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Za'Atar Spice_11_Gold&Thyme

Za’atar Spice

Za'Atar Spice_1_Gold&Thyme

ZA’ATAR SPICE

One thing I love about living in Paris are the spice shops. There are many – some great, some good and some not so good.  But, every time I walk into a shop, Marc says ” ahhhh… your space mountain!” and I proceed to stay much longer than expected 😉  I can’t deny it- I do love spice markets. The beautiful aromas, the vibrant colors, the reminders of old trips I’ve taken and new trips I’d love to take in the near future.  I find that I am constantly inspired by spices because with one soupçon, you’re instantaneously transported to another land. This is another reason why I love cooking and why I decided to make some homemade Za’atar, a Middle Eastern spice mixture, which is also used throughout the Mediterranean.

Although Za’atar Spice blends vary from region to region, I’ve found that combining fresh oregano and thyme, which I dry in the oven, ground sumac and cumin, toasted sesame seeds and sea salt, makes for an herb forward spice with a hint of nuttiness which you can then add to.  I love this combination and have been putting it on almost everything, from hummus to salads to roasted vegetables, and one of my all time favorites – atop avocado toast! It can also be added to olive oil and eaten with bread.  At the moment, I can’t get enough winter squash – my favorite is roasted Delicata squash topped with pomegranate seeds, cashew cream and Za’atar.  Za’atar can also be purchased in markets, but I find that making your own spice blends is not that much more expensive and allows you to tailor the proportions to achieve to your desired taste!

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Za’atar Spice

INGREDIENTS

2 Tbsp fresh thyme
2 Tbsp fresh oregano
2 tsp sumac, ground
1 tsp cumin, ground
1 Tbsp sesame seeds, white or white and black
1/2 tsp sea salt

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Place fresh thyme and oregano leaves on a baking sheet, along with sesame seeds and toast for 10 minutes or until the herbs crumble between your fingers.
Using a mortar and pestle, grind the thyme and oregano.
Add in sumac, cumin, sea salt and pepper and continue grinding.
Once combined, add the sesame seeds et voila! Homemade Za’atar!
Best if stored in the refrigerator!

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Za'atar Spice
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Za'atar Spice is a Middle Eastern and Mediterranean spice mixture combining dried herbs, sesame seeds and spices and can be sprinkled on everything!
Author:
Recipe type: Spice
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Serves: ½ cup
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp fresh thyme
  • 2 Tbsp fresh oregano
  • 2 tsp sumac, ground
  • 1 tsp cumin, ground
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds, white or white and black
  • ½ tsp sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Place fresh thyme and oregano leaves on a baking sheet, along with sesame seeds and toast for 10 minutes or until the herbs crumble between your fingers.
  3. Using a mortar and pestle, grind the thyme and oregano.
  4. Add in sumac, cumin, sea salt and pepper and continue grinding.
  5. Once combined, add the sesame seeds et voila! Homemade Za'atar!
  6. Best if stored in the refrigerator!

 

Making of Le Balm_10_Gold&Thyme

Introducing Gold&Thyme’s LE BALM Part 3 {Making Le Balm} + GIVEAWAY

Introducing Gold&Thyme’s LE BALM Part 3 {Making Le Balm} + GIVEAWAY

Making of Le Balm_1_Gold&Thyme

Since returning home to Paris from the States this fall, I’ve been busy cooking at Chambre Noire, a small natural wine and tapas bar located in the 11th arrondisement. With the changing seasons, it was great to be back in a small French kitchen, creating and trying new recipes! I’m now back in Berkeley with Marc for the holidays, and it seems like as good a time as any to explain a bit about why I made LE BALM. It first began as a class on Herb Craft and Medicine Making that I took this summer at the Ohlone Herbal Center in Berkeley and later became a form of creative and “herbal” expression.

On the first evening, I remember walking into the class and feeling grateful – the building was a beautiful red brick structure with large windows and a huge park in front – Mariah, the instructor, had placed a beautiful bouquet of wild flowers in the center of the room – and Rumi, the dog, came to greet me. Mariah began the class with a reading to set the tone. Afterwards, I remember writing PATIENCE + KINDNESS = WISDOM in my journal.  At the time, these words didn’t seem like they had anything to do with medicine making but, in fact, the process of creating LE BALM required both patience and kindness, and ultimately I think I became a bit wiser in the process.

PATIENCE & KINDNESS

Once I mixed together the lavender, Calendula, Comfrey, plantain and Rosehips with the organic Grapeseed oil, I had to wait. I stored the gallon-sized jar in the pantry and had to wait a month for the oil to become infused. Every morning, I gently turned the jar upside-down so that the mixture would continue moving.  I remember becoming a bit impatient as the days passed, but I also knew that I had to give LE BALM the time it deserved.

Thirty days later, I ran downstairs like a little girl on Christmas morning, so excited to see, and to smell, what my infusion had become. But, as chemistry would have it, I couldn’t open the jar ;(. I proceeded to put the jar in the car and take it to my brother’s, who was able to open it.  We were sitting in the car and I can remember the smell emanating from the jar – lavender, then the Calendula and Rosehips. It was almost like a good wine – you take a sip and once the liquid reaches your stomach, it’s like little fireworks going off, from your navel up to your throat.

I got home, couldn’t open the jar again because of the fermentation process, but was saved once again by my neighbor! The making of LE BALM was quickly becoming more and more of a family affair.  My mom accompanied me to Napa where Rob of the Napa Valley Bee Company helped me to source sustainable beeswax.  Then came the fun part – the pressing!

In class, we got to use this beautiful handmade press, but at my house, we (because I enlisted my mother’s help) used our gloved hands. Although the workshop press was great, there is always something so gratifying about using one’s hands.  Once the oil was separated from the herbs, I measured the beeswax and then added the pressed oil and beeswax to a double-broiler. Again, a test of patience. Slowly but surely, the wax melted into the oil and, as I poured the mixture into the jars, I felt a mixture of pride and gratitude. Little did I know that 3 months after completing my workshop, I would have  my own product in hand. In honor of its multi-dimensional, sense-explosive properties, I named it, “LE BALM.”

I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it!

~ Check out details at the end of the post for G&T’s GIVEAWAY this week! ~

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~ G&T GIVEAWAY ~

‘TIS THE SEASON OF GIVING!

In honor of the holiday spirit and in celebration of the one year launch of G O L D & T H Y M E, Two lucky winners will receive a 1 oz. or 2 oz. jar of  G&T’s handcrafted LE BALM.

Gold&Thyme’s LE BALM is all natural and organic, made with Grapeseed Oil, lavender flowers, calendula flowers, plantain leaf, comfrey leaf and rosehips, with sustainable organic Beeswax from the Napa Valley Bee Company.
Handcrafted in Berkeley, California

Hand blended, sense-explosive  this soothing and nourishing balm captures the essential spirit-lifting properties of select herbs and can be used on your lips, face and skin as a concentrated moisturizer and on sore shoulders, insect bites, babies rashes and little burns and cuts.

1. Follow @goldandthyme on Instagram and Facebook.

2. Tag 3 friends who would love a little ‘balm’ in their life 😉

3. Enter as many times as you like, however different people must be tagged for each entry.

The giveaway is open internationally, so get tagging and good luck!!

le-balm_giveaway_gold&thyme

 

Napa Valley Bee Company_4_Meg Smith

Introducing Gold&Thyme’s LE BALM Part 2 {Sustainable Beeswax} + Interview

Introducing Gold&Thyme’s LE BALM Part 2 {Sustainable Beeswax} + Interview with Rob Keller of the Napa Valley Bee Company


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Photograph courtesy of Meg Smith

During my trip in California this summer, I took a Herb Craft and Medicine Making Class at the Ohlone Herbal Center in Berkeley. We learned the art of making teas, infused vinegar, cordials & elixirs, tinctures, infused oils and healing balms. Since our class was only 3 weeks long, we had to decide what we had time to make… decision? A balm, a tincture and some zoom balls (which I’m hoping to have up on the blog soon!). When it came time to finish making our balm, one of the girls in my class brought beeswax from her hives in St. Helena, a small town just north of Napa. It was amazing to get to work with such a beautiful product, so when it came time for me to source mine for LE BALM, although she didn’t have enough, she introduced me to Rob Keller of the Napa Valley Bee Company.

Napa Valley Bee Company is a sustainable honeybee organization that recognizes the importance of strong genetics in our local indigenous bee. Breeding from survivor stock in our area is a way to solve some of the problems with European Honey Bees.
-Napa Valley Bee Company

With my infused oil hitting the 4 week point, I called Rob and asked if we could meet. For me, going up to Napa is always such a joy and with my mother’s birthday approaching, it all seemed very serendipitous! Meet Rob at his apiary at the Napa Valley Bee Company and learn about the current state of bees, go to his house to pick out some sustainable beeswax for LE BALM and then spend the rest of the day celebrating the birth of my incredible mother!

Sustainable Beeswax_18_Gold&ThymePhotograph courtesy of Janis Bankoff

Arriving to BeeCo was a bit surreal. We pulled up in front of a big beige building with no signage and were told to park, walk towards the back, open the gate and take a left. We walked for a bit and passed three or four amazing gardens on our right- I was tempted to ask if I could have some squash blossoms for a pasta I was making that evening, but I imagined those beauties were spoken for. We then arrived to see Rob in action, watering his beautiful garden made especially for the bees! I asked if he didn’t mind being recorded and here’s what he had to say…

60840030_Meg Smithtumblr_ln1xxfdze51qfmijio1_1280_Meg SmithPhotographs courtesy of Meg Smith

“We’re beyond sustainable at this point.  We’re looking to be regenerative… The bees come first. We’re not hustling them for honey. We’re not hustling them for anything really. The main thing we ask of them is pollination, but it’s stationary pollination. We’re not moving them into the almonds, which is a huge deal here in California. We really just do what we can do so that the bees can thrive. It’s a little challenging here in Napa Valley because it’s not really the epicenter for honey. There’s not a whole lot of forage because every bit of fallow land has been swooped up and planted [by the vineyards]. It’s a mono-crop for sure. The vineyard is a desert for the bee. Sometimes they can be seen this time of year on the crush pad, for the juice, but only because they’re really hungry. “

How long have you been here?

“This is my second year. Our idea was to do a queen breeding facility here, based on locally adopted stock. The main things with beekeeping are…there’s this little mite riding around on their back and there’s a lot of different ideas on how to take care of that. Some people say kill the mite, kill the mite, kill the mite…and they’ll throw an arsenal of medications at the bees. I’m kind of looking at things a little differently, saying don’t kill the mite. Let the bees and the mite come to some kind of balanced co-existence.”

img_9132_Meg SmithPhotograph by Meg Smith

How did the mites come to be?

“They came here from Southeast Asia I think back in 1996. I think that’s when the first ones were found. From my understanding, they came into Florida and made it to the Midwest before they caught them. And they haven’t been able to stop them since. They live on the bee. They reproduce inside the cell with that young baby bee as the young larvae is developing and the family of Varroa Mite is growing.  What you need to do is look at the bees and let them build their own resistance. And a lot of people say that would take years and years and years, but bees are already prone to be hygienic, but there are bees that are super hygienic and they’re able to clean up those cells. Some of them could groom the mite of each other. Some of them can recognize that there are mites inside that cell and they go in and open up the cell. That tends to be a little bit more complicated because it takes more than one mechanism. Right, they have to be able to smell the mite in the cell, they have to be able to open that cell up and drag that larvae out.”

“The second issue is that people are moving bees around like crazy. You can call up right now to Kona, Hawaii and order a queen and have her sent to you in a little package and then introduce her into your apiary. My thoughts are that we should be focused on locally adopted stock. My whole push has been to attain bees wherever I can here in Napa (I don’t order bees out). I’ve gotten really good at cutting bees out of houses and pulling them out of wine barrels or…we’ve pulled them out of the craziest things you can imagine. Bees move into all sorts of crevices. And then watch that genetic stock and see how they do, and if they live for a year, we take away the queen and then that colony will make a new queen from their own genetics. Then you watch mother and daughter, and if mother and daughter are showing you the same traits, you get a little bit excited and you take away daughter queen and you watch grand-daughter. We’re really looking for those traits that are dominant in the queen. The problem is the genetic strain has been so diluted down so far that bees don’t really stand a chance. They have to be able to recognize the environmental cues to be able to survive. That’s what BeeCo (Napa Valley Bee Company) is all about.”

Sustainable Beeswax_19_Gold&ThymeSustainable Beeswax_9_Gold&ThymeSustainable Beeswax_3_Gold&ThymeWhat are they doing? Eating?

“No, they’re just all clumped up and generally what happens is the bees that are flying out…if you watch them fairly closely, you can see them. Watch this one- see her? She’s communicating with all the other ones around her. She’s telling them something. And generally what they’re telling them is where’s the new place to move to.”

So they communicate with their wings?

“Well their body movement. It’s all based on a figure eight. Right? And how fast she’s doing that waggle with her butt, but also how big is the figure eight. And it gets better! It’s all based on the orientation of the sun. So she’s saying, here’s a place we should go live! Here’s a place we should go live… All of them are saying places they’ve scouted and found a physical location for them to move to.”

How did you choose what to plant?

“I really like Zinnia. Zinnia’s are really nice because they are a wonderful table flower. They’re really easy to cut back and they grow again and they’re a late season nectar and pollen source for bees. So Zinnia, sunflower, all of the squash and winter plants that we put in are all very unique ones that we have specialty seed because what we were hoping to happen was to leave the blossoms for the bees, but when the fruit comes, we’ll take that and sell it to some of these higher end restaurants.”

What about the other farms that I saw walking in?

“BocaFarm used to have this whole thing filled out and they had a CSA, but then the gal who was running the CSA just got into Harvard to do a Masters in Environmental Education. So now what they’re doing is that they split it up into quarters and each one of those segments belongs to a restaurant and they send their guys out to take care of it. A couple of guys are doing late season tomatoes and squash. Most of the squash and pumpkins were volunteers because last year, this whole field was pumpkin. “

The discussion then turned to Paris…

“I think it would be so fun. I didn’t get to stay in Paris long enough last time. I went to the Bee Keeping Institute and spent a little while there. I would love to come over and do something on sustainable beekeeping. Come over and teach people what we’re doing here and how they could do it there.”

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“Do you know what this is? So you’re into the arts…you’ve heard of that artist, Christo?”

Yeah of course! How did you manage to get a piece.

“This is a section of his project, Running Fence! This is probably only a quarter of the section I have. I have a 150 feet by the full length, 18 feet. I have a Masters Degree in Fine Art.”

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One of my favorite parts of the visit was getting a ride in Rob’s van back to our car. The creative use of old Levi’s pockets as pockets on the back of car seats was genius! And then arriving to Rob’s house was great too! He showed us his studio in the back where he makes his honey and stores his beeswax and then showed us his office where he has this amazing “glass wall of bees”.  I tried to take a picture, but there was too much reflection from the glass. And besides, it’s one of those things you really have to see to believe.

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What can you tell me about your beeswax?

“This wax is as pure as it can possibly be. I don’t medicate my bees. I don’t have them on any foundation. I let my bees build all their own wax. I press all my honey. Bees build all their comb and a lot of the restaurants want the comb so it’s been my direction. I don’t really sell the consumer. I work with local restaurants like (Thomas Keller and) The French Laundry. By the end of this year, honey will probably be close to $3.00 per ounce, which is nuts. But I’m not sitting on tons of honey. Most of my operation is based on breaking the bees down, like we were talking about earlier. You can’t have bees and honey. I’m making a lot of smaller colonies that don’t make a lot of honey.  I take away the queen, but then I give her everything she needs for her own colony. We’ve taken it out to generation 10!”

Leaving Rob with this beautiful piece of beeswax made my day! He even gave my mom some honeycomb for her birthday! I knew that I wanted to find exquisite beeswax for LE BALM, but for me, this visit helped give me more insight into the lives of bees and raise awareness for people like Rob Keller who aren’t just proponents of sustainable beekeeping, but regenerative beekeeping. We need to see bees differently. We need to treat them with the respect they deserve. It’s safe to say I will remember my visit with Rob fondly and look forward to remaining in touch and seeing his sustainable and regenerative bees continue to flourish!

When I got home, what I remember most was the smell of the wax. It reminded me of where I had just been and for me, that is what I love about sourcing quality product. You can spend time learning the story about how it was made from the person who made it. And each time you use the product, you can remember your experience. Before adding the beeswax to for LE BALM, although it didn’t need much, we removed a bit of the “land” that remained on the beeswax and with my mother’s help, we broke the beeswax into pieces and weighed it out. In Part 3 {Making Le Balm}, I will discuss pressing out the Infused Oil and combining it with the Beeswax.

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Le Balm_10_Gold&Thyme

Introducing Gold&Thyme’s LE BALM Part 1 {Infused Oil}

Introducing Gold&Thyme’s LE BALM | Pt. 1 {Infused Oil}

I was fortunate enough to spend two months in California this summer and one of things I’m most excited about sharing is my first skincare product – Gold&Thyme’s Le Balm! And it was such an amazing experience, that I’ve decided to divide this experience into 3 parts:

  • the making of the Infused Oil
  • meeting Rob Keller of the Napa Valley Bee Company to source my sustainable beeswax
  • the making of Le Balm

While in California, I was enrolled in Herb Craft & Medicine Making at the Ohlone Herbal Center in Berkeley, which was an amazing experience! We learned the art of making teas, infused vinegar, cordials & elixirs, tinctures, infused oils and healing balms. I loved it so much that I decided to make a healing balm of my own in the hopes of sharing it with you!

I purchased my herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs, which is a great source to know about for buying bulk organic herbs.  Some other options are Five Flavor Herbs, Pacific Botanicals and the Sonoma County Herb Exchange. I bought lavender flowers, calendula flowers, plantain leaf, comfrey leaf and rose hips. I wanted to make a healing Balm that would help to relieve stress, aid in sore joints and muscles, was easy to absorb, was relaxing and gentle, cooling and drying and above all, make you feel good inside and out!  I use it multiple times throughout the day on my lips, hands, temples, neck, wrists…it can go anywhere you want!

Turns out I was able to find a few free days in late July and decided to go on a Solo Creative Retreat in Sebastopol where I stayed at Kamala & Pat’s lovely Airbnb cottage, which I highly recommend. Goal #1, of many, while I was there: Make the infused oil, which would need to sit for at least 3-6 weeks, and I wanted to finish it before returning to Paris! I bought organic Grapeseed Oil from Napa Valley Naturals, found a little spot in the back yard of the cottage and got to work.  I even had a little visitor…I don’t know his name, but he was very keen to be involved.  He kept passing by and wanting to be part of the action. One thing that it is very important to mention is that when making your own product, it’s important to work with intention – what kind of product do you want this to be? How do I want to to make people feel? What do you want people to think of?

In Part 2, I will be sharing my visit with Rob Keller (founder of the Napa Valley Bee Company) at his Apiary in Napa and the search for sustainable Beeswax.

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INGREDIENTS

4 ounces Lavender Flower
4 ounces Calendula Flower
4 ounces Plantain Leaf
4 ounces Comfrey Leaf
2 ounces Rose Hips
3000 mL of organic Grapeseed Oil (or cold-pressed Olive Oil)

METHOD

Add the herbs to a large (thoroughly cleaned) glass container with a sealed lid.
Add the herbs and the oil, leaving about 3 inches at the top to allow the mixture to move around.
This infused oil should be stored in a dark room for between 3-6 weeks, depending on desired potency, but should be slowly tipped every day.
It’s just a question of patience and perhaps the tincture of (thyme) 😉

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If you’re interested in purchasing Gold&Thyme’s LE BALM, please click here.

Fresh Blackberry Tart + Walnut Spelt Crust_3_Gold&Thyme

Fresh Blackberry Tart + Walnut Crust

FRESH BLACKBERRY TART + WALNUT CRUST

Fresh Blackberry Tart + Walnut Crust_2_Gold&Thyme

I’ve been in California for a month and my time here has been epic up until now. The weather has been lovely, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying my Watercolor and Herb Craft and Medicine Making Classes, and just got back from a Solo Creative Retreat in Sebastopol where I stayed at Kamala & Pat’s lovely Airbnb cottage.  From the moment I arrived, I knew it was the perfect place for my time away.  The cottage was small, but quaint with a perfect porch for taking afternoon sun and watching the sunset, an outdoor shower, and a huge garden with a meditation yurt where I spent each morning starting my day.  There were even plum trees and blackberry bushes where I helped myself to a treat every time I passed.  I also went on daily walks and found that the blackberries were perfect for picking.  Meet my snacking bowl!

Fresh Blackberry Tart + Walnut Crust_1_Gold&Thyme

As soon as I made it back to Berkeley, I decided to make a variation of one of my favorite recently found recipes by Amy Chaplin in her new cookbook, At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen.  The recipe is for a Fresh Peach Tart with a Walnut Crust, but instead of peaches, which I had already made three times in the last 2 weeks ;), I swapped the peaches for my freshly picked blackberries and adapted the recipe accordingly to make a Fresh Blackberry Tart + Walnut Crust.  The result was fantastic!  I’m used to making blackberry pies and baking the blackberries, but serving them fresh like this made for a delicious combination with the crunchy Walnut Spelt Crust.  For this particular recipe, I added less apple juice and mixed the arrowroot directly in with the blackberries.  I ended up taking it to a dinner party and it was a hit! Thanks for the crust inspiration Amy!  I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do!

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Fresh Blackberry Tart + Walnut Crust {V + RSF}

INGREDIENTS

1 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted
3/4 cup regular rolled oats
2 Tbsp brown rice flour
1/4 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt
3/4 cup whole spelt flour
3 Tbsp extra virgin coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp olive oil
3-4 cups fresh blackberries
1/2 cup + 2 tsp apple juice
1 tsp agar flakes
2 tsp arrowroot
2 Tbsp coconut sugar or maple syrup

METHOD

CRUST *

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F and toast walnuts for 5-8 minutes or until fragrant.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and coat a 9-inch tart shell with removable bottom with olive oil.
Once cooled, combine toasted walnuts, oats, brown rice flour and salt in a Cuisinart and pulse for about 20-30 seconds to have a coarse meal.
In a separate bowl, combine mixture with spelt flour.
Gradually add melted coconut oil, syrup and vanilla.
Dough should be moist, but not sticky.
Wash and dry hands and press dough into oiled tart pan and press the dough against the bottom and sides.
Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork several times and bake for 16-18 minutes or until golden brown and fragrant.
Remove from oven and let cool completely.

Note: This tart should be served the day it’s made, as the moisture from the berries makes the crust soggy after a day in the fridge.

*Crust is adapted from Amy Chaplin’s Fresh Peach Tart with Walnut Crust Recipe

BLACKBERRIES

In a separate bowl, add blackberries, coconut sugar and arrowroot.
In a small saucepan, add apple juice and agar flakes and whisk until it comes to a bowl. Lower heat and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes or until the agar flakes have completely dissolved.
Let cool for a couple of minutes and then add to blackberry mixture.
Toss very gently so that the majority of blackberries remain whole.
Layer the blackberry mixture into the cooled tart shell and place in the refrigerator until ready to be served.

Note: I’ve also made coconut whipped cream and topped a dollop on top when serving.

COCONUT WHIPPED CREAM

Place a can of full fat coconut milk in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours.
Remove and spoon out the cream, leaving the water behind (I like to add this to my smoothie the following morning!)
Add a 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract and whip until you’ve reached your desired consistency.
Note: Never add any ingredients after you’ve begun to whip- the consistency will change dramatically.

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Fresh Blackberry Tart + Walnut Spelt Crust_12_Gold&Thyme

Fresh Blackberry Tart + Walnut Crust
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This Fresh Blackberry Tart + Walnut Crust is a perfect summer dessert! Vegan and RSF, the fresh blackberries and crunchy tart crust are a great combo!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 10 slices
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cup walnuts, toasted
  • ¾ cup regular rolled oats
  • 2 Tbsp brown rice flour1/4 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt
  • ¾ cup whole spelt flour
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3-4 cups fresh blackberries
  • ½ cup + 2 tsp apple juice
  • 1 tsp agar flakes
  • 2 tsp arrowroot
  • 2 Tbsp coconut sugar or maple syrup
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F and toast walnuts for 5-8 minutes or until fragrant.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and coat a 9-inch tart shell with removable bottom with olive oil.
  3. Once cooled, combine toasted walnuts, oats, brown rice flour and salt in a Cuisinart and pulse for about 20-30 seconds to have a coarse meal.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine mixture with spelt flour.
  5. Gradually add melted coconut oil, syrup and vanilla.
  6. Dough should be moist, but not sticky.
  7. Wash and dry hands and press dough into oiled tart pan and press the dough against the bottom and sides.
  8. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork several times and bake for 16-18 minutes or until golden brown and fragrant.
  9. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
  10. Note: This tart should be served the day it's made, as the moisture from the berries makes the crust soggy after a day in the fridge.
  11. In a separate bowl, add blackberries, coconut sugar and arrowroot.
  12. In a small saucepan, add apple juice and agar flakes and whisk until it comes to a bowl. Lower heat and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes or until the agar flakes have completely dissolved.
  13. Let cool for a couple of minutes and then add to blackberry mixture.
  14. Toss very gently so that the majority of blackberries remain whole.
  15. Layer the blackberry mixture into the cooled tart shell and place in the refrigerator until ready to be served.
  16. Note: I've also made coconut whipped cream and topped a dollop on top when serving.
  17. Place a can of full fat coconut milk in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours.
  18. Remove and spoon out the cream, leaving the water behind (I like to add this to my smoothie the following morning!)
  19. Add a ½ tsp of vanilla extract and whip until you've reached your desired consistency.
  20. Note: Never add any ingredients after you've begun to whip- the consistency will change dramatically.

 

 

Hot Pink Beetroot Hummus_9_Gold&Thyme

Hot Pink Beetroot Hummus + Sumac-Dusted Pita Chips

HOT PINK BEETROOT HUMMUS + SUMAC-DUSTED PITA CHIPS

Hot Pink Beetroot Hummus_11_Gold&Thyme

With the weather changing and turning into real Summer, I’m craving more vibrant foods and thus have been trying to add more color to my dishes.  And as hummus is one of my favorite foods, I decided to start playing around with different recipes.  Pea Hummus, Lentil Hummus, and Hot Pink Beetroot Hummus!  Well I can officially say that this Hot Pink dip has become a Spring and Summer staple!  I first made it at Chambre Noire, a wine bar I’ve been guest cooking at in Paris, and it turned out amazing!  I think my favorite part is the incredible color!  Beautiful food makes eating that much more enjoyable!

I eat a lot of beets – whether I add them to my morning juice, grated into salads, roasted, I love this vegetable!  It’s natural food coloring and you get a delicious kick of vitamins.  The cumin and coriander also help to take this hummus to the next level.  And to top it off (no pun intended), you can cook the beet greens and garnish the crispy beet greens on top of the hummus.  I like to serve this Hot Pink Beetroot Hummus with Sumac-dusted Pita Chips (recipe below).

Hot Pink Beetroot Hummus_1_Gold&Thyme

The lowdown on Beet Greens

Besides supplying good amounts of protein, phosphorus, and zinc, beet greens are also a great source of fiber. Packed with antioxidants, they’re high in vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese, and low in fat and cholesterol. Based on a 2,000 calorie diet, daily values of beet greens contain: 220% of vitamin A, 60% of vitamin C, 16% of calcium, and 15% of iron.

A fun fact: Cultivated since prehistoric times, early Romans only ate the beet tops, leaving the beet roots for medicinal purposes.

Hot Pink Beetroot Hummus_2_Gold&ThymeHot Pink Beetroot Hummus_3_Gold&ThymeHot Pink Beetroot Hummus_4_Gold&ThymeHot Pink Beetroot Hummus_5_Gold&Thyme

Hot Pink Beetroot Hummus + Sumac-Dusted Pita Chips

INGREDIENTS

1 medium-sized beet (with its greens still attached)
1/4 cup water
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained or dry (soaked overnight and cooked)
2 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
3 Tbsp tahini paste
Juice from 1/2-1 lemon
Pinch lemon zest + some for topping
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil + beet water for desired consistency
Pink Himalayan Sea Salt, to taste

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F or 200 degrees C. Slice off the beet greens and set aside. Add the beet to a small baking dish with the 1/4 cup water. Cover the baking dish with foil and transfer to the oven to roast for 45 minutes, until the beet is tender when poked with a fork. Transfer the beet to a cutting board to cool; and being sure to reserve the beet juice for later use. Slice off the tops of the beet, peel it and then chop it into pieces.
To the jar of a blender or food processor, add the chopped beet, chick-peas, garlic cloves, tahini paste, lemon juice, lemon zest, ground cumin, ground coriander, olive oil and a splash of beet juice. Blend until smooth. You may need to add a splash or two of beet water to get it to your desired consistency. Give it a taste test and salt to taste (I added about 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt). Transfer the hummus to a serving bowl.
To make the crispy beet green garnish, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a sauté pan. As the oil is heating up slice your beet greens, discarding the stem. Transfer to a paper towel to drain. Immediately sprinkle with a pinch of ground coriander, ground cumin and salt. Repeat until the remaining beet greens are pan fried.
Break up the fried beet greens into shards and garnish the hummus with them. Top with a drizzle of olive oil, lemon zest and a  few sprinkles of sumac.

SUMAC-DUSTED PITA CHIPS

1 Package Pita Bread (I used Whole Wheat Pita in the photos)
Cold-pressed Olive Oil
Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
Sumac

On a parchment-lined baking sheet, lay pita bread (cut into triangles) and sprinkle with olive oil, sea salt and sumac.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until crispy.

Hot Pink Beetroot Hummus_6_Gold&ThymeHot Pink Beetroot Hummus_7_Gold&ThymeHot Pink Beetroot Hummus_10_Gold&ThymeHot Pink Beetroot Hummus_8_Gold&Thyme

Hot Pink Beetroot Hummus + Sumac-Dusted Pita Chips
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This Hot Pink Beetroot Hummus + Sumac-Dusted Pita Chips is the ultimate hummus of summer. I love it topped with crispy beet greens, lemon zest and sumac!
Author:
Recipe type: Dip
Cuisine: Lebanese
Serves: 1½ cups
Ingredients
  • 1 medium-sized beet (with its greens still attached)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained or dry (soaked overnight and cooked)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
  • 3 Tbsp tahini paste
  • Juice from ½-1 lemon
  • Pinch lemon zest + some for topping
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil + beet water for desired consistency
  • Pink Himalayan Sea Salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F or 200 degrees C. Slice off the beet greens and set aside. Add the beet to a small baking dish with the ¼ cup water. Cover the baking dish with foil and transfer to the oven to roast for 45 minutes, until the beet is tender when poked with a fork. Transfer the beet to a cutting board to cool; and being sure to reserve the beet juice for later use. Slice off the tops of the beet, peel it and then chop it into pieces.
  2. To the jar of a blender or food processor, add the chopped beet, chick-peas, garlic cloves, tahini paste, lemon juice, lemon zest, ground cumin, ground coriander, olive oil and a splash of beet juice. Blend until smooth. You may need to add a splash or two of beet water to get it to your desired consistency. Give it a taste test and salt to taste (I added about 1½ teaspoons of salt). Transfer the hummus to a serving bowl.
  3. To make the crispy beet green garnish, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a sauté pan. As the oil is heating up slice your beet greens, discarding the stem. Transfer to a paper towel to drain. Immediately sprinkle with a pinch of ground coriander, ground cumin and salt. Repeat until the remaining beet greens are pan fried.
  4. Break up the fried beet greens into shards and garnish the hummus with them. Top with a drizzle of olive oil, lemon zest and a few sprinkles of sumac.


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PLEASE CLICK HERE TO NOMINATE GOLD&THYME FOR
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Chipotle Lime Cashew Sauce_1_Gold&Thyme

Chipotle Lime Cashew Sauce

CHIPOTLE LIME CASHEW SAUCE {Vegan}

Chipotle Lime Cashew Sauce_2_Gold&Thyme

I arrived in California a couple of weeks ago for what I’m calling, ‘a creative hiatus.”

The sun is shinning
the weather is sweet,
(and I’m hoping this weekend) I’ll get to move my dancing feet! 

Thanks, Bob Marley!  Suffice it to say, I’m very happy to be here!

I’ve been taking a workshop on Herb Craft & Medicine Making at the Ohlone Herbal Center in Berkeley, which has been an amazing experience.  We’re learning the art of making teas, infused vinegar, cordials & elixirs, tinctures, infused oils and healing balms.  Last week we made zoom balls, a recipe which I will soon be sharing on the blog.  I’ve also been taking a Watercolor Painting Class with my mom.  It’s been great to immerse myself in the creative again!  And of course, in the kitchen!!

Since making the change to a plant-based diet, I’ve realized that for many people, it’s difficult to know where to start. It can seem daunting at first, but I find that if you are interested in making a change, it’s all about starting with small dishes and sides.  Some of my favorites are Pesto (Basil Pesto, Pistachio & Parsley Pesto), Romesco Sauce, and of course my “Almond-san,” a vegan Parmesan “cheese” topping. They are relatively easy to make and are a nice addition to dishes you are already eating.

One recipe I used to love was spicy mayo.  I used to eat it on fish tacos for example, but now that I no longer eat fish or mayonnaise, I wanted to share with you my vegan Chipotle Lime Cashew Sauce.  I love this sauce on veggie burgers, vegetable tacos, as a dipping sauce for roasted vegetables, drizzled on a salad … the list goes on!   All you need are cashews (soaked in water), adobe peppers, lime, water and sea salt, and you can easily change the consistency by just adding more water.  I love this recipe and hope you do too.

Chipotle Lime Cashew Sauce_3_Gold&Thyme Chipotle Lime Cashew Sauce_4_Gold&ThymeChipotle Lime Cashew Sauce_5_Gold&Thyme

INGREDIENTS

1 cup raw unsalted cashews
1/2 cup water (or more to reach desired consistency)
juice of 1/2 fresh lime
1/2 tsp Himalayan sea salt
1-2 adobe peppers

METHOD

Soak cashews in cold filtered water for 4 hours or overnight.
Remove and add to food processor with remaining ingredients.
I like to add the water in phases to reach a desired consistency.

Chipotle Lime Cashew Sauce_6_Gold&ThymeChipotle Lime Cashew Sauce_7_Gold&Thyme

Chipotle Lime Cashew Sauce
 
Prep time
Total time
 
This Chipotle Lime Cashew Sauce is a great vegan take on spicy mayo. I love this sauce on veggie burgers, vegetable tacos, as a dipping sauce for roasted vegetables, drizzled on a salad
Author:
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: California Cuisine
Serves: 1 cup
Ingredients
  • 1 cup raw unsalted cashews
  • ½ cup water (or more to reach desired consistency)
  • juice of ½ fresh lime
  • ½ tsp Himalayan sea salt
  • 1-2 adobe peppers
Instructions
  1. Soak cashews in cold filtered water for 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Remove and add to food processor with remaining ingredients.
  3. I like to add the water in phases to reach a desired consistency.

 

Saveur Blog Awards NOminations_Gold&Thyme

SAVEUR Blog Award Nominations!

SAVEUR Blog Award Nominations!

It’s been been less than a year since I launched Gold&Thyme, a plant-based food and lifestyle blog celebrating the truth and beauty of whole foods.  The international response in the U.S. and France has been overwhelming and it’s thanks to you!!

THANK YOU & MERCI!!!

The 2016 SAVEUR BLOG AWARD NOMINATIONS are currently open!
I’m hoping that you will nominate Gold&Thyme for
“Best New Voice.”

The nomination window closes in 4 days, on July 18th!  You can nominate as often as you like, and weigh in on as many categories as you like, too.  In the Food Blogging World, this is a little like the Oscars!

I’m so very appreciative of your overwhelming support and am excited to continue sharing wholesome and nutritious vegetarian, vegan, refined sugar-free recipes with all of you!
You are my daily inspiration!

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO NOMINATE GOLD&THYME FOR
“BEST NEW VOICE”

Thank you for your amazing support!!

There is no love sincerer than the love of food.
-George Bernard Shaw

Corinne Weber_Gold&Thyme

Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies_1_Gold&Thyme

Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies

CHOCOLATE CHERRY OATMEAL COOKIES {V + RSF}

Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies_12_Gold&Thyme

How many times have I made oatmeal cookies in my lifetime?  Many!  I grew up making these cookies because they were a family favorite, and because my dad preferred oatmeal raisin to chocolate chip.  I remember having to wait for the butter to soften, and then watch my mother use the side of a fork against our orange Bauer bowl until the butter resembled a pale yellow.  I can still remember the sound.  Then time to add the white and brown sugar !! and the eggs…1 and 2.  Now, I don’t use any of the above when I make these Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies and I still manage to make a delicious cookie!  I use coconut oil, coconut sugar and flax eggs and the combination is just as decadent, and better for you!  Plus the flax seed gives these cookies Omega-3s- that seems like a great bonus!

We’ve been attending a number of dinner parties lately and I find these babies make a great addition.  They can also be eaten for breakfast or as an afternoon snack.  I also love the combination of dark chocolate and dried cherries. If you live in Paris, you can find them at Epicerie le Caire in Belleville or at a small dried fruit and nut market that recently opened on rue Oberkampf.  You can also substitute dried apricots or raisins. Enjoy!!

Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies_3_Gold&Thyme Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies_4_Gold&Thyme Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies_5_Gold&Thyme Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies_6_Gold&Thyme Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies_7_Gold&Thyme Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies_8_Gold&Thyme Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies_9_Gold&Thyme

Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies

INGREDIENTS

2 flax eggs
3/4 cup coconut oil (neutral), melted
1/2-3/4 cup coconut sugar (depending on how sweet you want them)
2 tsps vanilla extract OR a real vanilla bean
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp pink Himalayan salt
1 1/2 cups spelt flour
3 cups oats
1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup dried cherries

METHOD

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F or 180 degrees C.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, combine ground flax seed and hot water. Whisk and let sit for 5-10 minutes until the consistency of an egg forms.
In a large bowl, add flax eggs, coconut oil (melted), sugar, vanilla and maple syrup and whisk until combined.
Add in dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
Add in oats, chocolate and dried cherries.
Bake for 14 minutes or until golden brown.
Note: I find it’s better to slightly under cook these and let them cool.

Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies_2_Gold&ThymeChocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies_10_Gold&ThymeChocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies_11_Gold&Thyme


FEATURED:

Pink Beige Pre-Washed Linen Napkins from Merci
Ceramic dessert plates which I snagged at a Brocante here in Paris

Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Not only are these Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies delicious, but they are vegan and refined sugar-free, making them a great snack!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 24 cookies
Ingredients
  • 2 flax eggs
  • ¾ cup coconut oil (neutral), melted
  • ½-3/4 cup coconut sugar (depending on how sweet you want them)
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract OR a real vanilla bean
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp pink Himalayan salt
  • 1½ cups spelt flour
  • 3 cups oats
  • ½ cup dark chocolate, chopped
  • ½ cup dried cherries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F or 180 degrees C.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a small bowl, combine ground flax seed and hot water. Whisk and let sit for 5-10 minutes until the consistency of an egg forms.
  4. In a large bowl, add flax eggs, coconut oil (melted), sugar, vanilla and maple syrup and whisk until combined.
  5. Add in dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
  6. Add in oats, chocolate and dried cherries.
  7. Bake for 14 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Note: I find it's better to slightly under cook these and let them cool.

 

Pistachio & Parsley Pesto

PISTACHIO & PARSLEY PESTO

Pistachio + Parsley Pesto_2_Gold&Thyme

It’s June and normally, the sun would be shinning and I would be taking every opportunity possible to be outside.  But Paris has been very rainy and cold as of late.  I’m still in a sweater and my Icelandic socks (a recent purchase as I was there a few weeks ago), which means that I’ve had an opportunity to be in the kitchen more and have been able to make a few of the many recipes on my list.  Nothing like the pitter patter of raindrops to get you in the mood to cook ;)!

I’ve also been going through a pizza phase, and will soon post my Homemade Spelt Crust recipe, but in the meantime,  I remember tasting a parsley pesto a few months back and loved the taste.  If you’re a parsley fan, I highly recommend this recipe.  And since I often use almonds in my basil pesto as part of my Alma-sean, I decided to swap the almonds out for toasted pistachios.  This Pistachio + Parsley Pesto ended up being the perfect addition to my Roasted Mushroom, Red Onion & Spinach Pizza, which  I will also be posting early next week.  I hope you enjoy it and have a great weekend!

Pistachio + Parsley Pesto_3_Gold&Thyme Pistachio + Parsley Pesto_6_Gold&ThymePistachio + Parsley Pesto_4_Gold&Thyme

Pistachio & Parsley Pesto

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups packed fresh flat leaf (italian) parsley
1/3 cup pistachios, toasted
1-2 cloves garlic
2-3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup cold-pressed olive oil
1/4 tsp Pink Himalayan salt

METHOD

Toast pistachios at 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) for about 10 minutes. Let cool and rub the pistachios in between your hands to get rid of skin.
Add pistachios, parsley, garlic, lemon and salt to a blender and slowly add olive oil until desired consistency.
Pesto can be stored in an air-tight container for up to 3 days.

Pistachio + Parsley Pesto_5_Gold&ThymePistachio + Parsley Pesto_8_Gold&ThymePistachio + Parsley Pesto_7_Gold&Thyme

FEATURED:
Petrol Blue Pre-Washed Linen Napkins from Merci
Vintage blue and white porcelain cup that I snagged at a Brocante in Bourgogne

Pistachio + Parsley Pesto
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This Pistachio + Parsley Pesto is a perfect twist on this traditional sauce. It can be used as a side with roasted vegetables or on a pizza as well!
Author:
Recipe type: Sauce
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 1 cup
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups packed fresh flat leaf (italian) parsley
  • ⅓ cup pistachios, toasted
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 2-3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup cold-pressed olive oil
  • ¼ tsp Pink Himalayan salt
Instructions
  1. Toast pistachios at 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) for about 10 minutes. Let cool and rub pistachios in between your hand to get rid of skin.
  2. Add pistachios, parsley, garlic, lemon and salt to a blender and slowly add olive oil until desired consistency.
  3. Pesto can be stored in an air-tight container for up to 3 days.