WARNING: the foods we cook for Abby are safe for her, but not necessarily for everyone. Please confirm any ingredients are safe for you before using in your diet. Food Allergies can kill and the best policy is complete avoidance. Read this post for more info.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Toddy Palm Seed and Nofu Snack Cake with Cardamon glaze



I have a pantry full of foods from our various International stores that I have either never seen, or never eaten or never cooked before. Abby and I have been staring suspiciously at the can of Toddy Palm Seeds in syrup. I don't think I have ever eaten them or seen them and there isn't a whole lot on them as far as recipes.


Today was the day! I had Nofu(chickpea tofu) that needed to be used and though we love coconut with the nofu that we have done before, we were hankering for something different. Toddy Palm Seeds fit the bill.

When you open the can, there is almost no smell- which caught us off guard for a second. The "syrup" is really a sweet water. The palm seeds are nearly clear and these were already sliced into pieces. The texture was way better then I had expected! Reminded me of a very very delicate pear. Imagine the pear without the pear flavor or just a hint of pear but more just the sweetness of the pear and smoother - that is what we found in the can! Kicking ourselves for not opening it sooner!

We simply made a nofu/coconut snack cake and mixed in the can of toddy palm seed fruit. That easy. It is egg free, corn free, soy free, gluten free, dairy free. I am not sure how palm seeds are "classfied." I lean toward fruit and Abby did not react to them so may be safe for the nut and seed free crowd too!

Tofu(nofu for us, we make it from chickpea flour) is often used as an egg replacer- since Abby reacts at times to eggs, we are trying to increase our use of safe egg replacers when we can.
The cardamon glaze was an after thought. We tasted it and loved the snack cake texture. The flavor was too subtle though. I have seen in many Indian recipes that cardamon is often used and thought that might add that kick- and it did! Next time, we might try adding a complimentary fruit to go with the toddy palm seed to accentuate the delicate sweetness or we might stick with the glaze. When something works I hate to mess with it.

A little bit of nutrition from Vivekananda
Sugar Palm fruit health benefits and Uses:

1. Palm seeds are considered as a delicacy in India and other asian countries where the Palmyra trees are grown. During early summer, they are sold in markets and for a limited period of time. Summer holidays are enjoyed by preparing different types of drinks, pancakes and dishes prepared from the nutritious pulp.

2. The tender fruit pulp is eaten raw during summer because it gives a cooling effect to the body. The ripened fibrous outer layer of the fruit can be eaten raw, boiled, or roasted.

3. The fruit contains vitamin A, B and also Vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid.

4. It is rich in minerals too. Minerals such as Potassium, Iron, Calcium, Phosphorous and Zinc are found in the fruit.

5. The studies conducted recently to know more about this fruit have given satisfactory results. If the Palmyra trees are grown in large scale commercial farms, it could help solve the world’s malnutrition problem.

6. In some Asian stores they are found in cans but usually they are canned in sugar syrup. Due to the sugar syrup it becomes too sweet.

7. The fresh ones are little crunchy and moderate sweet to taste. They are chopped to small pieces and used in desserts with other variety of fruits like Pineapple, Mangoes, Papaya and offered along with some good flavored ice cream.

8. Matured palm fruit juice is used in making pancakes.

9. The seed sockets of Ice-apple have been the inspiration for some sweets prepared in West Bengal. One such sweet is Jalbhara Sandesh.

10. Its medicinal uses are still unknown to people. The pulp from the mature fruit is used over the skin to cure Dermatitis.



(Picture above of cake right out of oven before glaze- you can see the fruit peeking through)

Ingredients:

1/4 cup coconut oil (melted in microwave)
1 1/4 cup gf flour
1/4 cup potato or tapioca starch
1/4 teaspoon pink himalayan salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder(Hain's or homemade)
1 cup chickpea nofu
3/4 cup granulated sugar(domino's for the corn free crowd. I bet coconut sugar would be great as well)
1 cup unsweetened fine shred coconut
1/2 cup greek style coconut yogurt(we make ours, but you can buy coconut yogurt or almond or soy yogurt-our homemade is corn free)
1/4 cup rice milk or water
1 can well drained sliced toddy palm seed in syrup.(save syrup for smoothie)
NOTE:No corn in the ingredients, however the potential for cross contamination exists- use any ingredients at your own risk- Abby did not react on skin or by mouth so felt safe with this one.

Glaze
1 cup corn free powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon cardamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
enough water to make a thin glaze


Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease an 8 by 8 inch baking dish with grapeseed oil or coconut oil.

2. Mix dry ingredients: potato starch,coconut, flour,sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

3. In a mixing bowl, put nofu, rice milk(or water), melted coconut oil, and coconut yogurt. Whisk until all mixed.

4. Mix dry and wet ingredients together. Right before you pour into greased pan stir in your toddy palm seed.

5. Bake for about 30- 35 minutes.(until knife comes out clean)

6. Glaze with cardamon powdered sugar glaze. Good warm or cold.

NOTE: Abby wanted me to make sure to mention that she thought it was a lot like those old fashioned cake donuts- she it now trying to convince me to make these into baked donuts.

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