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The crunch gang

28.10.2014

My man and daughter both love crisp bread, hard rye bread to be exact, and they both have a very devoted way to munch and crunch their bread at the mealtime. I feel always a little bit bystander with them because my stomach don´t like rye bread that much and gluten-free crisp breads that you can buy from the supermarket have been kinda disappointing to me. So I´m usually out of the crisp bread gang.

Now my situation looks brighter though! Risenta contacted me and asked if I would want to try out their new gluten-free seed crisp bread mixture and when I looked at the ingredient list I answered YES straightaway.

The mixture includes only nice quality seeds: Sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seed, psyllium seeds and chia-seeds. And no weird additives. You just need to add some oil and water and bake the dough in the oven for a while, and before you know you have nice and tasty and gluten-free crispy bread in front of you!

You can of course use the same technique by mixing different kind of seeds, if you have tendency to collect seed assortments in your closets, like I do. But if not, this package is a easy way to make some crackers when you get an urge to crunch.

I also made some salty chips and crackers from the mixture and they came also out really nice.

My family liked them also. Mainly maybe because now we could all enjoy some nice crispy bread family time together, with no moms left outside.

V

Risenta Seed Crackers

  • 350 g of Risenta Seed Cracker Mix
  • 4 dl of boiled water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat the oven to 175 celcius degrees. Mix the contents of the bag with 4 cup of boiled hot water in a bowl. Stir in 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Let the mixture rest for about 10 minutes.

Pour the mixture onto two baking tarys coveres with baking sheets. Put another baking paper on top of the mixture. Press mixture with your hands until smooth flat plate. Remove the baking paper on top. Sprinkle on some salt and / or dried herbs.

Bake in the oven for about 55 minutes, until bread is dry and gets a beautiful brown color. Take out of the oven and cut to pieces. Store in a resealable jar or box.

*IN CO-OPERATION VANELJA & RISENTA*

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Sunday in bed

24.10.2014

What happens when two ultimate breakfast lovers and foodies meet? Answer is: Sunday in Bed breakfast menu. Which means foods that make you stay with your breakfast long, keep your pajamas on the whole day, crumble on sheets, leave food and dishes here and there so that you can return eating after a small nap.

We created the menu together with super lovely Tuulia from Uusia Tuulia blog (that you can read also in english now!) We two share the same food visions, we love good and delicious food, clean flavors, fresh ingredients, and most of all, good breakfasts.

Sunday in Bed breakfast menu includes:

  • Almond yogurt

  • Berry almond granola

  • Lemon pancake

  • Orange blossom jam

  • Hemp bread rolls

  • Kiwi Spinach Apple juice

I could go on and on about how amazing all these dishes are eaten together or alone, but instead I just recommend you, very warmly, to write down all these ingredients and get them for your slow weekend mornings.

The recipes for almond yogurt, jam and bread rolls you can find here below and the recipes for granola, pancake and juice you can get from Tuulia´s blog.( Just switch the language to english from the upper bar on her page!)

Have lazy and lovely weekend!

V

ALMOND YOGURT

(dairy-free)

  • 2 cups raw almonds (soaked overnight)
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tbl honey
  • 1 probiotic capsule or 1 package vegan yogurt starter 3 tbls natural yogurt/ unflavored vegan yogurt with active bacterial culture
  • 1 – 3 ts agar agar (if you want your yogurt to be thicker)

blend soaked and strained almonds, water, and sweetener and blend until smooth. Strain the mixture with cheese cloth on top of a bowl, so that you get a nice white almond milk. You can use the left over almond pulp for example with crackers or bread rolls.
Pour the almond milk into a pot and warm it so that it almost boils. If you want your yogurt to be thicker, add agar agar and boil carefully for about 5 – 7 minutes and add probiotic powder after that. Allow the mixture to cool. Stir in the brobiotic powder / yogurt. Pour yogurt into a sealable clean glass jar. Allow the mixture to incubate for about 6 – 12 hours. Store the yogurt in an air-tight container/jar in the refridgerator.
Try different lengths of time yogurt cultures and amount of culture you use so that you find the best way to make the perfect yogurt for your taste!

HEMP BREAD ROLLS

  • 1 tablespoon of chia-seed + 0,5 cup water
  • 1,5 cup almond flour (you can substitute part of this with the almond pulp left over from making the almond yogurt)
  • 0,5 cup oatmeal
  • 0,25 cup potato flour
  • 0,5 cup hemp seeds
  • 0,25 cup of linen seeds
  • 1,5 tsp psyllium fiber husk
  • 1,5 tsp baking powder

  • 1,5 cups of water (or some dairy-free milk)

  • 0,25 cup melt butter (or coconut oil)
  • 2 tablespoons hemp oil
  • 1 tsp local honey
  • 0,5 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
  • pinch of sea salt

Preheat the oven to 200 celcius degrees. Mix chia seeds and oat milk in a small bowl and let it sit for about 15 minutes until you get a gel-like mixture. Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Add water, melted butter/oil, chia gel, honey, apple vinegar and salt. Allow the dough to swell for a couple of minutes. The dough should be soft, plump, like a yeast dough – not dry. If necessary, add some flour or liquid.

Take pieces of dough and roll them into balls and put them on a baking tray covered with a baking sheet. Sprinkle some poppy seeds on top. Bake the buns for about 30 minutes in center of the oven until they are nice and golden. Take out of the oven, let them cool a bit, serve and enjoy!

ORANGE BLOSSOM CHIA-JAM

  • 3 oranges
  • 3 tablespoons local raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon orange flower water
  • 3 tablespoons chia-seeds

Puree the oranges in the blender until the mixture is smooth. Add the honey and orange blossom water and stir. Taste and add sweetness, if you will. Pour the mixture into a clean, sealable glass jar and stir in the chia-seeds. Leave to thicken, stir after 15 minutes and put the jar in the fridge for about 1 to 5 hours. Use with pancakes or other goodies! Store in a refrigerator in closed jar. Use within a week.

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Heavenly bread

15.10.2014

There was a time when I avoided all bread. It made me feel bloated and annoyed. Then came the time when I realised that the villain was gluten in breads, the reason for my misery. So I switched to gluten-free breads that you can buy from supermarkets. They tasted horrible. AND caused unpleasant feelings in my stomach. What followed was an ecstatic time period with raw foods and raw crackers. I felt awesome, but as time went by, the dry crackers started to stuck into my throat, metaphorically speaking.

From crackers I switched to home made gluten-free nut and seed breads that gave some ease to my bread-hunger. But hey, they don't compare to fluffy, tasty white bread. If anyone says anything other than that, they are fooling themselves and other people.

So what happened then, you might wonder. Well, as it usually goes in these kinds of stories, I had an enlightenment. I found the world of gluten-free and grain-free flours, powders and other natural additives. And after then, gluten-free baking felt like a dance!

My latest dance moves in that field happened last weekend: I baked these amazing heavenly fluffy poppy seed buns with chia seed gel and psyllium husk as the main binders. If you´re looking for a totally vegan recipe, you can switch the butter into coconut oil or some other oil you prefer!

This is an enter to a bread heaven. Especially enjoyed with this strawberry butter.

Btw, After the recipe, check out my best gluten-free baking tips!

POPPY SEED BUNS

(gluten-free, yeast-free)

About 12 rolls

  • 2 tablespoons chia-seeds + 0,5 cup water
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 0,5 cup buckwheat flour
  • 0,5 cup potato starch
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tbsp psyllium husk
  • 1 cup oat milk (or other dairy-free milk or water)
  • 1/2 ts liquid honey
  • 0,5 cup melted butter or coconut oil, or half and half
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    • poppy seeds on top

Preheat the oven to 200 celcius degrees. Mix chia seeds and water in a small bowl and let it sit for about 15 minutes until you get a gel-like mixture. Mix almond flour, buckwheat, potato starch, baking powder and psyllium husk in a bowl. Add oat milk, melted butter and/or oil, chia gel, liquid honey and salt. Allow the dough to swell for a about 10 minutes. The dough should be soft, plump, like a yeast dough, not dry. If necessary, add some flour or liquid.

Take pieces of dough and roll them into balls and put them on a baking tray covered with a baking sheet. Sprinkle some poppy seeds on top. Bake the buns for about 25-30 minutes in center of the oven until they are slightly golden. Take out of the oven, serve and enjoy!

Check out our poppy deed bread rolls tutorial video HERE.

STRAWBERRY BUTTER

  • 5-7 fresh strawberries (or 0,5 cups of freeze dried strawberries)
  • 200 g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoons honey
  • pinch of black pepper & sea salt

Melt the butter until soft. If you use freeze dried strawberries, put them into a blender and puree until powder. Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend until the mixture is smooth. Let the butter thicken a little bit in the fridge.

VEGAN STRAWBERRY FRESH CHEESE

  • 5-7 fresh strawberries (or 1 cup freeze dried strawberries)
  • 0,5 cup cashews (steeped for at least an hour)
  • 270 g plain tofu
  • 1 tablespoon juice of a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon coconut syrup
  • 1 tablespoon almond oil (or other mild vegetable oil)
  • 0,5 tsp bourbon vanilla
  • pinch of black pepper
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons almond milk (or other dairy-free milk or water)

If you are using the freeze-dried strawberries, chop them first into a powder in a blender. Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth thick paste. Line a small bowl with a plastic wrap and press the mixture tightly into a bowl with a spoon. Cover the bowl and let the cream cheese sit in the fridge overnight. In the morning make a ball or stick from the mass. Serve for example with breakfast buns. Store in the refrigerator in a sealable jar or wrapped with foil or plastic wrap.

GUIDE TO GLUTEN-FREE BAKING

Best flours, powders, tips and tricks to successful gluten-free baking!

FLOURS:

  • -Almond flour/almond meal:

Tasty and rich in fiber, just like many other gluten-free flours does not form starch by itself, so you´ll need to use some booster with it, for example baking powder and psyllium husk. Some almond meals/flours that you can find in stores are rougher and include almond shell. The rougher almond meals are full-fat, which means they do not bind as much moisture as the finer almond meals.

  • -Coconut Flour:

Slightly sweet coconut flour is one of my favorites. Coconut flour swells in liquids, so you need it less than half of so called normal flour.

  • -Nut/Almond flours:

Different kinds of nut flours can be used to provide a variety of taste nuances. They are mainly best used with other flours. You can prepare nut and almond flour yourself by grinding the nuts in an effective blender. Beware, however, not to blend too much so that the flour does not transform into nut butter, which, too, is certainly an excellent ingredient in baking!

  • -Oatmeal:

Gluten-free oat flour is created easily at home by grinding gluten-free oatmeal in a blender. Oatmeal has a great viscosity, but the dough can easily become too slimy. Use alongside with other flours, psyllium husk and xanthan.

  • -Buckwheat flour:

Versatile and easy flour, and works superbly on its own or mixed with other flours. Gives nice rye flavor to baked goods. For very sweet pastries use only with other flours.

Try also these gluten-free flours: Rice flour, corn flour, soy flour and potato flour!

STARCHES

  • -Psyllium seed husk:

The powder made of the ground seeds swells in liquid. It brings about thickness to gluten-free dough and facilitates processing. Perfect for almond or coconut flour, for example! When using psyllium, the amount of flour should be reduced about 10-30%. You should test different marks because the quality and thereby the result may vary a lot.

  • -Xanthan:

A polysaccharide powder derived from a bacteria called Xanthomonas Camestr is in a fermentation process gives thickness and fluffiness. Fits well with cakes and biscuits when mixed with flours.

  • -Tapioca powder/tapioca starch:

The mild-flavored tapioca powder is obtained from cassava root. It gives pastry lusciousness and structure, and can also be used to thicken.

  • -Flax or chia meal:

Flax meal or chia seeds used with liquid combine to a gel that works well as the binding agent in baking. Use flax meal or chia seeds as they are or finely chop the flax seeds, whisk about 1 tablespoon seeds/meal and 3 tablespoons water, and keep the mixture in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. This will give you the so-called flax egg, which can be used to replace the egg in many recipes.

You may also try ripe banana, peanut butter, soy protein and agar agar to give viscosity to your gluten-free dough!

Other tips:

– Golden rising tip: Add to the pattern a little more baking powder and something acidic, such as lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. This way you get beautifully risen pastries.

– Gluten-free doughs can easily glue to your hands. Oiling your hands will make them easier to process.

– Make your very own gluten-free flour mixture by mixing, for example, buckwheat flour, almond flour, psyllium fiber and xanthan.

– Experiment boldly a variety of gluten-free flours to find your favorite and to learn how different flours behave and what kind of recipes each isbest suited for.

V

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Chocolate bread in bed

19.9.2014

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So it’s Friday. Time to pamper you.

I have created an awesome duet for your weekend´s easy mornings: chocolate bread with whipped vanilla butter. I know, sounds almost ridiculously good. And to tell you the truth, when I took the first bite, I actually had to laugh out loud. It was luscious. Rich and moist. Mind-blowing.

The chocolate bread built on almond flour and banana is by itself an experience. But with vanilla butter – whipped vanilla butter – it becomes luxurious.

So try it and enjoy it slowly, at breakfast, in your pyjamas, maybe in your bed. Take all the time in the world. Have no hurry. In the end, we are eternal beings in a ready-made world. At least after this chocolate bread and vanilla butter it seems ready.

CHOCOLATE BREAD

(gluten-free, milk-free, paleo)

  • 3 dl almond flour
  • 1 dl raw cocoa powder
  • 0.5 dl chopped walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon psyllium husk
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • 4 organic eggs
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 dl oat milk (or, for example coconut or almond milk)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons melt coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp local honey
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • The dish size: about 12 x 20 cm

    Preheat the oven to 200 celcius degrees. Lightly oil the loaf and cover with baking paper. See the instructions here.

    Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Separate the eggs – egg whites in another bowl and the yolks in another bowl. Whisk the egg whites until peak arises. In the other bowl mix the egg yolks, mashed banana, oust milk, apple vinegar, coconut oil, honey and vanilla extract. Combine all ingredients together in a bowl. Mix. Pour the mixture into the prepared bread pan. Bake for about 30 minutes. Take the loaf from the oven, turn the oven temperature into 175 degrees, remove bread from loaf pan, place it on the oven rack and bake for another 15 minutes. To try if the bread is done use a toothpick. Insert about half of the toothpick into the bread. If the toothpick comes out with dough on it then you´ll need to bake the bread for 5 more minutes. Repeat this step until the toothpick comes out clean. Take the bread out of the oven and let it cool a while. Serve and enjoy.

    WHIPPED VANILLA BUTTER

  • 100 g soft butter
  • 0.5 dl almond milk (or other milk drink)
  • 1 tablespoons local honey
  • vanilla seeds or 0.5 tsp vanilla powder
  • Apply the softened butter, almond milk, honey and vanilla in a bowl and beat until creamy, fluffy and white. Store in a refrigerator. Excellent spread for example with the chocolate bread!

    V

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