For the filling:

In a deep sauce pan on stovetop, add the 4 cups of berries, maple syrup and sugar cane. Adjust the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil while mixing often. Do not put a lid on the pan. As soon as it boils, reduce the heat to a simmer.

Keep stirring while lightly mashing the berries with a potato masher or a fork. Add the cornstarch in small doses while stirring so that the cornstarch doesn’t clump. Keep stirring the mixture. It should simmer for 5-6 minutes total.

Remove the sauce pan from the heat and mix in the chia seeds. Set aside on a cooling rack for 10-15 minutes to allow the mixture to thicken and lightly gel.

When thick, pour the berry mixture on top of the cooked base and spread evenly.

With the remaining 1 cup of crumbs that was set aside, sprinkle these on top of the berry mixture. I like to scatter small clusters or clumps of crumbs here and there by squeezing small batches of the mixture between my hand (see below).

Fruit crumble

Bake in preheated oven on middle rack for 20 minutes until the top is golden brown.

Let the crumble cool completely in the dish and on a rack before slicing. With leftover crumble, cover the dish with foil and store in the refrigerator. It will keep for several days in the fridge.

Enjoy as is or with ice cream.

Julie Zimmer

Julie has extensive experience in nursing practice and education in a wide range of fields from intensive/coronary care, to medical-surgical to community and public health. Julie has Bachelor Degrees in Psychology and Nursing, and a Master’s Degree in Community Health Nursing Education. She has taught in faculties of nursing and in various communities in Toronto, Canada and in Geneva, Switzerland, and is a consultant to the International Council of Nurses (ICN). Julie also has years of experience teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in addition to coordinating an English department in a Swiss private school.

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