I am so grateful to have had this wonderful day of baking, and although I know these are not baking temperatures, I have loved every minute of it. Don’t worry, my feelings won’t be hurt if you wait for the temps to drop a bit before making these recipes, I totally understand, and I totally understand if you think that I am crazy, but I couldn’t help myself. So with every bead of sweat, I was still smiling, despite the fact that if my oven is on, I can’t turn the AC on! Ridiculous I know, but this is Italy! I don’t know what’s more ridiculous here, no AC, or my crap oven. . . (which will soon be replaced with an amazing beauty!!).
So despite the scorching sun beating through my kitchen windows, I just had to suffer with the oven on to enjoy these awesome munchies. First up is a recipe that I have to credit my friend Kristen with getting the ideas brewing in my head to finally come up with it. . . . cherry almond bread with a jam center! Awesomeness!! Next up is a recipe I saw on an Italian site and I really wanted to try veganizing it. It’s a bundt cake with chocolate chips and orzo coffee, which I’m not sure on how available it is in other countries. Orzo coffee is a common alternative to coffee here, you can find it anywhere. It come in a soluble powder form and is made from toasted and ground orzo ( barley). If you can’t find it you could try another coffee alternative available where you are, or even soluble coffee.
But before we get down down and dirty baking on a hot day (and sweatin’ it up) I have to tell you about this amazing book I read this weekend. It’s called ‘Why Quantum Physists Don’t Get Fat’ by Gregory Kuhn and although the title may stir up a wide range of strange thoughts, like ‘too sciency’, ‘too body-focused’, etc. but please hold all judgements before reading because I am sure it will change the way you look at nearly everything. It is based on quantum physics, but it is explained in a very easy to understand way and although it is focused on weight issues, the information presented in the book can be applied to really anything. I have to confess, I do have some obsessive issues with weight, diet and exercise and I have been beating myself for it all too long. I feel like this book was the key to change my too-concrete state of being. Basically our beliefs create our expectations and our expectations then create our physical world, which works like the law of attraction. Negative thinking creates more negative thinking and attracts negative like-minded people and situations. To break this cycle and change our way of thinking we have to start telling ourselves ‘good stories’, feeling good about whatever we do, feel gratitude and celebrate our success – no matter how small they are, and finally two important points: meditate every day and still your mind as often as possible. As science based as this book is, it sounds more new age or philosophical, and strangely and much to my excitement, it is so similar to the messages in ‘A Course in Miracles’. Amazing! So this is my goal now in everything, to follow those ‘rules’ and manifest more positivity in my life. What about you? What do you do to find more positivity in life? Other thoughts on this?
Okay, so now we can get down to business!
Cherry and Almond Bread with Jam Center
2 c. pitted and halved cherries
3/4 c. almonds
1 ripe banana
1 1/4 c. non-dairy milk
1 tsp. raw apple cider vinegar
1 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. white flour
1 tsp leavening agent (we have prepackaged leavening agent for desserts here)
1/4 tsp. salt
6 spoons of stevia (I use the Now brand that comes with a small spoon)
4 Tbs brown sugar
Your favorite jam flavor (I didn’t measure, I just filled the middle, so go with your gut and put as much as you like!)
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Mix dry ingredients together.
3. Blend banana with almonds for just a few seconds – you don’t want a paste, just small pieces.
4. Mix the wet and dry together, along with the cherries, banana mixture and finally the vinegar.
5. Spoon in half the mixture into a greased bread pan. Spoon in as much jam as you like on top of this in the middle. Spoon in the other half on top.
6. Pop it in the oven to bake for about 35-40 minutes
Chocolate Chip and Orzo Coffee Bundt Cake
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
8 spoons stevia
1 tsp. leavening agent
1/2 c. chocolate chips
1/2 packed brown sugar
1/4 c. soluble orzo powder
1/4 c. coconut oil
1/2 c. water
1 c. non-dairy milk
1/2 c. applesauce
1/2 Tbs chia seeds + 2 Tbs water
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Mix dry ingredients together. Mix wet ingredients together, except the chia seeds and water.
3. Mix chia seeds and water, stir and leave for about a minute to thicken.
4. Mix wet and dry together, along with the chia seed mixture.
5. Grease bundt pan and if you want any seed on the top sprinkle them in now. Spoon batter in and pop in the oven for about 30 minutes. (like I said I have one crap oven, so the times and temps are always a bit of guess work).