Wholefood Cooking

Category: Grains

Asparagus, Kale and Barley Risotto

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Hello there !!

Yes, I know – a long time between posts. I have to tell you honestly, that how much can we do ? Has this been an extraordinarily busy year for you too ? I just checked and my last blog post was in July ! I can’t tell you where that time went, but most likely into trips to the East Coast (Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast) for classes, talks and book launches. Oh my goodness. Then home finally to settle into my new house, and actually make it home (I still haven’t photo’s, but are working on that). Between settling in and unpacking, I have been down to Albany for the Food for Thought Festival, and Margaret River for classes and talks, and am now currently running a 4 week intensive – a kind of mini Whole and Natural Foods Chef Training Program (as I couldn’t run the full program in this crazy, busy year). Don’t get me wrong, I’m not whinging, and I love what I do, but certainly thinking that it seems that we are all being asked to just do so much more, and there is only so much more we can do. Somedays to be honest, social media is just a step to far. So, right now as the year comes to a close, and I’m super busy, I am making sure I walk in the cool, very early morning and smell the earth, listen to the birds, and connect deeply to why I do what I do,so that I can remember when you and I connected (perhaps it was on the Sunshine Coast at the book launch, or in Sydney in class, or in Perth when i saw you at the farmers market) so it doesn’t just become work, and so that I can – in all the working –  also just be me. I do hope you are taking some time for you, and sometimes, just saying no to too much.  x Jude

But for now, we did Barley, Asparagus Risotto in class the other day and it’s such a simple, easy dish that I thought you might enjoy it. Everything is in season right now, so it’s a great choice.

As the year finishes, I do have a couple of treats in – store for you.

  • For those who couldn’t get into the free The Week Before Christmas class (or aren’t in Perth),  I am running a free webinar – no date just yet, so stay tuned. It will be all about being organised with delicious food so that busy week before Christmas is so much easier, and more delicious.
  • I have 1 set of all my books (yes, including Wholefood Baking) to give away. Stay tuned for that competition shortly. You will need to be subscribed to the newsletter to be in this competition.
  • Many of you ask about Wholefood Baking, and truly it’s a crazy story. It sold out, won awards, yet Murdoch have not re printed… but I think (think) a reprint is in the works. Ebooks are available.
  • I have copies of all books (other than Wholefood Baking), ready to wrap and send to you for Christmas Presents. My elves are at the ready to wrap and post (and I will sign of course). Postage for 1 = $10.00, Postage for 2 = $15 Postage for 3 = $15, Postage for 4 = $20.00 (Australia only) All $AUD Just email me your order to jude@wholefoodcooking.com.au
  • WHOLEFOOD heal – nourish – delight  | this is my first book at a special price for you now of $30.00 (normally $50.00)
  • COMING HOME TO EAT (Wholefood for the Family) | my second book, and whilst I love all of books, this book has some of my much loved family favourites. Must cook – Mango, Cashew Chicken. Oh, and Lemon Coconut Teacake – both wonderful for summer, and easy. ($30.00 normally $40.00)
  • WHOLEFOOD FOR CHILDREN – Nourishing young children with whole and organic food  | my third book, and wonderful for anybody also with a dodgy tummy or gut as the principles are the same. This is also great family food. $45.00
  • WHOLE FOOD FROM THE GROUND UP  | my latest baby – released in June this year. I am incredibly proud of this book (well all my books) but I can tell you, this has my most up to date, wholistic information – I see a better and more whole lay of the land so to speak, with many absolutely delicious, and not difficult recipes. $40.00

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Smoky Beetroot, Lentil and Millet Burgers

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This recipe is a bit of an out take from my new book WHOLEFOOD From the Ground Up (which I can excitedly say, is out 1st June). It was one of the very first recipes I toyed with and it evolved on to become something else, but I wanted to see it come to realization. I do love a nice, deeply flavoured and toothsome vegetarian pattie (too many are just mushy) to put in a burger, or just as happy without. This pattie follows the path of one of my favourite principles – try and be prepared for the week, cook a pot of grain (in this case hulled millet) and cook a pot of legumes (in this case green lentils), to use in any number of ways – but here, as the smoky beetroot burger. I’m writing this up for the Easter break as I think it would make a perfect lunch, or dinner over this most wonderful break.

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There are a few things I need to tell you about this recipe. These are really quite quick to throw together, especially if you have lentils already cooked. I would suggest you cook the millet (and make extra if you would like for another use) just before you need it – the warmth will make it a little stickier, which is helpful here (you will have a little left over, but it’s far easier to get the liquid ratio perfect with 1/2 cup millet, so use it for a stuffing, or a salad !). Also, the lentils need to be well cooked – once drained, it will help the whole sticking together thing if they are mashed just a little bit. In the end however, they will stay together, no matter how unlikely you think that will be – the 2 eggs will do the trick. I also absolutely recommend that you soak your millet and lentils (this will make them more digestible), but if you forget or run out of time, cooking them in a bone stock such as chicken will buffer any nutrient losses, and make digestion just that bit easier. Also – the smoked paprika. I can tell you that all smoked paprika’s are not equal. Many of them can be quite bitter, especially when you have to add a fair bit to get a good smoky flavour. I use one that is a dulce (sweet) smoked paprika, and in Perth, Western Australia this is the brand I use. And a word in regards to the miso – both shiro (white) or chickpea are fine, and in Australia I have a preference for this brand (though, to be fair it is only available in limited places, and only on the east coast), otherwise this brand.

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I’ve served it here with great organic, wood fired sourdough that has been grilled, avocado, and homemade sweet chilli and sultana sauce. The greens you see there are the beetroot greens, but take note beetroot (especially the greens) are a high oxalic acid food. Heat breaks down oxalates, so I have cooked them gently in a little ghee – this way you will get all their goodies. Pile it all on the bread, slather it and it’s a hearty and delicious meal. A bit of goat curd would not go astray. And, finally if you are after a cake for the (hopefully) cooler Autumn weather over easter, can I suggest this Walnut and Yoghurt Cake. It’s an old post, so not brilliant photos, but I can guarantee, the cake is very good.

Wishing you all a restful, safe and heartfelt Easter… x jude

All photography ©Harriet Harcourt

My new book is available for pre order – in Perth, Western Australia here, Australia wide here and worldwide Book Depository here

Pack A Little Snack

TOMATO AND BASIL BARLEY PIKeLETS

A little snack pack in preparation for me to take on the road in case hunger strikes

These have been getting a fairly good run in my kitchen of late, mostly because they are so quick to put together, are delicious and keep well. They also pack exceptionally well, and will welcome a host of added extras – goat cheese and pesto spread on top is a particularly good combination. They are a great morning tea/snack after my usual breakfast – eggs any way, with ghee and seasonal vegetables – right now that’s often zucchini, corn and kale. Coby and Zay helped me make those ones in the picture this morning – they are my neices children. Coby walked in the door and said “lets make muffins” – thinking this was too much to do (lazy on my part really) I suggested pikelets, no Coby wanted muffins, so I told him they were muffins :). 

Coby loves to eat flour – ate about as much as he put in the bowl, plus lots on the bench and floor you can’t see

I’m a big fan of this kind of thing – in Australia we call it a pikelet, but more often than not in the U.S it will be called a drop scone. They’re so quick to wip up. I’ve used a barley flour and have a very big preference for the Four Leaf brand in Australia – it retains a good bit of bran and germ. Also in the bowl is wholemeal spelt flour and my preference is for Demeter Mills. If you give yourself a bit more planning time you can soak these overnight in the milk (see the recipe) and make the flour even more digestible. But, I love how easy spelt and barley are on the tummy, and the barley renders a low gluten end result. 

Add as much finely chopped tomato and herbs as you desire

Do give them a try, the barley gives them such a lovely earthy flavour. I like them served with lots of good butter. That’s it !!! Easy Peasy.

 TOMATO AND BASIL BARLEY AND SPELT PIKELETS

I’ve gone down a dairy path in this recipe, but you can easily make these dairy free. If using an oat or soy milk (both would be a good choice) add 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar to it. Replace the butter with olive oil. And, at times I’ve not had an egg to use, so did the chia seed trick – 1 teaspoon ground chia seed + 45ml water, stir and leave to sit until gooey = 1 egg. They will be a little bit denser, but are fine. Store left overs in an air tight container in the fridge and heat before serving to soften them up if desired. OMG just thought how delicious drippings from organic, nitrate free bacon would be to fry these in !!! Stable and delicious, a most definite win win. 

1 cup / 145 gm wholemeal spelt flour

1 cup / 110 gm barley flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

generous sprinkle of salt ( I used Herbamare)

generous grinding of black pepper

finely chopped tomato to taste

handful of fresh basil (or as much as you want)

optional grating of parmesan or pecorino cheese, but a soft goats cheese wouldn’t hurt either

1 egg

1/2 cup full cream, non homegenised milk

1/2 cup cultured buttermilk or yoghurt

30 gm unsalted butter, melted

extra butter or ghee, and extra virgin olive oil for frying

Add the flours, baking powder, salt and pepper to a mixing bowl and whisk through to evening distribute.  Add the tomato, basil and cheese if using and gently toss through. 

Add the egg to a small mixing bowl and beat together with the milk/cultured buttermilk/yoghurt and melted butter. Add to the dry ingredients and gently fold together until just combined. 

Add enough ghee and a touch of olive oil to cover the base of the frypan well. This is important, don’t skimp or your pikelets will stick. When the fat is hot but not at all smoking drop 1 tablespoonful mixture into the pan – the fat should gently sizzle. Continue to cook at a medium heat – they should take about 4 – 5 minutes each side. If the heat is too high they will burn before the inside is cooked (these are whole grain remember), if it’s too low, the pikelet will be soggy. Turn and cook on the other side for 3 – 4 minutes. You will need to top up the fat between batches, the patties absorbs them as they cook and that’s fine. This is good fat you are using. 

If soaking overnight, add the flours and salt to a bowl with the milk/s. There must be some acid in this  – the yoghurt or cultured milk will do the trick, but if dairy free make sure you have the apple cider vinegar in there. Cover and soak out at room temperature overnight. If you’re worried it’s too dam hot, put it in the fridge. The next morning add all other ingredients – it won’t look as liquid, don’t worry about. Don’t add any more milk. 

The Light is Changing

I’M LEAVING ON A JET PLANE 

(with a breakfast/lunch box so I won’t starve)

My sunset kitchen last week

Finally (and with much gratitude to nature on my part) the sun is sinking, and setting earlier. The energy is descending, and even though it’s still hot (it’s just been 41, 40 and 38.9c the past 3 days), the nights are cooler and you can most definitely feel Autumn in the air. And those full moon, hot day sunsets are just breathtaking. But, whilst this is taking place my energy needs to keep up – it has been and still is, all happening here! I head off to Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane this week. First stop is Melbourne for the wedding of good freinds and classes, with the cooler weather I know I’ll find there, a definite plus. I’ve even bought a cardigan and jumper !!! Whilst writing the classes, I was getting so excited – especially the Breakfast and Lunch Class for Adults and Children at School, Work and Play. I read this little quote somewhere recently that said if it was hard getting out of bed in the morning, your breakfast wasn’t delicious enough :) I can’t wait to make Poached Quinces and Vino Cotto with Goat Cheese or Labne  or the Pumpkin, Cheddar, Rosemary and Sage Gluten Free Scones – I’d most definitely get out of bed for that. Classes will be at The Green Grocer – such a gorgeous shop, and the owner Mary and I will chat ten to the dozen. Did I say how much I love Melbourne… I do. There’s still a couple of spots and you can contact Mary. I also love Essential Ingredient in Prahran (and Market Lane Coffee) and can’t wait to be back there for the To Market class.

Then, onto Sydney for Recipe Testing for the new book. Cakes, Biscuits, Pies – hard work, but I bear the burden. I’m going to post pictures on Facebook, so you can get a feel for what’s happening and how a book progresses.  Myself, Food Editor and Editor (and others) go down at approx 2.30 to pick apart or comment on what has been cooked (not by me) that morning. One has to have a robust ego, but it’s where I learn about the little things I do, that make a good end result and have not put in the recipe. I love recipe testing and it’s such an essential part of a good book. Then, I’m onto Brisbane for Nourishing Young Children class at Mondo Organics – I’m really looking forward to being there.

In the background, I am gearing up for the Whole and Natural Foods Chef Training Program. I was at an Anti GM talk 2 weeks ago given by French scientist Gilles Eric Seralini along with other Chefs and interested people from the food industry. It is one of the first times I’ve heard such grounded scientific reasoning and response to the pro GM lobby – coming from a scientist, it counts. But the interesting part was the conversation afterwards, where it got to the issue of how we train chefs – many of the young trainees there wanted and noted they received little or no education about the goodness of the food itself, how it’s grown and how it impacts on and in a human body. I was so excited to be able to say, “but you can, this is happening in the world – here in Perth, and in New York“. We need to change everything about how we relate to food – including how we train those who work in the industry. The Whole and Natural Foods Chef Training Program is a part of that change and it’s incredibly inspiring to see what some of the graduates from both New York and my program are doing.

BUT, to the food. I’ve learnt not to rely on plane food – mostly, it’s not edible. This is what I am taking for the plane trip – 5 odd hours, so I need something real. I’m making an old favourite – Stuffed Butternut Pumpkin – and one from my garden none the less. I’m going to take a treat also – some Chocolate Mousse. Whilst I’m on the plane, I’ll most likely be day dreaming about this – Heidi Swanson listed it recently on her Favourites list, and I’m biting – hook, line and sinker. It’s very me, I love it, I want to live in San Francisco – but alas, not this year. I’ll have to make do with our tour there next year. For now, I’m going to savour all the deliciousness, cool weather and friendship that Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane have to offer. I look forward to seeing you there…….

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I also made a quick plum crumble 

STUFFED BUTTERNUT PUMPKIN

Gluten Free, Can be Dairy Free

Top with seeds for a dairy free version (they will toast up in the oven) or grated cheese if desired – even goat cheese crumbled into the mix would be delicious. Play with the vegetables as desired – some cooked lentils would be a great addition and  increase the protein, as would a sprinkle of dulse flakes or a little arame sea vegetable (reconstituted of course). Serve with steamed greens (beans and kale) for dinner, or with a salad for lunch. 

1 medium butternut pumpkin

1/2 – 3/4 cup cooked grain – hulled millet is good, I used red quinoa

1 small onion – finely chopped

1 clove garlic – finely chopped

2 stems celery – finely chopped

2 medium carrots – finely diced – but you can see I didn’t have that, so I chopped up zucchini from the garden instead

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 – 2 corn kernels, freshly cut of the cob

1 – 2 tablespoons currants

1- 2 tablespoons lightly roasted pine nuts

fresh coriander or basil – I used basil

1 – 2 teaspoons wheat free tamari

sunflower and pumpkin seeds as desired

good melting cheese as desired

Pre heat oven to 180c or 165c if fan forced.

Cut the pumpkin in half lengthways, brush with a little extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with some fresh thyme or rosemary (not essential, but good). Bake for 20 – 30 minutes or until the flesh is soft, and I like it a little caramelised. 

Meanwhile, add a good tablespoon of that olive oil to a pan and gently saute the onion, garlic, celery and in my case zucchini until soft. After a few minutes add the cumin and stir through. You are not frying the vegetables, just cooking them through – covering with a lid will enable them to steam a little without frying. Add the corn kernels and cook for a further couple of minutes. 

Mix the cooked quinoa, vegetables, currants, pine nuts, herbs and 1 teaspoon tamari together – you can do this in the frying pan. When the pumpkin is ready and cooled a little, gently remove the bulk of the flesh from the skin – add this to the frying pan also and mix through – the pumpkin will help it all stick together.  Try to leave a little flesh on the pumpkin – it will help it to keep it’s shape. Taste and add tamari as needed.

Stuff this mixture into the pumpkin halves – there will be plenty, and any that you can’t fit in, will be good by itself. Either sprinkle with a few pumpkin and sunflower seeds, or top with cheese and bake for 15 – 30 minutes or until warm.

I’m Ready

CRICKET SUMMER HARVEST QUINICHE (quinoa + quiche)

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This is the holiday photo that I love – it’s the evening of my Godfathers 80th birthday at Rottnest just 1 (probably 2 weeks by now!)  week ago.  It is filled with people I love – my beautiful daughter Nessie, my gorgeous cousin Fran and her children – Josh, Zac and Charli – Jane (they of the Wholefood for Children dedication). We all got time to spend together (Fran and children live in Melbourne) and I got to see extended family that I haven’t seen for years.  You can see the Rottnest homes are very simple   – but what does one really need anyway? The picture reminds me of how I came to feel whilst there –  I slowed down and did indeed knit soul and mind together. If I was a wool scarf,  I would be truly coloured with deep and vibrant hues (no washing out) and no dropped stitches or odd bits – I think the scarf could be called beautiful.  I feel calm and strong. I feel clear, whole and vital. 

And I did read Joel Salatins’ new book “Folks, This Ain’t Normal – A Farmers Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People and a Better World” – in a word, loved it. Get it. My favourite bit….

” Long after the final i-gadget has been discovered, we’ll still yearn for hugs, kisses and personal conversation. When we’ve travelled to the last exotic place and finished participating in the last recreational or entertainment venue on our list, we will want a haven and we will call it home”. 

And with apologies to Joel (not meaning to plagiarise him) I would say this…

Long after we’ve achieved everything we have on our list, long after we’ve tried to do it all and skipped meals, grabbed a snack on the run or eaten the latest, fastest, 30 minute or 4 ingredients only meal, or thrown a frozen meal in the microwave, we will still do best – and indeed thrive – with whole and real food, and we will still yearn to slow down, to come home to the welcome smell of food cooking, and to sit with people that matter and talk, share and eat. 

The food we eat, the way we eat it and the pace of most lives today are just not normal. Certainly, yes people have worked very, very hard over the centuries and years, but they also understood the need for food as fuel, how food connects you to the earth (and the heavens I would add), when to stop and how important real, good and whole food is. They stopped and ate – and most often in some sort of community. This ‘normal’ that we see now? The prevailing view that skipping meals is fine, eating carbohydrate, sugar and caffeine drinks all day is fine? That good and true fats are evil? That’s not normal and good food should come before the heading out of the home for the job, or sending the child of to school, and a piece of bread with jam is not breakfast. I know this has always been at the very core of my work, but Joel triggered for me a slightly different way of seeing it – the un – normalness of it all (if that indeed is a word).

This year? This year I’m going to focus on what’s normal, and that’s cooking real food and making time to eat it. To help you get back into the kitchen given everything that is going on –  I know realistically that there are time constraints – indeed one of the most often requests I get is similar to this ” how to survive the busy days”. This is the work at hand. 

I’ve gone on above because at Rottnest I began to feel normal  again – but I suspect that when soul and mind are together, things feel right – normal. I’m going to hang on to that thought and feeling. I suspect the trick lies somewhere in stopping long enough to slow down just a little, and ensure that you have that space each day… and good food to fuel you each day. It’s a true thing that when the body has the appropriate fuel, life, work, stress and everything is so much easier. It’s funny how when a feeling surfaces, others pick it up too – you might also love reading Shauna James Aherns‘ blog on Going Quiet – there’s a lot of wisdom there. 

So 2012, life –  I’m ready to dive in…. 

Zac and Nessie pitting the box of cherries and Santa Rosa Plums
Super Sized Trifle – the large baking tray was the only thing I could find to put it in, and it worked a treat – who says you need to spend a fortune on a glass trifle bowl ? 

So, to the food.

Because it was a special occasion, I wanted to make dessert – trifle is perfect for this and it’s a favourite, but it also reminds me of my Aunt Biddy (my godfathers mother and my aunt) who (as a single mother – her husband died after the war –  and full time teacher) always presented the most fabulous table and trifle, at family gatherings in her home. She always found the time. It was my way of feeling she was there. The day before I made a proper berry jelly – I’m fussy about the gelatine I use and prefer the Bernard Jensen – it’s made from healthy cows – I wouldn’t touch anything else. You can get it here. I also added a slosh of the French Liqueur Chambord – traditionally made from red and black raspberries, oh my, it’s so good – I also used it liberally on the sponge. Next step, I made a classic pastry cream (with lots of vanilla seed) and folded whipped cream into it. I layered it with a gluten free genoise I had made, the fruits Zac and Nessie had seeded, good sloshes of Chambord, jelly cubes and topped with the pastry cream and sprinkled with toasted almonds. No one complained.

Recipe Testing at Rottnest – Scones for Afternoon Tea

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Back on the mainland, home and to the recipe for this blog. I needed something for a very hot summer evening, portable for the cricket. I had zucchini, rainbow chard, onion and basil in the garden. Eggs in the fridge and some cooked quinoa.

The End Result – Cricket Summer Harvest and Quiniche  (get it ? – Quinoa = Quiche :) )

It was quick and simple (fits the time issue perfectly) – having said this I did have some quinoa already cooked in the fridge – but that is the other thing – make extra – because it’s only going to save you the next day. That’s not the best example in the photo above – I overcooked it – the eggs cook quickly –  too long and it can be a bit dense, but it was still delicious. Extra delicious with a tomato relish. Lots of vegetables, egg and quinoa giving it a bit more nutrient density. It’s not a huge recipe , so you may want to double it (3 of us woofed most of it down with salad).

CRICKET SUMMER HARVEST QUINICHE 

Gluten Free

This sliced brilliantly, and was sturdy enough for me to grab a bit the next morning to eat in my hands whilst I watered the garden (= great for lunchboxes). 

I used medium sized chard leaves – you may need more if they are very young. Include some of the stem, but not too much. Err on the side of using your fingers to feel that it is just cooked through, and if you need to put it under the grill (broiler) to brown the cheese.

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil + extra for brushing on baking dish

small knob of butter

1 medium onion – finely chopped (mine was red, but anything will do)

3 – 4 medium leaves of silverbeet or rainbow chard – washed and sliced, stems chopped

2 cloves garlic – finely chopped

2 zucchini /200gm grated

sea salt and fresh pepper to taste

big handful fresh basil, roughly sliced

100 – 200 gm fetta, crumbled

1 cup cooked quinoa

3 eggs

Grated cheese to top – I used a cheddar and some parmesan

Gently heat the olive oil and butter in a medium frypan. Add the onion and chard stems, cook for 5 minutes or so over a medium heat, or the onions are becoming translucent, stirring from time to time. Add the chard leaves, garlic, zucchini and a good pinch of sea salt –  cook over a medium  heat for 10 minutes, stirring every now and then or until the zucchini and chard have released all of their waters. Then increase the heat and cook until the water has evaporated off and you can give them just a little fry to develop the flavour. Add the basil and stir through. Because I couldn’t be bothered to wash the pan I set this aside to cool, and added the rest of the ingredients to the frypan. But if you need it sooner, you’ll need to turn the mix into a bowl – the pan will be too hot and cook the eggs. Leave until the vegetable mix has cooled a little and add the fetta, quinoa, eggs and season to taste with extra salt if needed and the pepper.

Lightly oil a 20cm dish (I used a china one) now – don’t do it too early or the oil will slide down the dish. Add the mix, spread evenly and top with the grated cheese and parmesan.

Bake in a moderate oven (180c – from 150 – 165c in a fan forced oven) for 10 – 15 minutes or until the egg is set. If the cheese is not golden enough, pop it under the grill.

Pancakes For Breakfast

OAT, APPLE AND BUCKWHEAT PIKELETS

Can you feel the early morning spring sunshine coming through the kitchen window?

When I was down in Augusta recently,  I was reminded of the power of the pancake – or really, as I like to make them, a pikelet (a fatter and smaller version of the said pancake). Brendan made the most spectacular, enormous light and fluffy pancakes I’ve ever seen and served them on the deck (amidst the pink jasmine blossom) with a delicious cinnamon apple sauce, toasted nuts and seeds, honey or maple syrup,  home made peach jam and yoghurt. This is a set Sunday breakfast at 8am. I want to be there every Sunday at 8am !!! And it reminded me just what a great breakfast (and indeed snack) a good pikelet can be, especially at this time of the year as the weather warms. Porridge can become a bit heavy and boring, and really a good wholegrain pikelet is just a porridge in another, albeit lighter, form.

I’m a big fan of soaking grains for porridge (lot’s of recipes for these in my books) as this makes them more digestible. Phytic Acid is broken down (ensuring that you do indeed absorb all those wonderful minerals in whole grains), as are enzyme inhibitors and in the gluten grains, gluten. Soaking a grain really makes it so much more digestible and most people notice an enormous difference in how they digest it. You can take this concept of  soaking on to include all wholegrain flours – now when it comes to cakes and cookies, I’m not much of a fan. I’m not a purist and it will often result in heavy end results. But, when it comes to pikelets or pancakes, it’s truly such a easy and wonderful thing to do. You’ll notice a little salt in the soaking recipe – I use this when soaking a flour – with so much endosperm (and thus starch and thus, sugar) available, salt just helps to slow it all down, a little control factor. I really prefer to add something lacto – fermented like

whey, yoghurt or kefir – it really helps to bump up the said lacto – fermentation.

I prefer to cook these babies in coconut oil – a great oil for heating, and it makes the edges so deliciously crispy, but you also use ghee or butter, or a combination. A word about cooking  – make sure your pan is hot, but never so hot that the coconut oil is  rippling or smoking. The batter should sizzle as it hits the oil, and should take 3 or so minutes until it is ready to turn. The pikelets will most likely have absorbed the oil (this is fine), and you can see in picture below, the the edges have ‘dried’ out so to speak, and there are lots of little holes. Now is the time to turn them. If the pan is too hot, they will cook on the outside, before the inside is cooked. If you’d like to add a little more oil (1 teaspoon at the most) after you’ve turned them you can, otherwise don’t worry.

Ready for turning – lots of little air holes, and the batter has become cooked out around the edges. You can see they have absorbed most of the coconut oil.
Golden after turning – the pan is quite dry, and if you’d like to add more coconut oil, go for it.

As we are only just coming into spring (thus very little fresh fruit around), I used apples for the fruit and to make a simple apple sauce I just peeled and chopped 3 apples into my favourite Reiss enamel pan, with 1 tablespoon rapadura sugar, a touch of cinnamon and 1/4 cup water. Cover and let cook very slowly for 15 – 20 minutes, stirring often and breaking down the apples. When cooked, I grated in a little lemon zest. But now that strawberries are on their way (how exciting is this !!), I’d most likely make a simple poached strawberry number  (in both Coming Home to Eat, and Wholefood for Children) and use a banana to mash into the pancake instead of the apple.

Yoghurt, Cultured Cream (Wholefood for Children) and Cream Fraiche, all are wonderful options for serving as they add more good bugs to help with the digestion. The Cultured Dried Apricot and Fig Puree from Wholefood for Children is another excellent lacto -fermented option and dairy free.

Don’t worry too much if you see an oily residue on the plate where they’ve been – this is the coconut oil. They won’t taste too oily, only delicious with crunchy edges – just take care not to let your oil smoke when you are cooking them. And leftovers? Brilliant heated up for breakfast the next day, or for a lunchbox snack. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. I’ll see you at your place around 8am Sunday?

OAT AND APPLE PIKLETS OR PANCAKES

Wheat Free, Low Gluten. Can be dairy free.

Makes 10 medium – large pikelets

In Australia, Four Leaf makes a great Oat Meal. If you cannot find oatmeal, grind up some rolled oats into a meal, and then measure the amount from this – you may need to add a little extra milk (1 tablespoon is plenty) to the batter the next morning as the rolled oats absorb a bit more liquid.

If you’d like to make these a little softer for rolling (like a pancake)  add a little more milk or egg. They can also be topped with berries or other fruits as desired.

½ cup oat meal

½ cup buckwheat flour

tiny pinch sea salt

1 cup milk or ½ cup coconut milk and ½ cup rice milk

2 teaspoons whey, yoghurt or kefir

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon rapadura sugar

1 tablespoon melted butter, ghee or coconut oil

1 – 2 small apples 170gm approx/ peeled and grated

¾ teaspoon baking powder

ghee, butter or coconut oil for frying

SOAKED:

Add the oat meal, buckwheat flour, salt, milks and whey to a small bowl – stir together well. Cover and leave on the bench (or in the fridge) to stand overnight.

The next morning add the cinnamon, sugar, melted fat of choice, and grated apple. Sift in the baking powder and gently stir together.

Gently heat enough ghee, butter or coconut oil to coat the base of a frypan. Add 1 tablespoon (or more as desired) of the mixture to the pan. Cook well on one side for 2 – 3  minutes and is golden – you should also see small bubbles appearing in the batter – before turning it over. Cook on the other side for 1minute approx.

UNSOAKED – OMIT THE SALT

Combine the flours, cinnamon, sugar and sifted baking powder in a bowl – whisk through to mix. Add the grated apple, milk and fat of choice, mix together well before cooking.