Monday, December 27, 2010

Bread Experiment #12

You might go looking for the other experiments, but you won't find them on this blog... I'm only publishing the ones that I LOVE and will continue to use. (Sorry, no photos - we ate the bread too fast!)

So, here it is, the meat and potatoes of the bread recipe: (If you don't have my basic bread recipe yet you can sign up to get it here. It is the one for the Bosch Universal mixer.)
First, I leave the basics alone - the water, oil, honey, salt, yeast and dough enhancer amounts have not changed.
What I have played with are the flour amounts and what I have been using for my flour. For example, I use roughly 16 cups of flour. I'm not sure how accurate that is anymore, because I always lose count and just add flour as needed until my bread is barely no longer sticky.
So, I put in the hot water, yeast, dough enhancer, oil and honey. Then I add a cup of mashed potato flakes (potato pearls do NOT work, unless you pulverize the pearls first). Next, I put in between one and two cups of ground flaxseed (I prefer this golden flaxseed), AND lately, I've been adding a 10-grain cereal mix. It is a course grind whole grain cereal and I just throw it in. I haven't been letting it sit and soak much, but I understand you can let it sit up to 5 or so minutes. I've also enjoyed adding 1/4 cup millet. It seems to be a lot of millet, so I may tone it down a little to 1/8 cup. (Still experimenting with that one.)
And finally, I prefer to use 3 different kinds of flour - usually spelt, hard white and hard red whole wheat flours. The flour mix makes a tastier loaf, I think. (Don't forget to add the salt.)

The result? Tasty, healthy, WHOLE GRAIN bread that is light enough that you don't feel like you are eating a brick and has enough substance to know you have eaten something! Bread doesn't last long at my house.

This last week, I've made 3 batches of bread (5-6 loaves per batch), mostly for Christmas presents for some friends and neighbors and have had rave reviews about my experiments. One neighbor was so excited she was going to hide it all for herself because my bread is SO YUMMY and so AMAZING! (Actually, I know of at least two people who hid it to eat the loaf by themselves.)   Makes me happy to think I am helping them have a little extra joy in their lives.

Here's to some more happy experimenting!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Blog Giveaway

my sister is giving away one of my cookie mixes - go here and follow instructions to enter:

(plus she has tons of delicious recipes on her blog, so enjoy reading while you are there! Either way, you can't go wrong by visiting her blog...)
 p.s. You only have until Monday, November 22, 2010 midnight to enter, so don't delay- it only takes a minute.

Friday, October 29, 2010

New Spelt Cookie Mixes!

I am SO excited about these. I have been developing the recipes and getting the perfect Idaho grown ingredients for these mixes for about 6 months and we now have them ready for you to purchase and bake in your own kitchen!

Quick thought: Need a good idea for a gift? These are perfect! And Christmas is just around the corner. (How is the shopping going?)

Both of these cookie mixes are made with Idaho-grown hard white wheat, spelt, sugar and flaxseed. Plus - we used whole flour and whole flaxseed! (Increase your fiber, Omega-3s, and protein intake for the day.) They are tasty and soft and chewy and you can add your own delightful indulgences (chocolate chips, raisins, toffee chips, or whatever you like). There are two different mixes you can now purchase on my website or at my house. Chocolate Cookie Mix or Oatmeal Cookie Mix. The cost is only $6.00/mix and will make at least three to four dozen cookies (depending on the size you scoop them to be). I consistently get at least three and a half dozen cookies.

Each cookie mix is easy to make - just add eggs and butter, (and chocolate chips or raisins or something), mix and bake. I've sampled these around the farmer's market, at different parties I've gone to, and several different events, and I've consistently gotten rave reviews. They are a delightful and almost addicting cookie! It isn't fun to eat just one.

I'd love to hear your review. Purchase a mix and let me know what you think. (Or catch up with me at one of the upcoming craft fairs where I will be featuring these new healthy cookie mixes as well as cookie samples.)

You can find the cookie mixes here:  J's Spelt Cookie Mix

Talk to you soon.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Family Applesauce

Hi. I wanted to post this to show you how much fun we had doing applesauce, recently. I don't think I touched the "turner" on the strainer. My kids had so much fun doing it, I could just focus on other parts of the process. We had good success and did only 5 batches of sauce!

So, make canning a fun family activity - as much as you can. My kids look forward to making applesauce because there are so many things they can help with!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Parade of Giveaways Winner!

Congratulations to Mel whose comment said:
Blogger Mel said...
I love to add flax seed to my yogurt, but it looks like I should be adding it to almost everything! I'm excited to have found your blog...I have a dozen or so that I check up on with food storage. Enter me into your drawing!
September 29, 2010 9:34 PM
Mel, I need your information (starting with email address) so please email me at to claim your prize.
Thank you to all who participated for all your comments and wonderful suggestions! I loved reading ALL of them and learning from you as well. I hope you will continue to come back and share your knowledge about food storage and promote our business as we do our best to promote building food storage and being prepared.
Thanks again - and until next time... happy storing!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fruit Cocktail

Hi! I have been lost for a minute, but I promise I'm here. We have been running our fruit stand this summer and have been harvesting our crops on our farm (actually, we just finished harvesting the grain for the year!)

Anyway, I wanted to share my lastest adventure in canning! I am so excited about it, too. I made my own fruit cocktail! I heard of a lady making her own a few years ago and have thought about it ever since. Why not? Why can't we make our own fruit cocktail? I only wonder about the grapes, but everything else processes for the same amount of time in my handbook.

Ready? Here is what I used, with the specific varieties grown in my favorite orchard in Caldwell, Idaho: white (canning) peaches (summersweet), yellow peaches (I think I used the last of my flamecrests), nectarines (honey royales), and bartlett pears and a few green grapes that I had in the fridge. (If anyone knows of a reason I shouldn't use grapes, please let me know.)

I took a half of a fruit per jar and had plenty. (For example, I needed 7 jars and used 4 peaches - half per jar, make sense? It worked out pretty close to what I needed.) I blanched and skinned the peaches - both white and yellow peaches, chunked them up, and threw them in a jar on top of the grapes. Do you know you can bottle nectarines and you don't have to skin them? Well, I skinned these - just like peaches - boiling them in water for 20 seconds, first, then to cold water and slip the skins. I mostly did it for looks in the jar. Then I peeled, chunked, and added the pears and then poured the sugary syrup over the top, topped the jars, and processed my jars in a water bath - just like I would for pints of peaches.

We tried some on Sunday, just to see what the jars and the fruit were like. They look a little mushy, but they really weren't when we tried the fruit. It was really a nice combination - and everything was ripe - unlike most of the store\-fruit cocktail I usually use.

Although, I think I have to try quart jars next time! It was a hit! And I'm so pleased with myself for doing it.

What do you think?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Parade of Giveaways

So, I'm excited to participate in the Parade of Giveaways this year.

First, I love to do food storage and be prepared.I've been canning like crazy and building up my food storage - especially now - to get ready for winter.

Do you use flaxseed? Do you know what to do with it? Since it is my prize, I thought I'd tell you a little bit about it. This is a 1.5 pound bag of heart healthy golden flaxseed. Flaxseed is full of good Omega-3 fats and provides good amounts of fiber to your diet. Everyone needs more fiber in their diet, right? It is best to eat flaxseed when freshly ground - so your body can absorb the maximum amount of nutrients available from the flax.

This golden flaxseed is an Idaho Preferred product and is a great variety for baking. I add it to almost everything I bake: cookies, breads, muffins, cakes. It even is a great substititue for eggs in your baking recipes. You only need to take 3 Tablespoons cold water and 1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed and whip them together. Allow this mixture to sit until a little slimy (about 1 minute) and you have a great replacement for 1 egg.
Just remember to grind your flaxseed in a spice grinder or a coffee grinder - something that can handle oily seeds. A flour mill is usually not able to handle flaxseed.

1 - You must live in the US. I will not ship out of the USA.
2 - Please leave a useful comment on this blog post about my website: or about flaxseed or even food storage. Easy, right?  =)
(Mostly, let me know you are interested in entering the parade of giveaways)

Remember all giveaways will run September 1st - September 30th and the flaxseed winner will be announced on October 1st on this blog. Happy blogging and good luck!

Until next time!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Survival Seeds

I think you know about survival seeds and heirloom seeds. I am just writing to you to recommend one such company that I like... called Hometown Seeds. They are based out of Orem, Utah and have some great varieties of seeds - vegetable/survival seeds, perrenials, annuals, herbs and more. Check them out here:

(Tell them I referred you!)

Oh - and I almost forgot!!! They are offering a discount for a brief time! Here is what they have to say:

We at Hometown Seeds have been overwhelmed by the help given to us by the online gardening community.  From advice on products and tips to improve our website to help in developing exposure to our business, we sincerely appreciate all you have done for us.
In appreciation for your help, we would like to offer a 20% discount on all of our products to you and your web community.  By entering the coupon code thanks, 20% will be reduced from the total cost of any order.  The code will be good through July 31, 2010.  Feel free to offer this to your readers and visitors.

So, take advantage of that while you can! What a deal!

p.s. If you want me to give your my reasoning as to why heirloom seeds and "survival" seeds are a good idea, please leave a commenting letting me know you want more info...

p.p.s. I stole their graphic, but I hope they don't mind since I'm referring their company in this post and I want you to recognize it when you see it on their site. So, go here to see what they have:   

Thanks! Until next time.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Grain fed or Grass fed beef?

Okay - another one - this was really interesting to me, too. Do you prefer one over the other?

Meat scientists at Texas A&M University have reported that, contrary to popular thought, consuming ground beef from grass-fed cattle has no beneficial effects on blood lipids in people, while consuming ground beef from grain-fed cattle does have a positive outcome.

Dr. Stephen Smith, who led the team's work, said researchers first looked at previous studies and could find no scientific justification for statements that grass-fed beef is healthier and more nutritious than grain-fed product. 

Here is the rest of the short article - including the benefits to eating grain-fed beef.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Organic Food versus Conventional Food

Reading an article this morning about organic food, I thought this was very intriguing. I've heard this position several times, and think there are really some interesting points here. Read through it and let me know what YOU think. 

There currently is no substantive evidence that organic foods have nutrition-related benefits over conventionally produced foods, according to a new review by members of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Health.

They noted that the research on this issue is "disappointingly small" and that where studies have been done, they were focused mostly on short-term effects from eating organic foods -- mainly the antioxidant presence in subjects' bodies -- rather than longer-term health outcomes.

Furthermore, they said most of the antioxidant studies found no differences in conventional and organic diets.

The review, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, added to the researchers' work last year in which they considered 162 articles in the scientific literature over the last 50 years and reached similar conclusions.

Read more at their website

Don't forget to comment!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Can cookies be healthy?

I know, I know, it seems absurd to suggest that those little chewy sugar bombs could be, but, this week, it’s up to us to show you otherwise. Deep in the warm and cozy heart of our kitchen, we decided to bust the myth of unhealthy cookies and still make them taste scrumptious.

Now, what makes these cookies so incredible? Well, we took a basic wholesome oatmeal cookie recipe and then had some fun. Instead of the white flour, we used freshly ground whole wheat including hard white wheat, and spelt. Actually, let me tell you about spelt really quick and then I’ll get back to what’s in these amazing cookies.

Spelt is actually one of the first grains cultivated. (It’s mentioned in the Bible and was even found in the tombs of pharaohs.) It’s old, reliable, and free of tampering. Spelt is actually harder to grow than newer forms of wheat, but the specific health benefits of spelt make it marketable. It contains a more fragile form of gluten than other varieties of wheat. So, it’s easier to break down and digest; in fact, people who are allergic to gluten and can’t eat wheat can usually eat spelt. It also contains a lot of healthy proteins.

Whew. Okay back to the cookies. So, we used hard white wheat, spelt, Idaho-grown sugar (because that the way we like it), and flax. The flax is great too because it packs a healthy load of dietary fiber, and will give you all the Omega-3’s you need.

So, yeah, I’ll admit it. These cookies won’t lose weight for you. But, they also carry some great stuff like spelt and flax. We all need cookies. Yes, need. Living a healthy and happy life undoubtedly must contain cookies. Our bellies and souls need to be fed somehow, so let’s do it with some Omega-3!! (Because it’s better in a cookie than in an oily teaspoon, right?)

So, for the next few Friday’s, at the Farmer’s Market in Rexburg, come try one of our sample cookies! This week we will also be serving delicious, nutritious cinnamon rolls, Gossamer milk (which is surprisingly good), potatoes, rhubarb, and tomato and pepper plants. So come see us at the Ashland Produce stand and get a delicious and healthy cookie!!

In case you didn’t notice, this article wasn’t written by Jamie. My name is Patrick and I’ll be working for her this summer. Thanks!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Whole Wheat Pizza and Breadsticks

Aren't these cute?!
My three year old came up with the idea to use the dinosaur sandwich cutter on the breadsticks. Isn't he brilliant? We used our pizza dough recipe to make whole wheat and spelt pizza (do you need that recipe?). We used half of the dough to make breadsticks and half to make a pizza. (by the way - the one with the "well-done" head, was a little thin on the dough. The rest of the dinosaurs were thicker dough.)

Note- I have a super-picky eater at my house. This child likes pizza, but only likes tomato sauce on the pizza. I wondered what he would think of these dinosaur shapes. I even made some and baked the tomato sauce on top. 

They were such a hit, and he ate them all up so fast that I only got pictures of the ones that didn't have baked on tomato sauce. I only made four or five tomato sauce dinosaurs, so when he wanted more, we just threw some tomato sauce on top of the dinosaurs and he ate a few more! Hooray for fun food!

Here are the breadsticks that I made - with a layer of cheese on top. YUMM!

And just for fun - the pizza. I'm not a supreme pizza kind of girl, so this is how I like my pizza.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Flour in Food Storage & Notes on Hard Red Wheat

Question of the day:  (I haven't done this in a while. I'm glad for the opportunity.)

I have just started my food storage in earnest and... in my eagerness to begin my storage, I went to Costco and bought 300 lbs. of flour. I have come to realize that is A LOT of flour, and I am skeptical that I will go through it before it spoils. I have decided storing flour is probably not the best option.

I have a ton of red wheat in storage, but I have been told that only having red wheat in bread is bad for digestion, and therefore having 1/2 red wheat and 1/2 flour is best. Because I do not wish to store flour as stated above, I am wondering if I can store white wheat to replace the flour and therefore avoid the digestion problems?

I bake all of my own bread, and that is primarily what the wheat in storage would be used for.

Do you have any other suggestions about storing wheat that would help me in my food storage voyage? Any information you can give me would be greatly appreciated!

My Answer: 

Great questions. Well, first of all, hard red wheat is not necessarily BAD for digestion. It depends on the person and their individual digestive system. Though, Hard red wheat is typically harder to digest than others.

I used to store a lot of flour in my food storage. I now only store about 150 lbs for my laziness (when I don't have time to grind flour or energy and just need a quick cup for some cookies or something) and then store several types of grains. As a matter of taste, I do not love to use only hard red wheat. It is too much "heavy" whole wheat flavor and texture for me. I do not enjoy hard red wheat by itself. I do enjoy using hard red wheat in portions, though. I store hard red wheat, hard white wheat, spelt and bread flour. I use the flour, like I said, when I'm being lazy or my kids want to bake something. (At least for now.) Otherwise, I'll grind my own flour from the red, white wheat and spelt - usually in equal portion and use that. The flavor is so much better when I mix my grains. Even if you use 1/2 red wheat and 1/2 flour (so you can use up some of that flour faster than you normally would if you ground all of your own flour for your bread), your bread would be much better than just using whole red wheat and you shouldn't experience such drastic digestive problems.

As a matter of interest, hard white wheat is great in breads and will give your bread a sweeter flavor. Spelt has a bit of a nutty taste to it. So, mixing all of these grains together and storing them for such use is my preferred method.

Does that help?

p.s. Plastic Buckets (5-6 gallons) or large rubbermaid or metal garbage cans are a great way to store your grains (I don't take mine out of the original packaging, though you could) and/or flour. It helps keep the rodents out, helps maintain dryness (supposing things flood sometimes) and basically keeps the air and sunlight off of your food storage.

Until later.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Chicken Fried Chicken

I never thought I would use whole wheat flour as much as I've been using it lately. Last night I made chicken fried chicken with whole wheat flour. It was DIVINE!!

Oh, you mean I was supposed to take a picture? I devoured it too fast.... oops. It was that good. I felt like I had been to a restaurant and someone else had made it.

Not to say that my cooking is bad - I've just never done fried chicken before, of any variety. But I do love a good chicken fried chicken with a little creamy country gravy.

I've also been using whole wheat flour in my cookies lately. I feel like I can eat more cookies when they have whole wheat goodness in them! (Just what I need - more excuses to eat more cookies!)

Do you use whole wheat flour in your baking/cooking? Frequently or just sometimes or never?

p.s. I'd probably use it more often than I do, but I fresh grind it, and I think grinding can be annoying when I have a sleeping baby close by...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Top Secret!

Just to let you know, I've been working on a "top secret lab" experiment lately. (Sounds really cool,  huh?) Well, it is. I'm working on developing some products (dry baking mixes) that have to do with spelt, hard white wheat, flax. I am mostly planning to sell them at the farmer's market in Rexburg, but if there is enough interest, I'll probably sell them all over the US to my favorite blog readers.   =)

So far, the experiments have gone well - there is just so much to do - like packaging, designing a good label, figuring the exact weights of the ingredients. Did you know it took so much? (And that is just the start!) Well, I'm excited about it and hope this venture turns out well for us all.

So, the blog is lacking a little - but while I'm writing - are there any recipes/mixes you would like to see happen? What would you like to see in a package, easy to make, and ready for your enjoyment using more healthy, natural ingredients? Any suggestions?  (Feel free to email me directly at info at histakes-spelt dot com)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Rexburg Farmer's Market starts April 30

So, if you've been looking forward to new posts lately, I'm sorry to disappoint... I realized the Rexburg Farmer's Market starts on April 30 and I've been racing to have something ready to sell.

I've been working on different recipes and trying to perfect them - like Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies and my new Whole Wheat Potato Bread. (Boy, they are good once I get the recipe right.) So, I hope your mouth is watering and my efforts are worth it and I have some to sell to our Farmers Market fans on April 30 (from 4-8 pm in the parking lot just south of the Rexburg Tabernacle).

Meanwhile - I'll get some new posts together and let you know I'm still here.

(And hey, if you live close, ask me about taste testing some of my trials - I need a few more guinea pig critics!)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

eating healthy

So, I hear complaints from people now and then about how expensive their food is. I just thought I'd give some information I learned from an economics class I took at USU in 1998. I then realized that, ah, that was over 10 years ago so I did a little digging at USDA/ERS expecting to see the figures going back up because of the recent spike in prices, but found that they were actually holding steady.

In 1929 we as Americans spent 23.4% of our disposable income on food, In 2008 we spent 9.6% of our disposable income on food. In 1998 we spent 10.1% on food (this includes eating at home and dinning out). Entertainment (including recreational toys), on the other hand was closing in on 20%! We wanted to have fun instead of eat I guess.

Well today we are in tough economic times and we need to make choices, but the Farm Bureau, and I will agree, that eating doesn't necessarily have to be expensive. Using fresh veggies and fruit to prepare your meals will cut the price drastically at the counter. If you have a farmer nearby you can ask him if he'd be able to sell you some of his produce out of storage.

For example, we have potatoes in storage that we can sell directly to you the consumer. I dare say that we can give you a 50% discount on potatoes as compared to the stores price, and we will. It really only works for those who can drive out to our farm unfortunately, but then if you put together a big enough order with all your friends, then shipping can be figured out and can be reasonable.

There is also the option of shopping for fresh produce at farmers markets. Market season is almost upon us in Idaho, but in California, markets can be more readily available.

What do you think? Do you use very many fresh fruits and vegetables in your daily eating?

p.s. Follow the link for more information on eating healthy on a budget.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Shopping for Health

The other day I was grocery shopping and remembered I wanted to buy some more cornmeal. (My friend gave me this great homemade cornbread recipe!) I haven't bought very much cornmeal in my life, so I was reading the labels to see what the difference was. Most of the cornmeal I found said something like bran and germ have been removed.



I suppose most foods do have the germ and bran removed from them so they can sit on the shelf longer - but didn't anyone include the germ and bran in their cornmeal? I know that food is healthier for you if you have germ and bran included - it is the actual WHOLE grain form of the food. Whole grains are good for your body, especially when you include the germ and bran in the mix.

I searched and searched and ended up just grabbing one. They all read about the same.

So, I walked down the baking aisle a little more and happened upon a section of Bob's Red Mill packages. Well, lo and behold, Bob had a fine ground cornmeal that had the germ and bran milled with it and was not removed! I was so happy!!

Bob's Red Mill Corn Meal won. I went and put the other cornmeal back and bought Bob's. And you know, the price wasn't much different for the whole cornmeal than for the stripped cornmeal.

I'll go for health. Thanks, Bob.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Spelt Banana Blueberry Bread Recipe

I usually send these recipes out through my email list... however, I decided to share this one through my blog to all my lucky readers. I will also send it to my email list, but I thought you might need this one here. My friend Cheryl shared this recipe with me and told me I could share with my readers and friends, so here it is...

(Blueberry) Banana Bread

2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon butter
pinch salt

Add 1 - 1/2 cups spelt flour and mix.

Then add 2 ripe bananas (sometimes I add another half if not using blueberries)
1 level teaspoon baking soda
Beat lightly.
Optional: Add approximately 6 oz. slightly mashed blueberries. Stir in.

Pour into greased, floured loaf pan. Bake 1 hour in 325 oven.

(my variations: I used frozen blueberries, and didn't even try to mash them)
The end product - I tend to bake all my banana bread in glass cake pans. I just like it better that way. I actually LIKED this banana bread. I'm pretty picky with my banana breads, because my favorite recipe has buttermilk in it. But this recipe was actually good. I expected it to be heavier than it was because I used 100% whole spelt flour (no white spelt flour).

In the end - my blueberries sank to the bottom, but they added a nice touch and I'll make this recipe again. Let me know if you try it and what you think.

By the way, if you need spelt berries to grind into spelt flour, I used HiStakes-Spelt's Berries

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I Need Your Help, Please

I have created a quick poll to see what YOU are interested in - in regards to foods and farmers markets. So, if you are reading this through your RSS Feed or through some sort of Reader, please take time to click over to this blog and answer the poll (2 questions) on the side of the blog.

I am interested in your reasons for shopping at farmers markets (in hopes that you do shop at farmers markets). If you have never shopped a farmers market, please answer the poll anyway. I would like to know which reasons are most important to you and what would help you shop at a market.

Thanks for taking time to answer the question.

(I have a killer spelt recipe coming soon - I just made it and have pictures to share!)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Lactose Intolerance Shouldn't Exclude Dairy From Diet?

So we were reading an article on lactose intolerance and I wanted to share it to see what your views are:

NIH panel concludes lactose intolerant shouldn't avoid dairy

People may avoid milk and other dairy products due to concerns about lactose intolerance, but eliminating these nutrient-rich foods may be unnecessary to manage the condition and could impact diet and health, a panel of experts assembled by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has concluded.

The NIH Consensus Development Conference on Lactose Intolerance & Health was convened to examine the latest research on lactose intolerance, strategies to manage the condition and the health outcomes of diets that exclude dairy foods. Lactose is the natural sugar in milk and some people lack sufficient amounts of an enzyme that is needed to comfortably digest lactose.

After a thorough review of the scientific evidence, the panel completed a draft consensus statement that is intended to correct some of the common misperceptions about lactose intolerance, including the belief that dairy foods need to be excluded from the diet.

Read more here on their website

So, what do you think about this?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Type O Blood - is this you?

So, I had a person telling me about a book called Live Right for Your Type, meaning blood type. I was told that type O blood will be allergic to wheat/gluten and milk - it has to do with an antigen or an antibody reaction in their body. This person eats spelt because it is an "approved" grain to eat as listed in this book.

What do you think? Have you read this book? Have you heard of this type of diet?

Do any of you have type O blood and can verify that this is indeed you? Mostly, I'm just curious... what do you think?

Here is a picture of the book - or in case you need to purchase it... here is it for your convenience.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Basic Differences in Spelt, Triticale, Kamut

Have you ever wondered what the differences really are in different types of grains and how they compare to wheat? Do you know what some of your grain options are if you find out you have gluten allergies? You don't have to completely eliminate grains and bread from your diet - you just have to be a little more creative in your baking.

Oh - you don't have to have gluten allergies to enjoy these grains - they actually have a nice flavor to them.

Well, here is a quick summary of a few grains for your grain reference.

  • Spelt has a lower, more fragile gluten content. This means that SOMETIMES, people with gluten allergies can actually eat spelt (but it is a good idea to check with your doctor first)
  • Spelt has higher fiber than wheat
  • Spelt contains 15-21% protein (which is higher than regular wheat)
  • Spelt is higher than wheat in complex carbohydrates, iron, potassium, and B vitamins
  • It contains nutrients that aid in blood clotting and stimulates the immune system
  • Spelt is similar to cooking with wheat flour, but you might find you need a little less water (start with 3/4 of what the recipe calls for), or a little more flour and because of the lower gluten content, don't let your dough rise as high as when using regular wheat flour
  • Spelt has a bit of a "nutty" taste to it

  • Triticale has a lower gluten content than wheat
  • Triticale has a higher protein per gram than wheat
  • Triticale has more amino acids and lysine
  • Triticale flour is more similar to wheat in taste and can be easily substituted for wheat flour. However, if using leavened breads, you must add at least 50% wheat flour because of the very low gluten content of triticale.
  • Be careful when kneading triticale. Do not over-knead the dough as this can damage the delicate gluten.
  • Triticale is a cross between durum wheat and rye.


  • Kamut also has a lower gluten content like spelt, so many people turn to kamut when they have gluten allergies (still a good idea to consult with your doctor first before eating this when you have gluten allergies)
  • Kamut contains 17-19% protein - higher than wheat.
  • Kamut has less fiber than wheat
  • Kamut is higher in vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, pantothentic acid, copper and complex carbohydrates.
  • Kamut is considered a "high energy grain"
  • Kamut is similar to cooking with durum wheat, so you will have a heavier loaf of bread if you only use kamut. You can add wheat gluten for a lighter loaf - providing your allergies allow it.
  • Kamut works great in cakes and pastas.
This summary is based on research done by The Preparedness Store in Idaho Falls, Idaho

Monday, February 1, 2010

Best Ever Muffins

So, I'm still on the frozen fruit thing - and how to use some of that frozen fruit. This is the BEST muffin recipe (from scratch) I've ever made. The picture is compliment of my sister and her blog. Thanks.... (now go check out her blog for more excellent recipes:

1 3/4 c sifted flour
1/2 c. sugar
2 1/2 t. baking powder
3/4 t salt
1 beaten egg
3/4 c. milk
1/3 c. oil (use half oil and half applesauce. Makes it more moist!)

Stir dry ingredients together. Combine egg, milk, and oil. Add all
at once to dry and stir quickly just until moistened. Add 1 c.
berries (raspberry or blueberry) and fold together gently. Fill greased
muffin tins, top with struesel topping, then bake at 375 for 20-25

Struesel topping:
4 T. flour
4 T. sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon
2 T. butter or margarine
Cut together until crumbly, sprinkle on top of muffins.

Enjoy - and now go check out my sister's blog...

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Frozen fruit Smoothies

Last fall, I froze some fruit for my storage and also purchased some frozen fruit in "large" (14 lb) quantities. I bought blueberries, marion berries (like blackberries), and whole strawberries. I froze my own cherries and peaches.

Since I have so much fruit in my freezer, I needed to find something to do with it, so we have been experimenting with making fruit drinks - smoothies included. I confess I haven't been very confident in my smoothie making skills - I always felt like I needed a recipe. Well, now that we've been experimenting, I've learned a few things I would like to share.

  1. Use a base for your smoothie - I prefer sherbet, and ice cream, but I know people who enjoy using vanilla or plain yogurt.

  2. Fruit juice adds flavor - you don't have to just use water or milk. Though, I usually use 1 part fruit juice and 1 part water or milk.

  3. Any fruit goes - your imagination is the limit. Add whatever you have - fresh or frozen.

  4. Adding Flaxseed to your smoothie is a great way to get that extra fiber your body needs.

  5. Ice adds thickness and can be easily added to your base.

So, here is one "recipe" we tried last night in our smothie adventures. It was really good... just the right sweetness and a little tangy twist to add some "spice."

Let me know if you try it - and what you think.

1 cup orange juice (not concentrate)
1/2 cup milk
4 large scoops pineapple sherbet
3-4 large strawberries
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon ground golden flaxseed

Blend in a blender. (We blend in stages - we don't just throw EVERYTHING in and then mix... put in a few things and then mix, add a few more and blend... get it?)


p.s. I use my blender on my Bosch Universal mixer and LOVE it - it mixes everything up so it is very smooth. Very rarely do I find "chunks" in my drink - unless I really try to create chunks.

p.p.s. I am also bringing this up because we have the opportunity to place an order for frozen berries - blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc. Orders need to be placed by Feb. 20, 2010 and delivery to my house will be close to the first week in April. You have to pick up your own berries... at my house. Let me know if you would like more information.

p.s. Important note on Canning butter

Once upon a time on this blog, a friend posted about canning butter. Well, I have since learned the following and think you should be aware of it:

The canning of butter is extremely dangerous and should NEVER be done for home consumption. The National Center for Home Food Preservation at the University of Georgia-Atlanta says that it is not an acceptable way to preserve butter. You aren't "processing" the butter to kills the are only heating the jars to form a seal. This still allows botulism to grow and flourish in the butter....and because botulism is odorless, tasteless and colorless, it can be toxic to your family!

Check out their website for more information. (The link will take you to a specific question about canning of butter.)

Until next time...

Friday, January 8, 2010

Where does food come from? Do you know?

A few interesting statistics that I read about today from a farmer in Illinois who was at a CCA meeting:
-70% of Americans at 4:30 P.M. will not know what they are eating for dinner.
-Most Americans say that food comes from the grocery store.
-These Americans don't care if your farm or my farm stays in business as long as there is food at that grocery store.

I find these statements rather ALARMING. I have a sister who taught school in Utah for ten years, she made the same comments regarding the students that she taught. So I guess this means the adults are failing to teach their children where their food comes from. My sister had a small lesson that she prepared to help them understand the link between her hometown farm and how the grains, potatoes, and beef were raised and then sent to the store. It is my hope that as the year progresses my family will keep you updated on what stages our crops are in from planting through harvest and finally shipping them to the store or farmers market as the case may be.

Take for instance today: I had an order for potatoes to deliver to a local store. I gathered up 17 boxes that would each hold 50 lbs and drove the 2.5 miles to our storage unit (spud cellar). It is here that we can control the temperature which we keep as close to 38 degress Farenheit using a system of fans and tunnels laid beneath the pile of potatoes. The temp outside today was -15 degrees, but inside it was 40. My brother helped me as we sorted out potatoes into a couple of piles: 1-nice smooth 8-10 ounce potatoes, 2-large knobby or unshapely potatoes, 3- small (under 8 ounce), 4 - frozen, badly damaged, way too small, way to rough, or spoiled potatoes. We had a very bad frost that occurred in the middle of our harvest so roughly 10% of our crop was frozen. These potatoes as time goes by start to go very soft and mushy so mushy your finger can go right through the potato. If you have enough of these bad spuds (approx 20%)in a pile you can't bring the temperature down and the whole pile will soon be rotten.

So I now have 1o boxes of large knobbies as I call them, and 7 nice boxes of bakers ready to go. Saturday a friend will help me wash them up and double check for blemishes hidden by the dirt and Monday we will deliver them to the store ready for people to buy. I also sell them from my home so if you're nearby and need a fresh supply let me know.

(Nathan) Subbing in for J since she is taking a needed break.


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