Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Greek Style Pita Sandwiches

This is one of those summer meals that makes me want to smack my head and say, "Why didn't I think of that?!" I followed the recipe for everything except, I doubled the marinade and let it sit on the meat for most of the afternoon and then grilled instead of sauteed (leave out the meat and it's a vegetarian meal). I also added a bit of lemon juice to my yogurt dressing to thin it out a bit.

Cool and refreshing...a perfect summer dinner staple!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Basic Rich Crackers

These are the basic crackers I make on a pretty regular basis for our family. They are made with four simple ingredients: butter, yogurt, flour, and salt. You combine, cover and soak overnight, then roll them out in the morning, cut and bake them. Simple as that, and you get all the benefit of whole foods, properly prepared.

To start with, freshly ground flour that has been soaked to rid it of phytic acid is very healthy. Not to mention the vitamin K2 from the butter if it is grass-fed, and the probiotics found in good quality whole milk yogurt. Even the salt is beneficial if you choose a high quality salt full of trace minerals, such as Celtic sea salt.

I like to use Kerrygold Irish Butter from Trader Joe's because it is the best price I have found. I also get my yogurt from Trader Joe's, or I make my own from whole raw milk. I haven't tried it yet, but since I have milk kefir around, I wonder if I could use that in place of the yogurt in this recipe.

They are delicious with raw cheese and organ meat sausage (like Braunschweiger, yum!). But enjoyed all by themselves they are still lovely. They are very similar to Cheez-its I think.

Basic Rich Crackers
1 cup plain, whole milk yogurt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3 1/2 cups freshly ground whole grain flour (I have used spelt and whole red winter wheat, both with good success)
2 teaspoons sea salt

1. Cream yogurt and butter together. Add flour and salt and stir to combine.
2. Cover with a towel and a plate, find a warm place to soak 12-24 hours (or overnight).
3. After the soaking period, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
4. At this point you can add any herbs, cheeses, or spices to your dough you might like to try. I have only attempted cracked pepper and parmesan cheese, but it was delicious! The possibilities are endless, but the crackers are truly delicious all on their own. Don't feel you need this step, it is optional.
5. Use white flour, sprouted flour, or arrowroot powder (because each of these options have no phytic acid) to roll your dough out very thin. Use a pastry or pizza cutter to cut dough into small squares or rectangles.
6. Place onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. You can put the crackers fairly close to each other, they do not spread. You can prick with a fork, but I have not seen much of a need for it.
7. Bake 8-12 minutes, checking every minute or so after 8 minutes have gone by to make sure they do not overbrown. You know the crackers are done when they are slightly brown on the edges and the middles of the crackers look drier.
8. Remove from baking sheet to cooling racks immediately, but be gentle so they do not break. Enjoy!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Red, White and Blue (Coconut) Cupcakes

I have had some coconut flour ready to be used for a while now, so I made these cupcakes over the holiday weekend. The cupcakes were moist and full of berries. I am going grain-free for a little while, so the fact that they are grain- (and dairy-) free was nice so I could have some. I had to have them with a glass of (raw) milk, and they were delicious!

Red, White and Blue Cupcakes (from The Nourishing Gourmet)

    1/2 cup coconut flour
    1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    3 eggs, gently beaten with a fork
    1/3 cup of honey
    1/3 cup of coconut oil
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
    1/2 cup of fresh or frozen raspberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

1. In a medium size bowl, place the coconut flour, sea salt, and baking powder. Whisk to remove any lumps.

2. Melt honey and coconut oil in a small saucepan, just until melted. (If you have over-heated it, let cool before combining it with the eggs.) Combine wet ingredients (eggs, honey, coconut oil, vanilla), and combine thoroughly into dry ingredients.

3. Fold in fresh or frozen berries. In papered or lightly greased muffin tins, put about 1/4 cup of batter in each muffin tin. Make sure to have some of the blueberries and some of the raspberries in each muffin indentation.

4. Bake for 375 degrees until the muffins are lightly browned on the top and a toothpick comes out clean when poked into the middle of the muffin (20-28 minutes).