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Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on this blog are free of gluten, peanuts, soy, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, shellfish, cane sugar, oranges, and yeast. Most recipes are also free of egg, dairy, and tree nuts (if used, reliable substitutions will be provided for these when possible). Check out my recipe index for a full list of recipes by category. 

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Entries in MPLS Swappers (2)

Thursday
Oct132011

Coconut Curry Pepita Brittle (gluten-free, vegan, cane sugar-free)

curry coconut pepita brittle

Over the weekend, we had our seventh gathering of the MPLS Food Swappers. The MPLS Swappers is just one of the food swapping groups that has popped up around the world in the last year. I started the group after being inspired by the lovely Kate Payne and her swaps in Brooklyn, NY and Austin, TX. Since then, swaps have have popped up all over the place, and it's a huge trend in the local foods scene. So far we're the only one in the Twin Cities area (and I think all of Minnesota) and we've gotten a lot of local press. I guess you could say that we really love publicity.  

My inconsistent and transitional housing situation lately has not made it easy to keep up with canning, so I'm feeling a little possessive of my preserved food. I was left scrambling to come up with what I would bring to swap. Instead of bringing something from my larder, I whipped up a tasty batch of this Coconut Curry Pepita Brittle using ingredients I had on hand. I was inspired by a recipe in an old issue of Martha Stewart Living which featured a recipe for Coconut Curry Cashews. While it looked great, I wanted something a little different but with the same flavor profile and made without cane sugar. So, I set forth on a kitchen experiment!

It was a total victory, a delightful combination of sweet-salty-spicy-crunchy that always wins me over. And it was a total hit at the swap. In exchange for bags of my lovingly prepared pepitas, I received frozen crappie filets, delicata squash, homegrown horseradish, red pepper jam, pickled garlic, homebrew beer (a great gift for my dad!), roasted pepita-chickpea mix, lemon-herb butter, and a gorgeous bunch of homegrown kale.  I love my swappers.

To learn more about how our food swap works, check out the MPLS Swapper blog. And in the meantime, enjoy some brittle. Happy Thursday!

bags of Coconut Curry Pepita Brittle awaiting bids at the MPLS Swappers food swapwhat I got in exchange for my bags of Coconut Curry Pepita Brittle - score!!!

Coconut Curry Pepita Brittle

yield 6 cups

This makes a very large batch, big enough for a party or perfect for gift giving. Feel free to cut this recipe in half or thirds if you want to make a smaller batch. The spice from the curry powder is tempered by the sweetness of the maple syrup and coconut. And the saltiness combines the holy trinity of flavors to keep you going back for handful after handful. Keeps for two weeks at room temperature, but I promise you, it won't last that long. 

  • 1 cup real maple syrup
  • 6 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons curry powder (mild or hot, the choice is up to you)
  • 1 tablespoon unrefined salt
  • 6 cups raw unsalted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 1/2 cups finely shredded coconut

Heat oven to 350º F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

Place curry powder in a small saucepan and heat over low flame until it is lightly toasted and fragrant. Be careful not to let it burn! Then add maple syrup, coconut oil, and salt, whisk to combine and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, then remove from heat. 

Meaure pepitas into a large bowl, then pour maple mixture over them, stirring to mix. Divide pumpkin seeds evenly between two parchment-lined cookie sheets, spreading coated seeds evenly over the surface in a thin layer. Place in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring every 7 minutes and rotating between oven racks. Remove from oven, divide coconut evenly between the trays and stir into mixture, then bake for another 15-20 minutes, stirring every 7 minutes and rotating between oven racks, until seeds are golden. I know, I know, it's a lot of stirring and rotating, but you don't want burned seeds and coconut. Then remove from oven.

Place baking sheets on wire cooling racks and let cool completely. The seed mixture will harden as it cools. Areas of the brittle will be very crisp, while other areas will be a little chewy and caramel-like. That's okay! 

Break cool brittle into chunks. Serve immediately or store in an air-tight container and consume within 2 weeks. 

 

 

This recipe is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesday at Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free. Check it out for tons of great recipes!

Tuesday
Jul262011

The MPLS Swappers are featured in Minnesota Monthly!

lovely jars of lemon confit at the July 2011 MPLS Swappers food swap

I've been busy lately with the MPLS Swappers.  What's that, you ask? The MPLS Swappers gathers once per month to trade food we made, foraged, and grew ourselves, share knowledge with like-minded foodies, and build a community and culture of home food production in an urban environment.

Inspired by the BK Swappers and ATX Swappers (founded in part by the fairy swapmother Kate Payne), I decided to start a food swap up here in Minneapolis. And thus, late last year, the MPLS Swappers were born. We had our first food swap in March and the new of swaps has been spreading like wildfire across the Twin Cities. I've since gathered two friends to help plan the swaps, Swell Vegan blogger A-K Thordin and grassroots organizer Mandy Ellerton. We now throw monthly food swaps for 40 participants, and are excited about the many ways we can grow as an organization and as a community of like-minded individuals. 

Local press in Minneapolis has been eating up news of the swap as fast as we're eating up our jams and cookies, and we're getting featured all over the place. Most recently, Minnesota Monthly featured us on the glossy pages of our magazine in a great article entitled “Ready, Set, Swap”. Writer Gregory Scott did a great job of describing his experiences at a swap, the motivations of participants and the larger cultural interest in food swapping, as well as profiling me and my interest in starting the organization. And it even features a great photo of me (see below)!

The August issue is now available online and at newstands around Minnesota. Click here to read the article online! 

 

To top it off, we are also featured in a short video by swapper and Minnesota Monthly intern Morgan Mercer. She attended the July food swap with her video camera, interviewing people between swapping her homemade cheese. It really captures the energy and spirit of the swaps, and features me narrating the whole thing, so you get to witness my overly enthusiastic personality. Thanks to the wonder of YouTube, I'm able to share it right here on the blog.  So, check it out!

Pretty awesome, right? I love our food swap and our swappers! 

Mandy, A-K, and I are giddy to see how all this publicity increases the awareness and interest in our swap. We're hoping to facilitate the creation of additional food swaps in the Twin Cities area and larger Minnesota. We'll see what happens! And next month we're going to appear in another prominent Twin Cities magazine, so stay tuned.

Just wanted to let you all know what else I've been up to lately, and why I've been a bit distant on the blog here. But don't worry! The MPLS Swappers will not keep me from sharing tasty recipes here at my Affairs of Living home. 

 

Keep up-to-date with the latest news from the MPLS Swappers...