Friday, 8 August 2014

spiced blueberry cobbler



I have never posted frequently on this blog, maybe every 4-6 weeks, but I have been silent since January, which is the longest I have been absent. Last November we moved from Luxembourg to the UK and the oven in our new home wasn't quite agreeing with me. I had to adjust all baking temperatures and baking times for my recipes and found myself reluctant to experiment with recipes until I had tried another UK kitchen; another oven. Then we moved within the UK and now I have two wonderful ovens and I don't have to adjust anything. Well, I was quite busy unpacking but at some point I will start sharing more recipes. It's the blueberry season so let's start with this dessert from Ani Phyo's book Ani's Raw Food Desserts. I don't have many books on the raw cuisine but this one is definitely one of my favourites. All you need to make this one is a food processor.

SPICED BLUEBERRY COBBLER

INGREDIENTS

CRUST

  • 1 cup (250 ml) dry almonds
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup pitted (semi-soft Medjool) dates

FILLING

  • 4 cups blueberries
  • optional: ¼ cup agave syrup

METHOD

  1. Start with the crust: If you don't have Medjool dates, soak regular ones in water for 30 minutes
  2. Combine the almonds, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt in a food processor. Pulse into coarse pieces
  3. Add the Medjool dates (drain the water if using regular dates) and process until mixed well
  4. Sprinkle half of the crust into the bottom of a loaf pan or a pie dish
  5. To make the filling: Combine the blueberries and agave syrup (if using) in a mixing bowl and toss to mix well
  6. Scoop the blueberries into the loaf pan. Top with the remaining crust, press gently and serve
  7. To serve the cobbler parfait-style in a glass: Start with about ½ cup of cobbler in the bottom of a glass. Add a scoop of you favourite ice cream and top with another ¼ to ½ cup cobbler
  8. I store the dessert in the fridge until I serve it with whipped cream, organic or home-made ice cream, or Greek yoghurt


Thursday, 23 January 2014

banana walnut bread



My love for walnuts knows no boundaries. I like keeping a jar of chopped walnuts in my kitchen and top my yoghurt with some (they are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids). When we moved to the UK I discovered an organic brand called Yeo Valley and that's the yoghurt I use now in all my recipes. By the way, they did not pay me for saying that; I will gladly support that brand on my blog. As I was baking this bread over the holidays, I realised that I had never shared the recipe on my English food blog, only the Icelandic one, which I started sooner. I got the recipe at Starbucks in Canada a few years back and I have made some changes, of course. I found it a bit interesting that they said the fat content had been reduced, yet the original recipe contained ½ cup vegetable oil, which I find way too much. The nuts are fatty enough so there is no need for all that oil (you can also use pecans). I hardly have to tell you that I have reduced the sugar content as well and added pure maple syrup, which I also love. In the original recipe it says buttermilk but usually I use natural yoghurt.

BANANA WALNUT BREAD

INGREDIENTS

  • 260 g (2 cups) spelt flour (I like mixing fine and wholegrain)
  • 1 tablespoon gluten free baking powder (½ if using regular)
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 100 g (½ cup) organic raw cane sugar
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup or agave syrup or organic raw cane sugar
  • 1 large free-range egg
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract or organic vanilla sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons organic natural yoghurt or buttermilk
  • 3 large bananas or 4 small (the original recipe says ripe)
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts + 1 handful to top the batter

METHOD

  1. Blend together the spelt flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside
  2. In another bowl, mix together the egg, sugar, syrup and coconut oil
  3. Add the flour mixture and gently mix with a spatula (don't worry if it looks a bit dry)
  4. Mash the bananas and add them to the mixture with the vanilla extract and yoghurt/buttermilk
  5. Fold in the ½ cup chopped walnuts
  6. Line a loaf tin with parchment paper and pour the batter into it
  7. Top with a handful of chopped walnuts (the original recipe says ⅓ cup but I find it too much)
  8. Bake at 175°C/325°C/gas mark 3 for 50-60 minutes (if you stick a fork into the centre and it comes out clean your bread is ready)
  9. Allow to cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes before removing from the loaf tin


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