Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Making the Perfect Pancakes

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The Ingredients

  • 2C flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
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Dry Ingredients

Mix together these dry ingredients.

You can do this with either a whisk or a Mason jar.

You want to go ahead and mix your dry ingredients enough to get rid of any lumps at this stage in order to avoid big lumps….and because later you will need to avoid over-mixing the batter once you add the wet to the dry,

 

 

The Baking Powder…Be sure to check the expiration date on the baking powder canister. If your baking powder is old or expired, your pancakes will not right…and will end up flat, instead of light and fluffy.

If you would like even fluffier pancakes, feel free to double the amount of baking powder.

You might also want to try using only 2tsp of baking powder and then adding 1/2tsp baking soda.

 

The Flour…Spoon your flour into a measuring cup instead of scooping the flour out of the flour canister with a measuring cup, like most of us do…including me.

Scooping the flour causes your measuring cup to be filled with too much flour, often resulting in tough pancakes.

Don’t restrict yourself to only using all-purpose flour…be adventuresome by swapping out half of the flour with another type of flour—such as whole wheat, buckwheat, brown rice, corn, oat, or gluten-free.

 

 

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Mason Jar Method

You can also use a Mason jar to shake your ingredients together.

To do this, layer your wet ingredients first—milk, egg, and oil…and then your dry ingredients—flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a wide-mouth quart-sized jar. Seal the jar tightly . Shake the jar vigorously for at least two minutes…until the ingredients are combined. Once the ingredients are combined, you can either cook pancakes immediately or stick the jar in the fridge for later.

To make your pancakes, simply pour the batter straight from the jar onto your griddle or pan…and cook them…(more on that later)…

 

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Liquid Ingredients

Combine your liquid ingredients.

 

The Butter,,Using unsalted butter allows youu to control the taste of your pancakes better..

 

The Buttermilk...Butttermilk is what makes your pancakes tenderest. If you do not want to use milk or buttermilk, use water, coffee, or juice as your liquid base instead…reducing the amount of liquid called for in the original recipe by.one-fourth of the amount.

 

 

 

The Eggs…Bringing your eggs to room temp before mixing into your batter will give you the best results.

To make your pancakes even fluffier, take the time to separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. …beat your egg whites  with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form…and finally fold the beaten egg whites into your batter gently with a rubber spatula until just combined.

 

 

 


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Mixing Ingredients Together

You should have already whisked your dry ingredients together before you added in the wet ingredients…so you should be able to combine your wet ingredients and dry ingredients together very easily.

Now gently fold your dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just combined.

Stir until the flour is moist, but there are still a few small clumps of flour.

.Do not over-mix the batter. It’s okay to leave some lumps in the batter.

If you overmix the batter, you will end up with tough and dense pancakes, not fluffy.

At this point, you should add any ingredients that you would like to add to your batter…such as…

  • Banana…one mashed ripe banana
  • Blueberries…1C
  • Cream cheese…3oz finely chopped cream cheese
  • Lemon…1tsp grated lemon peel
  • Orange…1tsp grated orange peel
  • Pecan…1/2C…toast and chop finely
  • Strawberries…1C
  • Walnuts…1/2C…toast and chop finely

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Resting Your Batter

Now that all of your ingredients have become friends, it’s time to rest your batter. What does it mean to “rest” your batter?

To rest your batter means to simply leave it alone for anywhere from ten to thirty minutes. The longer you rest your batter, the better your pancakes will turn out…

Why should you “rest” your batter?

  • Resting your batter will…
  • dissolve any small lumps
  • give the baking powder enough time to activate
  • give the flour a chance to absorb liquid in the batter

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The Pan

As far as what kind of pan to use when making pancakes, the best option is an electric griddle…

An electric non-stick griddle makes flipping your pancakes much easier.

But if you’d rather cook your pancakes on top of the stove or don’t have an electric griddle, use a large, about 12,” non-stick skillet with sloping slides….preferably cast iron.

Cast iron will give you even heat distribution allow you to brown your pancakes without having to use tons of butter.

 

 

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Heating the Pan

 

Heat your pan or skillet over medium heat until drop of water sizzles..

Heat a little bit of vegetable oil…(for other types of oils to cook with, check this previous post out)…

Avoid using regular butter because the butter will be more likely to burn and make your pancakes turn out funky tasting.

Reduce heat to medium-low.

 

 

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Cooking

Use a 1/4C measuring cup…or pour the batter from the Mason jar depending on which method you used earlier…to shape the batter into medium-sized circles….about 3-1/2″ wide. 

Cook your pancakes for a couple of minutes…until little bubbles appear and the edges start to get firm.

Be sure to avoid squishing the pancakes with your spatula.

Flip. Once you flip the pancake over, don’t press down on it with your spatula. Let the pancake cook naturally so you do not end up with flat, boring pancakes.

Cook your pancakes for a couple of minutes on the other side…until both sides are lightly golden.

Keep pancakes warm while you’finish cooking the rest by covering the pancakes with aluminum foil and then sticking them in an oven that has been preheated to about 200.°

If you find that your pancakes are browning too quickly, turn down the heat down and let the pan cool down for a minute or so before starting the next batch.

If you find that your pancakes are sticking to the pan, add more butter or oil.

Wipe out the pan between batches…especially if you are using butter instead of oil.

Finish cooking any remaining batter.

 

 

 

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Storing

Obviously most of us know what to do with the pancakes once you finish cooking them, but did you know that you can also make them ahead of time…instead of resorting to vuying already frozen pancakes from the grocery store…I was kina shocked to find pancakes stored by the frozen biscuits and frozen breakfast burritos and frozen waffles…wonder how many preservatives are in all of these products, right?

 

To refrigerate…put the pancakes in an airtight container…will stay fresh for up to 5 days

To freeze…flash freeze them and store in large ziplocs…will stay fresh up to 2 months

Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Visions of Veganism—Eggs

Barley

  • People who ate a half-cup of whole barley regularly during a five-week period USDA study saw their cholesterol levels drop by nearly 10% compared to those who went without. Try adding raisins or dried apricots to quick-cooking barley and serving it as a side dish. Just make sure it’s whole-grain barley, not “pearled,” which means the bran and germ have been removed.
    • dddddddddddBARLEY (LOOK FOR “WHOLE GRAIN,” “HULLED,” OR “DEHULLED,”)
      Cook 1 cup dry grain with: 3 cups liquid (expands to 3½ cups cooked grain)
      Cook Time: Bring to boil, then simmer 45–60 minutes (some brands recommend an overnight soak)
      Best Uses: Pleasantly firm chew makes it ideal for grain salads and pilafs. Great substitute for rice, especially in curries, stir
      fries, and risottos. (Note that pearled barley is not whole grain.)
      Flavor Profile: Rich flavor with a mild sweetness. Pairs well with mushrooms, root vegetables, warm spices, and fall flavors
      (like apple).
      Gluten-free? No
      History: One of the oldest grains cultivated in the Fertile Crescent, barley (often cooked as a porridge or baked into a crude
      bread) was also one of the first grains eaten in the ancient cuisines of China and Egypt, and was an important source of
      nutrition during Greek and Roman times.
      Nutrition in 1 serving (¼ cup uncooked): 160 calories, 8g fiber (more than any other whole grain!), 6g protein. Excellent
      source of manganese, selenium, and thiamin. Good source of magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and niacin.
      Recipe Ideas:
      » Barley and Wild Rice Dressing with Fennel, Apples, and Marsala (Maria Speck, Simply Ancient Grains)
      » BBQ Baked Barley (Ann Taylor Pittman, Everyday Whole Grains)
      » French Onion Soup with Barley (Ann Taylor Pittman, Everyday Whole Grains)
      » Greek Inspired Fresh Artichokes with Barley and Tomatoes (Maria Speck, Simply Ancient Grains)
      » Pecan and Barley Burgers with Peach Ketchup (Robin Asbell, The Whole Grain Promise)
      » Crystalized Ginger and Barley Tea Bread (Robin Asbell, The New Whole Grains Cookbook)

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  • BUCKWHEAT
    Cook 1 cup dry grain with: 2 cups liquid (expands to 4 cups cooked grain)
    Cook Time: Bring to boil, then simmer 20 minutes
    Best Uses: To keep the grains from becoming too creamy, buckwheat is often coated with an egg (or other fat) before
    cooking. These pyramidal shaped grains work well in casseroles, and breakfast porridges. Buckwheat flour is quite versatile,
    adding richness to soba noodles, pancakes, and pastries. Flavor Profile: Robust and earthy. Pairs well with dried fruit, dark
    spices, beets, walnuts, and hazelnuts. Untoasted (raw) buckwheat groats have a much milder flavor than toasted buckwheat
    (kasha).
    Gluten-free? Yes
    History: Technically a pseudo-grain (it is not even related to wheat), buckwheat has a strong history in Asian and Eastern
    European cuisine because it can grow in cold climates. It is the grain of choice in traditional dishes around the globe, including French crepes, Russian blini, Japanese soba noodles, and Jewish kasha. Buckwheat is also a popular cover crop, restoring the soil between seasons of farming.
    Nutrition in 1 serving (¼ cup uncooked): 140 calories, 4g fiber, 5g protein. Excellent source of magnesium, copper, and
    manganese. Good source of phosphorus, riboflavin, and niacin.
    Recipe Ideas:
    » Chocolate Buckwheat Waffles with Juicy Berries (Ann Taylor Pittman, Everyday Whole Grains)
    » Cheesy Buckwheat with Kale and Mushrooms (Ann Taylor Pittman, Everyday Whole Grains)
    » Savory Kasha with Parsnips (Robin Asbell, The Whole Grain Promise)
    » Beet and Buckwheat Borscht with Parsley-Yogurt Garnish (Robin Asbell, The Whole Grain Promise)
    » Thai Buckwheat Larb (Ann Taylor Pittman, Everyday Whole Grains)
    » Buckwheat Gingerbread (Alice Medrich, Flavor Flours)
    » Buckwheat Butter Cookies (Claire Ptak, The Violet Bakery Cookbook)
  • Many people living with celiac disease can tolerate this whole grain, along with quinoa, amaranth, and sorghum. And it’s one of the best grain-based sources of magnesium, a wonder mineral that does everything from ease PMS symptoms to improve nerve functioning; and manganese, which boosts brain power. And thank goodness for that, because who doesn’t enjoy a good buckwheat pancake from time to time?

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  • BULGUR WHEAT
    Cook 1 cup dry grain with: 2 cups liquid (expands to 3 cups cooked grain)
    Cook Time: Bring to boil, then simmer 10–12 minutes (fine bulgur reconstitutes just by soaking)
    Best Uses: The fluffy, chewy texture makes it ideal for grain salads, sides, and pilafs. Great for adding substance to light
    dishes. It also is delicious served warm as a creamy breakfast porridge.
    Flavor Profile: Nutty, wheat flavor. Pairs well with parsley, tomatoes, cinnamon, and most fresh produce.
    Gluten-free? No
    History: Bulgur is wheat that’s been pre-cooked then cracked into smaller pieces (hence, the quick cooking time). In fact,
    some call it “ancient fast food.” Bulgur wheat has a rich history in Eastern Mediterranean cuisine, dating back to Egypt and
    the Ottoman Empire.
    Nutrition in 1 serving (¼ cup uncooked): 120 calories, 4g fiber, 4g protein. Excellent source of manganese. Good source
    of magnesium, phosphorus, and niacin.
    Recipe Ideas:
    » Overnight Peanut Butter Bulgur with Berries (Ann Taylor Pittman, Everyday Whole Grains)
    » Bulgur Pilaf with Fresh Tomatoes, Thick Yogurt, and Fried Onion Strings (Paula Wolfert, Mediterranean Grains and Greens)
    » Zeliha Gungoren’s Scallion Bulgur Pilaf with Golden Raisin Hoshaf (Paula Wolfert, Mediterranean Grains and Greens)
    » Mexican Stuffed Poblanos (Ann Taylor Pittman, Everyday Whole Grains)
    » Lamb Burgers with Bulgur and Mint (Maria Speck, Ancient Grains for Modern Meals)
    » Creamy Bulgur with Honey and Tahini (Maria Speck, Simply Ancient Grains)
  • For all practical purposes, bulgur is considered a whole grain, even though up to 5% of its bran may be removed during processing. It’s so good for you, though, we’re putting it on the list. The grain, which is used to make tabbouleh salad, is a great source of iron and magnesium. The fiber and protein powerhouse (a cup contains nearly 75% of the dietary fiber you need for the day, and 25% of the protein you should get) can be used in salads or tossed in soups. Plus it cooks in only a few minutes.

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Corn

  • Cook 1 cup dry whole grain cornmeal with: 4 cups liquid (expands to 2½ cups cooked grain)
    Cook Time: Bring to boil, then simmer 25–35 minutes
    Best Uses: Whole grain cornmeal is best suited for porridge or polenta style recipes. (Note: If it says degerminated, it’s not
    whole grain!) Great thickener for stews. Not well suited for grain salads or pilafs. Popcorn is also considered a whole grain
    (although fresh corn, such as corn on the cob, is not).
    Flavor Profile: Sweet taste. Pairs well with chiles, berries, stone fruit, aromatic spices, tomatoes, cumin, peppers, and beans.
    Gluten-free? Yes
    History: Corn is native to the Americas, and has a rich history in Aztec, Mayan, and Native American diets.
    Nutrition in 1 serving (¼ cup uncooked): 110 calories, 2g fiber, 2g protein. Good source of phosphorus,
    magnesium, manganese, selenium, and thiamin.
    Recipe Ideas:
    » Cornmeal Pancakes with Warm Cherry Sauce (Maria Speck, Ancient Grains for Modern Meals)
    » Orange Polentina with Honey Mascarpone Topping (Maria Speck, Ancient Grains for Modern Meals)
    » Sweet Corn and Zucchini Quiche with Cornmeal Crust (Ann Taylor Pittman, Everyday Whole Grains)
    » Whole Grain Cornbread (Ann Taylor Pittman, Everyday Whole Grains)
    » Savory Grits with Slow-Cooked Collard Greens (Bryant Terry, Afro-Vegan)
    » Rustic Fall Polenta with Fontina and Sun-Dried Tomatoes (Maria Speck, Ancient Grains for Modern Meals)
    » Almond Polenta Tart with Sherried Plum Compote (Maria Speck, Simply Ancient Grains)
  • Corn can be extremely healthy for you when it’s whole. A good source of B vitamins, magnesium, and phosphorus, whole corn is also thought to increase healthy gut flora, which can ward off diabetes, heart disease, and chronic inflammation. Yellow corn is also high in antioxidants….The easiest way to eat it? Popcorn. You can buy the kernels and pop them in a microwave using an ordinary paper bag, or do it the old-fashioned way on the stovetop.

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Couscous

  • Most of the couscous you see is a form of pasta made from refined wheat flour. So when you’re eyeing the aisle for the healthiest couscous pick, look for the whole-wheat kind, most easily found in natural food stores. Skipping the refined version and going with the whole-grain type will net you 5 additional grams of fiber per serving.

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Freekeh

  • This Arabic grain is a low-carb form of ancient wheat that has up to four timesmore fiber than brown rice. Freekeh kernels are harvested while they’re young and then roasted. They contain more vitamins and minerals, such as immune-boosting selenium, than other grains. Once in your stomach, freekeh acts as a prebiotic, stimulating the growth of healthy bacteria that aid digestion. (This is different than a probiotic, which is a beneficial live bacteria you consume). Look for it in Middle Eastern markets, natural food stores, and on Amazon.
  • FREEKEH GREEN WHEAT
    Cook 1 cup dry grain with: 2½ cups liquid (expands to about 2½ to 3 cups cooked grain)
    Cook Time: Bring to boil, then simmer 20–25 minutes (longer if not using cracked freekeh)
    Best Uses: The fluffy, chewy texture makes it ideal for grain salads, sides, and pilafs. Great for adding substance to light
    dishes. Flavorful grain base for meat dishes and other entrees.
    Flavor Profile: Signature smoky flavor. Pairs well with Middle Eastern flavors, especially cinnamon, tomatoes, lemon, and
    pine nuts.
    Gluten-free? No
    History: Found mostly in Middle Eastern and North African cuisine, freekeh wheat traces its roots back several thousand
    years to ancient Egypt and surrounding areas. Legend has it that freekeh was discovered when an ancient village in the
    Eastern Mediterranean hurriedly picked young wheat before an attack on their city. Attackers’ fires burned the young
    wheat, but the result was quite delicious.
    Nutrition in 1 serving (¼ cup uncooked): 160 calories, 6g fiber, 7g protein. Good source of iron.
    Recipe Ideas:
    » Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Freekeh (Jodi Moreno, Grains as Mains)
    » Kale and Freekeh Frittata (Ann Taylor Pittman, Everyday Whole Grains)
    » Roasted Cauliflower and Freekeh Salad (Gena Hamshaw, Food52 Vegan)
    » Freekeh with Chard and Roasted Carrots (Ann Taylor Pittman, Everyday Whole Grains)
    » Middle Eastern Freekeh Salad with Sesame Yogurt Dressing (Robin Asbell, The Whole Grain Promise)
    » Baked Chicken Freekeh Paella (Jodi Moreno, Grains as Mains)
    » Baked Moroccan Lamb Stew with Freekeh (Jodi Moreno, Grains as Mains)

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MILLET

  • Cook 1 cup dry grain with: 2½ cups liquid (expands to 4 cups fluffy, cooked grain)
    Cook Time: Bring to boil, then simmer 25–35 minutes
    Best Uses: Depending on how much liquid you use, millet can be prepared fluffy (for pilafs and grain salads), sticky (for
    croquettes and patties), or creamy (for warm porridge). Millet is also a delightful base for curries, stir fries, and pilafs. Best
    served warm.
    Flavor Profile: Buttery. Pairs well with mushrooms, herbs, warm spices, scallions, and squash.
    Gluten-free? Yes
    History: Millet is one of the leading staple grains of India, and was also used in ancient Chinese noodles before wheat was
    domesticated. Although common in birdseed in the US, nutritious millet is also important to the cuisines of South America,
    Russia, the Himalayas, and Africa.
    Nutrition in 1 serving (¼ cup uncooked): 190 calories, 4g fiber, 6g protein. Excellent source of manganese. Good source of
    magnesium, phosphorus, copper, thiamin, and niacin.
    Recipe Ideas:
    » Fresh Peach, Banana, and Warm Millet Smoothie (Bryant Terry, Afro-Vegan)
    » Millet and Sweet Potato Porridge (Bryant Terry, Afro-Vegan)
    » Orange Millet Scones (Sharon Palmer, Plant Powered for Life)
    » Creamy Curried Carrot-Millet Soup with Mint (Robin Asbell, The Whole Grain Promise)
    » Millet Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes (Robin Asbell, The New Whole Grains Cookbook)
    » Millet, Squash, and Sweet Corn Pilaf with Tamari Roasted Pumpkin Seeds (Amy Chaplin, At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen)
    » Dirty Millet (Bryant Terry, Afro-Vegan)
    » Lemony Millet Pudding with Caramelized Grapes (Maria Speck, Simply Ancient Grains)

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Oats

  • Oats are particularly rich in avenanthramide, an antioxidant that protects the heart. When you’re shopping for this whole grain, whether you see the word “whole” or not doesn’t matter the way it does with wheat products. Oats in the ingredients list mean the product is made from whole oats….But, if you are buying something like instant oatmeal, avoid those that contain high-fructose corn syrup. We suggest sticking to the good old-fashioned unsweetened kind and mixing in a little fruit or honey….Cook 1 cup dry steel cut oats with: 4 cups liquid (expands to 3 cups cooked grain)…Cook Time: Bring to boil, then simmer 30 minutes…Best Uses: Porridge or polenta style recipes. Steel cut oats can also be substituted for rice in risotto style recipes….Not well suited for grain salads or pilafs….Flavor Profile: Sweet toasty aroma with hints of butterscotch. Pairs well with cinnamon, dried and fresh fruit, thyme, mushrooms, walnuts, coffee, and coconut….Gluten-free? Yes. (Check for certified gluten-free oats, as oats are frequently cross contaminated with gluten during…growing and processing.)…History: Oats are the porridge of choice in Scotland, Ireland, and other northern European nations, as they grow best in…cool, rainy climates. Today, most oats are steamed and flattened to produced rolled oats, quick oats, or instant oats—but…all are whole grain, as the bran and germ are virtually always left intact. Oats have also been used in cosmetics for their…anti-itching properties….Nutrition in 1 serving (¼ cup uncooked): 150 calories, 4g fiber, 7g protein. Excellent source of phosphorous, manganese,and thiamin. Good source of iron, magnesium, zinc, and copper….
  • Recipe Ideas:

» Boil-and-Leave Steel Cut Oats (Robin Asbell, The Whole Grain Promise)
» Sprouted Lentil Granola with Apricots (Sharon Palmer, Plant Powered for Life)
» Dark Chocolate Muesli with Hazelnuts (Maria Speck, Ancient Grains for Modern Meals)
» Sweet Potato and Oat Cakes with Blue Cheese and Sage (Maria Speck, Simply Ancient Grains)
» Steel Cut Oats Risotto with Asparagus (Sharon Palmer, Plant Powered for Life)
» Chocolate Oat Agave Cookies (Claire Ptak, The Violet Bakery Cookbook)
» Pistachio Golden Raisin Cookies with Cardamom (Amy Chaplin, At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen)

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Quinoa

  • Though it’s technically a seed and not a grain, this ancient South American power food is packed with more protein than any other grain, and each uncooked cup of the stuff (about three servings) has 522 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids. Your family will likely enjoy its light, nutty flavor for a change of pace at the dinner table. And it keeps well, so makes an easy make-ahead lunch to pack to work or school.QUINOA
    Cook 1 cup dry grain with: 2 cups liquid (expands to 3 cups cooked grain)
    Cook Time: Bring to boil, then simmer 12–15 minutes
    Best Uses: Pleasantly firm chew even when served chilled, making it ideal for both warm and cold grain salads. Popular in
    sides and pilafs.
    Flavor Profile: Hints of grassiness. Pairs well with nearly anything, especially Latin American ingredients (corn, black beans,
    avocado, citrus, cilantro, peppers, & tomatoes). Be sure to rinse well before cooking, as quinoa has a bitter outer coating
    (saponin) that needs to be washed off.
    Gluten-free? Yes
    History: Technically a pseudo-grain (related to chard), quinoa was sacred to the Incas, and has been central to Bolivian and
    Peruvian diets for centuries. It’s primarily grown high up in the Andes mountains, but some US producers are starting to
    grow their own also. Quinoa is one of the few plant foods that serves up a complete protein, offering all essential amino
    acids in a healthy balance.
    Nutrition in 1 serving (¼ cup uncooked): 160 calories, 3g fiber, 6g protein. Excellent source of magnesium, phosphorus,
    and manganese. Good source of iron, copper, thiamin, and Vitamin B6.
    Recipe Ideas:
    » Quinoa, Hazelnut, and Cherry Granola (Claire Ptak, The Violet Bakery Cookbook)
    » Herbed Black Quinoa Muffins with Sweet Potato and Caramelized Onions (Amy Chaplin, At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen)
    » Quinoa Congee (Amy Chaplin, At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen)
    » Mushroom, Chard, and Quinoa Enchiladas (Gena Hamshaw, Food52 Vegan)
    » Grilled Scallops with Orange Scented Quinoa (Giada de Laurentiis, Giada’s Feel Good Food)
    » Cranberry, Orange, and Chocolate Quinoa Bars (Jodi Moreno, Grains as Mains)

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Rye

  • Rye has more nutrients per 100-calorie serving than any other whole grain, according to nutritional research from the nonprofit The Organic Center. It has four times more fiber than standard whole wheat and provides you with nearly 50% of your daily recommended amount of iron. The problem is, most rye and pumpernickel bread in grocery stores is made with refined flours. Be persistent and look for “whole rye” topping the ingredients list to get the healthy benefits.
  • RYE & TRITICALE (A WHEAT-RYE HYBRID)
    Cook 1 cup dry grain with: 4 cups liquid (expands to 3 cups cooked grain)
    Cook Time: After soaking overnight, bring to boil, then simmer 45–60 minutes.
    Best Uses: Rye berries & triticale berries can be used interchangeably with wheat berries in most recipes, and work
    especially well in pilafs, casseroles, and grain salads. Rye flour adds a distinct, rich flavor to baked goods, especially in
    yeast breasts. Rye flakes and rye grits work well in breakfast porridge or polenta style recipes.
    Flavor Profile: Rich and slightly tangy. Works well in Eastern European recipes, especially with cabbage, beets, mustard,
    raisins, and sweet and sour flavors.
    Gluten-free? No
    History: Because rye can grow in colder climates where many other grains can’t survive, it has a long tradition in the cuisines of Russia, Poland, Scandinavia, Argentina, Turkey, China, and Canada. Rye and wheat have long cross-bred in nature,
    but it wasn’t until 1937 that the mash-up called triticale became a fertile crop. Triticale grows easily without commercial
    fertilizers and pesticides.
    Nutrition in 1 serving rye (¼ cup uncooked): 140 calories, 6g fiber, 4g protein. Excellent source of manganese. Good
    source of magnesium, phosphorus, copper, selenium, and niacin.
    Recipe Ideas:
    » Sweet Potato, Coconut, Date, and Rye Muffins (Claire Ptak, The Violet Bakery Cookbook)
    » Oven Rye Porridge (Darra Goldstein, Fire and Ice: Classic Nordic Cooking)
    » Leek Salad with Grilled Halloumi Cheese and Rye Berries (Maria Speck, Ancient Grains for Modern Meals)
    » Flemish Beef Stew with Caramelized Onions and Rye (Maria Speck, Simply Ancient Grains)
    » Lamb, Toasted Rye Berry, and Apricot Tagine (Ann Taylor Pittman, Everyday Whole Grains)
    » Aroma Bread With Coriander and Fennnel (Maria Speck, Ancient Grains for Modern Meals)
    » Rye Chocolate Brownies (Claire Ptak, The Violet Bakery Cookbook)

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SORGHUM

  • Cook 1 cup dry grain with: 4 cups liquid (expands to 3 cups cooked grain)
    Cook Time: Bring to boil, then simmer 25–40 minutes
    Best Uses: Pleasantly firm chew makes it ideal for grain salads and pilafs. Its pearly shape makes it a great substitute for
    couscous. Can also be popped, like popcorn. Sorghum flour performs beautifully in pancakes, waffles, crepes, and cookies.
    Flavor Profile: Sweet taste, with hints of corn or wheat flavor. Pairs especially well with Southern ingredients, like ham,
    bourbon, pecans, peanuts, berries, dates, figs, banana, and warm spices.
    Gluten-free? Yes
    History: Sorghum (also called milo) is believed to have originated in Africa, where it remains an important cereal grain, even
    today. It is naturally drought tolerant, making it a smart choice for diners eating with their environmental footprint in mind.
    Traditionally, sorghum is used in porridges, flatbreads, and even beverages.
    Nutrition in 1 serving (¼ cup uncooked): 160 calories, 3g fiber, 5g protein. Excellent source of manganese. Good source of
    magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, and vitamin B6.
    Recipe Ideas:
    » Sorghum and Eggs Ranchero (Jodi Moreno, Grains as Mains)
    » Spring Vegetable and Sorghum Minestrone (Jodi Moreno, Grains as Mains)
    » Grilled Raddichio and Sorghum Pilaf (Ann Taylor Pittman, Everyday Whole Grains)
    » Milo Salad with Oregano, Feta Cheese, and Cucumbers (Jesse Cool, The Oldways Table)
    » Sorghum Ice Cream with Peanut Brittle (Alice Medrich, Flavor Flours)
    » Puffed Sorghum Salted Caramel Popcorn Balls (Jodi Moreno, Grains as Mains)

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TEFF

  • Cook 1 cup dry grain with: 3 cups liquid (expands to 2½ cups cooked grain)
    Cook Time: Bring to boil, then simmer 20 minutes
    Best Uses: Porridge or polenta style recipes. Great thickener for stews. Not well suited for grain salads or pilafs. Teff flour
    adds a rich, cocoa flavor to baked goods.
    Flavor Profile: Slightly sweet taste with undertones of cocoa and hazelnut. Pairs well with nuts, chocolate, seeds, pumpkin,
    and dark fruit.
    Gluten-free? Yes
    History: Teff is a tiny (less than 1mm) grain native to the Horn of Africa, where nomads could carry enough teff seed in their
    pocket to sow an entire field. In fact, its name may come from the Amharic word for “lost” because the seed is so tiny. Teff
    is most well known as the main ingredient in injera, the spongy flatbread that Ethiopians use in place of utensils.
    Nutrition in 1 serving (¼ cup uncooked): 180 calories, 4g fiber, 6g protein. Excellent source of magnesium, copper, and
    manganese. Good source of iron, phosphorus, zinc, thiamin, and vitamin B6.
    Recipe Ideas:
    » Teff Porridge with Dates, Figs, and Pistachios (Sharon Palmer, Plant Powered for Life)
    » Crispy Teff and Grit Cakes with Eggplant, Tomatoes, and Peanuts (Bryant Terry, Afro-Vegan)
    » Cajun-Spiced Shrimp on Creamy, Cheddar Teff (Ann Taylor Pittman, Everyday Whole Grains)
    » African Sweet Potato, Teff, and Greens Stew (Ann Taylor Pittman, Everyday Whole Grains)
    » Superfast Injera (Ann Taylor Pittman, Everyday Whole Grains)
    » Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprint Cookies (Ann Taylor Pittman, Everyday Whole Grains)
    » Bittersweet Teff Brownies (Alice Medrich, Flavor Flours)

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Whole Wheat

  • This one is pretty easy, as long as you don’t let food marketers trick you. It can be readily found in bread and pasta products, but make sure the label says “100% whole wheat.” Terms like “multigrain” and “wheat” don’t cut it. When you’re shopping for any whole-grain product, look at the ingredients and make sure the whole grain is at or near the top of the list. Each serving should contain at least 2 or 3 grams of fiber….WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR (INCLUDING KAMUT ®, SPELT & EINKORN FLOUR)…Best Uses: Whole wheat flour can be substituted for up to 50% of the all-purpose flour in a recipe without making adjustments. To convert a recipe to 100% whole wheat, add an extra 2 tsp liquid per cup of flour, then let the dough rest for 20…minutes after mixing. White whole wheat flour has a milder flavor and lighter color. Whole wheat pastry flour and sprouted…whole wheat flour are also good options for baking, while whole grain spelt flour is well suited for pasta and pastries….Flavor Profile: Hearty and slightly nutty. Pairs well with nearly everything, especially honey, chicken, squash, mushrooms,
  • cheese, and warm spices.
    Gluten-free? No
    History: Wheat is one of the earliest domesticated grains, and even today provides 19% of available calories. Breads (nearly
    always made from wheat) have been a mealtime staple for centuries, and whole wheat breads in particular were especially
    common before the advent of roller milling in the late 1800’s. Wheat was to the Mediterranean what rice was to Asia and
    corn was to Latin America.
    Nutrition in 1 serving (¼ cup flour): 100 calories, 3g fiber, 4g protein. Good source of magnesium, phosphorus, and
    thiamin.
    Recipe Ideas:
    » Prune, Oat, and Spelt Scones (Claire Ptak, The Violet Bakery Cookbook)
    » Whole Wheat Jalapeno Cheddar Scones (Leanne Brown, Good and Cheap)
    » Whole Wheat Molasses Yogurt Bread with Figs and Walnuts (Amanda Hesser, Food52 Baking)
    » Summer Spelt Almond Cake (Claire Ptak, The Violet Bakery Cookbook)
    » No-Knead ‘Stealth’ Bread (Robin Asbell, The Whole Grain Promise)
    » Kamut, Vanilla, and Chocolate Chip Cookies (Claire Ptak, The Violet Bakery Cookbook)
    » Almond Butter Brownies with Sea Salt (Amy Chaplin, At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen)
    » Easy Wheat and Olive Oil Tart Shell (Maria Speck, Ancient Grains for Modern Meals)
  • WHEAT BERRIES & ANCIENT WHEATS: EINKORN, EMMER/FARRO, KAMUT ®, & SPELT
    Cook 1 cup dry grain with: 2½–4 cups liquid (expands to 3 cups cooked grain)
    Cook Time: Bring to boil, then simmer 25–40 minutes (some sources recommend soaking overnight)
    Best Uses: Pleasant chew even when chilled, making it ideal for both warm and cold grain salads. Popular in sides and
    pilafs. Farro (also called emmer) is becoming popular in risotto (“farrotto”).
    Flavor Profile: Nutty and slightly sweet. Pairs well with nearly anything!
    Gluten-free? No
    History: These ancient strains of wheat were first domesticated along the Fertile Crescent, but were largely ignored after
    modern dwarf wheat became popular in the mid 20th century (with the advent of the Green Revolution). Einkorn is thought
    to be the most ancient of wheat varieties available today, with just two sets of chromosomes (instead of six, like modern
    wheat).
    Nutrition in 1 serving Kamut (¼ cup uncooked): 160 calories, 5g fiber, 7g protein. Excellent source of manganese,
    selenium, and thiamin. Good source of magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and copper.
    Recipe Ideas:
    » Crunchy Farro-Hemp Breakfast Bowl with Fresh Berries (Sharon Palmer, Plant Powered for Life)
    » Farro with Clementines and Yogurt Dressing (Robin Asbell, The Whole Grain Promise)
    » Chicken-Farro Salad (Andrew Weil, True Food)
    » Roasted Acorn and Delicata Squash Salad with Wheat Berries and Bitter Greens (Amy Chaplin, At Home in the Whole
    Food Kitchen)
    » Roasted Fall Vegetable and Cannellini Bean Stew with Spelt Berries and Kale (Amy Chaplin, At Home in the Whole Food
    Kitchen)
    » Herbed Spelt Berry Salad with Peas and Feta (Amy Chaplin, At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen)
    » Cinnamon-Soaked Wheat Berry Salad (Bryant Terry, Afro-Vegan)

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More Recceps

 


  • Simmering
  •  is gentle
  • boiling,[10] while in poaching the cooking liquid moves but scarcely bubbles….
  • A number of specific terms apply to methods of cooking with hot water. Scalding is accomplished in water heated to around 185 °F (85 °C), usually in a double
  • boiler, which conducts the heat of the water, contained in a bigger pan, to a smaller pan containing the food, thus avoiding contact between food and water. This technique is commonly used to prepare milk for breads and custards. At just above the scalding temperature, water begins to circulate visibly and to shiver; at this point, foods, notably eggs and fish, may be poached. At the simmering point, variously specified but generally approaching the
  • boiling temperature, the surface of the water breaks into small bubbles; simmering, in a covered or open pan, is commonly used to prepare soups, stews, and pot roasts. In blanching,
  • boiling water is poured over vegetables, fruits, or nutmeats in order to loosen the outer skin. Parblanching or parboiling consists in immersing the food in cold water and then bringing it slowly to a simmer or
  • boil….Steaming comprises two related techniques, both used primarily for the cooking of vegetables. In the first, the food is placed on a rack above a shallow portion of water, heated to the
  • boil, in a covered pan; this method is valued for its preservation of color, texture, flavor, and nutrients. The second technique, called pressure cooking, requires a tightly sealed, often latched, vessel, in which characteristically tough or long-cooking foods may be subjected to steam cooking under high pressure.
  • The classic New Englandboiled dinner, consisting of corned beef cooked with cabbage, carrots, potatoes, and onions, is traditionally boiled in the conventional manner but may be adapted readily to pressure cooking….This technique cooks food at a relatively high temperature―212 degrees is the boiling point for water at sea level.
  • Green vegetables
  • are tossed into
  • boiling water
  • to cook as quickly as possible so they
  • retain their flavor and bright color in a process called
  • blanching; if they
  • were
  • to simmer gently in a covered pot, their color
  • would dull, and they
  • would lose much of their texture.
  • Boiling is actually the least likely of the three
  • to be used for cooking.
  • That’s because

Braising…Braising is a hybrid cooking method. Foods are first browned in oil to caramelize the sugars and enhance flavor. Then, a small amount of liquid is added to the food, enough to generate moist heat but not enough to cover the food. The liquid is brought to a low simmer, roughly simmering or poaching temperature. A cover is added to the cooking pot. The steam builds inside. The food steams and poaches slowly, softening hard vegetables and tenderizing tough cuts of meat.Braising & Stewing…With braising, the item to be cooked is first seared or sautéed, then partially covered with liquid and simmered slowly at a relatively low temperature. Braising can be done on the stovetop, but it’s best done in the oven so that the heat will fully surround the pot, causing the food to cook more evenly than if it were only heated from below….Braising is a good technique for cooking tougher cuts of meat, such as those from older animals, or ones that naturally contain more connective tissues….These tissues are what can make these cuts of meat tough and chewy when improperly cooked. But the long, slow application of moist heat dissolves these tissues, with the result being a tender piece of meat….What’s more, as the connective tissues break down, they dissolve and form gelatin, which thickens the cooking liquid and gives it body and shine….Meanwhile, braising causes the muscle fibers to absorb moisture from the cooking liquid and steam. That gives you a juicy piece of meat. Braising also melds flavors from the stock, vegetables and any herbs and seasonings….Braising…Braising involves simmering large cuts of meat in a small amount of liquid in a covered dish. Keeping the braising dish covered traps moisture within and helps intensify the flavors. Liquids used for braising are often wine, stock, or the meat’s own juices….Braising & Stewing…With braising, the ite to be cooked is first seared or sautéed, then partially covered with liquid and simmered slowly at a relatively low temperature. Braising can be done on the stovetop, but it’s best done in the oven so that the heat will fully surround the pot, causing the food to cook more evenly than if it were only heated from below….Braising is a good technique for cooking tougher cuts of meat, such as those from older animals, or ones that naturally contain more connective tissues….These tissues are what can make these cuts of meat tough and chewy when improperly cooked. But the long, slow application of moist heat dissolves these tissues, with the result being a tender piece of meat….What’s more, as the connective tissues break down, they dissolve and form gelatin, which thickens the cooking liquid and gives it body and shine….Meanwhile, braising causes the muscle fibers to absorb moisture from the cooking liquid and steam. That gives you a juicy piece of meat. Braising also melds flavors from the stock, vegetables and any herbs and seasonings….Braising…Braising involves simmering large cuts of meat in a small amount of liquid in a covered dish. Keeping the braising dish covered traps moisture within and helps intensify the flavors. Liquids used for braising are often wine, stock, or the meat’s own juices….Stewing…If you were to cover the meat entirely, you would then be Stewing the meat. This produces a soup-like consistency and, obviously, is the preferred method for creating stews….Sous Vide…Sous Vide Chicken…Sous vide is a method of vacuum sealing food into plastic and then simmering the package in water to heat throughout. Sous vide is a relatively new method, developed in the 70s. The method removes the product from the external environment where it cooked in a way that retains its natural flavor….Sous vide is fast becoming very popular in the food industry, as this method of cooking creates a beautifully even cooking method at an exact temperature. While not for the beginner cook, it takes patience, investment, and know-how….Stewing…Stewing is similar to simmering in that the liquid is heated until it forms gentle, yet quickly moving bubbles. The difference between stewing and simmering is that stewing generally involves a much smaller amount of liquid that is retained and served with the food as a sauce. Stewing is great for softening tough cuts of meat or fibrous vegetables…

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Steaming…This means cooking your food in water vapour over boiling water….For this, it’s handy to have a steamer, which consists of a vessel with a perforated bottom placed on top of another containing water…. Steam rises as the water boils,cooking the food in the perforated vessel… above….teaming…Steaming…Steaming involves the transfer of heat through vaporized water or other liquids. This is by far the most gentle moist-heat cooking method. Because food is not allowed to steep in the hot water, steamed food retains more nutrients than food that is boiled or simmered. Pressure cookers utilize steam and pressure to increase the cooking temperature above the boiling point of water.Steaming involves the transfer of heat through vaporized water or other liquids. This is by far the most gentle moist-heat cooking method. Because food is not allowed to steep in the hot water, steamed food retains more nutrients than food that is boiled or simmered. Pressure cookers utilize steam and pressure to increase the cooking temperature above the boiling point of water…. Once water is heated past the 212°F mark, it stops being water and turns into steam. As far as physical agitation goes, steaming is very gentle, making it ideal for cooking seafood and other delicate items. It also has the advantage of cooking quickly while avoiding the loss of nutrients through leaching….Interestingly, steam’s maximum temperature is also 212°F, just like water. But unlike water, steam can be forced to exceed this natural temperature limit by pressurizing it. The higher the pressure, the hotter the steam becomes. Cooking with pressurized steam requires specialized equipment, though, so it’s not something that a home cook would typically use.Cooking methods in the culinary arts are divided into two categories:… Steaming…Steaming involves cooking food over a liquid that is heated to a temperature high enough to generate steam. Specially made steamers have holes in the bottom and sides that enable the cook to lift the food out of the water in the bottom of the pan. The lid of the pan traps the steam, creating a hot, moist environment, which cooks the food. Steaming is ideal not only for delicate foods like steamed breads, it also maintains the nutrition of vegetables, which can lose vitamins to the water in which they are cooked….Steaming allows you to reach a higher temperature with liquids by steaming them. It is defined by the steam released once the water reaches past 100C (212F). Food is in contact only with the steam produces from the boiling liquid. Steaming is a common method due to its fast cooking times, high heat and moist-heat cooking nature….Steam is also the cooking method that reduces the result of major losses of water-soluble vitamins….Steaming involves the transfer of heat through vaporized water or other liquids. This is by far the most gentle moist-heat cooking method. Because food is not allowed to steep in the hot water, steamed food retains more nutrients than food that is boiled or simmered. Pressure cookers utilize steam and pressure to increase the cooking temperature above the boiling point of water.

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Poaching…This involves a small amount of hot liquid, ideally at a temperature between 160 and 180F….The cooking liquid is normally water, but you can also use broth, stock, milk or juice….Common foods cooked by poaching include fish, eggs and fruit.,,,Partially or fully submerging food into water or another liquid that has reached 160 to 180 degrees F is called poaching. Water at this temperature is hotter than scalding but is not vigorously bubbling like boiling water. This allows for delicate foods to be cooked without being disrupted or damaged. Poaching is often used with eggs and fish, both of which would break apart if exposed to rapidly boiling water….Poaching…Poaching is the lowest dtemperature method, defined at between 71C – 82C (160F – 180F). This produces an environment that is calm enough for delicate foods, such as eggs. The water should show slight movement and no bubbles….Poaching refers to cooking food in liquid that has a temperature ranging from 140°F to 180°F. Poaching is typically reserved for cooking very delicate items like eggs and fish…. At poaching temperatures, the liquid won’t be bubbling at all, though small bubbles may form at the bottom of the pot.,,,Poaching…Poaching involves cooking foods in liquid heated to 160 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit. Bubbles don’t form in the liquid at that temperature, so poaching is suitable for delicate foods that would be damaged by the movement of the water were they to be boiled or simmered. Thus, poaching is suitable for eggs and delicate fish…Poaching…Partially or fully submerging food into water or another liquid that has reached 160 to 180 degrees F is called poaching. Water at this temperature is hotter than scalding but is not vigorously bubbling like boiling water. This allows for delicate foods to be cooked without being disrupted or damaged. Poaching is often used with eggs and fish, both of which would break apart if exposed to rapidly boiling water….

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Simmering…This involves cooking liquid on top of stove in a pot or pan. It should be carried out on a low heat, and you will see bubbles appearing on the surface of the liquid as your dish cooks…Simmering liquids are above 180 degrees F but not vigorously bubbling like boiling water. Simmering liquid has gentle bubbles that rise swiftly from the bottom of the pot. Simmering is a more gentle cooking method than boiling and is often used for long and slow cooking processes because there is less evaporation than with boiling. Tough meat, soups, and stews are often simmered over low heat for long periods of time.

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Pan Frying…Pan frying involves cooking an ingredient in a frying pan at medium-high heat. Pan-frying involves a bit more oil than usual as it helps prevent moisture releasing from the ingredient. As with sauteing, pan frying should be done in smaller batches to help retain the temperature of the pan and keep it consistent….An indication of an inferior pan is moisture leaking due to temperature falling. This can turn your pan fry into a moist heat cooking method that can ruin the intended result. Non-stick pans can be used here and are recommended for amateur cooks. —–Ensure that you are choosing a hard anodized non-stick surface as it can handle more abuse than your standard soft Teflon pan. I recommend Cook Standard for pan frying as I personally own a pair and they have held up fantastically to the abuse I put them through. They are incredibly inexpensive and are worth every penny. You can check them out on Amazon by clicking here.

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Sauteing…Sautéing involves very high heat and very little oil is us are added once the oil starts to smoke slightly. Less oil is needed because the high heat prevents moisture from escaping and as well as being safer from oil splattering and potentially causing a fire. Sauteing can be nerve-wracking due to the intense heat and sound of the product being cooked. Be sure to wear the appropriate clothing to avoid burns….It is not recommended to saute using Teflon or other non-stick pans. Using a multi-clad stainless steel fry pan is the proper tool for this job as it can tolerate high heat, will caramelize food beautifully, and can transfer to the oven seamlessly and can be deglazed without fear of warping. I recommend investing in a high-quality brand such as All-Clad. They have unmatched heat transfer, build quality and they are made in the USA. You can check it out on Amazon by clicking here.

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Dry…Dry heat cooking, such as roasting, broiling …Dry Heat Cooking Method…Dry-heat cooking methods are those that utilize air or fat. These are:…Broiling…Roasting…Grilling…Baking…Sauteing…Pan-frying…Deep-fat frying…Foods cooked using this method have a rich flavor due to the caramelization and browning of the foods….Dry-heat methods, with or without fat…Dry-heat cooking methods like stir-frying, pan-frying, deep-frying, and sautéing rely on fats and oil to act as the cooking medium….In dry-heat methods that don’t use fat—like grilling and roasting—food is cooked either by direct or indirect application of radiant heat. No liquid is used, and any fat that is added during the cooking process is intended to add flavor and not to act as a cooking medium. The end result is a highly flavored exterior and moist interior….Dry Heat Cooking…Dry heat cooking refers to any cooking technique where the heat is transferred to the food item without using any moisture. Dry-heat cooking typically involves high heat, with temperatures of 300 F or hotter. Baking or roasting in an oven is a dry heat method because it uses hot air to conduct the heat. Pan-searing a steak is considered dry-heat cooking because the heat transfer takes place through the hot metal of the pan. Note that the browning of food (including the process by which meat is browned, called the Maillard reaction) can only be achieved through dry-heat cooking. Examples of dry-heat methods include:…

Roasting…

Roasting…Roasting is basically a high heat form of baking, where your food gets drier and browner on the outside by initial exposure to a temperature of over 500F….This prevents most of the moisture being cooked out of the food….The temperature is then lowered to between 425 and 450F to cook through the meat or vegetables….Roasting/Baking…Roasting/Baking uses the air, or convection, to transfer heat to an ingredient. Your oven provides this cooking method and is used because of its highly-accurate temperatures and ability to cook evenly for longer controlled periods. Large items are usually cooked, or items requiring even cooking….The browning it provides is a desired effect of roasting and enhances the flavors of most foods. NOTE: Using a convection oven is a bit different than a conventional oven….A convection oven uses a fan to move the hot air around, promoting more even cooking and causing the product to be cooked faster. Because of the nature of a convection oven, there is a specific rule to follow….All standard recipes here assume you are using a conventional oven and the temperatures used to reflect that. If you are using a convection oven (And if you’re lucky enough to have one, use it!), reduce the temperature by 25F….TIP: Baking is exactly the same as roasting. The key difference is baking is only referred to as such in the bakery world….A proper roasting pan should be easy to clean and durable enough to handle various temperature changes. The roasting pan I use can be placed on the burner to help with deglazing and gravy making. I find this is a must-have feature. You can check out the pan on Amazon by clicking here.

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Baking…Baking…This involves applying a dry convection heat to your food in an enclosed environment. The dry heat involved in the baking process makes the outside of the food go brown, and keeps the moisture locked in. Baking is regularly used for cooking pastries, bread and desserts.

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Grilling…Grilling…This is a fast, dry and very hot way of cooking, where the food is placed under an intense radiant heat….You can use various sources of heat for grilling: wood burning, coals, gas flame, or electric heating….Before grilling, food can be marinaded or seasoned….A similar method to grilling is broiling, where the heat source originates from the top instead of the bottom….Grilling…Grilling is the favorite past-time of many men around the world and they all love to cook a nice ribeye or t-bone. This dry-heat method is desired for the flavor that is imparted from the rapid convection cooking….It is ideal for smaller cuts of meats and grilling requires an advanced and experienced cook to ensure proper cooking and the ability to not burn the product while producing perfect rarity on a consistent basis….Professional cooks and chefs use a cast iron grilling surface to do their grilling which provides that deep, noticeable grill-marking. It is much harder to do this with the coated stainless steel grill surface that comes with most barbeques today….If you are in the market for a good grill, look for one with a quality cast-iron grilling surface as that will indicate whether or not you’re buying quality or if you’re just buying brand and gimmicks.

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Broiling…Broiling…Similar to grilling, the heat source comes directly from the top….You should be able to adjust your oven setting to broiling, but be careful, as this cooking methods works quickly and your meal could easily become burned….Favourite dishes for broiling include chicken, beef and fish….Broiling…Broiling is similar and almost reverse to Grilling in that is uses radiant heat from an overhead source. Broiled foods are placed on a preheated metal grate and the heat above cooks the food while the grill below marks it.

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…Sautéing & Pan-Frying…Deep-Frying…How to Use Dry Heat Cooking Methods…Dry heat cooking boils (ha) down to cooking without moisture as the medium. For example, roasting is a dry heat cooking and so is grilling. When using high heat dry methods, be sure to watch the moisture content in your pan as that pan fry can easily turn into poaching. Use small batches to keep the heat up in your pan to avoid this.

 

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Combination…

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Blanching…Here the food is part-cooked, and then immediately submerged in ice cold water to stop the cooking process….All sorts of vegetables can be blanched, including green beans, asparagus and potatoes.

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Stewing…Again, the food is sauted or seared first, and then cooked in liquid, but normally uses smaller ingredients such as chopped meats or vegetables

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Blanching…Blanching involves dropping food into boiling water briefly and then immediately halting the cooking process by submerging the food into ice water. Blanching is used to loosen the skin on fruit and vegetables and to halt enzymatic action that causes fruit and vegetables to deteriorate. Fruit and vegetables are often blanched prior to freezing to maintain their color and freshness during storage…. Blanching…Blanching involves dropping food into boiling water briefly and then immediately halting the cooking process by submerging the food into ice water. Blanching is used to loosen the skin on fruit and vegetables and to halt enzymatic action that causes fruit and vegetables to deteriorate. Fruit and vegetables are often blanched prior to freezing to maintain their color and freshness during storage….

 

Deep Frying…Deep-fat frying or Deep Frying is another popular method of cooking. It means to cook in a large amount of hot fat. As odd as it sounds, deep frying is not considered a moist-heat method but rather a dry heat method. What separates deep frying from boiling is the temperature….Boiling water can never go above 100C (212F), while deep frying temperatures can be as high as 200C (400F). These high temperatures allow the product to be cooked faster and be browned.

 

Scalding…Water that has reached 150 degrees F is considered scalding. At this temperature, water will have bubbles attached to the side or bottom of its container that does not release or move as they do with simmering or boiling water. The scalding technique is sometimes used to help solids, such as sugar, flour, or chocolate, dissolve more easily into the liquid. Scalding was also used in the past to kill bacteria in milk before pasteurization was so prevalent.

Simmering…Simmering involves cooking food at a temperature just below a boil. The bubbles in the cooking liquid are not large and rolling like they are during a boil, but rather are small and break the surface of the liquid a few at a time. Simmering is appropriate for foods that are soft but not delicate. Vegetables like peas, corn and potatoes can be simmered. Sauces that would burn if boiled can also be simmered….Simmering is distinguished by cooking temperatures that are a bit hotter than with poaching—from 180°F to 205°F. Here we will see bubbles forming and gently rising to the surface of the water, but the water is not yet at a full rolling boil….Because it surrounds the food in water that stays at a fairly constant temperature, food that is simmered cooks very evenly. It’s the standard method for preparing stocks and soups, starchy items such as potatoes or pasta, and many others. One of the downsides to simmering is that vitamins and other nutrients can be leached out of the food and into the cooking liquid….Simmering…Commercial steam oven. Steam is a moist cooking method….Simmering is a common temperature range because it is the most balanced. It is defined at 85C – 96C (185F – 205F) and you will notice a simmering liquid by having small bubbles breaking through the surface of the liquid. It is great for promoting flavor release in stews, meats, and soups…Simmering…Simmering involves cooking food at a temperature just below a boil. The bubbles in the cooking liquid are not large and rolling like they are during a boil, but rather are small and break the surface of the liquid a few at a time. Simmering is appropriate for foods that are soft but not delicate. Vegetables like peas, corn and potatoes can be simmered. Sauces that would burn if boiled can also be simmered….Simmering is distinguished by cooking temperatures that are a bit hotter than with poaching—from 180°F to 205°F. Here we will see bubbles forming and gently drising to the surface of the water, but the water is not yet at a full rolling boil….Because it surrounds the food in water that stays at a fairly constant temperature, food that is simmered cooks very evenly. It’s the standard method for preparing stocks and soups, starchy items such as potatoes or pasta, and many others. One of the downsides to simmering is that vitamins and other nutrients can be leached out of the food and into the cooking liquid.

 

 

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Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Visions of Veganism—Milk

A second ingredient that I am learning to substitute now that we are trying to eat more “politically correct” is milk.

Typically it’s easy to replace the milk with another non-dairy milk at a one-for-one ratio….such as replacing 1 cup of dairy milk, with 1 cup of the fdollowing…

  • almond milk
  • coconut milk
  • hemp milk
  • oat milk
  • rice milk
  • soy milk

Most of these non-dairy milks also come in different flavors—such as plain, vanilla, and chocolate.

Three brands of non-dairy milk that are commonly availa ble are…

Finally, even though you can basically substitute the dairy milk asked for in a recipe with the same amount of almost any of these non-dairy milk, these are a few things to remember when choosing which non-dairy milk to use, tsuch as…

1.Choose the plain flavor for non-baking needs.

2.  Choose the milk that you use in the recipe based on the recipe that you are making…(or whatever you already have on hand)…For example, if you are making a baked good that contains nuts, use almond milk…If you are making anything rropical, use coconut milk.

3.  Coconut milk contains more fat than most other dairy-free milk and has a much richer taste, giving your recipes an actual coconut taste instead of being neutral….so only use coconut milk with foods that complement the coconut flavor …such as in a curry or some sort of tropical dessert.

4.  If the recipe only calls for a very small amount of milk, you can you use water instead.

5.  If you are using sweetened milk, you might need to use a little less sugar in the recipe.

6.  Make sure the the milk that you buy does not contain sweeteners….you can do this by either check ing the list of ingredients or look for products that have been specifically labeled as unsweetened.

7.  Soy milk and rice milk both have mild flavors that can be used with a variety of other ingredients….and is probably your best bet because it is so versatile.

8.  Soy or almond milk, that is both unflavored and unsweetened, is the best choice for soups, stews and sauces,

9.  Vanilla almond milk is great for most cupcake, cake, and cookie recipe.

Each of the different milk substitutes will have its own texture and taste…Keep trying different options until you find one that you love the most or the one that best suits your purpose.

Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Visions of Veganism—Butter

Butter is important in baking because it gives your foods color, flavor, and acts as an emulsifier.

Yet butter is one of those products that is looked down and frowned upon my vegans…

So what I am supposed to use instead so that I can make my sour cream pound cake where my vegan daughter can eat it also…after all this pound cake does call for two whole sticks of butter…definitely a Southern recipes, right?!

 

1.Applesauce…Applesauce can be used in baking…(more on this next post)…Applesauce can be usedf as alternative for butter. Applesauce makes your baked goods have a very  moist. texture.  Other “politically correct” options worth checking into include avocado and nut butter…(more on these later also)…

 

2. Coconut Butter or Margarine…These both can be used in recipes instead of butter. Neither of them contain cholesterol. Choose coconut  butte if you want your cookies, cakes, and so forth to have a  richer flavor, margarine adds a milder taste. Two goo options are Artisana Foods Coconut Butter and Earth Balance Soy Garden Buttery Spread..

 

3, Coconut Oil…Organic coconut oil often gets a bad rep, but if used in moderation this is a good alternative. Coconut oil usually works great  for nearly all baking needs as a substitute for butter.

.Coconut oil has a fairly mild, neutral flavor and is much more cost effective than most other vegan butter substitutes. When substituting coconut oil, you will want  to use the coconut oil as a solid at room temperature and substitute it cup for cup.

To use coconut oil as a substitute, replace the original ingredient amount with 3/4 coconut oil and 1/4 water. Mix the coconut oil and water together before adding to your recipe.

 

4, Homemade Vegan Butter…Trtue vegans that have enough,  if not perhaps too much,  time on their hands often try making their own homemade vegan butter This can be quite a time-consuming project though.

Non-Hydrogenated Butter Substitute….such as Earth Balance Buttery Sticks or a similar vegan butter substitute…

How many of us keep these products on hand on a regular basis…or else are also avoiding over-processed foods…or refuse to pay the extra money to buy these products.

 

5. Oil…Oil is typically not a good ingredient in baking recipes because it has low nutritional value and too many calories….but if the recipe the recipe that you are making does call for oil instead of butter, choose a “neutral” oil, such as rapeseed oil, so that the oil does not leave a strong, strange flavor.

You could also try EVVO…extra-virgin olive oil…but this will probably give your baked goods a funky taste.

 

6. Vegan Margarine…Margarine is another option for a butter substitute. You can find vegan margarines in almost all supermarkets these days…

Most vegan margarines are soy-based, but be careful because often these soy-based margaines contain whey, which is a dairy product and totally defeats your efforts in turning a recipe into a vegan recipe.

Margarine can also be bad for your health due to the hydrogenation….so bad that you would actually be better off using butter instead….if you’re going vegan primarily for health reasons and can do so without a “guilty conscience.”

Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Making the Perfect Amaranth Crackers

We have now only been talking about amaranth for how long?!

So by now we should have more than an inkling as to what amaranth is, why we should add amaranth to our diets, and how to use it.

So let’s go back over what we’ve learned so far…

 

 

 

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Review

The Whatamaranth is a tiny seed that comes from the flowers of the Amaranthus.

The Why…

  • Carbohydrates…contains less carbohydrates compared to grains like wheat
  • Gluten Free
  • Protein…contains more protein than any other gluten-free grain…In fact, one cup of raw amaranth contains 28.1 grams of protein, the equivalent of a chicken breast…the proteins found in amaranth are also easily digestible compared to other grain based proteins
  • Vitamins/Minerals…amaranth is rich in calcium, magnesium, and iron
  • Aramanth crackers are a great snack or appetizer, served with a perfect dip or hummus….as well as a great accompaniment for soups and salads.

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The Perfect Aramanth Crackers

The perfect amaranth crackers are crumbly and crunchy, not like cardboard like many whole grain crackers out there….light and crisp…have an awesome nutty flavor.……and contain the perfect amount of herbs and garlic, not to mention an awesome aroma.

Note that the following cracker recipe does not contain salt, nuts, eggs, or sugar…simply basics such as aramanth, spices, and basic baking ingredients.

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Basic Ingredients

  • 2C amaranth flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1Tbsp pepitas
  • 1Tbsp sunflower kernels
  • 2Tbsp olive oil
  • 2Tbsp honey
  • 1/3 cup water
Optional Toppings…your choice…but use 1Tbsp…

  • chia seeds
  • cumin
  • garlic
  • pepitas
  • rosemary
  • sesame seeds
  • sea salt
  • thyme

 

 

 

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Making the Dough

Getting Healthy

Making the Perfect Protein Bites

 

Getting adequate amounts of protein is important for all women, not only die-hard athletes.

Adequate protein is important for both appearance and long-term health, especially among active women….(okay, now find me one woman who is not active…usually we have more on our plate than one person could possibly handle, right)…

So why is protein so important…and why should we find ways to eat more protein at breakfast…and how…

  1. Protein can keep us, or help us get, skinny. Replacing calories consumed in carbs with calories containing protein contributes to a decrease in fat tissue.
  2. Protein can prevent damage to our cells caused by stress.
  3. Protein controls hunger all day. Eating a high-protein meal, such as Greek yogurt with fresh fruit, early in the day triggers a hormonal response that helps keep hunger at bay all day.
  4. Protein is good for your bones, especially important given the high risk of osteoperosis in women. Protein is vital to proper calcium absorption and bone growth.
  5. Protein is good for your hair. A well-balanced diet is important to keep your hair growing to its fullest. Protein deficiency can cause your hair to grow slowly or not at all.
  6. Protein is good for your muscles. Protein can help our bodies maintain and build muscle mass, important to women as we age. Drinking a protein shake or eating a high-protein snack after working out also helps promote muscle repair.
  7. Protein is good for your skin. Protein can help reduce aging and skin damage caused by the sun.
  8. Protein triggers thermogenesis, also known as a “faster metabolism,” and signals the body to burn more calories before, during, and after meals.
  9. Protein will keep you fuller longer. Eating foods high in protein makes you feel fuller sooner than foods classified as carbs or fat and helps controls appetite later on.

 

“Protein bites” are a great way to boost your energy levels and “recharge” your batteries throughout the day…plus they are super-easy to make…

 

(Simply combine the ingredients, chill for thirty minutes, and roll into 1″ balls, Store in airtight container in fridge, unless indicated otherwise…so this is why I’ve simply listed ingredients, instead of directions with each of the following “recipes.”)

 

 

 

 

1. Peanut Butter No-Bake Energy Bites

  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1 cup toasted coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

 

 

2.  Chocolate Protein Bite…(roll in cocoa after shaped)

  • 1 1/2C pitted dates
  • 1/2C rolled oats
  • 1/4C unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4C flaxseed meal
  • 1/4C chocolate protein powder
  • 2Tbsp honey
  • 1Tbsp espresso powder

 

 

 

3. Coconut Peanut Butter Bites

  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

 

 

4. Nutella Energy Bites

  • 1C old fashioned, rolled oats
  • ½C crispy rice cereal (or shredded coconut)
  • ½C Nutella
  • ¼C peanut butter
  • ½C ground flaxseed
  • ⅓C honey
  • 1Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • ½C chocolate chips

 

 

5. Pumpkin Energy Bites

  • 1C old fashioned oatmeal (uncooked)
  • 1/4C pure pumpkin puree
  • 1/2C wheat germ
  • 1/3C honey
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate morsels

 

 

6. Raw Cookie Dough Bites

  • 2C blanched almond flour
  • 1/2tsp baking soda
  • 1/4tsp sea salt
  • 1/4C coconut oil (solid but soft)
  • 1Tbsp honey
  • 2Tbsp almond butter
  • 2tsp vanilla
  • mini dark chocolate chips
  • stevia to taste, if additional sweetener is needed
Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Making Marvelous Muesli

So now that we know what muesli is…how do we make our own…and what do we do with it once we have it made?!
Making your own muesli is super easy and takes only about five minutes to go…a perfect combination of nuts, seeds, and oats that is perfectly healthy and perfectly filling.

 

 

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The Math

Making your own muesli is also more of a mathematical formula…than a method that must be mastered….a matter or proportions and personal preference…
Typically you will want to use about…
  • 4 cups grains
  • 1 1/2 cups nuts/seeds
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit

Start with a ratio of four parts grain + one part nuts/seeds + one part dried fruit.

Keep in mind that the more fruit you add, the sweeter it will be. The more nuts you throw in, the more expensive your grocery bill. Remember, also, that the grains will become soft when combined with milk or yogurt. Muesli with extra nuts will be overly crunchy; muesli with lots of fruit will be very chewy.

 

 

 

 

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The Grains

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Nuts/Seeds…1 cup

 

Nuts and seeds—such as…
  • Brazil nuts
  • cashews
  • chia seeds
  • coconut flakes
  • hazelnuts
  • macadamias
  • peanuts
  • pecans
  • pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • pistachios
  • poppy seeds
  • sesame seeds
  • sliced almonds
  • sunflower seeds
  • unsweetened coconut flakes.
  • walnuts

will give your muesli a delicious crunch,,,not to mention te fact that nuts and seeds will make your muesli even healthier because they contain omega-3 fatty acids and protein.

Choose any nut, seed, combination that you like…or omit them altogether if you’re allergic to them or simply don’t like them.

 

Before mixing your ingredients together, also take the time to toast your nuts in the same way that you do your grain. This will not only give the nuts a little extra crunch, but also make them more flavorful.

Don’t add oil or any other liquid to the pan when toasting your grains and nuts. Toasting the nuts release their oils, so anything added will make your muesli taste a little greasy.

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The Fruit…1C

 

The third ingredientw that you will want to add to your muesli—now that you have stirred together your grains and nuts/seeds, is/are fruit(2)…Dried fruit will add both sweetness and chewiness to your muesli.

This can be any fruit that you like…as long as it’s dried and not fresh. Adding fresh fruit will make your muesli too soft and cause it turn bad much more quickly.

There are no set-in-stone rules as far as what fruits to add…simply choose whatever fruits that you and your family like.

A few ideas as far as what fruits you could add…as long as they are dried or dehydrated…are…

  • apple chips
  • apricots
  • bananas
  • blueberries
  • cherries
  • cranberries
  • currants
  • dates.
  • figs
  • mango
  • papaya
  • raisins
  • strawberries

Here are a few things to remember…as far as adding fruit to your muesli…

  • Add only enough d  to make your granola taaste seweter…but nout so much that your granola is too sweedt.
  • Avoid dried fruit that contains added sugar.
  • Chop up your dried fruit into bite-sized pieces before adding to your muesli.
  • Do not add any additional sugar to your muesli. You shouldn’t need it…and as we already know…it’s not good for you.
  • Experiment until you find the “perfect” recipe.Avoid dried fruit that contains added sugar.
  • Make sure that any dried fruit that you use does not contain dded sugar.
  • Save fresh fruit for when you actually get ready to eat your muesli.

 

 

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 The Spices

If you would like your muesli to have even more of a taste that your family will enjoy, feel free to add spices.  Spice (that are often used to make your muesli more flavorful include cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, and ginger,

Store a cinnamon stick, a few whole cloves, or a vnanilla bean with your muesli to infuse different flavors.

 

 

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Stirring Your Muesli

Now that you have put all of your “stuff” into a container, put the lid on the container and shake until everything is combined.

 

 

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Storing Your Muesli

Store the muesli in an airtight glass jar or plastic container. Your muesli will stay good for  up to two months as long as it stays dry.

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Serving Your Muesli

 

The easiest way to enjoy your muesli is to add milk or stir it into some yogurt.  Waiting for about ten minutes to half an hour before eating it will soften up the grains a little.

You could also soak your muesli in milk overnight….at a 1:1 ratio. To make overnight oats, combine 2/3C muesli wotj 23C milk in a small lidded container. Refrigerate overnight. Enjoy cold in the morning.

A third option is to heating your muesli in the microwave before serving.

 

Soaking or cooking your muesli will break down the oats, making them easier to chew and digest…and making the muesli more nutritious becsuse the nutrients—such as the fiber, healthy fats, antioxidants. vitamins, protein, omega 3 and minerals found in muesli—are more easily absorbed by your body.

Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Muesli…The What

Breakfast of Champions?!

Yeah right…

It’s gonna take way more than a bowl or two of cereal to make anyone a “champion”—things such as self-discipline, determination, and experience…

But this is not a motivational blohg…and I am by no means a motivational speaker…

I am simply a wife and mother is who is trying to make better choices and learn as much as she can in order to take care of her type 2 diabetic husband and ADHD/ODD grandson.

So let’s look at how grains can play an important role in breakfast…how breakfast itself can contribute to the self-discipline, determination, and experience that we are all trying to gather during the course of the day ahead.

First of all, let’s look at meusli…later we will look at granola and oatmeal and see how they differ from each other…and look at a few recipes that caan help us make our mornings more perfect.

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Muesli—The Story Behind It

But in this post…I am gonna talk about what meusie ls…and where it originated.

People have realized two things that anyone striving to live a healthier lifestyle eventually learn…

  1. Food is medicine.
  2. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
  3. Mornings totally suck.

In fact someone back around the year 1900 realized these facts so much that he created muesli as a way to control the madness.

This someone was a Swiss physician named Maximilian Bircher-Benner as a dietary supplement for his patients. His was already feeding his hospital patient—long-term patients who were chronically ill—s a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables as part of their treatment, but he created

After creating the following recipes, he began prescribing this mixture as if were medicine.

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The Recipe

The original Bircher-Benner recipe consisted of the following ingredients:…

  • Apples…two or three small apples or one large one….the whole apple…including skin, core, and pits
  • Nuts…more specifically 1Tbsp walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts
  • Rolled oats…1Tbsp…that have been soaked in 3Tbsp  water for 12 hours
  • Lemon juice from half a lemon
  • Cream or honey or sweetened condensed milk…1Tbsp
  • Intructions…Mix the cream with the soaked oats and lemon juice. Grate the apple and then stir it into the mixture.

But there are many ways that you can make your morning muesli more exciting—by making things such as bread and cookies….But let’s next learn the difference between muesli and granola…

Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Making the Perfect Coffee Cake

Coffee cake is great for breakfast…or lunch…or dinner…or any time in between…along with a perfect cup of coffee…(next post—Making the Perfect Cup of Coffee…go figure(?!))…

 

 

The perfect coffee cake is moist and tender…with a perfect gooey middle layer of dark cinnamon filling…and a crumbly streusel topping.….with lots and lots of crumbs.

 

This is a simple and quick recipe for a delicious, homemade coffee cake made from scratch…and best of all, you probably already have all the ingredients in your pantry or fridge…that will be great for making ahead of time and serving for a special brunch or holiday breakfast.

By the way, I used to hate it when I was growing up and my mom would make a cake…saying that it would taste better tomorrow…dang it..I didn’t want to wait until tomorrow…I wanted a piece right then and there…

Same with this coffee cake…I want it as hot as my coffee…straight out of the oven.

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Prep Work

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Grease and flour 9″ springform or Bundt pan.

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Making the Streusel

  • 1/2C flour
  • 1/4C brown sugar
  • 1-1/2tsp cinnamon
  • 3Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 3/4C chopped walnuts, optional

Combine flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. Note that making your streusel by hand will help make the streusel crunchier.

Cut in butter with a whisk.

Pinch together with your fingers until it forms a crumble.

 

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Making the Cake

  • 2 eggs
  • 2tsp vanilla
  • 1C sour cream
  • 1-1/4C milk
  • 1C sugar
  • 2C flour
  • 1-1/4tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

     

Mix together your wet ingredients—eggs, vanilla, sour cream, and milk.

 

Mix together your dry ingredients—the sugar, flour, baking powder and salt.

Combine the two mixtures. Mix until the batter is smooth, fluffy, and resembles frosting, about two minutes.

Spoon half the batter into the prepared pan.

Sprinkle half of the streusel mixture…about three cups… evenly over batter.

Top with remaining batter.

Spread evenly using a spatula.

Sprinkle the rest of the streusel evenly over the top of the cake..

 

 

 

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Baking Your Coffee Cake

Bake at 350 for about an hour…or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Let cool on a wire rack for at least thirty minutes before carefully transferring the cake, streusel side up, onto a serving plate. 

Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Amaranth…The How

 

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Now What?!

So now that we have all run to the store and grabbed the biggest bag of amaranth that we could find, you could simply boil the amaranth and eat it plain…but what’s the fun in that?!

What else can we do with amaranth?

You will find that the nutty and toasted flavor of amaranth also works well in many dishes…including breads, muffins, soups…

So let’s get boiling mad in the kitchen and start letting off some steam together…