Category Archives: Healthy bakes

Vegan Potluck at Purple Hemp

This kid. Rylee has been coming to baking club for half her life. During this time she has learned how to quickly scan a well-laden potluck table for anything that might contain bacon. She understands the value of second dessert, and the practical economy of sturdy Tupperware. These are life skills not taught in school. I like to imagine her years from now, at university somewhere, organizing potlucks or bringing cupcakes to study meetups.

There is something about this simple act of sitting down and eating together, enjoying a good chat and a catchup over a resplendent quantity of home cooked awesomeness. In this era of online connection and real life loneliness, that craving for community can be just as strong as the appetite for the food.

Happy 5th Anniversary to our splendid little baking/cooking/potluck/eating club. Thank you to everyone who joins in the ridiculousness and makes this the fabulous group that it is. Thank for you indulging when I throw weird-yet-wonderful themes at you like Bookish Bakes and Full Fat February. Extra thanks to everyone who kept it all going and gave me amazing support when I had to step away. I squeeze you.

As a special anniversary event, we have our first road trip. On Sunday, May 27th, we’ll be carpooling our way down to Keremeos for a lavish picnic potluck at the Grist Mill Gardens. Join the Facebook event or email me at to sign up. Let me know if you can drive or if you’ll need to join a carpool group.

Want to know what we ate in April?

Our Vegan meetup fell during Earth Week (not planned but still splendid) and was held at Purple Hemp. We learned about why Chris and Elaine started the business nearly a year ago, and about their products and the practitioners offering a variety of health services. Baking club member and whole foods aficionado Victoria was our host for the evening. Here she is introducing us to Purple Hemp’s new smoothie menu.

Then we got down to eating. We had salads, we had appies, we had hearty savoury dishes and multiple desserts. It was really a perfectly balanced potluck. I’ve tried to include links to recipes where I have them.

For salads, we enjoyed Tania’s Thai inspired coleslaw, Rosemary & Sandy’s Yin & Yang Salad with jalapeno/tahini dressing, and got our lone non-vegan indulgence by way of the cheese in Jean’s Quinoa Taco Salad. I’ve decided that my only way forward with quinoa is with cheese. Same goes for kale.

For our Dips & Chips course, we devoured Dorthea’s Rustic Italian Caponata with Belgian Endives and/or popped bean crackers, scooped great chipfuls of Chantelle & Rylee’s Oh She Glows Hummus & Pita Chips, used fresh veggies to load up on Gina’s Roasted Beet Hummus, and sprinkled the works with Laura’s Roasted Chickpeas. We also got to try some of the Okanagan Rawsome Carrot Crisps, which Purple Hemp carries in store. Both a salad and a dipping dish, Jan’s Thai Veggie Wraps with peanut dipping sauce. I didn’t get to try one but they sure looked tasty.Now we need to take a minute to talk about Kim. Who is this woman? After five years of baking club, what do we really know about her? That she makes a mean Schneckenbrot, yes. That she can construct a Battenberg Cake using homemade marzipan, certainly. But three month aged vegan cheese? Did she go to some secret culinary school, like Hogwarts but for kitchen wizards?

Behold her epic Fromage et Charcuterie board, featuring:

  • Fennel Salami (raw dried plums, raw almonds, fennel, balsamic vinegar, cognac, black pepper).
  • Smoked Fermented Cashew Cheese, made using traditional cheese making techniques (ie it takes several MONTHS to make) and cold smoked for 6 hours.
  • Rosemary Crisps (flour cultured cashew milk, pomegranate molasses, pumpkin seeds, black sesame seeds, flax seeds, fresh rosemary, baking soda, salt)
  • Pate faux gras with coronation grape and balsamic glaze (raw cashews, coconut oil, mhite miso, cognac, vegan nutritional yeast, tahini, shiitake powder, coronation grapes, balsamic vinegar, agar agar)

All topped off with a zinger of a Quince Paste.

It was amazing. I don’t know what else to say.

This is no time to stop to break – we have the main courses to attend to! In this case we ladled ourselves helpings of Denise’s Tofu Enchiladas and Karen’s Sweet Potato Chickpea Spinach Coconut Curry from Oh She Glows.

Then we ate no less than six desserts. I’m counting Ingrid’s Homemade Aussie Bites as a dessert because they were slightly sweet and would be nice with a cup of tea. We also had slabs of Wendy’s Banana Chocolate Cake (aka Wacky Cake, aka Most Excellent Breakfast Cake). The decadence continued with Victoria’s Chai Spice Chashew Cheesecake and Lory’s Avocado Sweet Potato Brownies. Rylee devoured several of Emily’s Ginger Cookies, and I once again hauled out my old Raw Mango Fruit Tart recipe, which never fails me. I don’t have a formal recipe but I posted a rambling version of a recipe on Instagram.

And that’s everything we ate! I hope you’ll save the date for our trip to the Grist Mill. Thanks for being awesome.



Filed under Fruit, Healthy bakes, meetups, vegan

Healthy Potluck – delicious photos!

Welcome bakersSay the words with me:

Baba Ganoush!




Have you ever wanted to make a recipe because you liked how it sounded? Our January Healthy Potluck and Movie Night was a collection of incredible food, including several dishes that were a delight to say as well as eat. A huge thank you to the lovely Lisa and the Summerland Waterfront Resort for hosting us, with tablecloths and wine glasses and cloth napkins and everything! Thanks for everyone for coming out, bringing delicious food to share, and swaying in your seats to the cuban-inspired music of Chef.


I present to you a collection of photos of our goodies. I have gathered up some recipes and will post them next time.


Kim S’s Schneckenbrot, aka “Snail Bread.” Not only is it delicious, it’s a very handy thing to yell at someone in order to confuse them.

Palm Spring Guacamole

Lori’s Palm Springs Guacamole. Yes, we ate it all.


Jan’s South African Bobotie. I had always wanted to try this dish so it was such a treat!


Lori’s Baba Ganoush and veggie chips. Baba Ganoush. Baba. Ganoush. So good.

veggie rice rolls

Thai style Veggie and Rice Noodle rolls. Light, healthy, yum.

Shepherds pie

Janice’s Shepherd’s Pie. She even did the fancy zen lines with the fork. 🙂

Random Pasta Salad

Karen’s “Random Pasta Salad” with olives. Love the name, and loved this salad!

Quinoa veggie salad

You can’t have a healthy potluck without a quinoa and veggie salad!

Pumpkin Pear Spice Cake

Wendy’s Pumpkin Pear Spice Cake with cream cheese icing. I love that part of why this recipe was healthy is that the icing was not as thick as she usually would make it. Tee hee.

Peanut Butter Pie

A little dessert photo, featuring Chantelle’s Peanut Butter Pie (nom), and Evelyn’s Angel Food Cake with Okanagan Fruit Compote (also very nom).

Greek Lentil Soup

Tina’s Greek Lentil Soup. I have the recipe for this and I will post it next time!

Granola bars

Kim L’s Granola Bars. These were lovely – the recipe is John’s but Kim added the flourish with the chocolate chips, which I for one really appreciated, because chocolate.

Curry Chilli with beans

Leslie’s Curry Chilli with Beans. Hearty, healthy, perfect for winter.

Chia power donuts

Jennifer’s Chia Seed Power Donuts, from Oh She Glows. There was chia seed jam as well, which I neglected to photograph.

Broccoli Salad

Lisa L’s Broccoli Salad with cranberries, sunflower seeds and toasted almonds. I had this for my lunch the next day. Thanks, Lisa!

black bean and chickpea salad

Charlie’s Black Bean and Chickpea Salad. A little lime thrown in for a Southwestern kick.

Beef Stew

Can you beat homemade beef stew with locally grown beef? Me thinks not.

baked veggies

Lisa J’s herby vegetable bake. Mmmm…cheesy herby goodness…

Baked Veggies Julienne in Phyllo

Did someone say parmesan cheese? That was just one of the splendid things about Denise’s Baked Veggies Julienne in Phyllo.

Avocado hummus veggie rollups

Judith’s Avocado Hummus Veggie Rollups. These were very tasty and would be great for summer picnics.

So much amazing food! Please forgive me if I didn’t get everyone or if I’ve forgotten who made which dish. I get so distracted by all the goodies sometimes I just forget to write things down! Recipes coming on the next post. Until then, happy baking/cooking/eating!

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Filed under Healthy bakes, meetups, vegan

Baking with Ancient Grains #2

Finally – a follow-up post of ancient grain deliciousness. Also, we made the paper! If you missed it, here we are in all our baking glory.

Summerland Bakers

So far I have tried out Lisa’s pizza recipe using a quinoa-based crust, and it was fantastic. It is now my new pizza recipe for a quick mid-week meal – super filling and very healthy. In this second batch of recipes, there are a few recipes I’m still missing, so you’ll just have to enjoy the photos!

Barley Pilaf

From Jan: Auntie Irma’s Barley Pilaf – Summerland version

2 cups of pot barley, rinsed twice in cold water
• Heat a large skillet. Put the barley into the hot skillet to dry & roast
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
2 Tablespoons butter
• Add the oils to the skillet and turn on the heat
1 onion, minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
• Add the onion and pepper to skillet and sauté for 2 minutes
1 Tablespoon of brown sugar
1 Tablespoon of fish sauce, or something salty
1 Tablespoon of white balsamic vinegar, or something sour
A dash of Frank’s hot sauce, or something spicy
Course ground black pepper
• Add flavour-making things to the skillet & mix evenly
• Put the barley mix in a well-greased casserole dish with a snug fitting lid, or a Dutch oven.
4 cups of water
• Rinse the skillet with the water
• Add the water to the barley in the casserole; put the lid on
• Bake for 90 minutes* at 325 degrees F
• Add more liquid as it cooks; ¼ cup, periodically. Use broth or water

*Cook time will depend on your casserole dish; keep the lid on.

Larry CookiesJennifer’s “Larry Cookies”

These are named after Jennifer’s colleague Larry (surprise, surprise), who often brings them into work. She substituted ground spelt flour for the regular flour.

1 cup soft margarine (non-hydrogenated)
1.5 cups brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla

Cream together until light and fluffy. An electric mixer works wonderfully.

2.5 cups flour
2.5 cups oats (1.5c quick oats + 1c large flake oats)
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 cup chocolate chips (semi sweet or milk or butterscotch)

Add to creamed mixture and mix well. Scoop onto cookie sheets using a size 30 scoop. Flatten slightly. Bake at 325’F until barely golden brown on the edges. Remove from oven, cool for five minutes then transfer to cooling rack to finish cooling. Freeze.

My optionals were:
1/2 cup hemp seeds, 1 cup coconut, 1/4 cup of flax seeds, the rest of your craisins and sunflower seeds (1/4 cup each?) I reduced the flour by 1/2 cup in order to accommodate optionals.

1/2 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans or hazelnuts)
1/3 cup ground flax
1/2 cup dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, figs, and/or apricots)
1 cup flaked coconut

Note from Jennifer: Play with the amount of flour if you don’t like the product – too much makes them dry and hard to put out – too little makes them flat and greasy.

spelt bread

Diana’s Bread with Ancient Grains
1.25 cup warm water
2.5 tsp yeast
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp vital wheat gluten
1 cup spelt flour
2.25 cup unbleached white flour

Combine the flours, gluten, water, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixed. Knead with the dough hook until you have an elastic dough. Add the salt and olive oil and continue kneading until both are fully incorporated.
Form the dough into a ball, drizzle with additional olive oil, and return the dough to the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside until doubled in size – about an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and sprinkle cornmeal on a baking sheet. Sprinkle some flour on your work surface and turn out the dough.

Knead the dough briefly, then shape it into a ball. Place it, seam-side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until doubled in size – about 40 minutes.

Slash the loaf as desired, then bake until nicely browned, about 35 minutes.

Remove the loaf to a rack to cool completely before slicing.

Read more:

This is what I followed by added an extra raising at the bowl and plastic wrap stage. The second rising at this stage was about 45 minutes (did not take as long as the first).

spelt bulgar kamut breadAl’s Ancient Grains Bread

1.25 cup warm water
1 Tbsp yeast
2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp sea salt
1.5 tsp lemon juice
1.5 Tbsp grapeseed oil
3 Tbsp vital wheat gluten
2.25 cup spelt flour
.33 cup buckwheat flour
.33 cup bulgur flour
.33 cup kamut flour


NOTE: buckwheat, bulgur and kamut flour were all ground freshly from grain in a Blendtec blender.

Add water, yeast and honey to bowl and mix. Allow to proof for 5-10 minutes.

Add sea salt, lemon juice, oil and gluten to bowl and mix.

Add 1 cup Spelt flour to bowl and mix in.

Gradually add the rest of all the flours and mix together to form a dough ball.

Let rest and rise for 10-15 minutes in a warm place (about 29 C or 84 F)

Punch down, put into oiled loaf pan with corn meal sprinkled on bottom (to avoid sticking) and let rise again until dough has topped the pan by about an inch.

Bake in preheated (350 F) oven until done (about 25-30 minutes)

chocolate chip breakffast cookies with farroVanora’s Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookies with Farro

Before you attempt this recipe, Vanora has compiled some tips for cooking with farro.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yield: 3 dozen of cookies

From Vanora: These are a combo between a soft cookie and a muffin top. They are sweet, but not too sweet, packed with chocolate chips and farro for a chewy bite.

1/3 cup uncooked Tuscan Fields Pearl Farro
1/2 cup diced cold butter
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup sugar in the raw
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp almond extract
1 1/3 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup boiling water
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
pinch of salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

In a small saucepan add the farro and 1 1/2 cups of water and boil for about 20 minutes until cooked.
Drain and leave to cool completely.
When the farro is cold, heat the oven to 400F.
Line 2-3 cookie baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In a food processor add the butter, applesauce and sugar and blend for about 2-3 minutes until creamy.
Add the baking soda, almond extract and oats and keep pulsing, slowly adding the boiling water through the feeding tube.
Turn the food processor off and add the flour. Pulse until just combined.
Place the batter into a mixing bowl and add the cooled farro and chocolate chips – with a spatula, fold them in.
Using a medium ice-cream scoop, drop cookie dough on the prepared sheets.
Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes or until the top is firm to touch and slightly golden.
Remove from the oven, leave to cool for a couple of minutes on the baking sheets before placing them to cool completely on wire racks.

Kim’s Ancient Grain batards

I don’t have the recipes for the incredible flavourful breads that Kim shared with us last month. I regretted not snagging extra pieces to take home. For dedication (3 days in the making and several different flours used!), attention to detail, flavour and display, I think we can agree that Kim deserves the “Star Baker” accolade for April. A wee reminder of

Ancient Grain BreadAncient Grain BreadsA reminder of some of the other delicious bakes we enjoyed:

Leah’s Quinoa Chocolate Cake (we really demolished this one):

Chcoolate Quinoa Cake

Judith’s Einkorn Bread (Todd reported that True Grain is working toward a new bread using Einkorn in the near future)

Einkorn bread

Kim L’s Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Hemp Cookies (The recipe is borrowed and is a secret- sorry!)

chocolate chip peanut butter hemp cookies


Jo’s Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins:

vegan spelt banana chocolate chip muffins


Wendy’s Breakfast Cookies With Red River Cereal (Quote: I don’t know if it’s ancient grains, but it was in my cupboard for a long time)

Breakfast Cookies with red river cereal


And finally this lovely loaf of spelt and Sundried Tomato Bread, which I loved!

spelt sundried tomato bread


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Filed under Ancient Grains, Bread, cookies, Healthy bakes, Recipes