Saturday, May 25, 2013

Giveaway Winner!

Mac picked and the winner of the Whole Grain Vegan Baking Book is Sarina! Congratulations Sarina, please email me your address so I can forward it onto the publisher to send you out a copy!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Whole Grain Vegan Baking Blog Tour!

When Celine (of and Tami (of asked if I would like to take part in their blog tour for Whole Grain Vegan Baking, I knew it was the perfect time to get back to blogging. I was lucky enough to be a tester for this amazing book and took full advantage, baking nearly everything they posted. Baking has always had a special place in my heart since it is the very brightest memory I have of my grandmother. I will admit that previous to testing for this book, I didn't have much faith in whole grain baking. I was a skeptic for sure. In the past, I had eaten my fair share of dry, heavy bran muffins or homemade whole grain bread to find nothing more than disappointing cardboard when I sliced it. It seemed impossible that they could change my mind and yet, everytime I tasted something, I would exclaim "This is whole grain!? Oh my goodness it's sooooo light and tasty and...". I honestly couldn't believe it everytime and you think I would have after, you know, 10 or 20 tests but still at test 100 I was in disbelief. Celine and Tami seemed to have found the magic secret of whole grain baking and they were kind enough to share it with all of us in Whole Grain Vegan Baking.

Today, I get to not only share one of my favourite (although not technically baked) recipes from the book but I also get to giveaway a copy of the book thanks to the generosity of the books' publisher, Fair Winds Press. They are happy to ship a copy to the winner (as long as you live in Canada or the United States) so that you too can bake all kinds of delicious and healthy baked goods.

Once you get your copy (and trust me you should get one!), you will be thumbing through reading all the recipe names and drooling over Celine's beautiful photography that will make you wish you could just pick them off the page to taste (someone's working on this right?!) and you might feel like ahhh where do I start and I'm here to help. I have made so many of these recipes over and over again since testing and have fed them to all kinds of willing taste testers and can tell honestly can't go wrong. Anything you choose is going to be great but for those that want a little guidance here's a list of a few of my favourites and why.

Morning Boost Muesli - okay so it's not baked but Celine is Swiss and had to share the perfect whole grain muesli with the world. It became a bit of an obsession for me. I bought the necessary ingredients in bulk because I would just decimate the normal small bags of flakes within a week. I ate it everyday for breakfast for weeks on end. I couldn't get enough. It will fill you up for a busy morning and you won't be searching for that 10am snack. I love it so much that I asked Celine and Tami if I could share the recipe with you and they said yes! (I've put the recipe below so don't forget to scroll down and try it!) I could include my own picture but decided to post Celine's gorgeous shot of it instead as a little sneak peek at the book and because it looks so adorable in those little tulip jars.

Cracked-Wheat Pan Rolls - these are the yummiest, tenderest, fluffiest, tastiest pan rolls I've ever had. My kiddo munched one down and then started to guard them so no one else could eat them because he wanted to save them for another day. That's food love! I have made them again and again (by request) and they always come out perfectly. The cracked wheat adds a nice crunch to them and they are perfect for sopping up sauces (like gravy!). These have become a staple at our holiday celebrations and I'm sure once you try them, they will become part of yours too.

Whole Wheat Lemon Tartlets - time to profess my love for all things curd in this book. Celine and I joked over and over about matching tattoos saying "Curd Love Forever". Any variation, any application, I loved! These tartlets have a special place though because they were the first. The crust is perfectly tender and buttery without butter and the filling is tart and creamy. They are a fancy dessert that you could serve up at a dinner party or you could enjoy in your jammies while watching a movie (my preferred way).

English Muffin Bread - if you love English muffins, this loaf is for you! My family fell in love with this one and I have made it more than 10 times now. It is full of nooks and crannies but less of a hassle than cooking individual English muffins in those rings. All the flavour and texture of the real deal with less fuss...I'm in! This loaf is perfect for making breakfast sandwiches on (like the Country Sausage Sandwich from Celine and Tami's previous work of genius, Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day!) or just toasting a slice with butter for breakfast.

Wholesome Vanilla Pound Cake - Remember that curd love I was telling you's the perfect vehicle for that curd to get in your belly! This pound cake comes together so quick and easy that it will be hard to have an excuse to not make it all the time. It is amazing with fresh berries and any of the curd variations in the book. We've even made cake skewers with it and dipped them in cream. When Mac first tried it, he said "this is soooo going to be my birthday cake every year" so that's a big seal of approval!

Raspberry Spelt Danishes - now I'm not gonna lie, these are a bit more time consuming but they are definitely worth the effort and time you put in. They are a special treat that you will love to make for weekend brunch or maybe for Mother's Day (it's coming up folks!). The raspberry filling mixed with the zest in the dough and filling make a super combo and the tender pastry will make you swoon.

Kelly's Oatmeal Spelt Cookies - okay I may sound super braggy here but even without my name on them I would love these cookies! I asked (okay begged) Celine to create a cookie based on my morning oatmeal and boy did she deliver! They are jam packed full of good stuff like dried apples and nuts and oats. They are perfect for breakfast on the go or a snack in the afternoon when you are starting to feel a little sleepy and hungry (or is that just me around 2pm?). They are kid approved in this house, Mac was a big fan! for that recipe I promised. Mix it up now so you can have some for breakfast tomorrow as it has to sit in the fridge overnight.

Morning Boost Muesli
(Published by Fair Winds Press, 2013) 

We know, we know: There’s technically nothing baked about muesli, but this is a whole grain book after all, and we love muesli too much not to sneak in a recipe for it. Loaded with cracked wheat, wheat germ, heart-healthy spelt flakes, and pleasantly chewy kamut flakes, this breakfast will ensure you won’t get hungry again before lunch.

1 cup (235 ml) water
53 g (1⁄3 cup) dry cracked wheat
pinch of fine sea salt
240 g (1 cup) plain or vanilla-flavored vegan yogurt
1 cup (235 ml) unsweetened pineapple juice
24 g (1⁄4 cup) rolled spelt flakes
24 g (1⁄4 cup) rolled kamut flakes
20 g (2 heaping tablespoons) date crumbles or chopped dried cranberries
25 g (1⁄4 cup) pecans, broken into smaller pieces
16 g (2 tablespoons) wheat germ

Combine the water, cracked wheat, and salt in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover with a lid, and cook until the water is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly while preparing the rest.

Combine yogurt, juice, spelt and kamut flakes, dates, pecans, and wheat germ in a large bowl. Stir the cooked cracked wheat into the muesli, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight to let the flakes plump up. Stir the muesli again before serving. Eventual leftovers will keep well for up to 2 days after preparation when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator; stir before serving.

Yield: 3 cups (855 g), 2 large to 4 more modest servings

Serving Suggestions & Variations

• For a fruitier muesli, add 248 g (11⁄2 cups) of fresh pineapple chunks, chopping them finely before stirring them in. Other fruits, such as fresh or thawed berries, would also be fantastic when added upon serving, to further increase the fiber and vitamin profile of this healthy breakfast.

Recipe note
Date crumbles are nuggets made from dried dates, with only oat flour added to prevent clumping. They’re ideal to use in baked goods because there’s no sticky chopping involved, but you can replace them with regular chopped dates without missing a beat. 

And now for the giveaway! If you would love to win a copy of Whole Grain Vegan Baking by Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes, leave a comment on this post telling me your favourite baked good. A winner will be chosen by random draw (the boy likes to pick names from a hat) on Friday, May 24th, 2013 at 2pm EST. This giveaway is open to anyone in Canada and the United States. 

Make sure to check out all the stops on the blog tour. The complete list with links can be found on Tami and Celine's respective blogs. Just click on their names and it will take you there. Also, the next stop will be tomorrow with Mihl over at Seitan is my Motor who is sharing another recipe from the book! Don't miss it!