Category Archives: Breakfast

Whole Grain Swedish Limpa

Just like meatloaf, there are a lot of bad limpa recipes floating around the universe. But if you are lucky enough to have tried good limpa you know it can be memorable, surprising and even divine. For breakfast – smeared with apricot jam and a slice of good farm cheese there is nothing better.

I have a good dozen recipes for limpa that I’ve clipped or been given over the last twenty five years and I’ve tried them all. None of them really captured that light, slightly sweet and aromatic loaf that is the limpa of my memories. I’ve given it up as being situational. Maybe, like eating food while camping, it’s more about the camping than the food.

A few weeks ago I picked up a copy of The Great Scandinavian Baking Book by Beatrice Ojakangas and of course the first thing I tried was the limpa recipe. It called for mostly white flour so I adapted it for whole grain and swapped out things like salad oil which I’m pretty sure would not be historically accurate. It smelled ethereal even before it hit the oven. But once it hit the oven and began to spring and perfume my kitchen, I knew there was something different about this limpa recipe. I knew this was it.

When I pulled the loaves out and brushed the crust with molasses, I committed a cardinal sin. I sliced that steaming hot loaf and tasted the breadbaker’s right (that is the most flavorable piece of the whole loaf, the crust piece). I closed my eyes and visions of Sweden danced in my head. I was in an airy wooden kitchen with red and white striped curtains and dish towels, Bjorn Skiffs on the radio, warm bread smells in the air, and I was tasting good bread for the first time. Swedish limpa with fennel, caraway and orange zest. If anyone ever offers you limpa with candied orange peel in it, just politely decline.

This limpa recipe, with quite a few adaptations, embodies my memory of real Swedish limpa. I hope you enjoy it.

Swedish Limpa
makes 3 loaves

8-9 cups hard red wheat flour
2 cups rye flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup organic granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons instant or active dry yeast
3 teaspoons salt
grated peel of one orange
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1 teaspoon caraway seed
4 cups milk (if not using raw or buttermilk, substitute 1/2 cup whey or yogurt as part of the milk. This acidic medium will help reduce the phytic acid in the grains and soften the dough considerably)
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup dark molasses

Before bed, combine all the ingredients in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Cover bowl and let stand on the counter overnight.

In the morning, turn all the dough out and knead by hand, adding as little flour as possible. You can also split this into two batches and knead using a bowl mixer. Continue kneading until the dough is shiny and smooth-looking but still tacky and passes the windowpane test (when you stretch a small piece of it, it stretches to form an opaque window rather than tearing), about 6-8 minutes.

Butter 3 loaf pans or cake pans. Shape into oblong loaves for bread pans or rounds for cake pans. Place loaves in pans, cover and let rise until almost doubled in the warmest spot in your kitchen, about an hour. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 375 F.

Score and lightly spray tops of loaves with water just before placing them in the oven. This will keep the surface supple and allow the loaves to continue rising in the oven. Bake for about 40 minutes, until the loaves are a deep brown and the inside registers 190 F. Brush the loaves with molasses and allow to cool before slicing. You may even want to put some ABBA on for this loaf. It’s that good.

Better Than Starbucks Pumpkin Scones

I have a guest post this week written by a friend’s ultra cool daughter, A.    Love all the local ingredients sourced at UW farmer’s market as well.


At 6:00 am, my taste buds are usually too sleepy to even taste my breakfast. Nor do they want to. Spelt pancakes washed down by a kefir shake? Good thing I’m not awake.

However, one morning, my mother pleasantly surprised me! On the table was a gorgeous pumpkin scone, and when I ate it, I woke up. Delicious! And it tasted exactly like the Starbucks pumpkin scones… hmm. Was my mother trying to sneak away store-bought as homemade, breaking with the local diet? Apparently not, because when I finally saw the recipe, it looked decidedly healthy. Good thing they don’t taste that way!


Better than Starbucks Pumpkin Scones

• 2 cups spelt flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
• 5 T Rapadura sugar
• 2 t baking powder
• 1/2 t salt
• 1/2 t ground cinnamon
• 1/2 t ground nutmeg
• 1/4 t ground cloves
• 1/4 t ground ginger
• 6 T cold butter
• 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
• 3 T cream
• 1 large egg

Optional Glaze:
Combine ½ cup powdered sugar with about ½ T milk, adding milk slowly until you reach your favored consistency. Spread over scones. If you’d like, you can add some spice into the glaze with some cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and spices in a large bowl. Cut butter in large chunks and mix with a fork into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly and no large chunks of butter remain.

Combine the rest of the ingredients in another bowl, beating until well combined. Fold wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, being sure not to overmix.

Put dough onto baking sheet and form into large circle. Cut into 6 wedges and separate them.

Bake scones for 15 minutes at 425.

Let cool, then frost with optional glaze. Enjoy!


Thanks A!

Squash Muffins

Chicken Little attends Laurelhurst Elementary and they had an ubercool program this week where the kids attend 3 presentations on health and nutrition. There were some very talented presenters and somehow I managed to wrangle my way in.

My presentation was on how to ditch the store and grow your own groceries. I had a slideshow (actually the one in the sidebar you see on this site) with a handout, my composting worms, my uber cool neighbor Tiffany who has children at Laurelhurst as well and one of Tiffany’s chickens.


Here you see Tiffany cheerfully demonstrating an egg and explaining how important protein is to a growing child. In the foreground you can see Chubby happily eating some scratch on the sheet.

The night before I turned this small amount of ingredients:


Into 100 squash muffins from our home-grown butternut squash. Instead of the frosting Jamie Oliver calls for in the above linked recipe I opted to simply sprinkle a little powdered sugar over them. Much quicker for me and healthier for the kids. They sort of reminded me of snow on squash that way.


I substituted Lentz spelt for the wheat, decreased the amount of sugar and used my squash and eggs which made those 100 muffins cost about $7, mostly because I used sunflower oil. Normally I only bake with butter and coconut oil but butter is pretty spendy and nut allergies are through the roof with kids so I chose to leave out the wheat, dairy & coconut.

I was glad I did because one little girl sitting next to the muffins had a wistful look on her face. In fact the only thing I could think of the whole time was how much she looked just like Anne Frank. I finally asked her if she wanted a muffin and she told me she couldn’t have dairy. Her face lit up the room when I told her they were dairy free. That made the whole thing worth-while for me right there.

Not only were these muffins made with love but they were a pretty dang healthy treat with freshly ground whole spelt and/or emmer (I was testing but the spelt ones were lighter with a loftier crumb), pastured eggs and squash. The mom volunteers and most of the kids gave them the thumbs up.

As Jamie would say “why don’t you give them a go?”

Squash Muffins
Based on a recipe by Jamie Oliver

14 ounces winter squash, skinned, seeded, chopped then “whizzed” in the food processer until fine
2 cups brown sugar
4 large eggs
3/4 cup melted butter, coconut oil or sunflower oil
2 1/2 cups spelt or whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
dash cloves or allspice
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease muffin tins well or line with paper liners.

Mix the squash, sugar, eggs, and oil together. In a separate bowl combine the flour, powder, spices and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, gently mixing until just combined. Don’t over mix or the muffins will toughen up.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until they test clean and let them cool on a wire rack. Once they are cooled you can shake some powdered sugar over the top. I’m sure cream cheese frosting would be great with them as well.

Chocolate 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.

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!