Sunday, April 3, 2011

Weekend processing

As my last post may have conveyed, I am the proud new owner of a Kitchen Aid 12 cup food processor. I feel like a new parent :)

Since buying this exciting new toy (on Thursday night, sadly too late in the day for much experimenting), I have done the following:

- Chop carrots. This was my first test on Friday night. It was fast! It was powerful! It was fun! We ended up with twice as many carrots for dinner as we really wanted.

- Made banana soft serve. I love banana soft serve, but haven't had it for nearly 3 years! When I lived at home, my Mum's Magimix did the job for me, but since moving to my own place, I've only had a blender. I was never able to get a smooth, creamy product unless I added lots of milk. And then, of course, it was a smoothie. Not at all the same.

Yesterday I processed two frozen bananas, 1 to 2 teaspoons of soy milk, and was very happy. I see a chocolate version on the horizon soon.

- Made berry and chocolate-date oat squares. Today, I had time to use the processor 'properly'. I wanted a base recipe that I knew would work, but which I could tweak a little. I'm not great at following recipes step-by-step from start to finish.

I ended up making the Berry Bliss Oat squares Angela posted on Oh She Glows recently, which were adapted from Susan at Fat Free Vegan Kitchen. My tweaking was to make with a chocolate-date filling as well as the berry original.

The recipe for both squares can be found here.

For the berry squares, I followed Angela's recipe pretty much exactly. However, for the filling, I used 2 cups of frozen berries, omitted the banana, and mixed the cornstarch with frozen berry juice instead of water.

Thus, the mix included:
- 2 cups frozen berries, defrosted overnight
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 tbps cornstarch
- 1 tsp vanilla essence

The chocolate-date filling involved:
- 1/4 cup raw almonds, processed until fine
- 1/2 cup pitted dates, added to the ground almonds and processed until gooey
- 2 tbspns good quality 100% cocoa (or to taste), added to the almond and date mixture

It ended up beautifully sticky!

I made one batch of the oat base to cover both fillings, and again followed Angela's instructions almost exactly. However, I forgot the cinnamon (!) and processed 2 1/2 cups of the 3 cups of oats:

- 2 1/2 cups oats, processed until fine
- 1/2 cup oats, added
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup + 3 tbsp applesauce
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp vanilla essence

The chocolate-date filling made enough to cover 1/3 of the oat base. Because I had slightly reduced the berry filling quantities, I was able to make everything in one tray:

Berry on the left, chocolate-date on the right

I think in the future I would double the oat base and triple the chocolate-date filling, so I could make a full tray of each variety.

After baking for 30 minutes:

Chocolate-date on the left, berry on the right

Both flavours turned out great! The berry mixture was sweet without being too rich; the chocolate-date version was less sweet but stronger and richer in taste. 

I think I will definitely be making these again. I can imagine other filling variations working well too.


  1. I think I just drifted off into a happy place for five minutes, looking at the chocolate date squares. I'm also incredibly envious of your banana soft serve - bananas have been off my shopping list for weeks now, because of the horrible $13/kg thing!

  2. @Hannah
    I drifted to a happy place when I licked the chocolate-date filling bowl :D

    The banana situation is very sad! Fortunately, I had a stock in my freezer pre-cyclones / floods, and it was the last of those that went into the soft serve. I'm hoping to find over-ripe ones at farmers markets now, otherwise they'll be off my shopping list too.


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