Home » BLOG » whole wheat

Category: whole wheat

Why I Stopped Eating Gluten Free | Just Take A Bite

Why I Stopped Eating Gluten Free

Are you eating gluten free? Or have you wondered if you should? Today I’m at Kitchen Stewardship sharing my story about why I was eating gluten free…and then stopped. And why I’m thankful for wheat!

Why I Stopped Eating Gluten Free | Just Take A Bite

Some people think eating gluten free is a fad. Some say you only need to avoid gluten if you have an allergy.

At the opposite end of the spectrum are the people that think all grains should be avoided by everyone for good health and for autoimmune conditions. The word “wheat” makes them cringe. I ate that way for a while on GAPS but found out the hard way it wasn’t for me.

Then there are those in the middle that are eating gluten free due to celiac disease, hypothyroidism, allergies, digestive impairment and a host of other health ailments. Or simply to try to feel better.

Me? I fall in the middle.

How it all started.

I started eating gluten free when I was struggling with infertility and hypothyroidism.

All of my kids have allergies. So I cut out gluten as part of our effort to heal their bodies. We have all been eating gluten free for quite a few years now.

This decision has had a big impact on my children’s behavior and ability to focus. Once or twice a year I give them a small amount of gluten to see how their bodies are doing. So far they still react very strongly. My son literally goes crazy. My daughter seems like she is in another world.

I truly love gluten free living and enjoy cooking and baking gluten free foods. I’ve got tons of gluten free recipes here.

Why I Stopped Eating Gluten Free | Just Take A Bite I used to eat gluten free...but now I don't. Wheat has literally been a life saver for me and my daughter.

What went wrong.

Then along came baby number three last year. And things got a little crazy.

Head over to Kitchen Stewardship where I’m sharing what happened that led me back to eating gluten and why I’m very thankful for wheat. It truly has been a life saver.

 

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Sourdough Pumpkin Pie Cereal | Just Take A Bite

Sourdough Pumpkin Pie Cereal

Pumpkin isn’t just for fall desserts. Try it in your breakfast! Sourdough pumpkin pie cereal is crunchy, sweet and easy to make. Eat it for breakfast covered in milk or sprinkled on yogurt.

Sourdough Pumpkin Pie Cereal | Just Take A Bite

Are you getting excited for all things pumpkin?

I know I am. It’s crazy to think that just a few years ago I wanted nothing to do with anything pumpkin.

I hated it.

I hated it as a child and as an adult. I just didn’t understand why everyone loved pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin everything.

Until I started roasting fresh pumpkin.

What you get in a can doesn’t even compare to freshly roasted pumpkin.

Sourdough Pumpkin Pie Cereal | Just Take A Bite

Pumpkin, pumpkin everywhere!

Now I love to use pumpkin year round!

Not only is it packed with nutrients, but it tastes great. I use it in soups, breads, muffins, pasta, crackers, pie, ice cream, cheesecake. Pretty much any way you can think of.

I even love it plain with a touch of honey and sea salt.

And yes, I can even handle canned pumpkin now.

Pumpkin for breakfast.

One of my favorite ways to use pumpkin is in sourdough pumpkin pie cereal. It’s like pumpkin pie in your breakfast bowl.

Combine sourdough with pumpkin, sugar and spice and you’ve got an amazing start to your day.

Sourdough pumpkin pie cereal is great with milk. But you can also sprinkle it on yogurt. I like to add it to my salted caramel custard. It is my replacement for granola.

Sourdough Pumpkin Pie Cereal | Just Take A Bite

Pumpkin for snacks.

Most of the time I find myself just munching on it plain! Sourdough pumpkin pie cereal makes a great snack.

Better yet mix it with crispy nuts and dried apples for the perfect fall trail mix.

Any way you serve it this cereal is a delicious fall treat.

Sourdough pumpkin pie cereal is made with traditional sourdough for easier digestion and nutrient absorption. It is also dairy, egg, nut, corn, soy, coconut and rice free.

Are you in need of something different for breakfast this fall?

Grab some pumpkin (fresh or canned) and get a batch of sourdough pumpkin pie cereal started. The whole family will love it!
Sourdough Pumpkin Pie Cereal | Just Take A Bite

Sourdough Pumpkin Pie Cereal
Serves 12
Simple sourdough cereal with pumpkin and spice.
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup sourdough starter
  2. 1 cup wheat, spelt or rye flour
  3. 1/4 cup water
  4. 1 cup pureed pumpkin
  5. 3/4 cups organic cane sugar
  6. 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  7. 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  8. 1 tsp. cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Combine the starter, flour and water. Cover and let soak 6 - 24 hours.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Heat oven to 350*F.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the flour mixture. Mix well.
  4. Spread on the parchment lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 1 hour.
  6. Let cool 10 minutes.
  7. Flip the whole "cake" (leaving the parchment paper on the baking sheet.
  8. Cut into small squares (using a pizza cutter or sharp knife).
  9. Bake another 45 minutes.
  10. Allow to cool completely.
  11. Store in a sealed container at room temperature for up to a month or in the freezer for up to a year.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Rustic Chicken Zucchini Pie With Olive Oil Crust | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Rustic Chicken Zucchini Pie with Olive Oil Crust

Looking for a new way to use up your abundance of zucchini? Rustic chicken zucchini pie with olive oil crust makes the perfect breakfast, lunch or dinner! Serve it warm or cold any time of day for a filling and nutritious meal.

Rustic Chicken Zucchini Pie With Olive Oil Crust | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Summer is about having fun, getting outside and being active. That includes riding bikes, picnics at the park and pool parties.

But summer is also about slowing down, taking it easy and enjoying the simple pleasures. Think lounging on the beach, sitting by the fire watching the stars and snuggling with your kids on a quiet rainy day.

When it comes to soaking up the summer I think of simple, comfort food that utilizes fresh produce.

Rustic Chicken Zucchini Pie With Olive Oil Crust | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Summer food.

Rustic chicken zucchini pie is comfort and summer all wrapped up in a pie crust.

It is a cross between pie and pizza.

The crust is a simple soaked dough made with flour, water, olive oil and salt. The filling is chicken and a bit of squash simmered in bone broth until a thick sauce forms. Finally a layer of zucchini tops the pie for a beautiful and delicious dish.

Simple and versatile.

Rustic chicken zucchini pie is fancy enough for dinner guests. Though you might want to make two! It will go quickly.

It is also simple enough for a weeknight meal that the kids will devour.

Eat it with a fork and knife or your hands. Serve it at the dinner table or pack it in a picnic.

Breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Warm or cold.

A full meal all wrapped up in a delicious package, rustic chicken zucchini pie is really that good and that versatile.

Rustic Chicken Zucchini Pie With Olive Oil Crust | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Allergen friendly.

The thing I love about it is that it is naturally dairy, egg, nut, corn and coconut free. I did use a wheat crust, but gluten free flour can replace the wheat. So it is safe for just about everyone!

If you can tolerate cheese some fresh mozzarella mixed into the sauce or grated parmesan on top would taste great.

No chicken on hand?  Swap it for another meat like sausage. Or simply make it a veggie pie.  The sauce underneath can be made without the meat. Simply add a little extra squash to the broth for a creamy base.

Lunch time!

For all of the busy moms out there chicken zucchini pie is perfect for a grab and go lunch. It’s hard enough to feed the kids let alone find time to make your own lunch. Make a pie at the beginning of the week and grab a slice or two each day for lunch.

If you want to get a head start on school lunches you could make a few chicken zucchini pies, cut them into slices and freeze individual pieces. Simply pull out a piece when you need it for adding to a lunch box or even for an easy breakfast.

I don’t know about you but any time I can get my kids to eat broth while at school is great. Vegetables on top of it is a bonus.


Check out the Lunch Box ebook for more fun recipes (35% off through 9/7/15!)


Don’t let that pile of zucchini go to waste! Create a simple summer dish the family will love. Rustic chicken zucchini pie with olive oil crust is perfect for any occasion.

How do you like to use zucchini – in sweets like zucchini bread, cake and scones or in a savory dish?

Rustic Chicken Zucchini Pie With Olive Oil Crust | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Rustic Chicken Zucchini Pie with Olive Oil Crust
Serves 4
Creamy chicken, fresh zucchini and a simple olive oil crust - the perfect breakfast, lunch or dinner!
Write a review
Print
Crust
  1. 1 cup whole wheat, all purpose or gluten free flour
  2. 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  3. 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  4. 2-3 Tbsp. cold water
  5. 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
Filling
  1. 2 Tbsp. pureed squash
  2. 2 medium zucchini
  3. 1 cup cooked, shredded or diced chicken
  4. 3/4 cup chicken broth
  5. 1/4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  6. 1 tsp. of a combination of basil, rosemary and thyme
Crust
  1. In a food processor combine the flour, salt and olive oil. Pulse until crumbly.
  2. Add the water and lemon juice.
  3. Process until a ball of dough forms.
  4. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 7-24 hours.
Filling
  1. Slice the zucchini and lay it on a cooling rack.
  2. Sprinkle with salt and let sit 20 minutes. Flip and repeat. (This will remove a lot of the water.)
  3. Pat the zucchini dry with paper towel when done draining.
  4. While the zucchini is draining, cook the chicken, squash and salt in broth. Simmer until it is thick and the liquid is evaporated, 5-10 minutes.
  5. Heat oven to 350*F.
  6. Roll the dough into a 12" round on parchment paper.
  7. Spread the chicken filling on the dough, leaving a 2" border.
  8. Layer the zucchini on top of the chicken.
  9. Season with herbs.
  10. Fold edges of dough onto zucchini.
  11. Drizzle the top with olive oil.
  12. Bake for 70 minutes.
  13. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing.
Notes
  1. This can be served warm, room temp or cold.
  2. This can be frozen whole or in slices.
  3. You can add 1/2 cup shredded cheese to the filling and/or the top.
  4. To make a meatless pie omit the chicken and increase the squash to 1/2 cup.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/
Rustic Chicken Zucchini Pie With Olive Oil Crust | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Traditional Blueberry Pie | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Traditional Blueberry Pie

Traditional blueberry pie is a family classic handed down through generations. I’ve added my own twists with a new thickener and a properly prepared crust!

Traditional Blueberry Pie | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

I’ve mentioned before that blueberries are my favorite fruit…and blueberry pie is my favorite pie! So every summer I make at least one blueberry pie. Even if it’s the only blueberry dessert I make.

The problem.

Every year it gets trickier to make our favorite treats as allergies and dietary restrictions change. This year was no exception!

If I combine the current grain/starch/flour restrictions from the whole family it would include:

  • wheat
  • rice
  • corn
  • quinoa
  • oats
  • rye
  • amaranth
  • tapioca
  • cassava
  • potato
  • almonds
  • coconut
  • arrowroot

That doesn’t leave much to work with.

Traditional Blueberry Pie | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

The crust.

So I went the old fashioned route and made a traditional blueberry pie with wheat crust. How convenient that blueberry pie time coincided with our wheat experiment!

We actually don’t have any wheat allergies in our family. I personally have never noticed any reaction to wheat for myself. Though I do usually keep the kids gluten free while they are working on healing.

Traditional Blueberry Pie | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

But sometimes you just have to compromise and experiment. Which meant a properly prepared (soaked) wheat crust.  My husband sure was happy with this change!!

In case you’re thinking I’m straying too far from nourishing foods remember that even Sally Fallon believes all pie crust should be made with white flour! It’s like an unwritten rule. You have to go with traditional when it comes to pie.

I also used the traditional fat for the crust – lard.  It really makes an amazingly flaky crust.  If you don’t have lard butter will work too.

Traditional Blueberry Pie | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

The filling.

After settling on the crust I had to figure out the filling. Blueberry pie needs a thickener. Fresh berries are so juicy!! With no rice, corn, potato, tapioca or arrowroot allowed thickening the filling is quite a challenge.

I opted for a combination of all purpose flour and grass-fed gelatin. It works quite well and adds some nutrients to the filling. The tricky part is guessing how much to use depending on how juicy your blueberries are.

Traditional Blueberry Pie | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

The results.

I bet you can guess how it turned out.

Whole wheat pie crust with a juicy blueberry filling. Yep. It’s good. Really good.

My big kids got to make their own pie. Which means they enjoyed it even more! My oldest did a great job making her own crust and filling.

Pie is such a great project to let your kids help with. Hands are the most important tool!

I made our traditional blueberry pie even better by serving it with freshly made classic vanilla ice cream. My kids helped make that too.

This pie is naturally free of dairy, eggs, nuts, soy, corn and coconut. All important when dealing with allergies.

Now and later.

Blueberry pie freezes very well! You can prepare the entire pie and then freeze it until you are ready to bake. Simply thaw in the fridge for about an hour and follow the same baking instructions.

I like to make two pies at a time so I can have one now and freeze one for later.  Blueberry pie in the middle of winter reminds me that summer will indeed come again.

When it comes to pie I don’t think anything beats blueberry. It sure was a treat to enjoy a traditional pie this summer.  Who knows what next year will bring and what we’ll be eating. So we savored each piece.

What is your favorite pie flavor? Do you go with a traditional wheat crust or make it gluten or grain free?

Traditional Blueberry Pie | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Traditional Blueberry Pie
Serves 10
A classic blueberry pie with a soaked crust and nutrient dense filling.
Write a review
Print
Crust
  1. 2 cups whole wheat or all purpose flour
  2. 1 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  3. 1 tsp. organic cane sugar
  4. 2/3 cup lard (or butter)
  5. 3 Tbsp. cold water
  6. 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
Filling
  1. 4 1/2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen, thawed)
  2. 3/4 cups organic cane sugar
  3. 3 Tbsp. all purpose flour, cornstarch, tapioca, arrowroot or rice flour
  4. 4-6 tsp. grass-fed gelatin (depends how big/juicy the berries are and how thick you like it)
  5. 1/4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  6. 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  7. 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  8. 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
Crust
  1. Combine the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor (this can also be done by hand). Pulse to blend.
  2. Add 1/3 cup lard. Pulse until combined.
  3. Add other 1/3 cup of lard. Pulse until combined and there are pea-size crumbles.
  4. Add the water and lemon juice.
  5. Process until a ball of dough forms.
  6. Split the dough in half.
  7. Roll one of half of the dough on a floured surface and place it in a 9" pie pan.
  8. Cover the pie pan and the remaining dough and chill for 7-24 hours.
Pie
  1. Heat the oven to 450*F.
  2. In a large bowl combine the filling ingredients.
  3. Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust.
  4. Roll the remaining crust on a floured surface.
  5. Cover the filling with the pie crust and seal edges.
  6. Cut slits in the top to allow steam to escape.
  7. Place the pie pan on a sheet pan (in case of spills).
  8. Bake for 10 minutes.
  9. Reduce heat to 350*F and bake for another 40 - 45 minutes.
  10. Allow pie to cool completely before serving.
  11. Serve plain or with ice cream or whipped cream.
Notes
  1. A combination of starchy and whole grain gluten free flour can be used in place of the wheat flour. Increase the amount to 2 1/4 cups.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

 

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Honey Sourdough Soft Pretzels With Bacon Cheddar Cheese Sauce

Honey Sourdough Soft Pretzels with Bacon Cheddar Cheese SauceA few months ago I re-introduced wheat into our diets in the form of traditionally prepared sourdough.  So far it’s going very well.  It is the only wheat we eat.  Since it is fermented most of the gluten is broken down.  I also use spelt since it is a milder form of wheat.

Since then I’ve been making a variety of sourdough goodies.  Of course I make plenty of bread.  But I also make fun food like these soft pretzels.

My kids and my husband really enjoyed these – especially with a delicious bacon cheese sauce!Honey Sourdough Soft Pretzels with Bacon Cheddar Cheese Sauce | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Sourdough pretzels are super easy to make.  The dough is very easy to work with.

The pretzels are also very filling.  You can turn them into a simple Sunday night dinner by paring the pretzels and cheese with a salad (topped with a little protein and homemade dressing with healthy fat).  You’ll get a good balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat.

Need a treat while watching sports?  Sourdough soft pretzels are perfect!  You can make mini ones for munching like appetizers.  Or you can really feel like you’re at the game by indulging in some giant pretzels like you’d get at a concession stand (minus the neon cheese and chemicals).Honey Sourdough Soft Pretzels with Bacon Cheddar Cheese Sauce | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

These would also be great for a kid’s birthday party.  Mini soft pretzels with little cheese cups for dipping.

Honey sourdough soft pretzels with bacon cheddar cheese sauce are fun for kids and adults.  Plus they are properly prepared and don’t contain any unhealthy ingredients. Honey Sourdough Soft Pretzels with Bacon Cheddar Cheese Sauce | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Honey Sourdough Soft Pretzels with Bacon Cheddar Cheese Sauce
Yields 10
A traditional sourdough soft pretzel with bacon cheese dipping sauce.
Write a review
Print
Bagels
  1. 2 cups sourdough starter
  2. 3 3/4 cups spelt flour (or kamut, einkorn, whole wheat or rye)
  3. 1/2 Tbsp. sea salt
  4. 1/3 cup cold water
  5. 3 Tbsp. honey
  6. sea salt for topping
Bacon Cheese Sauce
  1. 1 Tbsp. arrowroot or tapioca flour
  2. 1 Tbsp. bacon grease
  3. 1/2 cup milk
  4. 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  5. 1/4 cup cooked, crumbled bacon (optional)
  6. salt and pepper to taste
Bagels
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the starter, salt, water and honey. Gently mix with a wooden spoon until the salt and honey dissolve.
  2. Add the flour. Mix with the dough hook for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove the dough from the mixer.
  4. Divide it into 10 - 12 equal portions.
  5. Roll the each piece of dough into a long snake and shape it into a pretzel.
  6. Place the pretzels on a greased or parchment lined baking sheet.
  7. Cover and let rise 6-12 hours.
  8. Bake at 350*F for 35 - 40 minutes.
  9. Brush with butter, oil or water and sprinkle on sea salt if desired.
  10. Store unused bagels in a sealed container at room temperature or in the freezer.
Bacon Cheese Sauce
  1. Cook and crumble bacon in advance if you want bacon pieces in your sauce. Reserve the bacon grease.
  2. In a small sauce pan combine the arrowroot and bacon grease. Heat over medium heat until the grease is melted and they combined.
  3. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly.
  4. Continue to whisk until the milk heats and gets to the point it is about to boil.
  5. Reduce heat and add cheese. Whisk until the cheese is melted and combined into the sauce.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Add crumbled bacon if desired.
Notes
  1. If you want the bagel a bit sweeter you can add an extra 1-2 Tbsp. of honey or cane sugar.
  2. Any type of cheese that melts well can be used in place of cheddar.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

The Hows and Whys of Preparing Grains

The Hows and Whys of Grains | Homemade Dutch Apple PieOne of my goals this year is to get back on track with properly preparing my grains.  I’ve been doing it for years now, but got off track with pregnancy and a new baby.

Some may say to just avoid grains.  But I tried that and learned that my body needs them!  The most unhealthy I’ve ever been was when I went grain free.  Grains can be a very healthy part of a real food, traditional diet.  Even Nourishing Traditions and GAPS mention the benefit of properly prepared grains.

So to help us all get to where we need to be I’m sharing some information about why you need to treat your grains in a special way if you are going to consume them and how it’s done.  I actually wrote most of this a couple years ago!  But never shared it here.  It’s a good reminder for myself.  Hopefully it’s a great starting point or reminder for you as well.

In the weeks following this introduction I’ve got some basics and some fun recipes coming that all involve properly prepared grains.  I hope you enjoy!

One of the oddest and most confusing aspects of real food is the idea of soaking grains.  Switching to butter instead of margarine?  No problem.  Drinking raw milk instead of pasteurized?  You bet.  Using honey instead of corn syrup?  Done.  Get your flour wet before using it?  Say that again?  Wet flour?  How could that work?  And why would you want to?  But if you understand why you might find yourself turning your favorite baked goods into healthier soaked versions. The Hows and Whys of Grains | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

It turns out there is actually a good reason to soak grains. Little things called phytates. Grains contain anti-nutrients as a protective mechanism.  This protects them from weather and animals.  But it also makes them difficult to digest.  Your digestive juices are enemies of the grains just like any external enemy.  Grains also have compounds that prevent active enzyme activity in your digestive system. This puts stress on your pancreas. 

In the unsoaked state grains contain phytates, which makes the minerals in the grains unavailable to you.  This can lead to mineral deficiencies and poor bone density (one more thing I learned the hard way when I found out I have seven cavities!). Both enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid can be mostly neutralized by soaking the grains. This makes them easier to digest and makes the nutrients available to your body. This process also begins to pre-digest the grains, breaking down complex starches and tannins that can irritate your stomach, as well as beginning to break down proteins like gluten.The Hows and Whys of Grains | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

So without soaking the grains they are very difficult to digest and are actually harmful to your body.  This holds true for gluten-containing grains like wheat and rye but also for alternative grains like oats, amaranth and teff.  In fact oats, such a dietary staple for so many, has the highest phytate content of any grains!

Grains that are not properly prepared are harmful.  So how do you make them healthy? It’s not as hard as you might think. And, honestly, soaking often makes baking easier! It breaks up the process into very short steps that only take a few minutes here and there. The main thing you have to be willing to do is plan ahead. Soaking does take time. So if you want soaked pancakes in the morning, you have to plan and get them started the day before.The Hows and Whys of Grains | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

The basic idea is that you use cultured dairy or another acid medium like lemon juice to soak the grains for at least 7 hours (ideally 24 hours) before using them.  The length of time required will depend on the grain.

The easiest way to start is by using recipes that give exact instructions on what ingredients to use, how much and how long. Once you get the hang of it you can start experimenting.  Simply replace the liquid in the recipe with a cultured/acidic medium (kefir, buttermilk, yogurt or warm water mixed with lemon juice), mix it with the grains, cover the bowl and let it sit.  Then proceed with the recipe after the grains have soaked.  You can also add the fat/oil during the soaking step.

Soaking can be used on all kinds of grains…wheat, oats, rice, etc. It is also used for lentils, beans and nuts.  There are a few exceptions to the rule.  Coconut flour, white rice, millet and flax seed are relatively low in phytic acid.  Although soaking them will still be beneficial it is not as critical.

Although millet is low in phytic acid, it is goitrogenic.  So limit your  millet intake if you have thyroid problems.

So what do you do if you don’t have time to soak your flour before baking, or what if you forgot to plan ahead? An alternative is to sprout the grains.  This is helpful for those times you have to do some last minute baking. Simply sprout the grains, dry them and grind them into flour. Then the phytates are already neutralized and you don’t have to soak it.  You can buy sprouted grains if you do not want to make your own.The Hows and Whys of Grains | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

A third option for dealing with phytates is sourdough. Sourdough also breaks down the phytates and makes the grains easier to digest. Sourdough can be used for all kinds of baked goods.  If you want bread, sourdough is the way to go.

Soaking grains is a critical step in the baking process if you are not using sprouted grains or a sourdough starter.  It is important for aiding digestion for everyone.  It is especially crucial for anyone with a leaky gut, food allergies or food intolerances.  Even if you avoid some of the common grains like wheat and corn, you still have to properly prepare your food.  If you have cut gluten out of your diet but have not noticed any improvement, try soaking the gluten free grains you eat. 

Some alternative grains and flours are teff, amaranth, tapicoa, millet, rice (white and brown), quinoa, coconut, hemp and garbanzo bean.  These can be prepared in the same manner as their traditional counterparts. The Hows and Whys of Grains | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

The next time you start baking ask yourself one question: “Is my flour wet?”  If it is you’re on your way to a tasty treat that will be easier on your gut and provide your body with important vitamins and minerals.

Do you consume grains?  What is your favorite way to prepare them?

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Homemade Frosted Mini Wheats

After making Oat Squares last week I had the idea to try Mini Wheats.  Similar, but something I can tolerate 🙂  And always a personal favorite cereal.

I woke up about 45 minutes late today, so I had to throw this experiment together in about 10 minutes.

To my great surprise they turned out quite well.  I’m sure I could make them look a bit prettier and be more uniform if I actually had the time.  But on the whole they are good.  They have the flavor of Frosted Mini Wheats.  They are crunchy, but they aren’t too hard.

To help create these I looked at the actual ingredients in the cereal.  There is no liquid.  So I don’t know how they make them.  I do know that whatever process they use makes the cereal not good for you.

I chose to use water to  hold the dough together.  I also decided against adding synthetic vitamins to mine 😛

I only made a small batch to experiment.  When I make them again I’ll do a larger quantity (and maybe take the time to take better pictures).  And I want to try making them with part rice flour sometime.

Homemade Frosted Mini Wheats
makes 1 pint

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup organic cane sugar
1/3 cup water

1 Tbsp. organic palm shortening
2 tsp. organic cane sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Mix the shortening and sugar to form a paste (“frosting”).

Mix flour and sugar.  Gradually add water until the mixture is barely wet enough to hold together.  Use your hands to squeeze the dough/see if it will hold.  You want it just past the crumbly stage.

Take a small handful of dough at a time and shape it into a log.

Spread some of the “frosting” on the log.  Cut into squares.  Place them on the baking sheet.

Repeat this process until the dough is used.

Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.  Turn off oven.  Leave the cereal in the oven another 10 minutes to crisp.  Allow to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Last week I got a request from a friend for a lemon poppy seed muffin recipe.  I’ve never made anything lemon poppy seed.  Truth be told I’ve probably only tasted something lemon poppy seed once or twice in my life.

I’ve just never been a big fan of lemon flavored baked goods – bars, pies, muffins, cakes, anything.

At first I was just going to redirect my friend to another blog/recipe.  But I quickly realized that none of the food blogs I read had lemon poppy seed recipes either!

So I had to come up with my own.

I did a little recipe searching and experimenting.  Here is what I came up with.  Moist.  Slightly sweet.  Lots of lemon flavor.

A real food recipe for lemon poppy seed muffins.  I would actually eat these!  Especially warm from the oven with lots of real butter.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
makes 12 – 18 muffins

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup organic cane sugar
2 eggs
2 cups organic whole wheat or all purpose flour (or a combination)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. poppy seeds
6 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup plain yogurt

Cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs.  Mix well.  Add 1 cup flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Mix.  Add milk + lemon juice.  Mix.  Add remaining 1 cup flour and poppy seeds. Mix.  Add yogurt.  Mix.

Fill paper lined muffin cups 3/4 full.  Bake at 375 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Salsa Bread

Now that we’re mostly over the flu we’re getting back in the kitchen.  And we finally got to try making Rebecca’s salsa bread.

She came up with the idea last week when we were playing with the toy food/dishes.

I used a basic whole wheat bread recipe and adapted it to have salsa and cheese.  Rebecca and Abram both helped make it.

I sometimes hesitate to post bread recipes since baking good yeast bread comes with experience.  You have to adjust the flour/liquid ratio to get a good, elasticy dough.  So I’ll give an approximate amount for each ingredient.  But use your judgement to adjust if the dough doesn’t look right.  I always err on the side of making the dough a little wetter.  In my experience dry dough does not work.

This was seriously sooooo good.  Soft and light.  It smelled like pizza when it was in the oven.  We all really enjoyed it.

Thanks, Rebecca, for such a wonderful recipe idea!!  She was so proud of her bread.  She talked about it all day.  And was so happy to serve it with dinner.  She kept asking Justin if he liked it.

This is great plain or with butter.  It pairs well with most soups.  And it would also work very well for grilled cheese and paninis.  So versatile.

And now we’ve already got the creative juices flowing about what other bread flavors to try.  Stay tuned 🙂

This bread does take time (as does any yeast bread).  But there is very little hands on time.  Most of the time is kneading the dough in a mixer or letting it rise.  Just be sure to plan ahead if you want it with a meal.

Salsa Bread
makes 1 loaf 
prep time: 65 minutes   rise time: 2 – 2 1/2 hours   total time: 3 1/2 – 4 hours

3 cups organic whole wheat and/or all purpose flour, divided (I used a combination)
3/4 + 1/8 cup warm water
1/4 cup honey
1 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast, room temperature
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/3 – 1/2 cup salsa with liquid
1 1/2 Tbsp. melted butter (or coconut oil or palm shortening)
1/3 – 2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or any cheese you like) (this is optional but it does add great flavor)

Mix 1 1/2 cups of flour with 3/4 cups of warm water in a stand mixer bowl.  Allow this to sit for about 30 minutes. This will break down the gluten and help the bread to rise better.

In a small bowl mix together 1/8 cup water, yeast and honey. Allow this to sit for about 10 minutes, or until the yeast is activated and mixture becomes bubbly (I let it sit until the flour/water was done resting).

In the meantime, melt the butter in a small sauce pan. Remove from heat and allow to cool. You don’t want the hot butter to kill the yeast.

When the 30 minutes are up, add salt, melted butter, salsa and yeast mixture to the flour and water mixture.  Add the remaining flour.  Mix with a dough hook.  Knead in the mixer for about 13 minutes.  Add more flour if the dough is too wet.  Add more salsa liquid if the dough is too try.

Once you’ve kneaded your dough, cover it with a cloth and let it rise for at least one hour or until it has risen to twice it’s starting size (be sure it’s in a warm place. I turn my oven to warm and place the bowl on top of the oven. Mine took about 1 1/2 hours to rise.).

While you’re waiting for your dough to rise, get your bread pan greased.
When the dough has doubled in size, give it a nice punch. Using a floured hand, pull the dough out of the bowl onto the counter. Knead for three or four minutes until the air bubbles are all gone.

Roll out the dough about the width of your bread pan and as long as you like.  Sprinkle the cheese all over the dough.  Roll it up, tuck the ends under and place in the prepared bread pan. Cover and allow 30 minutes to one hour to rise again.  The dough will continue to rise when it bakes, so don’t be alarmed if it doesn’t totally fill the pan after this rising.
Bake the bread uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 50 minutes, or until the bread sounds hollow when you thump the top of it.
Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove it to finish cooling on a wire rack.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Homemade Cocoa Puffs

Cereal.  It’s one of the foods we gave up when we switched to a Real food diet.  But I think it’s one of the foods my husband misses the most.  And once in a while I do too.  I used to be a cereal junky (seriously…I HAD to have it for breakfast every single day for about 10 years).

I’ve made soaked cereal (which I think tastes like Wheaties), granola and homemade golden grahams/cinnamon toast crunch.  Yesterday I decided to try cocoa puffs.

I never liked cocoa puffs.  So it’s not something I was missing.  But my husband liked them.  Especially for a bedtime snack.

The kids and I made a batch yesterday.  They turned out pretty well.  Little crunchy chocolaty bites.  They aren’t little balls, but you still get the same effect.  The butter gives some crunch, while the coconut oil gives the light/crispy texture.

I like to use them to make cookies and cream yogurt.  Simply mix a handful into plain or slightly sweetened whole milk yogurt.  A real treat.

**You can make this gluten free as well!!!

Do you still eat cereal?  Did you give up cereal but miss it?  What’s your favorite kind?  Are there any real food versions of cereals you’d like to see?

Homemade Cocoa Puffs
makes about 4 cups

1 3/4 cups flour (organic whole wheat, all purpose or a combination)
1/3 cup organic cocoa powder
1/2 cup organic white and/or brown cane sugar or sucanat
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2-3 Tbsp. honey
1 – 2 tsp. organic chocolate extract
1 tsp. organic vanilla
1/4 cup butter, melted (you can replace this with coconut oil or palm shortening to make it dairy free)
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

Heat oven to 350. Melt butter and coconut oil in sauce pan. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda and salt. Add the liquids: honey, chocolate extract, vanilla, butter/oil. Stir well.  Taste dough and adjust honey and chocolate extract to your liking.  Mix until a nice ball of dough is formed.  The dough should not be crumbly.  If it is gradually a couple Tbsp. of water.  If it is still crumbly gradually add more honey.

Split dough into 2 equal parts. Cut 3 pieces of parchment paper the size of a cookie sheet. Lay one piece on table. Put 1/2 of dough on the paper. Lay a 2nd piece of parchment on top of dough. Squish the dough down a little with your hand. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough between the parchment paper. Roll until the dough is about 1/8″ – 1/4″ thick. Remove the top piece of parchment paper. Cut into very small squares (with pizza cutter).  Place on a baking sheet (on the parchment paper…just move the whole thing onto the baking sheet). Repeat for other half of dough.

Bake for 11-12 minutes. Turn off oven, but leave cereal in to get crisp. Remove after about 10 minutes (if some of the puffs are burning remove the pan). Let cool completely.  Separate squares.  Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the freezer.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.