• Blackberry Crumble

    Baked blackberry crumble

    I bought several bags of frozen blackberries for smoothies, however it seemed a shame not to make a berry crumble of some sort. Blackberries are abundant here in the Pacific Northwest, and not always in a good way. They invade our soil and dig their heels in. But right now I’m celebrating blackberries, even though the vines around here don’t have the slightest hint of fruit on them.

    plate of crumble and ice cream

    A wonderful thing is occurring in our home. My son who has Crohn’s has stopped taking methotrexate, a nasty drug we were relying on to keep his Crohn’s in check. We avoided drugs for several years, then got in a bind, and fell into the vortex of drugs, reactions, and bad side affects.

    One part of his detox and healing protocol is to use a food reaction test, the AlCAT in this case, to remove foods (most of them temporarily) that are triggering an immune reaction, and thereby causing inflammation in his body. It’s a simple formula – inflammation down, healing up. Of course the regimen is more complicated than just following this food reaction test, and I’m eager to share it all with you because, so far – fingers crossed – things are looking up in a lot of ways – but not his inflammation. That’s down.

    We ran this food test about 6 years ago, but since then the test has become more accurate. This same testing has also consistently identified my son as being highly intolerant to gliadin (a component in gluten-containing grains). So we’re living gluten-free as well.

    Blackberry Crumble

    For now, the blackberries are one of the few of his favorite berries that are not triggering inflammation in his body. The test says strawberries or raspberries are triggering a reaction, blueberries only a mild reaction, and blackberries – no reaction. Whew. At least I have something to work with.

    Tip You can make this filling ahead of time and store it the refrigerator for a day or so until you’re ready to bake the crisp. And if you’d like more crisp topping, just double the topping recipe. I like a light topping, but some like the topping to be about as thick as the fruit underneath. We love this with vanilla honey ice cream!

    And, in honor of this post, here’s a little skit featuring a blackberry.


    Posted in Desserts, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Lactose-Free, Paleo, SCD, Vegetarian  |  38 Comments

    38 Responses to Blackberry Crumble

    1. Hänni says:

      Wonderful news about your son! And this crumble looks delicious. I think I need to make it this weekend.

    2. Peg says:

      Wonderful news about your son! Did you ever put him on LDN? If so, how is that going? Also, was the food test something you had done at your regular doctor? I can’t wait to try your new recipe!!

      • Erica says:

        Yes, he’s on his 6th week of LDN. Not quite sure if it’s working to be honest. (and it can take up to 12 weeks to feel the effects). It’s complicated because he had a setback when we went away for spring break last week. So he’s playing catch-up right now. I’m trying to gather all the pieces so I can share what is valuable.

        I haven’t found a regular doctor that will do it, but I’m sure they can. It’s just a blood sample. I think you can go to a lab. Our Naturpath did it for us. Most NDs will do it for sure. But it is $$. Luckily our insurance covered it.
        Stay tuned and thanks for asking!

        • Erica says:

          Quick update on the LDN: we’ve lowered the dose. Sometimes the dose is actually too high to work. We’re still holding out that this will work because the data coming in on the two studies is extremely promising. I’ll share more later once we have more experience with it.

    3. Janet NZ says:

      Great news about your son – best wishes for his continued improvement. Thanks too, for the link to ALCAT – I’m going to look into doing some testing to find out what is triggering my own ongoing issues (I have celiac disease and am completely gluten free, but SOMETHING else is causing me problems)Regards

      • Allie Brown says:

        Hi Janet, I’m Allie. 🙂 I just read your comment & I have got some fabulous news for you!!!! I too have celiac disease along with hypothyroidism, rsd, fibromyalgia, raynaud’s disease, & other food sensitivities that come with the auto-immune disease package. I have discovered the secret to FEELING WELL!!! The SCDiet, Specific Carbohydrate Diet. I highly recommend purchasing the book, “Breaking the Vicious Cycle”. It changed my life after being sick for 19 years (my entire life). A good place to start would be the recipes under the SCD category here on this blog!!! 🙂 Good luck, I wish you the best.

        To Comfy Belly:
        I made this crumble today. Your recipe was absolutely mouth-watering!!!! I LOVED IT!! 🙂 I used frozen blueberries instead of blackberries (for the next crumble, I’ll buy those ahead of time!) but it was still delicious! Thank you so very much for continuing to post gorgeous pictures of extremely tasty treats!!!! 🙂 Your blog has changed my life. As you may have noticed in my comment to Janet, I have a handful of health problems & finding your blog was truly a lifesaver! I wish your son the best of luck & great health. 🙂 p.s. I even have my own blog now!!

        • Janet NZ says:

          Hi Allie! Lovely to meet you.
          Thanks for your comment. I already have the book, and am thinking about building myself a big pot of chicken soup to kick-start a new phase of recovery 🙂 I also love Erica’s blog. Very best of luck to you in your journey xxx

          • Allie Brown says:

            Hi Janet! Lovely to meet you as well!! Oh, wonderful!!!! 🙂 Don’t you just love it?? That book follows me everywhere I go; we take it with us to the grocery store! A nice hot pot of chicken soup sounds absolutely heart-warming. And yes, so do I. Well feel free to keep in touch! 🙂 Don’t hesitate to try butternut squash french fries, either. They are so tasty!!! Thank you, same to you! xxx 🙂

      • This looks GREAT! I made something similar and put it in muffin tins for quick snacks! :o) I’ll try this, but with cherries. (We’re allergic to berries)

        JanetNZ – have you gone package free or are you still eating ‘gluten free’ packaged things. I know a lot of people have issues with them. Maybe it’s that you’re getting cross contamination of gluten on things you are eating? You could look at glutenzap.com for some more insight on that.

        • Janet NZ says:

          Hi Kristy, Thanks for your kind comment.
          I am ‘over’ the gluten free packaged foods, but I live with a gluten eating man who is not really careful about cleaning up after himself 🙂 It could well be a cross-contamination problem…I’ll check out that website you recommended. Thank You xxx

    4. Scarlet says:

      I am just starting to cook some more. Could anyone suggest the next best healthiest sweetner to use ? thank you

    5. Michelle says:

      Glad your son is doing better. We love your recipes. My daughter struggled terribly with Crohn’s for 2 years,diagnosed at age 11, quite debilitating, but the last year she has been off all the GI drugs and she has done fantastic,finally living a normal life again. Simon Yu, MD author of Accidental Cure has been treating her. Please read my testimonial on his website and his book if you are interested in more info. Preventionandhealing.com I believe or just google Simon Yu, MD and it will come up. Very basically, multiple parasite treatments based on his meridian testing, vitamins based on hair analysis testing and some herbal antiinflammatories, plus changes in diet allowed her body to heal. SCD diet did not help her but it has helped others. We followed a food sensitivity diet also. Hope this helps….Good luck with your son and thanks again for all your wonderful recipes. She is safe with blackberries, so look forward to this one…

    6. This looks heavenly! I just came across your blog today and I can’t wait to explore all the recipes on here. And make a batch of this! Major yum!

    7. Wendy says:

      The hubs has Crohns and has been SCD for what, 5 years? I lose track. Also, he has been completely med free for all that time. This is one of my favorite blogs for recipes, and I have about 10 of them bookmarked. Some of our very favorite things are from here 🙂 I haven’t looked at BTVC for years, it’s all second nature now. SCD has been a complete and literal life saver for him. His doctors were at first skeptical, and now are believers.

      • Erica says:

        That’s fantastic! Thanks for sharing your experience. I know SCD works well for folks with both Crohn’s, UC and a host of other issues.

    8. Licia says:

      Glad to hear your son is improving!

      Can I ask why you used baking soda in this recipe? What’s its function in this context?

      • Erica says:

        Baking soda gives the crumble it’s crumbly texture because it’s a leaving agent. I love this site’s explanation: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-baking-soda.htm

        • Licia says:

          Thanks – I don’t understand exactly the role of a leavening agent in a crumble topping, but I am willing to do field research (the crumble’s in the oven as I write). And thank you for a good-looking recipe (and flexible – tonight’s effort is apple-berry, and future versions will help clear my freezer of plums, berries, rhubarb, etc, that are starting to age) that’s also fast and easy to prepare.

          • Erica says:

            Baking soda allows the crumble mixture to form pockets of air and “rise” or taste a bit airy and light. I added the hazelnuts to give it a slight crunch. It’s a subtle reaction in this case. I’ll spare you all the science involved.

            Love that you’re using all kinds of fruit – that was my intention – a basic crumble recipe that works for all kinds of fruit.

    9. Ann says:

      This berry crumble is delicious! I’ve made in two nights in a row with mixed berrys (blueberry, blackberry, raspbery) and it tastes amazing! I will be trying it using frozen peaches to make a peach crisp, i’ll let you know how it turns out. Love your recipes!

    10. Karen says:

      I am sorry to hear your son is having difficulties, I wish him all the best and hope things clear up soon. This recipe looks amazing I will be making it this week, thanks. 🙂

    11. Tracee says:

      This looks so good. I am so glad berry season is coming. We did a rotation diet for our son three years ago, while remaining SCD, and it really helped. It’s time to get him checked again, I’ll have to read about the Alcat, we had the ELISA IgG food allergy panel done then, but you know how things change/improve/etc, so it’s good to know there’s an alcat as well.

      • Erica says:

        Yes, same here on berry season coming up! I’m not sure if the ELISA is similar to the ALCAT, but a multi-faceted approach is very helpful – I agree. Rotating foods, removing offending foods, following a diet like SCD, it collectively contributes to healing, in my humble opinion.

    12. Annie says:

      I made this for Easter with some berries I had frozen from last summer. It was incredible! YUM! We’ll be using this recipe again and again!

    13. Kathleen Cziner - Sydney, Australia says:

      Hello Again Erica,

      Just saw your recipe for Blackberry Crumble – Oh Yum – love blacberries. Sorry to hear about your darling boy but happy to know that things are improving despite the odd setback now and then.
      I also have inflammatory problems and all the other things that go with ie high sugar, high blood pressure. I’ve also been on heaps of medications for all the associated problems – very nasty in the body and pretty tough on our wonderful livers and other organs. I got glandular fever – I think in the US you call it Mononucleosis. This occured while I was living in New York – unfortunately it never goes away – just mutates to another version of. It’s all from the Epstein Barr virus. If Mono is not dealt at the start it progresses to other ailments (I’ve been trying to sort my health for over 35 yrs!) I’ve also got Fibromyalgia – a real bummer when it flares up. It must be truly horrid for a young child. I reall feel for you.
      I’ve been on many types of medication and last year I was put on Prednisone and within 5 months gained 8kg (17.6lbs)in addition to all the weight gained over the past years trying to battle this problem. In Jan this year I was also put on Methotrexate. According to all the doctors and specialsts it’s all supposed to be okay yet more and more pills are being added because of side effects to the cocktail which includes pills for diabetes and high blood pressure and Gord. What a mess! Then this year a friend told me about how she got off the pills for her troubles. I’ve been doing TCM (traditional chinese medicine) since Late Jan and I’m now off some of the really nasty pills, have lost some weight (I went from size 12 to 24 over the past years and no amount of dieting or gym work would remove it)
      Even with TCM one has to “seek and find” – a recommendation is usually good though you ‘gut feeling’ will direct you best.


      • Erica says:

        So true. Thanks for sharing your story. It is so hard to watch your child suffer, but he’s doing quite well at the moment with minimal pharmaceutical intervention, and we’re hoping to go a bit further (after the school year ends). Best wishes!

    14. anne says:

      This looks so good, but I can’t do dairy of any kind (or soy, or wheat, or yeast, or egg). Is there a way to make this without the butter? I can’t substitute margarine, because they all seem to have soy in them. 🙁

      • Erica says:

        There is butter made with olive oil or canola oil, but it might be hard to find it without any soy in it – I know what you mean. Coconut oil would work well – are you ok with it? Or, I think olive oil would work as well. Just wouldn’t taste the same as with butter.

    15. Ann says:

      I have made this so many times in so many flavors! I just thought I would let everyone know that this works with pretty much any frozen fruit. I have used raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and peaches! Delicious!

    16. Sara says:

      Just made this this morning with some subs for my own needs.

      Subbed strawberries and took it up to 6 cups.
      Switched light agave for both sweeteners.
      Left out hazelnuts…didn’t have anything but almonds with skin and cashews and was too lazy to pull out any appliances…just wanted to blend in a bowl! 🙂
      Switched olive oil for butter.
      Strained most of the liquid from the fruit.

      It’s delicious – and I’m so impressed at the versatility of this recipe. Lets me work with what’s in the house and subbing ingredients in and out. Really appreciate that I can whip up a beautiful and healthy dessert. Thanks!!!

    17. I’ve been looking all over for a fruit crumble recipe and happened to find your website it’s such a blessing because I’m older and have inflammation problems so it’s helping me with that too and I’m glad that your son is doing better

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