Raised from Scratch

growing up outside the box: alternatives to processed food and television

Momma’s Morning Smoothie with Maca Boost April 7, 2013

Filed under: Breakfast,Gluten Free,Smoothies — annalope @ 3:07 pm
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What’s a better way to start your day than a poke in the eye and a toddler tugging the warm covers off your still exhausted body? This smoothie. Thanks to the Maca powder it will help balance some of those crazy unpredictable hormones that come along with motherhood (okay, womanhood) and make it a little easier to find your smile at whatever ungodly hour your human alarm clock has razed your slumber. Maca is a superfood grown in the Andes mountains and is known to support hormone balance, energy and libido. It has a sweet malt flavor that’s quite tasty in smoothies or a glass of almond milk.

Momma’s Morning Smoothie

8 oz unsweetened almond milk

1 banana, peeled and frozen

1 t. maca powder

¼ t. cocoa nibs (or substitute a little cocoa powder or 2 coffee beans)

2-3 T. almond butter

Generous sprinkle nutmeg

2 ice cubes (or more, depending on desired consistency)

Blend well. If you like it sweeter, add a little honey or agave nectar.

Sorry, no picture of the smoothie, but I did snap a picture of my little Ella enjoying my coffee as soon as I looked away. And for the record she rarely pokes me in the eye anymore 😉

Angel Ella steals coffee

 

New Orleans Granola with Roasted Chicory February 4, 2013

granola inside jar

close up single pecan

In America, chicory is not widely known or utilized in the kitchen, its primary use being a coffee additive. Chicory is a perennial tap root, similar to the dandelion, with stems that grow up to 3 feet in height. The leaves can be used in salads, and roots harvested while young and tender can be cooked like carrots or parsnips for vegetable dishes. To create the ground chicory Café Du Monde familiarized me with years ago, the cultivated root is sliced, dried and roasted before being ground. Adding it to coffee produces a darker, drier, more economical cup of joe. Though multiple trips to New Orleans’ Café Du Monde cultivated a nostalgic appreciation for the chicory used in their Café au Lait, I’m more of a coffee purist myself.

I didn’t sip my way through America’s finest small coffee roasters just to blend my favorite single origin finds with chicory, but I did acquire a small box of ground chicory as a gift at one time and it has been sitting neglected in my pantry. But I love how this granola turned out, and everyone I’ve shared it with wants more, so it’s time to share. Now I can reminisce about New Orleans at breakfast while keeping my Metropolis Coffee unadulterated.

Still curious about chicory root?

Sweet Maria’s coffee cupping reviews, where you can find freshly roasted imported chicory for $5/lb instead of the canned/boxed stuff that’s been sitting on your grocer’s shelf for who knows how long.

Botanical.com will tell you all about the plant’s history and uses.

 New Orleans Chicory Granola with Toasted Pecans

2 1/3 cups rolled oats

1/3 cup honey

2 Tablespoons molasses

¼ cup unsalted butter

2 teaspoons finely ground chicory root

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ cup pecan halves

Preheat oven to 325°.

Place oats in a medium mixing bowl. Heat butter, honey and molasses in a small saucepan until melted and simmering, then immediately pour over oats. Add chicory, salt and pecans and stir until thoroughly combined.

Pour mixture in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Allow to cool on sheet pan without stirring if you like some clumps in your granola.

After cooling, store in air-tight container for one week.

Recipe adapted from “Coffee Roasted Carrots with Chicory Granola” at splendidtable.org

Homemade Yogurt – it’s easier than you think!

We go through a lot of yogurt in our house, and prefer plain, organic whole milk yogurt (Stonyfield brand was my preferred choice before I began making my own), which gets expensive. A quart of Stonyfield costs me $4.99 at my local grocer, while organic whole milk costs $3.69 for a half gallon (yielding 2 quarts of yogurt). That’s a savings of $6.29.

I didn’t believe making yogurt would be quite so simple, but if you’re a yogurt lover, give it a try and you’ll probably be as pleasantly surprised as I was. My homemade yogurt tastes sweeter and less acidic than store-bought.

Here’s a wonderful step-by-step guide with illustrations which I used to get started. Expect to spend 20-30 minutes in your kitchen, then 7-8 hours of allowing your yogurt mixture to sit and cultivate before chilling.

How To Make Yogurt Step-by-Step Guide

 

Granola Bar Pie…or Oatmeal Pecan Breakfast Bars November 6, 2012

Sometimes what you name your food determines your child’s excitement level, and this was certainly true this morning when I poured the breakfast bar batter into a pie pan and dubbed this the Granola Bar Pie. Try getting creative with food terminology and see how your toddler responds.

The bars (or pie wedges) are very portable once cool, maintaining enough moisture to not crumble in the car on the way to preschool. My kid has always been a night owl, and getting her up and ready to leave the house by 8:30 twice a week is damn difficult sometimes. THE most time consuming part of our morning is always breakfast because Ella loves to eat, and she likes to take her time doing it. No kidding, a small bowl of yogurt takes 30 minutes to consume sometimes. I’m completely thrilled that she’s a good eater and want to avoid rushing her meals or making them a source of stress at all costs. Keeping a portable breakfast food around, and remembering it’s okay to brush her teeth in the car (it’s not like the toothpaste I give her is harmful if swallowed, so why not?) is really helpful. She thinks brushing her teeth in the car is hilariously silly and likes that her car seat can occasionally be the dentist chair as well.

 Granola Bar Pie/Oatmeal Pecan Breakfast Bars

vegan and gluten free, contains no refined sugar

1  1/4 cup oats

1/2 cup ground pecans

1/4 cup coconut flour

3/4 t. ground ginger

1  1/2 t. ground cinnamon

pinch of ground cloves

1/4  t. sea salt

1 T. flax meal (ground flax seeds)

1/2 T. salba or chia seeds

1 cup almond milk (or milk of choice)

1/2 T. vanilla extract

1 T. maple syrup

2 frozen bananas, thawed, mashed

1/4 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 375 F. Allow frozen bananas to thaw in a bowl on the stove (especially if your oven exhaust fan pushes all the hot air onto your stove-top like mine does), or place in the oven for a few minutes as it starts to preheat, or thaw in the microwave for 30-45 seconds.

Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add almond milk, vanilla, maple syrup and thawed bananas, mix well. Stir in raisins. Butter a pie pan (or use coconut oil) and pour batter into pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. Bake 25-30 minutes until firm. Allow to cool 5 minutes before slicing into 8 wedges.

Inspired by: Banana Raisin Oatmeal Bars from Quinoa, Kale & Exhale

 

DIY Cranberry Almond Granola October 24, 2012

Boxed granola from the grocery store is typically loaded with sugar, and it’s pretty darn expensive when you consider the low cost of oats. With just a few ingredients and 30 minutes, this homemade granola recipe will leave your kitchen smelling of warm cinnamon and toasted almonds and you’ll have a healthy snack to munch on all week. If you’ve never tried making your own granola before, this is a great starter recipe, easily adaptable to whatever nuts, dried fruits or add-ins you’ve got in your pantry. Today it’s also satisfying my sweet tooth because I am completely out of cookies. 😦 I’m not sure how I let that happen, but the granola is actually a great substitute.

Cranberry Almond Granola

2 cups rolled oats

1 t. ground cinnamon

½ t. sea salt

3 T. canola oil

¼ cup + 1 T. honey (or agave for vegan granola)

1 t. vanilla extract

1/4 cup unsalted sunflower seeds

1/3 cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup sliced or slivered almonds

2 T. flax meal or whole flax seeds

Preheat oven to 325° F.

In large bowl combine oats, cinnamon and salt. In small bowl combine oil, honey and vanilla extract; pour onto oats and mix well. Add sunflower seeds and cranberries. (Almonds and flax are added later.)

Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or very lightly oil pan. Spread granola onto pan evenly, but don’t spread it too thin, and remember clumpy granola is okay.

Bake 10 minutes, then add almonds and flip gently with a spatula. Return to oven, bake additional 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with flax so it will stick to the oats. Allow to cool completely. Store in glass jar or other air-tight container. Yields 3 1/2 cups. Best eaten within 1 week.

 

Buckwheat Flax Crepes & Spiced Raisin Mascarpone (gluten-free) October 20, 2012

I have to thank Andrea Drugay for posting a recipe for Easy Flaxseed Wraps on her blog, which inspired a week-long obsession and several new recipes. The original recipe called for 100% flax, and it’s a delicious wrap, but in order to create a gluten-free crepe that I was happy with for breakfast or dessert, I decided to try using a little buckwheat flour as well. And because I’m always looking to incorporate more vegetables into my family’s diet, I tried first grated carrot, then grated zucchini and settled on the latter for this recipe. The crepes are simple to make, and the mascarpone makes them quite memorable, but it’s totally optional – the crepes are marvelous on their own, or filled with fresh peaches and cottage cheese or just bananas and a sprinkle of cinnamon for a healthy breakfast. No sugar is called for in the crepe batter, but a little pure maple syrup is of course a tasty complement if you’re in the mood for a sweeter treat. At the bottom of this post you’ll find a recipe scaled down to serve 1 person (2 small crepes), and more pictures of some of the many crepes I made this week.

Buckwheat Flax Crepes:

Crepes are gluten-free, sugar free and dairy free if using coconut oil

 

¼ cup buckwheat flour

½ cup flax seed meal

1 t. baking powder

1 t. ground cinnamon

¼ t. sea salt

2 T. coconut oil, earth balance or butter, melted

4 eggs

½ cup finely grated zucchini (about 1/3 medium zucchini)

2 T. water

Spiced Raisin Mascarpone Cream:

½ cup raisins

¼ t. cinnamon

1 whole clove or a dash of ground cloves

3 T. water

3 T. unsweetened pure apple juice, or water

½ cup mascarpone (Italian cream cheese)

In a small saucepan, combine raisins, cinnamon, clove, water and juice. Bring to a simmer and cook 6-8 minutes, until raisins are plump and liquid has been absorbed. Assemble crepe ingredients while raisins are cooking. Remove from heat, remove and discard clove and let cool.

In medium bowl, whisk together buckwheat flour, flax meal, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Pour in melted coconut oil or butter, add egg, water and zucchini, and mix well. Preheat a small nonstick pan over medium heat and lightly coat with coconut oil (a couple drops will do). Once pan is hot, pour ¼ cup crepe batter into the pan and quickly tilt the pan to evenly distribute the batter over the pan. Crepes should be thin – use just enough batter to cover your pan. Cover the pan and cook approximately 1 ½ – 2 minutes or until the batter has cooked through (no need to flip). Move crepe to a plate, lightly oil your pan again and repeat. Recipe yields 8 crepes.

Once you’ve given the raisin mixture a few minutes to cool (Remember to find and discard the clove!), pulse in a food processor 30 seconds. Move to a small bowl and fold in mascarpone, mixing well.

Serve crepes with the raisin-mascarpone cream, sliced bananas and a drizzle of maple syrup. Or forget the bananas and create a crepe cake, spreading the raisin-mascarpone cream between 4 or more layers of crepes and slice like a cake.

Amounts for 1 serving (makes 2 crepes):

1 T. buckwheat flour

2 T. flax seed meal

¼ t. baking powder

¼ t. spice (mix it up depending on your fillings)

Generous pinch of sea salt

½ T. coconut oil, earth balance or butter, melted

1 egg

2 T. finely grated zucchini

1/2 T. water

For Carrot Crepes: substitute finely shredded carrots for the zucchini

For 100% Flax Crepes: replace buckwheat with flax meal (3/4 cup total for full recipe)

 

Slow Down and Savor It: Oatmeal for Autumn October 18, 2012

If oatmeal conjures memories of mushy slop loaded with sugar and tiny dried apple pieces, it’s time you created new associations with this healthy grain. Oatmeal is fabulous, and a recipe like this one should leave the whole family satiated and smiling. Steel cut (Irish) oats are simply chopped oat groats – they are the least processed of all oat products, and they are typically stocked right alongside the old-fashioned and quick oats these days. If not, check the organic section of your grocery store. Seriously, once you try them, you’ll never want to go back to quick/instant oats.

I like to cook half of the apple pieces with the raisins 5 minutes before the oatmeal has finished cooking and add the rest with the sunflower seeds in my bowl for a little crunch. Just 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup is plenty to sweeten the whole batch (in fact, I like it even without) because apples, raisins and cinnamon lend their natural sweetness to the oats. Enjoy the chilly mornings!

Autumn Oatmeal

4 cups water

1 cup steel cut (Irish) oats

Generous pinch of salt

½ cup raisins

1 cup apple, diced into ¼ – ½” pieces (about ½ of a large apple)

½ t. ground cinnamon

2 T. golden flax seeds

½ t. vanilla extract

2 T. pure maple syrup

¼ cup unsalted sunflower seeds, roasted or raw

Milk or milk substitute (optional) for serving

Place water, oats and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a strong simmer and cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add raisins, ½ of your chopped apples and cinnamon; cook additional 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Remove from heat, stir in flax seeds, vanilla extract and maple syrup. Place in bowls and top with remaining apples, a generous sprinkle of sunflower seeds, and a dash of cinnamon. Serve with milk or milk substitute if desired.

Serves 4

What are some of your favorite oatmeal add-ins?

 

Healthy Addictions: Chocolate Kale Smoothies October 4, 2012

Did you know that kale and chocolate both rank in the top 5 most nutrient dense foods on the planet? Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef, and more calcium than milk, it’s high in vitamin A (300% daily recommended value), C (89% daily value) and K (1,000% daily value), anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants, is believed to help lower cholesterol, help with detoxification, and contains 10% of the recommended daily omega-3 intake.

Read more about this awesome green here and here.

So kale keeps you healthy, and chocolate, naturally, makes you fall in love. Chocolate raises serotonin levels, provides magnesium, improves blood flow, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure. Just don’t mix your dark chocolate with regular cow’s milk because it negates the antioxidant benefits. I use almond milk in the smoothie for this reason and for taste, and haven’t read anywhere that almonds inhibit the absorption of chocolate’s nutrients.

I created this recipe because my 3 year old loves dark chocolate but is not likely to chow down on a full serving of kale if served for dinner, so a smoothie felt like a promising way of delivering this powerful grow food, and anything containing chocolate is automatically viewed a “treat”. She asked for thirds, so we’ll be making this a lot in the future.

Create a healthy addiction in your life…start making more smoothies!

Chocolate Kale Smoothie

16 oz almond milk

¾ cup frozen blueberries

2 bananas, peeled and frozen

1 T. honey

¼ t. vanilla extract

1 ½ T. soy protein powder (optional)

1 T. unsweetened cocoa, sifted

1 ½ cups fresh kale, washed and torn into large pieces

Combine all ingredients in blender and process until smooth. Pour into glasses or mugs and sprinkle with sifted cocoa. Serves 2-3.

 

Kasha Breakfast Cake with Carrots and Dates September 29, 2012

Steel cut oatmeal is a staple breakfast item in my house, and I find even the leftovers a tasty snack later in the day. But cooked kasha leftovers (aka buckwheat groats), I had no experience with and wasn’t as thrilled about eating cold from the fridge, even with maple syrup. So I searched online, unsuccessfully, for a muffin or healthy cake recipe to utilize the extra cooked kasha I had sitting around after my family had their fill for breakfast.

Every recipe I came across called for buckwheat flour, which I also love, but with several extra cups of cooked kasha in my stove pot was of no use to me.

I figured adding the soft, cooked whole grain to a batter would yield more nutrition due to less processing, and would provide an interesting texture. Worth a shot, so I went about creating my own recipe. I’m happy to say it was a great success, and one I’ve already duplicated three times since creating it two weeks ago. There is very little maple syrup called for, but my daughter and I find it plenty sweet (my husband thinks it’s good too but even better with honey on top). It is deliciously moist and holds together well for breakfast on the go, which has become a huge priority since Ella began attending a twice a week preschool co-op. She’s used to taking a solid hour enjoying breakfast, and second breakfasts, and morning tea…it’s like feeding a hobbit…and I need to speed up the morning routine without taking the joy out of eating. Baking her a breakfast “cake” makes her feel like she’s waking up to a special treat, which she is…it just happens to be a healthy one.

 

Buckwheat groats are eaten regularly in western China and eastern Europe (I found a bag packaged in Poland in my local grocery store’s international section). Rich in complex carbohydrates, fiber, protein and magnesium, buckwheat is a very healthy alternative to wheat, and an excellent food for young babies due to an extremely low risk of allergic reaction.

–For gluten tolerant individuals you can use white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour in place of the oat and sorghum (1 ¼ cup total), and omit the xanthan gum.

 

Buckwheat/Kasha Breakfast Cake with Carrots and Dates (gluten-free)

1 cup oat flour

¼ cup sorghum flour

1 t. xanthan gum

2 t. baking powder

1 t. salt

1 cup cooked buckwheat groats  *See cooking instructions below

3 T. maple syrup

2 T. unsalted butter, melted + 1 t. to butter pan

1 cup milk, around room temperature

1 egg

¼ cup chopped dates (I used pitted tunizian dates, but medjool dates would work well also), or substitute raisins

2 medium carrot, finely shredded

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter 8×8” pan with 1 t. butter.

Combine oat flour, sorghum flour, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt in medium bowl and whisk. Add cooked kasha, tossing in the flour mixture. Combine maple syrup, melted butter, milk and egg in large measuring glass or small bowl; add to dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in chopped dates and shredded carrots.

Pour cake into prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. Bake 25-30 minutes, until cake is set and a toothpick tests clean. Allow to cool before slicing.

Makes 16 pieces

 

*Buckwheat/Kasha Cooking Instructions

1 T. butter

1 cup buckwheat groats (kasha)

2 cups water

½ t. sea salt

Bring water to a boil in a tea kettle or pan. Heat butter in a medium saucepan with lid. Add kasha and sauté until coated. Add boiling water and salt to kasha, cover, reduce heat to low and let simmer 20 minutes until buckwheat is tender.

Makes approximately 3 cups cooked kasha – plenty for a morning meal and creative baking. For morning porridge I like adding cinnamon, raisins or dried figs, flax, milk and a little maple syrup.

 

End of Summer Blue Pineapple Smoothie September 13, 2012

Did you know that your pineapple cores don’t have to go to waste? The core is too tough and fibrous to be enjoyable eaten raw, but after freezing, it makes a great addition to smoothies, tastes a little more muted than the rest of the pineapple, and is scrumptious paired with coconut milk. Ella loves her smoothies thick and served in the cap of our cocktail shaker because it’s in the shape of an ice cream cone. She, naturally, calls it smoothie ice cream and will ask for 5 or 6 refills in the metal “cone”. A little creativity really helps make healthy food fun for toddlers!

Blueberry Pineapple Smoothie

1 banana, peeled and frozen

1 cup pineapple core, cut into chunks and frozen

1 cup coconut milk

3/4 – 1 cup cow’s milk or nondairy alternative (depending on desired consistency)

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

1/2 t. ground ginger

1 t. honey

Place all items in blender and process until smooth. I had a very thick smoothie using 3/4 cup milk and 1 cup coconut milk, but that’s how my daughter likes it so she can pretend it’s ice cream. Add a little more milk if you prefer it thinner.

Makes about 32 oz.  Serves 4

 

Two Recipes Spreading Gluten-Free Biscuit Bliss September 2, 2012

Surprisingly, there aren’t too many things I’ve missed since giving up gluten six months ago, with biscuits and scones being the two main exceptions. With some modifications I could probably turn these into scones fairly easily, but the following two recipes definitely fall into the biscuit category, and they’re so tasty I’ve been making a new batch every time we run out. It has become one of my bread substitutes because I don’t care for most GF breads available in grocery stores due to the high starch content. In case you’re not familiar with gluten-free breads, most call for large amounts of tapioca/rice/corn starch, which are nearly void of nutrition (potato starch seems to be the exception as it still contains many vitamins and minerals). True, some starch is typically required in gluten-free baking if you’re hoping to see a resemblance to wheat goods, but by changing our expectations, and the expectations of our taste-buds through more adventurous eating, we can easily incorporate a great number of gluten-free flours that are packed with nutrition and flavor. Teff flour is a prime example, with large amounts of manganese, copper, phosphorus, magnesium and iron, in addition to many B vitamins (nutritional bar graphs are available at traditional-foods.com), it’s a grain worth incorporating in your diet.

Rosemary Teff Biscuits (gluten-free)

1/2 cup teff flour

1  1/2 cups oat flour

1 T. baking powder

½ t. xanthan gum

1 t. fine sea salt

1 pinch ground black pepper

¼ t. crushed rosemary

1 T. natural cane sugar

1 T. chia or salba seeds (optional)

1 T. golden flax seeds (optional)

1/3 cup cold unsalted butter (5 1/3 T.), cubed

1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 400°.

Whisk all dry ingredients in large bowl. Cut in cold butter with hands or pastry cutter until butter pieces are no larger than pea size. Add cold milk and stir with spatula.

Portion with cookie scoop, or large spoon, and place on ungreased baking stone or baking sheet; bake until lightly golden brown, 10-13 minutes.

Cool on wire rack.

Makes 18 medium biscuits.

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I’ve made a biscuit fan out of my daughter this week for sure. Yesterday she ate five Teff Amaranth Biscuits after dinner, lifted her shirt to make her belly talk to me and said “Mmmm I’m full and happy”. Amaranth flour is very high in protein, iron and fiber, and contributes a unique earthy malt flavor that I really like paired with other less dominating flours, such as oat. A drizzle of honey makes these pretty darn addictive.

Teff Amaranth Biscuits (gluten-free)

½ cup Teff flour

½ cup Amaranth flour

1 cup oat flour

1 T. baking powder

¾ t. xanthan gum

4 t. natural cane sugar

1 t. sea salt

1/3 cup unsalted butter (5 1/3 T.), cubed

1 cup + 3 T. milk

1-2 t. turbinado sugar, optional, for topping

Preheat oven to 400°.

Whisk all dry ingredients in large bowl. Cut in cold butter with hands or pastry cutter until butter pieces are no larger than pea size. Add cold milk and stir with spatula.

Portion with cookie scoop, or large spoon, and place on ungreased baking stone or baking sheet; bake until lightly golden brown, 10-13 minutes.

Cool on wire rack.

Makes 18 medium biscuits.