Monday, December 14, 2009

Bread and Breakfast

Somehow, in all of my German/European jaunts, the simple breakfast of toast with various spreads and fresh fruit has become my staple. Before becoming vegan, I was really big on cereal, but afterwards, I started eating it less and less. I think it was a combination of the cereal expense (when I lived on my own at school), and the soymilk in the cereal just wasn't doing it for me. In the deep of winter I'll switch to steel cut oats, but for most of the year, I'm a toast kind of gal.

I've even been experimenting with making my own jam (in small as needed batches), and you'll see a slice with cherry jam peeking at you from the back of the picture. My default has been two cups fruit with one cup sugar, and varying the cooking time. I still haven't found a good cook time as my first cherry jam was too much like soft candy (whoops! Had to mold it with my fingers instead of spreading with a knife), and the more recent didn't set up enough. I also made quince jam, which was my first experience with quinces! It was a lovely pink color and somewhat delicate tasting. I used the recipe found here.

I didn't want to talk about jam today, but rather my love of the sunflower seed spread that is so popular across the pond. If the states are lacking in the food department, it is a variety of spreads for bread or veggies. I brought back a myriad of several flavors, but my favorite was Apfel-Zwiebel (apple-onion). This sounds like a rather odd combination, but it is amazing. Since I no longer have my original jar, (it has long since succumbed to a mold invasion after residing in my fridge too long, as I kept putting off finishing the jar), I am not entirely sure if the taste of my homemade spread is exactly the same, but it sure is close. I based the recipe off of the one found on Mihl's awesome site and the ingredient list on my original jar:

Sonnenblumenkerne (sunflower seeds) 29%
Wasser (water)
Zwiebeln (onions) 19%
sonnenblumenöl (sunflower oil)
Apfelpüree (apple puree) 4%
Zitronensaft (lemon juice)
Meersaltz (salt)
Pfeffer (pepper)

Like the true science nerd that I am, I really did play around with the ingredient percentages to figure out the right balance of amounts. My tweaked recipe is below. It is really easy, and is not as liquid-y after a time in the fridge.

1/2 cup + ~1 Tbsp raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup canola oil
1/3 cup water
4 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
dash of pepper
1/3 cup white/yellow onion*
6 tsp apple sauce*

You basically throw everything together in the food processor, except the * denotes extra preparation. For the onions, I chop them up pretty small and saute them alone until they start to get glassy and soft. Don't cook them too long or they will get overly sweet. I usually do a whole small onion, which produces more than I need, and save the leftovers for some dinner dish later in the week. I add the onions to the food processor last, and puree half the amount rather well, then add the rest and just let them mix in slightly, since I try to make it authentic with small onion chunks in the finished product. For the apple, I take a decent sized one, not an overly sweet variety. Chop it up (skin intact), put it in a small pan with 1/3 cup of water, and let it boil and cook with the lid on for 15 minutes or so, until the apple is quite tender. I puree it in the food processor first, measuring out what I need, and eating the rest. (This very simple and satisfying applesauce of sorts was inspired by Mary.) Enjoy!


Mihl said...

I never tried the Apfel-Zwiebel version, you are a genius!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

I enjoyed that sunflower seed spread as well! yum.