sesame seeds

golden pistachio cardamom cookies (vegan)

15th March 2018

These golden oat cookies contain very little flour and because of that, they are a bit crumbly to mould.  Use a heaped round tablespoon measure of the cookie dough and flatten them out with damp fingers.  If you find the cookie dough sticking, dip the spoon in water and then use damp fingers to push the edges in if they are breaking away.  If you prefer a cookie crunchy on the outside and softer texture on the inside – scoop to keep the dome-shape and skip the flattening process. You can easily replace the sultanas with goji or cranberries berries.

 golden pistachio cardamom cookies

Makes approx 31 cookies – two trays.

Grind your own cardamom as the taste is so much more fragrant. 

Inspired by these cookies and this recipe.

ingredients

⅓ cup/60g golden sultanas

½ cup/65g raw unsalted pistachio nuts

cup/120g whole-spelt flour

1½ cup/130g fine regular rolled oats

3 Tbsp/25g sesame seeds

¼ tsp fine rock salt

½ tsp aluminium-free baking powder

1 tsp cardamom powder

1 tsp ginger powder

cup + 1 Tbsp maple syrup

½ cup coconut oil/olive oil

zest of two oranges

preparation

1.  Preheat oven 180C/350F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2.  Place the sultanas in a bowl, add boiling water to cover and soak for 10 minutes. Pour through a strainer, and set aside to drain well. (The extra moisture will help prevent them from burning and drying out when baking.)

3.  Place the pistachio nuts on a tray and toast for 8 minutes.  Allow to cool, roughly chop and place in a medium bowl, along with the spelt flour, oats, sesame seeds, salt, baking powder, cardamom and ginger powder.  Mix to combine and set aside.

4.  Melt the coconut oil over low heat until liquid, add the maple syrup; whisk until emulsified.

5.  Pour into the dry ingredients and stir well, add the drained sultanas, orange zest and mix until well combined.

6.  Use a slightly wet round tablespoon measurement to scoop the cookie dough pressing against the side of the bowl to compact and place onto the baking sheets, flatten with damp fingers. If the mixture starts to stick, dip the spoon between intervals into the water. It is helpful to have a bowl of water nearby.

7.  Bake for 16 – 18 minutes, rotating the baking trays halfway through. The cookies are ready to come out when they are deeply golden. Cool the cookies on a rack while you bake the rest of the dough. They will firm up when completely cool and are best eaten the day they are made.

Goodness shared by Stacey

carrot cake – vegan

9th November 2017

There are two ways to serve this cake:

  •  with a decadent cashew cream for a special occasion.
  •  or for a warm earthiness, sprinkle the top with 2 tablespoons sesame seeds and roughly chopped raw walnuts before baking.

Both are delicious.

As a general rule, all nuts are heating. In Ayurveda, it is recommended to eat sparingly, especially cashews as they provoke pitta and because of their thought-provoking qualities can disturb the sleep and meditation.

sesame-seeded carrot cake

Inspired by the much-loved Spice Cake.

The cardamom adds a rich warmth, so it is important to grind your own as the taste is much more fragrant, fresher and more flavour intense. 

cashew cream 

1 cup/140g cashew, soaked for 4 hours

¼ cup coconut cream (the cream from the top of a can of coconut milk)

1 Tbsp coconut oil

1 vanilla bean

2 – 4 Tbsp maple syrup

ingredients for the cake 

2 Tbsp sesame seeds – for sprinkling inside the greased pan

½ cup/50g walnuts – for garnishing

2 cups/210g tightly packed grated carrots (approx 2 medium)

dry ingredients 

1 cup/120g whole-wheat flour

1 cup/120g unbleached white flour

2 tsp baking powder

1½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp fine rock salt

1 heaped tsp cardamom powder

2 heaped tsp ground cinnamon powder

wet ingredients 

½ cup/125ml melted coconut oil/mild-tasting olive oil

1 cup/250ml maple syrup (can replace with 1 cup/180g brown sugar)

¼ cup/45g brown sugar.

½ cup/125ml hulled tahini paste

½ cup/250ml almond milk

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

½ cup/80g golden raisins

prepare the cashew cream 

1.  Soak the cashews for at least 4 hours or overnight in cold water, then drain, rinse and place in a high-speed blender.

2.  Split the vanilla bean down its length, scrape the seeds into the blender, along with the coconut cream, coconut oil and maple syrup, blend until creamy and smooth. Taste and adjust the amount of maple syrup. Transfer the cream to a bowl, cover and place in the fridge until ready to use.

prepare the cake 

3.  Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Oil a 9-inch springform pan or a baking dish with oil and sprinkle the sesame seeds around the sides and bottom of the pan.

4.  Spread the walnuts on a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes.  Roughly chop, and set aside.

5.  Wash the carrots and grate either using a box grater or your food processor (using the smaller grater attachment). Set aside.

6.  In a medium bowl, sift together the dry ingredients –  flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Whisk to combine.

7.  In another medium bowl, combine the wet ingredients – oil, maple syrup, sugar, tahini, soy/almond milk and vinegar. Whisk until the wet ingredients are emulsified.

8.  Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry, whisking together just until all the dry ingredients are absorbed. The batter will be quite wet.

9.  Stir in the grated carrot and sultanas, fold gently with a spatula to combine.

10.  Pour the batter into the oiled pan and place in the oven. Bake about 50 – 60 minutes, or until the cake is springy to the touch and a toothpick comes out clean. If the top looks like it’s getting dark, but the inside needs more time, cover loosely with aluminium foil for the last 10 minutes of baking.

11.  When the cake is completely cool and you are ready to serve. Spread the cashew cream evenly over the top of the cake. Decorate the cake with the toasted walnuts and long strips of carrot peel. To keep the carrot strips from discolouring, toss in a little lemon juice before placing on the cake.

Serve within a few hours of frosting otherwise, it is best to keep the cake refrigerated or to frost only when ready to serve.

raw halva

7th February 2015

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unexpected magic

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in unexpected places…

raw halva

Makes 20 -25 pieces.

Original recipe found here.

Use raw organic nuts and seeds that have not been roasted.  When buying sesame seeds, purchase the tan ones as opposed to the white. The white ones are hulled, and may even be bleached.  It’s the hull that keeps the oil inside from becoming rancid.

ingredients 

½ cup sesame seeds

¼ cup sunflower seeds

¼ tsp vanilla essence

¼ tsp cinnamon powder

tsp rock salt

3 Tbsp tahini

3 Tbsp thick honey

¼ cup pistachios, chopped

preparation 

1.  Process the sesame and sunflower seeds in a high-speed blender or food processor until you have a coarse mixture.  It’s important not to over-grind, otherwise, the halva will be too moist and affects the final result.

2.  Pour the seed mixture into a medium bowl, add the cinnamon and salt – mix well.

3.  Combine the tahini, honey and vanilla and add to the seed mixture – combine using your hands. If the mixture is not sticking together, add an extra half tablespoon of honey.

4.  Add the pistachios until well incorporated. Form into your desired shapes by firmly pressing the mixture into a round tablespoon measure, flattening with a knife, and tapping them gently on a board until they pop out.  After the first one, dip the spoon into a bowl of sesame seeds. This leaves them with a flat bottom and a gently decorated sesame-seeded dome top. Perfect little bite-size pieces!

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Goodness shared by Stacey

health crunch muesli cookies (vegan)

9th October 2011

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Happiness

=

Getting up early.

No humidity.

First rain.

Yellow leaves falling.

A big girl who will still sit in your lap, sometimes.

A big boy that still needs my hugs, all the time.

The first green salad from the garden.

Golden afternoon light.

Little, white jasmine flowers falling on the ground, waiting to be picked up,

and

being lost in their sweet scent.

The quietness in that deep silence.

Friends.

Winning scrabble.

 Peacock feathers.

The smell of little babies.

A new camera and its endless possibilities.

Damp smell of earth.

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I  would like to try making these cookies with the left-over almond pulp from making almond milk. I have been looking for a sweet which is gluten-free and dairy-free.  These I stumbled across on this website – www.teresacutter.com.  It is important to grind the almonds very finely which will absorb the liquid much better.  Also, the second time I made these, I added 1 cup cranberries, instead of ½ cup; half chopped very finely and the rest, roughly chopped.  I also pressed half an almond in the top each biscuit, which added another dimension to them.  I did tweak the recipe a bit from the original.

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health crunch muesli cookies

Approximately 30 cookies

ingredients 

cup organic coconut oil, melted

½ cup maple syrup (depending on your preferred sweetness)

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups almonds

1 cup walnuts/pecans

cup ground linseed/flaxseed

½ cup sesame and sunflower seeds (a combination of both to make ½ cup)

½ – 1 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped (depending on how much you like cranberries)

¼ cup dried shredded coconut

preparation 

1.  Preheat the oven to 150C/330F.  Line two baking sheets with baking paper.

2.  In a small mixing bowl, pour the melted coconut oil over the maple syrup, and whisk in the vanilla extract – set aside.

3.  In a food processor, place in the almonds and grind until fine, then empty into a large mixing bowl.

4.  Place the walnuts into the food processor and whiz for a few seconds, just until they are roughly broken up, add to bowl.

5.  Add linseed, sesame and sunflower seeds, coconut and cranberries – combine well.

6.  Pour in the wet mixture – mix thoroughly until well combined.

7.  Divide into 30 balls (If the mixture is crumbling just add a little hot water until it becomes easier to handle.)  Place onto the prepared baking tray, then flatten slightly.  At this stage, press a whole almond into each if you prefer.

8.  Bake for 30 – 40 minutes until golden and well cooked through. Watch carefully!

Rest on the tray until cool, then store in an air-tight container.

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Goodness shared from Stacey

simple grated carrot, beetroot, parsley salad

26th July 2011

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I love the soft, gentle sweetness of beetroot.  They taste simply of the clean, sweet earth from which they came from.  In Winter, I roast them in their skins.  In Summer, I have this salad daily, accompanied by big chunks of avocado and cooked red lentil hummus or babaganous (enjoying the first of the eggplants), lightly saute small zucchini’s from the garden and grilled halloumi for the children.  It makes the perfect lunch.  For dinner, I have been enjoying this simple golden soup with thin slices of toasted homemade sunflower bread.

I have also been working hard in the garden preparing for our month away in England.  Preparing the soil with manure, digging and turning, then covering it with a very thick layer of mulch leftover from our goat pen.  It has been hot, dry and humid, so I am not sure how the garden will hold up, but I am doing my best to protect it in my long absence.  I have been spending all of my afternoons in there and I feel sad to leave it.  It has been my therapy, my calmness, my joy and my deep desire for simplicity.

After so many afternoons of hard manual work, I had one day where I could just sit, reflect, wonder, watch, listen, and smell.  An inner quiet and peacefulness fills me just by being in my garden in those early mornings or late afternoons.  I am sure if I watch carefully, I feel the plants pushing up and up.  It is so wonderful to be a part of this amazing process of planting a seed, watching it grow, then eating the result of that energy force which has been nurtured and cared for with so much love.  Imagine what a different world it would be if all our food was prepared with so much respect and care.

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I have planted lots, and hope that the garden will be as abundant as I left it when I return.

Goodbye heat!  Welcome, the green, the rain and the coolness.

simple grated beetroot carrot parsley salad

Serves 4

ingredients 

2 medium beetroot, grated

2 medium carrots, grated

1 tsp cumin seeds

handful coriander or parsley, finely chopped

juice of half a lemon

2 Tbsp flax-seed oil (or olive oil)

1 tsp agave/honey

¼ cup lightly toasted sesame and/ sunflower seeds

¼ tsp fine rock salt

preparation 

1.  Heat a small pan, add cumin seeds and lightly dry toast them until fragrant – remove from heat and set aside.

2.  Prepare the beetroot and carrot, either by grating in a box grater or using a food processor and place in a salad bowl.

3.  Pour the flax-seed oil, lemon juice, salt, cumin seeds and agave in a jar.  Place the lid on, and shake to combine.

4.  Drizzle the dressing over the salad, and sprinkle with coriander and toasted seeds – toss to combine.

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Goodness shared from Stacey

gomasio

21st June 2010

I have been experimenting with raw foods and putting my dehydrator too much use.  Tonight I have in the dehydrator a wonderful raw granola “I am Great” (taken from my ‘I am Grateful’ cookbook which consists of grated apple, soaked almonds, sunflower seeds, buckwheat, cranberries, dates, coconut and cinnamon. I have also been trying to eat less bread and making all sorts of linseed crackers and almond toast from soaked and sprouted seeds then dehydrating them in my special oven.

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But my favourite food at the moment is a bowl of brown rice.

Yesterday I sautéed tofu, zucchini and red peppers, added a little tamari and gomasio and that was another delicious meal. The other day I rolled brown rice mixed with a little bit of left-over almond pulp into nori rolls with some avocado, grated carrot and crisp cucumber..yum. On the weekend it was more of an elaborate meal with a simple red dal and a green salad with a big bowl of brown rice. Today I had a bowl of brown rice and a salad drizzled with a tahini-lemon sauce over the top, but my most favourite is eating it plain, drizzled with ghee and sprinkled with gomasio. It tastes so comforting, clean and wonderfully grounding.

Gomasio is a nutty, salty condiment which you can sprinkle on soups, salads, stews or use as you would salt. Sesame seeds have a high calcium content. They also have wonderful amounts of manganese, copper, iron, zinc and vitamin B1. My version is a slight variation on traditional gomasio by incorporating a sheet of toasted nori for a salty sea flavour and additional nutrients.

You can use any type of sesame seeds, though preferably the tan ones opposed to the white. The white ones which are sold at the supermarket are hulled and maybe even bleached. I don’t recommend them, as it’s the hull that keeps the oil inside from getting rancid. You could also omit the nori and make a spicy gomasio by adding crushed red pepper flakes.

I used a quick modern-day grinding method but for a more meditative and energetically calming method, you can use a traditional mortar and pestle by grinding it in smaller batches.

gomasio

Makes 1 cup

ingredients 

2 tsp freshly ground rock salt

1 cup tan sesame seeds

1 sheet toasted nori

preparation 

1.  In a small skillet, toast the salt for a couple of minutes and put aside, then add the sesame seeds to the skillet and dry roast them on a very low heat for about 10 mins, stirring constantly, until the seeds begin to brown. Don’t be tempted to increase the heat as the longer lower temperature will result in more even heat distribution, more even browning, and more of a potent roasted flavour.

2.  Using a small blender or a coffee grinder, place the still warm sesame seeds and salt, roughly broken-up nori sheet and blend together. Be careful not to grind too much: you want some of the texture of the seeds to remain.

Use immediately or refrigerate until ready to use. It can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several weeks.

Goodness shared from Stacey

tofu with a sweet tamari sauce

27th June 2009

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This is one of my favourite tofu dishes.  It was introduced to me by my dear friends and neighbours, Anna and Leon.  This dish is even better when you make your own tofu which involves the process of soaking, blending, and cooking soybeans and mixing them with a natural solidifier (nigari or lemon juice).

tofu with a sweet tamari sauce

ingredients 

1 block of TOFU, cut into 4cm squares

½ cup whole-spelt flour

1 Tbsp each white & black sesame seeds

peanut oil for frying

sauce

¼ cup tamari

4 Tbsp water

1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger

2 Tbsp mirin

2 – 4  Tbsp maple syrup

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preparation 

1.  Prepare the sauce, pour the sauce ingredients into a small saucepan and simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes -set aside.

2.  Prepare the tofu, combine the flour and sesame seeds together in a plastic bag. In stages, place the tofu into the bag and shake to evenly cover in flour mixture. Any leftover flour can be kept in the plastic bag and stored in the freezer to be used next time.

3.  Heat a deep skillet and just cover with a little oil.  Don’t use too much. When the oil is hot, add the tofu, leaving a space in between. This may have to be done in two stages. Turn over, and when golden, remove and place on a paper towel.

4.  When ready to serve, place tofu in a serving dish and pour over a little of the sauce. Leave the remainder to use as a side serving.

The sauce is delicious served with a mixture of mashed potato and sweet potato, a green salad and brown rice.

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Shared goodness from Stacey

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