Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Best Day EVER!!

Isn't that beautiful?!?!!

I am SO happy today!! When I tell you why you will certainly think me daft, but I don't care. Today, I made 100% whole wheat bread from scratch in the oven and it was awesome! Not only edible (which all my previous loaves were NOT) but it was fluffy and soft and chewy and moist and delicious! Nothing like my old doorstops! I tried a new recipe in order to teach my Young Women how to make homemade bread and was so tickled pink with myself that I think I scared the girls. Only my sweet husband understands the depth of suffering we all went through during my learning process :) It's really not hard at ALL, I just tried to cut corners and made a few mistakes that I will help you avoid.

I got this recipe from the food storage master's blog...she has lots of other amazing ways to cook with long term food storage!

NOTE: I didn't have potato flakes but did have potato starch from doing some gluten-free baking. That worked fine.
Also, make sure you're using a "bread flour" setting on your wheat grinder, if applicable. I've ground my wheat using several methods including the "course" setting on my grinder and it never turned out great.
Finally, use a Kitchenaid or Bosch for mixing if at all possible! My kneading attempts never allowed the dough to rise enough and this time I used my hand mixer (and burned out the motor, of course). Moral of the story, spend the cash and get the right equipment!

Delicious Wheat Bread! (yield: 1 loaf)

1 1/4 cup warm water
1 Tblsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup honey
2 3/4 cups whole wheat flour (freshly ground is best, I used hard white)
1/4 cup wheat gluten
1 tsp salt
2 Tblsp nonfat non instant dry milk
1 Tblsp butter/margarine/oil
1 Tblsp vinegar
1/4 cup potato flakes (NOT potato pearls)

Mix ingredients in order listed in mixing bowl of mixer with dough hook attachment (like kitchen-aid) for 12-15 minutes. Let rise until double, 1- 1 1/2 hours. Punch down, and shape into loaf or rolls. Let rise again until double and bake 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes until golden brown and sounds hollow when lightly tapped.
If you are making this recipe in a bread machine, follow your bread machine’s directions for wheat or whole grain selection and add the ingredients in the order listed for their recommendations (only one loaf will fit in a bread maker).

Monday, November 8, 2010

Raw Granola Bars

Got this recipe out of a super healthy cookbook and I was shocked at how delicious they are! Just make sure to refrigerate them well so they hold together. They're actually pretty good frozen too!

3 c. rolled oats

1/4 C. whole seed millet or quinoa

1/4 C. sliced almonds

1/4 C. high nutrition protein powder

2 TBS raw pumpkin seeds

2 TBS raw sunflower seeds

2 TBS flax seed meal

1/8 tsp salt

1/2 C. raw honey

1 TBS coconut oil

1 TBS flax oil (sunflower market carries it in the supplement section)

In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients. In a small bowl, combine honey and oils (if needed, lightly heat first.)

Stir into dry mixture and mix very well.

Place about 1/4 cup of mixture onto 5" square of plastic wrap and fold sides in, wrapping tightly, pressing mixture together.

Chill for several hours to set.

I ate one of these with a yummy berry smoothie for breakfast the other day and felt so healthy and satisfied that I didn't need to eat until lunch!

Friday, November 5, 2010


No recipe today, just a bit of a rant. We all know what's best for us when it comes to food, right? At least if we're semi-conscious of health issues and trying to be at least ever so slightly informed about our food choices: whole grains, lots of fresh produce, minimal dairy/meats, etc. So, why is it that we still make so many poor choices? And when I say "we" of course you all know who I mean :). It would be one thing if getting depressed and binging on a pint of Ben & Jerry's or a greasy chicken drumstick tasted sooooooo good and made your cares all go away. But when the binge session just results in a stomachache, guilt and a general feeling of disgusting-ness, I just regret every second.

Case in point: i've been trying the challenge of eating 3 cups of veggies and 2 of fruits a day . Not servings, CUPS. It has been hard sometimes to get it all in, but because i personally HATE eating vegetables as a side (it's like a horrible chore that i dread and leave to the end of my meal) I have to incorporate them into my main dish more and more and my general diet for the week has been incredibly healthy. Not to mention I feel fantastic and am more regular than my toddler :). As life would have it, i busted out wicked ol' Giada's cookbook last night in search of dinner and decided to make 2 double chocolate pound cakes for dessert. With chocolate fudge sauce on the side. Yeah, i like to fall hard :)
Long story short, i felt like garbage last night and then, ate a couple pieces of greasy costco rotisserie chicken for lunch and feel even worse. What do I think I'm accomplishing by allowing that crap back into my life after a healthy stint? It doesn't even taste good anymore! That's the crazy thing to me. And so, next time I've got the blues, I am working on having the presence of mind to make vegan chocolate chip cookies instead of calling my poor husband and demanding he bring me eggs, butter and cream on the way home.

Someday I will learn to dominate this weak flesh!