Friday, March 9, 2018

Chickpea Brownies

I'm a bit bummed, and I want chocolate, but I also want to stick to my diet. I'm also eating down the pantry again to save money for a few months. So, I decided I'd see if chickpeas work in the black bean brownie recipes.

Good news, they do.

15.5 oz. chickpeas, rinse and drained
3 eggs
3 Tbsp. almond oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp. butter extract
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 cup Lakanto
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In your food processor, combine everything but the chocolate chips and blend until smooth.
  3. Grease your 8x8 or 9x9 pan well.
  4. Pour into pan, and sprinkle with chips.
  5. Bake 20-30 minutes, until passes toothpick test.
Made as is, 140 calories for each of 9 brownies.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Homemade Cheese with bonus Dulce de Leche

I'm trying to learn how to make everything by scratch, and while rummaging through the internet I learned about acid-set cheese and knew I had to do it. It was cheaper than cottage cheese or cheese curds, so why not?

But then I was leftover with all of this acid whey, so out into the lost lands of internet forgotten I went again, and found several recipes for Dulce de Leche made from acid whey. Tada. No waste.

So, you get a super mild cheese, which makes it easy to add things through, and a tangy caramel too!

1 gallon whole milk
1/2 a cup white vinegar (or lemon juice)
  1. Pour milk into your big pot, and simmer until reaches 175-180F.
  2. Remove from heat.
  3. Add vinegar 1 Tbsp. at a time, giving a stir in between, until it separates into curds and whey.  Trust me, it will be obvious when you get there. It really separates.
  4. Let sit 20 min.
  5. Line a colander with a cheesecloth or flour sack cloth.  Sit on a bowl to collect whey.
  6. Using a ladle, drain cheese in colander, being careful to stop and collect the whey as you go.  I just kept mine in my rinsed milk jug.
  7. Once all cheese is in, let drain 20 min. Refrigerate whey.
  8. After 20 min., gather cheese into center of the cloth and form a ball.  Twist hard and return to colander.  Place weighted plate on top.  Let sit 1-2 hours. Until as firm as you would like.
  9. Remove and refrigerate immediately.  Last about 1 week.
  10. Press into containers with goodies mixed in as you go, or eat it right off the ball.

Dulce de Leche
Whey from 1 gallon of milk
2 cups sugar
5 Tbsp. salted butter
1 Tbsp. vanilla bean paste

  1. Bring whey to a boil in large sauce pot, and then reduce to a simmer.
  2. Stirring every now and then, reduce by half.
  3. Add sugar and vanilla, and return to a simmer.  
  4. Heat to 230-240F.
  5. Stir in butter one pat at a time and pour into sterilized jars.
  6. Let sit until can touch the jars easily. Every now and then, stir to incorporate the butter.
  7. Cap and refrigerate. Keeps up to 2 months.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Mini Granola Quickbreads

We're in the middle of a truly ugly storm, and I've gotten most of my work done. I also have a big canister of homemade granola that I'm not going to be able to finish before it stales out, so I decided I'd look and see what kind of recipes were out there, and  found this recipe to use as my base from Baking Bites.

Now, I happen to have a half-gallon or so of acid whey leftover from making cheese, so I decided I would use that in place of milk and see what happens.

The result was a wonderful quickbread with a nutty flavor and just the right amount of sweetness and around 5-6% of your daily protein a slice.  Now my granola has quinoa seeds, dates, almonds, pecans, and chia seeds, so it gets a boost, but this is an estimate. Turns out it's hard to find an equivalent for homemade stuff in the calculators.

If you're using store bought granola, I also recommend cutting back on the sweetener another 1/4 cup, my homemade stuff is a lot less sweet than that stuff.

This is going to be my new go-to muffin I think.

1 1/2 cup all-purpose, unbleached flour
1 1/2 cup homemade date-nut granola
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup Lakanto golden (or sugar)
1/4 cup almond oil
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup acid whey (or milk)
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, granola, nutmeg, powder, and salt. Whisk together.
  3. In a smaller bowl, combine eggs, sweetener, oil, vanilla and whey.  Whisk well.
  4. Add wet to dry and muffin mix.
  5. Grease 4 mini pans well, and divy up the batter between them equally.
  6. Plave in oven, and cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Reduce oven to 350F and bake until done. Will pass toothpick test and be golden, about 20-30 min.
About 500 calories a mini loaf.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Tart Cherry Pie Filling

Dad grows all sorts of cool stuff, from asparagus to natty little heirloom pears, but by far my favorite is the cherries.  He stopped by today with a big ol' bag of tart cherries so I just had to make pie filling.

I pretty much only get to have cherry pie at home. Most of the stuff on the market contains red dye 40, which I'm pretty flippin' allergic too.  So this is something I'm pretty good at making. I generally can even eyeball it.

Sadly, I ate it so fast, there are no pictures.  I will update at some point.

5 cups tart cherries, pitted
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup warm water+ 2 Tbsp. cold water
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and cherries and 2 Tbsp. cold water.  Cook on medium until starts to cook down and get juicy.
  2. In a cereal bowl, whisk together cornstarch and warm water.
  3. Slowly pour into cherry mixture.  Cook until bubbly and soft. If a little too thick, you can thin out with a bit of water.
  4. Pour or scoop into sterile jars. Cool halfway and then refrigerate with the lid slightly unscrewed. You can give it a bath and store it, or just keep it in the fridge and use it within 2 weeks.
Makes 13 servings of 1/4 cup at 60 calories a serving.

Sweet Almond-Orange Scones with Blood Orange Curd

I bake when I'm anxious.  I'm incredibly anxious. I haven't been sleeping great, thanks in part to the pre-doctoral limbo of waiting for acceptance, and in part to this brutal online course I'm taking.

I made candied orange peels 2 weeks ago, and I still have a lot left, and I had some blood oranges in the house, so I decided it was curd time. And scones go with curd.

So this one is a 3-fer. I'm going to give you the recipe I used for the peels, the scones, and my curd. Obviously, you can sub out 1:1 the Lakanto for sugar. Do stick to white sugar for this recipe though.

Candied Blood Orange Peels (From Tiphero)
4 blood oranges
2 cups water
2 1/2 cups sugar, divided
Water for boiling
  1. Cut off tops of oranges. 
  2. Score into 4ths.
  3. Carefully remove the peels, and cut into bout 1/4 inch pieces.
  4. Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring orange peels to a boil. Remove from heat and drain.
  5. Repeat two more times.
  6. Set peels aside.
  7. In the medium saucepan, combine 2 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer.
  8. Add peels and cook until translucent, stirring as little as possible. About an hour.
  9. Lightly oil your silicone mat.
  10. Drain any remaining syrup from orange peels, and remove to mat.
  11. Cool only until you can touch, then quickly roll in sugar (I use 1/4 cup Lakanto, 1/4 cup white).
  12. Place on racks to dry for at least 24 hours.
  13. Store in mason jar.
Approximately 95 calories an oz.

Scones (adapted from King Arthur's)
2 3/4 cups all-purpose
2 1/2 Tbsp. Lakanto
2 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 cup cold, salted butter, diced
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup candied blood orange peels, chopped
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk
  1. Combine flour, sugar, and powder with a whisk.
  2. Work in butter with hands until crumbly.
  3. Stir in almonds and candied orange peels.
  4. In another bowl, combine eggs, flavor, and milk.
  5. Add liquid to dry and mix until just combined (muffin mix).
  6. Divide in 1/2 and pat out into 2- 6 inch disks.
  7. Run a pizza cutter under cold water, and cut each disk into 6ths.
  8. Separate carefully and place on baking sheet lined with parchment.
  9. Freeze for 30 minutes.
  10. Preheat oven to 425F while they freeze.
  11. Bake 10-20 minutes, until lightly golden. Size of scones will change baking time.
235 calories each

Blood Orange Curd
2 blood oranges, the redder the better
8 egg yolks
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 cup salted butter, cut into pats (keep in fridge)
  1. Fill medium saucepan about 1/3 of the way with water and bring to a boil.
  2. Find a glass bowl that just fits n without touching water.
  3. Zest one orange, and juice both oranges.
  4. Combine orange juice with egg yolks and sugar, and whisk to combine.
  5. Reduce water to simmer and place bowl on top.
  6. Whisk constantly as cooks. It will take some time. You will feel it begin to thicken.  Your looking for it to reach a point where if you dip a metal spoon into it, it coats the spoon and doesn't drip too much.
  7. Remove to warmed cutting board (to prevent cracking).
  8. Whisk in orange zest.
  9. Whisk in cold butter pats 1 pat at a time. Make sure the first melts completely before adding the next.
  10. Makes 2-8 oz  mason jelly jars.
  11. Refrigerate. Lasts 1-2 weeks.
Approximately 74 calories per Tbsp.