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Posts Tagged ‘snacks’

I’ve been transitioning to other sugars now that we are branching out from strict GAPS, and while we generally use honey as our sweetener of choice I also add coconut sugar on occasion.  We are celebrating some fun in the snow with another family tomorrow and I decided to try my hand at a Twix-like confection for dessert.

I’ve made this shortbread before and reviewed it here.  I decided to use it as my base, subbing coconut sugar for half of the honey to see if that prevented overbrowning (and I think it did).  I doubled the recipe and patted the shortbread into a 9″ x 13″ foil pan lined with parchment paper.  Then I baked until light brown, sprinkled with Celtic sea salt, and cooled outside while I moved on to step two: this toffee.  I used half coconut sugar, half honey to make the toffee but otherwise followed the recipe.  Then I poured the toffee over the shortbread and put it back outside while I made the chocolate.  I don’t drink coffee so I never have any to add to this chocolate, but it is good without the coffee so that’s how I make it. :)  Then I topped with chopped crispy almonds and set back outside to cool.

We’ve tried all the components of these bars before but never all together!  I’m eager to see how it turns out tomorrow.

As you can see, you could totally make this GAPS-legal by using only honey as a sweetener.

 

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We are constantly on the search for easy, make-ahead breakfasts that are filling enough to last all morning.  I tried a new recipe last week, with some modifications:

  • 16 eggs
  • 1/2-3/4 cup kefir
  • 4 Tblsp softened butter
  • 2 Tblsp melted beef tallow
  • 2 Tblsp bacon drippings
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 8 oz shredded raw cheddar
  • 8 oz uncured bacon, cooked and chopped, reserving the drippings to add to the muffin batter

I whipped the liquids together, then added the dry ingredients, the cheese, and the bacon.  Then I portioned into muffin cups and baked at 350 degrees until the muffins were set in the middles and just starting to brown.

As you can see, I quadrupled the recipe, added extra eggs, added kefir, reduced the amount of cheese and bacon, and tinkered with the fats.  My bacon was not terribly fatty and I only got about 2 Tblsp drippings to add to the batter, hence the butter and tallow.  If you have enough drippings, I’d suggest using them instead of the other fats.  The recipe as I’ve written it here made 24 muffins, which was enough to feed the three of us for three breakfasts.

Leaving the full amount of cheese and bacon in these muffins would no doubt have been delicious – however, cheese and bacon are pretty expensive.  The recipe as I’ve written it here cost me about $12, or $0.50/muffin.  If I had included the full amount of cheese and bacon, that would have increased the price to about $1.10 per muffin.  At two or three muffins apiece for breakfast, that would have exceeded my budget.  I think you could leave out the cheese OR the bacon and still have a decent muffin, but I’m not sure I’d try leaving out both of those ingredients.

Verdict:  A winner!  My kids scarfed down their breakfast and would have willingly eaten more.  The muffins were fairly easy to put together and held up well just sitting out on the counter for a couple of days.  I popped the leftovers in the toaster oven to reheat them the next day and they were just as good.  I served these muffins with a 12oz glass of raw milk and some fresh sliced peaches for a filling breakfast.  I will make these again.  I may even try batch-cooking some to stick in the freezer.  (Getting breakfast on the table has been much harder since school started!)  Next time, I plan to add some chopped peppers and maybe some chopped sweet onions.

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I’m back!!  Vacation was great, my brain is now worthless, and I have ten gazillion things to do before I can even think about catching up.  Instead of tackling those ten gazillion things, however, I have decided to make brownies.  First things first, people!

I’me calling this a semi-review because I did not try these brownies as written.  (If you have been reading my blog for any length of time, this should come as no surprise!  I like to do things my own way.)  Here’s what I did:

  • 40 Deglet Noor dates, processed in food processor with
  • 1 1/4 cup coconut flour

This was how I chose to make my own date sugar.  Dehydrating dates and then grinding them to a powder as suggested in the original recipe blog comments was waaaaaaaay more work than I was interested in.  My method did not produce a fine powder, but the date pieces were small enough that I was content.  I also hoped that retaining the moisture content of the dates by processing them this way might result in a more moist and chewy brownie.  After the dates and coconut flour were processed, I whipped together:

  • 1 cup soft coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup soft butter
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 8 eggs
  • 3/4 cup kefir
  • 2 Tblsp honey
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt

Then I blended in the date mixture and whipped well in my stand mixer.  I greased an 8″ x 8″ pan and spread the thick batter evenly in the pan (the batter nearly filled the pan, by the way).  Then I put the pan in my Sun Oven, which was preheated to 250 degrees Fahrenheit and let it cook while I did other things for 90 minutes.

I did not choose to make these brownies dairy-free.  I also added more eggs, some honey for uniform sweetness and extra moisture, and increased the cocoa a bit.  Since I subbed my own date sugar, the date pieces were large enough to notice texturally but I didn’t feel that they were unappetizing.  Cooking in a solar oven *is* different than cooking in a regular oven, so I’m not sure how a conventional cooking method would treat these brownies yet but they were very moist even after a long time in the Sun Oven.  I think there was far too much batter for an 8″ x 8″ pan, however – I will halve the recipe next time.  This batch seemed more like cake – a very dense cake – which is fine, but I wanted a brownie.  :)

Verdict:  I would make these again, halving the recipe and reducing the cook time though.  I think a cold glass of some sort of milk is a must with this recipe!

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I’ve been using this recipe for several months now and decided it was time to give it the acclaim it deserves.  I’m mainly posting here so that I can keep track of the adjustments I’ve made…I keep losing the little papers that I write the adjustments on!

The only real changes I’ve made to the original are to add butter to the batter and to change the order of mixing & assembly a bit.  Here’s what I do (note that this is for a double batch, which makes 2 dozen medium-sized muffins for me):

  • 4 cups almond flour
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 12 eggs
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • stevia powder (optional)

I mix the almond flour, coconut flour, salt, and butter until well blended but still a bit crumbly.  Then I reserve 1/8 cup of that mixture for the crumbly topping.  Next, I mix the wet ingredients and add to the remaining dry ingredients.  Finally, I fold in the blueberries (I use frozen) and scoop the batter into greased or papered muffin tins.  Then I mix the reserved crumbly topping with the chopped nuts, cinnamon, and a tiny bit of stevia powder and sprinkle it over the tops of the muffin batter.  Because the blueberries are frozen and will cause the muffins to bake more slowly, I set my oven at 325 degrees to prevent them from burning (honey tends to do that!) and bake until the tops are brown and the middles are set.  I haven’t timed it but it is usually around 30-45 minutes.

Serve warm with a pat of butter or allow to cool and freeze for later.  Either way…yum.  You can make this dairy-free by using coconut oil instead of butter.

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Monday

  • leftovers (just me)
  • leftovers (just me)
  • eat at my parents

Tuesday

  • shortcakes
  • leftover okazu and spicy soup
  • leftover tongue w/veggies; spaghetti squash

Wednesday

  • leftover shortcakes
  • lamb stew
  • brown bag – tuna salad w/Bubbie’s pickles; fuji apples; salad from garden; dilly carrots

Thursday

  • pancakes with kefir pudding and blueberries; broth
  • leftover lamb stew
  • baked chicken legs with veggies

Friday

  • eggs; oranges; broth
  • leftover chicken legs
  • beef steak? burgers? chicken livers?

Saturday

  • leftover pancakes w/pudding & blueberries; broth
  • brown bag: egg salad?
  • brown bag: turkey rolls?
  • on-the-road snacks: granola and jerky

Sunday:

  • at the beach!!!  I don’t really care what we eat!!!

 

The plan this week is to eat up all leftovers and veggies that might spoil whilst we are away.  Then we will try not to starve on the way to the beach.  We’ll have a 5-6hr drive to the airport, and we’ll need at least one meal and snacks for that.  Then since our first flight leaves at 4:10pm, we’ll probably need to eat supper before we board.  I don’t want to try to scrounge up something edible at the airport between flights.  :/  If we eat enough on the road, we should be fine until we arrive at the beach.

I’ve started soaking the almonds for the granola; tomorrow morning I’ll soak the walnuts, then I’ll do the pumpkin seeds & sunflower seeds in the afternoon.  I’ll drain them all and put them in the dehydrator before bed, then Tuesday I can mix up the binding ingredients and put everything back in the dehydrator for another 24 hours or so.  I will start marinating the jerky Tuesday so that when the granola is done on Wednesday I can put that in the dehydrator.  In theory all snacks will be done Thursday.  I’d also like to make sure I’ve got some snacky stuff in the freezer for when we return.  I’ll also need to have a breakfast and lunch in the freezer so that if we make it back late Saturday/early Sunday I can have something to feed us before and after I go to work.

This is the part where I start to panic a little because I have so much to do and so little time.

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Boring Post Alert!!  Carry on.

Ferments to maintain:

  • Milk kefir
  • Water kefir, and finally figure out some way we like to drink this!!

Ferments to start:

Quick ferments:

To soak and/or sprout:

  • garbanzo beans and lentils for soup
  • nuts and seeds for granola

To bake:

 

 

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Monday

  • granola with coconut milk or kefir; broth
  • leftover meatza
  • leftover lamb stew and muffins

Tuesday

  • leftover granola and coconut milk or kefir; broth
  • leftover lamb stew and muffins
  • chicken curry with arame

Wednesday

  • banana pancakes; broth
  • leftover lamb stew and muffins
  • brown bag – tuna salad w/Bubbie’s pickles; Fuji apples; salad from garden; dilly carrots

Thursday

  • leftover pancakes; broth
  • leftover tuna salad w/pickles; apples; salad; carrots
  • burgers with sauerkraut; steamed cauliflower; salad from garden

Friday

  • eggs & cheese; broth
  • soup from freezer
  • leftover chicken curry

Saturday – Work Day!

  • quiche with dehydrated kale; oranges; broth
  • meatloaf; green beans; sourdough bread for guests
  • lentil soup and muffins?

Sunday – and probably another work day!

  • leftover quiche; oranges; broth
  • leftover meatloaf etc
  • leftover lentil soup?

For snacks, we will have pudding, fruit, hard-boiled eggs, banana bread, and maybe some ice cream if I get out to pick up milk soon.  Actually, if I get milk we’ll probably just drink milk for a snack.  I won’t kid myself.  I know I don’t have time to make ice cream this week.

Azure Standard order is coming tomorrow so I’ll have plenty of fresh fruits in stock.  I debated whether to go pick up carrots at the store or not – we could really use them this week, but I thought I wouldn’t be able to make it out with just carrots.  So I abstained.  Eggs, milk, and maybe some price-matching for pineapples ($1.29 ea) and bananas ($0.44/lb) at Walmart will round out food purchases for this week.

Our menu for this week, including snacks, should come in under budget at around $70…not bad since I’m planning on at least two meals with guests.  Out-of-pocket expenses will be about $20, plus the larger-than-usual monthly Azure order.  If I can keep out-of-pockets to $30 or less per week for the following 3 weeks, we’ll be in good shape.  :)

Green beans and squash plants are growing nicely in the garden.  We ate most of our baby bok choy in a stir-fry with pork chops last week, and boy were they good!  I’ll see if I can get another batch planted this week for early summer harvest.  The lettuce and arugula are providing us with enough salad at the moment.  Onions are gradually growing.  We’ve got blossoms on our pepper plants and squashes.  Since most of the squash are volunteers from the compost pile, we’re anxiously awaiting the big reveal – will they be the suspected butternut or something more exciting??  :)  Cucumbers aren’t up yet but they just went into the ground last week.  And tomatoes are gifts from Grandpa that just showed up last week as well, so we’ll see how thy survive the transplanting process.

Sweet potatoes and rice did not seem to cause any type of reaction last week.  I may incorporate those in our diet occasionally from now on.  My boy especially is going to need more calories as he is hitting pre-pubescence so even if I don’t partake, I will be looking for more carby foods to help fill in the gaps for him.

On the ferment front: I think I’m going to have to start a separate weekly post detailing what I need to do to keep up with ferments.  I’m feeling scattered and need to get my list down where I can see it by itself.

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