A Fresh Dille

veganomicon & nut butter love.

Posted in FOOD, VEGAN by clairedille on October 6, 2010

I just can’t help myself. Maybe it is because I spent all summer out of the kitchen, but baking is reigning supreme over my recent days. Today it was this beauty.

Banana Bread is such a comfort food. Still working on the bag of vegan chocolate chips, this became a walnut, dried cherry, and chocolate chip Banana Bread. Instead of Amanda’s delicious Blissful Banana Bread that I made (and loved) before, I went with a classic favorite from Veganomicon. If you want to find the recipe and are without the wonderful cookbook, check out The Baking Bird post here where Kylie also raves about the recipe. I am pretty sure I remember VeggieGirl being a fan as well. Always opting for more banana than less, I went with three incredibly ripe ones on my counter top. The recipe differs from Amanda’s because it incorporates applesauce to lower the fat, but you can’t tell because it still has 1/4 cup oil. For my flour, I used Whole Wheat Pastry until I ran out. Luckily, I had some lingering quick oats to make up the last 1/2 cup of dry ingredients.

So really, make this Lower Fat Banana Bread recipe. I promise you will love it. If you are like me and prefer to have a moist (ick, I know it isn’t a choice word) loaf, only cook it for 45 minutes and use 3 small to medium-sized bananas. Oh, and please don’t forget about the molasses. Not only do they add some warmth and unique flavor, but they provide much-needed calicium, iron, and other grand nutrients (read about it here).

With the Veganomicon cookbook open and some already cooked chickpeas in the fridge, I turned to the Chickpea Cutlets page and whipped up a batch uber-quick. Here is a photo of them formed, but before I pressed them down to form cutlets with my palms.

Although the recipe claims to make four cutlets, I always end up with more. The only thing I swapped up from the original was using our fresh rosemary instead of the dried thyme that was called for.

I swear these aren’t baked goods. Apparently V thought they were tasty with peanut butter, but I wouldn’t recommend it. They are a savory snack or meal component that taste superb with bbq sauce, marinara, gravy, etc. I made a sandwich to go with some freshly made pesto, tomatoes V picked today, and baby spinach on sprouted bread.

Other things happening in my kitchen today:

I made a double batch of Ashley’s Roasted Maple Cinnamon Almond Butter. YUM!

They key to making your own nut butters is definitely patience. I wanted to make coconut butter as well today, but my patience just wasn’t there.

I did make Coco-Cashew Hazelnut Butter though.

Coco-Cashew Hazelnut Butter

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup raw hazelnuts
  • 2 T maple syrup (organic grade b is best)
  • 2 T unsweetened cocoa powder (or raw cacao powder)
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • T coconut oil or coconut butter (optional)

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread your nuts throughout. Roast nuts for 10-15 mins, stirring frequently to prevent burn. Let cool 10-15 minutes. Pour nuts into food processor with remaining ingredients. Process for about 10 mins, frequently scraping down sides to evenly mix.

This recipe still needs some tweaking, maybe some more cocoa. As a former nutella addict (hello, netherlands 2006), I really hope to create a vegan chocolate hazelnut spread. There are a few recipes throughout the web (like this one) but they all seem to use confectioners sugar. Maybe I should just buy some Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut butter already…

Other things:

-What is your favorite kind of quickbread? Pumpkin, banana, zucchini, etc? I’ve always been the biggest banana bread lover, but this pumpkin gingerbread by Angela looks completely drool-worthy. I am thinking that must be next and what a coincidence that miss Kelsey made it today.

-What is your favorite kind of cross-training? I am getting back to running right now and it seems like I am known for doing too much too fast. I am aiming to incorporate in more cross training but get bored with the elliptical. I did just sign up for 10 Bikram Yoga Classes and am pretty excited considering it has also been much too long since I’ve let myself go with the flow with yoga.

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Posted in FOOD, MAGAZINES, VEGAN by clairedille on October 6, 2010

I would love to say that I am completely phased by the abundance of pumpkin all over the blog world, but really, it is quite the opposite. Today I headed over to Trader Joe’s just to pick up some in fear I may run out in the near future. In the last few days I have had pumpkin oats, pumpkin pie smoothies, and yes, even baked with it. I am glad to know that I am not the only one who eats pumpkin a few times in a day. Enter, pumpkin chocolate chip scones.

Since the cookies I made vanished pretty quickly and I had at least half a bag of vegan chocolate chips left, I wanted to add them to the mix. Although I have never really been a scone person, my british father tends to be a fan so I thought I would give them another go.

The recipe I used is a mixture of Allie’s and Tina’s. Instead of writing a recipe remarkably similar to the two wonderful ones I just mentioned, I will tell you some of the changes I may have made. Like Allie, I used 2 cups of flour (a mixture of spelt and whole wheat pastry) and 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree. Like Tina, I used 1/4 cup of sugar and 2 Tablespoons of earth balance butter. The rest was rather typical for a scone recipe: baking powder, baking soda, salt, and some milk.

What would I change?

More butter and sweetener. Honestly, they were great when eaten warm with some earth balance or almond butter on top, but I should have upped the fat when baking like Allie since Tina’s recipe had 1/2 cup less flour. They were definitely enjoyed though and I won’t give up on scones yet. I just feel as though I may be more of a muffin/quickbread person.

Other things:

-The Marie Claire article really has taken over the “healthy living” blogs and I don’t really have much to chime in on because I think all sides of the topic have been spoken about quite thoroughly. However, I do feel compassion for the bloggers who were interviewed and then unfairly quoted out of context. The truth is within their blog posts and their readership should never diminish, but only grow. Did you feel like it needed to be written or was it just cruel and unfair of the author to not let these great women know what the article was truly about?

I am not an every meal blogger or even every day or week blogger. I know that there are times where I may lose readership because life gets in the way, but I choose to continue blogging because of the great community. There are so many kind comments and other blogs that inspire me every day. I hope it continues to thrive (although overwhelming at times) and be a place for women (and men) to feel a sense of community. Some may say blogging is obsessive, but we all have them. I love food. I love fashion. I love running. I love traveling. These are things I let myself be obsessed with…because, quite frankly, why not?

-On a lighter note, do you like scones? Have any recipes (favorite combinations) you want to share?