I finally got sick of looking at 5 black mushy bananas occupying prime real-estate in my freezer and set them out to thaw… destine for some banana bread of sort. I scanned through my goto banana bread recipes (most of which use sour cream or butter) and opted to experiment with a vegan version. The result was nice and not to sweet, but dense perfectly moist and layered with some lovely tropical flavors… dark spiced rum, coconut, cardamom, apple, and banana. If you don’t have frozen overripe bananas lurking in your freezer and your using freshly browned ones I would recommend you roast them as your bringing the oven up to temp, to add a deeper banana flavor.
Remember a couple weeks back when I posted this delicious spelt espresso vegan cake recipe, well when I was enjoying a bite of this dense and moist cake I though about how great it would be with chai spice rather than espresso, and so I busted one out to take to a lovely dinner party, and I was right… it was FABULOUS with a spicy chai kick. My daughter picked little purple pop up pansies from all over the garden and they were the perfect finish for this divine vegan dessert.
I didn’t tweak too much from my original post but I did double the batch to yield a whopping 12” spring form pan that made for 12 hearty portions (easily could have served 24)
I used in this recipe both a chai concentrate liquid as well as a chai spice blend. If you don’t have both I am sure just the concentrate (or a stiff brewed chia tea) would do, but you may want to add a pinch of a few chai essential spices from your pantry; especially cardamom and cinnamon and clove.
Today started with a chill in the air and baking is just the right way to take the edge of a mountain morning. I have been watching my new (thanks to my back road buddy) rhubarb plant explode in the yard, and I finally went out this morning and chopped of 4 large (enough) stocks and fired up the oven. hmm what to bake? At present I no longer have a good source of affordable or trade-able local butter and I cringe everytime I pay $10 for a lb of organic butter at the grocery store. So I have been baking alot more vegan treats… yet I am flush with little happy eggs from my girls and ripe with new spring time growth around me. This recipe is a collimation of all of these element coming together in one damn tasty and beautiful looking cake.
Start by creaming together (by hand-
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 cup cane sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
Then in a separate bowl sift together:
2 cups spelt flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
a pinch of fine sea salt
Now gently alternate mixing
1 cup buttermilk
into the sugar cream along with the sifted flour
finely stir in 2 cups (4 stocks) of chopped rhubarb pieces
and 1 cup ch
For streusel topping combine:
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup hemp seeds
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup dark sugar
Sprinkle topping over cake or cupcakes and bake at 350, until a tooth pick comes out clean. This recipe will make enough cake for a 9×13 pan or you could get a 9″ round cake and 6 mini muffins. My 9″ cake took 25 minutes to bake and the cupcakes took about 18 minutes. Makes ure your pans are well brushed with oil, or parchment or butter (your recuperation method of choice)
*Sorry for anyone who was looking over this recipe earlier.. it appears the last bit cut cut off and some weird bits added… anyway all fixed up!
Oh and I served this with a dollop of whipped cream mixed with 1 tbsp of my dandelion jelly which was marvelous!
yum yum yum.
What a great use for apple sauce or as it was in my case apple pear butter (which I slaved over for days.. literally) back in the fall when I was drowning in apples and pears I made batch after batch of sauces and butters. I found I really love my ginger pear butter slathered on toast, but I don’t so much love the apple butter straight up… So this is the perfect solution for “using up what I have been putting up”, soft fluffy spelt muffins filled with oats, flax and hemp seeds with fresh ginger and shredded apple, all topped with a cinnamon sugar sprinkle, oh my.
In a large bowl combine:
1 cup grapeseed oil
2 cups of apple butter or apple sauce
3 eggs fresh and still warm from my feathered friends
1″ fresh grated ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
3 cups of spelt flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup flax course ground
1/2 cup hemp seeds
and a pinch of sea salt
Spoon batter (which is thick) into oiled muffin pans, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and bake at 350 for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick come out clean.
happy pantry snacking.
These squares were like GIANT fig newtons, only more wholesome. I used a recipe from the post punk kitchen and while it wasn’t the nicest dough to work with by far… it yielded exactly what it claimed to: fig newton-ness. Everyone thought they were tasty, and as always I put my own SOLE spin on their recipe. You can find the original recipe here, and my adaption below. I must confess the dough was really sticky and hard to manage but it sure created a smooth flat top crust. The nice thing about this recipe is you only bake it once, unlike most squares which you have to bake twice.
Simmer all filling ingredients together in a suacepan over medium heat until it becomes a nice jam consistancy, about 15 minutes, adding a touch more water as needed
1 lb dried figs cut into small pieces ( i wish I had cut each fig 6-8 times rather than the 4 I opted for)
1 cup water
the juice from 1 lemon
a pinch of cardamom
1/3 cup of maple syrup
Bring together in food processor:
2 tablespoons ground flax seed
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 cup organic cane sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tbsp molasses
Sift flours and powders together in bowl and slowly add to wet mix, pulsing in processor until a shaggy sticky ball starts to form.
1 cup whole spelt flour
1 cup rye flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of sea salt
Once combined work dough into a ball on a very well floured counter top, when you can pick up the dough and handle it as a whole, divide in half, and using wax paper or silpat well floured roll each half into 8×8 squares
oil or baking parchment prep a small square pan
flop your first dough layer on the bottom and press in flat, then spread fig mixture over the entire surface. Finally flop the 2nd dough layer on top and bake for 25 minutes at 350 or until golden brown.
allow to cool before cutting into tasty bites. enjoy.
Not only does this pie celebrate all things winter harvest, but it is beautiful and hearty and so very tasty!
I used my go to spelt cream cheese pastry dough for a pie crust but I omitted the sugar and added 2 tbsp of dried herbs: oregano, sage, parsley and thyme. This dough is so easy to work with, on a floured countertop roll it out to about 1/4″ thick, and as circular as you can, then slump it into a medium spring form pan, don;t push it in, just drape it and pat it. I cut all the extra dough off from the top of the deep pan and re-rolled it out to cut out some hearts to decorate the top with. Keep pie crust covered and in the fridge until your veggie filling is ready to use.
For the root pie filling: start by roasting what ever veggies you have in your pantry (6-8 cups worth) I used:
1 yellow onion
6 cloves of garlic
2 celery stocks
1 acorn squash
about 3 medium potatoes
2/3 of a small pumpkin
drizzle the lot in olive oil and season with S+P, chilli flakes, and the same herbs used in the pie crust dough.
Bake until nicely roasted (about 35 minutes at 375)
In a large bowl mash together all the roast veggies and add:
1 tbsp paprika
1 handful fresh parsley
2 handfuls of kale chopped into 1″ bits
and 2 cups left over pumpkin cheese sauce from pumpkin parmesan penne dish, you can always make a sinple roux or cheese sauce as a substitution for this. Alternatively you could mash just the potatoes seperatly with some milk and butter then mix in the other veggies to the mash.
* leave some veggies chunky, you don’t want a homogenous blend for such a rustic dish.
Gently spoon veggie mix into pie crust, then push the extra edge dough down to create some lazy folds, decorate with cut crust shapes and brush the dough with a 1 egg + a drip of water wash.
Bake at 400 for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 and bake for another 20-30 minutes.
Umm this is serious Yumm.
I had a total baking disaster today, and my chickens were rewarded with my mishap, which I must admit had me utilizing very colourful language at a rather elevated range, for just the briefest of periods. 😦 Here is what happened…
My morning started out with a plan to make my most favourite simple spelt cream cheese puff pastry and stuff little pockets and rolls with the left over curried lentils I made in excess last night for this very purpose. Well I pulsed and kneaded and stuffed and pinched away to create a few dozen 3 bite pillows which I was certain would make lovely lunch treats for both my sweeties. Mmm the pastry as always was baking up to a beautiful golden brown as my first batch filled the house with the smell of baked goodness, the timer chimed and as I removed the first pan and set it above the stove top on a slow cooker (that hadn’t found it’s way home yet), just as I was tucking the second and last pan into the oven I watched in horror as the 3 dozen divine little pillows, pan and all slowly slid down the back of the oven and crashed into the creepy crawl space behind my 60 year old stove! Cobweb and dust bunny laden I swept the steaming little pockets up and all I could do not to cry was think, at least the dogs and the chooks will enjoy these.
So after all that love and time and effort was poured in, I yielded about 10 little pierogi sized pillows and 6 sausage roll type parcels.. oh and about 30 happy chicken and two dogs that were thrilled at my mishap! What a way to start a day!
So as lack luster as I feel about this recipe the finished results likely won’t make it until lunch tomorrow, as my daughter hasn’t stopped stuffing these in her mouth since she got home, as for the mister, well he will be walking in the door any minute and I think they will have a similar effect on him.
I started as I said with this wonderful spelt creamcheese puff pastry dough… which is so simple to make. I then rolled in to about 1/8″ thick and used a biscuit cutter to create about 40 rounds, in each I added a hearty tbsp of the below quick lentil curry. Then folded the dough and pinched up the seems, brushed the lot in a egg wash and baked them at 375 for about 18 minutes (or until stunning golden brown). Do not throw them on the floor, rather set aside to cool and enjoy.
quick red lentil curry
In a deep cast iron pan start by browing:
1/2 large yellow onion
2 cloves of garlic
in a good glug of olive oil (it’s funny just how many of my meals start this very way)
let brown befor adding:
2 roasted red peppers sliced thin
2 tbsp thai red curry paste
1.5 cups of lentils, any colour will do
simmer with 2 cups of water
and season with:
tomato paste about 1 tbsp
a pinch of allspice, a pinch of cinnamon, and a pinch of paprika
2 tbsp coconut milk powder
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup of squash soup (I had leftover from lunch which was great, but you could use extra stock or water alternatively)
Simmer over medium heat for about 25 minutes, or until the lentil are tender.
Enjoy over rice and the leftovers are just perfect in these puffy pillows!
The ginger pear butter I made the other day turned out soooo very yummy! I just had to slather it into this pretty birthday cake I made for my friend yesterday: 3 layer coconut rum cake with ginger pear filling + boiled icing
The cake was a dense coconut sponge cake (I won’t share that recipe because it wasn’t my favorite yellow cake batter ever.. so you can use any white or yellow cake recipe you fancy). Each layer once cooled slightly was brushed with a simple syrup (1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cups water + 6 tbsp spiced rum) then allowed to saok up the boozy syrup over night. I then made a old fashioned boiled white icing with coconut milk powder and each layer got a thick slather of ginger pear butter and coconut icing. The whole lot was finished with the same fluffy icing then packed with fancy shread organic coconut and decorated with dried pears. This cake was like a tropical girlie drink on your fork!
So if you are looking for a fun and old fashioned fluffy icing with a coconut kick try this next time:
old school boiled icing
In a pot bring to a boil 1/2 cup of water + 1 cup of sugar stir until dissolved then allow syrup to boil pretty hard for about 5 minutes, or until your candy thermometer reads 230 (soft ball)
meanwhile in your stand mixer whip 3 egg whites (room temp) to stiff peaks, with the help of 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
Once the syrup is ready, set your pot in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and slowly pour sugar into egg whites while mixing on low spead. Continue mixing for about 1 minute and your icing should have a pretty shinny marshmallow look to it. Add 2 tbsp organic coconut milk powder and gently fold in (you could add any flavour you want at this stange).
This is plenty enough icing to do a 3 layer cake, or at least 18-24 cupcakes
It’s best to work fast and use the icing while it’s still warm.
As much as I am a baker, and former bakery owner.. I am not at all a bread baker. I can snap out a tart, a cake, batch after batch of cookies, bars, and squares but I seem to stumble at least mentally when it comes to yeast, not that I have had a lot of failures… but maybe just out of fear of failure, and a deep love of good bread.
When I stumbled upon this simple recipe online for beer bread I thought “hey carbonated drinkable yeast isn’t too scary” and the recipe seemed totally doable. I threw it together and the results were very nice… reminiscent of an irish soda bread almost, in that it was dense and thick and it also happened to be packed with a good amount of herbs and cheese making it really very tasty. It took less than an hour from start to finish and the recipe is so short and simple that your almost certain to have everything you need on hand.
In a large bowl mix:
3 cups of flour (1/2 organic white and 1/2 whole organic spelt)
1 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 Tbsp cane sugar
1 cup of cheese (I used goat feta crumbled)
1/4 cup assorted herbs both fresh and dried all from the garden (sage, parsley, thyme, rosemary, and oregano)
1 can of beer
Mix well then pour the THICK batter into a greased bread pan, brush top with a wash of 1 small egg and a little milk or water) sprinkle a little extra herbs on top, and bake at 325 for 45-55 minutes (until you can smell it and the top is nice and a deep golden brown)
Ta-da fresh bread… I served this with a big bowl of acorn squash soup and the two were a dynamic duo.
simple hearty and not at all scary!
I still have many an apple to address even after a million loads of apple chips, apple butter, and scones… I still had to make an apple cake!
I settled on testing a recipe from 101 cookbooks for Heidie’s buttermilk cake, but I used spelt flour and your guesses it apples! The cake was loevly with a slather of the apply pear butter I made last week, and a snowy icing sugar dusting.
When I tasted this cake.. all I could think was how lovely a rosemary brown butter version would be… maybe one cold winter day to come.
For this simple cake sift together dry ingredients:
2 1/2 cups spelt flour
1 tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup dark cane sugar
pinch of sea salt
add and mix in:
2 cups of apple cut into tiny cubes
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup melted butter
pour into a prepared pan, I used a nice tart pan with a push through bottom.. a style of pan I use as often as I can. Bake for 20 minutes or so at 400
Scones are one of those baked items I often avoid… mainly because usually they are dry, powdery and bland and always made with super white flour YUCK:( I have a friend back in Calgary Aviv of sidewalk citizen bakery who made me eat a white chocolate and berry scone of his many years ago, and that opened my eyes to the world of fluffy, light divine scone-ness. He is an artful baker who is dedicated to organic and real local ingredients, and my scones aspire to be that good.
About a year ago I found a scone recipe that really did it for me, it reminded me of Avivs scones, and I have since made them a few times, usually with savory herb and cheese or chive additions, but today as I am still drowning in apples I made a cinnamon apple scone, using whole spelt flour, and they were loevly.
Here is the recipe I am always very happy with the results of:
1 3/4 cup whole spelt flour
4tsp baking powder
1/4 cup cane sugar
a pinch of salt (only if you are using unsalted butter)
grate 5 tbsp of cold butter into the flower and gently toss with your finger tips BEING REALLY MINDFUL to NOT overmix
add 1/2 cup buttermilk mixed with 1/4 cup yougurt
and 1/2 cup of finely diced apples tossed in cinnamon and a squeeze of lemon juice
gently combine ingredients, again don’t over mix stop when things are just combined.
portion and drop onto a baking parchment lined pan
brush each scone with a wash made of 1 egg and 2tbsp milk mixed well
bake at 400 for 10 minutes.. or until golden brown
serve warm with a cuppa’
These are the perfect energy snack for a day of canoeing on the lake! Last week we had friends and family up and we took our newly re finished canoe for it’s christening and loaded 6 adults and 2 kids into two canoes and hit the lake. These muffins were a hit, and my sister in law picked these organic peaches in the Okanagan valley on her way through, along with a monster box of apricots (which just last night turned into a divine drunken jam.. that recipe is coming soon).
I am not much of muffin fan, I find them cake-y and boring, I never buy them and rarely make them, however I must admit that this recipe breaks all my muffin boundaries and is sure to please the most cynical muffin hater, like myself. The super ripe peaches make perfect moisture pockets and the toasted coconut hemp streusel topping take them to the next level. This is a no fuss muffin I hope you’ll try and am sure you’ll enjoy.
warm oven to 400
prepare a standard 12 muffin pan with oil
while the oven is warming place an oven safe bowl with 3 oz of butter in it, in the oven to allow it to melt while you combine your dry ingredient.
In a large bowl mix dry ingredients together:
2 cups spelt flour
2/3 cup cane sugar + 1 tbsp
2 tbsp powder
pinch sea salt
1/2 cup hemp seeds
1/2 cup coconut
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of cardamon
Remove melted butter from oven and add:
the fruit from 4 fresh peached choppes into 1″ cubes
2/3 cup of buttermilk (or soured raw goat milk as the case often is in my house)
splash of fresh lemon juice
combine wet and dry ingredients and portion batter into prepared tins
in a small bowl combine struesel ingredients:
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1/4 cup coconut
3 tbsp cane sugar
3 tbsp hemp oil
blend and sprinkle a little streusel ontop of each muffin
bake for 18 – 20 minutes (until a skewer comes out clean)
enjoy warm or later while soaking up some sun…
* After rushing to get to the lake with these hot from the oven I discovered yet another use for my bamboo steamers; they make great hot muffin storage containers!
A british classic, with a twist…
I was thawing a package of lovely locally produced pork sausage, when I was suddenly inspired to drown those “toads” in yorkshire pudding and bake them up into a puffy pan of crunchy caramelized onion and tart apple goodness. I used spelt flour for the yorkie dough, and made a lovely pork and maple glaze to serve by the bucket load along side the ‘pud. Here is the yorkshire pudding recipe (my mom’s), which I always use, in the case I did a single batch of dough.
1 hour before you want to eat, while your dough is setting up warm your oven to 425°
In a large deep pan, fry:
1/2 yellow onion
5 pork sausages
3 cloves of garlic
fresh rosemary spring (about 1 tbsp)
Let everything get nice and golden brown, then remove sausage from the pan and slice into 1 cm thick slices and add them back into the pan to brown both sides (you can skip this step but I love a well browned and crispy piece of sausage). Once you add the sausage back in, grate one tart apple into the pan and fry until the sausage is to your liking. Season with S+P.
Grease a large rectangular roasting pan with vegatable oil or bacon drippings if you keep those, and spoon the sausage mixture into the pan, evenly arranged. Keep the dripping and bits in the pan to make a gravy with!
Now pour your puddin’ batter over the pan and pop the works into the oven for 45 minutes.
Once set remove slice and serve with a glaze or gravy, or mint sauce!
My most favorite sister-in-law in the whole wide world spent the last week visiting us, and we celebrated her 30th Birthday early (a couple times), and her birthday treat request was for chocolate brownies! They had brought with them a bottle of scotch so making real butterscotch brownies seemed only natural! This recipe was adapted from the Joy of Cooking Butterscotch Blondies. These brownies were pretty over the top! Filled with huge chocolate chunks, pecans, almonds, hemp seeds, and of course butterscotch sauce to die for. Next time I might just serve the butterscotch with spoons, straight up!
In a small pot melt and simmer:
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup dark cane sugar
1/3 cup cane sugar
until bubbly and deep and silky
Add 1 Tbsp Vanilla
and 2 Tbsp scotch
remove from heat and allow to cool and thicken
In a bowl sift together
1 cup spelt flour
1/4 tsp bp
1/8 tsp bs
pinch of fine sea salt
once the butterscotch is cool (if you can stop your self from eating it all) wisk in
1 tbsp brown rice syrup
Add sauce to flour mix and bring together
Now add your chunks of goodness:
1 did 1 cup of chopped nuts (almond & pecan)
1/2 cup hemp seeds (hearts)
1 cup chunks of dark chocolate
bake in a small 8”prepared square pan for 20-28 minutes at 350º