HARVESTBRUNCH

The early days of Autumn, and particularly Hallowe’en, have been my favourite time of year for as long as I can remember: crunchy russet leaves and golden grains; pumpkin carving; cosy jumpers still being something of a novelty and taking the opportunity to get people indoors together to share stories and catch up over some great food.

With that in mind, I decided to gather together a few of the many seasonal recipes created by some of the food writers that I’ve come across while looking for ideas for an Autumn brunch. So instead of wondering what to do if the skies are a bit grey this weekend, why not put the coffeepot on the stove, invite a few people round and put some of these great recipes to the test.

Many thanks in advance to the creative foodies who came up with these recipes, please click on the links to check out their websites and blogs for more great ideas.

1) The Little Green Spoon: Sweet Potato Cakes & Poached Egg

TheLittleGreenSpoon

2 Small Sweet Potatoes
50g of Almond Flour
3 Eggs
Pinch of Salt & Pepper
Coconut Oil

(Serves 2)

“Start by grating your sweet potatoes, using a microplane grater or any grater with large-ish holes. Add the sweet potato to a bowl with one egg, salt and pepper and mix it around. Then add the almond flour and mix. Heat some coconut oil in a pan, using your hands pat the mixture into two large cakes (or you can make a few little ones) and pop them in the pan. Cook for about 2 minutes each side until they’re nice and brown and then put them in the oven at 220’C for 12-15 minutes until cooked through. During the last few minutes of their oven time, poach your eggs. Plate the cakes with the eggs on top, sprinkle with salt and pepper and enjoy!”

2) Australian Good Taste: Butternut squash, leek & spinach quiche

Photography: Mark O'Meara

700g butternut squash, peeled, cut into 2cm pieces
Olive oil
1 leek, pale section only, halved lengthways, washed, dried, thinly sliced crossways
2 garlic cloves, crushed
100g baby spinach leaves
4 eggs
2 egg whites 60ml (1/4 cup)
skim milk 80g (1/3 cup)
fresh low-fat ricotta
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
Mixed salad leaves (optional), to serve

(Serves 4 – Butternut squash is often known as butternut pumpkin in the USA)

“Preheat oven to 200°C. Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Place the butternut squash on the lined tray and coat lightly with olive oil. Season with pepper. Bake in oven for 25 minutes or until golden. Meanwhile, heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Grease the pan lightly with olive oil. Add the leek and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until soft. Add the spinach and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until the spinach just wilts. Line a 26 x 16cm (base measurement) slab pan with non-stick baking paper. Spread the butternut squash and leek mixture evenly over the base of the pan. Whisk together the eggs, egg whites and milk in a jug. Pour egg mixture evenly over butternut squash and leek mixture. Sprinkle evenly with ricotta. Bake for 20 minutes or until puffed and golden. Sprinkle with the basil. Serve with mixed salad leaves, if desired.”

3) Forks Over Knives: Cranberry Orange Pumpkin Muffins

Photography: Sylvia Vale

2 large, very ripe bananas
½ cup orange juice plus zest of one orange
1 15-ounce can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
½ cup Date Paste
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
1 tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 tablespoon alcohol-free Vanilla extract
1 cup dried cranberries, unsweetened or fruit juice sweetened
3 cups gluten free oats ¼ cup finely chopped walnuts ½ teaspoon cinnamon

(12 muffins)

“Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a food processor fitted with the “S” blade, process bananas and OJ until smooth. Add pumpkin, date paste, extract, zest, flax seeds and spice and continue processing until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the oats and dried cranberries. Spoon an equal amount of batter into a muffin tin lined with cupcake liners or silicone baking cups. You need to fill each muffin liner with about ½ cup of batter as these do not rise. A retractable ice cream scoop works well. In a separate bowl, mix the nuts and cinnamon and sprinkle evenly into each of the 12 muffin liners. A cheese grater or nut grinder works well for grinding the nuts. Bake for 30-35 minutes.”

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