Maple Sweetened Spiced Millet-Carrot Wholegrain Muffins

These muffins were inspired by the former coffee shop/bakery that I was a baker for; Scout Coffee in San Luis Obispo. If you ever find yourself in little SLO, do yourself a favor and stop by. The owners, as well as the staff are incredible. The atmosphere, coffee, and treats are the perfect way to experience what great things the town has to offer.

I love these muffins for their healthy nature; slightly sweetened by maple syrup, and a wonderful accompaniment to my morning coffee or tea.

Ingredients: (yield 12 muffins)

1 cup Organic All Purpose Flour

1/4 cup Stone Ground Whole Wheat Flour

1/2 cup millet

2 tsp. baking powder

3 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ginger

1 Tbsp. ground flax meal

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp pink Himalayan salt

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup safflower oil

3/4 cup non-dairy yogurt ( I used The Coconut Cult original)

1/2 cup almond milk

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups grated carrots

  • optional 1/4 cup toasted chopped walnuts

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place all dry ingredients into medium sized bowl: All Purpose Flour, Whole Wheat Flour, millet, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and pink Himalayan salt. Whisk well to combine dry.
  2. *Omit Flax and in a separate bowl, add flax to small bowl along with almond milk (stir and let flax mixture sit for 5 minutes)
  3. In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients: maple syrup, safflower oil, non-dairy yogurt, almond milk, and vanilla. Add flax/almond milk mixture and whisk until throughly combined.
  4. Create a well, and add wet to center. Fold dry into wet until lightly incorporated. Then fold grated carrots into mixture but do not over mix.
  5. Line a muffin tray with liners. Divide muffin mix into 12 muffin liners. Bake for 11 minutes at 350, then rotate and bake an additional 11 minutes at 350 or until center comes out clean.

Ridiculously Good Multi-Grain Tortillas

We cook from scratch for the most part; sometimes taking the easy road if we are in a rush or haven’t got enough fresh items around. Each week, we have soft taco night. The day may change, the recipe altered, new sauces blended up, but our staple to go along with are these tortillas. Even with the tortillas, we have switched up the flour blend, but the measurements stay true to scale. There is joy in creating meal time together and dishing out different recipes to each family member. Our girls always want to take their turn rolling out the tortillas or adding them to the cast iron pan to flip and brown them. But, in all honesty, it is my husband Kevin that is the pro in making these concise, sized proportionately, browned perfectly, and a true character of flavor that makes meal time so much more enjoyable.

Hope you enjoy them as much as our family does! Makes about 16-18 depending on the size you roll out.

Ingredients:

2 cups whole wheat flour (we also like spelt as an option)

1 cup all purpose flour

1 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. baking powder

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil OR Safflower oil

1 cup warm filtered water

Directions:

  1. In a medium sized bowl, combine all purpose flour along with whole wheat flour, sea salt, and baking powder. Taking a whisk, make sure it combined well.
  2. Add the oil and water to a separate bowl and whisk together. Then add the wet to the dry and incorporate with a spatula making sure to bring any stragglers into a dough ball.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, place the round dough ball and knead to make sure all ingredients are incorporated; about 1-3 minutes.
  4. Divide into equal sized portions. It is best to let the portions rest to relax the gluten before rolling out, but we are usually too much in a hurry and hungry and skip this. Hint: They always turn out well regardless.
  5. One at a time, flatten a round with your palm. Place onto a lightly floured surface and roll out with a rolling pin; paying mind to flouring your surface and rolling pin if they stick.
  6. In a hot skillet (we use a cast iron), place one circle at a time into the pan and brown for 1 minute on each side. The temperature you have your skillet or cast iron at, will determine how browned you like your tortillas.
  7. Remove and allow to cool, or like us… sample the first couple to “quality control” them. ūüôā Who doesn’t love a warm tortilla!!!
  8. These will save in a airtight container for up to a week (ours do not last that long). I have also refrigerated them and used them as sandwich wraps. Can be frozen/but separate each round so they pull apart more easily.

Kitchen Sink Crackers

The great thing about crackers, is that you can mix up the ingredients so easily, from substituting flour combos, to seeds added, to what you include with herbs and spices. These lovely kitchen sink crackers are great to have on hand for snacking, or as a bread substitute for an open faced sandwich; cut to your desired shape and size.¬† (yield: 20 2.5×3 diameter crackers)

Ingredients: 

1 cup chickpea flour

1 cup King Arthur Gluten Free Ancient Grains Flour Blend (amaranth, millet, sorghum, and quinoa)

2 tsp nutritional yeast

1 tsp. Himalayan pink salt

2 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. turmeric

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup filtered water +

1/2 cup mix of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, black sesame seeds

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix together chickpea flour, King Arthur flour blend, nutritional yeast, Himalayan salt, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, turmeric.  In a separate bowl, whisk together olive oil & water.  Combine wet to dry, making sure to coat all of the dry blend. I like to hand mix this. Wetting  your hands beforehand help to prevent sticking. Fold in pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, and black sesame seeds. Adjust with more water if needed to prevent crumbling. Lay a sheet of parchment onto a countertop. Dump the dough onto the parchment, cover with another layer of parchment. Flatten by hand initially with dough between two layers. With a rolling pin, roll over the parchment crackers to maintain even thickness. With a bench scraper, you can cut and trim and shape the edging to get an even thickness and measurement.  Once you have rolled out an even dough, then take a knife or bench scraper and cut to desired dimensions.  Remove top parchment, keep the crackers on the bottom parchment and slide onto a sheet tray.  Bake for 10 minutes, rotate, and bake for 10 more. Or until edges have slightly browned.  Allow to cool completely before serving.

 

*shown photographed with cashew cheese, cherry tomatoes, english cucumber, kalamata olive, and oregano.

 

Agretti & Mixed Veggie Pasta

I had never heard of agretti. Ever.¬† I only happened upon it while strolling our local farmer’s market last week with my family. Having the desire to try new flavors, I saw this wildly beautiful bundle of what looked like land seaweed nestled amongst some herbs at an organic farm stand.¬† Agretti, is also known as salsola soda; or friar’s beard.¬† And that is exactly as it looks.¬† It’s more commonly known over seas, and is a sought after vegetable for local restauranteurs.¬† I found it to taste similar to spinach, loved the texture, and was quite pleased by my middle daughter excitedly exclaiming, “This is my new favorite vegetable!”

Ingredients:

1 head of garlic, roasted

15 heirloom cherry tomatoes, oven roasted

8 oz. crimini and oyster mushrooms (variety optional); coarsely chopped

1 red bell pepper, large diced

1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

8 oz. green beans

1  16-oz bag of fusilli pasta (or other pasta type)

1 bundle of agretti, (10-12 oz.) rinsed

1 lemon, juiced

5-6 Tbsp. olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions for pasta dish:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice off the top of the head of garlic to expose some of the garlic cloves. Place the head into a piece of foil, and drizzle with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, Roast until cloves are tender and lightly brown; about 30 minutes. Toss tomatoes with 1 Tbsp olive oil, salt & pepper onto a sheet tray and roast for 15-20 minutes. The roasting will make the flavor burst. In a pan, toast pine nuts for 3 minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently to prevent burning and to get a nice golden hue. Set aside.  Remove seeds and ribs from bell pepper, and cut as a large dice. I like to use the same pan I toasted pine nuts in, to heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat, add bell peppers and chopped medley of mushrooms, and sauté for 10 minutes or until tender.  Season with salt and pepper. Set aside. In a separate saucepan (one large enough for your pasta), place a steamer basket and fill pan with water just below steam basket. Bring to boil, and steam your green beans for about 5 minutes.  You can use the same water you prepared your green beans in, making sure there is enough water, (about 5-6 quarts) to then cook your pasta. Add a pinch of salt to water, bring to boil, add 1 16-oz bag of fusilli pasta for 8 minutes. While the pasta is cooking, clean your agretti; removing any woody stems. You will add it to the cooking pasta in the 8th minute.  Drain the pasta & agretti, and begin adding your prepared components to the final dish: whole roasted garlic cloves, roasted tomatoes, Sautéed mushrooms and red bell peppers, toasted pine nuts, steamed green beans, juice of one lemon, & toss dish with remaining 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Salt & Pepper to taste. Rewarm if necessary.  I like to top this all off with a basil pesto. Recipe below.

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Pesto Recipe:

yield: 2  cups

Ingredients:

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

2 cups of basil leaves, rinsed.

1 tsp. garlic

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

1/2 tsp of salt, or to taste

1 Tbsp. of water to adjust texture (if you are using a blender)

Directions:

1. Wash Basil . Toast pine nuts as in above recipe on medium heat for 3 minutes.

2. Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

 

 

 

 

GF Raspberry Thyme Loaf

I met this incredibly inspiring mama of three young boys last year while working the Farmer’s Markets here in town.¬† She created a line of Gluten Free products, called Josie’s Best, out of dietary needs.¬† I’ve been able to watch along as her products have grown leaps and bounds. It’s so impressive to watch her success, and be able to include her wonderful product in my own pantry.

This raspberry thyme loaf was influenced by my garden taking root again; being able to harvest fresh thyme and ogling over what is to become of my raspberry brambles that will soon produce fruit. Having used Josie’s Muffins & More mix, the loaf contains a subtle sweetness from the raspberries, a touch of savory thyme & lemon zest, and is also contains a great source of fatty acids from the flax meal.¬† After cooling, I packaged this up in a tight container, and it remained moist for a good 5 days.¬† I’d definitely recommend her line if you have GF friends/family, or are sensitive yourself.

My photo shows Josie’s former packaging, and to see her new packaging is quite a delight. Please check out her IG @ josiesbestgf or https://www.josiesbestgf.com/

 

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Ingredients:

1 3/4 cup GF Muffin & More Mix

2/3 cup coconut sugar

1 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme

1 1/4 tsp. b. powder

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. b.soda

1 Tbsp. flax meal

zest of one lemon

1cup mashed bananas

1/3 cup sunflower oil

1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. of almond milk

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup fresh raspberries

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all dry ingredients into a bowl: flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, flax meal, lemon zest, coconut sugar, and thyme.  Whisk well. Set aside. In a separate bowl at the wet ingredients: banana, sunflower oil, almond milk, and vanilla. Mash bananas, and whisk together.  Combine the wet to the dry and whisk.  Fold in raspberries but be careful to not over mix.  Place in a parchment lined bread pan, and bake for 20 minutes, rotate, and bake for 20 more, or until toothpick/knife comes out clean.  Allow to cool before slicing.

 

 

 

 

 

Tempeh Wrap

I was around 7 when my mom started working more regularly as a volunteer for the children’s ministry at our church.¬† Which meant, that my dad was in charge of us for 4 kids during the mornings and afternoons, as I remember.¬† My dad would try his hardest to get us for kids ready for Sunday service, frustrated at trying to drag a comb through my horse mane thick curly hair all while listening to me bellow pleas of stopping & wishing my mom was there to make my hair pretty. We kids were all too eager to get there first for the fresh donuts and fruit punch so we could then run across the courtyards with our friends.¬† We’d of course fidget during service from the sugar high, and get in trouble by making paper airplanes and pinching each other in the pews.¬† What I remember most, is my mom having made her famous spaghetti dinner the night before and my dad bringing us home after a nightmarish service with the attempt of controlling 4 kids and then needing to feed them.¬† My dad, feverishly looking for leftovers, would heat up the spaghetti and throw in into a tortilla, and call it Dad’s spaghetti wrap.¬† I didn’t much care for them then, but now find myself using tortillas for leftovers, and calling this one my tempeh wrap.

Marinated Tempeh: (serves 6) (to be made the day before)

  • 8¬†ounces 1 package tempeh
  • 1/2¬†cup¬†apple juice
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 2 tsp. caraway seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos
  • 1¬†tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1¬†teaspoon onion powder
  • 1¬†teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

Directions for Tempeh:

Preheat oven to 350. Whisk all ingredients except Tempeh into a large bowl to prepare marinade.  Slice the tempeh in half lengthwise.  Then slice each cut into triangles.  Slice triangles again to make 8 slices total.  Arrange the tempeh in a 13 x 9 inch baking pan and pour marinade over tempeh.  Bake for 30-45 minutes or until tempeh has consumed most of the marinade and is golden brown in color.

Everything Else for (one serving): (to serve 6, just multiply)
  • 1 flour tortilla, charred/warmed
  • 1/4 avocado, smeared
  • 4 oyster mushrooms pan seared with garlic salt
  • shavings of red cabbage
  • thin slices of red bell pepper
  • small zucchini rounds
  • small cluster of sunflower sprouts
  • drizzled with vegan thousand island.

Vegan Thousand Island: (serves 6)

*Whisk the following ingredients into a bowl and chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.

  • 1/2¬†cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped dill pickles
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • sea salt to taste

* can be served warm or cold.

 

 

Hazelnut Berry Granola

Granola is a staple in our home.¬† We use it for our acai bowls, on top of a scoop of oat/almond/or coconut based yogurt, as our cereal in our morning bustle, or even a handful as a quick source of energy. We mix up the flavors, the seeds, what nuts we use, or even what type of flakes we use. But one thing remains the same, we want good fat, quality plant based protein, and with unrefined sweeteners.¬† I’m certain if you stay tuned, you’ll find other granola recipes added for your liking.¬† I just happen to adore hazelnuts and am fortunate to live where they are grown locally.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups organically rolled barley flakes

1 1/4 cups unsweetened organic coconut flakes

1/2 cup organic hazelnuts, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup organic chia seeds

1/4 cup raw organic pumpkin seeds

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. pink Himalayan salt

1/4 cup organic brown rice syrup

1/4 cup organic maple syrup

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/3 cup dried unsweetened cherries

1/3 cup dried blueberries

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Combine all dry ingredients into a large bowl: barley flakes, coconut flakes, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, cinnamon, and Himalayan salt.  Mix and set aside.  In a small sauce pan, combine brown rice syrup, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Warm until coconut oil melts. Whisk and then combine to dry mixture. Mix thoroughly to coat all ingredients well.  Leave out cherries and blueberries until bake and cool is complete.  Line a baking sheet with parchment, and place granola onto sheet pan and bake at 300 degrees for 15 minutes. Rotate sheet pan and bake for additional 15 minutes.  Allow to cool, place back into a bowl, and add your cherries and blueberries, paying attention to breaking up any large pieces of granola (unless you like those big chunks).  Discretion, this gets eaten quickly!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orange-Pomegranate Scones

Recently I shared how to de-seed pomegranates on my IG (blacksmithbakedgoods) in a short video.¬† It’s during this season that some of my favorite foods are available; one being pomegranates. As I mentioned in my video, my grandma had a huge tree.¬† My cousins, brothers, and I would sit along the fence next to the country road, picking each seed out individually and wasting the day away playing games.¬† My grandma never cared that we’d eat about half, get tired of the tediousness of trying to harvest the fruit, and throw the remainder away to go hunt tree frogs instead.

In childhood, I never realized how wonderfully healthy they were. It wasn’t until I got older, that the expense of them, and the delight in the nutritional value became ever more important. Not to mention, eating them always reminds me of her. She was as sweet as the fruit she grew, and took every bit of care in how she mentored us. I miss her dearly.

To honor her, here are some wonderful orange-pomengranate scones. I know she would’ve loved them!

 

Orange-Pomegranate Scones

(yield: 8)

Ingredients:

1 flax egg (1 Tbsp + 2 Tbsp almond milk)

1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice

1/2 cup almond milk

1 1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour

3/4 cup spelt flour

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1/4 cup organic cane sugar

pinch of sea salt

2 Tbsp. fresh orange zest + 1 Tbsp. (set aside for top)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

3 Tbsp. room temp coconut oil

3 Tbsp. organic palm shortening.

1/3 cup pomegranate seeds + 2 Tbsp (set aside for top)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350. Line a sheet pan with parchment.¬† Mix flax “egg” in a small bowl, then add the orange juice/almond milk¬† & vanilla combo.¬† In a separate bowl, combine the spelt flour, all purpose flour, baking powder, organic cane sugar, cinnamon, 2 Tbsp. orange zest, and sea salt. Whisk to combine. Add room temp coconut oil + palm shortening. Use a pastry cutter to cut it into the dry mix.

Whisk the flax-almond-orange-vanilla combo and add to the dry ingredients.  Add the 1/3 cup pomegranates gently. Be careful not to over mix.  Make sure they are incorporated without fully mixing wet to dry.  Form the prepared mixture into a circle about the size of a dinner plate, and softly flatten on top to about 1/2-1 inch height onto the parchment, and sprinkle with a few more pomegranate seeds and orange zest.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown along the edges. Allow to cool before eating.  Optional to add orange glaze.

Glaze: 1 cup powdered sugar, 1/4 tsp. orange extract, 2 Tbsp. almond milk. Whisk then drizzle.

 

 

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Salad Challenge

I dearly believe that children watch you, learn from you, and mimic you.  With that said, I want to be a great influence for them. Some days, my patience wears thin as I feel tired and worn out, but I strive to be an image for them that I hope will create great thinkers, adventurers, cooks, friends, and generally good people.

Meals are an important part of physical performance. ¬†Being sensitive to my body chemistry, I can feel when I’ve had too much salt, sugar, bread, not enough water, ¬†& not enough sleep. ¬†Being that today marks a year since our move, I figured I’d give myself a challenge. ¬†I already eat really well, mostly cook from scratch, extremely limit processed food items, and drink ample water each day. ¬†Since watching FedUp, I’ve cut down heavily on the amount of sugar I was allowing; which quite honestly was not too shabby anyways‚Ķbut I am trying to abide by the recommended 25 grams/day. So, what does that mean? ¬†I figured my challenge was to have a salad a day for a month, with the aim to go longer once I hit that mark.

Having an organic garden within 30 steps from our place, this is completely feasible. ¬†My mom is great at getting my children to taste things they would otherwise turn their nose up; if it were me suggesting it. ¬†It’s pretty funny that kids will listen to grandparents over parents sometimes. I’m thrilled that my own parents create an environment of curiosity. They now regularly partake dandelions flowers, nasturtiums, violets, fennel fronds, alpine strawberries, arugula, uncooked green beans, sweet peas, etc. They pretty much eat their body weight in the fresh food from these 6 acres. They are always full of chagrin when they’ve spent time with my mom in the garden and are eager beavers to get busy making their own salad. There are so many salads one can make: bean salad, fruit salad, green salad, etc. Hopefully, my children will join me on my salad challenge. ¬†Will you?

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Today’s Salad: swiss chard, arugula, nasturtiums greens/flowers, quinoa, fennel fronds, dried cranberries, avocado, & toasted pine nuts dressed with home-made¬†Honey-Dijon dressing.

Chilled Beet Salad

We left for Washington State on July 5th; just shy of a year ago.  It has been a bittersweet experience.  We miss our friends so incredibly much, and think of them daily.  Their companionship, conversation, laughter, shoulder to cry on, ideas to bounce back and forth, and their genuineness is something that cannot be replaced.

Our recent journey back to CA was incredible. ¬†This recipe makes me think of one of my besties, Brianne Wells. ¬†It was at her house, prior to her son’s birthday party, that I was asked to prepare this. ¬†I love everything about it. ¬†Thank you Brianne for this recipe.

I will miss gathering this year, as we have done for the last 14 years or so, to celebrate our favorite holiday alongside you and your family. ¬†Cheers! ¬†I’ll be eating this beet salad on Saturday, and be thinking of you guys.

Ingredients:

6 large beets or 5 1/2 cups of medium diced beets

1 cup dill pickles, mince

1/2 cup “mayo”

1/4 cup pickle juice

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 Tbsp. dried dill

1 tsp. sea salt or to taste

dash ground black pepper

Directions:

Steam diced beets until tender. Set aside and allow to cool. ¬†In a mixing bowl, prepare “dressing” by combining pickles, mayo, pickle juice, garlic, dill, sea salt, and black pepper. ¬†Whisk well. ¬†Add the dressing to the steamed beets, and mix well. ¬†Allow to chill for two hours.