Want to make strawberry pop tarts yourself? Preferably gluten free and vegan? Low in sugar too? This recipe has got you covered! Plus a review of Kenko Kitchen by Kate Bradley.
Happy Friday guys! It’s time for another cookbook review and also a Friday Treats recipe. I recently received a review copy of the book Kenko Kitchen by Kate Bradley and was eager to give some of the recipes a try, so I could tell you more about them. All the recipes in the book are sugar-free, gluten-free and vegan, and as far as I can tell, quite simple to make. When leafing through the picture filled book for the first time, the pop tarts really stood out to me, so I decided to give them a try and also share the recipe with you. I figured, who wouldn’t love healthy, but still delicious pop tarts?
Fun fact: I have never had regular pop tarts. They are not available here in Austria and by the time I went to the US, I was already avoiding white sugar and heavily processed food. I do have to say though, I was tempted to try it just for the sake of having the experience. But then again, what other delicious things could I get instead of wasting my money on something that I know is bad for me? Therefore, I’ve never tried them. What I can tell you, is that these gluten-free, vegan strawberry pop tarts are delicious. My parents were my taste testers, and they are very skeptical of healthy desserts or ‘healthified’ dishes. Their reaction? “Mmmh, that strawberry!” and “So satisfying!”. Convinced? They were.
I love that Kate uses mostly buckwheat flour for her recipes – it’s a flour I personally love (I know the taste is not for everyone, but I really enjoy it) and it’s fairly easy to find where I live. PLUS it is really affordable here, in contrast to other gluten-free flours. I’m not an expert in the realm of gluten-free cuisine, as I neither suffer from celiac disease, nor am I sensitive to gluten, but I do like to switch my flour out every now and then.
The book itself is beautiful – it’s the little things that I really enjoy about it, like the beautiful pictures, typography (simple, clear, minimalistic) and the ribbon. Yes, this is worth noting for me, because I love details like this. The content is split in the typical categories: breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner, dessert, drinks and condiments plus an ingredient guide. Breakfasts, for example, are sweet and savory, ranging from very simple (chia pudding) to more elaborate (mango and coconut bread with poached stone fruit), but even those don’t look overwhelmingly difficult, which I personally appreciate. Each chapter has a little personal introduction and even each recipe has a few words from Kate why she loves the recipe, or the recipe came into existence, which to me is a very nice personal touch. This makes the cookbook nice to read for pleasure, not just because I want to make a recipe from it. Her dinner recipes, are definitely influenced by Asian food, as you can find Japanese Miso Eggplant with Tamari Soba or a Rainbow Thai Stir-Fry amongst them. Oh, and a sweet must-try for me: Coconut Dulce de Leche. Let’s see if it can convince my s.o., who very much loves his dulce de leche treats. 😉
One thing to note: I’m not sure if the book is suitable for complete novice cooks and bakers, because even though the recipes are relatively simple, I feel like you do need some experience in the kitchen to easily reproduce them. For example, the pop tart recipe doesn’t state how thick or thin you should roll out the dough, so I just used common sense and my experience and it worked out just fine. For people who have never baked before, this might be a bit more difficult.
Back to the pop tarts recipe! If you have been reading my blog for a while or are following me on Instagram, you know I always change something about the recipe. I didn’t have flax meal at home, so I used ground up chia seeds instead. I didn’t make the vanilla or chocolate icing either, but instead made a tahini drizzle. Less authentic, but so so good – trust me! What happened though, was that most of my pop tarts split open. My friend Natalie called them “pop tarts with personality”, after I told her about what had happened. I agree, these pop tarts have character with all their delicious strawberry filling, crispy edges and filling, wholesome ingredients. I think I simply overfilled them and probably didn’t poke the airholes well enough, it didn’t take away from the taste though.
- 2 cups buckwheat flour
- 45 g coconut sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- 125 g vegan butter
- ¼ cup plant based milk (I used rice milk)
- 1 tbsp flax meal (I used ground up chia seeds)
- 125 g strawberry chia jam
- In a food processor, combine the buckwheat flour, coconut sugar, salt and baking powder. Slowly add the vegan butter and then the milk, flax meal (or ground up chia in my case) and 2 tablespoons water. Once a dough forms, remove it from the food processor, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
- Remove half of the dough from the the refrigerator, roll out on a well-floured surface and cut into desired shapes. Place 1 tablespoon of jam onto each cut-out.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
- Remove the second half of the dough from the refrigerator, roll out and cut into exactly the same shapes as before.* Place the shapes on top of the others and press down the edges with a fork to seal. Prick the tops with a fork and then bake in the oven for 15 minutes until golden.
- Enjoy immediately or store nan airtight container for up to a week.
A few additional thoughts of mine for the recipe: Make sure you don’t overfill the pop tarts of they will split open like mine did (as I mentioned above). I simply love the strawberry chia jam so much, that I can’t have enough filling. For the chia jam, use my Blackberry Chia Jam recipe, and use either strawberries or whichever berries you enjoy. I left little chunks of strawberry in the jam, because I really enjoy it to have a bit more texture. If you don’t want to feel the chia seeds when eating, simply pulverize them!
Dear Hardie Grant team, thank you so much again for sending me this review copy and letting me publish this delicious pop tarts recipe!
So guys, do you like pop tarts? Have you tried regular or a healthier version before? Do any of you own Kenko Kitchen as well? Please share if you enjoy this review and recipe and also make sure you come on over to Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to stay up to date with new creations, inspirations and so much more.
*Amazon affiliates link – no additional cost to you, but a small commission for me that helps me run this blog. 🙂