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a word about sugar … and sugar-free banana bread

a word about sugar … and sugar-free banana bread

sugar has always been quite a controversial topic for me. on one hand, i know the health damages sugar can cause and on the other hand, i love cake, pastries, and sweet treats. so how can that work?

i have to admit i’m struggling …

i’ve always had a sweet tooth. i would rather skip appetizers and leave room for dessert (there is always room for dessert!) and i always had a very hard time saying no to cookies, cakes, or pastries. and i love baking. and how would you be able to create a light genoise sponge or fluffy meringues without sugar?

at the same time, i read a lot about the impact eating sugar has to your body and your health. and it’s clear to me that i want to avoid sugar as much as i can to live a healthy life. i did several sugar fasts where i cut out sugar for 4 weeks just to see how that feels … and the results were amazing. i felt strong, awake, my skin was glowing, and i had so much energy. but the most surprising thing was how my taste buds adjusted and got so sensitive towards sugar. a simple apple suddenly tasted like the sweetest dessert and i couldn’t stand any sugar in my coffee anymore. these experiments proved to me how conditioned we are and how simply we can change our habits and taste buds.

but so what about the sweet treats?

well, first of all, i truly believe in the 80/20 rule (read more about my general approach to nutrition here). i recommend reducing your sugar intake to a minimum. and when i say sugar i mean artificial sweeteners, juice, and dried fruit as well. but … every now and then have a sweet treat and truly celebrate it for what it is – a special treat.

the less sugar you eat the less you’ll ultimately need it. that’s why i always reduce the sugar amount by half in most of my recipes and people often don’t even notice. or even better you can replace the sugar with natural sweetness from fruit such as homemade applesauce or mashed bananas.

talking about bananas …. is there anything better than banana bread? i don’t think so. but although banana bread sounds like a pretty healthy treat a lot of recipes call for a ton of added sugar. not this one. this recipe is truly sugar-free as it’s only sweetened with the mashed bananas. it might taste a little pale at first – especially if you are used to standard sugar amounts in food –  but very quickly you’ll get used to less sweetness. and you can always spread some homemade almond butter on top – because everything is better with almond butter!

if you want to learn more about sugar and a sugar-free diet i recommend sarah wilson’s book “i quit sugar”. there are some very interesting facts about sugar in general and great recipes (i prefer the ones without stevia as i am not a big fan of the flavor).

i hope i was able to encourage you to cut down on sugar every now and then … you’ll be surprised how great you’ll feel.

love,

marion

 

sugar-free banana bread

November 12, 2017
: 10
: 15 min
: 45 min
: 60 min
: easy

healthy and delicious banana bread. without gluten, dairy, or added sugar!

By:

Ingredients
  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup milk (full-fat or nut milk)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
Directions
  • Step 1 preheat oven to 180ºC. line a loaf tin with parchment paper.
  • Step 2 mash bananas with a fork leaving a few chunky banana pieces.
  • Step 3 in a large bowl, whisk together eggs, coconut oil, milk, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla extract. add in bananas.
  • Step 4 add buckwheat flour, almonds, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt and fold through until just combined.
  • Step 5 pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin. sprinkle the pecans on top of the and drizzle over coconut oil.
  • Step 6 place the loaf on the bottom shelf of the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes.
  • Step 7 let cool slightly before removing from the tin.
  • Step 8 enjoy.
pink rainbow meringue kisses

pink rainbow meringue kisses

if you are looking for a pretty cake decoration or just some fun girly treat – these pink rainbow meringues are so easy to make but at the same time look so impressive!

i found these when i was looking for a fun cake decoration for the pink ombré cake i made for my friend’s girl’s baptism. the magic is about painting stripes inside your piping bag – and that’s it.

 

you can also make these using different colors and turn them into a real rainbow. have fun with it!

love,

marion

pink rainbow meringues

November 6, 2017
: 70
: 30 min
: 30 min
: 1 hr
: Easy

By:

Ingredients
  • - 150g egg whites (around 4 eggs)
  • - 300g caster sugar
  • - 1 pinch salt
  • - 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions
  • Step 1 preheat oven to 100°C (200°F).
  • Step 2 make sure your bowl and your whisk attachments are free of any oil – use a little bit of vinegar on a paper towel and wipe it all to be on the safe side.
  • Step 3 start beating the egg whites on a low speed first, then set to the highest speed and beat until soft peaks form.
  • Step 4 gradually add the sugar and beat until all sugar crystals are resolved (it took me around 10 minutes).
  • Step 5 for the piping, use a big nozzle and put it into your piping bag.
  • Step 6 use a simple brush with some food coloring paste and “paint” stripes on the walls of your piping bag. be careful so the sides of the piping bag don’t collapse before you add the egg mixture to the bag.
  • Step 7 start piping into your bowl until you can see the stripes appearing, and then pipe what I’d call little puffs on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  • Step 8 bake for 30-35 minutes and set aside to cool. as soon as they are cool, store them in an airtight container otherwise they’ll lose their crispiness.
  • Step 9 eat them or decorate your cake (for example this pink ombré cake) … et voila!
baking for friends … my first ever ombré cake

baking for friends … my first ever ombré cake

special occasions call for a very special cake. and when my friend louisa invited me to her daughter’s baptism i knew this is the perfect opportunity to finally try to make an ombré cake. and because leni-carlota is a sweet little girl, of course, this ombré cake had to be pink – inside and outside.

after several hours of watching youtube videos (check out cupcake jemma’s youtube channel) i knew how i wanted the cake to look like and was ready to go. it doesn’t only have the ombré effect outside but inside consists of layers of vanilla sponge colored with different shades of pink. and to top it all off i added some pink-striped meringue kisses for decoration.

after several (6!) hours of mixing, baking, and stacking the cake was finished! yes, it takes a while to bake all the different layers and your kitchen including yourself will look like a pink buttery mess afterward … but it was so worth it! when i finally assembled the cake i danced around in the kitchen like a 3-year old … and did it again when louisa cut the cake at the party and you could see the pink layers turned out just perfectly.

i love baking for my family and friends – seeing them enjoying my baked goods is so rewarding and makes me incredibly happy.

if you have a special occasion coming up don’t be afraid and try this – everyone will be impressed!

i have to say that some more advanced baking equipment like a turning table or a dough scraper really makes your live easier … but you can totally do it without.

one word on food coloring. i am not a fan of artificial additives and i am using natural food coloring such as beet juice wherever i can. nevertheless, for this kind of cake, i didn’t dare to make any substitutions just because i don’t think it would work since it would ruin the consistency of the cakes and the buttercream.

have fun and don’t forget to tag me (@bakeandnourish #bakeandnourish) when making your own ombré cake.

love,

 

marion

pink ombré cake

October 29, 2017
: 12
: 3 hr
: 3 hr
: 6 hr
: some baking skills required

By:

Ingredients
  • for the cakes
  • - 11 tablespoons milk
  • - 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • - food coloring paste (don’t use the liquid one)
  • - 1000g unsalted soft butter
  • - 1000g white sugar
  • - 12 free-range organic eggs
  • - 1000g of pastry flour (type 405)
  • - 40g of baking powder
  • - 10g of salt
  • for the butter cream
  • - 500g butter
  • - 1000g icing sugar
  • - 6 tablespoons milk
  • - 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • - food coloring paste
Directions
  • Step 1 Preheat the oven to 170°C (335°F), grease as many cake tins (26cm) as you have (i had 2 but the more you have the faster you’ll get the cakes in and out the oven) and line it with a baking sheet.
  • Step 2 mix the milk with the vanilla extract in a small bowl and then divide it into 6 smaller bowls. then add different amounts of the food coloring paste to the milk so you end up with 6 different shades of pink. i would recommend going heavy on the coloring because some of the colors dissolve when adding to the batter. set aside.
  • Step 3 in a big bowl (i recommend dividing the ingredients into half and do two batches as standard mixers are too small and you don’t want the batter to sit around for too long before baking) beat the butter and sugar on high-speed for around 5-7 minutes. then on medium speed, add one egg at a time. in a separate bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt and sift it into the batter in two stages, mixing on low-speed.
  • Step 4 weigh the batter, divide the total weight by 6 (or if you are doing two batches by 3) and put the batter into 6 (or 3) separate bowls and mix it with the colored milk. fill the batter into the prepared tins and bake one by one (or if you have a big enough oven, bake two at a time) for 20 minutes. the cakes are ready when an inserted toothpick comes out clean. remove from the oven, remove it from the tin after 10 minutes and let cool completely on a rack. continue with the remaining batter until you have 6 different shaded cakes.
  • Step 5 once they are cooled, cut the top of the cakes with a cake cutter or a serrated knife so you have an even surface and no brownish top. do the same with the sides, using a slightly smaller plate and cut around it.
  • Step 6 for the buttercream, put the butter in your standing mixer and beat it on highest speed for 5-10 minutes. be patient here – you want the butter to be really pale.
  • Step 7 sift the icing sugar and add it to the bowl in two stages. start beating on low-speed (or you’ll have icing sugar all over your face), then beat on highest speed for another 5-10 minutes. add the milk and vanilla extract and beat until incorporated.
  • Step 8 to assemble the cake, put the darkest of your cakes on a turning table or on a cake stand. spread a thin layer of buttercream on top, and continue the same way with the remaining cakes. then “crumb coat” (this helps to lock in the crumbs so they don’t appear in the final coating of buttercream) the entire cake with a very thin layer of buttercream. Put the cake in the fridge and let is set for at least one hour.
  • Step 9 divide the remaining buttercream into 3 and add the food coloring paste so you have 3 different shades of pink. now use the darkest color and spread it on the lower 3rd of the cake. this doesn’t have to be pretty just yet. continue with the middle color above and finish with the white buttercream on the top of the cake. then use a dough scraper to even out the entire cake.
  • Step 10 decorate with meringue kisses or use any other cake decoration you like.
apple pie fixes everything …

apple pie fixes everything …

is there anything better than apple pie? i don’t think so. that flaky buttery pastry combined with tart apples is just the perfect fall or holiday treat. and most of the time they come with a pretty decoration which makes them not only satisfying to eat but also to look at.

i was – and still am – always a little intimidated by making a pie. i find it quite difficult to make a pie crust that can be handled well without falling apart and at the same time isn’t overworked so it loses its flaky texture. also, there is that soggy bottom every baker is afraid of …

but it’s outside your comfort zone where the magic happens. so i decided to give it another try and it turned out really well.

i am also very impressed by all the decoration possibilities. most of my inspiration comes from all the talented bakers filling my instagram feed with beautiful pictures of their pie art. this time i decided to try a herringbone pattern. i watched a youtube tutorial before and i would actually recommend practicing first with some paper stripes before. i didn’t do that and ended up with my ipad in one hand and pie in the other while the dough got pretty warm quickly which makes it harder to handle … and you can imagine how my ipad looked like afterward. if you look closely you’ll see that i didn’t get the pattern 100% right but i think it’s close enough for the first time.

 

but of course, you can also do a simple double crust pie (make sure you cut out some holes for the steam to escape) or standard lattice crust.

so don’t be afraid of making your own pie. if you follow the recipe step by step nothing can go wrong.

this is also a great cake to make in advance. you can freeze it before or after baking. just wrap it tightly in plastic wrap first and then foil.

if you want to further experiment you can replace the apples by other fruit like plums, blueberries, or pears. although i still think the traditional apple pie is the best!

love,

marion

 

apple pie

October 22, 2017
: 10
: 3 hr
: 1 hr
: 3 hr
: some baking skills required

a traditional apple pie with a flaky crust and a fruity filling

By:

Ingredients
  • for the pastry
  • 450g butter
  • 680g all-purpose flour (type 405)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 150ml ice cold water
  • for the filling
  • 1500g apples (i recommend golden delicious)
  • 100g sugar
  • 60g butter
  • 3 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • for the egg wash
  • 1 egg
Directions
  • Step 1 cut butter in 1×1 cm pieces and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  • Step 2 combine flour and salt in a large bowl.
  • Step 3 add the butter and rub it in by hand (make sure they are cold) or with the paddle attachment of your stand mixer on lowest speed. if you have a food processor, just pulse several times until combines. there should still be pieces of butter but no more than the size of a small pea. work quickly so the dough doesn’t get warm or overworked.
  • Step 4 mix the egg with the cold water and add to the mixture until the dough holds together when you press it between your finger (it should still be crumbly).
  • Step 5 drop half the dough onto a plastic wrap, form a disc and wrap it up tightly. repeat with the remaining dough and chill in the fridge overnight (at least 3-4 hours).
  • Step 6 for the filling peel and core the apples and slice each half into 3 wedges.
  • Step 7 combine apple slices with sugar, butter, lemon juice, and cinnamon. in a pan, cover and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. uncover, lower the heat and cook for another 5-10 minutes until the water evaporates.
  • Step 8 let apples cool completely.
  • Step 9 preheat oven to 250°C and grease pie shell (20cm).
  • Step 10 remove one dough disk from the fridge and place on lightly floured work surface. roll dough ½ cm thick and transfer carefully to the pie shell.
  • Step 11 fill pie shell with cooled apple filling.
  • Step 12 roll remaining dough ½ cm thick and make any cake decoration you like. there is a great tutorial for the herringbone lattice here. make sure your work quickly because you don’t want the dough to become warm.
  • Step 13 whisk egg and egg wash the top crust. you can sprinkle with sugar if you like.
  • Step 14 place in the fridge for another hour.
  • Step 15 turn your oven to 190°C and bake on the bottom rack until golden, about 1 hour.
  • Step 16 remove from the oven and serve warm or let cool on a wire rack.
  • Step 17 enjoy.
vegan baking … chai-spiced upside down plum cake

vegan baking … chai-spiced upside down plum cake

vegan, vegetarian, paleo … the food world is full of labels that try to tell us which foods to eat and which to ban from our plates.

i personally don’t believe in labels when it comes to my food choices. for me, labels represent restrictions and a lack of balance in terms of nutrition and – more importantly – joy. i truly believe in a balanced diet that focuses on organic and real plant-based foods (read more about how i think about nutrition here).

but at the same time, i like to draw my inspiration from these concepts as they do address very important aspects of how to nourish your body by making conscious food choices.

about 90% of my diet is vegetarian, i try to stay away from bad carbs and reduce milk products to a minimum. when it comes to animal products i make sure they are organic and sustainably sourced.

with vegan becoming more and more popular i started to experiment with vegan baking as well. i could see how you can easily replace cow milk with plant-based alternatives. but what about the eggs? they are essential to baking and heavily influence the consistency of cakes and pastries.

but it actually works. there are great vegan recipes out there … like this one for a chai-spiced upside down plum cake. it’s a delicious fruity cake with a lot of flavors that come from all the spices (yes, it smells and tastes a little bit like christmas) – perfect for this time of the year.

when it comes to vegan baking it’s very important to me that the recipes don’t call for any processed substitutes like vegan margarine, tofu, etc. but instead use real and healthy ingredients. that’s why i like this recipe so much:

it comes without any animal products. coconut oil is a great replacement for butter and apple cider vinegar helps the cake to rise (make sure you add it last and immediately place the cake in the oven to bake).

whole grain spelt flour adds a lot of nutrients: fiber, minerals, and vitamin b. it also helps your digestion and keeps you full for longer.

the cake is very low in sugar. i used coconut sugar which is deemed to reduce blood sugar spikes compared to regular sugar and reduced the maple syrup to a minimum.

i usually reduce the sugar amount by half in any recipe. at first, you might think it’s not sweet enough but your taste buds adjust quickly and you’ll notice that your sweet tooth will be satisfied with much less sugar than you thought.

there is one more thing i love about this recipe. it uses a small tin and therefore is perfect for a small gathering with your friends and family!

have fun experimenting with vegan baking and let me know your favorite recipes!

love,

marion

 

chai-spiced upside down plum cake

October 15, 2017
: 8
: 30 min
: 40 min
: 70 min
: medium

By:

Ingredients
  • 6 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 30g coconut sugar
  • 3-4 small plums, pitted and thinly sliced
  • 300g whole-grain spelt flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (natron)
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1.5 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 0.5 teaspoon sea salt
  • 0.25 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 150 ml maple syrup
  • 220 ml milk of your choice (nut, seed, rice …)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Directions
  • Step 1 preheat the oven to 180°C. grease an 18cm cake tin with a ½ tablespoon of the melted coconut oil.
  • Step 2 sprinkle the coconut sugar evenly over it to cover the base. lay the plum slices on the bottom of the cake tin – they should be tucked in neatly so the entire bottom is covered with plum slices.
  • Step 3 in a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, and the spices and whisk to combine.
  • Step 4 in a pan, heat the remaining melted coconut oil, maple syrup, milk, and vanilla extract.
  • Step 5 pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until well combined.
  • Step 6 at last, add the apple cider vinegar and incorporate quickly.
  • Step 7 pour the batter into the cake tin and bake for 40-50 minutes (place the cake tin on a baking sheet to catch any seeping liquid).
  • Step 8 let the cake cool completely. flip the cake onto a serving plate so that the plums are now on the top.
  • Step 9 enjoy.
it’s pumpkin season …

it’s pumpkin season …

the leaves are falling and it’s getting chillier when i ride my bike to work. it’s officially fall now. and with fall comes pumpkin season!!! i love pumpkins and the moment they appear on farmers markets or in the supermarket i can’t think of anything else but eating pumpkin. no matter if it’s pumpkin soup with a hint of cinnamon (my mum’s secret ingredient), roasted pumpkin with cumin and turmeric, or a warming pumpkin spiced oatmeal in the morning.

but i have never been a huge fan of pumpkin pie. i somehow don’t like the texture. but there are so many other wonderful recipes …

… like this one for pumpkin cheesecake bars with pecan oat streusel.

i really like the combination of the creamy filling and the crunchy pecan oat streusel. and a pinch of cinnamon gives it that much-loved pumpkin fall flavor.

if you can i suggest you make your own pumpkin puree. it’s so easy and you’ll know for sure that there are no additives or artificial flavors. just cut a pumpkin (i used hokkaido, not sure if you could use other types as well) in 2x2cm cubes and steam in a little bit of water for about 20 minutes until they are soft. then puree it in a blender or food processor. done! you can store the puree in the fridge for about 5 days. or add any leftovers to your oatmeal or make your own pumpkin spiced latte.

this cake really makes me want to bundle up and talk a walk through the beautiful fall scenery … what do you love about fall and pumpkin season?

love,

marion

pumpkin cheesecake bars with pecan oat streusel

October 10, 2017
: 12
: 30 min
: 40 min
: 1 hr 10 min
: medium

By:

Ingredients
  • for the streusel
  • 150g chopped pecans
  • 280g whole-grain spelt flour
  • 200g spelt oats
  • 120g raw brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 250g warm butter
  • for the filling
  • 400g homemade pumpkin puree
  • 800g cream cheese
  • 150g raw cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
Directions
  • Step 1 preheat the oven to 200°C and grease a 25x45cm pan.
  • Step 2 in a large bowl mix pecans, flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon, and baking powder.
  • Step 3 add the butter and mix either with your stand mixer (use the paddle attachment) or your hands. it should be a crumbly texture that holds together when you press it between your fingers.
  • Step 4 press half of the mixture into the pan and bake for 10 minutes.
  • Step 5 remove from the oven and let cool for about 15 minutes.
  • Step 6 whisk together the pumpkin puree, cream cheese, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and the eggs.
  • Step 7 spread the filling on top of the pre-baked dough and sprinkle the remaining dough on top.
  • Step 8 bake for 30-35 minutes in the lower half of the oven.
  • Step 9 remove from the oven and let cool completely before removing it from the pan.
  • Step 10 enjoy!
for the love of bread

for the love of bread

i love bread. there it is. i said it.  these days this confession feels like saying you eat meat from factory farming or that you like trans-fatty acids. with gluten being banished from our plates because it’s blamed to be unhealthy bread has earned a very bad reputation.

i disagree. it’s not that bread in its most natural form is unhealthy. rather the highly processed loaves of bread that you find in supermarkets and – unfortunately – more and more fast food bakeries. that kind of bread indeed is not good for you. but not because of the bread itself but because of all the additives that make a bread last for over a week. what now?

i think bread is essential to our lives and a balanced diet. i grew up with bread and especially in germany it is a key ingredient to a weeknight dinner with your family. for me, there is something special about sharing a fresh loaf of bread with your loved ones.

while i agree that you should cut down on simple carbs i’d like to encourage you to enjoy a good slice of bread every now and then. and if i say ‘good bread’ i mean a bread that is made of organic wholegrain flour, water, salt, and time. time is essential to bread making and the fermentation adds a lot of bacteria to the bread that is actually very good for you and your digestion.

i took several bread baking classes in nyc and munich and am fascinated by the science of bread baking. it’s incredible how something that nourishing and fulfilling is made of a set of few very basic ingredients. i think smelling the scent of freshly baked bread feels like a cozy warm blanket on a chilly fall day … just have a look outside and you know what i’m talking about.

when i started to bake my own bread i quickly realized that i was struggling with incorporating it into my daily cooking routine. feeding a sourdough is work and requires a lot of dedication and time.

then one day i stumbled upon a recipe for “a life-changing loaf of bread” from my new roots. it’s rich, hearty, comes with a ton of seeds and nuts, and is super easy to make. i was intrigued and after i baked my first loaf i was hooked. this bread IS life-changing! especially in combination with a creamy avocado spread on top – best avocado toast ever! it’s not like your typical sourdough bread but is a great alternative to a cleaner bread version – and can satisfy your gluten-free friends at the same time.

the secret ingredient that holds all the seeds and nuts together is psyllium husk powder. it is a form of fiber mainly used to relieve symptoms of constipation and – in this case – as a food thickener. you can buy it at your local health store or online. in germany you can also get it at drug stores.

once baked you can keep the bread at room temperature for several days. however, i suggest to make 1-2 loaves and freeze the slices. that way you’ll always have a slice ready to eat …

i hope you enjoy this recipe and restart celebrating bread as an incredibly nourishing and fascinating food.

love,

marion

 

life-changing loaf of bread

October 5, 2017
: 12
: 15 min
: 60 min
: easy

a hearty gluten-free bread that is easy to make and delicious. recipe slightly adapted from my new roots.

By:

Ingredients
  • 150g gluten-free spelt oats
  • 140g sunflower seeds
  • 90g flax seeds
  • 70g nuts (any kind)
  • 4 tablespoons psyllium husk powder (flohsamenschalen)
  • 4 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons of melted coconut oil
  • 340ml water
Directions
  • Step 1 in a large bowl mix oats, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, nuts, psyllium husk powder, chia seeds, and salt.
  • Step 2 mix melted coconut oil with water and add to the mixture.
  • Step 3 stir with a spoon until it becomes a sticky dough.
  • Step 4 line a loaf pan with parchment paper or use a silicon loaf pan.
  • Step 5 spoon the dough into the pan and press it down firmly
  • Step 6 leave to rest for at least 3 hours, ideally overnight.
  • Step 7 preheat the oven to 180°C and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Step 8 remove the bread from the pan and bake for another 20-30 minutes. the bread should make a hollow sound when you tap the bottom of the loaf.
  • Step 9 remove from the oven and let cool completely.
  • Step 10 enjoy!
my heart goes out to the people in mexico … and mexican hot chocolate cupcakes

my heart goes out to the people in mexico … and mexican hot chocolate cupcakes

4 years ago i was living in mexico city and was sitting at my desk when suddenly it felt like the building was swaying … i had no idea what was happening and for a moment i thought it was just me fainting. but then people were screaming and hiding under desks to protect themselves.

this was the first earthquake i experienced and i was devastated. until that point, i didn’t know what it meant to live in a country where natural disasters are somehow daily fare and you just have to live with it.

last week it hit mexico city again. a 7.1 magnitude earthquake killed more than 200 people and toppled dozens of buildings.

i still feel strongly connected to mexico and the people who live there. fortunately, all my friends and their families are safe nevertheless all around the country there is help needed.

therefore i decided to dedicate this week’s little baking project (see charity for more info) to the people in mexico. i baked some mexican hot chocolate cupcakes. they are spiced with cinnamon and chili powder – just as you would drink your hot chocolate in mexico.

donations will go to cruz roja mexicana. they provide shelter, food, etc. to the people impacted by the earthquake. if you’d like to help as well you can donate money here – remember even a very small amount goes very far.

my thoughts and prayers are with the people in mexico and i feel more grateful than ever for living in a country that is not threatened by natural disasters like hurricanes or earthquakes.

love,

marion

mexican hot chocolate cupcakes

September 28, 2017
: 24
: 30 min
: 20 min
: 50 min
: easy

these cupcakes are spiced with chili and cinnamon and taste like a cup of hot chocolate from mexico. recipe adapted from cupcake jemma.

By:

Ingredients
  • for the cupcakes
  • 35g ground almonds
  • 170g organic plain flour
  • 5g baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda (natron)
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 150g sugar
  • 35g cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (or cayenne pepper)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 large organic free-range eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk
  • for the buttercream icing
  • 180g dark chocolate (70%)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (or cayenne pepper)
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 300g unsalted butter, softened
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 4 tablespoons whole milk (optional)
Directions
  • Step 1 preheat oven to 170°C and line two muffin tins with paper cases.
  • Step 2 mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, cocoa powder, chili powder and cinnamon and sift in a large bowl. add the ground almonds and mix everything with an electric mixer.
  • Step 3 add the butter and eggs and beat for a minute. add the milk and vanilla extract and beat for another minute.
  • Step 4 fill the muffin tins two-thirds full with mixture and bake for 20 minutes, or until they spring back when touched.
  • Step 5 transfer to a wire rack after 5 minutes and let cool completely.
  • Step 6 for the icing melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering (not boiling) water. add chili powder and cinnamon and set aside to cool for 5-10 minutes.
  • Step 7 beat the butter with an electric mixer for 5 minutes. sift the icing sugar into the bowl and beat for another 5 minutes. add milk if the buttercream is too stiff.
  • Step 8 slowly pour the melted chocolate and beat until the chocolate is well incorporated.
  • Step 9 once the cupcakes are cool, fill a piping bag with the icing and decorate them.
  • Step 10 enjoy!
breakfast lovers unite … savory spinach pancakes

breakfast lovers unite … savory spinach pancakes

i love breakfast. to me, it’s the most important and most delicious meal of the day. i never start my day without it – whether it’s a quick smoothie on a workday or a full-on brunch on weekends.

especially since i lived in new york i am obsessed with the variety of sweet and savory breakfast options. some of my favorites are green smoothies, oatmeal of any kind, overnight oats or chia pudding, pancakes, and – of course – avocado toast with poached eggs.

the other day though i wanted to try something new. and because i was also cutting down on sugar at that time i was looking for a savory healthy breakfast dish. since supermarkets in germany are closed on sundays i had to work with what i found in my fridge: fresh spinach, eggs, and avocado. i was close to whipping up a simple omelet but then decided to experiment and turn a sweet breakfast staple into a healthy savory version: spinach pancakes!

not only do they look amazing with their strong green color they are actually really yummy. i used coconut flour to make them gluten-free – i know this sounds strange at first but trust me on this one. i use coconut flour quite often for baking sweet treats but have never tried it with a savory dish. i was very curious but it actually works really well and gives the pancakes a nice soft texture.

for some additional creaminess, i drizzled them with a little bit of tahini and added avocado on the side.

i think these would also go well with some sort of tomato salsa and you could probably sub the spinach for any other kind of leafy greens (i am thinking arugula, swiss chard) …  i’ll try that next time.

these pancakes are a delicious healthy breakfast option and are great to surprise your friends next time you invite them to brunch.

happy brunching!

love,

marion

spinach pancakes

September 25, 2017
: 2
: 15 min
: 15 min
: 30 min
: easy

a healthy savory breakfast option

By:

Ingredients
  • 3 large handfuls of spinach
  • ¼ cup fresh herbs (cilantro, parsley, etc.)
  • 3 organic free-range eggs
  • 2-3 teaspoons ghee or coconut oil (melted)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour
  • ½ teaspoon of sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg
  • ½ avocado
  • 1 teaspoon tahini, for serving
  • red chili flakes, for serving
Directions
  • Step 1 put spinach, herbs, eggs, and ghee or coconut oil in a blender or a food processor.
  • Step 2 mix on high-speed until the spinach is finely chopped and the ingredients are well combined.
  • Step 3 add flour, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and mix again.
  • Step 4 in a large pan, heat a teaspoon of the ghee or coconut oil over medium heat.
  • Step 5 using a tablespoon, place the pancake batter in the hot skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side.
  • Step 6 repeat with the remaining batter. i like to place the baked pancakes in the oven (100°C) to keep them warm while i bake the remaining ones.
  • Step 7 cut the avocado in pieces and serve with a stack of the pancakes, drizzle with tahini and chili flakes.
  • Step 8 enjoy!
welcome to bake and nourish … and fig muffins

welcome to bake and nourish … and fig muffins

tadaaaa … wow this is actually happening. i am writing my first blog post. ever.

i ‘started’ bake and nourish some years ago. actually, it started as ‘my little baking project’. i had already discovered my passion for baking and my love for healthy and nourishing food. and i somehow knew that i want this to become a bigger part of my life. i didn’t have any idea what that would mean but instead had a ton of excuses … my kitchen in nyc is too small to bake … who should i bake for … i can’t eat all of it … i am busy at work … blablabla.

thanks to some amazing friends that really challenged me i finally decided to actually do something. i decided to bake for my coworkers. because everyone loves little treats that help you through a rough day, am i right? and because i also always wanted to give back to the community i started what i called ‘my little baking project’. on a biweekly basis, i would bake a cake or pastries for my colleagues at work in exchange for a little donation which i passed on to a non-profit organization.

around that time i also met ksenia from breakfast criminals who introduced me to chia pudding, green smoothies, and superfoods. i was inspired by her energy and dedication to what she is passionate about. and i was curious about this social media thing she was doing that helped her creating such a powerful community. so i decided to give instagram a try. i realized that i love sharing my passion with other people through pretty food pics and so i spent a few years baking for work and posting my pictures on instagram…

… and again it was some lovely friends who helped me bringing ‘my little baking project’ to the next level.

i baked hundreds of cookies with my friend alex  to sell at a pop-up store in brooklyn, my friend alice commissioned me to make her wedding cakes, i co-hosted a ‘yoga meats cake’ event with my friend julia at santosa yoga in munich, and my friend benedikt finally inspired me to come up with a name that better represents what i stand for.

this is when bake and nourish was born. it represents the balance between celebrating food and taking care of yourself. the balance between my love for baking and my interest in nutrition.

since then more and more people started to ask me about recipes. or how to substitute wheat flour and sugar for healthier ingredients. that’s when i realized that i want to have my own blog where i can share recipes, baking tips, and my thoughts around food in general. that was a year ago…

launching a blog felt pretty intimidating at first. how does one build a website? what is a widget? and what am i gonna write about? but then i thought ‘if you can dream it, you can do it’. and now it’s happening and i am feeling so proud and excited! i’d like to thank my family and my friends who have been such an amazing support on this journey! i couldn’t have done it without your encouragement and love – thank you!

when creating my blog i realized that i don’t have any pretty pictures of me baking. so i asked my friend sabine who is a great amateur photograph if she could help me out. so today we spent a wonderful afternoon baking and taking pictures and it was so much fun.

when i thought about what to bake i couldn’t stop thinking about the pretty figs i see everywhere these days. figs are so pretty, delicate, and add a really nice texture to any dish.

so i decided to make some almond fig muffins. they are made of wholegrain spelt flour and almond meal and are sweetened with apple puree and a little bit of raw cane sugar.

so they are not too sweet and are perfect for breakfast or dessert. the batter is enough for around 16-18 muffins or you could make these in a rectangular bake tray as well.

so this was my first blog post and there is more to come … tons of recipes and stories about baking delicious treats and nourishing your body with healthy food.

i hope you enjoy reading this blog and please try as many recipes as you can and share your feedback with me!

talk soon.

love,

marion

 

almond fig muffins

September 17, 2017
: 16-18
: 30 min
: 20 min
: 50 min
: easy

healthy almond muffins with sweet figs

By:

Ingredients
  • 350g unsweetened apple puree
  • 200g greek yogurt
  • 3 organic free-range eggs
  • 50ml liquid coconut oil
  • 75g raw cane sugar
  • 250g whole grain spelt flour
  • 200g almond meal (or ground almonds)
  • 15g baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • around 8 figs
Directions
  • Step 1 preheat the oven to 200 °C (390 °F) and line a muffin tin with 12 muffin cases.
  • Step 2 in a bowl whisk apple puree, yogurt, eggs, and the coconut oil together.
  • Step 3 sift the flour into a separate bowl and combine with the other dry ingredients.
  • Step 4 add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and gently fold them together. don’t over-mix it otherwise, the dough becomes sticky.
  • Step 5 spoon the mixture into the muffin tins, about ¾ of the tins.
  • Step 6 remove the ends of the figs and cut them in eighths.
  • Step 7 place around 5 fig pieces into each muffin tin and press them down gently.
  • Step 8 bake them for around 25 minutes, let them cool for around 10 minutes before removing them from the tin and letting them cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Step 9 repeat the last 4 steps with the remaining batter.
  • Step 10 enjoy!