Blackberry Nectarine Crumble

When I was in 2nd grade, I told everyone that my dream was to grow up and move to a farm in Pennsylvania. Looking back, I’m not really sure why my seven-year-old self had such a fascination with the Amish, bargain hunting for antiques, and growing corn– wait… must have been Mom and Dad.

Our big family trip every year was a trip to Lancaster, Pa. to visit Uncle Dick, Aunt Grace, and our cousins Barry and Bill. Dad’s family has spread out quite a lot over the years and Lancaster was the place, other than where we lived, that had the densest concentration of Campanellis. Our memories of Lancaster are wonderful and varied, but always seem to end with our crazy Italian family shouting over the table, slurping the greatest garlic-y pasta fagoli, and sticking olives in our teeth and tying cloth napkins around our heads while pretending to be babushkas. Visiting Lancaster always meant we would have an unforgettable time with our family.

In the past few years, it’s been harder for us to all get together since Julia and I are in school. But last weekend, we all happened to be free so Julia and I drove up from D.C. and Mom, Dad, and Jonathan came down from New York. We met in Pennsylvania at Barry and Bill’s house and went out for lunch. They’re still the same crazy cousins, cracking jokes with the waitresses and teaching us the ways of proper Italian cuisine.

After lunch, we said goodbye to Barry and Bill, checked into our hotel, and sipped tea while we waited around for dinner. Julia recommended a place called Iron Hill, and we had fantastic burgers and pizza.

For dessert, Julia and I brought a blackberry nectarine crumble based on my morning smoothie recipe. It’s a perfect dessert for any occasion with any company –it’s gluten-free, nut-free, sugar-free, and vegan!! Plus, it combines perfectly ripe summertime fruits with a rich, hearty topping. Feel free to customize the fruits to suit your tastes because any frozen fruit would be wonderful in this crumble.


Prep time: 1 hour
Serves: 8

¾ cup oats
¾ cup sunflower seeds, toasted
¼ cup flax meal
¼ cup raisins
5 dates
4 tbsp. shredded coconut, unsweetened
4 tbsp. coconut oil
½ tbsp. almond extract (omit for severe nut allergies)
2 tbsp. cinnamon

2 cups nectarines, frozen
1 cups blackberries, frozen


Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Grease an 8-inch cake pan with coconut oil and set aside.

Lay sunflower seeds on an ungreased baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

Combine oats, toasted sunflower seeds, and flax meal in a food processor and pulse until combined. Add raisins, dates, shredded coconut, coconut oil, almond extract, and cinnamon and pulse until the mixture holds together when pressure is applied by a spoon or finger.

In a stovetop pot over low heat, combine frozen blackberries and nectarines and cook down for 10 minutes. Strain excess water from the pot, making sure not to crush the fruit. Add the fruit mixture to the bottom of the greased 8-inch pan and layer the oat mixture on top.

Bake for 15 minutes and remove from oven. Serve hot or cold.

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