This recipe has been a rather long time in the making. It started with a feeling of nostalgia, evoked from photographs of our travels in Austria. I can still recall the sublime beauty of that country as if I had just returned this morning. I remember the overwhelming awe and gratitude I felt in the presence of the vast mountain range that surrounds Salzburg, and the sense of wonder, of having travelled through time, while exploring the ruins of Durnstein castle, once home to an imprisoned Richard the Lionheart.
Do you have a happy place? Somewhere you can go to relax, recharge, and be at peace? A place where you feel present in the moment and good in your own skin?
My happy place is the farmer’s market. I’m filled with such an authentic feeling of pleasure whenever I visit, like I’m catering to the wishes of my true and natural self, and I feel so content being surrounded by like-minded individuals, knowing I’m contributing to an ethical, sustainable, and natural mode of food production. I become part of a community, connecting with the people whose hard work and passion helps to put food on my table. I love being able to get in touch with the rhythm of the seasons, buying food at the peak of its freshness and nutritional vitality. It’s just so exciting!
Am I a little bit geeky about vegetables? Absolutely.
These things are a life-saver.
I’ve been making a conscious effort to reduce my sugar intake during the day – the last, stubborn remnant of my previously poor eating habits – but when that post-lunch slump hits me around 2:30 in the afternoon it becomes incredibly difficult to avoid. When I do go for sweets I still make sure they’re comprised of whole foods and have come from my own kitchen, but natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup can still do damage if eaten in large quantities. They might be healthier and more nutritious, but they’re still sugar.
I am so excited about these little cakes! They are SO moist, have great texture, and beautiful flavour – and look how cute! I honestly squealed when they came out of the oven.
And let’s talk for a moment about parsnips, shall we? It might sound strange to put them in dessert, but we’re all comfortable with the idea of carrot cake, and they’re pretty similar as far as root vegetables go. The difference is that parsnips, while similarly sweet, have this amazingly earthy, spicy aroma to them which goes perfectly with cinnamon and cloves. Let’s give parsnips a chance, and make some cake we can feel good about.
I feel like we need to have a chat about nut butters. I may or may not need some kind of nutty intervention, as I am dangerously addicted to this stuff. I put it on oatmeal, I slather it on apples, and I *gasp* eat it by the spoonful. I keep a little container in my desk at work and eat a bite whenever a sugar craving comes along. Chocolate still wins sometimes (okay, more than sometimes), but usually a bite of this keeps me satisfied.
Almond butter has always tasted more like dessert than food to me, even when there’s no sugar added, but this stuff… this stuff is is nuts. You will not believe there’s no sugar, and you will definitely not be able to stop yourself – and that’s okay!
This week I was tasked with creating a quick and portable breakfast recipe, preferably through the use of chia seeds, for a very time-pressed friend of mine. Chocolate chia pudding was the first thing that came to mind, but that didn’t seem quite right. It didn’t seem… interesting enough. I wanted this recipe to really capture the essence of my friend – exotic yet approachable, exciting yet down-to-earth. I suddenly thought of the comforting and aromatic flavours of India and simply couldn’t shake them; everything seemed to just fall into place from there. What I didn’t anticipate was how beautifully this recipe would turn out on the first try.
You may be asking yourselves, “Does the world need another oatmeal cookie recipe?”. I did some considerable soul-searching while developing this recipe, thinking long and hard, before deciding that… yes. Yes it does. These aren’t oatmeal chocolate chip, and they aren’t oatmeal raisin. They aren’t an oatmeal-anything that’s been done before. You won’t find a mulberry-pistachio oatmeal cookie anywhere else, in fact, and I promise you’ll be fast and true friends in no time! I’m munching on one while writing this post and it’s pretty much the perfect cookie, at least in my (cookie)books. The two star ingredients take this recipe from old-fashioned favourite to gourmet – yet healthy – extravagance in one fell swoop!