Hipster Banana Bread

Am I a hipster? Oh god. I like organic food, make my own kefir and ride a cruiser. Yes, I’d love to save the world and my husband has a beard. Hmmmm….. maybe I am just enough of a hipster to be allowed to call this Hipster Banana Bread?!

hipster_banana_bread_sweetpea_darlingheart_honeycomb

Eating a bite of this loaf made me think of my Mum. I’m sure she would have baked something like this, while I watched at her elbow; something wholesome and healthful, and knowing her she would have spread on some tahini and honey for extra goodness/yummyness.

Times change, and now I am the mum with my little one standing at my elbow. And so whilst I originally thought to call this recipe Hippy Banana Bread (as I think of my mum being somewhat of a hippy earth mother) I decided that for my times, perhaps it is more of a Hipster Banana Bread.

So get out your spelt and your cocoa nibs, mash a few bananas and then sling a few slices into your satchel for a snack whilst out on your bike. Lovely alongside a good cup o’ chai.

Hipster Banana Bread

This really is more bread than cake, and is abundant in seeds and cocoa nib crunch. I imagine it would be a great snack to take on a hike; it fills you up in a good way and keeps you going for a long time. It stores well for at least 5 days, and actually gets better after a day or two. And as with all banana breads (in my humble opinion) a generous buttering is a must.

hipster_banana_bread_sweetpea_darlingheart_wholefoods

Adapted from Seeded Banana Bread from A Modern Way To Eat by Anna Jones.

  • 250g wholegrain spelt flour
  • 125g brown sugar (I think coconut sugar would substitute well here, I’m going to try that next time)
  • 150g little seeds (I used 50g golden linseeds, 50g sesame seeds and 50g cocoa nibs)
  • a pinch of salt (go on, rock in some Himalayan Crystal salt)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large bananas, mashed as you will
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons natural yoghurt
  • 2 large organic eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C fan forced. Butter and line a loaf tin with baking paper, and let the paper reach up the sides so it is easy to remove.

Mix together in a bowl all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, seeds, salt and baking powder) until there are no lumps.

In a separate bowl mash the bananas, then stir in the olive oil, yoghurt and eggs.

Gently mix together the wet and dry ingredients, just until there are no pockets of flour left. Hippies or Hipsters alike, be gentle and loving to your mix.

Pour the mixture into the tin, then bake a little lower down in the oven for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the loaf comes out clean.

When the loaf is cool enough, transfer to a cooling rack. This is pretty yummy still warm, but also good at room temperature or toasted and spread with either butter and a little honey or your favourite nut butter. I also had the notion of making a slice into french toast and topping it with some maple, greek yoghurt and extra bananas, but haven’t got there yet! Let me know if that’s where you take it!

hipster_banana_bread_sweetpea_darlingheart_slice

Buckwheat Crepes with oven roasted Rhubarb

High fives to all the amazing cooks and chefs out there at the moment championing wholefoods and more healthful and mindful ways of eating. I feel an amazing shift happening towards a more natural and delicious way of conscious eating and farming, and it’s so great to see it becoming more mainstream. I have been adding to my cookbook collection because there are so many gorgeous books out there that I find them hard not to take them all home. There are so many exciting, vibrant recipes that I can’t wait to whip up and I’m sure I will be feasting on them coming into Spring and Summer.

Buckwheat Crepes with oven roasted Rhubarb

One gorgeous book that I bought a little while back is My Petite Kitchen. Eleanor Ozich is a gluten free rock star, making special food delicious for all the right reasons. She cooks from a place of love (you can just tell) and her pictures are just so pretty, they really do make it all feel like home.

I bought her book without even opening it (yes, I knew if would be that good) and it has proven to be a mega source of gluten free inspiration. I have it literally post-it noted all over.

She sounds really, really nice and has just opened a cafe, and I tell you, if I lived in New Zealand I would be down there for some lunch quick smart.

This recipe was inspired by her Buckwheat Pancakes; mine are crepes because that is what my kids want to gobble at the moment and I served them with some oven baked rhubarb. Gluten free, refined sugar free, just get them into you. Preferably whilst still in bed, or at least in your pyjamas.

Buckwheat Crepes with oven roasted Rhubarb

For the crepes:

130g buckwheat flour
310ml milk
2 beautiful organic free range eggs

Whisk together the flour, milk and eggs until nice and smooth. Simple huh.

Heat a little coconut oil or butter in a fry pan (I have a little flat cast-iron crepe pan and it is awesome, go and get yourself one if you really like crepes, you won’t regret it). Heat the pan until just before smoking point, you need the pan to be hot before you try and make your first crepe.

Pour a ladle full of crepe mixture into the pan, and swirl it around quickly to create a thin, even layer. Pour any excess mixture out of the pan and back into the bowl, ready to make the next crepe.

Cook the crepe until it is just opaque, and you can run a rubber spatula around the edges of the crepe. It won’t take long to cook if the crepe is thin enough. Truth be told, the first crepe probably won’t turn out right (sometimes I’m lucky and the first one works out, but honestly if you tear the first one then cook’s treat for you). With your rubber spatula flip your crepe over and cook on the other side for just 10 or 20 seconds more, until the little bubbles on the second side are just browned. Slip it out of the pan and onto a beautiful plate that is magically waiting there for you, begging to be filled with a little stack of crepes.

Keep cooking crepe by crepe, keeping the first ones warm in a low oven on their beautiful plate, but covered by some tin foil so they don’t dry out. Do a little dance, shuffle in your slippers and give yourself a high five. Yay, crepes!

Drizzle them with maple syrup if you want to, and maybe some creamy yoghurt.

And if you do prefer your breakfast whilst reclining, these keep well in the fridge, so you can make them the day before, then wrap them well and pop in the fridge waiting to be warmed up by your loved one in the oven the next morning, to serve you breakfast in bed.

 SPDH-107 

Oven Roasted Rhubarb

One bunch of beautiful pink rhubarb, ends and leaves discarded
2 or 3 tablespoons of stevia
Juice of half a lemon

Cut your rhubarb into little finger sized lengths. Place into a glass or ceramic bowl.

Sprinkle the rhubarb with the stevia and lemon juice and shake it all about. I am vague here about the stevia because personally I like rhubarb a little on the tart side, but some of us out there (well, pretty much everyone else that lives at my house anyway) like things a little sweeter, so you can add more. And if sugar doesn’t bother you, then go ahead and use brown sugar, oh my, it will be delicious.

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C.

Let the rhubarb, lemon and sweetness mingle for 20 minutes of so, until they are juicy friends.

Pop the rhubarb and juices into a deep roasting pan (like a brownie tin, something with some depth to hold the juices) and cover with a piece of tin foil. Roast in the oven for around 20 minutes or a little less, rhubarb loses it’s shape quickly, so if you’d like the pieces to retain their roundness, check it after 15 for tenderness.

Eat.

Amazing photography by Sarah of Love Katie and Sarah, thanks S xx

roasted rhubarb

Toffee Walnut Scrolls

Buns BunsEaten BunsGone

The mornings are dark and crisp. The air is bracing, the sun slow to catch up.

What I really long for is to stay under the covers a little longer, and for somebody to deliver me something warm and sweet.

Toffee Walnut Scrolls for cozy weekend mornings

Make your morning easy and prepare these the day before. A slow overnight rise in the fridge will produce generous buns, ready to be popped into the oven the following morning. Better still, leave baking instructions for your loved one so a tray can be delivered fresh and sticky from the oven, next to a piping hot cup of coffee. A perfect way to start a Winter’s day.

Toffee

Makes 16 generous buns.

For the buns

  • 5 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 180g raw sugar
  • 310ml warm water
  • 90g melted butter
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 800g plain flour
  • pinch of salt

For the praline

  • 200g raw sugar
  • 50g toasted walnuts

Line a baking tray with a sheet of baking paper. Sprinkle the sheet with the walnuts. To make the toffee, melt the sugar in a frying pan, stirring constantly once the sugar has started to melt at the edges, until the sugar is a dark golden colour. Pour the hot sugar over the walnuts, and allow to cool until hard. Voila, praline. Smash into little pieces using a rolling pin or mortar and pestle. Set aside, but make sure you taste just a little bit.

To make the bun dough, mix the yeast and sugar together with the warm water and melted butter, and leave somewhere warm until the mixture starts to foam. This will take around 10 minutes. Stir in the eggs until well combined.

Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Pour in the yeast and egg mixture and knead well until you have a smooth and elastic dough. You can knead the dough either by hand or with an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Once the surface of the dough is smooth and it feels pretty stretchy, roll it into a ball and transfer it to a well oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to rise for about one hour.

If you are baking these buns on the same day, then now is the time to preheat your oven to 180 degrees C, and line a baking tray with paper. Otherwise just proceed without heating the oven.

Tip your dough out onto a lightly floured bench and give it a quick knead to knock out some of the air. Roll the dough into a rough rectangle, just slightly smaller than your baking tray. Sprinkle with shards of praline, leaving a little rim free of praline on each of the long sides. Roll the dough, long side to long side, to make a long, skinny swiss roll shape. Cut the dough into 5cm slices, and lay the scrolls snugly beside each other on the baking tray.

If you can’t wait any longer and want to bake the buns now, then just let them rise somewhere warm for around 15 minutes, before popping them in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until golden and sticky.

If you want to have these for breakfast in bed tomorrow, then pop the tray into the fridge, covering the buns with some cling film to stop them from drying out. Write down a few instructions on a note and place it on the kitchen bench, or bedside table. Sweet dreams and happy slumber…

Ahhh, good morning. Hopefully your bestest buddy is now down in the kitchen. The little note you wrote him/her last night will tell them to take the buns out of the fridge, and then preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. He, or she, should pop the tray somewhere warmish, like beside the oven, while they take the time to set a little tray with maybe a glass of juice, a vase of flowers…

Now is the time to pop those buns in the oven. Collect the paper, make a nice cup of coffee and in 20-30 minutes they will be golden and delicious and ready to deliver to the lovely who is still in bed… enjoy, and happy Winter weekend.

Lusciously captured by Sarah of Love Katie and Sarah

ToffeeScrolls

 

Coconut Berry Loaf Cake

coconut-loaf-above

The past few weeks I have been having an existential crisis of sorts… a baking related existential crisis. There are definitely worse things than baking crises. But things have been on my mind, none the less.

My particular deliberation is basically this. I love to bake. For sure. It is a space where my creativity is in flow, and also a platform from which I can nurture others. And on the other hand, I have recently made the decision to go sugar free for a while. I have Type 1 diabetes, an auto immune disease (gosh, I really don’t even like labelling it as that) and have been reading the buzz lately about others reversing their various forms of auto immune by going sugar free. I just want to say, I am not recommending any of these changes to anybody else, in fact my doctors are pretty much dead set against the whole idea of going sugar free (somewhat ironic, no?) but tired of merely managing my condition, I’m seeing what I can do to help support and heal my body.

So, how to marry these two ends of the spectrum? Sugar free yet love to bake. Oh, and the fact that I have a small business making delicious sugary cakes for other people?!

If you’ve visited here before, you will notice that many of the recipes I post tend towards the wholefoods side of things. I like creating and eating food that is delicious and full of nutrients. I want to have my cake, and get some additional goodness from it too. Goodness for the soul and for the body, if you like. And with a beautiful little girl by my side who has a definite sweet tooth, I want to make sure I can get as much good nutrition into her as well, whilst still giving her something she will want to eat for afternoon tea.

I will continue to make special treat cakes for others who are having celebrations, but have decided that I also need to work on a range of sugar free and wholefoods cakes that also taste delicious and look beautiful, so that people who have these different wants and needs can be catered for. And I guess I will also allow some room in my life for the freedom to have some treat cake when the time is right. But amazingly, having been sugar free for about 7 weeks now, I am not wanting it so much.

Anyway, my beautiful girl is totally in love with coconut at the moment, so here is a quick after kinder treat we whipped up. Low sugar, low fructose, high in protein and pretty darn delicious.

Coconut Berry Loaf Cake

Coconut-berry-cake

  • 200 g wholemeal spelt
  • 100 g coconut flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
  • 100 g butter, melted
  • scant 1/3 cup stevia (I use a one for one stevia which is mixed with erythritol to make it measure as you would for sugar, however, if you use pure stevia please put this in to taste as a drop of the pure stuff goes a long way!)
  • 1/3 cup rice syrup
  • 400 ml buttermilk
  • 120 g berries
  • handful of coconut flakes

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C. Grease and line a loaf tin with baking paper. In a medium bowl, combine the  spelt flour, coconut flour, baking powder, vanilla powder and stevia and give a good stir.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter, then add in the rice syrup and warm until just loosened. Pour the butter and rice syrup into the flour mixture and stir.

Stir through your buttermilk; the coconut flour is very dry and will absorb lots of moisture, it will make a fairly firm batter.

berries

Pour your mixture into your loaf tin, and push in the berries however you feel. Try not to eat them all along the way.

coconut-loaf-ready-to-bake

Top with a sprinkle of coconut flakes. Place towards the bottom of the oven, to stop the coconut flakes from burning, and bake for 60 – 65 mins or until a skewer comes out clean.

This is a subtly sweet, rustic style cake, very comforting and delicious with the pop of soft juicy berries. It is delicious eaten warm as is, or would also be good served with some orange or vanilla scented ricotta.  It keeps well in an airtight container for up to 4 days, although we gobbled ours all up long before then.

Coconut-berry-loaf-cake

coco-nutty toasted muesli

mueslibowl

I love a good muesli. I really do. It’s my go to breakfast for the everyday, and stolen spoonful is my quick and easy snack if I need a bit of boost or am craving some crunch. Did you know how easy it is to make your own? Super easy. Come on, let’s do this!

Here is what you will need to make a lovely big batch of  muesli (this amount lasts us about a week and a half, with two people eating it for breakfast every morning and a few snacks in between)

  • 700 g rolled oats
  • 150 g coconut flakes
  • 200g raw nuts
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup rice syrup
  • 120 g dried fruit
  • 60 g chia seeds
  • 200g buckinis

almondsandmacadamias

First off, pick your favourite nuts. Make sure they are raw, or if you’re feeling special, try activated. These babies are going to toast themselves in the oven, so don’t use already toasted ones or you’ll end up with some sad little nut buddies. Today I was in an almond and macadamia kind of a mood, cashews are another fave, and if you’re feeling fancy go with hazels… pop anything in and I swear it’s going to be good. If you love seeds, throw them in too (I usually do), sesame is awesome as well as sunflowers and pepitas. Go on, pretend you run your own health foods shop and you’re showing off your range. This muesli is all about you, customise!

ingredients

Give those nuts a bit of a chop, rough is good. Add them to a big bowl along with some rolled oats and some coconut flakes (these are a must for me, they add super awesome toasty crunch). In, out, mix it all about.

syrup

Next, measure out your maple and rice syrups and your coconut oil. Put your syrups and oil into a small saucepan and heat them gently, just until the coconut oil has melted.

mueslimix

Pour your syrupy mix into the oaty mix and give it a good, hearty stir. Make sure you scrape the bottom where there are usually some uncoated oats hiding, cheeky things.

tray

Spread your beautiful sticky mix onto two baking trays, and pop them into a 160 degree C fan forced oven. No fan, then up the temp to 180 degrees or so. Bake your muesli for 25 – 30 mins, stirring it around every 8 – 10 minutes. I want you to stay within smelling range of your oven, any hint of burning and dive in there and give it a good flip about. Toast until it is beautifully golden, like your muesli has had a summer holiday backpacking around Europe. It might still seem a bit sticky when you take it out, but as long as it is a deliciously tanned, it will crunch up nicely once it is cooled. Let it cool on your trays for a couple of minutes, then tip it into a big bowl ready for some further customisation. If it cools completely on the trays it’s no big deal, but it can make a big oaty mess as you try to tip it into a bowl once it has already cooled and crisped up.

toastedmuesli

Voila, roasty toasty muesli goodness! But hold your horsies, we’re not quite there yet. Once your muesli has cooled down, stir through your favourite dried fruit, today my choice is cranberries and white mulberries. I also totally love buckinis, so I add some of them too, and some chia seeds for a good omega boost. Yum, yum.

jarofmuesli

Look at you, aren’t you cool… you’ve just made your own muesli! Know what’s great? Your muesli is super fresh with no stale ingredients, it’s better for you with the coconut oil & natural syrup combo and you’ve made it just how you like it. And next time you make it, try a new combo, keep life interesting. I love to eat mine sprinkled on natural yoghurt with a serious scoop of acai powder, some bee pollen and a sprinkle of hemp seeds.