INSPIRE SHARE CREATE HEALTHY LOCAL TOGETHER

Category: gluten free

local blueberry crumble

Summer has come early to Vancouver and we couldn’t be more thrilled. This warm, sunny weather has us eager to get outside, head to the beach, and fire up the grill. Summer also has us thinking about all of the amazing seasonal produce Canada has to offer, like juicy peaches, sweet corn, and delicious cherries.

Most of all, we’re excited about the arrival of blueberry season, which  is set to begin three weeks early in BC as a result of our unseasonably warm spring. Blueberries are usually in peak season during the months of July and August. We are lucky to have blueberry farms across Canada, making it easy to shop for these berries locally.

This deliciously moist and nutrient dense cake has just the right amount of sweetness – with no added sugar! Sweetness is provided from the dates, almond flour and berry sauce. To top it off each piece offers 8 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber. The texture is reminiscent of cheesecake and brownie :)

Flourless Chocolate Date Cake

If I could offer only one piece of advise when it comes to nutrition it would be this: choose foods with simple ingredient lists, or better yet no ingredient list at all!

I attended the Vancouver Wellness Show this past weekend and was pleasantly surprised with the number of products being sampled that had simple ingredients without all the additives and chemicals. Three products in particular stood out to me that I would like to highlight.

1. Flaxseed Cooking oil

flaxseed oil

I was so intrigued when I first heard about socca. It seemed like something I would totally love, it’s healthy, easy to make and great for bringing to parties!

socca-4

This is such a versatile little flat bread, just think of your favorite flavor combo and add it in! I tried it plain first because I was curious about the base flavor but I recommend add ins to amp it up! Fresh and dried spices, cheese(s), olives, sun-dried tomatoes, shredded zucchini (drained), caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms – you name it!

One of my favorite combos is adding sauteed mushrooms, onions and sundried tomatoes to the batter and then serving the socca cut into strips with a truffle oil dip (1/2 cup plain greek yogurt mixed with 1.5-2 tsp truffle oil and a dash of salt).

socca2

For my first attempt I made it a little thicker, kind of like an unleavened pancake, but I prefer a thinner crispier (and cheesier) socca now. You can use it as a wrap, pizza crust, flat-bread, savory crepe or use it in place of naan or a pita.

1 cup of chickpea flour has 21g of protein, 10g of fiber and 25% daily value for iron (for men, women have higher needs) and as an added bonus this flatbread is gluten free for all those with sensitivities and allergies out there!

upbeet.ca socca

Socca – Chickpea Flatbread

-1 cup chickpea flour (I found it at superstore labeled Besan)
-1 cup lukewarm water
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1.5 tablespoons olive oil

Add Ins and/or topping ideas

-red pepper flakes, garlic, cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika ….
-3 tablespoons fresh basil, roughly chopped
-1 cup shredded zucchini (make sure to squeeze out all of the excess moisture)
-caramelized onions
-sauteed mushrooms
-shredded cheese
-olives/olive tapenade
-sundried tomatoes
-1.5 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
-sauteed greens
-shredded potato
-chutney
-fried/scrambled eggs

Instructions

1. Sift the flour and whisk together with the water, olive oil,  salt and any other preferred dried spices in a small bowl. Let rest for 1/2- 2 hours or up to 12 hours (in a pinch I have skipped the resting). Then stir in any other desired add ins.

2. Set an oven rack six inches below your oven’s broiler and turn it on. Heat a cast iron skillet or oven proof frying pan on the stove over medium-high heat.

3.  Coat the bottom of the pan with a tbsp of olive oil. Whisk the chickpea batter and then pour 1/3 – half into the hot pan. Tilt the pan to help it spread evenly if needed.

4. Cook the socca a few minutes until set and browned on the bottom. Then pop under the broiler until you see the top of the socca begin to blister and brown. The socca should be flexible in the middle but crispy on the edges (or however you like it… it depends on the use how crisp or flexible you want it- I prefer it crispier)

5. Slice it into wedges or squares, sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little good olive oil. Top with any desired toppings or use for your favorite dip. Repeat with any remaining batter.

Best served immediately while still warm, but can be refrigerated and re-toasted for up to a week.

(Socca can also be baked in a 450 F oven. Pour batter into a hot, greased baking dish and then broiled to finish. You really can’t go wrong, experiment and cook it however you like it best!)



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