Posts Tagged 'spelt'

Spelt Zucchini Bread

The weather lately has been so perfect it’s kind of unbelievable. I was led to believe that Daly City was the foggiest place on Earth and I would never see the sun, so the fact that it’s been in the low 70s and sunny for the past week or so makes me deliriously happy.

I’ve been doing okay with the fact that I’m no longer running, but Sunday morning was not easy. Mike ran a 5K in Golden Gate Park, and between the perfect weather and beautiful course, it kind of killed me a little bit to be stuck on the side taking pictures. I love the energy at races, even small ones like this… definitely something you DON’T get from doing the elliptical at the gym every day. (Honestly, as much as I miss running, I’m just happy I can still work out, even if the elliptical is totally lame).

I’ll be back out there soon enough.

I am starting to accumulate a bunch of different kinds of flour. It’s not really a bad thing, but my cupboards are FULL and we are moving in 11 days. The usual suspects, cake flour, whole wheat flour, bread flour, and all purpose are being crowded out by stuff like garbazno and spelt flour (and I need to make room for coconut flour, which I’ve heard so many good things about). Um, can I use the word flour a few more times?

Spelt flour is one of my favorite substitutes for all-purpose because it isn’t too dense so a 1 to 1 sub is easy, and I like the slightly nutty flavor it adds. I think it may be slightly more nutritious, too, which is always a bonus. For a bread like zucchini, which isn’t too exotic or exciting, it adds a little something extra that just plain flour doesn’t.

This recipe originally came from Cooks Illustrated, which I know doesn’t really appreciate having its recipes altered. I really liked the changes I made though… I decreased the sugar and subbed sucanat for half of it, and added some cinnamon. Bridget recommended scaling down the fat and replacing half of the butter with canola oil, and it worked beautifully. Draining the liquid out of the zucchini is completely brilliant because it keeps the bread from getting too soggy.

(adapted from The Way The Cookie Crumbles)

2 cups spelt flour, plus more for dusting
1 pound zucchini, washed and dried, ends and stems removed, cut into 1″ chunks
1/4 cup evaporated cane juice or granulated sugar (+ 2 Tbsp for mixing with zucchini)
1/4 cup sucanat
½ cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup plain yogurt
2 large eggs, beaten lightly
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
2 tbsp canola oil

Preheat the oven to 375 and grease an 9″ x 5″ loaf pan. Dust with flour and shake out excess.

Put the zucchini chunks in the food processor with 2 T sugar and pulse until coarsely shredded. Put in a mesh strainer and drain for 30 minutes.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon and toss with the walnuts.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugars, yogurt, melted butter, and oil.

Squeeze any remaining liquid out of the zucchini, then mix into the egg mixture and stir well.

Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring gently until all traces of flour disappear. Pour into prepared pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean, 50-60 minutes.

Cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then turn out of the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

Maple-Almond Butter Cookies

It was the night before our third wedding anniversary and I offered to bake Mike whatever he wanted. He requested peanut butter cookies, but we only had a few tablespoons of peanut butter left. So he suggested almond butter cookies and I had one of those “you’re a genius! Why didn’t I think of that” moments. I did a little search and found this recipe, which I thought looked amazing. Sweetened entirely with maple syrup, no butter, and no white flour?! PERFECT! The dough tasted amazing and I could hardly wait until the cookies came out.

When they were done, I was pretty pleased with myself. Sure, they’re not exactly healthy, but they’re much healthier than your typical cookie, have a soft but slightly chewy texture that I adore, and they are vegan! Mike didn’t share my enthusiasm, though. He was thinking I’d keep the butter and sugar and all the unhealthy goodness of a peanut butter cookie, just using almond butter in place of peanut butter in my usual recipe.

“Did you healthy these up or something? Is there even sugar in here?” He asked as he tasted one. I tried to explain that maple syrup was even better than regular sugar, and that spelt flour was much healthier than white flour. He wasn’t sold, so now I owe him real peanut butter cookies. But for me, these are ideal, and if you like almonds, I think you’ll love them. They’re not overly sweet, but they do have a delicate maple flavor and as I said before, the texture is just about perfect. I’ll definitely be making them again, and I guess I won’t have to worry about sharing them!

(adapted from Sweet and Natural)

1/2 cup natural almond butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup spelt flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped almonds

Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a few cookie sheets with parchment or Silpats.

Beat the almond butter, maple syrup, vegetable oil, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer until smooth. Gently stir in the flour, baking soda, and salt, and mix on low. Stir in the chopped almonds.
Drop by rounded tablespoon onto the baking sheets and bake until just set, about 10 minutes.
Let cool on the cookie sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Vegan Spelt Banana Muffins

Mike and I recently faced an incredibly difficult decision. He had a great opportunity at one end of the state and I had a great opportunity at the other end. Either place we moved, one of us would be giving up a lot. We agonized for hours. Then we ate some banana muffins and agonized some more.

The banana muffins temporarily took our minds off our conundrum. This was my first time baking with spelt flour, and I am obsessed. I also am in a little vegan phase right now, so I made a flax egg instead of using a real egg. Of course you can use a real egg – it’s your prerogative. These are sweet and incredibly tender, probably thanks to the maple syrup in them. Instead of streusel (not so healthy), I chopped up some freshly toasted pecans — still working through my Oh Nuts package — (healthier). Nobody believed these muffins were vegan, so I guess that’s a good sign.

And as for that conundrum, we’re still undecided…but I’ll update you once it’s figured out! It may take a few more batches of these muffins, though.

1 1/2 cups spelt flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 cup evaporated cane juice (or granulated sugar)
1 egg, lightly beaten (or one flax egg – 1 tbsp ground flax with 3 tbsp warm water)
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 12-muffin tin with paper liners.

Stir the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.

Mix the bananas, sugar, egg, vegetable oil, and maple syrup in another bowl. Stir the dry ingredients in gently, being careful not to over-mix.

Divide evenly among the muffin tins, then sprinkle with some of the chopped pecans. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean (they’ll look pretty dark, but they’re not burnt!) Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


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