Getting Off to a Healthy Start

Our first Grow Cook Learn session of this year was delicious!  Dianne demonstrated how to prepare mouthwatering breakfast recipes using whole ingredients, some of which can easily be grown in your garden!

All of the recipes provided include healthy ingredients such as nuts, fresh or frozen vegetables and fruits, eggs, and kefir – a new ingredient for many of us!  (see photo on right)kefir

New this year – we are providing recipes that take advantage of the “Kitchen pantry” which includes ingredients that you tend to have on hand in your pantry, freezer, or fridge! (see below)

We hope these recipes are useful to you and your families and inspire you to prepare a healthier, better breakfast!

Banana Muffins – This recipe is basic and can be altered to suit your tastes. You can add blueberries, cranberries, or even chocolate chips!  Last night, Dianne used Kefir – a yogurt-like dairy product which is an excellent source of probiotics!

1 cup white sugar (you can use coconut sugar or cane sugar)

½ cup oil (you can use either safflower, avocado, or grapeseed)

2 eggs

3 or 4 very ripe bananas, mashed

3 tbsp. sour cream or buttermilk (or you can use Kefir!)

1 tsp. baking soda

2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour (you can use ½ whole wheat flour to add fibre and vitamins!)

1 cup of chopped nuts or chocolate chips (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare muffin tins by buttering or lining them with muffin cup liners.

Beat oil and sugar together well using an electric mixer, a whisk, or a wooden spoon.

Add eggs, one at a time and beat well (crack eggs into a separate bowl, and remove shell -if needed- before adding to other ingredients)

Add bananas and beat mixture well.

Dissolve soda in sour cream (or buttermilk or Kefir, which ever dairy you chose to use) and slowly add to banana mixture.

Sift the flour into a medium sized bowl, using a metal sift.  Add sifted flour to blended mixture and mix together. (see tip below)

Fill muffin cups ¾ of the way full and bake for about 20- 25 minutes.

Muffins will be done when a toothpick or fork comes out clean after being inserted to the middle of the muffin.

Tips on how to sift flour – http://bakingbites.com/2013/05/what-does-sifting-flour-do/ 

Basic Pancakes -This recipe will serve about 4 people.

pancakeclose

Dry Ingredients:

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

½   tsp. kosher salt

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

 Wet Ingredients:

2 eggs

2 cups (approx.) buttermilk (shaken well) or Kefir at a milk-like consistency

2 tbsp. oil of your choice (I use coconut oil, melted and cooled)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 tbsp. maple syrup or honey (optional, adds sweetness)

Fruit, chocolate chips to suit your tastes!

Directions:

Whisk dry ingredients together.

Whisk 1 ½  cups buttermilk or kefir, eggs, oil, vanilla and sweetener together and add to dry ingredient mixture. Mix just until blended and adjust thickness of batter by adding more buttermilk or kefir, a little at a time, depending on the thickness of the pancakes you prefer. The batter will thicken as the mixture sits.

Heat frying pan over medium high heat and brush bottom of pan with grapeseed, coconut or peanut oil. (These oils have a high smokepoint meaning they don’t burn or change chemically over higher heat)

Ladle batter into pan to make desired size and shape and watch carefully. Adjust the heat to keep pancakes from burning.  When bubbles form on top and begin to break around the edges, you can sprinkle blueberries, sliced bananas or whatever you like. Turn pancakes when bubbles break, and cook just until bottom is brown. Serve with butter and maple syrup.

Basic Frittata – this recipe can be adapted to suit the seasonality of your garden harvest or to suit your families’ preferences!  This is a great way to use leftovers from the night before.

cookingfrittata

Ingredients:

1 tbsp. butter or olive oil

1 chopped onion

Cooked ham or sausage, chopped into small pieces (optional)

2 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced (1/4”thick)

8 eggs

¼ cup milk or cream

salt and pepper

variety of lightly steamed vegetables: spinach, broccoli, peppers, zucchini, etc.

½ – 1 cup of grated cheese, such as cheddar, Gruyere, Asiago, feta,

Directions:

Heat butter or oil in an oven-proof frying pan. (If you have a cast-iron skillet, this would work nicely)

Saute onions and remove. In the same skillet, brown sausage, ham, or which ever meat you have chosen to use.  If meat has already been cooked, just add to cooking onions  for heating purposes. Remove from pan.

Spread potatoes, in an even layer over bottom of skillet, sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes until they are tender and beginning to brown.

Spread onion mixture over them and add whatever vegetables you wish. We used fresh spinach – feel free to experiment with your garden harvest at this step!**If you are using spinach, swiss chard, or another leafy vegetable, make sure you drain them well after washing so that the frittata won’t be watery.

Beat eggs in a bowl with milk or cream, using a whisk, and add a little bit of salt and pepper to suit your taste.

Pour over vegetables, sprinkle cheese on top and  cover.

Lower heat and cook gently until just set – you can use the toothpick technique again here to check for ‘doneness’.

If you wish the cheese to be bubbly and brown, you can place it under the broiler for a few minutes.

Allow the frittata to sit and cool for a few minutes before cutting and serving.

Enjoy!

frittata

Coconut Granola – can be prepared in batches and has many purposes!  Add to your cereal, enjoy it on its own, or add to a bowl of fruit!

granola

 6 cups rolled oats

1 cup each chopped pecans and almonds  (or add any type of nut to suit your taste)

1 ½ cups shredded or flaked coconut (unsweetened)

½ cup maple syrup

½ cup coconut oil

1 cup raisins or dried fruit (optional)

Mix rolled oats, nuts, and coconut (dry ingredients) in roasting pan.

Gently melt coconut oil in small saucepan until liquid. Add maple syrup and salt.

Pour over dry ingredients and mix well.

Bake   at  300 degrees for 1 to 1 ½ hours, stirring every 15 minutes until mixture is crispy, golden brown, and toasted.

You can add 1 cup of quinoa flakes or flakes of other types of grain, sunflower seeds, etc.

Breakfast Smoothie – smoothies are easy, quick, and a great way to use up fruit from the fridge.  These delicious drinks are also a great way to hide vegetables without your kids knowing!

Ingredients:

Fresh or frozen fruit (blueberries, mango, peaches, bananas, strawberries, etc)

Milk, plain or flavoured yogurt, or kefir!

Fresh or frozen vegetables (optional) – We used spinach last night.  Kale is also a popular add-in to smoothies.

Directions:

Add all ingredients, except vegetables, to a pitcher or large bowl.  Using an immersion blender (see below), blend ingredients to your preferred smoothie texture. Add spinach or other vegetable and blend once again.

Pour into serving glasses, and enjoy!

Immersion blenders come in all sizes and vary in price depending on brand.  The higher prices do not necessarily equal better quality.  You can get a good immersion blender for $15-20 at Canadian Tire, or other local retailer.  An immersion blender is a good investment and can be used for smoothies, soups, chillis, and more!

List of common kitchen pantry ingredients given out at session!

list