Wholefood Cooking

Tahini, Orange + Date Gluten Free Muesli Bar

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I know, it’s been ages since I’ve been here – it’s been a busy time teaching, getting my back pergola in and working on the on-line classes that will be launching around mid June. I am so excited about both things – the pergola because this means I can now sort out the paving, which means I can then get the garden started. I have so missed having a back garden, where I can grown even a handful of vegetables, so getting the garden in is the plan for over winter. I can see this is a bit of a metaphor for my own self too – a new garden to be planted with seeds and a new path to travel. On -line classes represent this new path for me and I can see that this will free me up to be able to far better respond to your needs. You already invite me into your homes, honour me by making me a part of your lives as you cook and eat from my books. But there is only so much you can say and show in a book (so much is edited out), and oh my I do have a lot to say to you and show you ! All to help you understand the WHY  something is good, the WHAT and then the HOW to use it, so you get to nourish yourself and those you love in the easiest possible (and most delicious) ways.

Where I have been though, is letting my newsletter subscribers in on what I’m buying and eating each month – seasonality of ingredients is a huge issue, and so often the best place to start when we are working out what to eat. I’ve noticed though that so many people no longer know what actually is in season, and thought this might be a bit of a guide. Lots of other good things go on in my newsletters (recipes, first in line for events, classes, discounts, treats) and if you would like to stay connected with what’s happening more often, I’d love to welcome you to our community. All you need to do is go HERE. And, I’m more than happy if you’d like to shoot me an email and tell me how I can help you, what is it that you are struggling with ? I’m easy to reach jude@wholefoodcooking.com.au

But  I’m here today with a recipe I hope you will love. That’s just my photo there – I’ve missed having the lovely Harriet Harcourt here taking her gorgeous photo’s but I think it shows the muesli bar off quite well.

This bar was the result of our CONVERSION CLASS – taking a recipe and converting it to the individual restrictions. The brief for this was ‘please make me a yummy gluten free, dairy free, egg free, muesli bar’. All good conversions start generally with a cup of tea and a good think. These are the points I thought about:

  • First up – flavour. Gluten free quinoa and amaranth flakes are very strongly flavoured, so how do we tone that down? I have been an admirer of the Tahini,Orange and Coconut gluten free muesli by my good friend Emma Galloway – seriously, she had me at the word tahini. So what if we really went tahini, orange, date, cardamon – this would go a long way to balancing out those strong quinoa / amaranth flavours.
  • Secondly – texture. I felt the bar needed a bit of chew, to be somewhere along the line of a muesli bar and that classic Womens Weekly Oat and Sultana Slice. A bit of chew would allow the eater to also fully experience the dates and dried fruit. Brown Rice Syrup is a perfect candidate for this, giving a lovely crisp exterior but chewy interior. ( I have a huge preference for the Spiral brand – this is a wholesome product, far superior to the many highly refined ones on the market). The honey adds a bit more depth of flavour and sweetness, with a lovely chew also. You will also note the 1/4 cup true arrowroot – this was to help break up the quinoa and amaranth flakes with a bit of chew – it would also help to bind the bar together.

I hope you enjoy it….. I’m sorry it’s not standardised into gm/ or straight cups, but I feel pretty confident it will work !

And Easter ? This glorious time of descending and cooling energy in the Southern Hemisphere and the welcoming of the light and sun in the Northern Hemisphere ? Here are a couple of old blog posts (so not great photo’s but trust me, great food)…..

Wishing you a blessed, peaceful Easter….

x  Jude 

 

Walnut and Yoghurt Cake

Fish Pie for Easter

 

Ingredients

DRY MIX
13/4 cups quinoa flakes
1/4 cup true arrowroot starch (or tapioca)
100gm nut/seeds (we used lightly toasted sesame seeds, roasted hazelnuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds) - roughly chopped where required.
1/2cup desiccated coconut
1 cup dried fruit (fresh dates will have a better texture, figs, raisins and sultana's) roughly chopped
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon mace
seeds of 8 cardamon pods crushed
zest of 1 1/2 - 2 oranges (be generous)
3 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
WET MIX
90 ml coconut oil - in a liquid form
60ml hulled tahini
60ml brown rice syrup
40ml honey

A note regarding ingredients… I have a preference for hulled tahini – I know lots of people will say unhulled is better as it is a rich source of calcium. But alas, that calcium will be bound in the hull with oxalic acid, so you won’t get it – that bitterness you taste in unhulled tahini? That’s oxalic acid. Lots of other places to get your calcium (hello bone stock).

Directions

This is super easy to make. Pre heat oven to 160 or 130 if fan forced. Too high a heat will crack the bar too much. Line a 20cm baking tin with baking paper and ensure that you don’t cut it into the corners, or the syrups will stick.

Mix the dry ingredients together, mix the wet ingredients together and then mix the wet and dry together well. Place into the tin and press down well. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes, or until the edges are a little crispy. I noted that it cracks and lifts when it starts to overcook. Remove from oven and ensure it is absolutely cool before moving and cutting.