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Pleasant Hill Grain Blog

Helping you achieve your culinary dreams.

Healthy Baking | Chocolate Cake made with Beets?!

If you’d like to have cake with your coffee and feel no guilt later, this super indulgent cake with a rich chocolate flavor is for you!

Chocolate and beets may sound like a strange combination, but in fact, they fit together very well. The beets add richness, moisture, and a deep flavor to the cake. The beets are grated roughly, to add texture.

Whole grain spelt flour makes the cake filling so it’s easy to walk away content after having just one piece.

Maple syrup, honey and the natural sugars of the beets sweeten the cake, while orange zest complements all the flavors beautifully.

This chocolate cake is dairy free and if you’d like to make it vegan, simply replace eggs with applesauce. Try it and see for yourself, have a small culinary adventure in your kitchen. And… yes, remember to put the kettle on  for a hot cup of tea to sip while baking!

Note: Spelt is an ancient grain, and sometimes called Roman wheat. It can usually be found in health food stores as a white or whole grain flour, or you can grind your own organic spelt berries at home for the freshest, best-tasting and most-healthful flour. Spelt is high in fiber and protein and is more easily digested than bread wheat.

Posted: January 22, 2019
Recipe by: Yelena Strokin
Source: Cooking Melangery
Chocolate with beets is a unique combination, they go very well together. This cake has an interesting texture and taste, chia seeds give it a crunch and beet chunks feel like small pieces of fruit, very sweet and colorful. Coconut oil adds an amazing aroma to this healthy dessert.
Active Time
20 minutes
Total Time
50 minutes
Serves
6-8

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 c. (100g) coconut oil
  • 1.7 oz. (50g) dark chocolate (70%), broken into small pieces
  • 2 c. (250g) beets, peeled, shredded
  • 3 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 c. (375ml) spelt flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 5 tbsp. cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds
  • zest from one orange
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. dried shredded coconut (unsweetened)

Directions:

  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 350F/175°C. Lightly oil a Bundt pan or a cake pan. Sprinkle with shredded coconut and tap out the excess.
  2. 2. In a large bowl, stir together the spelt flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, chia seeds, and salt.
  3. 3. In a saucepan on very low heat mix together the coconut oil and honey. Add the chocolate and stir until the chocolate is melted. Remove from the heat.
  4. 4. In an additional bowl mix together the chocolate mixture, shredded beets, eggs, and orange zest. Add dry ingredients and mix until combined. Pour the batter evenly in the prepared pan.
  5. 5. Bake the cake about 25-30 minutes, until the top is lightly dark but the cake is still sticky/moist inside. Serve it warm with a tbsp. of yogurt.

Images:

Orange-Chocolate Cake with Beets, Honey, Chia Seeds & Spelt Flour
Orange-Chocolate Cake with Beets, Honey, Chia Seeds & Spelt Flour
Orange-Chocolate Cake with Beets, Honey, Chia Seeds & Spelt Flour
Orange-Chocolate Cake with Beets, Honey, Chia Seeds & Spelt Flour

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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.

Berry Carrot Sprouted Cookie Bars

These cookie bars are packed with flavor and nutrients!

Posted: August 26, 2016
Recipe by: Kelli
Absolutely scrumptious and tasty berry carrot cookie bars that your whole family will love!
Active Time
30 minutes
Total Time
1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. sucanat
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 c. maple syrup
  • 1 c. shredded carrots
  • 1/2 c. goji berries or dried cranberries
  • 1/2 c. organic chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c. sliced almond
  • 1/2 c. ground flax seeds
  • 2 c. sprouted hard or soft white wheat flour
  • 1/2 c. soaked rolled oats (see note below)

Directions:

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. 2. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
  3. 3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oil, sucanat, baking powder, baking soda, spices, salt, vanilla, and egg. Beat until smooth.
  4. 4. Add the maple syrup.
  5. 5. Stir in the carrots, goji berries or dried cranberries, organic chocolate chips, almonds and flax seeds. Then add the flour, stirring gently until combined.
  6. 6. Add the soaked oats, making sure that it's well distributed throughout the mixture.
  7. 7. Spoon batter into prepared pan and distribute evenly.
  8. 8. Bake for 30 minutes.
  9. 9. Cool for 10 minutes, then slice in squares or use a biscuit cutter to make round cookie bars.

Author's Notes:

You'll need soaked rolled oats for this recipe. To make them, soak 1/2 c. rolled oats in a 1/2 c. water for a few hours or overnight. Use all of the water and oats in the recipe.

Images:

Berry Carrot Sprouted Cookie Bars
Berry Carrot Sprouted Cookie Bars
Berry Carrot Sprouted Cookie Bars

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Pleasant Hill Grain

Gluten-Free Multigrain Waffles

If you appreciate fresh, good quality flour, milling your own at home is the best way to go! Freshly milled flour has a wonderful flavor, what’s more though, when you mill your own flour, you get the nutritional value of the complete grain. Keep in mind that whole grains will keep fresh for a long time, but once those grains have been ground into flour, the flour stay fresh for a short time. It’s best to grind just as much as you need, when you need it, but if you end up with extra, it can be stored in the fridge or freezer to keep it fresh for longer.

To make these Gluten-Free Multigrain waffles I combined organic oatmeal, buckwheat, millet and sorghum. I ground these grains and seeds with the  the KoMo Mio Grain Mill.

Posted: December 12, 2018
Recipe by: Natalia Wrobel Katz
These gluten-free Multigrain Waffles are a combination of freshly milled oats, buckwheat, millet and sorghum flours. They're perfectly fluffy and soft on the inside with a lightly crisp outside. Easy to make in 20 minutes or less!
Active Time
10 minutes
Total Time
20 minutes
Serves
4

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. oat flour
  • 1/2 c. buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 c. millet flour
  • 1/2 c. sorghum flour
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. coconut oil (melted) or oil of choice
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Directions:

  1. 1. Preheat waffle iron and lightly grease with oil.
  2. 2. In a medium bowl, mix together flours, cinnamon, baking soda and 1/8 tsp. salt.
  3. 3. Whisk sugar, egg yolks, milk, oil and vinegar.
  4. 4. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites with remaining 1/8 tsp. salt and fold into batter.
  5. 5. Pour around 1/3 c. of batter to the center of each waffle iron. Cook according to waffle maker directions.
  6. 6. Top with butter and maple syrup.

Images:

Gluten Free Multigrain Waffles
Gluten Free Multigrain Waffles
Gluten Free Multigrain Waffles
Gluten Free Multigrain Waffles
Gluten Free Multigrain Waffles

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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.

Nutritious Breakfast Bars

Enjoy these scrumptious gluten-free, dairy-free and guilt-free bars for breakfast, snack or for dessert!

Nutritious Breakfast Bars
Posted: July 4, 2016
Source: Adapted from a recipe by Carol Kicinski
These gluten-free and dairy-free bars are super easy and we think they’re delicious for a quick breakfast, snack at work, or guilt-free dessert!
Active Time
10 minutes
Total Time
2 hours
Yields
12 Bars

Ingredients:

  • Oil or gluten free, non-stick cooking spray (for pan)
  • 2 -½ c. certified gluten free rolled oats
  • 1 c. sliced raw almonds
  • 1 c. of a seed, chopped nut, and dried fruit mixture
  • 1 c. unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 3/4 c. dairy-free dark chocolate chunks or chips
  • ½ tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1 (13.5 ounce) can full fat coconut milk
  • ⅓ c. agave nectar or maple syrup
  • 3 Tbsp. tapioca starch, arrowroot powder, or cornstarch

Directions:

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 250° F. Heavily grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
  2. 2. In a large mixing bowl combine the oats, seeds, chopped nuts, dried fruit, coconut, and chocolate. In a small bowl whisk together the coconut milk with the agave or maple syrup, and starch. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir together well. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan and press down firmly.
  3. 3. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes (or until lightly golden brown). Let cool in pan for 15 minutes before running a knife around the edge of the dish and cutting into 12 bars. Let cool completely in the pan before removing the bars.
  4. 4. The bars may be stored in an airtight container, or food storage bag, at room temperature for up to one week.

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Flatbreads

There are many ways to make flatbreads, each a little different yet amazingly delicious!

Light and flaky poori is usually served with chutney as a part of a meal or a snack. Served either way, you’ll find them delightful to eat.

The flatbread called chapatti is a staple in Indian homes and is made from a flour known as atta, which is whole durum wheat flour.

Naan was brought to India with the ancient Persians, and its name came from the Persian word “non”, meaning “bread”. Traditionally naan is baked in a tandoor (clay oven), which can be emulated by using a very hot broiler.

Out of the wide variety of flatbreads, paratha is one I make at home often. Paranta can be made with various vegetables and spices, so you have room to play. Make them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, or as a snack between the meals with yogurt while sipping a cup of your favorite herbal tea. I like to tear off a piece of paratha, delve into rice and dal or any vegetable dish, and pop into my mouth. Please enjoy the recipe!

Most recipes for flatbreads call for a ghee. Ghee has a rich and distinctive flavor and comes in two types: pure butterfat ghee or vegetable ghee. Butterfat ghee is made from unsalted butter and vegetable ghee from vegetable shortening. Ghee can be heated to a high temperature without burning. Unsalted butter can be used in some dishes, but can’t be heated to the same temperature. I like to use Organic Valley Purity Farms Ghee. You can also make your own ghee at home.

To make your own ghee, melt the butter in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat and continue simmering until a thick foam appears on the surface. Continue simmering, uncovered, for about 15-20 minutes. You’ll see how the foam separates and the milk solids settle on the bottom, the liquid will become clear with a golden color. Line a strainer with a piece of cheesecloth and place it over the bowl. Slowly pour the liquid through. Try not to disturb the milk solids at the bottom of the pan. Discard the milk solids. Store in the refrigerator for up to six weeks.

Posted: November 28, 2018
Recipe by: Yelena Strokin
Source: Cooking Melangery
This recipe is pan-fried unleavened Indian bread for special occasions, and can be quite a filling meal to suit any time of the day; breakfast, lunch or accompaniment for a dinner. Made with melted ghee, parathas have a flaky texture. It can be served with a bowl of thick yogurt for breakfast.
Active Time
30 minutes
Total Time
1 hour
Serves
4

Ingredients:

For the dough

  • 2 c. whole wheat flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 tsp. olive oil

For the filling

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cooked medium potato, mashed
  • 1 c. cauliflower, diced
  • 1/4 tsp. curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. caraway seeds
  • 2-3 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 tbs oil for frying vegetables
  • olive oil for cooking bread
  • ghee for drizzle

Directions:

  1. 1. To make the dough: Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Gradually stir in enough water to make a stiff dough.
  2. 2. Turn out the dough into a lightly floured counter and knead for about 5-7 minutes, or until it is smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into a ball and place in the cleaned bowl, then cover with a damp dish towel and let rest for 20 minutes.
  3. 3. Heat some oil in a pan and add vegetables and spices. Fry them till cooked, add the chopped cilantro and adjust the seasonings. Let it cool.
  4. 4. Divide the dough into 6-8 equal pieces. Lightly flour your hands and roll each piece of dough into a ball. Stretch one of the dough ball, place the veggie mixture in the center. Gather around to make a dumpling, seal it completely. Dust with some flour and start rolling out into a thick paratha. (Parathas are usually rolled out thick, too much pressure will squeeze out the veggie mixture so roll it out gently.) Repeat the process for remaining dough and finish.
  5. 5. Heat a large skillet pan over a medium heat. Place a paratha in the skillet and cook for couple of minutes and then flip to the other side. Flip again and drizzle oil all over and fry till it slightly puff up. Remove from pan and let it rest or serve immediately. Parathas are best served as soon as they come out of the pan, but they can be kept warm wrapped in foil for about 20 minutes.

Images:

Stuffed Paratha with Vegetables and Spices
Stuffed Paratha with Vegetables and Spices
Stuffed Paratha with Vegetables and Spices
Stuffed Paratha with Vegetables and Spices
Stuffed Paratha with Vegetables and Spices

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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.

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