Ezekiel Blueberry Muffins.

I will be the first to admit, Ezekiel 4:9 cereal is not the tastiest of cereals. It needs “help” in order for the kids to even bring a spoon full to their mouth. I wanted to attempt soaking the cereal and using that as a base for a muffin. Last night, after doing lots of research on gluten free baking I came up with these. Now, I am no expert on gluten free baking, I am very much a novice when it comes to this department. I am trying to make gluten free easier, cheaper and more accessible to everyone. I have always been intimidated by all the different flours and unusual ingredients, like xanthan gum, so my recipes are basic and use common ingredients you would typically have in your home.

I am not sure if you know much about sprouted grains. They are awesome. I am attempting to eat them and give them to my son to see if they bother his stomach. Since he was not officially diagnosed with Celiacs Disease we have the ability to play around with ingredients like this. Here is a good description of sprouted grains and their benefits from Food For Life’s website (they make Ezekiel 4:9).

“…More and more people are finding out that the only way to unlock the vital benefits we expect from grains is to sprout them first. Here are some benefits you’ll get from sprouted grains:

  • Increased Digestibility – Sprouting breaks down starches in grains into simple sugars so your body can digest them easily.
  • Increased Absorption of Minerals – Sprouting breaks down enzyme inhibitors, so your body can more easily adsorb calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc.
  • Increased Antioxidants – Sprouting releases more antioxidants that are naturally stored in the grains and seeds.
  • Increased Vitamin C – Sprouting produces vitamin C.
  • Increased Vitamin B – Sprouting increases the vitamin B2, B5 & B6

In addition to all the vital benefits you’ll receive from sprouted foods, we at Food for Life, craft our food to promise you even more integrity.

  • We use only freshly sprouted certified organic live grains.
  • Our products are kosher.
  • We use absolutely no flour. Studies have shown that grinding grains into flour increases the surface area upon which enzymes in the body can work to more. quickly convert starch into glucose.
  • We don’t use any genetically modified organisms (GMO’s)
  • We don’t use refined sugars. When sugar is refined and processed there are many harmful ingredients that are added to the sugar as a result. Instead, we use malted barley, a natural sweetener produced from sprouted barley, which is basically a carbohydrate comprised mostly of complex carbohydrates rather than the “sugar” carbohydrates.
  • We don’t use anything artificial – no preservatives or shortenings.
  • We use a unique slow-bake process to preserve the natural fiber and bran benefits of grains.

I hope you venture out and purchase this cereal and try these unique muffins. My kids gave them 2 big thumbs up! I will warn you they are not super sweet. I enjoy the natural sweetness from the blueberries coming through without an overpowering sugary sweet. I topped the kids with raw honey.

Ezekiel Blueberry Muffins

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Ingredients:

  • 2 c. Ezekiel 4:9 cereal
  • 1 1/4 c. whole organic milk
  • 2 1/2 T. vinegar
  • 1 organic egg + 1 egg white
  • 1/4 c. packed organic brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. raw sugar
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • 1 t. orange juice
  • 1 c. + 2 T. All Purpose GF Flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 T. organic baking powder
  • 1/4 t. kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 c. fresh blueberries

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Soak cereal with milk and vinegar for 5 minutes or until the cereal is soft. Stir to make sure it all gets covered
  3. Add the eggs, sugar, vanilla and orange juice, mix well
  4. Slowly add the all purpose flour and blueberries and stir just until incorporated
  5. Pour into greased muffin tins all the way to the top. It will be very runny. Mine made 15 muffins
  6. Bake for 20 minutes

Summer Eats. Poor Man’s Crab Cake {Tuna Cakes}

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My Husband and I absolutely love a good crab cake. You know, the kind that has huge chunks of meat and is not overloaded with breading or overpowering flavors. It is simple, fresh and full of natural flavors. Ah, so good. Well, unfortunately we cannot afford to eat them all that often because a good crab meat is so expensive. I was craving crab cakes on our tuna budget the other day so I had to come up with something to satisfy that craving. This is how my “Poor Man’s Crab Cake” came to be…I hope you try it and are just as pleasantly surprised by it’s flavor. My husband even made the comment that these could fool you to thinking you are really biting into a crab cake!

 

The most important ingredient in this is getting the right tuna. The tuna I used is from Costco, if you have a Costco near you please go by yourself this little treasure. The brand is Wild Planet. It is 100% pole and troll caught wild albacore tuna. It is NOT in water or oil, just the natural tuna juices, which is one reason this tuna is so good. The label reads perfectly so I will just quote it for you:

You’ve never tasted tuna like this before! We hand-cut and pack delicious, premium tuna steaks in a micro-cannery process. All the Omega 3 oils are retained and no liquid is added; please don’t drain. We selected smaller albacore which accumulate less mercury than the larger albacore typically used by conventional tuna companies. Wild Plant packs 100% pure tuna! No water, oil or fillers added. No BPA used in can lining.”

The label is not misleading by any means, what they say is what you get with this little can. It truly is a tuna “steak” and comes in one nice big piece, this makes it perfect for cutting bigger chunks for the tuna cake recipe. It is around $10.00-$11.00 for 6/5oz cans. Although when I bought it Costco had a coupon making them only $9.00! Gotta love Costco.

Here is what the packaging looks like:

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Poor Man’s Crab Cake {Tuna Cakes}

Makes 6-8 cakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans 10oz Wild Planet tuna (not drained)
  • 1/2 c. plain bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 3 T. mayonaise (*see note at bottom on organic mayo tips)
  • 2 T. parsley, chopped
  • 1 sprig green onion, chopped
  • 1 t. old bay
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • organic olive or grape seed oil, for frying
  • 1 lemon, for squeezing on cakes after they are finished
  • Tomato, lettuce and raw cheddar cheese for the toppings

Preparation:

  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl
  2. Form the cakes to your desired size
  3. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium/high heat
  4. Add your cakes to the pan, I fit 8 in a pan
  5. Sprinkle more old bay on them before flipping
  6. Fry until brown on both sides, about 4 minutes each side
  7. Serve warm on a toasted bun, I found some really yummy cheddar buns at the store

**Tips for buying mayo:

Your typical store bought, white and creamy mayo is full of GMO’s. I have to admit, it is really yummy and finding a good alternative won’t happen. Although there are some options out there. You can find this brand:

mayo

Spectrum Organic Olive Oil Mayonnaise at most health food stores and it is a decent alternative.

 

 

Or I have found some recipes for making your own. Here is one that I have not tried, but it looks pretty good! Here is a video tutorial on the recipe via Girl Meets Nourishmenthttp://girlmeetsnourishment.com/gmnwordpress1/how-to-make-lacto-fermented-mayo/

 

 

 

Summer Eats. Georgia Peach Crisp.

 

 

One thing I love about living in the state of Georgia is in the summer the peaches are in abundance and super cheap. I love peaches all ways: plain, grilled, baked or even in a salsa. One of my favorites is my Great Grandmother’s peach pie my Mom used to make, my Mom is a fantastic pie baker. Since we cannot all eat gluten I have not baked a pie in SO long. It is rather depressing. I am not ready to attempt a gluten free pie crust for fear it will flop and add to my disappointment. So I opted to make a really crispy peach crisp. It hit the spot and satisfied all our “pie” cravings. The topping is very crispy and the inside is creamy and warm. I hope you enjoy it.

Georgia Peach Crisp

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Ingredients:

filling.

  • 8 peaches, sliced
  • 1/4 c. raw sugar + 1/2 t. molasses (makes homemade brown sugar)
  • 1/2 t. kosher salt
  • 1/4 c. gluten free all-purpose flour or regular if you are no gluten free
  • 2 heaping t. cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. nutmeg

topping.

  • 1 1/4 c. old fashioned oats (could use GF or regular)
  • 1 c. gluten free all-purpose flour or regular if you are no gluten free
  • 1 c. raw sugar + 1 T. molasses
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • pinch of all spice
  • 1/2 t. kosher salt
  • 3/4 c. almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1 stick organic unsalted butter, really cold – cut into chunks

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350
  2. Lightly butter an 8×8 dish and set aside
  3. Mix together your topping ingredients, all except the butter
  4. Add the butter and use your hands or a pastry cutter to work the butter into the dry ingredients. I found my hands the easiest to use. Keep mixing until you cannot see chunks of butter anymore
  5. In a large bowl, mix all of the filling ingredients together gently. Peaches tend to fall apart, so be careful when mixing. Make sure all the peaches are coated evenly
  6. Pour the peaches into your glass baking dish. It doesn’t need to look pretty, just evenly divided out
  7. Slowly add the topping, pressing it down firmly. Make sure all the sides are covered and you cannot see the peaches
  8. Bake uncovered for  40-50 minutes. It all depends on your oven. I would start checking at 40 minutes, mine took 45 minutes. You know it is done when you top is lightly browned and you can see the peaches bubbling out (SO GOOD!)
  9. Serve it with vanilla bean ice cream or eat it alone. Enjoy!

*TIP* place a baking sheet on the rack under your peach crisp. Some of the peaches will most likely bubble out and this will save it from smoking at the bottom of your oven!

Day Fifty Three. Comfort Foods {Savory Meatloaf}

Day Fifty Three.

 

I will be the first to admit I love food. Food is comforting to me and even more than just eating it, cooking it. I can zone everything out and cook or bake and my world is just fine. For instance, tonight my husband was home early from work and I was in the “cooking zone”. I was busy making meatloaf, honey glazed carrots and buttery mashed potatoes. The littles (3 of them and a dog) were all running around screaming, wrestling and well, just being the noisy kids they are. Me, I was in my kitchen, cooking and not really hearing the loud-chaotic household. My Husband looked like a poor deer in headlights. Obviously he was not feeling my zone.

 

Comfort is something we all crave. The last few months I have felt fairly uncomfortable in my kitchen. Learning the art of cooking gluten free, and believe me it IS an art, knowing my “new” ingredients, understanding healthy cooking, it has been a huge learning curve and it has been a long time since I could get in that “cooking zone”.  Tonight was complete kitchen bliss. Topped off with every one, including the baby, gobbling it up and asking for seconds. That does any cook a world of good. Doesn’t it?

 

I hope that my posts encourage you to jump all in and start the healthy real food lifestyle. It DOES seem impossible at first, it IS overwhelming and it IS a budget increase. BUT the benefits have far outweighed all the cons and you DO adjust, taste buds DO change and you WILL find ways to make your dollar go further.

 

Here is the recipe for my Mom’s meatloaf. She has made this for our family for years and it one of those things that when I make it and start to smell it baking in the oven my heart is warmed and a smile inevitably comes to my face. It reminds me of “home” and good times as a child around the dinner table with my family. I hope the smell of this meatloaf becomes a familiar one for my children and in the future it brings them the same feelings. Do you have a comfort food that does that for you?

 

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Savory Meatloaf {Gluten Free Version}

Ingredients

Meatloaf:

  • 2/3 c. dry bread crumbs, I crumbled up gluten free sandwich bread
  • 1/2 c. organic whole milk
  • 1 1/2 lbs organic ground beef
  • 2 slightly beaten eggs
  • 1/4 c. onion, finely diced
  • 1 t. kosher salt
  • 1/4 t. cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 t. sage, I did not have sage so I used 1/2 t. fresh oregano 

Piquant Sauce:

  • 3 T. organic brown sugar
  • 1/4 t. nutmeg
  • 1/4 c. organic ketchup
  • 1 t. dry mustard

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Soak break crumbs in milk, for around 5 minutes
  3. Mix the meat, eggs, onion and seasonings. I like to use my hands to get a good consistency
  4. Mix in the soaked bread crumbs
  5. Form the meat into a loaf and and place in a greased 13×9 pan
  6. Spread the piquant sauce over the top
  7. Bake for 1 hour or until desired doneness.

Ain’t Your Grandma’s Coleslaw {gluten & dairy free}

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I have never been a huge fan of the mayo based coleslaw or even cabbage itself. Just not my taste. But, as I have been reading various articles I knew that cabbage was a vegetable I wanted to add more of in my diet. It is rich in fiber, vitamin C, a natural detoxifier and has even shown signs of reducing risk of cancer. I just needed to make a recipe that suited my taste buds, but could never bring myself to buy it.

Low and behold, last week in my farmers market basket (my local organic co-op) what did I get? A huge head of cabbage! I knew this was my opportunity to make it shine and shine it did in this coleslaw. Everyone loved it and it did not last long around here.

I hope you enjoy it!

Ain’t Your Grandma’s Coleslaw

Ingredients:

Salad.

1 lg. head of green cabbage, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and shredded
1 small onion
1/2 c. cilantro

Dressing.

1/3 c. rice wine vinegar
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 T. sesame oil
1 t. ground ginger
3-4 T. raw sugar

Preparation:

In a small bowl whisk the dressing together and set aside.
Cut up all veggie and place in a large bowl.
Toss with dressing and refrigerate for 2 hours.