I made a batch this morning and was extremely impressed. Pancakes are hit or miss with me, usually because I wing it and don’t follow a specific recipe! This time, I followed her directions, well, up to a point. I still put my own spin on the ingredients, but it worked beautifully.
Her original cornmeal cakes recipe also includes cherry compote, but we topped with some of my own homemade Concord grape syrup instead.
1 cup fine cornmeal or corn flour
1.5 Tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp boiling water
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp chia seeds (or experiment with other seeds, like sesame, poppy or even caraway)
1/4 cup yogurt mixed with 3/4 cup water
1 egg, beaten
coconut oil for pan
Add cornmeal to large bowl, then stir in oil and boiling water. Allow to rest for 5 minutes to soften cornmeal.
In another small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt, then set aside
Add chia seeds, yogurt liquid and egg to the cornmeal mixture and mix until blended.
Pour the dry flour mix into the cornmeal mixture and stir carefully until blended.
Cook pancakes over medium heat in cast iron pan or griddle, adding 1/2 tsp of coconut oil to the pan for each batch.
Blending the cornmeal with the liquids beforehand seemed to make it a lot easier to blend in the flour. Sometimes I feel like I’m over mixing.
Sara’s original recipe included honey and sugar, but I don’t like adding any sweetener to pancakes since we always top with sweet syrup of some sort. Truthfully, even plain, these pancakes were really delicious! I didn’t miss the extra sugar at all! Anyway, I replaced 2 Tbsp honey with more boiling water. If you want to go by her original recipe, add 2 Tbsp honey with the cornmeal, olive oil, and boiling water, and 3 Tbsp of natural sugar to the dry flour ingredients.
Sara made her pancakes with 3/4 cup buttermilk. I had plain yogurt on hand, so I mixed 1/4 cup with 3/4 cup of water, making a full cup of liquid which was 1/4 cup more liquid than the original recipe. I like a really thin batter, and the consistency of this was perfect for me.
The original recipe used all butter, but I replaced with olive oil and coconut oil.
The chia seeds were my idea. I love adding seeds to pancakes!
I will definitely make these pancakes again. I love the taste of corn pancakes, and next time I’m thinking 1/2 cup of shredded coconut might be a nice addition. Yum!
Oh these muffins were fantastic! Surprisingly, rolled oats work well in place of flour in muffins. I also used Bob’s Red Mill 7 Grain hot cereal, but plain oat bran would work fine. Hmm, I also might try 100% rolled oats next time!
Muffins made from cereal are a quick & easy way to eat a healthy breakfast, especially when you have someone that generally doesn’t like hot cereal!
1 cup dry Bob’s Red Mill 7 Grain Hot Cereal
1 cup rolled oats
1 tsp salt
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 oz chopped Walnuts
1/4 cup Chia Seeds (I used Bob’s Red Mill brand)
1 cup Yogurt, Plain, Whole Milk
1 large Egg
1/4 cup Molasses
1 Tbsp Honey, optionally dissolved in 1/4 cup water
1/4 cup Olive Oil
84g Raisins (about 3/4 – 1 cup)
Preheat oven to 350F
Whisk all dry ingredients (including nuts & chia seeds) in large bowl
Whisk wet ingredients in a large glass measuring cup
Mix wet into dry ingredients, then carefully mix in raisins
Divide into (12) paper-lined muffin pan(s)
Bake for about 18 minutes or until muffins are lightly browned & firm to touch
Remove from muffin pan(s) and allow to cool on rack
I love making muffins using Bob’s Red Mill 7 Grain (or 10 grain) hot cereal. They’re similar to oat bran muffins, but so much better!
My husband enjoys eating muffins for an easy breakfast-on-the-go, and I always keep a batch in zip bags in the freezer for him. These muffins are especially great for those (like my DH) that do not like hot cereal! They make a great mid day snack too!
Here’s my recipe for muffins with peaches, strawberries and raisins:
Bob’s Red Mill 7 Grain Cereal Muffins with Peaches, Strawberries, & Raisins
Makes 18 muffins
3 cups dry Bob’s Red Mill – 7 or 10 Grain Hot Cereal, or regular oat bran hot cereal
1 tsp Kosher Salt
3 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 cup sugar or sucanat
2 cups unsweetened Almond Milk (or any liquid equalling 2 cups: plain yogurt with water, regular milk, coconut milk, etc)
1 large egg (or extra-large, jumbo, whatever you have on hand, muffins are so forgiving!)
1/2 cup honey, preferably raw
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce, preferably organic
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract (optional)
1 cup (not packed) raisins, preferably organic
fresh fruit: handful of strawberries, 2-3 peaches or nectarines, 3-4 plums, a cup of blueberries, etc.
Other optional ingredients like chopped nuts, seeds, etc.
Note: These muffins were sweet, so you can reduce the honey to 1/4 cup, which is what I will probably do next time I bake them.
Preheat oven to 350°
In very large mixing bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients: cereal, salt, baking powder, sugar
In large glass measuring cup, combine milk/water, eggs, honey, applesauce, and extracts
Pour wet ingredients into dry, mix carefully, try not to overmix.
Stir in fresh fruit
Spoon into muffin tins lined with paper – I use my Good Grips Medium Cookie Scoop that I picked up from Amazon last year. It isn’t overly large, so I need to usually scoop twice, but it works really well without too much mess.
Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until tops are no longer soft and mushy to touch.
Mind you, I am NOT a baker, but I do like making muffins because they are so forgiving. I don’t have to measure quite as precise as other baked goods, like cakes and pies. I can throw a bunch of dry and wet ingredients together, and if the consistency is too dry, I add a touch more liquid.
1 muffin (from batch of 18)
Total Fat: 1.7g
Vit A: 2.7%
Vit C: 4.3%
As I said, the sugars are on the high side. Reducing the honey to 1/4 cup, lowers the sugar to 14g. If you also reduce the raisins to 1/2 cup, the sugar is lowered to 12g. Start off reducing the sweeteners slowly, and your taste buds will get used to it.
Cheerios used to be thought of as one of the “good” cereals, but over the years, General Mills has capitalized on the Cheerios name to produce UN-healthier, alternative flavors like Dulce de Leche Cheerios and Chocolate Cheerios. And now Peanut Butter is part of the Cheerios flavor family!
Whole Grain Corn, Sugar, Peanut Butter (peanuts, monoglycerides), Whole Grain Oats, Whole Grain Sorghum, Whole Grain Barley, Whole Grain Rice, Corn Syrup, Dextrose, Salt, Canola and/or Rice Bran Oil, Peanut Oil, Color Added, Vitamin E, and BHT. Vitamins and Minerals: Calcium Carbonate, Zinc and Iron (Mineral Nutrients), Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbate), a B Vitamin (Niacinamide), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B1 (Thiamin Mononitrate), Vitamin A (Palmitate), a B Vitamin (Folic Acid), Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3
Even though there are a lot of whole grains on the list, one small serving of Peanut Butter Cheerios offers only a paltry 2g of fiber, along with 9g of sugar (sugar, corn syrup & dextrose.)
No, 9 grams isn’t earth shattering, but do you know how small a serving of 3/4 cup is? Pretty small. My guess is, most consumers will go for 2 servings, which brings the sugar up to 18 grams.
It’s even sadder that regular Cheerios now has ingredients like “modified corn starch” and “wheat starch” – Do you think these highly-processed ingredients were part of the package years ago when Cheerios were first produced? I doubt it.
Consumers don’t realize that highly processed grains (like in commercial cereals) do not offer the same qualities and benefits as fresh whole grains. Plus, there’s the issue of GMO corn and soy, along with sugars, unnecessary oils & emulsifiers (monoglycerides), preservatives, and colors.
And why all the extra added vitamins?
I’m so sick of Big Food adding a few synthetic vitamins and declaring their product a health food. (WhoNu, anyone?)
Let’s just keep the vitamins in our fruits and vegetables, and stop the sneaky marketing!
BEWARE! Peanut Allergies
And one more BIG strike against General Mills is that this is going to cause a lot of peanut allergy issues due to the similarity to regular cheerios!
It’s especially disconcerting since the packaging for both the multi-grain peanut butter and plain multi-grain look very similar. Plus the actual cereal pieces are virtually identical as well.
It’s been reported that a parent accidentally brought home a box of the peanut butter cereal and thankfully his wife caught the error before serving it to their allergic child.
So what’s next General Mills? Will you come out with Birthday Cake flavored Cheerios? How about Bacon flavored Cheerios?
Maybe someday, consumers will stop falling for Big Food’s cute clever marketing, but then what would Big Pharma do if the world was free of obesity, cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure?
Those TV commercials for Nutella Hazelnut Chocolate Spread drive me crazy! They try to convey that it’s the greatest health food since brown rice! And that it’s such a good choice for your kids!
Well it’s not!
Here is the commercial I’ve been seeing over and over:
Ingredients and Nutritional Data from the Nutella USA website
sugar, palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, skim milk, reduced minerals whey (milk), lecithin as emulsifier (soy), vanillin: an artificial flavor.
Serving size: 2 tbsp (37 g)
Calories from Fat 100
Total Fat 11 g
Saturated Fat 3.5 g
Sodium 15 mg
Total Carbohydrate 22 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sugars 21 g
Protein 3 g
How About Some Sugar For Breakfast
Whoa, 21 grams of sugar!!! Duh, no surprise, of course that’s why kids love Nutella! You might as well melt half a Snickers candy bar on top of some whole wheat toast! Does a candy bar sound like a healthy choice for your kids’ breakfast? No? Well, then why is Nutella considered as healthy? It’s sort of like the cereal companies touting that because their product contains whole grains, it’s healthy, but it’s still loaded with refined sugar!
I don’t like their use of palm oil. I mean, come on! It’s 2nd on the ingredients list, before hazelnuts!
Now, I’m not knocking palm oil necessarily. I need to do some additional research on its benefits and possibly how it’s destroying the rain forests, but nutritionally, it seems similar to coconut oil. I am constantly cooking with coconut oil, which is a highly saturated fat food product. I’m not afraid of plant-based saturated fats, but I AM afraid of processed foods containing them.
Unless it’s virgin or extra-virgin, coconut oil can be very unhealthy, due to the way it’s processed/refined. As I said, I’m just beginning to research on palm oil, and I haven’t been able to find out exactly how it’s processed, but I’m assuming that the palm oil in Nutella is highly refined and nowhere close to virgin.
Which is it? Palm Oil or Modified Palm Oil?
It is very strange, but Nutella used to list palm oil as “modified palm oil” on their list of ingredients.
Is the modified palm oil in Nutella® hydrogenated?
No. The modified palm oil is a mix of the liquid and solid oil naturally extracted from the fruit of the palm. The mix is adjusted to assure the best consistency for easy spreading. The process also reduces the level of saturated fat. Per serving Nutella® has 0 gram transfat
This is what Nutella’s web site FAQ states now:
Is the Palm Oil in Nutella® a hydrogenated oil?
No. The palm oil is naturally extracted from the fruit of the palm. This palm oil is adjusted to assure the best consistency for easy spreading by reducing the level of saturated fat.
It still sounds like they “modified” the oil, doesn’t it? ADJUSTED to assure the best consistency? And notice the phrase “naturally extracted” – I don’t believe the word “natural” has any concrete meaning when it comes to food, in fact, it’s probably the most misused misleading word on a label!
I’ve been trying to find anything online that explains the sudden change in ingredient wording, but have come up empty. I have to assume it’s a slight change in their manufacturing process allowed them to remove the word “modified”.
Does Ferrero support responsible palm oil use?
Yes. As a member of the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil), Ferrero only uses palm oil which is extracted from controlled plantations in Malaysia.
Now, if you believe the treehugger.com article, then it’s doubtful that the “RSPO” is even a legitimate environmental group.
Many organizations no longer recognize the RSPO as being legitimate. In November, 80 organizations from 31 countries sent an open letter that included the following:
Destructive oil palm plantations have been certified in Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea and the same greenwashing exercise has started in Colombia, Thailand and Ghana.
We are deeply concerned that RSPO certification is being used to legitimise an expansion in the demand for palm oil and thus in oil palm plantation, and it serves to greenwash the disastrous social and environmental impacts of the palm oil industry. The RSPO standards do not exclude clear cutting of many natural forests, the destruction of other important ecosystems, nor plantings on peat. The RSPO certifies plantations which impact on the livelihoods of local communities and their environments. The problems are exacerbated by the in-built conflict of interest in the system under which a company wanting to be certified commissions another company to carry our the assessment.
A few weeks ago, I was wondering if my toast had less calories than bread. I googled, and duh, of course the calories are the same, they are just calculated differently.
For instance, before toasting, my serving of bread was 2.5 oz, after it’s turned to toast, the weight was reduced to 1.6 oz – no, the calories didn’t disappear, but moisture inside the bread did, taking away a good chunk of its weight.
That is a whole ounce difference, which could lead to overeating if you’re not careful to weigh your bread BEFORE toasting it. If you have to weigh bread after toasting, then you would need to calculate the calories as toast NOT bread.
I love toast, it makes day-old bread taste amazing – just make sure not to burn it!
I made a batch of homemade lower sugar granola for my dad for Father’s Day, based on a recipe I found for “Sugar Free Granola” on allRecipes.com – it’s not necessarily “sugar free” but her recipe contains no added refined sugars. The granola did get sweetness from dates and apple juice. I do not drink juice anymore, so I decided to improvise and substitute 1 Tbsp agave nectar.
So, anyway, it was delicious, and I’ve been wanting to make a batch for us, so this afternoon, I did! I am looking forward to adding it to plain yogurt!
Keep in mind, this granola is not very sweet at all. (see below for approximate nutritional data) If you are used to highly sweetened foods, then it might not be for you! LOL.
Ingredients for Homemade Lower Sugar Granola with Oats, Pecans, Coconut
1 cup chopped pitted dates (about 20 deglet dates) – 150 grams
1 cup water
1/4 cup coconut butter – I use the Artisana brand
1 Tbsp Agave Nectar
1 tsp almond extract (optional)
1-1/2 cups rolled oats – 150 grams
1/2 cup shredded coconut – 50 grams
3/4 (approx) cup chopped pecans – 100 grams
1/2 cup ground flax seed – 50 grams – I use Bob’s Red Mill Flaxseed Meal
1/2 cup sunflower seeds – 75 grams
1 tsp cinnamon
if you do not have coconut butter, you might follow the original recipe and add the 1/4 cup unsweetened apple juice, or you can also add oil. A nut oil or fruity olive oil would be nice.
When I made it for my dad, I also added raisins and unsweetened dried cherries. I left them out of this version, but they can easily be added after the granola cools. It’s probably not a great idea to include them before baking, as they can dry out and harden.
Preheat oven for 350F
In small saucepan, over medium-low heat, combine the dates and water, and cook until they become pasty and thick, about 5 minutes. Make sure to stir often so they don’t burn. If the dates get too hot, lower the heat.
Once the mixture is just finished, stir in the coconut butter and agave nectar. Keep on very low heat (or turn off the stove) and stir until well melted and blended.
Then add the tsp of almond extract (optional) to the date mixture
While dates are cooking, mix up the rest of the dry ingredients in a large bowl
Spread the oat nut mixture onto a large baking sheet and bake for about 7-10 minutes or until lightly toasted.
Once toasted, pour the oat nut mixture back into the large bowl and gently blend in the date glaze. Mix until it’s well combined. If there are dry patches, add a teenie bit of water.
Return the granola back to the baking pan and bake for another 20 minutes or so. Make sure to keep turning/stirring the granola so it browns evenly, and watch it closely so it doesn’t burn.
Remove from oven and allow the pan to cool on a rack. Stir occasionally to cool. Once cooled, the granola will harden slightly.
Store in airtight container. I am not sure if this granola with it’s lower sugar content will keep as long as conventional granola, so if long term storage is needed, then freezing might be a better option.
Based on 23 servings of 1 oz each – approx 1/3 cup
(Use the nutritional data as a guide; the info is not absolute, your results might vary considerably depending on the total weight of the finished product)
Ooh I just picked a sprig each of fresh oregano and basil from our backyard garden, and chopped them for my fried egg breakfast. I’ve never had fresh oregano and wow, it’s wonderful. I’m so lucky.
So, fried egg (fried in 1/2 tsp coconut oil in cast iron) with chopped herbs, garnished with a couple spoonfuls of salsa and topped with more fresh herbs. And a side of fresh baked rosemary whole grain bread. Life is good!
Well, I found what appears to be a wonderful backyard family farm that will deliver eggs to me! I’ve purchased one dozen already and just got another two today. They have a fairly large flock of 75 chickens (and a rooster or two). They seem to be doing it the right way, allowing them to roam free in a large fenced area, giving them additional grass and water if they don’t find enough bugs, seeds, and other goodies on the land. NO antibiotic or hormone use. If a hen becomes ill, they separate it from the others.
The eggs are large and heavy, and the yolks are golden yellow orange! The best part is a dozen large is only $3! Extra large is $4. I got one of each today! And considering the cost is a lot less than what Whole Foods charges for their local eggs, I’m psyched!
Tonight we’re going to have an egg sandwich made with the farm fresh eggs, homemade bread and a side of soup made from potato, fennel, tomato, onion, carrot, celery and warm spices like turmeric, cinnamon, ancho pepper, & paprika. Simmering on the stove now. I love my life in food!