Showing posts with label spelt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label spelt. Show all posts

Pumpkin Seed and Almond Flecked Teff Griddle Cakes with Goji Berries

I am a huge fan of teff. This petite grain is a nutritional powerhouse that has a wonderful nutty flavor. Combine this with goji berries, pumpkin seeds and almonds, you may well have a delightful, healthy breakfast fit for a king. Try to cook the griddle cake almost completely on the first side leaving only a minute or two for the second. This way, the pumpkin seeds and almonds retain a nice color without being overdone. Children may eye these darker-than-usual griddle cakes with suspicion, but one mildly sweet taste will win them over. 

Tunisian Pumpkin Soup with Spelt Soda Bread

As the days turn blustery and chill, I could not resist adding this warming recipe to the collection. There is something about a spicy, smooth soup with pumpkin that tends to be especially inspiring during the Fall season. The chipotle pepper lends a bit of smokiness. For those of you who need a more mild version, omit the red pepper flakes. 
A recipe for spelt soda bread follows—the perfect compliment to a steaming bowl of soup. Spelt is a wonderful heirloom grain and is usually well tolerated by those who have a sensitivity to standard wheat.

Tunisian Pumpkin Soup with Spelt Irish Soda Bread

As the days turn blustery with a sharp note in the air, I couldn’t resist adding a warming recipe to our collection. There’s something about a spicy, pureed soup with fall vegetables that I find especially inspiring at this time of the year. If you need a more tame version, skip the pepper flakes—the soup is just as wonderful without the kick. I’ve also included a quick and simple spelt soda bread, which rounds out the recipe for a complete light meal—especially when accompanied with a nice smear of pasture butter. For those of you unfamiliar with spelt, it’s a wonderful, heirloom grain related to wheat, yet usually well-tolerated by those who have a sensitivity to run-of-the-mill varieties.

Superfood Blueberry Galette with Hazelnut

As we approach Thanksgiving, I wanted to include a recipe that highlights several traditional Native American superfoods. For those of you unfamiliar with mesquite flour, you are in for a treat. This novel flour is gluten free and nutrient packed. It is a rich source of protein and fiber, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and zinc along with the amino acid lysine. Mesquite flour has a mildly sweet, nutty flavor that lends itself well to baking. Blueberries, hazelnuts, and maple syrup were also important staples in the tribal diet. Blueberries provide ample antioxidants that help counteract free radicals and protect against cataracts, heart disease, and cancer. Hazelnuts are a wonderful source of vitamin E and folate together with carotenoids, flavonoids, and proanthocyanidins which help prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer. Although not considered an absolute superfood, maple syrup has high levels of zinc and manganese, both of which are immune boosters. More information can be found here.

A Pleasurable Spelt Brioche

I have a confession to make: Pleasure in life is my top priority. More specifically, embracing the philosophy of Epicurus. Curiously, most associate this doctrine to be one of gluttony, extravagance, and senseless self-gratification. Upon further investigation, however, an epicurean way of life honors simplicity while seizing upon any opportunity to be fully present -- naturally leading to a sense of pleasure. Cultivating close friendships along with a deep connection to the natural world both have a treasured place in this life-affirming philosophy. All in all, it is an attitude of fully savoring the moment, slowing down, and really living. Traditionally, the French are known for their exquisite embodiment of epicurean living. To read more about this orientation, click here.

In quiet celebration of pleasure, a recipe for brioche. Here we are using classic ingredients with an eye for quality and simplicity. Pasture butter, free-range eggs, heirloom spelt flour. It is worth the extra effort of sourcing sprouted flour for maximum nutrition while minimizing bone harming phytic acid. On a sweet note, orange blossom honey is the perfect compliment to the unique flavor of lavender.

Spelt Brioche with Lavender


1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon evaporated cane juice
1/4 cup lukewarm milk
1 cup white sprouted spelt flour
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1 free-range egg
1/2 teaspoon fresh or dried lavender flowers
3 oz pasture butter, room temperature
Orange blossom honey for serving


Whisk yeast, evaporated cane juice, and milk in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes until it begins to foam.

With a wooden spoon, stir the flour, honey, egg and lavender into the yeast mixture until combined. Add butter in fourths until a sticky and soft dough forms. Cover and allow to rest in a warm place until doubled in size, approximately 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a six-cup capacity brioche mold or small bread pan. Lightly dust the dough with flour and shape into a round ball. Place in brioche mold, cover, and set aside for 20 minutes to rise once again. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from mold and serve warm with orange blossom honey. Savor fully with those who delight in wonderfully simple pleasures.

"Laetus in praesens" (Happiness now)
-Inscribed on the wall of villa Careggi, Florence, Italy  

Valentine Scones with Cacao Nibs and Dried Cherries

Saint Valentine's Day is almost upon us and a flurry of associations come to mind. The latent sugar-enthusiast remembers fondly the days of childhood when the heart-shaped box of chocolates would magically appear from my parents. My joy of the impending sugar rush was palatable. Later, as I became more aware of the world in general, I veered into the opposite direction by turning my nose up at the whole commercialism of it all and went on a 'Valentine's Day Fast' for over fifteen years. Then I had an epiphany a few years back and realized: what would be a more spectacular opportunity to live with more love, joy and gratitude than Saint Valentine's Day? Forget the superficial stuff and really delve into a day (and hopefully a full-time orientation) of appreciating those we love while aligning myself with a more heart-centered life.

As sweet treats reflect the 'sweetness of life', these heart-shaped scones are the perfect symbol to share with those you love and even those who look as though they need more love in their lives. Imagine baking up several dozen of these little hearts and passing them on to coworkers, friends, family, possibly even strangers. With the intention of loving-kindness?

If all of this is a little too idealistic, focus on the scones themselves. Good for your heart (no bad fats here) while not pushing one over the edge with sugar overload. Coconut oil replaces the butter, smart sweeteners like evaporated cane juice or coconut sugar add a subtle sweetness. This along with spelt pastry flour for those who are sensitive to standard wheat and the tangy zest of dried cherries to create a bit of balance. And do not forget the incredible cacao nib which is a tremendous source of antioxidants, micronutrients, as well as theobromine, one of the feel-good elements in chocolate.

I used a deep, 2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter for this recipe. If you find it difficult to locate the cherries, dried cranberries make a nice substitute. Since the cacao nibs are unsweetened, a slight bitterness complements the mild sweetness of the scone. A high-quality, organic dark chocolate chip can be used if one needs less bite.

Wishing all a very loving and joyful Saint Valentines. Bon Appétit.

*Organic ingredients are always best for health, quality, and taste.

2 cups spelt pastry flour*
1/3 cup evaporated cane juice crystals or coconut sugar granules
1 1/2  teaspoons non-aluminum baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons solid coconut oil
1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel
3/4 cup raw cacao nibs or semi-sweet dark chocolate chips
3/4 cup coarsely chopped dried cherries
1/3 cup full-fat yogurt whisked with 1/3 cup almond milk (For vegans: substitute this mixture with 2/3 cup coconut milk)
1 egg or flaxseed egg substitute
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract

Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add coconut oil and orange peel; using a pastry cutter or your hands, mix until coarse meal forms. Fold in cacao nibs and dried cherries. In a small bowl, whisk yogurt-almond milk mixture, egg or flaxseed substitute, and both extracts; add to dry ingredients and mix with a fork until dough comes together in moist clumps. Form into a ball and press out on lightly floured surface to 3/4-inch thickness. Using a 2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out the scones. Transfer to oiled baking sheet and space 1-inch apart. Repeat process with remaining dough.

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Bake until scones are crusty on top and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

*for increased digestibility, decrease spelt flour to 1 cup and soak overnight with 1 1/2-cups water and 1/4-cup plain, unsweetened yogurt. Omit the yogurt-almond milk mixture. Mix soaked flour with wet ingredients and continue with recipe.