Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Herb Buttermilk Biscuits

I am a lucky girl. And not just because I am pictured above eating a delicious biscuit, hot out of the oven, with real butter melting into the little pockets of herby goodness. I am a lucky girl for many reasons...if I start a list it might go on for quite a while. It would begin of course with my family - The King of Soup and my two kids, then the rest of the family, the dog, and on and on.

The reason I am lucky at this moment is that I just returned from a long weekend away with my BFFNAWBTOKILYA, Sarah. (Only she knows what that acronym means.) We spent a beautiful weekend together at Shanti Yoga Retreat on gorgeous Wolfe Island near Kingston, Ontario. Sarah was the first person able to get me interested in yoga, many years ago when we met at work. Other friends have tried (Kristin, I'm talking about you), but it never really stuck. For whatever reason, this time it stayed with me and I decided that I do like yoga. Perhaps it is related to the stage of life I am in (two young boys who sometimes stress me out and therefore I need yoga perhaps?), or maybe just that I finally recognize how much good yoga does for the body and mind. Whatever the reason, on January 1, 2014 I made a resolution to do more yoga. I started going once a week, then twice, and now I go three times a week and I wish I could go every day!

The idea of going on a retreat just popped into my head one day back in the spring and since I hadn't spent any quality time with Sarah in ages, I sent her a message and asked her to go with me. Without hesitation, she agreed and we started planning. Fast forward several months, and she was picking me up at the Go Station so we could hit the road for Wolfe Island.

The retreat was really nice. Yoga, meditation, a long walk into town for a blueberry tart, cows, cats, trees, water, geese, flowers, a yurt, yak blankets, silent breakfasts, catching up, wooden swings hanging from gorgeous trees, people who made us chuckle, garter snakes, crossword puzzles, and delicious vegetarian food homemade by the amazing staff at Shanti. The food was SO good that I bought the cookbook before I left and I have already made three recipes since then.

This is the first recipe I made upon my return. What appealed to me immediately was that I would be using fresh herbs from my garden in these biscuits. As well, I had most of the ingredients on hand and could easily substitute the one that I didn't have. Without further delay, here is the recipe (my adaptations are in brackets, as always).

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with either parchment paper or a Silpat.


2 cups spelt flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup fresh or 1/4 cup dried herbs (I used a full cup of fresh herbs, as recommended by Shanti)
1/2 coconut oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup almond or soy milk (I used buttermilk as that was all I had on hand)
1 tsp maple syrup (I omitted this as I am currently attempting to go sugar free for a month)

For the herbs, I used two kinds of rosemary, winter savoury, basil, chives, oregano, parsley, and lemon thyme.

Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the chopped fresh herbs and mix again.

Cut in the coconut oil using a pastry cutter (I used a food processor!).

In a separate bowl combine the vinegar, milk and maple syrup.

Combine wet with dry. The mixture will look like a muffin batter (thicker than pancakes, thinner than cake). If it doesn't look right you can add more milk.

Scoop the batter (~1/3 cup per biscuit) onto the prepared pan and bake for 10 - 12 minutes. Makes 10 - 12 biscuits (I got 10 nice large ones). I decided to sprinkle some sesame seeds on top before putting them into the oven.

Serve hot and enjoy! Wow, that's a lot of butter....

If you're feeling super generous, you can make breakfast for your significant other.

Namaste, Dear Ones.

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