Cardamom Carrot Bread

I always like baking with a fresh fruit or vegetable and quick breads are so versatile that you can add pretty much anything in sight but the kitchen sink and it would still taste so good. I wanted to use up a bunch of carrots and coconut flakes lying in my pantry and thus came about this wonderful bread studded with good stuff. If you are not a coconut fan, add any nuts or bits of dried fruit  to this bread, it is super versatile and would taste divine.  This bread is almost like carrot cake but just much easier to put together and best of all it has cardamom, an all-time favorite spice of mine. It is not ridiculously sweet, making it a perfect accompaniment with a cup of tea or coffee. If you are in the mood, add a cream cheese glaze and voila you have an almost fancy carrot cake on your table minus all the fuss. The bread freezes beautifully, so handy for a quick breakfast or snack.

cardamom carrot bread

Ingredients

1.5 cups whole wheat flour

1 Egg

1 cup olive oil

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1.5 teaspoons ground cardamom

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup coarsely grated carrot

1/4 cup shredded coconut

1/4 cup raisins

Method

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line and grease a loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.

2. Place egg, oil, sugar and vanilla in a bowl and beat until thick and slightly foamy.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cardamom.

4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and gently stir by hand.

5. Gently fold in the carrots, raisins, coconut flakes and other mix-ins that you may choose to add.

6. Pour the batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

7. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

8. Warm each slice of bread for 20 seconds in the microwave when ready to serve.

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Chocolate Zucchini Bread

It is kind of late for a zucchini recipe but i’m hoping you still have some of your summer loot left for this amazingly moist and delicious bread. I love zucchini in all forms, be it  pastabread or just grilled with a dash of olive oil and sea salt. So imagine my delight when i was given a giant home grown organic zucchini. I sprung into action and baked 4 beautiful loaves of chocolate bread with this giant squash. Thank you Ali for sharing your summer’s bounty.

zuc

This bread is not overly sweet and makes for a great snack or would look beautiful on your brunch table.It freezes well, so make a big batch before the season ends. If you aren’t a chocolate or sweet bread fan, try these savory squash muffins, bet you won’t be disappointed.

chocolate zucchini bread

Ingredients

1.5 cups shredded raw zucchini/courgette

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 cup dark chocolate, roughly chopped (you can use chocolate chips too)

2 large eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a loaf pan and set it aside.

2. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. Fold in the chopped chocolate and set aside.

3. In another bowl, beat the eggs and add oil, sugars, vanilla extract and mix till well blended.

4. Fold in the grated zucchini and flour mixture, stirring until just combined.

5. Transfer the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

6. Cool bread for 10 minutes in the pan before transferring to a wire rack.

7. Cool completely before slicing. This bread stores well at room temperature for 3 days.

 

Eggless Blueberry Coffee Cake

If you are looking for a simple to make, yet delicious coffee cake recipe, you are in luck my friends. Coffee cakes in America have nothing do with coffee except that it tastes great when had with coffee or tea. I’ve probably eaten my weight in blueberries this summer, the plump, juicy, fresh blueberries are truly irresistible. Surrounded by berry farms in the Pacific Northwest, its hard to stop myself from picking or buying these beauties. If you are looking for a great weekend activity with kids, check out this post from last year on blueberry picking.

blueberry coffee cake

This blueberry coffee cake is a huge crowd pleaser, i took this to a friend’s party and it was an instant hit among adults and kids. I love that this moist, flavorful cake be had even for breakfast or brunch. If you don’t want to use butter, substitute with oil and you have a great vegan version of this cake. Whip up this simple cake on a weekend morning and be assured that you are starting your morning right.

blueberry cake

Ingredients

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

pinch of salt

1/4 cup butter softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup yogurt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup blueberries

Ingredients for topping

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoon cold butter

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Method

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Grease a 9inch baking dish with some oil or butter and set aside.

2. Prepare the topping mixing together the butter, sugar and cinnamon with 2 forks until crumbly and chill until ready to use.

3. Mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

4. In a separate bowl, cream together butter, sugar, yogurt and vanilla.

5. Gently fold in the dry ingredients and mix in the blueberries. Do not over mix the batter.

6. Bake  at 350F for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean

Vegan Raw Coconut Cream Pie Energy Bites

Home made energy bites or bars are so much more healthier than the store bought ones. You can control what goes in and play around with toppings and its easy on the wallet too. You’d be surprised how many Lara bars you can make at home for less than $10. These coconut cream pie bites is a Lara bar inspired recipe. The nicest thing about these bites are that you can use any kind of nuts and if you want to make it nut free, use sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds and they would still be delicious. A money saving tip on buying nuts, hit the bulk bin section at your local grocery store, sometimes even the organic ones are cheaper than you’d imagine. I coated some of these bites with unsweetened cocoa powder, some in toasted coconut flakes and the coconut flakes got a double thumbs up from everyone who ate them. They make a great mid morning snack or in my case even dessert.

coconut cream pie

Ingredients

1 cup pitted dates

1 cup cashews or pecans or any nut of your choice ( I used toasted pecans)

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes or shredded coconut

Method

1. Soak cashews and dates in warm water for at least one hour if you don’t have a powerful blender.

2. Blend all the ingredients until the mixture is well blended and begins to stick together.

3. Transfer the mixture on to a cutting board and use your hands to form a big ball.

3. Using 1 tablespoon measurement, scoop the mixture and roll them into balls. Alternatively, you can cut them into rectangles or squares and wrap individual portions in plastic wrap.

4. Coat the balls with unsweetened cocoa or toasted coconut (optional)

5. The balls store well at room temperature for 2 days and in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

 

Goat Cheese and Red Pepper Jelly Tea Sandwiches

Regular readers of my blog know that no tea party of mine is complete without a good finger sandwich. I think I like tea parties only because I get to make/eat scones and sandwiches. Whether its a chutney cheddar or cucumber cream cheese, dainty sandwiches always hold a special place in tea parties. So when a surprise baby shower was planned for a friend, I knew I was going to make sandwiches and this time with my most recent discovery, red pepper jelly. For those who haven’t tasted red pepper jelly, it is mildly sweet and spicy and perfectly pairs with cream cheese or goat cheese. It tastes good on bread and crackers and goes well with any type of cheese.

sandwich

I have used herbed goat cheese in this recipe, but plain cream cheese works well too. This sandwich is creamy with sweet and savory notes from the pepper jelly and the surprise ingredient, pecans make it a winner. I wasn’t sure about adding the pecans, but I think it turned out to be the highlight of this recipe. This recipe from an old issue of Southern Living is a keeper and is going to be a regular on my tea party menu.

sandwich1

Ingredients

4 oz goat cheese, softened

2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped

1/2 cup unsalted, toasted pecans, finely chopped

1/4 cup red pepper jelly

14 slices bread

Method

1. Stir together cheese, parsley and pecans.

2. Spread the cheese mixture on 7 slices of bread.

3. Spread the remaining slices with red pepper jelly.

4. Top with cheese covered slices, remove crusts and cut into 4 triangles or squares.

 

 

Vegan Onion Fritters / Onion Pakoras

I rarely deep-fry things in my kitchen and that’s why it has taken me all this time to post the most popular tea time snack of India. If you were to run a poll between samosas and pakoras, i am almost positive that pakoras will win hands down because its much easier to make and it requires basic, everyday ingredients to put together this tasty snack. On a cold, rainy day nothing is more comforting than a plate of warm pakoras and steaming hot chai. I have used onions in this recipe, but you can use cauliflower, potato, paneer (Indian cheese) or a combination of veggies. If you plan to make this for a party, fry them up and store them in an oven proof bowl covered tightly with aluminum foil at 300F, they will remain warm, crispy and fresh. You can eat these pakoras plain or sandwich them between two slices of bread with green chutney for a filling lunch.

pakora

Ingredients

1 large red onion, sliced lengthwise

1/2 cup mint leaves

1/2 cup chickpea flour

1/4 cup rice flour

1 teaspoon red chili powder

1/4 teaspoon asafetida

1.5 teaspoons fennel seeds

1 Thai green chili, roughly chopped

1 inch piece ginger, minced

5-6 curry leaves

chaat masala (optional)

salt

oil

Method

1. Place all the ingredients except oil and chaat masala in a bowl.

2. Add 2 tablespoons of hot oil and mix well to form a dry mixture. The water from the onion should be sufficient to bring the mixture together, sprinkle very little water if needed.

3. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan and when oil is hot, add a pinch of pakora batter. Do not make a ball or flatten them, it should be shapeless.

4. Cook on medium heat till golden brown and crispy.

5. Remove with slotted spoon and sprinkle chaat masala on top (optional).

Vegan Gluten-Free Quinoa Almond Flour Carrot Cake Cookies

Quite a long title for a Friday post huh? I guess i got very excited to capture all the goodness of this cookie in the title. If your definition of a cookie is flour, sugar and butter, then this protein powerhouse is definitely not for you. This is a healthy cookie which is ideal for on the go breakfast and can double up as a dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.quinoa cookie1

Quinoa and almond flour make these cookies moist, chewy and the add-ins make it taste like carrot cake. I used organic red quinoa in this recipe, you can use white as well. Make sure to dry roast the quinoa before grinding to bring out its full flavor. This protein rich cookie stores well in the refrigerator for up to a week, that is if it lasts till then . Make a batch this weekend for a guilt-free indulgence while watching your favorite moments on the red carpet this Sunday.

quinoa cookie

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa

1.5 cup almond meal

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 cup grated carrots

1/2 cup raisins

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 tablespoons oil ( any type will work, i used walnut oil)

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Method

1. Dry roast quinoa until it begins to pop. Cool and grind to a fine powder. I ground mine to a coarse powder because I like crunch from quinoa in the cookie.

2. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together quinoa flour, almond meal, cinnamon, ginger, salt and baking powder.

4.  Transfer the flour mixture to the bowl of a food processor.

5.  Drizzle in maple syrup along with vanilla slowly and process until a crumbly dough forms.

6.  Transfer it back to the bowl and mix in the carrots and raisins.

7. Using one tablespoon measurement, scoop cookie dough on to the baking sheet. Flatten the scooped dough slightly between your palms.

8. Bake in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes or until cooked through and golden.

9. Cool cookies in sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer them on to a wire rack and cool completely.