Friday, October 26, 2012

Day 26: imagine if Jesus had us remember Him with these {vegan cinnamon roll recipe}

Most Fridays I share recipes aimed at a healthier me, healthier you and a healthier world. And as I mentioned here, I believe food and love are somehow connected - sharing a meal was one of the last things Jesus did before laying down His life for us. Which is why recipes are part of Deep Love Diving. (View all the 31 Days of Deep Love Diving posts here)

Not that there's anything less special about unleavened bread. Because it's the breaking and the sharing and the remembering that is important. But it's fun to play with the idea of what Communion might look like if Jesus chose a different food to represent His sacrifice.

Like cinnamon rolls. 

Last year, at our favorite vacation spot - a cottage on Lake Huron near Goderich, Ontario, Dave delighted the kids by making cinnamon rolls from a can (plus bacon and eggs and other things that don't factor into our usual our simple breakfasts). Back home, we already began looking forward to our cottage-style breakfasts upon our return to the cottage this year. 

And then (dramatic pause) we started eating "healthy." This is how Reese likes to term our foray into veganism after my dad was diagnosed with heart disease

Which meant cinnamon rolls from a can could not, in my estimation, be a part of our cottage breakfast experience. 

Instead, I was determined to find a healthier version - one that was vegan, lower in sugar and fat. And one that passed the Dave taste test - my husband loves his desserts and is typically skeptical that anything not made with butter, white sugar or white flour could be tasty. And here's the recipe that won his approval. So you know it's gotta be good. And it's really not that hard, even though the recipe might look daunting.

Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
3/4 c almond milk
1 package (2 1/4 tsp) yeast
1 T agave or honey if you use it
1 T ground flax in 3 T water
1/2 tsp chia seeds in 2 T water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 c whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 c - 1 c spelt flour

making the dough:
1. Gently warm the almond milk (too hot and it will kill the yeast), then add the yeast and sugar. Let it stand for 5 minutes.
2. Let the ground flax/water and chia/water mixes stand for 5 minutes.
3. In a mixer, combine the flax/water, chia/water, salt and whole wheat pastry flour with the milk/yeast mixture. Stir to combine.
4. Stir in spelt flour 1/4 c at a time until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Use your dough hook to knead in the remaining flour until the dough loses its stickiness and is smooth and supple.
5. Knead 5-8 minutes.
6. Cover with a damp cloth and let it rise for 1-1.5 hours or until doubled.
7. On a floured surface, roll out dough into a large rectangle. The dough should be 1/4" thick. Spread on filling, roll up the rectangle lengthwise and cut it into 8 rolls. The easiest way to do this is cut the rolled dough in half, then cut those halves in half, then cut everything into half again.
8. Bake for 35-45 minutes at 250 degrees F.
9. When cooled, top with glaze.

filling ingredients:
1/2 c date paste
1/2 - 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 - 3/4 c water
1/2 c finely ground pecans

making the filling:
1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan.
2. Stir over low heat until thoroughly combined and the mixture has the consistency of apple butter.

glaze ingredients:
1/2 c almond milk
2 T tapioca
2 T maple syrup

making the glaze:
1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat.
2. Stir until thickened.
This week I'm learning to love God with all my strength and loving strangers. Want to join me? Please click here for this week's challenges.

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