Raised from Scratch

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

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.

 

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.