Monday, April 8, 2019

Today’s Smoothie

I’ve been toying with a chocolate coconut cream pie recipe but haven’t gotten there yet. The first time, the filling was right. The second time the crust was much better, but I did the filling differently and it failed.

As for smoothies...
In the interest of ease of use, I’ve bought apple juice (organic, unfiltered, not from concentrate) and pineapple juice (organic, not from concentrate) to use as a smoothie base. I’ve used carrot juice in the past - the refrigerated kind. The bottled one on the shelf tends to have lemon in it (preserves the color?) and that alters the flavor a bit too much for my liking. Finding unadulterated carrot juice is hard nowadays for whatever reason, so I’ve switched to fruit juice.

If you have a Vita-Mix or another of the more powerful blenders, you can add the harder to blend ingredients and still have a smooth texture at the end. If you use a regular blender, there are softer ingredients you can use.

For both, you can add veggies like zucchini or squash (peeled, chopped). Squash may be on the bitter side. Zucchini tends to be neutral.

For a mega-blender, there are more options. I like to add baby carrots (no peeling or chopping necessary), and frozen spinach. You can add just about anything. I used to do raw broccoli (including a large part of the stem) and cabbage.

For both, you can add bananas or applesauce for fruit/sweetener. Blueberries may do well with a regular blender if they’re fresh.

For a mega-blender, I lean towards packages of frozen fruits. I may also add dates for an additional sweetener.

This morning’s smoothie has unsweetened (no dates) oat/cashew milk ( plus pineapple juice as the base. Then I added frozen spinach.

I wanted something a little heartier this time. A previous version had the pineapple juice with added cashews, instead of the milk. That’s simpler, faster, easier. Also stronger on the pineapple taste.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Enjoy Life and Their Sulfite-Free Claim

I’ve mentioned the Enjoy Life allergy friendly line of products on my recipe blog. At the store recently, we read the ingredients for their new pancake mix and it contained cream of tartar. The bars contained raisin juice.
These two ingredients are problematic for those allergic to sulfites, so I contacted the company as follows:
“While I love your products, I'm concerned about your sulfite-free claim. Raisin juice and cream of tartar are examples of ingredients that contain sulfites. Please check that you are being truthful in your allergy claims.“
And this was their response:
”Hi Sarah, thank you for your email and comments.
They have been shared with our management team for review and consideration.
We never use or add Sulfites, but we are aware some ingredients have naturally occurring Sulfites within it.
Please know all our products meet the standard of being defined as "Sulfite-free".
Thank you again for your passion and communication.
Stay well, Enjoy Life, and EAT FREELY.”
My take on this is that they’re concerned more with being within the legal definition of sulfite-free than with actually meeting the needs of people allergic to sulfites - even though their advertising is directed at those with allergies.
Buyer Beware!

Friday, January 11, 2019

Maple Ginger Iced Muffins

Put paper inserts into a 12 slot mini-muffin tray

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F

Stir or whisk or blend together:

1/2 cup Maple Syrup
1/2 cup Water
2 cups Flour (I used Brown Rice)
2 tbl chopped Ginger

If you can get some air into this mixture, that’s great. The more air, the less dense. Fill the muffin papers nearly full. These will not rise. It’s good if they have a flat top and a bit of a lip of paper at the top.

Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Sprinkle each muffin with about 20 mini-chocolate chips. Put the tray back in the oven and turn the oven off. Let the chips melt for about 5 minutes.

Take the tray out of the oven. With the back of a spoon, spread the melting chips to cover the top of each muffin. Allow to cool.

When putting these in the fridge, it helps to do it in layers. Put the first layer in your storage container and place that in the fridge. Allow the chocolate to harden. Repeat with each subsequent layer.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Banana Nut Brownies

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F

Blend together:

5 Bananas
2 cups raw, unsalted Walnuts
1 cup Water

Scrape/Pour this mixture into a medium to large mixing bowl. Stir in:

Lightly coat a 2L rectangular pyrex dish with oil.

Scrape the mixture into the baking dish and tamp it down firmly, making it as uniform as possible. This will be slightly higher than the brownies I’ve posted previously.

The subtotal bake time is 1 hour and 30 minutes. Rotate 90 degrees every 20 or so minutes for a more even bake. Then there’s another 30 or so minutes of allowing it to stay in the oven with the oven off. Longer is fine - allowing these to cool in the oven works too.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Breakfast Brownies and Smoothies

The Vita-Mix with both the liquid and dry containers may be best for this recipe. If using a food processor, this could be on the chunkier side which might work for the brownies, but maybe not for the smoothie. If you have a Vita-Mix but only one container, do the Dry “Flour” part first.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F

Liquid Base:
1 jar Applesauce (24 oz)
1 cup Water
1 Zucchini (peeled)
1/3 pkg frozen chopped Spinach
1 pkg frozen Raspberries

Blend until smooth in the liquid container.

Dry “Flour”:
1 cup gluten-free Rolled Oats
1 cup raw, unsalted Cashews

Blend until relatively smooth (coarse ground) in the dry container. Scrape into a medium to large mixing bowl. Add:

Brownie Mix:
6 tbl Chocolate Powder
2 1/2 cups Coconut Shreds
2 tbl Chia Seeds

Stir until well mixed. Add:

2 cups Liquid Base
1 pkg mini Chocolate Chips

Stir until well mixed.

I used a 2 L (2.2 qt) rectangular pyrex dish. I think a 2 qt dish is fine too.

Lightly coat the dish with oil.

Scrape the mixture into the baking dish and tamp it down firmly, making it as uniform as possible.

The subtotal bake time is 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes. Rotate 90 degrees every 15-20 minutes for a more even bake. Then there’s another 15-20 minutes or so of allowing it to stay in the oven with the oven off. Longer is fine - allowing these to cool in the oven works too.

Smoothie -

Add to the remaining Liquid Base:
2 Bananas
1 cup raw, unsalted Cashews
2 tbl Chocolate Powder
Enough Water to blend to desired texture

Blend on high until smooth.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Carrot Ginger Soup - Personal Size

Feeling a bit under the weather today, so I decided to make a bowl of soup. I love having a Vita-Mix for this as it will make the ingredients smooth and cook the soup at the same time. I wasn’t planning on adding cashews but decided to in order to make the soup creamier. The amount of cashews can be adjusted to achieve the desired consistency or add more water as needed. Leave the cashews out for a nut-free version - you can add a little milk of your choice instead if desired.

13 Baby Carrots
2/3 cup Water
1/3 cup raw, unsalted Cashews
1/2 slice Onion
1 tsp chopped Ginger
1 tsp chopped Garlic
Salt and Pepper to taste

Blend these ingredients until smooth. With a Vita-Mix, blend on high for 3 minutes to cook the soup. Without a Vita-Mix, blend as best as possible and heat in a sauce pan.

Holiday Cranberry Cookies

This recipe is a riff off the Flourless Cookies. I divided the base here and made two different cookies. One came out really good and the other was just okay - brown rice flour muted the flavor significantly.

I used cinnamon sticks in this recipe as the amount of ground cinnamon in the house was on the low side. An online conversion says 1 stick - 1/2 tsp cinnamon, so I’ll give both below.

Tip: For the base, use twice as much applesauce as cranberry.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

1 pkg (12 oz) Cranberries
1 jar (24 oz) Applesauce
3 tbl Coconut Sugar (optional)
8 sticks (4 tsp) Cinnamon

Blend these ingredients until smooth.

For the okay cookies, I combined 2 cups base with 2 cups brown rice flour. I usually use almond flour for this, but I wanted a cookie that was nut-free. Less flour may have worked better in this case. These went onto a cookie sheet in 1 tbl mounds that got flattened into circles and baked for 40 minutes - flipped at 20 minutes. These came out more like tea biscuits with a very muted flavor.

For the good cookies, I combined the remaining 3 cups of base with 3 cups of coconut shreds. Using a 2 tsp cookie scoop, mound on a cookie sheet and leave as mounds. Bake for 40 minutes - flipping at 20 minutes. Flipping is a bit of a misnomer - basically get the flat part off the cookie sheet so it doesn’t burn.