Thursday, June 7, 2018

Peaches, Blueberries and IBD on my!

So along with my new hobby of gardening, I’ve been on a huge cooking kick. Believe it or not, this is the first year that I’ve grown vegetables. I mean, I’ve grown plants before but I’ve never actually planned out and planted a garden until this year. And I must say that my garden is coming along quite nicely in spite of the fact that I got a little bit of a late start. You can check out my garden on Insta and a video is soon to follow. I digress. Back to my foodie and cooking kick. Anyone who’s read my blog for a while knows that I have IBD… and that’s where all of this started.

Without going into massive detail -- ‘cause I want to share a few of the recipes that I’ve made this week -- I was diagnosed at the end of last summer with IBD. I absolutely did not want to take traditional meds and I’ve opted to attempt to treat the disease via diet and exercise. Although I was ill throughout the winter, so far it’s been okay. I have to avoid certain foods and increase the intake of certain supplements depending on what my body has decided to do. The one constant is an avoidance of processed food. I’m talking store bought cookies, chips and all those items laden with heavy preservatives. My body simply cannot tolerate them and I pay far more attention to what I’m cooking and baking. Which is kind of how I decided to grow my own organic veggies. I’ll go more in depth at a later date. Let’s get to what I’ve baked this week. 

None of what I cook is exactly low cal; I actually don’t care about that at the moment. I’m far more interested in what my body can happily digest and what doesn’t make me feel ill. As a disclaimer, I’m not a medical person so don’t take anything that I write as anything more than my story. My first recipe happened because I’d bought peaches at our local farm stand and let them get a little too ripe. It’s a traditional French dessert called clafoutis that’s usually made with cherries, however any stone fruit can be used and it is delicious! 

Peach Clafoutis
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 6 to 8 medium peaches
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Confectioners' sugar

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 2-quart casserole dish and set aside.
  2. Slice the peaches into wedges that are 1/4 inch wide.
  3. In a glass bowl, sprinkle the peaches with 1/3 cup of the granulated sugar and set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the remaining 1/3 cup sugar, flour, and salt. Whisk in the milk and vanilla until batter is smooth.
  5. Arrange the peaches in the casserole dish and pour the batter over the peaches.
  6. Place on the center rack in the oven. Bake just until set, about 1 hour.
  7. Let cool and dust with confectioners' sugar. Optional – Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Sometimes you just get cravings like the one that I had for something made with blueberries. Initially, I wanted something with lemon and blueberry, but changed my mind when I saw this recipe by Martha Stewart. Yes, Miss Martha gets real fancy however I refuse to make my newly found love of cooking into something nerve racking and miserable! So my advice is to always enjoy what you’re doing and leave the neurosis to Martha!

Blueberry Upside-Down Cake
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries (I used frozen and it worked very well!) 
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup milk, room temperature

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 1-quart, 5 1/2-inch-diameter souffle dish. Pour 2 tablespoons melted butter into the souffle dish. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons brown sugar over butter. Scatter 1 cup blueberries over sugar. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In another medium bowl, whisk together remaining 2 tablespoons butter, remaining 1/3 cup brown sugar, and the egg. Whisk the milk into the egg mixture. Add flour mixture; whisk until batter is smooth.
  3. Pour half the batter into souffle dish. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup blueberries over batter. Spread remaining batter over blueberries. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean of batter, about 45 minutes. Immediately unmold cake, inverting it onto a serving dish. Optional – Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Okay, so I also made a batch of chocolate chip cookie. The recipe was straight out of the Betty Crocker cookbook. I will state that, that particular recipe does not include vanilla and I think that it’s weird not to put vanilla extract into chocolate chip cookies. So I added 1 teaspoon. I’ve found that I make all recipes my own. I have to because I can’t always tolerate certain ingredients. And honestly, if something is your delightful hobby you should make it your own. Happy Cooking!

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