When I bought a bag of freshly stone-ground local buckwheat flour a couple of weeks ago, I wasn’t sure exactly what I’d whip up using this pseudo-grain / seed. (By the way buckwheat is not whatsoever related to wheat. In fact, buckwheat is 100% gluten free making it a choice among those who cannot tolerate gluten. And since I’m sort of in that camp lately, I was determined to create a buckwheat flour-based recipe for the holiday season.)
While buckwheat groats can taste earthy on their own — which I don’t mind — the flour from buckwheat tends to nicely blend with other ingredients that helps to mask hints of an earthy flavour. And the nutrition, oh my goodness! Buckwheat is loaded with minerals, vitamins and fiber plus it’s a surprisingly decent source of protein. For those concerned with sugar content, buckwheat is low in naturally occurring sugars too. What’s not to love?
Now buckwheat isn’t the only star in this food/recipe story. Ginger shines through! Since the festive holiday season is now on the doorstep, I wanted to incorporate delicious spices like ginger, cloves, and cinnamon. I love ginger so much that I decided to use three variations of it: candied, ground, and fresh! While ginger does shine through it plays well with the other stars in this show: mandarin orange and carrots. All the flavours I absolutely love that take me back to cool fall and winter nights, warmed not only by the aforementioned spices but mandarin oranges and carrots! So, there became my quest to find the perfect balance between these comfy flavours with the importance of keeping this gingerbread gluten free… and as nutritious as possible.
How to keep the gingerbread dairy free? Use the best quality extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) you can find! And if you’re fortunate like me to have access to ultra premium EVOOs like mandarin, then use it in this recipe. Alternatively, use some freshly squeezed mandarin orange juice with some EVOO. If you’d like to eat this gingerbread as a dessert, consider serving with your favourite caramel sauce (see the note for what I used but you can also find sauces that are dairy free) warm and drizzled on top, or for breakfast with a slab of either dairy free or regular butter.
I present to you one of my favourite recipes I’ve created lately. Hope you enjoy the warming goodness and nourishment in each bite. Happy holidays!
MANDARIN ORANGE CARROT TRIPLE GINGER(BREAD)
The crowd will come when they smell the festive flavours from this recipe wafting through the air. Each bite says holiday time. A truly comfy warming gluten free and dairy free dish to sooth body, mind, and soul.
- 8 to 10 medium to large carrots to equal 1 cup pureed carrots
- 1 1/2 cups buckwheat flour
- 1/4 cup almond meal
- 1/4 cup ground flax
- 2 Tbsp candied ginger sliced into fine pieces
- 1 Tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 tsp salted caramel sugar or more coconut sugar
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp freshly grated ginger root peeled first
- 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp Thai Ginger sea salt or regular sea salt
- 1/4 cup mandarin extra virgin olive oil or 3 Tbsp EVOO mixed with 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed mandarin orange juice
- 2 large eggs farm fresh, free run preferred
- 1/2 cup almond milk unsweetened
- 3 Tbsp blackstrap molasses or use fancy if you don't like blackstrap's stronger molasses flavour
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Roast or boil peeled and chopped carrots until tender, cool somewhat, puree in food processor (with a little water and oil if needed), and scoop out 1 cup for the recipe. Save any remaining carrots for other uses.
Chop candied ginger into very small pieces. Set aside. Peel ginger root and grate. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350F and line a 9×9 pan with parchment, or grease thoroughly. Stir the flour, meal, flax, candied ginger pieces, coconut sugar, spices, grated ginger, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl until well mixed. In another bowl whisk the eggs together. Then whisk in the milk, EVOO, molasses, and vanilla until fully combined. Stir in mashed carrots, then pour wet into dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
Pour batter into parchment lined or greased pan and spread evenly. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until toothpick tests done. You want the toothpick to be slightly sticky, not gooey or dry. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing.
Serve with a salted caramel sauce (see recipe link in the notes) whether dairy free or not, or ice cream or whipped cream with ground spices sprinkled on top, or with dairy free or regular butter for a scrumptious festive-feel breakfast.
This caramel sauce is from Natasha’s Kitchen. Drool. Get the recipe here: https://natashaskitchen.com/easy-caramel-sauce-recipe/