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THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods
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PRODUCT: Gluten-Free Bagels From Little Northern Bakehouse

What a treat it was to be able to wake up on a Sunday morning, weary of the usual weekday cycle of granola-eggs-granola-eggs, and pop a bagel into the toaster!

A gluten-free bagel.

Little Northern Bakehouse offers a selection of gluten-free/vegan/non-GMO bagels. The texture, though unremarkable straight from the bag, evolves into the perfect blend of crispy, pillowy and chewy once toasted.

The bagels are pre-cut and available in varieties that cover all the bases:

  • Plain Bagels
  • Blueberry Bagels
  • Cinnamon Bagels
  • Everything Bagels
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    WHAT’S ON YOUR BAGEL?

    As a vehicle for cream cheese bagels are quite serviceable, with a flavor that is only slightly sweet, but very compatible with a sliver of tomato.

    The same applies to Little Northern’s Everything bagel. It may be a bit heavy on the garlic for those four people who don’t particularly love garlic; but toasted, these bagels will fill your house with a pungent, earthy aroma and provide a savory compartment for your choice of fillings.

    My gluten-loving husband used his on an egg sandwich and was quite content, even recommending we seek these out as a regular addition to our repertoire.
     
     
    MORE LITTLE NORTHERN PRODUCTS

    Bagels are not just for breakfast anymore, as any of us who have had (or seen) a lunch sandwich on a bagel, knows.

    But Little Northern also offers a selection of breads and buns that will carry you through the day and the week.

    There are seven different sliced loaves, including white, seeded, whole- and multi-grain.

    Thought my tastes land a bit more on the buckwheat spectrum, their Sprouted 7 Grain bread is a good multi-purpose option.

    I have high hopes for their buns, which I can’t wait to take to my favorite local burger and egg sandwich spots.

    The company also sells GF artisan pizza crusts and a variety of rolls and buns.

     


    [1] Gluten-free cinnamon raisin bagel (all photos © Little Northern Bakehouse).


    [2] Blueberry bagels.


    [3] A gluten-free hamburger bun.

     
    In short, these breads are a true gluten-free contender, worth seeking out and having in the freezer for yourself or your gluten-free guests, especially as we head into holiday entertaining season.

    Here’s a store finder.

    Also look online, at Amazon, Fresh Direct and other e-tailers.

    Discover more at LittleNorthernBakehouse.com.

    — Georgi Page-Smith

      

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    RECIPE: Baklava Tart (No Struggling With Phyllo Leaves)


    [1] In this recipe, baklava is moved from its original pan recipe to a fusion with tart shells, which are a Medieval European invention (photo © Hannah Kaminsky).


    [2] For comparison, a classic piece of baklava, which is made in a sheet pan like brownies, but cut on the diagonal (photo © Recchiuti Confections).


    [3] An easy way to have a baklava experience: buy pre-made phyllo cups and add the nut filling. Phyllo cups are available at many markets, plus online at Gourmet Food Store (photo © Gourmet Food Store).


    [4] Want more vegan desserts? Get this book. It’s so beautifully photographed, you’ll want to make everything (photo © Skyhorse Publishing).

     

    November 17th is National Baklava Day.

    Unless you have the touch for working with phyllo dough, baklava can be a chore to make.

    Our colleague Hannah Kaminsky, of Bittersweet Blog, has a suggestion.

    Here, from Hannah Kaminsky’s new book, Sweet Vegan Treats (photo #4), is a novel Baklava Tart (photo #1).

    Hannah created the recipe as a way to use up remnants of phyllo after a little pastry mishap.

    Here, the phyllo is merely crumbled over the top; no careful layering is necessary to produce an impressive dessert.

    The amount of phyllo sprinkled on top is very imprecise, allowing a lot of wiggle room to use however much you want.

    In fact, instead of a package of phyllo, you can purchase the mini frozen shells (photo #3) and only crush up as many as necessary.

    Here’s the history of baklava and a recipe to make conventional baklava (photo #2).
     
     
    RECIPE: BAKLAVA TART

    Hannah created this as a vegan recipe, but you can make it conventional by substituting the vegan butter and cream cheese for regular, and can substitute honey for the agave nectar.

    Editor’s Note: When in Greece, you can enjoy baklava made with honey instead of sugar syrup. The baklava has a soul-satisfying honey flavor.

    In the U.S., most bakers substitute the less expensive sugar syrup for the honey. The result: The baklava tastes sweet, not honey-licious.

    We also prefer our baklava to be made with pistachios (authentic Greek), not walnuts.

    By the way, the original version of baklava, called gastrin—used honey, and olive oil instead of butter. Here’s the recipe and a photo that shows how similar the recipes are.

    For yourself or a vegan friend, check out Hannah’s latest book, check out Sweet Vegan Treats. It has 90 recipes, each as scrumptious as this one.

    An impetus to buy it: November is National Vegan Month.
     
    Ingredients

    For The Crust

  • 3-1/2 ounces (1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons) vegan cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed, or coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon light agave nectar or maple syrup
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  •  
    For The Filling

  • 2 cups chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter or coconut oil, melted
  • 3-1/2 to 4 ounces phyllo dough scraps (1/4 of a package, or 8–10 frozen mini shells)
  •  
    For The Glaze

  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter or coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup light agave nectar or maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar, firmly packed, or coconut sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F (175°C) and lightly grease a 13×4-inch rectangular tart pan with a removable bottom. If you don’t have one, you can use a 9-inch round fluted tart pan with removable bottom, but your cut shapes will be triangles rather than rectangles.

    2. MAKE the crust: Blend together the cream cheese and both sugars in a stand mixer, creaming until well combined. Stir in the vanilla, lemon and agave or maple syrup.

    3. ADD in 1 cup of the flour, the baking soda and salt, and mix until fully incorporated. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of flour and mix well. Press the resulting mixture into the tart pan, bringing it evenly and smoothly up the sides. Prick the bottom all over with a fork, creating vents for steam to escape and preventing big bubbles from getting trapped inside.

    4. BAKE for 15 to 17 minutes, until lightly golden brown in color. Remove the pan from the oven but leave the heat on.

    5. STIR together in a medium bowl the walnut pieces, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Pour the melted butter or coconut oil over everything in the bowl, stirring to coat.

    6. GENTLY PRESS the nut mixture into the crust so that it fits in an even layer. Crumble enough phyllo over the top to cover the nuts completely. Return the pan to the oven, and bake for an additional 20 to 22 minutes, until the phyllo becomes nicely browned.

    7. REMOVE the tart from the oven. Melt the final measure of butter for the glaze in a small bowl. Stir in all the remaining ingredients and pour the mixture evenly over the top of the tart while it is still warm. This will help bind everything together and sweeten the tart a bit more.

    8. COOL for at least two hours before slicing.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Hot Chocolate With Chocolate Leaves

    There are numerous ways to garnish hot chocolate.

    The latest to catch our eye is this beauty from La Rose Noire.

    You can approximate it at home.

    Unfortunately, consumers can’t purchase from La Rose Noire: It is a wholesaler to professional pastry chefs.

    But if you like beautiful chocolate embellishments, pastries and other desserts, there’s a lot of enjoyment to be had in perusing Chef Gérard Dubois’ beautifully-photographed product catalogs.

    It provides almost as much satisfaction as actually eating them!
     
     
    MAKING THE HOT CHOCOLATE

    It’s not too difficult to find solid chocolate leaves locally—or chocolate flowers, turkeys, Santas and other shapes.

     


    [1] Chocolate leaves garnish cups of (counter-clockwise) traditional hot chocolate, curried white hot chocolate and white hot chocolate (photo © La Rose Noire).

     
    You can serve hot chocolate in an espresso cup with small chocolate leaves, and larger leaves in an eight-ounce cup.

    Just can make hot chocolate (hopefully from scratch—not instant) and pop a leaf on top right before serving.

    The lucky recipients can remove the chocolate with a spoon and pop it into their mouths, or watch it dissolve to create even richer hot chocolate.
     
     
    CHECK OUT 25+ OTHER WAYS TO GARNISH HOT CHOCOLATE
     
    THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COCOA & HOT CHOCOLATE

      

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    PRODUCT: Pumpkin Spice Latte –Tea, Not Coffee


    [1] Tazo Tea’s Pumpkin Spice Latte is available in concentrate (shown) and in tea bags (photo © Tazo).


    [2] Most people like their PSLs hot, but you can also drink them chilled. In fact, you can add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to a tall glass of cold PSL.

     

    Are you a tea drinker who feels left out when the Pumpkin Spice Latte hubbub starts each fall?

    You can have your own PSL, thanks to Tazo Tea.

    Tazo has enhanced its chai teas with pumpkin flavor—more precisely, pumpkin pie spice flavor.

    Revelation: Did you know there is no pumpkin in Pumpkin Spice Latte?

    Whether in coffee or tea form, the flavor is created from pumpkin pie spices.

    These are often a blend of allspice, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg.

    Indian chai spices are somewhat similar: black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and star anise.
     
     
    TWO PSL TEA OPTIONS

    Tazo’s PSLs offer two choices, with and without sweetener:

  • Pumpkin Spice Latte tea concentrate is flavored with black pepper, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and star anise. The concentrate also includes cane sugar and honey. Just add milk, heat, and you’re ready to drink (you can also serve it chilled).
  • Pumpkin Spice tea bags have no sweetner. Black tea leaves are flavored with black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and licorice root. (Licorice root is a similar flavor to chai’s star anise.)
  •  
    For yourself or for stocking stuffers, these PSLs hit the spot.

    In fact—don’t tell our family and friends—this Thanksgiving, everyone is getting a box of Tazo Chai Pumpkin Spice tea bags as a party favor, instead of a chocolate turkey.

    We’re not trying to save on calories; we’re just spreading the joy of Tazo PSL.

    You can find it at retailers nationwide and on Amazon.

    For more information visit Tazo.com.

     

      

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    RECIPE: Stuffed Sweet Potatoes For November, December & The New Year

    Here’s a recipe that adds to the festivities during the holiday months of November and December, and cheers up the gray months of January, February and March.

    If you’ll be focusing on healthier eating in the new year, note the healthful ingredients in the recipe.

    The recipe was contributed to the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission by The Endless Meal.
     
     
    RECIPE: STUFFED SWEET POTATOES

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 4 sweet potatoes, about 1/2 pound each
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1/2 cup each: chopped mint and parsley
  • Arils (seeds) from 1 pomegranate
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 3 or more tablespoons water
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 400°F. Prick the sweet potatoes 5-6 times each with a fork then set them on a baking sheet. Place them into the oven and bake or 45-60 minutes, or until they are soft. Remove them from the oven and set them aside to cool slightly.

    2. PREPARE the topping while the potatoes are baking. First toast the walnuts; then place the walnuts, mint, parsley and pomegranate in a medium-sized bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil and toss to combine.

    3. WHISK the tahini with the lemon juice, garlic and salt to taste, in a small bowl. Add enough water so that it is the consistency of honey and set aside. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle…

    4. CUT through the tops of the skins in a T shape. Gently mash the insides, then pile the walnuts and herbs on top and drizzle with some tahini sauce.
     
     
    ABOUT SWEET POTATOES

    Contrary to popular belief, sweet potatoes are not actually potatoes, but are only distantly related to them.

    Sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) are a member of the Morning Glory Family (Convolvulaceae). When then plant is in flower, its blooms resemble morning glories (photo #3).

    Sweet potatoes are starchy, sweet-tasting, tuberous roots—a.k.a., root vegetables.

    They were grown by Native Americans and subsequently cultivated in the southern U.S. since Colonial times.
     
    Sweet Potato Nutrition

    Sweet potatoes have long been ranked high in nutritional value, and provide a good source of dietary fiber, which helps to provide feelings of fullness and satiety to control food intake.

     


    [1] These festive stuffed sweet potatoes are made with all-healthful ingredients (photos #1 and #2 © North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission).


    [2] There are numerous varieties of sweet potatoes grown worldwide. These are a popular cultivar in the U.S.


    [3] A sweet potato plant in flower. If the flower looks familiar, it’s because sweet potatoes are part of the morning glory family (photo © Earth100 | Wikipedia).

     
    They’re low in fat, and a rich source of potassium, vitamins A and E, antioxidants and beta-carotene.

    And, a medium sweet potato has about 100 calories when baked in the skin, making sweet potatoes an ideal food for weight management.

    Unlike white potatoes, which have a high glycemic index and can cause a spike and ultimate drop in blood sugar, sweet potatoes have a low glycemic index.

    This is beneficial for diabetics and others wanting to avoid glucose highs and lows.

    Wild sweet potatoes were first domesticated in either Central or South America. Domesticated sweet potatoes have been dated to at least 5,000 at locations between the Yucatán Peninsula and Venezuela.

    Yams are not the same as sweet potatoes:

    Check out the difference between sweet potatoes and yams.
     
     
    ABOUT NORTH CAROLINA SWEET POTATOES

    North Carolina has been the number-one sweet potato-producing state in the U.S., since 1971.

    The North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission is a nonprofit corporation made up of more than 400 sweet potato growers, along with the packers, processors and business associates that support them.

    The sole purpose of the Commission is to increase sweet potato consumption. Their mission is to entice consumers’ taste buds and push for healthy eating lifestyles.

    The recipe above is one of many developed by leading chefs and nutritionists. Check out the recipes.

    We can’t wait to try the Sweet Potato & Spinach Lasagna.

      

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