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.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Nut-Free Oatmeal To Go


Building off the Banana-based Muffins, this is a nut-free version that is more along the lines of a breakfast bar.

Two sets of ingredients below for two different flavors.

Equipment needed: Vita-Mix with Dry Container or Food Processor, Spatula, Large Bowl, Dehydrator

Raspberry - Dark Chocolate

5 Bananas
1 package frozen Raspberries
1 package Dark Chocolate Chips
3 cups coarse ground Gluten-Free Rolled Oats
1 cup coarse ground (raw, unsalted, shelled) Sunflower Seeds
1 cup Gluten-Free Rolled Oats

In the Vita-Mix dry container, grind the rolled oats and the sunflower seeds. It helps to grind when combining a wet ingredient (seeds) with a balancing dry ingredient (oats.) Use the spatula to scrape this into the bowl.

Next in the Vita-Mix dry container, blend the bananas with the package of frozen raspberries. Probably best to blend the bananas first until they liquify. This might require some tamping as the raspberries may freeze into a bit of a mass. Scrape this into the bowl.

Stir in the package of dark chocolate chips and the whole rolled oats. You can use the spatula to stir which will also help with scraping the sides of the bowl as you stir.

Place half the mixture in the middle of a dehydrator silicon sheet and spread to an even depth. This should fill 2 sheets approximately 12" square.

Dehydrate at 125° for about 5-6 hours. Flip directly onto the dehydrator grate, score into squares, and continue dehydrating for another 5-6 hours or until they reach the desired texture. Spreading the squares apart will help them gain a crispier edge.

When peeling off the silicon sheet, some mixture may cling to the sheet. If you like little crispy bits, put this sheet back in the dehydrator.

I was asked about the calories for this bar, so I did the calculations from the raw ingredients.

40 ~2.5" Square Bars: Nutrition Information per bar:

                                 measure*                %**
Calories                      103.8
Calories From Fat       37.4
Total Fat                        4.4                      6.6
Saturated Fat                2.8                      9.3
Trans Fat                       0.0                      0.0
Cholesterol                    0.0                      0.0
Sodium                           0.1                      0.0
Total Carbohydrate     16.1                     5.6
Dietary Fiber                 2.8                     11.4
Sugars                            6.3
Protein                           2.6

Vitamin A                                                 0.3
Vitamin C                                                 3.8
Calcium                                                    0.9
Iron                                                          10.7
Potassium                   64.4                      1.9

* g/mg/calories
** percent of daily value - 2000 calorie


Apple Cinnamon

3 Bananas
2 single serve (4 oz @) Applesauce
2 tbl Ground Cinnamon
2 cups coarse ground Gluten-Free Rolled Oats
2 cups coarse ground (raw, unsalted, shelled) Sunflower Seeds
1 cup Gluten-Free Rolled Oats

In the Vita-Mix dry container, grind the rolled oats and the sunflower seeds. It helps to grind when combining a wet ingredient (seeds) with a balancing dry ingredient (oats.) Use the spatula to scrape this into the bowl.

Next in the Vita-Mix dry container, blend the bananas with the applesauce and cinnamon until it liquifies. Scrape this into the bowl.

Stir in the whole rolled oats. You can use the spatula to stir which will also help with scraping the sides of the bowl as you stir.

Place half the mixture in the middle of a dehydrator silicon sheet and spread to an even depth. This should fill 2 sheets approximately 10" square.

Dehydrate at 105° for about 5-6 hours. Flip directly onto the dehydrator grate, score into squares, and continue dehydrating for another 5-6 hours or until they reach the desired texture. Spreading the squares apart will help them gain a crispier edge.

When peeling off the silicon sheet, some mixture may cling to the sheet. If you like little crispy bits, put this sheet back in the dehydrator.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Oat Milk


Equipment needed:
Vita-Mix with the wet container, 1 cup Measuring Cup, 1 tablespoon Measuring Spoon (optional)

Ingredients:
1 cup Gluten-Free Rolled Oats
5 cups Water
2 Pitted Dates
1 tbl Cocoa Powder (optional)

The Coconut Milk recipe calls for 1 cup flakes to 2 cups water, so this started with 1 cup rolled oats and 2 cups water in the Vita-Mix. Blend on high for 3 minutes. This becomes a very thin oatmeal. Good to know for making oatmeal in the future.

Add 3 cups of water to make it more of a milk texture and the 2 pitted dates for a sweetener.
Blend on high for about 20-30 seconds to get the dates totally mixed in.

Since this made a lot more milk than I had planned for, I poured half into a container, then added the cocoa powder to the other half and blended that in. Nice to have both in the house.

This doesn't require straining like the coconut milk. I tried to, but it passed through the strainer with ease. One less step is always welcome.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Banana-based Mini-Muffins


I once saw a meme that was a pancake recipe using bananas as the base ingredient. Unfortunately, that meme didn't credit the origin of the recipe.

These were very popular with my taste testers at work. Because they are sweet, adding something on the bitter side to balance that out might be very nice - like cocoa nibs or chopped up/ground hazelnuts.

Equipment needed:
Vita-Mix with the Dry Container or a Food Processor, 1 cup Measuring Cup, Bowl, Spatula, Spoon, optional Scissors, Dehydrator or Oven

Ingredients
5 Medium Bananas
1 pkg Frozen Blueberries
1 pkg Dark Chocolate Chips
2 cups Flour

In a food processor or Vita-Mix with the dry container, blend the bananas until creamy and the mixture rises with added air. Add ½ package frozen blueberries and blend until well mixed. This may need a little tamping to get started.

Pour this mixture into the bowl. The spatula helps get as much out as you can. Stir in ½ package frozen blueberries, 1 package dark chocolate chips, and 2 cups flour (I used almond meal - next time I plan on grinding 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats with 1 cup sunflower seeds instead.) I used the spatula to stir as the blueberries and chocolate chips wanted to stick to the sides of the bowl. Add more flour if the mixture seems too runny. It should clump.

Spoon into mini-muffin molds and tamp down. This filled 46 molds.

Dehydrate at 125° for about 10 hours. Take a knife around the edges of the molds to release any muffins stuck at the top edge. Flip the muffins directly onto the dehydrator grate. You may need to pop the bottom of each mold to get them out. Continue dehydrating for another 3 or 4 hours.

If you don't have confidence in the flip, use a second dehydrator grate on top to make a mini-muffin mold sandwich and then flip it all before removing the mold.

This can probably be baked at a low temp - like 200° - but I don’t know for how long offhand. Experimenting with time can be fun as you have to pop one out and eat it to test it each time you check.

These can also be placed in the freezer after dehydrating/baking to become mini-ice cream cakes.

If you don’t have molds, you can shape them however you like - cookies, bars, etc.