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Salted Caramel Cupcakes with Maple Bacon Glaze | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Salted Caramel Cupcakes with Maple Bacon Glaze

Looking for a unique treat that is both salty and sweet? Salted caramel cupcakes with maple bacon glaze are the perfect solution. They are free of gluten, dairy, corn and nut but full of flavor.

Salted Caramel Cupcakes with Maple Bacon Glaze | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

When it comes to dessert cupcakes top the list for fun, portable and easy to eat. No need to fuss with cutting or plating.

Simple. Just the way I like it.

There are so many cupcake flavors to choose from. Chocolate, vanilla and yellow are traditional flavors. Or you can add some fun with strawberry and coconut.

But if you really want to kick your cupcakes up a notch try a salted caramel cupcake base with maple bacon glaze.

The cake is properly prepared with soaked gluten free grains. The glaze is made with only four simple ingredients, including bacon grease and urefined sea salt!

Salted Caramel Cupcakes with Maple Bacon Glaze | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

The family consensus.

I thought these salted caramel cupcakes were amazing! I am a sucker for anything sweet with a pop of saltiness. Add bacon on top? You’ve got a winner. I would have gladly eaten the whole batch myself.

And I may have eaten a few for breakfast!

My husband enjoyed them, but wasn’t sure he liked quite so much bacon flavor in his cupcake.

The kids felt the same – good cupcakes, pretty strong on bacon.

You can adjust the bacon flavor to your liking by adjusting the amount of bacon grease used in the glaze. It will also depend on your bacon. Ours is quite smokey and has a very strong flavor.

Salted Caramel Cupcakes with Maple Bacon Glaze | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

The cake.

Salted caramel cupcakes have a great balance of salty and sweet. They are actually good without adding any frosting or glaze.

You could go for a simple vanilla buttercream on top too if you like more sweet. Chocolate frosting would also pair well with the salty base.

The cake itself is soft and moist from soaking the gluten free grains. Not too dense but also not crumbly. It holds up well in little hands.

Allergen friendly.

These cupcakes are gluten, dairy, nut, corn, rice, soy and coconut free. If you can’t have eggs you could use an egg replacement.

In other words they are safe for just about everyone!

Bring on the birthday parties. Salted caramel and bacon are the perfect combination for a celebration.

Are you a salty and sweet fan? Looking for a confection that’s unique and allergen friendly?

Salted caramel cupcakes with maple bacon glaze give a whole new meaning to dessert. Easy, fun, salty, sweet goodness.

Salted Caramel Cupcakes with Maple Bacon Glaze | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Salted Caramel Cupcakes with Maple Bacon Glaze
Yields 12
An allergen friendly salty and sweet cupcake perfect for birthdays and holidays.
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Cupcake
  1. 1/4 cup amaranth or brown rice flour
  2. 1 cup sorghum or white rice flour
  3. 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  4. 1 cup warm water
  5. 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  6. 1/4 cup maple syrup
  7. 1 tsp. organic vanilla (use corn free if allergic to corn)
  8. 1 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  9. 1 tsp. baking soda
  10. 1 egg or egg substitute
  11. 1 1/2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  12. 1/4 cup organic cane sugar or coconut sugar
Glaze
  1. 2 Tbsp. melted bacon grease
  2. 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  3. 4 Tbsp. organic cane sugar
  4. pinch sea salt (optional)
Cupcake
  1. Combine the amaranth, sorghum and tapioca flour. Whisk to remove any lumps.
  2. Add the water and lemon juice. Mix and work out any lumps.
  3. Cover and let sit 7-24 hours.
  4. Heat the oven to 325*F. Line a muffin pan with muffin cups.
  5. Add the syrup, vanilla, salt, soda, egg, oil and sugar to the soaked mixture.
  6. Beat until well combined.
  7. Fill muffin cups almost full.
  8. Bake for 45 minutes.
  9. Allow to cool completely before glazing.
Glaze
  1. Combine the melted bacon grease, syrup, sugar and salt. Mix well.
  2. Top the cupcakes with glaze.
  3. Refrigerate to solidify the glaze.
  4. Serve at room temp or straight from the refrigerator.
  5. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator.
Notes
  1. Some or all of the bacon grease can be replaced with melted lard, butter or coconut oil to reduce the bacon flavor.
  2. The cupcakes freeze well. Freeze without glaze.
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This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.

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.


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

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Peaches and Cream Overnight Oats | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Peaches and Cream Overnight Oats

Peaches and cream overnight oats make a satisfying breakfast. Prepared in advance, they are a grab ‘n’ go breakfast everyone will love. Use fresh peaches in the summer and frozen or canned peaches in the winter.

Peaches and Cream Overnight Oats | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

I try my best to do breakfast preparation in advance. In the morning I want everything ready to go.

When my husband is getting ready for work…breakfast is ready.

When one kid wakes up early and is instantly begging for food…breakfast is ready.

When the baby needs to nurse and everyone else is hungry…breakfast is ready.

Since we don’t eat store-bought cereal I need other quick and easy breakfasts that are ready for the family even if I’m busy.

Peaches and cream overnight oats are the perfect solution.

Peaches and Cream Overnight Oats | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Simple, simple, simple.

It only takes about five minutes to prepare overnight oats. I line up jars for however many servings I’m going to make. Then just add the ingredients to each jar and mix.

Peaches and cream overnight oats only contain five ingredients. All of them except for the peaches are pantry and refrigerator staples. So you can whip up a batch just about any time.

Give them a boost.

In addition the five base ingredients you can add collagen for protein and egg yolk for vitamins. This will make peaches and cream overnight oats a very balanced breakfast. That includes three components:

  1. Proteinyogurt, collagen, egg yolk
  2. Carbohydrates – oats, peaches, maple syrup
  3. Fat – whole milk yogurt or coconut yogurt

One other thing I love is that the overnight soaking makes the oats much better for you!

Peaches and Cream Overnight Oats | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Get ready to host.

These overnight oats are great for the whole family on a school day morning. But that’s not all.

Peaches and cream overnight oats are fancy enough for hosting overnight guests or a brunch. Mix up a bunch of small jars of the oats and leave the peaches on top. They look so elegant. Plus you can just pull them out of the fridge in the morning and have time to visit with your guests. No cooking necessary.

Change it up.

If you aren’t a fan of peaches in your yogurt or you just don’t have any on hand you can swap another fruit. Stone fruits like plums, apricots and nectarines work very well.

Or you can use berries and cherries. They can be fresh or go right from the freezer to the oat mixture. By morning they will be thawed and ready to go!

No matter what flavor you choose overnight oats are a perfect prep ahead breakfast. You can make them for a busy weekday morning or even make a batch while you enjoy some end of summer travel. All of the ingredients are available wherever you go.

On the go.

Peaches and cream overnight oats are also great for school lunches and snacks. Just mix it up the night before. Put a lid on and pack it in the lunch box. It is ready to go when your child is ready to eat.

By using gluten free oats this breakfast is not only delicious but also gluten, egg, nut, corn, soy and rice free. If you use coconut yogurt it is also dairy free. There is a version for just about everyone!

In need of an easy breakfast? Peaches and cream overnight oats are the way to go!

Peaches and Cream Overnight Oats | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Peaches and Cream Overnight Oats
Serves 2
Peaches and cream overnight oats make a satisfying breakfast. Prepared in advance with fresh peaches, they are a grab 'n' go breakfast everyone will love.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup old fashioned oats (be sure to get gluten free oats if you are gluten free)
  2. 1 cup plain whole milk yogurt or coconut yogurt
  3. 4 Tbsp. maple syrup (adjust to your liking)
  4. 1/4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  5. 1 large peach, peeled and cut up (over oats)
  6. optional - 2 tsp. collagen, 1 egg yolk
Instructions
  1. Divide the oats, yogurt, maple syrup and salt (and collagen and egg yolk if desired) between two small jars or dishes. Mix well.
  2. Cut up the peaches over the jars so the juice drips into the jars.
  3. Cover and refrigerate 7-24 hours.
  4. Stir in peaches when ready to eat.
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Soaked Gluten Free Noodles

Soaked Gluten Free Noodles | Homemade Dutch Apple PieI’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. When you have a lot of allergies to deal with you can’t just go to the store and buy simple items like bread, crackers and noodles.

This is especially true if you are gluten free and can’t have rice or corn (like my son). Removing wheat, corn and rice eliminates just about any kind of convenience food you can buy – especially noodles.Soaked Gluten Free Noodles | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

But I really don’t want to take all pasta based meals off our menu. So I set to work making noodles my son can eat. Additionally, I wanted to be sure they were properly prepared.

The result is an easy to make pasta that works well for soup, spaghetti, macaroni and cheese…whatever you like (as you can see in the photos I’ve used them in a variety of dishes). The other great thing about these homemade noodles is that they cook in about three minutes – perfect for making a quick lunch for hungry kids!

Simply mix the dough and cut the noodles. Then let them sit for a day before using them. The leftovers can be kept in the fridge for up to two weeks or in the freezer for a few months.Soaked Gluten Free Noodles | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

You can be really creative with these noodles and cut them into fun shapes to liven up a bowl of chicken noodle soup. Or go really simple by cooking them in broth and adding salt and butter or coconut oil for a quick side dish.

Although my son is the only member of the family that can’t have store bought pasta, we all eat these and enjoy them!

Homemade pasta does not have to be complicated. This is a simple recipe that is sure to please the whole family. Soaked Gluten Free Noodles | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Soaked Gluten Free Noodles
Homemade noodles that are properly prepared and free of gluten, dairy, nuts and corn.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup tapioca flour (or white rice)
  2. 1/2 cup sorghum flour (or white, brown rice, millet, buckwheat or amaranth)
  3. 1/2 tsp. gelatin
  4. 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  5. 3 Tbsp. warm water
  6. 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  7. 1 tsp. organic cane sugar
  8. 1 egg
  9. 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Mix the gelatin and lemon juice. Let sit one minute.
  2. Combine the flour, warm water and gelatin mixture.
  3. Add the satl, sugar, egg and oil to the flour mixture. Mix until well combined.
  4. Place the dough on a baking sheet size piece of parchment paper. Place another piece of parchment paper on top.
  5. Roll the dough between the parchment paper until desired thickness.
  6. Remove the top paper and use a pizza cutter or knife to cut noodles into desired shapes.
  7. Cover with parchment paper or towel and let sit 7-24 hours.
  8. When ready to use simply add the noodles to soup or cook in water or broth for 3-4 minutes.
  9. Store unused noodles in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to a month.
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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.

Basic Grains: Amaranth

Basic Grains Amaranth | Homemade Dutch Apple PieThe final grain I am highlighting in my basic grains series is amaranth. If you are new to baking and cooking with alternative grains you may have never even heard of it.

Amaranth is one of my favorite grains for baking.  I grind the whole grain to make fresh flour. Then I usually use it for about half of my flour mixture.

Not only is amaranth great as a flour, it can also be used as the whole grain. It cooks very similarly to oats and can be used as an oatmeal substitute.

Amaranth is also similar in texture to quinoa when it cooks. It can be used in place of quinoa in your favorite recipes. The grains are small and have a little bite to them. They remind me of really tiny grains of rice.

Serve amaranth as a breakfast porridge, a warm side cooked in broth, in place of noodles or even in a cold salad. Warm it with milk and maple syrup for a rice pudding type dessert.

Like other grains Amaranth must be soaked for 24 hours to eliminate most of the phytic acid content. Then it cooks quickly for easy use in your breakfast, lunch or dinner.

If you are like me and don’t tolerate grains in their whole state very well be sure to try a small amount of amaranth first to see if your body handles it.  I just assumed I’d do well with whole grain amaranth since I use the flour with no problems all the time. But that was not the case.

If you are looking for more variety in your diet or need another gluten free alternative give amaranth a try. 

Basic Grains Amaranth | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Basic Grains: Amaranth
Serves 4
How to soak and cook amaranth
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup whole amaranth
  2. 1 cup warm water
  3. 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, whey, kefir or yogurt
  4. 1 - 1 1/2 cups water or broth
Instructions
  1. Combine the amaranth, warm water and lemon juice.
  2. Let sit for 7-24 hours (24 is best)
  3. Pour the soaked amaranth in a medium saucepan.
  4. Add one cup of water or broth.
  5. Bring to a boil and simmer until the liquid is absorbed/the grain is cooked - about 10 minutes.
  6. Add extra liquid if necessary.
Notes
  1. This can be served as a porridge (like oats) with honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, cinnamon, butter, coconut oil, milk, yogurt, fruit, nuts and/or flax seeds.
  2. This can be a savory side dish (like rice) using broth and seasoning.
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Basic Grains: Rice

Basic Grains Rice | Homemade Dutch Apple PieNext in my basic grains series is another common one – rice. It is a dietary staple for so many cultures.

Rice has one of the lowest phytic acid contents of any grain. So if you forget to soak in advance, go with rice.  That being said if you do plan ahead it still helps to soak rice. It will break down the phytic acid it does contain and create a really soft and easy to digest starch for your meal.

Many people assume that using brown rice (the “whole grain” version) is better. But for many that is not the case.  I rarely use brown rice because it is harder to digest. For so long I didn’t think I tolerated rice…until I switched to white rice.

Although white rice does not have much in the way of nutrients on its own, it does provide a simple starch for energy. It is also a great medium for other nutrient dense food like butter, coconut oil and broth.  So combined they create a balance of nutrition and energy (I learned how important that is when reading The Nourished Metabolism).Basic Grains Rice | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

A word of caution – as odd as it sounds rice is a pretty common allergen (my son has been rice free for about a year now). So if you eat a lot of rice because you are gluten free, make sure you aren’t eating it every day in order to avoid creating an intolerance or allergy.

Rice can be used in so many ways. It is great as a breakfast porridge with cinnamon, raisins and maple syrup. It makes a great side dish cooked in broth. Rice works well in soups. It is also a great base for things like stir fry, meatballs, stroganoff and tacos.

Let’s not forget that rice even works as a dessert in rice pudding!

One of the best things about rice is that it is so cheap! Bulk up a meal with rice to stretch  your meat and veggies without stretching your wallet. A simple meal for pennies is rice cooked in broth. Add a little butter or coconut oil and you have a perfect balance of protein, starch and fat that is easy on the tummy. Not to mention it tastes great! It’s even a good meal for when you are sick.

No matter how you like to use rice it’s best to properly prepare it. Then add some nutrient dense components and dig in! What is your favorite way to serve rice? Basic Grains Rice | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Basic Grains: Rice
Serves 4
Basic soaked rice.
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Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup organic white or brown rice
  2. 3 cups warm water + 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, whey, kefir or yogurt
  3. 2 1/2 cups broth and/or water for white rice, 3 1/2 cups for brown rice
  4. 1 Tbsp. butter or coconut oil
  5. seasoning to taste (optional - salt, pepper, garlic powder, herbs)
Instructions
  1. Combine the rice, warm water and soaking agent in a medium bowl.
  2. Cover and let sit 7-24 hours.
  3. Drain and rinse the rice.
  4. Place the rice and the broth/water in a medium saucepan.
  5. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  6. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes (white rice) or 60 minutes (brown rice).
  7. Add extra liquid during cooking if it gets too dry.
Notes
  1. This works well as an oatmeal replacement. Simply add any sweetener, milk, dried fruit, nuts, fat, flax seeds, etc. you like to the cooked rice.
  2. White rice is lower in nutrients, but easier on digestion. It is also great for energy when combined with the nutrient dense components like broth, fat, etc.
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Basic Grains: Oatmeal

Basic Grains: Oatmeal | Homemade Dutch Apple PieWhen it comes to grains it doesn’t get more basic than oatmeal. It is a breakfast staple for so many.

But oatmeal may be one of the things causing digestive distress and vitamin and mineral deficiencies for many.  This is especially true if your oatmeal comes from a packet with flavorings or if you eat granola out of a box. They don’t have any nutrients to begin with.

But even if you cook plain oats you’re likely to have problems. Ever feel gassy, bloated or really full after eating oatmeal? There’s a reason.

Oats are one of the highest phytic acid containing grains. So if you are not preparing them properly oats are really hard on your body and do more harm than good.

I learned this the hard way. I used to eat store-bought granola every single day…for years. As you can  imagine I also had years of digestive problems. Now I don’t tolerate oats at all, even properly prepared.

That being said, oats are a very budget-friendly and healthy breakfast if you take the time to soak them. Honestly, oatmeal is one of the easiest breakfasts to make. You soak the oats one morning. Then the next morning they cook in five minutes!Basic Grains: Oatmeal | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie 3

I love that you can add so many things to a bowl of oatmeal to bump up the nutrition:

  • butter
  • coconut oil
  • raw milk or cream
  • coconut milk
  • yogurt
  • gelatin
  • cinnamon
  • fresh fruit
  • dried fruit
  • nuts
  • flax seeds
  • nut butter

You can even add probiotics and cod liver oil!

You can make a big pot of oatmeal one morning that will last all week. Then all you have to do is warm it and add new flavors. You can create all sorts of fun combinations like peanut butter banana, cinnamon raisin, strawberries and cream and chocolate chip!

My three year old loves oatmeal. It’s a special treat for him when I make it. He always claims any leftovers. My six year old, on the other hand, can’t do oatmeal. The texture is too much for her oral sensory issues. She does love granola and granola bars, though. Experiment and see what your kids think. You can adjust the liquid content to give it a different texture. Adding extra milk or water makes it more like cereal and not so thick.

Oatmeal for breakfast is great for filling bellies and giving a healthy dose of carbohydrates for energy at the start of the day. Add the nutrient dense components and pair it with some eggs or bacon and you’ve got a powerhouse breakfast.  It’s even gluten free.

If you’re like me and don’t tolerate oats you can replace oats with teff, rice or quiona.

Have you been eating your oatmeal without soaking it for years? Now’s the time to get started preparing it the right way and get the most out of your oats.Basic Grains: Oatmeal | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie 2

 

Basic Grains: Oatmeal
Serves 2
Basic soaked oatmeal.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup oats (old fashioned/rolled oats)
  2. 1 cup warm water + 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, kefir, yogurt or whey
  3. 1 cup water
  4. 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  5. 2-4 Tbsp. coconut sugar, maple syrup or honey (optional)
  6. gelatin, cinnamon, dried fruit, fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, butter, coconut oil, yogurt, milk to taste
Instructions
  1. Combine the oats and warm water plus lemon juice in a bowl. Cover and let sit for 24 hours (or longer).
  2. Put soaked oats in a medium saucepan.
  3. Add the water, salt and sweetener.
  4. Cook over medium heat about five minutes, until liquid is absorbed and oats are cooked through.
  5. Add optional ingredients to pot or to individual bowls.
  6. Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
Notes
  1. To reheat leftover oatmeal place it in a saucepan with a small amount of milk or water and heat until warm.
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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.

Basic Grains: Quinoa

Basic Grains: Quinoa | Homemade Dutch Apple PieNow that you understand why it’s so important to properly prepare your grains (and nuts and seeds) it’s time to start learning how. Let’s start with the basics.

Today I’m starting my basic grain series with quinoa.  Although it is technically a seed it is treated the same as a grain. Plus it is a delicious and nutritious addition to your diet, even if you are gluten free.

It took a long time for me to understand how to work with quinoa. I treated it like I did rice – add water, boil, done. But quinoa needs more care than that to make it digestible.

The first step is soaking the quinoa to remove the bitter coating and start the fermenting process.

Then the quinoa is rinsed. Finally it is cooked, preferably in broth for a nutrient boost and easier digestion.

If you look at the directions on a package of quinoa it will usually say to cook about twelve minutes and then let it sit for fifteen minutes.

But to really cook it properly quinoa should be cooked for about an hour.

After the soaking, rinsing and long cooking you’ll have a flavorful dish that is easy on the tummy.

If using the quinoa for something that is not savory you can simply cook it in water. It will still be prepared well for easier digestion.

Quinoa can be cooked in advance and used in cold salads, added to soups or even used as a replacement for oatmeal for breakfast. It will add great texture and flavor to your food. Plus it has a lot of protein.

Are you sick of rice or just want something different? Thinking about trying quinoa? Get it soaking a day ahead and you’ll be all set for an easy and nutritious part of your meal.Basic Grains: Quinoa | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Basic Grains: Quinoa
Serves 4
Basic cooking directions for properly prepared quinoa.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup quinoa
  2. 2 cups warm water
  3. 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, kefir or whey
  4. 1 1/2 cups water or broth
  5. seasoning (optional - salt, garlic powder, herbs)
  6. 1-2 Tbsp. EVOO, coconut oil or butter (optional)
Instructions
  1. Combine the quinoa, water and lemon juice.
  2. Let sit 24 hours.
  3. Drain and rinse the quinoa.
  4. Place the quinoa in a medium saucepan.
  5. Add the broth/water and seasoning.
  6. Bring to a boil. Simmer, covered about one hour. Add extra liquid if getting too dry.
  7. Remove from heat and add fat if desired. Adjust seasoning to taste.
Notes
  1. If using the quinoa for a breakfast cereal or something not savory use water for cooking and don't add seasoning.
  2. Quinoa can be cooked in advance and kept in the refrigerator until needed. Simply reheat with a bit of broth or water.
  3. Cooked quinoa can be added to soups and salads.
  4. Cooked/cooled quinoa can be used in place of polenta.
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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?

Soaked Gluten Free Waffles

Soaked gluten free waffles make a great Saturday morning breakfast or fun weeknight dinner.

Soaked Gluten Free Waffles | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

My daughter requested waffles the other day. So I added them to our menu.

No problem. I’ve made gluten free waffles before.

But this time I decided to try soaking them to make them easier to digest.
 
Soaked gluten free waffles are so good!!  The version I made looked a little dark because of the teff flour. But they were delicious – especially covered in homemade strawberry topping.
 
These soaked gluten free waffles come together in minutes. Just soak the flour the day before. Then beat some egg whites, mix and pour in your waffle maker.
 
Use your favorite toppings like butter, real maple syrup, honey or fresh fruit to make soaked gluten free waffles a real treat.
 
These soaked gluten free waffles are now a staple in our Friday night breakfast for dinner rotation.  Once you try them you’ll want to add them to your menu regularly as well!
 
Are you in the mood for a satisfying breakfast (or dinner!)? Try some soaked gluten free waffles.
 
Soaked Gluten Free Waffles | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie
 
Soaked Gluten Free Waffles
makes about 4 waffles
 
1/2 cup white rice flour (or sorghum)
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup teff flour (or brown rice, buckwheat or amaranth)
1/2 cup total soaking liquid: buttermilk OR kefir OR yogurt OR 1 Tbsp. lemon juice + water to equal 1/2 cup
1 egg, separated
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar (not essential, but helps the egg whites stiffen)
1/2 cup smooth, unsweetened applesauce
1 Tbsp. organic cane sugar, sucanat or coconut sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. sea salt
Combine the flours and soaking liquid. Cover and let soak for 7-24 hours.
 
  1. Heat and grease a waffle iron.
  2. In a medium bowl beat the egg white and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the soaked flour and beat (I like to use a hand mixer for this) until well combined (about 2 minutes).
  4. Fold in the egg white.
  5. Pour batter onto the waffle iron and allow to fully cook. You can keep the cooked waffles on a cooling rack on a baking sheet in the oven on low heat until all of the waffles are done.
  6. Serve with real maple syrup, honey, homemade powdered sugar or fruit topping.
  7. Store leftovers in a seal container in the refrigerator or freezer.

*To reheat wrap the waffles in a damp paper towel. Heat at 350 degrees in an oven or toaster oven for 5 – 8 minutes, until warmed.Soaked Gluten Free Waffles | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie