This blog is all about Food. Real Food. Food that Nourishes, Heart and Soul.

Real Ingredients, Organic and Locally sourced whenever and where ever possible, shared with love.

No packages, no ingredients that are impossible to pronounce.

Real, honest food, from my kitchen to yours. Enjoy!

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Grain Free Sour Cream Cherry Crumble Bars

 I love it when a Saturday rolls around, and I have no plans. Although, in my house, a “no plans” day still includes getting the laundry done, and housework, and dishes….I am sure you understand! I was also hoping for it to warm up enough outside for me to get a start on spring cleaning some of the gardens, but other than that, my day was free. So, to waste some time while waiting for the sun to do its thing and make it tolerable for some outdoor work without needing a parka, I tried a new recipe out.

These bars are quite tasty, and not overly sweet. I can see this being a jump off recipe for all sorts of variations. (The base and crumble would make a lovely date square…going to have to play with that!) Anyhooo, I picked cherries as the fruit, because I had some in my freezer, but I think any soft fruit would work. I am sure sautéed apples or pears would be awesome as well…oh the possibilities!!!

The only thing I thought of changing at all was the fruit to bar ratio, maybe upping the fruit a wee bit. But my friend Jenelle stopped in and taste-tested them and said they were perfect as is. So I will leave that one up to you!

If you use frozen fruit like I did, let it thaw and drain away the excess liquid before adding, or it will make your sour cream layer too wet. Definitely let them cool completely before cutting them up to allow the layers to firm up. 

Grain Free Sour Cream Cherry Crumble Bars

6-8 dates, pits removed
¼ cup coconut oil, softened a bit
1 egg
1 cup pecans
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup arrowroot powder
½ tsp sea salt
1/3 cup reserved base mixture
¼ cup shredded coconut (unsweetened
¼ cup coarsely chopped pecans
Sour Cream layer:
2/3 cup sour cream
1 egg
¼ cup maple syrup
3 Tbsp arrowroot powder
1 Tbsp coconut flour
Pinch of salt
1 cup thawed and drained frozen dark sweet cherries (or other soft fruit of choice)

Preheat oven to 350F
Line an 8x8 glass baking dish with parchment paper, and set aside.

In a food processor, chop the pitted dates until they just start to form a ball. Measure the rest of the base ingredients into the food processor bowl and process until well combined. Pulse a few more times until it starts to form a ball.
Scoop out 1/3 cup of this mixture and set aside. Press the rest evenly into a parchment lined 8X8 glass baking pan. Set aside.

To the 1/3 cup of reserved base mixture, add the shredded coconut and the coarsely chopped pecans. Mix together until well combined (use your fingers!) and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the sour cream filling ingredients until nice and smooth and pancake batter like. Pour over the base and spread evenly to cover.

With a spoon, evenly distribute the cherries, being careful to leave the excess juice behind.
Sprinkle the topping evenly over the cherry/sour cream layers and bake in preheated oven for 35-38 minutes, or until the filling is completely set.
Let cool completely before cutting into desired size square. Store any leftovers in the fridge for 2-3 days (if they last that long!) 

(the weather cooperated, I was able to clean out most
of my front crocus's are beautiful!)

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Grain Free Blueberry Dutch Baby Pancake

Dutch babies are probably my favourite pancake of all time. Anyone who has made pancakes for a crowd will appreciate the simplicity of this lovely oven pancake. Whiz the batter in your blender, pour in the hot pan and let the oven do all the work. No flipping, and you get to eat at the same time as everyone else! 
These also cook beautifully in a big cast iron pan (or multiple single serve ones if you are lucky enough to have them!) We have been known to cook them on the BBQ on those beautiful lazy weekend mornings, when the sun is shining, and the birds are chirping...when the BBQ is not buried in snow...

Grain Free Blueberry Dutch Baby Pancake
We like the darker Grade B
Maple syrup, it has a deeper
more intense flavour!

¼ cup butter
6 eggs
¾ cup whole milk (or alternative)
¼ cup coconut flour
¼ cup arrowroot flour/starch
½ tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla

1 generous cup organic blueberries, fresh or frozen

Put butter in 9x13 glass baking dish. Place in oven and preheat to 425F

Place the rest of the ingredients (EXCEPT THE BLUEBERRIES!) into a blender, and blend on high until thoroughly blended. When oven is preheated and butter is melted and bubbly, (usually by the time your oven is up to temp your butter is ready!) carefully remove the glass pan from the oven (with oven mitts!) and pour the batter from the blender jar into the hot pan. Sprinkle the blueberries evenly and quickly over the batter. 
Return to oven and bake for 15-18 minutes or until the pancake puffs up and is golden around the edges. Remove from oven, cut into pieces and serve hot with topping of choice. 
The leftovers (if you have any!) are wonderful when re-heated in a toaster oven!

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Cranberry Maple Pecan Cookies

When I have a free morning, you're pretty much guaranteed to find me in my kitchen, baking something yummy (well, most of the time the results are yummy....) So, on one dreary Wednesday morning, I set out to bake a few things. I started with two loaves of my Amazing Grain Free Nut Free Banana Bread, (I had a request from my eldest son...he was feeling banana bread deprived again, poor thing :(  I also wanted to take in a treat for my co-workers, as a bunch of us were working late for our annual inventory...banana bread makes every daunting task better!!  While the banana bread was baking, and making my kitchen smell heavenly, I searched for another recipe to make. I remembered my recipe for these Grain  Free Cinnamon Raisin  Cookies, but was out of a few key ingredients (raisins for one!) I did have cranberries, and a bag of pecans, so I used my original recipe as a jumping point, and these cookies were born. Other notable substitutions were swapping out the coconut sugar for maple syrup, and the coconut flour for arrowroot, as the last of both went in the banana bread. The subs worked beautifully, these cookies are as good as the original recipe, if not better! I did increase the baking time a bit from the original recipe to crisp them up a bit more. This also increased the shelf life on them, and they stored at room temperature for 4 days without softening like alot of grain free cookies do.
One of the joys of baking is being able to think outside the proverbial box and not let a lack of ingredients deter you from creating something delicious!!

Cranberry Maple Pecan Cookies

½ cup quinoa flakes
½ cup softened unsalted butter
½ cup maple syrup
1 cup  almond flour
½ tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp arrowroot starch
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt (omit if your butter is salted)
½ cup dried cranberries (fruit juice sweetened)
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat your oven to 350F

In a cast iron pan, toast the quinoa flakes over medium heat, stirring constantly until the flakes become fragrant, and are just starting to turn a slight golden colour. This will only take a few minutes, and they will burn quite easily, so you will need to pay attention! Remove to a plate to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and the maple syrup until really well combined. (i used my immersion blender to get them to combine well) Add the rest of your dry  ingredients, and mix well, Stir in the cranberries and pecans.

Scoop out onto parchment lined pan in about 1 tbsp spoonfuls. This makes approx 18 cookies.
Bake for 15-16 minutes. or until they are nicely browning around the edges and over the surface of the cookie. 

Let cool  on the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a coloring rack. They will be fragile when still warm, but firm up nicely when completely cooled.