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Pleasant Hill Grain Blog

Helping you achieve your culinary dreams.

How to Make Healthier Pancakes

Both hard white and red wheat are common in whole wheat flour, hard white wheat is traditionally the “all-purpose” whole grain flour. Hard white wheat is stronger in gluten and proteins than soft wheat, making it ideal for bread, pizza, biscuits, muffins, and pancakes! A serving of wheat contains nearly 20% of the recommended daily iron intake, about 13g of protein and 11g of fiber, giving it a much stronger nutritional value than bleached all-purpose flour. To substitute whole wheat into recipes, start by substituting only half, and adjust based on the turnout of the texture.

In order to start off the day well, you need a nutritious breakfast, that will keep you fueled for the next few hours. Pancakes have been a breakfast staple, but a lot of people choose boxed pancake mixes since it’s a quick and easy option. We all love pancakes, however, they can be made with bleached flour, relatively high in fat, sugar, sodium and empty calories. What that means, is that you’ll be adding to your daily calories, but not receiving any nutritional value. Instead of giving up your favorite breakfast completely, just lighten them up a bit! Pancakes can be a really nutritious breakfast if you use just a few healthy swaps. To make delicious and nutritious cakes from scratch, all you need are a few simple ingredients, a bowl and a whisk!

Forget the store-bought box mixes. These Whole Wheat Mini Pancakes are delicious and much healthier for you than a traditional stack. They’ll keep you fueled instead of weighing you down!


Posted: May 22, 2018
Recipe by: Natalia Wrobel Katz
Source: nattwrobel.com
These Healthy Whole Wheat Mini Pancakes will make you not want to make regular pancakes ever again! Perfectly fluffy, light and easy to prepare. I chose to use white whole wheat flour, as it has a milder flavor and softer texture than a regular whole wheat. It's as nutritious as whole wheat flour (high in fiber, vitamins B and minerals). Don't forget to top them off with a drizzle of maple syrup!
Total Time
15 minutes
Yields
21

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. white whole wheat flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 c. milk of choice (regular or plant based)
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp. oil of choice (I used avocado oil) + extra to grease pan
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • pinch of pink himalayan salt

Directions:

  1. 1. Preheat your Skeppshult Original Scotch Pancake Iron and lightly grease with an oil.
  2. 2. In a medium bowl, mix egg, milk, maple syrup, oil, vanilla and apple cider vinegar.
  3. 3. Combine with flour, baking soda and salt.
  4. 4. Using a tablespoon, pour batter in each circle.
  5. 5. When the edges look dry and the top has bubbles, use a spatula to flip the pancakes.
  6. 6. Let them cook for another minute or two, until golden brown on both sides. Remove from heat and serving.

Author's Notes:

If the batter is too thick just thin it out with a little more milk. Pancakes can be made on a regular pan as well. If you like them bigger just use 1/4 of a cup to scoop the batter out.

Images:

Fluffy Whole Wheat Mini Pancakes
Fluffy Whole Wheat Mini Pancakes
Fluffy Whole Wheat Mini Pancakes
Fluffy Whole Wheat Mini Pancakes

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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.

Buckwheat Soup for a Cold Evening

Buckwheat is lesser known as a gluten-free grain, although a great option for those with sensitivities. As a pseudo-cereal, buckwheat can be ground into flour, flaked, or cooked. It’s rich in complex carbohydrates, protein, fiber, B-vitamins and several other trace vitamins and minerals. Buckwheat flavor pairs nicely with dried spices, beets, walnuts and hazelnuts.

As the weather turns colder and fall steps in, “cold weather soups” are an indispensable part of the menu. I would like to share with you one of my favorites—buckwheat soup!

Buckwheat is filling, super healthy and delicious. When it’s raining or freezing outside, what’s better than to snuggle on the couch in your PJs with a warm blanket, good book or movie and a huge bowl of warm yummy soup? For me personally, soups are good in any weather, but I especially love winter soups: lentil soup, chicken soup, potato carrot, and buckwheat soup are definitely on my “short list” of favorites.

Posted: September 15, 2018
Recipe by: Yelena Strokin
Source: Cooking Melangery
This is a simple country-style soup, packed with flavors. The buckwheat and cauliflower complement one another beautifully.
Active Time
15 minutes
Total Time
45 minutes
Serves
6

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 c. mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 2 chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 c. buckwheat (raw)
  • 2 liters water or vegetable stock, boiling
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • fresh herbs to serve

Directions:

  1. 1. Prepare all veggies. In a large pot sauté onions in olive oil. Then add carrots and sauté together.
  2. 2. Add chicken cubes and cook until the chicken is browned from all sides.
  3. 3. Add the mushrooms, sauté for one minute. Then add water or vegetable stock, and the cauliflower florets.
  4. 4. Add the buckwheat and season with salt, black pepper, and throw in the bay leaves.
  5. 5. Close the lid, and let it cook on medium heat for 15 minutes.
  6. 6. Serve with fresh herbs.

Author's Notes:

This version of Buckwheat soup that I’m sharing with you today is made with chicken. However, this can be easily turned into a vegan soup by simply omitting the chicken.

Images:

Buckwheat Soup with Cauliflower & Turmeric
Buckwheat Soup with Cauliflower & Turmeric
Buckwheat Soup with Cauliflower & Turmeric
Buckwheat Soup with Cauliflower & Turmeric
Buckwheat Soup with Cauliflower & Turmeric
Buckwheat Soup with Cauliflower & Turmeric
Buckwheat Soup with Cauliflower & Turmeric
Buckwheat Soup with Cauliflower & Turmeric

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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.

Comfort Dish for Autumn Days

Having various grains in your pantry gives you many options for the the recipes you can make, and a single grain can be used in several different forms. For example, einkorn is a delightfully chewy whole grain that also makes a beautiful wheat flour. I like the in-between state, especially for porridges and risotto—a state where the whole grain is pulsed in a high-speed blender or grain mill until the majority of grains have cracked, like in this cracked einkorn risotto. The cracked grains bring the texture while the flour helps to thicken the risotto. I use a similar technique to make porridge out of barley or millet. Learn how to crack grains at home and you can have endless creative side dishes.

Posted: August 19, 2018
Recipe by: Yelena Strokin
Source: Cooking Melangery
Einkorn makes a hearty stand-in for Arborio rice in this unique version of risotto, which is enriched with cream and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and served with sautéed mushrooms and fresh herbs.
Active Time
20 minutes
Total Time
40 minutes
Serves
2-3

Ingredients:

For the risotto:

  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 minced shallots
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 c. cracked einkorn
  • 1/4 c. dry white wine
  • 2 1/2 c. chicken or vegetable broth, warmed
  • 1/3 c. cream
  • 1/4 c. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • Fresh herbs to serve (chives, thyme, parsley)

For the mushrooms:

  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 c. mushrooms of your choice, brushed clean and sliced (I used wild mushrooms)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

To Cook the Risotto:

  1. 1. Using a blender or food processor crack the einkorn. After a few pulses some of the pieces should have a bit of flour as well. (It doesn’t take long but the extra step provides a bit of flour to help thicken the risotto and make it extra creamy without a ton of cheese.)
  2. 2. In a saucepan over medium heat, sauté the garlic, shallots and the olive oil, stirring once or twice, until the garlic is fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. 3. Add the einkorn and cook, stirring, until the berries are hot and coated with oil, about 2 minutes.
  4. 4. Add the wine and continue to cook, stirring often, until the liquid is absorbed.
  5. 5. Add the broth 1/2 c. at a time, stirring constantly and making sure the liquid has been absorbed before adding more.
  6. 6. When the einkorn is about half cooked, stir in the cream, salt and pepper. Stir in the grated Parmesan. The risotto is done when the einkorn grains are creamy on the outside and firm yet tender to the bite, 20 to 25 minutes total. If more liquid is required, use hot water. Add the butter at the end.
  7. 7. Transfer the risotto and mushrooms to a serving platter or individual bowls and garnish with grated Parmesan and fresh herbs of your choice.

To sauté the mushrooms:

  1. 1. In a cast iron pan over medium heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. Add the onion and sauté until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until they are done about 10 minutes. Add the seasonings to taste.

Author's Notes:

I served my risotto with crispy bacon on the side, my boys loved it!

Images:

Einkort Risotto
Einkort Risotto
Einkort Risotto
Einkort Risotto
Einkort Risotto
Einkort Risotto
Einkort Risotto
Einkort Risotto
Einkort Risotto
Einkort Risotto

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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.

Fresh Cider: The Quintessential Autumn Drink

It’s hard to believe it’s already fall! Fall means apples, and apples mean cider. Isn’t that right? Buying apple cider from the local farmers market is great, but nothing beats pressing your own apple cider with fresh apples.

Today I’m bringing you a recipe for homemade freshly pressed apple cider. It hardly requires a recipe though—that’s how simple it is. But aren’t the simple recipes just the best? All it requires is a few of your favorite kind of apple, cinnamon sticks and of course a Tabletop Fruit Press.

Grinding the apples is needed to get the most out of them. If you don’t own a fruit grinder you can easily use a food processor. First, halve or quarter the apples and pulse a few times. Then place them  into the Tabletop Fruit Press chamber. Make sure to put the mesh bag inside the basket. It will contain mash even under very high pressure and make clean up much easier! The press plate can be screwed to your choice of surface or just held by the bottom while squeezing the juice.

Besides being delicious in taste, apple cider is a good source of potassium and iron. It’s pure, sweet and natural with no sugar added!

Posted: September 19, 2018
Recipe by: Natalia Wrobel Katz
Have you ever had apple cider fresh from the press? If not, I can assure you, it's the best drink you will ever have. This apple cider is made with fresh organic apples and has delicate hints of cinnamon. Simple and delicious! Nothing compares to freshly pressed raw apple cider and its amazingly pure and refreshing flavor.
Active Time
25 minutes
Total Time
25 minutes
Serves
10

Ingredients:

  • 5 lbs. apples of choice
  • 3-5 cinnamon sticks

Directions:

  1. 1. Place a mesh bag into the basket of your Tabletop Fruit Press.
  2. 2. To grind the apples, chop them roughly, place in a food processor and pulse a few times. Another option is using an apple grinder to get more juice.
  3. 3. Fill the bag with ground apples, avoiding air pockets. Fold the top of the filled bag over and place the pressing plate on top. Turn the handle to apply pressure to the fruit pulp. Keep the pressure even so the pressing plate remains level. Gradually apply pressure until the flow of juice stops.
  4. 4. Pour the apple juice into a glass pitcher, add cinnamon sticks and refrigerate.

Images:

Apple cider with cinnamon
Apple cider with cinnamon
Pressing apples with Tabletop Fruit Press
Pressing apples with Tabletop Fruit Press
Homemade Freshly Pressed Apple Cider
Homemade Freshly Pressed Apple Cider

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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.

Einkorn Spice Cookies

Why haven’t we heard of this ancient grain until recently? In part, because there were only a few hundred acres of einkorn being grown worldwide and the grain was on the threshold of extinction — which made the relic grain hard to find.

Einkorn hasn’t been widely produced for many years because it’s more difficult to harvest and yields only one fifth as much volume compared to modern wheat. But interest in einkorn has grown rapidly as awareness of its great nutritional advantages has spread.

The protein content of einkorn is 30-50% higher than in modern wheats. In addition to its high protein content, einkorn contains large amounts of essential fatty acids, antioxidants lutein and beta-carotene, minerals phosphorus, iron, zinc, potassium and manganese, and vitamins A, B2 and B6. Einkorn also contains 30% less starch than modern wheat.

Einkorn is a diploid grain, meaning it has two sets of its seven chromosomes for a total of 14 chromosomes, whereas modern red and white wheats, and spelt, have six sets of seven chromosomes, for a total of 42 chromosomes. The simpler genetic structure of einkorn makes it easier to digest than modern wheats. Many people who experience gluten sensitivities are able to enjoy baked foods made with einkorn flour, but since einkorn does contain gluten it isn’t recommended for people with Celiac disease.

Einkorn berries can be cooked for a side dish or hot cereal, or ground into flour and used in a variety of baked goods. Whole grain einkorn flour can be used in place of any other type of wheat for breads, pasta, pancakes, biscuits and more!

Bread dough made with einkorn flour is less elastic than dough made with modern wheat, and because there isn’t a lot of elasticity to develop, einkorn dough can be fully kneaded in a very short time. Einkorn bread dough can easily be mixed and kneaded by hand. The gluten structure of einkorn is less strong than that of modern wheat, so to preveent falling while baking, it’s important not to let einkorn over-proof.

Einkorn flour absorbs less liquid and takes a little longer to absorb liquid than modern wheat flours do; this should be taken into consideration when substituting einkorn flour for modern wheat flour in yeast bread recipes. A good place to start when converting yeast bread recipes for einkorn is to use ⅓ less liquid than the recipe calls for (eggs and butter shouldn’t be considered a liquid).

Whole grain einkorn flour can usually be substituted in equal measurement for modern wheat whole grain flour in quick breads, pancakes, cookies and cakes, but generally you’ll need to reduce liquid by 10-15% in these recipes. Einkorn doughs and batters will be a bit stickier to work with than those made with modern grains, but baking results are not adversely affected. We recommend The Einkorn Cookbook as a great resource for tasty, wholesome einkorn recipes.

The word einkorn is German and means “one kernel”, referring to the single floret in a spikelet of einkorn grass; modern wheats grow 3-5 florets per spikelet. Einkorn is also known by other names including farro piccolo (Italian), shippon (Hebrew), and le petit épeautre (French).

You can find more information about einkorn here.

A few tips for baking with einkorn flour:

  • You may want a kitchen scale to bake with einkorn flour. It’s an important tool to have because it’s more precise than measuring by volume.
  • All-purpose and whole grain einkorn flours are not to be substituted cup for cup because whole grain flour will absorb more liquid than all-purpose flour.
  • With a grain mill or high-speed blender you can grind whole einkorn wheat berries, or sprouted and dehydrated wheat berries, into whole grain flour.
Posted: August 3, 2018
Recipe by: Yelena Strokin
Source: Cooking Melangery
The cookies come out of the oven really soft, but they set up perfectly after cooling. This is a balanced combination between the spices and einkorn flour earthy taste.
Active Time
20 minutes
Total Time
40 minutes
Yields
25

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 c. whole grain einkorn flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. fine salt (like see salt or pink himalayan salt)
  • 10 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/2 c. date sugar (or granulated sugar)
  • 3 tbsp. granulated sugar for dusting
  • 1/3 c. dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. molasses
  • 2 tsp. freshly grated ginger (or ground ginger)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg

Directions:

  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. 2. In a medium bowl mix together dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. 3. In a second bowl, mix together the melted butter, sugars (except some for dusting), molasses, and spices. Add the egg and whisk together until well combined. Add the flour and mix it well with a spatula.
  4. 4. Let stand for 15 minutes at room temperature to give the flour time to absorb the wet ingredients.
  5. 5. Roll 3/4 inch balls of dough between your hands and roll them in the granulated sugar. You should have about 24-27 balls.
  6. 6. Place the balls 2 inches apart on a baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes, until cookies have spread and barely firm to the touch. Cool the cookies for about 10 minutes, then make yourself a nice cup of tea or coffee and enjoy!

Author's Notes:

You can make much bigger cookies, for that roll about 1 1/2 inch balls of dough and bake. Increase your baking time by a few minutes. You will get 16 large cookies.

Images:

Two Bites Spice Cookies
Two Bites Spice Cookies
Two Bites Spice Cookies
Two Bites Spice Cookies
Two Bites Spice Cookies
Two Bites Spice Cookies
Two Bites Spice Cookies
Two Bites Spice Cookies
Two Bites Spice Cookies
Two Bites Spice Cookies

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.

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