An Attempt at Baking

Well, after a few relaxing days on Cape Cod with my parents, I’m back in New York. The fourth was full of family, friends, fireworks and food. After a week of vacationing, it was time to get back to home cooking today.

Dinner was a quick but satisfying salad and turkey burger, with many ingredients from our farm share. For the salad, I chopped fennel, radicchio, and red leaf lettuce for the base. I added thinly sliced apple, spring onions, local cheddar cheese and a few cashews for some crunch. I tossed everything with olive oil, lemon juice, balsamic, honey, garlic powder and salt and pepper. Super light and refreshing. We served the burgers in radicchio lettuce buns with a bit of the cheese, avocado, and onions.

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This week’s farm share also brought us sour cherries so I decided to try my hand at a sweet paleo treat. They definitely were interesting… The secret ingredient of sweet potatoes definitely gives them a different texture. I used this recipe with a few tweaks. Here’s how:

Paleo Cherry Pie Bars (from Alaena Haber)

Ingredients (Pie Crust)

1 ½ c Japanese (white) sweet potato, peeled and chopped into ½ inch cubes
2 T coconut oil, melted
2 T almond flour
¼ tsp sea salt

¼ tsp cinnamon

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Place sweet potatoes in steamer basket set over a pot of boiling water. Cover and let steam for 13-15 minutes until easily pierced with a fork. Transfer to a medium-sized mixing bowl.

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Pour coconut oil into the mixing bowl and use a potato masher to mash the potatoes as smoothly as possible. Stir in almond flour, cinnamon and sea salt and mix well using your hands while kneading the dough. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions and form a compact ball with each. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, create a small 4 x 5 inch rectangle with each portion. Smooth down with hands to ensure two rectangles of even thickness and equal size. Set aside.

Ingredients (Cherry Pie Filling)

1 cup cherries, stemmed and pitted (I added a few blueberries too!)
1 tsp lemon juice
5 large Medjool dates, pitted
1 tsp arrowroot powder
¼ tsp cinnamon

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Place dates in a small bowl and cover with hot water. Let sit for 5 minutes. Remove dates from bowl, reserving the liquid. In a small saucepan, heat cherries and lemon juice over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, breaking open the cherries with a wooden spoon as they simmer. Add dates and 2 tsp reserved liquid to the pan, breaking open the dates as they cook down. Continue cooking and stirring until you get a thick paste (about 2 more minutes). Remove from heat and stir in arrowroot and cinnamon. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

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Spoon cherry filling over one of the rectangles until evenly covered. Lift up remaining rectangle with a large spatula, and carefully lay it on top of cherry filling, using your fingers to smooth and seal the dough. Brush with 1 tsp melted coconut oil. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest in fridge for at least 1 hour prior to slicing. Slice with a sharp knife into 4 bars.

Will make a good breakfast in the morning!

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