Category Archives: Seeds

Making za’atar…

Za’atar is one of the key flavours from the area of cuisine close to my heart, typical in so many Levantine dishes and homes. You can read more details about za’atar here, but in short: 

Za’atar can refer to wild thyme or dried thyme alone, or to a herb and spice mix in which thyme is king. If you read a recipe that states za’atar being required, it can easily require just thyme, but if you use the whole mix, that will work too! 

I’ve tried many many versions of za’atar, it is typically traditionally a mix of thyme, sesame seeds, sumac and salt, often including oregano and/or marjoram, sometimes including coriander seeds or cumin seeds…it’s one of those things that every home in Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, all over the Middle East and eastern Mediterranean, will have their own safely guarded version of making. And of course, everyone’s is the best! 

It can be used as a condiment, put on the table next to your salt and pepper, and sprinkled liberally over everything! Or mixed with olive oil to create a dip, or spread over flatbreads to make manaeesh. Or added to sandwiches of feta and salad…the possibilities are endless. 

Za’atar boasts lots of health benefits from its lovely ingredients, and is said to increase your intelligence – what’s not to like?! 

And of course, at this time of year, it could also create a homemade gift 🙂 

I haven’t liked all of the various versions I’ve tried, so it was time to make my own and I read a recipe recently including cumin seeds, and having bought fresh thyme at the market, i made it this weekend. 

So my version includes equal amounts of sesame seeds and cumin seeds, lightly toasted and cooled; a smaller amount of sumac, an even smaller amount of salt, and lots and lots of fresh thyme leave stripped from the stalks. You can chop up the leaves and blend it all in a food processor, but I roughly chopped the thyme by hand and stirred it all together. You can also use dried thyme instead of fresh. 

It smells amazing!!!! 

You can play around with quantities and what you add or don’t, it’s all about your own taste, I’m really happy with this mix and have been throwing it over everything I’ve eaten since! 

This was yesterday’s lunch, grilled aubergines with za’atar. I added the za’atar for the last couple of minutes only and kept an eye on it, otherwise it would burn. I ate these with some freshly made chunky mutabal and muhammara. 

I hope your week is going well 🙂 

Roasted hemp seed dip..

 I’ve continued playing with hemp seeds recently…for starters, I’ve been roasting them – like everything, roasting them really enhances the flavour..

As they are such tiny seeds you do have to keep a close eye on them when you roast them, they can very quickly and easily get burnt. I just spread a thin layer on my biggest oven tray and put them in an oven at 200C (180C fan). I take the tray out every few minutes and agitate the seeds, pulling them away from the edges where they get cooked the most first and giving them all a move around. I take them out of the oven for good once they have become a golden brown then leave them to cool before storing in glass jars. 

Once again I tried out a new dip with the roasted seeds as well as saving some to throw over salads and vegetable dishes. 

So this is made of..

100g Roasted hemp seeds, 

2 tbsp lemon juice, 

water as needed, 

1 tsp roasted cumin, 

1 tsp ground coriander, 

2 cloves garlic, 

salt & pepper to taste,

1 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped. 

All whizzed up in your blender. 

  
I enjoyed some of this dip with my recent mezze lunch and Selma’s cauliflower and za’atar cakes..tasty, healthy and full of goodness!! 

 
I hope you’re having a good week 😉

Mezze a la foodbod for Fiesta Friday..

 This is another of my lunches from this week..a selection of fresh tasty dishes for the eyes and the taste buds to feast on..perfect for a get together or a picnic or just a great lunch for one!!! I promise, I didn’t eat it ALL myself, not on the same day anyway..;) 

The mezze included the cauliflower, goats cheese and za’atar cakes that I posted earlier plus the following dishes..

Salad of quinoa, chopped parsley, grated raw courgette, lemon juice, olive oil, roasted cumin and dukkah

A new dip of roasted hemp seeds, lemon juice, water, roasted cumin, ground coriander, garlic, salt & pepper and parsley…more details on a future post. 

Chermoula homous with Turkish chilli flakes 

Shish taouk potatoes 

Roasted cashews & pine nuts 

 The salad was so fresh and full of goodness, and just as good the next day..

    I am bring my selection of dishes to this week’s Fiesta Friday, co hosted this week by the lovely Loretta and Jess, join in the fun…

 Have a great weekend 🙂

Hemp seed butter and hemp seed & parsley dressing..

  
Have you ever tried hemp seeds? Forget any association with the cannabis plant, these won’t affect you in any odd ways! 

I like hemp seeds (I always buy them hulled), they have a lovely nutty flavour, and adding a sprinkle to any dish adds a great extra flavour but also much needed protein for a vegetarian like me 🙂  

 
Having bought some recently I started to think about utilising them in new ways so decided to research some ideas for using them, hence making hemp seed butter. I literally threw some in my Nutribullet and whizzed them up to create a butter, akin to any nut butter basically. The Nutribullet makes light work of making any nut or seed butter and these took literally seconds to become a paste; I decided to add some coconut oil to mine for some extra goodness and flavour. 

 
The green colour really comes out when you make butter from the seeds. 

 
And so my brain continued whirring in the way it does…as tahini is just creamed sesame seeds, these creamed hemp seed could surely be used in a similar way to tahini? So I used it to make a dressing.. 

 
This is literally just some flat leaf parsley, garlic, lemon juice, water and some of the hemp seed butter. The result was really tasty! The hemp seeds respond well to being mixed with water and can be used as a non dairy addition to all sorts of things. I’ll definitely use it again in dressings and dips.  

 
It was perfect over some roasted butternut squash the next day.. 

 
  
I would definitely suggest giving some hemp seeds a go and check out the different things people have made with them online. If nothing else, just chuck some over your salad or roasted vegetables for some added goodness. 

Enjoy! 

Nuts and seeds crackers…

IMG_0058You my recall these crackers previously on my blog…well, yesterday one of my lovely blog friends shared a post about making them herself with such lovely words that I urge you to pop across to read it for yourself…go on…go now…have a read…Frugal Hausfrau’s nut and seed crackers

I hope you like it xx

Time for some goodness snacks (and how to make them!)..

2015/01/img_6873.jpgIt’s been a while since I’ve posted any of my goodness goodies, I make different ones every week, but don’t always share them – I don’t want anyone to get bored!!!

Last week I read two different recipes on two different blogs, one for making your own coconut butter, and one for making your own sunbutter…so that’s what I did, I made them, then used them in some bars.

To make coconut butter you literally just throw raw coconut into your nutribullet and whizz it until it becomes liquid. After a while it then solidifies and becomes butter. The same with the sunbutter – whizz up sunflower seeds with coconut oil (I used my newly made coconut butter), it liquefies then sets more solid.

2015/01/img_6922.jpgI wanted to make some goodness bars that were nut free, so the sunbutter was perfect for binding the bars. I just threw various seeds and dried fruit into a blender and chopped it all up, mixed it with the liquid sunbutter plus some extra coconut oil, then left it to set. I made some with nuts at the same time..

2015/01/img_6923.jpgI also threw together some others with a mixture of unsulphured apricots and mixed nuts, almond butter and coconut oil (more details at the end of this post)..

2015/01/img_6924.jpgI have recently discovered two new fabulous products which I used in these, Pip&Nut almond butter and Lucy Bee Coconut Oil:

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2015/01/img_6891.jpgBoth very very nice products, and I’ve tried and used many and various nut butters and coconut oils, and I can tell you that these are both rather lovely! (This is my opinion as a consumer, I have not been asked/paid to write this).

There are lots and lots more versions of my goodness snacks in my recipe index, but to give you the basics of making any of these, here is what I do..

I just chuck whatever dried fruit/nuts/seeds I have or fancy into my small bowl blender and chop them up to a fair sized crumb.
Then mix a good couple of tablespoons of nut butter of your choice and coconut oil together and melt them together in the microwave, usually takes 60-90 seconds, then stir this through the mixture, mixing well through the fruit and nuts. You basically want a good coating on everything.
I then use a silicone ice cube tray, fill each cube up and press it down with the back of a spoon, then freeze for 30 mins.
Press them out and store them in the fridge.
Et voila!

Enjoy xx

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Sweet potato and orange spiced bake..

Last week I literally swooned when I read Kellie’s post and recipe for her orange and spice sweet potato soufflé {casserole}, there was just so much about it that made me want to lick the screen!!!

IMG_5374-0.JPGI immediately made the dish, although I left out the vanilla and the maple syrup for my tastes, and I didn’t have pecans so I used a sprinkling of oats, slivered almonds and coconut sugar on the top; where there is an option of butter or coconut oil, I used coconut oil on both occasions.

And I can tell you, it is YUMMY!!!!! my biggest problem was waiting until it had cooled down enough to try some, I just wanted to dig right in!!

I made it again this week for my 8 lunch guests Monday; I made a huge dish of it, and this time I replaced Kellie’s topping with a mixture of chopped pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and various nuts with grated hard goats cheese, and it was once again fabulous! And very popular, the dish was completely emptied 🙂

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IMG_5626.JPGAll I can say is – check it out! This is a great dish if you have any vegetarian guests for Christmas; if like me, they/you don’t like things too sweet, then follow my amendments and change of topping, otherwise, follow Kellie’s lovely recipe and enjoy!

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