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Archive for the ‘Food, Glorious Food’ Category

Wholesome Harvest

In Food, Glorious Food, Recipes on September 30, 2013 at 8:49 am

apple

Call me old-fashioned but I love the feeling of satisfaction one gets from making things yourself. So you can imagine my delight when my husband decided to harvest apples from our own backyard. We’ve had two old apple trees since we moved into our house some 15 years ago. Not sure what variety they are. The local birds and squirrels have always been happy to make short work of them. Not this time though, we beat them to it.

According to my better half — this is as organic as it gets although I figured they’d be wormy from neglect and well past their prime. Much to my surprise, all eleven of the apples harvested were actually quite fine and tasty, too. Have apples? Make cake.

cake

 

Apple Almond Cake

Ingredients

Beat together

2 cups                   brown sugar

1 cup                     coconut oil

2 tbsp                   ground flaxseed + 6 tbsp water (or 2 eggs)

2 tsp                      vanilla

Mix together

1 ¾ cup                 whole wheat flour

¼ cup                   almond flour

2 tsp                      baking soda

2 tsp                      cinnamon

½ tsp                     fresh ground nutmeg

Add dry ingredients to sugar mixture until well combined. Stir in

4 cups                   apples (peeled, cored and chopped)

¼ cup                    sliced almonds

Method

Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare oblong baking pan. Beat sugar, coconut oil, flax eggs and vanilla until combined. Mix dry ingredients then add to sugar mixture. Stir in apples and almonds. Smooth into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven until golden, about 40 minutes. Cool in pan about 10 mins. Sprinkle with icing sugar if desired.

Muffin Madness

In Food For Thought, Food, Glorious Food, Recipes on August 6, 2013 at 9:36 am

Recently I submitted a muffin recipe to a national competition that claimed to be looking for new and innovative products. Ironically, the moment I mentioned to the taster that my muffins were organic and vegan, he glazed over and quickly became dismissive. “People want full fat, full sugar indulgences.” Seriously? His words are still ringing in my ears.

It was clear he wasn’t the least bit interested. Guess he wasn’t accustomed to tasting anything made from whole wheat flour! Despite this competition being hosted by a major grocery chain with their own line of organics, he obviously didn’t get the memo that some people are actually interested in healthy living. Sadly though, I think the majority of large grocers are more about making a profit from enlightened shoppers than being committed to offering consumers better food choices. Why else would they continue to sell GM foods and all the other processed junk you find disguised as food? Until consumers speak out, we’ll continue to be told what we want and what we can buy.

But I digress. Be your own judge and try these vegan muffins. They’re quick and easy to make plus you can substitute different fruit or fruit-and-nut combinations to suit depending on what’s in season.

Caramelized Apple-Blackberry and Sunflower Seed Muffins

Caramelized Apple-Blackberry and Sunflower Seed Muffins

 

 

 

Caramelized Apple-Blackberry and Sunflower Seed Muffins

Ingredients

To caramelize fruit, sauté on low heat

2 tbsp each                        coconut oil and coconut sugar

2 cups                                  apples peeled, cored and chopped

½ cup                                   blackberries

Mix together

1 cup                                    whole wheat flour

1 cup                                    rolled oats

1 cup                                    sunflower seeds

½ cup                                   coconut sugar

3 ½ tsp                                 baking powder

½ tsp                                    salt

1 tsp                                     cinnamon

pinch                                    fresh ground nutmeg

Whisk together

1 tbsp                                  ground flaxseed

3 tbsp                                  water

Add

1 cup                                    hemp milk (almond or soy can also be used)

¼ cup                                   safflower oil (or other vegetable oil)

1 tsp                                    vanilla

Method

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 12 medium-size muffin cups. To caramelize fruit, melt coconut oil and sugar over low heat until they become liquid. Add apples and berries cooking until soft. Remove from heat and let cool. Can be made ahead of time. Mix dry ingredients. Whisk together flaxseed and water to create egg substitute then add remaining liquid ingredients. Add liquid mixture to dry stirring until just combined. Fold in fruit. Fill muffin cups and bake in preheated oven until golden, about 20 to 25 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.

Strawberry-Almond Fingers

In Food, Glorious Food, Recipes on July 14, 2013 at 11:21 am
Strawberry-Almond Cake

Strawberry-Almond Cake

With strawberry season in full swing, you might find yourself with some leftover strawberries. My husband brought home a couple of pints but they didn’t travel well in the heat of the day. And even though I mixed them with lemon juice, they got a bit overripe before we finished the lot. This quick cake, which we cut into bite-size fingers, made quick use of the remainder.

Ingredients

Beat together

1 cup                        coconut sugar

½ cup                     coconut oil

1                               egg or vegan substitute (1 tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 3    tbsp water)

1 tsp                        vanilla

Combine

1 cup                        whole wheat flour

1 tsp                         baking soda

Add

1½ cup                    chopped strawberries

1 tsp                          lemon juice

¼ cup                       sliced almonds

Method

Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare 8-in square pan with cooking spray. Beat together coconut sugar, oil, egg (or substitute) and vanilla until well mixed. Combine flour and baking soda then add to sugar mixture. Fold in fruit and lemon juice. Pour into prepared pan, smooth and top with sliced almonds. Bake in preheated oven until golden, about 30 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan no more than 10 mins. Drizzle with royal icing if desired. Cut into fingers.

Ritzy Rice Salad

In Food, Glorious Food on April 19, 2013 at 12:37 pm
Easy rice and quinoa salad

Easy rice and quinoa salad

If you don’t already own one – buy a rice cooker! It will make your life so much easier, unless of course you like watching and waiting for water to boil. TIP: Always wash or rinse rice before cooking to remove less than pristine grains and starch. Rice requires equal parts water to rice but quinoa and basmati rice usually need more (half a cup extra water for every cup rice). This quick and easy salad uses whatever items you have on hand. If you have more time, by all means julienne or fancy cut your vegetables and make your own salad dressing.

Ingredients
2 cups                        truRoots Sprouted Rice & Quinoa blend
1 can (19 oz)            chickpeas
2                                 organic green onions
1                                 organic carrot
1                                 organic yellow pepper
Culinary Treasures Lemon Ginger Sesame dressing (optional)

Method
Wash rice and cook according to instructions or use rice cooker adding 5 cups water. Meanwhile rinse chickpeas, dice or julienne vegetables and place in large mixing bowl. Once rice is cooked, cool 5 minutes and fluff. Place in mixing bowl and combine with vegetables. Add salad dressing to taste. Serve warm or cold.

Go for Gala Apples

In Food, Glorious Food, Recipes on April 8, 2013 at 1:14 pm

There’s an amazing crop of Gala apples out there this season. Although I don’t remember seeing this variety much before, we’ve bought bag after amazing bag of these organic apples from Loblaws. I’ve even heard other people remarking on how much they enjoyed their Gala apples, too. Even our bunnies pounce on the apple skins we feed them – they like them that much.

While they’re small and easy to eat on their own, I’ve found they’re also great for baking. If you find a few bruised apples in your bag, whip up this quick and delicious braid.

Dice 3 small organic Gala apples and 2 organic figs. Melt about 1 tbsp. of organic coconut oil in pan over medium heat. Saute fruit adding about 2 tsp. each organic cinnamon and coconut sugar. Cook until soft, about 8 mins. Add 1/3 cup sliced almonds and cool. Meanwhile defrost package of puff pastry. Roll into about 9” x 12” rectangle. Place filling in centre and roll or braid. To braid, slice dough away from filling on both sides of pastry then alternate strips to cover filling. Brush pastry with melted coconut oil and bake in 350° oven until pastry is puffed and golden, about 20 mins.

Dice 3 small organic Gala apples and 2 organic figs. Melt about 1 tbsp. of organic coconut oil in pan over medium heat. Saute fruit adding about 2 tsp. each organic cinnamon and coconut sugar. Cook until soft, about 8 mins. Add 1/3 cup sliced almonds and cool. Meanwhile defrost package of puff pastry. Roll into about 9” x 12” rectangle. Place filling in centre and roll or braid. To braid, slice dough away from filling on both sides of pastry then alternate strips to cover filling. Brush pastry with melted coconut oil and bake in 350° oven until pastry is puffed and golden, about 20 mins.