Nov
27

Here is the situation: (maybe this happened to you on Thanksgiving) You’re preparing to bake, you know that you have most ingredients on hand like the sugar, vanilla extract, and flour, but you need to run to the grocery for a few things like pecans and pumpkin puree. (follow me?) You get to the store and you begin to question yourself, “DO I have flour at home or did I use it all up….. I can’t remember so I’ll buy another bag…” You get home to find out that you have not one, but two bags of flour on-hand, both bags open, both bags taking up space…… 

I HATE having open bags of flour and sugar and “stuff” hanging around…. ESPECIALLY when there are duplicates. I just don’t have space for that kind of mess. PLUS, there are different types of flour that can’t be combined. Sigh. The struggle.

DIY Quinoa Flour

I recently learned how to make my own flour, IT’S SO EASY. I learned how to make flour from gluten-free items like oats, quinoa, and nuts which are all ingredients I keep on-hand. In this blog post, I’m going to explain how to make flour from quinoa, but the process is very similar for oats and nuts.

A few things that excite me:
Making quinoa flour is much more cost-effective than buying quinoa flour.
I no longer have to keep bags and bags of flour on-hand, now I can make my own flours, as needed, with the ingredients I already have on-hand.

DIY Quinoa Flour

Quinoa flour is made by grinding quinoa seeds in to a fine powder or flour. It looks and feels like all-purpose flour and can be used in a variety of different baking recipes including muffins, breads, cookies, pies, and crisps, among others. It can also be used in soups, stews, and gravies as a thickening agent or added to smoothies as a protein boost.

Quinoa Flour: DIY
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups organic quinoa
  • clean coffee grinder
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Rinse the quinoa through a fine mesh sieve for about 1 minute and then dry the quinoa as much as possible.
  3. On an ungreased, rimmed baking sheet, bake the quinoa at 350F for 12-15 minutes until dry, slightly golden and fragrant then cool completely.
  4. Put about ¼ cup of the quinoa seeds in to the coffee grinder, and pulse to grind the quinoa. Shake the grinder every few pulses to ensure an even grind.
  5. Repeat this process until all of the quinoa is finely ground.
DIY Quinoa Flour

What you need to know about Quinoa Flour:  

  • It is important to rinse your quinoa to remove the naturally occurring chemical, saponin that is found on the external seed coating of the quinoa. Removing the saponin will prevent a bitter taste.
  • I prefer to use TruRoots Quinoa because of their organic and sustainable farming initiatives, the beautiful packaging, and I find the flavor and quality of their products superior to others.
  • Quinoa has a distinct nutty, earthy flavor which makes it perfect for recipes with bold flavors // think molasses, cocoa, nuts, strong spices, and autumnal flavors.
  • Quinoa is naturally gluten-free, high in protein, low carb, and nutritious.
  • Unlike many gluten-free flours, you do not need to add xanthin or guar gum to make quinoa “work” in recipes. (win!)
  • Be sure to use a clean coffee grinder to make quinoa flour, I would recommend having a coffee grinder just for grinding flours and spices, separate from the grinder you have for coffee. Using a food processor or blender is not effective in making flours. Coffee grinders can be inexpensive to purchase, you can find them for under $20.

Love

Crista


Sep
02

Zucchini Banana Bread

When a girlfriend of mine gifted me a HUGE zucchini from her garden, I was ecstatic – however unsure what to do with THAT MUCH ZUCCHINI. The thing was huge, seriously. I took a photo of it, but I’m not sharing because it just looks awkward. Ha! 

I haven’t always loved zucchini, but I HAVE always loved zucchini bread. The strange thing is, I’ve never made an attempt at making bread on my own, until recently – it scared me. Seemed hard, or something. I overcame my fear with a craving and a huge zucchini fruit staring me in the face from atop my kitchen counter.

I googled recipes for “vegan zucchini bread” and one of the first (and best) recipes that showed up is a recipe from one of my favorite blogs – Post Punk Kitchen. The coolest thing about the recipe is that it calls for a ripe banana and I just so happened to have 3 ripe bananas hanging around. (literally!)

Zucchini Banana Bread

This recipe calls for “applesauce” and I like to make my own. It’s simp, chop an apple, and pulse it in a food processor until it’s a “saucy” consistency. If it’s not completely smooth, it’s ok. You can still add it to the batter. Just be sure to not add any more apple”sauce” than the recipe calls for – if you do, your bread may be too moist and dense. I only know this because I added extra apple”sauce” to my second loaf and it was more dense than my first loaf – however, still yummy.

I have a fancy attachment on my food processor that grated my zucchini with the touch of a button. If you do not have this fancy attachment, you can certainly grate the zucchini by hand. 

I added raisins and a few nuts to my bread but you can play around with add-ins. Chocolate chips, any type of nuts, dates, and dried fruits would all work. You get to choose & customize!! 

{vegan} Zucchini Banana Bread
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 large very ripe banana
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • ¾ cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom or allspice
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • ½ cup raisins (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease an 8×4 metal bread pan with Earth Balance butter.
  2. In a mixing bowl, mash the banana well, until no large chunks are left. Add the applesauce, canola oil, sugar, and vanilla and use a strong fork to mix well.
  3. Add the grated zucchini and mix in.
  4. Sift in 1 cup of the flour, the cinnamon, cardamom or allspice, baking soda and salt. Mix to combine. If you are adding the walnuts or raisins, do that now. Then add the final ½ cup of flour, and mix just until no visible flour is left.
  5. Transfer batter to the greased pan and bake for 50 to 55 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick or knife. If the bread needs more time to bake, turn heat down to 325 F and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Slice and serve!

Zucchini Banana Bread

Love

Crista