Dessert

Bread, Breakfast, Dessert, Gluten Free

PISTACHIO RHUBARB LOAF

Pistachio Rhubarb Loaf . Sprouted Kitchen

A single scoop from Thrifty was just over a dollar. The ice cream scoop was kind of a rounded cylinder shape, and it made a "click clack" noise when the attendant would release your chosen flavor into the sugar cone or cup. It was more like a scoop and a half, really. I consistently chose apricot-mango (why, young Sara?) and my sister, rainbow sherbet. It was located inside a Rite-Aid that was both across from the city library and in the same center where we went to a weekly math tutoring program, so we were frequent visitors. It may have been dinner some nights? My mom has never liked cooking and we lived to tell the tale so no sense in fretting too much about that. My mom would also get a scoop every now and then, likely something better and chocolatey because she was older and wiser. I have a snapshot memory of the three of us sitting outside the automatic doors, against the taupe-y stucco walls, eating our treats, me complaining I didn't like my flavor and preferred the one my mom chose. She took one more big spoonful and swapped with me. She took my bullshit apricot-mango and gave me her chocolately one and while I hope I at least said thank you in that fleeting moment, I've gone back to that memory a number of times when I par down what this whole motherhood thing looks like. Yes, I hear all the self-care, don't-lose-yourself conversations and I agree, but there is also a huge part of it that is just surrendering. You surrender to the mess and the cost and the exhaustion and work and the worry. You surrender your superior ice cream flavor.  You never know how actions and words are perceived on the other side - sometimes lost or forgotten, or perhaps they stick with someone forever. 

I gave this loaf recipe a test run for our Mothers day brunch plans. The Sweet Laurel cookbook is full of grain and refined sugar free baking recipes - nearly all with almond or coconut flours and maple sweetened. The original calls for six eggs, so I risked scaling that back because we don't like when baked goods taste so, well, eggy. This makes for a looser crumb and a wetter texture and I'll take that over eggy. I added nubs of a quick roasted rhubarb for tiny pockets of tart jam throughout. You could eliminate this completely if you'd like, or maybe use lemon instead of orange and swap in blueberries. 

If you have a mother or are one or want to be one or are struggling with the one you have or can even think of someone else who has been that figure for you, a happy Mother's Day weekend to you. 

Pistachio Rhubarb Loaf . Sprouted Kitchen

PISTACHIO RHUBARB LOAF

Makes one 9x5 loaf

Recipe adapted from Sweet Laurel

This recipe will not work with a 1:1 swap for a regular wheat flour or any whole grain flour for that matter. Coconut flour is super absorbent and the liquid ratio will not translate. They sell small bags at Trader Joes, most larger grocery stores, or a handful of sizes and brands online.

Roasted Rhubarb

  • 1 cup diced rhubarb
  • sprinkle of sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp. coconut or avocado oil

The Loaf

  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 2 Tbsp. flaxmeal
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • zest of one small orange
  • 1/2 cup orange juice (about 1 juicy orange)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup raw pistachios, divided

Instructions

Oven to 375', line a sheet with parchment. Toss the diced rhubarb with a sprinkle of sugar, teensy bit of salt and coconut or avocado oil. Roast for 10-12 minutes, just enough to take the crunch off. Remove to let it cool completely.

Preheat the oven to 350'. Line a loaf pan with parchment and grease it with coconut oil or what have you.  In a large bowl, combine the coconut flour, flax, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, eggs,  orange zest and juice, maple and vanilla. A little at a time, stir the wet and dry ingredients together. Fold in the rhubarb and 1/2 cup of the pistachios. 

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Chop the remaining pistachios and sprinkle them on top of the loaf. I like to add a bit of turbinado sugar on top too.

Bake the loaf for 35-45 minutes until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Remove the bread and set it on a rack to cool completely. Cut it into thick slices and toast before serving. 

Pistachio Rhubarb Loaf . Sprouted Kitchen

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Chocolate, Dessert, Feeding Babies, Gluten Free, Snack

CHOCOLATE CRISPY SUNFLOWER BUTTER HEARTS

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I love when Curran brings crafts home from preschool. I do not hang them or keep them, but I love that someone else is doing crafts and artsy things with him so I don't have to. I don't like junk or tchotchkes and I suppose crafts feel like a waste of materials and money. No offense, personal opinion, and I appreciate that other people love them but one cannot be good at all of the things. HOWEVER. My heart is not completely made of stone and I love my children so I went to Michaels (a store specifically for crafty people) last week to pick up Valentines supplies. Cards, stickers, glitter hearts, paint, heart cookie cutters, we're going for it. I really wanted to buy that $4 box of pre-made Minion cards, staple a bag of mini pretzels to it and call it done but my parents always made Valentines really special for my sister and I, so I'm going to do crafts for a minute in the spirit of family tradition. My (crafty) mom still sends us homemade Valentines. Where I do fail them in enthusiasm for crafts, I make up in cooking projects. They like to bake because they've caught on to the outcome. These sunflower butter hearts fit within all the allergy rules at preschool and my kids think cookie cutters are magical. They make a mess and push each other and the whole of it is harder and slower, but I think that is the refinement happening in me at this stage of parenting. Everything is harder with them. It just is, and when I quit fighting it and resign to things like Cleo never sleeping in the car no matter how far the drive or Curran being highly sensitive and crying easily, I give up the loosing battle for control. Instead of trying to fix it or solve it, for their sake or mine, I'm better for all of us. I'll be damned if they look back and think I didn't let them in on being in the kitchen, a place I love, because it made it harder and slower for me. Our food will be our crafts if that's how I need to do it. 

So. I applaud you if you have mini bags of pretzels or conversation hearts, but if you're up for a pretty simple, two dish cooking project, these could not be easier.

/// EVENT! ///

Hugh and I are hosting a food photography workshop in Seattle, WA on April 28+29. Tickets and a few more notes are available on the shop page. This will be our third workshop at Aran's beautiful studio and the whole experience is so refreshing for us and what we do for work. Hugh will go over light and composition and editing and I'll jump in for some styling and prep food with Aran and we get to bounce ideas off each other and learn how to be better at our craft. Basic understanding of your camera is recommended but you could just use your phone too, it doesn't really matter. We'd love you to come. Feel free to contact me with any questions at all. 

CHOCOLATE CRISPY SUNFLOWER BUTTER HEARTS // Makes 12ish

Because I know someone is thinking, "can I use all maple?", the answer is not really. Brown rice syrup is thicker and sets better than maple. It's the sweetener used in most packaged protein bars. I cut it here because I like the flavor of maple better and I wanted the hearts to be a little more tender. In short, you can go all brown rice syrup for the liquid sweetener yield, but not completely maple. They sell it at all health food stores, some conventional grocery stores or more conveniently, albeit more expensive, here
These are mildly chocolatey. If you want more, add a generous handful of chocolate chips to the mixture. 

1/2 cup brown rice syrup
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 cup sunflower butter
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup rice crisp cereal
1 cup quick cooking oats*

* the quick cooking ones have a softer texture. The old fashioned sort will work, but have a bit of a raw taste in context as they're thicker. I'd suggest pulsing them in a blender or food processor if you go this route. 

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Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper. 

In a large saucepan, warm the rice syrup and maple. Add the sunflower butter and coconut oil and stir until smooth. Remove from the heat and let it cool a moment. Add the salt, cocoa powder, rice cereal and oats. Stir to mix. 
Tip the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth down the top with damp hands. The mixture will be sticky, damp hands will help. 
Let it set in the fridge for a couple hours before cutting them into squares or using a cookie cutter for shapes. 
They are best kept in the fridge, and will keep covered for 3-5 days. 

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Bread, Breakfast, Dessert, Fall, Feeding Babies, Gluten Free

ALMOND MEAL PUMPKIN MUFFINS

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I was chatting with a reader a few weeks ago about making swaps in one of the older pumpkin recipes on this site and I realized we have a shortage in that category. I love pumpkin things, but am a little too cynical towards how overdone it can be this time of year. I've been baking with more almond meal lately, in the name of lower carbohydrate treats, and while it doesn't yield something nearly as light and fluffy as a "regular" baked good, I like how tender and rich things turn out. Hugh actually makes this rosemary bread better than I do now and we're ordering the stuff in 4 lb. increments so it won't stop here. We may be a little short on holiday sides in the index too now that I think of it so I'll work on a few of those. Anyway, it's food season! I'm here for you.
Until then, I don't like hard selling you on the recipes here BUT if you need a super easy, one bowl, dairy free, gluten free, maple sweetened pumpkin muffin? These are them. 

ALMOND MEAL PUMPKIN MUFFINS // Makes 12 (gf, df, veg)
My kids love these. The chocolate is optional for them I suppose, but for us big kids, it is not. You could replace nuts in equal measure if you prefer. Most any muffin recipe that yields 12 can be made into a standard 9x5 loaf with more time in the oven. I actually haven't tried it yet, but I think if you went for 40 minutes, you'd be in good shape. Also note that different brands of canned pumpkin puree vs. homemade have different water content and will affect the outcome slightly. I find homemade to vary, and Libbys (what is at most conventional grocers) to be thicker than the Trader Joes stuff. So if you're using the TJ's brand, scale back to 3/4 cup.
Side note, I LOVE this muffin tin. Muffins and mini frittatas release no problem which is more than I can say for any other brand I've tried.
* Adding a note here. If coconut flour is not something you stock (and no, I don't find it tastes like coconut, and is not a very easy to use flour), a gluten free all purpose or unbleached all purpose can be swapped in at 1/3 cup in its place. 

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1 cup pumpkin puree
3 eggs
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup olive oil or coconut oil, warmed
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 1/2 cups almond meal (blanched preferably)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup chocolate chips or a 3.5oz. dark chocolate bar, roughly chopped

raw pepitas/pumpkin seeds, for garnish, optional

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Preheat the oven to 360' and grease a muffin tin with coconut oil or use liners.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, eggs, maple, oil, pumpkin pie spice and salt and whisk really well to combine. You want to get some air up in there. Add the coconut flour and mix. Let that sit a minute to absorb some moisture. Add the almond meal, baking soda and stir again to mix. Add the chocolate chips, one last stir. 

Distribute the batter between your cups. Sprinkle the pepitas on top. Bake on the middle rack for 20ish minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let them cool before removing them from the pan and enjoy. 

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