13 December 2012

Sweet Potatoes and Cats

Maximus, the male of my aunt and uncle’s pair of cats, likes to hang out with me when I meditate in the morning.  When I switched from exercising on the ground floor to the top floor of the house (gotta follow the WiFi, man), he became confused and meowed loudly at me.  Max caught on soon enough and knows to find me upstairs.

He's a natural blogger!

Max has a thing for the carrot box I brought home from Costco.

Since Max is slightly sweet potato skin-coloured, I think he connects to this bread.

Spiced Craisin Sweet Potato Bread

1 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened soy)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

2 tablespoons coconut oil, solid

4 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups warm water
2 teaspoons sugar

1 cup sweet potato flesh
1/2 cup mooshy banana (very ripe banana)
2 teaspoons cider vinegar

1 cup brown rice flour
2 cups King Arthur Flour Ancient Grains flour blend
1 cup oat flour (I used sorghum since that’s what I had)
3/4 cup teff flour
1/4 cup almond meal (or coconut, since that’s also what I had)
1 cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 cup craisins

Grease one 9*4-inch loaf pan and two 3*6-inch miniature loaf pans and set aside.

In a small pot, bring the non-dairy milk, maple syrup, and salt to a boil.  Immediately remove from the heat and stir in the coconut oil.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the yeast, water, and sugar and set aside to get bubbly.

In a food process or blender, blitz the bejeebes out of the sweet potato, banana, and vinegar.  Add the hot milk mixture and blend to combine until uniformly orange.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, cornmeal, xanthan gum, and spices.  Add the yeast mixture and stir.  In three additions, add the sweet potato mixture to the flours and mix well.  Mix (get your arm workout in!) well until combined, then fold in the craisins.  Transfer to the pans and set aside in a warm, draft-free place to rise for an hour, or until doubled in volume.

Fifteen minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Bake loaves for 40-45 minutes or until they sound hollow when tapped, a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean, and tops have begun to brown (miniature loaves take about 40 minutes and the big one about 45).  Immediately remove from pans and cool on wire racks.  Serve when mostly cooled.

Maximus, my meditation buddy, has found that chin mudra is the best for passive neck-scratching...so much so that I nicknamed him "Maximudra."  Contemplating a cat is a kind of kasina meditation that I find particularly relaxing yet energizing, and focusing yet calming.  Sending positive thoughts to the sentient being shedding white fur on my black exercise tights helps start the day on the right note.  

"May you be free of suffering | and understand the cause of suffering."

Namaste, Maximus!
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