Dreamy Zucchini

I’ve been ordering organic veggie boxes every two weeks from Maggie’s Garden for a few months now. 

One of the things I love about the boxes is that I get to try out veggies that I wouldn’t normally buy. Like kohlrabi and zucchini. 

I’ve received zucchini a few times now and every time I’ve grilled or fried them and then thought to myself, ‘That was nice but why didn’t I make zucchini bread?’

So this time I specifically ordered a kilo of zucchini so I could make bread. I searched for a sugar free recipe so that Paul could eat it too and what I came up with was delicious!

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Diabetic friendly zucchini bread
sugar free, whole wheat zucchini bread
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 eggs
  2. 1 1/4 cup canola oil
  3. 1 1/2 cup 'spoon for spoon' sweetener
  4. 1/4 cup water
  5. 1 tsp vanilla
  6. 2 cup grated unpeeled raw zucchini
  7. 2 cup whole wheat flour
  8. 2 tsp baking soda
  9. 1 tsp baking powder
  10. 1 tsp salt
  11. 1 tsp cinnamon
  12. 1 cup chopped walnuts
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Beat eggs, oil, sweetener, water and vanilla until light and thick.
  3. Fold zucchini, then dry ingredients, into wet batter until just blended; add nuts.
  4. Pour into greased pan(s).
  5. Bake for 45 minutes.
  6. Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing.
Notes
  1. This was really yummy served warm with melted butter. It was equally yummy served cold.
Adapted from Just a Pinch
Adapted from Just a Pinch
A Bit of This A Bit of That https://gnatj.com/

No knead wholewheat artisanal bread

The #BestBossEver sent me a link on Facebook to this recipe and I knew I had to try it for Shabbat tonight. 

Although the actual preparation takes all of 5 minutes, you do need to prepare your dough a minimum of 8 hours before you want to bake it. 

So I made my dough last night before I went to bed. It literally took 5 minutes. This afternoon I baked it, which took about 20 minutes to heat the oven and let the dough rest after shaping and a further 45 minutes to bake. 

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Here’s the recipe. 

No knead wholewheat artisanal bread
Easy peasy bread
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
45 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup white flour
  2. 2 cups wholewheat flour
  3. 1 teaspoon salt
  4. 1/2 teaspoon yeast
  5. 1 and 1/2 cups warm water
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl mix all ingredients together with a wooden spoon.
  2. Mixture will be shaggy looking.
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap not too tightly (I then covered the bowl with a towel).
  4. Leave at room temperature for a minimum of 8 hours but up to 24 hours.
  5. The dough will have doubled in size and look bubbly.
  6. Turn oven to 180C and place a high sided dish into the oven to get warm.
  7. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and shape into a round.
  8. Set aside until the oven is ready.
  9. Once ready, cut an 'x' into the bread and gently transfer to the hot dish.
  10. Do NOT burn yourself!
  11. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes covered.
  12. Uncover the dish and bake for a further 15 minutes.
  13. Let cool before slicing.
Adapted from It's Always Autumn
A Bit of This A Bit of That https://gnatj.com/

Whole wheat scones of yumminess!

Over the last few months, Paul’s blood sugar has started acting up. He’s now on a new medication and I’ve renewed my efforts to cook and bake healthier, more diabetic friendly options.

On Saturday we decided to watch a movie with the kids and I wanted to make a snack of some sort that we could all enjoy.

I cant really remember what made me think of scones but I bought some organic whole wheat flour and decided to do a google search.

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The results were divine. The kids went back for 3rds and 4ths and Paul said the scones were excellent.

Sugar free whole wheat scones
Yields 12
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  2. 1 cup whole wheat flour
  3. 3 tablespoons 'spoon for spoon' sugar substitute
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  5. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  6. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda (I totally forgot to add this and it came out just fine)
  7. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  8. 1/3 cup butter
  9. 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  10. 1/3 cup buttermilk (I didn't have buttermilk so I used a mixture of 1 cup milk with 1 tablespoon vinegar and then used the required amount)
  11. 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  12. Buttermilk for brushing
  13. Rolled oats to sprinkle on top of the dough
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar substitute, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Using a pastry blender (or your fingers), cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.
  5. In a small bowl, beat egg slightly; stir in the 1/3 cup buttermilk and cranberries.
  6. Add buttermilk mixture all at once to flour mixture.
  7. Stir just until moistened (some of the dough may look dry).
  8. Turn out onto a floured surface.
  9. Knead dough for 10 to 12 strokes or until nearly smooth.
  10. Pat dough to an 8-inch circle about 3/4 inch thick.
  11. Brush top with additional buttermilk; sprinkle with oats, pressing gently into dough.
  12. Cut into 12 wedges. (I used circle and heart shaped cookie cutters, I then took the left over dough and smooched it into 'rounds')
  13. Place dough wedges 1 inch apart on an ungreased or parchment-lined baking sheet.
  14. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until edges are light browned.
  15. Serve warm.
Adapted from Diabetic Living
Adapted from Diabetic Living
A Bit of This A Bit of That https://gnatj.com/

A lesson in patience

A few weeks ago Louisa posted that she was making sourdough. I hounded her relentlessly on Twitter about the process and she inspired me to try it myself.

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I knew it was going to take time, you have to create a starter (a mix of flour and water that creates a natural yeast) and that it would take at least a week for it to be ready. I didn’t realise that actually making the bread would take almost an entire day (PSA: read the recipe from start to finish before you begin), because the yeast is not instant it takes much longer for the dough to proof (rise) than normal bread.

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Starter

So, yup, not only did I learn how to make sourdough, I got a healthy lesson in patience.

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I have to say, the time it took was well worth it. My bread was delicious, especially with a big bowl of homemade chicken soup!

First up: How to make a starter

Sourdough Starter
A natural yeast made from flour and water
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Ingredients
  1. Flour (rye is suggested as the easiest flour to use, I used regular flour)
  2. Warm water
  3. Glass container with lid
Instructions
  1. Make sure your glass jar and any spoons you use are clean.
  2. Place half a cup flour and half a cup warm water in the glass jar.
  3. Mix gently and close the jar loosely.
  4. Leave for 24 hours.
  5. The next day, pour some of the mixture out and add another half cup flour and half cup water and mix (this is called feeding).
  6. Again, leave the mixture for 24 hours.
  7. The next day your mixture should have bubbles and should start increasing in size.
  8. Continue pouring off a bit and adding flour and water daily.
  9. Your starter should have a pleasant sour smell to it and should look like marshmallow fluff.
  10. It should take roughly a week for your starter to be ready to bake with although it can take longer.
  11. If your starter smells bad or turns green/blue, throw it out and start again.
Notes
  1. I forgot to feed my starter for a few days here and there, the only down side to this is that it took two weeks for it to be ready to use.
  2. Instead of throwing away the starter that you pour off you can pour it into a 2nd (or 3rd) jar and create another starter.
Adapted from Tips for making a starter
A Bit of This A Bit of That https://gnatj.com/
Now for the bread recipe.

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Crispy crust, yummy bread

I wanted something really simple to start with and I found a recipe on BBCGoodFood that looked like it fit the bill. I think my recipe still needs some tweaking but it was delish!

Easy Sourdough Bread
Yields 1
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Total Time
9 hr 40 min
Total Time
9 hr 40 min
Ingredients
  1. 300g sourdough starter
  2. 500g flour of your choice, I used plain white flour
  3. 225ml warm water
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. 1 tablespoon honey (I left this out)
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients except the salt into a bowl.
  2. Mix with your hands until the dough starts to come together.
  3. Add the salt and continue mixing/kneading the dough.
  4. Add a bit of flour if the dough is too sticky or a bit of water if the dough is too dry.
  5. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  6. Place in an oiled bowl and cover with cling wrap and a towel, leave in a warm place to rise for about 3 hours or until doubled in size.
  7. Remove from the bowl and knead gently to remove air bubbles.
  8. Gently flour the dough and place it seam side up in a medium sized bowl or proofing bowl to keep it shape.
  9. Cover in cling wrap and a towel again and leave in a warm space to rise for about 6 hours.
  10. Heat your oven to 200C and place a baking tray inside to warm up.
  11. Place a pan with water at the bottom to create steam, this helps form a crispy crust.
  12. Once the tray is heated, lightly dust the tray with flour and gently tip your bread onto the tray.
  13. You can cut lines into the top of the dough at this point.
  14. Bake for 40 minutes.
  15. You can open the oven door 5 - 10 minutes before its done to let the steam escape, prop the door open with a wooden spoon (I forgot this step and my crust burned a bit).
Adapted from BBCGoodFood
Adapted from BBCGoodFood
A Bit of This A Bit of That https://gnatj.com/
All photos by Paul

Chocolate Chip Condensed Milk Cookies

These are really yummy. Silky and smooth and not too sweet. Enjoy with a cup of coffee.

Chocolate Chip Condensed Milk Cookies
Yields 60
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup soft butter/marge
  2. 1 tin condensed milk
  3. 2 cups flour
  4. 3 teaspoons baking powder
  5. 1 teaspoon salt
  6. Half cup chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Mix softened butter and condensed milk.
  3. Add flour, salt and baking powder and mix.
  4. Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Roll into small balls and place on a baking tray covered with baking paper.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes.
Notes
  1. These cookies don't spread so you can place quite a few on each tray.
Adapted from Jen's Favorite Cookies
A Bit of This A Bit of That https://gnatj.com/

Sugar free, no bake crunchie biscuits

 

 

 

Sugar free, no bake crunchie biscuits
Paul asked me if I could make him some sugar free crunchie biscuits and I found this recipe online. As usual, I’ve made some changes because of the ingredients I had on hand differed slightly. They don’t look as pretty as the originals but they are yummy.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup ground quick oats
  2. 1 cup unground quick oats
  3. 50g ground walnuts
  4. 100g chopped raisins
  5. 50ml canola oil (if I had coconut oil I would definitely have used that rather)
  6. 6 tablespoons silan (date syrup)
Instructions
  1. Mix both cups of oats, walnuts and raisins together.
  2. In a pan or microwave, melt the oil and silan on low heat.
  3. Add liquid to dry ingredients and mix well.
  4. Spread into a greased tray and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  5. Cut into squares (I only had a round tray so mine will be a bit non-squarish) and enjoy with a cuppa.
Adapted from Collecting Memories
A Bit of This A Bit of That https://gnatj.com/

Chocolate Ganache

Before I start let me just say, YUMMY! The ganache almost didn’t land up on the cake, I almost ate the whole thing straight out the pot!

So… I made a chocolate cake and didnt have any icing sugar. What I did have was cream and chocolate so I made a ganache.

 

Chocolate Ganache
All the recipes I found were pretty easy, a basic ganach recipe calls for a 1:1 ratio of chocolate and cream. For a more liquid ganache add more cream, for a thicker ganache add more chocolate.
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Ingredients
  1. 200g heavy cream (I used a 250ml box of 32% cream)
  2. 200g dark chocolate (you can use pretty much any chocolate, I think white chocolate would be amazing)
Instructions
  1. Heat the cream until it is steaming but not boiling.
  2. While the cream is heating, chop the chocolate into small pieces, the smaller the easier and quicker it is to melt.
  3. Remove the cream from the heat and add the chocolate.
  4. Stir with a wooden spoon until the cream and chocolate are combined.
  5. Allow to cool and thicken and then pour over your cake.
  6. Start at the centre of the cake and allow the ganache to run over the sides.
  7. I placed my cake in the fridge so the ganache set a bit.
Notes
  1. Apparently, if you have patience, you can let the ganache cool and then you can whip it and then spread it on the cake.
  2. Also, if you want to make chocolate truffles, increase the amount of chocolate to cream ratio, allow the mixture to cool and thicken and then roll into balls and coat in cocoa.
A Bit of This A Bit of That https://gnatj.com/

I have to say thank you to The Cupcake Lady, Angel for answering all my questions on Twitter when I was so impatient to ice and eat the cake 😉

Seriously decadent chocolate brownies

I asked a foodie group on FB to suggest a dessert that would travel easily as we were going to my brother in Tel Aviv via the train.

One of the suggestions was Nigella Lawson brownies.

I googled and found this recipe.

Now, I have to admit, I have never made regular* ‘from scratch’ brownies. I’ve always used a box mix. Never again! I am never ever buying box mix brownies again. These were so easy and so amazingly yummy! Will definitely be making them again and again. And again!

Seriously decadent chocolate brownies
Yields 32
I used slightly different quantities, mainly because they are the amounts I had available. And it turned out ok, so I am giving you what I used. If you prefer, click on the link above for the original recipe.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 250g softened margerine (I used marge since I wanted my dessert to be dairy free)
  2. 300g dark, milk free chocolate
  3. 6 large eggs
  4. splash of vanilla extract
  5. 500g caster sugar (I used brown sugar that I whizzed in the blender to make it fine like caster sugar)
  6. 225g flour
  7. pinch of salt
  8. 300g chopped walnuts
Instructions
  1. In a large pan, over a low heat or in a double boiler, melt the margarine and chocolate (break the chocolate into squares so it melts evenly).
  2. While that is melting mix your eggs, sugar and vanilla in a separate bowl.
  3. Check on your butter and chocolate and give it a stir to make sure that it is melting properly.
  4. Measure out your flour and add the pinch of salt.
  5. Once your marge and chocolate are melted remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes.
  6. While it is cooling, throw the walnuts into the blender and whiz until they are mostly chopped finely, leaving a few larger chunks if you like.
  7. Now, add the egg mixture to the chocolate mixture while beating with a hand held beater or in your mixer, the reason you are beating while pouring is so that the eggs don’t scramble in the hot chocolate.
  8. Once that is mixed together well, add the flour a bit at a time until it is completely mixed in.
  9. Lastly mix or fold in the walnuts.
  10. In a deep pan lined with baking paper, pour in your mixture.
  11. There will be mixture that doesn’t fit in the pan (regardless of how big the pan is, there WILL be left over mixture), make sure your kids are not around and using a spoon or spatula, scoop all that left over mixture into your mouth, thank me later!
  12. Bake the brownies at 180°C for about 25 minutes. The top of the brownies will look pale and slightly bubbly.
  13. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for an hour or so.
  14. Slice the brownies straight in the pan, you should get about 32 pieces.
  15. Serve with whipped dairy free cream and enjoy.
Notes
  1. Oh! These are even better the next day, if any of them survive that long!
Adapted from Nigella Lawson
Adapted from Nigella Lawson
A Bit of This A Bit of That https://gnatj.com/

*I have made ‘from scratch’ Pesach brownies but thats not really the same…

Pesach Rolls

Pesach, a time of matza, horseradish and lots of yummy food.

We decided to have cold meat for lunch today but the kids wanted rolls.

So I grabbed some matzo meal and made the yummiest rolls.

Ingredients

2 x cups matzo meal
1/2 x cup oil
1 and 1/2 cup boiling water
Teaspoon salt
Teaspoon sugar
4 x eggs, beaten

Method

Heat oven to 190C and grease a baking tray.
Add all dry ingredients to a mixing bowl.
Add the boiling water and the oil and mix.
Allow to cool.
Once cool add the eggs and mix.
Divide into six portions and place on baking tray.
Bake for 40 minutes.

And that’s it. They were very light and fluffy and went well with the cold meat and horseradish.

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Babke

Babke is a traditional Eastern European Jewish cinnamon bread.

Since it is a cold and miserable Jozi afternoon I thought a slight of warm babke, slathered in butter and a cup of tea would go down nicely.

And it did 😉

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 125g butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • cinnamon
  • 4 blobs of butter

Method

  • Set oven to 190°C and grease a loaf tin.
  • Mix the half cup brown sugar and the cinnamon together and set aside.
  • Beat eggs, sugar and salt until thick.
  • Heat butter and milk and add to the egg mixture.
  • Add flour and baking powder one cup and teaspoon at a time and mix well.
  • Pour half the mixture into the greased tin and then layer half the cinnamon and sugar mix over.
  • Pour the remainder of the mixture into the tin and sprinkle the remainder of the cinnamon and sugar mix over the top.
  • Press 4 blobs of butter into the top of the babke.
  • Bake for 45min.

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