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Pleasant Hill Grain Blog

Helping you achieve your culinary dreams.

Golden Beet Poppy Seed Ice Cream

Golden Beet Poppy Seed Ice Cream featured image

I love the the little taste-test spoons at ice cream parlors. I’ll admit it; I’m the person who after about 15 minutes has had my full serving in samples and then ends up picking an ice cream flavor that I didn’t taste test in the first place!

Whether you’re the type of ice cream lover who knows your favorites and doesn’t stray, or the type who loves new flavors and can never decide, you need Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream at Home in your cookbook library, and you should try her beet ice cream. Its earthy-fresh flavor is refreshing and not-too-sweet. If you use a red beet in this recipe your ice cream will turn out a beautiful bright pink. If you use a golden beet, like I did, the ice cream will be a warm butterscotch color.

Golden beet & poppyseed ice creamBeet Ice cream


Makes about 1 quart

Roasted Beets

  • 2 medium beets
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Ice Cream Base

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon water plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1-1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup (I substituted real maple syrup)
  • Zest of 1 orange (use a vegetable peeler to remove the zest in large strips)
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds


The day before mixing your ice cream, place a Cuisinart ice cream bowl in the coldest part of your freezer.

Roasted Beets

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Wrap the beets in a sheet of foil.
  3. Bake until very soft, about 1 hour.
  4. Let the beets cool slightly, then wipe them with a paper towel to peel.
  5. Cut the peeled beets into chunks and puree in a blender or food processor.
  6. Force the puree through a mesh sieve.
  7. Combine 1/2 cup of the warm beet puree with the sugar (discard any extra beet puree).
  8. Set aside to cool.

Ice Cream Base

  1. Mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry.
  2. Whisk the mascarpone, beet puree, and salt in a medium bowl until smooth.
  3. Fill a large bowl with ice and water.


  1. Combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar, corn syrup, and orange zest in a 4-quart saucepan.
  2. Bring to a rolling boil over medium high heat, and boil for 4 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat, and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry.
  4. Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a heat proof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.


  1. Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the mascarpone/beat mixture until smooth. Pour into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.


Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker mixing ice cream

  1. Remove the orange zest and pour the ice cream base into the frozen ice cream maker bowl.
  2. Add the poppy seeds and run the Cuisinart ice cream maker until thick and creamy.
  3. Pack the ice cream into a storage container and sprinkle with poppy seeds as a garnish.
  4. Press a sheet of parchment paper directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid.
  5. Place your container in the coldest part of your freezer and allow to freeze for 4 hours.

Whatever your ice cream parlor habits are, we think you’ll enjoy trying this unique treat. Enjoy!

Items used in this recipe:


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A Lemony Treat for Those with Food Allergies

A Lemony Treat for Those with Food Allergies featured image

This dessert is free of gluten, dairy and refined sugar…and yet it doesn’t taste like cardboard! You must try these lemon bars from The Almond Flour Cookbook; they’re the perfect summer treat, whether you have food allergies or not.


Lemon Bars

Makes 16 bars



  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8 or 9-inch square baking dish with grapeseed oil and dust with almond flour.
  2. To make the crust, combine the almond flour and salt in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk together the grapeseed oil, agave nectar and vanilla extract. Stir the wet ingredients into the almond flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Press the dough into the prepared baking dish.
  3. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until lightly golden.
  4. While the crust bakes, prepare the topping. In a blender, combine the grapseed oil, agave nectar, eggs, and lemon juice. Process on high until smooth.
  5. Remove the crust from the oven and pour the topping evenly over the hot crust.
  6. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the topping is golden.
  7. Let cool in the baking dish for 30 minutes, then refrigerate for 2 hours to set. Cut into bars and serve.

Kitchen tools used in this recipe:

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Cherry Nut Protein Bars

Cherry Nut Protein Bars featured image

Yum! Yum! Yum! Take these protein treats to the gym, ski slopes, the kids’ games, up a mountain and everywhere else! These Granola Protein Bars from The Sprouted Kitchen are almost too good to be true.


Granola Protein Bars

Makes 8 large, or 12 small bars

  • 1-1/4 cups rolled/flaked oats
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped raw cashews (we substituted walnuts)
  • 1/2 cup brown rice syrup (we substituted maple syrup)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup crisp brown rice cereal
  • 1/2 cup vanilla protein powder
  • 1 cup dried cherries, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Spread the oats and nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until just barely toasted, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  3. Turn the heat down to 300°F. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the brown rice syrup, water, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Add the toasted oats and nuts, the rice cereal, and protein powder and stir until everything is coated. Stir in the cherries.
  4. Line an 8 or 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving extra paper over two sides of the pan, for easy removal of the bars. Dump the granola mixture in the center, and using a large spoon or your fingers, press the mixture down compactly (wetting the spoon or your fingers with warm water to keep them from getting sticky). Be sure to push the mixture all the way to the corners. Bake until the top is slightly toasted, 23-25 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Pull them out by the parchment paper and cut eight-twelve bars of equal size.

If you’re going to eat them later, wrap each bar individually in plastic wrap. They should keep fresh for about a week.

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Charlene’s Favorite Green Juice

Charlene’s Favorite Green Juice featured image

Guess what percentage of Americans eat the suggested amount of fruits and veggies each day? Only 11%! Even though I’m a bit of a health nut, I can definitely fall into the 89% category of those who fall short more often than I wish. I think that many of us, myself included, know what would make us healthier, but struggle to implement that knowledge as we navigate our hectic schedules. Prepping fresh ingredients can take time and take-out or packaged processed food can offer tempting convenience.

DSC_7992 Enter my morning green juice. This simple routine helps me wake up and feel vibrant, while I get all the benefits of plant phytonutrients and enzymes, like immunity support, cancer prevention and anti-aging to name a few. I like to drink this juice first thing in the morning, before the day gets away from me.

Note: A slow juicer like the 43RPM HH Elite Hurom ensures that vitamins, minerals and enzymes in fruits and vegetables are preserved, so make sure you do your research before you purchase a juicer!

My favorite recipe is perfect for both veterans and newbies in the juicing world. Lemon, mint and ginger give this drink a refreshing flavor, and kale packs a punch of iron, calcium and vitamin A.


Charlene’s Favorite Green Juice


  • 1 large apple, chopped
  • 5 large kale leaves, washed
  • 1 small lemon, with the peel cut off
  • 1 inch knob fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 or more sprigs fresh mint


Wash the ingredients and chop into small pieces; 3-5 cm are optimal for juicing and reducing pulp.

Juice in your Hurom or other slow juicer!

I like to drop a couple ice cubes in my juice before serving. The Duralex tumbler is a perfect morning juice glass.



PHG products used: Paring Knife COLORI®, Kuhn Rikon collapsible colanders, Duralex tumblers 

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Bunches of Bananas

Bunches of Bananas featured image

IMG_1655When you find yourself with thirteen pounds of organic bananas, you know you’ll be enjoying bananas for quite awhile. That said, you’ll see more than one recipe showcasing bananas on this blog in the next few months.

We’d love to hear what your favorite banana recipes are, please tell us in the comment section below!

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins


Makes 12 standard size muffins
Baking: 23-28 minutes


  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup sucanat
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon RealSalt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican vanilla
  • 1-1/2 cups mashed bananas (2-3 medium bananas)
  • 2 tablespoons agave
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (we ground organic hard red wheat)
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips (chopped nuts could be substituted)


  1. Grind two cups of whole wheat flour in your grain mill.


  2. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  3. Place paper muffin cups in a 12-cup muffin tin.
  4. Beat the butter, sucanat, baking soda, salt, spices and vanilla together with an electric hand mixer until smooth.
  5. Add the mashed bananas, agave and eggs, and mix until just combined.
  6. Then add the flour and chocolate chips and mix until fully incorporated.
  7. Using a cookie scoop, fill each muffin cup until it’s nearly full.
  8. Bake for 23-28 minutes, or until a toothpick or knife inserted comes out clean.
  9. Remove from the oven and let sit in the tin for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.


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