Category Archives: Local Grains – Where to Get Them and What to do with Them

Homemade Egg Muffins

egg-muffin

This morning I surprised chicken little with a dream come true for this McDonald’s exile, Egg Muffins.

I’m still perfecting the whole wheat English muffins so I’m not yet posting the recipe. The family loved them but they were too dense and decidedly un-craggy for my tastes. I have a few ideas for changing them next time, then perhaps I’ll be posting it. I used spelt from Lentz spelt farm which makes things so light compared to wheat, although you could certainly use Bluebird wheat instead.

To finish the sandwiches we scrambled some amazingly yellow eggs from our backyard chickens and topped it with some contraband Tillamook cheddar and bacon from our newly butchered pig.

Chicken Little gave it 2 thumbs and a big toe up.

Chocolate Beet Muffins

beet-muffins

In my house chocolate is a word we use to see if the kids can hear us talking. Usually no matter what they are doing or where they are someone will shout “Did you say CHOCOLATE?” and come running. Sure most of us love chocolate and try not to eat it because most things chocolate are filled with nasty fats, flavors & preservatives.

But did you know that chocolate is a super food? I consider adding chocolate to things I was going to make anyway as healthy as sneaking beets into something I was going to make anyway. Which leads into tomorrow’s breakfast of chocolate beet muffins nicely, don’t you think?

These morning glory muffins are so versatile that you can substitute an endless variety of seasonal fruits and veggies in them. In the summer it’s zucchini, in the fall it might be winter squash peeled and grated, or carrots, or even beets. If you don’t have any coconut oil you can use melted butter but coconut oil is one of those things I try to make sure my kids get plenty of, especially with all the illnesses going around lately. Here is a little snippet about why it is so healthful and another snippet from PCC and therefore one of my pantry staples even though it’s not a local food. These muffins are based on a morning glory muffin recipe from the Whole Foods website. If you want to make the beets completely invisible then puree them in the food processor after grating.

Chocolate Beet Muffins
1 1/3 cups whole wheat pastry flour, spelt or emmer
1/2 cup organic evaporated cane juice
1/4 cup organic brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch allspice
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 eggs
2/3 cup melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 medium beet, peeled, grated
1 apple, cored, peeled and diced
1/4 cup fine or medium flaked unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup chocolate chips to seal the deap for picky eaters

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a muffin tin. (Makes 12)

In one bowl mix together the first 8 ingredients. In another bowl mix together the next 4 ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing until well combined. There is a lot of variation depending on size of apple, beet, pureed or grated, size of egg, weather and grain used.  You want your muffin mix to be slightly thicker then cake mix but not so thick it won’t make a nice soft crumb and end up dry or tough.  If it’s too stiff add buttermilk or milk until it reaches muffin thickness.  Fold in the apple and coconut and fill muffin cups. Bake 25 – 30 minutes until done when a cake tester comes out clean.

Pumpkin Cookies and Pumpkin Seeds

I promised I’d post this recipe for pumpkin cookies right now while everyone has an abundance of squash still. My kids love these, as did the kids at preschool (and teachers, and neighbors…) And I have no pictures of the cookies themselves which are now long gone…

These cookies are soft inside and slightly chewy outside, just like the top of a muffin. If you use homegrown squash and want a stronger pumpkin flavor you can cook your puree on low in a saucepan until it carmelizes slightly and thickens to that gloppy consistency of canned pumpkin. It works equally fine if you omit that step but your cookies won’t have such intense pumpkin flavor.

Soft Pumpkin Cookies – based on a recipe from the Chicago Sun Times

2 1/2 cups soft wheat or spelt flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup organic cane sugar (you can increase to 1 1/2 cups if you like a really sweet cookie, or you can frost them instead)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease baking sheets.
In a medium bowl combine flour, soda, powder, spices and salt.
In a mixer bowl beat sugar and butter until well blended. Beat in pumpkin, egg and vanilla until smooth. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Drop by rounded tablespoonsful onto prepared cookie sheets and bake for 15-18 minutes or until edges are firmed and beginning to brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes then remove to a cooking rack. Makes 36 cookies.

Frost with maple syrup/powdered sugar glaze if desired.

To Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree
roast-pumpkin
To roast your own pumpkin cut a small pie pumpkin variety into quarters and scoop out the seeds and strings. Place the quarters on a cookie sheet and roast at 350 until done. Peel off the skins and then puree in a food processer until the texture is perfectly smooth. Freeze for future use. When using thawed pumpkin you may need to cook it in a saucepan until it is thick to remove any excess water.

pumpkin-puree

To Roast Pumpkin Seeds:
pumpkin-seeds
To roast the seeds clean off any flesh or strings and rinse well in a colander. Pour enough olive or palm kernal oil on a cookie sheet to coat it. Add the seeds and sprinkle liberally with kosher salt, stirring with your hands until all the seeds are coated. Roast in a 300 degree oven until done, stirring every 15 minutes. This will probably take an hour. You can add other seasonings as well.

Happy Halloween!

Zucchini Morning Glory Muffins

I never seem to be able to get a picture of these because they disappear so quickly around here. I’ll try again this weekend. I make these year round, using carrots, apples or winter or summer squash depending on what’s in season. This is the best recipe for morning glory muffins that I’ve come across and I hope you enjoy it too.

The recipe is from Whole Foods Market. I don’t shop there anymore since I opt for the farmer’s market instead but they have some great recipes online. They especially have a large number of gluten free recipes and every recipe I’ve made from their site has been a keeper.

I use whole soft wheat berries in this recipe which I grind myself and substitute coconut oil for the canola oil. I also decrease the amount of sugar down to 1/4 cup from 1/2 because I think they are otherwise too sweet for breakfast. I substitute grated zucchini for the apple, being sure to press out any water before adding to the batter. I also omit the walnuts since we have nut allergies in the family but I really miss them!

Spelt Bean Salad

se-spelt-salad

This is a great cold salad to make during the summer when your garden is full of produce. It’s based on PCC’s Perfect Protein Salad and you can get quantities from there.

I made this using chana dal garbanzo beans from Azure Standard, spelt from Lentz Spelt Farm, mayonnaise I made from Bio Cento eggs, Rockridge Orchard’s apple cider vinegar, and cucumbers, carrots, pepper, parsley, celery, basil, garlic and onions from my own garden.

The chana dal beans are smaller and darker then other garbanzo beans but they have a much nuttier flavor and they don’t seem to get as mushy as standard garbanzo beans do. I really like the darker color in this salad since they stand out from the spelt grains.

This is one of my husband’s favorite salads and keeps really well so I always make a large batch of it for quick lunches and alongside a green salad for a light supper.