Every once in a while a friend or family member will cautiously ask me what’s going on with this site. Like a lot of people, I’m overwhelmed by what’s going on in the world, politically speaking, and writing about food feels frivolous. When I do come up with a recipe successful enough to share, the energy it takes to to write the post evaporates, and I scratch it off the list.
I have also been eating a vastly different diet from what I was eating during the creation of most of this site. I have not purchased sugar or wheat flour in ages. For the first time in my life–and I’m way too old to be saying this–I finally understand the impact of sugar, and refined processed foods, like wheat, on the body. And those are the easy ones. I’ve also been taking a long look at soy and certain oils and fats that are supposed to be so good for us because they are lighter and lower in calories, but actually set our bodies up for tremendous falls down the road. Not exactly news, but ignored by a lot of us all the same. So, basically, I decided most of the recipes on this site, are pretty disastrous. But there is some good stuff in there too. So for now, I’m going to leave it all, at least until I have enough time to tear it down and reconstruct it in way that’s more in sync with what I believe is a healthy diet.
So, let’s start with something “sweet” to take the edge off…
A while back, a friend who suffers from celiac disease asked me to come up with a gluten-free scone recipe. At that point, I knew better than to make something with rice, potato and tapioca flours–ingredients that often produce the best baked goods, but spike blood sugar–but couldn’t quite find success with replacement ingredients. That was a long time ago… but it came to mind when I recently discovered cassava flour and made some scones that were as lovely to eat as any I’ve ever had.
Cassava flour is extremely expensive, and I would imagine very hard to find it some parts of the world, but it’s usually available online, and cheaper when you buy it that way. It is also a thirsty flour, requiring more liquid than grain flours, so a little can go a long way.
I don’t think this is a fussy recipe. If you wanted to go with cassava flour alone, or just coconut oil instead of butter and oil, you could probably get away with it. I added almond flour for flavor and texture. Butter and coconut flour both add flavor, but too much coconut oil can produce a greasy result. Overall, I would keep the volume of dry to liquid the same. Note: I’ve since tried changing up the flours, and other ingredients in this recipes, and… it didn’t work. At all. The color, texture and rise were all off.
Cassava Flour Blueberry Lemon Scones (makes 4 big scones)
1/2 cup (120ml) cassava flour
1/3 cup (80ml) almond flour
1 Tbsp. arrowroot flour/powder
1 teaspoon (5ml) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (2.5ml) baking soda
Zest from 1 lemon
2 Tbsp (30g) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 Tbsp (15g) coconut oil
1 egg, room temperature, lightly beaten
1/4 cup (120ml) whole milk
1 Tbsp (15ml) maple syrup
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup (120ml) blueberries, fresh or frozen*
Preheat the oven to 350F/175C degrees. Line and grease a baking sheet with a little coconut oil.
Whisk the flours, baking powder, soda, salt and zest together until thoroughly combined.
Using a fork or your fingers, work the butter and coconut oil into the flour mixture, until the mixture is sandy in texture.
The egg needs to be room temperature so it is as liquid as possible. Spoon about a third of the egg into a small bowl.
Whisk the remaining egg, milk, syrup and lemon juice together. Add to the flour mixture and stir until thoroughly combined.
Gently fold in the blueberries. Be very gentle if they’re frozen or you will produce grey scones.
Plop the batter onto the baking sheet and form into a circle with a spatula or knife. It will be wet. If it’s too wet, let it stand for a few minutes, it will firm up. Brush all over with the remaining egg. Use a knife dipped in water to make an x in the top of the scones.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden brown all around. These take longer than typical scones to bake. Halfway through the cooking time, cut the scones all the way through at the x and carefully nudge the pieces apart to allow them to cook and brown around all the edges.