Thursday, December 22, 2011

Orange-almond oat scones

Recently I was reminded of how important our dietary and lifestyle choices are. Decisions we make now, can and more than likely, will affect us later. I know I've been guilty of staying up late to finish a big project or working on the weekend just to get ahead. But as the new year is approaching, try to put yourself and your health, first. Leave work at work, use your lunch hour to catch up with an old friend and finally get to that yoga class. It's these things that make us happy which have a positive effect on our mind and body.
Over the past few weeks I've been getting up early to make scones. Some for friends, some for us and some just because. I first started with Deborah Madison's oat scone recipe, which I didn't like much, so I moved onto her ginger scones. I didn't have crystallized ginger so I used a variety of dried fruits and flavors. Out of all four batches my favorite was this orange zest, almond and raisins. I also ran out of eggs as I made this batch, so I used flax instead. Crushed flax mixed with water makes an amazing binder in baked goods. I also liked the nutty flavor it imparts to the scone as well as that extra dose of fiber.
I'm not a big sweet breakfast person, but I do like scones. They're closer kin to a biscuit than a muffin. These scones get their sweetness from just a tablespoon of sugar. If you don't have oats you could just use another 1/2 cup of whole wheat pastry flour. And if you want these to be vegan, use coconut oil in place of the butter.

Orange-almond oat scones
3 tablespoons raisins
1/4 c orange juice or water
1 tablespoon flaxseeds, ground
3 tablespoons warm water
1/2 c oats or oat flour (will pulverize oats into flour via food processor)
1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tablespoon evaporated cane sugar
2 tablespoons butter (or coconut oil), chilled
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 tsp almond extract
1/4 c almond milk, more for brushing

Preheat oven to 425 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Soak raisins in orange juice or water for 15 minutes or until they begin to plump up. Then strain through a sieve and set aside.

Add the freshly ground flaxseed and 3 tbsp warm water to a small bowl. Stir and let sit for about 15 minutes. The mixture will become goopy which is what you want.

If using oats, toss into a food processor and blend on high until it reaches a flour-like consistency. Pour into a large bowl and stir in the whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, sea salt and sugar. Cut in the cold butter (or coconut oil) with fingers or a pastry cutter until it resembles a very coarse meal, not fine. Those chunks of butter will allow the inside of the scone to steam so it cooks properly. Now quickly add the flax mixture (aka flax egg), orange zest, almond extract, almond milk and drained raisins. Use your hands to bring the dough together and then turn out onto a floured surface, like your countertop. Knead a few more times until the dough is together, but don't overwork it. You don't want the warmth of your hands melting the butter. Form a circle and cut into six wedges. Place wedges onto the baking sheet and brush with a little almond milk and a sprinkle of sugar.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Enjoy with a clementine and cup of coffee or tea.


Createliveblog said...

Looks delicious. Had no idea about flax being a binding agent :) I've never made scones... might need to start!

-Carly @ Createlive

Lesley said...

YUM. i do love a good scone. The orange in it sounds delicious!

Unknown said...

Carly - flax is an excellent substitution for egg.

Thanks Lesley! It is :)

Mike said...

You have to remember that we are all human and we make mistakes. We don't always make the healthiest decisions. We have to do the best we can to make better choices as often as possible. This is because being healthy will keep us happy.