Even though my family doesn’t have a garden, every year we are blessed with homegrown produce from friends.
Last year I traded homemade bread for bags of fresh tomatoes. Another year a kind neighbor gave us cucumbers and collard greens. And this year we were given a bounty of giant summer squash from a friend that was more than willing to share a bag or two.
After she sent me this picture, I was a little worried…
As much as we enjoy squash ’round here, that would have been a bit much, but she only brought part of the bounty. (Thanks Ash!) :)
One of my favorite things to make with squash is squash bread. Although I’ve tried another recipe in the past, this year I adjusted my grandma’s zucchini bread recipe and substituted squash instead of zucchini. The result was a delicious treat that the whole family enjoys.
One of my earliest strawberry memories goes back to when I was four years old. My great-uncle visited our home in Florida, bringing a bounty of fresh strawberries. We sat at the kitchen table and I feasted on plenty of those juicy red berries with him.
And then there’s the spring evening several years back when we invited some of our Alabama neighbors over for a cookout. We sat on the back porch and ate homemade strawberry shortcake topped with fresh whipped cream.
With strawberry shortcake on my mind once again, I made these muffins. They’re moist and slightly sweet with a hint of coconut.
Moist, wheat-free strawberry muffins with a hint of coconut.
Yield: 18 Muffins
4½ cups oat flour (see notes below)
2 Tbs baking powder
1 tsp salt
½ cup coconut oil
¼ cup sucanat (or brown sugar)
⅔ cup honey
1 cup buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla
½ tsp coconut extract
⅓ cup flaked coconut
2 cups chopped frozen strawberries.
Whisk together the oat flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the coconut oil, sucanat, honey, and buttermilk. (It should be warm to the touch. This will keep the coconut oil from hardening when you mix it.)
In a large bowl, mix the warmed coconut oil mixture with the eggs, vanilla, coconut extract, and flaked coconut.
Blend in the dry ingredients. Stir in the chopped strawberries.
Line 18 muffin cups with muffin liners (or grease each cup with coconut oil). Spoon the batter into the muffin cups.
Bake at 375 degrees for 20-23 minutes, or until golden and cracked.
These are delicious warm or cooled, but are better set after cooling.
Oat flour can be made by milling oats with a kitchen mill or by processing them in a food processor (or high-powered blender) until fine. I prefer to mill the oats with my kitchen mill, since that produces a finer flour, but either way will work.
I have yet to try the matzo tea that the song suggests…
But I can vouch for this matzo candy.
This is a healthier version of the typical matzo candy recipe, but I like it more than any of my previous attempts. It features honey instead of sugar, and coconut oil instead of butter. It’s unleavened deliciousness for sure!
This scrumptious dessert features strawberries, homemade whipped cream, and a nutty crumb topping. It tastes similar to strawberry ice cream. But even my mom who happens to not like strawberry ice cream likes it. So maybe that makes it better than strawberry ice cream.
Whatever the case, it’s a sweet and refreshing spring treat.
2 cups frozen strawberries, partly thawed and sliced in half
1 cup honey granules (or sugar)
1 Tbs lemon juice
Stir together the flour, finely chopped walnuts, and sucanat. Mix in the butter 2 Tbs at a time. (I do this with my hands.) Spread loosely on a jelly roll pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes (be careful not to burn). Stir and let cool.
Whip the heavy cream and vanilla until fluffy. Set aside.
Beat the strawberries, honey granules, and lemon juice until mostly smooth (about 5 minutes). Fold in the whipped cream.
Spread half the crumb mixture on the base of a 9" by 13" dish. Pour on the strawberry filling, and top with the remaining crumb mixture. Freeze and serve.
Are you as excited as I am? I hardly have the right to complain about cold weather. But even in Alabama, this winter has been quite cold. We got a few inches of snow altogether here in our little town (that’s quite a bit for us).
Winter has its advantages–cute jackets, boots, scarves, occasional snowstorms, etc. But I’m looking forward to spring. Daffodils are blooming, the grass is slowly turning green, days are growing longer, and the weather is turning blissful once again.
Life is good.
And so is this lemon cheesecake. It tastes of spring–sweet, tangy, and light all mixed together. I imagine you could substitute lime juice for the lemon juice to create a scrumptious key-lime cheesecake. (I’ve got to try that sometime!)