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Archive for June, 2011

Saving Undercooked Banana Bread

My new recipe for banana bread turned out really yummy, but it ended up being too moist and seemed undercooked to me. I sliced it into 1/2″ strips, placed it on parchment paper over a cookie sheet, and cooked it at 350 degrees for 15 minutes (Cooking time will depend on how moist your quick bread is).

It created a type of soft biscotti without having to roll dough. I really like it!

The EnerG pure rice flour is a bit finer grind than Bob’s Red Mill white rice flour (I have both in my aStore). I may try Bob’s Red Mill next time I make banana bread…

Following is the new recipe I used. I suggest that you reduce the amount of liquids used if you want a dryer cake:

Corn-Free, Wheat-Free, & No Oil Banana Bread

 

1 Cup EnerG pure rice flour

1 Cup blanched almond flour

¼ Cup amaranth flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 ½ tsp. Hain featherweight baking powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. nutmeg

¼ tsp. powdered ginger

1 tsp. guar gum

2 large eggs

1 tsp. vanilla (Non-alcohol)

½ cup applesauce – unsweetened

1/2 cup warm water

¾ cup almond milk – unsweetened

3 extra ripe bananas

½ cup honey

1 cup walnuts if desired

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a sheet cake pan. In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients together making sure to crush the clumps of almond flour. In a small bowl scramble eggs, vanilla, and almond milk together; add the sugar, water, and applesauce. In a second small bowl smash the banana and cream it with a fork. Add the egg mixture and the bananas to the dry ingredients a little at a time and mix thoroughly with a spoon. Batter will be quite wet. Add nuts if desired. Pour into the 13 x 9 baking pan and cook for 1 hour 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The edges will pull away from the pan and it will be quite brown, but it will be very moist.

 

© Lyn Watson

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Corn Free and Wheat Free Pasta

I have found the winner in my search for an acceptable pasta: Bionaturae – gluten-free pasta.

I am so thrilled to have found this one! I added all of the different types of this gluten-free pasta on my aStore (I wish they had the frequent buyer program for it though). The bulk price is pretty good considering I found it at the health food store for over $5.00 a bag and on my aStore it is only $3.60 a bag in bulk with free super saver shipping. I will definitely be ordering this in bulk!

It does not turn mushy while cooking it and it tastes remarkably similar to wheat. The pasta is made with rice, potato, and soy. Normally I don’t use soy products, but I am willing to bend on this one since it states that the soy is not genetically engineered! It is absolutely fabulous.

Last night I made a very simple tomato pasta sauce with only italian seasonings and put it on this pasta. It was the prefect consistency and I really couldn’t tell the difference, but I am not Italian. I have not used it in a salad form yet, but one of the reviewers on Amazon said that it is good this way too if you eat it up within a couple of days.

Now I can start cooking a bunch of lunch and dinner pasta dishes.

Corn-Free & Wheat-Free Banana Bread

Corn-Free & Wheat-Free Banana Bread

 

1 cup EnerG pure rice flour

1 cup blanched almond flour

1/2 cup amaranth flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 ½ tsp. Hain featherweight baking powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. powdered ginger

1 tsp. guar gum

2 large eggs

1 tsp. vanilla (Non-alcohol)

1/4 cup oil

1 cup warm water

3/4 cup cream or almond milk

4 extra ripe bananas

1 cup brown sugar (With no added caramel color)

1 cup walnuts if desired

 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a sheet cake pan. In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients together making sure to crush the clumps of almond flour. In a small bowl scramble eggs, vanilla, and cream together; add the sugar, water, and oil. In a second small bowl smash the banana and cream it with a fork. Add the egg mixture and the bananas to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly with a spoon. Add nuts if desired. Pour into the 13 x 9 baking pan and cook for 1 hour 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The edges will pull away from the pan and it will be quite brown, but it will be very moist.

 © Lyn Watson

An Elimination Diet To Find Food Intolerances

I have spent a great deal of time reading up on food intolerance and food allergies. They are different because reactions within the body are different. Allergic reactions can be life threatening, quite severe, and most often occur immediately. Food intolerance or sensitivity reactions can also be severe, but often cause major problems over time.

Here is a link to one article I found: http://www.drlwilson.com/articles/food_intolerance.htm

Another: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/food-allergy/AN01109

A third: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA400354/Best-Test-for-Food-Intolerance.html

All of these articles are written by doctors who see definite connections to health problems caused by eating certain foods. Many of the articles I have read today suggest an “elimination diet” to find out what you are allergic or intolerant to. That is basically what I did with the guidance of my registered dietician’s detox program.

If you suspect you have issues with any foods you may consider this approach since it is relatively inexpensive and fairly easy to do with a little prep work. To succeed you should read the literature, buy things which you can eat on your program, and try preparing things ahead so you will not be starving as you are trying to figure out what you can eat.

Using Quinoa

I prefer Eden Organic white Quinoa. It has a milder taste than the red does.

One thing I have learned to do is to add some to other things rather than trying to make a main meal out of it. If you do this you will be adding a great deal of fiber, an impressive array of nutrients, and an excellent source of complete protein to your meal. You can find out more about its health benefits here: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?dbid=142&tname=foodspice

I have found that I can go a long time without feeling hungry again if I add just 1/4 cup cooked quinoa to a bowl of old-fashioned long cooking oatmeal. I put the quinoa in when adding the oatmeal to the boiling water. My favorite combination is to add sliced banana, cinnamon, ginger powder, and a little low-fat milk or almond milk.

Adding quinoa to chili or soup is also a great way to get more from your meal. Keep in mind that it is actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach, so anything that goes with this veggie will most likely go with quinoa. You can add it to your salad too. I am going to also try adding it to a baked good or two and will let you know the results of that.

A quinoa main meal recipe will be available for you once I perfect it. In the meantime, the best way to use it is to make a batch  as advised on the back of the bag and keep it in your refrigerator (Keeps about a week in an airtight container), so that you can quickly add it to your meals.

Hope you enjoy it!

Honey

I grew up using the sweet golden flavorful treasure created by my Uncle Bud’s bees. This was religiously drizzled on cereal and fruit, plus my mother baked it into many things. It is still a staple in my household and I use it in many things.

When I read someone’s post about corn in honey I was appalled! Then I was concerned since I still use it to do all of the above, including adding it into my baked goods.

I knew that beekeepers must feed their bees when they travel and I heard that corn syrup was a main food for that. I sent a message off to my cousin, who now owns the honey business, to find out about the corn and honey connection.

Larry Hilbert, owner of Hilbert’s Honeyland in Traverse City, MI sat with me patiently answering my questions about using corn syrup to feed his bees. He explained to me that the bees use the corn syrup to survive. In other words, they eat the corn syrup along with other nutrients fed to them while traveling. They do not feed the bees the syrup when they are collecting to produce honey, which the bees do at a certain time of the year.

He told me that since the bee colony collapse problem has occurred he has regularly had his bees and honey tested for everything under the sun and corn residue is one of them. His honey is clean.

Bee colony collapse is a very serious issue because about 1/3 of the crops in the US are pollinated by bees. If the bees all die then the US and possibly the world will lose the ability to have the choise to eat 1/3 of what we can now (Apples, cherries, etc. are all pollinated by bees). It is important to keep his bees in top health, so he gets them checked regularly.

You can read more about the bee colony collapse here: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL33938.pdf

I will be selling my cousins honey once I get my regular website up and running.

Hope you have a sweet day!

A Cake Brownie With No Corn and No Wheat

This recipe was a big hit with family and friends!

Corn-Free and Wheat-Free Nutty Cake Brownie

 

2 Cups Almond Flour

¼ Cup Amaranth Flour

½ Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

½ Tsp. Sea Salt

1 Tsp. Baking Soda

½ Cup Honey (Raw with no additives)

3 Large Eggs

1 Tbsp. Alcohol-free Vanilla

½ Cup Pumpkin Puree

¼ Cup Walnut Oil

1 Cup Walnuts *If desired

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13” x 9” baking pan. Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Scramble eggs and vanilla together in a smaller mixing bowl. Pour the oil then the honey into a glass measuring cup. Add both containers of liquid ingredients with the dry ingredients and mix with a spoon till smooth (You may need to smooth out a few lumps with your spoon). Mix in the pumpkin puree and nuts. Pour into the baking pan, push it up to the edge, and flatten out the top. Bake for 30 minutes or until tooth pick inserted in center comes out clean (Keep an eye on it if you bake it longer or it will burn quickly).

 

**Alternate recipe ideas: Add 1 Cup of chunks of dark chocolate; Add frosting of your choice; Add more of the following ingredients: ¼ Cup Honey, ¼ Cup Pumpkin, ½ Cup Oil and add 1 less egg for a moister brownie.

© Lyn Watson

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