Mama's (Sugar-free, Whole wheat, Vegan) Peach Cobbler

peach cobbler 2

These days, the cooking world, at least the one that I'm a part of, is all about slow food, natural ingredients, making things from scratch. It's an ethos that I tend to share and a process that I enjoy, in part because Navah and I both have dietary restrictions that sometimes make buying things off the shelf difficult.

But I haven't always eaten that way. I didn't grow up in a hippy commune.  I'm sure that would have been awesome, and it would've meant that I knew what a chickpea was before I went to college. But I didn't.  Before I was born and perhaps when I was a wee thing, my parents did do things like make meals from the Diet For a Small Planet cookbook, so there were likely chickpeas in my past. But by the time I have much recollection of the food culture around my home, I was witnessing two working parents with two kids doing their best to get meals on the table. I'm not saying we sustained ourselves with cans of spam - in fact, I've never eaten spam. We always ate dinner as a family, and I have memories of delicious from-scratch meals like gumbo, jambalaya (my parents are both from Louisiana), fried fish, and to-die for drop biscuits.  My parents like doing things around the kitchen, so there was some home canning and some venison sausage-making.

But pragmatism had its day too - we ate a lot of canned vegetables and boxed mashed potatoes. On week days, I almost always poured myself a packet of some variety of instant hot cereal for breakfast.  The crusts on our pies were made by Betty Crocker.  Particularly for the three years my mom was in law school, we ate a lot of frozen fish sticks and tv dinners.  I was totally satisfied with my family's food culture - if you ignore the fact that I really wanted us to have more junk food around.  I was a kid, after all.  So while I could do without ever eating another spoonful of boxed mashed potatoes, my family food history also means that in my lexicon of favorite childhood yummies, canned cream corn and canned lima beans cozy right up next to homemade chicken and sausage gumbo and my dad's fried fish. 

And one of my favorite desserts was always (and still is) my mama's easy peasy peach cobbler.  With a little vanilla ice cream (I actually think we were eating ice milk most of the time - do you remember that stuff?), it was a mainstay sweet treat at my house.  And it was made with canned peaches in syrup.  Oh, how I loved can fruit - still do.  So soft and sweet and syrupy. 

You can, of course, make a peach cobbler with real peaches. But that requires peeling them and cutting them up, and those are slippery little suckers once you no longer have the traction from the fuzzy skin.  It also requires forethought - you know, buying the actual peaches.  With the canned variety, they're just there in your cabinet, ready, waiting for you to plunge them in all their syrupy goodness into a bath of cobbler batter.

peach cobbler 4

Once I started doing the majority of my produce-buying at the farmers market and hooked up with someone who can't eat refined sugars, my canned fruit days seemed behind me.  Until, wonder of wonders, we discovered a farm at our favorite farmers market that sells canned peaches with no sugar added! 

peach cobbler 5

We were slap-happy.  I immediately set about revamping my mom's peach cobbler recipe to make it Navah-friendly (i.e. no dairy, no sugar, no refined flour) and came up with this easy peasy vegan, whole wheat, sugar free version.  And people, don't let all those qualifiers fool you.  This stuff is DE.lish.

And it takes about 4 1/2 minutes of prep time.  Which means that while it would be an awesome treat this weekend, you could even bust it out on a random Tuesday.  Holla.

Peach Cobbler close up

Vegan, Sugar-Free, Whole Wheat Peach Cobbler

1 stick (1/2 cup) Earth Balance
3/4 cup agave nectar
3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla soy milk (or another dairy-free alternative)
2 tsp baking power
pinch of salt
1 15 oz. can peaches

1.  Melt the Earth Balance in a 2 quart baking dish.  (I used a deep dish this time - Navah prefers it in a longer, shallower dish because it gets cakier.  Use your judgment)
2.  In another bowl, mix the agave nectar,  flour,  milk, baking powder, and salt.
3.  Pour on top of butter. No stirring necessary - In fact, don't do it.
4.  Pour the peaches (with their juice!) on top. Don't stir.
5.  Bake 1 hour at 350 degree or until top is toasty and brown.
6.  Serve with vanilla ice cream (we use So Delicious's vanilla coconut ice cream, which has no refined sugar).

If you don't require any of these restrictions, please feel free to sub back in the real deal - butter, milk, sugar, and regular white flour.  It'll be just as yummy.


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