Sue Bedford (MSc Nutritional Therapy)
Looking for a nutritious and delicious dessert to try as part of your fertility diet plan? Eat with the seasons….. Why not have a go at this healthy apricot and apple crumble?
Apricots are a great source of beta carotene, vitamin Cand E, folate, fibre, magnesium, potassium and iron. Beta carotene, also called ‘plant’ vitamin A, is a carotenoid and a powerful antioxidant, which is converted into vitamin A by the liver. Beta carotene is generally considered to be safer than retinol which is fat soluble. Carotenoids are pigments that give plants their colour. Vitamin A helps to keep the tissues in the reproductive system healthy, along with ensuring the normal growth and development of embryos during pregnancy. It also helps with tissue repair in the mother after birth has taken place. They are also high in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant which is important in the prevention of free radical damage to the egg and sperm cells and their DNA. In studies it has been found to help improve sperm quality and motility and help prevent agglutination of sperm.
Apples contain only a few nutrients, but the ones they do have are highly important when it comes to health and fertility –and these include the powerful antioxidants vitamin A and C. Vitamin C helps to protect cells and DNA (including that of egg and sperm cells) helping to slow down cell ageing. It also plays a role in male fertility and has been linked to improving sperm quality and preventing agglutination. Vitamin A helps to keep the tissues in the reproductive system healthy, along with ensuring the normal growth and development of embryos during pregnancy. It also helps with tissue repair in the mother after birth has taken place.
Apples contain high levels of plant chemicals including the flavonoid Quercetin which acts an anti-inflammatory and are great for those watching their waistline too as they help to balance blood sugar levels and have a low Glycaemic Load (GL). These properties are important re inflammatory conditions of the reproductive system and to help balance hormones. Apples are high in pectin, a soluble fibre that can help to lower bad cholesterol.
Oats contain healthy unsaturated fats, protein, dietary fibres, disease-fighting phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals. They are an excellent slow-release carbohydrate (which help to keep you full for longer) and contain beta glucan, a prebiotic soluble fibre which is great for the gut and heart health, lowering ‘LDL’ cholesterol.
Healthy Apricot and Apple Crumble Serves 4
For the topping
- 75g oats
- 30g flour of your choice
- 25g chopped pecans
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 25g unsalted butter, slightly soft
For the filling
- 750g stewed bramley apples
- 300g apricots (stewed)
- 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- Natural sweetener of your choice
- ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
- Preheat the oven to 180˚C.
- To make the crumble topping, combine the oats, pecans, flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the maple syrup and soft butter. Stir until fully incorporated.
- For the filling, chop the apples, destone and halve the apricots and place in a pan onto the hob with a splash of water and gently heat until stewed….sweeten with natural sweetener according to taste.
- Transfer the apples and apricots to your chosen baking dish (spread the crumble topping over the fruit). Place into the oven for about 30 minutes until cooked.