Fig Apple Crisp

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It’s apple season! And that means it’s also fig season. Four years ago we planted a tiny fig tree in our yard and finally this year we’re getting a decent amount of fruit. Yesterday I combined the figs with some local apples from Carter Mountain Orchard to make a simple crisp. For the filling I used about a pound and  a half of apples and about a half pound of fresh figs, then I just added a tablespoon of flour and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. The topping was 3/4 c. rolled oats, 1/4 c. flour, 2 Tbs. canola oil, 1 tsp. agave, and another 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. I think some nuts would be good in the topping so next time I’ll add some chopped walnuts. Then bake in a covered baking dish at 375° for about 45 minutes. Enjoy!

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Whole Grain Butternut Squash Waffles

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It’s been a busy summer, during which time we’ve taken a bit of a break from blogging, but we’re back with a fun recipe and announcement. On Saturday, September 24, we’re giving a demo at the Charlottesville Vegetarian Festival. If you’re in or around Charlottesville next weekend, come downtown to the Ix Art Park and catch our demo starting at 1:15 PM. We’ll be making these scrumptious butternut squash waffles with butternut squash applesauce.

We make waffles frequently because that’s what our kids have for breakfast almost every morning. And you might not think of waffles as a good way to get kids to eat vegetables but we often put a veggie of some sort in our waffle batter for just that reason. We often make them with spinach but we thought butternut squash might be better for the demo. Plus it’s nice to include seasonal vegetables. Right now we have a huge butternut squash patch growing out of our garden that was totally a volunteer from seeds that must have been in our compost. We’ve been using these squash in a variety of dishes, including waffles.

Whole Grain Butternut Squash Waffles

Ingredients

1 c. unbleached white flour
1 c. white whole wheat flour
1 c. rolled oats, ground into a coarse flour in a blender or food processor
1 Tbs. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 Tbs. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. soy milk (or other non-dairy milk)
1 3/4 c. cooked, pureed butternut squash (or a can of pureed pumpkin)
1/4 c. canola oil
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract

What you do

In a small mixing bowl, stir the vinegar into the soy milk and set aside. In a larger mixing bowl, mix together the flours, ground oats, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Whisk squash, oil, maple syrup and vanilla into the soy milk mixture. Gently fold these wet ingredients into the dry, mixing just until the flour is incorporated. Cook in a waffle maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Note that you can also make this into a pancake batter by adding about 1/4 c. more of soy milk; then you can cook as pancakes in a skillet.

Butternut Squash Applesauce

Ingredients

2 c. peeled and sliced apples (about 2 large or 4 small apples)
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 c. pureed butternut squash
1/4 c. maple syrup

What you do

Puree everything together in a blender or food processor.


Apple and blackberry grunt

appleblackberrygrunt01I love fruit desserts and in particular ones with apples. We are getting apples from our CSA fruit share and the kids love baked apples with cinnamon. I thought about making a pie but decided I wanted to make something easier and quicker. I then thought grunt. Lovely little flour dumplings in steaming fruit. Yum! The name is really fun also and you know that is what is really important. At least for kids that is the case anyway. So I had the brilliant idea of making the grunt in the Instant Pot. I wasn’t sure if I could do it all one step or if I would have to first make the filling and then add the batter. Well, only one way to find out. It turns out I can add everything at once. So this experiment anyway was a success. I made an instant grunt. If you don’t have a pressure cooker then you can definitely make this the traditional way by cooking the filling first and then adding the batter. It is really quick though to make in the Instant Pot so you may want to buy one just so you can make instant grunts. Feel free to add any fruit you like also. I have plans for many more versions of this one. Also you can add more or less sugar. I had really tart apples and blackberries so I added a bit more. On to the recipe.

Apple and blackberry grunt

Filling

6 cups peeled and slice apples

2 cups frozen or fresh blackberries

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup coconut palm sugar

1 tablespoon white whole wheat flour

3/4 cup water

Dumpling Batter

1 1/2 cups flour (I used 1/2 cup ground oats, 1/2 cup ground buckwheat groats, 1/2 cup white whole wheat)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 cup coconut palm sugar

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1/2 cup nondairy milk

1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Add all of the filling ingredients to the Instant Pot or a pan and mix well. If you are using regular pan then heat the filling on the stove until it is bubbly and the apples have softened. Mix the dry ingredients for the batter in a bowl. Mix the wet ingredients together in a measuring cup. Add the wet to the dry and mix. The batter should be fairly thick. Add spoonfuls of the batter to the filling covering the top. If you are using the instant pot then add the batter on top of the uncooked filling. See the lovely photo below. Cover and cook for 4 minutes using the manual setting on low pressure and use a quick release. If you are using the stove top then cover the pot and steam for 14 minutes until the dumplings are firm. Enjoy! Darlene

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Banana apple whole grain pancakes

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I really love pancakes. Fluffy pillows of grainy goodness. I can eat them any time of the day. As a special treat my mom used to make pancakes sometimes on the weekends. When I was old enough to cook for myself I helped make them also. I really love passing on a love of food to the kids. Food is such a great social binder and nourishes the soul as well as the body. Corny I know but it really is all that and more. On that note, my ingredients have changed a little bit since my early cooking days. I am on a mission lately to add more whole grains and take out the refined sugar. So here is my version of whole grain pancakes sweetened with pureed apples and bananas. Sort of smoothie meets whole grains. Feel free to substitute any grains you have on hand. I used ground oats and white whole wheat flour.

Banana apple whole grain pancakes

1 cup rolled oats, ground

1 cup white whole wheat flour

1/2 cup sunflower seeds, ground

2 tablespoons chia seed or flax seed, ground

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

2 cups almond hemp milk or other nondairy milk

1 medium apple peeled, cored and cut into slices

1 medium banana

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Coconut oil for frying

Grind the oats, sunflower seeds and chia in a food processor or blender. Add the white whole wheat flour, baking powder and salt. Stir to combine. Puree the almond hemp milk, apple slices, banana. apple cider vinegar and vanilla in a blender. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix to combine. Add quarter cups of the batter to a cast iron skillet coated with oil. Fry a few minutes on one side. Flip and fry until both sides are golden brown and the center is done. Layer the pancakes with banana slices and blackberries. Top with maple syrup or my favorite, apple sauce. Enjoy.

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Christmas Dinner

To those of you who celebrate Christmas, we hope it was a good one. We thought we’d share our Christmas menu to give you some ideas for future holidays.

  • Hazelnut crusted seitan
  • Apple-walnut stuffing
  • Mushroom gravy
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Roasted brussels sprouts
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Apple crumble

Speaking of ideas for the holidays, Alicia Simpson’s Vegan Celebrations is a good place to start and that’s where we found the Hazelnut Crusted Seitan recipe. It’s essentially just pan fried seitan with ground hazelnuts in the breading. And it was delicious. The newest cookbook in our collection is the Oh She Glows Cookbook and it was there we found the mushroom gravy and apple crumble recipes. We’re really looking forward to diving more into this book. For the stuffing, I usually make it up as I go but I should write down a formal recipe because it’s so good! The general process is described in our first ever Thanksgiving post. The sweet potatoes were just baked whole then whipped in a food processor with some Earth Balance, while the brussels sprouts were roasted with a little salt and olive oil.

Fresh cranberry sauce can’t even be remotely compared to what comes in a can and most of the time if you buy a bag of fresh cranberries there’s an acceptable recipe right on the bag. We’ve used other cranberry sauce recipes in the past but this year we used the recipe we found on the bag and it came out great. Finally, Angela’s “Mother Nature’s Apple Crumble” recipe is re-posted here. The main adjustment we made was using whole almonds that we finely chopped in the food processor because we didn’t have sliced almonds. I think I actually prefer it that way.

Happy Holidays!

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