Wild Blueberry Crumble (vegan & gluten-free)

by on December 8, 2013

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Wild Blueberry Association of North America.

Last weekend we celebrated Chanukah with Isaac’s family. Isaac’s mom was making the latkes and she asked us to bring a salad and dessert.  I already knew I was going to make a version of my holiday salad with roasted butternut to share but didn’t know what the heck to bring for dessert. I could have gone the traditional route and brought rugelach or jelly donuts but eventually I decided I wanted something a little healthier. It was the perfect excuse to put the package of blueberries I had in the freezer to use.

Wild Blueberry Crumble (vegan & gluten-free)

Something this fruit sounded perfect to have after a meal of fried potatoes. :)

Fresh Frozen Wyman's Wild Blueberries

I buy frozen blueberries all the time but normally I don’t think about the type of blueberries I’m buying but this time I made sure to grab a package of wild blueberries. They had these at Whole Foods and I’ve seen them at our local health food store as well.

Interestingly, wild blueberries are significantly different than regular blueberries. Not only are they smaller, but they have a deeper blue pigment, double the antioxidants and a more intense blueberry flavor.

Wild Blueberry Crumble (vegan & gluten-free)

I hadn’t mentioned anything about the type of blueberries I used in the crumble to Isaac but he definitely noticed the difference. He kept commenting how tiny and flavorful the berries were. It was cute.

Wild Blueberry Crumble (vegan & gluten-free)

Wild blueberries definitely have advantages over the larger cultivated blueberries. You get more berries per pound when buying wild blueberries, they have a high skin to flesh ratio which means less water, so they freeze better and perform better in baking and have a higher concentration of beneficial phytochemicals, making them a more powerful ally against disease.

For me, the intense flavor was the difference I noticed most. If you’ve ever tried a regular frozen blueberry straight from the freezer, you’ll likely notice that they often lack flavor and aren’t very sweet. I found that wild blueberries were so much more flavorful and sweet.    I honestly don’t think I’ll go back to buying regular blueberries anymore.

Wild Blueberry Crumble (vegan & gluten-free)

I had to steal a piece of the crumble for quality control and so that I could get a photo for the blog before it got dark. Oh the woes of being a food blogger during the winter months. Luckily I was bringing this to a family affair and I knew the wouldn’t mind.

Wild Blueberry Crumble (vegan & gluten-free)

Overall, the crumble turned out to be a real hit that night. It’s really a great dessert option for the holidays because it’s not too sweet or heavy to serve after a big meal. Added bonus = it’s gluten-free (so long as you get certified gluten-free oats and oat flour) and vegan, which is nice if you’re taking it as a dessert for a holiday dinner with folks who might have special dietary preferences.

As with most recipes posted here, it’s packed with unprocessed, healthy ingredients–blueberries (obviously) but also oatmeal, homemade unsweetened apple sauce (Thanks Tim!) and coconut oil. I honestly think it would make a delicious breakfast option for Christmas morning–top it with a little greek yogurt and you’d be good to go!

Blueberry Crumble Finished

As an ice cream lover, my only regret is that I didn’t bring along a little vanilla bean ice cream to serve with the crumble. Although, it didn’t seem to matter–there were no leftovers…

5.0 from 4 reviews

Wild Blueberry Crumble (vegan & gluten-free)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
I found arrowroot powder in the bulk spices section at my local health food store but you can use cornstarch if you can’t find it. Same goes for the coconut sugar, it can be subbed with unprocessed cane sugar or regular sugar if needed. I’ll also note that the crumble was plenty sweet for us but if you want a sweeter dessert, feel free to add more maple syrup to the blueberry mixture and more sugar to the crumble. Be sure to get certified gluten-free oats and oat flour if you want the crumble to be gluten free.
Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups frozen wild blueberries (no thawing required)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon arrowroot (or cornstarch)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup old fashioned oatmeal
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • ⅓ cup coconut sugar
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin coconut oil, solid state, broken into chunks
  • ½ cup unsweetened cinnamon apple sauce
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon poppy seeds (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line an 8 inch square pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, stir together the maple syrup, arrowroot, vanilla and lemon juice. Gently mix in the blueberries. Sit aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together oatmeal, oat flour, coconut sugar, baking powder and salt. Add in apple sauce, stir. Then stir in coconut oil. Dough will be crumbly. Separate dough in half and press one half into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  4. Pour the blueberry mixture evenly over the crust.
  5. Stir poppy seeds into the remaining mixture of dough and crumble over the berry layer.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until top crumbled pieces are slightly brown. Cool for about 20 minutes and serve.

If you’re interested in learning more about wild blueberries you can visit the Wild Blueberry Association of North America website (they even have a page that lists you where you can purchase wild berries near you) and follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Ceara @ Ceara's Kitchen December 8, 2013 at 10:48 am

This looks amazing, your photos are stunning! It just so happens I’ve been craving a crumble type dessert all week and this looks like it will hit the spot :) I love that your crumble is made out of 100% oats and is low in sugar :D Thanks for this beautiful recipe!

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Lauren @ Vegology December 8, 2013 at 12:35 pm

This looks delicious and I love the deep rich color! I always have frozen blueberries on hand but I only ever use them in smoothies. I’ll have to try baking with the bag of wild blueberries I have in my freezer now!

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Sara @ LovingOnTheRun December 8, 2013 at 1:33 pm

Oh my goodness this looks beyond delicious!! The blueberries looks so beautiful too – the color is outstanding! I will have to try out the wild blueberries!

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Tara | Treble in the Kitchen December 8, 2013 at 2:15 pm

MMMM! I am a huge blueberry fan. This not only looks tasty, but it is pretty!! :) Pinning for later!

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Katie H. December 8, 2013 at 2:23 pm

It’s funny that you wrote this about wild blueberries. I’ve been buying them frozen at Trader Joe’s recently, and knew that they were a lot more delicious than the big bag of blues I used to buy at Sam’s, but hadn’t really thought about why. Thanks for sharing the great recipe!

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D @ The Kosher Cave Girl December 8, 2013 at 2:33 pm

This looks so yummy! I go a little bit crazy over blueberries (especially when you find the really sweet ones that just burst on your tongue.) Yum…

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Ruthie@sheswickedhealthy December 8, 2013 at 2:56 pm

This looks so good! Being from NH/Maine – blueberries hold a special place in my heart and on my tastebuds. Can’t wait to enjoy this one! Thanks – and Happy Hannukah. ;)

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Shel@PeachyPalate December 8, 2013 at 3:17 pm

Yum!!! Wish we could get Organic let alone wild blueberries frozen here! Quite the winter treat! Lovely recipe!

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elena December 8, 2013 at 5:05 pm

Sorry it is night now here in Israel, otherwise i would start doing it :) Wonderful idea

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Brittany (Healthy Slice of Life) December 8, 2013 at 5:58 pm

This look wonderful! Pinned for later :)

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Eating Bird Food December 8, 2013 at 9:29 pm

Thanks Brittany! :)

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Christie Anderson @kissesandkale.blogspot.com December 8, 2013 at 7:07 pm

This looks so good! I love blueberry anything. :) Thanks for sharing this recipe.

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Sanaz@ Run for Cake December 8, 2013 at 7:18 pm

I love this! Crumble desserts are one of my favorite. I can’t wait to try this with some greek yogurt. I love that you keep the desserts simple and delish!

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Brandy December 8, 2013 at 9:55 pm

Oh my wow, I LOVE blueberries. This looks so amazing! I used to work at a bar and we would drop some of those exact wild blueberries into our summer brews. It was delicious!

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Liz @ I Heart Vegetables December 9, 2013 at 7:43 am

Oh my goodness, YUM! This looks so delicious, and I love anything with blueberries. I’ve bought wild blueberries before (they ARE delicious!) but I didn’t realize there was actually a difference, other than size! That’s pretty cool :)

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Melissa December 9, 2013 at 7:58 am

Yum, this looks so good and super simple to make! I absolutely love anything with fruit and crumbly topping!

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Ted Wallof December 9, 2013 at 10:06 am

That look awesome! Thanks for making vegan and GF! Happy holidays to youy!

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Sara December 9, 2013 at 12:15 pm

Looks delish. Do you think I could leave out the oil? Is there any point to the oil?

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Jordan Lynn // Life Between Lattes December 9, 2013 at 12:24 pm

This looks delicious. I feel like it would make a really great breakfast for the holidays. :)

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Tim Vidra December 9, 2013 at 5:31 pm

Beautiful and thanks for the shout out! Glad you enjoyed the applesauce!

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Loafie December 10, 2013 at 8:16 am

Love the idea of a healthy crumble! Blueberries are a definite freezer essential of mine, looking forward to trying this!

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Vanessa @ Crumbs December 12, 2013 at 9:10 pm

That looks satisfying for dessert or to bring to a dinner party. I’m linking you to my Weekly Reads column for this week, by the way!

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Rebecca December 26, 2013 at 3:52 pm

I made this last night. A couple of things: steps two and three both say to add the sugar. I wasn’t sure where to add it. Also, step two does not say anything about the maple syrup. As such, I forgot to add it. When you put the blueberries in the mixture in step two, the liquid just freezes to the blueberries. Since I didn’t add the syrup, it wasn’t very sweet at all. Just wanted to let you know in case you want to correct the recipe.

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Eating Bird Food December 26, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Hi Rebecca. Oh no. I’m so sorry for the confusion! The maple syrup is supposed to be added in step two, not the sugar. I updated the recipe so that step two says maple syrup and step three says coconut sugar (rather than just sugar) so it should be accurate now. Thanks for trying the recipe and for letting me know. I’m sorry if the crumble was disappointing. :/

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CasMarie December 28, 2013 at 8:30 pm

Looks amazing !

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Michelle @ Living on The Up January 3, 2014 at 5:51 pm

I made this crumble for a belated Christmas dinner dessert and holy YUM!! I used some local (BC) grown blueberries and am so very excited at how amazing it turned out. I paired it with some home made coconut milk vanilla ice cream and was in heaven. THANK YOU!!!

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Alison February 17, 2014 at 3:39 pm

Hmmm… I am pretty sure the recipe should call for 1 cup of oats (which are dry and uncooked), not oatmeal (which would be cooked oats). So I went with the 1 cup of dry, old-fashioned oats. Even so, once I added the applesauce, the dough was not crumbly at all, but very sticky. Even adding the solid coconut oil didn’t make it crumbly :(

To make use of what I had on hand, I used blackberries instead of blueberries, agave syrup instead of maple syrup, and brown sugar instead of coconut sugar. I’m sure it will still taste great – it’s in the oven right now – but next time, I’ll try it without the applesauce and hopefully get more of a crumble crust.

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