Tag Archive for 'spelt'

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

This one is for all my friends in the Northern Hemisphere, who are currently inundated with zucchinis and need help finding new ways to reduce their supply. Zucchinis have long been a staple in baked goods such as delicious zucchini bread, but the combination with chocolate is fairly new – at least to me. I made them 6 months ago for the first time and no one in my family could tell they had zucchini in it, which is a good thing. They are much more open to bananas and cranberries. I have made them ever since and get a total kick out of the surprise on people’s faces when they find out that they are loaded with vegetables, whole grains, olive oil and agave syrup. I admit, the combination sounds a bit scary and way too healthy for a treat like a muffin. But that’s what I am here for, to find new ways to combine the tasty with the healthy and make it delicious. I used agave syrup as a sweetener, which has a neutral taste and won’t give you the sugar high you will get from regular sugar. I packed in 2 medium zucchinis, grating them extra fine in the food processor and squeezing out the liquid with my hands. The flour is once again spelt and buckwheat, but any other will do without the need for adjustment. I used extra virgin olive oil, which might come as a bit of a surprise to you, but it’s my favorite oil and I try and use it whenever I include vegetables in my baking. You won’t notice the taste difference, I promise! Right at the end, I couldn’t resist and added 3.5 oz. of 70% chocolate, chopped into small pieces. Heaven!

Makes 12


2 small to medium zucchinis, finely grated and some excess liquid squeezed out

1 bar (100g or 3.5 oz.) of good quality 70% chocolate, cut into small pieces or a generous 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole spelt flour
  • 1 cup white spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup good quality cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Wet Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk


Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).

In medium bowl, sift together dry ingredients.

In large mixing bowl, mix together wet ingredients.

Add half of dry ingredients to wet mix and gently combine. Mix in grated zucchini and stir until incorporated. Add chocolate. Gently fold in remaining half of dry ingredients. Don’t overmix!

Divide batter into 12 muffin cups and bake for 25 minutes.

Spelt and Buckwheat Banana Muffins

I know what you’re going to think. “Who needs another banana muffin recipe?” There are “only” about 304,000 results when you do a search on google. And I have tried many of them on my decade long quest to come up with the most delicious, healthy, light on the inside, crisp on the outside, sweet but not too sweet, banana muffin. It has to be whole grain and believe me, I have tried many variations. Whole wheat, spelt, buckwheat, barley, quinoa, maple syrup, brown sugar, agave syrup, canola oil, coconut oil, olive oil, butter, apple sauce, eggs, no eggs, you name it. You see, my middle son, Frederick, loves banana muffins and has the sweetest smile on his face when he finds a batch in the kitchen. He would never eat a banana in any other state, after all the only fruit he likes is apple. But then again, he doesn’t appreciate those in muffins. He loves all of my experiments around the banana muffin, so when I found some sad looking bananas yesterday, I gave it another go. They turned out super delicious and therefore I wanted to share this recipe with you.  But be careful, after the great muffin onslaught in the afternoon, no one was hungry for dinner yesterday and for once we have lots of left-overs…

This recipe is equally suitable for banana bread. Just lightly grease a loaf pan, pour in all of the batter and bake at 180C (350 F) for 50 minutes to an hour or until toothpick comes out clean. 

Just a note, I usually use only maple syrup as a sweetener for my muffins and prefer organic, cold pressed canola oil to butter, but since I don’t have much of either at hand at the moment, I decided to use brown sugar and a mixture of butter and canola oil instead. If I would be in the States right now, I would use 1/2 cup of maple syrup instead of the sugar and 1/3 of a cup of canola oil plus 1/3 of a cup of apple sauce. Because of the extra liquid, I’d reduce the buttermilk to 1/4 of a cup. So depending on the inside of you cupboard, you can use whatever you prefer or have most of.

Makes 12 (+1)


  • 2 cups whole spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 5 tablespoons (70g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 180 C (350F). Line a 12-cup muffin tray with paper liners. I always have a bit too much batter and usually need a ramekin for an extra muffin.

Sift together flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In a separate bowl, mix melted butter, oil, eggs, sugar, buttermilk and vanilla. Add mashed banana.

Pour wet ingredients into flour bowl and stir in gently, careful not to overmix as that will make the muffins too dense. Fold in walnuts and divide batter into muffin cups.

Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from muffin tin and let cool on wire rack.

Roast Vegetable Quiche

This is a wonderfully versatile quiche recipe. The crust is delicate, crisp and light and blew all my worries in the wind once I tried it for the first time. It doesn’t contain any butter, which I didn’t think was possible at first. However, the careful baking instructions make this a winner and it will from now on be the main crust for any type of quiche I’ll bake. I made it with caramelized leeks recently, which was wonderful. I used the same recipe as below, without the pumpkin and cauliflower and substituted the Gorgonzola with Parmesan cheese. I sprinkled half of the Parmesan on the bottom of the crust before adding the filling and used the remaining half on top of the egg mixture. Since I had only one leek left in my fridge today, I decided to add some of my all time favorite roast pumpkin and cauliflower and it was delicious. The Gorgonzola added a nice note to it, but fresh goats’cheese or gruyere would be delicious as well. Read the instructions for the crust carefully. It takes a bit of patience and time to make the pastry taking into account the chilling and blind baking time. It’s worth it. Good luck!















1 cup whole spelt flour

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon of coarse cornmeal (polenta)

1/4 C ice water (more or less)

1/3 C extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp salt


3 eggs

1 egg separated

3/4 cup milk

1 /2 cup Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

1 leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced

2 cups pumpkin, cut into 1/2″chunks

1 1/2 cups cauliflower florets

3 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, or 1 teaspoon fresh thyme

1 teaspoon salt



  1. Pre heat the oven at 200 C (400F).
  2. Rub together all the ingredients for the crust with the fingertips , except for the water.
  3. Add the water, a little at a time, till everything comes together in a ball. It should not be sticky. Do not knead at any time.
  4. Place the ball of dough on an 8 inch pie pan and pat it out to cover the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Make sure there are no holes. Prick all over lightly with a fork. Cover the pan with a plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove plastic wrap from dough in pie pan and cover with parchment paper. Fill pan with pie weights or dried beans
  6. Place the dish in the bottom rack of the pre heated oven and bake for about 20 minutes (This cooks the bottom of the crust better). Remove the foil and beans and bake for another 4 minutes.
  7. Transfer the pan to the centre of the oven and bake for another 15 minutes or till the crust is dry and crisp. It will move away from the sides of the pan.
  8. Separate the egg. Brush a little egg white on the bottom and sides of the crust and bake for about 3-4 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven and cool completely.


  1. Toss pumpkin cubes in 1 tablespoon olive oil, spread out on paper lined baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes or until tender and slightly caramelized, approx. 25 miuntes
  2. Toss cauliflower florets in 1 tablespoon olive oil and spread on another lined baking tray. Roast for 20 minutes or until tender.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add the leeks and thyme and stir occasionally until soft and lightly caramelized, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Combine with roasted vegetables.
  4. Whisk together the eggs, egg yolk and the milk and season with salt.
  5. Fill crust with vegetables until they reach about 3/4 of the crust, up the sides.
  6. Pour the egg/milk mixture over the vegetables, until it comes to just a little below the vegetables. Sprinkle with Gorgonzola.
  7. Place the pan in the centre of the pre-heated oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until the filling is set.
  8. Cut and serve hot.

Chickpea, Tomato, Zucchini and Spelt Soup

I found this recipe on the ‘whole living’ website and was very excited about another soup recipe that is perfect for an easy weeknight dinner. The soup is packed with lots of goodness;  it’s got protein, whole grains, lot’s of vegetables and tastes great. Spelt grain is nutty and a nice change, but it could easily be substituted with brown rice or barley. If zucchinis are out of season, substitute with cauliflower, chard or kale or use more carrots.


Serves 4 (makes 6 cups)

  • 1 cup spelt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch lengths
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Basil stalks, shopped
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Place spelt in a medium bowl and cover with cold water. Let soak for 1 hour; drain.
  2. Bring 4 cups of water to boil. Add spelt and cook for 30 minutes or until spelt is tender, but still has a little bite to it.
  3. In a 5-quart Dutch oven or large soup pot, heat oil over medium. Add onion, carrot, celery, and garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in zucchini, bay leaves, paprika, cumin and cook for another 5 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes and wine. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Add cooked spelt and chickpeas and warm through (5 min). Season with salt and pepper. Discard bay leaves. Sprinkle with chopped basil and serve with grated cheese.

Cheddar and Chive Spelt Scones

These scones are crunchy on the outside and light and cheesy on the inside. No extra butter or cream required. They are quick and easy to make and would fit nicely on a brunch table or in your kids’ snack box.

You could also use this recipe to make sweet scones. Add 1/3 -1/2 cup of raw sugar to flour mixture, cut salt to 1/2 teaspoon and add 1 teaspoon vanilla to egg/buttermilk mix. Omit chives and cheese.

1½ cups whole spelt flour       

1 cup white spelt flour          

1½ teaspoons baking powder                

½ teaspoon baking soda 

1 teaspoon sea salt 

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened  

1 large egg plus 1 large egg beaten for egg wash

½ cup organic buttermilk

4 oz (120 g) mature cheddar cheese, cut into small (1cm or less) cubes   

3 tablespoons finely chopped chives                                              

1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200 C) and line baking pan with parchment.

2. Combine the spelt flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and with a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter in until it is well combined and resembles course crumbs. Alternatively, use standing mixer with paddle attachment and mix flour and butter on slow speed until mixture resembles coarse oatmeal (about 1 minute).

3. In a separate bowl, lightly beat 1 egg and whisk in the buttermilk. Add to the flour mixture, and gently combine. Fold in cheese and chives.

4. Transfer dough to a well-floured surface, and pat into a 9-inch circle. Using a sharp knife, cut circle into 12 wedges. Transfer wedges to prepared baking sheet; brush tops with egg wash. Place in oven; bake, rotating baking sheet halfway through cooking, until outside is crusty and inside is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Spelt Cinnamon Rolls

It’s almost time to go on holiday, but before I can go, I promised to post the recipes and a few picture of the May/June cooking classes. Not really knowing what to expect initially, I really enjoyed the experience, except on the day when just before class, I jammed the most gigantic splinter in my index finger by throwing a stick for my dog. It took 3 lidocaine injections before the doctor could pull it out, but thankfully that kept my finger numb for the rest of the morning and we went ahead and cooked.

My family loved all this new food on the dinner table almost every night. Once my husband looked in the pot just before dinner time and said disappointedly “Oh, we have had this before”. So yes, they got pretty spoiled. The experiments for the “sweet delights without the guilt” were especially popular, although quite a few ideas got thrown out because they tasted just a bit too healthy. Not so the cinnamon rolls, which need a chunk of butter and plenty of brown sugar to go with. Not really sure what to expect, when we took them out of the oven, we took one bite and oh what bliss. The flavor and texture turned out just amazing, if I say so myself. Since we already ate about 3 different types of cakes that day, I froze half of the rolls. I have been counting the days until I can take them out again and today’s the day. I’ll  let them defrost on the counter over night, stick them in the oven for 25 minutes in the morning and more bliss:-) Check them out, I even added a few pictures documenting the process. Sorry about the poor photo quality, the new camera is on it’s way!

These can be filled with any filling of your choice. Dried cranberries or cherries are nice, as are walnuts, but pecans with maple syrup got to be my favorite.

To avoid having to get up at 5 am for the rolls to be ready at breakfast time, make the dough the day ahead, fill it, roll it up, cut it into rounds and place in baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and stick in the fridge overnight (freezer is fine too, they’ll stay good for about 1 month- but need about 12 hours defrosting on the counter overnight). In the morning, remove wrap, brush rolls with remaining butter and sugar and bake. Yummie!

For the dough:

  • 3/4 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons dry active yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 cups whole spelt flour
  • 2 cups white spelt flour plus a little extra if dough is too sticky

For the filling:

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups toasted pecans, coarsely chopped

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, orange juice and sugar.  Add the yeast and stir to combine.  Leave for 5 minutes until bubbles appear on the surface. (If nothing happens, start with a new package of yeast.) Mix in yogurt, egg and oil. Add the salt, oats, and one cup of the flour.  Gradually stir in the remaining flour until the dough begins to form and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead, adding a little more flour if dough is too sticky. Once you have a smooth dough, place is in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise until almost doubled in size (about 1 1/2 hours).

When you are ready to shape the rolls, mix the sugar, cinnamon, maple syrup and salt together in a small mixing bowl and set aside.  Lightly grease a 9 by 13 inch baking dish or cake pan and set aside.

Punch down the dough, and roll out, on a lightly floured surface, into a large rectangle, 18 to 20 inches long. Spread about 3/4 of the melted butter over the dough, leaving one long edge uncovered so that your roll will stick together later.  Then, drizzle the sugar/maple mixture over the butter and spread evenly. Finally, sprinkle with nuts.

Roll the dough lengthwise (so that you end up with 18-20 inch roll), starting with the side that has the filling right up to the edge.  Press the uncovered edge down to seal the roll so that the rolls will not come apart when you cut them.  Cut the cinnamon rolls by looping a piece of dental floss underneath the dough, criss-crossing the ends over the top, and pulling tight to slice through the dough, or use a sharp knife.  This recipe will make about 15 large and thick cinnamon rolls, but you can also cut smaller rolls, if you prefer. Transfer each sliced roll to the greased baking pan, placing them cut side down. Spread them out evenly in the pan, cover, and let rise for about 1 hour.


Preheat the oven to 350°F (180C).  Once the rolls have risen, brush the tops with the remaining melted butter, and drizzle with maple syrup.  Bake for about 25 minutes.

Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.