Recipe – Simple Vegan Summer Fruit Crumble

Simple Vegan Fruit Crumble Recipe  |  The Fresh Exchange

Growing up with parents from Northern Michigan and then spending nearly every summer here meant that every dessert in the summer consisted of an in-season fruit crumble and freshly made vanilla ice cream. We would first begin with strawberries and rhubarb then we would move on to blueberries and peaches, eventually we would reach the crumble that was basically every fruit you could imagine piled high under a thin layer of crumbly crust.

To me there was nothing better than coming home after a day at the beach with the aroma of a homemade crumble dancing in the air. Sometimes I helped prepare it and  my mom or aunts would make it, but no matter what it was good. It was a staple that, as I have grown older, I still love. I always hold out for the summer so I can make a crumble with the fresh fruit that was picked that day.

Simple Vegan Fruit Crumble Recipe  |  The Fresh Exchange

The only problem is that as I have grown older I have become extremely conscious of what I am consuming each day; not because of weight but because of wanting to help my body feel the best it can inside and out. That being said for a period of time summer was disappointing because I had not figured out my own crumble recipe that fit a healthy lifestyle. So, last summer I set out on the journey of developing my own recipe that included ingredients that didn’t upset my stomach or leave me feeling as if I just ate something I needed to detox from. Now, this is my favorite dessert and one that has once again become a staple for our summer days this year.

Who thought your favorite dessert might be a smidge good for you? I didn’t, but I think this one is pretty close in my book.

Not to mention this is a great follow up to our Almond Milk recipe post because I am going to share how to take your leftover almonds from making your almond milk and reuse them in a recipe like this.

Simple Vegan Fruit Crumble Recipe  |  The Fresh Exchange

Ingredients:
Enough fruit to line the bottom of your baking dish.
2/3 cups coconut oil
1/4 cup organic brown sugar (or any sugar of your choice)
1 fresh lemon
1 cup almond meal (recipe below), but you can use this kind as well
1 cup organic rolled oats (have also used steel cut and they worked well)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

So, here is the thing, you cannot mess a crumble up so before we even dig in just know this is a fun recipe to experiment with and make your own. It literally works with EVERY type of summer fruit you would bake with. I have used everything from berries to peaches to apples. All of it works so truly you can use whatever fresh baking fruit you have on hand that needs to be used up.

To begin, if you are making your own almond meal, I suggest prepping it at least 3 days after you make your almond milk as it does go bad quicker than the milk does.

TO MAKE ALMOND MEAL:
After finishing making your almond milk take the leftover almonds and spread them evenly on to a large edged cookie sheet. Set your oven to 200 degrees. Once oven is warm let the almonds dry out. This takes between 2-3 hours depending on how much meal you have. If you are wanting to keep your meal raw you will want to use a dehydrator, but if you are okay with it being cooked at a low temp this is the easiest way. Once dried you can keep it in your fridge for about 2-3 weeks in a closed container or you can place it in your freezer and it should stay good for about 6 months.

Simple Vegan Fruit Crumble Recipe  |  The Fresh Exchange

TO MAKE CRUMBLE:
Begin by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Choose a dish that is oven proof and take a small amount of coconut oil and rub it inside of the pan to coat it evenly and create a non-stick barrier.

Wash, dry, and chop all of your fruit. I used various types of plums. I like to cover the bottom of my dish about 1-1.5 inches deep in fruit. Obviously you can do more or less, but I like a lot of fruit because it will cook down.

Once all of your fruit is in the dish and it is evenly lined, wash your lemon and zest the entire lemon over the fruit and then juice the entire lemon evenly over the fruit as well. Next add 1/4 cup of the brown sugar evenly on top of the fruit. I lightly toss the fruit within the dish to evenly coat the fruit at this point. If you are a perfectionist and like doing extra dishes you could also do this step in a seperate bowl. I personally like to use as few dishes as possible.

Simple Vegan Fruit Crumble Recipe  |  The Fresh Exchange

Next, grab a medium size bowl and combine the remaining ingredients: oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, almond meal, shredded coconut, and coconut oil. To combine I suggest using your hands, but you can also use a fork. Your fingers warm the coconut oil and help it to more evenly combine the ingredients to turn it in to a crumble. If you feel it feels a little dry you can add a little more oil, but I don’t like adding too much because the juices from the fruit will be absorbed by the oats while it cooks.

When you have developed a “crumble” evenly pour over top of the fruit in the baking dish. Once the crumble is evenly spread you can then place it in the middle of the oven for 50 minutes.

Simple Vegan Fruit Crumble Recipe  |  The Fresh Exchange

I like to check my crumble at the 30 or 40 minute mark. Some fruit reacts a little different to the heat than others, so it is hard to tell when it is cooked well enough. If you are seeing bubbling and the crumble looks as if it has absorbed quite a bit of liquid I usually pull it out.

Let the crumble cool for 15-20 minutes on the stovetop before serving. This means it will be warm, but not too hot that it melts all of the ice cream. Since, Mike and I don’t eat ice cream we have gotten in to coconut ice cream. We personally love Coconut Bliss when we want to indulge, which is what we have been eating this Summer with our crisp. A few spoonfuls goes a long way, which I love.

Simple Vegan Fruit Crumble Recipe  |  The Fresh Exchange

Hope you enjoy my favorite summer treat!! As always if you make the recipe please share it with us! We love seeing and hearing what you create.

Just Need Time…

Take Heart  |  The Fresh Exchange

The last few weeks have been really busy between life and work. I have absolutely no complaints, but sometimes in these busy times my creativity wains. It may be one of the most frustrating things as a creative. Call after call of pitching ideas, developing new designs for brands, developing content for this space, and being present when we are with clients can really drain your creative energy. This used to scare me and leave me ready to give up, thinking gosh I am not truly meant to do this. Those times were bad especially because I was working alone and had no one to pick me up and say, “Come on let’s go take some time to refresh or we got to keep going.” At times it put me in a pretty dark place emotionally because creating is everything to me. I would feel a little like I had lost my capability to use my legs or hands for a period of time. Creating and making is such an extension of who I am that when it doesn’t pour as freely or come as easy as I know it should I feel pretty lost.

Here I am again, right now. I have been trying for nearly a week to develop the words and content I needed this week and gosh I feel pretty empty. I know now that this is normal and that all I need is to say is that I need some time to get lost in my own world. I need to make no firm plans so I can give my head the space it needs to float and relax enough to remember again how to flow well. Maybe it has happened from flexing the muscle too much lately, maybe I am tired, maybe I have relied too much on outside inspiration, or maybe I simply have not settled long enough in a while. I am not sure, but I felt I needed to share this with all of you.

After a weekend of working and some late nights, I am looking forward to taking time to be home and have some alone time for a while. I have been trying hard to not fill the calendar in order to give myself the space I need to be the best I can. Over the years I have learned that though I love people, my introverted self needs and wants the sound of my favorite record swirling in the air as the cool breeze blows in the windows. I need time to sit along the shore, watching as the water lapses with every breath. I need that stillness and I need time to take care of myself. When these things are removed I can find myself here, uninspired and with an empty creative tank.

I am pretty excited to find this time for myself and have some quiet the rest of this month and next. Even with a growing list of deadlines and to-dos, I try to leave myself the grace I need to do what I need in order to be the best I can be. Saying no is important, and I am feeling better at saying it a little more.

Have you ever had these times where your creative-tank felt a little empty? What do you do? Funny how it can creep up on you huh?

Ugmonk Clothing Giveaway

An Afternoon with Ugmonk  |  The Fresh Exchange

Last year when Mike and I attended Circles Conference we met tons of amazingly talented creatives. One of those amazing creatives was Jeff Sheldon, the owner and designer behind Ugmonk Clothing. Jeff saw a need for great high-quality products that offered unique designs in the market place. You can hear more of his story in this awesome video.

What we love about Ugmonk is that the products not only are well designed, but they are high-quality and Jeff brings a top-notch customer experience to his shop. So, when he chatted with us about offering a giveaway, of course we hopped on board. We love and believe in the brand that Jeff has created at Ugmonk and couldn’t wait to share it with all of you.

As designers, we love finding products that both naturally fit in to our lifestyle, but also fit our love for inspiration and great type design. Jeff hand letters and designs each piece in the Ugmonk store. Plus, let’s just chat about the awesome ampersand for w bit! We are big fans of Jeff’s work and how he has extended his skills beyond just creating logos and brands, and has instead designed a business and brand for himself that was created out of the passion and honesty.

So, to celebrate such a fun brand we spent an afternoon wearing it in one of our favorite landscapes… The Sleeping Bear Dunes.

An Afternoon with Ugmonk  |  The Fresh Exchange

An Afternoon with Ugmonk  |  The Fresh Exchange

We partnered with Jeff to choose a few pieces that we really loved. For us we loved the Less is more tees as well as the Ampersand crewneck. Mike had bought one of the crewnecks a while back and I was so jealous I didn’t have one. It is honestly the perfect sweatshirt for the cool evenings or to layer in the winter over a hip button up for a more dressed up tomboy look.

An Afternoon with Ugmonk  |  The Fresh Exchange

An Afternoon with Ugmonk  |  The Fresh Exchange

An Afternoon with Ugmonk  |  The Fresh Exchange

I am normally a big no graphic tee kind of person, but I love the simplicity of the pieces Jeff designs. They are unique but still classic and inspiring all at the same time.

An Afternoon with Ugmonk  |  The Fresh Exchange

An Afternoon with Ugmonk  |  The Fresh Exchange

An Afternoon with Ugmonk  |  The Fresh Exchange

As we wandered along the lakeshore in the Glen Haven dunes area we got brave enough to enjoy the water a little. The days have been chilly here lately so having a sweatshirt or pants is necessary even on the sunniest of days, but for the first time, I didn’t feel as if it was too cold when I stepped into the water. It actually felt pretty wonderful.

An Afternoon with Ugmonk  |  The Fresh Exchange

An Afternoon with Ugmonk  |  The Fresh Exchange

An Afternoon with Ugmonk  |  The Fresh Exchange

An Afternoon with Ugmonk  |  The Fresh Exchange

An Afternoon with Ugmonk  |  The Fresh Exchange

The beauty of wandering through the dunes out here is that there are so many amazing hidden places that are left to be discovered. This time was no different. Mike ran up a dune we had never climbed before and at the top was the perfect layering of trees and water I had not seen here yet, which is saying a lot. The colors that come out in this landscape still blow me away every time we take time to come out here.

An Afternoon with Ugmonk  |  The Fresh Exchange

An Afternoon with Ugmonk  |  The Fresh Exchange

An Afternoon with Ugmonk  |  The Fresh Exchange

I am so glad that we get to share not only a few images from our afternoon of adventure with y’all but also a company like Ugmonk with you. I hope you each take time to check out what Jeff has going on right now in his shop. His vision of creating quality, well priced, and inspirational wear is really well done and we feel so lucky to share some of what he is doing. We are big fans of the creative entrepreneur and we love seeing those we believe in connect with others who will believe in them as well.

 

 

 

Ugmonk  |  The Fresh Exchange

Currently here are a few favorite items to get you inspired for our giveaway.
Ampersand Crewneck  |  Gold Print Set  |  Slim Case Wallet  |  Ampersand Mug  |   Natural Leather Mousepad  |  Less Tee  |  Never Settle Tee  

An Afternoon with Ugmonk  |  The Fresh Exchange

So here is everything you need to know about the giveaway:

1 Winner will win: Ampersand Crewneck  +  tshirt of their choice  +  a print of their choice
3 Winners will win: a tshirt or print of their choice

To enter:
Pin an image of one of your favorite items from the Ugmonk shop and then comment with a link to the URL below.

The below widget form Rafflecopter will help you make this quick, easy, and I hope a little fun!

The winner will be announced next Friday!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Excited to see what pieces you all love! 

5 Tips for Twitter to Help Grow Your Brand

5 Tips for Twitter To Grow Your Brand | The Fresh Exchange

It’s not a secret that social media is like the little black dress of marketing, branding, and public relations; you must have it now in order to complete your personal brand’s wardrobe. Without it and without using it properly, your personal brand will get lost in the noise of the crowded social media landscape.

Twitter is one social media platform where you can easily find yourself swimming in the dark. I felt the same way when I first joined the Twitterverse and never thought I would catch onto the trend. I never thought it would evolve into the networking machine that it is today. Feeling I needed to explore and master this landscape in order to grow my personal brand, I began to dig deep. There are multiple Twitter tactics you can use to grow your personal brand, but I thought I would give you a crash course on the five tactics that I use to grow.

Click through to see the 5 tips I have for Twitter to help grow your brand.

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