Raspberry buckle

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Let's talk about the idea of healthifying desserts, shall we? Because I'm not totally sold on this strategy even though I keep doing it. Part of me thinks that boosting nutrition and finding balance (you can eat coffee cake, just make it a spelt coffee cake with less sugar, less gluten, and more protein!) is always good. But alternatively, might I actually indulge less if I just ate a small amount of the high fat, high sugar baked thing instead of trying to make spelt happen? Am I just kidding myself that a whole grain, barely sweet version is going to cut it when my real craving is for the doughy, crumbly, buttery, brown sugary coffee cake of my summer-on-the-jersey-shore dreams?

Ugh. If only there was one straightforward strategy that would always work.

I guess a wiser person than me would just accept that what we need from day to day or hour to hour can change. But I like predictability and this isn't cutting it.

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But, for now, we have an ever-so-slightly healthified raspberry buckle that is legitimately delicious on its own merits. I started with a recipe from King Arthur Flour and swapped out spelt flour for most of the white flour and reduced the amount of overall sugar.

I mostly left the crumble topping alone. I always want the first bite to pack more of a punch, which masks some of the healthier swaps later.

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I've made this cake without fruit which produces a straightforward coffee cake that's light and airy and not too sweet. I've also swapped coconut sugar for the brown sugar in the actual cake and it's good, but not great. The texture and bake time are the same, but I could really taste the coconut sugar and I didn't completely love it.

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This recipe also works best in a 9x9 pan. If you only have an 8x8, reduce the amount of batter in the pan by about 1/2 cup and either bake the extra in a ramekin or toss it. Or, if you have a deeper 8x8 pan (one with higher sides), you can bake the whole recipe, but may need a few extra minutes at the end.

Raspberry buckle
 

For the streussel topping:
4 Tbsp butter, melted
3 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
2 Tbsp white sugar
½ cup AP flour
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp salt

For the cake:
2 Tbsp butter, melted slightly
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup milk (I use whole, but any will do)
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup apple sauce
1½ cups spelt flour
½ cup AP flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries (do not defrost)

Preheat oven to 375. In a medium bowl, melt the 4 Tbsp of butter in the microwave for 30 seconds. Cut up the butter and add the rest of the streussel topping ingredients. Mix with a fork until the mixture is fully combined and the texture of wet sand. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, melt the remaining 2 Tbsp of butter for 20 seconds in the microwave. Add the sugar and stir to combine. Measure the milk. Add the egg and whisk lightly. Add to the sugar and butter and stir well to combine. Add the vanilla and apple sauce and stir again.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix just until no streaks of flour remain.

Gently fold in the raspberries.

Pour the batter into a greased 9x9 pan and top with the streussel mixture.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Yield: 16 squares

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Honey, lemon, and ginger spelt muffins

Honey, lemon, and ginger spelt muffins | Me & The Moose. These soothing muffins are healthier than the average morning treat because they contain no white flour and are sweetened with honey. #meandthemoose #muffinrecipes #healthymuffins #speltflourmuffins #lowerglutenrecipes #ancientgrainsrecipes #breakfast #breakfastrecipes #healthybaking #healthybakingrecipes

I had a really cliched parenting day yesterday. I spent 30+ minutes tearing around our apartment frantically trying to find M's lovey that was NOWHERE. I finally found her (him?) in my camera case. I forgot that M can do zippers, so I threw the bag back into the closet while straightening up not realizing that he had put lovey in there while I photographed these muffins. Guys. I even picked through the garbage. THE GARBAGE. And then had an entire conversation with Ethan about how we can lojack the thing.

Before someone suggests that we get multiple lovies for this exact scenario, be assured, we're way ahead of you. But our smart cookie knows that the replacement lovey is an imposter and is not soothed.

Honey, lemon, and ginger spelt muffins | Me & The Moose. These soothing muffins are healthier than the average morning treat because they contain no white flour and are sweetened with honey. #meandthemoose #muffinrecipes #healthymuffins #speltflourmuffins #lowerglutenrecipes #ancientgrainsrecipes #breakfast #breakfastrecipes #healthybaking #healthybakingrecipesHoney, lemon, and ginger spelt muffins | Me & The Moose. These soothing muffins are healthier than the average morning treat because they contain no white flour and are sweetened with honey. #meandthemoose #muffinrecipes #healthymuffins #speltflourmuffins #lowerglutenrecipes #ancientgrainsrecipes #breakfast #breakfastrecipes #healthybaking #healthybakingrecipes

The (thankfully temporary) loss of lovey was especially harrowing because today is M's first sick day in months. I don't mean to brag, but he hardly ever gets sick. I can say that out loud now because I'm not worried about jinxing myself anymore. Of course he got sick the week that all of our classes were cancelled thanks to a mid-winter school break AND it was 65-degrees, so we spent the entire time outside. Go figure.

Honey, lemon, and ginger spelt muffins | Me & The Moose. These soothing muffins are healthier than the average morning treat because they contain no white flour and are sweetened with honey. #meandthemoose #muffinrecipes #healthymuffins #speltflourmuffins #lowerglutenrecipes #ancientgrainsrecipes #breakfast #breakfastrecipes #healthybaking #healthybakingrecipes

When I get sick, Ethan makes me his mom's home remedy of chopped fresh ginger and lemons boiled to death in a few cups of water and then combined with honey. I don't know why it's so soothing, but it makes my throat feel better, eases my coughs, and generally feels warm and cozy. M isn't so into this strong tea, but I put the flavors into a muffin that's also tasty and soothing.

Spelt flour replaces white flour in this recipe and the muffins are only sweetened with honey, so they're on the healthier end of the muffin spectrum. Have I talked about spelt flour here before? I really like it as a replacement for white flour in breads and baked goods because it has a very similar taste and texture. However, it has far more protein, fiber, and vitamins than the plain old AP variety. You can really replace white flour with spelt flour in most baking recipes with little or no modification. (Disclaimer: I haven't tried EVERY recipe with spelt flour, but everything I've tried has worked well. I would not replace cake flour with spelt flour as I think it would change the texture of the finished product, if you care about that sort of thing.)

Honey, lemon, and ginger spelt muffins | Me & The Moose. These soothing muffins are healthier than the average morning treat because they contain no white flour and are sweetened with honey. #meandthemoose #muffinrecipes #healthymuffins #speltflourmuffins #lowerglutenrecipes #ancientgrainsrecipes #breakfast #breakfastrecipes #healthybaking #healthybakingrecipes

One more note: These muffins really benefit from fresh ginger. I have this ginger grater and it's a really handy tool. I made my last batch with powdered ginger and they weren't the same. They're fine though, so if powdered is your only option, use 1.5-2 tsp depending on how strong a ginger flavor you want.

Honey, lemon, and ginger spelt muffins

Healthified/Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 scant cup of full fat Greek yogurt
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup honey
zest of 1 large lemon (or 1.5 small lemons)
¼ cup lemon juice
2 eggs
1½ tsp baking powder
½ baking soda
2 cups spelt flour
1-1.5 tsp fresh ginger, grated or minced
¼ tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 400. In a large bowl, whisk to combine the yogurt, olive oil, honey, lemon zest, lemon juice, and ginger. Whisk each egg individually into the batter. To the same bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and stir until just combined.

Prep your muffin tins by either spraying or wiping with olive oil or adding cupcake liners. Do this after mixing the batter in order to let your leaveners (baking soda and baking powder) start to work. Fill cupcake tins about 3/4 full. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Yield: 12 muffins

Honey, lemon, and ginger spelt muffins | Me & The Moose. These soothing muffins are healthier than the average morning treat because they contain no white flour and are sweetened with honey. #meandthemoose #muffinrecipes #healthymuffins #speltflourmuffins #lowerglutenrecipes #ancientgrainsrecipes #breakfast #breakfastrecipes #healthybaking #healthybakingrecipes