Tag Archives: Strawberry

Strawberry Rhubarb Chia Jam

7 May

IMG_0314

It’s spring. I know where has the time gone? It feels like yesterday I was talking about Pumpkin Pie smoothies. Mmmm pumpkin pie smoothies.

While there are so many things that I love about spring: strawberries and rhubarb are what make it delicious.

The other part of spring that I love, should be no surprise to anyone in the world that knows me: baseball. In particular the World Champion San Francisco Giants. strawberries, rhubarb, and San Francisco Giants make this continuing relationship with life really worth it. I tell ya.

Lookit.

Two championships in three years. Go Giants.

Two championships in three years. Go Giants.

So this jam. It’s sweet from the strawberries, tart from the rhubarb, and the little bubbly texture from the chia makes it fun. I like to leave mine a little chunky so when people eat it they know what they are eating. Alright, I ate this whole batch by myself, but IN THE FUTURE if I choose to share, people will know what they are eating.

I enjoyed mine with my morning steel-cut oats, spread on some toast with butter, in greek yogurt, and by the spoonful. I would never eat standard jam or jelly by the spoonful because it is SO sweet, but this one tastes like what it really is: fruit. Which makes it heavenly and palatable by the spoonful. As with all of my recipes, let your imagination soar. Looking to the future where there may be a chance this ends up on ice cream.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how incredibly easy this is to make. It might be more work than buying a jar of jam, but just barely. If you’ve never made a jam before, no worries! This won’t require canning, keep this in the fridge and use it within two weeks (mine didn’t last that long, no surprise) if you’d like to freeze the jam, let it cool completely and freeze in a Ziploc bag. Then defrost and store in glass.

Why you should eat this? 

Chia Seeds can be found in the bulk section of health food stores.

Chia Seeds can be found in the bulk section of health food stores.

Chia seeds are a whole food that can easily be absorbed by the body. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium. And sometimes they are used to grow grass like hair on a rendition of Homer Simpson’s head. Don’t use those ones.

IMG_0321

Quickly: strawberries are best when bought organic. They are such a delicate fruit that they really absorb a lot of the chemicals from standard growers. They are also MUCH much more flavorful when organic. Look for farmers markets this time of year to get great deals.

Darling little strawberries are significant in vitamin-C which is a powerful antioxidant. They also contain vitamin B-6, niacin, riboflavin, and folic acid. They are an anti-inflammatory food that has been shown to protect against cardiovascular disease, some types of cancer, and improve the regulation of blood sugar to decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Strawberry Rhubarb and Chia Jam (Yield: 1 ¼ cups)

  • 1 cup stemmed and diced strawberries, fresh or frozen
  • ½ cup rhubarb, small dice
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons honey, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

IMG_0322

Dice strawberries and rhubarb to about the same size. Maybe a 1/4 inch each.

IMG_0317

Add all ingredients except the lemon juice  in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring frequently.

IMG_0316

Continue to cook for 20 minutes. Add the lemon juice.  Stirring frequently and breaking up any larger pieces of fruit along the way with a spatula.

IMG_0305

When the jam thickens significantly, a spatula will leave a clear path along the bottom of the pan. Like so.

Remove from heat. Allow to cool; jam will thicken as it cools. Spoon cooled jam into a jar. Enjoy as you will and go Giants.

Trust me, so good.

Nichole

Advertisements

Gluten-Free Almond Sponge Cake

13 Jul

Raise your hand if you love strawberry shortcake. The dessert, not the cartoon.

Oh, you too?

Well, I am deeply devoted. The perfect summer time dessert. Yeah, yeah, yeah, ice cream is good, but you can have that ANY time of year and don’t even say frozen yogurt to me.

Here is my take on the perennial favorite: a gluten-free almond sponge cake, fresh strawberries, and a simple, sweet whipped cream. My goodness.

I made this for friends to enjoy on the 4th of July. Boy, did they ever. OK, I may or may not have also made bourbon and coke floats too…. which may or may not have impaired their judgement. But seriously, as a Chef, if you are NOT trying to impair the judgement of your diners with alcohol:  you’re not doing it right.

Float in question. Bourbon+Coke+Vanilla Ice Cream = happy guests.

Happy Birthday America.

Here I am on the holiday+the BBQ that I was invited to = reason for bourbon and coke floats.

Why you should eat this? 

Back to the headline: GLUTEN-FREE ALMOND SPONGE CAKE. ANNNNDDD it’s sugar free.

For just a second, forget about that float up there and imagine this guilt-free cake, with fresh in-season strawberries and a maybe the cashew cream  we discussed a few weeks ago. Super healthy, over-top-goodness.

The cake stands up with the help of almond flour (you will be making your own). Almonds being the sweethearts that they are nutrient dense, full of fiber, good fats, rich in vitamin E, potassium, and manganese. Almonds are essential for a healthy heart, protecting against heart disease with monounsaturated fats. They have been proven to lower LDL cholesterol and protect against diabetes.

I know, what are we waiting for!!

Gluten-Free Almond Sponge Cake 

  • 4 Eggs, Seperated
  • 1 ½ Cups Whole Almonds (will need 2 Cups ground)
  • ¼ Cup Honey
  • 1 Tbsp. Vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. Baking powder
  • ½ tsp. Salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Oil and parchment a 9” cake or springform pan.

Separate the eggs. Add yolks to one bowl.

and whites to another.


Grind the almonds in a food processor until finely ground. Careful not to grind too much or you will end up with almond butter, which wouldn’t be terrible, but it won’t make a cake. AND that is what we are here for, cake.

Add to the bowl with egg yolks and the rest of the cake ingredients and whisk together.


Whip the egg whites with a whisk or mixer until peaks form.


With a spatula, gently (I SAID GENTLY) fold the egg whites into the almond mixture until well-combined.

This is well combined, you can do it. GENTLY.

Pour into the prepared pan and put into the oven. IF, you are the type of person who likes to do jumping jacks while a cake bakes… this is not the time. This cake’s height and airiness are dependent on those egg whites staying nice and fluffy. If you slam the oven door, check on the cake too much, or do jumping jacks in the kitchen while this cake bakes… you will have a flat cake. You do not want a flat cake.

Step away from the oven

Bake for 25-30 minutes, checking at 25 minutes with a toothpick.

As for the strawberries: I cut up fresh ones into quarters and sprinkle VERY lightly with powdered sugar. Let these sit in the fridge for an hour or so, to let the strawberries’ natural juices release and mix with the sugar.

Whipped topping? You know what to do here. Make your own.

Trust me, so good.

Nichole

Gluten-Free Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble

12 Jun

Let’s get seasonal. It is officially late spring/summer and the markets are starting to fill up with strawberries, cherries, rhubarb, and many other berries and stone fruits.

It’s time we all get serious about pie. Or fruit desserts. I know what your thinking: “all this sunshine, I want to wear something sleeveless, no pie for me please”.  Fine, I have your compromise. Relatively guilt-free fruit crumble that happens to be gluten-free!

You’re welcome.

Look out sunshine, here we come!

This here strawberry and rhubarb crumble is protein packed, gluten-free, full of anti oxidants…. (whispers) some sugar and butter. What? I suspect (with certainty)  that you can substitute out the butter for coconut oil and make this vegan. I then presume you can also decrease the amount of sugar (lets say by half)  in the crumble part of the recipe as coconut oil is naturally pretty sweet. Why didn’t I do this, in this here recipe? Forgive me, this was a spur of the moment deal that I threw together, then loved it and was eager to share it with you. I will in the future (VERY near future) try out the alternate crumble with all of the beautiful cherries that are at the market lately, how about that? For now, make this – it’s really stinking good.

Why you should eat this? 

Strawberries. First thing, first: go organic here. I won’t go into the politics, but if you want to make a difference in the world, buy organic strawberries. (The pesticides used to grow non-organic strawberries, have been found to be toxic to not just those that eat them, but the workers who pick them). There.

Strawberries have a unique combination of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients, so the benefits to improve cardiovascular health, lower blood sugar, and the prevention of cancer have all been proven many times over. PLUS, there are walnuts in this crumble, if you’ve been paying attention (last weeks post), you know that those healthy fats are also very nutritious.

Strawberries and rhubarb also have a pretty quick season, so make this while you can. If you can find either of these in the winter months, you are not paying any attention to my first request up there…. don’t disappoint me.

This is rhubarb. Looks like red celery and has a tart taste. Pairs oh so perfectly with sweet strawberries.

Gluten-Free Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble (Servings: 6-8)

  • ¾ cup oat flour (Can also use AP flour)
  • cup  walnuts, lightly toasted
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup natural cane sugar
  • ½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ½ cup natural cane sugar
  • ½ lb.  hulled strawberries, cut into quarters
  • 12 ounces trimmed rhubarb, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon zest
  • ¼ cup port wine (OR red wine, optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Butter (or coconut oil) a 9×9 glass baking dish.

Lightly toast the walnuts, this adds a warm depth of flavor. They will get further toasted when all is cooked together, but lets keep the details simple, shall we?

Chop them into smaller pieces.

Combine the oat flour, walnuts, rolled oats, sugar, salt, and pepper (YES, black pepper) together in a bowl.

Use a fork to stir in the butter (or coconut oil).

Squeeze into a few patties, wrap in plastic,  then place in the freezer to chill at least ten minutes.

Meanwhile, make the filling by whisking together the cornstarch and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the strawberries, rhubarb, lemon zest, and toss until evenly coated.

Wait three minutes, add the port and toss again.

Transfer the filling to the prepared pan, remove the topping from the freezer, and crumble across the top of the filling. Get it? CRUMBLE. Make sure that you have some small pieces and some large pieces. Do it.

Bake for 35 – 40 minutes, or until the topping is deeply golden and the fruit juices are bubbly.

You’ll want to let things cool a bit before serving, 20 – 30 minutes. Serve warm with a scoop of whatever vanilla ice cream that you are into. This should come natural, like putting chips in your sandwich.

Then get out and enjoy some sun.

Trust me, so good!

Nichole