Posts tagged ‘apples’

Carrot and apple breakfast cookies

IMG_3373Here is my attempt at a healthy(ish) breakfast cookie. As much as I love a sit down breakfast, it’s just not possible some days. I usually gravitate toward muffins for a grab-and-go breakfast, but lately they have felt too heavy, too crumbly, and sadly, sometimes even two minutes of warming in the toaster oven is not realistic/desirable mixed in with all the morning things that need doing. There is also something about coffee and cookies that I can’t get enough of – a small indulgence to start the day.

These batter for these cookies will look a little gooey – the carrots and apple provide a lot of moisture. The result, though, is a lovely texture: a cross between a gingerbread cake and an oatmeal raisin cookie, which is exactly what I was hoping for when I started experimenting.

Try them on the run with a piece of fruit, or pack them for a mid-day treat. Or make them on a Saturday, like I did, and enjoy eating cookies for breakfast.

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Carrot and apple breakfast cookies
Makes 24 cookies

1/2 cup butter or coconut oil, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup spelt or whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup ground flax
1/4 cup hemp hearts
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1 apple, finely chopped (I left the peel on for texture and colour)
1 carrot, grated

Preheat the oven to 350F. In a large bowl, cream together the butter/coconut oil, brown sugar, molasses, egg and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together and stir into the butter/sugar mixture. Stir in the remaining ingredients.

The cookies should be two inches apart on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Bake them for 12 to 14 minutes, taking them out when the edges are “done looking” edges but still a little undercooked-looking on top. It’s a little tricky to tell because of the dark molasses colour – if they smell great and look almost done take them out (always better to undercook rather than overcook). Let them sit on the hot baking sheet for five minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool.

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February 6, 2016 at 11:40 am Leave a comment

Applesauce oatmeal muffins 

  

A quick, easy kid-friendly muffin. I’ve made these a few times now and they’ve been a big hit with our one year old. 

My three year old nephew helped make the latest batch. He rejected them at first, but took a tentative bite today and I think we’d have him by tomorrow if they weren’t already all gone. That is the thing I like most about this recipe – the flavours are really simple, but these muffins seem to disappear very quickly.

Applesauce oatmeal muffins
Makes 12 muffins

1 cup flour (all purpose or spelt flour both work great)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup rolled oats
1 egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup applesauce
1 apple, peeled and finely chopped

Preheat oven to 375F. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Combine egg, applesauce and oil in another bowl, and then add to dry mixture. Stir gently until just combined. Spoon into greased muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes.

January 27, 2016 at 6:55 am Leave a comment

Applesauce, homemade and homegrown

applesauce2

Applesauce must be one of the easiest recipes on the planet. And as an extra bonus it’s the perfect thing to make when you’re enjoying an afternoon or evening in as it makes the house smell absolutely heavenly.

In the early stages of my pregnancy I was obsessed with applesauce as it was one of the few things I could stomach. Now that I am eating everything in sight it doesn’t have quite the same cache, but it is delicious nonetheless. Especially the homemade variety made from apples grown in my own backyard.

Here is my no-recipe recipe for applesauce:

Peel and chop up a bunch of apples. Put them in a saucepan with a tiny bit of water and a giant spoonful of cinnamon and any other spices you have handy (cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, etc). Cover the pot and simmer on low heat for a long time, stirring occasionally, until the apples turn to mush.

I poured mine into two big jam jars, and stuck one in the fridge for eating right now (perfect as a midnight snack), and one in the freezer for later.

November 25, 2014 at 1:24 pm Leave a comment

Apple pie for a season of change

apple pie
It has been months and months since my last post. Poor neglected blog. So much has happened since then! We got pregnant (7 months along now!), moved house and cities (goodbye beautiful, exciting, expensive Vancouver, hello lovely, soothing, affordable Victoria!), and, as always, have been busy with work and life. To say it’s been a hectic few months would be putting it mildly! I am hoping now for a season of settling.

The moving process is never fun, but it is great to be back in Victoria after so many years away, and we are loving our new house. Yes, house. Finally some space! A real kitchen and a crazy, overgrown garden are both making me so happy.
backyard with apple tree

We have been busy harvesting our beautiful apple tree for pies, crisps, salads and bags of fresh fruit for family and friends. They are Pacific Gala apples (which we know thanks to our friend Brian who came to visit from Vancouver a few weeks ago and brought one of the apples back with him to the UBC Apple Festival for identification!), and really delicious.

bowl of apples

I’ve made at least six pies in the past month. Every one is a bit better than the last, which is very satisfying. I’ve decided that if I accomplish nothing else in life except to be known as someone who can make a great pie, I will be happy with that.

Apple pie
Makes 1 pie

Pastry
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cold vegetable oil shortening (you could also try coconut oil)
3-4 tablespoons cold water

Pie filling
5-6 cups sliced, peeled apples (you might want more or less depending on the size of your pie plate)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup brown sugar

For the pastry, I highly recommend using a food processor (a stand mixer also works) for mixing and parchment paper for rolling out the dough. I used to make pie crust in a mixing bowl and then rolled it out on the counter, but always found it tiresome and messy. Also, the more your warm hands handle what is supposed to be cold pastry, the less flakey and tasty it will be.

Here is what I do now: buzz the flour, salt and shortening in a food processor until just combined, then add water one tablespoon at a time, pulsing the dough in the processor each time, until the dough forms a ball. Tip the dough out of the processor into a bowl and shape it into two balls. I usually make one of the balls slightly larger for the bottom crust. Chill the dough for a few minutes while you preheat the oven (350F), peel and slice all the apples and make the filling (just combine the ingredients in a bowl).

To roll out the pastry, put one of the dough balls between two sheets of lightly floured parchment paper. Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough into a circle about 2″ larger than your pie plate. Remove the top sheet of parchment (carefully so you don’t tear the pastry), tip the pastry into the pie plate, remove the other sheet of parchment and then use your fingers to shape the dough into the plate and repair any boo-boos that might have occurred during the transfer.

Pour the apple filling into the crust, and repeat the same roll-out method for the top crust. I like a lattice top, but you can also do a full crust. Cover the pie loosely with aluminum foil and bake for about 40-45 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown on the top and bottom. Keep an eye on it toward the end as pie crust burns easily.

apple tree branch 2

October 27, 2014 at 6:26 pm 2 comments

Apple crostata

Crostata is the Italian name for a free-form pie. You roll out the crust, place it on a pan, pile on fruit and then fold up the edges. Much less work than fitting pastry into a pan and crimping the edges. I’ve been wanting to make one for ages and I’m proud to say I finally did.

I’m a latecomer when it comes to pie appreciation. When I was growing up I didn’t like it at all, and it’s only in the past few years that I’ve developed a taste for it. Pie for me is like olives in that I’ve always liked the idea of it much more than the actual taste. I know that’s a strange comparison, olives and pie, but it is the same phenomenon. Peanut butter and jam sandwiches are another thing I didn’t like as a kid, but as an adult I’ve discovered an affection for them. Olives and I are slowly becoming good friends – the idea has finally planted itself in my taste buds after a long campaign of telling myself to learn to like them – and  I think the tides are turning with the cause of pie as well. (more…)

January 23, 2012 at 10:52 pm 2 comments

One perfect breakfast

Beautiful Sylvan Star gouda, one of my very favourite cheeses, is pictured here as part of what I consider to be a perfect breakfast. A piece of fruit, a wedge of cheese, and a healthy muffin, toast, or a homemade granola bar filled with fruits, nuts and whole grains. There are other perfect breakfasts (here and here and here), but this is a good one and a quick one for when you’re running out the door to work or don’t want to waste a minute getting to the projects or relaxation you’ve been longing for all week.

January 22, 2010 at 12:04 pm 1 comment


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