UnReFiNeD

February 18, 2010

Christmas All Over Again

I have been meaning to make these for a long time – A healthy version of a Christmas Fruitcake – You know, those dense loaves filled with walnuts, oranges, cranberries and chocolate chips? (Well, that’s the type of fruitcake I was brought up with, but there are a variety of other types) For my first blindfolded try at it, they came out really great, and they actually got the “these are the best muffins I have ever had in my life” speech, and from someone who’s only new to eating healthy too! So I’m pleased with the results. Next time I’ll bake them into a true Christmas Fruitcake Loaf. Speaking of Christmas, one of my favorite “cakes” or “breads” is the Panettone. Raisin and lemon zest filled, hazelnut chocolate filled…  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you have missed out! I wonder if there’s a way I can make an Unrefined Vegan version of it…

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I just couldn’t wait!

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~Fruitcake Muffins~ Makes 12 muffins

Dry Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups brown rice flour, 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts, 2 tbsp ground flax seed, 3 tbsp finely chopped dates (dusted with flour, not packed) some mini chocolate chips (I used 1/2 tbsp of pure pressed cocoa powder chopped into small pieces), 1 1/4 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp sea salt, 1/4 tsp baking soda

Wet Ingredients: 1/2 cup date paste* (recipe in “Recipes: Dips/Spreads”), 1/2 cup fresh orange juice (including pulp), 1 small/medium mashed banana (makes 1/3 cup), 1/4 cup water, 3 tbsp small frozen cranberries, 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, 1/2 tbsp orange zest (packed)

Directions: Mix dry ingredients together. In another bowl, mix wet ingredients together. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until combined. Pour into a lightly-greased 12-cup muffin pan and bake for about 30 minutes. Let cool before eating.

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I wanted to say something about baking while I was on the subject – Baking usually consists of flours, and even if you’re using whole grain flours, it’s not as nutritious as the whole grains themselves. Using freshly ground flour is much better, but very few people own their own mill or know where to source fresh local flour. So consider eating whole grains too instead of just using flour as your grain source. Boil up your favorite whole grain and mix it with fruits for breakfast, with beans for lunch, or with vegetables for supper.

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This has become a favorite staple in the house, and for good reason! Every time I make Sprout Hummus (see “Recipes: Dips/Spreads”) I end up using more sprouts and less salt, which is all for the better.

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So far I’ve made this hummus with just canola or a mix of alfalfa, cloves, radish and canola, sometimes adding some fenugreek to the mix. Fenugreek is an awesome seed, it has such a delicious aroma!

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Today I treated myself to some baked yam. It’s shaped like a diamond so I cut it in half and ate it as if it were an ice cream cone, with nothing else but… a tiny bit of Maplenut Sauce… I read one of Vegan Reader’s articles, informative and entertaining as it wrote about the Native Americans’ diet, and came across something intriguing – Yam, with peanuts, maple syrup, salt, pepper and warm spices. I just had to try this out (without the pepper and warm spices), so I mixed a little bit of maple syrup and natural peanut butter together (more or less equal parts), added a pinch of sea salt. I let it warm up over the woodstove and drizzled it on my yam and Oh My Garlic it was so heavenly I’m still in serotonin land. And so Maplenut Sauce was born and will quickly make its way to my Dips/Spreads Recipes page =)

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Michal is having her first giveaway for her Veganversary, check it out!

Also, don’t forget about my own giveaway, ending in less than 2 days!

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