Category Archives: Sweets and Desserts

Citrusy Rhubarb Sauce for Breakfast, Dessert

Is rhubarb showing up in your gardens, CSA boxes, or farmers’ markets yet?  Truly, rhubarb is the bellwether of spring.  Asparagus, too, but ruddy rhubarb makes a more striking contrast with the drabness of winter. 

 

Packed with vitamin K, vitamin C, and even some calcium, rhubarb belongs on any spring menu.  Its tart, celery-textured stalks play well with the sweetness of honey or fruit.  Try this sweet-tart sauce on baked oatmeal or with breakfast porridge, yogurt, or ice cream – including a full-fat dairy product will help the absorption of the vitamin K.

 

rhubarb-sauce

 

Citrusy Rhubarb Sauce

 

3 stalks of rhubarb, diced

½ cup raw honey

1 clementine (zest and juice)

A few dashes of cinnamon (1/4 tsp?)

3-4 whole cloves

 

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and heat on the lowest heat possible to keep at a very low simmer until the rhubarb softens.  (You can test it by trying to cut it with a spatula – it should fall apart with no resistance.)  Serve warm or let it cool and refrigerate for later, and remove cloves before serving.

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I will post a recipe for strawberry rhubarb vinaigrette as soon as local strawberries are available.  This farm, right around the corner from my house, runs a u-pick during strawberry season.

 

What do you like to do with rhubarb?

Part of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Fridays carnival.

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Mardi Gras

Hopefully that title didn’t make you think I was posting about king cakes – if so, sorry.  Today is Fat Tuesday (aka Mardi Gras), and tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent.  I’ve decided to give up chocolate this year, which means I won’t be able to indulge in my beloved chocolate milk, so why not go out with a bang and post my chocolate syrup recipe?

 

This chocolate syrup is no different than any other one you’ll find out there, except that I’ve made substitutions on the sugar.  Most recipes call for white sugar, but I used half sucanat and half dark muscovado sugar.  The muscovado is new to me, so by all means substitute brown sugar instead or use mostly sucanat and add a small amount of maple syrup or molasses.  I’ve heard that sucanat can be used in place of both brown sugar and white sugar, but I find that it needs a tiny bit more molasses to be substituted with conventional brown.  You’ll have to play with it anyway to get it just to your taste, but it’s nearly impossible to make a bad batch – you just add more of whatever is lacking.  And do not omit the salt – it just won’t taste right.

 

Why the unrefined sugars?  Well, I’m sure I’m not the only one out there with blood sugar issues.  Sucanat and muscovado sugar won’t cause a spike in your blood sugar like the refined ones do, plus they’re loaded with vitamins.  Who knew sugar could kind of, sort of be good for you?

 

One last note – this is not supposed to be a thick sauce.  This is best in milk or coffee, and maybe on ice cream, but don’t expect a fudgy sauce.

 

Chocolate Syrup

 

¼ cup cocoa

¼ cup sucanat

¼ cup dark muscovado sugar, tightly packed

A couple pinches of finely ground sea salt

½ cup water

Dash of pure vanilla extract

 

1. Measure out the first four ingredients and mix together well.  These are things that like to get clumped together, so break up the clumps as well as you can.

 

choc-syrup-1

 

2. Add the water and put on the stove at medium heat.  I like to work out any remaining clumpiness at this step, too.

 

choc-syrup-2

 

3. Bring to a boil, and let it stay there for a minute.  Then turn off the heat and pour the syrup into a liquid measuring cup.  After it’s cooled a bit – like when it’s not too hot to touch – add the vanilla and stir.  It is now ready to serve, or you can wait until it cools to room temperature.  Enjoy it with a glass of raw milk or some almond milk.

 

choc-syrup-3

 

If you’re in possession of self-control, you can make a larger batch and keep it in a squeeze bottle in the refrigerator.  I, however, am a profligate chocoholic and can’t handle having too much of this around at one time.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

pumpkin-choc-cookies

 

I’d never heard of these cookies until I moved to the South three years ago, and I’ve been hooked ever since the first one.  They’re typically very sweet and cakey, but I’ve been trying to cut back on the sugar consumption, so I made this version using natural sweeteners and less sugar overall.  The dough itself is not as sweet as other pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipes, but it works well in satisfying my omnipresent chocolate cravings.  I still have lots of pumpkin on hand, so I’ve been looking for creative ways to use it!

 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

1 cup pureed pumpkin

½ cup sucanat

3 tbsp. maple syrup

½ cup butter, softened

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

1 egg, whisked

2 cups whole wheat flour (I used home-milled flour)

1 tbsp. ground flax meal (for added nutrition; can be omitted)

2 tsp baking powder

1 ¼ tsp. baking soda

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp. salt

Chocolate chips (I use a lot in this recipe, since the dough isn’t as sweet)

 

1.  Combine pumpkin, sucanat, maple syrup, butter, vanilla, and egg in a bowl.  In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients (except for chocolate chips).  Combine wet and dry ingredients, then mix in desired amount of chocolate chips.

 

2.  Bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  You want them to be firm to the touch but with some springiness, like a quick bread.  Since these have the texture of a biscuit or muffin, they won’t be as crisp as a traditional chocolate chip cookie.

 

Enjoy!