Recipe Friday: Kathy’s Biscuits and Bread

20191022_101525

This is the recipe that I prepare most often. I make a double batch at a time so that in the mornings, I can have a smoothie and a biscuit with peanut butter and honey. Yum, and it’s just enough to tide me over until our main meal around noonish.

Before I talk about preparation, a note about flour: I HIGHLY recommend that you do not use the store-bought bleached white flour. It is wheat flour that has been poisoned by weed killer, soaked in glyphosate until it dies (wheat must die before harvesting), and processed-out of nutrients. The chemicals used for growing and processing remain in the flour, and then you eat them. Yech. Please search for organic whole-grain flours. Einkorn is an ancient wheat, still unspoiled by modern methods. Any flour you use should be organic (organic must be non-gmo and not use chemicals – but research the company that sells it).

I like to soak my flours before I bake them. I’ve done considerable reading about grains and the benefits of soaking, fermenting, and sprouting. (Note: if you can buy organic, pre-sprouted flours, that is the most convenient route.)

20191204_111459

One of the sites I found with lots of information was https://pamelasalzman.com/soak-grains/ . You can read even more interesting info if you scroll down past the article and read the comments and replies.

“Whole grains can definitely be part of a healthful diet, but they are much more nutritious and digestible when prepared the way our ancestors did by soaking, fermenting or sprouting them before cooking or eating.

“Whole grains contain an anti-nutrient called phytic acid which binds with certain minerals (e.g.  zinc, phosphorous, calcium and iron) and  prevents them from being absorbed by the body.  Phytic acid is also very hard on the digestive system.  Most of the phytic acid is contained in the exterior bran and germ layers of the grain.  Ironically, whole grains are much higher in minerals than polished or refined grains, but we won’t receive those benefits unless we neutralize the phytic acid.”

And from this site: https://be-still-farms.com/blogs/healthy-organic-living-blog/29811009-why-soak-grains-before-cooking

“Pre-soaking grains also helps break down certain hard-to-digest proteins such as gluten. In addition, certain complex starches and fiber also become easier to digest as they are broken down further by the soaking process. As a result, individuals may notice that many of their gluten sensitivities or allergic reactions may be lessened when grains are soaked prior to cooking.

“Typically grains are soaked in warm water. Based on the type of grain, soaking periods can vary from a couple of hours to soaking overnight. For instance, grains like buckwheat, millet and brown rice do not have very high amounts of phytate, so they can be soaked for a few hours. Other grains, such as whole wheat, spelt, or oats, should be soaked overnight due to their high phytate content.”

Soaking is beneficial for seeds, grains, and nuts. The difference between seeds and grains? This is what I found, and I’m still chewing it over, trying to figure the difference:

http://www.differencebetween.net/science/difference-between-seeds-and-grains/  “A seed is an ovule containing an embryo while a grain is a fusion of the seed coat and the fruit.”

https://onsetworldwide.com/grains-versus-seeds/  “By definition, a seed is a ‘flowering plant’s unit of reproduction, capable of developing into another such plant’. Grains (cereals) grow from the seeds of grasses. Nuts grow from the seeds of trees. And seeds (pseudocereals or other ‘seeds’) grow from the seeds of non-grasses.

“For example:

      • “Wheat, corn, oats and rice are all seeds, further classified as Grains
      • “Amaranth, quinoa, and buckwheat are all seeds, further classified as Pseudocereals
      • “Chia, sunflower, sesame, pumpkin are all seeds, classified as Seeds.”

Here are two recipes. I created the biscuit recipe first, then the bread recipe sprang from it. They are quite moist and flexible (many whole-grain bread recipes are not) due to high oil content and the addition of flax and chia seeds.

Kathy’s Biscuits

Yield: 8-9 biscuits (Note: this recipe doubles easily, and the finished biscuits freeze well.)

Prep Time: 20 min + overnight
Cook Time: 15 min

Although these biscuits can be made all at once, instead of soaking, this recipe is best if the dough is allowed to soak, as described in the instructions, for 8 hours or overnight.

Ingredients:

The first day:

  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed
  • 2 tablespoons chia seed
  • 2 cups flour (whatever kind, gluten-free or non-gluten-free; I usually use two flours, such as spelt and barley, or oat and einkorn)
  • 3 teaspoons egg replacer (I use Ener-G brand, gluten-free)
  • 1-2 tablespoon kefir, (use an acidic liquid, such as apple cider vinegar, yogurt, lemon juice, or kefir)
  • 2/3 cup any type of dairy or non-dairy milk
  • 5 tablespoons melted butter or coconut oil (I usually use a combination of butter and olive oil to equal 5 tablespoons)

The second day:

  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sweetener (sucanat, honey, etc.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

The first day:

  1. In a coffee grinder, or other similar device, grind the flax and chia seeds until well ground, 10 – 20 seconds.
  2. Add all the first-day ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Mix well enough that all the dry ingredients are incorporated.
  3. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap, and let it sit 8 hours or overnight at room temperature.

The second day:

  1. Preheat oven to 430°.
  2. When the dough has soaked, uncover it and add the baking powder, sweetener, and salt. Mix well.
  3. Dump out dough and knead/handle into a ball. (I haven’t needed to sprinkle flour on the board or my hands, as this dough has lots of oil. But, do so if you need to.
  4. Knead a few times to bring it all together. For a more tender biscuit, knead as little as possible. (I use my biscuits as a sandwich bread alternative, so I knead it a bit more, like bread dough.) If it seems too dry, sprinkle with a few drips of milk or water; if it seems too wet, add some flour; and work in gently.
  5. Roll or pat out to ½ – 3/4  inch thick and cut with a 2.5 inch biscuit cutter/drinking glass top. Gently transfer biscuits to an ungreased cookie sheet.
  6. Bake 13 – 15 min until golden brown on top.

Kathy’s Biscuit Bread

Yield: 2 loaves

Prep Time: 20 min + overnight
Cook Time: 15 min

This makes a lovely bread that keeps together well, and is flexible when sliced. It’s good for sandwiches or toast – whatever you use bread for.

Ingredients:

The first day:

  • 4 tablespoons flaxseed
  • 4 tablespoons chia seed
  • 5 cups flour (I used 3 cups einkorn and 2 cups barley flour)
  • 2 tablespoons egg replacer (I use Ener-G brand, gluten-free)
  • 1/4 cup kefir, or other fermented liquid
  • 1 1/2 cups any type of dairy or non-dairy milk
  • 10 tablespoons melted butter or olive oil or combination

The second day:

  • 1 tablespoon (scant) active dry yeast (exact measurement is 2-2/3 tsp)
  • 1 tablespoon sweetener (such as sucanat, coconut palm sugar, honey, or maple syrup)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

The first day:

  1. In a coffee grinder, or other similar device, grind the flax and chia seeds until well ground, 10 – 20 seconds.
  2. Add all the first-day ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Mix well enough that all the dry ingredients are incorporated.
  3. Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap, and let it sit 8 hours or overnight at room temperature.

The second day:

  1. Proof 1 tablespoon active dry yeast with 1/4 cup warm water and 1 tablespoon sweetener.
  2. Add the salt to the dough, mix in.
  3. Stir in proofed yeast. It is easier (and less messy) to let the mixer do the initial mixing, with a dough hook, even though you may have to babysit it with a spatula for a while.
  4. After the dough comes together, turn out onto a countertop (with all the oils in the dough, it didn’t stick, so I didn’t need to dust with flour).
  5. Knead until smooth and dough doesn’t crack or come apart (10 – 15 minutes).
  6. Return dough to an oiled mixing bowl, turn dough so it is covered with a sheen of oil, cover with a damp towel, and let rise in a warm oven until double (about 1 hour, depending on your yeast).
  7. Turn dough out and punch down. Cover with a damp towel and let rest 10 minutes.
  8. Shape into 2 loaves and place into oiled loaf pans.
  9. Let rise in a warm oven until almost double (about 1 hour).
  10. Bake in a 375° oven 30-35 minutes. Loaves should sound hollow when thumped (internal temp of 200°).
  11. Turn out to let cool 15 – 20 minutes, then package.

BiscuitBread

Recipe Friday: Flax and Chia Seeds

RecipeFridayFlaxAndChiaSeedsTeaPudding

SO healthy! Do you use flax and chia seeds in your recipes? There are so many reasons you should.

_____________________________________

Nutrition information from https://draxe.com/nutrition/chia-seeds-vs-flax-seeds/ (please click over and read more about this)

Ounce for ounce, chia seeds contain the higher amount of fiber and are especially rich in soluble fiber, which can help lower cholesterol levels, reduce appetite and promote regularity. Chia seeds are also easy to digest, and unlike other types of seeds, they can be consumed either whole or ground. Plus, they boast a good amount of several other micronutrients, including manganese and phosphorus.

Flaxseeds pack in more omega-3 fatty acids per serving, which is important for reducing inflammation and preventing chronic disease. Flaxseeds are also high in lignans, which are plant compounds that act as antioxidants and have been linked to protection against cancer and heart disease. Unlike chia seeds, however, flaxseeds need to be ground up before consumption in order to maximize the potential health benefits.

________________________________________

These little power-packed seeds are a great way to incorporate some serious health into your diet. I’ve been using them in my smoothies for years. I also use them as egg substitutes in some recipes (brownies, biscuits, and meatloaf, for example). I make chia pudding.

You can use chia seeds as is, the way they come out of the package, or grind them.

You need to grind flax seeds before you use them, or you don’t derive any nutritive value from them.

Both flax and chia seeds will provide even more nutrition if you soak them in water or other liquid for anywhere from 30 minutes to a day.

I recommend storing these beauties in the freezer or ‘fridge.

Recipes:

Egg Substitute:

Grind the seed(s) (like in a coffee grinder) before measuring and using.

1 egg = 1 tablespoon ground seed(s) plus 3 tablespoons water. Let set for 15 minutes.

Flax Jelly Tea

This is the only recipe I know of that you don’t have to grind the seeds. You’re going for the gel that it makes, not the content of the seed. After steeping the seeds, you can still use them in a smoothie.

This helps with chest congestion, cough and sore throat.
2 tbsp. whole flax seed
1 cup of water
Add both to a pot and simmer for 5 min. Strain immediately and reserve the clear liquid. Mix in one tsp. honey and 1 tsp. lemon juice. (I add a drop of lemon essential oil to the honey first, and mix; then stir into the hot tea. It’s lovely to sip.)

Chia Pudding

Make this pudding the day before, or in the morning to serve in the evening.

  • 3/4 cup milk (dairy milk or non-dairy)
  • 2 – 3 teaspoons maple syrup or honey (or other sweetener)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 – 4 tablespoons chia seed (you can grind it if you like, or not, depending on how you like the texture. Not-ground chia pudding is a bit like tapioca.)
  • nuts, berries, fruit, coconut flakes for topping (optional)

In a 1 ½ cup glass container, mix all ingredients together really well. (While it is safe to use your raw honey in this recipe, since you don’t cook it, you may want to heat it gently just until it is mixable.)

Cover and let set. Refrigerate. Mix it every half hour or so for the first hour and a half, to break up the clumps.

Refrigerate for at least six hours. Overnight is good.

This recipe can be adjusted any way you like:

  • Add more sweetener or less.
  • Add more milk or less.
  • Add cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Add essential oil (orange sounds very nice).
  • Add raw cacao powder (1 tablespoon) and more sweetener (add an extra 2 teaspoons) for chocolate pudding (and a drop of peppermint essential oil, if you like!).

Flaxseed Wrap

This makes one wrap.

  • 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon Coconut Oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 large egg

Blend all ingredients together well.
Warm a 10-inch skillet. Add coconut oil to grease if you want.
Pour in the batter and spread evenly across the bottom.
Cook for about 3 minutes.
Lift the edge with a spatula and slide onto a plate. Let cool for at least 5 minutes

Oat & Flax Pancakes

This makes about 10 medium-large pancakes.

  • 1/4 cup flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 cup oat milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sweetener (optional)
  1. Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until the batter is smooth. Note: The batter thickens as it sits. Right after you make it, let it sit until it’s the thickness you want to work with. If the batter gets too thick, add a bit more milk.
    2. Heat a little oil or butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Directly from the blender, pour batter onto the skillet (3-4 tablespoons per pancake). Cook 1 to 2 minutes or until brown on the bottom. Turn over and brown the other side. Serve hot.

This is SO good with good ol’ butter and maple syrup running down the side. Alternatively, you can heat crushed blueberries with a bit of sweetener and a thickener; spoon down the middle of a pancake and roll up. Yum!

Energy Balls

RecipeFridayFlaxAndChiaSeedsEnergyBalls

I don’t have a recipe for these, but chia and ground flax seeds are great for mixing into nut butters with other goodies for a healthy and quick treat.

Suggested ingredients:

  • Nut butter
  • Honey or maple syrup
  • Ground flaxseed
  • Chia seed (ground or not)
  • Coconut
  • Chocolate chips or cacao nibs
  • Cacao powder
  • Adaptogenic herbs, powdered or ground (such as ashwaghanda, maca, slippery elm)
  • Turmeric
  • Nutmeg
  • Cinnamon
  • Dates (pitted)
  • Coconut oil
  • Nuts
  • Raisins
  • Bone broth, collagen, or protein powders

Mix any of the ingredients together (a food processor works well). A nice aspect to this recipe is that it’s no-bake: you can taste it before you finish the product. Form into balls, or press into a pan. Balls can be rolled into additional ingredients (coconut, cacao powder, sucanat), or additional ingredients can be pressed into the top of the bars (chocolate chips, raisins). Refrigerate.