June 21, 2011

Sweetener-Free Treats

Happy Solstice.
The longest day helps us stretch our capacity for growth and try new things. During our Sugar Blues workshop last night, students requested recipes for treats that are gently sweet and do not include any processed sweeteners. 
Here are some recipes to explore. Let them offer you an opportunity to be creative! For added sweetness, top off any one of these treats with a spoonful of maple syrup or raw honey.




Sweet Carrot Bread



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 8 or 9 inch loaf pan with vegetable oil.

Soak ¼ cup raisins in boiling water.


Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir together.
2 cups flour: barley & spelt – wheat-free; millet & quinoa – gluten-free
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon each: cinnamon, ginger and garam masala

In another bowl, combine the wet ingredients and stir until thoroughly blended.
3 Tablespoons tahini (roasted sesame seed spread)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup raisins, soaked in boiling water for 15 minutes and drained
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 ½ cups freshly grated carrots
Generous handful of fresh chopped thyme

Pour in the wet mixture into the dry and stir together vigorously until combined. 
Pour batter into greased pan and bake for 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center tests clean.

Cookies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Pour into bowl and mix well:
1 ½ cups flour (rice or spelt, whichever you prefer)
1 Tablespoon each: cinnamon, cardamom, ginger 
Pinch salt
For added sweetness, use 1 teaspoon licorice root powder (available at herbal apothecaries such as Green Mountain Medicinals in Montpelier)

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and mix together:
1 egg OR 2 Tablespoons ground flax seeds
1 Tablespoon vanilla
¼ cup melted coconut oil

Incorporate wet and dry ingredients.

For variety, add one of the following:
>¼ cup chocolate chips (choose semi-sweet or grain-sweetened)
>2 spoonfuls raspberry jam (fruit-juice sweetened is available)
>2 spoonfuls almond butter
>1 inch fresh chopped ginger root & 1 teaspoon clove powder
>¼ cup raisins (first soak for 5 minutes in hot water & drain)

Grease a cookie sheet with oil and drop dough in spoonfuls.
Flatten each cookie with the back of the spoon.
Slide cookie sheet into oven and bake for 15 minutes.

Fruit Crumble

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8x8 glass baking dish.
In a bowl, mix together:
            1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
            1 cup other fruit (if you like) choose one: peaches, plums, apples
            3 teaspoons cinnamon
            Pinch salt

Pour into the baking dish and re-use the same bowl to make crumble topping.

In spice/coffee grinder, grind to make freshly milled flour:
            ½ cup rolled oats – look for local oats in the bulk section

Add ground oats to bowl and combine with:
1 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon each: cinnamon, cardamom, ginger
Pinch salt

Make a well in the center of the mixture and add:
            ¼ cup olive oil or melted coconut oil
            3 Tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
            1 Tablespoons vanilla extract

Mix wet ingredients together in center and then incorporate dry ingredients until all are just barely combined.

Using your hands, crumble this topping over the fruit.

Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes. Cool and enjoy!

Fudgy Brownies

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 8 or 9 inch baking pan with oil.

Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir together.
1 ½ cups freshly ground rolled oats (use a food processor or coffee grinder)
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Make a well in the center, combine the wet ingredients and stir until thoroughly blended. Incorporate dry into wet and stir until just blended.
1 egg OR 2 Tablespoons ground flax seeds
¼ cup melted coconut oil
1 cup boiled and mashed sweet potatoes
1 teaspoon vanilla

For added sweetness, use 1 teaspoon licorice root powder (available at herbal apothecaries such as Green Mountain Medicinals in Montpelier)

Pour batter into greased pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center tests clean.

June 12, 2011

Favorite Pizza Toppings

www.woodbellypizza.com
Summer is a time to celebrate! We did so at the Village Gathering yesterday. Despite the rain, everyone enjoyed their time together sharing perma-culture skills at Twin Pond Retreat in Brookfield, Vermont (www.twinpondretreat.com). This seminal event kicks off the third annual Village Building Convergence in Central Vermont. For details visit www.vbc-vt.org

Saturday's workshops culminated in a feast featuring pizzas cooked on WoodBelly Pizza's mobile wood-fired oven. We made some amazing creations. Thanks for your team work.


Here are some pizza concoctions that everyone loved:
Black Locust Flowers (Robinia Pseudoacacia)
  • Buckwheat Rice Crust with Cheddar Cheese, Morel Mushrooms and Walnuts
  • Wheat Crust with Black Locust Flowers, Dandelion Greens, Spinach and Pesto
  • Corn Crust with Olives, Tomatoes, Zucchini and Sausage
It's true! You can eat Black Locust Flowers. They smell like jasmine, taste like vanilla, and they are blooming in gragrant glory right now. Enjoy!



Pizza Bianca (no tomatoes) with rucola (arugula)

I grew up swimming in the Adriatic Sea and buying Pizza Bianca with garlic, ricotta and arugula from beach vendors.

Use your imagination. What is your favorite pizza combination?

June 1, 2011

Summer Black Bean and Lime Soup



Black Bean and Lime Soup

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

3 cups cooked black beans - Soak overnight, rinse, bring to a boil with 8 cups water. Cook for 30 minutes or until tender, skimming off any foam that rises to the top. Rinse and incorporate as directed below.

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp cumin

1 cup chopped onions
1 cup sliced carrots
2 cloves garlic
4 cups vegetable stock or water
½ Tbsp chipotle powder

½ Tbsp coriander powder
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp lime juice

Fresh lime

Fresh cilantro

Heat olive oil in a nonstick or heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add whole cumin and brown it. Take caution not to burn it.

Add chopped onions, carrots, garlic, coriander and chipotle powder.

Cook slowly until browned.

Puree the beans with 4 cups stock in a blender or food processor.

Add the vegetable mixture, ¼ cup lime juice, and salt to taste.

Either leave the vegetables chunky or process once more until smooth.
If the soup is too thick, thin it with more stock.

Garnish each serving with a slice of lime and a sprinkling of finely chopped fresh cilantro.

Serve with corn tortillas, rice, or try this cornbread recipe.

Corn Bread

Dry ingredients:

1 cup corn meal (I like the Early Riser Cornmeal from Butterworks Farm in Vermont)

½ cup freshly ground rolled oats

¼ cup freshly ground millet (or oats if you prefer)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

Wet ingredients:

Capful apple cider vinegar

¼ cup vegetable oil (I like olive or sunflower oil)

½ cup milk (cow, almond or rice)

1 egg OR ¼ cup applesauce OR 2 spoonfuls nut/seed butter

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8 inch pan with vegetable oil.

In a spice grinder, grind first the oats and then the millet into flour-like consistency and place in a mixing bowl This may take a few rounds of grinding.

Add the rest of the dry ingredients and stir together.

In another bowl, combine the wet ingredients and stir until thoroughly blended.

Pour in the wet mixture into the dry and stir together vigorously until thoroughly combined.

Pour batter into greased pan and bake for 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center tests clean.

For variety, you can add fresh basil and corn kernels in the summer, steamed winter squash in the fall/winter, or rosemary and lemon in the spring.

Healthy Eating Program

Need to detox, uncover food allergies, feel nourished & satisfied?


I will tailor your Program to your dietary needs and health goals. Programs include shopping lists, prep/menu plans, recipes, mindfulness, & nutritional recommendations.


Click here to try a FREE sample of the Healthy Eating Program.

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