Monday, February 15, 2010

An Afternoon Tea Featuring Buckwheat Shortbread

I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day! And... continuing in the spirit of a holiday whose celebration reached its height in the Victorian age, I thought a post on another Victorian tradition, afternoon tea, would be fun.

I started subscribing to Tea Time magazine several month ago, after being introduced to it through my favorite, Victoria magazine. Tea Time has articles on tea shoppes around the country, different kinds of tea, tea etiquette... and recipes for afternoon tea. I noticed, however, that recipes that accompany tea are usually full of white flour and white sugar, and not exactly conducive to living a healthy lifestyle. Since I am eating gluten-free, sugar-free, caffeine-free, and eating mostly raw food, the typical teatime menu needs a major make-over.

The setting above includes Organic white tea, raw (dehydrated) Buckwheat Shortbread , and raw, sugar-free Blackberry jam!

The recipe for the Buckwheat Shortbread follows. If you don't have a dehydrator, use a preheated 325 degree oven, and bake for 22-28 minutes. For the original recipe, and some additional tips, see the original recipe (Buckwheat Graham Crackers) at (My substitution of carob for the mequite powder makes them seem more like shortbread to me).

Buckwheat Shortbread
2 cups buckwheat flour
¼ cup roasted carob powder (easily found at natural food stores)
¼ cup ground flax seeds (freshly ground in coffee grinder)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt
½ cup date sugar (easily found at natural food stores)
1/3 cup diluted coconut milk
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup coconut oil
2 Tbsp vanilla extract


In a medium bowl, mix dry ingredients with a spoon until combined. Stir in the wet ingredients, and knead with hands until a dough has formed. If dough is too dry, add additional coconut milk, a little at a time. Dough will be firm. Place one chilled dough half on a Teflex-lined dehydrator tray and use a rolling pin to roll very flat – about 1/8 inch thick. Using a pizza cutter or knife, cut the dough into squares. Use a fork to score the crackers with decorative dots. Repeat with second dough half and place on a second Teflex-lined tray. Dehydrate crackers at 105-115 degrees for 4-5 hours or so, or until dried out and crisp. (They become crisper even as they sit out). Makes about 5 dozen 2” crackers, and will keep in an airtight container for about 2 weeks.

The Blackberry Jam was really easy. I just thawed out some wild blackberries from the freezer (I picked them last summer) and mashed them really well with a fork till they became a liquidy sauce. I think I used 1 cup. Then I stirred in some chia seeds (2 Tbsp), which are a natural thickener. They come from South America and have been called a "superfood" of the Incas. They are becoming more and more popular and available. The white variety is called "Salba." I also used a packet of Stevia, which is a powder made from the stevia plant, another product of South America. I used Stevia to sweeten tea, and all kinds of things. After stirring the ingredients together, you just let the mixed sit and thicken. --and that's all there is to it!

If you don't have chia and stevia just sitting around, try blending some frozen berries with some unsulfured dried fruit (especially dates, prunes, figs, or dried apricots) that has been soaking in hot water (toss the water). It will make a nice thick "jam" without any sugar or gelatin... or hassle! (I think strawberries would be especially good with this shortbread).

Enjoy a nice afternoon tea on a cold February day.

No comments:

Post a Comment