Sweet potatoes aren’t just for Thanksgiving and slathering with marshmallows or butter. Sweet potatoes are chock-full of vitamins that reduce stress, boost immunity, help prevent heart attacks, and that make your skin look great. They’re also on the Clean Fifteen list, meaning that the non-organic version of sweet potatoes aren’t loaded with pesticides and you can save some cash at the grocery store….
Surprise! Vegetables aren’t just for dinner! The beet is a great root vegetable to use in sweet applications as well. I usually pair it with chocolate when I’m baking….
A few weeks ago, I made a cake for N’s mom’s birthday. I had been waiting to make this cake for her for a while, since the flavors were right up her alley. Before I went to the market, I reviewed the recipe to see what ingredients I was missing.
As my eyes scanned down the list, my heart skipped a beat. “1 cup buttermilk.” Crap.
For those of you who bake a lot, you understand my pain. For those of you who don’t, I’ll break it down. Don’t get me wrong, buttermilk is delicious. It adds a creaminess and lightness to baked goods that I love. But here’s the problem: Buttermilk is only sold in two quantities. 1 quart and half a gallon. So, whenever you need only 1 cup of buttermilk, you’re forced to buy another three cups that you don’t need.
This leads to throwing away curdled, long forgot buttermilk after a few weeks, or, like me, you begin to scour your cookbooks, Pinterest, and the internet for ways to use up your buttermilk.
My go-to buttermilk recipe is banana bread, but I decided to go with some breakfast muffins I could grab on the way out the door to work. They’ve got oats in them too for some extra heft and longer satiety.
Giving cookies around the holidays makes them extra special. They carry a dash of extra magic and taste that much better. The magic grows when the cookies are made for a good cause.
I swapped cookies with three other bloggers. When I received their information, I found myself with an interesting challenge. Two of them couldn’t have chocolate and the last blogger didn’t like spicy things (which is ironic, given that so many of my recipes have heat in them).
After many hours of research (and drooling), I decided to make persimmon cookies. Persimmons are a great winter fruit and I’d never baked with them before. As I started making the recipe, I hit a snag. I didn’t have enough persimmon pulp for the full recipe. Thankfully, there was a savior in my pantry: Pumpkin puree! Pumpkin paired wonderfully with the persimmons and increased it’s seasonality (which I love). Necessity, or panic, is the mother of invention.
A friend asked me once why I choose to make certain recipes. One would think that I just get divine inspiration, I’ve always wanted to make these recipes, they’re passed down from relative to relative.
The unsexy truth of it is: I went a little crazy at the farmer’s market or my CSA gave me way too much and I have to make something before it all goes bad.
The latter happened this week. My CSA gave me more apples than I can eat and I wanted to do something fun with them. Luckily N and I were going over to our friend’s house at the end of the week and I had been promising them a dessert, only for our dinners to be cancelled by life events. Our friends are getting healthy and are making healthy, veggie packed dinners (which we love), so I decided that the dessert I would bring would be healthier and lower on fat and sugar.
I came across this wonderful recipe from eat life whole, that checked all of the boxes I wanted. This cake is gluten free without needing any gums (which I love), has applesauce and coconut oil instead of butter or oil, and cuts down on the sugar. And the best thing of all: it tastes amazing! The apple cake is moist, delicious and never once felt “too healthy” or “too gluten free.”
Today I’m taking a break from my regularly scheduled fall eats to pay tribute to my grandma. I first told you about her on Mother’s Day. She raised 7 kids and didn’t have the easiest life, but she always kept a smile on her face and kept going.
This October 13 marks the 7th anniversary of her passing. As each year passes, the pain of missing her lessens a bit. This day becomes less about being sad that’s she’s gone and more a marker to take a moment to think about her and all of the things she passed onto me and taught me.
She loved to bake. Baking was her catharsis and safe haven from whatever was happening at the time. I find myself doing the same thing sometimes, and I think about her when I bake. Sometimes when I miss her a lot, I bake some her favorites.
One of my all time favorites of hers was her banana bread. Even though I wasn’t the fondest of bananas as a kid, I would always love her banana bread: the sweetness, the flecks of banana in each slice, sometimes the crunchiness of the nuts.
I decided on making a healthier banana bread to honor Grandma’s memory today. Banana bread doesn’t have to be a sugary calorie bomb. This banana bread has no butter or refined sugar (maple syrup instead) and is packed with chia and flax seeds for a good slice fiber and omega-3s.
This one’s for you Grandma.