Monday, August 31, 2009

Healthier Scones

I'm still preparing my post on encouraging children to write animal and nature stories, so today I would like you to invite you into my kitchen at eight acres of eden and share via a series of posts, my healthier scone and pastry recipes and let you know how I am adapting my cooking and kitchen routines to cater for a larger family who have healthy appetites to match their healthy diet!

My most used kitchen appliance is my grain mill, we purchased a Whisper Mill when our local wholefood store was offering a $200 discount on the RRP. I buy my wheat grain from them in 12.5 kilo bags (27 1/2 lbs). Buying in bulk gives me a 10% discount. A bag of organic bio dynamic wheat grain costs me around $25 and lasts 4-6 weeks depending on how much baking I do.
A 1 kilo bag of organic white flour cost over $5 at the supe
rmarket. It may be organic and unbleached but the most important, nutritious part of the grain, its outer husk, has been removed. The grain costs $2 a kilo. The mill has been a worthwhile investment that also benefits our health!

I often make muffins but my girls love to rub the butter into flour when we make scones. Most scone recipes ask for self raising white flour and store bought scones will usually have extra artificial ingredients such as preservatives. Ask your bakery what ingredients go into their scones if you are unsure. Do they use butter or margarine? Dried fruits are not likely to be sulphite free. I have stopped using white flour and now that I own a grain mill that is capable of producing a finer flour I have been using freshly milled flour in all of my recipes. Over the weekend I made two big batches of scones... a fruit scone with dried cranberries rather than sultanas and the one my family enjoyed the most, orange and coconut scones which utilizes another of my pantry staples and a healthy oil... coconut oil, along with organic dessicated coconut and freshly squeezed orange juice.

Orange and Coconut Scones

You can take your favourite scone recipe and substitute wholemeal flour for the white flour, raw sugar for the white and replace half the butter with coconut oil... place it in the fridge in order for it to solidify if it is warm and your oil is runny. Add in half a cup of dessicated coconut (I always buy organic to avoid preservatives), grated orange peel and a good squeeze of orange juice or you can use my recipe which I must let you know is very approximate... if the mixture feels too wet add in more flour or if it seems too dry and crumbly, add more milk. I always make dough by feel but remember with scones to not overwork the mixture or your scones will turn out tough.. the lighter the hand the lighter the scone!

In a large mixing bowl sieve together
2 cups freshly milled flour
3-4 tsp allergy free baking powder (aluminium free)
a pinch of celtic sea salt

Rub into flour mix until it resembles breadcrumbs
25 g butter (approx 1 oz)
25g extra virgin coconut oil

1/4 - 1/2 cup raw sugar (depending on how sweet you want your scone to be)
n.b I use rapadura or honey in muffin recipes but prefer the texture of raw sugar for scones. I never use white sugar.

Stir in
grated peel from an orange
1/2 cup organic dessicated coconut

1 free range egg (lightly beaten)
a good squeeze of orange juice
(I use half an orange)
3/4 cup milk

Combine gently to form a dough. I use a knife at first and then my hands.
Roll out on a lightly floured bench to desired thickness and cut out rounds with a cutter
Place rounds on a baking tray (I line my tray with baking paper)
Brush beaten egg onto tops
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200C (392 F) for approximately 10 -15 minutes until scones are risen and a lovely golden brown colour on top if you chose to glaze them.

These scones have a subtle citrus flavour and you can taste the coconut. For my second batch I used only coconut oil... they really taste of coconut! Today I am going to use the last of the limes from my Tahitian lime tree to make lime and date scones. Other scone variations my family loves are....

Banana and milk chocolate
Blueberry and white chocolate ( I occasionally buy a chunk of organic Swiss chocolate from my local health food store)
Apricot and honey

What is your favourite sweet scone variation?

An update Lime and Date Scones

It is Monday lunchtime and I have just baked a batch of lime and date scones. I did not use coconut oil this time as I used the last of it this morning when making a new batch of my homemade muesli. I used one cup of chopped organic pitted dates which I buy at Aldi and the grated rind of 2 small limes and the juice of one lime. They were delicious and I had just enough time to arrange them on a plate for a photograph before they were demolished... I have saved one for my husband to try when he returns from work this evening! I have three limes left so I'm going to use them make another batch. I'm looking forward to the next harvest as I want to make a lime and date chutney. A friend told me that she tried this at a farmer's market and it was beautiful.... this is what gave me the idea of adding lime to date scones. There are no limes left on my lime tree but it is starting to blossom and the bees are arriving... just a reminder that tomorrow is the first day of spring!

Posted by Picasa


Chookie said...

I like plain, unsweetened scones the best, but date scones and the legendary pumpkin scone are also pretty good. You rarely get a decent commercial scone; they are always more like cake than scones, because true scones go stale in a day. The honourable exception is the Bay Tree Tea Rooms at Mount Victoria, where the scones are made on the premises.

A Bite of Country Cupcakes said...

I love date scones best of all...
But I like to make When we have Blackberries...
A yummy blackberry cream to have on them
Or firm packed brown sugar rubbed into Butter to have spred over them! Mmmmmm.
Your scones look absolutely delishious
I am amazed you grind your own flour!
I would love a Place at your dinner table just for a Night!

SF said...

Those orange scones look so wonderful!! I'll have to give them a try. :) Thank you for the reminders of all these wonderfully healthful ingredients. I need to get my hands on some coconut oil again (haven't had any in years!). I'm so enjoying my garden. Last night we had eggs on toast with cherry tomatoes from the garden on the side. Eggs, parsely and tomatoes all from our little block. So nice!!!
I purchased the Eden Strings Quartet dvd you recommended, and we all enjoyed it- so inspiring!! Thank you. :)

Ann at eightacresofeden said...

I think date scones are my favourite too! The best plain scone I ever tasted was a real Devonshire tea with strawberry jam and clotted cream that I enjoyed many years ago at a little cafe in Devon in England. On that same trip I tasted the best homemade ice cream too... Cornish ice cream in Cornwall! So authentic!
Saminda.. I'm so pleased you enjoyed the Eden String Quartet... I loved the scene which shows one of the sisters biking to visit her elderly neighbour. These girls are truly an inspiration.

Joolz said...

Hello Ann

Nice scones! I've never tried wholemeal scones so that will go on my to-do list. The flavour variations sound really yum. I've only ever made pumkin or date or sultana scones but the cranberries would be nice too. Bakers Delight make raspberry and white choc scones among many others....oh, how scrummy! But no, I started my 30 day Junk Food Throw Down today so they are a total no-no! It's beena good first day, all in all!

Cheers - Joolz

Niki said...

Hello Ann, your blog is lovely. I was wondering what area of Australia you lived. We are looking at buying a farm in Gippsland,Victoria very soon & moving from our life in Perth. We adore Perth, but NEED to be on a farm. We have 4 beautiful boys, 3 dogs(2 beautiful Border collie girls & a Kelpie that looked very much like yours in his early days), 2 cats & I so desperately want 1 more child(or more). Because of the AMAZINGLY high house prices in Perth & the relatively low prices in Gippsland we are able to forge a beautiful stressfree live We are very much looking forward to being more self sufficient & feel very proud of the lifestyle we are about to offer our kids. Anyway, I'm going on. I would love to hear from you at if you have a spare second in your very busy but wonderful life.


*Mirage* said...

Hello! What a lovely blog! I have never had scones but they look and sound absolutely delicious! :) And I must say I'm so jealous that you have a wheat grinder! Freshly ground flour always makes things taste so much better than the gross whole wheat flour bought from the store. :) I dream of having a wheat grinder some day. My mom has one and she told me to talk my Auntie out of hers because Auntie doesn't use it. :) I think I might try that! Lol!

Fruitful Harvest said...

What a great recipe!
Great pictures!


Renata said...

More delicious food!
These scones sound divine! I love date scones!

Fruitful Harvest said...

I came back to this post to write the recipe down....I bought coconut oil the other day for the first time to use in this recipe!

I was reading your post again I saw that you are heading in to spring over in Aulstralia....we are heading into Autumn....cooler weather and rain...the days are getting shorter!

Thanks for the recipe!


Jen said...

Ann, I notice you don't use the Nourishing Traditions method of soaking your flour first. Have you tried her "biscuit" recipe (our scones)? I am moving my family slowly across to healthier eating due to your inspiration. My first step is buying Demeter spelt flour and steel cut oats. I already have kefir grains (say if you want some, you aren't far to post them to) so soaking my grain goods won't be hard.

Baby stepping towards better health.

Jen in Lorn, NSW

Ann at eightacresofeden said...

Hi Jen,
The jury is still out for me on soaking flour. I read a very interesting article by Sue Becker on her website.... she has written articles in Above Rubies magazine and is a qualified food scientist... she really knows her stuff so I value her opinion. I know there is no need with sourdough bread for pre-soaking as the natural acid digests the phytic acid. Limited bench space and time led me to further research the benefits of soaking and it made for interesting reading!

Jen said...

There are so many philosophies aren't there? I will just be glad to try healthier options than white flour and sugar laden supermarket goods. Freshly ground grains seems to make a lot of sense. The rest I will decide on a recipe by recipe basis I think. Those that taste good and help us feel good will stay. Others won't. We can get too perdantic looking for the Perfect Diet can't we? Sometimes we just have to try our best with what we know and then keep learning and changing.

Jen in Lorn, NSW

Ann at eightacresofeden said...

I think you have hit the nail on the head Jen! The freshly ground flour has made a big difference... especially to my energy levels during this pregnancy but I do like your suggestion of a recipe by recipe basis. There are some health foods I really do not like such as fermented cabbage but others love it especially my friend who has a German mother! I think you also have to do what works for your family... the raw foods diet would drive us insane! I could not go without hot soup in winter.
BTW I have just discovered Green & Black's organic butterscotch chocolate... I'm never going back to Cadburys now!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin