Persimmons & Pineapple Guavas

I have finished the last of the nectarines, and there are just a few more plums in the fruit bin. Pomegranates and persimmons and pineapple guavas are taking their place as my daily fruits, and of course apples and pears. I am grateful that these new delights are here to ease the disappearance of the summer fruit.

Moving into Winter

The past few days have been cloudy and short, and I have been busy at the computer. Other than my weekly trip to Santa Cruz for the farmer’s market and other errands, and walking and interval running around our land, I’ve been inside, quietly working away on projects. I have had less holiday baking inspiration than usual. There were years that I began my holiday baking spree right after Thanksgiving, freezing and storing goodies to put in baskets (or plates, or colorful kitchen towels, or other creative containers I came up with over the years) for friends and relatives. There’s still time, and I have a little list of possibilities, some tried and true, others new and interesting. We’ll see what I manage to produce in the next week! Meanwhile, I’ll share one of my favorite snack recipes – any of you who’ve been following my daily food collages will have seen these squares. You can see one on 12.13.2011, just below, next to the carrots in Meal 2. I’ve been baking them with dried fruit, but the original inspiration for them, Clotilde Dusoulier’s Chocolate & Zucchini blog, used chocolate chips and I’ve made them that way as well.

Here’s the latest version:

Banana Oat Almond Plum Apricot Bar

16 oz ripe bananas
60 grams almond butter (60 g)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
200 grams rolled oats (2 cups)
60 grams ground almonds (a.k.a. almond meal)
3 serving protein powder (Show me the whey)
30 grams coconut, dried, unsweetened, low fat (1/3 cup)
1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
60 grams dried plums
60 grams dried apricots

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9″ square pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl combine the bananas, vanilla extract, almond butter, and Greek yogurt. Set aside. In another bowl whisk together the oats, almond meal, shredded coconut, protein powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in the dried plums and apricots.

3. Spread into the prepared baking dish, level the surface, and slip into the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, until the top is set and golden-brown. Let cool completely before slicing into bars. If you’re not serving all the bars at once, I suggest you cut out only what you need. Cover the rest with foil and keep at room temperature or in the refrigerator. They also freeze well.

Servings: 16

Calories 141.2, Calories From Fat (33%) 46.09, Total Fat 5.49g, Saturated Fat 0.98g, Cholesterol 0.94mg Sodium 163.59mg, Potassium 144.05mg, Total Carbohydrates 17.71g, Fiber 2.25g, Sugar 7.13g
Protein 6.67g

Fall shifts, inside and out

I have been feeling the shift that comes for me in fall. Slowing down, not so interested in getting out and about. I’ve missed several events that sounded wonderful because I just couldn’t get myself to make the drive out into the world beyond our place here at Skyote Mountain. Not that my energy is low – I’ve been working hard every other day with Rene’, clearing large French broom bushes from an area on our land that had been totally overgrown. We thought we’d be doing the hard labor of pulling them up from the ground with the weed wrench, but it seems that most of them have died. What’s left is a huge tangle of dead matter, still an effort to break and gather and stack in piles to be burned.

I’m enjoying the last of the summer fruit – plums seem to be the last holdover at the farmer’s market – and diving into the fall fruit. Persimmons, both the hard fuyu and the soft, sweet hachiya, along with pomegranates, and feijoa (pineapple guava), and pears. And of course, apples. The vegetables are shifting as well – I’m savoring the red and yellow and orange bell peppers, knowing that their time will soon be over. Last night our neighbor brought over some wild fall mushrooms he’d gathered, which we cooked up with garlic for a tasty snack together.

I’ve been running a day behind on my photo collages, and have been very lax about posting them, so I’ll finish up October here, and then start on November’s eating with the next blog.