Food

Cooking good food

I don't normally jump on health bandwagons, but I went and saw an ayurvedic practitioner and she mentioned a few things I should change in my diet. One was reduce and/or eliminate gluten, switch from cows to goats milk (FYI the Trader Joe's goat milk yogurt is delicious) and reduce/eliminate sugar. Just those small changes have made a huge difference in how I feel. 

I wouldn't say that I have a gluten allergy but I definitely feel bloated and a bit off if I eat too much gluten or any processed gluten products. I haven't completely cut gluten out of my diet, but I have significantly reduced it. One of my favorite things to eat was oatmeal in the morning and now I eat quinoa oatmeal which is good. I also loved adding granola to my yogurt and I had a really great gluten free alternative the other day, but it was just too expensive. 

So, I looked around and found a very casual recipe, which I love, that said do a 6:1 ration. 6 parts dry to 1 part wet and add the fruit at the end. I started chopping up all the things I could find in my cupboard. I threw in some almonds, pistachios, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut, a handful of almond flour and coconut flour and a sprinkling of the Ancient Seeds mix from Trader Joe's. For the wet part I mixed some Wildflower honey from my farmers market (I seriously love this stuff it has a dark almost molasses taste to it), melted coconut oil and pomegranate syrup, which you can get from a middle eastern shop.  

I'm not even sure if it was an exact 6 to 1 ration but I mixed it all up, threw it in the oven on 300 for 45 minutes (checking it every 15 minutes) and right as it smelled slightly toasty I pulled it out of the oven and mixed in dried peaches and blueberries. This stuff is seriously good. Let it cool off completely before you store it or else it will get soggy. 

Eat it as a snack, sprinkle it on your yogurt or oatmeal, or eat it like cereal. It is chock full of nutty goodness. 

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Irish Brown Bread

I have so many fond memories of the trip I took to Ireland: driving cross country listening to a song by Queen in Gaelic on the radio, horseback riding along the beach, the beautiful friendly people, dancing with a French man in a bar in Clifden, lovely people buying me way too many drinks for my birthday in Dublin, seeing U2 on a beautiful summers night as lilting Irish voices sang along to songs about pain and freedom, eating lobster in Howth that was so fresh and delicious I was going to stab anyone that asked to take a bite, making life long friends and finally Irish Brown Bread. 

It has taken me a couple of tries, and my bread will never taste as good Ireland's, but it's pretty darn close. 

What makes Irish Brown Bread so delicious is its nutty sweet taste. The problem is that in the states we over process our flour. Try to get milled flour instead of store bought, because it makes a difference (I bought my flour at Baker Miller). I have added hemp seeds (after countless taste tests to try to match the taste from Ireland) to give it a bit of that nutty flavor. The original recipe says you can skip the wheat bran, wheat germ and oats, but I would definitely keep them in. 

Slather with Irish or organic butter while still warm and enjoy. 

Irish Brown Soda Bread

1 3/4 c. all purpose flour
1 3/4 c. whole wheat flower 
3 T. toasted wheat bran
3 T. toasted wheat germ
2 T. old fashioned oats

3T Hemp Seeds (this is my addition) 
 

2 T packed brown sugar (I use fall or buckwheat honey in place of the brown sugar)
1 t. baking powder 1/2 t. salt
2 T. chilled unsalted butter cut into pieces
2 cups or so of buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425 Butter a 9 inch loaf pan

Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl and mix. Add the butter and rub it into the flour. Stir in the buttermilk until a soft dough forms and you can scrape up all the dry bits. Don't overwork. It is fairly wet dough.

Put it in the loaf pan and bake about 40 minutes. Do the toothpick test in the center to make sure it is done. Turn it out of its pan, and let it cool on a rack. This is a nutty, wheaty, slightly sweet bread.

The original recipe came from an older Bon Appétit recipe. 

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