Thursday, December 27, 2012

favorite things: my new roots

Sarah Britton's blog My New Roots is probably my most favorite food blog ever. Sarah is trained as a holistic nutritionist and cooks in Copenhagen, making and photographing food that is the best it can be.  

Her banana bread (sans sugar, white flour, butter, and cow's milk) is my go-to recipe. The sweet potatoes and hummus she made brought together two of my favorite things. And she explained the extraordinariness of quinoa

A few days before December 25th, I made her date bars. No sugar, no baking even. They were my contribution to the family Christmas cookie platter and my Nana (who makes candies that are pure sugar) even liked them. 

Date bars
(from My New Roots)

for the filling: 
2 cups chopped dates
2 Tbsp water
½ – ¾ cup orange juice
zest of 1 orange

for the crust:
2 cups pecans or walnuts
1 cup raw oats, ground into flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 Tbsp maple syrup

quick oats to sprinkle on top

1. Soak dates in water and orange juice for 30 to 60 minutes, depending on quickly they soften.

2. Coarsely grind nuts in a food processor. Add ground oats or oat flour and pulse to mix.

3. Add cinnamon first, then maple syrup one tablespoon at a time until the mixture holds together.

4. Lightly oil a 9-inch square pan or round cake pan with coconut or olive oil.

5. Press a little over half of the nut mixture into the bottom of the pan, reserving the rest for later.

6. Puree the date and orange juice mixture until it reaches a desired consistency. I left a few larger pieces of dates for texture, but you can blend them to a perfectly smooth texture too.

7. Crumble the remaining half of the crust mixture over the dates; press lightly with your hands of a spoon. Sprinkle some quick oats on top for garnish (this is optional, but looks nice).

8. Refrigerate. 

For the filling, using 2 cups dates, 3/4 cup water, and a tablespoon of fresh grated ginger. For the crust, use 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, a large pinch cloves, a large pinch nutmeg. 

I also tried using 1 cup walnuts, 1/2 pecans, and 1/2 cup sunflower seeds. Consequently, I had to use more maple syrup and a little coconut oil to make the crust stick. 

Sarah recently also did a TEDtalk in Amsterdam. She's a pretty inspiring lady. 

first image by: sarah britton
second image by: me

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