Archive for January, 2014

Gluten-Free Banana Blueberry Loaf

Monday, January 20th, 2014

This gluten-free Banana Blueberry Loaf recipe is excellent whether or not you are avoiding wheat. Neither I nor my husband could tell that this wonderfully moist and satisfying bread had not been made with wheat flour – except for the lack of digestive heaviness one feels from eating wheat. Other gluten-free bread recipes made with coconut flour use so many eggs it is almost like eating soufflé. Not this recipe: it is bready, moist, and lovely with a generous dollop of MELT® Organic spread on top. This recipe is adapted from Strands of My Life.

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Ingredients

1 ripe medium-sized banana or 2 small ripe bananas
1 medium potato, boiled and mashed
¼ cup MELT Organic, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
½ cup unrefined sugar
1¼ cups all-purpose gluten-free flour*
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

*Gluten-free flour mix is 4 cups brown rice flour, 1⅓ cups potato starch (NOT flour), ⅔ cup tapioca starch. Combine all ingredients in a large ziplock bag. Shake until well blended.

Directions

  • Heat oven to 350°F.
  • In a food processor, blend the banana, potato, MELT Organic and vanilla.
  • Add the eggs and blend again.
  • Sift all the dry ingredients together.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well.
  • Add the blueberries and mix gently.
  • Pour the mixture into a loaf tin lined with parchment paper and bake for 1 hour.
  • Cool completely before slicing.

How to Make Lacto-Fermented Garlic

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Raw garlic cloves can be harsh to eat. Eating raw garlic cloves upsets my stomach because of their intense heat.

Enter lacto-fermented garlic!

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Naturally fermented garlic is an excellent way to enjoy raw garlic with all the enzymes and nutrients intact but full of probiotic goodness and without as much heat. Fermented garlic tastes like a cross between raw and roasted garlic where the cloves become almost buttery in texture. The flavors of the fermented cloves and brine are strongly garlicky, but more complex than fresh raw garlic. Having a jar on hand at all times is very convenient and you’ll find yourself reaching for it in the fridge regularly – the cloves and brine are perfect for homemade salad dressing, marinades, or any savory dish that calls for fresh garlic. They add an amazing flavor to cooked dishes. As you can see, I have already gotten through half of this jar and need to make more! (Check out all of MELT’s savory recipes at http://www.meltorganic.com/tips-recipes/recipes-main/.)

Because it is simply brined, fermenting whole garlic cloves is easy with most of the work in peeling the garlic. The longer it’s stored, the mellower the flavor. Other fermentation recipes call for using whey, but I believe it’s unnecessary and worth avoiding. If you are new to fermented foods, check our recipes for making German Sauerkraut and Organic Ginger Beet Kvass as well.

Ingredients

12 heads organic garlic

2% brine, about 19 g of sea salt per quart of water

Equipment

Quart fermentation jar with airlock system

Mason quart jar for storage

Please note fermentation jars with airlocks can be purchased online from Cultures For Health or The Probiotic Jar.

Directions

  • Clean and sanitize kitchen surfaces; the cleaner your environment the better. Clean and sanitize the equipment (fermentation jar, weights) to ensure the absence of pathogenic bacteria. Be sure to rinse off the equipment after sanitizing it so does not kill the beneficial bacteria needed for fermentation.
  • Remove the skins from the garlic cloves. A neat trick for efficiently removing the skins is illustrated in the video below:
  • How To Peel a Head of Garlic in Less Than 10 Seconds
  • Place the peeled garlic cloves into the fermentation jar.
  • Cover the garlic cloves with the 2% sea salt brine, leaving 1” airspace.
  • Fill the airlock half way with water and seal the jar tightly.
  • Place in a location between 68-72 degrees F and away from direct sunlight. Forget about it for 4 weeks.
  • Transfer the fermented garlic to a mason quart jar and store in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

 

Sweet & Crunchy Brussels Sprouts

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

This recipe is a fun, vegetarian variation for Brussels sprouts. It’s a perfect alternative to all of the heavy foods we have been eating over the holidays. This recipe is adapted from the Food Network and serves 4.

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Ingredients

1 pound Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced

3 tablespoons MELT® Organic

½ teaspoon sea salt or to taste

2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

½ cup raw pecans

¼ barberries (or cranberries)

Directions

  • Thinly slice the Brussels sprouts by hand or in a food processor.
  • Place the barberries in a colander immersed in a bowl filled with water. Soak for 20 minutes to remove any dirt. If you are using cranberries, skip this step.
  • Add the MELT to a large skillet along with the Brussels sprouts, sea salt, and orange juice.
  • Turn on the heat to medium and stir until the greens are bright and slightly wilted, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Remove the skillet from heat.
  • Remove the colander of barberries and rinse in cold water.
  • Add the drained barberries and pecans to the skillet and toss to combine. Serve warm and enjoy!
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