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Monday, 10 June 2013

Seasonal Treats - Rhubarb!

One of the best things to do for the environment is eat local, eat organic, and eat in season. I am SO happy that the sun is making longer and longer appearances and I finally got my veggies in (a future post - I promise) and one of my favourite vegetables (masquerading as a fruit) is now in full throttle. Rhubarb! Not only does this wonderful plant grow without any need for pesticides in my neck of the woods - but it is also chock full of great things like vitamin K, fiber, and calcium. It is in season NOW so no need to contribute to global warming transporting this goodie to the table. Finally - it is easy to freeze - so if you have too much or don't know what to do with it now - chop it up for later! Here's a recipe that I adapted from Deb Perelman's Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. I was able to make it gluten free and vegan friendly for my friends (though the dough becomes more sticky and requires some patience) and the effort is well worth it.

Rhubarb Hamantashchen
(I call them rhubarb triangles.)
4 cups rhubarb - chunked, 1 cup sugar

1/2 cup almond meal
2 cups Gluten Free flour (I use Bob's Red Mill)
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
8 tablespoons vegan margarine spread
2 tablespoons almond milk
Egg Replacer to = 1 egg (I use PaneRiso brand)
1/8 teaspoon almond extract

1. Make Filling

Trim leaves (which are poisonous) and any rough ends from rhubarb. Chop into 1/2inch segments and place in a med. saucepan with sugar. Stir to combine and heat covered at med/low. Cook for around 15min. REmove cover and cont. cooking with stirring for another 15min. or so until running a spoon across the bottom of the pot leaves a clear line. Remove from heat and let cool.
(You MIGHT be tempted to add water but DON'T! This way your compote will stay thick)

2. Make Dough

Mix ground almonds, flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Work margarine spread into mix until it resembles cornmeal. Add almond milk, egg substitute and extract. Work with a wooden spoon and knead until uniform. You can add more moisture if needed.

3. Shape the Cookies

Place parchment paper on counter and have a generous bowl of gluten free flour at the ready for dusting. Put 1/3 of the dough on the paper and another piece of parchment paper on top (you don't have to do this but it helps with the sticking). Roll with a pin until dough is approx. 1/8 inch thick. Use a wine glass to cut out circles to place on parchment papered cookie sheet. Dollop approx. a teaspoon of compote on the centre of each cookie and fold edges up in three places to form a triangular cookie. Pinch seams together to form corners. Bake cookies for 15-17min. at 375 degrees. Place on wire rack to cool.

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