Though it had its share of faults, living in the concrete jungle known as Houston has me missing East Texas. I miss being able to easily and quickly travel to a rural area surrounded by pines and a big blue sky. I miss the moments of adventure and intrigue when I traveled somewhere new for work, even if it was a random small town in Louisiana or Arkansas. The more I live in Houston the more I realize I was built to roam. My body and soul crave adventure, no matter how big or how small.
This past weekend I had the opportunity to get out of the city for a bit and go visit Knopp Branch Farm in Edna, Texas. It was a nice recharge and a much needed brief escape from concrete and traffic. Being there made me remember one of the main reasons I truly loved being a part of the farmers market up in Longview: the farmers. Sure, I loved being able to provide gluten free/vegan baked goods and other treats to people, but I really loved the community of small farmers. I was always in awe of their vast knowledge and ability to work the land, especially when Texas weather is crazy, unpredictable, and sometimes unbearable.
Being at the farm this past weekend reignited something in me that had been lost. I’ve been feeling rather uninspired and a bit stagnant lately but my visit lit a spark. Not only am I passionate about food, I’m passionate about where my food comes from. I would much rather support a local farmer who I’ve met face to face than a nameless corporation whose main purpose is to make money. If you are reading this, I urge you to seek out local farmers and farmers markets. Support local agriculture not only for your health, but for that of your community and on a larger scale, the planet.
Since I had a plethora of local peaches and some berries I needed to use up before they went bad, I took one of my favorite recipes from the archives for mini breakfast cobblers and updated it a bit. I got a little fancy and ground up some whole cardamom seeds but feel free to use some pre-ground cardamom instead. If you can’t be bothered by cardamom, cinnamon will work just fine. I call this a breakfast cobbler because it’s essentially biscuit-topped baked fruit. There’s not too much added sugar so it’s definitely something you can eat for breakfast without feeling guilty. But, it’s so damn delicious that you can also serve it for dessert.
Berry Peach Breakfast Cobbler with Basil & Cardamom
3 cups total fruit (I used 1 cup berries & 2 cups diced peaches–use whatever is locally available)
zest of 1 small lime
juice of 1/2 a lime
1 tbsp coconut sugar
2 tsp arrowroot flour or tapioca flour
1/4 tsp fresh ground cardamom (I crushed up the seeds of 2 large pods)
45g oat flour
45g brown rice flour
45g arrowroot flour
pinch of sea salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp psyllium or xanthan gum
1 tbsp coconut sugar
1 tbsp minced fresh basil
45g solid coconut oil
45-60g cold almond or coconut milk
to serve: plain vegan yogurt (for breakfast) or vegan ice cream or whipped coconut cream (dessert)
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
In a quart sized baking dish, toss together the fruit with the lime zest/juice, coconut sugar, arrowroot, and cardamom. Set the dish aside while you make the biscuit topping.
To make the biscuit topping, combine the flours, salt, baking powder, psyllium (or xanthan gum), and coconut sugar in a bowl. Whisk well to combine, then mix in the basil. Using the whisk or a fork, cut the solid coconut oil into the flour mixture until the mixture looks like coarse sand. Add 45g of the cold milk to the mixture and begin to mix it in with a spatula or your hands. A rough biscuit dough will start to form. If it seems too dry and crumbly, add a bit more milk. Once the dough comes together, gently arrange it in an even layer over your prepared fruit. Brush the dough with more milk then put it in your preheated oven. Bake the cobbler for 25-30 minutes until the biscuit top is firm and the fruit is juicy and bubbling.
Serve warm or at room temperature. If you are serving it for breakfast, I recommend serving it was a dollop of your favorite vegan yogurt (Kite Hill almond milk yogurt is a good one) & a smidge of maple syrup. If you are serving it for dessert, I highly recommend serving it with a scoop (or two) of vegan vanilla ice cream or freshly whipped coconut cream. Makes 4 delicious servings.