Friday, September 21, 2012
After my last post I received many requests to share a pumpkin hazelnut muffin recipe that was also egg-free. As many of you know, replacing eggs in grain-free baked treats can be quite a challenge. I've only had a few successes with it myself. So rather than spend hours in the kitchen trying to create an egg-free, grain-free recipe, I made it simple and worked with teff flour to create a moist, wholesome vegan treat that most everyone can enjoy.
If you have our new cookbook, Nourishing Meals, you'll notice how many recipes contain teff flour. This ancient grain is native to Africa but is now grown in the Snake River Valley of Idaho. I buy it in 25-pound bags from Azure Standard. It is definitely a staple in our house. Teff is rich in minerals, low in phytic acid, and of course gluten-free. It seems to be one of the easiest gluten-free flours to digest. I make my sourdough starter primarily from teff flour so we can enjoy Injera a few times a week. If you are looking for more vegan, gluten-free baking recipes that are nutrient dense (that don't rely on a ton of starches, sugar, or xanthan gum) then please check out our new book. All of the recipes are refined sugar-free, use whole grain gluten-free flours, nut flours, and coconut flour......and none contain potato or cornstarch!
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
I know it is a wee bit early to be posting pumpkin recipes. In fact, the winter squash and sugar pie pumpkins are not quite ready for harvesting yet in our garden; but these cool crisp mornings are beginning to remind me of spicy pumpkin treats! Yesterday morning I baked up a batch of these healthy gluten-free muffins to have for the children as an after-school snack. After school we went to the river and played until dinnertime. These muffins kept them satisfied until we finally sat down for a late dinner. Beautiful, sunny September weather calls us to spend a lot of time outside here in the Northwest.
I used organic canned pumpkin in this recipe. If you use puree made from a freshly baked pumpkin or other winter squash you may need to place it into a fine mesh strainer to let the extra moisture drip out. I have found that canned pumpkin has much less moisture than Homemade Pumpkin Puree.
Friday, September 14, 2012
Roasting beets softens their earthy flavor and brings out a wonderful sweetness. This way of preparing beets is so simple that you'll probably never go back to steaming, pressure cooking, or roasting in foil. All you need is a baking dish with a lid.
What can you do with roasted beets? The sweet-earthy flavor of beets is tempered by pairing them with acidic and pungent foods like orange, lemon, balsamic vinegar, feta cheese, shallots, and red onions. Adding fresh herbs like savory, thyme, and parsley can brighten the flavors even more.
After the beets have cooked and cooled, you can peel off the skins and cut them up for a marinated beet salad (like the Roasted Beet Salad with Orange Vinaigrette on page 230 in my new cookbook). You can also thinly slice them and top with goat cheese, fresh thyme leaves, freshly ground black pepper, and a lemon-olive oil dressing. Puree a whole roasted beet (remove the skins first) with the wet ingredients for a chocolate cake. Have any more ideas for using cooked beets? Please share in the comments section below!
Thursday, September 6, 2012
This time of year the fruit is falling off the trees and many people wonder how they can preserve it. A lot of fresh fruit ends up rotting. Maybe this is part of nature's grand design to add compost to the soil surrounding the roots? I don't know, but this time of year is very busy for most folks who have fruit trees and berry bushes. There are a few simple methods you can utilize to quickly preserve fruit.
We freeze much of our fruit in a extra freezer in our garage. Though this might not be the most energy efficient way, it is fairly easy and quick as long as you have an extra freezer. Dehydrating is probably the safest way because you don't need to worry about losing a whole freezer full of food if your power goes out for an extended period of time, plus it requires little energy. Canning is another method but much of the nutrients and enzymes are destroyed through the heating process. I wrote a whole chapter about preserving the harvest in our new cookbook, Nourishing Meals, if you want to learn more. Plus there are recipes in that chapter for vinegars, lacto-fermented vegetables, and sauces like Cayenne Hot Sauce!