Monday, January 26, 2009

Tour of the Homestead, part 1

Meet Belle.
Resident Bovine, Chief Milk Producer, Ever-loving and Ever-forgiving Companion to the Milkmaid. Pet. Currently dried up to prepare for calving in a few weeks.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Recipe: Brownies

These brownies are moist, chewy, and decadent - just like brownies are supposed to be! The flour is not sprouted or soaked, but oh well. We can break the rules now and then. My brothers are roofing a church building this weekend so I sent a plate of these brownies with them for the hungry workers to eat!

3 eggs
1/2 cup butter
1/4 olive oil (extra virgin, cold pressed, preferred)
1 1/2 cups granulated coconut palm sugar, packed
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups freshly ground wheat flour (any flour should work)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp salt.

Mix all together well. Spread batter in greased 8x8 inch pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Cool mostly before slicing into small squares.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Pumpkin Muffins and Waffles (optional gluten free)

Here's a yummy dual-purpose batter!

Pumpkin Muffins and Waffles:

Combine in large mixing bowl, and beat well:
(You can divide your sweeteners differently if you like, and even add in some molasses if desired. This is just what I had, in these amounts. Next time I will try omitting the honey, and using 2/3 c Palm Sugar and 1/2 cup of molasses.)

Add and mix well:
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin or squash
  • 1 1/4 c. milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted.
In the same bowl, on top of the wet ingredients, lightly mix together the dry ingredients. Then combine wet and dry together just until mixed.
  • 3 c. flour (gluten free flour mix, if you want it GF)
  • 4 tsp baking powder (make sure to use a GF brand if you're going for GF)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Now pour some of the batter into greased muffin tins, enough to make 12 muffins. Bake at 400*F for 20 minutes.

With your remaining batter, add:
  • 1/2 cup of oil
  • 1 cup milk, or as much as is needed to make a good waffle batter consistency.
Bake waffles according to your waffle iron instructions.

This recipe yielded me a dozen each of muffins and waffles.

Note: I ran out of xanthum gum to put in my GF flour mix, but the baked goods held together well. I'm assuming that it's because this was quick-rising dough, not yeasted. Is there anyone with more experience that can tell me if my assumption is correct, or why xanthum gum is sometimes needed and sometimes not? Thanks! ;-)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Updated bread tutuorial

As per Lindsay's comment, I updated my bread recipe to include a souring agent to enhance the soaking process. Check it out.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Traditional Foods Primer

If you're new to nutritious kitchen ingredients and methods, The Nourished Kitchen is beginning a series called the Traditional Foods Primer. Every Monday she will dive into an aspect of nourishing traditional food preparation, such as Wholesome Fats; Sprouting, Soaking, and Souring Grains; Lactic-Acid Fermentation; Raw Dairy; Grass-finished, Wild , and Pastured Meats; and Natural Sweeteners.

I'm excited ~ I've gained insight on most of this through various books, blogs, and seminars, but it will be cool to have it all together in one place.

Check out her first installment in the Natural Sweeteners category, called "Modern Sweeteners: What They Are and What They Do".

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Coconut Chai Tea

Okay, so I know black tea isn't very good for you (anyone know if you can get Chai teabags in a base other than black tea?), but I just concocted this beverage last night and it is SO GOOD!!!!

Brew in mug (a great big one....):
1 Chai Spice teabag
Hot water

After the tea has steeped for a few minutes, add:
a generous portion of Coconut Milk
and a teaspoon (or two... yum!) of Coconut Sugar

And, wala, you have a Coconut Chai Tea Latte'. HEAVENLY!!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Gluten Free Flour Mix

6 cups rice flour
2 cups corn starch
1 cup tapioca starch
1 tablespoon of Xantham gum

This is by far the best gluten free flour mix I've tasted yet. A family came over for dinner the other day and brought a GF gingerbread made with this flour mix. It was so yummy, and you would never have known it was GF.

Even if your body does not react negatively to gluten, I'd suggest you try using this flour mix in a few recipes now and then. As a general rule, our society way overdoes wheat in our diet. Our bodies weren't meant to be eating the same thing every day of our lives ~ we will do our digestive system a great favor by rotating grains occasionally. Try to "Go Gluten-Free" for a few days, even a week or month if you're really serious about it, and give your digestive system a break!

Thanks Chehalis Hills for the recipe!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Revision: Soaked Bread Tutorial

Alright, I made soaked bread again yesterday/today and I took pictures. So here's a more detailed explanation and a bit of a revision of my previous post about soaked bread.

Soaked Wheat Bread

Step One:
Mix all together:
  • 3 c. water
  • 1 c. kefir (or buttermilk, thinned yogurt, milk with 2 tblsp vinegar or lemon juice, or other acidic agent)
  • 3/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 c. honey
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 14 c. freshly milled whole wheat flour ~ This batch has 1 1/2 cups of Rye flour as well, left over in the grain mill from what Mom had baked earlier .

Knead for a couple of minutes, then cover and let dough sit at room temperature for 12-24 hours.

I put mine it in the "warming cupboard" of our old wood cookstove.

Step Two:
Once your dough has set for 12-24 hours, "proof" your yeast:
  • scant 3 Tblsp active dry yeast
  • a tablespoon or so of honey
  • 1/2 c. or so of very warm water (but not hot)
  • 1/4 c. unbleached white flour
Once it begins to bubble up, pour into dough and mix together well. This is easiest if you have a powerful mixer that can knead bread, but you can do it in a large bowl with your hands as well.

Your dough will probably be pretty sticky at this point, so add a cup or two of unbleached flour until it is a good consistency.

Knead for 5 minutes in mixer, or 10 minutes by hand.

Put your dough aside and let it rise until doubled. Because your dough isn't warm, it will take several hours. To speed up the process you can put it in a warm room, near the fireplace or a heater, etc.Again, I put it in the wood cookstove. This time I needed it to be warm, so I put it in the oven part. Just make sure the fire isn't blazing too hot or your bread will bake!

Once the dough has risen, shape it into loaves or rolls, let rise again and then bake in a 350 degree F oven for 25 minutes (rolls) or 30-40 minutes (loaves). Yields 4 loaves.

A note on flours: I like Prairie Gold Hard White, sometimes adding in some Hard Red as well. Hard Red Wheat is strongly flavored and dense, which adds a nice nutty touch to the bread but you don't want to use it exclusively. It should be mixed half-and-half with Hard White Wheat.
pardon the spilled wheat berries all over the floor... ;-)

We have used several grain mills throughout the years, currently we use a Kitchen-Tech:

I hope this has been helpful! Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions. I'd be happy to help or receive critique! ;-)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Homemade Liquid Handsoap

This looks fun!

I'm going to try to make it with natural goat-milk soap tomorrow. I'll let you know how it goes!