Category Archives: sweets

Dairy-Free Buckwheat Pancakes

Sunday mornings tend to include a special breakfast around our place. Sometimes it’s waffles, sometimes it’s some sort of fancy egg sandwich, and sometimes it’s pancakes. Yesterday morning though Andy asked for buckwheat pancakes and that sounded pretty good to me.

DSC_8362While I am about to give you a recipe, let’s state the obvious—this isn’t a new recipe by any means. Google, “pancake recipes” and about 11 million results turn up. I googled, it’s actually 11,100,000 at the time of writing this. I’m simply going to make this 11,100,001.

DSC_8347In my search for delicious buckwheat pancakes, I came across this awesome recipe from The Kitchn via Megan at Not Martha. I really wanted something dairy-free though. I don’t eat a ton of dairy normally, and lately I have been. My skin has been paying for it and I’ve been more congested than normal so back to dairy free it is. I really don’t miss the dairy in things like pancakes. I’d rather save the dairy for something like goat cheese on a burger, which I ate last night. Now that is worth the dairy.

DSC_8365Bon appétit!

Dairy-Free Buckwheat Pancakes
A delicious dairy-free buckwheat pancake recipe.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
  2. 1 1/4 cup sprouted wheat flour (or regular wheat flour)
  3. 2 tsp baking powder
  4. 2 tablespoons sugar
  5. 1 tsp salt
  6. Splash lightly flavored oil like vegetable or grapeseed (no more than 1/8 cup)
  7. 1 cup rice milk or other preferred nut/seed milk
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 1-2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  10. 2–3 cups frozen blueberries
Instructions
  1. Combined 1 cup of each buckwheat and sprouted wheat flour in a bowl with the baking powder, sugar and salt.
  2. In another bowl add oil, milk, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk lightly until combined.
  3. Add liquids to dry gently, until combined. Do not over stir.
  4. Add in blueberries. I use frozen blueberries and have no issue with them cooking through. I do not thaw my blueberries ahead of time as is sometimes recommended.
  5. On low heat add about 1/2 cup of batter to a hot cast iron skillet. Once the edges are slightly cooked and the batter is consistently bubbling, turn. Cook on the other side for another minute or so, until cooked through.
  6. Add whatever you'd like to the top - I love real maple syrup or applesauce - and enjoy!
Adapted from The Kitchn - Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes, Megan of Not Martha
Like A Cup Of Tea http://www.likeacupoftea.com/
 

xo,

Heather

Wheat-Free Dog Treats

Yeah, I’m now making my dogs their treats. I went there.

I went there for a few reasons. One, treats are expensive. Two, treats that are grain/wheat-free are stupid expensive. Three, there’s a lot of crap in treats that have been recalled lately and no thanks. Four, I mean really, is anyone surprised that I started making my dogs treats? I didn’t think so.

When my little brother gave me the recipe he used for his dog I was in, with some modifications to make them wheat/grain free. Winnie became spay incontinent around a year or so old. The only option we could find was to put her proin and that was my last option. It was taken off the market for humans, so I wasn’t too keen on giving it to my pooch. After some holistic research I came across a woman who said she started feeding grain-free food on a whim from a tip and it stopped the incontinence.

Sure enough, Winnie stopped losing her bladder when she was sleeping within a week of changing her food over. Years later we’ve realized that if she has some grains she’s fine (oatmeal doesn’t bother her), but if she is consistently fed food with wheat grains then forget it. We will be cleaning up sleepy-dog-pee. I’m not a vet. I’m not even close to a vet. I only know what works for us, so I made these treats grain free.

Winnie however, likes to make her own winter specialty wheat-free treats. Snow, mud, and grass. Delicious.

DSC_1346-01Wheat-Free Dog Treats (modified from Dog Treat Kitchen)

Like most of my recipes, measurements are approximate. Also, if your dog has an actual wheat allergy or serious sensitivity you may want to use rolled oats that are certified wheat free or just skip them out for some other grain-free alternative.

Ingredients:

  • 1C Rolled Oats
  • 1/2 to 1C Flax Flour
  • 2C Garbanzo Flour (I throw dried garbanzos in the vitamix and whip up while plugging my ears. It’s loud, but it’s a heck of a lot cheaper)
  • 1/3C Peanut Butter
  • 3/4 to 1 1/4C Hot Water

DSC_7686-01Ignore the cookie cutters. This doesn’t come to cookie cutter consistency. At least mine didn’t and I didn’t care. Let’s face it, they are dog treats. I don’t even use cookie cutters on human cookies normally. I originally bought these for crackers which is about the only thing I use cutters for. The A-Z cutters are because I was going to try a kid-cracker-goldfishesque-recipe and what the heck, teach them letters while feeding snacks. Seems like a double whammy to me. Let’s be real though, I’m going to be the one eating them and I might cut them specifically so I can spell certain things and make myself laugh. I don’t know how I keep it classy so much.

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350*.
  2. Get a cookie tray and line it with parchment paper. It helps with release (and you don’t have to wash your pan after, hooolllaaaa).
  3. Mix your dry ingredients.
  4. Mix your wet ingredients. Start with only a 1/2 cup of water. You’ll add more as you go. It’s easier than remedying a super wet recipe to dryer again. Not that I would know anything about these sorts of things.
  5. Mix wet into dry ingredients. Combine. Add more water if needed until they sufficiently hold together but aren’t really sticky.
  6. If you can roll yours out, awesome. I grabbed what would be a small scoop, rolled it between my palms into a round ball and then slightly smooshed between the heels of my hands to slightly flatten them. I had to wash my hands a couple times (with just water) to get the residue dough off my palms. I just kept going until I was done.
  7. Put in your oven until the cookies feel completely dried. You don’t want any moisture in these or they will mold easily. I think mine were in for 45 minutes. Not kidding.
  8. Let the cookies completely cool before you put these in a container. You don’t want any moisture whatsoever or it will make them soft and mold in just under a week. I made the mistake. I caught it in time and put them back in, re-dried them and left them on the counter for an entire day to really make sure they stayed dry.

DSC_7691-01 DSC_7696-01The dogs love these and frankly, act the exact same as the store-bought treats. Also, these seriously took almost no time to throw together, maybe 20 minutes?

Hope you enjoy them! If not? Well, just don’t make them again. Or alter it yourself too. My feelings won’t be hurt. All love, all the time.

xo,

Heather

Limeade, Lemonade, First-Aid

Raise your hand if you tripped in the hall at work on literally nothing and stumbled and then soon after turned to walk into your office and turned to soon body checked the wall.

*Raises Hand*

Thankfully the only hurt thing was my pride, which can be easily fixed because I don’t have much to begin with. Well no, not true. I have confidence, but I don’t have much dignity left to lose. I’m humbled. I have, afterall, walked face first into a closed door before. Lime-aid however is something I will always take that can heal many an embarrassing wound as you laugh with a friend over the perpetual lack of awareness of your body in space.

DSC_6710-01I hope you all love this end of summer recipe as much as I do. Andy picked up 6 bags of limes for free so let’s just say things are a little limey around here lately. There are plenty of limeade recipes out there but we go for the super traditional, though I can’t say I don’t love a lavender infused limeade. To make something like that, I would infuse the lavender in the simple syrup below, and then throw a sprig right into the jar at the end.

Homemade Limeade
A delicious homemade limeade with tips on how to use a vitamix to make the juice, and ratios for tarter versus sweeter limeade.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup white sugar (or equivalent in other non-sugar sweetener)
  2. 1 cup water
  3. 2-3 cups fresh lime juice
  4. 4-12 cups cold water
  5. Nut milk bag (if juicing with vitamix)
  6. Half gallon mason jar or other container
Simple Syrup
  1. Combine 1 cup sugar (or equivalent of non-sugar sweetener) and 1 cup water in a pan
  2. Heat until sugar is completely dissolved
  3. Stir continually to ensure sugar doesn't burn on the bottom of the pan
To Juice Limes
  1. Let's be honest, it's not rocket science to juice limes. Here are a few tips: If juicing by hand or with a juicer roll the limes on the counter/cutting board before you cut in half, it will help release the juices.You'll need 2 cups of fresh lime juice or about a dozen limes.
To Juice Limes in a Vitamix
  1. Peel the limes so no skin remains
  2. Throw in the vitamix, start slow and put on high for just a few seconds
  3. Pour the blended juice into the nut milk bag, over your container. It is recommended to do this in batches
  4. Slowly press the juice out of the bag
  5. Pour pulp into compost, pour next batch, and repeat until you reach two cups of juice
To make limeade concentrate
  1. Combine simple syrup and lime juice
To make limeade
  1. Combine 1-3 cups of water per 1 cup of concentrate, dependent on how sweet you like your limeade
  2. 1:1 will be very sweet
  3. 1:2 will be moderate
  4. 1:3 will be more tart
Like A Cup Of Tea http://www.likeacupoftea.com/
While we might like limeade it has a lot of sugar in it. My other idea is to juice the limes by themselves and then freeze it in cubes. Take a few cubes and thaw them out mid-winter for a perfect summery pick me up whether you’re making limeade, throwing it in a sauce or stir-fry, or putting it in a delicious french-yogurt cake (one of the simplest cakes ever despite the name). Then again, you could just make a ton of popsicles by freezing the juice with some honey and berries…mmm. Sounds so good. Someone make them and then report back to me.

Enjoy!

xo,

Heather

Summer 2013 Happenings

Hey friends! As some of you might experience in your own lives, summer is the busiest time of year. Here in Maine summer might literally go until the end of September, but as far as I’m concerned autumn begins on September 1st. Some people might shush me for saying that, but it really becomes autumn weather and I LOVE the autumn. The other night you could feel the change in the air starting and Andy and I were both thrilled.

Given it’s the end of August and the almost end of summer I thought I would catch up a few loose ends like the farm, the garden, the house and a couple other little birdies we had going on around here.

The Farm

The farm has been well this summer without much to write home about until this last weekend. At church on Sunday the farmers wife announced that there had been a calf born at the farm that morning. Needless to say I was slightly distracted throughout church to go meet the new little dude. So here’s the part where you ask why there isn’t a photo of him. Little dude is elusive. I’ve seen him, but there were other duties to attend to so I didn’t have my camera on me. I even tried to go up and get a photo of him just for this post (literally, I stopped writing the post and drove up to the farm with camera in hand). No dice. The herd had just retreated to a far back field out of site. For reals.

I will get a photo of him and I will share it once Mr. Disappearing Act decides to show his face at a time I also have a camera on me.

The Garden & Harvest Preservation

I am SO PROUD of the garden this year. I don’t mean proud of us. I mean I am literally (using that word in it’s actual definition) proud of the plants for making it through the crazy ass weather we’ve had, being choked by weeds, and infested by insects and fighting disease. I honestly didn’t think we would be seeing a single zucchini, squash or cucumber this year. I had to replant almost all of the cucumbers, I fought squash bugs like crazy, and we experienced blossom drop.

DSC_6718-01Well done garden, well done. You rebounded nicely. The above harvest was only one of the harvests this year. The cucumbers definitely were on the bigger side for this harvest so I seeded them (along with that giant zuc above) and diced them up for diced bread and butter pickled. We also have some sliced pickles too from an earlier batch. Speaking of pickles, this summer has been awesome for preservation. (To learn more about different methods of food preservation check out the National Center for Home Food Preservation).

DriedPotatoesWe sliced, blanched, dehydrated and vacuum sealed potatoes.

PicklesandMuffinsWe made sliced bread and butter pickles as well in a British style, a garlic style and regular.We also made a batch of hearty blueberries from the year/coconut/hemp heart/chia seed/vegan muffins and then cooled and vacuum sealed them for the freezer. These are so good to grab, heat for a minute in the microwave and then head out with. They are super filling and are a perfect pick me up.

JamWe picked a ton of wild blackberries and then made jam.

CanningFailWe had our first canning fail ever. I’m happy to say it was a perfectly broken jar and not a fail because of botulism or something. I’ll take a broken jar over bacteria any day of the week.

PicklesWe also had even more successes and will continue to can throughout the rest of the summer. These are the tiny diced cucumbers and zuc’s I mentioned above. For now it’s mainly all pickles at the house for now, but we might be able to blanch and freeze some spinach and maybe some vegan butternut squash soup later on.

IMG_6567Finally, we had great success with garlic this year. Even though we grow hardneck garlic we learned how to braid it to dry it properly. The big bulbs in the front are all seed stock which we will plant this fall. We’ll eat all the deliciousness in the back. I’ll write more on this whole process in another post, as I documented it for you guys!

The House

Holla! As you guys know from this post we’ve moved into our bedroom. This topic really deserves it’s own post though. I’ll be heading into the mountains soon so I’m hoping to bang out a post then for you guys all about it. There isn’t a ton to discuss at this point, but what there is to share it still exciting! It’s hard to believe we’re winding down on the interior of the addition, and yet there is so much to do. Oh, and we’re going to renovate the entire original house so there’s definitely plenty more to go.

20130818-203201.jpg

Other Little Birdies

For real birdies! This was such a highlight of my summer. I would look out the window to the porch just about every day and watch them in the rafters until they finally took flight (which I missed). I almost hope they nest there every year so I can watch them! Absolutely adorable.

DSC_6281-01 DSC_6286-01 DSC_6290-01 DSC_6298-01 DSC_6332-01 DSC_6354-01 DSC_6361-01So there’s a quick wrap up of our summer and we’re not slowing down anytime soon heading into fall as we prep for winter. We still have so much to go between working full time, harvesting, construction, and the rest of the shebang. We also are going to be part of a cool project that I’ll post about as soon as I get permission. Actually there are two cool projects. Do I have your interest yet? I can’t wait to share.

xo,

Heather

Oh So Apple Saucy Granola

The other day Andy and I were talking about making some more items ourselves here at home. I already make my own garbanzo flour (it’s loud, but a Vitamix does a great job on dried garbanzo beans), and a few times I made my own almond milk, though I decided that was simply too labor intensive. One of the foods we realized I had never made was granola. It’s one of the easiest things to make and yet I had never even attempted it. Andy eats granola every  morning for breakfast, and growing up his mom often made it. Today I decided to give it a go.

Here was my hangup: Granola is insanely sugary and fattening if made regularly. I don’t mind the fat coming from the nuts but many of the recipes I saw included both a bunch of sugar and or butter to make it clump. Gulp. No thanks.

I had this absolutely delicious granola a long time ago baked with applesauce. It was sweet, low in fat, and contained only a little sugar. I knew I needed to replicate it. I was okay with using some sugar, and some agave nectar as long as total it didn’t exceed one cup (with at least have of that cup being raw agave nectar, and the sugar being raw brown sugar). After some googling I came across this recipe at Fake Ginger.

Her recipe is as follows:

Ingredients
  • 2½ cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds)
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ⅓ cup raisins
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together oats, nuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan, warm the applesauce with the honey and oil over low heat.
  4. Mix the applesauce mixture into the oat mixture and stir to coat everything. Spread the mixture onto a 9 x 13 baking pan.
  5. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until the granola is a deep brown. Remove from oven and stir in raisins. Cool completely before enjoying.

This is what it looks like before baking. I messed up the focus on my camera so just look at that tiny strip of in focus mix *hits self in face*. This is what happens when I don’t use my camera very much for a couple months.

Since we limit animal products in our diets, and I already had raw agave nectar on hand I decided to make the switch from honey. My other changes included using cake spice instead of cinnamon since I was out, choosing pecans and walnuts for my nuts, and adding about a half teaspoon of vanilla.

Here are a few notes:

  • I did about 4 1/2 rounds of 10 minutes – meaning 45 minutes and it was a little browner than my personal preference. I’ll do 30 minutes next time but I have to say it did sets up to a nice crunch and adding the raisins in made it a lot tastier. I think it honestly just comes down to preference on this one. Andy thinks it’s fine.
  • Next time I will also either cut out the salt all together, or cut to 1/8 of a teaspoon. I found 1/2 to be too much. I’m fairly salt sensitive though, in general a little amount is plenty for me. It didn’t taste salty at all to Andy.
  • Be careful turning the granola every 10 minutes so you don’t break down the clumps too much. It’s not a clump intensive granola like some, and I don’t think you will get that with an apple sauce granola. It still clumped nicely though, but if you are too aggressive during turning you’ll break them up.

It’s held up really nice, and once it was entirely cool I put it in a tupperware. The key is to make sure that it is entirely cool. Very Very cool. You don’t want any residual heat or else it will turn chewy and blech.

One of the things I really enjoy about this recipe is that it’s pretty versatile if you follow the basic recipe. Next time I’ll likely go with almonds and dried raspberries. Mmmm so tasty.

Verdict: There’s no need to ever buy granola again. This was both super cheap, and super easy. Give it a try!

xo,

Heather