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Taro muffins with carrots, bananas and mac nuts

 

This  taro muffin recipe started out as an experiment when we returned from a long trip and had very little growing in our garden. In our freezer was vacuumed sealed taro, frozen bananas and in our garden 10 pounds of carrots. This is a surprisingly healthy muffin made with coconut oil, maple syrup, fresh carrots, cooked kalo and organic white flour.

This muffin recipe is also heavy on the carrot and the taro and the banana, because this is how we use up our homegrown food! The maple syrup and banana are just enough to sweeten it without it feeling like it should be a dessert. These are “hearty” or “hardy” muffins, perfect for the health food addict that still loves baked goods any time of the day. I encourage you to make them with as many organic or local ingredients as possible.

yield: 12 large muffins

you need: muffin tin(s), a blender, and a food processor or cheese grater and of course and oven.

Dry ingredients for taro muffins: taro muffin dry ingredients

  • 3 ½ cups white flour (or 2 ½ cups white flour, 1 cup oats)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

 

Wet ingredients for taro muffins

  • 6 small bananas
  • ⅔ cups coconut oil (unrefined if you like the coconut flavor)
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup almond milk (or any other milk, you could try yogurt)

 

 

Ingredients to fold in at the end:

  • 3 cups shredded cooked taro (pressure cook taro using this recipe, cool and shred using a food processor).
  • 3 cups shredded raw carrots (peeled and put through shredder in food processor
  • ½ cup raisins (optional)
  • ½ macadamia nuts chopped roughly (pulse in blender on low works fine)

Steps:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease large muffin pans with coconut oil.  Combine the dry ingredients listed above in a bowl. Next, in a blender, combine the wet ingredients listed above. Then, mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Then fold in the taro and carrots, chopped mac nuts and raisins. Fill muffin tins to the top, even out the batter and bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown on top and muffin springs back at you when you poke it. Cool for a few minutes in the muffin pan and then continue to cool on wire racks. Enjoy warm, refrigerated or you can even freeze them (vacuum seal for best results).

If you like this recipe try my :

Chocolate Banana Muffins with Fresh Coconut

Blueberry Banana Spelt Muffins

 

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Blueberry Banana Spelt Muffins

These blueberry banana spelt muffins have become a staple in my household. I make a double batch and they still hardly last us through the week. Perfect for breakfast, a snack or dessert. The amount of sweetener can be adjusted to your taste, but I tend to reduce the amount of maple syrup or honey and add a little stevia. This recipe highlights the use of spelt flour in cooking. Below is a little more information on spelt.

Spelt (Triticum spelta) is a grass that originated in southeast Asia.  A relative of wheat, spelt is thought to be the “wheat” that was used over 9,000 years ago, it is considered an ancient grain and has been referenced in the bible. It remained a favorite grain until the 19th century agricultural revolutions and the modernization of wheat strains.

Spelt is more easily  digested than regular wheat and it has a reputation for helping people maintain good health. Additionally, it has more protein, fat and fiber than wheat, making it a  a high-quality energy source. The gluten in spelt is of a different molecule pattern than that in modern wheat. Whereas, today wheat has been designed/bred to have a high gluten content, the character of the gluten in spelt has not been modified from its natural state.

According to the World’s Healthiest Foods website: “Spelt does not seem to cause sensitivities in many people who are intolerant of wheat.” This is why my sweeties begs me to make him spelt muffins – we are taking a break from regular old wheat. In baking, spelt behaves like whole wheat flour and has a wonderfully nutty but subtle flavor. In comparison to oat flour, rice flour, etc. which have strong flavor profiles, spelt makes a better wheat substitution.

Recipe for Blueberry Banana Spelt Muffins

Equipment:

  • oven
  • muffin tin
  • 2 mixing bowls
  • measuring cups and spoons

Yield: 6 large muffins, 12 small-medium muffins

Dry ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups white spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup instant rolled oats
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (aluminum free)
  • 1/2 tsp fine ground good salt (like Celtic Sea salt)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Wet ingredients:

  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (unrefined or refined) liquid form (but not hot)
  • 1/3 cup honey (substitute maple syrup, or reduce the sweetener and add a few drops of stevia)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 ripe bananas mushed well

Add last

  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen

 Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Line muffin tin with coconut oil
  3. Mix wet ingredients well in medium bowl
  4. Mix dry ingredients well in separate smaller bowl
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredient and mix well but do not over mix
  6. Fold in blueberries at the end
  7. Bake for 40-50 minutes at 350 degrees F for 6 large muffins. Reduce baking time to 20-30 minutes for smaller muffins. Baking time varies on environment, keep a close watch on your muffins looking for a firm golden-brown edge and top.
  8. Tooth pick should come out clean when inserted. Cool 5 minutes and remove from muffin tin.
  9. Enjoy these blueberry banana spelt muffins while still warm
 blueberry banana spelt muffins

 

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Carrot apple beet ginger pulp bread

This carrot apple beet ginger pulp bread recipe is the perfect way to use your juice pulp. I was inspired to make this recipe after watching so much good fiber go to waste from my carrot apple beet ginger fresh juice recipe. I created it by substituting the banana out for juice pulp in my healthy banana bread recipe. It is also gluten-free because I used fresh ground oat flour instead of wheat flour. You can use just carrot pulp, or just carrot apple pulp. But I would try experimenting with multiple combinations. A little bit of beet and ginger give the bread a zing. This bread will come out moderately dense, slightly chewy, and delicious.

Recipe for carrot apple beet ginger pulp bread

wet ingredients:

  • 2 cups carrot pulp (if other flavorful pulps are mixed it even better – apple, beet, ginger, experiment with flavors. )
  • ½ cup coconut oil (the softer the better, but make sure it is not hot- you don’t want to cook the eggs)
  • ½ cup or less honey
  • 2 eggs (room temperature so the coconut oil doesn’t solidify)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

dry ingredients:

  • 3 cups oat flour (freshly ground in your blender!)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F and oil the baking dish (larger loaf pan, round cake pan or whatever.
  2. In a medium to large sized bowl, mix the wet ingredients (except for the pulp). First, add the eggs and beat, then the honey, the vanilla and then coconut oil.
  3.  Next, mix the dry ingredients in a smaller bowl
  4. Then, slowly add the dry into the wet and slowly add the 2 cups of the juice pulp (the batter will be thick and stiff)
  5. Place into the baking dish and bake about 25-40 minutes depending on thickness. Done when golden brown on top and knife comes out cleanish.
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Healthy Cornbread

I grew up on Jiffy cornbread. In fact, I learned to bake with these packaged mixes. I know they have their time and place but once you learn more and more about processed foods it is hard to buy  pre-made mixes. In fact, there are many reasons to stay away from baking mixes. For one, the fewer ingredients a recipe contains, the more wholesome it is. Eating WHOLE foods is the key to a healthy existence.

This recipe for healthy cornbread is made with coconut oil and a low amount of sugar (instead I like to use honey) instead of up to ½ cup of sugar and lots of butter. For those kids who used to the super dense moist cornbreads of school lunches it may be hard to transition to but just serve it warm with a little bit of honey and the kids will enjoy as much as the husband and friends.

Healthy Cornbread Recipe

Yield: 10-12 inch pie dish or cake pan. 1 loaf pan about 1 ½” thick.

Equipment: oven, baking pans, oven mits!

wet ingredients:

  • 1 and ⅓ cup milk (I have used whole, organic, raw milk from the mountains of Pa‘auilo), you could also do ⅔ buttermilk (2 teaspoons lemon juice and milk and let sit for 10 minutes) and then ⅔ cup regular milk.
  • 2 eggs (organic)
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey (Big Island honey all the way)
  •  2 tablespoons melted coconut oil (or substitute 2 tablespoons butter )

dry ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (aluminum free 🙂
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt (fine ground sea salt of celtic sea salt)
  • 1 cup corn flour – or ground corn meal  (you can buy coarse cornmeal and grind it in your blender to have a fresher taste and texture)
  • 1 cup white flour (white, unbleached, bread flour)

Steps:

1) butter/oil baking pan

2) mix dry ingredients

3) preheat oven to 400 degrees, place oiled pan in oven to warm it

4) whisk wet ingredients

5) mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients until moist (do not over mix), batter should be runny

6) take hot oiled pan out of oven and put batter in hot pan, should sizzle a little

7) bake for 20-25 minutes until the edges creep away from the sides of the pan and the top is golden brown

8) turn onto wire rack

9) for best results serve warm with honey or jam : )

 

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Raisin cinnamon swirl bread

This raisin cinnamon swirl bread recipe will take you back to you childhood. Nostalgic sugar sweetened plump raisins in chewy bread. This recipe is not complicated. Just follow the steps and allow time to let it rise until it doubles in size 2x. This recipe is perfect for a Sunday morning when you are just hanging around the house. Don’t rush the rising process!

Recipe for Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread

Equipment needed:

  • oven
  • loaf pan
  • wire cooling rack (optional)
  • heavy duty mixer or food processor

 dry ingredients (step 1):

  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 -3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 and ½ cup flour

wet ingredients (step 2-3):

  • ⅔ cup milk
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅔ cup buttermilk (⅔ cup milk + 1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice-let sit for 5 minutes)

Other ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons yeast (for step 3)
  • 1 cup + raisins, for best results they should be brought to room temperature (for step 8)

Steps:

1) mix dry ingredients

2) add ⅔ cup milk regular milk (not buttermilk) into a bowl and add ½ cup of brown sugar, stir to dissolve

3) add yeast to milk and brown sugar mixture. let sit for 5 minutes. stir to dissolve (make sure you STIR and allow it to dissolve before adding anything else).

3) mix until combined and makes a soft dough

4) knead for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic and then place in oiled bowl covered with towel. (although metal bowls are said to conduct too much heat, and rise the dough too quickly. even though I live in the tropics, where it is always warm and humid, my place is windy. I find that my dough rises good in my kitchen aid bowl.)

5) let rise until double in size (no matter how long it takes).

6) after doubled in size, punch down and turn over onto lightly floured surface, let rest for 10 minutes

7) roll out dough into large rectangle, a good 5 inches or more long than your loaf pan

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8. Add raisins and rolls into a loaf, tuck the sides in and place in the loaf pan and let rise again (until doubled in size (can be ½ hour to 2 hours).

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9. bake in an oven at 425 degree F until the top starts to brown

10.  reduce to 350 degrees F for about 20 more minutes. Cool on wire rack and love it.

2014-08-03 12.22.51    2014-08-03 12.24.06

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Grandpa’s traditional Challah bread

Grandpa traditional challah bread is a classic family recipe. Whenever Grandpa Piasek is in town, you can be sure to fill up at least a half of day making several loafs of Challah. Finally, in my late 20’s I decided to document the recipe.

Challah bread is traditional Jewish bread that is most usually eaten on Sabbath or Holidays. The dough is enriched with eggs and oil and then braided and sometimes a little sugar is added to the dough as well. The styles of braiding or forming into different shaped loaves mean different things. For example, when there are three braids it symbolizes truth, peace, and justice. When there are 12 humps, they symbolize the miracle of the 12 loaves for 12 tribes of Israel. Most modern, several diners and deli, and fancy brunch places serve up Challah French Toast. Whenever or however you bake and eat it, you should know that you are experiencing a huge taste of tradition.

Recipe for Grandpa’s Challah Bread

grandpa Piasek's Challah Bread

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs of flour
  • 2 cups of luke warm water
  • 2 tsp dry yeast (a little less than 1 packet)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup eggs
  • 8 0z.  sugar
  • ¼ cup oil (to keep it moist)

Steps:

  1. Mix the above ingredients together
  2. Then, add 2 lbs of all-purpose flour (or more) –not too soft not too dry- for 6 or 7 minutes by machine (by hand 12)
  3. Next, place the dough in large oiled ceramic or glass boil with towel or on baking sheet. Alternatively you could place it on cutting board and wait until it doubles in size.
  4. Then knead lightly again for 5 minutes
  5. Again, wait 10-15 minutes to let rest
  6. Finally, roll out dough into strands about ½ thick and at least six inches long. use three for each loaf and braid as naturally as possible. don’t be discouraged with your braid! Just rock it -the bread will be delicious no matter what.
  7. Next, let the rolls rise again for about 45 minutes to about 1 and ½ hours (until they almost double in size).
  8. Wash them gently with mixture of beaten egg and a little (less than a tablespoon water).
  9. Bake in oven at 350 degrees
    1. 25-30 minutes for bread
    2. 15 minutes for rolls.
my challah bread

Resources:

  1. www.myjewishlearning.com/article/challah/