Tag Archives: Oats

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Mini Muffins

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins
It’s back to school time, but summer’s not over yet and there’s still plenty of summer squash available at the market.  These chocolate chip zucchini mini muffins are packed with good for you oats, yogurt and zucchini, but enough chocolate to satisfy and fool the kids into happily eating their veggies.  They make a perfect breakfast treat, lunch box snack or afternoon pick me up. 6-year old veggie hater approved and adults love them too! Chocolate Chip Zucchini Mini Muffins stacked up

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Blueberry Tea Cake (gluten free)

Blueberry Lemon Tea Cake  - gluten free
Blueberry Lemon Tea Cake – gluten free with oats and a bit of crunchy cornmeal

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.  Blueberry Lemon Tea Cake with whipped cream and berries

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. 

oat flour, corn flour and corn meal, plus whole oats
oat flour, corn flour and corn meal, plus whole oats

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!  

lemon zest, natural cane sugar and coconut oil
lemon zest, natural cane sugar and coconut oil

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!

Blueberry Lemon (Tie Dyed) Tea Cake - gluten free
Blueberry (Tie Dyed) Tea Cake – gluten free

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

Blueberry Almond Oatmeal Scones with Blueberry Mascarpone

Blueberry Almond Scones topped with Blueberry Mascarpone

Blueberry Almond Scones topped with Blueberry Mascarpone

It occurs to me that maybe I should have named this blog Lemon & Oats or Oatmeal & Zest, considering how many of my recipes here include both oats and lemon. So, here’s one more for you… Blueberry Almond Oatmeal Scones, and yes they even have lemon zest!  I really do love scones, probably even more than muffins or cookies, they make a tasty little breakfast treat or afternoon snack.  They are delicious on their own or even better topped with a little cream cheese and jam, like the mascarpone cream cheese jam I used here.  blueberry almond oatmeal sconesFor a more substantial breakfast, serve with a side of yogurt and berries OR as a “breakfast dessert” with your eggs.  Some people in my home have even been known to top theirs with a smear of peanut or almond butter, also quite tasty.  If you’re a traditionalist or hail from the British Isles, you may question my use of the term scone here, but to me these are my perfect Americanized interpretation with a nice crumby texture, not too moist and not too dry.  I use a lot less butter than many versions, but the yogurt adds extra moisture and a little tang, plus some protein to boot.  I love scones with all kinds of mix ins and though the rest of my family will almost always opt for chocolate, I prefer a mix of fruit and nuts, which often leads to multiple versions being made all on the same morning! Blueberries and almonds are one of my favorite combinations, they just work well together and lemon zest adds a little bit of extra flair to the flavor.  I use a combo of vanilla and almond extracts here, but you could easily go with all of one or the other if you prefer.  A quick and easy recipe perfect for any lazy weekend morning.  blueberry almond oatmeal scones

Blueberry Almond Oatmeal Scones

Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones

Makes 16 scones

Ingredients:

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

½ cup all purpose unbleached flour

1 cup old fashioned oats

1 Tablespoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ cup natural cane sugar

2 Tablespoons brown sugar

Zest of ½ lemon

 

3 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter – cut into small cubes

 

1 extra large egg

½ cup plain yogurt (Greek or regular is fine, vanilla would be ok too, just a little sweeter)

¼ cup milk of your choice (I use plain soy milk, but cow, almond, etc should work just fine)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ teaspoon almond extract

 

¼ cup slivered almonds

1 cup blueberries – fresh or frozen

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Maple Drizzled Gingerbread Scones

 Maple Drizzled Gingerbread Scones

maple gingerbread scones with maple drizzle

maple gingerbread scones with maple drizzle

Happy 2015 to you all, and to start off the New Year, here’s another taste of the holiday season with these maple gingerbread scones. maple gingerbread scones

I love making gingerbread cookies this time of year, something I was introduced to when I spent my first Christmas Eve with Colin’s family way back when we met in college.  A few years later, my mother in-law “faxed” (that gives you an idea of how very long ago this was…) me a recipe she found for a very traditional Scandanavian gingerbread complete with cardamom and then she gifted me my first jar of the very same spice, a rare and expensive find at the time.  I’ve seen so many recipes for various gingerbread cookies, cakes, etc that do not include cardamom, but to me gingerbread just isn’t the same without.  It is an intense spice, a very small amount is all you need and if it’s not to your taste or you have trouble finding it, you could certainly skip it.  If you like Indian food, cardamom pods are those strange looking green things found in many restaurant’s “fragrant basmati rice”.

When I saw Pinch of Yum’s recipe for maple glazed gingerbread scones, I knew I just had to try them, since I both love gingerbread and scones!  Of course I changed up the recipe a bit, adding oats as I seem to do with almost every baked good and of course adding in cardamom as I do with my gingerbread cookies (you’ll have to wait until next Christmas for that recipe!).  I also cut back a bit on the butter and sugar and swapped out the milk for buttermilk.  What you end up with is a dense, cakey textured scone (which is just perfect to me) with a good hit of spice.  The scones themselves are just lightly sweet, so the maple drizzle adds a nice extra bit of moist sweetness without making them cloyingly so.

heart shaped cookie cutterThese maple gingerbread scones make a nice breakfast treat with a little side of yogurt if you like.  Also perfect for an afternoon snack.  I like to make mine with a heart shaped cookie cutter, but you could use a square or round cutter if you prefer or even just cut them by hand into squares or triangles. 

maple gingerbread scones

Maple Drizzled Gingerbread Scones

Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones

Adapted from “Pinch of Yum” Maple Glazed Gingerbread Scones

Makes about 11-12 scones

Ingredients:

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup all purpose unbleached flour

1 cup old fashioned oats

1 Tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground cloves

¾ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)

4 Tablespoons frozen unsalted butter – grated

1 extra large egg

¼ cup real maple syrup

¼ cup molasses

½ cup buttermilk (I use lowfat)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

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Chocolate Ganache Raspberry Tart

Chocolate Ganache Raspberry Tart

Growing up, Colin and his sisters created what became their family’s favorite special occasion decadent treat, aptly named “chocolate death cake”.  The creation was a combination of a boxed chocolate cake mix with chocolate pudding mix and extra chocolate chips all mixed together and baked up with raspberry jam spread between the two finished cake layers, topped with (canned) chocolate frosting, not bad actually for kids growing up way back in the 80’s!  If you ask me, chocolate and raspberries are such a perfect combination, even with a highly processed cake mix it’s still pretty damn good, although it is hard for me to get past the canned frosting. So, a few years after we married, I started tinkering with the recipe, one to make it a bit more “homemade” and two to “gourmet it up”.  Over the years, I’ve made many different versions of “chocolate death cake” to celebrate Colin’s birthday, originally sticking a bit more to the traditional idea and then veering off into the flourless cake realm. For this year’s version, I created a decadently delicious chocolate ganache tart with a raspberry cream layer and believe it or not, it’s gluten free, dairy free and vegan!  But, please don’t let that scare you off, even the most diehard chocolate fan won’t notice the difference.

Last Thanksgiving, my sister-in-law Megan requested that I contribute something chocolaty and decadent for dessert, for which I made a slightly adapted version of vegan chocolate truffles from Giada’s latest cookbook “Giada’s Feel Good Food”.  Homemade cashew cream replaced the traditional heavy cream in the truffles and they were a huge hit! So, when I was planning Colin’s birthday treat, I decided to use the same recipe but transform it into a tart.  The cashew cream recipe creates more than is needed for the chocolate ganache, so I decided to mix up some of the extra cream with frozen raspberries and a little raspberry jam to sandwich between two layers of the ganache, the result was good enough to share and then some. Frozen Raspberries

For the crust, I toyed between a few different ideas; graham cracker, chocolate cookie crumb, etc but ultimately decided to make a wheat and butter free crust just to keep with the theme (adapted from Suburban Girl Gone Country’s almond oat crust).  I used ground oats which I’m happy to eat in most anything and ground almonds which I think go particularly well with raspberries.  I added a little maple syrup for sweetness and moisture, plus coconut oil.  The crust looks beautiful and elegant and has a nice slightly crumbly texture.  There is a subtle flavor of coconut, as Skyler (hater of all things coconut) immediately pointed out.  So if you’re also not a fan, I think any flavorless oil would be okay to sub, or butter if you don’t need to keep it dairy free. 

The end result of this beautiful tart is not only perfect for the chocolate lover in your life (especially if that person is you!), good enough to serve to company or for any special occasion, but you can also feel good knowing you’re eating a treat that won’t send you into cardiac arrest. It might even be a little bit good for you too, the cashew cream provides healthy fats, protein and fiber, dark chocolate is high in antioxidants, oats and almonds are heart healthy and even the coconut oil is good for you! So go on and indulge and feel free to keep the healthy secrets to yourself, no one needs to know the decadent dessert you’re serving is actually good for them.

Colin’s Birthday Chocolate Ganache Raspberry Tart

Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones

Chocolate Ganache Raspberry Tart back view

Ingredients:

Tart Crust adapted from the blog the suburban girl gone country

1 cup Almond Meal

1 cup Oat Flour

¼ teaspoon Sea Salt

3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil

2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup

1 Tablespoon Water

½ teaspoon pure Vanilla Extract

Chocolate Ganache Fillingadapted from Giada’s Feel Good Food – vegan chocolate truffles

2/3 cup Cashew Cream – recipe follows

2 cups semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate – chips or chopped from bars (full disclosure, I use my favorite 60% cocoa chips from Ghiradelli, which are not dairy free, but if needed use your favorite dairy free chocolate)

1 teaspoon pure Vanilla Extract

1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup

Raspberry Cream Filling

1 cup fresh or frozen Raspberries

2 Tablespoons Raspberry Jam (seedless if you prefer)

1/3 cup Cashew Cream

Directions:

For the crust:

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a medium bowl combine, Almond Meal, ½ cup of the Oat Flour and salt.  Next add in Coconut Oil, Maple Syrup and Vanilla.  Mix completely with a fork, then add in the remaining half cup of Oat Flour and the water.  Continue to mix with a fork until the mixture resembles wet sand. IMG_5943

Lightly coat a tart shell (I use a 10 inch one with a removable bottom) with a little extra coconut oil and then pour in the crust mixture.  With clean hands (you could also use a piece of wax paper or parchment), press the crust into the shell, pushing up the sides until it is even all around the sides and bottom.

Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.  Note: if you wish to use the crust for a tart with a baked filling, only bake the tart for 8-10 minutes before filling and baking again.  Either way, allow the tart shell to completely cool before filling.

For the Cashew Cream:

Cashew CreamSoak 1 cup Raw Unsalted Cashews in 1 cup water for at least two hours or overnight.  In a high powered blender, blend soaked Cashews and Water about 1 minute until creamy.

For the Chocolate Ganache:

In a bowl over a small pot with slightly simmering water, add Chocolate and 2/3 cup of the Cashew Cream, stir occasionally until the chocolate is completely melted and combined with the cashew cream.  Once the chocolate is melted and thoroughly mixed with the cream, remove from the heat and add in Vanilla and Maple Syrup.  Allow to cool.

For the Raspberry Cream:

In a medium saucepan over low to medium heat, add in Raspberries, Jam and 1/3 cup Cashew Cream.  Stir and gently press the raspberries to break them up until everything is melted together.  If you don’t like the texture of the raspberry seeds (which I don’t mind at all), strain cooled raspberry cream through a small strainer, otherwise use the cream as is.

Finally to assemble the tart: (really the recipe comes together pretty quickly)Chocolate Ganache first layer

Raspberry Cream middle layer

Chocolate Ganache Top Layer

Pour about half of the cooled chocolate ganache into the cooled tart crust.  Carefully spread the ganache to completely cover the crust.  Chill for about 15 minutes in the fridge.

After 15 minutes, spread all of the raspberry cream over the ganache.  Place in the fridge to chill again.

After another 15 minutes, spread the remaining chocolate ganache over the chilled tart.  I leave about ½ inch of the raspberry cream around the edges exposed without covering in ganache.

Chill again in the refrigerator, this time for at least an hour to allow the ganache to fully firm up.Chocolate Ganache Raspberry Tart with whipped cream

Serve the tart with fresh raspberries and cream.  If you don’t need to keep your dessert vegan or dairy free, lightly sweetened fresh whipped cream is a perfect accompaniment.  Otherwise, whip up the remaining cashew cream (you should still have about 1/3 to ½ cup left) with a bit of maple syrup and serve that alongside the finished tart OR double the raspberry cashew cream recipe and use the leftover as a topping.  Raspberry sorbet would also be really good. Chocolate Ganache Raspberry Tart with fresh raspberries

Recipe Notes:

If you don’t have almond or oat flour, each can easily be made using whole or slivered almonds or whole oats ground in a high powered blender or food processor.  I also like using organic baby oatmeal cereal in place of oat flour.

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