Monday, 20 June 2011

Weekend snacks: blueberry scones and energy snacks

It was a good weekend for making food.  I baked scones and bread and made a great soup (with brussels sprouts instead of peas), and we made fruit balls and almond energy snacks.  It is the season for hunkering down in a warm house with soup simmering on the stove and bread dough rising in a bowl.

Life is not quite as simple as that.  Sylvia has lots of energy so we try and get out to the park to limit the energy she has for dragging chairs about the kitchen to see what I am doing, patting my bread dough and plunging her fingers into my scones.  We were surprised on Saturday to find our regular park down at Coburg Lake had been pulled up and a new one is being installed with lots of dirt still about.  "We don't want to go to a dirty park," was Sylvia's refrain.  Instead, we went up the hill to another park.

Back at home, I decided to bake some blueberry scones.  I was interested in the recipe in the Rose Bakery Breakfast, Lunch, Tea cookbook.  Yet when I checked the Australian Women's Weekly, their blueberry and ginger scone recipe was simpler with no eggs and very little butter.  It was the sort of recipe my mum used to make so I stuck with it.  I used a handful of wheatgerm from the Rose Bakery recipe and I added some choc chips on a whim.

I actually was glad Sylvia was out the front in the sun with E and Zinc while I rubbed the butter into the flour.  But she cannot resist my baking and had to come and see what I was up to.  We ate the scones warm out of the oven and they were lovely.  All they needed was a lick of butter, though you could add jam or honey if you wanted a little extra sweetness.  I loved the barely sweet scones with the added flavour of ginger and bursts of sweetness from chocolate and blueberries.  The only change I might make it to add only choc chips or blueberries in future.

The scones didn't last long.  They are not meant to.  In fact the recipe said they are best on the day.  I agree yet they were still yummy the next day.  Maybe this was a result of my very soft dough.  I love baking but can't do it every day.  So Sylvia and I made some fruit balls.  They are such a simple and delicious snack.  I love them so much I have been looking at more energy ball recipes.  Perry's Plate and Lululemon have lots of great idea.

I adapted a recipe for Elissa’s Portable Breakfast Balls from Lululemon.  Elissa didn't blend hers at all but I wanted Sylvia to taste them so I blitzed them.  These were rolled late at night while Sylvia slept and bread baked.  I was disappointed at first.  E made a face when he tasted them.  Sylvia just spat them out.  Fortunately I gave them a second chance and have enjoyed a few.  Work was intense with back to back meetings so I was glad of a little energy hit. 

These energy snacks are packed with nuts and seeds.  They taste nutty, toasty and only slightly sweet.  In future I would do less grinding of the seeds and coconut.  But I have an urge to experiement with some more combinations, once this batch is gone.  We like to try new things in our house.  On the weekend, Sylvia was delighted in a new house for dolly, made by cutting windows and a door into a cardboard box.  If you look in the windows, you might notice that dolly has a little bowl beside her with a fruit ball and maybe a nutty energy snack as well.

I am sending the scones to Nayna at Simply Food who is hosting the Breakfast Club this month with berries as the theme.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
This time last year: Nigella’s potato bread
This time two years ago: Celeriac Soup and Apple and Cheese Cake for Lunch
This time three years ago: The solstice fruitcake offensive
This time four years ago: Winter Solstice Roast Dinner

Chocolate, blueberry and ginger scones
Adapted from Australian Women's Weekly Old Fashioned Favourites
Makes about 12 scones

1, 3/4 cups white self raising flour
1/4 cups wheatgerm
1/2 tsp baking powder
30g butter, chopped
1/4 cup dark chop chips
1/4 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1, 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup milk
1/4 - 1/2 cup water
extra milk for glazing the scones

Preheat oven to 220 C and grease an oven tray.

Place flour, wheatgerm and baking powder into a largish bowl.  Rub in butter to resemble fine breadcrumbs.  Stir through choc chips, blueberries and ginger.

Make a well in the centre of flour mixture and pour in milk and water (I found 1/2 cup water a bit much so I would start with 1/4 cup and add a bit more if it was too dry.)  Gently mix through with a butter knife until it come together into a soft dough.

Briefly knead on a floured board until the dough is smooth.  (My dough was really sticky so I needed quite a bit of flour to be able to handle it.)  Pat into a circle of about 2cm and use a floured scone cutter to cut scones.  Place on greased tray, almost touching.  Brush with milk.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.  Eat fresh or keep wrapped up in a teatowel.

Almond energy snacks
Adapted from Elissa Joy's recipe at Lululemon
Makes heaps

1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raw almonds
250g (about 1 cup) almond butter
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup ground flax
1/2 cup pitted dried dates
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup water or more

Toast the oats, sesame seeds, coconut, sunflower seeds and almonds, one at a time on a hot dry frypan.  I ground it all up in a food processor but I think next time I might just grind the almonds and maybe the oats.  Add remaining ingredients to food processor until it adheres together in a clump (or just stir by hand if you don't grind it all).  Rolls into small balls about the size of a walnut.

On the Stereo:
Dream it Down: Underground Lovers


  1. Chocolate, Blueberry & Ginger Scones? Now that's my kind of goodie!!!

    Isn't it hilarious how kids choose their parks. My grandkids do the same thing. Curious isn't it?

    Johanna, I'm literally on my way out the door for a mini vaca (it's my birthday this week:) but I wanted to let you know we're playing the Picnic Game again this year. It would be wonderful if you and Sylvia could fit it in to your schedule. We sure could use some healthy picnic goodies!

    Thanks for sharing...I'll play catch up when I get back:)

  2. I love scones - haven't ever put blueberries in them, I might have to try that :)

  3. Thankyou for this lovely entry for the breakfast club event.

  4. I think those energy bites sound really good! How long do you think they would keep once made?

  5. The almond energy snacks look wonderful! And I love the addition of ginger to the scones. (I want to bake more, maybe with rice flour instead of wheat?) The English plate you put the scones on made me smile because my Grandmom has a tea set like that. :)

  6. Aww it sounds like you might have a little baker on your hands there! :D Those energy snacks really remind me of something that Mr NQN's family makes!

  7. Those scones do sound lovely! I think the ginger and blueberries would be a perfect match. I can't imagine why E made a face at the energy balls--judging from the ingredients, they sound as if they'd be delicious. Not sweet enough? (And btw, I hope you know you can submit the scones to the SOS as well--just add a sub for the butter (coconut oil, perhaps?) :)

  8. Lovely scones. Anything with ginger wins me over.

  9. Oh what fantastic choices for weekend cooking! I love fruit / nut balls and the idea of chocolate, blueberry and ginger in scones has me rather excited. Such a great combination of flavours. And all the more credit to you for making them with an active and adventurous toddler underfoot :D

  10. Your scones look delicious - the choc chips I've tried (of course) but not the blueberries. Think you're right though, it would be one for the other. Energy balls sound interesting too - I should give those a go.

  11. The flavor combination in these scones sounds SO good! I can't get enough of ginger and love adding it wherever I can!

    If you're looking for some good energy balls, I know Janet of the Taste Space posts a lot of them! You'd really love the rest of her recipes also!

  12. I'm so envious of you having a weekend free to cook and bake! Much as I love the fact that I finally have things to do in my life besides mope around being miserable in a PhD, this month is destroying my soul somewhat through the lack of time to potter, just for fun, in the kitchen!

    Love the look of the scones, and I also love how frequently we see that doll of Sylvia's pop up - make sure you keep that for her even when she grows up and doesn't want to play with dolls :)

  13. The almond energy snacks look wonderful. Blueberry and lavender scones are my favorite.

  14. Thanks Louise - I love the way kids describe and name - it is so creative - and I would love to join in the picnic game - will think about what I might bring!

    Thanks Rachel - the rose bakery cookbook commented that blueberries are the best berries to use in scones because they keep their shape

    Thanks Nanya - a pleasure to be part of your breakfast event

    Thanks Lisa - I think that the fruit balls we usually make last for about 2 weeks so I think I would expect that of these though they are probably best in the first week - my mum took some of my huge batch off my hands - wonder if they could be frozen

    Thanks Kath - the plate is actually part of a gravy boat set which I hardly use but I feel needs to be seen more in the kitchen - as for baking with rice flour, I am not overly keen on it (other than in shortbread) unless mixed with other flours because it is just too much carbs and starch rather than protein

    Thanks Lorraine - I am sure I would get along just fine at a Mr NQN family event

    Thanks Ricki - was amazed how much the ginger gave flavour that compensated for the lack of sweetness - but I think E wasn't so impressed with the energy balls because they had too much good stuff in them and not indulgent enough

    Thanks Amanda - I am sometimes not so keen on ginger but loved it in these scones

    Thanks Kari - though Sylvia slows me down, she does keep me in the house more than I would be inclined to as we need to be about in the afternoon for her naps. Not a bad thing of course!

    Thanks Chocolate - I had wondered about cocoa nibs in the energy balls - am sure that would be up your alley, as indeed are choc chips in scones :-)

    Thanks joanne - thanks for the reminder about the taste space - I think I have seen a few of janet's energy balls and must check them out again

    Thanks Hannah - Oh and I am envious of you able to go out in the evening til all hours!!! But I agree that time in the kitchen is good for the soul. And funny you mention not throwing out dolly because my favourite doll was thrown out and then perpetrators were never forgiven, so I am sure I wont throw hers out. Though I sometimes wonder she will fall apart like her cousin's favourite blanket.

    Thanks Sharam - blueberry and lavendar sounds an amazing combination - am off to look it up

  15. if scones last a long time - then you did something wrong. Scones last about 2 sec in my house!

  16. They look delicious, I'm a big fan of scones - easy and quick to make and bake, and not too sweet or too fat laden (until I spread them with butter!)

  17. I loooove scones and love that these ones aren't too sweet. I have those fruit balls on my list of things to make. :)


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