An unusual topic for a Monday Meditation, but if left to my own devices, I find baking a very meditative occupation.
I don’t particularly enjoy the hustle and bustle of a crowded busy kitchen, needing to produce several different items in record time! I do however enjoy creating recipes using just what I find in my cupboards or fridge/freezer, often using up small amounts of this and that, so as not to let them go to waste.
I can let go. I can relax. I can enjoy the sun streaming through the kitchen window even on freezing cold snow days, as this one was. I can play my favourite music and sing along at the top of my voice or enjoy the quiet and let my mind wander where it will, with no demands made of it. I can be as creative as I like and no-one is going to pull a face or disapprove. I like experimenting and rarely make the same thing twice with exactly the same ingredients. I’m not one for following recipes, even my own!
I’ve been asked for recipes for the baking I did during our week of snowdays, so I’m gradually working my way through them (see Our Snow Days Became Baking Days – Is The Gym Open Yet?)I made only sketchy notes or sometimes asked my husband to write things down and his notes are usually only compehensible by himself alone! So I’ll do my best, but all quantities are approximate.
I love mangoes. The fragrance, the juiciness, the soft flesh. They are high in vitamins A and C, and also contain some B6, iron, calcium and magnesium. Great on their own, in smoothies or ice-cream.
However, I find mangoes as frustrating as avocados. You wait forever for them to ripen and just when you think it will be perfect, it’s gone. They are best kept out of the fridge to allow the ripening process to continue, which I did, but this one was defying all the laws. It appeared to be ripe on one side, unripe on the other and developing a black spot on the end. I decided to peel it and see.
It was too unripe to use straightaway and I didn’t want to waste it. I had never heard of mango being cooked before but I decided I had nothing to lose, so I chopped it up onto a pan, added a little apple juice and some raisins – I may have used a little maple syrup too – put on the lid and cooked it on a low heat.
I didn’t want to use it immediately and so I put it in the freezer – and forgot about it! I found it on a snow day and decided to try and make a fruit crumble with it.
I let it thaw for a couple of hours – it doesn’t look very appetising, but it tasted good. I then devised the crumble topping.
Here’s what I came up with:
2oz Tiger Nut Powder*
4oz Self-Raising Gluten-free Flour
2oz Poridge Oats (I left them whole as they were quite small, but you could grind them to a flour if preferred)
2oz Vegan Spread (I used Pure)
2oz Coconut Sugar**
Mix together the flours, sugar & oats, rub in the spread with the fingertips until it resemble thick breadcrumbs.
Place the mango and rasin mixture in an oven dish and top with the crumble.
Place in a medium hot oven and cook until golden and bubbly.
We had it first with coconut yogurt and then next morning, having got up late, we had it with homemade custard while we sat huddled in front of the woodburner!
This was made using cornflour, a little coconut sugar and a drop of vanilla extract, which was mixed to a paste with a little almond milk, then I poured in some warmed almond milk, stirred and returned it to the pan and heated, stirring until it thickened.
I used some leftover crumble mix to make scones, see next time!
Copyright: Chris McGowan