Beet, Carrot and Apple Fritters – CSA Week 4

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Beets, Carrots and Apple Latkes, via Eat the Vegan Rainbow

It’s early July, and here in New England (which is, for those of you who hail from across the globe, a name for the Northeastern-most part of the United States that includes six states: Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont) the farm activities are in full swing. The greater Boston area is brimming with farms of different size and produce selection. For example, we went cherry picking on July 4th, and ended up with an amazing selection of cherries. We ate a lot, shared some with neighbors, and washed, pitted  and froze the rest. In this way, the frozen cherries are ready for smoothies, sauces or pies later in the year.

What’s in this week’s CSA basket?

At our local farm where we get our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share  the Upswing Farm, the vegetables this week included beets, like it did last week (and I shared  about how to pan roast beets and sauté the beet greens few days ago), carrots, zucchini, squash, cucumbers, yellow and green, cilantro, fennel, and so on and so forth. It was a really great week!

Beets are versatile!

If you are skeptical about beets, don’t be – they are versatile! Yes, you may think that I am saying that because I an Eastern European and there is a bit of a beet culture on the Balkans, but beets really can work in many different ways. In addition to the two recipes I shared last week, beets can be made into a hummus (yummy), used as a salad, sandwich or a veggie burger topping, and also made into tasty burgers (see here, and here for some great beet burger recipes to try). And they are an essential, as in not-to-be-skipped-under-any-circumstance, ingredient for fabulous BBQ ribs, either those made with wheat gluten or gluten-free.

So, how about beet fritters?

And this brings us to these fritters. Without a doubt, vegetable, and in some cases fruit, fritters are ubiquitous. Every cuisine has a recipe or two that fall into this category and take advantage of ingredients in season, often times potatoes, zucchini, squash, carrots, a grater, a bit of flour and usually some eggs, to make a quick meal. So, how about beet fritters? And how about vegan and gluten-free? Well, the recipe here answers these question in affirmative.

Chia seeds and flaxseed meal as binding agents

Grated beets, carrots and the apple make the body of these fritters. The easiest way to grate them is using a large grating attachment on your food processors, although, of course, grating by hand will work too! You don’t need to cooked the beets first, but do peel and wash them, as well as the carrots – apple is the only ingredient that does not require peeling. Just before you start grating you should start soaking your flaxseed meal by combining flaxseed meal with hot water in 1 to 3 ratio. Because the grated fruits and veggies have high moisture content, they do need extra binding agents and that’s why I recommend using quite a bit of flaxseed meal as well as chia seeds. Together, flaxseed meal and chia seeds work together to created fritters that hold their shape well without any eggs or flour.

Don’t forget the spices

I recommend using lime juice and zest, as well as freshly grated ginger and finely chopped fresh cilantro to enhance the flavors. The result are light fritters with interesting texture and

 

 

Beet, Carrot and Apple Fritters

What you’ll need:

1/4 cup golden flaxseed meal (you can use other types of flaxseed meal as well)

3/4 cup hot water

2 cups shredded carrots (4-6 carrots depending on size)

2 cups shredded beets (3-4 beets or so)

1 shredded Granny Smith apple

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 lime, zest an juice

1/2 inch ginger root, grated

1/2 cup chia seeds

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Oil or cooking spray for the pan

Extra lime slices, coarsely ground black pepper and/or apple sauce for serving

What you’ll do:

  1. Place the flaxseed meal and hot water into a bowl and mix well. Let the “flax egg” rest for at least 10 minutes. The final result will be a very gooey mix that will work together with chia seeds to bind the fritters together.
  2. While the “flax egg” is resting, grate beets, carrots and an apple by hand or using a food processor equipped with a grating attachment, then transfer into a large mixing bowl. Add all the rest of ingredients, including the “flax egg”, mix well and let stand for 20-30 minutes. This resting time is needed for chia seeds to soak the extra liquid released by the grated beets, carrots and apple, and transform into a gel-like substance.
  3. Place a large pan over high heat and let it get nice and hot. Add oil or some cooking spray – if you do have a great non-stick pan you can omit the oil – and place small firm patties in. To form a patty, take about 1/4 cup worth of your mix, and using your hands form a 1/2 inch thick patty. Brown over high heat for 2 minutes then lower the heat down to medium and continue browning for 3 more minutes.
  4. Flip the patties over and brown on the other side for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Serve warm as a side dish, or even as an alternative to breakfast pancakes. These fritters go well with yogurt, as well as maple sauce, and I bet they would be delicious cold as well!
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Beet, Carrot and Apple Fritters, via Eat the Vegan Rainbow on Pinterest

Copyright © Eat the Vegan Rainbow, 2018

Radish Salad with Apples, Carrots and Toasted Walnuts

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Radish salad with Carrots, Apples and Toasted Walnuts, via Eat the Vegan Rainbow

Who said salads have to be green? Or soaked in heavy dressing? Salads come in many different shapes and forms, and this is my contribution to the pantheons of salads – a mix of sliced radishes, shredded carrots and apples, toasted walnuts and freshly squeezed lemon juice. I used lemon zest and some cracked black pepper for garnish, and that’s that. With a little help from a food processor with couple of different blades everything came together in less than ten minutes!

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There isn’t much more to this Salad story. Perhaps a slice of hearty bread, some of the lovely Baked Sunflower Seed Cheese, and you’re done. This salad is so fragrant, full of colors, different shapes and textures with a nice crunch that it is absolutely fit for any winter holiday table. Enjoy!!!

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Radish Salad with Apples, Carrots and Toasted Walnuts

What you’ll need (for 2-4 servings)

1 bunch red radishes (7-8 large ones), washed

1 Granny Smith or another tart apple, washed

4 carrots, washed and peeled

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

1 lemon, juice and zest

1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper (or to taste)

 

What you’ll do:

  1. Wash the radishes and slice them into thin discs. You can do this by hand by I recommend using a food processor if it has a slicing blade. My food processor has an adjustable slicing blade and I dialed the thickness way down.
  2. Without taking the sliced radishes out, replace the slicing blade with the fine grating blade and grate the carrots.
  3. Using a coarser grating blade, grate the apple. Transfer everything into a large mixing bowl.
  4. Add the juice of one lemon, lemon zest, cracked black pepper, and toasted walnuts and toss to combine.
  5. Serve immediately with a slice of hearty bread, and a side of cheese as a light lunch, a salad course, or as a part of a more elaborate appetizer spread.

Copyright © Eat the Vegan Rainbow, 2017

Spice Infused Apple Butter

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Spice Infused Apple Butter, via Eat the Vegan Rainbow


There is nothing better than freshly picked fruit. I love PYO – Pick Your Own – events at our local farms. They are a perfect activity for friends and family that gets everyone outside and into the nature. These PYO activities support local farms, and provide a cheaper access to perfectly ripe fresh fruit. I also love them for one selfish reason – I am shameless when it comes to taste tasting as I pick and can’t resist biting into an amazing piece of fruit I just picked. Honestly, who could?

The last PYO days are slowly unfolding around me, and I grabbed an opportunity to go pick some apples. The loot included six different varieties, Granny Smith, Jonagold, McIntosh, Pink Lady, Fuji and Empire, and was destined for couple of different things, including a huge batch of apple butter. For the apple butter I used couple of Granny Smith’s, Fuji’s, and Jonagolds. I used my slowcooker (crockpot) to cook the butter since it is really totally hands of – you plug it and forget it for about 10-12 hours. The best time to start cooking is the evening, because your butter can cook overnight and you will wake up to a house that is full of rich aromas.

Those aromas are mostly due to a nice mix of spices that’s make the flavor of this butter. I combined lots of ground cinnamon, some allspice and a bit of nutmeg. There are a lot of apples in this recipe so they drop need lots of spice to make the flavors rich and deep. You could change the spice makeup if you like. Alternative spices to try would be ground ginger, ground cloves, vanilla beans, and/or orange peel.

If you are reading this and wondering to yourself “What is apple butter?”, first of all thank you for being patient, and second, apple butter is sort of apple marmalade or apple jam. It’s thick – thicker than apple sauce – and smooth. It is a perfect breakfast item, for toast, pancakes or waffles, and although I have not tried it I bet it can work great as an ice cream topping! It can be made much sweeter depending on the variety of apples you use, and by adding sugar to it. This recipe does not use any sugar and adding Granny Smith to the mix of apples I used makes the final product just slightly tart.

Spice Infused Apple Butter

What you’ll need:

(If using a 6 QT (5.7 L) crockpot – adjust the amount depending on the size of your crock!!!)

6 lbs (2.5-3 kg) apples

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

What you’ll do:

  1. Wash, dry, peel and core your apples. This will be quite a project so arm yourself with patience, enlist help of your friends and family, or get a peeler/corer/slicer device. I can recommend the KitchenAid standing mixer attachment that does all this for you, but it comes with a high price tag. It’s not essential, but it does help a great deal.  Whether you peel the apples it is actually up to you. I wanted a really smooth butter texture so decided to peel them this time around.
  2. Slice the apples and put them a really large mixing bowl. Add the spices and mix well, so that the spices are evenly distributed all over your apples.
  3. Line the crockpot with the crockpot liner (if using – I use it becasue it make cleanup a breeze, but it is not essential). Arrange the apples, put the lid on and turn your slow cooker to 10 to 12 hours. If you have a slow cooker that allows you to select the level of heat, I recommend cooking the apple butter on high.
  4. Let the apples cool before handling further. Transfer the cooked apples into a large bowl and use a stick (immersion) blender to purée the apples into a smooth apple butter. If you don’t have an immersion blender, your regular blender will work but you will have to blend in batches.
  5. Since I am not an expert in canning, I packed my apple butter in two nice big jars, one to give away one to keep. I store my apple butter in the fridge but if you do know how to can things I bet you can make the apple butter, can it and keep it for months.

Copyright © Eat the Vegan Rainbow, 2017

Chocolate Bon Bons with Dates, Walnuts and Apples

Chocolate Bon Bons with Dates, Walnuts and Apples
Chocolate Bon Bons with Dates, Walnuts and Apples, via Eat the Vegan Rainbow
It is Easter Sunday, so you might as well kick back, relax and have some bon bons. So I wanted to share with everyone who observe Easter today and everyone who are just looking for a simple, nutritious and adorable dessert recipe this super-easy and kids-friendly recipe for Bon Bons. This recipe was my entry into Food52 contest Your Best Recipe with Dates.

Dates, especially Medjool dates, are fabulously sweet fruit of date palm trees and have been used in Middle Eastern and North African regions for centuries. Growing up in Serbia (ex-Yugoslavia), dates were a special, almost candy, treat we’d get especially for Christmas Eve.

You may have seen dates in your dried fruit aisle, and that is exactly where you’ll find Medjool dates as well. Some stores have also been featuring them around the produce stands, but don’t expect to find raw dates – at least I’ve never seen them raw. Not to worry though, dried dates work really well in a recipe like these bon bons with a little help of warm water and thirty minutes of rehydration.

The bon bons come together really quickly and there isn’t much to making them really. But, in order to make them easier to handle in the last stage where they meet the melted chocolate you should let them sit in a freezer for half an hour. That will help them hold their shape during their chocolate bath.

Not fan of chocolate? You can skip it and roll the bon bons in coconut flakes, chopped walnuts, slivered almonds or anything else that will make your taste buds jump for joy!!!

One last thing: this recipe is super kid-friendly and if you are looking for something you can make together with any little chefs in your life this is it. There is a bit of mixing and a bit of hands on digging into a mix and making bon bons with your hands, which is sure to please. Plus: as the recipe is no-bake everything is safe to try and lick for those without tree nut allergies. If you are looking to make this recipe tree nut free, you could try doubling the amount of oats and skipping the walnuts. I am not 100% sure this will work, but I am about 95% sure it will – I hope this is good enough for you to give these bon bons a try.

Chocolate Bon Bons with Dates, Walnuts and Apples

What you’ll need:

medjool dates

cup oats

cup walnuts

Granny Smith apple

teaspoon cinnamon

ounces chocolate, vegan

cup coconut flakes, unsweetened

What you’ll do:

  1. Remove the pits and soak medjool dates in warm water for 30 – 60 minutes.
  2. Place oats and walnuts into a food processor and grind them into a fine meal. Pour out into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Core the Granny Smith apple, but don’t peel it. Add it to the food processor and processes it until very fine. Add the apple to the walnut and oats mix. Add the cinnamon.
  4. Drain the dates. Using a small food processor or a hand held (stick) blender, blend the dates into a fine paste. Add the paste to the mixing bowl. Mix everything together using a wooden spoon or a spatula.
  5. Using a measuring spoon, measure out 1 tablespoon of the mix out into your hand. Form a ball (a bon bon) and place it on a freezer safe tray covered with wax paper. The recipe should make 18-24 bon bons.
  6. Put the bon bons in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  7. Just before 30 minutes is up, melt the chocolate either in the microwave or using a double boiler.
  8. Place 1/4 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes at a time in a flat dish. Take the bon bons out of the freezer, dip them into the melted chocolate and roll them in the coconut flakes. Alternatively, you can skip the chocolate and roll the bon bons in coconut flakes only!
  9. Leave the finished bon bons on the kitchen counter for about 30 minutes to allow the chocolate to harden.
  10. Enjoy!
  11. Copyright © Eat the Vegan Rainbow, 2017