We came across Earthsprout's daily recipes some seasons ago, and finally caught up with Elenore, the chef and tree hugger for a Labor Day weekend treat, exclusively for Coyuchi. When Elenore is not whipping up wholesome, vegan, garden to spoon dishes, you can find her tending to her Swedish garden and coaching a natural, nutricious lifestyle. Read the full interview below. Enjoy!
Verbena & Thyme Infused Plum & Blackberry Galette
This Galette is the embodiment of fall and all things healthy, happy and free about August and September. It's perfect to bring to your labour day picnic or enjoy at home with friends and family surrounded by laughter and conversations with candles lit. Celebrate summer and welcome the cooler more crisp season that lies ahead. Remember - foraged berries and fruit is best! Ask around to see if anyone you know has an abundance of plums and has a forgotten blackberry bush in the back of their garden.
Herb infused fruit & berry filling
2 cups small plums, pitted and sliced
1 cup blackberries
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp ground vanilla bean powder
roughly 20 lemon verbena leaves, if not at hand, cut open a lemon verbena tea bag
1 small handful fresh thyme leaves
1. Add all ingredients to a bowl and toss until berries and fruit is coated with herbs, maple and vanilla. Cover and set aside while preparing the crust.
1/4 flax seeds
1 cup walnuts
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup virgin coconut oil, cold
pinch high quality salt like himalayan pink salt or celtic sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 356° F / 180° C
1. Add flax seeds to a high speed blender or better yet a coffee grinder and blend until ground, now add the flax flour to a bowl with the water and stir until incorporated. Let sit for 15 minutes and give it a stir 2 or there times.
2. Add walnuts and rolled oats to a food processor and blend until you have oat/walnut flour.
3. Add coconut oil, flax gel and salt to the food processor and pulse until combined. Better pulse/blend less then too much.
4. Grab a piece of cling film to put the dough on and roll tightly into a ball. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. If you keep the dough in the refrigerator for more then 30 minutes (say overnight) then you'll need to keep it room temperature for at least 15 minutes before you start working with it or else the coconut oil will have made it too solid.
5. You are going to roll out the galette on a generously floured piece of parchment paper. Choose any flour of your liking, I used additional oat flour for example. Prepare that surface and fetch + unwrap the dough.
6. Roll out the dough as circularly as possible, to about 1/8 inch thickness.
7. Place herb infused fruit and berry mixture in the middle of the crust (You can overlap them and put into rows/circles but I'm a fan of the beautiful mess).
8. Fold the edges up around the fruit in a shape you like. Place in the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the middle of the oven until the crust is golden brown and crispy. Remove from heat and let cool slightly before slicing it up.
Serve on it's own (completely a-mazing) or with a dollop of organic vegan or non vegan yoghurt/ice cream/cream. Happy Labour day!
Q+A with chef and naturalist, Elenore from Earthsprout
Tell us about your life as a gardener: how many hours a day do you spend gardening?
I’ve always loved and felt most whole + inspired when I spend time in nature so regardless if I’m doing actual gardening work or just exploring with my little one I spend at least a couple of hours a day in the arms of mother earth. Before our son arrived I divided my workweek in our garden or the gardens of clients plus working with either kitchen or computer related things for Earthsprout. Now it’s more baby-time and less structured work-time of course. Life is evolving and I’m evolving with it but I am looking forward to next season when gardening together with Caspian will be a bit easier. In the meantime, who said growing micro greens, sprouting and pinning garden ideas is not a form of actual gardening!? :)
What’s your favorite plant to grow?
Any heirloom varieties. I see it as our greatest gift but also duty to grow heirloom varieties and collect our own seeds thus keeping the ”control” of the seed industry where it’s supposed to be. In the hands of everyone as opposed to billion dollar companies. I greatly admire and I do everything to support small seed companies and farmers who with strength and heart keep going against huge agribusiness companies like Monsanto. It’s time we face the facts that whoever controls the seed industry actually controls the world. Think about it for a second and you’ll know what I mean. So. yeah, heirloom varieties for the win and also taking our responsibility to make sure we have as much diversity in nature as possible complete with plants that has evolved with nature for centuries. Not a handfull of sensitive and genetically modified so-called ’super crops’.
Do you have any garden tools that you love?
I’m all for tools that have been produced with FSC-certified or reclaimed wood that’ll last my whole life if taken care of carefully. That said, you can often find what you need at some random thrift store or backyard sale. Also I have a pretty passionate relationship with my Felco secateur (or pruning shears) and never go about in the garden without it.
Now onto your career as a natural nutritionist…
How would you describe your taste palette?
Anything whole food and close to nature with exciting bursts of flavor and texture. Keeping it clean yet sensationally interesting - that’s what makes me tick. Vegetarian and mostly vegan goes without saying for me although I am not obnoxious and you will find me savoring a local goat cheese on gorgeous sourdough bread or a gelato every now and then. Organic of course.
What’s your favorite ingredient to cook with?
Really anything freshly harvested. Who can say no to dirty root vegetables, bunches of dewy kale and handfuls of delicate herbs? Cooking is never as easy as during harvest abundance.
Do you follow trends in the food industry?
Yes and No. I suppose I do unconsciously in a way, devouring the newest finds from health food stores. However for me it’s not because I feel like I need to follow trends. It’s more because I’m super curious and really love exploring the superhero gifts of nature. If I find something I’ve never seen or heard of before it’s bound to spark my interest and come home to play in the kitchen.
What’s one thing no pantry should be without?
One thing? Oh goodness.. I’ll actually say high quality salt + spices because if there is anything that can amp up the level of nutrients and flavors in an otherwise plain meal it’s that.
What are some of your favorite dishes to prepare for friends and family?
Fun and unexpected salads like this Stone fruit + favabean salad
Crowd pleasers like this GF sourdough grilled pizza
..and last but not least a healthy and deadly delicious dessert like a simple Pantry Party Cookie or a decadent Orange Chocolate Cake with Sweetpotato Ganache
That said.. my favorite meal is and always has been breakfast and I love making my friends and family simple yet extravagant breakfast recipes from my app 30 Raw Breakfasts
How do you interpret the statement: "intentional lifestyle”?
Being here in the over the top beautiful NOW, making inspired + informed choices that serve both ourselves and the planet. If and when we slip we’ll rise up and make things even better.
What does the word organic mean to you?
Natural, Caring, Flowing and with Intention. Whether it’s the way we meet life and others, the products we may surround ourselves with or the food we nourish our body and souls with.
What’s your favorite item in the Coyuchi line?
Most of the Coyuchi items are so up my alley that I’d have a hard time picking only one but what actually appeals to me the most is the philosophy of creating natural, soothing and healing sanctuaries. ’Nature comes home' as you say. ...Though I have to say that the wild indigo and granite table collection are pretty darn sensationally gorgeous. I’m not a super-consumer and I purchase things with great care so anything Coyuchi I’d be proud to have in my home. It's not just about Greenylicious food, it's the whole picture.
Elenore Bendel Zahn