sweet fruits of summer

My favorite part of summer has to be all the fresh fruit and the time spent making it into deelicious things! The day after I came home from my Ecuador trip, mom and I took Hana strawberry picking, and we still have bags of frozen peaches, raspberries and blueberries in the freezer to use up before we get this year’s harvest! Comus fruits are a bit different from the variety I was eating in Ecuador— fresh mangoes, maracuya (passion fruit), guayabas (guava)—and while I loved having all of these exotic flavors fresh from the vine, nothing beats the warm sweet strawberries we pick from Butlers, wild raspberries from the Martin’s farm, and Peach Tree Road peaches.

Mom whipped up a few mini berry pies to use up last year’s frozen fruit…

Then I decided to make these Strawberry Oat Squares, which I had been thinking about the whole time I was in Ecuador. I knew that right when I got home would be peak strawberry picking time, and this recipe looked like a great way to use them.

They almost taste like a good old Nutrigrain bar, which I enjoyed many of in my childhood days. But they’re much more hearty, wholesome, and healthy tasting, with homemade jam slathered and baked right on top. They’re also vegan, and interestingly made with chia seeds both in the jam and in the dough. Chia acts as a thickener in the jam and as an egg-replacer in the dough. I also like the seedy texture it gave to the jam— i love jam with chunks of fruit and seeds! Overall I loved these as a healthy treat- not too sweet but just enough. Mom even said she could eat them for breakfast. Yum!

Thennnn I made a simple peach-blueberry crisp for Grandma & Grandpa’s anniversary picnic at our house. It was a fairly healthy recipe by cutting the amount of sugar and using oats and whole wheat flour. Delicious with vanilla froyo!

yummyumyumyumyum, nothings better than a summer fruit crisp, except the one that I’m going to make when we get THIS year’s harvest!

-mich

Almond Butter & Honey Ginger Cookies, and some other fun things

I saw these recently on a blog and all of a sudden found myself in the mood to try them today. They just looked so chewy and flavorful, and the combination of almond butter, fresh ginger and honey seemed perfect. It was.

I made half the batch and added some pumpkin pie spice (because I can’t go without adding cinnamon to anything..) and mixed some cocoa nibs into a few. I made them into balls like the recipe called for and rolled them in turbinado sugar, but they didn’t really spread out on my pan at all— they kinda just stayed in little balls with cracked tops. But mmm they tasted gooooood. Not overly sweet, the perfect combination of flavors, and the fresh grated ginger was awesome! The cocoa nibs added a nice crunch as well.

Definitely recommend making these asap! here’s the recipe…..

Almond Butter and Honey Ginger Cookies (makes 2 dozen)

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/3 cup honey

3/4 cup almond butter

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated

1 1/3 cup spelt flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour)

3/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

turbinado sugar for coating

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Lightly grease or spread parchment paper/silpat mat onto baking sheets.In a medium bowl sift together flour, ground ginger, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.In a large bowl cream the butter with the honey and almond butter. Stir in the fresh ginger. Pour in the flour mixture and stir just until combined.Pour the turbinado onto a small plate. Scoop out a rounded tablespoon of dough, roll into a ball and place in the turbinado sugar, coating evenly. Place the ball onto prepared cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Let them sit for a couple minutes on the baking sheet before removing and letting cool completely on rack. Do not over bake. Store tightly covered for a few days.

I forgot how yummy cocoa nibs are- strong chocolate flavor but without all the sugar of chocolate chips! and nice and crunchy. perfect substitution for healthier chocolate chip cookies

The recipe can be found here.

I’ve also been bored and not feeling so well today and I wandered onto this pretty cool blog— this lady combines art and food to make some really interesting creations! Check out these Matcha Cake Sushi RollsMehndi Inspired Spice Cookies, or these Tuile Cookie Spoons with Peanut Butter Mousse. She must have some time on her hands! I guess I have too much time on my hands if I’m spending all day looking at this stuff though..

Ok one more thing, you have to watch this video. It’s too cute. (and it’s about squirrels, not cookies)

-mich

Tags: cookies