Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Gluten Free Teff Ginger Molasses Cookies

Teff is becoming more popular these days in the public eye. Everyone is looking for the next big grain and this might be it. I have enjoyed teff for many years now in the form of injera bread, a spongy, sour bread traditionally served with Ethiopian food. Teff is considered a "super food" high in protein, calcium, iron, amino acids and is also gluten free! Baking with teff is new to me, but with a little one in my house now, I am interested in using grains in baking that serve a nutritional point and are higher quality. These cookies are awesome! Because they are 100% teff, they are slightly sandy in texture, but don't let that sway you. They are still moist and so, so flavorful. I completely forgot about the texture three cookies in! These spice filled cookies would be great any day of the week and especially around the holidays. They are sweetened with only molasses, dates and apple sauce and with no oil added, you could actually consider this to be a HEALTHY cookie!
Teff flour can be found at Ethiopian markets or natural foods stores. The Whole Foods near me sells it in their baking aisle and in bulk, making it easy for me to buy only what I need.

Teff Ginger Molasses Cookies
makes 12+
10 pitted dates
3/4 cup 100% apple juice
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup almond butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups brown teff flour
1 tbl orange zest
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground cloves

Preheat the oven to 350.
In a small pot, combine the dates and apple juice and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes to soften the dates. Transfer to a food processor and add the molasses, almond butter and vanilla. Blend until smooth.
Add the remaining ingredients and blend until a smooth dough forms.
Scoop out balls of dough about 2 tablespoons each. Flatten on a greased baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes. Enjoy!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Crispy Orange Cauliflower with Asparagus

Crispy Orange Cauliflower with Asparagus
serves 3
Orange sauce:
2 large oranges,  juice from both, zest from 1
2 tbl water
2 tbl gf tamari
2 tbl rice vinegar
2 tbl minced green onions (white and light green parts, save the dark green for garnish)
1 tbl organic light brown sugar
1 tbl cornstarch
2 garlic cloves
salt, to taste

Combine everything in a blender and blend until smooth.
In a small pot, bring to a boil then reduce to a low simmer and cook for 3-5 minutes until thick.  Keep warm over very low heat, stirring occasionally so the bottom of the pan doesn't burn.

Cauliflower Batter
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1 tbl ground flax
1 tsp salt
1 small head cauliflower,  cut into medium sized florets
1/2 cup peanut oil
1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
2 tbl minced reserved green onions
1 tbl sesame seeds

Combine the water, cornstarch,  flour, flax and salt. Whisk into a smooth, thick better. Let sit for 5 minutes. Toss the cauliflower in the batter and coat completely.
Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium high and pan fry the cauliflower until lightly browned and crispy.
Drain pieces on a paper towel. Pour out most of the oil, leaving a small amount to lightly saute the asparagus,  4-5 minutes.
Toss the cauliflower in the orange sauce and serve over asparagus.  Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Homemade Cashew Milk

This recipe for homemade cashew milk does not get any easier to make. After soaking your nuts, it's just a matter of blending and straining before you can enjoy a delicious glass. This recipe is not just for cashews, use whatever nut you like best! Almonds, brazil nuts, macadamia nuts-they would all work. In fact, combining nut flavors together could be a fun and delicious way to create new milks you have never seen in stores.
When I first posted this picture online, I stated that I made all 18 cups (1 gallon plus 2 cups) of cashew milk for only FIVE DOLLARS. It's true! But the internet didn't believe me and quickly I got many rebuttals that this would cost upwards of $20 in other cities/states. I purchased 2 cups of raw cashews in the bulk bins at a standard grocery chain in the Pacific NW for a total of $4.22, combined with 10 dates from the bulk bins at $.75 cents and you get....ta da....$5! If I can do it, you can to. Try looking for nuts in bulk, they are always cheaper and you only have to buy what you need.
Keep your milk chilled for up to 7 days. If you aren't going to go through this much in 7 days, simply make half the batch and spend even less money! My family certainly won't go through this much in that allotted time so I am already coming up with other ideas for it. Pureed and strained strawberries would make a KILLER strawberry milk for kids and adults alike. Use as you would any milk in sauces, gravies, smoothies and baking.

Cashew Milk
yields 1 gallon plus 2 cups or 18 cups total
2 cups raw cashews
10 pitted neglect dates (or up to 20 if you want naturally sweetened milk)
1 tbl vanilla extract, optional
cheesecloth, for straining

Combine the cashews and dates together in a bowl and fill with water.
I have a VITAMIX blender which allowed me to only soak for 3 hours but if you do not have a really high powered blender, soak overnight and up to 2 days. The longer you soak the creamier the milk will be.
Drain the soaking water from the nuts and pour the nuts/dates into a blender. Add 2 cups of water and blend for 3 minutes on high until creamy and smooth.
Line a fine mesh strainer with cheesecloth and place over a bowl. Pour the cashew mixture into the strainer and strain completely.
Combine the strained cashew milk with 10 cups of water and vanilla if using. Stir, chill and enjoy!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Old Fashioned Oat Energy Bites

Skip the processed bars, snacks and drinks and pack a couple of these energy bites with you next time you need to refuel. These are great to take to work as a mid day pick me up or to munch on quickly before or after a workout. Substitute the seeds if you desire with chia or poppy and switch out the peanut butter for almond butter for a different spin on a healthy treat.
Old Fashioned Oat Energy Bites
yields 24
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup ground flax
2 cups unsweetened crunchy peanut butter
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup organic grade A maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract

Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Combine the peanut butter and the remaining wet ingredients in another bowl and stir to combine.
Pour the wet into the dry and stir to combine fully. This is easily done using your hands!
Chill for 1 hour then form into tight balls, one inch in diameter. Use a small ice cream scooper for uniform sized bites.
Keep cold during storage.
These are not all that sweet, if you would prefer a sweeter bite, replace some of the water with more maple syrup.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Spicy Almond, Chickpea & Kale Stew with Vegan Chorizo

This stew is rich, and spicy and full of flavor. The addition of almonds adds an unusual, light crunch you don't usually find in stews. Almonds and Chorizo are a natural pair in Spanish cuisine so it's no wonder they work beautifully in this dish. The taste of this dish will vary greatly depending on what type of vegan chorizo you use. I used Field Roast which is slice-able and stays firm unlike most vegan chorizos that are meant to crumble and lean towards more Mexican flavors. Serve with a crusty baguette to sop up all the broth and you've got yourself a meal you will be making over and over again.

Spicy Almond, Chickpea & Kale Stew with Vegan Chorizo
serves 4
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
8 garlic cloves, minced
1 yellow onion, small dice
1 red chile pepper, seeds removed, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
3 Field Roast chorizo sausages, 1/2" slices
1/4 cup toasted almonds, roughly chopped
1 head kale, stems removed, chopped into medium sized pieces
4 cups vegetable broth
1-15oz can tomato sauce
1-15oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

In a medium sized pot, combine the olive oil and garlic and turn the heat on medium to allow the garlic to slowly infuse the oil.
Once the garlic starts to lightly brown, add the onion, red chile and season with salt and pepper. Saute 5 minutes.
Add the sausages and almonds and saute 3-4 minutes.
Add the kale, broth, tomato sauce and chickpeas and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for 25 minutes.
Taste and season with salt if necessary.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Sweet Potato Nachos with Cauliflower Nacho Cheese & Cashew Sour Cream

Can nachos ever really be healthy? They can!
These nachos not only hold all of the flavor of your traditional nachos but they are great tasting and great for you. Eat these for lunch, dinner or serve them at your next get together for a winning dish that is easy to make for any size group.

Sweet Potato Nachos
serves 3
2 small-medium yukon golds, skin on, sliced into 1/4" discs
1 large sweet potato, skin on, sliced into 1/4" discs
1 medium red onion, halved, thinly sliced
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
1 avocado, diced
1/4 cup cilantro leaves

Preheat the oven to broil on high.
Toss the potatoes and onions with olive oil and all of the spices. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and broil for 10 minutes, tossing once after 5 minutes until lightly charred and fully cooked.
Top the potatos with nacho cheese, sour cream, black beans, avocado and cilantro.

Cauliflower Nacho Cheese
yields 1 1/2 cups
1 1/2 cups cooked cauliflower florets
1 cup canned, diced tomatoes with roasted green chilies
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
juice of 1/2 lime

Combine the cooked cauliflower and the remaining ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Cashew Sour Cream
yields 1/2 cup
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked at in water for least 1 hour, or more if your blender isn't high powered
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tbl extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1/2 lime
salt, to taste

Drain the cashews and combine all of the ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth, thick and creamy.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Kid-Friendly Banana Bread

I call them kid-friendly but really these are friendly for all ages. I made these for my 9 month old baby girl but I enjoyed them a lot! These sugar-free, gluten-free treats are a wonderfully healthy treat perfect for little hands to hold and enjoy.

Kid Friendly Banana Bread
yields 1 dozen small muffins
2 cups old fashioned gluten free oats
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp sea salt
3 ripe bananas
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a muffin or doughtnut tin.
In a food processor, grind the oats into a fine powder and transfer to a bowl. Add the baking powder, soda, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and salt.
Puree the bananas in the food processor and add to the oats along with the applesauce and melted oil.
Stir to combine.
Divide into 12 muffin tins and bake for 15 minutes. 
I used a doughnut tin I have but never get any use out of it. Whatever shape you do, keep these in small shapes so they stay moist.
Freeze to store extras.