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Pleasant Hill Grain Blog

Helping you achieve your culinary dreams.

Wholesome & Sweet: Soft Wheat Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot cake may be the most delicious cake out there. It’s extra moist thanks to shredded carrots which also add natural sweetness and nutrients. You will also love this cake for its pretty color and rich and wholesome flavor!

Soft Wheat Carrot Cake

Soft white wheat has less protein content compared to hard wheat, and it’s richer in flavor. Because it has less gluten strength, soft wheat is great in foods you want to be more delicate and tender, like muffins, cakes, cookies, pancakes, pastries, etc. When you see a recipe calling for whole grain pastry or cake flour, it’s referring to soft white wheat flour. Cake flour that you’d find in the store is made from refined soft white wheat. I like to make my own by grinding organic soft wheat in a KoMo Mio grain mill.

soft white wheat berries

Posted: February 24, 2019
Recipe by: Natalia Wrobel Katz
This amazingly moist, soft and flavorful carrot cake will become your family favorite! Made out of freshly ground soft white wheat berries, coconut oil and naturally sweetened. Topped off with lightened up cream cheese frosting. It's simple to make and comes together in less than an hour!
Active Time
20 minutes
Total Time
55 minutes
Yields
8-12

Ingredients:

Cake

  • 2 c. white soft wheat flour
  • 2 c. shredded carrots
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 c. applesauce or mashed very ripe banana (1 medium)
  • 1/2 c. coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 3/4 c. coconut sugar
  • 3 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Frosting

  • 1 (8oz) block cream cheese, softened
  • 1 c. thick greek yogurt
  • 1/4 c. maple syrup
  • Almonds or pecans to top off

Directions:

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease the sides and line the bottom of 8 inch round cake pans with parchment paper.
  2. 2. In a bowl of standing mixer or regular mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and coconut sugar.
  3. 3. Add in applesauce or mashed banana, coconut oil, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar and pure vanilla extract.
  4. 4. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt.
  5. 5. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix. Gently fold in carrots.
  6. 6. Divide the batter between the prepared pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. 7. Slightly cool in the pans, invert and peel off the wax paper. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Frosting

  1. 1. To prepare the frosting, place cream cheese, yogurt and maple syrup in a bowl, and beat with a mixer until smooth and creamy.

Assembling the Cake

  1. 1. Assemble the cake by spreading good amount of frosting on top of one of the cake layers. Place the second layer on top. Then, frost the top and sides of the cake. Top with chopped almonds or pecans.

Author's Notes:

I grind my soft wheat berries using a Komo grain mill.

Images:

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Natalia Wrobel

Natalia’s blog "Natt Wrobel, Wholesome & Healthy Living," highlights a plant-based diet for eating what makes your body feel best. Originally from Poland, Natalia draws from her childhood as well as her world travels to influence the flavors of her cooking.

Fermented Vegetables – Cookbook Review

Title: Fermented Vegetables

Author: Kirsten K. & Christopher Shockey

Publisher: Storey Publishing
Recipes: 120+ recipes for krauts, kimchis, pickles, chutneys, relishes and pastes

Cover: Soft

Pages: 375

Baking/Cooking Level: Beginner to Advanced

One word describes the beauty of this cookbook, colorful! After years of owning their own small business, selling canned ferments, self-proclaimed “fermentistas” Kirsten and Christopher Shockey wrote an easy-to-follow guide on the old art of fermentation.

The Shockeys believe they can convince anyone to add ferments to their daily diet simply by the great flavor fermented foods impart! In addition to the many nutritional benefits of probiotics, increased vitamin C, vitamin B12 and folate, the Shockeys explain that fermentation deepens and intensifies subtle flavor notes, making food all the more enjoyable!

Their cookbook walks readers through the fundamentals of fermenting, including the history and benefits of fermentation. They also help you choose the correct equipment and tools for successful and safe fermenting. Part two moves into recipes for basic ferments such as sauerkraut, condiments, pickles, and kimchis–all perfect for beginners.

Part three consists of an A to Z list of vegetables, and recipes to ferment them with various combinations. This list is comprehensive and includes over 35 vegetables! You’ll find a section talking about how the Shockeys got into fermenting each vegetable and how they found the proper technique for each one.

The book layout includes helpful “fermentista” tips and tricks from the pros, so you won’t get lost along the way!

After learning the artisan technique of fermentation and creating a variety of flavors you might be thinking, How on earth do I eat all these? Luckily, the Shockeys devoted part four of Fermented Vegetables to a variety of tips and tricks on how to incorporate fermented veggies into every meal! They’ll walk you through breakfast, snacks, lunch, cocktails, dinner and dessert!  

With the help of this book, it’s easy to incorporate fermented foods into every meal!

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Make-Ahead Breakfast: Baked Oats with Flax Seeds, Pecans & Berries

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Why shouldn’t it be the most delicious one as well?

This simple but amazing recipe is perfectly sweet, filled with oats, crunchy nuts, flax seeds, fresh berries, fragrant vanilla, and delicious served cold the next day. A healthy make-ahead breakfast for a busy life!

What I love about this recipe is that you can never be bored with it. It’s really flexible. Feel free to play with ingredients. You can add strawberries, banana or even chocolate to make it sweeter. Or, add different nuts, raisins or dried cranberries. Chia seeds would be a wonderful addition to this recipe as well. Next time I’ll add Granny Smith apple and orange zest to make the perfect balance between sourness and sweetness. It’s up to you, be creative and have fun!

Good to know: To grind the flax seeds, pour them into a blender and blend  for 3-5 minutes or until they’re ground to your liking. Or, for a small amount, you can grind the flax seeds using a coffee grinder.

Posted: February 23, 2019
Recipe by: Yelena Strokin
Source: Cooking Melangery
This honey-sweetened baked oatmeal recipe features blueberries and raspberries, wholesome oats, nuts and flax seeds. You can bake it on Sunday evening and enjoy this tasty dish for the rest of the week for breakfast!
Active Time
10 minutes
Total Time
50 minutes
Serves
6-8

Ingredients:

  • 2 c. old-fashioned oats
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 tbsp. ground flax seeds
  • 2.5 c. milk of your choice (I used almond milk)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil (I used grape seeds oil)
  • 3 tbsp. soft honey
  • 1/2 c. pecans chopped
  • 1/4 c. light brown sugar
  • 1 c. fresh or frozen berries (blueberries, raspberries)

Directions:

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a baking dish or tray. Set aside.
  2. 2. In a medium bowl mix together the almond milk, vanilla extract, vegetable oil, and honey.
  3. 3. In another bowl, mix together the oats, ground flax seeds, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Add to the milk mixture together with the fresh berries. Stir until combined.
  4. 4. Transfer to the greased baking dish and bake for about 20 minutes. Then take out from the oven and top it with brown sugar and nuts. Bake for another 20 minutes or until set and golden brown on top.
  5. 5. You can serve it hot with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Or warm at room temperature with a berry compote.

Author's Notes:

To make a berry compote: In the saucepan stir in brown sugar, lemon juice and berries. Cook, tossing gently (try to keep most of them from breaking up). Cook until berries are boiling and juices begin to be released, 3 to 5 minutes.

Images:

Baked Oats with Flax Seeds, Pecans & Berries
Baked Oats with Flax Seeds, Pecans & Berries
Baked Oats with Flax Seeds, Pecans & Berries
Baked Oats with Flax Seeds, Pecans & Berries
Baked Oats with Flax Seeds, Pecans & Berries
Baked Oats with Flax Seeds, Pecans & Berries
Baked Oats with Flax Seeds, Pecans & Berries

PHG Products:

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Yelena Strokin

Originally from Russia, Yelena traveled the world as a journalist, experiencing other cultures and capturing their essence through photography and cooking. Yelena's food blog "Cooking Melangery" is a medley of her favorites pastimes – cooking, photography and finding inspiration from nature and her life experiences.

Rye & Seed Bread

With a lower gluten content than wheat, rye flour by itself makes a dense loaf of bread, but mixed with other flours and seeds the possibilities are endless and delicious! Rye flour is high in fiber, minerals, and antioxidants, and can usually be found as light, medium or dark rye, depending on the amount of bran in the flour. Dark rye flour is sometimes called pumpernickel flour. I like to use a grain mill and make my own flour from rye berries. Whether you’re grinding your own grains or buying the flour already ground, you’re absolutely going to love the texture and flavor of this wonderful bread packed with different seeds and nutrients.

Posted: February 12, 2019
Recipe by: Yelena Strokin
Source: Cooking Melangery
Hearty, chewy, packed with seeds and full of flavor, this rye bread with rye berries and seeds has a wonderful texture and it’s perfect with your choice of butter, jam, cheese, or smoked salmon.
Active Time
30 minutes
Total Time
1 day, 57 minutes
Serves
6-8

Ingredients:

  • 4 1/2 c. rye flour (or combination of rye, spelt, einkorn)
  • 1/2 c. rye berries
  • 1 3/4 c. cracked rye or einkorn berries
  • 1 c. ground flax seeds
  • 1 1/2 c. pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds (or mix them together)
  • 1/4 c. sesame seeds
  • 3 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. dry active yeast
  • 2 tbsp. sugar or dark honey
  • 2 c. lukewarm water
  • 2 c. buttermilk at room temperature
  • 1 c. beer at room temperature
  • rolled oats and seeds for sprinkling the top

Directions:

  1. 1. Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the lukewarm water and let it sit for 5 minutes until frothy.
  2. 2. Combine all of the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Then add the yeast mixture along with the buttermilk and beer. Using the dough hook knead the dough at low speed for 10 minutes. Scoop the batter into a large bowl, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let it sit at room temperature for at least 8 hours, preferably longer, up to 24 hours.
  3. 3. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  4. 4. Transfer the batter (dough will be thick and gooey) into 2 buttered loaf pans and smooth the top to even it out. Sprinkle with oats and seeds.
  5. 5. Bake on the middle rack for about 1.5-2 hours or until the center is done. If you have a thermometer use it check if it is done, it should be about 205° F when you insert it. When the bread is done let it sit in the pan for 5 minutes before removing it, then let it cool completely on a wire rack before slicing it. Serve it with butter, jam and your favorite cheese.

Author's Notes:

The longer you leave the dough to proof the better for the whole grain berries to soften and for heightened sourdough properties. Also the longer it ferments the more liquid will be absorbed so less chance of a moist center after baking.

Images:

Rye Bread with Rye Berries & Seeds
Rye Bread with Rye Berries & Seeds
Rye Bread with Rye Berries & Seeds
Rye Bread with Rye Berries & Seeds
Rye Bread with Rye Berries & Seeds
Rye Bread with Rye Berries & Seeds

PHG Products:

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Yelena Strokin

Originally from Russia, Yelena traveled the world as a journalist, experiencing other cultures and capturing their essence through photography and cooking. Yelena's food blog "Cooking Melangery" is a medley of her favorites pastimes – cooking, photography and finding inspiration from nature and her life experiences.

The Perfect Valentine’s Day Treat | Triticale Chocolate Muffins

A combination of triticale flour, cocoa powder, coconut oil, coconut sugar and chocolate chips make the most delicious and healthy muffins. These chocolate muffins are 100% whole grain, naturally sweetened and can be made dairy-free. They’re soft, rich and loaded with chocolate chips. The perfect treat for upcoming Valentine’s Day without getting over indulged!

triticale chocolate muffins

If you haven’t gotten your hands on triticale yet, then you need to give it a try! Triticale berries can be cooked whole, ground into flour or flaked. I like to grind the grain in the KoMo Mio Grain Mill.

Triticale has many health benefits and it contains almost double the protein as bread wheat. However, since triticale contains much less gluten than regular wheat flours, baking goods are a little less light and fluffy as when using high-gluten flours. You should be able to substitute triticale for rye flour in most recipes!

triticale berries

Posted: February 1, 2019
Recipe by: Natalia Wrobel Katz
These delicious chocolate muffins are the perfect treat or healthier dessert. They're made with triticale flour, coconut sugar and coconut oil. Ready in just 30 minutes!
Active Time
10 minutes
Total Time
30 minutes
Yields
7

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 c. triticale flour
  • 1/3 c. coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 3 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 3/4 c. coconut sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. vinegar
  • 1/3 c. + 2 tbsp. milk
  • handful of chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 350° F and lightly grease a muffin pan or line with paper liners.
  2. 2. Using a grain mill, grind triticale into a flour.
  3. 3. In a mixing bowl, whisk coconut oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla, vinegar and milk.
  4. 4. In a separate bowl, mix triticale flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until combined.
  5. 5. Fold in chocolate chips, being careful not to over-mix.
  6. 6. Scoop 6 tbsp. of batter into each muffin c. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of muffins comes out clean.

Images:

Triticale Chocolate Muffins
Triticale Chocolate Muffins
Triticale Chocolate Muffins
Triticale Chocolate Muffins
Triticale Chocolate Muffins

PHG Products:

Pleasant Hill Grain products I used for this recipe...


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Natalia Wrobel

Natalia’s blog "Natt Wrobel, Wholesome & Healthy Living," highlights a plant-based diet for eating what makes your body feel best. Originally from Poland, Natalia draws from her childhood as well as her world travels to influence the flavors of her cooking.

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