30 March 2014

Toeing the Fine Line | Lemon Cheezecake Buns

Call me biased and call me teetering on the fine edge of victim-blaming, but really, one can choose not to be offended in this fairly innocuous trend: #fitfam and the public celebration of physical fitness.

I read this Elite Daily article and wanted to post my meal-prepped box of lunches all the more (Then I stopped posting. More on that later). FitFam is about working towards goals that have to do with physical fitness: for improved health, for better quality of healthy life, for competitions, for improved physical appearance. 

I can do yoooooga!

Aesthetics--are they universal? Everyone has their standards, some of which are the same and some of which are different. Specifically, I take the most offense when anyone calls a muscular person, and women in particular, "gross."

Way to invalidate someone's efforts and focus in life. That kind of immature, shallow, personal remark is one I find difficult not to respond to in kind. However, hitting below the belt is not how to make points, never mind winning any aesthetic arguments. How would you like it if someone called your life's work or something you worked hard for "gross?" Putting such comments into a feminist perspective, (and I'm trying my damnedest not to make ad hominem arguments), people, let's build each other up, not tear each other down, no matter what we look like! Women, you're not doing your part for the cause of mutual respect and esteem of women by women if you keep sniping at each other.

The following recipe has nothing whatever to do with health and fitness, save my mental health and the security of enjoying VGF treats when everyone around me has cake and crepes and donuts and the foods of my youth. Coconut cream is the stuff from the top of a can of full-fat coconut milk left in the fridge overnight, OR TJ's sells this by the can, so you can pick some up while you're getting the vegan cream cheeze. I found this recipe last year on the LiveJournal community BakeBakeBake, when I was posting my "daily gratitudes" on LJ. That gratitude project didn't last long, but again, this is a topic to be revisited at the end of the post. There's a connection between fitfam and delicious breakfast pastry, if only in my head.

Lemon Cream Cheeze Rolls
Modified from Willow Bird Baking

1 cup teff sourdough starter, fed
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 tablespoon maple syrup

2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 cups nondairy milk (I used unsweetened vanilla coconut and original hemp)

5 cups Namaste GF flour blend
3 tablespoons coconut sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder

2/3 cup organic palmfruit shortening

2 (8-ounce) tubs vegan cream cheese
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 small lemon (less than 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup coconut sugar

rice flour, for rolling

1/2 cup coconut cream, melted 

2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

2 cups powdered coconut sugar (2 cups coconut sugar plus 2 tablespoons arrowroot blitzed to powder) 
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
about 1/2 cup coconut cream, melty
splash of raisin-infused vodka

Proof the yeast: combine the warm water, yeast, and maple syrup in a small bowl and set aside until foamy.

In a large measuring cup, combine the white vinegar and nondairy milk and set aside.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, coconut sugar, salt, baking soda and powder.  Cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Cut in the sourdough starter. Then combine the nondairy buttermilk and the proofed yeast and mix well. Watch for dry spots and knead the mixture until a slightly sticky dough forms. Cover and let rise for 2 hours or until doubled in size (I let it go for almost 2 and a half hours).

Once the dough has risen, beat the vegan cream cheeze, lemon zest and juice, and coconut sugar with an electric mixer until uniformly combined (yay for that warm rust shade of coconut sugar-sweetened foods).

Grease two 9*13-inch baking pans and set aside (I used a 9*13 and an 11*7-inch Pyrex).

Dust (I mean, make it snow) a clean surface with rice flour. Deflate the dough and roll out half of it into an 20*12*1/2" rectangle, about the size of a cookie sheet. 

 Brush/spread half of the coconut cream onto the dough. Dollop half of the filling on top of the cream and smooth out. Roll long end to long end, using a knife or bench scraper to facilitate the process. Cut rolls (about 12 from each half of dough) and arrange in prepared pan. Repeat with the second half of the dough.

Cover rolls and let rise overnight in the refrigerator.

The next day, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake rolls for 27 minutes. Then brush each pan of rolls with 1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil. Return to the oven for another 2 minutes or until the tops of the rolls are firm. Remove from the oven and place on a rack.

In a small bowl, whisk together all the glaze ingredients, adding vodka until desired consistency is attained. 

Makin' coconut sugar pow pow.

Top each pan with glaze and serve. These freeze well.

Paranoid almost mouse sightings at 05:00...

This recipe was Mama D approved!

The dark side of fitfam: Fitsporation, or fitness inspiration, the "healthier" cousin of thinsporation. TC pointed out to me that my pinning on Pinterest and liking on Instagram and Tumblr pictures of women with "perfect" bodies was an unhealthy obsession. Comparing myself to them increased my dissatisfaction and reduced my satisfaction with the body I have. Of course. Comparison is the thief of joy, as the saying goes. Comparison leads to suffering. Compassion (for who I am at the present moment) leads to contentment.

Note that my header collage contains a common fitspo slogan: Fail to plan? Plan to fail. I've found it an effective reminder for self-care.

Hence, no more IG or Tumblr for a while. Instead, I'm resurrecting a version of the gratitude project, at TC's suggestion, writing five things that are going well in my life each day in my morning pages.

TC said, "It's hard being right all the time." Mm-hmm.
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