Monday, 10 February 2014

Walnut, Apple and Fig Breakfast Slice

What to do with wrinkly apples in the fruit bowl? Bake them of course!

I am going through a bit of a walnut phase at the moment - can't seem to get enough of them! They are such a wonderful partner to apples, with the bitter-sweet notes of the walnuts and the sour-sweet notes of the apple then combined with the gorgeous sweetness of dried figs - yum! 

I kept this slice free of any added sugar, as I wanted something that you could grab a chunk of for a breakfast on the go that would fill you full of nutrients but not give you a sugar rush. The only sugar comes from the apples and the figs. If you would like to make this as a cake for more of a treat (the flavor combination would work really well for dessert or a yummy morning or afternoon tea snack) then you could add either some maple syrup or honey to add more sweetness. I made 2 versions (because one is never enough!) I wasn't 100% happy with the first one (still oh so tasty!), as it was the trial version, so when I made the second I made a few adjustments - success! 

Walnuts and figs alone are full of fanastic nutrients, such as the vitamin E, Omega 3, alpha-linolenic acid and anti-inflammatory properties in the walnuts, and the mega boost of potassium, dietary fibre and vitamin B6 found in the figs. Add the apples on top of all that goodness and you have a supremely nutritious little slice.

Take #1...

Take #2 - Yum!

Walnut, Apple and Fig Breakfast Slice

Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, soy-free, free of refined sugar

6 dried figs (roughly diced) + 4 tbsp boiling water 
2 cups walnut meal (use about 2.5 cups of lightly toasted walnuts and blend until a flour like consistency is achieved)
2 tbsp tapioca flour
4 tbsp coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
a pinch of salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup coconut milk (or milk of your choice)
2 tsp vanilla essence
3 eggs
1.5 cups finely diced apple

1. Preheat oven to 170C. Line a slice tin with baking paper
2. In a small bowl, soak the figs in the boiling water for about 10 minutes
3. In a medium bowl, combine walnut meal, coconut flour, tapioca, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg
4. In a food processor or blender combine eggs, coconut oil, coconut milk, vanilla and figs (including water) and blend until smooth. Some fig seeds will remain but that's ok.
5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well to combine. Fold in the diced apple, then spoon the mixture into the prepared baking tin. Smooth the top, then bake for 25 minutes until golden brown and slightly firm to the touch.

 - You can eliminate the tapioca if you prefer not to use starches - just add an additional 1 tbsp of coconut flour
 - This makes quite a big slice - if you want to half it, and you are unsure whether to go with 1 or 2 eggs (always hard to half a recipe that calls for an uneven number of eggs!) then go with 2 eggs. The first one I made was a half recipe and I only used 1 but it didn't bind as well so I would use 2 new time around.
- If you would like to add some sweetness to make this into more of a dessert, try adding 1/2 cup of maple syrup (or honey, but the maple syrup flavor will work really well in this). You may need to adjust the level of other liquids so try halving the amount of milk to allow for this addition.