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Blueberry Banana Spelt Muffins

These blueberry banana spelt muffins have become a staple in my household. I make a double batch and they still hardly last us through the week. Perfect for breakfast, a snack or dessert. The amount of sweetener can be adjusted to your taste, but I tend to reduce the amount of maple syrup or honey and add a little stevia. This recipe highlights the use of spelt flour in cooking. Below is a little more information on spelt.

Spelt (Triticum spelta) is a grass that originated in southeast Asia.  A relative of wheat, spelt is thought to be the “wheat” that was used over 9,000 years ago, it is considered an ancient grain and has been referenced in the bible. It remained a favorite grain until the 19th century agricultural revolutions and the modernization of wheat strains.

Spelt is more easily  digested than regular wheat and it has a reputation for helping people maintain good health. Additionally, it has more protein, fat and fiber than wheat, making it a  a high-quality energy source. The gluten in spelt is of a different molecule pattern than that in modern wheat. Whereas, today wheat has been designed/bred to have a high gluten content, the character of the gluten in spelt has not been modified from its natural state.

According to the World’s Healthiest Foods website: “Spelt does not seem to cause sensitivities in many people who are intolerant of wheat.” This is why my sweeties begs me to make him spelt muffins – we are taking a break from regular old wheat. In baking, spelt behaves like whole wheat flour and has a wonderfully nutty but subtle flavor. In comparison to oat flour, rice flour, etc. which have strong flavor profiles, spelt makes a better wheat substitution.

Recipe for Blueberry Banana Spelt Muffins

Equipment:

  • oven
  • muffin tin
  • 2 mixing bowls
  • measuring cups and spoons

Yield: 6 large muffins, 12 small-medium muffins

Dry ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups white spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup instant rolled oats
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (aluminum free)
  • 1/2 tsp fine ground good salt (like Celtic Sea salt)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Wet ingredients:

  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (unrefined or refined) liquid form (but not hot)
  • 1/3 cup honey (substitute maple syrup, or reduce the sweetener and add a few drops of stevia)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 ripe bananas mushed well

Add last

  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen

 Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Line muffin tin with coconut oil
  3. Mix wet ingredients well in medium bowl
  4. Mix dry ingredients well in separate smaller bowl
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredient and mix well but do not over mix
  6. Fold in blueberries at the end
  7. Bake for 40-50 minutes at 350 degrees F for 6 large muffins. Reduce baking time to 20-30 minutes for smaller muffins. Baking time varies on environment, keep a close watch on your muffins looking for a firm golden-brown edge and top.
  8. Tooth pick should come out clean when inserted. Cool 5 minutes and remove from muffin tin.
  9. Enjoy these blueberry banana spelt muffins while still warm
 blueberry banana spelt muffins

 

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Simple Buckwheat Pancakes with sliced banana

This recipe gives buckwheat pancakes a the good reputation they deserve.  I made them for Christmas morning for my sweetie and his parents. Although they were my first experimentation with buckwheat, ever, they came out really yummy and hearty. I made silver dollar sized pancakes, and everyone ate them until they were gone! Topped with a little bit of pure maple syrup from the Catskill Mountains in New York and a little bit of organic butter and they were delicious and filling. Next time I’ll try adding some mac nuts or berries.

Recipe for Buckwheat Banana Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup buckwheat flour
  • ½ cup organic white flour
  • ½ cup oatmeal
  • 1 cup milk (we use coconut butter blended with water to make a sort of coconut milk substitute)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder (aluminum-free)
  • 1 tablespoon + pure maple syrup for in the pancakes plus more for eating after
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • sliced bananas

Steps:

  1. Mix together the dry ingredients
  2. Mix together the wet ingredients
  3. Add the wet to the dry and stir gently
  4. Then, heat coconut oil in a pan on medium to medium high when oil starts to get hot add the pancake batter.
  5. Add sliced bananas to the top of the pancakes
  6. Leave it until it starts to bubble and then flip over and cook for another 3 or so minutes
  7. Serve warm with butter, coconut oil and maple syrup.

 

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Fresh papaya and passionfruit (lilikoi)

This fresh papaya and passionfruit recipe is the simple marriage of fresh papaya and lilikoi flesh. Papaya’s latin name is Carica papaya and it is from the family Caricaceae. It is one of the fastest growing fruit trees in Hawaii and also one of the greatest agricultural products to be exported from the island chain. In Australia it is known as Paw Paw. It is native to southern Mexico and Central America, but is now grown in subtropical and tropical locations all over the world.

If you have never had a ripe papaya it tastes a faintly like a mix of melon, bananas, pineapple. It has a flesh that is similar to a soft melon. In Hawaii, papaya is so abundant that almost everyone has a few papaya trees even on smaller plots of land. Another great thing about papayas is that they grow year round. Likewise, they are inexpensive and abundant in stores. Try to look for non-GMO varieties, some of which include: Mexican Red , Caribbean Red, Maradol, Royal Star, Singapore Pink, and Higgins.

 

Caution: The more unripe a papaya is, the more latex it contains, which may aggregate people with latex allergies.

Passionfruit is called Lilikoi in Hawaiian

Equally common in Hawaii is passionfruit or lilikoi vines. These vines require little maintenance after planting as long as they have something to climb. Comparable to papayas, passionfruit vines have a long fruiting season. Here on the Hamakua coast of Big Island our vines mostly fruit from late Summer to early Winter. The ripe fruits drop to the ground from the vines that can climb the tops of trees, fences, buildings etc.

papaya and passionfruitIn Hawaii, papaya is a common accompaniment with breakfast. It is usually garnished with a wedge of lime which is squeezed on top to liven the flavor. Even if this combination doesn’t convince you to eat papaya regularly, you should definitely give papaya with fresh lilikoi a try.

All you need to do is scoop out the the seeds from a halved a papaya. Then scoop out of the seeds from the halved lilikoi into the papaya flesh and enjoy with a spoon.

 

Resources

  1.  https://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/20-facts-about-papaya.html
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Cinnamon buns with coconut oil and macadamia nut frosting

This recipe for cinnamon buns with coconut oil is a very special treat in my house. It is not exactly a quick recipe as you have to let the dough rise twice. When developing this recipe I was inspired by a recipe from Allrecipes.com http://allrecipes.com/recipe/ninety-minute-cinnamon-rolls/ . The Allrecipes.com recipe I found duplicated across the web with slightly different instructions.

 

A healthier version of cinnamon buns

The first time I made them I could taste the butter in every bite. It was a little too rich for me. On me and my boyfriend’s first year anniversary he begged me to make it healthier. Mainly he wanted me to make cinnamon buns with coconut oil instead of butter. In this recipe I still use just a little bit of butter in the filling because I was scared it would not come out good. In the future I will probably try it with no butter, or maybe make like a nut butter filling instead of serving it with nut-based frosting.

This recipe also features a little honey instead of sugar in the dough so the dough itself is not overly sweet. Then for the frosting, instead of refined powdered sugar, I use macadamia nuts and pure maple syrup which gives the icing a dose of nutrition that you can feel good about slathering on to your buns.

Recipe for cinnamon buns with coconut oil and served with macadamia nut frosting

Yield: Makes about 12 rolls

Equipment: Bread mixer like a kitchen aid for kneading (otherwise a food processor or other heavy duty mixer) and a blender for the icing.

Ingredients for the dough:

  • dry ingredients:
    • 3 and ½ cups unbleached white bread flour
    • 1/4 ounce packet of active yeast (2 ½ teaspoons)
    • ½ teaspoon salt
  • wet ingredients:
    • ¾ cup whole milk
    • 1/4 cup organic coconut oil (4 tablespoons)
    • 1 medium-large egg
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 1-2 tablespoons Big Island honey

Ingredients for the filling:

  • one cup brown sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil (solid state preferred)
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Ingredients for the frosting:

  • 1 and ½ cup macadamia nuts
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup water or less

Steps for the buns:

1) Mix 2 and 1/4 cup flour (reserve 1 cup for adding after wet ingredients).  ingredients together in large mixing bowl.

This recipe, and any other recipe where the dough must be kneaded, is best with a heavy duty stand up mixer that has both a paddle attachment and a dough hook. If you have one, use it and mix the dry ingredients briefly with the paddle. If not, you should be using either a hand mixer, other stand up mixer, or a large food processor will get you half way there.

2) Heat the milk until bubbly and add the 1/4 cup coconut oil

3) Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add 1 egg, 1/4 cup water, honey to taste, milk and coconut oil mixture.

4) Mix until incorporated. Slowly add the remaining 1 cup of flour to the bowl and when the dough starts to come free from the sides of the bowl you need to stop the mixer  and knead it by machine or by hand.

Kneading the dough

5) Kneading, if you have a heavy duty mixer with a dough hook, you can replace the paddle attachment now with the dough hook. Set to the lowest speed and let it knead for 5 minutes (do not over do it). If you do not have a dough hook, than turn it out on to lightly floured surface, and start kneading! Set a alarm for 8 minutes and don’t think about it until it goes off. If the dough is uniform and elastic it’s probably done.

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6) Let rest for 10 minutes, place a towel over it for better rest.

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7) Meanwhile mix the cinnamon, coconut oil, butter and sugar together.

8) Flour a large surface like a clean counter or large cutting board. Roll the dough into a large rectangle (about the size of a pan, 12X9 and about 1/3 inch thick).

9) Spread the cinnamon/sugar mixture with a rubber spatula or spoon evenly on the rolled out rectangle dough.

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10) Starting at the longest side, roll the dough gently into a log.

11) You can try cutting with a knife, but no matter how sharp it is, it’s hard to cut without handling or deflating the dough.

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Instead, you could be a pro and use a piece of unscented dental floss, placed under the roll to wrap around and cut off the perfect bun.  In some of the pictures below, you’ll notice I tried making heart buns. To do this just unroll the most forward side and curl it to the center to make a heart.

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12) Place in 2 round cake pans oiled with coconut oil, slightly touching.

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13) Then let these rise for 30 minutes until they are almost doubled in size.

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14) Finally, bake in oven at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes until golden brown on top.

Step for the icing:

1) While the buns are baking make the icing.

2) To do the icing add the mac nuts, vanilla extract, and maple syrup into a high powered blender and blend until smooth adding little bits of water as needed to make a smooth consistency.

3) When the buns are done, cool on a wire rack for a few minutes.

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4) Serve warm with frosting and love.

cinnamon buns with coconut oil

Below are basic ingredient lists I put together on myfitnesspal.com

For the cinnamon rolls, this is assuming the recipe makes 12 equal servings. For the icing, this is about 2 tablespoons each of icing and is approximate. So a full roll with 2 tablespoons icing would be about 450 calories.

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Breadfruit pancakes

Ulu

Breadbreadfruit tree fruitingfruit is a versatile starch grown on abundant trees in tropical and subtropical regions. The breadfruit tree’s yield is highly abundant, often producing over 200 pounds of fruit a year per tree. It is starchy, almost like potatoes when green and sweet and gooey when ripe. Breadfruit have notoriously poor shelf life, often only lasting 2-3 days from green to ripe once picked. they are usually stored in open air, and then refrigerated once ripe.

This recipe for breadfruit is for ripe, soft, mushy ulu. It is truly even more delicious than regular old wheat pancakes. If you’ve ever picked/bought a ride breadfruit or ulu, thinking you were going to bake, make chips etc., and the next day it’s practically mush, then this is the perfect recipe to try.

Breadfruit Pancake Recipe:

Materials:

  • Blender
  • Pan
  • Spatula

Ingredients:

breadfruit

ripe ulu or breadfruit weighing 1lb. 8 oz.

  • 1 small ripe ulu  about 1 and ½ pounds or 700 grams
  • 2 medium eggs
  • ⅓ cup milk (can substitute non-dairy milks like almond milk, etc.)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

 

Steps:

1) cut open ulu, discard middle and scoop as much ripe flesh as possible into a blender or small mixer

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2) add the rest of the ingredients

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3) blend all together until smooth. Consistency should be similar to pancake batter.

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4) heat pan on medium, add small amount of coconut oil

5) pour 1/4 cup or less batter into the pan, and turn heat to low.

(They are a little hard to flip over so I cover the pan with a lid and let the top cook with the trapped heat for about 3 minutes. It should puff up, and look yummy and fluffy)

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6) turn to cook for another 2 minutes

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7) enjoy with maple syrup or honey

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