Over the Salt

Mindful choices for healthy and low sodium cooking


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Ginger Honey Shortbread

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Gluten, dairy and sucrose free shortbread recipe with a dash of spice. This recipe makes approximately 30 shortbread.

The recipe substitutes coconut oil for butter.

It substitutes gluten free flour for regular flour.

It substitutes coconut sugar for baking sugar.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups of Gluten Free Multipurpose Flour
1/2 Cup Coconut Sugar
4oz Coconut Oil
1 egg
3Tbl Honey
2Tbl Crushed Ginger
1tsp Xanthum Gum
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder

Equipment

Baking Tray
Parchment Paper
Mixing Bowl
Measuring cups and spoons
Wooden Spoon or Silicon spatula
Oven preheated to 325F

Mixing Method

Soften Coconut oil with a spoon till creamy. Do not melt.
Add Baking Powder, Xanthum Gum and Coconut Sugar, stir until creamy.
Add Honey, Ginger and egg, stir until all combined
Add Flour and stir until has formed a soft sticky dough.

Cooking Method

Use 2 teaspoons to form oval shaped lozenges and spoon onto baking tray covered with parchment paper
Place in oven and cook for 15 minutes until golden brown
Cool on tray then store in an airtight container


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Coconut Ice treats

2016-05-11 14.01.08.jpgI was visiting in Australia recently and tasted a childhood treat, Coconut Ice. My sister, Colleen, helped me track down a version of coconut ice from Darryl Lea, the confectionary company. When I got back to Seattle, I wanted some more, so I hunted down recipes online.

The American version of  coconut ice is made with condensed milk, confectioners sugar and finely shredded coconut. I tried it out, but ultimately took it to work to share with work mates It wasn’t to my taste. The milk gave it a different flavor and it wasn’t quite right.

Next, I tried out a couple of Australian and British recipes, settling on a version made with Coconut oil (copha), coconut (shredded), confectioners sugar, vanilla and egg whites. This made a smooth, delicious recipe that set up in the refrigerator. It lasted about a month after making, which I think shows quite a bit of restraint. I only ate it occasionally, and I di remember to share.

Warning: Not a health food. Eat sparingly as a treat.

Recipe

(with conversions done from metric)

1/2 cup coconut oil

Half cup of coconut finely shredded

A cup of confectioners sugar (sifted)

2 egg whites

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

red or yellow food dye

Instructions

Combine the dry ingredients, add vanilla and egg whites

Add the coconut oil (if solid, melt it to butter consistency)

It needs to be stiff enough to hold together (like playdough) but not too hard

Divide in two. Add the food dye to one portion.

Put the white part down first into a food storage container (about an inch thick), then the colored mixture on top. Refrigerate for an hour. Lasts in the refrigerator for a month.

Allow to sit at room temperature for 15 mins before serving

Enjoy!

 


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Making fluffy scones

2016-04-16 18.27.09I’ve been playing around with the recipe for the past couple of months. Lately, what I’m making is more like fluffy biscuits than scones. They’re light, tall, and more like muffins than those hard flat rock-like things. I’ve been adding eggs, fruit and juice, sometimes leftover jam (well I never eat the last third of a jar of jam, so may as well do something with it) and various spices.

Basic recipe

  • 3 cups flour
    (or gluten free substitute – don’t forget to add xanthan gum if you go this route)
  • 2/3 of a cup of sugar-like substance
    (baking sugar, brown sugar, date sugar, xylitol)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter (melted)
  • 2 eggs
  • lemon crystals
    (makes all the flavors better)
  • 1/2 cup liquid of some kind
    (milk, juice, rice milk)

Cooking

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
Put parchment paper on the cookie tray

Preparation

  • The key is to avoid overworking the dough
    Combine the dry ingredients and any fruit
    Melt the butter, pour it in and squish it around with your hands to coat all the flour and make crumbles
  • Add the eggs and whatever liquid you’re using
  • Add more flour if you need to just adhere all the ingredients into a ball of dough
  • Flatten on a flour coated board
  • Cut out with a cookie cutter
  • Handle as little as possible
  • Arrange on the tray and put in oven on a top shelf for 19 minutes

Variations

  • Blueberry + White Chocolate
    Add a pint of blueberries and a cup of white chocolate chips to the dry mix
  • Peach and Orange/Ginger
    Add a cup of diced peaches + ginger / orange powder (teaspoon)
  • Curry Cheddar
    Add 2 cups shredded cheese + teaspoon curry powder to dry mix
  • Dried Fruit
    Add a cup of dried fruit (diced apricot, raisons, apples etc) to dry mix

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Scones with spice

My favorite weekly bake is curry scones with shredded cheddar. This has become a staple in our house, substituting for bread in many cases. The spicy scones go well with both sweet and savory toppings.

Recipe

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking flour
  • 1.5 sticks butter
  • 4-6 oz shredded cheese (to taste)
  • one teaspoon curry powder
  • half cup sugar (brown is good)

Method

  • Combine all the dry ingredients, including cheese
  • Melt the butter and rub through the dry mix
  • Add two eggs and half cup juice
  • shape palm sized rounds (or cut out with cookie cutter)
  • Bake for 19 mins at 400 degrees

Enjoy!


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Baking madness

This weekend I’ve made five batches of baking.

  1. CHEESY SCONES
    Two batches of cheesy scones
    Scone recipe (2 cups flour, half cup sugar, one egg, 1ts baking soda, one stick butter, half cup milk)
    Added half a package (1 cup) grated pepper-jack cheese
    Baked at 400 for 18 mins


  1. SULTANA SCONES
    One batch of sultana scones
    Same recipe as above but half a stick more butter for ‘flakiness’
    Used quarter cup regular sugar and quarter cup brown sugar for ‘taste’
    Golden sultana raisons
    Made a dozen 2.5″ scones


  1. SOUTHWESTERN EGG MUFFINS
    Two batches
    A dozen eggs, whipped with cayenne pepper and italian seasoning
    Poured over finely chopped sweet peppers and a large pinch of grated sharp cheddar
    Baked at 375 for 22 minutes in large silicon muffin pan (dozen)
    Delicious with guacamole, served warm



We are set for the week with quick finger food now, savory and sweet.


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Gaussian Blur

I learned this week that I have an occlusion in my vision that will eventually become severe enough to need surgery. It isn’t so bad yet. I learned that the blur I am experiencing is called a cataract, something my grandmother also experienced. At first it freaked me out. Well, I’d be lying if I said I was over that reaction entirely. I shall think of it as having something in common with my Nan; and when she had the surgery it turned out just fine.

For now, the visual blur is the equivalent of a 10% gaussian blur filter applied to a photograph – that’s the designer speaking, when I looked at the pictures of my eyes, that’s just what it looked like. I guess the world will have a soft focus depending on the eye I use to view reality. That could even prove to be a useful metaphor. By which eye am I seeing?

Meantime, I get some smashing new glasses with serious trifocal lenses and a frame in deep metallic purple. Tres chic.

On the positive side, no diabetic retinopathy is present. The blood vessels in my eyes look splendid. Huzzah.