We go in food phases in our house, one day we love oatmeal but the next day I'm finding expired packets that need to be tossed. One of those throwing out days I wondered if there's a better way to get great tasting instant oatmeal... after much experimentation there is!
There's tons of recipes out there, this is a good basic that works for us. I mix a batch up and portion out into half pint jelly jars, labeling the lid with a dry erase marker. At first my husband laughed skeptically at these rows of jars but after a few days he was asking what exactly is in these and bringing friends in to see his wife's crazy good oatmeal collection! Now it's a staple in our house.
Home Made Instant Oatmeal
2 1/2 cups Quick Oats or Regular Oats
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
Blend 3/4 cup of the oatmeal in a blender or food processor (I use Vitamix with grain mill blender container but not needed; just a few pulses to it up to a heavy powder). Mix ground oatmeal with other ingredients, adding to a container with sealed lid (or ziplock bag). Shake up really good to combine. This is the instant oatmeal base that will make 9 servings. Sometimes I mix a few and leave the base which my husband likes because some days he adds a little more plain to his bowl or he feels like going outside my jars and mixing his own!
To package for individual servings add the following to a half pint jelly jar:
1/3 cup of the oatmeal base along with flavoring mix-ins such as: 1 tsp seeds (chia, flax) + 2 tsp grain, nuts or dried fruit (oat bran, wheat germ, any ground nut, choppied dried fruit) +1-3 tsp sweetner (stevia, coconut sugar, vanilla sugar, or more brown sugar) + 1/8 tsp spice (cinnamon, apple pie spice, grains of paradise) + pinch salt
Or use your imagination and follow the above proportions (aprox 3 tsp flavorings + 1-3 tsp sweetner +1/8 tsp spice) along with the 1/3 oatmeal base. Some of our favorites include: coconut, hot cocoa mix, chocolate chips, and PB2 dried peanut butter.
To cook the oatmeal:
For regular oats: add about 3/4 cup liquid to a bowl along with contents of the jar. Cover and microwave about 2-3 minutes depending on the microwave. Our favorite liquids to use are soy milk, almond milk, hemp milk, hazelnut milk. Chocolate versions of any of those are obviously really good!
For instant oats: add boiling water directly to jar, about 1/2" from the top. Cover and let sit about 5 minutes. You can also add 2 tsp powdered milk for creamy consistency with the water. I love this option for the office since it's so easy.
I've also done overnight oats with this method: add desired liquid (any milk works great or water for lower calories) to jar, about 3/4" from top. Regular oats will still be runny in the morning and I'm not a fan of cold oats so I do heat up in the jar, covered, watching very closely heating in 30 second increments because it will overflow very quickly!
We have become more creative with our mix-ins and came up with snappy concoctions such as: Almond Joy (almonds, coconut, chocolate chunks, coconut sugar), Cherry Pie (dried cherries, graham cracker crumbs, vanilla sugar), Peanut Butter Cup (chocolate chunks, PB2 dried peanut butter), Pina Colada (dried pineapples, coconut sugar, coconut)... the possibilities are endless! Let me know if you come up with any options we must try!
Generally I'm not fooled by celebrity recipes but in my healthy living days while looking through Self magazine the words "candy bar" jump off the page at me. I skeptically tear the page out and in a mood of baking withdrawl I come across it a few months later. I read and after making tons of date/nut filled goodies I think this recipe sounds pretty good, and not too difficult. But I wonder if this is really worth buying another type of flour (now I need coconut flour in my life?!) but I'm desperately fooled by the title... CANDY!.... I want CANDY!.... so on my grocery list it goes.
Like I mentioned almost every week I've been experimenting with energy balls/bites with nuts/fruit in the Vitamix (my food processor passed away and I have not replaced yet) so I though I could try this in there. This recipe is more like a dough that was a bit much for the Vitamix; I overheated several times and tore a William Sonoma spatuala in the process so I would not recommend doing that. My husband actually begged me to run to the store and get a food processor while I was making this. I am stubborn so I did get it to blend after doing small amounts and chopping the dates pretty fine... but I did shortly after decide on a food processor to buy, which I will do soon because we need more of these bars!
The recipe didn't specify what type of pan to but these in buy now I see all the photos in a square brownie size pan... oops. I went with a jelly roll pan lined with a Silpat instead of the parchment and it worked great. My husband and I actually loved how thin they were. We like the smaller serving size, just a little square of these satisfies that candy bar craving.
The almond butter I made using a simple recipe (bottom of the article gave Gwenyth's recipe which is 1 cup almonds and pinch of salt in a food processor). I started this in the Vitamix and have no luck making nut butters in there without oil so I added a little canola oil to my 1 cup almonds to get a smooth blend.
I'm not a fan of recipes that ask for chocolate chips to be melted down; I like my chips to stay chips! So I used 80% cacao chocolate that I chopped (my favorite local brand, Omanhene).
Definitely worth the investment in the coconut flour... (as now I'm studying more recipes to make using it)... but for now more of Gwenyth's candy bars, one of the best healthy snack recipes I've come across!
2013 Self Magazine from "It's All Good: Delicious, Easy Recipes That Will Make You Look Good and Feel Great" by Gwyneth Paltrow and Julia Turshen
I love making cute things in jars! This one I came across in Mary Janes Farm magazine looked like fun.
Cherries are one of my favorite fruits and I have no complaints about brandy! These are very strong, and are great additions to drinks or an unexpected garnish.
They make a great gift, if you can handle giving them up!
Fancy Brandied Cherries, Mary Janes Farm
2 pounds sweet, blemish free, cherries, washed
4 cups high quality brandy
3/4 cup raw sugar
1 tablespoon almond extract (or half vanilla and half almond for a twist)
1. Combine sugar and brandy in medium saucepan over low heat. Cook just until sugar is dissolved, stirring constantly. (Mixture will be only slightly lukewarm, don't overheat; you want to retain alcohol content of
brandy.) Cool and stir in almond extract.
2. Wash two quart canning jars (a dishwasher on the heated dry cycle works nicely.) Carefully place washed cherries, one by one, into the jars and cover completely with brandy (if not completely covered, they'll spoil.)
Carefully agitate the jar to settle the fruit. Put a lid on each jar and refrigerate.
I love egg salad and trying different variations. My last craving took me to a recipe from Martha that had an interesting blend of Greek Yogurt and Ricotta. I didn't have ricotta but I had some Quark from a local cheese shop I recently visited. So I adapted the recipe a little and ended up making it into a great sandwich using several of my favorite local Wisconsin products! The end result was a rich creamy egg salad winner...
4 Large Eggs (Growing Power)
1 1/2 Tbsp Quark (Clock Shadow Creamery)
1 1/2 Tbsp Greek Yogurt (Sugar River Dairy)
1 Tsp Dijon Mustard (Organicville)
1 Tsp Freshly Chopped Chives
1/4 Tsp Salt (I went with celrey salt)
Freshly Ground Pepper
4 Slices Bread (Sprouted Bakehouse)
1 Cup Lettuce (i used microgreen mix)
Workplace potlucks... love 'em but sometimes deciding what to make is too much. I knew I wanted to take advantage of the great Growing Power greens we have available at the farmer's market at my work but decisions, decisions. Aftter thinking then finally going through my recipe files I found the perfect thing... a green salad with a Fruit Ale Dressing from Vegetarian Times. I thought this would be perfect since I recently met the sister in law for dinner at a restaurant in her workplace, Bartolotta's Rumpus Room and tried this amazing Zombie Killer beer that I immediately hunted down after that amazing meal and still have 2 bottles left in the fridge. It has a nice sweet cherry flavor that would work well for this recipie. I gave it a try, nervous since I prefer to do tried and true recipies for gatherings like this, but it turned out great and was pretty simple for this Thursday night in the kitchen.
1 - 750ml bottle ZOMBIE KILLER by B. Nektar
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
1/2 Cup Olive Oil (I used a Spanish variety)
Bring ZOMBIE KILLER to a boil in a 2 qt saucepan. Reduce heat to medium and
simmer about 30-45 minutes until liquid is reduced to about 1/2 cup. Cool.
Whisk ZOMBIE KILLER, Maple Syrup, and Mustard together. Slowly whisk in Olive
Oil. Season with salt and pepper (I used home made celrey salt).
Store dressing until ready to use. I put back in the ZOMBIE KILLER bottle and
closed with a wine stopper from my Rabbit Wine bottle opener but I'm sure a cork
would work too).
1 Large Bunch Arugula or other Greens (I used combination of Arugula, Bib Lettuce, Spinach)
2 Thinly Sliced Gala Apples (or any other sweet apple will work)
1/2 Cup Golden Rasins
1/4 Cup Chopped Toasted Pecans
I tore up the greens and threw in the salad spinner to wash and left there for transport. The apples were cut up the night before and I let them sit in some lemon juice in the fridge to prevent browning. Toasted pecans were mixed with the rasins and put in their own container ready to take to work in the morning.
The next morning I grabbed the beer bottle of dressing, salad spinner, apples and nut/raisin mix along with a serving bowl and salad tongs. Salad was tossed with about half of the dressing at party time.
It was a hit and gone in no time! Salad and beer was quite the pairing in our office! I already have requests to make again... I might mix it up with some blue cheese or dried cranberries depending on the mood.
3/25/2012 1 Comment
I read that quote on the cover of one of my favorite cookbooks, "a mother and daughter diary of raw food recipes for beginners" and laughed. Really? Make my own cereal? Sure, I"ll try that someday... well I finally decided after using this book for over 6 months to give it a try and I swear it's life changing! I know I sound crazy, but I'm not really a breakfast person but am aware of how important breakfast is so I try. I switch from yogurt to Ezekial English muffins to oatmeal never really thrilled about breakfast. Now that I found this cereal, I eat it every morning mixing it up by eating it with almond milk or yogurt or hemp milk. It's amazing and you can mix it up as to not get bored by changing the nuts or fruit. I also add Chia Seeds since I've got a bag of that in the house. And my husband loves it too! He prefers it dry, that's a little too messy for me. Give it a try, it's so simple. We keep a giant container of it with a scoop in and I remix as it gets low. So simple!...
With the craziness of the holidays it's been a few weeks since I've made it to the Wisconsin Winter Farmer's Market. So yesterday I finally made it back there and was pleasantly suprised to find curly kale! Our warm weather this year would have been great to have kept mine growing... but I would have never guessed we'd be in the 40's into January! Crazy. Anyway, it's time to make KALE CHIPS! The best veggie chip, and it's pretty simple. Curly works best (I've tried almost every other variety for this but for some reason this has the best texture for it). Check the post that shows so well how to make it, it's addicting! I like mine with balsamic, olive oil and Vegan Parma! http://www.kalynskitchen.com/2010/03/recipe-for-roasted-kale-chips-with-sea.html
First kitchen post has to be about the most amazingly simple and flavorful thing I've made in a long time... celery salt! I made it this past fall after reading about it on one of my favorite blogs, Chocolate & Zucchini. I'm already just about out and cannot imagine my kitchen without it! I get organic celery from Whole Foods and a big bag of Fleur De Sel from the a local company, The Spice House. I find myself seasoning almost anything that needs salt with this blend. It's so good now I wonder what other seasonings I should make, any suggestions for me? http://chocolateandzucchini.com/archives/2011/09/homemade_celery_salt.php
is the smallest kitchen ever. We used to watch those decorating shows that said they were doing small kitchens and then could see that 4 of my kitchens would fit in their "small kitchens".
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