December 2, 2008
The recipe as is makes 4 servings, so I doubled it last time and then put a bag of soup in my freezer.
The Creamy Way (your veggies can be cubed pretty large)
1 Turnip, peeled and cubed
3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 carrot, cut in chunks
1 celery stick, cut in pieces, leave the greens on
1 small onion, quartered
2 Tb tomato paste or 1 large tomato
2 tsp salt
5 Cups water
1 Tb vegetable bouillon
Pepper to taste
Put all ingredients in a pot, bring to boil, reduce to simmer and cook until veggies are soft about 45 min. DO NOT drain. Blend in blender.
The Chunky Way (as the picture shows)
My husband much prefers chunky soup, so I cut my veggies smaller, then I cooked it the same. Instead of blenderizing all of the soup I only put about half in the blender, lightly pureed it then added it back in.
This was delicious with homemade rolls. My girls loved it!
So here goes our favorite healthy whole wheat rolls. To get it to fit in my KitchenAid I halve the recipe.
Note: These were quick to about an hour total.
Mix and rest 15 min:
3 1/2 cups warm water
3/4 c sucanat or 1/2 c honey
1 cup Olive oil
6 Tb Yeast
1 Tb salt
10 1/2 c whole wheat flour
3 eggs (or energy egg replacer or 3 Tb ground flax mixed with 3/4 cup water)
3 Tb vital wheat gluten or you can use Dough Enhancer
Knead for about 5 minutes. Shape into rolls, cover and let rise until double (30min-1 hour). Bake 425' for 10-12 minutes.
One more thing- I used this recipe to make cinnamon rolls and they were good as well.
**** a few notes about eggs*** after reading books like 'The Omnivore's Dilemma" and then realizing there was no way we could raise our own healthy chickens, my husband an I did some research; This is where our opinion now stands... after doing some reading and then taste testing we have decided that buying Cage-free eggs really does make a difference. We are able to get a dozen cage-free brown eggs at Sam's club for about $2.20. We don't eat very many eggs maybe about 18 a month, but I do believe a small amount of eggs are good for us when used sparingly.
November 17, 2008
I usually complain that whole wheat muffins are too dry, these are anything but. They are super moist.
Apparently the real secret to the muffins is the "secret caramel nut topping"; out of laziness I didn't do it and the muffins were still great!
10 TB butter (I used some butter and some coconut oil- the coconut gives great flavor)
1 1/4 cup honey (I used about 3/4 C Sucanat and 1/2 c Honey)
1 Tb Vanilla
Add and blend until creamy:
1 1/2 Tb Baking Powder
1/2 Tb Salt
1 1/3 C Whole Wheat Flour
Add and stir until lumpy:
2 cups each, rice milk and whole wheat flour
Fold in one of the variations below:
Blueberry or Raspberry: 1 cup fresh or frozen
Pumpkin Carob Chip: Substitute 1 cup pumpkin for 1/2 c milk; add 1/2 Tb cinnamon, 1 tsp cloves, and 1 cup carob chips
Lemon Poppy Seed: substitute 1/2 c lemon juice for 1/2 c milk, add 1 Tb poppy seeds
Carrot Raisin: substitute 1 c grated carrots for 1/2 milk, add 1/2 c raisins
Banana Nut: substitute 1 c mashed banana for 1/2 c milk, add 1/2 c chopped nuts
Zucchini: substitute 1 c grated zucchini for 1/2 c milk, add 1/2 c chopped nuts
Pour into greased muffin tins. (I filled them 2/3 thinking they would rise, but they didn't so go ahead and fill them) It makes about 2 dozen. Sprinkle warm "secret caramel nut topping" over each.
Bake 350' for 12 minutes, then turn down oven to 250' and bake 12-14 minutes more. When they are just firm to the touch they are done.
"Secret Caramel Nut Topping"
Saute until bubbly:
4 Tb butter
1/2 c honey
Add and simmer 1 minute:
1 cup chopped nuts
1 Tb cinnamon
Spoon warm nut topping over muffins before baking.
As I said, they didn't rise like I expected, but they were so moist and sweet, that I didn;t mind. Next time I am going to try the lemon poppy seed variation.
November 12, 2008
(I would also like to try adding some grated carrot or other squash)
1 cup honey
1/3 c oil + 1/3 c applesauce
1 (16 oz) can pureed pumpkin
2/3 c water
3 1/3 c whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp each of cinnamon and ground cloves
Chopped nuts and chopped prunes (the prunes look and feel like chocolate chips)
Cream honey and eggs. Add other wet ingredients. Add dry stuff and mix well. Bake in 350 oven for 1 hour in greased bread pans. Small pans take about 45 minutes.
Same as above, only substitute 3 cups of zucchini for pumpkin and add 2 tsp. vanilla.
Same as above, only substitute 3-4 mashed bananas for pumpkin.
November 8, 2008
A garden is the best way to get fresh fruits and vegetables economically. Plus it allows you to know exactly how they were produced and the level of chemicals used. I recently discovered a great book called Four Seasons Harvest. The author, Eliot Coleman, lives in main so I know his tips should work in my cold climate. I hope to get someone to help me build some of the cold frames.... However, in all honesty I am not a very good Gardner. I am working on it and get a little better every year. This year I actually got at least one of everything that I planted (with the exception of Butternut squash, I just couldn't save them from the silly snails).
What is the alternative for those of us that aren't great gardners? A CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), which provides a mutually beneficial arrangement between farmers and consumers. People join by purchasing a "share" of produce pre-season, then pick up their weekly produce from a central drop point in their area during the harvest season.
CSA Benefits for the farmer? When signing up, you dedicate yourself to being a customer for the season, providing the farmer a secure market. CSAs enable farms to share the risk and abundance of producing food with the consumer, resulting in a more direct and rewarding link between farmer and community. (Payment in the Spring also provides cash to the farmer when it is needed most. )
CSA Benefits for the shareholder? No more guessing where your food comes from! Members receive a weekly supply of diverse produce with "the farmer’s face on it." You can talk with the farmer, and many offer opportunities to visit the farms. Your produce is harvested and delivered directly to you, generally via a drop–off point, ensuring the freshest produce with a high nutritional value. You also get the satisfaction of knowing you are supporting a local farm. I found the ones in my area by going to http://www.slowfoodusa.org/ then clicking on my state and following the links. I found out about these too late to be able to join last year, but I am already working on which I will join for next year. The cost was a little daunting to me to start with, so I broke it down and started setting aside some money so this year I will have enough saved to be able to pay for my share up front. Then I can save what I would have spent on produce to be able to pay for next years share. Where I am, the CSA's generally go from June-October, some areas may be longer or shorter depending on the growing season.
Farmers Markets are another great alternative. I followed the same links to find out about the farmers markets in my area. However, the early bird gets the worm at most Farmers Markets. I am not an early bird so I didn't fare very well. Hopefully I will improve at that as well.
Food Co-ops are another great way to get your food. I have friends that have found amazing food co-ops in their areas, Here we only have one and it isn't as nice as the others I have heard about, but still better than nothings. Food co-ops work like this, a group of people get together to order in bulk and share the work and the benefits of bulk buying. You can find local co-ops through the same link above.
What if there aren't any co-ops in your area? See if you can start your own. Start talking to everyone you know. See if they would be interested in splitting large orders of things. You can buy a 50 pound bag of flax seed for much cheaper than buying it in single pound bags. Then divide it up. I have ordered from a few different companies locally, but I think my new favorite is Azure Standard. They have an amazing selection and really reasonable shipping if you are willing to meet the truck at their drop point. In my area, if our order is over $200 then shipping is only $5. I have had no problem finding $200 worth of food that I want, and it is even easier if you have a group that wants to split a few items. I am ordering bulk grains and beans, as well as seasonings this month. I hope to start ordering from them every other month or so. They have specials every month as well. Ordering is very simple, you can do it by phone or online. I personally hate using the phone so I use the online method. It was very simple and they also allow you to change your order up until a few days before it ships. They ship on a rotating schedule so that each delivery area gets one delivery a month. They deliver to the following states Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. I think they will ship UPS to areas they don't drive to.
There are several other companies you can order through. If you start asking around, you will be surprised how many people might be interested in sharing bulk items. As you start to ask around you will find others who are interested in the same type of orders. They will let you know about deals they have found and it will start to snowball. I started asking around in August, and I have already started to find a network of people who are interested in sharing bulk buys. We have bought Honey, Almonds, Agave nectar and several different grains and legumes to share this way.
Buying in bulk may be intimidating at first, but once you start it is a wonderful way to always have a wide variety of grains and other items on hand at a more affordable price. Sharing with others allows you to try new things and find out what your family loves, and what they don't love so much... Sharing also increases your resources for new recipes and tips from the people you share with.
I hope this helps someone. If you have any questions, be sure to ask and I will answer as best I can!
November 5, 2008
(Makes on 9x13) (I actually halved the original recipe, so you could easily double it and freeze one for later.)
1 Pkg. whole wheat lasagna noodles
Mock Ricotta Filling:
1 (10 oz) box Firm Tofu
1 Tb olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 Tb. Parmesan Cheese (I like buying the grateable kind, it has much better flavor and you can use less)
1 Tb. Parsley Flakes
1 cloves garlic, crushed (I actually just sprinkled in powder)
2 Tb. olive oil
2-3 cups grated Zucchini
1 cup fresh or frozen Spinach (if you use frozen, thaw a little)
1 tsp Basil
1 tsp Oregano
1/4 tsp Paprika
1/4 tsp. salt and pepper
2 cans (15 oz) diced tomatoes
1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
Cook only 1/3 of your noodles (so probably 4) for the top layer of lasagna, leave the rest uncooked. (Sounds weird but worked great). Layer ingredients in lasagna pan. First put about 1/4 cup of tomato paste on the bottom. Then place a layer of noodles (3), then veggie filling, then Ricotta filling and repeat.. Top with a layer of noodles (the ones that are already cooked), some tomato sauce sprinkled over with a few tablespoons of Parmesan cheese and Parsley flakes. Bake covered at 375' for 50-60 minutes, uncover and bake 5 more minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.
If you have never used Tofu, give it a try. It takes on the flavor of whatever you are making so it works well in a lot of things. It is a healthier alternative to cheese in this recipe.
October 24, 2008
Warm whole grain tortillas (just buy these, it took me a lot of practice to make them well)
Sweet Lime Cilantro Rice
1 head romaine lettuce or salad greens, shredded
Creamy Tomatillo Dressing
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups brown rice
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tb. each of lime juice, Vegenaise and honey
1 Tb. Cilantro
Stir ingredients in rice cooker, press on. Or cook on stove for 45 minutes or until tender.
2 cups dry black beans
5 cups water
1/2 Tb salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 onion diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 Tb Cumin
Pre- soak black beans according to package, then rinse them, add the rest of the ingredients and simmer 3-4 hours until tender.
Black Beans (QUICK)
2 cans black beans, drained
1 cup tomato salsa or stewed tomatoes
1 Tb Cumin
Warm and serve.
Guacamole (our favorite way)
1-2 ripe avocados, mashed
salt, pepper to taste
1-2 Tb. lemon juice or lime juice
Mix and enjoy.
Slice corn tortillas in 1/3" strips and cut in half lengthwise. Spread thinly on cookie sheet and toast in 350 degree oven 10-12 minutes. Serve (they keep well in Ziploc for a few weeks)
Creamy Tomatillo Dressing
If you really like this dressing, make the whole batch and use it on other salads and in Shrimp Tacos.
1 cup ranch dressing (3 cups Vegenaise, 1 lemon squeezed, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 Tb parsley)
1 (12 ounce) can Tomatillos drained, then pureed (found with Mexican food, look like green tomatoes)
1/2 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
1/4 tsp cayenne or hot pepper sauce
Measure ingredients into a large liquid measuring cup. Blend with hand blender and enjoy.
I use this dressing for a lot of things as well as the extra Ranch, so it's worth making the 3 cups of Ranch first.
Vegenaise- this is also referred to as healthy mayo, it looks and tastes a lot like mayo, but way healthier. It is found in the health food section in the cooler, by like the Tofu and soy cheeses and comes in a jar. The jars are great for storing the extra dressing in.
September 30, 2008
Preheat oven to 400
September 25, 2008
3 tb. dry yeast
1/2 tb. honey
1/2 tsp. salt
4-5 c whole wheat flour
(I actually halved this and made 5 Calzones instead of 8-10)
Combine water, yeast and honey and let sit for 5-10 min. (it will bubble up) Add salt and flour and knead for 5 minutes. Divide into 8 balls and roll out onto floured surface into individual pizza size crusts, fill, fold over and let rise 15 minutes. Bake 475 for 12 minutes.
2 cups mushrooms
1 (6oz) can olives
1 green pepper, finely diced
optional: chunks of ham or chicken
optional: grated parmesan
Saute veggies all together in a little olive oil, I then added some chopped fresh roma tomatoes.
(we actually used leftover canned spaghetti sauce)
1 (4oz) can tomato paste
1 (6oz) can tomato sauce
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp onion powder
salt to taste
(I halved it and it was enough for 3 Calzones)
3 cups water
1/2 c wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tb Vegenaise
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
Whisk together on stove over medium heat.
September 13, 2008
I first made a pan of chocolate cake. Then after it cooled we cut it into squares and layered it with coconut whipped creme and raspberries then a layer of cake and then berries and creme. It was amazingly good!
1 t. baking soda
1 c. Sucanat
1/2 t. sea salt
5 T. coconut oil
1 T. white vinegar
1 T. vanilla
1 cup cold water
Put your flour into mixing bowl, add carob, baking soda, sugar and salt and mix well.Make three deep holes in the dry mixture. Into one, pour the oil, into the next, pour the vinegar, into the next, pour the vanilla.Pour the water into the bowl, over all of this.Mix the wet and dry ingredients together until there aren't any more lumps and pour into a 9x9 inch baking pan.Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, test with fork.Can also be made into cupcakes, bake for 15 minutes.
September 2, 2008
5-6 cups of whole wheat flour
2 T yeast (I used regular old fashioned active dry yeast, but I'm sure any would do)
1/3 cup powdered milk
2 cups warm water (or substitute 2c. rice milk, soy milk or whatever for the water and pwd milk)
1/4 c oil
2 T honey
2 t salt
2 T dough enhancer
Mix the yeast, liquid and 3 cups of flour together. Dump everything else in and knead 10 minutes, or until gluten is well developed. The dough should just clean the sides of the bowl, but still be a little tacky to the touch. Let rise until double.
Form into buns. I made balls and flattened them. Preheat oven to 350. Let dough rise about 20 minutes then place in hot oven and bake 18-20 minutes.
This recipe made 13 good size buns. They held together beautifully and we nice and soft.
August 20, 2008
I came up with a recipe that meets our criteria.
They are made from whole foods.
They stick together and can be eaten on the go.
They taste great! In fact your kids will probably just call them cookies.
And they are simple to make. Really, they are.
Cinnamon Raisin Granola Bars
1/3c brown sugar
1/4 c room temp. butter, unsalted
1 medium egg
1 t. vanilla
1 1/4 c old fashioned rolled oats
1/4 c whole wheat flour
1/3 c bran (wheat or oat, whatever you have on hand)
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 c flax seed, ground
3/4 c raisins
1 T boiling water
Place raisins in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Cover and let steam.
Preheat oven to 350
Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla and cream until light and fluffy.
Combine dry ingredients.
Add dry ingredients and raisins, including any water left in the bowl, to wet ingredients. Stir until blended.
Form into balls, press together firmly. Place on lined baking sheet. Flatten balls slightly with wet fingers (it will help to keep it from stinking to your fingers)
Bake 14 minutes. Let cool on sheet. Transfer to airtight container, if there are any left.
The first night they were a little crumbly and crisp, the next day they were soft and moist and held together perfectly. These are more on the chewy side, I am not a huge fan of super crispy granola bars and neither are my kids but these are great. So much healthier than the granola bars from the store, cheaper, and tastier too.
I had so much success with the first batch I decided to try another flavor
Apricot Almond Granola Bars
Just a few changes:
Omit the water and raisins. Cut up 1/2 c dried apricots in small chunks.
Omit the Bran instead pulverize 1/4 c almonds into flour like consistency.
Add 1/4 t almond extract (more to taste)
Add 1/4 c toasted almonds, coarsely chopped
Then proceed with the recipe above.
I am sure you can think of endless varieties. I can't wait to try them with some sesame seeds, dried cranberries, etc.
August 17, 2008
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Leaf Lettuce (Romaine, Green)
All year: (These are mainly imported so we can get them all year)
So, is it possible to make you own? We tried, and well, we are going to try it again.
Granola Bar Recipe #1 - Kind of like a sweet bread but a bar. It was dense but yummy because we added chocolate chips. It fell apart when we cut it into bars the first day we made it, it was easier to cut the second day, but we still wouldn't give it to our kids inside the house or car.
Granola Bar Recipe #2 This one was lighter than #1, but fell apart just the same. With fruit inside it would have been just like a nutrigrain bar (w/out the nasty aftertaste). But the not staying together part was not working for us.
Granola Bar Recipe #3 Recipe adapted from Alton Brown's Granola Bars. This was more traditional granola made into a bar. This one stuck together better, still not what we would expect of a treat that is supposed to be portable. It had fruit and nuts and oats and a carmel type sauce that helped it stick together. Cutting it proved to be difficult because it had a mind of its own.
Granola Bar Recipe #4 Honey Almond Granola Bars. This recipe tasted really good. It had no sugar - just honey and was not too sweet. Broke apart though when we tried to cut it into bars.
Granola Bar Recipe #5 Oatmeal Cookie Granola Bars. This was a recipe for regular granola that said to press it into a pan before baking to make it into granola bars. It turned back into granola after I tried to cut it. It tasted just like an oatmeal cookie.
So every recipe had the same basic problem: Falls apart too easily. Could never feed it to the kids because of the mess it would make.
August 16, 2008
Homemade Baby Food
Start with single pureed fruits and vegetables
Buy Frozen, then thaw, then blend with a little liquid (formula, water or breast milk)
Buy Fresh, Steam or Boil, then Blend with a little liquid
Peaches (peel first)
* Sometimes can be runny so mix in cereal when serving to baby
* Wouldn’t recommend Citrus, Grapes or Melons
Frozen bagged veggies-
peas, carrots, green beans
*I have found my kids don’t like broccoli or corn and it doesn’t puree or digest well at first
Applesauce (natural, unsweetened)
* Note if you buy canned fruit make sure it is canned in it’s own juice, not in syrup.
Strawberry and Banana
Strawberry and Peach
Banana and Applesauce
Strawberry and Applesauce
*Fruits are easy to mix and most fruits go well together
Peas and Carrots
Bag of Mixed Veggies
Squash and Sweet Potatoes
Some Examples to chop in blender
- Whole Wheat Spaghetti and some Sauce
- Broccoli and Chicken and Brown Rice
Puree: Fruits: Many of these need to be peeled first. For things like peaches and nectarines the easiest way to get the skin off is to blanch them (dip them in boiling water for 20 sec, then cold water) then peel the skin right off. Then you cut it into chunks, add a few tablespoons of water and puree as usual. Storing:
Frozen Veggies: Microwave or cook on stove until no longer frozen with a few tablespoons of water (doesn’t need to be hot). When veggies are cool put them in the blender until pureed
Fresh vegetables: Cut up the vegetable into 1 inch cubes then in a small pan boil an inch or two of water. Turn stove down to a 3 or 4, then add in your vegetables and steam then. Put the lid on, but do stir every minute or so. After about 5 minutes it should be soft enough to mush with a fork. Dump water and vegetable into blender and puree.
Fruits: Many of these need to be peeled first. For things like peaches and nectarines the easiest way to get the skin off is to blanch them (dip them in boiling water for 20 sec, then cold water) then peel the skin right off. Then you cut it into chunks, add a few tablespoons of water and puree as usual.
Once your puree is made you are ready to freeze it for later use. I like to use an ice cube tray that has a slide on lid. Pour your puree into the ice cube trays and freeze until hard (4-6 hours?). When your puree is frozen you dump your ice cubes into a ziplock bag. Use a separate bag for each kind and be sure to write the flavor on the outside and the date. These can be frozen for 3 months or so.
When ready to use the puree- you just pull out the bag that has the flavor you want out of the freezer. Remove about 2 ice cubes (depends on how hungry your baby is). Then put them in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for about 30 seconds, until it is thawed. If your puree is too runny then add some rice cereal and it will thicken right up.
Baby teething sticks:
August 10, 2008
Recently I acquired a laminated weekly meal planner and it has been great. I am usually good about planning out dinner, but I am really bad at getting a variety when it comes to snacks and breakfast (we eat way too much cold cereal). This planner has really helped.
I use a Vis-a-Vis pen, so it wipes clean with water. I generally plan out breakfast, dinner and a snack for each day and I try to vary the food groups. If we have fruit with breakfast then the snack is typically a vegetable. The dinner days often get switched around, because I don't always like what I picked for dinner, but the general calendaring helps.
Here is a sample of our week:
The second thing I made on our computer and it is a weekly food planner on one side and shopping list on the other. It is very good for keeping your shopping list organized and I like having the menu on the other side as a reference.
I keep it posted on the fridge and add to it during the week.
August 1, 2008
Ezekiel 4:9 "Take thou also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentiles, and millet, and afitches, and put them in one vessel, and make thee bread thereof..."
This was really good and easy if you do some prep ahead of time. I halved the recipe and got two large loaves, if I had a bigger mixer I would have made all of it. Note: You need a wheat grinder or find the mixture pre-ground.
In the grinder put in:
7 cups hard white or red wheat
1/4 c pinto beans
1/4 c soy beans
1 c barley
1/4 c lentils
1/3 c millet
1 c Rye ( we didn't have this so we used brown rice)
Mill at a medium flour.
5 C hot tap water
1/2 c honey
1/2 c oil
1 1/2 T. real salt
3 T. SAF instant Yeast
1/2 vital wheat gluten
2 T. dough enhancer
After you have made your flour, in your mixer combine the hot water and 7 cups flour. Add oil, honey, yeast, salt and gluten and mix together. With the mixer running add flour until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Knead 8 minutes. Add dough enhancer and knead until mixed through. Shape into 4 loaves and let rise until double. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.
* This recipe was designed for a Bosch but I used my KitchenAid. My husband made all the flour, but I only used half once I realized there way no way it would all fit.
* A few things about DOUGH ENHANCER; this is the first time I have bought it and it was great. Someone once told me that it was just vital wheat gluten, that is false. Dough Enhancer has soy lecithin, pectin and acidic acid among other things in addition to the wheat gluten. My husband would like us to try making it ourselves.
July 2, 2008
June 23, 2008
- In large Sauce pan combine Rhubarb, pineapple, zest and sugar. Bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes stirring constantly. You want to use a big pot so that as it boils it doesn't pop all over you and everything else making a sticky mess. I also found that if I chopped the rhubarb coarse or fine it didn't matter at all, because you stir it for 30 minutes it pretty much breaks down. The finer you chop it the smoother the final product is, but even with 2 inch long pieces no one would call my final product lumpy.
- Cool 30 Minutes
- Add Jello to cooled mixture until dissolved.
- Put into 5 clean hot 8-oz jars and store in fridge for up to 1 month or in freezer for several months, or as long as it lasts.
June 4, 2008
There are many varieties of beans and legumes. Lentils, soybeans, garbanzo beans, pinto beans, great northern beans, kidney beans, Lima beans, black eye beans, black turtle beans, red beans, small white beans, navy beans, pink beans, dry split peas, and dry whole peas.
Overnight soak: Sort through and remove any discolored legumes and rocks; rinse well and drain. Cover with water at least 1 inch above the legumes and soak overnight. Cook the next morning by discarding the soaking water and adding beans to fresh water. For each pound of dried beans, add 6 cups of hot water. (1 c beans to 3 c water) Boil the water and then add the beans, boil gently uncovered (adding water if necessary) until tender. (1-2 hours) Yield 6-7 cups of cooked beans per pound of dried beans.
Quick Soak: Bring cleaned beans and water to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from pan from the stove and allow beans to stand for 1 hour in the covered saucepan. Rinse beans and discard the water. Cook the same as the overnight soak method.
Crock Pot: Add unsoaked, clean beans and water to crock Pot. Place on High setting for 3-4 hours or low overnight. (smaller beans cook faster)
Pressure Cooker: Follow the directions that came with the pressure cooker; generally 3 c of water to 1 c beans, bring to full steam, cook for 30 minutes.
Beans can be ground into flour. This is a very good way to use very old beans. Add the flour in small amounts to any recipe. Can be used to thicken gravies, soups and sauces. Beans in this form are easier to digest
Dried Beans are 1/2 the cost (or less) of Canned Beans:
Canned: One 15 oz can prepared beans costs around $1.00 or around $0.50 if you shop sales.
1 lb (2 cups) of dry beans will make 6 to 7 cups of cooked beans (equivalent to
four 15oz cans of beans.)
1 lb (2 cups) of dry beans is about $1.60 or $.75 cents if you buy in bulk.
equal to $.20 to $.40 cents per can - compare to $1.00 per can already prepared!
Beans store well in 5 gallon buckets, #10 cans, or Mylar bags. Pick what works best for your food storage situation.
Kept air tight and bug free in a cool dark place, dried beans will last a long time. Canned beans will last about 2 years.
How to make your bean storage accessible (so you can use it!):
1. Do not expect to go through the whole cooking dried beans process every time you need a cup of beans. It will take too long, and you will never do it.
2. Be efficient - cook up a bunch of beans (1 or 2 lbs) and divide them into quart freezer bags (1 ½ to 2 cups ea) and put them in the freezer. (1 lb dried = 4 quart bags frozen)
3. Lay them flat to freeze, then when frozen they can be stood on end to save room.
4. To use, just run under cool water.
5. Add to recipes just like you would use canned beans.
Compressed Yeast: Often called cake yeast. It only lasts about 2 weeks and must be refrigerated. I actually haven't seen it in the US, but I used it in Europe. It is basically a soft block of yeast that needs to be placed in water to break it up. It is equal to 1T of regular yeast.
Active Dry Yeast: When a recipe calls for yeast, this is mostly likely what they are talking about. It is sometimes abbreviated ADY. This yeast need to be rehydrated in liquid at temperatures between 105 and 115` F (If your pinky is comfy, your yeast probably is too!). If you use hotter liquid, you risk killing the yeast, cooler and the yeast membrane gets too porous and can allow the cell contents to leak out and become ineffective. If your dough is sticky and inelastic, that is a probable cause. Active dry yeast has the largest cell size of the yeasts. To see if your yeast is still good and active, rehydrate in a 1c water with 1/4t sugar per tablespoon of yeast. If you see yeast bubbles coming to the surface after 5-10 minutes, you have healthy active yeast and you can proceed with your recipe. If you don't you need to buy fresh yeast, or adjust the temperature of the water.
Rapid Rise Yeast and Instant dry yeasts (IDY) were developed to overcome several of the problems with Active Dry yeast. They can both be added directly to recipes without rehydrating first. They tolerate higher temperatures of water and are harder to kill. They both have shorter fermentation periods. This means you don't have to let your dough rise for as long to achieve the same results. Instant dry yeast works even faster than rapid Rise yeast. The cells of instant dry yeast are skinnier and longer. Instant dry yeast can cut the rising time even further.
To substitute Instant Dry yeast or Rapid Rise yeast for a recipe calling for regular yeast, you can skip the step of rehydrating in the water, to keep things simple I add things in the order called for in the recipe, but I don't let the yeast and water sit together for 5-10 minutes. I add all of the liquid, the yeast, sugar, flour and start mixing, adding the remaining ingredients and then slowly adding the rest of the flour. Just watch the rising times as they may be faster than what you are used to, or called for in the recipe.
To substitutre active dry yeast in a recipe calling for SAF yeast, Instant dry yeast, or rapid rise yeast make sure to mix the liquids, some of the sugar and the yeast together first. Allow it to sit until it starts to bubble and you can tell the yeast is alive and working. Then continue with the recipe. Adjust your rising time by adding extra time, I usually find it takes up to twice as long to achieve the same amount of rise with active dry yeast.
I definitely prefer Instant dry yeast (SAF is a common brand of IDY) for my whole grain bread making. My bread rises at least 10% better with IDY yeast versus rapid rise yeast and a good 25% higher than with active dry yeast. I use regular yeast and rapid rise yeast in my pita breads,flat breads and rolls that I am not in a hurry with.
Instant Dry Yeast (I buy it at Sam's Club, it comes with 2 1pound packages, they feel like bricks) Make sure it says IDY or SAF yeast
Rapid Rise yeast You can find it like this at almost any grocery store, it also comes in little jars. Sometimes called Bread Machine Yeast
Active Dry Yeast. Available at most grocery stores. Also available in 4 oz jars.
I took some close ups to try and demonstrate the differences in the types of yeast. My IDY yeast has some rapid rise and active dry yeast mixed in, that is why there are different sizes.
If you look closely, the rapid rise and active dry yeast are both slightly lighter in color than the IDY. The active dry yeast has the largest cells, then the rapid rise, and Instant dry yeast has the smallest. The IDY yeast cells are narrower, but slightly longer than the Rapid rise yeast.
Top: Rapid Rise Yeast, Instant Dry Yeast
Bottom: Active Dry Yeast
May 30, 2008
Best Yet Whole Wheat Bread
1/3 Cup honey
Knead the bread by hand 7-10 minutes or until it is very smooth, elastic, and small bubbles or blisters appear beneath the surface of the dough. If you are kneading by hand, be sure to add the minimum amount of flour to keep the dough soft and pliable by using a tsp of oil on your hands and kneading surface.
Form the dough into 2 loaves and put in greased loaf pans or 5-6 loaves balls if making bread bowls and place on cookie sheet. Allow to rise in a slightly warmed oven or other warm place until doubled in size (about 30-60 minutes).
Bake loaves for 25-30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Bread is cooked through when it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, and when the top and sides are a golden brown color.
We loved this, even my picky two year old ate most of hers. To get her to eat one bit is a challenge so 4 bites means she loved it. My husband said this was the best Pita Bread he's ever had. I had to agree with him.
It took a few hours to make, rising and that, however you could put it in the bread maker. I am going to try that next time. You would put it on the dough setting and the ingredients in this order; water, sweetener, oil, salt, flour, yeast.
As quoted from the site I found the recipe on:
"Why make your own pita when it's readily available at supermarkets? One bite of these, fresh and warm from the oven, will tell you exactly why. The dough is simple to make, and because the dough rounds are thin, they bake in less than 5 minutes. But if you don't have time to make your own, store-bought pita can be warmed, wrapped in foil, in a preheated 350°F oven."
Active time: 30 min Start to finish: 3 hr
Servings: Makes 8 (6-inch) pita loaves.1 (1/4-oz) package active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon honey
1 1/4 cups warm water (105–115°F)
3 cups whole wheat flour (can use a mixture of milled flax, bran)
3 Tb vital wheat Gluten
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
Could add thyme, or sesame to dough
Cornmeal for sprinkling baking sheetStir together yeast, honey, and 1/2 cup warm water in a large bowl, then let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If mixture doesn't foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)
While yeast mixture stands, stir together flours in another bowl. Whisk 1/2 cup flour mixture into yeast mixture until smooth, then cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk and bubbly, about 45 minutes. Stir in oil, salt, remaining 3/4 cup warm water, and remaining 2 1/2 cups flour mixture until a dough forms.
Turn out dough onto a floured surface and knead, working in just enough additional flour to keep dough from sticking, until dough is smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. Form dough into a ball and put in an oiled large bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise in draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Punch down dough and cut into 8 pieces. Form each piece into a ball. Flatten 1 ball, then roll out into a 6 1/2- to 7-inch round on floured surface with a floured rolling pin. Transfer round to 1 of 2 baking sheets lightly sprinkled with cornmeal. Make 7 more rounds in same manner, arranging them on baking sheets. Loosely cover pitas with 2 clean kitchen towels (not terry cloth) and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
Set oven rack in lower third of oven and remove other racks. Preheat oven to 500°F.
Transfer 4 pitas, 1 at a time, directly onto oven rack. Bake until just puffed and pale golden, about 2 minutes. Turn over with tongs and bake 1 minute more. Cool pitas on a cooling rack 2 minutes, then stack and wrap loosely in a kitchen towel to keep pitas warm. Bake remaining 4 pitas in same manner. Serve warm.
FILLING: So Delicious!
2 1/2 cups, cubed, cooked chicken breast (about 1 lb)
1 c matchstick cut carrots
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp dill
1 8oz can crushed pineapple draine
8 romaine lettuce leaves
Cook chicken. Combine all ingredients, except lettuce. Fill a half Pita with mixture add lettuce and enjoy. So easy and we loved it.
Chicken Pot Pie (a hodge podge of other recipes). Picture
Crust: (Biscuit like topping on the top) ( This is for 2 tops)
4c Whole Wheat Flour
1 tsp salt
8 tsp baking soda
6 Tb butter
2 c milk
2lbs chicken, cubed and cooked, (I used boneless skinless chicken breasts that I grilled int he dutch oven)
6 small potatoes, cubed and cooked, (I boiled them until soft but not mushy, then drained that water)
2 c Chicken broth
2 c Milk
2 med bags of frozen mixed Veggies, peas, carrots, beans, peas
Preheat oven to 350. Cook Chicken, set aside. Cook potatoes, set aside. In dutch oven or large pot combine chicken, potatoes, broth and milk, simmer then add vegetables, bring to simmer again. Boil until it thickens, with the FF milk it might need some cornstarch whisked in.
When mixture has thicken pour into two baking dishes. I used a dutch oven and an oval dish I had. It doesn't really matter.
Make your biscuit dough. Divide it in half. With your fingers you will just kind of spread the dough on top of the mixture to make the top.
Bake in oven at 350 fo 30 min until browned on top. (If freezing one of them, don't bake it wait until you are ready to use it. Then thaw it before trying to cook it, otherwise you'll be cooking if for 2 hours like I was and it was still cold in the middle)
Makes about 12 huge servings.
May 21, 2008
Mix the following in a large bowl:
4 cups of beans (canned, drained or I make my own, I like to use Kidney, black and pinto, but I think most any would work)
4 roma tomatoes, chopped up
1 can corn, drained
2-3 avacados , chopped
1 bunch cilantro, finely chop up the leaves
1 buch of green onion, finely chopped
1 packet of dry Italian seasoning
Mix this all together in a bowl and put it in the fridge to get cool. You can serve it with Tortilla chips are just eat it with a spoon. The flavor is mild enough that kids will eat it too.
A few notes on beans:
Dry beans contain no cholesterol. They're low in sodium, full of complex carbohydrates, contains lot's of dietary fiber and have good vitamins in them like folacin. Along with that they also have iron, calcium, phosphorus and potassium. 1/2 cup of cooked beans is equal to one vegetable serving and 1 cup is equal to a meat/protein serving. So the moral is... eat your beans they're good for you.
(It is really easy to soak and cook your own beans, and cheaper too! Just follow the directions on the package, but remember you have to soak and cook them, I made the mistake of thinking all you had to do was soak them. Needless to say dinner that night was not the best.)
May 20, 2008
Here is the recipe that we made:
Put in your mixer:
4 cups of water
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup powdered milk
1/2 cup oats or 6 grain
3 cups whole wheat flour
mix until smooth and bubbly, then add:
2 Tablespoons Saf yeast
2 Tablespoons Dough Enhancer
1/2 c gluten flour - if your flour is wimpy and doesn't rise
mix again until smooth, then add
2 Tablespoons salt
4-5 more cups flour depending on what you need
Add flour last, a little at a time. Stop adding flour when the dough pulls away from the edge of the bowl, and you can start to see the bottom of the bowl as the attachment goes around.
Then let it mix for 10-12 minutes. The dough will be soft and smooth and the bowl will be clean.
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees - then turn it off.
Divide dough into three, and shape with hands into loaves. Place in greased loaf pans and set in oven to rise for about 30 minutes. After it has doubled in size, turn the oven on to 350 degrees and bake for 35-45 minutes until it is golden brown. Turn out of pans, brush top with butter and let cool on a rack. Yummy!
May 14, 2008
I will say one thing about the cooler she has. I didn't want to buy another cooler so I used one of my smaller coolers for this. It only fit 3 jars. So I put the three in and wrapped them up with a fleece blanket just like she showed. I wrapped the other one up in warm towels and put it on my counter in a warm spot. The yogurt in the cooler was really thick and creamy and still warm when I pulled it out 9 hours later. The one on the counter, was not very thick, and not very creamy, and cold when it was all over. So I am probably going to look for one of the styrofoam coolers that will fit all four jars - so all my yogurt turns out right.