Sunday, November 11, 2018

Keto Waffles - For Hailey and Zyphod's Mom and Dad

Really good.

5 eggs - medium-sized, separated
4 Tablespoons coconut flour
4 Tablespoons granulated sweetener of choice (I used Spenda)
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla
3 Tablespoons full-fat milk or cream 125 grams of butter melted. 

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. 


In a second bowl:

Mix the yolks, flour, sweetener, and baking powder
Add the melted butter SLOWLY, mixing to ensure it's smooth
Add the milk/cream and vanilla and mix

Gently fold the whisked egg whites into the yolk mixture trying to keep as much of the air and fluffiness as you can.

Use about 1/3 cup in a Swedish waffle maker or follow your waffle iron directions.  Cook until golden. Serve with butter and sugar-free syrup or sugar-free jam.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Healthy English Muffin Sourdough Bread

I love English Muffins (similar to crumpets but made with yeast instead of baking soda, and booked on both sides, unlike crumpets).  But making them from scratch is a bit more work than I wanted to do this weekend.  So I made a loaf of English Muffin bread.  If you use almond milk it is vegan and it makes wonderful toast that has a texture and crumb just like English muffins!

For I do like my afternoon tea.  My Dad who adopted me, is English, though the second generation U.S. born, and my biological mother was a Woodworth (descendant of Walter Woodworth, one of the original colonists in America) so there's more than a small amount of English blood in these veins.
Afternoon tea - just little tradition that means a lot to me.

I made this with my Azure Standard wild yeast sourdough starter but if you just wish to make it without, use the ingredients amounts in the (parenthesis). Adapted from a recipe on the King Arthur flour website, I simply modified it to compensate for the flour and liquid that occurs naturally in the starter.  (I have not tried it without the yeast, just letting it raise overnight in a warm kitchen with the sourdough acting as a leavening might work.)
It's pillowy enough to satisfy that morning bread craving but sturdy enough to toast just enough to stand up to that thick slather of jam.  Plus it has all those little nooks and crannies of English muffins that trap your butter (if so inclined) in creamy pools or just soak up the sweetness of spread fruit. Plus it just slices and toasts, perfect on those extra mornings when an attempt to separate a store-bought English muffin before caffeine might might result in bloodshed..

You will need 2 bowls and a hand or stand mixer. There's no kneading involved and just a short rise time.

No Knead Sourdough English Muffin Bread (with dirctions for no sourdough)

1 cup plus two Tablespoons EACH of King Arthur flour and Young Living Einkorn Flour (3 cups if no sourdough starter)
1 cup sourdough starter (optional but trust me, it's worth it)
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 Tablespoon instant yeast
1/2 cup milk (1 cup if no sourdough starter)
1/4 cup water (add up to 3 Tablespoons more if needed while mixing if it is dry)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
cornmeal, to sprinkle in pan

Instructions

Whisk together the flours, sugar, salt, baking soda, and instant yeast in a large mixing bowl.
Combine the milk, water, and oil in a separate, microwave-safe bowl, and heat to between 120°F and 130°F. (about a minute and forty seconds in my little microwave).  Stir and take the temperature with a meat thermometer or check with your finger - it should be hotter than lukewarm but not so hot you couldn't take a bath at water that temperature).

Pour the wet into the dry ingredients and beat with the mixer on HIGH for 1 minute, scraping down the sides with a spatula.  You will see little threads of gluten forming at the end of a minute. That is good!  The dough will be very soft, thicker than cupcake batter and thinner than traditional muffin batter.

I ended up adding 3 tablespoons more of water as my batter was fairly dry - that's dependent on the liquid in your sourdough starter.  You don't want a runny batter but the mixer should be able to mix it on high without it bogging down.

Lightly grease an 8  and 1/2" x 4 and  1/2" loaf pan, and sprinkle the bottom and sides with cornmeal, shaking it around to coat bottom and sides.

Scoop the soft dough into the pan, leveling it in the pan as much as possible.

Cover the pan, and let the dough rise in a warm spot until it's just barely crowned the rim of the pan (no more than 1/4 inch over).  For my loaf it was about an hour and a half rise time.
Bake in 400 F preheated oven 22 to 28 minutes, till it's golden brown and its interior temperature is 190°F.
 Let cool 10 minutes in the pan on a wire rack.then carefully work  knife around the edges to loosen it
Remove from pan, slice and toast while you get the rest of afternoon tea put together.



Friday, November 9, 2018

Weighted Blanket - The Comfort of a Hug

Many of us, especially as we get older have trouble falling and staying asleep.  I'm no exception.  I tend to be a "restless" sleeper often waking up my husband tossing and turning and I usually steal the covers, even in warmer temperatures.

So I thought I would try out one of the ever-popular "weighted" blankets that are said to help with sleeping issues.  They have a number of benefits, but rather than type them out here I'll provide a link.

https://www.sensacalm.com/blogs/news/benefits-of-weighted-blanket-therapy

So I bought one.  I first purchased one from Mosaic who has one of the more popular blankets and a wide selection of fabrics.  They recommend getting one that's 10% of your body weight so I bought the 15-pound one.

It was really pretty, and the construction was tight, but I ended up giving it to a shelter because
(1)  15 pounds was just too much for me, I weigh what I do because I'm really tall, not because I'm large so I found it too heavy and too hot
(2).  The "beads" inside made WAY too much noise if I moved around.
(3)  The squares the housed the pockets were pretty big and not baffled so if I wanted to sleep on my side the pellets would all go to one end and not provide even weight distribution.

However, I WILL say, if you aren't a light sleeper that small sounds will wake you up and you start with a lighter weight you'll probably love this blanket - it was very pretty and very well made.

So I purchased another brand.
This was the Calming Comfort Blanket by the Sharper Image.  It was a LOG cheaper than the Mosaic blanket.  It was also a lot smaller. It worked for me but if you are over six feet tall, it will not cover your feet. On purchasing through Amazon I was also able to order a washable duvet cover for it since this brand requires hand washing.

I placed it on the bed in the small second bedroom in the back of the house (we turned the master bedroom into an office/den, with all the windows it was always warmer or cooler than the back bedroom, and being in the front of the house we had the traffic noise.)
So even though it was smaller than the Mosaic blanket it was enough to keep me snug overnight, even if my husband had to just deal with his old quilt (and yes those are Tardis pajama bottoms). 

On the plus side, the material of the covering was SUPER soft and snuggly, almost velour-like, perfect for using it to lounge in front of the TV and the "beads" inside were considerably quieter than my first blanket. Night one, I fell asleep much faster and when I woke up my husband said I didn't toss and turn near as much. Night 2, I slept so sound I actually woke up an hour earlier than normal, totally rested. This one is a keeper.

The blankets run in the $100 - $200+ range, and may have to be hand washed, but if you suffer from sleep issues I'd certainly recommend one (though they say not to use one if you have sleep apnea or serious snoring as the compression on the chest is not good).

So go give yourself a hug!

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Einkorn Sourdough Pancakes (Vegan AND non vegan instructions)

Having great fun with my Young Living Einkhorn flour I purchased, I tried to come up with a fluffy pancake that was not only vegan (as I eat meat free at least two days a week) but was extremely low in gluten. Eikhorn flour, which is not hybridized, is VERY low in gluten compared to genetically modified modern wheat flour and most people that are gluten sensitive (not Celiac) can eat it without issues.

I love the taste and it IS more digestible than wheat flour.  The sourdough starter doesn't leaven, as these have no rise time, but add healthy probiotics and a nice taste.

Note:  If you don't have sourdough starter use an additional 1/2 cup flour in place of it and a total of 3/4 to 1 cup milk.  You can also use butter, ONE egg, and dairy milk if you aren't doing a vegan version of this recipe.

Vegan Sourdough Eikhorn Pancakes  (they're so fluffy!)

3/4 cup sourdough starter (made with whole wheat Eikhorn flour and wild yeast sourdough starter from Azure Standard or the King Arthur Flour sourdough starter, both are excellent).
1/2 cup Eikhorn flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash of vanilla extract
1/4 to 1/2 cup nut milk (if using sourdough starter) OR 3/4 to 1 cup nutmilk if using extra flour in its place
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 Tablespoons vegan buttery spread (melted) or vegetable
egg substitute:
1 T. flax seeds
3 Tablespoons warm water

Egg Substitute Directions:  Put 1 Tablespoon of flax seeds in a blender or food processor and pulse until ground. Place in small bowl and add the warm water, stir and set aside for 5 minutes so it can "gel".

Mix sourdough starter, flour, salt, sugar, baking powder and soda in a bowl.  Add or egg substitute and 2 Tablespoons melted vegan buttery spread or vegetable oil.  Add enough milk so that the batter is quite thick but pourable (this depends on the amount of liquid in your sourdough starter).  For a thick starter it may be as much as 1/2 cup, for a watery starter, it may only be 1/4.  Add the smaller amount in, stir, then add more as necessary. If using flour instead of sourdough starter you'll add 3/4 to 1 cup milk

Cook on preheated griddle until starting to bubble up in the center, with dry edges, flip and finish. Serve with buttery spread and syrup or jam.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Einkorn Bread Machine Bread

I love bread, but bread doesn't love me as gluten is a trigger for my IBS.  So I was really to find that ancient grain Einkorn flour, which has retained it's simple, primitive DNA code of 14 chromosomes compared to Frankenwheat's 47 is easy for me to digest and it's really nutritious. It's the only wheat not genetically modified.  The makers of my favorite brand support traditional farming methods and use only non-GMO ingredients.

I've done some muffins using my Young Living Einkorn flour.  They also do an Einkorn pasta and berry granola that is awesome.  Young Living products aren't sold in stores, but you can go to their website and purchase for retail or become a member and get a 24% discount plus incentive products for free which is what I did as I love their essential oils and nutrition products.


Today I was hankering after some bread.

However today I was also quite lazy, so I played around with a recipe that would work in a bread machine.  This turned out perfect and had a  dense texture suited for a sturdy sandwich or toast and a delicious nutty taste. It only takes 5 minutes to get it started.

Einkorn Bread Machine Bread

1 cup milk mixed with 1/4 cup water, warmed in the microwave (not hot as it will kill the yeast)
2 Tablespoons butter or vegan spread - melted
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons molasses
1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 cups Young Living Einkorn flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast.

Place liquids, fats, sugar, molasses, and salt in the bottom of your bread machine loaf pan (make sure the paddle is installed).

Place the flour on top of the liquids, making sure liquids are covered.  Make a "well" in the flour and place yeast in there.

You want to use a short cycle.  Einkorn should n t be allowed to rise as much as most bread because with its weak gluten content it will not be able to handle the air bubbles doing baking and it will collapse.

For my SKG bread machine, I used a quick bread cycle for a 2-pound loaf to make a slightly denser loaf for sandwiches.  I've also made this on the whole wheat cycle (5 hours) which makes for a lighter texture for toast.

Turn off preheat.
Knead 10 minutes
Rise 1:30
Knead:  5 minutes
Rise:  2:30
Bake 45 minutes.  (if you don't have second knead cycle it should still turn out.)

 For other brands of machines simply pick the shortest cycle available for a yeast bread.


Saturday, October 6, 2018

Vegan homemade "Kraft Dinner" style mac and cheese


One food I seriously missed when I started to give up the main triggers for my IBS, namely gluten, sugar, animal fat, and dairy was boxed Mac and Cheese.  My favorite was the Canadian KD (which is boxed as Kraft Dinner in the US) which to me always tasted better than the US Brand.

So I was surprised to find a lovely vegan alternative that is super low fat and non dairy from a young lady named Sam Turnbull author of my all-time favorite vegan cookbook "Fuss Free Vegan" (and trust me the spiral bound one is worth the cost, it's really professionally put together and a size that makes it easy to open and use on a counter).

Her blog "It Doesn't Taste like Chicken" had a recipe for a vegan mac and cheese powder that makes really good cheesy tasting mac and cheese, just no fat or dairy.  You can make a little or a lot and store for when you get a mac and cheese craving.  I used gluten free flour and gluten free pasta but outside of that made no changes.  My favorite gluten-free pasta is Tinkyada brand brown rice pasta (Vitacost or Amazon or direct at www.tinkyada.com)  It's never mushy or gritty like other brands and cooks up perfectly.

The recipe is below for you to cut and paste into your browser to go check it out!

https://itdoesnttastelikechicken.com/homemade-vegan-mac-cheese-powder/

Sam's blog is just delightful and I'm so glad I found it.