Sep
09
2009
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Plums under a blanket

The magic of a plum tree

The magic of a plum tree

The plum trees in my garden have decided that this is their year! Standing on the ‘inside’ of a plum tree next to the trunk with the branches curving in like an igloo all around you is quite an experience. Everywhere I look the rich fruit pours down and I wonder whether I have gone to heaven. Fortunately, not yet…I’m quite alive so far and have been thinking about all of the many fine recipes I can prepare with these beauties.

First, to encourage you to enjoy plums, here’s the nutritional scoop on them. Plums are giving blueberries competition when it comes to antioxidant value (antioxidants fight free radicals associated with cancer and heart disease). In difficult economic times they could even be a preferable choice since a single plum can give you just as effective an antioxidant boost as a handful of more expensive blueberries.  Plums are also famous for their beneficial effects in encouraging good digestion due to a substance under the skin.

Apart from eating them just as they are, sweet and delicious, this season, it is hard to resist making a sweet dessert with them.  Here is my recipe for plums under a blanket which suits the cooling weather of September and isn’t too dangerous for your wasteline in delicate quantities.

Plums under a Blanket

800 g or 1.8 lbs plums
3/4 dl or 1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon

2 dl or just under 1 cup white flour
1.5 dl or 1/2 cup wheat germ
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 dl or 1/3 cup sugar
100 g or 3.5 oz butter
1 egg
1.5 dl or 1/2 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 125 C or 257 F.

Plums under a blanket

Plums under a blanket

Rinse the plums and pat dry. Cut in half, remove the pit and place in a cooking pot. Add sugar and cinnamon and cook on medium heat for up to five minutes so that the sugar blends into the fruit. Remove from heat.

Combine the dry ingredients for the blanket in a food processor and add butter cut into chunks, egg and milk. Blend until an even batter.

Place plums in an oven-proof dish and cover with the batter. Bake 30-40 minutes and serve warm. Of course, a dollop of cream is nice but not necessary.

I’ll be exploring making a savory plum sauce this evening. If it’s successful, watch this space!  Until then, check the Nordic Wellbeing Cookbook.

Written by Admin in: Desserts | Tags: ,
Sep
03
2009
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Lovely Leftovers

We love them at nordicwellbeing.com!

We love them at nordicwellbeing.com!

My grandmother always used to say that most things that you prepare taste even better the next day if you rehash them a little bit. I guess she had to develop this approach having lived through two world wars. The thing is, I tend to agree with her. I don’t know whether it has to do with actual taste or just the satisfaction of not wasting food.

Who doesn’t have a sealed tub of leftover cooked pasta in their refrigerator? Please raise your hand. Aha! As I suspected, no one is raising their hand. As I had just pulled this year’s beets out of the ground in my kitchen garden yet didn’t feel like spending too much time cooking, I decided to put two and two together and came up with this little number that is just superb. I know you must think that we are beet-lovers at nordicwellbeing.com (yes we are! see our Nordic Wellbeing Cookbook).

Beet Pasta
(per person to be served)

50-100 g or 2-3 oz leftover cooked pasta or cook up some new
2 medium beets, cooked*
30g  or 1 oz. Goat’s cheese: feta or chevre
2-3 tbsps roughly chopped hazelnuts
Olive oil for drizzling
Salt/Pepper

Place the pasta in a microwave-proof bowl. Chop beets into bite-size wedges and add to the pasta without blending. Crumble over goat’s cheese and add hazelnuts. Cover and heat in the microwave until warm (1-2 minutes on maximum). Drizzle over the olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss. Enjoy with a green salad.

* Cooking beets: Remove most of the stalk leaving about 2-3 cm or 1 inch on the beetroot. Wash and place in a cooking pot. Cover with water and add a bit of salt. Bring to boil and then lower heat leaving to cook about 30 minutes or until you can easily pierce the beets with a fork or other. Drain away the water and allow to cool. Remove the skin to use in food preparation. It should slide off easily.

If you do like beets (a wise health choice), please look no further, check Paavo’s Bytes and The Nordic Wellbeing Cookbook.

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Along the lines of food and frugality, please do check out the Ethnographic Museum in Stockholm which is now home to the Manna Exhibition which has toured Sweden, Denmark and the US. The new cafe, MatMekka, established simultaneously with the exhibition is well worth a visit!

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