Yesterday on Twitter I received some Earth shattering information.
Well that might be a slight overstatement...but seriously I was pumped when I learned
I could grind my own flour.
And not with a fancy grinder mind you with my Vita-Mix.
I was tweeting with Janae of Bring Joy and she said making her own flour was as simple as a few seconds in her Blendtec.
Well my excitement mounted because I was really not wanting to spend tons of money on oat flour, millet flour, chickpea flour, rice flour...you get the picture.
So when I got home last night I put her simple words to the test.
And you know what?
She was right, it is easy.
I took a cup of white rice (I happen to have a 15 lbs bag of organic rice from Costco on hand...doesn't everyone?), and it made this:
Beautiful fine powdery flour.
Next up were some dried chick peas that I had on hand.
I was a little concerned that these might be a little big to grind up.
Nope not in the least.
Out came this beautiful pale yellow flour (now it did make an awful lot of noise in the blender at first...but the monetary savings are worth it).
I haven't decided what I am going to do with my rice flour, although I think I am going to make Silvana Nardone's gluten free all purpose flour mix. I would like to experiment with a little more with gluten free foods.
As for the chickpea flour I have had my eye on socca for quite a while. And not just any socca...this socca from Laura at Sprint 2 The Table.
This weekend it will be mine (hopefully it turns out ok and doesn't get stuck to the pan). Pray for me please.
Just as an aside 1 cup of chickpea flour has 10 grams of dietary fiber and 21 grams of protein...holy smokes!
So have you ever made your own flour (please don't let me be the only person who didn't know you could do this)?
Do you bake gluten free...any recipe tips or suggestions?
I am so very grateful that they allowed me to have this book for review.
It contains 200 recipes that cover everything from breakfast to dinner to desserts (and everything else in between).
In addition to recipes Dreena provides a reference section entitled Plant Powered Pantry. Here she discusses the variety of ingredients she uses. She provides examples of their flavors, where to use them, how to cook them, what compliments nicely with them, etc. For example:
I could sit and just read this section like a book and absorb all that she has here. It is the perfect reference guide for those who may not be as familiar with whole foods or vegan foods.
In all of her recipes Dreena includes whether they are gluten free or nut free (to be sensitive to those with allergies). This did serve to provide me with a little bit of confusion.
In my house we don't have any allergies or sensitivies to gluten. So for me figuring out the various types of flour (millet, chickpea, rice, spelt, etc) has been a bit challenging. It has been a welcome exposure though as I feel like I always depend on all purpose flour. The flavors these flours provide enhance the recipes and have opened a new world for me.
The recipes also contain hints and tips through Dreena's "Ingredients 411" and "If This Apron Could Talk."
I selected two recipes from the book:
Coconut Banana Muffins
These have just a hint of banana, a slight chew from the coconut, and a crunch from the turbinado sugar topping.
I was excited that oat flour was one of the ingredients as I got to make my own. I took quick oats and gave them a spin in my vita-mix. I was stunned because it worked like a charm and was so easy. I doubted that it would make the flour so fine, but have no fear it really does work.
These were the perfect muffins to get my crew going on their first day of school.
I also tried out:
Lemony Luscious Almond Cake
topped with fresh strawberry sauce
Holy Smokes Batman...this is good. The cake is super moist which is on account of adding 2 whole lemons. Yes that step is what intrigued me to make the recipe. You boil two lemons and they go in this cake (minus the seeds).
I love the combination of strawberry and lemon together so I chose the Dreena's strawberry sauce, instead of the maple sauce recommended by the book, to accompany the cake.
Overall I love the diversity of the book. I am still struggling with the variety of ingredients that I don't normally keep on hand, but I am slowly adding items to my pantry so that I can make more of her recipes.
I think this cookbook is definitely one to be added to your collection.
If you would like to hear another opinion, and perfectly penned review check out Gena at Choosing Raw who also reviewed this book.
The internet is abuzz with news about California's proposition 37.
If you don't know what that it is it is the proposition to label genetically modified foods.
I think the most disheartening reveal from the slurry of information out there is that some of the organic companies that I love are paying to say "No" to GMO labeling.
To me that seems completely counter intuitive, but when Pepsi/Kellogs/General Mills, etc own you they own your thoughts as well.
Such a shame!
I don't want to be preachy but I just have to say if you have nothing to hide then should not be concerned about labeling.
If you are proud of the product your produce you should not be concerned about labeling.
I found this chart on the website of the Cornucopia Institute (a 501c who promotes family scale farming).
Larabar put out a message today addressing their position on the "No" side.
Dear LÄRABAR Community,
We hear your passion and concerns regarding California Proposition 37, and we acknowledge the strongly held views on this topic. We would like to restate – LÄRABAR products do not use any GMO ingredients, and never will. As a further sign of our commitment, we are in the process of enrolling our brand in the Non-GMO Project.
Like most food companies that sell products beyond California, General Mills (the parent company of LÄRABAR) is not in favor of state-based labeling laws. General Mills believes labeling regulations should be set at the national level, not on a state-by-state basis, as Proposition 37 would mandate in California. To learn more about General Mills’ position on Proposition 37, we encourage you to read more here.
We welcome your constructive, respectful feedback and will make sure that your comments are shared with General Mills. For further questions or to share your comments, please contact us.
The LÄRABAR Team
My issue with this missive is if you oppose state labeling why not spearhead national labeling? Would it be so hard to spend some of that money to lobby for nationwide labeling? Show the consumer community that you don't have anything to hide.
That is my rant for today, it has been sitting in the pit of my stomach all week.
To get a bigger breakdown of who owns the organic industry see this chart.
No we aren't having a baby (I've had 3 and that is enough).
No in the mail we received a new addition to our family (about 1000) of them.
Would you like to take a guess as to what it is?
They come all packaged up in a linen bag.
Oh so intriguing I know :)
We have worms!!!
We have decided that instead of a traditional compost bin (which we've had for years) that we are going to switch over to worms.
Vermiculture to be exact.
We have about 1000 worms that reside a big rubbermaid container (yes holes were drilled for air and ventilation). Inside you put in a bed of cardboard and sherreded paper as well as your food scraps (veggies, fruit, pasta, and bread...no meat they are vegetarians like me).
It is truly a cool process to see how much the worms can go through and how fast they can break down the organic matter.
Once we have enough castings (aka poop) we can spread that in our gardens for some of the richest fertilizer you will even find.
Do you compost? If so what is your chosen method.
Be sure, if you haven't done so already, to enter my Conscious Box giveaway (it is open until midnight on Tuesday the 21st).
Well in April of 2005, a young mom was confronted with a diaper rash that just wouldn't quit. The rash needed some fresh air to heal, but she was also concerned about keeping her daughter warm. In a moment of inspiration, she snipped the feet off of a pair of socks and fitted her daughter from hip to ankle with a cool set of leg warmers. These leg warmers not only kept her daughter warm, but also protected her from the elements, made diaper changing and potty training easier, and protected her soft knees while crawling. With some fun designs and some grassroots marketing support, the functional and fashionable leg warmers that began as a solution to keep little legs warm quickly became much more.
They have got TONS of more styles, and I just don't have the space to show them all...but they are precious.
For younger children they really do provide nice protection for their knees. For the older children it is a wonderful opportunity to add a little flair to their outfits. For someone like my daughter these are just a dream AND they don't interfere with her potty training.
There is different sizing depending on what product you might purchase (they sell socks, tights and leg warmers), but a link to that is here.
If you would like to see what other fans of Baby Legs are saying you can head over to their Facebook page and check it out.
I bet right about now you are asking your self "How do I enter this giveaway?"
Simple use the Rafflecopter below. I will announce a winner on Monday August 20th. Be sure to share this opportunity with your friends. And remember Baby Legs are for boys and girls so this is open to everyone.
You will have to forgive me for writing a "catch up" post. I am in a serious state of food bliss, I blame this on the Whole Foods salad bar I had for lunch capped off with a GT's kombucha (seriously addictive stuff).
I have been catching up this past week on my blog reading, I have been sorely behind.
I found out that one blogger is have a baby, congrats Steph!
At least that is the claim by Folly Beach residents.
Folly Beach is an island about 15 minutes south of Charleston, South Carolina.
It is a beautiful and relaxing beach community.
The two best things for me were that we could walk everywhere and the food was fresh, local, and bountiful with vegetarian options (I would recommend The Drop In, Snapper Jacks, and Planet Follywood).
For my kids the only tough decisions they had to make was whether they wanted to visit the beach:
(bathings suits were optional)
Or go to the pool:
There is the fabulous Pirate Cove playground (there is a lot of pirate lore in the area), for when you needed play time but didn't want to get wet:
Yes Dad was racing Owen to the top...and Owen won!
And of course we took a day trip into Charleston to see some of the beautiful homes:
We ended the day by picking up cupcakes (this one is a vanilla cake with raspberry filling) from Cupcake (trust me these are TOTALLY worth every penny).
The cupcake was the only food I manager to capture because we were always too ravenous to photograph the take out that we got from the local restaurants.
However I can say that the seafood was very fresh (you can't beat it when it comes straight off the boat to your plate and no time to be frozen and wait on a grocery store shelf) and the restaurants care about the food they produce.
If you are looking for a quiet beach getaway that is perfect for anything from a family vacation to a romantic getaway or even a girls only trip Folly Beach is for you.
There are bunches of vacation rentals but I have to recommend the condo, Swell Time, we stayed in because the owners, Charlotte and Boyd, were so attentative and really provide tons of amenities.
So what is your favorite summer vacation location (beach, mountains, desert)?