Recently I have been getting a bit more adventurous and creative when it comes to baking. Today we did a workshop to celebrate the Solstice, we practiced yoga and we had a lovely voice therapy session with Sarah (Check her out! https://www.facebook.com/WholetonesTherapy ); we also shared a meal and of course the Yule log had to be present.
“The ceremonial Yule log was the highlight of the Solstice festival. In accordance to tradition, the log must either have been harvested from the householder’s land, or given as a gift… it must never have been bought. Once dragged into the house and placed in the fireplace it was decorated in seasonal greenery, doused with cider or ale, and dusted with flour before set ablaze by a piece of last years log, (held onto for just this purpose). The log would burn throughout the night, then smolder for 12 days after before being ceremonially put out. Ash is the traditional wood of the Yule log. It is the sacred world tree of the Teutons, known as Yggdrasil. An herb of the Sun, Ash brings light into the hearth at the Solstice.”
I decided that I would try and do a Healthy Yule log as we all love it. I made it and it worked; and it is AMAZINGLICIOUS!!!!
It is really easy to make (otherwise I wouldn’t do it). Are you ready for it?
60g of Buckwheat flour
2 1/2 Tbsp of cacao powder (Fair Trade!)
1 TBsp of baking powder
A pinch of salt
3 1/2 TBsp of Flax seeds or Chia seeds
9 TBsp of water
1 can (400ml) coconut milk (not light varieties)
1 can (400ml) coconut milk (not light varieties)
180g of dark chocolate – Fair Trade
1/2 tsp of vanilla essence
Orange essence to taste if desired
Preheat the oven at 200C.
Flax seed or Chia seeds egg replacement:
Blend the seeds, place them in a bowl and add the 9 Tbsp of water. Leave it to be or about 15 min, let it become a gel like mixture. Mix it every now and then.
When your “egg” is ready place it in a blender with the dates and bananas, blend it until you have an even mixture. Place it in a bowl and sieve the dry ingredients over it. Gently mix it all.
Place the dough in a grease lined tin (22x28cm roughly). Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 min.
Sprinkle a clean sheet of greaseproof paper with grated coconut and invert the cake on it. Peel away the lining paper and then roll the cake up in the clean paper. Leave it to cool.
Leave the coconut cream for 24 hours in the fridge so the water separates from the cream. Scoop the cream out and whip it. It is ready to be used!
Place the coarsely chopped dark chocolate in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the coconut milk until bubbles just begin to appear around the edges and steam rises from the surface. Pour the hot coconut milk over the chopped chocolate and let stand without stirring for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, stir the chocolate-coconut milk mixture until glossy and smooth (this will take about 2 minutes of gentle stirring). Add the vanilla and the orange extract (if desired) and stir until incorporated. Let it cool in the fridge or freezer. If you find it too dark add a little honey/maple syrup/agave nectar, etc.
Putting it all together:
When the cake is cool, unroll it carefully and spread the filling. Roll the cake up again and transfer to a plate. Cut a thick diagonal slice off one end and attache to one side.
Spread the chocolate over the Yule Log with a pallet knife, dust grated coconut over it and decorate with holly springs.
Made by Polly… Oh Yeah!
Use the leaves on their own or combine with nettles, blend to a paste in a food processor with pine nuts, garlic and Olive Oil to make a springtime alternative to classic pesto.
(This recipe is from the book “Healing Foods from Neal’s Yard Remedies)
Cinnamon Quinoa Bake
2 1/2 cups quinoa, cooked and cooled
4 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup vanilla soy milk
1/3 cup maple syrup (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Yields nine to 12 bars
1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF and place the quinoa in a large mixing bowl. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with lightly greased parchment.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, soy milk, vanilla extract, and cinnamon until thoroughly combined. Add maple syrup (if using) and whisk.
3. Add egg mixture to cooked and cooled quinoa. Stir with a large spoon to combine. Pour into the parchment-lined baking dish and spread it around to ensure that it’s even.
4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until set and golden.
5. Using parchment, remove bake from pan as soon as possible so that it does’t steam.
6. Cool completely and cut into squares. Serve with a dollop of nut butter.
We are sure to start the day with an awesome breakfast. This is one of my favorite raw porridge recipe. Delicious and healthy. This recipe feeds Ali, Elijah and I, we eat a good breakfast so it is quite a lot. To make this amazinglicious breakfast you will need:
2 cups of rolled oats (gluten free in our case)
2 Tbsp of raw chia seeds
1 cup of unroasted buckwheat
2 tsp of cinnamon
2 tsp Vanilla extract
Berries, nuts, hemp seeds, cacao nibs, goji berries and ground cayenne (if you like it spicy!) for topping.
Before going to bed:
1- Put rolled oats in a bowl with the chia seeds, add filtered water until water is one cm above the oat level.
2- in another bowl put the buckwheat and with plenty of water to soak overnight.
1- Rinse buckwheat well.
2- Blend buckwheat with bananas, cinnamon and vanilla. Add the mixture to the oat and chia mix (make sure that there is not much water left in the mixture and mix well. Place in bowls and top with your super foods to kick start the day.
3- Feel awesome!
Because there is so much food I normally eat half before taking Elijah to school and the other half when I get back. Sometimes I practice yoga before finishing it up. So delicious and it definitely keeps us powered up.
Oats: Has natural sedative properties, easy to digest, helps control insulin secretion, helps lower cholesterol. Oats contain multiple nutrients and gummy, water-soluble ibre, beta-glucan, which helps reduce “unhealthy” (LDL) cholesterol, it soothes the nerves.
Buckwheat:Protects the heart and blood vessels, easy to digest and helps maintain energy levels. The “grains” contains both insoluble and soluble fiber, which help to lower “unhealthy” (LDL) cholesterol, balance blood sugar levels, and keep the gut healthy. Buckwheat is rich in antioxidant flavonoids which help protect the heart, and perfect for a gluten free diet.
Goji Berries: Helps maintain muscle strength, supplies oxygen to the cells, protects eyes from free radical damage. Goji berries offer metabolic and neurological support and acts as an anti-oxidant boost.
Hemp seeds: Boosts heart health, good source of protein and it is an anti-inflammatory rich in omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids. Learn more about hemp seeds: http://www.purehealingfoods.com/hempHeartsInfo.php
Chia seeds: Promotes a healthy heart, strong bones and healthy gut.
Learn more about chia seeds: http://authoritynutrition.com/11-proven-health-benefits-of-chia-seeds/
Raw cacao: Rich on magnesium, and other essential minerals including calcium, sulfur, zinc, iron, copper, potassium, and manganese. Packed with polyphenols called flavonoids, with antioxidant properties. Vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B5, B9, E.
Learn more about Raw cacao: http://www.builtlean.com/2012/04/12/raw-chocolate/
So if you want be strong like iron man give it a go and let me know what you think, your adaptations, etc… Enjoy! 🙂
*Recipe made by Polly.
Thumb of ginger
Thumb of tumeric
Quarter of a lemon
BUCKWHEAT PIZZA BASE
1 cup (150g) raw buckwheat flour (standard shop-bought is roasted first, so look out for this or grind your own by blending the groats in a blender)
1 Tbsp of Nutritional yeast
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp of good quality salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 Flax seeds “eggs”
water (approx. 3 tablespoons)
*For the “Egg”:
2 TBsp of flax seeds
6 Tbsp of water
*Blend flax seeds, mix with the water. Let it sit for 15 min et voila!
1. Mix dry ingredients together. Add Flax egg, olive oil and half of water and mix with a spoon or your hands until combined, adding more water as necessary the dough comes together without being sticky.
2. Sprinkle a small amount of flour over the dough to stop it sticking and roll out with a rolling pin until it reaches the desired thickness. Bake it for 15 min at 180 C.
3. Top as desired, place it back in the oven for another 10-15 min or until crisp and golden.
CHOCOLATE HEMP BARS – With Prune Caramel ~ By Anya Kassoff
1 cup (170g) prunes, soaked evernight
9 ounces (250g) good quality dark chocolate
1 cup (150g) of hemp hearts
1 cup quinoa puffs (70g)
Makes 16 bars
1- Drain the prunes and reserve the soaking water, place them into the food processor and puree until smooth, adding small amounts of soaking water as needed. The puree should be as thick as possible, so we use the least amount of water needed for the food processor to blend the prunes into a smooth pure, Set aside.
2- in a large bowl melt dark chocolate in double boiler. Fold the hemp hearts and quinoa puffs into the melted chocolate until evenly incorporated. The mixture will be thick.
3- Line a 9x9x2-inch (23x23x5cm) baking pan with parchmen
t papper. Spoon half of the melted chocolate mixture into the pan. Spread the mixture, making sure to fill the corners of the pan.
4- Spoon the prune caramel on top of the chocolate layer and level with the back of the spoon. (do it little by little!)
5- Spread the remaining half of the hemp-chocolate mixture evenly on top of the prune caramel, working with small portions of the mixture at the time to create and even layer. take care to no press to hard and disturb the prune layer. With a sharp knife carefully score the bars. Cut the bars all the way through (after you freeze the bars, you will break them apart). Place the pans in the freezer until the surface of the bars is firm, about 30 min or longer.
6- Carefully remove bars from the pan and break them apart into individual squares, the bars will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Serve cold.