Tag Archives: oats

blubarb + buckwheat crisp (gluten-free)

It’s not too late, is it? I think we’ve got time for one more rhubarb recipe.

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This came about from a recipe that haunts me.  I first saw a link to the world’s easiest blueberry crisp last spring on Dinner: A Love Story (it’s the first link that sadly seems to be lost), and I hesitated before I put it on my weekend list.  I wanted something sweet but quick and easy, disguised as healthy (read: containing fruit), and I already had all the ingredients. But something so simple couldn’t honestly be that good, could it?  Frozen blueberries in a pie dish, a handful of panty staples haphazardly thrown together in a pot- butter, sugar, flour, oats- and popped into the oven.  But then.  45 minutes later your house smells like heaven and before you know it, you and your husband eat the whole dessert, along with a half-pint of softly-whipped cream melting into the divets of the crumble, running into the blueberry sauce, hovering over the stovetop with forks.  Seriously.  The whole thing, straight from the pan, minus a small dish that was set aside for breakfast the next morning.  Okay, not exactly set aside for breakfast… it was only for breakfast because I ate it before my husband got out of bed, because I wasn’t gong to share.  I wish I wasn’t serious.  (Oh, who am I kidding, I’m not even that ashamed, because IT IS THAT GOOD.) (Plus, it was a year ago.  I’ve matured since then.  I wouldn’t do that now, right?)

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So, the problem? Nothing, except a little gluten.  *sigh* But it’s okay, because I’m a tinkerer.  And I’m lazy.  My laziness manifests in the form of Trader Joe’s gluten-free all-purpose mix, which I love for recipes like this.  I understand that this mix is not perfect. A mix of starches and heavier flours (and yes, possibly gums) would be ideal, I’m sure.  However, that would require multiple bags and a food scale, and lots more tinkering.  In this case, laziness beat tinkering.  But in all fairness, for a crisp or a crumble, I don’t need to mimic wheat’s elasticity or tenderness – I just need bulk.  TJ’s gluten-free mix is perfect for this: not grainy, no weird aftertaste, and no gums added!

Of course I added rhubarb, because duh- it’s spring, rhubarb is everywhere, and blueberry + rhubarb is my favorite fruit combination.

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And while I was tinkering (lazy tinkering? “linkering“?), I also threw in some buckwheat.  It’s not really wheat, or even a grain- it’s a seed, and it’s in the rhubarb family- it’s got a bit of a rustic, dusty flavor.  It’s gritty and it adds some heft and chew.  And, of course, there are gluten-free oats, because a crisp is merely a crumble (and therefore inferior) without the addition of oats, in my completely unscientific and unsupported opinion.  If you’re not sure of the gluten-free-ness of oats, I’ve heard that quinoa flakes are a great substitute.  Or, if you’ve got another opinion on the necessities of crisps- chopped nuts, perhaps?- go ahead and tinker with it.

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When the berries and rhubarb cook down, they release lots of water.  Keeping an edge bare without topping around the pan will help some of that liquid evaporate, ensuring that you get a nice thick fruit filling.

Blubarb & Buckwheat Crisp
Inspired by Ruth Reichl’s Blueberry Crisp
Serves 2-8, depending on how greedy you are

In the spirit of the original, I tried to keep things fairly simple, but I did add in a little fancy by browning the butter.  If you’re in a hurry to get this in the oven, feel free to skip it.  But if you’ve got the extra 7 to 10 minutes, do it.  Browned butter and brown sugar… what could possibly go wrong?

Wild blueberries are really the key here. They’re small and sweet and juicy.  The big ones have got nothing on wild blueberries.  If you don’t like rhubarb, shame on you  just use 4 cups of frozen berries, and skip the 1/3 cup of sugar and the tapioca starch.

2 cups frozen wild blueberries
2 cups diced rhubarb
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons tapioca starch (or corn starch)
1 stick (8 tablespoons, 4 oz.) butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
sprinkle of cinnamon
pinch of cardamom and salt
2/3 cup gluten-free all purpose flour blend
1/3 cup buckwheat
1/3 cup gluten-free oats (or quinoa flakes)

Over medium heat in a medium-sized pan, melt the butter.  Once it starts sputtering, lower the heat to medium-low or even low, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently and keeping a close eye.

Meanwhile, butter a pie dish or cake pan.  Preheat your oven to 375 F.  Put the fruit in the pie dish, sprinkle with 1/3 cup sugar and the tapioca starch, and stir to coat evenly.

Once the butter has separated and the solids on the bottom have turned golden brown, turn off the burner and remove the pan from heat.  Stir in the brown sugar vigorously.  Add the cinnamon, cardamom, salt, AP flour, and buckwheat, and stir well.  Finally, stir in the oats.  Scoop the topping over the top of the fruit in the dish, and use the back of the spoon or your hands to even and flatten it out, trying to keep the topping at least 1/2 inch away from the edge of the pan.

Bake at 375 for 45 to 60 minutes, watching closely to ensure you get a thick filling and crispy crisp without over-browning the top.  Mine took close to 60 minutes.  Let sit for at least 10 minutes before serving.  Best warm with homemade icecream or softly whipped cream, although I’m particularly fond of leftover crisp straight out of the fridge for breakfast.

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Filed under Desserts, Gluten-Free, Summer

two notes-to-self

A couple things I’ve made, and made changes to, that I’ve enjoyed recently:

1.  Molly O’Neill’s Roasted Carrot and Red Lentil soup, via The Wednesday Chef.  I followed the recipe almost exactly the first time- doubled the paprika and introduced a little immersion blender action- and loved every bite.   A month or so later found myself with a small butternut squash, a lonely sweet potato, and some straggler carrots at the bottom of my crisper, but craving a creamy, bulky soup.  The combo of the three orange veggies worked just as well as the all-carrot version, immersion blender and all.  But as I sat down with the first bowl, and I felt it was missing… something.  A couple teaspoons of lemon juice stirred in at the end fixed it, and really brightened things up.

2.  Oatmeal Applesauce Muffins at Joy The Baker.  She used blueberries; I used a large peeled-and-chopped Honeycrisp and tripled the cinnamon.  Very welcome at the office on a chilly day. Healthy-ish too!

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Filed under 30 min. or less, Fall, Vegetables, Winter

CE oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

I. Need. A. Cookie. NOW.

Don’t lie- you’ve been there.  Everybody has experienced that kind of a day. The kind where you want to grab a package of E.L. Fudge double-stuffed cookies on the way home and just sit on the couch, watching old Grey’s Anatomy re-runs, while you eat 4/5’s of the package.  Not that I’ve ever done that.

I’m trying to stay away from packaged “junk-food,” rationalizing that if I reeeeally want something badly enough, I should have to make it myself.  Especially when you can substitute some healthier items… flax seed or applesauce for oil, whole wheat flour instead of bleached, natural sugar cane instead of white sugar.

These are pretty dang good for “diet” healthy cookies, except for one point: they’re fugly. Seriously. Once you get past that, they’re great! I looooove the dark chocolate chips, and the fact that the sucanat and vanilla combined make them taste a bit like cookie dough.

CE oatmeal chocolate chip cookies [aka Fugly Cookies]
adapted from The Cleaning Eating Mama

Note: This is clearly irrational, but there is something … pretentious?… in my mind about writing “organic” in front of every.single.ingredient. Use organic when you can, as much as you can, for a plethora of reasons.  But if you can’t afford or find organic honey or oats or whatever, this recipe will still go on. :)

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar or natural sugar cane
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 1/4 cup whole-wheat (pastry) flour
  • 1  cup oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F.  In a large bowl, add applesauce and sugar and mix until creamy. Add egg, vanilla, honey and oil. Mix well.

    Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Slowly add the dry to wet, mixing until moist. Mix in the oats, and if needed, add more oats or flour to get your preferred consistency.  Add the chocolate chips at the end.

    Drop by spoonfuls onto a parchment paper-lined cooking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes.

    Serves: About 2 dozen cookies (if you don’t eat any batter! I got 22 cookies :)


    And finally, the most impressive part of this cookie-  the nutrition information:
    only 85 calories and 2.5 g. fat, with 2.5 g. protein,18 g. carbs, and 2 g. dietary fiber per cookie!

    YES! You can have your cookie without falling off the bandwagon!

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    Filed under 30 min. or less, Clean Eating, Cookies, Desserts

    CE: Pumpkin oat muffins

    I love that autumn goes on and on… I get to start celebrating fall food on September 1st, and can enjoy potatoes, apple dishes, everything pumpkin, and other comfort foods through Thanksgiving!

    I had made pumpkin-black bean quesadillas (which I still need to post!) last week, and had a little less than half of a can of pumpkin in the fridge to use. I saw these on TPOX’s website last week, and felt the need to do something productive after sitting around all day. I made some adjustments, including halving the recipe, and would have liked these to be a bit sweeter. I think next time I’ll try 3 T of agave nectar, 1-2 T honey, and 1 T molasses.

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    Pumpkin Banana Oat Muffins
    Adapted from Proceed With Caution
    Makes 9 large muffins

    Ingredients:
    1/2 cup whole wheat flour
    1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
    1/4 cup rolled oats
    2 T steel-cut oats
    1 T wheat bran
    1 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    dash of salt
    3/4 tsp cinnamon
    1/4 tsp ground ginger
    1/4 tsp nutmeg
    1 medium ripe banana, mashed
    1/3 of a 15 oz. pumpkin puree
    3 T. unsweetened applesauce
    1 egg
    1/2 tbsp ground flaxseed
    2 T agave nectar
    1 T blackstrap molasses
    2 T dark brown sugar

    Sprinkled on top:
    ground pecans
    dark brown sugar

    Directions:

    -Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    -Spray with cooking spray
    -Combine flours, bran, oats, baking powder, spices, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
    -Combine remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl; beat until smooth.
    -Gradually stir in flour mixture until just combined – use a spoon or spatula, not a whisk
    -Spoon into prepared pans or tins; sprinkle with topping ingredients if desired.
    -Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until toothpick inserted in the middle of the muffin comes out clean.
    -Let muffins sit for 5 minutes; remove from pans and let cool on a rack or plate.

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    Filed under Breads, Breakfast, Clean Eating