Saturday, March 31, 2012

Parchment Paper & Banana Bread Muffins

It's easy enough to purchase cupcake papers, but what about those larger muffin tins? I love parchment paper--I buy it by the box at Costco, 12"X12", 1000 sheets.

Cut parchment into 6" squares....

Spray backside lightly with water to help shape into muffin tins.

After they are formed in the pan, you can put them into your pre-heating oven for a couple of minutes to help set the form and dry up the paper.

Bowl #1
3 or 4 mashed bananas
1/4 Cup Almond Milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Bowl #2
2 1/2 Cups Flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons ground flax
Bowl # 3
1 1/4 Cup Sucanant
1/2 Cup Coconut Oil

The chocolate chips, medjool dates and soaked pecans are optional, but if you've got them, why leave them out?

Blend everything together and....

You can spray the paper cups with PAM or olive oil if you like, then fill parchment paper lined muffin tins with batter and bake in preheated 325 degree oven for about 45 minutes, maybe a little more if needed.
Make sure you have some chilled almond milk to go with these wonderful muffins.
I love that even the large muffin tin pans can produce paper lined goodies!

Monday, March 26, 2012


A little while ago one of my kids said "Guess what, I know what paper is made from.....TREES!!!" He inspired me with his excitement! And he inspired this weeks topic. Have fun!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sun-Dried Tomatoes--One Ingredient!

You can store in olive oil, or like I did, just store dry in the jar.

Slice tomatoes 1/4 inch thick, or so.

Place on food dryer sheets that have been sprayed with olive oil or PAM.

Dehydrate at 135 degrees for about 12 hours or so, as you like it.

Don't they look pretty next to my mint? They are great on sandwiches, pitas, ground up in hummus--basically, anywhere you would use fresh tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes give a more pungent flavor. 

Simple Snack, Little Effort

This is a simple snack and uses very little effort and John and I love it. (sometimes it's a meal)

Almond Milk--One Ingredient!

That's one ingredient if you don't count the water!

Soak almonds for 24 to 48 hours, rinsing a few times in between to keep the water fresh. I soak whatever I want and freeze the soaked almonds I don't use. Then when I want to make almond milk again, I have no wait time--it's done in 5 minutes! Faster than running to the store!

After almonds are soaked, rinse and measure out one cup. This will make two quarts of almond milk!

Add water (I always use distilled or purified) up to the 4 Cup line and...

Blend on high for a couple of minutes--amazing how it all of a sudden looks like milk!

Using a white men's cotton handkerchief, or muslin bag to strain with, pour blended liquid into a wide-mouth measuring cup or bowl.

Gather up the ends and squeeze the liquid through the cotton fabric. (I don't know why I haven't made a bag yet--like it would be so difficult!)

Squeeze with both hands (rather tricky with one hand holding the camera) until just the pulp is left.

Shake the pulp back into the blender and add 4 more cups of water.

Blend again, and repeat the straining process with the cotton handkerchief or bag.

Save this last pulp for your next batch of cookies or bread--tastes good and you're not wasting any nutrients!

Makes two full quarts of almond milk. It is totally wonderful as is, but if you want to sweeten it with agave and add vanilla, go for it. A 1/4 teaspoon salt is OK. You can also add 1/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum to keep it from separating--it also makes it a little creamier, like chocolate milk. (If it separates, no worries, it's not gone bad--just shake it up. That's why when you buy it ready made, you can't see through the container!)

Serious Chocolate Nutrition

I dedicate this recipe to Heidi and Mom who were there in the kitchen while I was needing some "serious chocolate nutrition" and fast. It turned out to be a hit!
1 extra large handful of fresh spinach
2 sprigs (about 1/4 c.) parsley
4 dates pitted
1/3 c. cashews (I soak mine for at least an hour)
1 T. almond butter ( you can use peanut butter)
1/4 c. maple syrup/agave- or honey
3 heaping T. cocoa powder
about 2 c. water (play with consistency)
about 2 - 3 c. ice (play with consistency)

Put it all together and blend until smooth. It may take a bit, but, just keep blending!
This recipe may not seem simple, but, when you have all the ingredients most of the time on hand and a bag of cashews already soaked, rinsed and frozen in the freeezer- this recipe flies and you have your chocolate nutrition fix fast!
I hope you enjoy it as much as we did! Chocolate has been the best relaxant in our family. Mom still keeps a big container of chocolate chips stashed away in her house. (As if it was a staple, wait a minute, it is. And, I think she needs to go shopping for more. Between Heidi and me, I think we cleaned her out. )
"Child Tested, Mother Approved"