The Rich Vegetarian

An Examined Life

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Tag: baked goods (page 1 of 2)

Pantry and Freezer Clean-Out (Yay, Spiced Banana Loaf)

I cook lunch and dinner on most days.

P and I take lunch to work in Thermos containers that keep the food warm for hours. A long time ago (or so it seems), I used to cook extra for dinner, and we took the leftovers for lunch the following day. Then something changed (and I don’t recall what it is). I began cooking lunch every morning. We discovered that Thermos containers are true to their word. The steaming dal blew my mind (and P’s too). We were instant converts. Now I cannot fathom eating leftovers for lunch. There is clearly something to be said for the sheer deliciousness that is freshly cooked food. There is a certain juiciness to it, an indescribable rasa that renders the food sublime and delicious and utterly satisfying.

You’d think that a kitchen as heavily used as ours would see a high turnover of ingredients and supplies. That’s certainly true for some varieties of dals and beans, fresh produce, bread, avocados, dates (we seem to consume them in crazy quantities – I jest), etc. However, there are certain ingredients that lurk on pantry and freezer shelves for a long while. So I have decided to start using those “silent actors” and clear them out.

Made a delicious Spiced Banana Loaf yesterday. Proud to say that I cleaned out the following items for this endeavor – Spelt flour, almond meal, broken cashews. I also used white whole wheat flour that has been sitting in the freezer for a while now (I bake mostly with spelt flour).

This is a vegan recipe that uses coconut oil. I use the organic, unrefined type and it is fairly flavorless. The original recipe called for 1.5 cups of chocolate chips but I used a blend of cranberries, black raisins, cashews and cocoa nibs instead. Can I say, that mix is a whole lot more interesting than plain old chocolate chips?

Spiced Banana Loaf

The end result was (or is) moist, mildly sweet (I used a third of the quantity of sugar asked for in the original recipe), perfectly spiced. I couldn’t carve out neat slices, instead ending up with little misshapen slabs.

So, if you would like to sample these little bits of deliciousness, please stop by. I am a little shy to tote them out this time. 🙂

The original recipe is at NY Times Cooking – Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Cake.

Ingredients

2 cups flour (I used a mix of spelt flour, white whole wheat flour and almond meal)
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
A couple pinches of salt
1 cup mashed bananas
1 cup canned coconut milk
1/2 cup coconut oil (unrefined, organic)
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup (cashews, dried cranberries, black raisins, cocoa nibs)

Method

  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together bananas, coconut milk, oil, vinegar and vanilla.
  • Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined. Fold in the dried fruit and nut and cocoa nibs mix. Stir well.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a loaf pan.
  • Spread the batter evenly into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for about 50 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean with a few crumbs clinging to it.
  • Transfer on to a cooling rack. Carefully turn it over, so the bottom does not get too moist.
  • Cut into wedges, enjoy.

Cardamom Orange Bread

Orange zest. Cardamom. Applesauce. Green raisins. Maple syrup. Vanilla.

Are you drooling yet?

Cardamom Orange Bread

Cardamom Orange Bread

This is my take on Shauna’s Gluten-Free Cardamom Apple Bread. I felt like giving this fragrant bread a different name, so here it is… Cardamom Orange Bread.

P declared this as the “best thing you have ever baked.” I might just agree with him.

Ingredients

8 whole pods of cardamom
225g flour (I used a mix of spelt flour and almond meal)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
A couple pinches of salt
2 eggs (I used Ener-G egg replacer)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
Zest of 1 orange
2/3 cup chunky applesauce
handful of green raisins

Method

  • Grind the cardamom seeds using a mortal pestle. Discard the outer shells. Or you can drop them in the container where you store black tea, as I did.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a loaf pan.
  • In a bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and cardamom. Set aside.
  • Mix the wet ingredients, namely coconut oil, vanilla, applesauce and eggs with orange zest in another bowl. Whisk until all ingredients are combined well.
  • Incorporate the dry ingredient mix, adding a little at a time, in to the wet mixture, stirring all the while. Stir in the raisins.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.
  • Let the bread cool for a 15 minutes in the pan.
  • Transfer on to a cooling rack. Carefully turn the bread over, so the bottom does not get too moist.
  • Cut into wedges, enjoy.

Notes

  • Fragrant warming cardamom and cinnamon, fresh and vibrant orange zest, juicy raisins, softly melting applesauce… What is NOT to love?
  • I used a rough mix of spelt flour and almond meal.
  • Shauna’s recipe called for double the amount of applesauce. I didn’t have as many apples at home, so I could only add 2/3 cup. I don’t think the recipe suffered at all, though.

Spelt Cardamom Biscuits (okay, Cookies)

Spelt Cardamom Biscuit

Spelt Cardamom Biscuit

Finally a recipe on this blog!

I haven’t been cooking much but I do have a recipe for fennel-celery soup that I must write about… easy, summery, light and delicious. Soon, soon.

A biscuit is a biscuit, and a cookie is a cookie… Never the twain shall meet? A biscuit is what a cookie is called in Britain and India, I suppose? Here in the South (and probably most of the United States), a biscuit is a whole another beast. Or baked goodie. This Wikipedia link explains what the two kinds of biscuits are.

Anyhow, I took Desert Candy’s recipe for Kleeja (Wheat-Cardamom Cookies), played with the ingredients and baking time, and made it my own new favorite biscuit recipe.

Mildly sweet, delicately flavored, hearty, sturdy, perfect for dunking… I like this one!

Kleeja (adapted from Desert Candy’s recipe here)

Ingredients

3 cups of spelt flour
1/2 cup of olive oil
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 egg beaten (I use Ener-G egg replacer)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cardamom

Method

  • Preset oven to 350 F. Combine the sugar and milk into a little saucepan, turn on the heat, stir without boiling until sugar dissolves. Place aside to cool.
  • Combine flour, salt, baking powder and cardamom in a bowl. Mix well. Add oil and mix until well combined and crumbly in texture. Add egg replacer, then the sugar-milk mixture, and mix until a dough is formed. Set aside to rest for 15 minutes.
  • Roll out the dough with a thick rolling pin. You will not need to grease the work surface since this is a fairly oily dough. Cut out rounds with a sharp little lid or a biscuit cutter.
  • Transfer the little rounds to a baking sheet (with a parchment paper on top), bake for 15-16 minutes or until the bottoms are lightly browned.
  • Let cool on a rack.
Spelt Cardamom Biscuit

Spelt Cardamom Biscuit

Notes

This is a delicious biscuit! The delicate scent of cardamom is unmistakable. It is the perfect foil to the heartiness of the spelt. I thought that the olive oil (the original recipe uses butter or vegetable oil) adds a certain lightness in texture and taste. This is a mildly sweet biscuit, perfect for dunking in chai/coffee. My dough turned out fairly oily, so I think I will cut back on the oil next time I make these.