When September rolls around, I drop berries and stone fruits like a hot potato and move right on over to apples and pears for fruit desserts. I taught this cake last year and then proceeded to make it for the Jewish holidays and every time we had people over in the fall. Then all my friends who ate it asked me for the recipe and I told them, “sorry, it’s exclusive to my online cooking class!” Little did they know I tweaked an Ottolenghi recipe. LOL. This cake reminds me of a better version of the Silver Palate chunky apple walnut cake that I made 100 times when I was in college. Continue reading
My summer wasn’t exactly a restful one. I finished writing and photographing my book (due out in April 2017!), prepared 2 kids for college and moved them in, and planned Mr. Picky’s September bar mitzvah. After I left the girls at school, I did something I have never done before. I went out of town — by myself. For four whole days. And when I say “by myself,” I mean no husband, no kids, no girlfriends, no nobody. And you know what? Except for my wedding and giving brith to my three angels, those four days were among the best I’ve ever had.
I know not all of you are making your own almond milk and therefore aren’t desperate for almond pulp recipes. But believe it or not, it’s one of the most common SOS’s I receive in my email inbox. “More uses for almond pulp, please!” “I have a freezer full — HELP!” Believe me, I’m in the same boat since I make almond milk twice per week. And almonds are expensive, so it is nice to have several great ways to use the resulting pulp which might otherwise be thrown out. Or snuck into someone’s smoothie and at this point, my son is onto me. “Mom, did you put almonds in here again?!” Maaaaay-be.
I actually do have two recipes on the blog already which use almond pulp, a banana quick bread and pancakes. Both use almond pulp AND a whole grain flour. I haven’t not had excellent results with recipes that only use almond pulp. Unless of course I enjoy eating something that looks like tree bark. I like nutritious food, but even I have my limits. Adding a little flour is the way to go. Gluten-free flour blends with a little xanthan gum works, too.
The temperature outside may say one thing, but it is technically fall. So I am embracing the change in produce with an apple recipe. Everyone in my family loves apple anything, so I figured this was a safe bet. And it was devoured on the first day. Chunks of tender apples, cinnamon and spices and some little surprise nuggets of caramel-y dates all nestled in a moist bread. Perfect with a cup of tea or a turmeric latte. And if you’re not using almond pulp, I don’t want you to feel left out. I bet you can take my zucchini bread recipe and just adapt it with apples and the spices from this recipe.
What’s wonderful about using almond pulp though, is that it gives a nice protein boost to whatever you’re making. Normally I don’t like to give the kids muffins or quick breads for breakfast unless I can add a smidge of protein like nut butters or a side of yogurt. But the almond pulp changes everything. In fact, I offered some to Mr. Picky for breakfast a few weeks ago, on a school day mind you, and he said, “I can have just this? Without anything else? Really?” Munch, munch. And then he added,”Did you put protein in here??” Definitely onto me.
Whole Grain and Almond Pulp Apple Quick Bread Recipe
Serves: 1 8 ½ X 4 ½ -INCH LOAF
¼ cup unrefined coconut oil*, melted plus additional for greasing pan
½ cup 100% pure maple syrup, Grade A or Grade B
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour or whole spelt flour
¾ cup almond pulp (from 1 cup soaked almonds used for almond milk)
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
1 ½ cups diced, peeled apple, about 1 large
½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
½ cup pitted, diced dates (or you can use raisins)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8 ½ “ x 4 ½ “ loaf pan, or if aluminum, grease it and line it with parchment paper.
In a blender, process the oil, maple syrup, eggs and vanilla until combined. This helps to emulsify the oil and keeps your bread from being greasy.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, almond pulp, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry. Fold in the apple, walnuts, and dates. Pour into the prepared pan.
Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool slightly, about 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely.
You can also make these in standard muffin tins and bake for about 20—25 minutes. This will yield 12 muffins.
After one day, best stored in the refrigerator.
*I haven't tested it, but I'm sure olive oil would also work.
I am kicking myself for all the almond pulp I have thrown away in my lifetime. It honestly makes me crazy to think of how much perfectly good raw, soaked, organic almond pulp I wasted because I didn’t know it would be amazing in banana bread or pancakes, among other things. I make so much almond milk and the only things I used to be able to think to do with the leftover pulp was to add it to smoothies and stir it into oatmeal. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it just got boring after a bit.
Then a light bulb went off in my head and I tried using the pulp (which is different from store-bought almond meal because it is wet) in banana bread and it was amazing! Have you seen this recipe yet? It’s was so delicious and after my first attempt baking with almond pulp, I assumed every cookie and cake recipe would turn out great. Not the case. I actually had a few failures using almond pulp.Continue reading
One of my guilty pleasures is a traditional English tea. We used to live within walking distance of the Penninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills which (in my opinion) had the best tea in the city. I used to take my girls on their birthdays for a special treat and I also remember celebrating my one of my birthdays there with some friends. When we were in London with the kids two years ago, I could have cared less about any meal other than tea. I really indulged that week and I enjoyed every glutinous (and gluttonous) crumb. I love every aspect of a proper tea, from the tea itself to the sandwiches to the scones and clotted cream. Lucky for me, by the time the small desserts are served, I am usually too stuffed to bother.
My girls always lit up when the scones were served. And so did I. I would take a scone over a muffin any day. Scones are a low-sugar (but high-flour) biscuit, basically. They are are supposed to be light and tender and not too sweet since they are served with fruit preserves. What’s funny is that even though scones feel light, they are anything but. Most scone recipes call for lots of butter and heavy cream to keep them from being a dry hockey puck!
I like plain scones just as much as ones with currants. And a warm scone with a cup of tea makes me instantly relax for some reason. Ironically, even though I love classic scones, I don’t make them that way at home. I think we have spent enough time together to know that I don’t use white flour unless it’s absolutely necessary. Same goes for sugar. So naturally my scones will use whole wheat pastry flour or whole spelt flour instead. I have a taste for the nuttiness of whole grain flours as well as a preference for lower glycemic and more nutritious foods. But if you don’t, or you want these to taste more like “regular” scones, feel free to sub an equal amount of white flour. Or use half whole wheat pastry and half white flour.
To further deviate from traditional scones, this recipe includes fresh strawberries and on occasion dark chocolate chunks. Gasp! I started testing this recipe with freeze-dried and regular dried strawberries and the scones were amazing. And then I realized how much money I was spending on bags of dried strawberries and I thought it was a little silly to make such expensive scones. So I turned to fresh strawberries which are actually a little tricky to work with because they’re a tad wet. So the scone recipe can actually support 1 1/2 cups of stuff, but not 1 1/2 cups of fresh strawberries. You can do 1 cup of fresh strawberries + 1/2 cup dried. Or 1 cup fresh strawberries + 1/2 cup fresh blueberries. Or you can take this recipe and turn it into blueberries scones, using 1 1/2 cups of fresh blueberries.
Well, it’s Mother’s Day this Sunday and I’m just saying that moms like a little attention. They like to feel appreciated. To wake up on Mother’s Day with breakfast in bed is a very nice way to start the day, especially if the breakfast-makers clean up after themselves in the kitchen, too. (This is very important!) These scones would be a good idea. If you don’t have time to make scones on Sunday morning, why not make them today and freeze them today? Pull them out of the freezer the night before and warm them in the oven the next morning. One of these scones with a hot cup of tea and a little love from my kiddos, who would also abstain from bickering the whole day, is my dream morning. Hint, hint.
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour or whole spelt flour (GF version on reverse)
1 Tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 ½ sticks (12 Tablespoons) cold unsalted butter
1 cup diced fresh strawberries
1 cup buttermilk, plus more as needed and for brushing tops
⅓ cup grade A maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
optional add-ins: ½ cup fresh blueberries or ½ cup dark chocolate chunks
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Grate the butter into the bowl with a hand grater. Use the paper wrapping to hold the butter. Or cut the butter into pieces and working with a few pieces at a time, scoop some flour and butter mixture into your hands. Squeeze butter with your fingertips pressing your thumbs across your fingers to flatten the butter into petal shapes. Repeat until all butter is flattened and coated with flour mixture.
Add strawberries (plus blueberries and/or chocolate if using) to flour/butter mixture and combine.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together buttermilk, maple syrup, and vanilla. Slowly add buttermilk mixture to flour/butter mixture, whisking constantly to combine, just until mixture begins to form clumps. Add more buttermilk if necessary, 1 tablespoon at a time, until no dry flour remains in the bowl.
Transfer mixture to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Lightly dust your hands with flour and gather mixture into a ball, squeezing to form a dough (it may still crumble slightly).
Flatten dough to a 1” thickness and fold in half. Flatten and fold once more. Gently shape into a 1” thick, 7” diameter round. Cut into 10-12 wedges (or you can do a rectanglar and cut into squares), then separate them ½” apart.
Brush tops with buttermilk. Bake scones until puffed, golden brown on top, and hollow-sounding when tapped on bottoms, 15-18 minutes. Let cool slightly on a wire cooling rack.
optional add-ins: ¼ cup fresh blueberries or dark chocolate chunks
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt.
Grate the butter into the bowl with a hand grater. Use the paper wrapping to hold the butter. Or cut the butter into pieces and working with a few pieces at a time. Scoop some flour and butter mixture into your hands. Squeeze butter with your fingertips pressing your thumbs across your fingers to flatten the butter into petal shapes. Repeat until all butter is flattened and coated with flour mixture.
Add strawberries (plus blueberries and/or chocolate if using) to flour/butter mixture and combine.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla. Slowly add milk mixture to flour/butter mixture, stirring to combine, just until mixture begins to form clumps. The dough should be cohesive, but very sticky.
Drop the dough by the 1/3-cupful onto the prepared pan. Let rest for 15 minutes.
Something I really hate to do is to waste food. One of the reasons I plan out a week of meals is that I can shop accordingly and only buy what I know I will use. But what about that leftover almond pulp? Despite my best efforts to use up the almond byproduct that results every time I make almond milk, it just doesn’t always happen. And raw almonds are so expensive that it actually pains me to throw the pulp in the trash. It’s perfectly good food, especially since the almonds were previously soaked, making them much more digestible and nutritious!
So what do I do with it? Of course, there’s the obvious — add it to anyone’s smoothie or stir it into a warm porridge or muesli. And almond pulp freezes well, so I can save it for another time. But I am just way too lazy to get out my dehydrator and dry out the pulp to use as almond meal. And then I thought to myself, what if I just tried the almond pulp in a quick bread in place of some of the wheat flour? Well, guess what? It worked! Although apparently, a million other people already knew this and I am extremely late to the almond pulp party!
I decided to take one of my banana bread recipes and tweak it a bit with almond pulp that was leftover from 1 cup of whole, soaked raw almonds. Remember, almonds have a lot more fat than grain flours, so we can cut back on some of the added fat. But almonds have no gluten, so I was reluctant to make an all-almond pulp bread this first time. I know this will be neither Paleo nor gluten-free (although I am confident you can swap the gluten flour for a good GF all purpose mix + a little xanthan gum), but I think we can fix that with a few more tweaks. Using half whole wheat flour and half almond pulp, this bread came out to be ABSOLUTELY PERFECT! Moist but hearty, not crumbly, and not too sweet. It’s perfect banana bread, in my book. My life changed instantly!! Let’s all imagine the possibilities of subbing some almond pulp for flour in different recipes! Is this exciting or what??
Most of the recipes on my site have been made in my cooking classes and at home about 20 times, but this one I just did once so I haven’t tested all the permutations, e.g. all almond pulp, no bananas, butter for coconut oil, and so on. But you can bet I will! I am planning on making my Millet Blondies today with almond pulp. Check my Instagram for updates! And please share your experiences with subbing in almond pulp in any recipes — I’ll try anything!
One last favor — I love Saveur Magazine and they’re conducting their annual food blog awards right now. If you like my blog, would you kindly take 15 seconds out of your busy day and nominate me for a Saveur Food Blog Award? I think the category of Best Special Interest Blog (healthy cooking) would be great. Thank you so much! Here’s the link (and I promise it takes 15 seconds!) http://www.saveur.com/article/contests/blog-awards-2015-nominate
I never posted my waffle recipe on my site because I really didn’t know if most people owned a waffle maker. Plus, I don’t want to nudge anyone to buy an expensive appliance that s/he may not get much use out of. Annnnnd, I had never found a good waffle iron that wasn’t lined with Teflon. But if you saw in my Friday Favorites back in October, I found the waffle maker of my dreams and it’s under $40. No Teflon, easy to use, no PFTE’s or PFOA’s. Go check out my link if you are interested in more of the specifics. Sooooo, since so many of you have asked me for the recipe on Instagram, I am finally happy to oblige.
This waffle recipe isn’t that much different from my Whole Grain Buttermilk Pancake recipe, but it’s designed to have more heft. These waffles are still light but hearty and subtly sweet. My kids are so used to whole wheat pastry flour and whole spelt flour that whole grain pancakes and waffles taste “normal” to them. But if you haven’t used whole grain flours yet or your family doesn’t like the nuttiness, try going half and half or even using 1/2 cup whole flour and 1 1/2 white flour to start. I personally enjoy whole grain flours because they actually have some flavor, as well as the fact they don’t leave me feeling like I ate a candy bar for breakfast. I like to see what bits of random flours (e.g., oat, buckwheat, cornmeal) I have in the fridge that I can use up for a truly multigrain waffle.
These waffles are the perfect backdrop for tons of different seasonal fruit combos with or without maple syrup or a dollop of yogurt. Sometimes I let Mr. Picky add some mini chocolate chips for fun. He doesn’t use maple syrup, so I’m ok with the small amount of extra sugar. I usually like to finish the batter and make all the waffles even if it’s too much for all of us, and either save them for the next day or freeze them for another time. They go right into the toaster oven for a re-crisping. You might even try using homemade waffles out as sandwich bread for a quick PB&J.
I wish I had posted this yesterday or last week for you all you snow bunnies who have been cooped up with schools closed again. Waffles are a great breakfast if you’re not in a super big rush since you can only make one at a time. Although my kids are staggered out the door in the morning and I taught them how to use the waffle iron, so it works out pretty well for me on a weekday. There are a few occasions coming up when it might be a nice treat to make waffles. February 14th is obviously Valentine’s Day and it’s on a Saturday this year, so that’s a perfect day to make these. Or if everyone’s off from work and school on Monday, February 16th for President’s Day, that would also be a good time to try this recipe out. And since we’re celebrating something, why not go all out with some organic whipped cream piled high? I approve!
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour, white whole wheat flour or whole spelt flour or a blend of these and other whole grain flours*
1 ½ teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
2 cups buttermilk**
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon 100% pure maple syrup
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Melted, unrefined coconut oil for brushing the waffle iron
Preheat waffle iron to desired heat level.
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl.
In a medium bowl or 4-6 cup measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, maple syrup and melted butter until well blended. (A blender can do this easily, too.)
Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
Brush the inside of the waffle iron with coconut oil and spoon about a scant ½ cup of batter onto the middle. Add blueberries, chocolate chips or diced banana to the surface, if desired. Close the waffle iron and follow the manufacturer’s directions for cooking the waffles.
*Or you can use GF flour blend, such as ⅔ cup oat flour, ⅔ cup buckwheat flour and ⅔ cup brown rice flour. Millet flour can also be use.
**No buttermilk? Sub half unsweetened yogurt and half whole milk.
When I think back to my childhood, I don’t think “deprivation” or “missing out.” But the fact that I didn’t know about and had never had a Dutch Baby until I was an adult makes me a little sad, like my family was out of the loop. So many people recall fond memories of leisurely Sunday family breakfasts with Mom pulling a puff of sweet heaven out of the oven. Wow. My mom did not get that memo. My husband came home when we were first married with a small pizza box from a restaurant called Dinah’s by Los Angeles International Airport. Inside was a very buttery, cinnamon and sugar-covered disc of sliced apples held together with a minimum of batter. “It’s a German apple pancake. Have you never had one of these before?” Wow. No, I had not. A Dutch Baby pancake, similar to the German apple pancake, is a puffed, kind of ugly pancake that is more egg-y than flour-y. It’s not quite like a pancake that you make on the stove in that it’s a little denser, but very delicious it its own way and so much easier because you make the batter in a blender and then bake the whole thing in the oven.
The best part of a Dutch Baby oven pancake is when you first pull it out of the oven. It goes in as a thin batter in a skillet, and comes out as an irregularly puffed, golden, warm pancake with a sweet aroma of vanilla. The. Best.
The Dutch Baby pancake recipes I have seen involve the regular suspects: white flour, white sugar, milk, eggs and butter. Those suspects are easily changed to whole grain or even gluten-free flour, maple syrup, almond milk, but I still keep the eggs and butter. You can change the butter to Earth Balance if you need to. But I’m not quite sure how to make a Dutch Baby without eggs. Plus that’s where the protein comes into play if you are wanting to serve this for breakfast on its own.
What you put on a Dutch Baby can vary from lemon juice and butter (very popular actually,) to fresh or cooked fruit to powdered sugar or maple syrup. We keep it simple in our house with seasonal fruit, like sautéed apples and pears in the fall/winter and berries in the summer. It is incredibly good with fresh blueberry sauce. Recipe here and you can make it with frozen blueberries!
I always take two weeks off around Christmas and New Years to spend with my family. Maybe you have a little time off too, or perhaps you are having friends for brunch on New Years Day. These are the days that I like to make breakfasts that are a little more special, that we can sit a savor for a bit longer. Hoping you can find some time to do just that this week. And if you do, this Dutch baby recipe is the perfect one to try.
Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy, peaceful and joyous 2015!
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the butter in a 9-inch skillet or pie plate and transfer the skillet to the oven until the butter is melted. Brush the sides of the skillet with the melted butter.
Add eggs, milk, flour, salt, syrup and vanilla to a blender and process for 1 minute.
Pour batter into the skillet with the melted butter and bake until puffed and set, about 20 minutes.
Serve immediately with desired accompaniments.
Room temperature ingredients, as well as whole milk and all-purpose flour make the pancake rise the best. But it will still turn out well with whole spelt flour and almond milk.