Category Archives: Breakfast

Spiced Apple Pop-Over

Spiced Apple Pop-Over

I have been making different variations of this dish for several years. During Christmas I do individual pop-overs baked in muffin tins filled with goat cheese and herbs. My family can’t get enough of them and they are so simple yet FUN to eat. They fluff up pretty high sometimes, hence the name pop-overs. Served plain and made with beef drippings this recipe is also know as yorkshire pudding in England, which is a much loved culinary tradition.

I usually make my pop-overs with butter, but this time I wanted to try some of my freshly rendered lard that I got from an Amish farm that’s fairly local to me. This dish is a great way to to incorporate more eggs in your diet without serving eggs for breakfast all the time. This is the best and easiest recipe I have found and have used it several times, and it always works. Traditionally this is made using a pre-heated cast iron skillet but the recipe that this one came from said to just put it in a cold oven. Works for me! I just used a rounded deep-dish pie plate so it’s very versatile.

And also note that this IS a compromise food as it does contain some white flour. I sort of figured that was a reasonable cheat because of the pastured eggs, healthy fat, and raw milk. If you use another type of flour please let me know! Especially if you incorporate a soaking step. This one I made on a weekday morning when my kids where ready to eat. I have gotten into the habit of laying everything out the night before ready to be mixed with the eggs, milk, and melted fat in the am. This cuts down on time even more! (Recipe adapted from “Perfect Recipes for Having People Over” by Pam Anderson)

Here’s what you need:

1 1/2 cups organic unbleached white flour (see update below for my soaked whole wheat version-much better!)

1 1/2 cups hormone and anti-biotic free whole milk (grass fed always preferred, raw even better)

4 local eggs

2 tbls. lard or butter ( I bet you could use coconut oil too though)

1 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp cinnamon or more depending on taste

1 tsp. rapadura (whole cane sugar) or even real maple syrup

1 tsp. baking soda (the original recipe didn’t call for this but I added it for more lift)

1 cored and thinly cut organic apple (optional but yummy)

The How To:

This is very simple. Just combine all of the ingredients and blend well. You might want to slightly beat the eggs separately for easier incorporation. And like I said before, most of the can be prepped the night before to save time as well. Next just generously grease about an 8 x 8 inch glass pan, cast iron skillet, or even a pie plate as I used and pour in the mixture. (The last time I made this I used an oval cast iron au gratin pan that I have from Le Creuset and it worked great and was very elegant for serving as well.) Place in your cold oven and turn it on to 425 degrees. Now sit back and peek at it every now and then, (but only if you have a window on the stove-don’t open the stove until ready to serve or it can cause it to fall) watching it get bigger and bigger until it is slightly browned on top. Takes about 35 mins.Serve immediately as this dish does fall pretty quickly. Serve with warm grade B maple syrup if desired.

Mine didn’t rise as much as it usually does this time. When I make it in muffin tins they rise really high! But I’m not sure how that would fare with the apples which is why is was slightly denser this time-but still fantastic. You could also omit the apples and cinnamon and add cheddar cheese and bacon pieces. MMM! Lots of possibilities!  Hope you enjoy!

Serves about 6

UPDATE: So I went ahead and tried this with freshly ground whole wheat pastry flour that soaked overnight. The results were FANTASTIC. Even better than with the white flour. It was almost a completely different dish though. It didn’t end up rising so much and instead tasted more like a baked french toast. SO tasty! What I did was soak the fresh flour in the 1 1/2 cups whole grass-fed milk and added about 3 tbls. of apple cider vinegar (but you could do part milk, part kefir or buttermilk with similar results) overnight and added the egg, fat, and the pre-measured dry ingredients. I highly recommend trying it this way! It makes it 100% good for you and even taste the best!

This recipe is shared at Fresh Bites Friday 5/6 , Real Food Weekly 5/5The Hearth and Soul blog hop #47 21st century housewife , Real Food Wednesday 5/11/,  Monday Mania 5/23, Hartke is online weekend blog carnival 5/23

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THE Best Granola. EVER.

After my post last week in which I claimed that I had the best granola recipe EVER, I thought that I better post the actual recipe so you can see if you like it as much as we did!  (oops!) Remember this teaser pic?

YUM!

Ok, so not to toot my own horn here but my granola turned out SO good this time! I”m not sure if it was because I actually took the time to soak the oats and nuts or perhaps the added salt really helped to pronounce the flavors more- doesn’t matter because it was gooood!

I love being able to have a healthy cereal on hand on those mornings (or snack times) when you are running a bit behind or just enjoy the convenience of cereal without all the processed, empty, and EXPENSIVE ingredients that are in the boxed cereals. Did you know that manufacturers can claim that their products are “trans- fat free” if they have below .5 grams PER SERVING of trans- fat (hydrogenated oils)? I find that amazingly disgusting. Read your labels and you will see that they do indeed contain trans-fats and they just make the serving size smaller so they can legally claim that. ” Fake food” foulness to its fullest. (say that 5 times as fast as you can)  So….why not make your own super healthful and super delicious cereal?

This recipe was inspired by my very good friend Lisa Gale but I tweaked it and also added the beneficial soaking step that’s really very easy. Even easier if you  have a dehydrator. It’s very important to soak your grains and whole grain flours, even your nuts! While nuts have a slightly different reason for soaking, the benefits for doing so are significant. Your body can digest the grains and nuts so much better and you get SO MUCH more nutrition out of it. So why not take an extra 10 mins. the night before to do it?

You simply soak the oats in 1 part water with an acid solution such as whey, yogurt, buttermilk, etc., and 3 parts oats combined with about 1/2 cups whole grain flour of your choice. Say you have 3 cups of rolled outs, you would use 1 cup of an acid solution. That can be water with about 3-4 tbls. vinegar or lemon. You could also use a full cup kefir or plain yogurt. So for this recipe, you use 4 cups of oats and about 1 1/3 cups acid solution. It doesn’t have to be exact. Just be sure to add about ½ cup whole wheat flour to the soaking oats to facilitate the phytic acid break down. Your oats will be damp but not soaking wet or anything.

Let that soak for 12-24 hours then dry it out in your dehydrator at about 135 until dry or in your oven set as low as it can go. The drying only takes a few hours. I will post a more in-depth tutorial later. For the nuts you soak about 4 cups in a brine solution.( About 2 tsp. and enough water to cover the nuts) Dry the same way as you do the oats. Oh and they also tastes a lot better this way too!

Ok, enough talk…lets get to it right?

You need:

  • 4 cups rolled  oats (soaked and dried always preferred)
  • 1 cup walnuts (soaked and dried)
  • 1/2 cup freshly ground  flax seed (you can use your coffee grinder or high powered blender)
  • 1/3 cup grade B maple syrup (best flavor and more nutrition)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil-melted
  • 1/4 cup grass-fed butter-melted
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes
  • 1 generous Tbls. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt

(My friend adds a bit of ground ginger, I haven’t done that yet but I bet that’s good too!) Update: I tried 1/4 tsp. of good quality ginger and it was fantastic!

Extra Add-ons include: dried cranberry’s (YUM), dried apricots, raisins, dried mango, other seeds or nuts. We use dried cranberry’s or raisins and sometimes apricots and mango!

The How to:

Now combine all of the ingredients and mix everything very well in a large bowl and spread on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. I would suggest doing this in at least two batches because you want the layers to be pretty thin so it doesn’t take all day to dry them out a bit. Now, I like my granola a bit on the crunchy side so I tend to bake it slightly longer so the final product isn’t too chewy. But you can experiment with how crunchy you like it. Just note that the granola does crisp up quite a bit as it cools-so don’t OVER cook them. I haven’t experimented with drying it in the dehydrator yet but I would imagine that it would be the most beneficial option-health wise as it would keep the beneficial enzymes in your raw honey intact but this is pretty healthy too! If any of you have tried this, please let me know how it turned out!

So, after  you have spread out the granola on the lined cookie sheets, just pop it in a 250ish degree oven for 15-30 mins depending on your desired crispiness level. Just be sure to check it every few mins or so after the first 12 mins so you don’t burn it!

Now let it cool completely (if you can!) and store in an air-tight container until you are ready to eat it! I love it the best with cold raw milk…mmm! This makes about 4-5 cups of granola.

This recipe is posted over at The Hearth and Soul Blog Hop 

and also seen on Simple Lives Thursday Blog Hop #41 and Made from scratch Tuesday


THE Granola!

Your search for THE perfect Granola Recipe is over. End of story. Stay tuned for the how to…


Warming up to Green Smoothies

I’m sure many of you, if not all, have heard of green smoothies.  It’s really no big deal stick a few greens in with your smoothie. It sounds stranger than it actually tastes.  (Plus the smoothies don’t actually have to BE green as the picture above shows) I have learned to do it in moderation and most of the time my kids don’t even know. You can’t taste it if you don’t add a huge amount or don’t choose something like mustard greens. Not that I hide vegetables or try to “sneak them” at all, but it’s nice to get extra greens in when you can.

Here’s a good recipe to start warming up to the idea. Or if you are already a green smoothie pro, then you can add this one to your smoothie menu.  This fresh fruit smoothie is packed full of probiotics, antioxidants, iron, potassium, and good fats all while being a pleasure to your palate.

Note that measurements are approximates as there is a lot of wiggle room in smoothies.

2 cups plain kefir (make your own for super cheap with milk kefir grains) OR plain yogurt and whole milk (you can use vanilla yogurt but stay far away from the fruit varieties. Have you ever seen how much sugar is in those things? Brown cow cream top is a favorite at our place if I haven’t made my own in a while.

1 large banana (or half an avocado)

1 1/2 cups mixed frozen berries (we usually use a mix of strawberry’s (leave the greens on-they contain TONS of vitamin-c), raspberries, blueberry’s and mulberry’s) Whatever is on had. Feel free to sub other fruits too!

A generous tbls. coconut cream  concentrate (tropical traditions) or coconut oil

medium size handful of fresh spinach

Add-ons: flax seeds, nuts, few red grapes (optional but good!)

Just place in your blender and blend away! Use the “whole fruit” setting if you have a blendtec (LOVE IT by the way) This makes about 5 smallish servings.

I’m not a big fan of putting ice in smoothies which is why I like to use frozen fruit but if your fruit is fresh then you can add some ice if you like it cold.

We made a meal out of it (lunch today but usually for breakfast with homemade muffins) by serving it with a generous slice of whole grain bread topped with peanut butter. The kids always scream “SMOOTHIE” when they know I”m making them. Good stuff.

The left is a picture of Taylor with a smoothie and peanut butter mustache and on the right is Emily enjoying her bread (her FAVORITE snack ever with her smoothie)

This recipe is posted on Real Food Wednesday over at Kelly the Kitchen Kop, and on Monday Mania at The Healthy Home Economist, Hidden Veggies Linky Party at Cooking TF, and Dining with Debbie-check out some of the other great recipes there too!





5 Ways to Make Eggs-fast!

I have been boycotting buying cereal. Just haven’t done it. It was the LAST thing to go in our menus on healthful eating and boy was it hard to convince my kids (and my husband) to kick the habit. We were spending easily $30-40 or more per month on crappy nutrition-less air-filled cereal. So, I have been on a quest the last few weeks on how on earth to make FAST breakfast meals that the kids will actually like. We are usually rushing around quite a bit in the mornings and there’s just no time for fooling around much in the kitchen in the a.m. So meals either have to be prepped the night before (thank you soaked pancakes and oatmeal) or really very quick and easy to whip up.

Eggs and toast are always a good standby and I am thankful for it. We get a good dose of protein and healthy fats, especially when cooked with grass-fed butter or olive oil, and it’s really very nice to have a hot meal to start off the day.

Here are a few different ways to make eggs that are crowd pleasers at our house. And please please please use farm fresh eggs that are grass fed! If you are int the Frederick area there are PLENTY of places to get them. If you are shopping at Mom’s or Common Market then pick up Jehovah-Jireh Farm Eggs. They are out of control good.

The last one I’m going to share I got off of the Kitchen Stewardship Blog and while it sounds odd, it is out of this world.

Way 1:

Fried in plenty of olive oil topped with coarse sea salt and pepper. That’s it, and it’s really good! Make sure you heat up your pan with the olive oil before adding the egg directly to the pan. I always cut the yolk some to let it run all over and then put a top on the pan to get the top of the eggs cooked as well. No runny eggs here.

Way 2:

Scrambled #1- Heat pan with butter or olive oil first. Mix eggs separately with about a tsp. of milk per egg, salt, pepper, and fresh basil if you have it. Dried is ok too. Scramble eggs at a low heat to increase flavor and so you don’t damage the fats in the yolk.

Way 3:

Scrambled #2-

I’m just going to give you a tip on this one. If you like your eggs sort of fluffy like at IHOP the secret is to add a touch of pancake mix to the batter. If you don’t have that then I’m sure a pinch of baking soda or baking powder with a touch of flour would have the same effect. Try it! And top this version with plenty of sharp cheddar cheese too!

Way 4:

Omelet These are a bit trickier but I have learned to use a smallish pan and make sure you grease the bottom very well with plenty of butter. Scramble your eggs separately and go ahead and add any toppings you like. We like crumbled bacon or sausage, onions, peppers, cheese, nitrate free ham. Whatever floats your boat. The tip with adding the pancake mix is very helpful with omelets. Also don’t forget the milk.  After you add the scrambled eggs immediately put a top on the pan and after it looks like it’s almost cooked all around (cook on low) the gently fold over one side, put the top back on a cook until done. Takes a bit of practice but it’s worth it!

Way 5:

Scrambled #3 (The secret ingredient one)

Get pan hot with plenty of grass fed butter. At the same time you add the butter add full fat cottage cheese (yup, you read that right) and spinach (optional but good!). When the cottage cheese has had a minute or so to melt and the spinach some time to wilt add the eggs right to the pan and scramble away. Add sea salt, pepper, and top with a touch of cheddar cheese. Make sure you cook it on low to low/medium. You want to add about 1 tbls of cottage cheese to each egg. Your mouth will thank you for this little gem. SO GOOD!

Enjoy all these eggs people! Have a way that you make eggs that you would like to share? Let me know, I am really on the hunt for fast breakfast meals.


Soaked Banana Millet Muffins

(Taken the next morning)

Uh…YUM! That’s all I have to say about these muffins.  You will not believe how good they are for you either.  These are stock full of a variety of whole grains (even better if you include the soaking option) , eggs, good fats, fruit, and honey goodness. These are best when topped with grass-fed butter. And you can even get crazy with it by adding nuts or chocolate chips (a favorite with the kids).

I adapted this recipe for consistency from this recipe from Passionate Homemaking and they turned out fantastical both times I made them. They are an easy beginner recipe for soaking grains too as it turns out  well each time. Baby steps…

As I mentioned before it does contain a variety of grains. But you can mix them up if you like. These are readily available at any natural foods store and you can get the flour version of spelt and whole wheat pastry flour easily. The millet is not usually ground and if you don’t have a grain grinder then you could probably just do it in your regular blender. (let me know how that worked if you try it though)  I just used my blendtec and it worked like a charm.

So, lets get to it. Here’s what you need:

1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 1/4 cup spelt flour

1/3 cup Millet flour

3-4 medium-sized bananas

2 eggs (farm fresh preferred)

1/2 cup butter or coconut oil ( I used grass fed cultured butter but also had great success with coconut oil)

1/2 cup honey (raw if you can get it, local even betterit’s good for allergies)

1 cup acid medium (plain yogurt, kefir, buttermilk, whey, etc.)

1 tsp. of each: salt, baking soda, baking powder

about 1/3 cup applesauce

Easy soaking step: combine flour, acid medium, honey, butter or oil and place in a bowl overnight to break down the phytic acid and make the nutrients in the flour more digestible). You can cover it lightly.

The next day (or 12-24 hours later) add the remaining ingredients. You will need to use a hand mixer or whatever you have to get the job done. Mash the bananas up before mixing in with the other ingredients though. You want to whip the batter until it is smooth enough to ladle into muffin tins.

Once the batter is mixed completely go ahead and ladle it into greased muffin tins to about 3/4 capacity. Bake between 375-400 for about 15 mins or until golden on top. Take them out of the oven and let them cool a few mins. before slathering them with grass-fed butter and eating them.  These also freeze extremely well. We have them for breakfast along with a smoothie and everyone loves them! Can’t get enough.

Makes about 22 muffins


Coconut Flour and Flax Pancakes

These were really really good! And the ingredients list will both surprise you. But you will be in health food heaven when you taste it. Especially if topped with warmed real maple syrup and plenty of grass fed butter. Regular butter is good too though.  I adapted this a bit from a recipe posted on Tropical Traditions to get a better consistency and to add some extra protein that farm fresh eggs deliver. Overall, a keeper to add to your morning breakfast or “brinner” (breakfast for dinner as my lovely husband came up with) que.  This recipe doesn’t yield many pancakes but it’s very filling due to the coconut flour which is high in protein, low in carbs and also gluten free.

Ingredients:

1 banana

1 small apple or 1/4 cup apple sauce(I used a small seeded apple with the skin still on)

1/4 cup whole milk-preferably raw

1 tbl. flax seeds

2 tbls. coconut flour

2-3 eggs pastured, farm fresh if possible

1/3 cup rolled oats

2 tbls. butter-pastured if possible

1/4 tsp of each baking soda and baking powder

dash each of cinnamon, vanilla, extra milk if needed for consistency

The How To:

Combine the first four ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. I just used level 9 on my blentec one time and it worked. Now, and this is important-let it rest for about 10 mins. The reason for this is that it gives the ingredients time to gel up so your pancakes hold together well. You can get your other ingredients ready and get your skillet nice and hot. Once the 10 are up, add the remaining ingredients, blend again and check for consistency. You want them to be on the thinner side because they will take a few minutes longer to cook than regular pancakes. Oh, don’t be like me and attempt to cook them without adding the coconut flour. You will have a huge runny mess.It is a tasty runny mess though.

Grease the pan using either coconut oil or butter (I used butter) and cook them on both sides for about 6 mins or so or until cooked through but not burned. Unless your into that kind of thing of course.

Once they are done serve with whatever you normally serve pancakes with and ENJOY!

This recipe is posted on Gluten Free Wednesdays


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