Entries in Ginger (5)
Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends!
Fall is all about comforts.
Like curling up in a blanket with a warm cup of tea and a good book.
I think I can say that it finally feels like fall now. You know those big dark clouds that blow over with a deluge of rain and then move off to let the sun come out, only to let another round blow in. Yeah, that's how you know it's fall around here. Not to mention the big gusty cold winds. It is certainly sweater weather. And let's not forget the pumpkins, squash and fall mums taking over at the market.
That's why I whipped up my own batch of chai tea.
There are fewer things more warming than a brewed cup of chai tea that's been made with freshly toasted spices. If you want to make your home smell like fall this will definitely do the trick. Homemade bags of chai tea make a great holiday gift too.
I know it's not Christmas but the pink peppercorns in this add a bit of holiday colour. These will add some heat so if that's not your "cup of tea" (couldn't resist) then cut back on them. They really are pretty though. Cardamom has a unique taste and is intensely aromatic. You want to get the green cardamom pods. It comes from Malaysia and works better in sweet recipes than it's black counterpart, which comes from Asia & Australia and is much stronger and smokey flavoured. Black cardamom is used often in garam masala to make curries. Make sure you buy the pods instead of ground cardamom. Ground will lose it's flavour and aroma quite quickly.
Sometimes you'll find fennel seeds in a well made rye bread. They have an intense anise-flavour. It has a taste and smell that is licorice-like, but is sweeter and less intense.
I think one of the things I'm most forward to this fall is soups, homemade bread and roasted delicata squash. If you haven't tried this squash before you'll be in for a treat. Before I get all caught up lets get to that recipe for homemade chai tea!
Chai Tea (makes 12 teabags)
- 16 green cardamom pods
- 1/4-1/2 tsp pink peppercorns
- 1/2 tsp whole cloves
- 1 Tbsp fennel seeds
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 Tbsp candied ginger, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup loose leaf black tea (I used Scottish breakfast - it goes wonderfully with milk)
- Pre heat oven to 325*F.
- With a small sharp paring knife, split the cardamom pods in half, and remove the seeds. Combine with next 4 ingredients, through to cinnamon, and place on a baking sheet. Gently toast the spices in the oven for four minutes until fragrant. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Using a mortar and pestle (or rolling pin), crush the spices together. Make sure you snap the cinnamon stick into a few smaller pieces first.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the crushed spices, candied ginger and tea.
- Viola! You now have a lovely chai tea. You can store this in a container. If you use a glass jar, make sure you keep it in a dark area as all teas and coffee should be kept from light for best quality.
Feel free to adjust any of the spices to your taste and liking. Tea and coffee is quite a personal thing.
Be on the lookout for some chai tea lattes on the blog and have a wonderful thanksgiving weekend!
P.S. I smell pie!
I'm making apple and pumpkin from scratch as well as the pastry for Thanksgiving dinner!
I think it's about time I made something sweet don't you?
How about something stuffed to the brim with chocolate?
Let's think about this for a minute shall we? Large chunks of dark chocolate. Moist, soft, ooey-gooey tender goodness. I can hear fresh baked homemade cookies calling my name. Oh the aroma!
It might be surprising to learn that such an exceptionally decadent looking cookie can actually be healthy. Don't get me wrong, I'll be the first one to point out that a cookie is still a cookie, but if you're looking for a little something something and don't want to blow things out of proportion with a sugar overload, these little cookies will do the trick.
They can even be made vegan by using brown rice syrup or maple syrup instead of honey. And can be made gluten-free with the use of certified gluten-free oats.
The cookies are crying to be dunked in milk!
I always love finding recipes that have been cleaned up. It's not easy recreating something that tastes so good to start with already. I mean, how do you bake a cookie without using butter, eggs, processed sugar, and all-purpose flour?
Well after a few trials (some of which were complete fails) I found that by grinding oats, almonds, and buckwheat, and using coconut oil or sunflower oil I could pull together some pretty amazing cookies. . .That's how!
You know how most cookie recipes start out by telling you to grease a baking sheet, and half the time you know you don't have to because the cookies have so much butter in them that they're practically self-greasing? Well that's the best part about these guys is that they don't come out really greasy.
Yeah. Eew. Dangerously delicious, but not very friendly towards your waistline.
These chocolate chip cookies will satisfy any sweet tooth without setting you back 5 pounds and they aren't full of any weird chemicals, enriched flours, or unhealthy fats like those packaged store bought cookies are. Just loads and loads of chocolate! Hey, they aren't called Choc-a-lot Chip for nothing!
Choc-a-lot Chip Cookies (makes 16-18 cookies)
Adapted from veganricha.com
- 2 tsp ground flaxseed
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- pinch of sea salt
- 4 tbsp warm water
- 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil
- 4 tsp unpasteurized liquid honey
- 4 tsp unsulfured molasses
- 4 tbsp organic cane sugar
- 1 cup ground oats
- 1/2 cup ground raw buckwheat flour (ground from raw groats in a blender)
- 1/2 cup almond flour (ground almonds)
- A heaping 2/3 cup of dark chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350*F and prepare line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, stir together flaxseed, ginger, nutmeg and sea salt. Add warm water and next four ingredients through to and including cane sugar, mixing well to combine (I find a rubber spatula works best). Let this sit for 2-5 minutes.
- While the wet mixture rests, grind up your buckwheat groats and oats in separate batches using a coffee grinder or blender.
- Add the flours and mix well into a ball of dough. Then, add the chocolate chips and mix to incorporate.
- Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to chill the dough.
- Scoop tbsp of the dough onto cookie sheets and give them a little pat to flatten them.
- Bake for 12 - 14 minutes. Cool on a wire rack (if you can wait that long).
*When grinding any grains into flour I always use my coffee grinder, because I find it does the best job. Especially when I only need small batches. A 1/2 cup does just fine in it.
*You can use sunflower oil instead of coconut oil in case of allergies.
*These can be made gluten-free with the use of certified gluten-free oats.
I don't know what it is about the texture of these chocolate chip cookies but they are to die for. Maybe it's the combination of everything in them. You'll just have to test out a batch, see for yourself and report back. :)
Shared at Fit & Fabulous Fridays.
Sore Muscles are no fun!
Eating chicken every day of the week is also no fun.
If you lift weights/train or are like most families then its probably something you eat a lot of.
So to break out of the everyday mundane chicken for dinner rut, I've got a pork tenderloin recipe for you. It's got sweet nutrient-dense blackstrap molasses, apple cider vinegar, ginger and orange juice.
We all know the importance of recovering and replenishing your muscles after a hard work out to help them rebuild and restore themselves. The time frame in which you eat something is also important. But did you know that gram for gram, pork tenderloin is actually slightly lower in fat than chicken breast? It's also lower in cholesterol. Three ounces of extra lean pork tenderloin has 62mg of cholesterol versus 3 ounces of chicken breast, which has 73mg.
Blackstrap molasses is also extremely good for you. Just check out these stats! To name a few of the minerals it has, it's rich in calcium, iron and manganese. Just 2 tsp of the stuff provides you with 11.8% of your daily calcium intake. Not too shabby. Make sure to get unsulphured molasses because it retains the most vitamins and minerals. It is the purest form that hasn't been treated with sulphites (one of the nine most common food additives that can cause allergic reactions). . .That being said, now you have something other than ginger cookies to use it in!
Molasses Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Apricots
- 1 1/2 lbs. lean pork tenderloin, trimmed of excess fat
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 tbsp unsulfured blackstrap molasses
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, minces
- 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400*.
- Whisk together orange juice, molasses, cider vinegar, ginger, and garlic and then add the apricots.
- Season tenderloin to your liking with salt and pepper. Add a small glug of olive oil to a frying pan on medium-high heat. Once heated add the pork tenderloin. After searing one side for about 1-2 minutes flip and continue until all sides are seared. Once the meat starts to turn colour, it browns quickly, so pay attention!
- After browning the meat you now need to cook it through. Place it in a baking dish with the orange juice mixture and roast for 45 minutes in total, turning the tenderloins over 30 minutes through to get the top sides into the juice.
- Test with a meat thermometer to make sure its done. It should read at least 170*, when its no longer pink.
- Take the pork out of the baking dish and wrap in foil to let the meat rest for 10 minutes or so before you slice it. This will let the meat reabsorb its juices making it very tender, juicy and flavourful. Serve with sauce.
This is what it should look like after searing:
It's time to replenish!