26 September 2013

There Are Alternatives

I finished my sack of Heckers All Purpose flour the other day but didn't immediately go to replace it. Instead, I'm opting wait a few days or even a week or two, and see what I can dig up recipe-wise to take a break from all purpose flour and do a little fall clean out before some of my whole grain flours' suggested use-by date. It's pure nerd-dom but I really enjoy this challenge. I used up the last of my rye in these great crackers (which also depleted the all purpose) and made a dent in the 100% whole wheat flour sack with this great cookie recipe which uses only whole wheat flour. Make a batch, scoop the dough and keep the balls in the fridge or freezer to bake off over the next few days. Another option will be to make more grape nuts, which uses all-whole wheat flour. I like to remind myself that there are alternatives, and that with the right recipe with ample moisture, a 100% whole-grain baked good will not come out as a dense puck (ok well it goes without saying that this does not apply to biscuits/scones). That's ok. There are alternatives.

    Recipe: Kim's Chocolate Chip Cookies

   Recipe: Grape Nuts

And going even further than these two all-whole-wheat recipes, there's the option of completely non-grain/nut-based alternatives. Experiments with almond flour the past few months have always yielded nice, moist results in these paleo blueberry muffins, and I've just begun to tinker with that recipe to lighten/air it a tad, and I'll post about that soon...it is a lovely recipe as it is, and a very universal formula, so why not take it even further? When it comes to almond flour though, the challenge is getting the crunch as it is an inherently moist flour. On that note, who doesn't like a scone? I found that using very cold butter gave crispier edges to the almond-flour based scone, just as it would a grain-scone.

Recipe: Paleo Blueberry Muffins

Last but not least, there's often that morning desire to be easy peasy grab-and-go in a non-baked goods style and for that, this coconut oil based vegan treat has been making an appearance and are easy to pack up as well as break atop yogurt.

Recipe: Easy Paleo Double Almond Bars (Adapted from Elana)

1/2 cup blanched almond flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp vanilla
2 Tb coconut oil
1 Tb honey
1 tsp water
1/2 c mixed toasted nuts (almonds + pistachios here )
pinch cardamom

Oven to 350. In food processor combine flour, salt. Pulse in oil, honey, vanilla, water. Pulse in nuts + cardamom. Dump/press dough into parchment-lined 9X 5 loaf pan to fill the edges (or double recipe and fill 8 x 8 pan). Bake 15-20 min, cool completely in pan, then cut into squares. I think these store best in fridge airtight. Bring to room temp to eat.

I hope this post finds you having a splendid week and gives inspiration to mix it up a bit. xoxoxox MN

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