I hope I’m not too late to the party with this healthy little recipe. I’m sure there are still a few of you trying to figure out what to bring to the family lunch today, or who have a hankering for something really comforting to satisfy your sweet tooth for the rest of the Easter long weekend.
In all honesty I wasn’t sure I was going to make hot cross buns this year – I was thinking it might be a raw chocolate kind of Easter and had a few recipes up my sleeve to try out. But the weather gods have conspired to create a nice little combination of wind, rain and huge whitecaps out to sea. I’m typing this while watching sheets of water slide down the window, my feet tucked under the doona. In other words – the ideal conditions for warm buns fresh out of the oven. (Friends in sunny Victoria, I don’t want to hear it).
I ducked into the supermarket today and out of interest grabbed a bag of the ‘traditional’ store bought buns that get rolled out as soon as there’s even a whiff of Easter in the air. Flip to the label and you’ll see preservatives, emulsifiers, refined sugar and strange numbers flying all over the place. Ick. Not exactly what your Mum used to make. It was only last week I was shown another product – a jar of “almond butter” that Woolies has recently created that contains less than 5% almonds. Seriously. It was in a green natural looking jar though so I guess that counts as healthy-ish? Oh, and has anyone seen the new Coke “Life” line of drinks – sweetened with natural stevia? (Green label of course, natural looking typography).
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt since making food from scratch, it’s how much unnecessary crap a lot of supermarket products contain to keep them shelf stable for as long as possible. For the extra effort it takes to prepare food yourself, knowing exactly what you’re eating – for me is worth it 100 times over.
I’ve gone gluten free with this recipe as I had some almond meal and coconut flour in the cupboard I wanted to use up. As you can tell by the name of these buns – they’re not the perfect shape of traditional buns – but what they lack in looks they make up for in nutrition and flavour, I promise! Best served warmed with some good quality organic butter.
What you need (makes 12-14 small buns)
- 1 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1 teaspoon bi-carbonate soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 2 tablespoons raw, local honey
- 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- ½ cup chopped medjool dates
- ½ cup natural sultanas
For the white crosses
- 1 egg white
- 1/4 cup desiccated coconut
- Squeeze lemon juice
How to go about it
- 1. Preheat oven to 180ºC and prepare a tray with baking paper.2. Mix together all the dry ingredients into a big bowl.3. In a separate bowl combine eggs, coconut oil, orange zest and honey. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix well. Add in the chopped dates and sultanas.4. Scoop or spoon portions onto the baking paper.5. To make crosses, whisk together egg whites, lemon juice and desiccated coconut. Drizzle over unbaked buns in a cross shape using a piping bag or small plastic bag with a tiny corner snipped off.6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly golden!