Raisin No-Knead Whole Wheat Bread

 

Raisin No-Knead Whole Wheat Bread

 

 

“By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Raisin Marketing Board and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”

 

I jumped on board to do this post when TheRecipeRedux and the people at CaliforniaRaisins.Org joined together co-sponsor a contest using California Raisins. The one clear thought in my mind was that the dish that I would create should have no added sugar. It kills me when I see recipes with California raisins as one of the principal ingredients and then they add over a cup of sugar to the recipe. Even in a recipe for cake that amount of sugar is overkill when using this delicious dried fruit.

When I was a kid my mother used to pack my lunches; usually a balogna sandwich a piece of fruit and a little box of raisins. The sandwich, as you may well imagine, made for dull and monotonous food; they piece of fruit was usually pretty good, but the California Raisins… they were my treat! Besides their succulent sweet taste, what I enjoyed about them, and still enjoy, is their plumpness and juiciness, and how they roll on my tongue.

 

California Raisins are not only tasty, they are a ideal food! Take look at the reasons below and you’ll see why:

 

  • Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
  • All Natural
  • Dried in the Sun
  • No Added Sugar
  • Zero Fat
  • An Economical Dried Fruit
  • Cholesterol Free
  • Mess Free
  • 9% Daily Fiber and Potassium
  • 6% Daily Iron
  • Easy to Carry On-The-Go Snack
  • Delicious in Sweet or Savory Dishes

 

My most popular post ever is my favorite no-knead whole wheat bread, and considering the contest, I thought that the only thing better than that is raisin no-knead whole wheat bread. The bread itself is surprisingly tender for one that has two-thirds parts whole wheat flour, and this bread has no added sugar! It gets the sweet flavor and moistness from the California Raisins. I’m sure that you’ll love this delicious bread. It can be served alone with coffee (Neufchatel cream cheese optional), with breakfast, or as a side dish with meals. However you choose to eat it you’ll enjoy it.

 

Additional Links:

www.LoveYourRaisins.com  

www.facebook.com/californiaraisins

www.twitter.com/caraisins

www.pinterest.com/calraisins

Raisin No-Knead Whole Wheat Bread

Prep Time: 6 minutes

Cook Time: 42 minutes

Total Time: 18 hours

Yield: 24 one ounce servings

Raisin No-Knead Whole Wheat Bread

Don't let the number of hours it takes to make this bread scare you away. It takes only three minutes to prep, and another 3 minutes later on to shape the dough. The dough is left unattended the whole time. Nothing could be easier!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (I use King Arthur Whole Wheat Flour)
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1-½ cups plus 2 teaspoons water (Temp. 55° to 65°; best with a liquid measuring cup)
  • 1-½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ plus 1/8 teaspoon yeast
  • ¾ cup California Raisins
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, *optional

Procedure:

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl just until they are thoroughly combined. If the dough feels dry, add a teaspoon or two of water until it feels somewhat sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic and set the bowl aside for 15 to 18 hours.
  2. After the fore mentioned time has passed, dust a tea towel or light cotton kitchen towel with a good coat of flour and sprinkle it with oat bran. Set this aside.
  3. Lightly flour the counter top and use a spatula to remove the dough from the bowl and let it drop onto to the counter top. Stretch the dough out lengthwise and fold the dough over on itself as you fold a letter. Loosely form it into a ball, place it on the towel, fold the flaps in and let it rest about 1-1/2 hours, or until it has doubled.
  4. After one hour place the pot in the oven with the lid on, and pre-heat the oven to 475° for 30 minutes.
  5. Place 2 cookie racks on the counter; one is for the lid and the other is for the pot. Take the pot out of the oven and set it on the first cookie rack, remove the lid and place it on the second cookie rack. Drop the dough from the tea towel, seam side up into the pot. Cover the pot, place it back in the oven and set the timer for 30 minutes.
  6. After the 30 minutes is up, remove the lid from the pot and place it on a cookie rack to cool. Set the timer for another 12 minutes and continue to cook the bread.
  7. When the timer goes off, take the pot out of the oven and use a large spatula to remove the bread and place it on the cookie rack. Let it cool about 15 to 20 minutes before slicing into it. Waiting to taste it is the bread is the hardest part, but if you slice into it too early the bread will not finish cooking properly.
http://www.myhealthyeatinghabits.com/2014/12/13/raisin-no-knead-whole-wheat-bread/

Raisin Bread with Neufchatel

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Gluten Free Brazil Nut Bars

Gluten Free Brazil Nut Bars

 

Cathedral LeónIt’s been a long time since my last post—nine weeks! Maybe you thought I fell of the edge of the earth, but no, I was in Spain for most of the time and then getting back to normal life. Yes, it was a great trip! We stayed in Carlos’s home town of León, in the Northwest of Spain, where he takes a number of students each year for a summer abroad program.

León is a town of some 140,000 people. It’s a beautiful town know for it’s gothic Cathedral, also called the House of Light because of the large stained glass windows that illuminate the interior of the structure. León is also recognized and included in the Memory of the World program by UNESCO as being the birthplace of modern democracy, when in 1188 the city hosted the first European parliament.

In March 2014, two Spanish historians claimed to have identified the true Holy Grail, (remember Monty Python and Indiana Jones?); it sits in the Basilica of San Isidoro, in León. I’d seen the cup several times before, it’s known as the goblet of Doña Urraca, and until now it sat in a case in the museum’s antique library. This summer, it has it’s own special room with low lights and the cup is well protected in a large glass case.

Many people also visit León because it is a city along the Saint James trail to the city of Santiago where many pilgrims travel each year for religious reasons, or just for a good time getting out in nature.

Some of the highlights of my trip this summer were visiting Barcelona and touring Casa Batlló by architect Antoni Gaudí; spending an afternoon at the beach; visiting Carlos’s uncle and seeing his field of spelt; a day trip to Salamanca to visit some friends (if you ever go to Spain you must visit Salamanca to see one of the most beautiful town squares in the world!); an overnight trip in the company of friends to a small village nestled in the mountains of León—enjoying the company and eating lots of paella! And that reminds me of food…

Spelt Field

This week the members of TheRecipeRedux group are posting snack bars. I’m not too crazy for the typical snack bars with oatmeal and puffed rice. I think an apple or a banana make a tastier and healthier snack, but yeah, sometimes it’s nice to have something a little out of the ordinary so I came up with gluten free Brazil nut bars that are flourless and are made with cocoa powder. Both the nuts and the cocoa are loaded with magnesium, and I’ll be talking about that in upcoming posts. Believe me, it’s good for you!

Brazil Nut Bars

Prep Time: 17 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 42 minutes

Yield: 8 bars

Serving Size: 1 bar

Brazil Nut Bars

These flourless gluten free Brazil nut bars with cocoa are a great source of magnesium!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Brazil nuts
  • 3 eggs
  • 5 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/3 cup organic brown rice syrup
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 packets stevia
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Plain yogurt (optional topping)

Procedure:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375°
  2. Ground the Brazil nuts in a food processor until it resembles sand.
  3. Place the nuts in a mixing bowl and stir the cocoa powder, stevia, salt, and the baking powder.
  4. In a separate bowl, mash the banana well and add the eggs, olive oil, brown rice syrup, and
  5. vanilla.
  6. Lightly oil a 7X9 inch pan, or an 8X8 inch pan with olive oil.
  7. Pour the mixture into the pan and bake 25-30 minute, or until and inserted toothpick comes out clean.
http://www.myhealthyeatinghabits.com/2014/08/21/gluten-free-brazil-nut-bars/

Flourless Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Flourless Pecan Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

 

I couldn’t get enough of the flourless pecan sandies cookies that I made a couple of weeks ago so I’m back today with flourless Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. This month the challenge of the Recipe ReDux blog group was to come up with a healthy and tasty stackable food, and if I had read a little more closely I might have posted a veggie burger, tuna burger, or vegetable stacks. Let’s just say it was a lucky mistake anyone could have made when I misread the instructions. I know my boys are pretty happy about the oversight.

I first got the idea for flourless cookies from Sue’s site at TheViewfromGreatIsland. I absolutely loved the pecan cookies that I was inspired to make after seeing Sue’s cookies. The pecan cookies turned out a little on the thin side so I wanted to change the texture for the cashew so it would have more volume. I added chopped cashews, chocolate chips and cashew meal (ground cashew nuts). The result is something like a macron with the added texture from the nuts and chips

During my research for flour less cookies I came across a couple of other good sites:  BakingBites, and SallysBakingAddiction. Sally likes to under bake her cookies. She says  8-10 minutes. I chose to bake these a little longer 10 to 11 minutes. Cashews are a light colored nut and I like see some color on the cookies when they come out of the oven so I leave them a little longer. As I said earlier, they taste something like macarons so they are chewy, light and airy. One of biggest differences between my cookies and the others is the amount of sugar. I feel you can’t get away with less sugar and still have it be great tasting. Why use more if you can get away with less? See for yourself and bite into them. I’m loving flourless cookies. Do you like them too?

Flourless Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 11 minutes

Total Time: 37 minutes

Yield: (26) 2-1/2 inch cookies

Flourless Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

**Notes - If using store bought nut butter you will need 1/2 cup cashew butter, 1/2 cup cashew meal, and 1/3 cup broken cashew pieces.

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups cashews
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil, flax seed oil, or avocado oil
  • 1/3 cup broken, or chopped cashew pieces
  • ½ cup chocolate (Ghiradelli 60% cocoa)

Procedure:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°
  2. Place 1-1/2 cup of cashews in the food processor with 1/2 teaspoon olive oil and process until the nuts are mealy like sand. Separate out ½ cup to save for later.
  3. Continue to process the remaining nuts until they are fully blended and creamy like peanut butter, but this will be more pasty and firm.
  4. In a mixing bowl, add the sugar, salt and the baking soda. Stir well. Whisk in the egg and vanilla, and then add the nut butter and stir until the nut butter and eggs are well incorporated.
  5. Stir in the nut meal (ground nuts), chopped cashews and chocolate chips.
  6. Use a small ice-cream scoop to measure out the cookies and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. (The ice-cream scoop should measure, or have a diameter of 1-inch from side to side.)
  7. Bake for 11 minutes. They will be soft when they come out of the oven but they will firm up. Allow them to rest for a couple of minutes before transferring them to a cookie rack to cool.
http://www.myhealthyeatinghabits.com/2014/03/21/flourless-cashew-butter-chocolate-chip-cookies/

Weight Watchers Points: 4 per serving. One serving is 2 cookies.

 NutritionFactsFlourlessCashewCookies

Flourless Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

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This recipe is also posted at Full Plate ThursdayWeek-end Re-treatThriving on ThursdaysFoodie Friday and Foodie Friday 2

 

Flourless Pecan Sandies Cookies

Flourless Pecan Sandies Cookies

 

This is Ina Friday which falls on the first Friday of the month when a group of bloggers come together to blog about one of Ina’s recipes and make the food from the original recipe. Another option we have is to create or modify one of her recipes after being inspired by it. I’m taking the second road and developing a healthier recipe based on one of Ina’s.

 

This week the members of the Ina Garten blog group are making a dessert, or something sweet and this worked out perfectly for me because the other day I saw some flourless cashew butter chocolate chip cookies on Sue’s site TheViewFromGreatIsland, so when I saw Ina’s recipe for Pecan Sandies in her book Barefoot Contessa Foolproof, I had an Eureka moment; I could make flourless pecan sandies cookies!

Do you know how good pecans are for you? The ORAC rating system was developed by the National Institute on Aging and it rates foods by the amount of antioxidants they have. Antioxidants are what clean up the free radicals in our bloodstream, making us healthier, and among the nut family, pecans rate the highest on the scale.

Due to the amount sugar in most cookies, they are not a good choice for maintaining in a healthy body. But in this recipe for flourless pecan sandies cookies, by choosing pecans as the main ingredient, eliminating the butter, lowering the amount of sugar, and eliminating the flour—which converts to sugar, you can enjoy a couple of cookies and not feel guilty about it.

And the taste? They were an all round hit with everyone at my house. Both my sons loved them! Think pecan pie in the form of a cookie, but only healthier and still having great flavor. Need I say more? I should also add that they are dairy-free, grain-free, and gluten-free. Try them and let me know what you think.

References: 

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/eating-antioxidants-for-a-better-you/

http://www.phytochemicals.info/list-orac-values.php

Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. I use all of the products listed below and recommend them because they are products that I find useful.

Flourless Pecan Sandies Cookies 3

Flourless Pecan Sandies Cookies

Prep Time: 7 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: (48) 3-1/2 inch cookies

Serving: 2 cookies

Flourless Pecan Sandies Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 cups pecans, or 2 cups pecan butter plus 1 cup pecan halves
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, flax seed oil, or avocado oil

Procedure:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 325°
  2. Reserve 48 pecans to decorate the top of the cookies.
  3. Spread 4 cups pecans on a jelly-roll pan, or a roasting pan, and place it in the oven to toast them for 5 minutes.
  4. Place 2 cups of the toasted nuts in the food processor with 1 teaspoon olive oil and process until the nuts are smooth and creamy like peanut butter. Repeat with the remaining 2 cups of nuts and 1 teaspoon oil.
  5. In a mixing bowl, add the sugar, salt and the baking soda. Stir well. Whisk in the 2 eggs and then add the nut butter and stir until the nut butter and eggs are well incorporated.
  6. Use a small ice-cream scoop to measure out the cookies and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. (The ice-cream scoop should measure, or have a diameter of 1-inch from side to side.)
  7. Bake for 12 to 13 minutes. They will be soft when they come out of the oven but they will firm up. Allow them to rest for a couple of minutes before transferring them to a cookie rack to cool.

These cookies taste best on the first day they are made. I recommend freezing any cookies you don't plan to eat the day they are baked, and then pull them out of the freezer about 30 minutes before you want to eat them.

http://www.myhealthyeatinghabits.com/2014/03/07/flourless-pecan-sandies-cookies/

Flourless Pecan Sandies Cookies 2

Weight Watchers Points: 6 per serving. One serving is 2 cookies.

Nutrition Facts Flourless Pecan Sandies
Be sure to check out what the other Ina Friday bloggers have come up:

Alyce @ More Time at the Table, Anna @ Cheese with Noodles, Ansh @  Spice Roots , Barbara @ Moveable Feasts,   Bhavna @ Just a Girl From AAmchi Mumbai, Chaya @  Bizzy Bakes, Linda,  @ Tumbleweed Contessa, Mary @ The     Egg Farm, Minnie @ The Lady 8 Home, Mireya @ My Healthy Eating Habits, Patti @ Comfy Cuisine, Peggy@ Pantry Revisited, Rocky Mountain Woman @ Rocky Mountain Woman, Veronica@ My Catholic Kitchen

This recipe is also posted at Full Plate ThursdayWeek-end Re-treat, Thriving on ThursdaysFoodie Friday and Foodie Friday 2

Gourmet Pizza with Ahh …mazing Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Gourmet Pizza with Ah...mazing Cauliflower Crust

 

Today’s recipe is for a gourmet pizza with an ahh …mazing cauliflower pizza crust. A few weeks ago after I posted Coca—a Healthy Pizza, one of my Facebook friends sent me a this link for cauliflower crust pizza. I’d never even heard that you could do that, but I thought it might be worth looking into. It turns out that this vegetable crust isn’t such a big secret. It seems like everyone is making this crust and someone just forgot to tell me about it. That’s why I’m telling you about it, in case someone also forgot to tell you about it, too. But look at the list of bloggers and cooks who are in on the secret: TheLuckyPennyBlog, SavoryLotus, Hungry Girl, Detoxinista, Recipe Girl, Paula Deen, and many others.

Cauliflower pizza crust is also much faster to make than regular pizza crust. My Tex-Mex pie takes about 3 hours with a regular crust. With this vegetable crust I can get the whole thing done start to finish in just 1 hour and 15 minutes. Now that’s what call progress. And talk about healthy. This pizza earns 5 stars for My Healthy Eating Habits. This recipe is vegetarian/vegan, diary-free, grain-free, great for weight watchers, and other dieters, and the taste is excellent. And if you like meat you can have your pizza and eat it too. Just like traditional pizzas you can top top it with tomato sauce and pepperoni, ham, sausage, whatever you like, knowing you’re doing your body a little good with the healthier vegetable crust.

Amazon Related Items: Tea Towels, Pizza Stone, Large Spatula

Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. I use all of the products listed below and recommend them because they are products that I find useful.

Gourmet Pizza with Ahh …mazing Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Prep Time: 40 hours

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 3 large slices

Gourmet Pizza with Ahh …mazing Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1-1/2 pounds raw cauliflower, broken into flowerets
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound raw onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried unsalted onion flakes
  • 2 teaspoons Balsamic Glaze, Trader Giotto's (Trader Joe’s)
  • 3 tablespoons dry roasted pistachios, Flanagan Farms
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes, oil packed
  • 1-1/2 cup arugula, washed

Procedure:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to °400 F.
  2. Process the cauliflower in 3 or 4 batches for a few seconds until is has a texture similar to sand, rice, or snow, as these are some the ways the texture is described. Do not over process or it will become soggy.
  3. Place the cauliflower in a pot with 2 tablespoons of water. Put the lid on the pot and steam on medium low heat until the water is absorbed, about 8 minutes. Watch it carefully, and add a bit more water if necessary. It should be cooked but not mushy.
  4. Open a tea towel on the counter top and take half of the steamed cauliflower and shape it into a mound on the long side of the tea towel facing toward you. Keep the cauliflower row 3-1/2 to 4 inches from each end.
  5. Roll up the tea towel from the cauliflower side to the other side, as you would jelly roll cake. Twist the towel to squeeze out the water. Open up the towel, fluff up the cauliflower, and then roll it and squeeze it a second time. Place the squeezed cauliflower in a bowl.
  6. Repeat the roll and squeeze process with the remaining cauliflower, and then place it in the bowl, too.
  7. Add the oregano, nutritional yeast, garlic salt, onion flakes and stir well. Add the egg and stir until everything is well incorporated.
  8. Get out a piece of parchment paper about 15 x 15 lightly oil it with olive oil. Shape the cauliflower into a pizza pie about 12 to 13 inches in diameter, and about 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick. Bake it 30 minutes, or until it is golden.
  9. While the pizza is in the oven it’s time to carmelize the onion. Pour the oil into a skillet and gently cook the onions until they are golden. This should take about 25 to 30 minutes.
  10. Remove the crust from the oven and place the caramelized onions on top followed with ½ of the sun-dried tomatoes and pistachios. Top with the arugula and then sprinkle with the remaining sun-dried tomatoes and pistachios. Finally, use the balsamic glaze in a zig zag pattern over the top, just about 2 teaspoons worth.
http://www.myhealthyeatinghabits.com/2014/02/12/gourmet-pizza-ahh-mazing-cauliflower-pizza-crust/

 

Cauliflower Crust 2

 Weight Watcher’s Points: 7 points per Serving and there are 3 servings.

Points are calculated using the Weight Watcher’s Recipe Builder.

Cauliflower crust Nutrition Facts This Recipe is posted at at Hearth and Soul, SimpleSupperTuesdayTuesdays Table, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, and Tuesday Talent ShowFreshFoodsWednesday, and Wonderfully Creative Wednesday

5 Spice – Lower Sugar Zucchini Bread

5 Spice - Lower Sugar Zucchini Bread

 

OK, today I’ve go a special treat. It’s 5-spice – lower sugar zucchini bread. It’s delicious! Sometimes a person will have a special recipe that they hold a love/hate relationship with. They love the way the food item tastes and they love the way it makes them feel when they eat it, but they hate all the unnecessary fat, calories and guilt they feel after eating that “special” food. I had two people approach me recently, asking for reduced sugar zucchini bread recipe. They were both were having a difficult time finding a good zucchini bread recipe that was both low in sugar and still tasted good.

I do take recipe reduction requests and I was glad to help out, so the following recipe is the result of the effort. My two sons both really liked it, but the younger son—I admit—did pull out the raisins. (There will come a day when he’ll eat them and enjoy them, but I won’t happen if I don’t include the raisins in his food from time to time.) The bread is moist, sweet, mildly spicy, and easy to make. Let me know if you have a family recipe that needs updating. I’d be happy to take a look at it to see what can be done to change it into a recipe that’s better for your healthy eating habits.

I’ve been learning more about photography lately—hope it’s noticeable. The photos were taken indoors at night using a diy lowel ego light box. If you are a food blogger wanting to learn more about photography and photo editing, you might be interested in the Tasty Food Photography book I learned a few tricks from, but I would really recommend that you check out FoodBloggerPro.com. You’ll learn a lot of important and valuable information, and they are having a special now through the end of January. Pay only $1 for the first month. You’ll have access to 300 clear and concise videos, an active forum, and you can cancel at anytime. Some of the best food bloggers on the web learned their skills here. Check it out. You’ll be glad you did!

You may be interested in these related Amazon items:KitchenAid Mixer, CIA Wire Cooling Rack

Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. I use all of the products listed below and recommend them because they are products that I find useful.

5 Spice – Lower Sugar Zucchini Bread

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

12 to 15 slices

5 Spice – Lower Sugar Zucchini Bread

Total added sugar is 2/3 cup.

Ingredients:

    Dry Ingredients:
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ¾ cup white flour
  • 1/3 cup turbinado sugar, or brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1-½ teaspoon Chinese 5-Spice powder
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • Wet Ingredients:
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup apple sauce
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cane sugar, or turbinado sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Add-ins
  • 1-1/2 cups grated zucchini
  • ¼ cup diced apricot
  • ¼ cup dark raisins
  • ½ cup chopped pecans

Procedure:

  1. Place 2 eggs and 1/3 cup cane sugar in a mixer work-bowl and beat on high for 10 to 12 minutes, until it is a light yellow color and it has doubled in volume.
  2. Mix together the spices, flour and the brown sugar. Whisk them together well, and then add the raisins and the finely diced apricot. Stir to coat the fruit with the flour and to separate the pieces.
  3. Slowly add the olive oil and the applesauce to the egg mixture, and then fold in the zucchini and the flour mixture.
  4. Pour the batter into an olive oil greased and floured 9x4-1/2 inch bread pan. Bake at 375° about 60 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
http://www.myhealthyeatinghabits.com/2014/01/24/5-spice-lower-sugar-zucchini-bread/

5 Spice Zucchini Bread 2

Whimsy Wednesdays, Full Plate Thursday, Showcase Your Talent Thursday, Week-end Re-treat, Not Your Ordinary Recipes

Coca – a Healthy Pizza

Coca - a Healthy Pizza

 

The challenge for this week’s the Recipe ReDux blog group was to come up with a healthy pizza.  My response is the Coca – a Healthy Pizza. Each summer for the past few years my family has stayed for a week-end in Barcelona. There are many eye candy food shops and restaurants, and there is one place I particularly like to walk by and ogle at, and sometimes buy a treat. It’s a  bread shop called Forn Boix on a street named Carrer de l‘ Hospital. The shop is brightly lit, clean, and the bread and other baked goods are stored in glass displays so you can clearly see everything.  There are multiple types and varieties of bread, pastries, baguette sandwiches, croissants, and then there are cocas, too.

Forn Boix

Coca is a type of pizza from the Northeast part of Spain, Valencia and the Balearic Islands. Unlike the traditional round pizza topped with loads of cheese, the coca is an elongated oval shape, and if it has cheese, it is little. The base of these savory pastries is caramelized onions and the toppings are various. For the most part they are vegetables: garlic, tomatoes, spinach, bell peppers, mushrooms, eggplant, olives. Other ingredients may include shrimp, anchovies, butifara (sausage), chorizo, ham, and whatever else one might come up with. Cocas can be very simple with just a couple of ingredients, or they may be more complex with a range of ingredients, like this coca by Chef Jose Andres. At any rate, I haven’t met a coca I didn’t like.

Next time you’re in the mood for pizza, but you want one that’s good for your healthy eating habits, make a coca. The rich flavor that comes from the olive oil and the caramelized onions offsets the need for cheese. I used a bare minimum amount of cheese and no one seemed to miss it. (*Note – the dough is a modified version of Jose Andres’ recipe).

Related Amazon products:
Nordic Ware Naturals Bakers Half Sheet,
Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mat,
and a Quick-Read Thermometer

Coca – a Healthy Pizza

Prep Time: 50 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Coca – a Healthy Pizza

Ingredients:

    Ingredients for the dough:
  • 1-1/4 cup white flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons instant dry yeast
  • 1 cup non-fat, or low-fat milk (temperature 105° to 115°)
  • Ingredients for the asparagus pizza
  • 1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-3/4 cups finely chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 5 ounces asparagus, washed, ends trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons feta cheese
  • Ingredients for the pepper pizza
  • 1-1/2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • Optional:
  • Red Pepper Flakes

Procedure:

  1. Mix the dough ingredients together, adding more flour if necessary. Knead it until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 to 6 minutes. Lightly oil a medium bowl and place the dough in it, and let it rise about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  2. Start to prepare the toppings while the dough is rising. You will need two sauté pans.
  3. For the Asparagus Coca:
  4. Pour 1-1/2 tablespoons of olive into the first pan and add 1-1/3 cups chopped onion. Sauté the onions until they are transparent and then add 2 teaspoons minced garlic and continue cooking until the onions are lightly caramelized. Place the onions in a small bowl and set them aside.
  5. Using the same pan, add about 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and pan fry the asparagus until they are 3/4 cooked. Set them aside.
  6. For the Pepper Coca:
  7. Heat 1-1/2 tablespoons olive and then add the 1-1/2 cups onion. Sauté them until they start to look translucent, and then add the garlic, the red peppers and the green peppers. Cook them until they are tender.
  8. Divide the dough in half and roll out two long oval shapes and place both on a 16-1/2 by 11-1/2 inch sheetpan. Cover and let the dough rise about 20 minutes.
  9. Put the topping on the Cocas:
  10. Pre-heat the oven to °425.
  11. Spread the plain onion mix on the asparagus coca (you will add the asparagus and feta in the last five minutes of baking). Spread the pepper mixture on the second coca, and then place the baking sheet in the oven. Bake at 425° for 25 minutes on the bottom shelf of the oven.
  12. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and top the onion coca with the asparagus and feta. Return to the top shelf of the oven for another 5 minutes, or until they are lightly golden.
  13. After you remove the cocas from the oven place them on a cookie rack and allow them to cool, or eat hot fresh out of the oven. Sprinkle with asparagus pizza with the Parmesan cheese. Use the optional red pepper flakes for either coca.
http://www.myhealthyeatinghabits.com/2014/01/21/coca-healthy-pizza/

Coca - a Healthy Pizza

Other References: LATimes.com, ProjectFoodie.com, NPR.Org

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This Recipe is posted at at Hearth and Soul, Tuesdays Table, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Tuesday Talent Show, Simple Supper Tuesday,  and Full Plate Thursdays

Savory Wild Blueberry Pizza

Savory WIld Blueberry Pizza

“By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the Wild Blueberry Association of North America and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”

Savory Wild Blueberry Pizza is the second post I’ve come up with for the Wild Blueberry Association of North America (WBANA). Together with theRecipeRedux they are sponsoring a contest to come up with great recipes with wild blueberries. In my last post for Wild Blueberry Polenta with Grilled Onions and Sausage, I explained some of the health benefits of eating wild blueberries. It’s easy to forget all the specific reasons, I know. So what I remember best about them, even more than their being good for cancer prevention, the eyes, type 2 diabetes, and lowering inflammation, is that this superfood has more antioxidants than any other berry, including cranberries. So if I’m thinking in terms of health and what is the best berry I can add to my oatmeal, I’ll go for the wild blueberry; it tastes so good, too!

Now, lets talk food. I call the dish I made a pizza, but it’s flavor is closer to a focaccia. Like a pizza the shape is round, but it has little cheese and no sauce, making it taste more like a foccacia. Wild Blueberries are not traditionally used on pizza, or focaccia, but I went for it and liked the result, and so did the men in my family. And rather than eating this pizza as a main course, it is best to eat with a soup or hearty salad.

There are still 3 more days before the Wild Blueberry contest ends, and participants can enter as many times as they like. I’ve got one more idea in my head that’s a little different, and I could really enjoying eating it, too. What ideas do you have for cooking or baking with wild blueberries that would be different?

You might also enjoy these other recipes: Tex-Mex Pizza, and Onion and Sage Focaccia.

Related Amazon Products: pizza stone, wild blueberries, pizza wheel cutter

Wild Blueberry Pizza Diptic

Savory Wild Blueberry Pizza

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: PT20-30M

Total Time: 3 hours

Savory Wild Blueberry Pizza

Ingredients:

    For the Dough:
  • 1 tablespoon dry yeast (not quick-acting)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup whole wheat
  • 1-1/3 cups white bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil (to oil the work bowl before the 1st rise)
  • For the Topping:
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons thyme, freshly minced
  • 8 sprigs of thyme
  • 1/2 large onion
  • 3/4 cup fresh, or frozen wild blueberries
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Procedure:

  1. In the bread work bowl, mix the yeast with a cup of warm water (100°F - 110°F) and allow it to sit for five minutes.
  2. Add the salt, the whole wheat flour and the white flour. Knead the dough for 7-8 minutes, until the dough comes together in ball and is soft and supple. Add a little more flour if needed so it comes together.
  3. Remove the dough from the work bowl, add 2 teaspoons olive oil to the bowl, spreading it around. Turn the ball of dough smooth side down into the bowl and then flip it upright so the smooth side faces cup. Cover the bowl with plastic and let it rise about 1-1/2 hour.
  4. After the dough has risen, roll it out into circle 13 inches wide. Place it on a sheet of parchment on top of your pizza pan or stone. Let it rest another 30 minutes.
  5. After the dough has rested 15 to 20 minutes, pre-heat the oven to 425° and begin to put the ingredients on the dough. To do this you will first, brush the dough with 1 to 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil, and then sprinkle with the minced thyme.
  6. Next, cut the onion into small wedges and push the onion wedges into the dough all over the pizza. Top with the blueberries and bake 20 to 30 minutes until the dough is cooked, and the top is lightly browned. Brush lightly with olive oil before serving.
http://www.myhealthyeatinghabits.com/2014/01/09/savory-wild-blueberry-pizza/

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This recipe is posted at Hearth and Soul, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Whimsy Wednesdays, Wonderfully Creative Wednesdays, Full Plate Thursday,

Homemade Panettonne

Panettonne

 

Christmas is almost here and, among other things, that means that it’s time to bake panettonne. I find  hardest thing about this delightfully light and airy bread is remembering how to spell it. If you can remember 2 “t”s, and 2 “n”s, the rest should be easy.

There seems to be agreement that pannettone has its origins in Milan, but there are differing stories about how and who first created it. The most romantic tale, abbreviated here for convenience, is the story of Ughetto, who was in love with a baker’s daughter. Business was bad and Adalgisa, the baker’s daughter, had to help out at the bakey. The baker didn’t approve of  Ughetto, and when to baker’s apprentice fell ill, Ughetto disguised himself and was hired. It was Ughetto who came up with the idea of adding dry fruits and butter, and at Christmas the bakery sold so may loaves of this bread that it took care of the baker’s econcomic problems. The baker learned the truth about his new employee and welcomed him with open arms. Ughetto and Adalgisa lived happily ever after.

Another story tells of a chef working for the Duke and Duchess of Ludovico. The chef’s dessert had burned in the last few minutes of baking. When the Duchess called for dessert, he wondered what he could do. If he didn’t come up with an idea he could be executed. The scullery boy told the chef that he had made a bread with leftovers the chef had given him to practice with. The chef had no other recourse so he decorated it and sent it out on a tray. The Duchess thought it was nothing less than inspirational. They wanted to compliment the chef, but he told them it Toni’s bread. And that’s how “pan–de-toni” came about. There seems to be some doubt about this story since Tony, or Toni, is an Americanism of the name Antonio, so it doesn’t fit.

It doesn’t really matter where the name came from. The important thing is that we are able to enjoy it each year. Panettonne has less added sugar than most sweet breads and it may be a good and healthy choice compared to other breads served at this time of the year.

You might like these tools when you start to bake: oven mitts, cookie rack, Kitchen Aid

Homemade Panettonne

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 6 hours

Homemade Panettonne

Ingredients:

    For the Biga (overnight starter)
  • 3/4 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-purpose Flour
  • 1/16 teaspoon dried yeast (this is just a pinch)
  • 7-1/2 tablespoons water
  • For the Dough
  • Biga, all of it
  • 2-1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 4 medium eggs
  • ¼ cup, soft unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon Firoi di Sicilia flavoring or 1 teaspoon vanilla + ½ teaspoon lemon or orange extract
  • 1/4 cup cane sugar
  • 1/3 cup dark raisins
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup dried apricots, chopped into ¼-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons orange or lemon zest

Procedure:

    The Night Before:
  1. Get the ½ cube of butter and 4 eggs out of the fridge so it will be soft for the following day.
  2. Make the biga the night before at the same time you are getting the butter out of the fridge. Mix 3/4 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-purpose Flour with 1/16 teaspoon dried yeast (this is just a pinch) and 7-1/2 tablespoons water. When you see it is well mixed, cover it with plastic and allow it to rest overnight 8 to 12 hours.
  3. The following morning for the Dough:
  4. Measure and set aside the various dry fruits for later use.
  5. Warm ¼ cup of milk to between 90° to 100° and then add the dry yeast to it and let it soak for 5 to 10 minutes.
  6. In a mixing bowl add the butter and sugar and beat until smooth, add 3 eggs one at a time.
  7. Separate the yolk from the remaining egg and add it to the mixing bowl. Reserve the egg white for later.
  8. Add 2-1/4 cups King Arthur All-Purpose Flour, 1-1/4 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia flavoring (or the 1 teaspoon vanilla and ½ teaspoon lemon extract), and the yeast/milk mixture.
  9. Mix the dough until it is a soft and smooth. Wash the mixing bowl, and lightly grease it with olive oil. Cover the bowl with plastic. Allow the dough to rise until it has doubled, about 2 hours, or until it’s light and airy. Deflate the dough gently and then mix in the dry fruit and the 2 tablespoons lemon or orange zest,.
  10. Butter and flour the mold you plan on using.
  11. Shape the dough into a ball and place it into a panetonne mold, or another straight-sided mold that is 1-1/2 to 2 quarts in volume. Cover and allow it to rise just until it reaches the rim of the mold, or pan. (*Note – you may have to trim the height of the paper mold if it is too large.)
  12. Pre-heat the oven to 425° and bake 10 minutes. Lower the heat to 400° and let the bread for bake about 35 to 45 minutes, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 185°. You can check the temperature using a digital thermometer, or check for doneness using a wooden skewer to see when it comes out clean.
http://www.myhealthyeatinghabits.com/2013/12/14/homemade-panettonne/

Panettonne 2

You may like these tools: oven mitts, cookie rack, Kitchen Aid

References:

Food Network – Pannettone by Mario Batali

King Arthur Flour – Recipe for Panettone

History and Women.com

OmPersonal

This recipe is also posted at Full Plate Thursday,  Foodie FridayFreedom Friday, and Weekend Wonders

Homemade Graham Crackers

Homemade Graham Crackers

 

“By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Cumberland Packing Corp. and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest.I was not compensated for my time.”

 

It’s been ages that I’ve been wanting to make homemade graham crackers and I just never got around to doing it.  When I heard about the recipe contest sponsored by the Cumberland Packing Corporation for their product Monk Fruit in the Raw, I thought it was the perfect time to make them.

Monkfruit Sugar in the Raw

Monkfruit Sugar in the Raw

I don’t like to use a lot of sugar in my food, and I cut the amount of sugar in recipes to make them healthier, when possible. Monk Fruit in the Raw has zero calories and you can use it in baking on a cup to cup basis.  So if you have a recipe that calls for one cup of sugar, you could cut ½ cup of the sugar and use ½ cup of Monk Fruit in the Raw in its place. In this way you retain the sweetness, but eliminate the calories.

MonkFruit in the Raw is made from the extract of—you guessed it —monkfruit. It’s a vine-ripened fruit native to Asia and the extract is mixed with dextrose, a natural carbohydrate derived from corn to give it bulk. The extract is 300 times sweeter than sugar and it does have its own particular flavor. In my recipe for graham crackers I used equal parts of Monk Fruit in the raw, honey, and coconut palm sugar. This combination of sugars works very nicely in the recipe. The honey flavor can be appreciated, the coconut palm sugar helps to make the cookies crispy, and the Monk Fruit in the raw reduces the caloric intake.

It seems like everyone loves homemade graham crackers: Martha Stewart, SmittenKitchen, Two Peas and Their Pod, Joy of Baking (see her video), Pamela Salzman, and many, many more. I looked at the different recipes and thought that many of them sounded to heavy for my taste. I liked Pamela’s recipe, and I used her recipe as a base, but I modified it a lot. I also enjoyed watching JoyofBaking’s video. You might be wondering why the recipe has corn starch. It’s to lighten the flour. In the classic book Joy of Cooking, by Rombauer, Becker and Becker, they use cornstarch mixed with all-purpose flour as a substitute for cake flour.  My recipe for homemade graham crackers is crispy, tasty, and lower in sugar, so it’s good for my healthy eating habits.

Homemade Graham Crackers

Prep Time: PT10 minutesM

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Makes 16 full size crackers

Homemade Graham Crackers

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • ½ cup corn starch
  • ¼ cup coconut palm sugar, Sucanat, or brown sugar
  • ¼ cup Monk in the Raw sugar alternative
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ cup cold butter
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup milk, non-fat or low-fat
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Procedure:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°, and place an oven rack in the middle of the oven.
  2. Place the S blade in the food processor bowl and add the whole wheat flour, whole wheat pastry flour, corn starch, coconut palm sugar, Monk Fruit in the Raw, salt, and baking powder. Process 30 seconds and then add the butter and process until the mixture looks like sand. (*Note- if your food processor bowl is too small, just add the whole wheat flour and the corn starch along with the butter, process it until it looks sandy, and then transfer it to a large bowl and mix in the remaining ingredients.)
  3. Add the milk, honey, and vanilla, and process until the dough starts to clump up on the sides of the food processor bowl. Remove the dough from the work bowl, divide it into two balls. Cover on with plastic and place it in the refrigerator. If you are mixing by hand, it should be wet enough to form a ball.
  4. On parchment paper, measure a 10-1/2 by 9-1/2 inch square with a marking pen. Turn the paper over and roll the dough out on the counter between 2 pieces of parchment paper. Smooth out any wrinkles as you roll, and allow the dough to extend ½-inch beyond the marked lines. Remove the top piece of parchment, and then score a square 10 inches by 9 inches, but don’t discard the outer fringe. (The edge will burn slightly as the graham crackers bake, and then the burned edges can be discarded or eaten.)
  5. Place the parchment paper with the rolled dough on top of a cookie sheet, so that the short sides are on your left and right in front of you. To cut the dough, first you should see in your mind’s eye, 8 full graham crackers, placed 4 on the top and 4 on the bottom. Once you can visualize that, the steps for scoring and cutting will be easier.
  6. From the bottom right corner of the dough measure up 4-1/2 inches and mark that spot on both the left and right sides, and then, cut through the middle of the dough horizontally from the right side to the left. Next, measure 2-1/2 inch intervals at the top and bottom. Make vertical cuts through the dough from top to bottom at those intervals. (Now you should be able to see 8 full cut crackers. The next step is to score them and put the little dots in them so they look like graham crackers.)
  7. Score, but do not cut, a line through the middle of each cracker so, horizontally and vertically, like the lines that you see on traditional graham crackers that divide the whole crackers into quarters. Use an ice pick, or a skewer to make four little holes in each quarter, of each whole cracker.
  8. Place the crackers in the oven to bake for 15 minutes, watching them closely. You don’t want them to get burned after all that hard work. Roll out the second batch of dough while the first tray is in the oven. Repeat the baking process once the first batch is done.
  9. If you like the crackers nice and crispy, you may want to put all of the crackers in the oven with the heat off for another 10 to 15 minutes. When they are cool, discard the outer edges (I do it via the mouth).
  10. Wrap the crackers in plastic and store them in an airtight container. They last about one week.

You will need parchment paper to make these crackers.

http://www.myhealthyeatinghabits.com/2013/12/07/homemade-graham-crackers/

Homemade Graham Crackers

This recipe is also posted at Foodie Friday, Freedom Friday, and Weekend Wonders