plums

apple almond oat slice (vegan)

8th October 2015

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The clouds opened up and gave us an offering, and now, this moment we are soaking up the rain, sun and light…
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and feeling truly blessed in seeing all this sweet unknown…

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apple almond oat slice

Makes one 9-inch square slice. 

Another recipe from Amy Chaplin’s – At Home in the Wholefood Kitchen.

Leave the skins on the apples as they give a beautiful red blush to the slice.  I have tried this with many fruits – my favourite being the apple and freshly picked small plums.  If using small plums or cherries there is no need to saute them,  just toss them in the maple syrup and vanilla before placing them on the oat slice.  

ingredients 

1 Tbsp extra virgin coconut oil

4 small red-skinned apples, core & cut into ½ inch slices

4 tsp vanilla extract, divided

cup plus 1 tablespoon maple syrup, divided

1½ cups regular rolled oats

1 cup dried shredded coconut

1½ cups almond meal

½ cup barley/whole wheat spelt flour

1½ tsp aluminium-free baking powder

½ cup extra virgin coconut oil

2 Tbsp unsweetened apricot or jam of choice

preparation 

1.  Preheat oven to 180C/350F.  Line a 9 x 9-inch square cake pan and line with parchment paper, covering the bottom and about an inch up sides; set aside.

2. Warm coconut oil in a wide skillet over medium heat, add apples and saute for 5 minutes or until golden in parts.

3.  Stir in 1 tablespoon maple syrup and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and continue cooking for another 6 – 8 minutes, lowering heat if apples begin to brown.  Cook until apples are soft but not falling apart.  If they’re still firm, reduce heat to low, cover skillet, and continue cooking for a few more minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

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4.  Add oats to a food processor and blend until finely ground, then transfer to a medium bowl and mix in the almond meal, flour, coconut and baking powder.

6.  In another bowl, whisk remaining ⅔ maple syrup, remaining vanilla and oil, then pour into dry ingredients – stir to combine.

7.  Lightly press the batter into prepared cake pan and bake for 12 – 15 minutes.

8.  Remove from oven (leave the oven on), and arrange apples 4 in a row over the surface of the slice, leaving a ½-inch border around the edge.  (I only had 3 big apples so I improvised and ended up with 3 rows, the smaller apples work better in slicing and the overall look). Lightly press apples into the cake and return to oven for 20 – 25 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and allow the cake to cool.

9.  To make the glaze, place jam in a small pot over medium heat and stir until melted, about 1 minute.

10.  Remove from heat and use a pastry brush to lightly brush glaze over the surface of the apples. Cut into squares and serve with vanilla ice-cream or thick yoghurt and a sprinkling of toasted almonds.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

plum millet cake (vegan)

16th July 2015

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I know when we have entered into Summer, as each morning I can pick the first of the Jasmine to place on our altar  – just one perfect flower, but Wow!  Such a scent.

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Jasminum spp

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Using the last of our plums from this tree and sharing them with our friends, neighbours, visiting teachers, and our growing ducklings and swans.

plum millet cake

Makes one 9-inch square pan with 12 square slices.

Recipe slightly adapted from ‘At Home in the Wholefood Kitchen’.

I have been making this with raspberries instead of plums.  I use 150 grams frozen/fresh raspberries, following the recipe below, sprinkle the top with flaked almonds and 2 Tablespoons of coconut sugar. 

for the millet

¼ cup/50g millet, washed and soaked (if you forget to soak the millet, add 2 Tablespoons extra water).

½ cup/125ml water

for the cake

1½ cup/210g whole-spelt flour

1 Tbsp aluminium-free baking powder

zest of 1 lemon

zest of 1 orange

¾ cup/185ml plus 2 Tbsp maple syrup (maple syrup can be replaced with ½ cup sugar)

¼ cup + 2 Tbsp/90ml extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil, melted 

¼ cup/60ml almond milk

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp fine rock salt

8small plums /340g, pitted and cut into ½-inch slices – If using very juicy plums, allow to drain off the excess liquid for 5 minutes.

for the topping

¼ tsp cinnamon

1 Tbsp brown sugar (optional)

to cook the millet

1.  Drain and rinse millet, place in a small pot and pour in ½ cup water.  Bring to a boil over high heat; cover pot, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat; let sit for 10 minutes before removing the lid and fluffing up with a fork.  You should have approximately 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cooked millet.

2.  Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.  Grease a 9-inch square baking dish with oil or for easy removal, line with baking paper.

to prepare the cake

3.  Place the flour and baking powder into a medium bowl; stir to combine and set aside.

4.  In another bowl, combine the maple syrup, olive oil, almond milk, vanilla and salt.

5.  Add the flour mixture, and using a rubber spatula, stir until combined, then fold in the plums, cooked millet and citrus zest, stirring until just combined – be careful not to over-mix.

6.  Pour the batter into the baking pan.  Sprinkle with cinnamon, remaining 2 tablespoons of millet and the brown sugar.

7.  Bake for 30 – 35 minutes. Allow to cool before slicing.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

banana coconut vanilla bean ice cream with grilled plum & pecan crumb (vegan)

2nd July 2015

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It’s coming up to three years since we moved into this house from Israel.  At that time, we had just missed the plum season.  It was only the following year that this little plum-tree gave us a grand and decadent welcome, and now each year it never disappoints.

This particular tree is so abundant in fruit that I am always afraid the branches may break under the weight of it all.  It is a truly remarkable tree – to me, it tastes the very essence of Summer.  A full, luscious honey-flavoured Summer.  For the perfect plum, you need to catch it right at that moment just before it starts to soften that little bit too much. This is a delicate moment because, in just a week, they will all start to drop.

The swans and ducks enjoy them, but only the swans with their long necks can actually grab them from the tree itself.  They also keep the ground clean, and I think that they swallow the pips and all, as there is no evidence of any fallen fruit. But the tree looks lighter with each day.

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Each evening after my dinner, I stroll the garden, pluck one or two off the tree, judging them by their colour only – I know which ones are just perfect for eating.  The slightest touch and they fall into my hand without any effort.  I find a spot to sit and eat, to enjoy my sweet end to an evening meal.  A moment of quiet.  There is a feeling of contentment and deep gratitude from this simple pleasure. Maybe it is the silence at that time of day or the light. Mostly I think it is a combination of both.

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lightly grilled plum & pecan crumb

When plums are not available, try with apricots, peaches or nectarines.

Serves 4 

ingredients 

¼ tsp ground cardamom

½ cup pecans, macadamia or nuts of choice

1 date – seed removed

8 small ripe plums

2 Tbsp honey/maple syrup

preparation 

1.  Preheat the grill.

2.  Place the nuts, date and cardamom in the blender and pulse until the mixture becomes a fine crust, pour into a bowl and set aside.

3.  Cut each plum in half and remove the stone.  Place the halves on a baking tray, cut side upwards and scoop a spoon of the nut crumb into the pit of each plum.  Lightly drizzle each plum with honey/syrup.  Place the tray about 6 inches from the heat, and grill/broil for about 3-4 minutes, until the nuts are slightly golden.  Allow to cool for a couple of minutes while preparing the banana ice cream.

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instant banana, coconut, vanilla bean ice-cream

Recipe from ‘ Kind Ice-cream for You’

This instant ice-cream is remarkably easy, yet so creamy.  The added coconut cream softens the banana taste and is a perfect way to enjoy the fresh fruits of the season.  Placing the coconut milk in the fridge allows for the milk and cream to separate, and for the cream to rise to the top for easy scooping. I keep the left-over liquid to add to soups or smoothies.

ingredients

2 frozen bananas  – peeled, cut and frozen for at least 4 hours, or overnight

1 can (400mL) full fat coconut milk (refrigerated overnight)

1 vanilla bean

1 Tbsp honey/maple syrup

preparation

1.  Open the coconut milk can and scoop out the thick, solid white cream, add the coconut cream, frozen bananas, and honey/maple syrup to a blender.

2.  Run a knife down the length of the vanilla bean, scrape out the seeds and add to the blender – blend until smooth.  You will have to scrape down the sides of the blender a couple of times until it forms a smooth texture.

3.  Scoop into glasses and place one or two plums on top and drizzle with a little more honey/syrup.  Serve immediately.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

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