Oat Wheat Sandwich bread with flax (vegan)

Homemade bread always feels like such a great accomplishment once it is finally finished baking!  I chalk this up to all the inactive time waiting for bread to rise, and the physical labor involved in kneading your dough in its early stages.  My journey into sandwich bread was born from necessity more than any other reason.  My tiny family with two adults and a toddler seems to demolish bread as if there is no other food in our home.  I believe this is because “sandich” is one of the few discernible  words in my sons vocabulary.

While my husband had the car, and I had nothing but a great deal of time on my hands I decided to attempt to make bread myself, because let’s face it, sometimes it is easier to do all the work at home rather than walk in 90 degree heat with a rambunctious child to the store for one item!  So I began to research, and came to the realization that there are MANY sandwich breads that are not vegan.  That is until I came across one that was simple and great!  Now I am going to share my spin on that wonderful and easy recipe!

Making your own bread is a great Sunday project, because most of the bread process is inactive time anyhow.  You can get a lost accomplished during that time and then have fresh-baked bread, and what’s better than that?

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Oat Wheat Sandwich Bread with Flax
Ingredients
adapted from Easy Vegan Wheat Bread (veganbaking.net)
1 cup Rolled Oats, plus more for topping
1 cup Bread flour
1 cup White whole wheat flour ( I use King Arthur’s)
1 3/4 cup warm water
1 packet or 2  1/4 tsp dry active yeast
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp ground flax

Combine water, and yeast in a 2 cup measuring glass.  Allow yeast to stand for a few minutes, and then whisk in maple syrup.  Set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together oats, flax, bread, and whole wheat flour.  Slowly stir in yeast mixture with a wooden spoon until a cohesive dough begins to form.
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On a lightly floured surface knead dough for about 10 to 12 minutes.  Add more flour if the dough becomes to tacky to work with.  Form dough into a ball.

Lightly oil a large bowl, place dough in and turn to coat with oil.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let stand for  1 1/2-2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
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Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down until there are no more gas bubbles.  Reform into a ball, and re-cover the bowl for another 1 1/2 hours.

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After the dough has had its second rise punch it down and you can begin to proof your bread.  Lightly oil a 9×5 loaf pan and form your dough into the pan.  Cover with plastic wrap and allow your bread to take shape for 40 minutes.  Be sure to leave room under the plastic for the dough to rise.

Pre heat your oven to 375 degrees, remove the plastic film and allow the loaf to rest for 10 minutes.

Sprinkle a bit of oats on top of the loaf, place in the oven for 25-30 minutes.

Allow the loaf to cool for 15 minutes in the pan before removing it and allowing it to cool completely on a wire rack before storing.
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I store my bread in the refrigerator in a gallon size ziploc bag, however you can store the bread in the freezer as well.

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Enjoy!

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Mini Chip Banana Bread (vegan)

Today I decided to do a little experimenting with a family favorite recipe, but my son had other plans.  I am still adjusting to my oven/stove top because until now I had never worked with gas.  Add a wild toddler to the mix and there are sure to be days where baking just doesn’t go the way you planned.  Although my stove has these giant plastic “baby-proof” knobs, my son still managed to pull a fast one on me.

I set my oven to a toasty 350 degrees to bake a wonderful banana loaf, but part way through baking I felt compelled to check on the progress only to discover a very toasted crust and a tender center.  I was shocked to say the least, so I checked my oven temperature only to find that it was set at 450 degrees!  Although my son cannot reach to the actual knobs he must have spun those darn plastic covers until the heat was turned up, much to my displeasure.  This brought me to the obvious conclusion that my son is out growing a great deal of the “baby-proofed”  areas of the house, and my real troubles are only beginning.

Although this bread did not come out “perfect” it was still quite delicious, and if it had been given the proper temperature and time to bake I think it would be just right.  Even though there were some bumps in the road for this recipe I still decided the taste alone made it worthy of blogging about.  I hope you enjoy this recipe, and if you ever have a crazy kitchen gremlin/toddler in your midst know that you are not alone!

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Mini Chip Banana Bread
Ingredients
3-4 ripe Bananas
1 Tbsp ground flax
1 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 salt
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (dairy free)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees (be sure no one sneaks in and changes it on you!).  Prepare a loaf pan with parchment, or spray with non-stick cooking oil.
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In a large bowl sift together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and ground flax.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment combine maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, and 1/2 inch thick slices of banana.  If you prefer you can mash the banana by hand or puree (I prefer a chunky banana bread so I let the mixer to the mashing).

Slowly add flour mixture into your wet ingredients until just combined  Fold in mini chips.
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Pour into your loaf pan and bake for 35-45 minutes.  Allow to cool in the loaf pan, serve warm.
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I know he was really just trying to help!  Maybe it’s because I was baking with his favorite food (bananas) or the fact that he thinks those oven mitts belong to him, I think he is just excited to be a little chef!  Enjoy!

Maple Pecan Pumpkin Muffins(vegan)

First off, today I would like to do a bit of explaining.  I am aware that it is in fact July, and that pumpkin season is not for another couple of months.  The past few days here in GA we’ve had an insane heat wave, while back up north my family and friends have been enjoying breezy sweater  weather.  I know it is strange, because most folks love the sunshine and summer, but Autumn is my absolute favorite season.  So while I was waxing nostalgic for the Fall I decided to whip up a batch of pumpkin muffins.  My obsession with all things pumpkin means that there is always a handy can of pumpkin in my cupboard.

If you’re feeling a yearning for the tastes of Fall then this recipe is for you.
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Maple Pecan Pumpkin Muffins
Ingredients
1 cup whole wheat white flour ( I used King Arthur’s)
1 cup rolled oats
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 cup almond milk

Maple Pecans
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a muffin tin with liners, or spray with non stick cooking oil.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

To prepare the maple pecans;  In a small bowl, combine pecans, maple syrup and cinnamon until well coated.  Spread pecans on to a prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.

While the pecans are roasting prepare muffin mixture.

In a large bowl combine flour, oats, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices.

In the bowl of a stand mixer combine pumpkins, maple syrup, and coconut oil.  Slowly begin to add flour mixture and almond milk, alternating so you don’t splash milk as you mix.

Fold maple pecans into muffin batter.  Pour batter into prepared muffin pan.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Allow to cool completely before serving

Enjoy!

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread (vegan)

Trying to keep a family with a sweet tooth healthy can be a challenge.  I try to incorporate whole foods into baked treats so I feel a little less guilty about our love of dessert.  Zucchini season is upon us so it seemed like the simplest solution to my baking woes, and who doesn’t love a little chocolate?

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Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread
Ingredients
1/2 cup coconut oil
2 Tbsp ground flax-seed
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
3/4-1 cup maple syrup*
1 1/4 cup whole wheat AP flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 medium zucchini, peeled and grated
1/4 cup almond milk
1/2 cup dairy free mini chocolate chips

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Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray loaf pan with non-stick oil or line with parchment and set aside.

Combine flax and 1/4 cup water and set aside until mixture becomes gooey.

In the bowl of a stand mixer combine maple syrup, zucchini, apple cider vinegar, vanilla, and coconut oil.

In a separate bowl sift together flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.

Add flax mixture into your wet ingredients.  Slowly add flour and almond milk, alternating between wet and dry.
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Fold mini chips into the batter.  Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.  Bake for 40-50 minutes.

Enjoy!

Red Lentil Dal (vegan)

When writers block and kitchen flubs occur in the same week it makes it very difficult to post any new recipes.  Last night finally changed all that.  My kitchen woes of the past few days all dissolved over a delicious pot of dal.  So simple, yummy, and finally something worthy to be blog about!

Indian dishes have always played a key role in my cooking, and for the longest time Dal has somehow eluded me.  Lentils can be fickle creatures, but alas I have finally figured them out (at least red lentils–brown lentils are still on my list of foods to concur).  After several marred attempts at making dal I finally enlisted the help of my best friend, and her amazing mother’s Dal recipe.  After listening to a few quick tips I whipped a real pot of dal, and now I am here to share my new-found knowledge with you!

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Red Lentil Dal
Ingredients
1 Tbsp coconut oil
I cup red lentils, rinsed in cold water and picked over
3 cups water
1/4 tsp salt
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 14.5oz can of diced tomatoes, drained (fire roasted if you can find them)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp chili paste
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot combine rinsed lentils, water, and salt.  Bring to a boil, over medium heat.  Reduce heat to low, cover with a tight-fitting lid and allow lentils to cook for 20-30 minutes until lentils begin to lose their shape.

After lentils have cooked for at least 20 minutes you can begin on the remainder of your ingredients.  In a small saute pan heat oil, add cumin seeds.  When the cumin seeds stop jumping, after about 1-2 minutes add onion and garlic.  Saute for 8-10 minutes.  Add spices to the onion mixture and cook for 1 minute more.

Add onion mixture and drained tomatoes to the lentils.  Allow everything to cook for 5 minutes more.  The lentils should cook for a total of 30-40 minutes so that they reach the proper consistency.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
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Serve with basmati rice, luchi, or naan, enjoy!

Chocolate Hazelnut spread! (vegan)

For my entire childhood, and several years into my adult life I had never experienced Nutella. Until I was living in Europe, that is.  In Germany I got my first taste of Nutella, and eventually an Italian version called Hazelnuss Spread that was even better!  Once I returned to the states and really adjusted my diet to a more whole food/plant based take I knew there would need to be some changes made to my favorite nut butter to make it healthy and vegan.

With lots of internet searching and how to’s I found my favorite version of this chocolatey wonder!  I never knew how simple it would be to make your own nut butter/spread and how much better it would taste!
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Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
-adapted from; Chocolate Covered Katie
Ingredients
2 1/4 cup raw hazelnuts
1 1/2 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup raw agave nectar
1/4 tsp salt, + a pinch
1/2 cup almond milk
2 tsp coconut oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

On a baking sheet roast hazelnuts for 10-12 minutes, until the skins become dark brown and start to wilt.

With a clean kitchen towel, or paper towel rub the skins of the hazelnuts and place in a food processor.  Pulse until the hazelnuts become smooth.

Add all remaining ingredients, and pulse until fully incorporated.

Store spread in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  This spread is delicious right away, but it does become a bit sweeter after is sits in the refrigerator overnight.
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Enjoy on toast, muffins, or by the spoonful!

Thanks for stopping by!

Welcome back! Return from vacation–(spicy peach salsa)

Hello all!

Sorry for the long break in posts!  I hope you all enjoyed the holiday weekend, I know I sure did.  After a much-needed trip I am back to the daily grind.  So let’s jump right in!  For BBQ’s or any occasion salsa is one of my go to sides.  I cook with salsa constantly, and it’s my personal favorite dip.

Nothing beats homemade salsa with truly fresh ingredients.  Right now peaches are in their prime and lend themselves perfectly to many recipes.  So here is my take on sweet and spicy salsa!
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Spicy Peach Salsa
Ingredients
2 Large tomatoes
1 peach
1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
2 jalapenos, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 cup packed cilantro
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp lime juice
1/2 tbsp olive oil

For this recipe I used a Ninja pulse blender, but you can also use a food processor, or regular blender.

In a small saute pan over medium heat oil, and saute onions and garlic for 6-8 minutes.
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Meanwhile, seed the tomatoes and jalapenos.  Place tomatoes, jalapenos, and cilantro in your food processor, and pulse.  Add peaches, lime juice, and salt, and pulse until incorporated.  You can pulse until smooth if you like, I prefer a chunky salsa.  Place all your blended ingredients into a bowl and stir in onions and garlic.
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Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  The salsa can be served immediately, however I prefer letting it chill in the refrigerator and allowing the flavors to blend for at least 2 hours.

Enjoy!