I Ran Out of Flour– Banana Bread

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What kind of baker runs out of flour?
I’m a little ashamed.
So I had these bananas.

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Too ripe for eating, perfect for baking with.
So I decided to throw some banana bread together.
I cream the butter and sugar, mash the bananas and then open my cabinet to grab some flour. I’m out of all purpose flour. How did this happen?
I did have a bunch of options to replace the flour with. My flour collections includes:
Whole wheat
Bread flour
Sorghum flour
Brown rice flour
Buckwheat flour
Millet flour
I think thats all. I like to experiment.

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So I chose millet and whole wheat. The flavor of whole wheat is robust as is its texture and millet is pretty much its opposite- light and mellow.
So here it is. The delicious banana bread recipe that was a happy accident.
Adapted from food Networks Banana bread recipe

Whole Wheat Millet Banana Bread
6 T butter (softened)
3/4 cup Dark Brown Sugar
2 eggs
4 bananas, mashed
1.5t cinnamon
1.5t ground ginger
.25t allspice or clove
1t baking soda
1t baking powder
1 t kosher or sea salt
1.5 c whole wheat flour
.5 c millet flour

Method
1. Preheat oven to 325* F. Gerase a 9×5 loaf pan. Or make muffins.
2. Cream the butter and the sugar together. Add the eggs and combine well, stir in the mashed bananas.
3. Combine all dry ingredients, Add into wet mixture and mix till just combined.
4. Dump all the batter into buttered loaf pan and gently smooth the top. Bake for about 1 hour. Let cool for 15-20 Minutes in pan and the turn out onto wire rack to finish cooling before slicing.

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You will be left with a nice hearty and moist banana bread that is excellent on its own, with some peanut butter on top or made into french toast.
Or as the end pieces of an ice cream sandwich. Yes please.

Megan

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Chewy Seedy Granola Bars

So being nut-free puts limitations on a few things. What’s a sister supposed to eat for a snack on the go? Fruit of the fresh and dried variety gets boring quickly. All I want is a granola bar in my life. Is that too much to ask?

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Apparently, It is a little too much to ask for. Luckily, these granola bars taste better than any granola bars I’ve ever had.. ever. Seriously. Even my nut eating boyfriend thought these were amazing. There will be variations in the near future.
The recipe is adapted from a granola bar recipe I found on the Smitten Kitchen.

For the seed mixture I used:
1/4 C hemp seeds
1/4 C sesame seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 C pumpkin seeds
*ALL raw and unsalted
Dump all of these into a dry skillet over medium heat.

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Toasting took be about 10 minutes, just make sure to stir regularly. No one wants burnt seeds. Ew
You could also do this in the oven since we will be utilizing it soon.
Either way, they’re done when they look like this:

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Set aside to cool.

Chewy Seedy Granola Bars
1 2/3 cup quick oats
1/3 cup oat flour- see note
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
Seed mixture– 1/4 cup reserved–see note
2 oz chopped chocolate or chocolate chips, (or more)
6 cardamom pods, crushed (or 1/4 tsp ground cardamom or desired spice)
6 Tblspn unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
1/3 C maple syrup
1/3 cup sunflower seed butter (my favorites are Sunbutter or Trader Joes brand)
1Tblspn Water

Preheat oven to 350*F.
Grease an 8×8 pan with butter and line the bottom with parchment creating a sling for easy removal.
In a 2 C measuring cup, combine your cardamom pods or powder with your butter. Melt the butter in the microwave for 30 seconds, stir. It may need 10 more seconds. We are doing a kind of mini steep here maximizing that cardamom flavor. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine oats, oat flour, sugar, salt, all but 1/4 C of the nuts and the chocolate.
Into the butter add vanilla, maple syrup and water.
Pour the butter mixture through a sieve into the dry ingredients to catch the cardamom bits.
Before stiring add your sunflower seed butter.
Stir to combine and press into your greased pan using wet hands or a spatula.
Bake at 350* for 30 minutes.
*** Let cool COMPLETELY before trying to remove them from the pan to cut. Seriously.. I know its hard but ya gotta wait. They will crumble otherwise.

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Notes: I didn’t use all of my seed mixture because… I snacked on it as I was working. Oops. I’m sure you could use all of it if you wanted to but these were plenty seedy. Also, for the oat flour I just buzzed some oats in my food processor for about 30 seconds.

I know that these have butter in them and you’re all “Megan this is basically a cookie in bar form because of all of the butter” but trust me. You need to make these with butter. You will not regret it. If you must, sub half (not all) out for extra sunbutter or oil.

What add-ins to you prefer in granola bars?
Soft and chewy or crunchy?
I prefer chewy. And chocolate..

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Ginger and Honey Broiled Grapefruit

Remember that time I bought way too many grapefruits?
I do.
Ive been eating them at all times of the day. And drinking them.. but more on that later.
Today I made a twist on the old classic, broiled grapefruit. But I added more flavor by way of a spice and a different sweetener than the old classic calls for.

Broiled Grapefruit with Fresh Ginger and Honey
1 Grapefruit, any variety
.5 teaspoon of freshly ground ginger
2 T honey

First things first, turn your broiler onto 500* F.
To prepare your grapefruit for broiling, cut it in half. Then, using a small sharp paring knife, cut the entire way around the out side of the fruit between the flesh and the pith like so:

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Then cut between each membrane.

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I know, I know, its miserable and tedious. BUT extremely necessary if you want a pleasurable eating experience. Trust me.
Then grate your fresh ginger with a microplane. It will all stick to the underside of the microplane. Thats cool.
Scrape about 1/4 tsp out with a knife and spread if on one half of the grapefruit. Repeat.
Then drizzle each side with about a tablespoon of honey.

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Place onto a parchment lined baking sheet and broil on 500* F for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven, grab a spoon and eat.
Excellent snack or eat as part of a breakfast. OR top with ginger ice cream and you have dessert!! <– kicking myself for not thinking of this before I ate it all.. Good thing I have 5 more grapefruits.

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Dinner With an Identity Crisis

I recently came into a lot of..
Grapefruits.

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Today I wanted to use a grapefruit in my dinner. To tone down grapefruits bitterness and tartness, you gotta add some fat, salt and spice. I threw some things together and came up with this:

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Grapefruit avocado salsa? Grapefruit avocado salad? It can be used as a condiment on top of fish, chicken or tofu OR tossed together with some quinoa or bulgar and BAM. You have a salad.
Or you can be a barbarian like me and use it as a condiment and then just eat the rest out of the bowl.
Haters gonna hate.

Grapefruit Avocado Salsa or Salad
1 ruby red grapefruit, segmented and chopped
3 inches of a seedless cucumber, small dice
1/3 of a bell pepper, I used red, small dice
1/2 of a small avocado, diced
2 Tblspn chopped cilantro
Pinch of salt
Pinch of black pepper
Hot sauce to taste, I used about 1 T of cholula
Combine all ingredients above and use as a condiment or put directly into your mouth.
Note: I used cholula because it’s not actually that spicy as far as hot sauces go and I love the flavor. Siracha or Tapatio would work well, or if you want it really spicy use tobasco. <kind of a hot sauce connoisseur NBD.

20140220-191453.jpgGet ready for tons of grapefruit recipes to eat that delicious baby at all times of the day!

Whats your favorite way to eat grapefruit?
Peace
Megan

Espresso Cookies with Candied Cacao Nibs

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Coffee and chocolate. Chocolate and coffee. The two go hand in hand.
There are roasted coffee notes in chocolate and and rich chocolate notes in coffee.
I find that we generally use coffee as a dual flavor component with chocolate -mocha- or as way to intensify chocolate. Not often is it the other way around. These cookies focus on the espresso flavor with the chocolate as an undertone.
Since being nut-free, I’ve been brainstorming different ways to create texture. One ingredient I’ve played with are cacao nibs. Wonderfully bitter with a distinct chocolate flavor, and reminiscent of roasted coffee beans without that awful woody texture. Alone I felt the weren’t quite crunchy enough so I candied them. This way, the bitterness is the undertone and the chocolate flavor hits the palate first.

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Candied cacao nibs
.5 cups granulated sugar
2T water
.75-1 cup cacao nibs

In a medium skillet (do NOT use non stick) combine the sugar and water. Bring it to a boil for 1 minute. Toss in the cacao nibs and stir till the sugar crystallizes. Transfer to a Silpat to cool.

Espresso cookies
1 stick of butter, at room temp
1 cup dark brown sugar
3T granulated sugar
1 t vanilla
2 eggs
1.75 Cups AP flour
.5t baking powder
.5t baking soda
.5 t salt
2T espresso grind coffee

-Cream the butter and sugars in a stand mixer on medium speed for two minutes, add the vanilla and the eggs and mix to combine.
-Combine all dry ingredients into a bowl and mix together.
-Add the dry ingredients to the mixer and mix just till combined.
-Chill dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. This is important for shaping the dough. Meanwhile preheat oven to 325*F.
-Scoop the cookies onto a parchment lined baking sheet. I used a disher to ensure even cookies but a heaping tablespoon will work as well.
-After they are scooped pick up each ball and dunk the top into the cacao nibs. Thus will work if the dough is chilled. If your dough is warm, generously sprinkle the tops.
-Gently push down the tops of the balls to create thick disks.
Your unbanked cookies should look like this:

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Bake in a 325 oven for 10 minutes flipping the tray half way through. Cool on a rack and enjoy.

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I’m thinking ice cream sandwiches for these bad boys. So delicious.

Candied Kumquats

It’s kumquat season. Or really tiny sour/bitter orange season. Whichever.

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They are delightful and under utilized. Personally I can’t eat them raw. They are too bitter and sour for my tastes. However, with a little bit of work and patience, these little beauties can be used as a garnish, flavor component or citrusy sweet snack.

Candied Kumquats

1 cup kumquats, thinly sliced
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 bay leaf- optional

Put the sugar, water and bay leaf into a pan on the stovetop. Bring to a boil for a few minutes to dissolve all of the sugar. Turn heat to low. Gently put the kumquats into the syrup and simmer for 8 minutes. Let cool, and store in a glass container in the fridge.
These would make a great sub for any candied citrus. Just let them drain before using.

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Enjoy!
What recipe would you put these in? I’m thinking spice cookies. Texture and flavor.