strawberries

Dessert, Gluten Free, Spring

MIXED BERRY + RHUBARB CRUMBLE

Berry Rhubarb Crisp - Ingredients - Sprouted Kitchen

May is the fullest month we have over here. About seven birthdays within both our immediate families (my own included), mothers day, memorial..it makes for a lot of holidays and celebrating. With celebrating, comes treats. And if ice cream reigns my dessert of choice, brownie or chocolate molten cake a la mode comes second and then it's a berry or stone fruit crumble/crisp...which is usually served with ice cream. I see a theme? I like lots of oats and preferably low on the sugar so I can top it with plain goat yogurt for a permissible breakfast, but the other lead eater in our house prefers his sweet. "Not a breakfast crumble please, like a real dessert kind" was the request, and this recipe here is some sort of compromise. Sweet, but not too sweet and heavy on the crumble. It has oats and almonds and rice flour in the topping and some sweet but tangy fruit beneath that buckles under the heat to soften in its own syrup. I used rice flour in the crumble portion as I was serving this at a dinner party with a few gluten intolerant people, but it makes for such a great texture, I'd use it regardless. It makes for a more delicate topping while still being crunchy from the oat shards and nuts. You would get more cookie-like chunks with all purpose flour so feel free to swap that in. Personal preference I suppose. Either way, happy May my friends. 

Berry Rhubarb Crisp - Ingredients - Sprouted Kitchen
Berry Rhubarb Crisp - Ingredients - Sprouted Kitchen
Berry Rhubarb Crisp - Process - Sprouted Kitchen

MIXED BERRY + RHUBARB CRUMBLE // Serves 6

The full recipe is available on the Electrolux site Live.Love.Lux

Berry Rhubarb Crisp - Sprouted Kitchen


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Dessert, Gluten Free, Spring

PISTACHIO PAVLOVA WITH STRAWBERRY + RHUBARB CREAM

Pistachio Pavlova with Strawberry & Rhubarb Cream . Sprouted Kitchen
Pistachio Pavlova with Strawberry & Rhubarb Cream . Sprouted Kitchen

Curran turns one next week and it brings with it a New Year’s sort of feeling - reflecting back on all that’s happened and what has changed; how I have changed. This time last year, I was waiting for this big thing to happen to me - to have a baby - which sounds so common place from the outside, lots of people have babies, but unbelievably remarkable and life changing in the scope of one’s own life. I felt prepared in the way two dozen washed and folded swaddles, a few different diaper rash creams, and reading multiple perspectives on the birth process can make you feel, but looking back, I truly had no idea what was coming. In learning to become a parent this past year, I’ve been blindsided by some aspects, and in others, beautifully surprised in a way that only happens when you don't know what's coming. I’ve been depleted beyond what I used to think the word depleted could mean and in turn, sometimes the very next moment, my heart has swelled beyond the known side of that end of the spectrum, as well. In one moment, a screaming baby waking from another all too short nap (despite all the will and desire to help him find a schedule) just when I thought I might actually be able to get a few things done, followed by cracking open the door to see his cries turn to his squinty-eyed, gap-toothed grin. No one has ever been so happy to see me. It's enough to make me teary. Hugh and I have so much less intentional time together that I miss him some days even when we're in the same house, but seeing how he loves our boy has made me fall deeper in love with the kind and fun man he is. I feel a bit less like myself and yet somehow more confident in what I am capable of. I am learning to say no sometimes, paring down to focus on what I want my work to look like, and trying to be ok with just sitting and reading Hop on Pop a dozen times over while my other responsibilities wait.

Curran is an active little person, but every now and then, he'll lay his head on me for split second, just to remind me that he sees me even though he has no desire to sit, and I can't imagine a life any different. 

May is the month of birthdays in our family. Both sides. There are at least two per week and thus there is a lot of celebrating. In honor of all the birthdays, and to mark our first year of having Curran around, I made pavlova. Crisp meringue with crunchy pistachios, a light whipped cream with ribbons of tart and sweet rhubarb and strawberries. A classic combination for very good reason. It is so delicate in texture while still being plenty sweet and rich with cream to qualify as a celebratory dessert. I will be honest that I only seem to get the meringue right half of the time, but when I do, this may be in my top five desserts. 

So cheers, to the boy that changed our life. Happy birthday, my baby. 

Pistachio Pavlova with Strawberry & Rhubarb Cream . Sprouted Kitchen
Pistachio Pavlova with Strawberry & Rhubarb Cream . Sprouted Kitchen

PISTACHIO PAVLOVA WITH STRAWBERRY + RHUBARB CREAM

Adapated from Food + Wine Magazine June 2015 from Gesine Bullock-Prado

Since the natural cane sugar is off white, the pavlova will be a creamy white color instead of the bright white you see in magazines. This makes no difference to the flavor, just the aesthetics. I tried to make this with less sugar and it does not work - it just doesn't crisp up well and tastes like egg, so make this if you're feeling like a treat and have people to share it with. The science doesn't work if you change the ratio. Sarah shares her Swiss meringue method here which sounds delightful. Also, if you need something dairy-free, swap out the whipping cream for a coconut cream

Serves 6

  • 4 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup natural cane sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. distilled white vinegar
  • 3/4 cup pistachios
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch 
  • 1 cup chopped rhubarb, one-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups hulled and quartered strawberries
  • 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (8 fl. ounces) light whipping cream, chilled
  • 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
  • toasted pistachios, for garnish
Pistachio Pavlova with Strawberry & Rhubarb Cream . Sprouted Kitchen
Pistachio Pavlova with Strawberry & Rhubarb Cream . Sprouted Kitchen
Pistachio Pavlova with Strawberry & Rhubarb Cream . Sprouted Kitchen
Pistachio Pavlova with Strawberry & Rhubarb Cream . Sprouted Kitchen

Preheat the oven to 350' and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and salt on high until foamy, about two minutes. Beat in the vinegar, then beat in the sugar one tablespoon at a time and continue beating until the whites are glossy and stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes. 

In a small bowl, toss the pistachios in the cornstarch and then gently fold them into the egg white mixture. Use a large spoon and dollop the meringue into the center of the pachment and spread it into a 10-inch round with a slight indentation in the center. Turn the oven down to 225' and bake for 1 1/2 hours until crisp. It should be crisp but still chewy on the inside. Turn off the oven and allow it to cool completely in the oven.

Meanwhile, make the strawberry rhubarb cream. In a small saucepan, simmer the rhubarb, lemon juice, sugar over moderate heat until the rhubarb breaks down a bit, about 6-8 minutes. Mash the rhubarb a bit with the back of a wooden spoon. Turn off the heat and stir in the strawberries and vanilla. Let it cool completely. 

Into a mixer, beat the cold whippng cream and mascarpone until light and fluffy. Stir 1/4 cup of the cream into the rhubarb mixture, then fold in the rest of the whipping cream (only a few folds, you want it streaky). Spoon the cream into the center of the meringue and garnish with chopped pistachios. 

The meringue can be made a day or two in advance and the cream prepared when you are ready to serve the pavlova. It is best served the day it is made. 

Pistachio Pavlova with Strawberry & Rhubarb Cream . Sprouted Kitchen
Pistachio Pavlova with Strawberry & Rhubarb Cream . Sprouted Kitchen
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Snack, Breakfast, Gluten Free, Summer

MINI ROASTED STRAWBERRY ALMOND MEAL MUFFINS

mini roasted strawberry almond meal muffins . sprouted kitchen
mini roasted strawberry almond meal muffins . sprouted kitchen

Earlier this week, our pillow talk included a how-long-can-you-hold-you-breath contest. I lost, Hugh capable of cutting off oxygen about twice as long as I could. I likely could have gone longer but I was afraid of passing out. This has less to do with my lung capacity, more to do with fear of pain, but that's another issue. This tumbled into looking into the world record for breath holding. You guys. TWENTY TWO MINUTES. I can do a lot of things in twenty two minutes, surviving under water is not one of them. What is so fascinating is that this Dutchman's method for dropping his resting heart rate is meditation by recalling childhood memories and imprinted mental imagery. Stig! You breath-holding genius. So I played the game myself, except I included breathing, as I tried to fall asleep. This is usually a process for me, falling asleep that is - going to the bathroom a dozen times, tossing and smushing my pillow for optimum head elevation and trying not to think about my list for tomorrow.  I also gave it a go as I was having a cavity filled. Novocaine shots! They make my hands clammy. I need major calming and to mentally go to a happy place.

I got thinking about past family vacations from when we were kids. We never did anything extravagant, but they are some of the most vivid memories I have of childhood. We had yearly trips with other families to San Clemente (yes, 15 minutes south) for beach camping. I remember my dad cursing every time while putting up the tent, orchestrating those long poles in a mangled X over the top, dirt sticking everywhere, we came of age when he offered to pay the teenage boys in the group to do it for him. The kids made the rounds on bikes as the parents unloaded for the weekend. It was here that I timidly rollerbladed, not completely grasping how to use the brake on the heal. Never the athletic one. Always cautious. The Costco size bag of powdered donuts we chipped away at for breakfast, the ones with so much powdered sugar they made your mouth dry or the tuna salad with Ritz crackers my sister and I ate under the bridge that the Amtrak train went over. Us and our favorite girlfriends put our backs up against the wall to feel the heavy vibration of the train rumble through our bodies as it went right over our heads. It was at this campground that we all sat around a campfire with the radio playing through a car stereo the evening Princess Diana died, and where I learned to shave my legs in those public showers that cost a quarter for five minutes of warm water. None of these memories euphoric in nature, but I can see them, like pictures, in my memory, and they are calming for the mere fact that these moments existed. Days, weeks, they're always in motion, but I can think back and time stands still. Maybe that is what is so peaceful about good childhood memories. They never include a hustle, weighty emotions pushed to the periphery of our memory, but they can be recalled as fine, almost delicate snapshots of our own story. 

We have no camping plans coming up, but if I were to replace those powdered donuts today, I would bring along these muffins. They're barely adapted from Rebecca Katz' cookbook. It's a naturally gluten and dairy free recipe, which most of her book is composed of. What I love most is all the great nutritional information in the beginning and how she promotes eating to enhance life, longevity and good health.  I swapped out blueberries for some roasted strawberries, but any small pieces of fruit will do here. Maybe a peach with cinnamon? With mini muffs, you want to be certain the pieces of fruit are small or they take up too much space in the muffin, not leaving enough room for the batter that holds it all together. Take that and run with it, the base recipe is just lovely and simple. The season of the super sweet, gorgeous strawberries is fading, so I roasted some down to stir into the almondy batter. Even if you do use another fruit, promise me you'll roast some strawberries before the summer is over just so you can soak in that smell. Sweet heavens, that smell is going on the list of my happy places next time I get a shot. "I know when to add chocolate chips to a backed good. Always." Thank you, chez Hugh. The chocolate takes them into the perfect afternoon snack category when you need a little something special. Glad to have these in the rotation.

mini roasted strawberry almond meal muffins . sprouted kitchen
mini roasted strawberry almond meal muffins . sprouted kitchen

MINI ROASTED STRAWBERRY ALMOND MEAL MUFFINS // Makes 24 mini muffins

Recipe adapted from The Longevity Kitchen by Rebecca Katz

The original recipe calls for two cups almond meal. I subbed in a bit of cornmeal because I love how it pairs with berries, the occasional bit of crunch, and wanted to see if I could just barely pull the flavor through. Either way should work. I am new to playing with coconut sugar and really love the sandy texture and almost smoky, caramely smell. It turns the end result a bit more murky brown but I'm not too concerned with that. A maple sugar, muscavado or natural cane sugar would work fine here as well. 

If using a standard muffin tin, I am guessing you'll want to add about 5-7 minutes to the baking time. Haven't tried it yet, so just keep an eye on them. 

  • 1 1/2 cups almond meal
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup roasted strawberries*
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips, optional
mini roasted strawberry almond meal muffins . sprouted kitchen
mini roasted strawberry almond meal muffins . sprouted kitchen

Preheat the oven to 375'. Prepare a mini muffin tin with paper liners, or coat the pan generously with coconut oil.

In a large bowl, combine the almond meal, cornmeal, baking soda, coconut sugar and salt. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, olive oil, honey, almond and vanilla extracts together. Whisk it up real well until fully combined and even in color. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir to mix. The batter will be fairly thick. Fold in the strawberries and chocolate chips. Fill the muffin liners to the top, they don't poof too much.

Bake on the middle rack for 16-18 minutes until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick poked in the center comes out clean. Turn the muffins on their sides in the pan, or remove to a wire rack to cool. 

*Roasted Strawberries: Oven to 350'. Toss 4 cups quartered strawberries with a pinch of salt and 2 tsp. melted coconut oil (or olive oil works too). This will do for ripe, juicy berries. If yours are dry or lacking flavor, add a splash of maple or honey to sweeten. Spread them in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until juicy and reduced in size. Set aside to cool. This may yield more than you need for the recipe. Mix the extras in plain yogurt or in your morning oatmeal. 

mini roasted strawberry almond meal muffins . sprouted kitchen
mini roasted strawberry almond meal muffins . sprouted kitchen
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