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Pleasant Hill Grain Blog

Helping you achieve your culinary dreams.

Pumpkin Spice Latte with Homemade Almond Milk

Almond milk has a  nutty flavor and creamy texture that’s similar to regular milk, which is why it’s become a popular choice for vegans, people who are dairy intolerant and those who just want to cut down on their dairy intake. Once you see how easy it is to make, you may never drink store-bought again!

Almond milk is made by blending almonds with water and then pressing the mixture to remove the pulp. The 1.25-gallon Tabletop Fruit Press is a great tool for pressing the liquid from the almond pulp.

To start the process raw almonds need to be soaked overnight. The longer you soak the almonds, the creamier the milk will be! Soaking also allows the nuts to release nutrients and help with digestion.

A great way to use homemade almond milk is to make a warm and foamy fall inspired drink, like a pumpkin spice latte! Isn’t it just the perfect beverage for this time of the year? It’s made with simple ingredients, perfectly spiced and tastes like a piece of pumpkin pie. This simple beverage will  get you through the long cold months! See the recipe below.

almond milk pumpkin spice latte

Posted: November 29, 2018
Recipe by: Natalia Wrobel Katz
This Pumpkin Spice Latte is made with freshly pressed almond milk! It’s easy to make, dairy-free and delicious!
Active Time
10 minutes
Total Time
2 hours
Serves
2

Ingredients:

Almond Milk

  • 1 c. raw almonds, soaked in a water overnight
  • 3 c. water
  • pinch of sea salt

Pumpkin Spice Latte

  • 1-1/2 c. homemade almond milk
  • 1 tbsp. pumpkin puree
  • 2-3 tbsp. agave syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • pinch of ginger
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 to 1 c. hot brewed black coffee
  • cinnamon to sprinkle

Directions:

Almond Milk

  1. 1. Place almonds in a bowl, cover with water and soak overnight. You can also soak almonds in very hot water for 1-2 hours. Rinse and drain well.
  2. 2. Put drained almonds in blender along with filtered water and sea salt. Blend on high speed for about one minute.
  3. 3. Place a mesh bag into the basket of your Tabletop Fruit Press.
  4. 4. Pour the almond mixture in.
  5. 5. Fold the top of the filled bag over and place the pressing plate on top. Turn the handle to apply pressure to the almond pulp, watching that the pressing plate doesn't tilt. Gradually apply pressure until the flow of milk stops. Save 1-1/2 c. for the pumpkin spice latte and refrigerate the rest.

Pumpkin Spice Latte

  1. 1. In a small saucepan, whisk together almond milk, pumpkin puree, agave syrup, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and vanilla extract. Heat the mixture for about 5 minutes until hot, stirring often.
  2. 2. When the mixture is steaming hot, remove it from the heat. Whisk until frothy using a small whisk. You can also use a blender for an extra froth!
  3. 3. Pour the hot coffee between 2 mugs and then pour over the frothed pumpkin milk. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Images:

Pumpkin Spice Latte (Dairy-Free)
Pumpkin Spice Latte (Dairy-Free)
Pumpkin Spice Latte (Dairy-Free)
Pumpkin Spice Latte (Dairy-Free)
Pumpkin Spice Latte (Dairy-Free)

PHG Products:

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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.

Fish Tacos & Homemade Masa From Yellow Dent Corn

Great tacos require great tortillas, and I can assure you, once you try these Homemade Corn Tortillas made from real corn masa you won’t go back to store-bought ever again!

The first step to make fresh masa will be preparing nixtamal (corn that’s gone through the nixtamilzation process), which is really easy! It’s a simple process that’s beneficial in a few ways. Since the outer skin of corn kernels slip off, it makes the corn easier to grind and the soaking process helps our bodies absorb all the nutrients in corn which are normally inaccessible (mainly niacin). What’s more, nixtamalization creates that rich and amazing flavor distinct in masa, and it allows you to create a dough from ground corn. When mixing corn flour (or cornmeal) with water, a dough won’t form, you’ll just have a soupy corn flour mixture. By mixing masa with water, you’ll have a formable dough that can be made into all kinds of delicious recipes, including tortillas!

Making your own masa requires dried yellow dent corn, pickling lime (also called “cal”, which you can find it in any hispanic market or online) and a grain mill that can grind wet grain, such as the Wonder Junior Deluxe grain mill with masa auger.

Wonder Junior grain mill

Start by rinsing the corn. Then, in a large non-reactive pot, mix together corn, water and pickling lime. Bring it to a boil, immediately turning down the heat and simmer for 45 minutes, making sure the corn is always covered with the liquid. Cover the pan and let it soak overnight. After soaking the corn kernels will look like this:

nixtamalized corn

You’ll notice that the outer skin of the kernels slip off very easily. Drain and rinse the corn thoroughly under cool water and rub handfuls of the kernels between your palms allowing the outer layer to fall off. Don’t worry about getting every single one! Just make sure to keep rinsing until the water starts to run clear.

Then, place the strained corn in your grain mill and grind it all!

Wonder Junior Mill Corn Masa

Grindning nixtamal into corn masa

Once you’ve ground all the nixtamal, add salt and a little water until you can form the dough into a ball. Make tortillas by shaping the dough into small balls and pressing each of them flat. You will get the best results by using a tortilla press. Bake tortillas on a preheated griddle, cast iron or nonstick skillet, on each side for 1-2 minutes or until brown spots start to appear. Keep the tortillas warm by wrapping in a cloth or storing in a tortilla keeper.

homemade masa corn tortillas

Posted: November 16, 2018
Source: Natt Wrobel
Simple fish tacos made with 3-Ingredient authentic corn tortillas prepared from the freshly made corn masa. You'll love this Mexican favorite!
Active Time
1 hour
Total Time
2 days
Serves
8-10

Ingredients:

Fresh Masa

  • 2 c. yellow dent corn
  • 2 tbsp. pickling lime
  • 6 c. water

Corn Tortillas

  • Masa made out of 2 c. of corn
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp to 1/4 cup warm water

Fish

  • 1-1/2 lb. mahi mahi, tilapia or cod
  • 3 tbsp. oil
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 3/4 tsp. cumin
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste

Garnish

  • Sliced avocado
  • Diced onion
  • Cilantro
  • Lime wedges

Directions:

  1. 1. Pour 6 c. of water to a pan, add 2 tbsp. pickling lime and give it a stir. Add corn.
  2. 2. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Cover and let it sit overnight.
  3. 3. Rinse the corn thoroughly under cool water. Rub handfuls of the kernels between your palms. The outer layer of skin should fall off easily.
  4. 4. Put the strained corn in your grinder (The Wonder Junior Deluxe mill with the masa auger accessory and stainless steel burrs).
  5. 5. Now it's time to prepare tortillas. Add 1/2 tsp. of salt and start working with the dough to form a ball. Add 1 tbsp. of water at a time (In my case that's all I needed). Be careful not to add to much water!
  6. 6. Form small balls (around 10-12) and prepare your tortilla press. If you don't own one, place each ball in between parchment paper or plastic and place a heavy skillet or dish on top.
  7. 7. Heat up griddle, cast iron or non-stick skillet. Bake tortillas each side 1-2 minutes or until brown spots start to appear. Keep warm covered with a cloth.
  8. 8. To the same heated pan add 3 tbsp oil. Rub all the spices, salt and pepper on fish. Cook 3-5 minutes each side or until cooked through.
  9. 9. Cut in pieces.
  10. 10. Assemble tacos. Add fish, sliced avocado, diced onion, cilantro and squeeze of lime. Serve immediately.

Images:

Fresh corn tortilla fish tacos
Fresh corn tortilla fish tacos
Grinding corn for masa
Grinding corn for masa
Making masa with Wonder Junior Deluxe grinder
Making masa with Wonder Junior Deluxe grinder
Homemade corn tortillas made from masa
Homemade corn tortillas made from masa
Fish tacos with fresh tortillas
Fish tacos with fresh tortillas

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.

Celebrating winter with a hearty breakfast

Mornings are a special time of day and a hearty country breakfast, cooked simply and served with care feeds both the body and soul. Hot porridge on a winter’s day is so thoroughly satisfying and always reminds me of snow-covered trees and warm, cozy kitchens. Setting bowls of oatmeal before my children on a cold morning makes me feel better about sending them out to the side of the road to wait for a school bus. In our home, we love to include honey or maple syrup, fruits, nuts, and good country butter to make our hot cereal sweeter on a blustery Saturday morning, shoring up energy for the household tasks we have set for the day.

Steel cut oats, also called Scotch or Irish oats, are oat groats that have been chopped into 2-3 pieces. If you don’t have steel cut oats, flaked/rolled oats can be used for this recipe; they’ll cook a little faster than steel cut oats.

To make a homemade almond milk I use the Tabletop Fruit Press, which makes it so simple. Store the milk in a covered glass jar, bottle or pitcher in the refrigerator, it’ll be good for 4-5 days.

Posted: November 3, 2018
Recipe by: Yelena Strokin
Source: Cooking Melangery
This amaranth and steel cut oats porridge recipe is healthy, cozy and comforting, with seeds-packed and warming spices. A delicious start to the day!
Active Time
20 minutes
Total Time
2 days
Serves
4-6

Ingredients:

Basic ingredients:

  • 1 c. amaranth grain
  • 1 c. steel cut oats
  • 3 c. purified water
  • 1 tbsp. buttermilk or other acidic liquid
  • 3-4 c. of almond milk (more if needed)
  • 2 tbsp. almond butter
  • 2 tsp. mixture of hemp seeds and ground flax seeds
  • 2 tsp. chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. cardamom

To serve:

  • apples (sliced or shredded)
  • berries
  • nuts: pecans, pine, almonds
  • butter
  • maple syrup

Directions:

  1. 1. Soak amaranth and steel cut oats in purified water and buttermilk overnight.
  2. 2. In the morning, rinse grains in warm water. In the medium saucepan mix together grains and everything else.
  3. 3. Slowly bring to a boil and then simmer over until desired consistency is reached about 10-15 minutes. Add more water or milk if need it.
  4. 4. Serve with everything you love to have for breakfast. Sometimes I even add avocado to my morning porridge bowl.

Author's Notes:

Soaking grains and seeds at least 8 hours with a tablespoon of acidic liquid (whey, buttermilk, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, etc.) helps your body absorb the nutrients from these nutrient-packed ingredients! 

Images:

Amaranth and Steel Cut Oats Porridge
Amaranth and Steel Cut Oats Porridge
Amaranth and Steel Cut Oats Porridge
Amaranth and Steel Cut Oats Porridge

PHG Products:

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


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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.

Our Family’s Favorite Beef & Barley Soup

Every season brings something special, and now is the time when you slow down and get ready for a snowy cold winter. This season means comfort food: stew, porridge and of course soups. I am loving preparing soups, especially for the cold days. I take my time to cook a broth first and then my imagination goes wild.

I like to cook with grains, as it brings extra texture and earthy flavors to my soups. Barley is a unique grain for me: it so simple yet it reminds me of the scent of fireplace and old cabin in the woods. You take a long walk among the trees, and you come back home where a beautiful bowl of soup with barley is cooked for you—hot and tasty. This barley soup is my husband’s favorite; he told me that he could eat it every day!

Posted: October 21, 2018
Recipe by: Yelena Strokin
Source: Cooking Melangery
This warming wintertime, thick soup is served in a rustic bread bowl and fresh herbs!
Active Time
20 minutes
Total Time
1 hour and 30 minutes
Yields
6-8

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lb. of beef cubes (I used chuck)
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 5 oz. of button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 c. of pearl barley, rinsed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 organic potatoes, diced (I didn't peel mine)
  • 8 c. of water of vegetable stock
  • 1 sprig of rosemary, minced
  • 2 tbsp. of grape seed oil
  • 2 tbsp. of fresh chopped dill
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. 1. In a large saucepan combine beef cubes, bay leaf and water. Bring to a boil over a medium-high heat, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface. Reduce the heat and regulate it so that the broth boils very gently. Season with the smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Cook, partially covered, for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  2. 2. In a large frying pan, heat the grape seed oil over medium heat. Gently sauté the carrots, mushrooms, and onions, together with the rosemary. Cook until the vegetables have softened slightly.
  3. 3. Add the barley, soft vegetables and potatoes to the meat broth. Simmer gently for about 20 minutes, or until the pearl barley is very soft and the potatoes are cooked.
  4. 4. Taste for seasoning, and add some sea salt and freshly cracked pepper. Serve with chopped dill in a bread bowl.

Images:

Beef and Barley Soup
Beef and Barley Soup
Beef and Barley Soup
Beef and Barley Soup
Beef and Barley Soup
Beef and Barley Soup
Beef and Barley Soup
Beef and Barley Soup

PHG Products:

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


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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.

Autumn Flavors of Roasted Squash & Buckwheat

Cooked buckwheat can be made into a side dish similar to rice, added to casseroles and soups or made into breakfast porridges. Buckwheat groats can be cooked in two ways: first, by cooking directly in liquid, which can produce very mushy results, or by toasting first and then cooking in liquid. Toasting the buckwheat prior to cooking helps separate the buckwheat to yield an elegant and flavorful side dish. Toasted buckwheat groats, or kasha, has been a staple food of European peasants for many years.

Click here to learn more about buckwheat, or to purchase organic, non-GMO buckwheat groats.

Posted: October 11, 2018
Recipe by: Yelena Strokin
Source: Cooking Melangery
Hearty and heart-healthy, this roasted butternut squash dish with buckwheat makes a warming main course for a weekday family dinner. Beautiful and simple plate for an autumn night.
Active Time
30 minutes
Total Time
1 hour
Serves
4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1/2 small cauliflower, cut into florets 
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. of smoked paprika
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 c. cooked toasted whole buckwheat groats (directions in author's comments)
  • 1 c. lima beans, (I used frozen ones)
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice or vinegar
  • 2-3 tbsp. chives, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. walnut oil (for the salad)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper (for the salad)
  • 4 eggs, cooked in sunny side up method (optional)

Directions:

  1. 1. Preheat an oven to 425°F.
  2. 2. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the squash. Using a large, sharp knife, cut the squash crosswise. Scrape out and discard the seeds and fibers.
  3. 3. Using a mandolin cut all of the squash into 2-inch strips. Spread the squash pieces on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil, add smoked paprika and toss with your hands to coat. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. 4. Roast for 15 minutes. Stir the squash and continue roasting until tender and browned, 10 to 15 minutes more. Remove from the oven.
  5. 5. Roast the cauliflower florets the same way or together with squash.
  6. 6. In a large mixing bowl, combine cooked buckwheat, roasted pumpkin, roasted cauliflower, and lima beans. Once combined, drizzle over the walnut oil and the lemon juice into the bowl. Combine well to make sure everything gets dressed. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  7. 7. This salad is great at room temperature or even warm. You can keep it overnight in a refrigerator and bring back to room temperature to serve.
  8. 8. Serve it with fresh herbs and cooked eggs (also can be served with salmon or chicken).

Author's Notes:

To toast the buckwheat, pour the buckwheat groats into a dry skillet and heat for 4-5 minutes until golden brown, stirring continually. To cook, combine 1 cup toasted buckwheat and 1 cup water in medium pot. Add 1/4 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. olive oil. Bring to a boil. Cover with a lid, reduce heat to simmer and cook until done, about 5-10 minutes.

Images:

Buckwheat with Roasted Vegetables and Lima Beans
Buckwheat with Roasted Vegetables and Lima Beans
Buckwheat with Roasted Vegetables and Lima Beans
Buckwheat with Roasted Vegetables and Lima Beans
Buckwheat with Roasted Vegetables and Lima Beans

PHG Products:

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


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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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