Kiwi Slice

This was last nights dessert that I came up with, so I could use all the kiwi fruit in my fridge. Initially I was going to make jam. Only thing is Marco doesn’t like kiwi and I doubt he would eat the jam. So I decided to make a slice since he loved the Stone Fruit and Berry Slice I made a few days ago. He really liked the base of it. I changed the ingredients a bit. I really wanted to see how it would turn out with flax seed mead and wholemeal flour. The base was a lot firmer and the kiwi was really nice baked. It wasn’t too tangy and it was just sweet enough.

Kiwi fruit are really, really healthy for us. They have more vitamin C then an orange and a good source of fiber and potassium [1].  Some of the health benefits include: prevents Asthma; prevents wheezing and coughing, especially in children; protects our DNA from mutations; provides a healthy amount of antioxidants and vitamins; helps prevent colon cancer thanks to a high fiber content [2]. Another great study recently revealed the possitive effects of this fruit for people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. According to Michael Greger M.D, “Researchers found that eating 2 kiwifruit a day for a month significantly “shortens colon transit time, increases defecation frequency, and improves bowel function” in those with constipation-type.” [3].

Although we often associate them with New Zealand, they acually originate from southern China and still remain an national fruit. They didn’t appear in New Zealand until the 20th century, when a missionary,  Isabel Frasier, brought them from China. They began being cultavated in the USA in the 1970s and in more recent times are also cultivated in Italy, Chile, France, Greece, Japan and Australia [4].

DSC01078

Kiwi Slice (vegan, gluten free option, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

8 kiwi fruit

1-2 tablespoons agave or maple syrup

2 tablespoons chia seeds

1.5 cups wholemeal flour (use gluten free flour if you prefer)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup raw sugar

1 cup desiccated coconut

1 cup ground flax seeds

1 cup ground rolled oats

1/2 tablespoon vanilla essence

9 egg whites replacer (OrgraN No Egg: 6 teaspoons egg replacer + 3 tablespoons water)

1/2 cup canola oil

1/2 cup plant milk (coconut, rice or oat; almond or soy if you can tolerate)

Method:

1. Preheat the oven 180 degrees.DSC01031

2. First make kiwi jam. Place the kiwi in a small pot with 1 tbsp of agave. Bring to the boil and add another tbsp of agave if it is too tangy. Add chia seeds and cook on simmer for 15 mins. Leave to cool. DSC01033

3. Take a large mixing bowl. Add flour, baking powder, sugar, desiccated coconut, flax seed flour, oat flour and stir through.

4. Then add vanilla essence, egg replacer, canola oil and soy milk. Use hands to make a dough.

DSC010355. Take in baking tray (23cmx23cm square) and add the dough. Press down with a flip so that it is all even.

6. Top with the kiwi jam and bake for 40-45 mins. Serve warm or cold.

*Serves 9-18

DSC01076

[1] WHFoods: Kiwi Fruit, <http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=41>

[2] Health Benefits of Kiwi Fruit, <http://kiwi-fruit.info/kiwi-fruit/Health+Benefits+of+Kiwi+Fruit>

[3] Kiwi Fruit for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, <http://nutritionfacts.org/2012/10/18/kiwi-fruit-for-irritable-bowel-syndrome/?utm_source=NutritionFacts.org&utm_campaign=cbd2f54acb-RSS_BLOG_DAILY&utm_medium=email>

[4] History of Kiwi Fruit, <http://kiwi-fruit.info/kiwi-fruit/History+of+Kiwi+Fruit>

Roasted Cauliflower & Garlic Soup and Spinach & Mushroom Galette

Last nights dinner was inspired by what was left in the fridge. I had vegetable stock, coconut ceam,  cauliflower, spinach, mushrooms, and heaps of kiwi fruit. I went a bit over board with dinner, but now I can relax for a couple of days.

Since I had time, I  decided to roast the cauliflower and garlic before making the soup. It payed off, as the soup had the flavors from the roasting. Marco wasn’t a big fan of the soup last night, as he doesn’t like cauliflower. But today he said it tasted better. I think he just needed to get use to the taste of cauliflower. I have heard you need to try something at least 10 times till you develop a taste for it. After forcing mushrooms, spinach and avocado on him for last 5 years he has finally came around. I really like the soup. I don’t usually like cauliflower at all. My mum use to only make it steamed with a bechemel and cheese, which I hated. But lately I have been exploring more ways to cook it and have found that it is quite a tasty vegetable. It is also extremely healthy. It is a good source of vitamin C, manganese, vitamin K, and is high in fiber.  It also has a broad spectrum of antioxidant, which ‘helps lower the risk of oxidative stress in our cells’. It is a cruciferous vegetable from the same family as broccoli  kale and cabbage. It originates from the Asia Minor as a wild cabbage and later evolved and became a important vegetable in both Turkey and Italy in ancient times [1].

The garlic tasted really, really good roasted  I often dice it and add to roasted vegetables, but I don’t often roast it on its own. I bought heaps of Spanish garlic from Aldi the other day. I prefer it over Chinese garlic. China exports about 75 % of the world’s supply of garlic and accounts for about 90% of garlic in Australia. Chinese garlic is very white and and very cheap. The problem with this garlic is that it doesn’t meet the food safety protocols in Australia. According to Henry Bell (Australian Garlic Industry Association), Chinese garlic  is drenched in chemicals in order to stop sprouting, to whiten it, and to kill insects and plant matter. He even states that it is often grown in untreated sewage [2]. If you can find local garlic that is probably the best option. I also prefer garlic that have a purple color, as they have a strong flavor the the whiter ones.

I recently bought wholemeal spelt flour, as I have been eating too many things made of regular flour and I needed more variety in my diet. Spelt is an ancient grain that was used Europe and the Middle East and is still used today. It is very special, because ” unlike wheat, where vital nutritional nutritional bran and germ are usually removed during milling, the vital substances of spelt are found in the inner kernel of the grain”. “Spelt also has high water solubility, the grain’s vital substances can be absorbed quickly into the body. The nutrients are made available to the entire organism with a minimum of digestive work. The body cells are then nourished, strengthened, and prepared for their optimal performance while the body is flooded with vitamins and other nutritional substances. Spelt contains more protein, fats and crude fiber than wheat and also has large amounts of Vitamin B17 (anti-carcinoma). It also contains special carbohydrates which play a decisive role in blood clotting and stimulate the body’s immune system so as to increase its resistance to infection.”

Another great reason for you to eat spelt is, if like me, you have had or have a gluten intolerance you should be able to tolerated spelt. This is due to the “larger quantities of available protein found in spelt are soluble and, therefore, can be easily assimilated by the body with the minimum of digestive work” and therefore can be tolerated by people with gluten intolerance [3]. In many cases you can use it to substitute wholemeal flour, but I always like to check online before substituting for everything. When making pizza dough with the spelt it stuck to my tray. So sometimes its better to mix it with other flours.

Anyway, when I was looking online for some ideas to use my wholemeal spelt flour, I came across this recipe, Spinach Galette with Wild Mushrooms, on Yummy Supper. So I adapted it with the ingredients I had on hand. I used spelt flour instead of plain flour for the crust. Since I couldn’t use Parmesan in the crust,  I made a paste with water and nutritional yeast. Also to make the filling more creamy and cheesing I used Tofutti cream cheese, mixed with nutritional yeast and soy milk. It turned out really well. It was also good cold today. This is definitely something I want to recreate with some different ingredients.

As for all the kiwi fruit, you can see my dessert on the next post.

Untitled

Roasted Cauliflower Soup (vegan, gluten fre, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

olive oil

1 head of cauliflower, chopped

1 head of spanish garlic, unpeeled (about 18 cloves)

rosemary leaves from 5 sprigs of rosemary, minced

1 yellow or white onion, diced

4 small potatoes. peeled & diced

3.5 cups vegetable liquid stock

sea salt & black pepper to taste

3/4 cup coconut cream (about 1/2 can)

Method:

DSC01024

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Take a baking tray and add cauliflower, garlic and 2 tbsp of oil. Cook for 15-20 mins or until cauliflower is tender. Once cooked peel the garlic cloves.

DSC010262. Take a large pot and add 1 tbsp oil. Add onion and rosemary and cook for 3mins or until garlic is browned.

3. Add potato and cook for another 3 mins. (add a little bit of  water if it begins to stick.

4. Add cauliflower, garlic and vegetable stock, salt & pepper.  Cover and bring to the boil, then let it simmer for 30 mins or until vegetables are soft.

5. Blend the soup so that it is smooth and silky.

6. Add coconut cream to the soup and heat through, then serve.

*Serves 5

DSC01054

Spinach & Mushroom Galette (vegan, nut free)

Ingredients for Crust:

1.5 cup wholemeal spelt  flour

pinch of sea salt

5 tablespoons cold nutlex (vegan butter)

6 tablespoons ice water

Ingredients for Filling:

olive oil

1 medium red onion

160 g baby spinach

100g sliced mushroom

3 tablespoons nutrtional yeast

1 tablespoon water

5 tablespoons toffutti cream cheese

2 tablespoons soy milk, sea salt to taste

Method:

1. First you need to make the crust. Take a large mixing bowl and add flour and salt. Stir through. DSC01028

2. Then add vegan butter and use your hands to mix it all through.DSC01038

3. Add water and make it into a dough. Roll into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

4. Preheat the oven 180 degrees.

3. Take a pan and heat 1 tbsp oil, then add onion. Cook for 3 mins, then add baby spinach. Cook for 1-2 mins (till soft) Place in a strainer, to strain out the water.

DSC010404. In same pan heat 1 tbsp oil, then add mushrooms. Cook for 3 mins then add to strainer.

DSC010415. Take large chopping board and place parchment paper with sprinkle of flour and roll out dough on top. Roll into a large circle. Trim edges and add to the centre and roll into dough.

6. Take two small bowls. In one bowl place 2 tbsp nutritional yeast and 1 tbsp of water and make into a paste. In the other bowl add 5 tbsp tofutti cream cheese, 2 tbsp soy milk and 1 tbsp of nutritional yeast and stir with a fork.

7. Place the paste around the outside of the dough, leaving a little bit of room around the edges. This will be in the crust of the galette.

DSC010438. Take the pan and add the vegetables and cream cheese. Stir through and adjust seasoning.

9. Place the mixture in the centre of the dough and then fold the edges up to form a crust.

10. Cook in the oven for 35-40mins. Serve warm or cold.

*Serves 4-8, depending on the serving size.

DSC01051

[1] WHFoods, Cauliflower,  <www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=13>

[2] The Age, Fresher and smellier, <http://www.theage.com.au/news/epicure/fresher-and-smellier/2005/07/18/1121538895265.html>

[3] Bio-Distributors, Spelt grain, <http://www.biodistributors.com.au/ProdInfFiles/spelt.php>