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Posts Tagged ‘Enzymes’

Gluten-Free, Sourdough Pita Bread

Makes 8

I’m truly delighted by these little, gluten-free, sourdough flat breads. They puff-up when baked, they’re perfect for pocket sandwiches, and they’re wonderful with hummus!

2 cups mature Gluten-Free Natural Levain Starter Culture

½ cup warm (about 100 degrees F), well, spring, or filtered water

1 ½ cups tapioca flour, plus more for rolling out the dough

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon chia seeds

2 teaspoons xanthan gum

1 ½ cups sorghum flour

1 ½ teaspoons whole, unrefined sea salt

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

In a large bowl combine the mature starter, warm water, honey, chia seeds, and xanthan gum. Whisk until evenly combined, about 2 minutes. Add ½ cup of the sorghum flour and ½ cup of the tapioca flour at a time. Use a wooden spoon or the dough hook to mix incorporated. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Mix until the oil has been absorbed into the dough, about 1 more minute. Scrape the dough into a ball. Lightly oil the mixing bowl. Turn the dough in the bowl to coat in the oil. Cover tightly. Set to rise in a warm (about 75 degrees F) place for 2 ½-3 hours, until nearly doubled in bulk.

Center the oven rack. Place a cookie sheet or jelly-roll pan in the cold oven. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Use a bench scraper or chef’s knife to cut the dough into eight equal portions. Lightly flour your hands, a work surface, and a rolling pin.  Form the dough into a ball. Flatten and roll into a round that is ¼-inch to 3/8-inch thick and about 6-inches in diameter.

Bake 3-4 breads per batch on the hot cookie sheet. After 3 minutes remove from the oven. Flip each bread. Use the flat side of a metal spatula to press down all of the bubbles in the pita (this actually helps the bubbles to expand). Return to the oven. Bake until puffy and barely browned, about 3-4 more minutes. Stack hot pita breads and wrap in a kitchen towel. This will keep them moist and warm for up to one hour. Serve while still warm. Store cooled pita tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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Sprouted Gluten-Free Bread

Makes 1 loaf

The extra efforts of sprouting are rewarded by crunchy, tender, sandwich-friendly slices. Once you are familiar with the simple process for sprouting grains and legumes, this bread is rather easy to make. Using a food-processor the sprouts are pureed, then mixed into a gum-free, cane sugar-free, egg-free, dairy-free batter.

1 cup organic brown rice

1/3 cup organic green lentils

clean water (well, spring, or filtered)

sunflower oil

1 ½ cups Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour Mix

3 tablespoons chia seeds

1 tablespoon active dry yeast

1 ½ teaspoons unrefined sea salt, finely ground

3 tablespoons sunflower oil

3 tablespoons maple syrup

To Make Sprouts:

In a one-quart mason jar combine the rice and lentils. Add water until the rice and lentils are covered by about 3 inches. Tightly cover the mouth of the jar with a mesh screen. Store at room temperature (about 68-72 degrees F).

After 12-24 hours pour off and discard the soaking water. Add enough water to cover and rinse the rice and lentils. Pour off and discard the water. Allow the jar to drain, upside down, for several minutes.

Rinse and drain the sprouts 2-3 times every day.  After 2-3 days visible sprouts will emerge. The lentil sprout is unmistakable, but the rice sprout is a tiny speck on one end of the end of the grain.  When the rice and lentils have sprouted, they’re ready to be made into bread (or they can be stored for up to four days in the refrigerator (rinse stored sprouts every other day)).

To Make Bread:

Generously oil a standard (4 ½-inch x 8 ½-inch x 3-inch) loaf pan. Assemble a food processor with the metal blade. Add the sprouts and 1/3 cup of water to the bowl. Pulse until the sprouts resemble chunky nut butter, about 2 minutes. Add the flour, chia seeds, yeast, and salt. Process until well combined. Add the sunflower oil and maple syrup. Process until a smooth batter forms, about 2 more minutes. Scoop into the oiled pan.

Sprouted Gluten-Free Bread, ready to bake

Set in a warm (about 75 degrees F) place until puffed by about two-inches, about 25-30 minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake until browned on top, about 60-65 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Use a sharp knife to loosen the edges from the pan. Remove from the pan and cool on a rack. Serve thinly sliced.

This pst was shared at Real Food Forager’s Fat Tuesday,  Simply Sugar & Gluten Free’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesday,  Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesday, and The Nourishing Gourmet’s Pennywise Platter Thursday.

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Fabulously Frugal, Sprouted Lentils

Makes 4 cups

Dried lentils, soaked and cooked form the basis of many richly flavored but inexpensive dishes throughout the world.  Organic dried lentils cost about $1.30 per pound (one pound is over 2 cups) and soaked lentils roughly triple in quantity once cooked. When lentils are sprouted they triple in volume even before being cooked! Thus, 1 cup of organic dried lentils (less than 65 cents worth) could yield up to 6 cups of sprouted lentil soup. That’s a fabulously frugal!

Use sprouted lentils in any dish where you would normally use dried lentils. When substituting sprouts in a recipe start by reducing the amount of dried lentils called for by 1/4. Some of my favorite lentil dishes are Dal (Indian lentil soup), Lentil Salad from Nourishing Traditions, and Lentil Pecan Patties from the Moosewood Cookbook.

1 cup whole, organic lentils

clean (well, spring, or filtered) water

Add the lentils to a wide mouth mason jar. Cover with 2 inches of water. Cover tightly with the lid. Store in a warm (about 72-75 degrees F) place. Twelve to 24 hours later replace the mason lid with a sprouting screen. Drain the soaking water from the lentils. Add more water to cover the lentils. Swirl the jar to thoroughly rinse the soaked lentils. Drain and discard all of the water from the jar. Invert the jar over a small bowl for 5-10 minutes to allow any remaining water to drain out. Thoroughly rinse and drain the lentils 2-3 times each day until you see a small sprout emerge, about 2-3 days.

When the sprout emerges the lentils can be cooked immediately or refrigerated for future use. To use immediately, cook the lentils according to your recipe. Be sure to skim any film that accumulates on top of the cooking water. To store sprouted lentils replace the sprouting screen with a mason lid. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Rinse the refrigerated sprouts every other day using the sprouting screen. Remember to let the sprouts drain over a small bowl for 5-10 minutes, then cap tightly and return to the refrigerator.

This post was shared on Real Food Forager’s Fat Tuesday , Simply Sugar & Gluten Free’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesday, Mind, Body, and Sole’s  Wildcrafting Wednesday  and Nourishing Gourmet’s Pennywise Platter Thursday blog hops.

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Herbal Super-Foods Smoothie

Makes 3 ½ cups

Berries, homemade kefir, and an abundance of locally-grown and organic super-foods – it’s my favorite way to start the day!

1 ½ cups high-quality kefir

2 large egg yolks, from pastured hens (optional)

1 tablespoon local, organic bee pollen

1 tablespoon roasted dandelion root powder, see cooks note

1 ½ teaspoons nettle powder, see cooks note

1 cup frozen strawberries

1 cup frozen blueberries

1 large, fair-trade, organic banana

3 tablespoons organic flax meal (freshly ground flax seeds)

3 tablespoons organic, extra-virgin coconut oil

In the pitcher of a blender combine the kefir, optional egg yolks, bee pollen, nettle powder, and roasted dandelion powder. Blend on low until the powders are fully incorporated. Add the strawberries, blueberries, banana, and flax meal. Pulse on high until the fruit is fully incorporated. You may need to scrape down the sides of the pitcher and push the fruit towards the blade.

In a small saucepan, over low heat, warm  the coconut oil until just melted, about 1 minute. With the blender running on low, slowly pour the coconut oil into the pitcher. Blend until the oil is fully incorporated, about one minute. Serve immediately or store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to one day.

Cooks note:

Dandelion root can be harvested from your backyard or garden and roasted quite readily. However, it is nearly impossible to grind into a fine powder without industrial grinding equipment. For this smoothie I recommend purchasing organic, ground, roasted dandelion from a reputable herb purveyor (like The Herb Shoppe in Portland and Brooklyn or Mountain Rose Herbs online).

Gathering wild stinging nettles and drying them at home is simple and quite rewarding (if you’re into it!). The best way to learn is always from someone else who has knowledge of the herb. Otherwise, purchase organic nettle leaf from a reputable herb purveyor (like The Herb Shoppe or Mountain Rose Herbs) or purchase wildcrafted nettles in the market and dry them at home. Grind dried nettle leaf in a clean coffee grinder until it is reduced to powder, about 30-60 seconds.

Click here for my Kefir Recipe.

This recipe was shared at the Real Food Forager’s Fat Tuesday blog carnival, at Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, at Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesday, at Mind, Body, and Sole’s Wildcrafting Wednesday, and at Recipe Lion’s Favorite Spring Recipe Share.

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Gluten-Free Third Bread

Makes 1 loaf

This bread is made with a combination of three, whole-grain, gluten-free flours – thus each flour is one-third of the bread!  Soaking the flours overnight increases the digestibility (and palatability) of the whole grains. This recipe uses ginger powder to increase the probiotic content of the soaking water and hasten fermentation of the grains. The result is a 100% whole grain, gum-free, easily digestible, tender, delicious, sandwich bread.

1 ¼ cups brown rice flour

1 ¼ cups sorghum flour

1 ¼ cups millet flour

½  teaspoon organic, dried ginger powder

2 cups warm (about 100 degrees F) water

2/3 cup flax meal

1 teaspoon finely ground, unrefined sea salt

1 tablespoon whole cane, date, or palm sugar

1 teaspoon active dry yeast

2 tablespoons olive oil or ghee, plus more for greasing the pan

In a large glass or ceramic mixing bowl combine the brown rice flour, sorghum flour, millet flour, warm water, and ginger. Use a wooden spoon to mix until a smooth batter forms. Cover tightly with a non-reactive lid. Leave in a warm (75-80 degrees F) place overnight, about 12-24 hours.

Generously grease a standard (4 ½” x 8 ½ ” x 3”) glass loaf pan. Add the flax meal, salt, sugar, and yeast to the soaked flour mixture. Use a wooden spoon or the paddle attachment to stir the batter until a fluffy dough forms, about 2 minutes. Add the oil or ghee. Stir until it becomes fully incorporated, about 1 minute. Scoop the batter into the greased bread pan. Cover with a light (flour-sack style) towel or cloth napkin. Set to raise in a warm (75 -80 degrees F) place until even with the top of the pan, about 30-45 minutes.

Center the oven rack. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake until slightly browned on top, about, 70-80 minutes. Remove the finished bread from the pan. Cool on a rack. Store tightly covered at room temperature if you plan to eat the bread over 1-2 days. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator up to 5 days. For longer storage wrap with wax paper, place in a freezer bag, and store in the freezer up to 2 weeks.

This post was shared on Fat Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday & Real Food Wednesday!

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Nutrient-Dense Brown Rice

Makes 6 cups

The nutrients of whole-grain rice are locked-up, bound behind a protective barrier of phytic acid. Phytic acid preserves the nutrients of the grain, but also prevents the nutrients from being absorbed into the human body. Really, phytic acid is one of humanity’s great allies. It guards the grain and tries to ensure that the nutrients are used to sprout a new plant (a truly noble endeavor!). Traditional cultures around the world have found many ways to make whole-grains more advantageous and absorbable (sourdough is a well-known example). Through soaking and fermentation the noble nutrient protector (phytic acid) releases the nutrition of the grain and we are the benefactors!

This recipe combines my favorite techniques from a variety of sources: the recipe for Basic Brown Rice  II from Sally Fallon-Morell’s Nourishing Traditions, from an interview with Verta Mae Smart-Grosvennor, author of (among others) Vibrational Cooking: or The Travel Notes of a Geechee Girl, and a Spring 2010 Wise Traditions article, “Living with Phytic Acid: Preparing Grains, Nuts, Seeds, and Beans for Maximum Nutrition.” The result is that ach grain is separate, but still sticky enough to clump together and be easily eaten with chopsticks!

2 cups long-grain brown rice

3 ½ cups warm (about 100 degrees F), clean (well, spring or filtered) water, plus more for rinsing the rice

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, whey from cultured dairy,

or 2-3 tablespoons reserved soaking water from a previous batch of soaked rice (see cooks note)

Position a fine mesh colander over a large bowl of water. Add the rice to the colander. Scrub the rice between your hands until the water is very cloudy. Discard the water. Repeat scrubbing the rice and discarding the water twice more. (As you scrub, may I suggest you ponder the importance and uniqueness of each grain of rice.) Use the pot from a rice-cooker with a “brown rice” setting; or a medium, heavy-bottomed, sauce pan. Place the rice, 3 ½ cups of warm (about 100 degrees F) water, and apple cider vinegar (or, lemon juice, whey, or previous soaking water) in the pot or pan.

Cover tightly and store in a warm (75-80 degrees F) place for 16-48 hours (Rice requires a longer soaking time than other grains because it contains very little phytase, the enzyme needed to break-down phytic acid). Reserve 3 tablespoons of the soaking water for later use, add 3 tablespoons of water to replace the liquid (optional, see cooks note).

If using a rice-cooker, cook using the brown rice setting. When the cooker signals the end of its cycle, remove the cover and use a fork to lift and separate the grains of rice. Cover for an additional 15 minutes. Serve.

If using a sauce pan, heat over high until rapidly boiling, about 5-10 minutes. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook over low for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and use a fork to lift and separate the grains of rice. Cover for an additional 15 minutes. Serve.

Cooks Note:

Researchers have found that adding a small amount of reserved soaking water (from a previous batch) to be the most effective means of reducing and eliminating phytic acid. (Read the article “Living with Phytic Acid: Preparing Grains, Nuts, Seeds, and Beans for Maximum Nutrition” for more information.)

After the rice has soaked, and just before cooking, remove 3 tablespoons of the soaking water. Add back 3 tablespoons of water to replace the liquid. Store the liquid tightly covered in the refrigerator up to one month. Add the reserved soaking liquid to future batches of Nutrient-Dense Brown Rice or use for other soaked rice recipes.

This was shared on Fat TuesdaySlightly Indulgent Tuesday, and Real Food Wednesday.


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Kefir Sauerkraut

Makes about 1 quart

Dairy kefir grains can be used to make quick and consistently delicious cultured sauerkraut. The kefir grains act as a starter culture for the cabbage, the ‘kraut ferments for just 2-3 days, and the results are predictable: tangy, crunchy, and palate pleasing. To preserve the probiotic content, heat raw, cultured sauerkraut to no more than 110 degrees F. Serve as a garnish to savory dishes like baked beans, vegetable or lentil salads, roasted meats, or stir-fries. This recipe is inspired by Dom’s Kefirkraut recipe.

1 medium sized white cabbage

1 tablespoon unrefined sea salt

1 tablespoon dairy kefir grains, well rinsed (see cooks notes)

clean (well, spring, or filtered) water

Prepare a half-gallon (or one-gallon) wide-mouth glass jar by washing it in hot soapy water (use soap, not detergent). Remove any wilted or discolored outer leaves on the cabbage. Discard them. Peel off one crisp outer leaf. Trim it one-inch larger than the diameter of the jar. Set it aside to be used later as a cover for the sauerkraut.

Use a chef’s knife to half, core, and thinly slice the cabbage. Place one quarter of the sliced cabbage in a large bowl. Sprinkle with one quarter of the salt. Use a large wooden pestle, kraut pounder, or the flat end of a meat hammer to bruise the cabbage leaves. When the vegetables have been thoroughly bruised, add another quarter of the cabbage. Sprinkle with another quarter of the salt. Repeat the bruising process with the remaining cabbage and salt.

Place one half of the kefir grains in the bottom of the prepared jar. Add one half of the cabbage. Press down firmly with your pestle, pounder, or hammer. Evenly compact the cabbage within the jar. Add the remaining kefir grains. Then add the remaining cabbage. Again, press down to evenly compact the mixture. Cover the shredded cabbage with the reserved cabbage leaf. Tuck the edges of the leaf into the sides of the jar. Add a weight heavy enough to hold the cover leaf in place (see cooks notes). Add enough water to cover the top of the sauerkraut by one inch. Cover the top of the jar with a cloth or paper towel. Secure the cover tightly with a rubber band or string.

Store at room temperature (about 65-75 degrees F) until the kraut smells and tastes pleasingly tangy, about 2-3 days. Skim any foam that rises to the top during the fermentation period. If the liquid evaporates, add water to keep the sauerkraut covered by one inch.

Store tightly covered in the refrigerator. The taste of kefir kraut is stable for two weeks. After 2 weeks of storage it becomes increasingly, though pleasantly, tart. Eat within one month.

Cooks notes:

To prepare kefir grains for making sauerkraut rinse them in water until it runs clear. No traces of milk should remain.

If it fits through the opening in the sauerkraut jar, a pint-sized mason jar, filled with water, and capped tightly may be used as the weight. To use a stone as a weight for fermentation, select one that is non-porous, relatively heavy and flat, and fits easily through the mouth of your fermentation jar. Scrub the stone with hot soapy water. Then, sanitize it by dropping it into a pan of boiling water for 2 minutes (alternately, drop the stone into the silverware tray of the dishwasher and sanitize it with the next load of dishes).

Read more about Making Kefir

Read more about why Fermented Beverages are Homemade Probiotics and Multi-Vitamins

This recipe was shared on Fat-Tuesdays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays,  Hearth & Soul Hop, Real Food Wednesday, and at the Probiotic Food Challenge.

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