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Parenting Recipes Uncategorized

Recipe: Nourishing Pancakes

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Slowly but surely, pancakes have become our #1 breakfast staple.  L would eat bread, butter, and fruit all day every day if he could, but he also consistently likes pancakes.  And because I can put things like vegetables and eggs into pancakes, most days we have them.

I realized pretty early on that though L wasn’t adventurous when it came to eating a variety of textures or certain flavors, he would still accept a variety of colors and some different flavors when they were served in the shape of a familiar food.   I have fun thinking about how to make a batch of pancakes turn into a certain color or what new veggies or dinner leftovers I might include.

One thing that is probably already apparent is that I very very rarely follow a recipe when cooking.  I can’t bear to – there’s almost always something I want (need?) to change or add.  I prefer to get comfortable with a process, like cooking pancakes or muffins, and then follow a basic foundation recipe with regular tweaking.  I’ve finally forced myself to write down some notes while cooking, and have two recipes to share: 1) Carrots and Greens Pancakes is written out all the way and can be followed strictly to make yummy (and greenish) final products.  2) A basic Nourishing Pancakes recipe which provides you with the opportunity to play around with some of the add-ins based on preference or what leftovers and veggies are in your fridge or garden.  Both recipes are gluten free and leftover pancakes can easily be refrigerated or frozen and heated in the toaster.

One more note: I use ingredients like soaked oats and cassava flour because they are things we have in our pantry and fridge at all times.  I use oats soaked in water and a splash of sourdough starter and cassava flour because I generally avoid grains that haven’t first been soaked, sprouted, or soured.  These processes (soaking, sprouting, or souring) help reduce the amount of phytic acid in the grains (or beans, nuts or seeds) and therefore allow your body to absorb more of the nutrients the oats contain.  If you want to read more, I found this article to be informative.  Scroll down to find the section on oats.

 

Carrots and Greens Pancakes

Makes approximately 14 4-inch pancakes

3 eggs
2 carrots, chopped (cooked is even better, but I rarely have cooked carrots on hand)
1 banana chopped
1/4 cup packed cooked greens (spinach, kale, chard, nettles, etc.)
1/2 cup strained soaked oats (oats soaked in water with rye flakes + 2 T. vinegar or 2 T. sourdough starter for 24 hours)
1 T. cassava flour (if you bake with wheat flour, feel free to use 1T. wheat flour here)
1/4 t. ginger powder
1/4 t. nutmeg
dash of salt
butter for frying

  1. Adult: chop carrots and gather ingredients.  Toddler: chop banana with butter knife and small cutting board.
  2. Put all ingredients into a wide-mouth quart jar or mixing bowl with tall walls.  The adult can fill measuring spoons or cups, toddler can dump them in.
  3. Use an immersion blender to puree all ingredients.  Help your toddler know how to safely use an immersion blender (if you don’t have an immersion blender, put all ingredients into a food processor and blend).  This can be really fun for them once you can trust they will keep the tool in the liquid while pressing the button.
  4. Heat large cast iron skillet and have the toddler add a pad of butter. Once hot, turn pan down to low.
  5. Pour batter into pan in small circles (we like pancakes that are about 4″ diameter).
  6. Flip when tops are no longer liquidy looking.
  7. Enjoy with your preferred condiments.  L and I put pads of butter on ours, I add a sprinkle of salt, and Evan adds a drizzle of maple syrup.

 

Nourishing Pancakes

Makes approximately 14 4-inch pancakes

3 eggs
1/2 cup vegetables (cooked and not watery is best).  You can add more if dry roasted root veggies.
1 banana chopped
1/2 cup strained soaked oats (oats soaked in water with rye flakes + 2 T. vinegar or 2 T. sourdough starter for 24 hours)
1 T. cassava flour (if you bake with wheat flour, feel free to use 1T. regular flour here)
1 t. total spices (we like a mixture of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamon, and/or fennel)
dash of salt
butter for frying

Optional nourishing add ins:
– 1/4 t. turmeric + 1/4 t. ginger + 1/8 t. black pepper (this combo is very anti-inflammatory)
– 1/2 t. dulse flakes (adds iodine, important if you’re using non-iodized sea salt)
– 1/2 t. camu camu (adds vitamin C)
-whole blueberries, add a few to the top of each pancake after pouring into the skillet

Color ideas:
– using one beet for your vegetable choice will turn pancakes magenta
– using greens will turn pancakes green
– using sweet potatoes + turmeric will make pancakes orange-yellow

  1. Adult: prepare and gather ingredients.  Toddler: chop banana with butter knife and small cutting board.
  2. Put ingredients into a wide-mouth quart jar or mixing bowl with tall walls.  The adult can fill measuring spoons or cups, toddler can dump them in.
  3. Use an immersion blender to puree all ingredients.  Help your toddler know how to safely use an immersion blender (if you don’t have an immersion blender, put all ingredients into a food processor and blend).  This can be really fun for them once you can trust they will keep the tool in the liquid while pressing the button.
  4. Heat large cast iron skillet and have the toddler add a pad of butter. Once hot, turn pan down to low.
  5. Pour batter into pan in small circles (we like pancakes that are about 4″ diameter).  If adding blueberries, add them now.
  6. Flip when tops are no longer liquidy looking.
  7. Enjoy with your preferred condiments.  L and I put pads of butter on ours, I add a sprinkle of salt, and Evan adds a drizzle of maple syrup.

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Categories
Recipes

Homemade Crackers

I baked crackers once in middle school.  My main memory was about how terribly long it took, only to produce a small tin of crackers.  I don’t remember how they tasted.

homemade-crackers Luckily, my past memories didn’t prevent me from trying again.  I love making things from scratch because I get to pick the quality of ingredients and method of preparation.  My recent batch of crackers was delicious – their nutty whole grain flavor had the perfect crunch (not too hard, not soft).  My  recipe made quite a few – they packed six cookie trays full.  I soaked the flour overnight to make the flour more digestible and make the whole grain dough easier to work with (if you’re interested, read more here).  Soaking requires you to plan ahead, but it doesn’t increase the overall prep time.  I played around with mix-ins, choosing to make plain, sesame & honey, and za’atar flavored versions.  Happily, my homemade cracker memories have been replaced.  The verdict: definitely worth it!

zaatar-crackersSoaked Flour Crackers

Ingredients (makes about 6 full cookie trays of crackers):
1.5 cups whole wheat flour
1.5 cups rye flour
1/2 cup white flour
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 stick pastured butter (8 tablespoons)
1.25 cups plain whole fat yogurt

Instructions:
Day One: Mix dry ingredients.  Cut butter into flour and pinch until crumbly.  Add yogurt and mix (easiest with hands!).  Let sit, covered, at room temperature for 12-24 hours.

Day Two: Knead in any add-ins (see below).  Roll as thin as you can on a floured cool counter.  My first batch always comes out a bit thicker and sometimes puffs in the middle. I then realize I could actually roll the dough thinner, resulting in crispier crackers.  Cut with a butter knife and arrange on a cookie tray.  They can be quite close, but not touching.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.  I take them out when they’re just starting to brown.  Cool on a stone countertop or on cooling racks.  Enjoy!

Add-Ins: I divided my dough into three parts.  One I left plain.  Into the second I kneaded in honey, tahini, and sesame seeds.  I added a favorite herb blend – za’atar – into the third until the dough couldn’t hold any more.  All baked well and tasted delicious!

honey-sesame-crackers

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Categories
Personal Sustainability: How-To Recipes

Busy in the Kitchen for the Holidays

Between special meals and homemade gifts, we’re busy in the kitchen this holiday season. Click on photos below to read more about the recipe behind the image.  Happy Holidays!

homemade granola

elderberry-syrup

salve

marmelade

Read More!  Check out the following past posts to learn how to make these yummy homemade goodies yourself:

 

Categories
Recipes

Nourishing Homemade Granola

The comforting hot savory breakfasts I enjoyed all winter just aren’t appealing to me with increasingly warm bright sunny mornings.  Quitting my childhood habits of cereal or toast and jelly for breakfast, however, made me feel so good!  What should I turn to for a nourishing breakfast this summer?  Soaked granola with yogurt, sprouted seeds and nuts, and berries, of course!

homemade granola

I turned to City Market’s blog to find a great soaked-oat version of homemade granola.  I made the mistake of cutting the recipe in half.  One week later, I was back in the kitchen making a full batch.  The clusters are crunchy without being too hard.  The oats stick together, making nice crispy clumps rather than separating into the tiny morsels that comprised my past homemade granola attempts.

Soaking-oatsI followed this recipe and it came out great!  The only adjustment I made the second time was to include the dried coconut into the wet mixture before baking.  I liked to have the small bits included in the crunchy granola clusters and think coconut tastes best after roasting in the oven.

granola-ready-to-bakeI love the flexibility of this basic granola.  I add dried fruit, soaked nuts and seeds, and coco nibs to make a satisfying and nourishing trail mix.  I use it to top my yogurt, berry, and nut breakfast.  Sometimes I have a handful with a few dark chocolate chips and raw coco nibs instead of some other more addicting and sugary dessert.  Another plus: because it doesn’t have vegetable oils or seeds included in the basic recipe, this granola doesn’t go rancid sitting in the cupboard.

To learn more about soaked grains, nuts, and seeds, click here.

To read about how I make great home made yogurt, check out this blog post.

For the granola recipe, click here.

Enjoy!

Categories
Recipes Uncategorized

Nourishing Chili and Cornbread

Though the sun does seem to be getting warmer and days are certainly longer, it’s been unseasonably cold this spring.  There’s nothing like chili and cornbread to bring some heat and comfort to a cold raw week.  The recipes below include soaked beans and grains to improve digestibility and increase nutrition availability.  Both require some brief set-up the night before, so plan ahead!

cornbread-up-closeCornbread:  I like mine crispy on the outside and moist on the inside!  Sometimes I add sage or poultry seasoning for a herb-y twist, or grated parmesan for a deep savory flavor.
-Mix, cover, and let sit for 12+ hours at room temperature: 3/4 cup yogurt, 3/4 cup water, 1/2 cup freshly ground whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup white flour

…12 hours later…

-Preheat oven to 425 degrees
-Mix dry ingredients: 1 1/2 cup masa harina (corn flour treated with lime), 2 teaspoon baking powder, 3/4 teaspoon baking soda, 3/4 teaspoon salt
-Warm in sauce pan: 1/4 cup melted butter and 3 tablespoons honey
-Mix wet ingredients: make sure butter mixture is not too hot and mix in 2 eggs and 1 1/2 cup sweet corn kernels.  Add in soaked yogurt flour mixture and mix.
-Grease a large iron skillet with butter or bacon grease
-Mix wet and dry ingredients.  Don’t over stir.  Plop into greased skillet and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a fork can be poked into the center and comes out clean.

chili-up-closeChili:  This is a very flexible recipe!  We love it because we can use so many frozen and canned veggies from last summer’s garden.   It’s always fun to tweak based on ingredients you have in your fridge or freezer.  Here’s our basic method:

-Soak about 1-2 cups kidney beans with plenty of water and a pinch of baking soda.  Remember that the beans will expand in size, so make sure you have plenty of water and a big enough vessel.

…12+ hours later (if much later, rinse and add fresh water mid-way through)…

-Drain and rinse beans. Add to pot and add water until beans are completely submerged.  Cook on medium-low heat until beans are tender (usually around 1 to 2 hours).
-In a separate pan, sauté 3 chopped onions in butter.  When cooked through, add 6-8 cloves diced garlic.  Cook for a few minutes longer.  Set aside in a bowl.
-In the same pan, cook 1 lb. ground beef.  Once the meat is cooked through,  add 2 tablespoons chili powder and 1 teaspoon cumin.  Combine spiced meat and sauteed veggies in a large pot.  Add two quarts canned tomatoes, 1 cup sweet corn kernels, 1 cup chopped bell peppers, diced hot peppers to taste, and a splash of olive oil.  We use peppers and corn frozen from the previous growing season.  All sorts of other veggies can be added depending on what you like and what you have on hand!  This is also a good time to add in your beans if they are cooked through and soft.
-Bring to boil, and then simmer uncovered for at least 30 minutes.  More time will allow the flavors to blend together and some of the water to evaporate making a thicker stew.  Add salt, pepper, and more spices to taste.  Chili powder can lose flavor if old, so don’t hesitate to add a lot if you’re not tasting it!

chili

cornbread

Click on these links to learn more about soaking and cooking grains and beans.