Category Archives: baked goods

Low Sugar Healthy Banana Bread

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Fast, delicious, nutritious – what’s not to love?kamut-banana-bread

If you’ve not discovered Khorasan KAMUT® flour yet, I encourage you to give it a try.

A recently rediscovered whole grain flour that produces a delicate golden loaf, it is sure to become a favourite. This recipe is so healthy that I don’t even feel guilty about slathering it in butter!  Bonus: it’s DELICIOUS!

Time: Lightening fast!  (From start to in your tummy in just over an hour.)

Yield: makes 1 loaf

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs (or two flax or chia eggs for vegan version+)
  • ½ cup avocado oil, melted coconut oil, or olive oil
  • ¼ cup organic agave syrup
  • ¼ cup milk (for vegan version use oat, almond, rice or soya milk)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1¼ cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium bananas)
  • 1¾ cups organic khorasan (KAMUT®) flour (I buy in bulk and freeze this gorgeous flour  Doves Farm Organic Wholegrain Kamut Khorasan Flour 1 kg (Pack of 5)Doves Farm Organic Wholegrain Kamut Khorasan Flour 1 kg (Pack of 5)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts, raisins or dried apricots, optional

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 160C (325F).
  2. Generously butter a 9×5 inch loaf pan and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, ground nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, beat eggs (or flax eggs), oil, agave syrup, milk and vanilla for 2 minutes. Stir in the bananas, flour mixture and optional add-ins if using.
  5. Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan.
  6. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.
  7. Cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack to cool.

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+ Click here for quick guidance on how to make a flax or chai egg

** About KAMUT khorasan flour:

KAMUT® Khorasan Grain is a trademarked type of khorasan grain or triticum turgidum, from Montana in North America. This type of wheat originated in an area called the Fertile Crescent, a region of land which spans from the present-day Jerusalem, through Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. It was in this lush valley that agriculture was thought to be first developed, and the khorasan grain was grown. The grain passed out of common knowledge until being rediscovered and a closed growing programme began.

KAMUT® is a protected species grown exclusively with organic farming methods and under tightly controlled conditions. The KAMUT® International Licensing agreement stipulates that the grain:

• Is the ancient khorasan variety of wheat
• Is grown only as a certified organic grain
• Has a protein range of 12 -18%
• Is 99% free of all contaminating varieties of modern wheat
• Is 98% free of all signs of diseases
• Contains between 400 and 1000 of ppb of selenium

The grain is a summer wheat which is not suited to the UK soil and climate conditions and grows in North America. The crop grows fairly tall and the kernel is large and bold. It has a very large, hump backed kernel.

KAMUT® khorasan flour is light gold in colour and is high in protein, making it perfect for use in pasta, bread and biscuits.

Doves Farm is the licensed UK supplier of KAMUT® khorasan brand grain.

Above information taken from Doves website

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Spelt Bread with Figs and Walnuts

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The origins of this recipe stem from a Dove’s Farm recipe which I then modified.* It makes a  delicious, firm-textured loaf that is delicious sliced, toasted and spread with butter. It is equally tasty with a sweet or savoury topping (e.g. jam and cheese both work well!). A fabulous accompaniment to baked beans. In short – it rocks!

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Ingredients

1 tsp yeast (slow acting “traditional” yeast)
45 ml (3 Tbsps) warm water
500 grams wholegrain spelt flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp honey, sugar or agave syrp
300 ml lukewarm water
15 ml (1 Tbsp) olive oil (cold-pressed virgin preferably)
130 grams dried figs, chopped to 1/4 inch (1/2 cm) dice
80 grams walnuts broken up a bit (not too finely!)
60 ml (4 Tbsps) orange or apple juice

Method

1. Mix the yeast with 3 tablespoons of lukewarm water and leave for 15 minutes.
2. In a large bowl mix together the flour, salt, and sugar.
3. Mix together the yeast mixture, olive oil and the 300 ml of lukewarm water.
4. Knead well for about five minutes until you have a smooth and pliable dough. I use my Kitchenaid mixer for this as I am lazy and it has a bread hook.
5. Leave the dough in a bowl covered with a cloth, in a draught-free place, to double in size.
6. Meanwhile put the chopped figs, walnuts and orange or apple juice in a small bowl and leave them to soak in the orange juice.
7. When the dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, add the soaked figs and walnuts and work them through the dough, kneading firmly for several minutes.
8. Shape the dough and put it into an oiled 1kg/2lb bread tin or place it on an oiled baking sheet. I love a round loaf so I bake it in a small round spring-form pan which I lightly oil with olive oil.
9. Cover & leave dough to rise for about 40 minutes in a warm place. On top of your water heater, above the fridge, the airing cupboard, etc., are all great locales that are usually warmer than the rest of your regular living space. At about the 30 minute mark, if the bread is rising nicely, you should turn your oven on to start pre-heating it.
10. When it has risen to a lovely size, it is time to bake – remember, once you put it in the oven the heat kills the yeast and it will not rise any further, so don’t put it in the oven until it is the size you are hoping for!
11. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 40-45 minutes.
12. Remove from oven, COOL IN PAN for 10-15 minutes, then gently turn out onto rack to finish cooling.

Store in thick ziplock plastic bag or other airtight receptacle.

Re: Oven Temperature 

Oven 425°F (220°C)
Convection (Fan) oven:  425°F (200°C or Gas 7)

I baked it at about 375°F (fan oven) as it was browning too quickly – the baking temperature is not set in stone – everyone kind of knows their own oven and its idiosyncrocies , so adjust temperature (lower) as you see fit.

* The original recipe is found here: http://www.dovesfarm.co.uk/recipes/fig-and-walnut-bread/

Banana Lime Bread or Muffins

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Banana Lime Muffins

Banana Lime Muffins

This recipe is my version of Yellowman’s Banana Lime Bread, modified from the fabulous Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant cookbook. I don’t pack the sugar and I occasionally use lime yogurt instead of plain. You can also use allspice instead of ginger and as I don’t eat franken wheat I substituted einkorn flour for white. Because whole grain flour tends to make a bread heavier, I increased the baking powder to 2 tsp.

Banana Lime Bread or Muffins 

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup palm or brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 bananas)
  • 3 Tbsp milk or plain yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
    1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 3/4 cup grated coconut, toasted
  • 2 cups einkorn or emmer flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder

Glaze

  • 1/4 cup palm or brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp  butter
  • 1 Tbsp  rum
  • 3 Tbsp  fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup grated coconut, toasted

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and butter a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan or line 12 muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Stir in the eggs, mashed banana, milk or yogurt and lime juice. Add the salt, ginger and grated coconut. Mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Add to the wet mixture and mix until smooth. Pour into loaf pan.
  4. Bake 1 hour or until done (muffins for about 20 minutes). Cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan to cool on rack.
  5. Meanwhile, make the glaze:
    Combine the sugar, butter, rum and lime juice in a small saucepan over low heat.
    Stir constantly for about 5 minutes or until it becomes a thin syrup.
  6. Pour over the cooled loaf or muffins and sprinkle with toasted coconut.

Einkorn Flour

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Einkorn Flour

Einkorn Flour

I recently read Wheat Belly by William David MD . I had no idea how far modern wheat has come from its ancestors. I won’t go into detail here, but suffice it to say “VERY FAR INDEED!!” Modern wheat has a protein in its gluten called gliadin. Gliadin acts as an opiate. It is addictive, causes craving for more and more of it, and, it stimulates appetite.

Now I am sceptical about most things I read. In this day and age, you have to be. You can’t believe everything you read. Nor do I. But I have actually experienced this wheat phenomenon myself: I have noticed (and always found it curious) that when I had cereal or toast for breakfast I was starving again within a short amount of time.  When I ate food with wheat in it, I craved more and more. All day long. Whereas on days when I didn’t have wheat, I didn’t crave carbs all day – or much of anything else for that matter.

There’s a lot of controversy on Dr Davis’s assessment of wheat (and other grains). But having witnessed first hand – and more importantly having done so before I read (or had even heard of) the book, I am inclined to say that I found much of what he has written regarding wheat being an appetite stimulant, TRUE.  A brief synopsis of his opinion on wheat can be found here.

Remember a while back when I did a raw food cleansing diet? Bread, crackers, cereal, etc., aren’t “raw” so I didn’t eat any. Much of my surprise (although I didn’t attribute it to wheat at the time) I had no cravings, no hunger pangs, and I was able to follow the raw food diet with practically no difficulty. I didn’t feel deprived, I didn’t feel hungry and I had only a brief craving for bread!! My body was “withdrawing” from that addiction!

I don’t want (or fortunately need) to live without wheat due to gluten intolerance. I want to eat the occasional slice of bread, pizza, pasta, etc. I started researching and have found einkorn. Woohoo!!! Einkorn is man’s first form of cultivated wheat, grown by farmers more than 10,000 years ago. Compared to modern wheat, it is healthier*, a natural unadulterated product – and very tasty!

 

Where to Find Einkorn in the UK?

I live in the United Kingdom (England to be exact) and get my einkorn flour from Doves Farm. They also sell kamut and spelt flours (which I bought but haven’t tested on my gut yet!), various gluten free flours, etc. I had never heard of einkorn flour until I read “Wheat Belly”. We have switched to einkorn flour (in lieu of no flour at all as Wheat Belly recommends) as we just can’t live (happily) without bread.

When we eat baked goods (or pizza crust) made with einkorn it has no adverse effects. We don’t feel stuffed and we don’t get bloated and we don’t feel sick! Neither of us is gluten intolerant (celiac disease) – at least not that we know of! But we are both definitely gluten sensitive as after cutting out regular flour and then “slipping” a couple of times when dining out, we both felt very ill and wiped out afterwards. In fact the last time we ate out and indulged in a couple of slices of bread we were both sick for the day – headaches, exhausted, stomach rumblings, just generally feeling bloated and ill all over. It was the only food item we both ate. So don’t go there 😉

We are headed to Italy in September and despite it being the land of pasta, if we can’t find einkorn or emmer pasta, we’ll be ordering pasta free meals:  the last regular wheat foray finished us both for good!

Happy Baking everyone! I have just begun to experiment with this lovely product and will be posting recipes as I go!

 

Where to Find Einkorn in Canada or the USA.

 As many of us work towards eating better and living closer to what nature intended, the demand for good natural products will increase. If you live in Canada you can source einkorn flour from Prime Grains and if you live in the USA you can get it from growseed.org or from Jovial Foods. If you grind your own wheat berries into flour, you can source it einkorn.com or from Jovial Foods. Jovial also sells einkorn pasta which I am unable to source here in the UK – if you know of anywhere to get it in the UK please PLEASE let me know!

 

*Einkorn’s Nutritional Value

Einkorn contains higher levels of protein, essential fatty acids, phosphorous, potassium, pyridoxine (B6), lutein and beta-carotene (lutein).

The Einkorn flour is characterized by high protein, high ash, a very high carotene content, and small flour particle size when compared to the modern bread wheats.

It also has plenty of carotenoids – the natural red, yellow or orange pigments that are found in many vegetables and fruits, and in a few grains. Carotenoids have the medical properties that help in preventing serious diseases such as cancer.

 


   einkorn bread recipe imperialeinkorn bread recipe

Butter Tarts: A Canadian Decadence

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Got a sweet tooth? If so, I know I shouldn’t encourage you. Sugar is bad for you. No ifs, ands, or buts. But sometimes, you want to live dangerously. You want something sinful. These are that something. This is a traditional recipe for Butter Tarts. I won’t lie, they aren’t healthy. They are pure evil.

 

Butter Tarts

Butter Tarts

Butter Tart Side view

Butter Tart – side view

 

 

Butter Tarts

Yield: 12 medium

Ingredients:

  • Shortcrust Pastry – enough to line the 12 cups in a medium muffin tin.

Wicked Good Filling:

    • 2 eggs, beaten
    • 1 cup loosely packed brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup corn syrup* (either light or dark for US bakers, the standard one in Canada is golden in colour),
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/4 cup soft butter (salted)
    • 1/2 cup raisins or currants
    • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1 tsp of cider vinegar (optional)

Method:

  1. The tarts are baked in standard 12 unit muffin pans lined with shortcrust pastry, rolled slightly thicker than you would for a pie.
  2. Cut out circles using a saucer or other 5″ round item as a guide.
  3. Spray the muffin tin lightly with vegetable spray to facilitate removal.
  4. Fit the circles into the muffin cups.
  5. Fill the tart shells with the wicked good filling. Do your best to distribute the raisins and nuts equally*
  6. Bake at 400F for 14 to 18 mins. I prefer them just barely set, some people prefer them firmer – if you do, bake them longer.
  7. Cool in the pan on a rack. Then carefully remove.

No worry about storage – they won’t last long**. We won’t discuss calories.

* When I make this I don’t actually mix the raisins (and nuts if I am using them) into the liquid – I divide them evenly into the 12 tarts and then pour the liquid mixture in.

**Should you not be able to eat them all within a couple of days you should freeze them. Just wrap individually in plastic wrap and pop in the freezer. Fifty bucks says you’ll be gnawing at them frozen before too long.

East and Delicious Pumpkin Bread

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PUMPKIN BREAD

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1/2 cup melted butter or oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated preferred!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or raisins

METHOD

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

2. Sift together the flour, salt, sugar, baking soda, nuts (or raisins) and spices.

3. Combine the pumpkin, melted butter (or oil) and eggs together in small bowl.

4. Add to the dry ingredients, and stir until just combined.

5. Pour into a well-buttered 9x5x3 inch loaf pan.

6. Bake in the centre of oven for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick or cake tester poked in the centre of the loaf comes out clean. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes, then turn out of the pan to cool on a rack.

Yield: Makes one loaf (recipe can be doubled if desired).

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