5 unusual ingredients to use in pastry

If you’ve been following us for a while now, you’re surely very familiar with our  B·Concept method, which is all about creating healthier, lighter, and tastier pastry.

There are endless ways to make your recipes more interesting with creative combinations and unusual flavor pairings, all with the added benefit of being healthy too. 

Let’s talk about a few ingredients in particular that you can use to give your elaborations a bit of wow-factor in a world of same-old pastry. Some of them might surprise you!

Make your eyes bright (and your recipes too!)

Ingredients: Carrot. Carrot Kale - recipe from the book "Pastelería más saludable, ligera y sabrosa" by Jordi Bordas.
Carrot Kale - Recipe from Jordi Bordas’ book “Healthier, lighter and tastier pastry”

Let’s start with an ingredient you might be a little more familiar with in pastry— carrots! This one might not shock you that much, since we’ve no doubt all experienced the joy of a moist, spongey carrot cake. This texture is partly thanks to carrots’ high fibre content (both soluble and insoluble), which also makes for easy digestion.

Aside from that, carrots can give our recipes a beautiful, naturally vivid color, thanks to something called beta carotene, which is an  antioxidant that our bodies convert into vitamin A. This, together with the help of some other vitamins and minerals, can promote healthy skin and radiance, while boosting healthy eyesight at the same time. It’s true what they say, carrots really do help you see in the dark!

And, since they’re sweet and have a subtle taste, you can use them in many different ways to achieve tender cakes or colorful creamies with just the right sweetness, without having to rely on large quantities of sugary ingredients. We have the perfect example of this in our newest recipe book,  where we combine carrots and kale (yes, you read right) to create the Carrot Kale, a tastier, healthier twist on the traditional recipe.

A leaf-ly surprise

While we’re on the topic of kale, let’s see what it has to offer our pastry elaborations.

Now, we know what you’re thinking; kale isn’t exactly an ingredient you’d expect to find in your standard recipe book, but hear us out.

From green to purple, from curly leaves to smooth ones, kale is yet another super ingredient that contains a huge variety of  minerals and vitamins, such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium, and vitamins A, K, C and many B vitamins.

If that wasn’t enough, kale also contains a small amount of Omega 3, a vital nutrient that our body can’t make on its own.

All in all, kale is quite the all-rounder when it comes to health benefits. It is a little trickier to incorporate kale into our elaborations, since it does have quite a noticeable flavor, but with the right flavor pairings, it can provide our recipes with fiber and added richness.

Eat your greens

Ingredients: Broccoli. Browcolie - recipe from the book "Pastry healthier, lighter and tastier" by Jordi Bordas.
Browcolie - recipe from the book "Healthier, lighter and tastier pastry" by Jordi Bordas

Also found within the cruciferous vegetable family, we have broccoli. Much like kale, this green, tree-looking vegetable is full of nutrients, and many other components which can help keep you (and your body) happy and healthy.

Broccoli is an excellent source of fiber and protein, so including it in your diet can improve digestive health too. It also contains lots of vitamins and folic acid to help boost the immune system, as well as calcium, potassium, selenium and magnesium. Phew... that's a lot of vitamins and minerals.

With all these components come many other health benefits, such as reducing the overall amount of cholesterol in the body.

It’s great that broccoli has so many beneficial properties, but how can we incorporate this bitter-tasting vegetable into our recipes? Well, broccoli can be paired with other strong flavors, such as dark chocolate, which tend to be much more overpowering and can therefore mask the taste of the broccoli.

We have the perfect example of this in our  newest recipe book: "Healthier, lighter, tastier pastry", where we combine broccoli and brownie to create the Browcolie - it's irresistible and it's packed with nutrients!

Not your average salad ingredient

Let’s move on to our next surprising ingredient beetroot!

Beetroot is great in salads and soups, but have you ever heard of using it in pastry? Not only is beetroot tasty, but it’s also an incredibly versatile ingredient with just as many beneficial properties as the ingredients we’ve already mentioned. Buckle up, there’s more where that came from!

Apart from being packed full of nutrients and fiber, beetroot has the power to liven up our recipes with its naturally vibrant color. If you wanted to achieve an eye-catching dessert without using artificial coloring, beetroot would be a fantastic option, and would also give your recipe a touch of sweetness. Its characteristic flavor pairs well with many ingredients, such as coconut (like in our petit gateau Coco-beet).

We’ve taken beetroot to the next level in our Red Velvet recipe, where it acts not only as a healthy ingredient substitute, but also gives us that beautiful red finish so typical of red velvet cakes.

The super-seed

Ingredients: sesame. Sesame and orange tartlet - recipe from the book "Pastelería más saludable, ligera y sabrosa" by Jordi Bordas.
Sesame and orange tartlet - recipe from the book "Healthier, lighter and tastier pastry" by Jordi Bordas

We couldn’t possibly come all this way without mentioning just one more of our favorite surprising ingredients, and that would be sesame.

Sesame seeds are loved by many, and are commonly found as a garnish in Asian cuisine, or as a topping on your favorite hummus. A small handful of sesame seeds can contribute to your daily fiber intake, meaning they make the perfect ingredient for recipes lacking in this area.

Sesame can be found in many different forms, such as oils, pastes, butters, or just plain seeds, and depending on this, they can provide our recipes with interesting flavor nuances such as a rich, nutty flavor, or perhaps a slightly rustic touch if they’ve been toasted.

We’ve incorporated them into one of our tartlet recipes, where we’ve taken its notorious nutty flavor and transformed it into a delicious sesame creamy paired with an orange gelée.

Get creative

We know, we know. That’s a lot of information to take in. Despite it being quite the mouthful (no pun intended), we hope it has given you a bit of insight into more creative ways to include healthy ingredients in pastry, and why we make the choices we do when it comes to elaborating new recipes with original flavors. If you’re hungry for more, check out our newest recipe book, where you can find all the recipes mentioned and more!

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