Move Over Potatoes – Zucchini Is Taking Over

Anyone who has ever grown zucchini squash knows how prolific it can be. After you’ve had your fill, and your pantry and freezer are well stocked and you have given your friends and neighbors all they could eat you’ll find you still have an abundance of left over zucchini. Short of using them for skeet shooting, what to do?

Well, it’s time we think outside the traditional zucchini box. When they ‘re young we sauté them and fry them, turn them into pickles, breads, muffins etc. but once they get too large the centers are stringy, the rinds are tough, what now? Compost?

Fall is the time for savory flavors so I vote we make some healthy zucchini fries.

 

HEALTHY ZUCCHINI FRIES
HEALTHY ZUCCHINI FRIES

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 large zucchini

Salt

Seasoning of your choice (I use Lawrys)

Cooking spray or olive oil to brush on fries.

 

DREDGE INGREDIENTS:

Buttermilk or kefir or egg

Organic flour (I’m sure gluten free flour would work if gluten is an issue)

Bread crumbs (panko or Italian or homemade, your choice)

 

Healthy Zucchini Fry Ingredients
Healthy Zucchini Fry Ingredients

 

DIRECTIONS:

Wash and slice the fleshy part of the zucchini into ¼ inch sticks 2-3 inches long. Compost the pithy center. Line the zucchini sticks on paper towels and sprinkle lightly with salt to draw out moisture. Leave set for about an hour. Pat zucchini sticks dry with another paper towel. Dredge the zucchini sticks in the flour, then the buttermilk, then roll in the bread crumbs and place them on a baking rack on a baking sheet. Bake at 375 or 15 minutes, then remove them from oven, spray lightly with cooking spray, turn the fries and lightly spray the other side. Return to oven for an additional 15 minutes, remove from oven and season with your preferred seasoning. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. I love these paired with my kefir ranch dressing. YUM!! Tasty and healthy and kid tested and approved.

375 degrees, 30 minutes.

 

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

 

“Attitudes are contagious, Is your worth catching?”

 

 

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Just in Time for Christmas – Light and Flaky Butter Crescents

I’ve been on a mission for years to make Crescent Rolls like my mother made. She has long since passed and I wished I had paid more attention to her technique. I’ve tried dozens of recipes but none were quite right. Then I started taking the best features from multiple recipes and I think I finally have accomplished a very close approximation. Maybe even a bit better if that’s possible. Crescent Rolls are always a bit of work unless they come from a can but there are worth the effort. This crowd pleaser will make your Christmas dinner “Merry and Bright”

 

Light and Flaky Butter Crescents

 

light-and-flaky-butter-crescents
light-and-flaky-butter-crescents

 

Dry Ingredients:

3 cups organic unbleached flour

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon rapid rise yeast

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon aluminum free baking powder

 

Remaining Ingredients:

2 1/2 sticks cold butter cut into pieces ( I used an olive oil/butter blend )

1 1/4 cups organic buttermilk or milk kefir (I used kefir because I make my own and always have it on hand)

 

Preparation:

Mix dry ingredients in large bowl with a whisk.

 

light-and-flaky-butter-crescent-ingredients
light-and-flaky-butter-crescent-ingredients

 

Cut cold butter pieces into flour mixture with a pastry cutter or fork until crumbly.

cutting-in-butter
cutting-in-butter
pea-sized-cut-in-butter-pieces
pea-sized-cut-in-butter-pieces

 

Add liquid and mix (it will look un-cohesive at this point). Turn out onto floured surface and knead until dough comes together but don’t overwork it or you will lose the flakiness.

 

before-gentle-kneading
before-gentle-kneading

 

Divide the dough in half and form each half into a rectangle. **Roll the rectangle out to approx. 8” x 10”. Fold rectangle in thirds and then in half the opposite way. Roll it out again and fold it again.

 

dough-divided-and-rolled
dough-divided-and-rolled

 

Cut the dough in half and shape into a round disk. Wrap in plastic and put in the fridge for at least 2 hours (overnight is best). Repeat with the remaining dough from **.You should have 4 dough disks when you are finished.

 

dough-disks-wrapped-ready-for-refrigeration
dough-disks-wrapped-ready-for-refrigeration

 

These can be frozen for up to a month if you like. When you are ready to make the rolls remove the dough disk from the fridge or freezer and allow to come to room temp. Put on a lightly floured surface and roll disk into a 10 – 12 inch circle. Cut into 8 equal wedges (I used a pizza wheel to do this).

 

ready-to-roll-up-almost-there
ready-to-roll-up-almost-there

 

Roll each wedge into a crescent and put on a parchment lined or lightly greased baking sheet. Cover and let rest for 3-4 hours depending on the temp of your home.

 

ready-to-raise
ready-to-raise

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 25 minutes. Brush with melted butter. Serve warm. Mmmmmm Mmmm Good.

 

light-and-flaky-butter-crescents
light-and-flaky-butter-crescents

 

NOTE: Each rolled disk section of dough makes 8 rolls. Wrap some dough up in plastic wrap and store in the freezer for later use. I pre-freeze mine in plastic wrap then vacuum seal them to store in the freezer for longer periods and to insure freshness.

 

saved-for-later
saved-for-later

 

Wishing you and yours many Christmas blessing

 

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

 

“Attitudes are contagious…Is yours worth catching?”

 

 

CREAMY COCONUT MILK PIE IN A SPROUTED QUINOA FLOUR CRUST

I’m new to sprouting grain but became interested after reading about the health benefits. Since I started experimenting with malting for making my home brewed beer sprouting grain just seemed like an extension. I looked through my pantry and found a bag of organic quinoa and thought “Why Not!” So I sprouted the quinoa, then dried it in my dehydrator and then ground it into flour. The flour had a wonderful buttery nutty aroma that sent thoughts of wonderful possibilities running through my mind. I decided to make it into a pie crust. It turned out so light and flakey and flavorful that it could stand alone without any filling at all. BUT fill it I did. I paired it with a creamy coconut milk filling topped with a light fluffy meringue. Mmmmm delish. Another Happy Accident!!!

creamy coconut milk pie
creamy coconut milk pie

CREAMY COCONUT MILK PIE IN A SPROUTED QUINOA FLOUR CRUST

Crust:

Ingredients:

1/2 cup organic unbleached flour

1/2 cup organic sprouted quinoa flour (made in advance)

1/2 cup organic coconut oil (keep cool so it stays solid)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon organic apple cider vinegar

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 the apple cider vinegar to the cold water. Mix the cold water gradually into the flour mix until it forms a ball. Roll out dough on parchment paper to form desired size circle keeping rolling pin well floured.. Gently use parchment to fold crust over. Be careful as dough is delicate. Transfer crust to pie plate and unfold and trim edges. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Makes 1 – 9 inch deep dish pie crust.

sprouted-quinoa-flour-crust-1sprouted-quinoa-flour-crust-2

 

Filling:

Ingredients:

2/3 cup granulated raw sugar

1/3 cup organic unbleached flour

1 13.5 oz can coconut milk

1 1/2 cups organic whole milk

1   tablespoon butter

1/4 teaspoon coconut extract

3 organic egg yolks (beaten) (save the whites for meringue)

3/4 cup shredded coconut

Preparation:

Combine the flour and sugar in a medium sauce pan. Mix well to prevent lumps when adding liquid. Add the milk, coconut milk, coconut extract and butter. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until mixture starts to thicken. Add some of the thickening mixture to the beaten egg yolks and whisk then add back to the pudding and mix well. Add shredded coconut and continue to cook until thick. Pour filling into crust and place waxed paper over filling so it doesn’t form a film as it cools. Prepare meringue.

 

Meringue:

Ingredients:

3 egg whites

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

3   tablespoon sugar

3   tablespoon shredded coconut

Preparation:

Whip organic egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Add sugar 1 tablespoon at a time until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue over pie filling and sprinkle with shredded coconut. Bake pie at 300 degrees F for 20-30 minutes to set and brown meringue. Remove from oven and cool completely.

NOTE: My crust slid down the sides of the pie plate in a couple of spots when I pre-baked it so I will use parchment and pie weights (I use dried beans) the next time so it will be prettier.

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

“Attitudes are contagious…Is yours worth catching?”

 

 

In The Beginning There Was Sourdough

I remember the smell of fresh baked bread on cold winter afternoons.  Mmmmmmmm.  The toasty kitchen warmed you on the outside and that heavenly smell warmed you on the inside. Ooooh… the rich and tangy aroma of sourdough drifting through the house.  I recently tried my hand at making a sourdough starter.  The process is simple but it takes patience.  The ingredient list? Flour (unbleached), Water (non-chlorinated) and Mother Nature. Simple Right? Sourdough Baguette Banner Making your own sourdough starter. Pick a time you will be available to tend your starter twice a day for a week to begin the process. (this is planning) You will need a clean wide top glass or ceramic container with a lid that fits loosely. If you have a small crock that would work great. A generous ½ cup of tepid non-chlorinated water.  (Chlorine will kill the process before it starts) 1 scant cup of whole grain unbleached flour. (unbleached flour has the vital nutrients to feed the process)

Day 1: Mix the flour and water completely.  It should be very loose and tacky. Put the mixture in your container and put the lid on loosely to keep out bad bacteria. Let is set in a warm not hot (about 70 degrees) place for 24 hours. If your house is cool you can set the container near any heat generating appliance like on top the refrigerator.  Prep time 10 minutes; Wait time 24 hours.

Day 2: You will “feed” your sourdough starter.  You may not see much activity so this is where patience (and a little faith) comes in to play. The feeding process is as follows: Remove a generous ½ cup of sourdough starter from your container and put it into a glass bowl. Discard the rest and wash and dry the sourdough container. Add a generous ½ cup of tepid non-chlorinated water and a scant cup of unbleached flour to the sourdough starter.  Mix thoroughly and return to the sourdough container. Let stand in a warm place for 24 hours.   Prep time 10 minutes; Wait time 24 hours. Figure 1 - Flour Water and Sourdough StarterFigure 2 - Mix thouroughlyFigure 3 - Put into glass containerFigure 4 - Cover with loose fitting lid and let rest 24 hours Days 3, 4, 5: You will need to start feeding your sourdough starter twice a day for the next few days.  The twice a day feeding process is as follows: Remove a generous ½ cup of sourdough starter from your container and put it into a glass bowl. Discard (or you can save the unfed portion for waffles or pancakes) the rest and wash and dry the sourdough container. Add a generous ½ cup of tepid non-chlorinated water and a scant cup of unbleached flour to the sourdough starter.  Mix thoroughly and return to the sourdough container. Let stand in a warm place for 12 hours. You should see your sourdough starter growing more bubbles as it gains strength.  Prep time 10 minutes; Wait time 12 hours each feeding. Figure - 5 Active Starter Continue this process until your sourdough starter is very bubbly.  Then store it in the refrigerator. If your recipe calls for fed starter remove a ½ cup and feed it. Let it set in a warm place for as long as it takes to become very active. You’ll enjoy the tangy fruity slightly acidic fragrance as it develops and matures. If your recipe calls for unfed starter use the part you would normally discard. Enjoy!  …. D Yelle

STAY TUNED FOR UPCOMING RECIPES TO USE YOUR SOURDOUGH STARTER.