Sunday, August 13, 2017

222 Variations


Here are a few ideas for changing things up:

1. Substitute avocado for the applesauce
2. Add fruit
3. Substitute gluten-free rolled oats for some of the almond flour
4. Substitute a different flour - like rice or hazelnut
5. Substitute dates for the bananas

Blueberry cookies:
I was out of applesauce but I had an avocado on the hairy edge of 'out the door.' So I put the 2 bananas and the avocado in the blender. After those were liquified, I slowly added about half a package of frozen blueberries.

In the bowl, I stirred together the 2 cups of almond flour and the remaining blueberries. Then I added the mixture from the blender and gently stirred that in. This was a wetter mixture and required slightly more baking time. Not a lot more - we're talking 5-10 minutes per side.

Raspberry - Dark Chocolate Chip cookies:
I went back to the 2 bananas and 2 applesauce containers (8 oz). After that was liquified, I slowly added a whole package of frozen raspberries. This made enough liquid that I felt it called for more dry ingredients.

I had 1 cup of almond flour left, and added 2 cups of gluten-free rolled oats and 1 package of dark chocolate chips to it. Stirred those together before adding the liquid and gently stirring that in. Time was a consideration, so I plopped this into the middle of the cookie sheet and spread it to become one large rectangle.

This required more baking time as well. I scored it after I flipped the whole thing onto another cookie sheet.

Chocolate - Dark Chocolate Chip cookies:
If you're not a fan of banana, you can use dates. This time, I bumped up the applesauce content to be sure there was enough liquid: 12 oz of applesauce and 6 pitted dates in the blender.

In a bowl went 1 cup of hazelnut flour, 1 cup gf rolled oats, 3 tablespoons dark chocolate powder, and 1/2 package of mini-chocolate chips. I stirred those together first and then scraped in the liquid from the blender.

About 25 minutes on each side at 350 degrees for these too.

All of these recipes make about 25 cookies, or as I like to think of them - decadent breakfast bars.

So play with your cookies. Have fun.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

222 Cookies


2 Bananas
2 single-serve Applesauce (8 oz total)
2 cups Almond Meal (or nut-free flour of your choice)
1/2 pkg Chocolate Chips (dark chocolate mini-chips this time)

Blend the bananas and applesauce, working up to a higher speed to build a bit of air into the mixture. Store in the fridge overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Scrape the mixture into a bowl, add the flour and chips and stir gently.

Spoon onto a cookie sheet and tamp down a bit to make into a cookie shape. These will not flatten though they may rise a little. The more air you can hold in the mixture, the more bread-like the result will be.

Bake 15 minutes. Flip each cookie, rearranging as needed if some are darker than others. I found the right and left edge cookies were baking faster even with the convection on. Bake another 15 minutes. Take out of the oven and allow to cool. The middles will continue baking as they are cooling.

I usually use parchment paper under my dough when they first bake and probably should have done that again this time. They stuck a bit to the cookie sheet and required some work to flip. Leaving this in the fridge overnight is optional. It allows the banana to thicken, but probably isn’t necessary for a good cookie. I was inspired by the chocolate eclairs on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off and wanted something similar. Not up to a replacement for choux pastry - yet. 😋

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Squash the Carrot Cookies


People give me food and I make cookies out of it. This time, it was chubby carrots fresh from the garden. This is how it went down:

Number one: set the oven for 350 degrees and forget to turn on the convection. Not my brightest move.

10 small, but chubby carrots
3 small (6”) yellow squash
1 cup water
8 oz applesauce
2 tbl cinnamon

I put the 2 single serving applesauce contents into the Vita-Mix dry container. I thought I should not add the cinnamon now because it would increase the dryness. I needed this part to be more wet, so, of course, I added it anyway. Yep. That’s how I roll.

I washed the veggies and peeled the carrots. I kept eyeing the yellow squash and thinking that should go in first as it’s wetter. Nope. Sliced the carrots and put those in half at a time. This needed to be tamped to get it going. Then it needed the water. 1 cup to get this to blend and seriously macerate the carrots.

The container was full, so I poured half into a bowl before peeling, slicing, and adding the squash. That’s wetter - did I mention that bit? - so it blended beautifully. This mixture got stirred in with the rest in the bowl.

Next time: put the cinnamon in after the blending is done, and add the wetter vegetable first.

I grabbed the largest measuring cup from the drawer and added ingredients to the bowl. A cup of this and a cup of that, only this wasn’t the one cup measuring cup so…

3/4 cup sunflower seeds
3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
3/4 cup rolled oats
3 cups almond meal (or nut-free flour of your choice)
1 pkg dark chocolate chips

I wanted to put in more than 3 cups of almond meal. The mixture was wetter than I normally work with since I had to add water because I don’t listen to myself. However, 3 cups was the end of the currently opened bag of almond meal, so 3 cups is what it got.

Using my now standard baking method: Cover 1 cookie sheet with parchment paper. Empty the contents of the bowl into the middle of the parchment paper. Spread evenly until about 1/4" thick. Well, however thick it gets when it reaches the edges of the sheet. If you have a bit more ambition, or sense, put this on two sheets.

Score with the spatula using a sawing action to slide the chips and seeds to the side. This works much better when it’s only one chunky item in the way. Having two sets of seeds and the chocolate chips meant there were edges that needed a little pat down after the scoring was done.

Bake it for about 1 hour. Had I remembered the convection switch, this might have been a shorter amount of time or at least a more even baking process. Remove from oven, place the second cookie sheet on top of the first. Flip them together. Remove both the first cookie sheet and the parchment paper. Bake for another hour.

In reality, the edges cooked faster than the middle (next time use the convection switch), the flipping bit threw some small cookie pieces off the edge (next time use two sheets, or less water and therefore less dough), 
The parchment paper didn’t peel easily (next time follow the directions from before about baking more before trying to remove the paper).

In the end, these turned out really good. Satisfying with a mellow sweetness, and then you get a burst of dark chocolate chip. So it’s veggies, nuts and seeds which are protein and good fats, applesauce for the fruit, rolled oats for the grain, and dark chocolate chips for the dessert.


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Sweet Zucchini Cookies


This is the sweet recipe version from the gigantic zucchini from my boss’ garden.

Equipment needed:

Vita-Mix with the Dry Container and Tamper, Spatula, 1 cup Measuring Cup, 1 tablespoon Measuring Spoon, Medium or Large Bowl, Knife (and other items for dealing with zucchini), Parchment Paper, and 2 Cookie Sheets

Ingredients:
3 cups Almond Meal (or other gluten-free/nut-free flour)
2 large bananas: ~1 cup when liquified
9 oz Zucchini (washed but not peeled)
2 tbl Cocoa Powder
1/2 package Dark Chocolate Chips

More flavor options:
Substitute applesauce for the banana (1 cup) and cinnamon for the cocoa powder.
Substitute ginger for the cocoa powder. Either banana or applesauce works.
Chocolate chips are optional.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

In the Vita-Mix: blend the 2 bananas until liquified. Add the zucchini and blend again. This probably requires tamping. Once this is fairly well blended, turn up the speed and allow the mixture to expand with air - about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.

Scrape this into the bowl. Add the flour. Stir gently - so as not to lose the air - until well blended. I used the spatula for this. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Cover 1 cookie sheet with parchment paper. Empty the contents of the bowl into the middle of the parchment paper. Spread evenly until about 1/4" thick. Score with the spatula. Use a sawing action to make the chocolate chips move aside.

Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, place the second cookie sheet on top of the first. Flip them together. remove both the first cookie sheet and the parchment paper. Bake for another 20 minutes. Watch these carefully, they bake up fairly fast. Allow to cool, though eating it fresh from the oven is a good thing.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Savory Zucchini Bars


A lot of my recipes grow out of a desire to use something I have on hand. This time it was two somethings.

1. My boss gave me a gigantic zucchini from her garden - a good 18" long at least.
2. I found this new Teriyaki Jackfruit and, in a fit of optimism, I bought 3 packages with the idea of using them on salad. They are not my idea of salad topper - in their defense, they are not marketed as a salad topper. I tried using one with pasta, but it was too spicy and the texture wasn't working for me. These have soy sauce, so they contain both soy and wheat.

Equipment needed:
Vita-Mix with the Dry Container and Tamper, Spatula, 1 cup Measuring Cup, Large Bowl, Knife (and other items for dealing with zucchini), Parchment Paper, and 2 Cookie Sheets

Ingredients:
2 cups Rolled Oats
1 cup Raw, Unsalted, Shelled, Sunflower Seeds
1 cup Raw, Unsalted, Pumpkin Seeds
2 packages Teriyaki Jackfruit
          [To make this both soy- and wheat-free,
            try using 1 cup of marinade instead]
13 oz Zucchini (washed but not peeled)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

In the Vita-Mix: layer the oats and seeds as follows - 1 cup oats, 1 cup seeds, 1 cup oats, 1 cup seeds, and then coarse grind them. This layering of dry/wet ingredients should help limit caking

Scrape this coarse ground mixture into the large bowl. No need to get all of it out of the Vita-Mix yet.

In the Vita-Mix: blend the 2 packages of jackfruit. Add the zucchini and blend again. This probably requires tamping. Open the lid to be sure you have blended in the zucchini fairly well.

Scrape this into the large bowl. Stir the resulting mixture until well blended. I used the spatula for this.

Cover 1 cookie sheet with parchment paper. Empty the contents of the large bowl into the middle of the parchment paper. Spread evenly until about 1/4" thick. Score with the spatula.

Bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven, place the second cookie sheet on top of the first. Flip them together. remove both the first cookie sheet and the parchment paper. Bake for another 40 minutes. Allow to cool, though eating it fresh from the oven is a good thing.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Tinkering with Sweet Potatoes


I recently tried making potato and sweet potato chips - first batch were meh; second batch not yet on the horizon. What I discovered is that potatoes are quite wet when blended; sweet potatoes are slightly less so, but still more wet than I expected. I bought a couple more sweet potatoes to make the second attempt but decided that I wanted sweet instead of savory this time.

Sweet Potato, Oat, Chocolate Chip Mini-Muffins

Equipment needed:
Vita-Mix with the dry container and tamper, knife, peeler, cutting board, large bowl, 1 cup measuring cup, spatula, cookie sheet, mini-muffin molds, small spoon, and oven

In the Vita-Mix:
1 Banana
2 Peeled, Washed Sweet Potatoes - cut into small-ish pieces
5 Pitted Dates

Blend and tamp until well blended. This might take stages of adding ingredients and blending. Scrape this into the bowl. Add:

1 cup Almond Meal (or a nut-free flour like brown rice)
1 cup gluten-free Rolled Oats
1/2 package Dark Chocolate Chips

The amount of flour/oats depends on the size of the sweet potatoes. 1 cup of each should be fairly close to what works for most pairs of sweet potatoes. Stir until well mixed. The spatula works well for this.

Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees.

Fill mini-muffin molds using the small spoon - tamp until compressed and flat on top. Filled 47 molds.

Bake for 75-85 minutes. Flip and pop out of the muffin molds. Bake for another 20-30 minutes. Allow to cool.

Your baking time may vary depending on your oven.

These remind me of sweet potato pancakes (with bonus chocolate chips!)


Monday, May 1, 2017

Throwing Stuff Together


I didn't stop to measure much this weekend, so I don't have "recipes". What I do have is what I threw together, and what I experimented with.

All measurements are approximate:

Round 1:
1 tbl ground ginger
1 cup coarse ground walnuts
1 cup coarse ground cashews
1/4 cup chia seeds
6 pitted dates
2 cups water
Almond meal - sufficient to make a dough (2-3 cups?)

Round 2:
2 tbl baking chocolate
1 package dark chocolate chips
1 package frozen cherries
1 banana
6 pitted dates
2 cups water
Gluten-free rolled oats - sufficient to make a more liquid dough as the oats need to absorb the moisture while cooking (2-3 cups?)

Round 3:
After making coconut milk:
Medium pyrex bowl of coconut pulp
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup low sodium tamari (contains soy)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
This needs time in the fridge to gel as much as possible


Except for the coconut milk, I blended everything as needed in the Vita-Mix with the dry container. These all went into the dehydrator at 105 degrees for a long time (~16 hours).

The first set makes ginger cookies. Spread flat on dehydrator sheets and cut after flipping.

The second - breakfast bars for the sweet tooth. Spooned into mini-muffin molds and rectangular candy molds. The remaining bit was spread out flat on a dehydrator sheet and cut after flipping. The candy molds were flipped and emptied after about 7 hours. They were not very cooperative in the process. The mini-muffin molds were flipped and emptied after about 14 hours. That went fairly well.

The third is my second shot at what to do with the leftover coconut pulp from making coconut milk. My first shot at it was ice cream and that became an inedible ice cube - not enough fat or whipping in of air. The texture is somewhat like popcorn chips. It's a little on the dry, powdery side of things for my liking.