Bread, Breakfast, Cake, fruit, lunch, Recipes, Vegan

Chia Olive Oil Muffins with Caramelized Peaches [Vegan]

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In the world of all the “superfoods” out there, chia seeds seem to be the next big thing. While I’m not one for fads, I can’t say I wasn’t intrigued; the promise of more energy, lower cholesterol, aiding digestion, and a multitude of other health benefits drew me in. I bought a bag at Whole Foods and tried it for a few days, adding a spoonful or so to every meal.

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The seeds themselves are, well, pretty tasteless. Think in terms of poppy seeds; they add a nice crunch but not much else in the flavor department. And as for using it as an energy booster, well anything I could use to boost my energy can easily be trumped by the amount of hours I spend at work, leaving me tired at the end of any day. What I DO like about them is their amazing ability to absorb water; chia seeds can absorb 9 times their weight in water, leaving a gelatinous by-product that could easily replace eggs as a binder in baked goods. The moment I heard this I knew it was time to hit the kitchen.

In this recipe I used a combination of almond flour, olive oil, brown sugar, and lemon zest, leaving me with a nutty, fruity, and tender muffin, great for any breakfast on the go.

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I couldn’t resist adding a bit of tartness to it, so peaches it was! You could really eat these muffins with any fruit, but I love the lacquered sheen of these peaches once they’re cooked. It adds a nice amount of acidity and sweetness that I think pairs well with the nuttiness of the muffin.

Chia Olive Oil Muffins with Caramelized Peaches

Makes 5 muffins

10 g whole chia seeds

50 g water

125 g almond flour

62 g cake flour

4 g baking powder

1 g salt

60 g extra virgin olive oil

40 g organic brown sugar, plus more for peaches

28 g water

3 g vanilla extract

about 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

2 ripe peaches

In a small bowl, stir together your chia seeds with 50 g of water, and let sit for 20 minutes until it forms a gel. Preheat your oven to 350F. Grease a medium-sized muffin tin with olive oil or line with cupcake liners. Sift together your almond flour, cake flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together your extra virgin olive oil, brown sugar, 28 g water, vanilla extract, and lemon zest until combined. Whisk in your gelled chia seeds, water and all. Whisk in your dry ingredients, just until combined. The batter will look a bit lumpy and thick, like oatmeal. Distribute batter into your muffin tin, filling each well about 3/4ths of the way up and smoothing out the top. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan completely before removing. Store at room temperature.

For caramelized peaches: Set your oven to broil and place a rack on the highest level of your oven. Cut peaches in half and remove pit. Place peach halves on a lined sheet pan and cover the tops of each half with an even layer of brown sugar. Put under your broiler for 3-4 minutes, until all the sugar is melted and bubbles, and the peaches look shiny and lacquered. Let cool completely, then peel off skin (this should be easy since the peach is cooked) and cut into slices. Enjoy!

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Breakfast, Drinks, fruit, lunch, Recipes, Vegan

Peach and Key Lime Agua Fresca and One Lovely Blog

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Now that peaches are in season, I bought a couple at the market and wanted to make something that emphasizes the tart, fresh flavors of ripe peaches. No peach cobblers for this gal!

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I love the simplicity of agua fresca and the peach and key lime definitely pair well together in this drink. It’s lightly sweet and just a nice drink for any summer morning.

In other news, mypenandme has nominated KnitterBakerPateaChouxMaker for the One Lovely Blog Award! Yayy!

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I definitely feel honored for this nomination, so thanks again to mypenandme!

Peach and Key Lime Agua Fresca

makes 2

2 ripe peaches, peeled and pitted

5 key limes, juiced

3 Tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 cups water

Chop peaches into 1 inch cubes. In a blender, combine peaches, lime juice, sugar, and water, and blend until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, then chill.

If desired, rim 2 glasses with lime juice and dip rims in sugar. Divide agua fresca between glasses, and serve cold.

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Cookies, fruit, Recipes

Goji Berry and Vanilla Sugar Cookies

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Despite the fact that yesterday was a full workday for me, it happened to be one of the nicest days (weather-wise) that we’d had in a while. Between my two shifts Robert and I sometimes like to spend a little time at the local park, so I decided to make some simple sugar cookies that we could snack on.

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Aside from all the nutritional benefits of goji berries, I tossed in a handful of it into this recipe because it added a nice chewy texture and tartness to the cookie. I also decided to top them off with a little bit of orange sugar, which added a faint twist of flavor when you finish eating the cookie.

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Goji Berry and Vanilla Sugar Cookies

Makes about 25 small cookies

1 stick (4oz) Butter, room temp.

3/4 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla paste

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup dried goji berries

For Orange Sugar:

4 Tablespoons granulated sugar

1 Tablespoon Orange zest

For cookies: In a mixing bowl fitted with a paddle attachment, paddle butter and sugar together until fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add eggs in one at a time, until completely emulsified, then add vanilla paste. Scrape bottom of bowl with rubber spatula, let mixture mix until uniform. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder. Slowly mix in with batter until completely uniform, remembering to scrape bottom of bowl when necessary. Toss in dried goji berries and mix until fully incorporated.

On a sheet pan lined with a silpat or parchment paper, scoop out dough (I used a small 3/4″ scoop), keeping scoops 1 1/2″ apart. Bake at 350F for 7 minutes, or until golden brown along edges.

For Orange Sugar: Combine orange zest and granulated sugar, let sit until slightly dry (the oils in the zest will moisten the sugar). While cookies are still hot, top each cookie with a pinch of orange sugar.

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Breakfast, Cake, fruit, Petit Four

Epic Breakfast of the Week and Using Leftovers

If there is anything I’ve learned from working the food industry, it’s that nothing should go to waste (although we all make mistakes sometimes…). After much thought about what we had and how we should start eating somewhat healthier, for breakfast this morning Robert and I decided to make mini bruschettas that we topped with scrambled eggs, sausage, green onion, tomato, basil, and shaved provolone.

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Crunchy goodness….

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Unfortunately eating healthier includes eating less cheese, which makes me ridiculously sad but these were definitely delicious and filling regardless of a lack of cheese.

Yesterday I also had some leftover pistachio batter so I decided to get a little fancy since I’ve been having a little trouble with the pastries at work and a certain celebrity chef (those of you who know me know what I’m talking about). Image

Pistachio sponge cake with passion fruit caramel, raspberries, apricot glaze, and edible gold pearls.

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Sooo good. The contrast between the sour sweet passion fruit and raspberry and the bitterness of the pistachio worked amazingly well together. I wanted to add some chocolate in there but I think it worked perfectly just as is, tart, tender, and not overly sweet.

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