Wednesday, January 27, 2010

GardenCuizine Recipe: Nutty Ginger Streusel

Nutty Ginger Streusel
Topping for Baked Goods, Squash 
and Sweet Potato Casserole
Streusel topping adds crunch, sweetness, nutrients, and eye appeal, not to mention delicious, sweet cinnamon flavor to baked goods, squash and sweet potato casseroles. This recipe contains nuts* and aromatic spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. These spices, along with walnuts or pecans, add to outstanding flavors in addition to contributing a variety of antioxidants and phytonutrients to your healthy streusel recipes. 

Streusel is also made with butter and sugar, so use it sparingly and make a little go a long way. Doing this will enable you and your family to reap the benefits of increased consumption of fruits and vegetables that streusel so magically enhances

Popular ways to use streusel topping is to sprinkle it on top of: homemade fruit crisps, fruit pies, muffins, coffee cake, sweet breads (such as banana, pumpkin or zucchini bread), sweet potato casserole, or atop baked squash. You'll find a GardenCuizine link posted below for Baked Nutty, one of our family's favorite winter vegetable side dishes using streusel to stuff acorn squash. 

Streusel is quick and easy to make, and stores great in the freezer. It may be best and most practical to make a batch of streusel at a time when you are home that is most convenient to you. Streusel can be used immediately after it is made or as needed from your freezer stash.

*Nut Allergies
If you or those you are cooking or baking for have allergies to nuts, streusel topping can be successfully made omitting the nuts. 

Health Note: If you are a pastry chef or have made streusel before, I should point out that for this recipe I have reduced the amount of butter as low as possible, so it will take a little bit longer to come together and form the streusel. Be patient, it will come together. It just takes longer to coat the flour granules using less butter than traditional streusel recipes call for. 
Putting it all together
Yields: 1 lb, 7 oz. (699g)
1 cup Pecans or Walnuts, toasted
1/2 cup (62.5g) Flour, all purpose, unbleached
1/2 cup (60g) White whole grain wheat flour

1/2 cup (40g) Rolled oats (instant quick cooking type)
1/2 cup (110g) Brown Sugar (packed)
1/2 cup (100g) Granulated Sugar
1 Tablespoon
(7.8g) Cinnamon, ground
1 teaspoon (tsp) (2.2g) Nutmeg, fresh grated or ground

1 tsp Ginger, fresh grated or ground (optional) 
1/8 tsp (0.3g) Cloves, ground

1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 3 Tablespoons Butter (155.6g), no salt (or soy margarine) 

  • First roast the nuts in a 350° F oven. Make an even layer of the nuts on a baking sheet or cast iron pan and bake until lightly toasted. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and all the spices, mix to combine. I use a KitchenAide mixer with a paddle attachment.  
  • Cut the butter into small cubes and sprinkle onto the flour mixture. Mix on low speed until you notice the butter lumps mixing completely with the flour and as it does you will notice the flour granules becoming a darker color. 
    Mixing is the only tricky part to making streusel. Once streusel gets over mixed, it becomes a smooth, dough-like mass; you can still use it, but it will not be the proper, crumbly texture of a well-made streusel. The best way to avoid over mixing streusel is, when you think it is almost ready, stop the mixer and pulse it "on" and "off" with frequent checking until you are pleased with the consistency. A good streusel will be well combined with 1/4-1/2-inch clumps throughout. 
    • When your streusel is ready, add the nuts and pulse again just until the nuts are incorporated -- then stop! That's it. 
    Streusel can be used immediately, stored in the refrigerator for up to one week, or stored for a longer period of time in an air tight container in your freezer. 

    Related GardenCuizine Recipe: Baked Nutty ~ Streusel topped Squash

    Related Links: 
    McCormick Spices for Health  
    Eat a Variety of Fruits and Vegetables Every Day

    GardenCuizine Nutrition Analysis
    ...coming soon...

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