Kumquats and Daisies

Picture this: A relaxing Sunday morning with a hot cup of herbal tea, a fresh loaf of tea bread, and the morning news. To me, this is one of the simplest, yet often overlooked, pleasures in life. While the process of unwinding is usually associated with the end of the day, I think it’s equally important to begin your day by unwinding. Even setting aside a few minutes at the beginning of each day for quietness of heart and quality me-time makes a world of difference. Believe me when I say it sets the tone for the rest of your day!

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Recently, the weather in Southern California has been unmatchable (sorry, East Coast!). High 60’s – 70’s in March mean spring colors on summer dresses, and also…kumquats! Kumquats are tiny citrus fruits whose color resembles oranges, shape resembles cherry tomatoes, and taste resembles tangerines. The sweet, edible peel balances out the tangy flavor of the inner fruit. And kumquats seem to be everywhere these days – everyone from colleagues and acquaintances to family members have been gifting kumquats from their plentiful fruit trees. Compared to its citrus cousins, the uses and health benefits of kumquats are often overlooked. Kumquats are low in calories; rich in essential oils; high in fiber; and full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. All in all, kumquats make a guiltless, sweet treat, as well as a healthy, loaded ingredient.

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On a whim, I decided to make Kumquat Walnut Quick Bread this weekend. It was my first time eating and baking with kumquat, and the result was surprisingly delicious. I love having some sort of homemade, baked goods on hand for a quick, go-to breakfast, and I’m glad I was also able to make use of all those kumquats. The quick bread recipe is super easy, as it just requires throwing a bunch of common baking ingredients together, and the most exotic and crucial ingredient needed are the kumquats. The sweet and citrus aroma of the kumquats really fills the whole house when baking, and even more so when you cut the first slice. It makes for a moist, unique, and flavorful tea bread that’s not too sweet. As a side note, the bread also pairs extremely well with a light floral tea; I opted for daisy (but, post on that forthcoming!).

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Back to unwinding: a slice of my homemade Kumquat Walnut Quick bread, a cup strongly steeped of daisy tea, and reading the morning news with the Pulse app on my iPad is how I spent my Sunday morning. Like kumquats, a few minutes of alone time really gives you that boost of happiness needed to kick-start the day. Try this delightful recipe, coupled with a few well-deserved minutes of unwinding!

Kumquat Walnut Quick Bread Recipe
Yields: 1 loaf | Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cooking Time: 60 minutes | Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Ingredients:
⅔ cups almond milk
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons oil
¾ cup brown sugar
2 cups flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1  cup kumquat purée
¾ cup chopped walnuts

Directions:
1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
2. Wash kumquats, remove seeds, and purée in food processor or blender.
3. Grease one 8″ x 4″ x 2″ loaf pan with PAM.
4. In a mixing bowl combine wet ingredients (almond milk, eggs and oil).
5. In another mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients (sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda).
6. Add liquid mixture to dry mixture, and mix until moistened.
7. Fold in kumquat purée and walnuts.
8. Pour mixture into loaf pans.
9. Bake for 50-60 minutes at 350.
10. Cool, remove from loaf pan, and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from: http://www.food.com/recipe/kumquat-nut-bread-17504

Best,
Phoebe

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