Deep Thoughts

April 22nd, 2010 § Comments Off on Deep Thoughts § permalink

We managed to get a lot of work done at the cabin last time we were there, despite the relentless rain. Little, niggling things that you want to finish but never seem to find the time to do until there comes a point where you stop noticing them altogether.

Like the outhouse.

It was operational. It even looked good. But there were finishing touches that we left undone: the soffit and faschia boards, the last few battens, the door jam and the frames around the windows.

So we set to work. And it didn’t take long, really. In fact, we managed to finish the work in between downpours. Which was perfect.

Now, all we have to do is put the screen in the windows and finish the interior. When we have time…

Cake-free Cake

April 3rd, 2010 § Comments Off on Cake-free Cake § permalink

Baking a birthday cake that everyone in my family can enjoy poses a big challenge. It has to be dairy, soy, gluten, chocolate and egg-free. I decided to make a banana cake using wild rice flour grown in Canada. The batter tasted rich, almost like chocolate, and baked up with a lovely crumb. But brown or white rice flour would also be nice. The hardest part was the icing. I used a bit of coconut oil with icing sugar, vanilla, rice milk and some amaretto to give it some interest. I wasn’t entirely happy with the consistency of the icing and will have to experiment to make something that can rival traditional butter creme.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup rice flour
1 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3 ripe bananas
1/2 cup rice syrup
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp potato starch
2 tbsp tapioca flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 cup oil
1 – 1 1/2 cup rice milk

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour two eight inch round baking pans. Blend dry ingredients except sugar in a bowl. Set aside. Blend sugar and bananas until mixed. Add oil, rice syrup, vanilla. Add dry mix a portion at a time, alternating with one cup rice milk until blended. If the batter seems too thick, drizzle additional rice milk into the mix until it reaches a smoother consistency. You will have to smooth this batter into the pans, but you want the mix to be light enough to rise in the oven. Bake for about 30 minutes or until tests done. Cool 20 minutes on racks then remove from pans and cool completely before icing.

Raw Granola

April 1st, 2010 § Comments Off on Raw Granola § permalink

This granola is very yum and very easy. All you have to do is sprout and soak and mix things together then dehydrate. But the best part of all is that it’s so good for you! Put it on yogurt or fruit or eat it on its own. Mmmmm….

If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can put it in the oven at its lowest temperature setting until crunchy. I have an Excalibur dehydrator and I recommend it heartily. It allows you to take advantage of all the wonderful fruits and veggies when they’re in season to enjoy all year round.

This recipe makes a lot so you can store it or share with friends. Use spring water to soak your nuts and seeds and always choose organic when possible.

Ingredients:

21/2 cups raw almonds soaked overnight in spring water
2 cups sprouted buckwheat (use the raw live greenish groats, not the toasted brown grouts known as Kasha)
1/2 cup flax seed
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup raw sunflower seeds soaked overnight
1/2 tsp fine sea salt (or less according to taste)
1 cup maple syrup, agave or a combination of the two
1 tsp vanilla extract

Gather the ingredients in a large bowl. Sprinkle salt over ingredients and mix well. Mix vanilla extract with maple syrup/agave and pour over the contents of the bowl. Mix until all the ingredients are well covered. Spread on flex sheets and dehydrate at 135 degrees for 1 hour, then 115 degrees for about 15 hours or until crunchy. I like to flip my granola half way so it’s crunchy all the way through.

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