This is a versatile treat. They make a great cupcake and work equally well as a breakfast muffin. Top with your favourite frosting or spoon Greek yogurt overtop, drizzle with honey, and sprinkle with pinches of date sugar.
1 cup (250 mL) whole dates 1/2 cup (125 mL) water 2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla extract 1 cup (250 mL) grated carrot 3 large free-range eggs 3/4 cup (180 mL) melted coconut oil or vegetable oil 1 cup (250 mL) whole wheat flour 1/2 cup (125 mL) coconut flakes 2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder 1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking soda 1 tsp (5 mL) nutmeg 1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt 1 cup (250 mL) raisins
Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).
Line 12-cup muffin tin with paper cups.
Simmer dates with water until very tender. Stir in vanilla. Purée to a smooth paste.
In bowl, beat date purée with carrots and eggs; gradually beat in oil.
In another bowl, stir flour with coconut flakes, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in carrot mixture, then fold in raisins. Spoon into paper cups.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. To test for doneness, insert toothpick into centre of a cupcake; it should come out clean.
Makes 12 cupcakes.
Each cupcake contains: 142 calories, 4 g protein; 16 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 33 g total carbohydrates (19 g sugars, 3 g fibre); 267 mg sodium
source: "Make It a Date!", alive #374, December 2013
Pears and chocolate make for a very natural friendship and play together beautifully in this plant-based, dairy-free cake. This cake is dense and rich, with a medley of spices, and enhanced by just a hint of espresso powder, which allows that chocolate flavour to shine through. In addition to slices of pears being laid on top, this cake employs some pear purée to add moisture and sweetness to the slightly nutty texture provided by the whole wheat flour. Pear primer A firm pear such as Bosc, recognizable by its distinctive dusty brown skin, is perfect for this dish. When eaten raw, Bosc pears are crisp and not too sweet. When baked, this variety softens up and its flavours are enhanced, but it maintains its characteristic long-necked, graceful shape. Unlike a Bartlett pear, which turns from green to bright yellow when ripe, Bosc pears don’t change much in colour when ripe. Give it a little nudge with your thumb near the neck of the pear and it will give slightly—that’s how you know you’ve got a ripe one. Compared to other pears, Bosc will still be quite firm.
Many flavours that complement pears—sage, ginger, maple syrup—also go well with butternut squash, so it makes sense to bring the two together. For this autumn salad, mixed greens are tossed with marinated squash ribbons that serve to dress the salad with spicy, gingery brightness. A juicy yet firm medium-sweet pear, such as red Anjou, works well here, and its vibrant red skin makes a pretty plate alongside butternut squash. The finishing touch is a sprinkling of crispy sage and maple syrup-toasted hazelnuts. Refrigerator tip Treat butternut squash ribbons as you would a dressing, keeping them in the refrigerator until ready to use. They will last a few days in the refrigerator, and you can have them on hand to dress small amounts of lettuce. If, rather than making one large salad, you want to serve individual amounts of this salad, just dress a few leaves with some ribbons; cut up pear and fry sage leaves as you serve.
Luscious figs loaded onto hearty flatbread make a satisfying breakfast or brunch. They’re sweet and delicious when paired with savoury cinnamon-flavoured crunchy pumpkin seeds and tart goat cheese. And, with a dough enriched with whole wheat flour, hempseeds, and nigella, these flatbreads are sure to be satisfying. They’re also chock full of fibre and protein, and with 6 mg of iron, you’ll be on your way to 31 percent of the recommended daily value. A freezer favourite By making dough in advance and freezing, you can make these individual flatbreads part of your routine for days when you don’t have much time. Simply portion dough individually right after mixing, allow it to rise in the fridge for 8 to 10 hours, and then freeze in individual containers. To thaw an individual ball of dough, 24 hours before you wish to use it, remove the container from the freezer and allow it to thaw in the refrigerator. At least an hour before baking, allow dough to come up to room temperature outside of the fridge.