Raised from Scratch

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

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.

 

Say Yes to More Cookies September 30, 2012

Saying YES to a child always feels better than having to say NO, which is just one reason I love having healthy cookies on hand. Kids are always in the mood for cookies, and always want more than one…just like the rest of us. We could eat these for breakfast they’re so healthy, though if I actually allowed my 3 year old to do so I’d never hear the end of cookie requests at sunrise, so I’m just going to treat these as snacks and let the whole family eat as many as they want after breakfast.

Banana Coconut Almond Cookies

(gluten and sugar free, vegan if using coconut oil)

½ cup almond meal

1 ½ cups old fashioned oats

1/3 cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut (Bob’s Red Mill)

1 T. golden flaxseed

½ t. ground cinnamon

½ t. sea salt

1 t. baking powder

3 ripe bananas, mashed

½ t. vanilla extract

1 t. almond extract

4 T. unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted

½ cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350°. Whisk dry ingredients together in small bowl. In medium bowl use a sturdy whisk to mash bananas, then add extracts and butter. Stir in dry ingredients and raisins. Drop cookies on ungreased cookie sheet and bake 10-12 minutes, until slightly golden brown on bottom. Cool on wire rack. Makes 35 small cookies.

 

 

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.

 

Pumpkin Mascarpone Dip September 1, 2012

Pumpkin Mascarpone Dip

½ cup mascarpone Italian cream cheese

¼ cup pumpkin puree (canned or homemade)

½ t. – 1 t. pure maple syrup

½ t. ground cinnamon

¼ t. ground ginger

2 apples, cored and sliced (Pink Lady apples are my favorite for snacking)

Mix pumpkin, maple syrup, cinnamon and ginger together in medium bowl (1/2 t. maple syrup is enough for me because pumpkin and mascarpone are both naturally sweet, but if you prefer it a little sweeter adjust to taste). Add mascarpone and blend briefly until fully incorporated. Serve with sliced apples.

Looking for another way to use extra pumpkin puree? Check out my Peachy Pumpkin Smoothie recipe!

 

Purple Cabbage Pasta with Swiss Chard August 31, 2012

Even toddlers like eating soft purple cabbage! It’s super sweet when caramelized with red onion, and slippery fun for playful fingers that make their way into the bowl. Read all about cabbage’s amazing health benefits and cancer fighting compounds here.

Purple Cabbage Pasta with Swiss Chard

2 T. olive oil

1 large red onion, thinly sliced

6 large garlic cloves, minced

1 medium head cabbage, thinly sliced (4-6 cups)

16 oz pasta (Tinkyada brand recommended for gluten-free pasta)

salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped

1 bunch swiss chard, stems removed, leaves washed and roughly chopped

1 t. apple cider vinegar (optional)

In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil. Add the sliced onions, cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until tender and glistening, about 10 minutes.

Add the garlic, cook 3 minutes longer, uncovered, stirring periodically. Add the cabbage, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is tender, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile in a large pot, cook pasta in salted water according to package directions (when cooking the gluten-free pasta I notice it never takes as long as the package instructions indicate…check frequently to prevent mushy noodles). Drain pasta, reserving 2 cups cooking liquid. Allow pasta to sit in colander covered with a lid or plate while returning reserved cooking liquid to empty pot in which to cook the greens. Over medium-high heat boil swiss chard 3-4 minutes until greens are tender and tasty (too short and they will taste bitter, too long and they loose their flavor). Drain swiss chard, add 1 t. apple cider vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Return drained pasta to cooking pot.

Add the cabbage-onion mixture to the pasta in the pot and season with salt and pepper. Mix in swiss chard or serve on top of pasta after plating. Serve sprinkled with toasted walnuts.

Recipe adapted from Color Me Vegan cookbook by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, which I adore and am so happy no one else has requested from the library, enabling me to renew it over and over again until I can buy it.

 

Cardamom Almond Butter Snack Bites August 28, 2012

Here’s a kid approved super easy health snack I created this week. I love making nut-butter snacks because they’re easily transportable, filling, and relatively mess free. It’s also great to see my two year old daughter excited about eating nuts and seeds which contain so many important nutrients. Both flax and sunflower seeds are a good source of protein, calcium, iron and fiber. Also great with a banana for breakfast on the run!

Cardamom Almond Butter Snack Bites

½ cup sunflower seeds (roasted, unsalted)

½ cup oats

¼ cup flax meal (ground flax seeds)

½ t. ground cardamom

¼ t. cinnamon

2 ½ T. pure maple syrup

½ cup almond butter

Combine all ingredients in medium sized bowl and mix well. Pour out batter onto plastic wrap, form log about 12” long, wrap all sides and freeze for 30 minutes. Remove from freezer and slice into ½” pieces, or to desired size. Store in refrigerator.

Makes 24

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Gluten Free Coconut Rhubarb Muffins August 24, 2012

Filed under: Gluten Free,Healthy Snacks,Muffins — annalope @ 3:40 am
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GF Coconut Rhubarb Muffins

1 cup oat flour

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut

1 1/2 t. baking powder

1/8 t. sea salt

1/4 cup cane sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 t. ground cinnamon

2 T. milled flaxseed (aka flax meal)

1/2 cup applesauce

1/2 cup full fat plain yogurt (if using sweetened yogurt I suggest cutting down on the cane sugar)

1 t. vanilla extract

2 cups rhubarb, chopped 1/4 inch thick

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly oil muffin tin or line with baking cups (I made 9 large muffins and 12 mini muffins).

In a large bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients (flour – flax meal), then add applesauce, yogurt, and vanilla and mix well. Fold in chopped rhubarb. Batter will seem stiff compared to a typical muffin batter – it’s okay, don’t add additional liquid.

Fill muffin tins at least ¾ full (muffins don’t rise much) and bake at 350° 18 minutes for mini muffins / 25-28 minutes for large muffins. Cool on wire rack.

 

The Toddler Sushi Roll August 20, 2012

I could eat sushi every day of my life…but since I can’t afford sushi bars or exposing my body to so much mercury on a regular basis, I’m getting creative making sushi rolls at home. This tofu teriyaki roll is perfect for snacks, play dates, and picnics because it doesn’t require dipping in additional soy sauce – the tofu is already marinated so the roll is adequately salty on its own. A helpful hint for feeding sushi to toddlers: don’t slice the rolls, just leave it whole or cut the roll in half and give it to them burrito style. It’s hard to fit a full piece of sushi in a young child’s mouth, and we all know biting it in half just results in the other half spilling on our laps or the floor, but giving them a full roll allows them to bite off only as much as they can chew. Happier bellies, cleaner floors.

Tofu Teriyaki Sushi Rolls

Ingredients:
1 package marinated tofu (recipe below)
6 sheets Nori seaweed paper
2 cups cooked and cooled short grain brown rice
3 large carrots, sliced into 1/4″ strips and steamed (leave raw if you/your child like them crunchy)
2 avocados, sliced

To assemble:
Place 1 nori sheet on a dry counter or cutting board and spread with a thin layer of cooled brown rice, leaving at least 1/2″ border at the top free of rice so you can seal your sushi roll. Make a horizontal line across the rice with the tofu, carrots and avocado, then tightly roll, and seal the roll by dipping your finger in cool water and running along the seaweed section without rice, then roll completely and allow to sit a couple minutes before slicing. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Sorry, if I’ve done a bad job explaining how to roll sushi, there are plenty of tutorials with photos and videos online 🙂

*You want to use tofu which has been frozen (left sealed in package) and then thawed for maximum absorption of marinade

Teriyaki Marinade:
1 package extra-firm tofu, frozen and thawed
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1/3 cup tamari soy sauce
2 T. granulated sugar
1 T. toasted sesame oil

To prepare tofu —
Gently squeeze the thawed tofu over a sink to remove excess moisture and cut into large, long strips, suitable for sushi making. In a saucepan, combine the stock, tamari, sugar and sesame oil. Bring to a boil, add the tofu, and cook 5-6 minutes over low heat. Turn off the heat and let sit for 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator.
— Teriyaki Recipe from “Color Me Vegan” cookbook by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau