February 6, 2017

Banana Bread Love Affair

Banana Bread Love Affair

Nutmeg is picky about her bananas. The fruit has to be perfect, not too green and certainly not a second too ripe. However, when it comes to banana bread, she has nothing but love for this sweet treat. Most people have a banana loaf variation that they have perfected over the years, or one handed down from a relative. When this recipe landed on Nutmeg’s laptop from cyberspace, she could not resist trying it. A combination of lemons, olive oil, and bananas adapted from 101 Cookbooks, what is not to love? Print Lemon Olive Oil Banana Bread Recipe type: Quick Breads Prep time:  10 mins Cook time:  50 mins Total time:  1 hour Serves: 1 Loaf   Like most sweet loafs this one is very easy to make. The use of olive oil and lemon make it a bit more contemporary than the one you might have from your great-aunt. The trick with all banana bread is finding that perfect moment when the loaf is golden brown but it is still moist - roughly 50 minutes in the oven in this case. Thanks again to Heidi @101Cookbooks for her inspiration. Ingredients 2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour ½ Cup Brown Sugar ¾ Teaspoon Baking Soda ½ Teaspoon Salt ⅓ Cup Olive Oil 2 Large Eggs, lightly beaten 1½ Cups Bananas, they should be ripe and mashed ¼ Cup Plain Yogurt 1 Teaspoon Lemon Zest, freshly grated 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract Optional: 1 Cup Your Choice: Bittersweet Chocolate or Walnuts or Blueberries Glaze: ½ Cup Brown Sugar 4 Teaspoons Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed Instructions Preheat your oven to 350° F The oven rack should be in the centre Grease a 9 by 5 inch (23 x 13 cm) loaf pan - or in this case a Bundt pan In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt Add the chocolate pieces (or walnuts or blueberries) and combine well In a separate bowl, mix together the olive oil, eggs, banana, yogurt, and vanilla Fold the wet mixture into the flour mixture, do not over mix Pour the batter into your pan and bake until golden brown Cool slightly and then move onto a wire rack Prepare the glaze and run it over the top of the loaf when it is cool 3.2.2310

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November 1, 2013

Morning Glory Muffin Recipe Inspired by The Flowers of La Toussaint

Morning Glory Muffin Recipe Inspired by The Flowers of La Toussaint

In France, there is always a school vacation at the end of October, when children and teachers have a week of reprieve from the classroom, and each other. The holiday extends to most public facing businesses on November 1st. You can certainly expect the post offices, banks, grocery stores and government offices to be closed on that day. Why? (more…)

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May 13, 2013

Ancient Apricots

Ancient Apricots

Literally as old as the hills, the fruit of the apricot tree are confirmed to have been domesticated since the Bronze Age. Although, the exact origin of the tree is debated; there is evidence of consumption of the fruit in both China and India between 3-4,000 B.C. the apricot in dry format was certainly exchanged along Persian trade routes. the scientific name, is Prunus armeniaca (Armenian plum), likely as a result of the ubiquitous presence in Armenia since antiquity. The fruit was eventually introduced to the Greeks and then adopted by the Romans. (more…)

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February 25, 2013

The Best Morning Coffee Options with a Recipe for Oatmeal Cookies

The Best Morning Coffee Options with a Recipe for Oatmeal Cookies

Nutmeg loves her coffee. It is a sad morning for Nutmeg AND a difficult day for Ginger if there is no morning coffee. (more…)

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October 4, 2012

Easy Snack Solution for Biking in Low Gear

Easy Snack Solution for Biking in Low Gear

One would think that when biking in France you would never need to worry about food. That is true to some degree, unless you get caught between hours. Breakfast in France is straightforward; coffee, baguette and sometimes les viennoiserie (croissants and pain au chocolate). Be aware that as the morning wears on, you are more likely to eat stale baguette, than the fancy pastries. This meal is not one that will keep the energy stores high for a long bike ride. Lunch starts around 12:30 and runs until 2pm. However, typically the traditional (“non-tourist”) restaurants actually do not want to serve much beyond 1:30pm. Then again, do you seriously want to eat a multi-course meal before that next big hill on your bike?  In theory, you could always stop at a boulangerie for a quick bite. Technically, yes but Ginger and Nutmeg have been caught numerous times in small villages where the bakery is closed at 12:30pm, until well into late afternoon. (more…)

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September 20, 2012

Un Common Figs

Un Common Figs

Almost indescribable, the scent of a fig tree full of almost ripe fruit is a fragrance that is both sweet and earthy. Nutmeg had never had the opportunity to enjoy the remarkable smell of the fig tree, before she spent the summer in Provence. The scent is distinctive, almost arresting in the open air, however, in a closed space can be overwhelming. The fig tree is often referred to as the Common Fig. It grows both cultivated and wild in most countries that are close to the Mediterranean and in many parts of Asia. Some tree varieties will bear fruit up to four times a year. (more…)

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November 15, 2010

Homemade Banana Bread

Homemade Banana Bread

Hot Sauce (Nutmeg’s Mum) loves bananas, she grew up in the West Indies on an island that produces bananas for export, so it was best to love them… Bananas are considered a super-food: Potassium-rich; studies show foods with high levels of potassium can reduce the risk of stroke by as much as 40% High levels of the antioxidant phenolic compounds work to detoxify cancer-causing agents Although not specifically high in calcium can help in the absorption of calcium They reduce stomach acidity and in some cases may even reduce nausea (more…)

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May 10, 2010

Crunchy Granola Sweet

Crunchy Granola Sweet

Are you a Neil Diamond fan?  Nutmeg is for certain.  She is also a big granola fan and has been for many years. Hot Sauce used to make homemade granola on a regular basis. There is nothing like the smell of a fresh batch in your house and eating it hot out of the oven.  The basic ingredients usually include: oats, nuts, wheat germ, dried fruit, sugar (or honey or molasses or maple syrup), oil. You can also add spices like cinnamon or ginger depending on your tastes.  Nutmeg loves granola served with berries and yogurt, Chili likes the same in different proportions (more granola and less fruit).  There are likely as many recipes for granola as there are for combinations of how to eat it. Granola actually has a history prior to Neil Diamond’s “Crunchy Granola Suite” and prior to the hippie “granola” movement in the 1960’s.  The names Granula (invented in 1894 by Dr James Caleb Jackson) and Granola (name change by Kellogg to avoid legal conflict) were trademarked terms in the late nineteenth century United States for foods consisting of whole grain products crumbled and then baked until crispy; in contrast with the contemporary invention, muesli, which is traditionally not baked or sweetened. Nutmeg has a friend who makes one fantastic version of granola (in fact she has a few variations).  She is currently in the process of setting up her company and will be distributing later this year.  So you should be on the look out for a new Western Canadian company to rival that barely dressed version (Bear Naked) out of the US.  Nutmeg cannot say more at this time on the name of the company and of course the recipes are closely guarded.  The great news is we will soon have locally produced product close to home.  For now enjoy a little Neil Diamond and maybe even experiment with your own recipe and combinations. Crunchy Granola – Sweet!!

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April 22, 2010

Wondering About Dates try some Trail Bars

Wondering About Dates try some Trail Bars

As you might have gathered Nutmeg is in the desert and it is not that warm so she has some time to add to all the really useful food information in this blog.  So the question about dates came to mind… Here are the facts: The Date Palm (scientific name Phoenix dactylifera), also known as the Medjool palm is a tall, beautiful and majestic tree that is known for its edible sweet fruits, the dates. The tree belongs to the Arecaceae family and the genus Phoenix. The Date palm produces true real dates. It is the second most known and most useful palm tree in the world after the Coconut palm tree. The Phoenix Dactylifera is one of the world’s oldest trees. It has been grown for thousands of years in hot, dry, desert regions throughout the world. It is an important multi­purpose tree in the Middle East, Asia and North Africa. The Date palm tree is a holy symbol. It was historically mentioned in the Bible, the Koran and other religious books. Many cultures are based on this tree. It has been called “the tree of life”.  The real Date palm can provide all life necessities: food, medicine, shelter, fuel, building materials and  materials for weaving and basket making. It is a symbol of fertility and hospitality in many countries. The date fruit is one of the most important sources of nutrition for people in the Middle East. It is considered to be a delicacy. The date is a good source of sugar, potassium, protein, fat and minerals. People in this area have eaten dates since ancient times. Only a female tree can form dates, large trees will produce up to 1000 dates/year.  A tree usually starts producing fruits after 5-8 years.  It takes about 7 months for dates to ripen. The delicious fruits are harvested from September to early December. Here is a recipe for Trail Bars using dates: Print Dates Trail Bars Recipe type: Dessert or Snack Prep time:  10 mins Cook time:  35 mins Total time:  45 mins Serves: 20-30 bars   These bars are easy to make, very tasty and mostly filled with good for you ingredients. Ingredients 1 Cup Unsalted Butter 1 Cup Honey 1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice 2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour 1 Cup Quick-cooking Oats ½ Cup Wheat Germ 2 Large Eggs ¼ Cup Honey 1 Cup Almonds, chopped 1 Cup Semisweet Chocolate Chips ½ Cup Dates, pitted and chopped ½ Cup Dried Apricots, chopped ½ Cup Unsweetened Flaked Coconut 2 Tablespoons Sesame Seeds Instructions Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) In a medium bowl, mix together the butter, ¾ cup honey, and lemon juice until well blended Combine the flour, oats, and wheat germ Mix into the honey mixture Spread evenly into the bottom of an un-greased 9x13 inch baking pan Set aside In another bowl, beat eggs while gradually pouring in ¼ cup honey Stir in almonds, chocolate chips, dates, apricots, coconut, and sesame seeds until they are evenly distributed and well coated Spread over the crust in the pan Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until center is set, and the top is lightly browned Cool completely before cutting into bars 3.2.2499  

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