Chewy Delicious Cookies

Every now and then…wait…more like once a week…I get a craving for some cookies. Alex stumbled upon this recipe and the first time we made it we just looked at each other with wide eyes like “oh cookie where have you been all my life?” Ya’ll know I am not much of a cookbook girl, more of a blog-pinterest-make it up myself, kind of girl-so had he not tried these I probably never would have tried the recipe myself. Thank God for husbands who like to follow recipes. Rebel girl here. Anyways. After we made the cookies a few times we have tweaked a few things to make them match up more with our real foodie lifestyle, ya know. Good stuff.

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Now. I will warn you, these are highly, highly, HIGHLY addictive. I have been known to eat 4-5 in one sitting. I a humbly admitting this to you so that you don’t have to feel bad if you do the same. We’re paddling the same boat. No guilt. Tell yourself how much better these are for you than chemical laden alternatives that line the shelf of the stores. And we all know that most people can down a 1/2 dozen oreos in no time. *(Ps-that was not a hatin on Oreos sentence, I am just sayin…)

The other fun thing about these cookies is that they are entirely customizable. If you are a plain jane like me, I like just chocolate chips. Alex likes what we consider “trail mix” cookies with dried fruit, nuts and chocolate. Both entirely good. So add what you want, possibilities are endless for your “add-ins”. If you really want to be a rebel add some additional spices, such as nutmeg. Mmm. Just no oregano or anything like that, k?

Alright enough fluff. Here’s the recipe.

Chewy Delicious Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup sprouted flour (or combination of whole wheat and All-Purpose flour)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled *(If you use a cup or less of add-ins you can reduce butter to 4T).
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses (don’t skip this!)
  • 1/2 cup to 11/2 cups Add-Ins (such as chocolate chips, nuts, coconut, dried fruit, etc.)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Whisk oats, flour, salt, cinnamon and baking soda together in a bowl.

2. In large bowl whisk melted butter, egg, vanilla and sugar together until combined.

3. Stir the oat mixture into this wet mix. Then fold in the add-ins.

4. Take approx 1 Tablespoon of dough and with slightly wet hands, roll into a ball and place on cookie sheet.

6. Bake on middle rack in preheated oven for 13-16 minutes (usually closer to the 16 min mark). You want the edges to look set but the middle to look a little underdone. Over baking these will lead to a brittle cookie [bad]. If you slightly under bake them they will turn out chewy and delicious [good]. Let the cookies cool on the pan for 5-10 mins before moving to a cooling rack. Don’t try to peel them off right away they will break!

7. Store in an airtight container.

Note: I have gotten word from a friend, Hi Cara!, that these freeze well. I’ve never tried freezing as they hardly make it to the next day. One time I suggested to Alex that we freeze some and he just looked at me. You know, the look, the…”Are you kidding me?” look. So yeah. Maybe if I made a double batch but that’s just dangerous. Lol.

Hope you enjoy!

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-Erica

 

 

 

My Favorite Banana Bread

If you are anything like me, you probably have some brown bananas on your counter. Its ok, I understand, this time of year its very hard to keep bananas for more than a few days before they start getting attacked by fruit flies and turning brown overnight. No worries. Never throw those babies away! I actually buy extra bananas just so I can let them turn brown on purpose so I can make this recipe.

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I absolutely love this recipe. I felt like a bit of a rebel from deviating from my moms famous banana bread recipe. I love  moms too, this one just holds a special place in my heart for some reason. I just like the crackly little bits so much. I seriously try to keep this around for more than a day, and I fail miserably every.single.time. If you decide to make this brace yourself and prepare your mind that you won’t be able to save any. Especially if your husband comes home from work looking for a snack. It’s all over, just eat the whole loaf. I have made some modifications to the original recipe, but feel free to tweak to your liking as it comes out similar!

Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Crackly Banana Bread

  • 3 large ripe-to-over-ripe bananas
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, warmed until it liquefies
  • 1/3-1/2 cup organic sugar, or a combination of maple syrup and sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)
  • 1 T molasses
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups (180 grams) sprouted flour (feel free to use whatever flour you want)
  • 1/3-1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional…ha, as if!)
  • 1/4 cup (plus a little extra) (50 grams) uncooked millet

Heat oven to 350° and grease a 9×5 loaf pan. In large bowl mash the bananas with a potato masher or fork. Whisk in egg, oil, sugars, molassas and vanilla. In a small bowl combine flour, baking soda, & spices (Do not add millet yet!). Gently incorporate dry mixture into your banana mixture, being careful not to overmix! Add millet and chocolate chips and fold into batter. Pour mixture into prepared pan and sprinkle the top of the bread with some extra millet. Bake for 50-55 mins until toothpick comes out clean.

Cool in pan or wait at least 15 mins before cooling on a rack or plate. (I have been known to dump it immediately after it comes out and I usually loose its pretty shape and burn my mouth on melted chocolate chips…so it’s probably best to wait.)

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I love Smitten Kitchen by the way…she cooks up some goood stuff.

Super Simple Sweet Potato Spectacular

I know you are laughing at my post title. Its pretty epic. So are these potatoes. I love sweet potatoes just about any way they are prepared. Baked, mashed, pie, fries (oh yum), cakes, waffles, etc, etc. So, no doubt I be loving this recipe. Found this recipe in an old, weird, paper, spiral bound book I got fo’ free somewhere. It even had an orange cover. I basically tweaked the recipe to my likin’ (hearing my country twang yet?).

Here goes…

Ingredients:

  • Sweet potatoes (use as many as you like-I could eat like 5) naw seriously 2-3 fit in a 12 inch skillet. So plan accordingly.
  • 1 T  PER POTATO (3 potatoes? Use 3 T oil) -cold pressed, unrefined coconut oil (do NOT sub anything else or skimp on this, k?)
  • pinch of salt
  • lil pinch of cinnamon sugar

Directions:

Peel sweet potatoes.

Slice potatoes in thin rounds (1/4- 1/8 in). Don’t go like paper thin as we are not making chips here, but slightly crispy gooey center rounds. I don’t have one of those fancy mandolin things but feel free to use it if ya got it. Otherwise, please use a sharp knife. (Thanks bro for sharpening my knives for me!)

Heat coconut oil in a skillet. [Word here: I love my cast iron skillet and use nothing else…I haven’t tried this in stainless steel or in non-stick so I apologize if your results aren’t 100% like mine if you don’t have a cast iron…but I recommend you get one. I got this one cuz it was cheap, works great for me. End Word.]

Next, carefully add the sweet potato rounds to the hot oil (not smoking or bubbling just hot). Try to keep a single layer (a few overhangs is ok!) Let them cook on one side for a few mins then flip them and continue to do that process until they start to brown up a bit. I find that my metal spatula works best (not in non-stick obviously though!). Now there is a perfect line between brown delicious and brown burned. Don’t go to the other side of the line. Keep your oil on like medium to prevent oil from getting too hot. You are not really frying these, you are more like pan-frying with a little oil. Also make sure every potato gets enough oil on it.

When it gets looking good add your pinch of salt, sug and cinnamon. Yum, these are so good I usually eat them on the way to the table. If for some reason they don’t turn out good, come on over and I’ll teach ya how to make some. I love these. Hope you do too!!

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Sourdough Dinner Rolls

I found these amazing looking dinner rolls on Pinterest. Of course I was skeptical. And as usual, my first attempt is not 100% perfect. Nevertheless, I feel that this recipe has the potential to be a REAL winner. If it were not for a few “oops!” mistakes on my part they would have turned out looking beautiful. However, they tasted amazing so the looks of them didn’t really matter. Especially when slathered with coconut honey “butter”. Yum.

Soft Wheat Rolls (adapted from soursaltybittersweet.com)
Makes 12 (ish) rolls

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sourdough starter
  • 1/2 cup warm milk (100-110F)
  • 1 t sugar (only necessary if using active dry yeast)
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose or bread flour
  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour (or spelt, kamut, etc) **may need to add a few more tablespoons if the dough is looking sticky
  • 1 t. kosher salt
  • 3 T  honey or maple syrup
  • 2 T melted butter
  • 2T coconut oil, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1-2 tsp active dry yeast (optional) (Depends on how quickly you want these to rise! PS-Longer is better!)

1. Heat the milk in the microwave or saucepan to between 100-110 degrees. This is just warm, not hot! Whisk in the sugar and yeast, if using, and let sit 5-10 minutes or until frothy.

2. Combine all of the ingredients and stir until the dough begins to come together. Scrape onto a lightly-floured surface.

3. Knead for 10 mins or so. Adding only a little extra flour at a time to keep it from sticking to you or the counter. You want a nice soft dough. It should not be hard to knead at all! This was one of the easiest breads I have kneaded!

4. Coat a mixing bowl with oil or butter. Place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover the bowl and let rise for 4-12 hrs (sourdough starter alone) or 3-5 hrs if you use a combination of yeast and starter. I added about 1 tsp of yeast and let it rise for about 4 hours.

5. Butter a 9×13 pan

6. Divide each piece into 12 equal pieces, each of which should be 50-55 grams (1.75-2.00 oz). You may have more or less pieces depending on total amount of flour you added.

7. Press each piece of dough into a disc, gather the edges and pinch them together. Place each ball pinched-edge down in the prepared pans.

8. Cover the pans and let rise for another 3-9 hrs (again depending on if you used starter alone or combo of starter/yeast). Mine were risen in about 2 1/2.

9. Preheat the oven to 375 for 20 minutes. Before placing the rolls in the oven, brush the tops of the rolls with beaten egg. Bake for 20 min, or until the tops are golden brown

10. Let cool on wire racks for 5 minutes. Turn out of pan and serve.

11. I served with honey-coconut “butter”. Basically just take a big scoop of coconut oil and a few tablespoons of honey (raw is best!) and whisk or beat together. You may need to pop it in the fridge for a few to harden it back up if you got the oil to warm. Enjoy!

*A few notes from my experience: Everything looked fantastic until I brushed the tops of the rolls with the egg. My rolls “fell”. Thus, I think I will be skipping this step in the future. You could easily rub a little button on them when they come out of the oven to soften them (that’s what the egg wash does).  However, I don’t even think its really necessary. These rolls were very very soft and fluffy! I also forgot to add the egg to the dough-I am not certain what difference it made but next time I might try adding it just to see. However, they were excellent without the egg in the dough, so if you don’t want to mess with that-don’t! Finally, I used spelt flour which may have caused my “falling” dough since that is quite characteristic of spelt, but spelt imparts such a lovely flavor. Feel free to use any kind of whole wheat flour. My plan is to slowly convert these to 100% whole wheat, but we will see!

Sorry I don’t have a picture for you. I ate them all to quickly. Oops! Plus they weren’t as pretty as the pictures. I gotcha next time.

Leftover Beans- 2 Ways

I made a large pot of beans the other night to eat with rice-cuz we’re trying to be all frugal-like…good ol beans and rice. It was good as always but by about the third day of beans and rice for lunch I’m ready for something new. So last night for dinner I whipped up some bean and rice cakes. Ate them with roasted broccoli and carrot soufflé. Fanshy smanshy. Not really. I just needed to add some color to the drab looking bean cake-ya know?

I don’t really have recipes for these, per say…just kinda throw whatever you have in…

Beans and Rice Cakes

  • Use about equal portions of rice and beans…maybe more beans if your rice is dry, mine is rather sticky so it was fine.
  • 1-2 eggs (depending on amount of beans and rice)
  • A couple handfuls of breadcrumbs, cracker crumbs, goldfish, whatever you have!
  • Any additional seasonings you want (I didn’t add anything because beans were seasoned well)

Mix up all these ingredients and form into patties. I sprinkled some flour on both sides to help it from sticking to the plate. Melt a few tablespoons of coconut oil in a skillet (cast iron if you have it!) and fry on each side until brown and crispy. I served with sour cream on top.

 

Bean Dip

  • A couple of cups of leftover beans
  • Sour cream
  • Salsa
  • Cheese
  • Etc etc etc…whatever you like!

Drain the liquid off the beans as best as you can. Whiz the beans in the food processor (or vitamix is what I used) until creamy with a few small chunks. Spread the beans out on a plate or in pie dish. Spread sour cream on top of that, then salsa, then top with cheese and as many toppings as you wish! Olives, avocado, etc. This is so simple, but I never would have thought to do this from leftover bean soup! I did find this idea with a quick google search, but I wanted to share with you my ah ha! moment! We ate with some blue corn chips!

This is not the lovelies of pictures…beans are hard to make beautiful. I was also lacking in toppings…so we did the basic sour cream, salsa and cheese. It was good!

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"Oh My Stars!" Soup

Stars. Quite literally. In both expression and reality. I have been simmering a pot of bone broth (my first attempt at this!) for about 18 hours now. The health benefits of a long simmered broth are ridiculous. Since we had a left over chicken carcass from the other nights roast chicken dinner, I threw that in a pot with goodies yesterday morning. I have followed a couple of great blog posts on how to do this and why it is so good for you. The Wonders of Gelatin, The Cumulative Time Approach, Basic How-To. Pinterest is full of good resources too- just look up “bone broth.” Excellent. So now, I have tried my hand at it. I used the cumulative time approach linked above because I don’t have a crock pot (yes, it’s true). Anyways. For lunch I decided that I would fish out some carrots, chicken meat and a few cups of broth and toss some little tiny stars into another pan. Violá Chicken Star Soup! I added some additional salt and pepper as well as some parsley. To mine I added some fried garlic (the by product from making some garlic oil earlier for the babys ears). Holy hot tuna it was good.

Simple yet so incredibly nutritious. It feels so good knowing that you are feeding your family so healthy for them. I kept talking about how good it was for us and Leandra like went crazy eating it. She was like “this is SO good mom. It makes us warm all inside.” Love that kid.

There really isn’t a recipe as the possibilities are endless, especially if you have a good quality broth. I had heard that chicken soup can cure anything, and up until this point I had never really felt that was true. Mainly because unfortunately, boxed broths lack the nutrients and gelatin required for healing. That’s all I had ever really made. I am changed now. I will be making more bone broth in the future. I see the light.

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Cajun Red Beans and Rice

A while back I got a hankering for some good red beans and rice. I love the super creamy beans over some sticky rice. It is hard to come by. I also had made a few attempts before but could never get it right. I thought I would give it another go. I don’t usually repeat recipes that I make up, but this one is a keeper. I love this recipe. Its creamy and spicy and filling. So good.

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Cajun Red Beans and Rice

  • 2 links of andouille sausage links (I get mine from Whole Foods-they are chicken, but work well)
  • 2-3 strips bacon, chopped small before cooking (its easier this way)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green or red pepper, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced 
  • 30 oz (2 cans, drained) of cooked red kidney beans *See note
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 t oregano
  • 1 t thyme
  • 1/2 t cayenne pepper (more or less depending on your spice likes
  • 1 t sea salt
  • Cultured Butter
  • Hot brown rice

Method:

Remove sausage from its casing and put in large pot (I like using my enamel cast iron dutch oven). Chop sausage up with a wooden spatula and add bacon pieces. Cook these until bacon is crisp over medium-high heat. Remove meat from pan. Leave the bacon/sausage fat in the pan (unless its an excessive amount-need about 2 T) and put in onions. Saute onions until they are starting to look translucent. Add garlic and peppers. Cook for a few more mins until the peppers soften up a bit. To this, add the rest of the ingredients, including the meat. Let this come to a simmer and turn down to med-low heat, then leave it simmering for a couple of hours until it starts to thicken up. I will leave the lid on for the first hour or so, then partially cover to let some steam out. When things are looking cooked, take a potato masher and mash the beans just a bit. We aren’t looking for a puree here, just a few smooshed beans. Let this simmer for a few more minutes and it will really start to thicken up. Be careful to not let it stick to the bottom of the pan! Just use your wooden spatula to scrape off anything that sticks. It shouldn’t be burnt because its a low temp. Hopefully! Once you are happy with the consistency turn burner off! It will stay hot for a while!!

Make your brown rice when things look like they are wrapping up. Brown Rice recipe below. Serve beans over the brown rice and add a pat of cultured butter on top (this DOES make a difference- it’s amazing). If you cannot get cultured butter, which I HIGHLY recommend, I would still use salted butter in its place. It makes it ridiculously creamy and decadent. The cultured butter tastes so good on its own (I would eat it plain…) and adds so much flavor. Yum. Ok, then I just sprinkle some parsley on top for pretty-ness. Ya know?

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Brown Rice

  • 2 cups of brown rice
  • 4 cups filtered water
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar or lemon juice

Method:

In a glass jar or bowl mix rice, water and vinegar/lemon juice together the night before(or at least 8 hours) you want to cook rice. This method of rice preparation is wonderful for many reasons. One- because the soaking in acid environment helps break down some anti-nutrients (phytic acid) present in rice which can block mineral absorption.Two- it reduces the cooking time greatly! Win win! About 30 mins before you are ready for the rice put the rice with the liquid and a pat of butter, coconut oil or olive oil in a pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook for 25-30 mins. You can check it near the end to see if all water is absorbed. *Note: You MAY drain the soaking water if it bothers you- sometimes if it is really warm the liquid will smell kind of funny. If I let the rice soak for over 12 hours I usually drain the liquid into a measuring cup to see how much water is left. Add that exact same amount of fresh water and proceed with cooking. Do not add the full amount of water that you started with back as the rice absorbs water during the soaking process.

 

A note about the beans: Feel free to use canned kidney beans (but drain/rinse them first). I will make a huge batch of beans (dried) and then put 15oz in each freezer bag and freeze. 15 oz is the size of a normal can of beans, so anytime a recipe calls for a can of beans, I just grab a portioned bag out of the freezer and thaw it. Beans thaw really quickly. I usually have many types of beans available in the freezer. This is so cheap its not funny. But I have been known to use canned beans, so don’t fret if that is all you have. It will still be yummy.

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Not the prettiest looking stuff, but boy is it good. Especially on day two!

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Sourdough Bread- Savory and Sweet

It’s rainy and cold here today. The kind of day where you wear fuzzy socks in the shape of animals (you know the one’s you get in your Christmas stocking?), snuggle with warm laundry out of the dryer, and bake bread…

And make spaghetti because its easy and it’s your husband’s favorite meal. However, I discovered early in marriage that you cannot have spaghetti without good sopping bread. You know…how you have to sop up the last of the sauce on the plate after all the noodles are gone? I didn’t know it had a name until I met Alex. If I really love him I make my own sauce. But alas, fresh tomatoes are out of season.

So…Bread.

I managed to get a batch of sourdough kneaded between juggling the two kids. I usually like to make my dough while the baby is sleeping, but I forgot to grind my flour before putting her down-that usually wakes her up. Soo, I managed kneading with both kids underfoot. Elly is officially crawling and pulling herself up on things. So big!

Anyways. So while I was kneading the bread- I had the grand idea of making a savory loaf for dinner (with Spaghetti) and a sweet version for breakfast. So after kneading I made a mix of Parmesan, and Italian herbs and then a cinnamon sugar mix. I divided the dough and rolled out and topped the savory one with olive oil then the spice mix/cheese and rolled it up, plopped it in the bread pan. I did the same with the cinnamon sugar mix, but used coconut oil instead of olive. Then they will rise for a few hours. Yummmm.

K. So here’s the low down.

Sourdough Bread

Adapted from gnowfglins.com s sourdough e-course
  • 3 cups active bubbly starter (means you fed it a few hours ago and its all bubbled up)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 T salt
  • 1/4 tsp conventional yeast (optional)- I added this because I didn’t have a lot of hours to let this rise because I started later in the morning. I didn’t use this last time and it was fine.
  • 5ish cups of freshly ground flour

Making: Mix the starter, water, salt and yeast (if using). Add 3 cups of flour and mix with spoon. Add 1/4-1/2 cup increments of flour until dough is “shaggy.” I mixed with my hands at this point. Then let the dough sit for 15 mins or so to let the flour absorb the water.

Kneading: After 15 mins time, pull the dough out and begin kneading. I rarely add more flour- in fact sometimes I wet my hands with warm water to add a little moisture back in. Just gotta play with it. Knead for 5 mins. Let dough rest after first kneading to let it chillax for a few. Then repeat this process until you feel the dough ready. I ended up kneading for 15 mins . Note: this is hand kneading. If you had a stand mixer it would be a lot faster. However, as a caution, 100% whole wheat dough’s and stand mixers don’t get along to well…

Creating: Then the sky is the limit with the creative add-ins or toppings. I made my in like a swirl loaf fashion, but you could sure knead add-ins right into the dough! I would like to try to make a bread with some flax, millet, and sunflower seeds added in! Mmm!

Rising: Since this is a sourdough, the rising period will be longer. I place these in a warm location as it speeds the process greatly! Usually from 5-8 hours is normal. Although I am sure if it were a super nice warm sunny day you could get away with 4 hours or so. I put mine next to the dehydrator if it is running, in the laundry room, or warmed oven (just pop it on for a minute or two-don’t leave it on!!).

Baking: Bake the bread in a 375 degree oven for 50 mins. I will sometimes put the bread in the cold oven and let it rise a tiny bit more while the oven pre-heats. This is a trick that I learned in the e-course I did on sourdough!

 

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Here we go. Yes.

Can you smell it?

 

 

 

I would highly recommend the e-courses that gnowfglins.com offers. I learned a lot about how I cook and prepare food through these series of courses. Her site is also very informative, even if you don’t do the classes!

 

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Geeking out in the Kitchen- DIY Coconut Milk

For a while now I have been trying to completely rid my pantry of BPA lined cans. I have successfully gotten rid of canned beans (make your own and freeze them in “can” sizes 14.5oz to be exact), canned vegetables (that’s an easy one), & canned soup (gross, who eats that stuff anyways). I have ran into a few that I am having a hard time with. Tomatoes are probably the biggest challenge. Due the the acidity of the tomatoes BPA lining is the most effective. Some companies have ditched the BPA but only for another non-researched chemical. Yet still, other companies are packing tomatoes in glass or plastic making them slightly more desirable if it weren’t for the huge price increase. So, while I wait for my beloved huge tomato garden in the new house, where I can pack all my own tomatoes for the year in glass-I opt for the organic ones from Costco. The only two other canned goods in my pantry are fish and coconut milk. I’ll deal with fish another day since we barely eat any canned fish. Coconut milk on the other hand usually gets weekly use. LOVE that stuff. Apparently there are brands that do not use BPA in their cans or packaging, but some of those are the ones you get from the asian market. I love the asian market but I get s a little wigged out using stuff when I can’t read the packaging because it is in some foreign language. Hmm. So on a random forum I stumbled on someone was like “why don’t you make it instead.” Read: Erica says “whaaaaa??” I am ashamed to admit that was my reaction. My favorite story is my brother telling someone they can make waffles at home and they look at him blankly, speechlessly, “noo waay“. Awesome.

Anyways

Coconut milk. Yes, so I proceed to use the beloved Google (sorry hun, not a Bing lover yet)- I mean who goes around saying “Just Bing It!” No.

Homemade Coconut milk. It is possible. I have all the ingredients and the vital tool (I assume you need it)-A Vitamix. Off to the kitchen. Quickly-this could be epic.

Add 2 cups of warm water and 1 cup of unsweetened dried coconut into Vitamix and blitz to oblivion for a few minutes. Using a nut milk bag/sprouting bag (not as crazy as it sounds, ok?) strain the liquid out in a bowl or container. Revel in awe and amazement at your creation. I might stop drinking cows milk. This stuff is like milk from heaven. Seriously good. Then look in the bag at all the stuff you strained out- its like snow! I haven’t come up with an idea for this stuff yet but my mind is working. I am thinking that it is probably like coconut flour, which I have seen a lot of recipes for. Maybe mix back into smoothies or baked goods? Either way its fun to play with!

So there ya go. Preservative free, BPA free, coconut milk. I am sure I could also do with fresh coconuts but I have bad luck with those. I’m excited. Mine is currently chilling off in the fridge-and apparently it thickens up as it cools? Im seeing Ice Cream in my future.

 

Ok so here’s the recipe again in case you didn’t catch it.

Homemade Coconut Milk

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (could use less if you don’t mind a thinner milk)

Mix these TWO ingredients together in a blender (Vitamix)-try a regular one and let me know how it works

Strain the milk through the mesh bag listed above (could use cheese cloth or a very fine strainer I suppose)

Drink warm or chill off in fridge. Only keeps for a day or so- so just make what you need!

 

IMG_3274Dried Coconut (Don’t mind the dishes)

IMG_3275My Beloved (Yes I know I have a lot of beloveds)

IMG_3276Finished Coconut Milk Chilling in Fridge

IMG_3277The powdery snowy stuff!

Hooray for ditching another canned good!

Sourdough Cinnamon Buns

Wow. This morning we made cinnamon buns with the new sourdough baby. They turned out excellent. I whipped together the dough last night in about 5 minutes and it was waiting for me this morning all bubbly and nice. I had to add a few more ingredients and knead it for all of about a minute, then roll out and top with goodies! Super easy for such a delicious breakfast! These were light and doughy, not like the biscuit ones I usually make. These are more like the regular yeast cinnamon rolls. I wonder if I let them rise a bit after cutting them if they might get even more airy. Either way they were delicious! It feels so good to know that while they are a treat, they are fully digestible due to the overnight souring process which breaks down hard to digest nutrients as well as releases the enzymes for better digestion! We are also using a healthier sugar (Sucanat) and real butter, which I am a firm believer is good for you (in moderation of course!). In order for our bodies to absorb fat-soluble vitamins (think A & D) we need the presence of fat! Not rocket science! Either way. I feel ok about eating a few of these cinnamon buns and giving them to the kids too due to these factors. My batch even made enough to freeze a few for another day. I just froze the unbaked rolls on some parchment paper then pulled it off the paper when they were frozen and popped them in a bag in the freezer. Apparently (haven’t tried yet) I just need to pull them out of the freezer, thaw for a few mins and bake like normal. Wow, that would be an easy breakfast!

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Anyways. Here’s the basic recipe. Adapted from gnowfglins.com e-course and sourdough e-book materials.

For the Dough:

  • 1/2 cup sourdough starter
  • 1 cup milk (can be cultured, as in buttermilk)
  • 1/4 cup rapadura, honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup melted butter (not too hot)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 to 3 cups whole wheat flour (I used fresh ground and it took a little over 2 1/2)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

For the Filling:

  •  1/4 cup butter
  • 1-2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup rapadura or maple syrup

For the Glaze:

  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup butter or coconut oil
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup rapadura,  maple syrup or honey

The Method:

In a medium size bowl, mix until incorporated 1/2 cup sourdough starter and 1 cup milk. Add to that 1/4 cup
rapadura, 1/4 cup melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir well. Begin by adding 2 cups of whole wheat flour.
Stir to combine. Take note of your dough consistency. Add flour by the 1/4 cup and eventually by the tablespoon
until you have a dough that is not wet and a little firm. It is hard to put an exact description to what your dough
should feel like. Keep in mind that once this dough has soured you will be kneading in three dry ingredients and
then rolling it out.

Once your dough is ready, cover your bowl and set it aside to sour for 8 or more hours. I just did it the night before and leave it overnight. It was ready by breakfast time!

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Add 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of butter or coconut oil to your chosen baking dish. Pop it in the oven as it preheats.
Take it out once the oil has melted and add to it an equal amount of sucanat or maple syrup. Set this aside.

While your oven is preheating, prepare your cinnamon roll dough. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon sea salt, 1 teaspoon
baking soda, and 1 teaspoon baking powder onto your soured dough. Knead
for three or four minutes, concentrating primarily on incorporating the dry ingredients. Once you feel all is combined, place your dough ball onto a surface you think will work well for rolling out and rolling up. Roll your dough into a  rectangle about a 1/4 inch thick.

Spread your dough with softened butter or coconut oil. I find 1/4 cup is a good amount, but more or less will be
fine as well. Sprinkle your dough with cinnamon to your liking, and, if you prefer, scatter with dried fruit, nuts, or
chocolate chunks. Once your rectangular shaped dough is topped with your choice of goodies, carefully roll it up. I roll from the bottom up and from one long side to the other. Keep it as tightly rolled as you are able.  Cut up your log in whatever way suits you. Please use a serrated knife. Once cut, carefully move your rolls into the prepared baking dish(es). You want your cinnamon rolls to be touching but not crammed in your baking dish. The slight touching causes them to rise up and not out.

Place the cinnamon rolls onto the middle rack of the preheated oven. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes checking on them after 15 or 20 minutes just to make sure they aren’t already done. Different sizes cook at different rates.Once the cinnamon rolls are finished, immediately flip them onto a large plate or platter.

 

Mmm. Good to the last bite!

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