A few years ago, I’d asked Ashley to meet me for coffee at a local Starbucks. She kindly said that she’d love to, but asked if we could meet somewhere else. I was curious about the change of location–maybe it was the taste of the coffee? The ambience? I wasn’t sure. When we met up, I asked about her desire to change locations, and she informed me that she and her boyfriend were trying to only eat at local restaurants.
At the time, I was eating locally grown (within a 250 mile radius) vegetables and getting a lot of my produce from a farmer’s market, but hadn’t shifted to eating at only local restaurants. I liked walking into any Starbucks and knowing exactly what I would get…but more than that, I really craved certain restaurants.Then it dawned on me: I liked them because that was all I knew.
Chili’s was where we went in high school to hang out with friends. Pizza Hut was the place we’d go to celebrate making good grades, and the Olive Garden was a “nicer” meal. Don’t get me wrong, we had a few local restaurants in our town, but I doubt that the ingredients were local.
My family and I ate what was there, and we didn’t give too much thought to where the food came from, or the fact that chain restaurants tend to really hurt smaller food establishments. This is like so many other people’s stories: growing up knowing only chains. Now, after cooking locally and eating locally, I believe that the best food is not food that’s been chemically enhanced or processed, but is food grown for the purpose of nourishing people and not just feeding them. Food that has been made just for you and your dietary needs.
As January ends and a new month has begun, I leave you with this: establish good intentions that will nourish you, and learn to try something new. If you need a place to start, try this take on my mother’s sour cream coffee cake! It is so good!
- 2 ½ c. gluten-free flour blend (without xanthan gum for those with corn allergies)
- 2 tsp. baking powder*
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp. ground flax seed
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- 1 c. butter (softened)
- 1 ½ c. organic cane sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla*
- 1 ¼ c. crème fraiche
- ¾ c. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- * If you have corn allergies, here are recipes for corn free ingredients
- Preheat your oven to 350℉.
- Butter and flour (gf flour) a bundt pan.
- Blend brown sugar and cinnamon together. Set aside.
- Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, flax seed, sea salt together. Set aside.
- Combine butter and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth.
- Add eggs, one at a time. Whisk together.
- Fold in the vanilla and crème fraiche.
- Add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients. 1 C. at a time.
- Blend until smooth.
- Add ½ your batter to the bundt pan. Sprinkle in ½ the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.
- Add the remaining batter.
- Top with the remaining brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.
- Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Or until a toothpick comes out smoothly.