BISCOTTI - WHOLEWHEAT OLIVE OIL WALNTS AND HAZELNUTS
In Tuscany, the most traditional cookies are the "Biscotti di Prato", also called "Cantuccini". I have tried many recipes, but usually they are too sweet. I therefore propose this recipe of biscotti, rich in nuts, olive oil and whole wheat flour. The sugar is there, I do not deny it, but much less than in the classic biscotti. With three of these cookies, a cup of milk, some coffee and a fruit, we will guarantee a positive start to the day: these cookies are very nutrient, not only in terms of calories. They are in fact based on extra virgin olive oil, and therefore no suspicious "vegetable fat" (e.g. palm oil or coconut), no hydrogenated fat, no fat"trans", very few saturated fats, plenty of monounsaturated fats (from olive oil) and polyunsaturated fats, mainly from nuts and hazelnuts. They are low in sodium (I never add salt in biscuits, even when salt is indicated in the original recipe), rich in potassium, and in fiber from the whole wheat. They are also easy and quick to make ... I suggest to try!
- whole wheat flour, 350 g
- unrefined corn flour, 150 g
- baking soda, 1 teaspoon + cream of tartar, 1teaspoon (or 2 teaspoons baking powder, if possible for savoury dishes)
- extra virgin olive oil, 200 g
- unrefined brown sugar, 150g
- eggs, 4
- walnuts, 200 g
- hazelnuts, 100
- raisins, 60 g
Heat Tthe oven to 175 ° C.
Cover two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Coarsely chop walnuts and hazelnuts.
Mix all ingredients until dough is firm enough, but not too dry.
Form long rolls (about 4 cm in diameter), place them on baking sheets and flatten them lightly with your hand.
Bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven.
Cut into slices with a sharp knife (about 1-2 cm thick slices). Make some space between slices, since they will have to dry in the oven with double baking (bis-cotti means baked-twice).
Bake again for 20 minutes. Check if they seem dry enough: they will feel a bit soft until warm, but once they cool down they should become crisp/hard. If still too soft, you can bake them a little bit more (low temp).
You should get approximately 75-80 cookies.
NUTRITIONAL VALUE per cookie (approx. 12-16 g each)
- energy 60 kcal (253 kJ)
- protein 1.7 g
- fat 2.9 g (of which saturated 0.3 g)
- carbohydrates 7.5 g (of which sugar 2.8 g)
- fibre 0.8 g
BREAKING THE RULES....
Semel in anno (once a year) we say, but fortunately I've got four children and so I can break the rules four times a year....How?
This is Matteo's cake (in the picture, double size).
INGREDIENTS for per 8 persons
- butter or oil (olive, peanut, sunflower, canola), 75 g
- eggs, 2
- sugar, 2 dl
- lemon rind, grated
- milk, 1.5 dl
- flour, type 0, 3.5 dl
- baking powder, 20 g
- strawberries, 1 kg
- sugar, 2 table spoons
- whipping cream, 250 g
Heat the oven at 175 * C.
Grease a cake tin (with removable bottom) and sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
Melt the butter and let it cool (if it is not for a party, you can use with excellent results a delicate olive oil or seed oil).
Beat the eggs with sugar.
Add the butter and the grated lemon rind.
Add the milk and finally the flour mixed with baking powder.
Bake for about 30-45 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut the strawberries into small pieces. Cook for a few minutes in a large pan with two tablespoons of sugar. Then mash them well. Allow to cool.
Once cooled, cut the cake into three layers and stuff with strawberries.
Leave in a fridge for at least half a day.
Cover with whipped cream and garnish with strawberries and candles....
A simple a quick to make cake, inviting to transgression, since it is good and based on healthy ingredients: olive oil, unrefined ingredinets (flour sugar) and in addition it is rich with the vitamins from carrots. How can one resist!
Remember, however, that each slice contributes to the daily caloric intake: act consciously!
- carrots, 300 g
- extra virgin olive oil, 100 ml
- eggs, 2
- whole wheat flour, 200 g
- raw cane sugar, 100 g
- baking powder, 1 tablespoon
- durum wheat semolina/flour/breadcrumbs for the baking tin, 1 tablespoon
- peel of one lemon, grated
Heat the over at 180°C (356°F).
Grease the baking tin with oil and sprinkle with semolina/flour/or breadcrumbs, or line it with baking paper. Small baking tins can be used in alternative (approximately 8 tins, 10 cm diameter).
Wash and clean the carrots, cut them in pieces and put in the food processor, with oil, sugar, lemon peel and eggs.
Blend well, to obtain a foamy and homogeneous cream.
Sift together flour and baking powder into a bowl (to be frank, I never sift, I just mix together).
Add the wet mixture and mix.
Pour the mixture in the baking tin or tins.
Bake the cake for 35 minuts, the small tins for 25 minutes.
NUTRITIONAL VALUE per slice (8 slices per cake) or per one mini cake
- energy 165 kcal / 701 kJ
- protein 5.2 g
- fat 1.7 g (of which saturates 0.5 g)
- carbohydrates 34.3 (of which sugars 16.0)
- fibre 3.6 g
- sodium 279 mg
- potassium 204 mg
CRISPY ORANGE SLICES - gluten free/vegan
I was talking with a friend about candied orange peels, a recipe that cannot be posted in this web site: 1kg of sugar for 1 kg of orange peels! But I recalled that last year, almost by chance, I baked a few orange slices in the oven, while I was dehydrating rose hips. The result was a surprise. A fantastic snack, for those moments when you need somthing sweet...
By the way, there are some ongoing studies looking at the anti-cancer effect of some of the compounds in orange peels, although I cannot garantee that the compounds will survive undamaged to the dehydration process.
But at least you will have tried something sweet without a by load of refined (or artificial) sugars.
- oranges (preferably organic), 4
Heat the oven at 50°C (122°F) - best if in a convection oven.
Wash/brush the oranges very well.
Cut in this slices (approx 3 mm thick), being careful to obtain whole slices. If you find this too hard, cut the oranges in two, and then cut the slices to obtain semi-circles.
Put the slices on a baking sheet lined with baking paper, and bake for 4-5 hours.
Extract from the over, turn the slices upside-down, and then put again in the oven for additional 4-5 hours, or until dry.
Cool down. Store in tightly closed glass jars, to keep the slices' crispness.
NUTRIENT COMPOSITION for one dehydrated orange (weight of the fresh orange = 150 g)
- energy 51 kcal
- soluble carbohydrates (sugars) 12 g
I cannot find analytic data, and it is therefore difficoult to estimate mineral and vitamin composition
TUSCAN CASTAGNACCIO - gluten free/vegan
This traditional Tuscan recipe is a perfect example of a simple farmers dessert, based on the sugars (soluble carbohydrates) naturally present in its ingredients. It is vary fast to prepare and can be adapted to personal taste and availability of ingredients. Some people, for example add chopped orange peel.
Very rich in fibre and potassium. It's a good suggestion also a the base for a winter breakfast.
INGREDIENTS FOR 10 SERVINGS
- chestnut flour (called “neccio flour in some areas”), 500 g
- water, approx 800 g
- extra virgin olive oil, approx 6 tbl spoons
- pine nuts or walnuts, 100 g
- raisins, 100 g
- rosemary leaves, 1 branch
Add the water to the chestnut flour, stirring carefully to avoid lumps. Mix well with a wooden or regular spoon, or with a whisk, to obtain a smooth batter (similar to pancake's batter).
Add raisins, pine nuts/walnuts and blend gently.
Pour in a copper or aluminum pie dish, of 30-40 cm diameter, generously greased with extra virgin olive oil.
Decorate the surface with rosemary leaves and/or pine nuts and with a few "circles" of olive oil.
Put in the hot oven for 40-50 minutes. If you use a wood oven when the temperature is around 200°C, discards the hot ambers and ash, wait a few minutes and then put the castagnaccio in. An electric oven will also work fine: decrease the temp to 150°C when you put the cake in.
The chocolate coloured crust forming on the surface should become wrinkled, reminding of the bark of a chestnut tree.
NUTRITIONAL VALUE PER SERVING
- energy 308 kcal / 1294 kJ
- proteins 5.4 g
- fats 13.6 g (of which 1.9 saturated)
- carbohydrates 43.8 g
- fibre 6.6 g
- potassium 572 mg