Last year was we had a beautiful summer but as much as I love the summer I hate the way cooking heats up the whole house, so I set out to find and/or create simple easy healthy no cook recipes for the summer months. Simple? Easy? Healthy? No Cook? And Tasty? Yup, I won’t settle for anything less on my blog. If it’s not tasty why bother making it. I’ve read so many recipes on chia pudding and how good it is for you but most were with nut milk. I didn’t have any of the ingredients around except the chia seeds. That said, I did notice the 5:1 ratio of liquid to seeds. So I thought, since I’ve got some left over apple juice I’d give that a try. It turned out delicious and it was so simple. If you can stir you can make it and a half cup makes a “stick with you” breakfast cup. It’s a great make ahead dish to grab when you’re in a hurry, just put it in little ½ cup jelly jars, cover and store in the fridge.
1 ¼ cups apple Juice (I make my own and preserve it in mason jars)
¼ organic chia seeds
2 tablespoons real maple syrup
½ teaspoon organic ground cinnamon
½ cup of applesauce or chopped apples or walnuts (optional) whatever you like
Whipped heavy cream sweetened with maple syrup (optional) (Omit for vegan)
Put the apple juice, chia seeds, maple syrup and cinnamon into a medium bowl and stir until there are no clumps. Cover and put in fridge overnight. Stir in optional fruit and/or nuts. Serve with maple whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Makes about 4 – ½ cup servings.
Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!
“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”
Recently, after hearing about the health benefits of a gluten free diet my husband decided to try it for a week to see if it would improve how he felt. after a week of eliminating or nearly eliminating gluten from his diet he said most of his aches, pains and fatigue had been alleviated. He also, felt a little discouraged that it was so difficult to find tasty gluten free foods and was concerned about the expense. Well, I took that as a challenge. Healthy does not have to be expensive or difficult. Simple foods should be simple to prepare and simple to obtain. So as I embark on Our Gluten Free or Near Gluten Free journey I will post my discoveries.
Flavor does not have to be compromised!
Gluten Free Apple Crisp Dessert
From the Kitchen of Donna Yelle
(This is my new “go to” recipe if I have apples that are getting old and need to be used quickly)
5 medium apples, peeled, cored and chopped (about 4 cups)
1/2 cup applesause
dash lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar/stevia combination
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup gluten free oat flour
1/2 cup gluten free old fashioned oats
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch sea salt
3 tbsp butter (room temp)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly grease a 9 × 9 baking dish.
Put apples and applesauce in a large bowl and toss with lemon juice. Mix in granulated sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon.
Transfer to greased baking dish.
Combine brown sugar, oat flour, oats, cinnamon and salt and stir. Add room temperature butter and cut with a pastry cutter until crumbly.
Sprinkle topping over the apples and bake until apples are soft and topping is golden brown, about 45-50 minutes.
Let rest 10-15 minutes before serving. Is great with homemade vanilla ice cream.
Occasionally, folks will see me cook and be amazed that I seem to throw together ingredients together randomly and make something scrumptious. My secret? Making recipes with as few ingredients as possible and developing base recipes that can be adapted with 1 or 2 minor changes or additions. For instance, remembering my sourdough bread recipe is simple, it has flour, water, salt and sugar. It’s kind of hard to forget any of those ingredients. I’ve been experimenting with sourdough and trying to combine it with my love of breakfast muffins and healthier alternatives. If this statement sounds like I’m not willing to compromise on taste, health or ease of preparation, that’s because I’m not. By using “good” ingredients the end result is a rich and robust flavor. That said, I do use “sugar” in my recipes. Is sugar bad for you? My personal opinion is “yes” sugar standing on it’s own merit is probably a bad choice but adding fiber to slow the uptake helps make it not as bad. Using a sweetener that has vitamins like honey is better because honey had nutrients. I use sugar in my recipes but cut the amount and substitute part of the sugar with Stevia to reduce the calories.
This recipe is a base sourdough muffin recipe with different adaptions. Run with it and explore the possibilities. Let me know what combination you try!!! As I come up with different variation of this basic muffin recipe I will add notes to the bottom of this post.
Sourdough Berry Muffins
1 organic egg
1 teaspoon organic vanilla
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup grapeseed oil or other neutral flavored oil
1/4 cup buttermilk or kefir or sour cream
1 cup unfed sourdough starter
2/3 cup unbleached flour
1/3 cup whole wheat flour or bran flour if you are using raisins as fruit
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup Stevia (natural zero calorie sweetner)
1 cup blueberries or blackberries or raspberries or raisins (or chopped peeled macintosh apples and 1 teaspoon cinnamon)
Preheat oven to 425F.
Combine dry ingredients in small bowl.
Combine wet ingredients in medium bowl.
Add dry ingredients to wet ones and mix.
Fold in fruit.
Prepare your muffin cups by greasing and flouring them.
Quickly spoon batter into your muffin cups.
Bake at 425 for about 25 minutes. Cool. Enjoy. Makes 12 muffins.
*Note: I tried a new twist on these today. I substituted 2 large mashed bananas and 3/4 Cup chopped walnuts for the berries and added 1/3 cup additional flour to make up for the extra moisture. Presto … Banana Nut Muffins. It yielded a bit more than a dozen muffins but I just put the extra batter in a greased and floured mini loaf pan and made a cute little miniature banana bread.
additional note: I modified this recipe again to make corn muffins by ommitting the fruit 1/4 cup sugar and vanillia and nuts and substituting the 1/3 Cup of Whole Wheat flour with 2/3 Cup Yellow cornmeal. Instead of greasing and flouring the muffin pans I only greased them. What a great side to go with a hot bowl of chili on a brisk Autumn Day! Enjoy!
additional note: Well, we’ve had our first hard frost and the winter apples are now ready. I peeled, diced, cooked and cooled about a cup of Winesap apples into a lumpy applesauce. I used this in place of the fruit and added 1/2 cup chopped walnuts and a teaspoon of organic cinnamon. Once I filled the muffin tins I sprinkled the tops with a finely chopped walnut, brown sugar and cinnamon mixture and then baked them. I must say these are the best breakfast muffins EVER!
Recently my Sister-in-law Mary, who is a fabulous cook, shared a recipe with me for an apple cake. Since harvest season is here and there is an abundance of produce (Apples being among them)I thought I’d use some of those Apples that were on the verge of becoming a casualty of the compost pile. The recipe she sent made a 9 x 13 inch cake pan which is far too large for the 2 of us here so I’ve modified the recipe to be a single 8 x 8 cake. I’ve also changed up the ingredients from traditional to organic and substituted some of the ingredients for healthier versions. This cake also works well substituting pears for apples.
Jewish Apple Cake.
First let me say that I don’t think any of my substitutions made this cake less acceptable to the Jewish community keeping in mind their religious dietary restrictions.
½ Cup Natural raw sugar granules
¼ Cup Stevia (Natural Zero calorie sweetener)
2 organic eggs
½ teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon organic cinnamon
½ teaspoon organic vanilla
½ Cup of organic grape seed oil (or any neutral flavored oil)
¾ Cup organic unbleached white flour
¼ Cup organic stone ground whole wheat flour
½ Cup of coarsely chopped walnuts (optional) raisins also work well.
2 large apples (peeled and chopped)
¼ Cup finely chopped walnuts (oatmeal also works here)
¼ Cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon organic cinnamon
Grease and flour an 8 x 8 inch glass cake pan.
In a large bowl mix sugar, stevia, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Stir in oil and mix well. Add both kinds of flour and mix well. Fold in apples and nuts. Batter will be very stiff. Scrape cake batter into greased and floured cake pan and spread evenly.
Make topping: In medium bowl mix brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the cake batter.
Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 45-50 minutes. Cake is done when inserted tooth pick comes out clean.
Let cake cool.
Serve plain or top with powdered sugar or a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream.