spelt balls with figs, apricots, walnuts and pumpkin seeds


This Valentines Day I wanted to create something special for my partner, a healthy treat to enjoy with a good cup of coffee or tea at work… My recipe was inspired by Speltbolletje that we img_3805-1stumbled upon in December at an open air morning market while on vacation in Amsterdam– a local woman waiting beside me said they were the Best item made by the Best baker at the market. Her guidance was great, the Speltbolletje were delicious!

I could translate the words on the signs, and then guess how to create my own… Here’s my first attempt. YUM! These are a good texture and sweet with the dried fruit, so delicious with dark coffee for breakfast, or tea for an afternoon pick-me-up. I think all I’d do differently next time is swap out a little of the dates for more walnuts, and double or triple the recipe.

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To make a less sweet version, I think I’ll try using some juicy fresh orange instead of the banana, reduce the maple syrup by half, add more walnuts and also sunflower seeds?

ingredients:

  • 1 c spelt flour
  • 1/2 c rolled oats
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/8 t sea salt
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 t each nutmeg, coriander and allspice
  • 3 T butter
  • 1 T coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 T maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 banana, mashed
  • generous 1/3 c dried black Mission figs, chopped
  • 1/4 c dried Turkish apricots, chopped
  • scant 1/4 c dried Medjool dates, chopped
  • 1/4 c yellow raisins
  • scant 1/4 c walnuts, chopped
  • about 2/3 c raw pumpkin seeds

instructions:

Preheat oven to 350F. Melt butter and coconut oil over low heat, then add maple syrup, let cool a bit. Combine flour, oats, and spices, stir together well. Beat egg, add mashed banana, then beat together well with melted butter, coconut oil and maple syrup. Add in flour mixture and mix briefly and gently, then add all chopped fruit and walnuts. Stir together well, but stir as little as possible. Lightly butter a baking sheet. Shape dough into a ball in your hand, then roll in pumpkin seeds pressing firmly enough that the pumpkin seeds will stay in place after baking. I baked for 10 minutes, rotated my pan, then baked for another 5 minutes– and the balls then passed my first toothpick test. My taster ball was delicious right out of the oven! This recipe made 10, each ball about 2 1/4-2 1/2 inch in size.

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buckwheat pumpkin bread with cranberries & yellow raisins


Wanting to further explore baking gluten free and jonesing for pumpkin bread that is healthy, I searched but couldn’t find a recipe that meet all my criteria when I think of “healthy”. I wanted to avoid making a dense flat bread as sometimes happens with gluten free recipes. I did not want a cakey bread or a loaf that would crumble apart or was oily, and I didn’t want to use sugar or honey. I did want to use black strap molasses and all the spices that smell so wonderful, with pumpkin and cranberries because, well really, it’s the end of October, it’s cold and rainy and I want a healthy hearty slice of toasted bread with soup for dinner, or for a dessert treat with a good cup of tea. I took a swing and … oh my, this rose beautifully, holds together well, and is so good!

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ingredients

  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t sea salt
  • 1 generous t cinnamon
  • 1/2 t allspice
  • 1/2 t coriander
  • 1 generous cup canned organic pumpkin puree
  • 3 T butter, melted
  • 1 T organic coconut oil, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 banana, mashed
  • 1 T blackstrap molasses
  • 1 T organic maple syrup
  • 1 c fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup yellow raisins

instructions:

Preheat oven to 350F. Measure and combine the buckwheat flour, oat flour, and the spices, stirring together well. Melt the butter and coconut oil over low heat. Beat the eggs, then mix in the mashed banana, the molasses and maple syrup, the melted butter and oil, and pumpkin. Alternately add the flour and spice mixture with the cranberries, walnuts and raisins, stirring lightly just until fully mixed.

Lightly butter a baking pan–I used a glass 8.5 x 5 x 3 inch pan– then fill 2/3 with batter. Bake 45 minutes, check with a toothpick and continue baking another 10 minutes or so   until it passes the toothpick test. Cool in pan on rack for five minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely. I sliced this thickly into 11 slices then wrapped the loaf in wax paper in a freezer bag. It freezes well. I did the math, and it came out to 204 calories per slice, with 4 g of fiber and 6 g of protein.

buckwheat zucchini walnut bread


Of course with all the zucchini in my garden I wanted to make zucchini bread! Served toasted with sunflower seed butter for a simple breakfast, or with Tomato and Serrano Pepper soup for a warming dinner– yes, I have lots of tomatoes and hot peppers in my garden too…

I wanted to make something hearty and healthy, gluten free: buckwheat is indeed gluten free (it’s not a member of the wheat family) and packs a healthy dose of protein and fiber. Here’s what I came up with– the carrot and raisins were a nod to my partner who especially likes them.

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ingredients

  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • generous 1/2 cup oat flour
  • scant 1/2 cup regular oats
  • 1 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • slim 1/4 t sea salt
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 t coriander
  • 1/4 t each nutmeg and cardamom
  • packed 2 cups zucchini, grated
  • 1/2 medium carrot, grated
  • 2 T butter, melted
  • 1 T coconut or canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • scant 2 T honey
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup raisins

instructions:

Preheat oven to 350F. Grate zucchini into colander, squeeze out water, then set aside to allow to drain further. Grate carrot. Set aside. Measure and combine the buckwheat flour, oat flour, and cut oats, and the spices, stirring together well. Melt the butter and coconut oil over low heat. Mash the banana then beat together with the eggs, then mix in the melted butter and oil and honey. Alternately add the flour and spice mixture with the grated vegetables, walnuts and raisins, stirring lightly just until fully mixed.

Lightly butter a baking pan, then fill 2/3 with batter. Bake about 40 minutes, until it passes the toothpick test. Cool in pan on rack for five minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely. I sliced this thickly then wrapped the loaf in wax paper in a freezer bag. It freezes well.

garbanzo quinoa patties with basil and kale


Delicious Bajiya patties made by the Horn of Africa restaurant that we ate at the Oregon Brewers Festival recently were my inspiration for this recipe. I saw from their menu that theirs were made of ground garbanzos and split peas, lightly fried. I had some things I wanted to use up in my refrigerator, also some good cold beer, and a friend coming over… and came up with this, which we enjoyed.

ingredients:

  • 1 can garbanzo beans, mostly lightly mashed
  • 1 stock celery, finely chopped, about 1/2 c
  • 3 leaves Lacinato kale, finely chopped, about 1 c
  • 8-10 large leaves fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 serrano pepper, including seeds, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 c cooked quinoa
  • scant 1/4 c oat flour
  • 1/4 c parmesan cheese, or to make vegan use roughy ground walnuts
  • 2 eggs, or to make vegan use 3T ground flax seeds mixed with water to same consistency as eggs
  • dash or two balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8-1/4 t salt and black pepper to taste

instructions:

Preheat oven to 375F, and lightly wipe baking sheet with 1-2 T of olive oil. Rinse canned beans very well, drain, then mostly lightly mash in a large mixing bowl: leave just enough partial bean chunks to provide for an interesting texture, but not so large chunks as to cause the patties to fall apart when baked. Chop and dice and mix all veggies, then add to the mashed garbanzos with the cooked quinoa and flour, parmesan, salt and pepper. Break and stir the eggs, or in lieu of eggs the ground flax seed, then stir the balsamic vinegar and eggs into the bean mixture. Batter will be very sticky and heavy. Use a 1/4 c scoop, then your palm to form lightly flattened round patties. Bake about 18 minutes, then check the bottoms; flip carefully and bake for another 10 minutes or so, until lightly browned both bottom and top, and a toothpick comes out clean. Makes 12-14. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes. These store well in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple days, also freeze well when separated by wax paper.

 

pumpkin cranberry muffins


IMG_5358With one friend sick with a snotty head cold and another who is facing down a career challenge coming over for lunch, it’s time to make a big pot of carrot ginger root soup and some comforting muffins. Some days simply deserve a treat! I served these warm, with sunflower seed butter or cream cheese as options. Some fresh ginger root tea and pumpkin muffins– if any are left over– make a great breakfast to clear away a cement head. My pets love pumpkin too, so the rest of the can of pumpkin will be heartily enjoyed, with the fiber great for their digestive tracks.

ingredients:

  • 3 T butter
  • 1 1/2 T molasses
  • 1 1/2 T maple syrup
  • 1 c pumpkin
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/8 c or so milk, as needed
  • 1 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 c oat flour
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 t nutmeg
  • 1/8 t clove
  • 1/4 t sea salt
  • 1 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 c or so fresh frozen cranberries

instructions:

Preheat oven to 375F. Melt butter over low heat, adding in the molasses and maple syrup. Measure flours and other dry ingredients and mix well together in a large measuring cup. Beat together the egg and pumpkin, then add in the melted butter mixture. Beat all together well. Add the dry ingredients, and stir decisively but briefly, to mix all together well. Be minimalist in stirring. Using unbleached muffin cups or buttered muffin tins, fill each 3/4 full, then depending upon size of fresh cranberries, tuck 3-5 cranberries into each muffin. Bake about 20-22 minutes until toothpick comes out clean, then cool on rack. Makes 12.

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Apple Crisp with lots of spices, nuts & seeds


Our holiday traditions include apple crisp for breakfast on Christmas morning. When my apple crispdaughter was little, I’d prepare this the night before so that in the morning when she awakened, I could simply turn on the oven and move the pyrex baking dish from the refrigerator to the oven as it pre-heated, turning my attention fully to her joy of sleigh bells and the stockings that Santa had filled….

Ingredients:

  • 4-5  medium granny smith apples
  • 1 1/2 cups oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup or so each walnuts, pecans, almonds, sunfllower and or pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup organic raisins
  • 1-2 t cinnamon
  • 3/4 t nutmeg
  • 1/4 t cardamon
  • 1/2 t coriander
  • 1/4 t clove
  • 1/4-1/2 t sea salt
  • 2 T melted butter
  • 1 T molasses and 1 T maple syrup

Instructions:

Melt butter, mix with oats, nuts, seeds, spices, molasses, and maple syrup. Stir together well.  Pare half of apples into large baking dish, top with half of oats mixture. Pare remaining apples into baking dish, top with remainder of oats mixture. This can be stored in refrigerator overnight to bake in morning. Immediately before baking, add 1/4 cup of apple cider, water or orange juice. Cook covered in 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until apples are soft but not mushy. May cook last 5 minutes uncovered. Serve topped with plain non-fat yogurt and a slice of sharp cheddar cheese. This smells divine, makes a wonderful hearty vegetarian breakfast or dessert with generous protein.

chocolate chip cookies with oatmeal & peanut butter


This recipe uses ground flax seed instead of eggs so that we can eat the batter raw with impunity. I use the standard toll house recipe with a few modifications, including reducing the sugar, substituting peanut butter for 3-4T of butter, and adding oatmeal, for better tasting and chewier cookies, also healthier.

ingredients

  • 1 cube plus 5T fresh butter, at room temp IMG_2749
  • 4-6 T Adams natural chunky peanut butter or fresh ground, without salt
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 c white sugar
  • 2 T ground flax seed
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • scant 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1t baking soda
  • 1/2t baking powder
  • 1/2t sea salt (skip if use salted PB)
  • 12 oz semi sweet chocolate chips

instructions

Grind flax seed in coffee or spice grinder, then measure 2T into small glass. Add approximately 4T fresh cold water and stir with fork, adding water slowly until is consistency of stirred egg, then set aside (where it will thicken a little.)  In a large glass bowl, beat together butter, sugar, and vanilla, then add peanut butter and beat until creamy. Stir flax seed again with fork, adding several additional drops of water as necessary until is consistency of stirred egg, then beat into butter/sugar mixture. Stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, then add with oatmeal and chocolate chips to bowl, mixing well but only as much as necessary to moisten all together well. Bake on ungreased cookie sheets or– our method– transfer to a long sheet of waxed paper, forming three logs. Cover with another sheet of waxed paper, wrap up well, and store in a ziplock baggie in the freezer until you want a tray of freshly baked warm cookies– or a bite of uncooked cookie dough. Yum.