Pumpkin and Walnut Loaf

The new season walnuts are just starting to ripen and fall off our tree so its time for this healthy, autumn inspired walnut and pumpkin loaf. Its designed to be not-too-sweet so you can toast it and spread it with whatever toppings you like or even just served simply with a little butter.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Walnuts start out with thick green skins, once the skins crack and shrivel, the nuts are ready to harvest.

Walnuts start out with thick green skins, once the skins crack and shrivel, the nuts are ready to harvest.

Pumpkin and Walnut Loaf
 
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Cook time
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Author:
Serves: 8 slices
Ingredients
  • 400g pumpkin, peeled and grated
  • 1½ cups rolled oats
  • ½ cup buckwheat
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar, honey or stevia
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Place oats and buckwheat into a food processor and blitz until a flour forms. Tip into a large mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients. Mix together all ingredients until well combined.
  3. Pour mix into a loaf pan lined with baking paper.
  4. Bake for 45minutes- 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  5. Enjoy warm or allow to cool then toast.

 

Spiced Pumpkin and Apricot Cake

For me, Summer stone fruits are officially in season when there are multitudes of apricots sitting in the kitchen, stockpiled my mum to make the year’s apricot jam. I decided to do something a little bit different and less sugar filled and make a (healthier) lightly spiced pumpkin and apricot cake instead.

Spiced Pumpkin and Apricot Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 320g pumpkin (peeled weight) peeled and chopped
  • ¾ cup raw almonds
  • ¾ cup wholemeal spelt flour
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground dried ginger
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup rapadura sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4-5 ripe apricots
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line a cake pan with baking paper (I used a 20cm round tin for this recipe) and oil spray.
  2. Take your pumpkin and steam or microwave it until tender. Allow to cool.
  3. Place almond in the bowl of a food processor or blender and blend until you have an almond meal- nothing too chunky. Alternatively you can use ¾ cups of store bought almond meal instead.
  4. Place the almond meal in a large bowl and stir in the flour, cinnamon, ginger and baking powder. Set aside.
  5. In another bowl, mash the pumpkin until smooth. Add in the oil, eggs, vanilla and sugar and mix well until combined.
  6. Add the pumpkin mix to the flour mix and stir until smooth.
  7. Pour batter into you prepared cake tin and smooth over. De-stone the apricots and slice thinly. Arrange the apricot slices on top of cake as desired until cake is covered but you can still see some batter underneath.
  8. Bake in an oven for 30-45 minutes (depending on oven) or until the middle is set and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  9. Allow to cool in tin or eat warm.

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Autumn Apple and Buckwheat Porridge

I had been craving a big bowl of buckwheat porridge for so long when this recipe came to mind. We have a whole row of apple trees in our orchard at home so there is always a glut of fresh, crisp apples to be used up come Autumn harvest so they were the obvious choice for this dish. Its also been getting a bit colder here in the mornings which means its time for the warmer and more filling breakfast options to shine.

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Fig and Dark Chocolate Hot Cross Scones

After trying out multiple “healthier” hot cross bun recipes I have given up trying to make this yeast-leavened, sultana studded treat – at least for this year. My attempts have ranged from disastrous (small sad buns so hard they could be used as a weapon) to disappointing (lovely and risen but dry and lacking salt). As a result, I have hung up my baker’s hat and relegated my box of yeast to the back of the fridge for a while. Instead I have chosen to make the cheats version of this easter staple, the hot cross scone. My rendition is generously filled with juicy pieces of dried fig, 70% cocoa dark chocolate and delicately spiced with cinnamon. Don’t get me wrong, I love the traditional flavours of spice and dried sultanas but sometimes a more luxurious version is called for.

Having said that, these buns are not nearly as sinfully indulgent as they appear….

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7 Ways to make Spaghetti Bolognese Healthier (plus my favourite vego bolognese sauce recipe)

It’s a staple in most Australian households and it’s the one dish that most people know how to make. Recipes can range from a simple 3 ingredient (bottle of sauce + mince + pasta) rendition or include over 20 ingredients (fresh tomatoes, different proteins and heaps of top secret herbs). It’s the go-to weeknight family meal and for many people it would also be a food of comfort but is it good for you? Well yes and no. You can make this dish as healthy or as unhealthy as you like. A giant bowl of pasta with a meaty sauce made using budget mince and topped with cheese is not going to be a very balanced meal (unless you’re carbing up for a sports event!) and will likely make you feel a bit bloated and sluggish after. While a small bowl of whole meal pasta with sauce containing heaps of veg plus a good portion of salad will give you all you need to keep your body working well.

Here I give 7 ways to make everyone’s  favourite go-to dish better for you

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