I am a fruit fiend at this time of the year. One of my favourite weekly rituals is to go the farmer’s market and choose the best-looking produce that I can find. Obviously, this includes a variety of fruit, straight from the Okanagan Valley. I tend to go for berries, which are beautiful, juicy jewels that make my oatmeal and yogurt so much better and stone fruit, which I love eating on their own, as a snack. Despite the fact that stone fruit are far less reliable than berries- is there anything worse than a mealy peach? – they are my absolute favourite. I typically don’t cook or bake with my summer fruit because they are so delicious raw but when I was faced with making a light dessert for a BBQ last week, I couldn’t think of anything more delicious than a stone fruit, hibiscus fruit salad.
It’s the vegan chocolate mousse battle! You may be asking yourself, why would such a battle ever need to take place? Well, a couple of weeks ago, I was checking out some food videos on YouTube (as I contemplated making more of my own but that’s another story) and came across a Green Kitchen Stories video of some healthy avocado banana chocolate mousse. I was so excited by this healthy chocolate-y treat that I made it immediately (for some of my long time readers, this should come as no surprise to you. I am a total sucker for anything vaguely healthy and super chocolatey). Long story short, I made it, I ate it, and then I fell into an internet search spiral exploring the world of healthy-ish chocolate mousses. There are a lot of recipes. A lot of them go with an avocado base but I was intrigued though by another Green Kitchen Stories recipe that was a chocolate mousse with a black bean base. I was too curious to resist and decided to make that one too.
I’ve been on a bit of a baking spree lately. I actually really enjoy baking but I have very little self-control and try to limit the availability of sweet treats hanging around the house. The other day I was looking for a super healthy cookie recipe and I found this recipe, which was great as a snack, but it did not resemble a cookie in the slightest. It was more of an oat bar. While I appreciated that there were tons of whole, hearty ingredients in them, they didn’t taste like a dessert at all and would never satisfy my mid-afternoon sweet tooth (in retrospect, I think that the “cookie” referred more to the shape of the bar than anything else). Although, on a side note, I did find it hilarious that my boyfriend was enjoying crumbling them into his breakfast cereal until I told him there were beans in them, at which point he was less keen on the “bean cookies”. Needless to say, I was still on the lookout for a healthy-ish cookie. I eventually came across a version of these vegan chocolate almond cookies on My Darling Lemon Thyme. Of course, the chocolate and almond combination immediately caught my eye: they are a match made in heaven. On top of that, I liked how the only non-vegan ingredient in the original recipe was an egg, which is pretty easy to replace. Even though I’m not vegan, I like to have a few vegan desserts in my arsenal to share with friends that are or bring to potlucks.
This past week at the farmer’s market I bought a five pound box of organic apricots for five dollars. What was I going to do with five pounds of apricots? Good question. All I knew was that I couldn’t pass up such a good deal. Also, there was a catch. The apricots were good for baking but not so great fresh. They were very, very soft (which I knew when I bought them) and this made my options even more limited (because I could definitely easily eat at least one or two pounds of them by the handful). The first pound and a half of apricots were a no-brainer. I made this healthy breakfast crisp, which is perfect to have hanging out in the fridge. I figured I could also freeze some for smoothies. But, I was left with figuring out what to do with the rest. When I think of apricots, I think of apricot rosemary jam right away. In fact, one of the first recipes I posted on this blog was an apricot rosemary crisp. I had apricot rosemary jam for the first time in Scotland a few years ago. The flavour combination was amazing. But, I didn’t want to make jam on it’s own. It’s hard for us to get through a whole thing of jam because we don’t really eat much bread. In looking up jam recipes online I finally came across a winner. My New Roots had sandwich cookies on her website, so I decided that apricot jam sandwich cookies was a pretty good use for the rest of my apricots.