Snickerdoodles – the best whole grain recipe out there!

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Well, at least I think so.
I had tried to convert the recipe used in my past white sugar and white flour eating life, but it just did not translate well. I saw another recipe online whose ingredients were fine, they just looked a bit dry to me, but it inspired me to give this classic cookie another chance.
Just make sure you don’t leave out half the Sucanat, they aren’t quite the same that way. πŸ˜‰

1/2 cup Organic Palm Oil Shortening
1/2 cup Unrefined Coconut Oil
1 cup Sucanat
1/2 cup Maple Syrup
3 1/4 cups Whole Spelt Flour
2 teaspoons Cream of Tartar
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Salt
1-2 Tablespoons water, as needed

2 teaspoons Turbinado Sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

*Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Combine the Shortening, Coconut Oil, and Sucanat in a large bowl and blend well. Add the Maple Syrup and blend to combine.
In a smaller bowl mix together the flour, Cream of Tartar, Baking Soda and Salt. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet, adding water as needed. You will probably only need 1 Tablespoon of the water. Essentially, you want a dough that stays together and is not crumbly and not too wet.
Combine the cinnamon & sugar mixture in a small bowl. Form balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter (I use a cookie scoop) from the dough and roll them in the cinnamon/sugar mixture before placing them on the cookie sheet.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. If using an ice cream scoop for extra large cookies increases the baking time to 15 minutes.

*Regarding the baking time and temperature. I use a baking stone, so I things seem to bake a little hotter. If using a metal cookie sheet you may need to raise the temperature 25 degrees, or possibly extend the baking time by a few minutes.

C

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Pancakes

Is there really more to be said on this subject? I wouldn’t even write about it except for the fact that most pancake recipes call for milk and eggs. So, when you don’t eat those things, maybe pancakes seem a bit out of reach.

Today I made pancakes again, but first I read what Mark Bittman had to say on the subject in How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. In addition to three basic recipes, there were a zillion (o.k. maybe not exactly a zillion) options for jazzing up your pancake experience and the handy information that the batter will keep just fine in the fridge for a few days. So, go ahead and make up a large batch and you’ll be covered for breakfast over the weekend. Or, at least the pancake portion of it. I don’t think it’s ever a good idea for your meal to consist of just bread products (sometimes mine do, I just don’t think it’s ideal). Today for instance our pancakes were accompanied by a green smoothie.

So, now for the recipe. After realizing that really I hadn’t made the same thing I was reading (not uncommon), I decided to go ahead and post what we did eat for breakfast.

Basic Whole Grain Pancakes

4 cups freshly ground Spelt Flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon Redmond’s sea salt
1 to 2 Tablespoons Agave (opt)
3 cups Rice milk
1 to 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 to 1/2 cup water as needed to adjust the consistency

Use a whisk to combine the dry ingredients.

In a 2 cup measure (or another bowl) combine 2 cups of the milk with the agave and oil if using. Whisk together well with a fork and add to the flour mixture. Only slightly incorporate this into the flour, then measure out the other cup of milk and add that too. You want to mix as minimally as possible, but I still use a whisk, just larger motions and less speed. A few lumps when you are done are fine.

Let the batter sit for 5 or 10 minutes and then add water as needed to obtain an pourable, but not watery, consistency.

Heat a skillet on Medium (honestly I don’t know, I just use gas and heat until it’s the right temp., water dances). If you don’t have a cast iron skillet go buy one, but in the meantime add a bit of oil or something to the pan, about 1 teaspoon. It’s my understanding that if you don’t have non-stick (I think these are scary) or cast iron you’ll need to do this with each pan full of pancakes. With my cast iron skillet I just grease it once (since after all I do wash it with soap) and then it’s good to go for the entire batch.

Pour your desired size pancakes into the pan. (I used the same two cup measure, not per pancake just for ease of pouring, mentioned earlier in the recipe). Watch for them to bubble up in the middle, the edges will cook first since they’re thinner. Flip the pancakes, cook on the other side for a few minutes, remove from the pan and repeat. If you are making the whole batch in one day, or possibly even half a batch depending on the size of your pan, you might want to have a warm oven handy to keep the first pancakes warm in while you cook the rest.

I served these with warmed (on the stove-top) Maple Syrup. But, homemade fruit syrups are of course good too.

C

A Good Basic Pantry List

I’m thinking about what I would want to have around at a bare minimum that would still enable me to cook a variety of tasty, healthy meals for our family.
Here’s what I have so far:

Grains & Beans

Brown Rice (stored in the fridge or freezer)
Black beans (canned and/or dry)
Lentils
Quinoa
Whole Wheat flour, stored in the freezer
Whole wheat pasta, spaghetti, macaroni, spirals, etc.
Additional grains and beans; such as barley, spelt, oats, pinto beans, etc.

Canned Goods

Shelf stable milk substitute; rice, soy, almond, etc.
Canned tomato products, diced, paste, sauce, etc.
Canned pineapple
Black/green olives

Fats & Oils

Extra Virgin Olive oil
Coconut oil, & or Palm oil shortening

Seasonings & Spices

Onions (I consider these along with garlic to be a pantry staple)
Garlic, fresh
Vegetable broth or bouillon (cubes or powder – homemade version works)
Basil
Oregano
Thyme
Arrowroot powder or organic corn starch
Sea salt
Black pepper (preferably in the form of pepper corns and a grinder)
Apple Cider Vinegar, raw
Soy Sauce, or Nama Shoyu

Sweeteners

Honey
Agave nectar, preferably raw (because I like it better, that’s why πŸ˜‰ )
Sucanat

Miscellaneous

Yeast

Nuts, such as: almonds, cashews, and walnuts
Seeds: sesame and sunflower seeds

Frozen

Frozen juice, such as orange, and apple
Frozen corn
Frozen peas
Frozen blueberries &/or other fruit for smoothies, muffins, pancakes, syrup, etc.

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Assorted fresh fruits and vegetables, these will vary seasonally. Try to have at least 5 varieties of each on hand.

Spring: Greens (spinach, lettuce, etc.), New potatoes, peas, carrots, beets, strawberries, rhubarb, watercress

Summer: Tomatoes, summer squash/zucchini, eggplant, corn, raspberries, peaches, plums, apricots, Asian pears, cucumber

Fall: Beets, potatoes, kale, kohlrabi, sweet potatoes, apples, raspberries, peaches, broccoli

Winter: Potatoes, parsnips, carrots, winter squash, apples, cabbage, greens

Some things like potatoes, onions, garlic, winter squash, and apples will keep well for months when stored properly.

I think that’s about it.
I do keep a more extensive supply on hand, with extras like coconut milk (can you be addicted to coconut milk? I just might be), chocolate chips (grain sweetened), and numerous spices and herbs.
But, this list is more about what to stock if you’re just starting out, or have a limited budget but still need to eat ;-).

With these items on hand (depending on the produce selection), I could make:

Stir-Fry with brown rice (lots of variations possible here, including sweet and sour sauce, if you have canned pineapple on hand)
Rice and bean salad with assorted vegetables and a vinaigrette (olive oil, vinegar, basil, salt & pepper)
Lentil soup (without the mustard, or add that to the pantry)
Lentil rice casserole (use dried basil, I did)
Fresh homemade bread
Pizza
Black bean and rice burritos with fresh veggies added (salsa extra for this, unless you made it fresh from the produce available)
Tortillas
Tomato-Basil pasta (needs cashews)
Oatmeal
A Variation on out of the cupboard soup (depending on what’s in your cupboard)
Hummus (need a lemon for this)
Fruit Smoothies
Quinoa salads

And numerous other options depending on the produce available, such as:
Hashbrowns
Salad
Veggie sandwiches
Cabbage salad
Sauteed greens
Baked potatoes with steamed veggies and vinagrette dressing
Mashed potatoes

C