I first tired an apple crumble bar in Newquay, Cornwall. Mine and Gareth’s first holiday away together, just the two of us.

We had gone to a vegan cafe for lunch. I had a buddha bowl and Gareth went for some kind of ‘meatball’-sub (we are predictable humans), and when we were done we got dessert to take away. Usually I would go for something chocolate. I don’t know, maybe it’s safety in the known, or maybe it stems from being allergic to milk since a baby: chocolate still feels like a treat. But Gareth wanted the apple bar, so that’s what we had. ‘He can eat it all anyways’, said a small voice in the back of my head.

A few hours, a surf in the rain (magic), and our evening meal later we sat in our little airbnb with the apple bar between us and two forks. I had one bite and it was far far more delicious than expected. The voice in the back of my head chirped up again, ‘just one more bite and then that’s enough’ - aka subtly control this moment.

Instead I ate my whole half.

Here’s the thing. We can look for answers in a million different places, but the only place you will truly find freedom is by tackling the thing you are afraid of. A very clever woman once said to me, ‘neither can live whilst the other survives' (yes, a HP quote), aka you cannot simultaneously act upon your eating disorder and recover from it. The thing that broke you cannot heal you. Does that make sense?

The next time we went back to the cafe we got one each.

And then this time we went and the cafe was shut for renovation. So, after a few trail and errors I made my own version. I’m going to send the recipe out in the email tomorrow (I’ll post a link in my story!)

P.s. They’re not some ‘healthified’ version. They as true to the real thing as I could create (I hope). But I hope you choose life. YOU are worth fighting for.

Vegan apple crumble bars

Apple Crumble Bars

Ingredients: {serves 12}


120g vegan butter

100g cup brown sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

300g plain flour

Almond milk - as needed

Apple filling

25g corn flour/starch

60g brown sugar

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp mixed spices

3 tbsp almond milk (or non-dairy of choice)

30g runny honey (or maple syrup)

2 apples, cored and finely sliced (any kind is good - I just used Pink Lady apples as that is what we had in)

Crumble topping

150g plain flour

1/2 tsp salt

100g brown sugar

50g cup oats

60g roughly chopped nuts (I think pecans and walnuts work best) OR 50g rich tea/digestive biscuits

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp mixed spices

70g vegan butter (melted)

Caramel sauce

100g brown sugar

1 can coconut milk

Pinch of salt

Pre heat the oven to 180 and line a square tin.

To make the crust: Cream together the butter and sugar, until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and salt and mix to combine. Add in the flour and mix well until a soft dough forms. If you find the mixture isn’t coming together after a minute or so, add a splash of almond milk. Press the dough out evenly into the bottom of the line tin (slightly damp hands help). Bake for 15 minutes, or until the edges start to turn golden. Remove from the oven.

To make the apple filling: Meanwhile in a bowl mix together the corn flour, brown sugar, and both spices. Add the almond milk and honey to create a smooth paste (add a splash more milk if the mix seems too thick/ dry). Empty the apple slices into the bowl and toss to coat. Layer these on top of the crust, pouring over any residual paste.

To make the crumble: Combine all the crumble ingredients in a bowl (add a splash of almond milk if not coming together). The mixture should stick together if you press it in your hands, but not wet like porridge! Sprinkle over the apple layer.

Bake the bars: Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool before slicing.

Meanwhile make the caramel sauce: Add all the caramel ingredients into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer for 25-30 minutes until the colour starts to darken and the mixture thicken. Stirring occasionally throughout. Remove from heat to cool an allow to thicken further. Serve with the crumble bars!