“An Apple a Day in a Whole New Way” – Apple Pie Chia Seed Pudding

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.

Apple Pie Chia Seed Pudding
Apple Pie Chia Seed Pudding

INGREDIENTS:

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)

Apple Pie Chia Seed Pudding Ingredients
Apple Pie Chia Seed Pudding Ingredients

DIRECTIONS:

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”

 

 

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Milk Kefir Grains Fermented Garlic

I usually do my lacto fermented veggies using whey off my kefir or plain yogurt but while I was stumbling around the world wide web I found this website called “The Crunchy Moose” that had a recipe for fermenting using Milk Kefir Grains, I saw a recipe for fermented garlic and thought what a brilliant idea, adding the health benefits of beneficial bacteria to a super food. WIN WIN…This is the website link to that recipe. http://thecrunchymoose.com/ferment-garlic-using-kefir-grains/. THANK YOU “The Crunchy Moose”

 

Fermented Garlic
Fermented Garlic

Milk Kefir Grains Fermented Garlic

Ingredients:

Enough peeled garlic cloves to nearly fill a pint jar

non-chlorinated water

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon Milk Kefir Grains (rinsed)

 

Preparation:

AS WITH ANY FERMENTATION PROCESS, CLEANLINESS CAN’T BE EMPHASIZED ENOUGH. KEEP IN MIND THAT YOU ARE CULTURING BACTERIA AND YEAST AND IT IS JUST AS EASY TO GROW HARMFUL BACTERIA AND YEAST AS IT IS GOOD.

Add the salt, milk kefir grains a some of the water to the jar and mix with a non-metal spoon. Add the peeled garlic cloves and top with water until 1 ½ inches above garlic. Weight garlic cloves down to keep submerged below brine. I use a plastic cottage cheese lid cut in a circle to the circumference of the inside of the jar. Put on a loose fitting non-metal lid (gas will form so it needs to escape). I prefer to retrofit plastic mason jar lids with holes and rubber grommets so that I can use a fermentation air-lock. Leave in a cool place out of direct sunlight until it reached the desired fermentation. Put in the refrigerator to stall the fermentation process when it is as fermented as you desire.  This is my first batch and I will be trying to reuse my grains in another batch of garlic. I never really have a shortage of grains as they multiply in my milk kefir pretty quickly. I’ll post the results in updates to this blog post.

Grains Fermented Garlic
Fermented Garlic

 

Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!

 

“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”

 

 

SPROUTING GRAIN TO MAKE FLOUR

My first attempt at sprouting wheat and grinding my own sprouted grain flour went very well!!

 

sprouted grain sour dough bread
sprouted grain sour dough bread

SPROUTING GRAIN TO MAKE FLOUR

Directions:

Use only whole raw non-gmo seeds to sprout

2 cup organic raw whole non-gmo grain seeds (I used red winter wheat berries)

non-chlorinated water (enough to cover the grain to two inches above grain)

1 tablespoon organic apple cider vinegar or lemon juice

Preparation:

Put the rinsed grains into a soaking vessel and cover with water to two inches above the grains. Add the acidic vinegar or lemon juice to help keep bacteria from forming. Stir and cover with a kitchen towel, cheese cloth or other loose fitting lid. Let soak for 12 – 16 hours. Drain thru a mesh sieve and rinse with cool non-chlorinated water. Return to vessel. Rinse 2 – 3 times a day until you see little sprouts start to form. Once you see sprouts put the grains in a dehydrator at 105 degrees for about 18 hours. Remove from dehydrator and grind into flour. The finer the grind the lighter the bread.

soaking grain
soaking grain
sprouted grain
sprouted grain

sprouted-grain-flour

Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!

 

“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”

 

 

Giardiniera (Pickled Mixed Veggies)

Harvest season is almost a magical for me. I love to watch as my pantry shelves slowly fill with jars of all shapes and sizes and colors. It makes me feel “warm and cozy” inside. It’s kind of therapeutic. I have to admit that once all my “staple” canning and freezing gets done I like to make my “special” pickles and relishes. On the menu this harvest season is Giardiniera, a wonderful savory mixed veggie relish. This year I had a nice crop of Greek oregano that I dried so I will be using that even though Giardiniera is traditionally Italian.

Note: I found that pressure canning will cause the veggies to lose their crispness. Now I hot pack this and store in the fridge once cooled. If you make a half batch it stores well in the fridge in a covered container and tastes great even raw. Experiment! Send me your feedback I’d love to hear from you!

giardiniera
giardiniera

Giardiniera (Pickled Mixed Veggies)

 

Mix First Ingredients in Large Bowl

 

2 organic large green bell peppers (seeded and diced small)

2 organic large red bell peppers (seeded and diced small)

1 organic large yellow bell pepper (seeded and diced small)

2 organic jalapeno peppers (seeded and diced small)

2 organic stalks of celery (diced small)

1 organic large carrot (diced small)

1 organic medium yellow onion (diced small)

2 cups small organic cauliflower florets

1/2 cup sea salt

Enough Non-chlorinated water to submerge veggies

 

Submerge veggies below salt water, cover and refrigerate 24 hours. Drain water.

 

Mix in Remaining Ingredients

 

1 tablespoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons cayenne pepper flakes

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 – 6 oz jar green salad olives with pimentos

1 cup distilled vinegar

1/2 cup expeller pressed extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup organic grapeseed oil

 

Directions

Mix well, cover and let marinate for a few hours. Transfer to large pan and bring all ingredients to a boil. Pack into hot 8 oz jars and wipe rims well. Seal jars with hot lids. (I cheat and use my dishwasher sanitize cycle to get my jars, rings and lids hot.) Store in fridge once cooled. Makes 9 cups.

 

Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!

 

“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”

 

 

Nanna’s Garlicy Onion Dip

Recently, the company who makes my favorite brand of French Onion chip dip stopped making it. I’ve tried several other brands but just can’t find one I like. Whenever this happens I just can’t resist trying to replicate the flavor. The recipe below is one of my best failures yet! This also tastes great as a spread on toasted bagels. Another Happy Accident!!! 

Garlicy Onion Dip
Garlicy Onion Dip

 

GARLICY ONION DIP

Ingredients:

2 medium organic yellow onions (finely minced)

2 tablespoons organic butter

2 tablespoons grape seed oil

½ teaspoon sea salt

 

1 1/2 cups Chobani greek yogurt

3/4 cup olive oil mayonnaise

¼ – ½ teaspoon garlic powder (this can be optional)

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Preparation:

Saute’ the onions in the butter and grape seed oil and ½ teaspoon salt until soft and translucent. Set aside to cool. Mix yogurt, mayo, garlic, salt and pepper. Add cooled onions to yogurt mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate overnight to marry flavors. YUM!!!

 

Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!

 

“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”

 

 

MULTI-PURPOSE COCONUT OIL PASTRY CRUST

I wanted to make a Cornish dish called pasty the other day and after I chopped all the vegetables and mixed in the meat and seasoning, I found I didn’t have any vegetable shortening to make the pastry crust. I considered butter but thought that might make it a little too rich so I substituted coconut oil for shortening. I knew coconut oil melted easily since I use it on my skin so I chilled everything before I started and handled the dough as little as possible. The flavor was light and nutty and it had the most delicate flaky texture. THIS IS MY NEW GO TO RECIPE FOR ALL MY PASTRY CRUST NEEDS. Another Happy Accident!!!

Note: This pastry crust is vegan but the Cornish pasty filling is not, however you could leave the meat out of the filling and just fill with the veggies and a bit of vegan margarine.

Cornish Pasty
Cornish Pasty

MULTI-PURPOSE COCONUT OIL PASTRY CRUST

Ingredients:

1 cup organic unbleached flour

1/2 cup organic coconut oil (keep cool)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder (Aluminum free)

1/4 cup non-chlorinated water (very cold)

Preparation:

First of all I chilled all of my bowls and utensils prior to starting my crust preparation. Sift together all dry ingredients then cut in coconut oil with a pastry cutter or fork until crumbly. Add cold water and mix until it forms a ball. Split dough in half and dust with flour and knead slightly. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and chill in fridge for about an hour. Roll out each half on waxed paper to form desired size. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 1 hour.

Makes 2 crusts.

Pasty Filling
Pasty Filling
Multi-purpose Coconut Oil Pastry Crust
Multi-purpose Coconut Oil Pastry Crust

Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!

 

“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”

 

 

Organic Berry Rhubarb Muffins

One of my favorite things about simple livin’ is seasonal menus. I don’t have to spend a lot of time planning what I will make because when the pears are ripe we will have things made from pears, when the tomatoes are ripe we will have wonderful tomato dishes etc. Well it’s rhubarb season at the moment and after making the traditional rhubarb dishes like rhubarb pie and rhubarb jam, and tucking some away in the freezer for a mid-winter rhubarb fix, I decided to do some experimenting. I started out with a traditional muffin recipe but…well, I just can’t help myself. I tweaked and substituted my way into a completely different recipe and these breakfast muffins are scrumptious as well as healthy.

 

Berry Rhubarb Walnut Muffins

 

Organic Berry Rhubarb Muffins

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups organic unbleached white flour
  • 1/2 cup organic stone ground whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup organic ground flaxseed meal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (aluminum free)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups organic brown sugar (or partially substitute some stevia to reduce calories)
  • 1/2 cup organic coconut oil (melted but not hot)
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups organic kefir or buttermilk

Fold in

  • 1 1/2 cups diced fresh organic rhubarb
  • 1 cup diced fresh organic berries
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 12 cup muffin pans or line with paper cups.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the flours, flaxseed meal, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, beat the brown sugar, coconut oil, egg, vanilla and kefir or buttermilk with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour in the dry ingredients and mix by hand just until blended. Stir in the rhubarb, berries and walnuts. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, filling almost to the top. Sprinkle top of each muffin with raw sugar.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until the tops of the muffins spring back when lightly pressed, about 25-30 minutes. Cool in the pans before removing.

 

Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!

 

“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”