October 27, 2010

Crockpot Cinnamon Apples

You can mash these up into applesauce or keep them in chunks. These apples are wonderful as a side dish, a snack or to use as a topping for desserts.

4 pound of apples, cored and sliced into thin chunks
2-4 tablespoons raw cane sugar (optional)
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 - 1 cup of water

Mix apples (about 10 - 12 cups) with cinnamon and sugar and put into crockpot. Pour water and lemon juice over apples. Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours. Enjoy!
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Gingerbread Cake topped with warm Crockpot Cinnamon Apples

This is a scrumptious gluten free, vegan gingerbread topped with warm crockpot cinnamon apples and honey sweetened whipped cream!

Gingerbread Cake complement of: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook

2 cups brown rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons ginger powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup melted virgin coconut oil (or butter or olive oil) (I use 1/2 coconut oil and 1/2 butter)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup blackstrap molasses
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil an 8x8-inch square baking pan. Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients. Add the wet to the dry and mix well with a wire whisk. Pour the batter into the oiled baking pan and bake for about 25 minutes. When the cake is cooled I serve it topped with warm crockpot cinnamon apples and honey sweetened whipped cream. Enjoy!
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October 21, 2010

Honey Wheat Sandwich Buns

1 1/4 cup milk, warmed
2 1/4 teaspoon yeast
2 cups unbleached white flour
1 cup whole wheat bread flour
1/2 cup whole spelt flour (or more whole wheat)
1 /2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, at room temperature
1/4 cup honey

Add the yeast to the warm milk and stir to dissolve. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flours and salt. Mix on low speed to combine. Add the yeast-milk mixture, egg and honey. Knead on low speed for 8-10 minutes. You may need to add a few more tablespoons of flour until the dough clears the sides of the bowl and you have the desired consistency (smooth and tacky, but not sticky). Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise until nearly doubled, about 1 - 1 1/2 hours. Once the dough has risen, transfer the ball to a lightly floured work surface and gently deflate the dough. Divide the dough into 9-10 equal sized pieces. Form each piece of dough into a flattened round, 3.5 to 4 inches in diameter. Transfer the shaped rounds to a baking sheet. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise until nearly doubled, about 1 - 1 1/2 hours. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. If you want you can combine 2 tablespoons of butter with 1 tablespoon honey and lightly brush the tops of the rolls. Bake for 14-15 minutes. I like to brush the rolls with a little more butter when they come out of the oven and then cover them with a clean tea towel until they have cooled. Enjoy!
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Gluten Free Vegan Magic Bars

These are another wonderful treat to add to your gluten free Christmas cookie platter. They also make a great guilt-free treat for everyone who finds them delicious. I encourage you to try them even if you can have gluten and aren't a vegan!

2 cups almond flour (I placed 2 cups of raw almonds in my magic bullet and made my own almond flour/meal)
2 tablespoons cane sugar
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons melted non-dairy butter substitute (like Earth Balance) - I just used real butter, but I do love Earth Balance as a spread
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup coconut milk - (or any kind of milk would work great too)
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot powder
2 cups dairy free chocolate chips (or whatever kind you prefer)
1/2 cup maraschino cherries, drained, patted dry and quartered (I used some frozen cherries I had from this last summer)
1 cup sliced or slivered almonds
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 inch by 12 inch baking dish with gluten-free non-stick cooking spray (or butter or olive oil). In a mixing bowl, mix the almond flour with the sugar, honey, butter and salt until well combined. Moisten hands with water and pat the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. (This will make a nice thin layer) In another mixing bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, honey and cornstarch (I heated it a little on the stove top until well blended, but only slightly warm). Pour over the almond crust. Sprinkle the chocolate chips, cherries, almonds and coconut evenly over the top. Gently press down. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until the almonds and coconut flakes are browned and toasty (I think mine took about 25 minutes). Let cool. I placed them in the refrigerator after they were cooled down. This made them easy to cut into squares. I also like to keep them in the refrigerator and take them out about an hour before serving. Enjoy!
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October 7, 2010

Gluten Free Ginger Snaps

If you can't eat gluten and are looking for holiday cookies to make this recipe might make your list!

Complements: Enjoy Life's Cookies for Everyone!

4 cup butter
1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
1 cup brown sugar (or 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup honey)
1/4 cup flax meal
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup brown rice flour (they use white rice flour)
1/2 cup rice bran (I used oat bran because that is what I had)
1/3 cup tapioca flour
5 teaspoons water (may be able to omit most or all of the water if you are using 1/2 cup honey)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Icing (I recommend cutting it in half, you can just drizzle the icing)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together butter, molasses, brown sugar, flax meal, and salt. Mix in rice flour, bran, tapioca flour, 5 teaspoons water, baking soda, ginger, and cinnamon; form into ball. Dough will be dense. Pinch off pieces of dough, and roll into 1-inch balls. Place about 12 balls on greased baking sheet. Flatten balls with spatula. Bake about 12 minutes, until middles are firm. Let cookies cool 1 minute on baking sheet before removing to flat surface to cool completely. To make Icing: Mix sugar and lemon juice until mixture reaches spreadable consistency. Drizzle over or frost cooled cookies. Makes 2 dozen. Enjoy!

Note: They also use flax meal instead of an egg. If you don't have flax meal try using one egg instead, although I encourage you to keep flax meal on hand if you don't already. Flax meal is a great way to get essential fatty acids without any added cholesterol or saturated fat.

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October 5, 2010

Cooking with Kids!

Your kids see you cooking in the kitchen from day one of their lives. Do you desire to raise healthy, wholefood loving children? Children are going to learn to eat from example, exposure and experience!

Right around the ripe age of 7-9 it is time to start your kids in the direction of independence in the kitchen! (You want them cooking meals for you by age 10 right :)). "Kids Cooking" is one cookbook that is great for starting your kids off in the kitchen. It has pictures for the ingredients and a picture for each step of instructions.

If you have a 7, 8 or 9 year old start by having them choose one meal to make each week or every other week (or once a month). Have them start by making a grocery list from the ingredients listed for their chosen recipe. Then when it comes time for them to prepare the meal have them gather everything from around the kitchen and do each step as much on their own as possible. This particular book calls the adult in the kitchen the assistant (my kids love that part of it).

A few examples from the book include: Four ways to cook an eggceptional breakfast (4 ways to cook an egg), Guacamole, Popcorn (using the stovetop!), homemade applesauce, alphabet soup (from scratch), spaghetti (sauce from scratch, well using a can of plan tomato sauce and adding all the yummy spices, but you can explain how the sauce is just purred tomatoes, or better yet puree your own to use :)), non-yukky vegetables (cooking/steaming your vegetables just right and not over cooking them, or use the chance to talk about the benefits of eating vegetables raw too!), green salad with homemade dressing, frozen bananas (covered with dark chocolate, walnuts and coconut), banana and strawberry smoothly and even recipes for homemade playdough and giant soap bubbles.

*NOTE: This book is only one small example of a kid friendly cookbook. The recipe book, "Kids Cooking", that I have posted here was not created to be a wholefoods super healthy cookbook for kids. The point is to get your kids in the kitchen. Make it fun. They want to feel in control. This book is just a platform for talking about healthy eating habits, learning how to read a recipe and practicing cooking techniques. You can mention how a recipe calls for all-purpose flour, but encourage them to use whole wheat pastry flour or half spelt flour. Point out how they use honey for making the ambrosia salad and honey is an excellent alternative to refined white sugar. If they make the "Buried Treasure Muffins" you can talk about why you are using raw cane sugar instead of refined white sugar and inform your child that the raw cane sugar still has molasses left in it which is a source of healthy nutrients (not to mention all the chemicals used to process the refined white sugar that they are missing out on).

Your children WILL learn from example, exposure and experience. If they see you cooking with wholefoods on a daily basis then it will rub off on them. They'll get it. If you are offering a raw salad or vegetable tray a few times a week (or better yet sometime each day) eating raw vegetables will become a habit. If you go to the farmers market and pick out fresh and local (and it would be great if it is organic too) fruits and vegetables this will be part of a way of life for your kids.

Always talk about any unusually ingredient you are using. Hopefully, unusually ingredients (for example: various grains/flours, all different healthy oils, alternative sweeteners, raw foods) will not be unusually to your kids when they leave the nest!

Happy cooking with those little ones and enjoy!
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October 3, 2010

Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp

Have you made your first crisp of the season yet? This is the only fruit crisp recipe you'll ever need! In the fall and winter you can use crisp apples and tender pears. In the spring and summer you'll want to use luscious seasonal berries. Any combination of fruit and you can't go wrong with this recipe. It is a crowd pleaser ever time.

Complements: www.foodnetwork.com

note: This recipe makes a lot. It will make 2 -8" pie pans full or 1 big deep dish full

5 pounds apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1-2 inch cubes (or any combination of fruit, I often don't measure and just fill a medium to large size mixing bowl full of the fruit(s) I have chosen to use)
grated zest of 1 orange (optional, I typically omit)
grated zest of 1 lemon (optional, I typically omit)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice (optional)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4-1/2 cup cane sugar (it depends on how sweet your fruit is)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

for the topping;
1 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (I think I'll try a gluten free flour next time and see how it turns out. I'll let you know)
3/4 cup cane sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup oatmeal (I use extra thick rolled)
1/2 pound cold unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the apples (or your chosen fruit(s)) with the zests, juices, sugar and spices. Pour into the dish. To make the topping, combine the flour, sugars, salt, oatmeal and cold butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is the size of peas. (Or use a pastry blender) Scatter evenly over the apples (fruit). Place the crisp on a sheet pan and bake for 45 minutes - 1 hour until the top is brown and the apples are bubbly. I then take it out of the oven and let it sit for at least 1 hour before serving. You can serve it warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!
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October 2, 2010

Bob's Red Mill "Outrageous Muffins"

These muffins are loaded with healthy fats, protein and a variety of grains. They are low in sugar and have a very "hardy" taste to them.

Complements: Bob's Red Mill

1/3 cup whole soy flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup ground almonds (I ground them in my magic bullet)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup yogurt, plain
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup vegetable oil
grated peel of 1 large orange (no white pith) (optional)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried apples, diced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare muffin tins, set aside. Mix dry ingredients and dried fruit together in a large bowl. Combine wet ingredients and stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Batter should be lumpy. Fill prepared muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake 25 minutes. Allow muffins to cool for 5 minutes before serving. Makes 12 regular sized muffins or 24 mini muffins. Enjoy!
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