This Fuller Life

Building health, sustainability and community.

Category: Baked Goods (page 1 of 3)

HerbFest 2014: Ginger 3 Ways

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I am taking a class this semester at UGA called Herbs, Spices, and Medicinal Plants. We have learned about medicinal plants, taken field trips to different gardens around campus and as our final project we got to participate in HerbFest.  It is a chance for each student to pick a medicinal plant, prepare it in 3 different ways and share about it through a poster. At the end of the semester everyone sets up their chosen herbal preparations in the ballroom in our student center.  HerbFest happened today, and with 250 students in the class we completely filled the ballroom with all kinds of interesting herbal preparations ranging from herbal candles, soap, first aid kits, hangover cures, shoe deodorizers, and lots of food. Being an herbalist in training, I spent a long time deliberating over what plant I would choose. However, I went with my gut and decided to pick a medicinal plant that I could make into food. For truly, it is the best medicine.  Continue reading

Sweet Potato Apple Tart (sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free)

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Necessity is the mother of invention.

Let me explain.

This past weekend I was hanging out with all my herbie friends for another herbal weekend in the mountains. We usually do potluck meals, and let me tell you, potlucks with herbalists are the best! Some of our weekend eats included, kale salad with lemon vinaigrette,  pumpkin ginger soup, thai red curry soup, spaghetti squash with home canned tomato sauce, beet salad, gluten free chocolate cupcakes, and so much more! Even with all the food everyone brought, we didn’t have anything planned for breakfast on Sunday.

I saw someone brought dates and coconut that could be made into a crust, someone else brought a half of a sweet potato, and someone else brought apples. We found some cinnamon and all of a sudden a breakfast tart was in the making! This is my favorite part about cooking. Using what you have to meet the need.  Continue reading

Chocolate Buttermilk Cake with Coffee Buttercream Icing

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Another week and another wedding cake :). I somehow managed to schedule 2 wedding cakes and a  birthday cake over the course of 2 weeks. Despite some crazy moments in the middle, I had a great time doing it and I am so happy for my friends that are starting new lives together! Keep reading because at the end of this post I am sharing recipes for my chocolate buttermilk cake and coffee buttercream icing! Continue reading

Sourdough!

A picture of Chris and I on Easter Sunday last week :). We had a wonderful Easter weekend visiting my family on Saturday and Chris’ family on Sunday. I LOVE being around my families!

So, the topic for this post is SOURDOUGH! A few weeks ago I captured ‘wild yeast’ in my kitchen and created my very own living sourdough starter. It sounds more exciting than how the actual process went down, but the outcome of a happy and bubbly starter was quite the happy occasion. Basically, I stirred together flour and water every 12 hours, and by the 5th day I had a bubbling starter ready to be used in baking.

I have to say upfront that the secret to my success in making all of these sourdough recipes is the Sourdough A to Z e-book that I purchased from the people at GNOWFGLINS. It is $20, which may seem pricey for an e-book, but it is over 150 pages long and is unbelievably comprehensive. It has information about starting your own starter, a long list of resources and recipes, starter routines, and how to preserve your starter. I purchased the e-book along with 4 other e-books for a deal that was running a few weeks ago for $7.50. I was thrilled with getting such a good deal on such a comprehensive book. After using it frequently over the last couple of weeks, I wouldn’t think twice about paying full price because it is such a great deal. I also plan on printing it out and keeping it in a binder in my kitchen because I am using it so often. Another thing I love about it is all the recipes give instructions for soaking/souring all the flour which makes for a much healthier end product.

So, let me show you what I have done with my sourdough over the last couple of weeks.

Pizza dough after souring for 8 hours.

Kale and mozzarella pizza.

My first sourdough loaf! There is a long story about how things went down with this recipe. Basically it involves having a dough that was too wet, putting too much dough in the pan, and baking bread at midnight so it didn’t overflow. It still turned out delicious though and despite cutting the rise time short there was a lot of rich sour flavor and a good crumb. I am amazed by the flavor with only flour, salt, water, and starter.

Fried eggs and avocado on my first slices of homemade sourdough bread. Hmmm… so delicious.

In the back (left) I have bread dough, the bowl on the right is for sweet potato sourdough cinnamon rolls, and in the front I have dough souring to make coffee cake.

I let the bread go through it’s second rise overnight in the bread pan and it over-rose and spilled out of the pan. Here are the remnants. The bread still turned out delicious, I just need to put less bread dough in my pan so it doesn’t spill over.

Even with rising all night and spilling over the pan, the texture is still really good. Look at all those air pockets! Next time I will just split the dough in half and make two loaves instead of one and I think that will fix the spillage problem.

Blueberry sourdough coffee cake that we ate for breakfast this morning. It was very tender and flavorful without being too sour. I probably could have added a little more sugar as it needed a touch more sweetness. But I will definitely be making this again.

Sweet Potato Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls. I made these for small group tonight, which got cancelled. So I haven’t tried them yet. But they sure look good!

Sourdough Crackers that are unbelievably crunchy and delicious. I brought these to our family dinner on easter and these were the few crackers that were left.

I have also made 4-5 batches of waffles (that are just sourdough starter mixed with some eggs and butter and a few other things) and english muffins.

Obviously sourdough started is a lot more versatile than I ever imagined and I have only cracked the surface of the recipes they have in the e-book. Things that I want to make soon include sourdough crepes, tortillas, gingerbread, pitas, and biscuits.

White bean cake. With options.

Blueberry White Bean Coffee Cake
I would like to present to you my all time favorite way to eat beans. White Bean Vanilla Cake. Several months ago I found this recipe on The Spunky Coconut blog, and since my discovery I have made it at least a dozen times. It utilizes white beans, lots of eggs, coconut flour, honey, coconut oil, and the essentials like salt, vanilla, baking soda, etc. This cake is delicious for breakfast, lunch, dinner or anything in-between. From someone who chronically forgets to pack snacks, my solution is to eat a huge breakfast that will tide me over until lunch or whenever I get home from work. Eating just one piece of this cake for breakfast will keep me feeling satisfied for hours. Of course it also tastes great between lunch and dinner, or after dinner for dessert. 
Being the recipe rebel that I am, I always do something different each time I make it. Like the cake pictured above. I made the normal recipe but added 2 cups blueberries, 1 tsp cinnamon, and a streusel topping of unsweetened coconut, oats, coconut oil and honey. 

One time I made Zucchini Bean Cake. 

I used one less egg, added two cups of shredded zucchini, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, and added 1/2 cup of oats to soak up the extra liquid from the veggies. 

Delicious!
Other variations that I have made that are not pictured are Sweet Potato Bean Cake with one less egg, 1/2 cup sweet potato, spices, and 1/4 cup extra of oat flour. Banana Bean Cake with 2 mashed up bananas and  of course cinnamon and other spices. I have made it with only coconut flour, with a blend of coconut flour and oat flour, with brown rice flour only, oat flour only, and one time with a blend of sorghum and corn flour. I have also used butter and olive oil in place of the coconut oil when I ran out. I have also experimented with different types of sweeteners. I have topped it with an avocado fudge frosting, chocolate tofu frosting, and of course streusel toppings. Future flavors I would like to try are chocolate and coconut for a sweeter dessert cake, cornmeal and fresh corn instead of coconut flour to make it like cornbread, and pumpkin. 
I hope this has inspired you to try something new. With a basic recipe, the options for adaptations and experimentation are endless! I have enjoyed every variation and I look forward to making many more recipes of this white bean cake in the future. 
Now for the big question. How do you feel about beans in your desserts?

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