Saturday, March 17, 2012

Raw Whole Wheat Berry Bread

This was such a great find for me! I wish I could remember how and where I found the recipe online.  I have been looking for literally years to find a bread that met certain criteria for me. This bread is simple and hearty. This has more of a pita bread consistency, but raw. It is moist, dense, and sweet. The criteria I was looking for in a bread was something that was cooked at a low temperature (less than 120 degrees), so that if I was to plant it after it was already prepared, it would grow in the ground. Eating foods that are "alive" contain more nutrition than those that have been cooked at hight temperatures. It changes their composition and looses the nutritional value. Sprouts verses seeds are very different in their makeup. Sprouts contain so much more nutrition than just it's seed.   I wanted to use wheat. It is so satisfying to me when prepared properly. I didn't want to use flour.  I wanted to sprout and "cook" the grain before it was ground up. And lastly, I didn't want to add yeast. Yeast tends to wreak havoc in my body. So, here it is! 
4 c. soaked, sprouted and low heated wheat berries
1/2 c. dates
1/4 c. yellow raisins 
(you can use brown too, but, I like the yellow)
1/2 t. salt
1c. water 
First, you'll need to soak, sprout, and low heat the berries. I do that by soaking my wheat in the fridge over night. I put about 3 cups of wheat kernels into a large bowl with a clean water (purified, distilled, reverse osmosis). Overnight the berries expand. You then set them out on the counter near the sun light for the day and let them grow. You will want to rinse them atleast 3 times that day You could sprout them for a couple days if you choose. When you are done sprouting, then I put them in my crock pot on the warm setting and cook them through the night. I crack the lid just a bit to lower the temperature so they don't overcook. In the morning, drain the berries. Then,  place all the ingredients in a blender. I usually place the dates, raisins, salt, and water in the blender first and then the berries.  It helps to create an easier movement of the blender blades. If you need to add a little more water, go ahead. I like some of the wheat berries to remain whole. But, I have blended it all up to a very smooth texture as well. Both are great! After it is blended, you will need to place it on a dehydrator sheet. Now, if you don't own a dehydrator sheet, you could still try this. I would spread your mixture onto a sheet of cheese cloth that is laid out on top of a wooden cutting board. You will need to heat your oven to your oven's lowest setting (usually it's about 170) and then crack the door open to drop the temperature. If you have a dehydrator, set it at 145. You will spread the mixture over your fruit leather sheets or plastic pan or whatever you come up with from 1/2 inch thick or less. Dehydrate for 1 hour at 145. The food will not reach 145 in that first hour, but will help speed the process and prevent spoiling. Turn it down to  115 for 4 hours. After that, flip the bread and dehydrate another 2 hours or until desired softness. I like mine firm but moist. I know it's a lot of work, but, it's so worth it. It's something you prepare a little each  day. A little here, a little there. Then whalla! It's done! Try it! You can do it! And, my kids realllllly liked this! Emma said she likes it better than cooked bread. Let me know if you have questions or suggestions!

Coconut Macaroons Dipped in Chocolate

14 oz. sweetened coconut flakes
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 large egg whites at room temperature
1/4 tsp. salt
Melted Chocolate for dipping

Adjust oven rack to center of oven.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. (You must not forget this step. It is most important.)

In large bowl combine coconut and condensed milk and vanilla until well blended.
In your mixer beat egg whites and salt on high speed until stiff peaks form.
Gently fold egg whites into the coconut mixture, being careful not to deflate the egg whites.
Drop the batter onto lined cookie sheet in about 1 - 2 tablespoon sized scoop. About 2 inches apart.
Bake for 22 - 28 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack until cooled, then you can either eat them or dip them. I chose to dip them. If you choose to dip them, then dip them and place them on either parchment paper or foil and then let the chocolate harden.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Heidi's Super Amazing Soft Ginger Spice Cookies

Yes I know I already posted cookies for the week but I figured I missed a week so what better time to catch up with some extra credit. :) These cookies have taken me a couple of years to get just right. Several years ago I had my first soft ginger cookie, it was from Harmons and it was AMAZING. I figured at $4 for 6 cookies I needed to come up with a recipe of my own. By the way these cookies are super great if you have morning sickness, the high ginger content settles the stomach. There was an episode I think it was 'Myth Busters' on what would settle the stomach the most and would you know ginger won. So here it is my top secret recipe.

Soft Ginger Spice Cookies

3 sticks butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs + 1 yolk
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup molasses
4 1/2 cups flour
5 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
+extra sugar to coat the cookies

Preheat oven to 350*. Cream together butter and sugar, then beat in eggs, honey and molasses until completely mixed. Add flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda and salt and mix thoroughly. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and roll in sugar. Place on baking sheet about 1 1/2-inches apart and bake for around 9 minutes. Do not over bake when the cookies are cracked on the top (like the picture above) they are done, let them sit on the cookie sheet for about 2 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is my go to recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies. They are crispy on the outside and soft and chewy in the middle and oh so good.

1 1/2 sticks of butter
1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk (the extra yolk keeps your cookie chewy but not greasy)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 bag chocolate chips (I like to chop mine up a bit, it makes the cookies have a better texture.)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 335* then cream together; butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla. Then mix in flour, baking soda and salt. After that is all well combined stir in chocolate chips and walnuts. Use a hand squeeze cookies scoop to spoon cookies on to cookie sheet. Bake for 10-15 mins until cookies are just done, they should be lightly golden around the edges but soft in the center. Transfer to a cooling rack and once cooled keep in an air tight container.....if you have any left over. :)

Monday, March 12, 2012

"Me want cookie! Me eat cookie! Omm nom nom nom"

“Sometimes me think what is love. And then me think love is what last chocolate cookie is for. Me give up the last chocolate cookie for you.”
-Cookie Monster