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!

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Grain Free Zucchini Loaf

Some days, you just need to bake (well...I do anyway...!!!) Those who know me well are aware that when my stress level gets high, nothing calms me like some kitchen time, with the music cranked (and sometimes a glass of helps with the whine :) )  

We have alot going on right now, with buying and selling a house, packing, 
and renovations on the newly bought house starting very soon.  
So, after a crazy day of work...and meetings...and lawyers... and house stuff... 
I came home with a SERIOUS need to de-stress. 
With my zucchinis going crazy in the garden (no one in their right mind should ever plant 4 zucchini plants!!!) 

I decided to play with my 
recipe and turn it into a zucchini loaf. It worked well enough to share, 
so here it is! 

I made up a batch of this Maple Cashew Cream Frosting (I had envisioned a lemony cream cheese topped loaf, but...that would have entailed a trip back out to the grocery store...and that was NOT happening lol!!)  A bit of searching for a recipe,  and with all of these ingredients on hand, I bravely unpacked my food processor and gave it a go. It matched the flavour of the loaf perfectly, and was not too rich or sweet. I will definitely use it again! 
Thanks CotterCrunch for a great topping for my loaf! 
Pictured here with this amazing Maple Cashew Frosting

Grain Free Zucchini Loaf

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/3 cup of kefir or yogurt

4 eggs, preferably pastured

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

1/3 cup coconut sugar

1/3 cup organic coconut oil, softened

1 tsp organic cinnamon

¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg

Pinch of cloves

Whiz all of these ingredients together with a stick blender (or whisk if you are feeling particularly ambitious!) until very well incorporated. 


1 cup grated zucchini, (with liquid squeezed out as much as possible!!)

½ cup chopped walnuts

1/3 cup organic  raisins

Mix well, ensuring ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Let batter stand for 5 minutes to thicken up.

Scoop into parchment lined or well greased loaf pan.

Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
(my pan was quite large, 9X5 I think?  If yours is smaller, you will need to adjust your baking time until it is cooked thru!)

Let cool 5 minutes in pan before removing to a rack to cool.

Keep at room temp for the first day, refrigerate after that for a few days, if you have any left!!

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Espresso Panna Cotta

Coconut Milk version,
 using a 1/2 cup Mason Jar
pan·na cot·ta
ˌpanə ˈkōdə,ˌpanə ˈkädə
  1. -"a cold Italian custard, often served with fruit sauce or caramel syrup".

Panna Cotta translates from Italian to mean "cooked cream", and has become my favourite summer dessert this year. 
Elegant in its presentation, and simplistic in its preparation, its a win win dessert that doesn't even heat up your kitchen! It does require some time to set properly, so plan accordingly if you want it ready for dessert!

"Richer" version, using a 1 cup  Ramekin, filled 3/4 full
I have made multiple versions of this espresso version this summer, and decided to post my three favourite variations, as they all shine in their own way, and deserve a wee bit of the spotlight, depending on your tastes and dietary needs!
The lighter version is great when you want a dessert that is a bit less substantial, but every bit as lovely and tasty as the other versions. The "richer" version has a much creamier texture and velvety smooth mouth-feel that ups the ante a notch or two, making it just that wee bit more decadent. In the dairy free version (created just for my foodie friend Ken!) the coconut milk marries so well with the coffee flavour, it just might be my favourite... if I was ever forced to choose just one...  

Although I haven't tried it yet, you can also make Panna Cotta with fruit juice...picture a lovely mango Panna Cotta topped with a blackberry thyme coulis....I can see many more versions being created before summer is over!

This recipe does make quite a few Panna Cotta's, depending upon the size of container you choose. You will end up with approx 6 cups of liquid Panna Cotta, so choose your serving sizes accordingly. (feel free to cut the recipe in half, but the extras are a lovely indulgence to keep in the fridge ;) ..... 

When I am making it for company, I will choose several straight sided containers that will un-mold well (short mason jars, ramekins etc) and then pour the rest into various mason jars with lids, to be eaten straight out of the vessel as a treat in our lunches.  

A few quick notes on my choice of ingredients:
  • For the espresso flavour, I like to use Mount Hagen Organic  Instant Coffee. They have a regular and decaf version, that gives a seriously impressive coffee flavour to this dessert. 
  • Coconut sugar is almost always my sweetener of choice, for its lower glycemic rating, and its caramel like flavour. The darker colour will affect the end colour of your Panna Cotta, so if you were making a plain version of this without the coffee granules, you may want to substitute with an organic white sugar or honey to eliminate the caramel colour that this will give. So, feel free to substitute with your sweetener of choice. (I am thinking maple syrup may work well with the espresso flavour as well...hmmmm....)
Enough of my rambling, lets get to the recipe!! 

Espresso Panna Cotta, 3 Ways: 

Lighter Version
Full Fat “Richer” Version
Dairy Free Version
6 cups milk, your choice of lower or full fat
4 cups full fat milk PLUS
2 cups , full fat sour cream
3 cans (400ml)  full fat coconut milk
2 ½ TBSP gelatin powder
2 ½ TBSP gelatin powder
2  TBSP gelatin powder
½ cup Coconut sugar
½ cup Coconut sugar
1/3 cup Coconut sugar
3 TBSP Instant Coffee Granules
3 TBSP Instant Coffee Granules
3 TBSP Instant Coffee Granules

Method: (for all three versions)
In a small saucepan, measure out ½ cup of the milk, and sprinkle the gelatin powder over the top. Let rest for approx 8-10 minutes.

While the gelatin is sitting, measure the rest of the ingredients into a large blender and whiz quickly until well combined. Set aside.

When the gelatin/milk mixture has finished resting, turn the heat on medium low and heat gently, stirring often, until the gelatin is dissolved, approx 5-8 minutes. Do not boil!

When dissolved, remove from heat, and, with the blender running on low speed, carefully remove cap from blender lid,  and pour the hot gelatin mixture into the blender with the rest of the ingredients. Replace lid and turn on high to blend for 30 seconds.

Pour into desired serving dishes*** and chill for a minimum of 2 hrs or until fully set.
Round jars like this will not un-mold, but...will fit nicely in your lunch bag :)

If your ramekins have a small lip as
mine do, only fill to the bottom of this lip
or it will not come out easily. 

***Serving options
A: To eat as is:
pour into ½ or 1 cup mason jars, or other small vessels, and chill as above.
B: To un-mold:
Lightly grease small straight sided ramekins or other like vessels.
SIDES MUST BE STRAIGHT (or flare gently outwards) FOR THIS TO WORK!!
Pour into ramekins and chill as above. To Plate: Carefully run a knife around the edge of the Panna Cotta,  making sure you get right to the bottom of your vessel. Take care to be as smooth and even around the edge as possible.  (if doing this for the first time to serve to company, you may want to practice with a few to get the hang of it!) Carefully turn ramekin upside down over serving plate and using the knife carefully dislodge the Panna Cotta onto the plate. 
Garnish as desired.
(chocolate Sauce recipe pictured here can be found HERE)

Friday, 7 July 2017

Garlic Scape Lemon Compound Butter

I love garlic scapes. They are the yummy precursor to the lovely garlic that gets harvested towards the end of summer in my garden.,,,kind of like a bonus harvest on a garden staple, fleeting but delicious! Many farmers markets and stands sell them if you don't grow your own garlic so be sure to look for them from mid June to early July.
I do tend to stick to my favourite recipes with scapes, (like pesto, and this recipe below for compound butter) but they are very versatile and can be used for many different recipes if you are creative! (do a pinterest search...they are used in absolutely  EVERYTHING!!! ) I chopped a bunch this year in my food processor and froze them in an ice cube tray so that we can hopefully enjoy the harvest for way longer than we usually do. (see pics below!!)

This compound butter can be used for a multitude of things, from buttering my grain free baguettes, to topping baked potatoes, to searing a cast iron cooked steak. It's lovely vibrant green colour and garlicky bite  transform a multitude of foods to a completely different level of flavour.

Try this recipe before the scapes are gone again for the season!!

Garlic Scape and Lemon Compound Butter

Approx 8-10 garlic scapes, roughly chopped (you want to end up with about 1/ 2 cup when finely chopped)
¾ cup butter cut into 6 chunks (mine was not quite room temp but not cold either!)
Zest of 1 lemon (ALWAYS organic!!)
Juice of 1 lemon
S&P to taste (if butter is salted, as mine often is... add less salt!!)

Pulse garlic scapes in food processor until finely chopped.  (shown with LOTS of scapes, I scooped out a bunch to be left with 1/2 cup)
With machine running, add butter 1 chunk at a time until smooth and incorporated. 

Stop the processor, add the lemon juice, zest, s&p, and turn back on until incorporated, stopping to scrape down sides as needed 

Scrape out of processor and shape into log on plastic wrap. (shown on waxed paper, but plastic wrap works best)

Refrigerate until firm and slice as needed. For storage longer than 5 days, keep in freezer.
Shown on my  grain free baguette :)

chopped and prepped for freezer

covered ice cube tray is perfect for freezing :)