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I prefer to live simply, creating more space for peace and balance, but that’s not always easy. So every so often I make sort of an assessment of my possessions. Lately, I’ve been de-cluttering—clearing out storage units and closets and analyzing the value of things I own, asking myself questions like, “do I really need to hold onto this?” or more specifically, “will holding on to this continue to provide beauty, joy, or functional value in my life?” I long to live lighter, in a warm, simple and rustic sort of way. I’ve gone through quite a few of my spaces—drawers, cabinets, closets, bookshelves, but I still have more to do. My kitchen cupboards, for example….

Mixed Berry Galette

My kitchen cupboards are packed—filled with a large variety of whole and ancient grains, noodles, legumes, beans, flours, nuts, seeds, dried fruits, oils, vinegars, and spices. My husband jokes that I’m equipped for almost every culinary situation imaginable. Although I love having on hand an array of interesting ingredients, often adding color, texture, personality, flavor and that attractive je ne sais quoi to many of my culinary adventures, the reality is that I just don’t have the space.

Black Raspberries

I can almost never resist buying new (to me) ingredients that I come across at the market. Hmm, sorghum, teff, kamut flour…I wonder what delicious dishes can be made with those! Japanese Hato Mugi? Bolivian Canahua? No idea how I’d use them, but much too interesting to pass! As a result, my small kitchen cupboards are not just packed, they’re over packed and cluttered.

So, for the next few months I’ll be cooking through my cupboards, so to speak, using much of what I already have before buying new dry goods. Hopefully this will not only clear clutter and help bring balance to my kitchen cupboards again, but also to my sense of well-being. It will also motivate me to cook a lot of interesting things. I’ll be sure to share any of my favorites with you.

Do you ever feel the need to de-clutter, get rid of stuff, and live more simply? How do you keep your life and home balanced?

One form of rustic simplicity is by way of this fruit galette, a beautifully uncomplicated and charming summer dessert. Galettes are so simple to make that I wonder why I don’t make them more often. Here, homemade pastry crust folds around two types of berries—black raspberry and blueberry—making a beautiful deep purple tart. Really, almost any summer berry or fruit would yield equally delicious results. Enjoy!

Mixed Berry Galette

Black Raspberry and Blueberry Galette
Serves 6-8

Galette Pastry (recipe below)
1.5 cups black raspberries
1.5 cups blueberries
1.5 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons white whole wheat flour
1 large egg, beaten with 1 tsp water (optional)
2-3 tablespoons turbinado sugar (optional)

Galette Pastry
Recipe adapted from Anna Thomas’s recipe for galette pastry.

1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1.5 teaspoons lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons coconut oil, separated
2/3 cup Neufchâtel (reduced-fat cream cheese), cut into pieces
2 tablespoons cold plant milk (I used hemp milk)

Combine whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, leon zest and salt in a food processor. Pulse to mix. Add 3 tablespoons coconut oil and cream cheese and pulse until the mix looks like coarse meal. Add the rest of the coconut oil and pulse until the mixture looks like wet sand. Add milk and pulse until small clumps form.

Transfer the dough to a sheet of parchment paper and press into a ball, then press the ball into  a round disk about 8-inches wide. Wrap in the parchment and refrigerate at least an hour and up to a day before rolling out.

To Prepare Mixed Berry Galette
Prepare Galette Pastry.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. After dough has chilled at least an hour, roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface (preferably parchment paper) into a round about 12 inches wide.

In a bowl, combine berries, lemon juice, sugar and flour. Spoon filling into prepared dough, leaving a 2-inch uncovered border. Fold the edge up and over the filling, forming loose pleats. Brush the border with the egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar if you like.

Transfer galette, with parchment paper, onto a baking sheet. Bake until berry filling bubbles and the pastry is golden brown, about 25 minutes. Let cool slightly on a wire rack. Serve alone, with ice cream or a dairy free alternatives. Here I served mine with coconut milk ice cream.