Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Spelt, Oat and Fig Bars

I was delighted when my farmers market friends brought me a basket of fresh figs from their garden. I'd previously purchased their homemade fig jam and decided I'd make something with the two ingredients.

Realizing I did not have wheat berries to grind for the flour, I reached for spelt berries. Spelt is a variety of wheat widely cultivated until the spread of fertilizers and mechanical harvesting left it by the wayside in favor of wheat more compatible with industrialization. It can be used in place of common wheat in most recipes. 

Here's the delicious whole grain convection I made:

Spelt, Oat and Fig Bars

(Serves 8)

Mix oats, flour, sugar, salt and buttery spread in a bowl. Divide mixture in half into two bowls.
1 1/2 cups oats
1 cup spelt flour
3 tablespoon brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup buttery spread, melted

Mix egg and baking soda in a small glass.  Stir into the halved oat mixture.
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Press mixture into a baking dish (approximately 8 X 8) greased with olive oil spray.

Top with jam, spread across bottom layer.
1/4 cup fig jam

Cut fresh figs in quarters.  Arrange in twos across top of jam.
4 fresh figs, stem removed, quartered.  

Add remaining bowl of oat, flour, sugar, salt and buttery spread.
Press oat mixture into pan.

Bake at 350 20-25 minutes until top is lightly brown.

Cut into 8 bars.



Sunday, September 15, 2019

Strike Gold on National Pancake Day

September 26 is National Pancake Day. While it may be tempting to visit a local pancake restaurant, making these at home is affordable and easy. Simply
  1. Mix the dry ingredients.
  2. Mix the liquid ingredients.
  3. Combine, ladle and grill. 
The ingredients are staples found in most households-flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, egg, milk and oil or butter. 

Mix the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar in a bowl. Beat the egg into the milk with melted butter or oil. Add the liquids to the bowl with the dry, stirring just until no flour is visible. Let the batter sit for 5-30 minutes.

Heat a skillet or grill over medium heat. Do not overheat. 

Ladle the batter into the skillet. When bubbles form across the pancake, flip and bake on the other side. 

Pancakes do not require gluten for structure. There are many recipes for these made with gluten free whole grain flours, amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa, teff, oat and brown rice pancakes. There are also recipes for pancakes made with whole grain wheat flours Kamut and spelt. For the most nutrients avoid the recipes or mixes made with potato starch, tapioca starch, cornstarch and white rice flour.

Amaranth flour, ground from tiny seeds of the amaranth plant, is whole grain with high levels of the complete protein lysine. 

Amaranth Pancakes

4-6 inch pancakes (1/4 cup batter each)

In a bowl, mix flour, salt, baking powder and sugar.
3/4 cup amaranth flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoon sugar

Beat egg into milk.  Add fat.
1 egg
1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoon skim milk
1 Tablespoon melted butter or oil

Pour liquids into dry. Mix only until flour is not visible.

Allow batter to sit for 5-30 minutes.

Heat skillet over medium heat. Ladle 1/4 cup batter onto skillet. Grill until bubbles form across the surface of the pancake. Turn and heat the other side until brown.

Serve with fruit, an egg or local maple syrup.

To make bigger batches, double or triple and freeze leftovers. Serve versatile pancakes for breakfast, lunch or dinner. 


Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Mason Jar Pumpkin Bread

Looking for a unique baking dish for your farm to table bread?  Try baking in a mason jar. Fill the mason jar 1/2 full with batter and bake.  I used a 1 cup mason jar, which made 2 servings.  This bread made with pumpkin, applesauce, 100% cacao chocolate and walnuts is rich in antioxidants.

Pumpkin Bread with Chocolate & Walnuts

(6 servings) (3-8 ounce mason jars) 

Beat egg and sugar in mixing bowl.
1 egg
5 tablespoon sugar

Mix dry ingredients.  Stir in chocolate and walnuts.
6 tablespoons all purpose flour
6 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon cardamon
1/2 ounce unsweetened chocolate, 100% cacao, ground
2 tablespoons walnuts, ground

Alternately add dry ingredients and applesauce-pumpkin mix to egg-sugar mix.  
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
2/3 cup pumpkin

Grease mason jars with an olive oil spray.  Fill 1/2 full with batter (6 tablespoons batter per jar)  Bake at 350 F. for 35 minutes.  Cool on wire rack.