spelt

Breakfast, Bread, Snack, Fall

PUMPKIN BREAD WITH TOASTED WALNUT CINNAMON SWIRL

Spelt Pumpkin Loaf . Sprouted Kitchen
Spelt Pumpkin Loaf . Sprouted Kitchen

Oof. We had a whirlwind of tying up a few loose ends for our cookbook (out this coming spring, so crazy!) and I sort of abandoned this space. While this is a place I want to share good food illustrated by Hugh's gorgeous photos, it is also a place I come to write. In an inevitably vain way, I suppose a blogger mostly has his or her own life story to draw from, and my reality as of late has been about rearranging our work, marriage, schedule, chores, social life, alone time etcetera with Curran in the picture. Most definitely for the better (not to be confused with easier), the day to day looks different now and my story is currently about figuring out who I am now in all of these things. It sounds dramatic and woeful, but honestly, as any big change goes, it just takes a little time to create a new normal. Both my thoughts and iphone pictures used to be all food all the time and now I have a mini person who hijacked all that. Our little baby bug is tall and thin as babies go, so says the pediatrician. He has a big gummy smile, is a little stingy with giggles despite his mom and dad being completely hilarious, rolls and always wants to be grabbing something to put in his mouth. At night, he lays his head between my chin and chest and rhythmically coos as I sing songs from church and/or Beyonce and rock him to sleep... I'm not sure there is any sweeter feeling in the universe. It is all so wonderful and yet so very hard. Many parts of being a new mom are really tough. I didn't anticipate the high highs met with low lows but I can see balance on the horizon. I worry by nature, so 'choosing optimism' is my mantra for this fall. Everything will be OK. It is always OK. 

Don't roll your eyes. Another pumpkin loaf! Just what you needed right? I have a good handful of things bookmarked in Amy Chaplin's gorgeous new book, At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen but I was in need of a fresh start, to ring in a new season, and a hearty, fall loaf seemed just the thing. This loaf is dense, barely sweet, is just the thing fresh out of the toaster with a swipe of good butter or coconut butter. It doesn't taste like dessert - it tastes like a breakfast loaf and that is the side of the loaf-preferences-fence I sit on. Hugh sits on the other side of said fence but nothing a little cinnamon sugar can't fix. Amy's cookbook is so comprehensive, beautifully designed and jammed full of recipes for the vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free and generally health nutty folks. There are a grip of fabulous cookbooks coming out this fall and next spring and I'm so anxious to try things and share them here. 

Spelt Pumpkin Loaf . Sprouted Kitchen
Spelt Pumpkin Loaf . Sprouted Kitchen

PUMPKIN BREAD WITH TOASTED WALNUT CINNAMON SWIRL // One 9-inch loaf

Recipe adapted from At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen by Amy Chaplin

The recipe is great as is, and as mentioned above, it is not super sweet as most breakfast loaves can be. I added a bit more spice and a little turbinado sugar on top for crunch. Amy suggests roasting a squash yourself and using the puree for the bread but canned pumpkin will work as well. 

  • // cinnamon swirl //
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. muscavado, brown or maple sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • -
  • 2 cups whole spelt flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 cups pumpkin or squash puree
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. almond or soy milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup turbinado sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 350' and lightly oil a loaf pan, lining it with parchment for a cleaner removal. 

Steam your squash for 10-12 minutes if making a puree by hand.

To make the swirl, mix the walnuts, maple, sugar and cinnamon together and set aside. 

Into a large mixing bowl, sift the spelt flour, baking powder and salt. Add the nutmeg and cinnamon. Whisk together the squash puree, olive oil, almond milk, vanilla, egg and maple syrup. Fold the flour mixture into the squash mixture until just combined. Spread half the batter over the bottom of the loaf pan. Layer cinnamon walnut mixture evenly over batter and top with the remaining batter. To create a swirl, run a knife in a zig zag through the batter. Sprinkle the turbinado sugar on top. Bake for 45-50 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes before removing the loaf. 

The slice is served best warmed with a generous spread of coconut butter or real butter. 

Spelt Pumpkin Loaf . Sprouted Kitchen
Spelt Pumpkin Loaf . Sprouted Kitchen
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Appetizer, Entrée, Fall

SQUASH + GOAT CHEESE EMPANADAS

sprouted kitchen
sprouted kitchen

My overarching theme for this year is about being brave. I realized at the end of last year, that fear motivates a lot of things I do or decisions I make. The fear of failing, of people not liking me, a fear of being misunderstood or undervalued, fear of pain or conflict or not having enough money. It's wasted time really, and I recognize that. There is a Donald Miller quote, "fear is a manipulative emotion that can trick us into living a boring life," and I sure don't want that. The most rewarding moments I can remember have been those when I pushed myself a little. I don't have much to say on the topic besides that it's on my mind. To take risks, to make decisions prior to over thinking them, to stop worrying so much. No tiny violins at all, I just hope that in my writing, my food and my time here, I can trust myself a bit more. 

I haven't had the greatest luck with pastry dough but Hugh has an affinity for empanadas so they've been on my "to make" list for quite some time. Americans call them hand-pies, Italians call them calzones, the Argentinians call them empanadas and they're each some version of a stuffed dough. I love the spiced squash and goat pairing here, but you could play around and fill them with whatever you like. The small ones would make cute appetizers or the larger ones would be easy to pack for a picnic or a road trip. I will make these again, hopefully with a bit more patience on the dough side of things.

Hope you enjoy them. Happy weekend.

sprouted kitchen
sprouted kitchen
sprouted kitchen
sprouted kitchen

SQUASH + GOAT CHEESE EMPANADAS // Makes about 20 minis or 10 larger

Recipe adapated from Give Me Flour

I suppose you could use any winter squash you'd like here. I tried to give options for spice and herbs, so you can alter the filling to your preference. I used chipotle powder for a bit of heat, but smoked paprika will work well too.

// dough //

  • to spare repeating, see here
  • (the only change I made was sub in 3/4 cup whole wheat flour for some of the unbleached flour)

// filling //

  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 shallot, finely minced
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika or chipotle powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped green herbs (some combination of sage, parsley, cilantro, thyme)
  • 5 oz. goat cheese (her choice) or jack cheese (his choice)
  • egg wash (1 egg and a splash of water, well whisked)
  • sesame seeds
sprouted kitchen
sprouted kitchen
sprouted kitchen
sprouted kitchen

Preheat the oven to 425'.

Follow the dough recipe according the link provided. Wrap it up and keep chilled in the fridge. This cane be done a day in advance.

Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Drizzle it with the olive oil and rub it into the flesh and a bit on the skin. Sprinkle it with salt and cinnamon and roast for about 45-50 minutes, or until the flesh is very soft. Remove and let it cool completely.

While the squash is cooking, saute the garlic and shallot in a bit of olive oil until just browned. About 8-10 minutes.

Once the squash is cool to the touch, scoop the flesh into a bowl. Add another pinch of salt, the paprika or chipotle powder, nutmeg, the sauteed garlic and shallots and the green herbs. Use the back of a fork and mash everything together well. Taste the mix and add as you wish, maybe a bit more salt, heat, etc.

Turn the oven down the 350'. Prepare a parchment lined baking sheet. Roll out the dough to about 1/8'' thickness on a floured work surface and press out the circles for your empanadas. You can use 4'' cutters for small ones, or 6-8'' for a larger size. Leaving plenty of space around the edge, put a dollop of the squash in the center, followed by a dollop of cheese, and fold the circle over. Press the edge with your finger to seal and then press along the edge with the tins of a fork. This got a bit messy for me, stay calm. Lay the empanadas on the baking sheet and brush the tops with the egg wash. Sprinkle the sesame seeds and some thyme leaves and bake on the middle rack for 30 minutes or until just golden. Enjoy warm.

sprouted kitchen
sprouted kitchen
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Snack, Breakfast

SPELT AND OAT FIG BARS

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Let me tell you what you have to look forward to in the next couple weeks. Fresh figs! They seem to always be dry at the regular markets or tease you for a stiff price at Whole Foods and farmers markets. However, they linger on the lower produce shelves at Trader Joe’s with a humble sweetness, both in flavor and price. It may be a different story where you live, but that’s the song I’m going to sing as I encourage you to start eating fresh figs… wherever you choose to find them.

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After I graduated college, I spent some time working at Villa Lucia, a little bed and breakfast in the heart of Tuscany. Lots of stories, lessons learned and certainly a number of cooking tips acquired. Days were spent cooking for dinner parties, bottling tomato sauce and, in the fall, harvesting olives from sunrise to sunset. Hugh was there in the summer and fell in with the ex Italian Special Forces Paratrooper turned groundskeeper- but that is another story, and a far less glamorous on than mine. The property has ginormous fig trees, hence canning fig preserves. No sugar, no preservatives, just boiled figs. A few jars made their way home with me, and that is what I used in this recipe, but you could use any fruit preserve that is naturally sweetened. If you really want to be rustic, you could make your own (simmer berries in their own juices on low heat for about an hour+). This recipe is lowfat, high fiber and much more of a breakfast/snack bar than a dessert.

SPELT AND OAT FIG BARS // Makes 12 Bars

1 ¼ Cups Spelt Flour

1 ¾ Cups Oatmeal

1 tbsp. Cinnamon

1 tsp Baking Soda

½ tsp Salt

1 Large Egg

1 tsp. Real Vanilla Extract

½ tsp. Almond Extract

¾ Cup Brown Sugar

½ Cup Applesauce

2 tbsp. Butter (to ensure a crisp crumble topping)

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1 ¼ Cups Fig Preserves (or any other fruit preserves, naturally sweetened)

1. Oven to 350’. In a large bowl, sift all dry ingredients together (spelt flour, 1 ½ cups oats, salt, cinnamon, baking soda ).

2. In a second bowl, whisk the brown sugar, egg, vanilla and almond extracts and applesauce. Add in the dry mixture, and mix to incorporate. It should look like cookie batter at this point.

3. Spray a 8x8 baking pan with cooking spray. Press 2/3 of the mixture into the bottom of the pan. Spread the preserves evenly over the bottom layer.

4. With the remaining mix, add another ¼ cup oats and 2tbsp of butter. Mix with your fingers. Crumble it on top of the preserve layer.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until the top is a bit crispy. Let them cool a bit before cutting.

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*Enjoy with some greek yogurt or ice cream to balance this fibrous bar :)

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