The last few weeks have been interesting to say the least.
Thankfully, we’re over that darn cold that’s been going around; it lingered way too long...so long that my usual holiday visit with my family in Vancouver was postponed several weeks into January. The good news is we did make it over last week and had a relaxing, restful and much needed visit with my family.
I spent the better part of my visit going through old photographs, school work, report cards and love notes from the nether years. That was fun. I made sure to finish rummaging through it all before Steve was able to see, not that I’m embarrassed about my past (ok maybe some minor things). One thing I found to be particularly interesting was the prevailing comment from my elementary school teachers: “Heidi is a wonderful student, but she needs to work on her confidence.” I saw it on every single report card from Kindergarten to grade 7. To say I was quiet is an understatement, for sure. And, to say that I am still quiet is absolutely true. I like to think of myself as more reserved than simply quiet…unless you get me in front of a camera or microphone…I like to surprise people now and then.
It was such a lovely trip. But my goodness, Vancouver has changed again. Every time I visit, it seems there’s new developments underway, construction along major roadways, and traffic jams extending well into the weekends. Regardless, Vancouver is a special place for me and will always feel like home. Nanaimo is not too far away, but we’re bound by ferry schedules and expensive sailings which limit the number of times I frequent the mainland. As much as I love the big city, however, I wouldn’t move back; the Island has captured my heart and I’m content raising our little family here. I like to keep Vancouver as solely a place for visiting family, close friends, and relishing in the nostalgia of my childhood.
Anyway, enough stories for one post. How about this recipe: Rosemary, dates and chopped walnuts are a surprisingly lovely combination. Plus, I love food in loaf form, slicing sections off as I deem appropriate, some larger than others. This recipe is very easy to prepare, high in omega three’s, fibre and low in refined sugar and fat. It’s perfect lightly toasted in the oven with dairy free butter smeared on top. It’s dense, nicely moist, soft in the mouth and nicely crunchy with the addition of walnuts. Rosemary is such a beautiful seasonal ingredient which brings this quick bread to another level; it’s a lovely flavour during winter.
Love my new blog layout? I’ve been busy working on finding my signature “look”, which is still a work is progress mind you...at least I know where to take it now…possibly spending all that time reflecting on my past has brought me new found inspiration for the future. Here it is. Enjoy.
ROSEMARY DATE & WALNUT BREAD
- 16 dates pitted and roughly chopped
- 1 ¼ cups boiling water
- 4 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp flax meal + 3 tbsp water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups spelt flour or whole wheat flour
- ⅓ cup coconut sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp chopped dried or fresh rosemary
- 1 ¼ cups chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 325’F and lightly grease a 9x5” loaf pan.
In a small bowl, combine the chopped dates, boiling water, vanilla and coconut oil. In another small bowl, combine the flax meal and 3 tbsp water and let sit for 10 minutes.
Combine the flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and chopped rosemary in a medium bowl. Add the dates mixture and flax mixture to the flour mix and stir until combined. Add in the chopped walnuts and stir until combined.
Spoon the batter into a prepared loaf pan and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool, slice and enjoy.
This loaf will keep for several days so long as it is stored in an airtight container. It can be frozen for up to 1 month. If you prefer to use finely ground rosemary, adjust the measurement to about ¼-1/2 tsp otherwise it may be too overpowering.