Thursday, December 19, 2013
Our blueberry bush has gone berserk this year. What started out as a little plant only a few years ago has now grown into this mammoth lanky thing that's absolutely loaded to the brim with fruit. It still grows in a large pot out back, but this doesn't seem to bother it and the kids take turns picking the juicy fruit every evening when I water the garden. It started out producing just a couple of berries which I'd give to the kids, mostly. But just before we left for Vietnam we were picking whole bowlfuls and gorging on them like crazy people. It's also what we're paying Si's sisters with for watering our garden while we are away :-)
Our flight over to Vietnam was one of those budget no meal kinda ones, so I knew I'd have to prepare something special to keep the troops happy on the flight(s) over. I packed tortillas wrapped around omelette, fruit, vegies and nuts, muesli bars and a big container of this lovely blueberry, lemon and quinoa slice, which we ate in Malaysia while on the most confusing stopover of my life! Lets just say we were lucky to even make it to our connecting flight...
If you follow on Instagram you would have already been bombarded with photos from over here (I've tried really hard not to post a new photo every 5 minutes!). But if ya don't, I'll share some photos here when we get home again too. I've only been to Vietnam once before, nearly 10 years ago and I know this may sound really weird, but in a way I feel like we've come home. I don't know if it's having the kids with us this time or the fact that I'm pretty used to the Vietnamese way of life having been part of Si's family for so long now, but coming here hasn't at all been the shock to the system I was anticipating. We just seem to have slipped right into life over here without any dramas at all. Everything is so full of life and alive, everywhere you look people are going about their lives in the kinda ordered chaos that is Asia.The kids have been little troopers, taking it all in- eyes well and truly wide open. We are having a few days at the beach before heading back to the hustle and bustle of Saigon, and then on to Si's families village about 4 hours south, where the real celebrations will begin...
I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas, I'll try and pop in again once more before the years end. Have an awesome day with your families and loved ones! I know I will be :-)
Recipe inspired by my friend Sash's Blueberry and Oat Slice, from Inked in Colour.
blueberry, lemon + quinoa slice
This slice sits somewhere between a cake and baked oatmeal in texture, lovely and sturdy and filling too, which is exactly what I was looking for in a good plane snack. The little pops of blueberry are awesome and I reckon next time I'm gonna try it out with raspberries to counteract the sweetness of the slice, maybe swapping in brown rice syrup for the honey too. I use quinoa flakes for a 100% gluten-free slice, however if you tolerate oats by all means use them like Sash does. I'm thinking buckwheat flour or quinoa flour would also work as great substitutes for the brown rice flour if that's what you've got.
Makes approx 15 slices
2 cups (200g) quinoa flakes
1/2 cup (70g) fine brown rice flour
1/2 cup (45g) shredded coconut
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
a good pinch fine sea salt
1/3 cup (80ml) virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup (125ml) runny honey
1/3 cup (65g) unrefined raw sugar
2 large free-range eggs
The finely grated zest 1 lemon
1 cup (125g) blueberries, fresh or locally grown frozen ones
Preheat oven to 160C/ 320F. Grease or line a 28 x 18cm slice tin with baking paper, extending up and over the sides by a centimeter or two. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl, mixing well to combine. Heat coconut oil, runny honey and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until melted. Pour into dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Add eggs and zest and mix well. Fold through blueberries at the last second then transfer mixture to the slice tin, pressing down with the back of a spoon to even it out. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden around the edges and firm to the touch in the centre. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool before slicing. Will store airtight for 2-3 days, or in the fridge for longer.
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