Category Archives: Recipes – Breakfast

Anjou Too Will Enjoy These Pear and Oat Scones

I have been on a bit of a scone kick lately. It all started with the raisin millet scones, which have turned out to be a lovely snack at any time during the day or evening. When I saw this recipe for apple and oat scones in the February 2012 Martha Stewart Living magazine, I became inspired and decided to add them to my repertoire.

The next morning I took out my mixing bowl and ingredients. Since I did not have any apples I used pears instead. In order to eliminate the brown sugar and turbinado sugar, I added maple syrup and maple sugar to retain the sweetness. I shortened a few of the steps (I did not rotate the baking sheet while cooking or flatten the dough into disks as suggested in the original recipe). The result is a sweet and chewy treat that is delicious with a cup of tea. I also discovered the beauty of parchment paper – it makes baking sheet cleanup a breeze. Enjoy these scones with pears or apples, or perhaps a combination of the two!

Ingredients
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1 1/3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats, plus more for topping
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups diced pears (cut into 1/4-inch cubes)
2/3 cup cold buttermilk (or 2/3 cup milk plus 1 teaspoon lemon juice)
Maple sugar, for sprinkling

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together flour, oats, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut in butter with two knives (or rub in with your fingers). The batter will resemble crumbs. Add pears and buttermilk (or milk plus lemon juice), stirring until dough just comes together.

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Pat dough into a 6-by-8-inch rectangle, and cut into twelve 2-by-2-inch squares with a floured knife. Place about 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with maple sugar and oats. Bake until golden brown, 20 to 22 minutes. Let cool on sheets for 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

I am sharing this recipe with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, Miz Helen’s Country Cottage, Something Swanky, Food Trip Friday, Cybele Pascal Allergen-Free Cuisine and Sweet as Sugar Cookies.

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Leslie and Rick’s Homemade Yogurt

Leslie and Rick have been enjoying their own (no sugar) yogurt for awhile, and they were kind enough to share their recipe as today’s blog contributors.

We’ve been making our own yogurt. All you need is milk (fat free, 1-2% or whole- your preference) and a high quality plain yogurt containing acidophilus & bifidus cultures (Stonyfield or Liberte work well). Basically, you need to heat the milk to 185 degrees fahrenheit, cool it down to 110 degrees and add starter yogurt (a soup spoon works well).

Our technique makes the process very simple. We use a one quart ball mason jar filled with about three cups of milk. Place the jar in a medium sauce pan filled with water. Heat on high. It should only take about 5 minutes after the water boils for the milk temp to reach 185. Maintain the 185 for at least one minute. Using a candy thermometer as a spoon eliminates the need for an extra utensil since it’s in the jar anyway.

Remove the jar from the pan. Pour out the hot water and replace with cold water. Set the jar back in the pan until the temp drops to 110. Stir the 2 blobs of yogurt in well, put a lid on the jar, wrap it in a kitchen towel and let it sit in a warm place (like near a radiator), for 10 hours. If there’s a little water on top of your yogurt, pour it off before refrigerating. This yogurt is a bit thinner in consistency than you may be used to, but that’s because there are no artificial thickeners.

Make sure you leave enough of your home made yogurt in the jar to act as the starter for your next batch. Enjoy.

This recipe is shared with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, Miz Helen’s Country Cottage, Food Trip Friday, Cybele Pascal Allergen-Free Cuisine and Sweet as Sugar Cookies.

Inspired by Millet to Bake Raisin Maple Scones

Yesterday afternoon I found myself (yet again) walking slowly up and down the aisles of my neighborhood health foods store. There are many things to look at and try! I paused to check out all of the flours – there are so many kinds! Apparently I was feeling courageous because I picked up a kind of flour I had never tried before – millet flour. In fact, I have never used anything other than flour made from wheat, although the recipe on the back of the packaging caught my eye and persuaded me to get creative. I had not eaten a scone since incorporating a yeast and sugar free diet, and upon reading the recipe I suddenly had a hankering for the English biscuit. So I bought my millet flour and brought it home.

You may ask what millet flour is…I did the same, and did some online research. According to WiseGeek, Millet flour is made from millet, which is a whole grain and gluten free. A serving of the flour, which is one third of a cup, contains about 4 grams of protein, 15% of the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of iron; is high in B vitamins, magnesium and potassium; and has 12% of the U.S. RDA of dietary fiber.

Millet flour has a naturally sweet taste so you can often cut sugar in recipes when using the flour. A little millet flour in breads makes them lighter with a crunchy crust. However, many suggest that no more than a third of wheat flour in recipes should be replaced with flour from millet because it also requires a complementary binding agent.

It was now time to bake…the recipe on the Bob’s Red Mill Millet Flour package was my starting point. However, I substituted the sugar with maple syrup. I also added some oats for a little crunch and sprinkled some maple sugar on top for extra sweetness. My whole milk yogurt also worked just fine even though the recipe called for nonfat. These scones were delicious! I liked the taste of the millet flour…it has a nutty flavor. I hope you enjoy this very lovely treat.

Millet Raisin Maple Scones
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup millet flour
4 Tbsp oats
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher (or sea) salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 cup canola oil
4 egg whites
1/4 cup plain yogurt
3/4 cup raisins
maple sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet and set aside. In a large bowl stir together the flours, oats, baking powder, salt and baking soda. In another bowl mix together the maple syrup, canola oil, egg whites and yogurt. Pour oil mixture into flour mixture, and stir until well blended. Next mix in the raisins. With your hands form the dough into a ball and place on a floured surface. Knead dough lightly 3 or 4 times, then place onto baking sheet. Pat into a smooth 8-inch circle. Using a sharp knife, cut into 8 wedges; leave in place. Sprinkle with maple sugar. Bake for 30 minutes, and let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Yields 8 tasty servings.

I am also sharing this recipe with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, Joy of Desserts</a, Beauty and Bedlam, The Lady Behind the Curtain, Miz Helen’s Country Cottage, Something Swanky, Food Trip Friday, This Chick Cooks, Sweet as Sugar Cookies, Everyday Sisters and Cybele Pascal Allergen-Free Cuisine.

The Blueberry Industry and Crumb Bars

Did you know that the U.S. leads the world in blueberry production, at almost 200,000 metric tons in 2008? North America certainly dominates this market since the next largest producer is Canada with almost 95,000 metric tons. Poland is distantly in third place with almost 8,000 metric tons.

The states that cultivate the most blueberries are Maine and Michigan with the Great Lakes State slightly edging out the Pine Tree State. Maine’s lead is in the wild blueberry market; virtually all of Maine’s cultivated blueberries are processed while about half of Michigan’s are used fresh and the other half processed.

The acres of land harvested for blueberries has about tripled between 1980 and 2009. The grower price for fresh blueberries has doubled during the last fifteen years while the price for processed has plummeted. Perhaps this is evidence of the increased demand for these sweet and healthy little fresh gems of goodness?

For those of you who would like to learn more about the blueberry industry, the USDA has a great web site with lots of interesting data like the facts above. If however, all of this talk about blueberries has you ready to eat some, below is a fabulous recipe for crumb bars that I adapted to make refined-sugar free. It’s a great time of year to use blueberries! And if you still have a few fruits left over, might I suggest making some blueberry oat bran muffins as well. Happy native blueberry season!

Blueberry Crumb Bars

2/3 cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup canola oil
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 pinch ground cinnamon (optional)
4 cups fresh blueberries
1/3 cup agave nectar
3 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon maple sugar (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 inch pan.

In a medium bowl, stir together 2/3 cup agave nectar, both flours, and baking powder. Mix in salt and cinnamon, if desired. Mix in the oil and egg. Dough will be slightly crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.

In another bowl, stir together the agave nectar and cornstarch. Gently mix in the blueberries. Sprinkle the blueberry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer. Sprinkle with maple sugar, if desired.

Bake for 40 minutes or until top is slightly brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares (about 16).

Adapted from Jam Hands and AllRecipes.

I am also sharing this recipe with Joy of Desserts, Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, Beauty and Bedlam, Tempt my Tummy Tuesdays, Lady Behind the Curtain, Miz Helen’s Country Cottage, Something Swanky, Food Trip Friday and Sweet as Sugar Cookies.

MaryAnn’s Blueberry Oat Bran Muffins

This blog post is contributed by MaryAnn of Oatmeal Bread fame. MaryAnn baked the muffins using the original recipe with cane sugar and then tried a version with agave nectar and some other revisions.

After baking the already healthy (and delicious) blueberry oat bran muffins courtesy of the blog Chocolate & Zucchini a couple of times with regular granulated sugar I decided to try them out with agave. I had never baked with agave before, so I had no idea how they would come out – I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised!  The first thing that I noticed was the difference in the batter – it thinned it out a little bit, which I actually found to be a good thing because the batter is quite thick and heavy (probably partially to do with the fact that I am using Greek yogurt, which is far thicker than regular yogurt). The original version of the muffin is not overly sweet, so I decided to do a 1 for 1 swap of the sugar and agave, and it turned out perfectly – my husband said he didn’t notice a difference in the taste what so ever. I thought that the taste was slightly less sweet, but in a very subtle way, and that the texture was a bit lighter, but overall they tasted very similar and baked up beautifully. This will be a recipe that I will be using often and can feel good about eating. Next time I might have to bake a double batch because they don’t last very long in our house!

Blueberry Oat Bran Muffins
– 1 cup oat bran
– 1 cup flour (I used whole wheat)
– 1 teaspoon baking powder
– 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
– a good pinch salt
– 1/2 cup agave nectar
– 1 cup blueberries
– 1 cup plain yogurt (I used plain/fat free Greek yogurt)
– 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
– 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
– 2 eggs, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 360°F (I lowered the temp by 25 degrees because I had read that agave browns faster than regular sugar, so the bake time was a little longer – I think in my oven it ended up being about 19 minutes) and grease a 12-muffin tray really well.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the bran, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt until no lumps remain. Add the blueberries and toss gently to combine.

In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, oil, vanilla, eggs and agave. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients, and fold it in gently with a spatula until no trace of flour remains. The mixture will be lumpy, but resist overmixing.

Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tray, filling each muffin mold by about three quarters. Bake for 12 to 16 minutes (possibly longer if using lower temperature) until set and golden. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. Makes 12 muffins.

This recipe is also being shared with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, Food Trip Friday http://www.foodtripfriday.net/ and This Chick Cooks and The Lady Behind the Curtain.

Use the Summer Bounty to Make Zucchini Bread

Reason #2,764 Why I Love Summer: Farmers’ Markets. During this time of year I have to factor in extra driving time because I brake for roadside produce stands. I can’t resist native fruits and vegetables particularly berries, lettuce, peaches, squash, honey…well, you get the idea. Thinking about all of this food has me in the mood for a snack so I will close this blog post with a great recipe for zucchini bread. My original inspiration came from The Joy of Cooking 75th Anniversary Edition and I modified it by changing the flours and flour ratios, using honey instead of refined sugar, and increasing the baking time. This is an excellent way to use the extra produce that you buy at a farmer’s market…that’s what I plan to do!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a loaf pan. Whisk together:
–1 cup all purpose flour
–1/2 cup whole wheat flour
–1 teaspoon baking soda
–1 teaspoon baking powder
–1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Blend well in a large bowl:
–1/2 cup honey
–2 large eggs
–1/2 cup canola oil (or other vegetable oil)
–1 teaspoon vanilla
–1/2 teaspoon salt

Stir in the dry ingredients. Blend in with a few strokes:
–2 cups grated zucchini, squeezed of excess moisture
–1/2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Pour batter into greased pan. Bake until inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Makes one delicious loaf of bread.

I am also sharing my recipe with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, This Chick Cooks, Two Maids a Milking, Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, Food Trip Friday, Something Swanky and Sweet as Sugar Cookies.

If you still have extra zucchini and need some cooking inspiration, consider my recipe for zucchini fritters.

Celebrate Summer with Strawberry Bread

This recipe caught my attention right away since I love breads and strawberries – so why not put the two together? Originally published about 20 years ago in a USA Weekend food section, the recipe was recently re-published. With a few modifications including adding whole wheat flour, switching the sugar to honey, and substituting vegetable oil with canola oil, I baked a delicious and “sensitive” quick bread. My sensitive-in-laws really enjoyed the sweet strawberry and tart lemon flavors. What a wonderful way to use the produce that is in season! My honey-sweetened version is noted below:

Ingredients:
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup honey
2 eggs
2/3 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
3/4 cup chopped almonds, walnuts or pecans (optional)

Steps:
Mix together the flours and baking soda in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Mix in oil, lemon rind and honey. Stir in the flour mixture until just blended. Fold in the strawberries and nuts.

Butter and lightly flour an 8- by 4-inch loaf pan. Put the batter into the pan, and bake on the center rack for 1 hour at 350 degrees or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cut in squares or slices and savor a great taste of summer.

I am also sharing this recipe with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, This Chick Cooks, Something Swanky , Food Trip Friday, Sweet as Sugar Cookies, Everyday Sisters and on my Facebook page.

Fabulous Yeast and Cane Sugar Free Cinnamon Raisin Buns

Please excuse the corniness of this statement, but I can’t help it…these buns are cinna-yum! The heartiness of the dough, the combination of raisins and cinnamon, the sweet topping – and you can enjoy this delicious treat without eating yeast or refined sugar. That’s right, these buns are cinna-yum!

Thanks to Katie at This Chick Cooks for the original recipe for Quick, No-Rise Cinnamon Buns. This recipe immediately caught my eye because it had two of my favorite qualities in a baked good: being quick to make; and being no-rise, or yeast free. My revisions involved removing the refined sugars by replacing with maple syrup and a dash of maple sugar. Instead of making a sugary glaze topping, I drizzled a natural sweetener. My final change included adding some whole wheat flour to give a rustic texture. These buns have received rave reviews from sensitivehusband, my coworkers, my in-laws and myself. Picture a lot of nodding and happy noises as people eat – these buns really do have a positive effect on folks.

One more note: if you do not own a rolling pin, you can roll the dough out using a tall glass (thanks, sensitivehusband, for that idea – the result was better than just using my hands). However it is faster and easier to use a rolling pin (thanks, MaryAnn, for picking one up for me – I hope you enjoy the thank you bun).

And now for the Fabulous and Quick, Yeast Free, Cane Sugar Free Cinna-Yum Bun Recipe…

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 teaspoons baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons butter
1 egg
1 cup milk
3/4 cup raisins
2 tablespoons maple sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Mix the flours and then add baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Mix in maple syrup and then cut in butter with two knives until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Beat the egg and the milk together, and then mix into the flour mixture until just blended.

Turn out the dough onto a very floured counter and roll it out in an approximate oval or rectangle shape. Sprinkle with raisins and half of the maple sugar and cinnamon. Roll the dough like a jelly roll. Slice it into 1 inch rounds, place on cookie sheets and sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon and maple sugar. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes and serve hot. Drizzle with agave nectar, honey or maple syrup for an extra sweet treat.

I am also sharing this recipe with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, Something Swanky, Food Trip Friday, Sweet as Sugar Cookies, Joy of Desserts and on my Facebook page.

Oatmeal Pancakes

One of my blog subscribers and overall supporters, Beth, suggested this very creative breakfast combination – oatmeal pancakes. What a great idea, pairing the heartiness of oatmeal with the tastiness of pancakes. Below is her recipe idea combined with a recipe for “Good Old Fashioned Pancakes” so we all have some measurements to work with.

Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup oatmeal
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon honey
1 1/4 cups milk
1 egg
3 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions:
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg, honey and melted butter; mix until smooth. Add in oatmeal until the desired consistency. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

Drizzle honey or real maple syrup on top. Fresh berries or nuts could be nice toppings too. Let us know how this works out or if you have other topping ideas. Thanks, Beth, for a great idea!

Pistachio-Chai Muffins

These muffins are superb! I got the idea from a Cooking Light, May 2011 recipe and made a few modifications to remove the cane sugar and boost the whole wheat flour. The result? A fabulous snack for any time of the day! Plus, now I know that I am a fan of chai, which is a blend of spices like cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom and pepper.

Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 chai blend tea bags, opened
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 cup low-fat buttermilk*
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup shelled dry-roasted pistachios, chopped
agave nectar, to taste

*combine 1 cup milk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice and let sit for five minutes; may be used as a substitute for the buttermilk

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. Combine flours and next 3 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl. Cut open tea bags; add tea to flour mixture, stirring well. 
3. Combine buttermilk, maple syrup, butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and egg in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.
4. Place 12 muffin-cup liners in muffin cups. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle nuts evenly over batter. Bake at 375° for 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in pan on a wire rack.
5. Drizzle agave nectar evenly over muffins.

Makes 12 delicious muffins.

I am also sharing my recipe on Muffin Monday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Sweet as Sugar Cookies and Facebook.