Sunday, August 19, 2012

Spiced Teff Bars

Summer is my favorite time of year. No doubt about that. But lately, the cooler temps we’ve been experiencing have my mind drifting towards cinnamon spiced treats. Nothing says autumn like cinnamon!   

Now, these tasty treats are made with teff. Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of it. Many people are unfamiliar with this grain. Teff has a long history and has been used for ages in North Africa. More specifically; teff is used in Ethiopian cuisine to make injera, which is an Ethiopian spongy flatbread that tastes a bit like sourdough.  Fun fact: teff is one of the smallest grains in the WORLD! 

Health benefits of teff:
  • high in fiber
  • good source of protein
  • great source of iron
  • good source of calcium
Teff has a very distinct and almost earthy taste to it that goes well with the spices and molasses in these bars. These guys seriously taste out-of-this-frickin-world with a cup of coffee! 

Spiced Teff Bars
the original recipe is over at Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen
I only made a few tiny changes though (added some more spices)!

2/3 cup of softened coconut oil
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup blackstrap molasses
1/2 cup Sucanat
1 Tbsp. maple syrup or agave
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
2 cups dark teff flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon guar gum (or xanthan gum)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 to 2 teaspoons ground ginger (I didn't have any, so just used some minced/pureed ginger)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg or allspice
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil a 9x9 square pan or line with parchment paper.
  2. In large bowl, use an electric mixer to mix the coconut oil, applesauce, molasses, sugar, maple syrup and vanilla until combined.
  3. In another bowl, mix together the dry ingredients and spices. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and beat again until dough thickens. 
  4. Spread the dough into prepared baking pan.
  5. Bake for about 25 minutes in preheated oven at 350. Let the bars cool for at least 30 minutes before trying to cut. Serving suggestion: drizzle some coconut butter on top!
Note: I've found that these need to be stored in the fridge because they tend to crumble if left out at room temp. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Raspberry Peach Fruit Leather

Since we're knee-deep in summer right about now, I can only hope that you're making the most of it by enjoying many bucketfuls of fresh fruit! For the bucketfuls of fruit that won't fit in your mouth, stretch that berry goodness by making some fruit leather.

Have you ever looked at the ingredients in fruit roll-ups that you buy in the store? It's ridiculous!
  • corn syrup
  • more corn syrup
  • sugar
  • preservatives
  • artificial coloring and flavoring
Why not make something at home that won't put your kids in an early grave!

  • 1 peach (washed, peeled if desired)
  • 1 cup organic raspberries (I used frozen)
  • 3/4 cup organic applesauce (or about two of those little applesauce cups)
  • 2 Tbsp. honey or agave nectar (optional) but raspberries can be a bit tart, so I suggest you add the sweetener
  1. Since I hate berry seeds, I blended my frozen raspberries with a tiny bit of water in a blender. Then, using a fine mesh strainer, strained the blended raspberries to get the seeds out.
  2. Return strained raspberry puree to blender. Add the applesauce and honey to blender. Blend for a few seconds. 
  3. Take a little bit of coconut oil (or cooking spray, even) and rub it on your dehydrator sheets. 
  4. Spread the fruit mixture over two dehydrator sheets. (Mine have big circles in the middle of them). 
  5. Dehydrate for 6-8 hours at around 120-125 degrees F. The temperature and timing will depend on your dehydrator. Like I said, my dehydrator has circular sheets with holes in the middle. You may have to adjust! Good luck!