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Egg Free Apple Cake

Egg Free Apple Cake

Egg free and refined sugar free, this cake has an interesting flavor twist that comes from the addition of nigella seeds. Why did I add nigella seeds to a cake? Just because I wanted to try them.

I loved seeing my eldest son (6 years old) trying to express the flavor when he took a bite of the cake. I asked him to tell me if he liked it, and then to describe what he thought it tasted like.  It made me giggle a little (on the inside of course!) watching him try to explain to me the flavor of the cake, there was some head scratching, frowning, and umming and aahhing as I watched his active little brain try to source a flavour connection, all the while taking bite after bite of his piece of cake. I have not used nigella seeds in any cooking previously so he most definitely had no reference point. My son described the after taste as a little bitter and I was extremely impressed and proud that he came up with that description. They are slightly bitter.  I found the seeds balanced the sweetness of the apple and gave the cake a moreish quality. The cake is not sweet, I would even say that it verges on savory. Give it a try and tell me how you would describe it.

My fussy little 3 year old also enjoyed this cake so that was enough for me to add it here for you to try at home.

Many kinders, schools and mother’s groups no longer allow food on site that contains ingredients that are considered to be high allergy risks. Egg is one of these allergens that may be on the banned list.  This cake is a lovely option if that is the case. It can be a challenge coming up with baked goods that are allergy-friendly and will not pose a risk to those impacted.

I sourced the nigella seeds from the South Melbourne Market. If you have trouble finding them, or it sounds a little too weird for you then replace with cinnamon, chia seeds or raw cocao nibs.

I hope that you enjoy my Egg Free Apple Cake with Nigella Seeds

Egg Free Apple Cake
 
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Egg free apple cake with nigella seeds. Egg free and refined sugar free, this cake is a perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea, or addition to school lunch boxes. An allergy friendly baked option for those locations that do not allow egg, nuts and other high risk foods to be brought on site.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 2 cups of grated apple - 4 x granny smith apples
  • 2 cups spelt flour
  • ¾ cup Rice Malt Syrup
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon Nigella seeds
Instructions
  1. Set the oven to heat to 160 degrees
  2. Add all of the ingredients to a bowl and mix to combine
  3. Line a cake baking tin with baking paper or oil lightly and then add the mixture to the pan. I used a loaf tin.
  4. Once the oven reaches the desired temperature bake in the oven for 50-55 minutes
  5. Test for readiness by inserting a skewer to the center of the cake. If it is removed cleanly it is ready.
  6. Remove from the oven and leave to sit for 5 minutes prior to removing from the tin to cool on a cake rack
Notes
If you are unable to source nigella seeds use cinnamon, chia seeds or raw cocao nibs instead.

Egg Free Apple Nigella CakeIs your school/kinder/mothers group egg free?  Have you used nigella seeds in cooking before? Did you enjoy them?

Kyrstie

 

 

 

 

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Healthy Lemon Tart

Healthy Lemon Tart

We absolutely love lemons and trees are laden with them at the moment!

Whether you have a lemon tree in your garden, or a family member with one, we thought the best way to use them all up is to put them to good use in a delicious lemon tart! However, this is not your regular lemon tart…

We set to work to create a much healthier version of your stock standard lemon tart.

Healthy Lemon Tart
 
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This healthy lemon tart is dairy free and refined sugar free. Fresh lemons and coconut make this wholesome dessert a popular family friendly recipe.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Crust:
  2. Lightly oil a tart mould. One with a removable base works well
  3. Mix the dry ingredients together in a medium/large bowl until well combined
  4. Break the coconut oil into small bits and use your finger tips to rub it into the dry ingredients until it combines
  5. Gently heat the Rice Malt Syrup and Coco Quench in a pan until it combines and then pour over the dry ingredients and stir to combine
  6. Place the mixture into the tart case and use your fingers to press it down until it is evenly lining the mould
  7. Place into the fridge to rest while you make the filling.
  8. Filling:
  9. Heat the coconut butter, Coco Quench and vanilla pod over medium heat
  10. When the butter has melted, add the lemon, the zest and the Rice Malt Syrup and bring to the boil
  11. Lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes
  12. Remove from the heat and take out the vanilla pod. Allow to cool *this will take approximately 35-40 minutes
  13. Meanwhile, whisk the egg, egg yolks and tapioca flour for a couple of minutes. Once the lemon mixture has cooled, add to the eggs and continue to whisk
  14. Pour the custard into the tart base and bake for 15-20 minutes
Notes
NOTE: The timing of this recipe does not include rest time of 35 - 40 min for the lemon filling to cool.

 When Pureharvest sent through this recipe too me it sounds so fabulous that I made it straight away! I had a few of our last lemons for the season left.  This is my tart below, made using this recipe and it was gorgeous. I used a couple of our last lemons for the season, a fitting way to farewell our homegrown lemons! Kyrstie.

Healthy Lemon Tart

 

 

 

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How to Grow Fresh Blueberries

How to grow fresh Blueberries

Plant:

Various cultivars will fruit at different times from December through to late Summer. Check with you local nursery for plants that are suited to your region. Many blueberry plants require a cold snap over Winter but the varieties have different requirements, with some plants being suitable for warmer climates.

Plant in late Autumn or early Winter

Blueberries require an acidic, free draining soil. I have been advised by a grower in the past that they recommend home gardeners grow them in pots so that the soil environment can be monitored and maintained. If you are interested in testing your soil, it should be a pH of 4-5.5 I have never bothered with testing, and the plants I have look lovely and healthy and have a promising crop developing this year.

Grow:

Water regularly, at the base of the plant.  The plant is a free form bush, no training or support is required.

grow fresh blueberriesFertalise plants in the Spring. Blood and Bone and Seaweed solution are my choices plus a few handfuls of compost from the heap as it is ready. I regularly (weekly, or fortnightly) add our coffee grounds to the base of the plants also. In Winter I tend to give them a break and use the coffee in other areas of the garden.

Mulch around the base of the plants to retain moisture as the roots are close to the surface. Pine needles, and wood chips, coffee grounds and tea leaves all will assist to maintain an acid soil.

Add netting over the plant to protect the developing fruit from birds, and maybe the children also!

Net blueberries to keep out birds

Blueberry plants may also require some further cover or protection on extreme weather days (as with all plants) to prevent leaf burn.

As the plants develop remove about a third of the old wood (after 3-4 years). The blueberries will crop on older wood.  You may wish to prune out any branches that are too close to the ground and those that are weak. While the plant is essentially a bush it requires good air circulation around the center of the plant as with fruit trees. Remove any small central branches that are crossing into the center also.

Plants are said to reach full cropping potential after five or six years. Last year we had two small blueberry bushes, they are young, small plants and we harvested enough fruit for the kids to head out and collect a small handful each day.  This year I have added an additional three plants of varying varieties so am hoping to have a much larger crop over the coming years, with enough to cook with and freeze.

Berries are deciduous/semi deciduous with the leaves turning a glorious red in Winter. It is recommended that you have two species of blueberry plants that fruit around the same time to ensure pollination.

I have not encountered any pests or issues growing blueberries to date.

Harvest:

Avocado blueberry dairy free ice cream

Harvest fruit when it is plump, soft and deep blue in color.

Blueberries will freeze well. They may be frozen whole, or pureed and frozen in ice cubes to use in baking or juices.

Below you will find a few links to my recipes so that you can enjoy your blueberry harvest:

Avocado and Blueberry Dairy Free Ice Cream

Blueberry Yoghurt Muffins

Spelt Banana Blueberry Muffins

References:

Kitchen Harvest: Susan Berry, Frances Lincoln, London, 2002

1001 Hints & tips for the Garden 2nd ed.: Dr Judyth McLeod, Readers Digest, Utlimo, 2007

Organic Gardening in Australia: Pauline Pears (ed.) Dorling Kindersley, Campberwell, 2003

 

Are you growing Blueberries? Do you have any additional tips that you can provide?

Kyrstie

 

 

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Spring Onion and Kale Pancakes

Chinese Style Spring Onion Pancakes

+ Chilli Dipping Sauce

Spring Onion Kale Pancakes

We live in a regional area of Victoria and to date eating dumplings has meant making them from scratch or buying them from the Farmers Market. We had a period of time where we ate them every Sunday. The kids adored them.  After a while I became sick of the sight of them so we phased them out and started “Sunday Snacks”, featuring a range of light finger food that we enjoy on the deck relaxing as a family at the end of the week. There is no dinner cooked on a Sunday night.

Recently we have had a Dumpling restaurant open near us and one of the items that we ordered from the menu was Spring Onion Pancakes. It was love at first bite. Totally addictive, crisp on the outside, soft in the middle and fabulous dipped in a chilli-based sauce.

This recipe recreates those pancakes, my way. I have added in some fresh garden ingredients.  To date we have not been fully utilising the spring onions from the garden but that has now changed and I planted some more yesterday. We still have some lemons left from this seasons harvest so I also added the zest from a lemon to freshen up the recipe plus some gorgeous home grown kale.  I foresee that these will probably feature on our Sunday Snacks menu for a little while and also across the Christmas entertaining period as they make a great finger food.

The Chilli dipping sauce that I have made to accompany these pancakes is a little bit spicy, but not too full on. Add a whole chilli if you like it hot.  This recipe would also make a great dipping sauce for rice paper rolls. Alternatively, my home made sweet chilli sauce would work also.

Note: The flour that you use is important in this recipe. I attempted to make these pancakes with other types of flour – Organic White Spelt Flour and Organic Rye as well as Organic White Flour and they did not work as well. They were less fluffy, more dense.  The recipe requires a very light flour thus the use of OO Flour.

Spring Onion and Kale Pancakes
 
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Crisp on the outside and soft in the middle. Chinese style spring onion and kale pancakes with lemon zest and a chilli dipping sauce.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetiser
Cuisine: Chinese
Serves: 3
Ingredients
  • Pancakes:
  • 1 and ½ cup OO Flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon Organic Sesame Oil
  • ½ cup hot water
  • ½ cup chopped spring onions
  • ½ cup chopped kale
  • 1 small lemon - zest
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (melted) plus extra for cooking
  • Chilli Dipping Sauce:
  • 1 and ½ tablespoons Tamari (or Soy Sauce)
  • ½ tablespoon Organic Sesame Oil
  • ½ long red chilli chopped (or more if desired)
  • 1 teaspoon grated palm sugar
  • 1 cm fresh ginger grated
  • 1 lime - juice
  • fresh coriander leaves
Instructions
  1. To make the pancakes:
  2. Add the flour, salt, sesame oil and hot water to a bowl and mix to combine
  3. Use your hands to knead the dough until it is smooth in texture and springy and soft to touch
  4. Cover with a clean tea towel and set aside to rest for 30 minutes
  5. Once the dough has rested divide it into 3 pieces and roll out each one thinly into a round shape
  6. Brush each piece of dough that you have rolled some melted coconut oil
  7. Add some of the spring onion, kale and lemon zest to the top of the dough after it has been brushed with oil, pick up the edge closest to you and roll it away from you into a log. Flatten it slightly with your hands
  8. Brush the top of the log with some more melted coconut oil and then roll up again in the opposite direction (see image below)
  9. Flatten with the heel of your hand and then roll out flat again - not quite as thin as previously.
  10. Repeat with each third until all are complete.
  11. Set a pan to medium hot heat and add coconut oil for cooking
  12. Cook each pancake for a couple of minutes, turning over a few times until cooked through (this takes about 3-4 minutes)
  13. Cut into wedges and serve hot with the dipping sauce
  14. To make Chilli Dipping Sauce:
  15. Add the ingredients to a bowl and stir to combine
  16. Extra sauce will keep in the fridge for a couple of days
Notes
An iron pan is perfect for cooking these as it provides a high, even temperature.
It is important to use a good quality organic, cold pressed sesame oil or the flavor will be too strong and overpower the other ingredients.

Roll Filled Pancakes

Cook Pancakes

Spring Onion Kale Chinese Pancakes

What are you snacking on this weekend?

Kyrstie

 

 

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