We recently spent a fantastic week in beautiful Vermont for a much needed family vacation. We spent the first few days at the Smuggler’s Notch resort where we enjoyed an exhilarating/slightly terrifying day at the Arbor Trek Treetops Obstacle Course, swimming in the numerous pools, Evan’s first BIG waterslide, Evan bouncing and Skyler flipping on the Euro Bungy, Skyler flying through trees on the giant swing, and some time finally learning to paddle board on a thankfully smooth and calm lake – I don’t think I’m ready for the ocean waves yet, although I did try a few brief seconds in tree pose while barely balancing on the board!
We didn’t even let the way too many rainy moments get us down…we watched family movies and ate our way through the offerings at Ben & Jerry’s, and ate decent meals. While our bellies never went empty and we were nourished well enough, we were left more than a little uninspired by the menu options at the fun family resort…Why is it that so many restaurants think if kids will be there the food needs to be ordinary and, dare I say it..boring?
What are you going to do with all those gorgeous blueberries you found at the farmer’s market today… why not bake up a loaf of this Blueberry Tea Cake? It’s as gorgeous as it is delicious and just the perfect treat for an afternoon tea or served up with a side of yogurt or fresh whipped cream and even more berries for a lightly sweet breakfast or brunch treat.
I have been experimenting a lot with gluten free baking lately and not because I’m allergic to wheat, but more because I think I have a sensitivity to it, and also because I think it’s simply better for my own body at least, to just eat less processed grains. My problem with a lot of gluten free baking recipes and packaged gluten free flour mixes is the addition of starches like potato or tapioca. I simply don’t like the slightly paste like texture that these starches seem to add to muffins, scones, etc, plus they are pretty low on fiber content and other nutrients. So, to that I’ve been using a lot of oatmeal and oats ground into a flour right in my bullet blender, just before using.
I do love oats, add oats to a recipe and I’m a happy girl. Not only do I love the taste, texture and nutritional value oats bring, I find they work well in my system and that is always a good thing!
I actually adapted this recipe for blueberry tea cake from my own (not gluten free), lemon chia tea cake. In this case, I made it gluten free and dressed it up with some beautiful juicy blueberries, when you flip the cake out of the loaf pan the bottom looks as if it’s been tie dyed by the sweet berries, so gorgeous!
With the addition of buttermilk, this cake bakes up perfectly moist and tender. I also soak some rolled oats into the buttermilk (a trick I use in my oatmeal pancakes too), which adds to the lovely texture of the cake. If you want to make this dairy free, use your plant milk of choice, such as soy or almond and add the lemon juice right in with the oats, works perfectly. Continue reading
Fettucine carbonara, sounds so rich and decadent and tastes just the same, but it’s much lighter than you would think from the taste of it. The no cook sauce is super simple and super delicious, with just egg yolks, nutmeg, fresh herbs and cheese, yum! If you want to make it extra special and a little more decadent, you can add in just a little cream, half & half or even mascarpone cheese, but even without the extra creaminess the finished dish is delicious and elegant enough for company.
Most carbonara recipes you will find have the addition of pancetta, but since I don’t eat meat, I replace the pancetta with crispy oven roasted shitake mushrooms and chives, which I think is even better!
Fettucine Carbonara with Crispy Roasted Shitakes
Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones
1 pound fettucine pasta (make it gluten free with your favorite GF pasta)
3 egg yolks
About ½ cup or a little more grated Romano cheese
Grated nutmeg – just a little
Chopped parsley and chives plus about 10 whole chives
6-10 shitake mushrooms – cleaned & sliced
Optional: about 2 Tablespoons cream or half & half or mascarpone – if you’re feeling decadent!
I often find myself with extra bananas past their eating prime, over ripe and brown, which is why I have so many different recipes for baking with super ripe bananas, like these muffins and these cookies or I’ll add them into the daily smoothie that 5 year old Evan often asks for/demands. But, one of my favorite ways to use extra ripe bananas is, in what else, but banana bread. There are a million banana bread recipes out there, but of all I’ve tried, this one is my family’s favorite. Aside from being super moist, flecked with chocolate chunks and often walnuts, it is lower in fat than many recipes and filled with so many heart healthy ingredients. I love using bittersweet dark chocolate and even if I use chips I like to chop up the chocolate so you get different size bits with a few chunks. Honestly, I think even without the chocolate this banana bread would be delicious, but why not indulge a little with chunks of dark chocolate, after all chocolate is a super food too.
Adapted from Heidi Swanson’s Lemony Olive Oil Banana Bread. Heidi’s recipe calls for a lemony glaze poured over the top of the finished banana bread and while I love the addition of lemon in so many recipes I am not a huge fan of sweet glazes, and I think in this case the banana bread with the addition of great chunks of chocolate and chopped walnuts really stands on its own with no need for an added glaze.
The base recipe is fantastic with olive oil and aside from eliminating the glaze I’ve amped up the heart health with the addition of oat bran, avocado and flax. And if you add in the optional walnuts, you get even more heart healthy benefits since walnuts are a great source of Omega 3’s, aside from adding in a little yummy crunch. I like the mix of avocado and olive oil, just be sure to really mash the avocado well, but if a few tiny flecks of green remain it’s no big deal. I also like using a combo of one egg plus one “flax egg”. Egg substitutes are easy to make using 1 Tablespoon of ground flax with about 2 ½ Tablespoons of water per egg. Mix up the flax and water at the start of putting together the recipe, to allow time for the water to be fully absorbed and gel up a bit. Again if you prefer, you can always use 2 eggs or go full out doubling the flax and skip the egg altogether. Either way, the banana bread turns out moist and delicious. Super healthy, Super yummy, what more could you ask for!