Sunday, June 23, 2013

Hummus from dried chickpeas

I love hummus, and I have tried making my own several times, but never loved a recipe enough to make it again. That has finally changed. This is not any kind of special flavored hummus, just a straightforward recipe, but it is the creamiest version I have ever made. I don't know if it is because it's made from dried chickpeas or its the correct ratio of ingredients, but whatever it is, it is delicious. I love dipping veggies or Mary's Organic crackers in my hummus or using it as a spread on sandwiches or pizza. I didn't add the oil in. I drizzled it on top because I love the flavour of olive oil. You can whip it all together if you prefer it that way.

Hummus from dried chickpeas
adapted very slightly from this recipe by Steve Cylka

2 C dried chickpeas
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
juice of half a lemon
3 Tbsp tahini
3 garlic cloves
1/3 C olive oil
1 Tbsp cumin

1. Place the chickpeas in a large bowl and cover with water. Soak overnight in the fridge.
2. Drain the chickpeas, and place in a pot. Cover the peas with fresh water and the baking soda
3. Bring the chickpeas to a boil, and let boil for 10 minutes. Then turn the heat down to a low boil for about 40-50 more minutes. The chickpeas should be very soft.
4. Drain the chickpeas and let them cool to room temperature
5. Place the chickpeas, salt, lemon juice, tahini, and garlic in a food processor and process until smooth and creamy. if you like a thinner consistency, you can add some water, but I didn't think it was necessary. At this point, I stopped and froze some of the hummus.
6. To serve, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with cumin.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Watermelon Cake

This idea is not mine - I'm really not that creative! There are many variations on YouTube. They are so cute that I had to give it a try. Everyone loved it,  and it was really fun to make.

It is the perfect refreshing treat for a summer party, especially if there are food intolerances you have to keep in mind. It's nut free, grain free, vegan, and dairy free, so it should be okay for just about everyone. It's also very healthy, so its okay for someone with diabetes or someone trying to watch their calorie intake.

Watermelon cake

1 large watermelon that is evenly rounded ( no flat edges)
Other fruit of your choice ( make sure you choose a variety of colors)
1 can full fat coconut milk
cookie cutters
melon baller

Coconut Cream:
1. Place the full can of coconut milk in the refrigerator the night before you want to make the cake
2. Remove can from fridge and open.
3. There should be a layer of liquid which has formed on top. Discard the liquid.
4. Put the remaining cream in a bowl and whip just like you would whipped cream.

Fruit Preparation
1. Cut off the top and bottom of the watermelon so that it will sit flat at both ends.
2. With the melon sitting on one of the cut edges, use a serrated knife to cut off the remainder of the skin. Try to cut lengthwise in straight lines.
3. Cut off any extra white patches that are visible, and try to round the edges as much as possible.
4. Slice the melon into 2 pieces. One of them will be the bottom layer of the cake. The other one will be the top layer. You will have to cut off some of the melon from the top layer to give the cake a tiered effect.
5. Next make your decorations using a melon baller, cookie cutters, and whatever else you may like.

Cake assembly:
1. Place the lower tier on a very sturdy large plate. This is a heavy cake!
2. Put a layer of coconut whipped cream on the bottom layer
3. Place the second tier on top, then coat it with a layer of coconut cream.
4. Decorate the cake as you choose, using toothpicks to hold everything together. Make sure to warn your guests of the toothpicks:)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Anna's Granola

My favorite granola recipe is not as sweet as most of the store bought varieties. In the summer, I eat it for breakfast most mornings with some plain yogurt and fruit (usually whatever berry is freshest that week). You know I have strawberries in my bowl this week! I hope you enjoy it. 

Anna's Granola

4.5 C large flaked rolled oats
1/2 C slivered or chopped almonds
1/2 C pumpkin seeds
1/2 C sunflower seeds
1/4 C sesame seeds
1/2 C walnuts
1/2 C maple syrup
2 Tbsp molasses
1/4 cup light tasting oil ( like canola)
Raisins to taste ( or other dried fruit(s) of choice)

1. Preheat oven to 350 F
2. Stir together all ingredients except raisins in large bowl until dry ingredients are all coated
3. Spread on a parchment paper  lined baking sheet
4. Bake for 15 -20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. I like mine on the darker side, but if you don't watch carefully so it doesn't burn. 
5. Once cool, stir in raisins
6. Store at room temperature in an airtight container. 
7. Enjoy with yogurt and fruit.