Choosing Natural Foods Helps More Than the Diet
According to Martin, choosing natural foods, like buying fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers or using unrefined sweeteners like honey, helps more than giving the family something good to eat by way of healthy cooking. It is also a way to support the people and small businesses that produce them. Seasonality plays a role as well with the recipes. Fresh produce is more abundant and less expensive when purchased in season. She also notes that our bodies need different foods at different times of the year: light, fresh foods in the spring to rejuvenate us after winter, and warm, filling foods during the autumn and winter months when we typically slow down.
Green Market Baking Book Overview and Chapters
There are eleven main chapters in Green Market Baking Book: Answers to a Few Questions; The Ingredients; Stocking the Pantry; Substitutions; Spring; Summer; Fall; Winter; Preserving the Harvest; Growing Your Own; and an Appendix. The Answers to a Few Questions chapter tackles the five main questions relating to all the recipes in the book: Why Local? Why Seasonal? Why Organic? Why No Sugar? and Why Natural? Substitutions are given for refined sugars (honey, brown rice syrup, and agave nectar are examples) and recommendations for healthful oils. The recipes are separated by season which make for putting together seasonal menus simple.
The Green Market Baking Book contains no photographs but is colorfully illustrated with botanical-like images of fresh produce throughout. Illustrations are done beautifully by the author, Lauren C. Martin.
Recommended for Those Wanting Healthier Desserts and Baked Goods
All recipes in the Green Market Baking Book are made without refined sugar. Things like juice-sweetened marmalade, homemade applesauce, pure maple syrup, and fresh fruits are used instead. Savory baked goods are covered, too, such as frittatas, breads, and brunch tortes, and use fresh vegetables or natural cheeses. A recipe from the book is below.
Plum and Walnut Upside-Down Cake
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, at room temperature
- 1/8 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup local wildflower honey
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
- 10 Castleton plums (or any small local plum), halved and pitted
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cup unbleached white flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground sea salt
- 1 teaspoon arrowroot
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup local wildflower honey
- 1/8 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 jumbo local eggs
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
To make topping:
- Lightly butter an 8-inch round cake pan with 1 tablespoon of butter, concentrating on the sides of the pan, and set it aside.
- In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the remaining butter, maple syrup, and honey. Heat about 1 minute, or until combined. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook about 5 minutes, or until thick.
- Pour the maple syrup mixture into the cake pan, turning it to coat the bottom evenly. Sprinkle the walnuts evenly onto the syrup mixture.
- Cut each plum half into thirds (approximately 3/4 inch wide) and arrange the fruit in the bottom of the cake pan in overlapping concentric circles.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and arrowroot. Set aside.
- In a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, whip the butter for about 1 minute, until it is light and airy. Add the honey, vanilla extract, and maple syrup, beating for 2 more minutes, scraping the sides as necessary to incorporate.
- Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs, one at a time, until well mixed, then alternate adding the dry ingredients and buttermilk to the bowl. Mix until just blended.
- Spread the batter evenly over the plums (the cake pan will be filled almost to the top). Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Run a small knife around the inside edge of the pan to loosen the sides of the cake. Place a plate on top of the cake pan. Gently invert the pan onto the plate and tap the bottom of the cake pan lightly to help release the cake from the pan. Gently lift the cake pan off the cake. Allow the cake to cool for 5 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream.
- Green Market Baking Book: 100 Delicious Recipes for Naturally Sweet and Savory Treats; by Laura C. Martin
- Sterling Publishing, 2011
- ISBN13: 9781402759970
- Hardcover, 214 pages
Recipe is reprinted with permission from Green Market Baking Book © 2011 by Laura C. Martin. Recipe by Christine Carroll.
Disclosure: This book was provided to me by the publisher and any opinions are my own.