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Apple Dumplings

Ingredients:

1 recipe flaky pie crust
1 3/4 cups water
1 1/4 cups rapadura
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons butter
6 – 8 tablespoons water
6 small- or medium-sized apples

Directions:

Make the pie crust recipe, but don’t roll it out. Cover it with plastic wrap and chill it until ready to use.

For the syrup, combine the 1 3/4 cups of water in a saucepan with 1 cup of the rapadura, 1/4 teaspoon of the cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon of the nutmeg. Simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat; stir in the butter.

Peel and core the apples. Set aside.

Roll the crust dough into an 18 x 12 inch rectangle; cut into six, 6-inch squares. Place an apple in each square. Combine the remaining rapadura, cinnamon and nutmeg; sprinkle over the dumplings. Using a pastry brush, brush all edges of the crust with  water. Then gather all corners of the square at the top of the apple and pinch the edges together to form a tight seal.

Place the apples in an 11 x 7 inch baking pan, pour the syrup over them, and bake at 375 for about 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown and apples are soft.

Apple Pie

Ingredients:

1 recipe flaky pie crust
about 6 medium-sized apples
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup sugar (or rapadura)
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Directions:

Peel, core, and slice the apples. In a large bowl, toss them together with the flour, sugar and cinnamon (if using).

Make the crust, using the directions on this video.

Once you have the crust dough, break it into two pieces and roll each out individually (use plenty of flour, or the crust will stick to the counter). Place one circle of crust in the bottom of a pie plate. Pour the apple mixture over it. Place the top crust over the apple mixture. Crimp the pie, and then cut a few vents on top. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour. It’s done when the crust is golden.

Lemon Curd

This is a healthy version of a recipe we adapted from Ina Garten. We use honey instead of the sugar to make it healthier, and to make it thick enough, we add 4 teaspoons of arrowroot powder to the sauce before it begins to thicken.


Recipe:

3-4 lemons (depending on the size)
3/4 cup sugar (we use honey or agave nectar)
1 stick butter
4 large eggs
1/2 – 3/4 cup lemon juice from the lemons
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons arrowroot powder (optional – use only if you are using honey or agave nectar instead of sugar)


Directions

Grate the lemon peel off of the lemons, being careful to avoid the white pith. Set the lemons aside and put the peel in a small bowl. Add the sugar or honey and mix together.

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and beat in the sugar and lemon mixture. Add the eggs, 1 at a time and mixing well in between each one, the lemons and the salt. Mix until combined.

Pour the mixture into a saucepan and cook over the lowest heat setting on your stove, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes, or until mixture is almost hot. If you are using the honey or agave nectar, whisk in the arrowroot powder at this point. Continue stirring every 30 seconds for about 8 more minutes, or until the mixture starts to thicken (it should thicken at about 170 degrees F.).

As soon as the mixture has thickened, remove it from the heat. Chill.

This recipe is the Featherpuff Bread from the Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book. I would never have thought to put cottage cheese in a bread recipe, but Laurel just raved about how light this bread turns out, which makes it ideal for cinnamon rolls. The thing I like best about this recipe is that the high protein from the milk, eggs, and cottage cheese makes me feel satisfied, but not heavy. And the kids don’t have a sugar high either.

Cinnamon Caramel Rolls

In the picture, our cinnamon rolls almost look like chocolate sticky buns, but that’s just our natural sweetener, rapadura. It tastes quite good, but it does look rather dark.

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Caramel Rolls Platter

If you already bake with hard white wheat flour, you may not be impressed with this, but do you see the cinnamon roll near the top of this picture that looks like white bread is showing through underneath the caramel topping? That, my friends, is 100% whole wheat flour from Prairie Gold Hard White Wheat. If you have access to it, you definitely want to use that kind of wheat flour for these rolls. It makes a BIG difference, especially if you mill it yourself.

We start the dough before bedtime on Friday night using the full amount of yeast. The dough rises in the fridge, and it’s ready to roll out into cinnamon rolls for a special Saturday family breakfast.

One trick to making these rolls light is to roll them up loosely – they need room to rise!

1 recipe makes 2 9×13 pans of cinnamon rolls.

For the Dough

1 1/2 c. cottage cheese
2 eggs
1/4 c. honey
1/2 c. warm water (for the cottage cheese mixture)
2 t. yeast
1/2 c. warm water (for the yeast)
5 c. Prairie Gold white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 t. salt
2 T. cold butter plus a little more for the bowl

  • Warm the cottage cheese gently in a saucepan. Remove form heat and mix in the eggs, honey and water, taking care that the cottage cheese is not so warm that it cooks the eggs.
  • Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. (The water should be about skin temperature, or slightly warmer.)
  • Mix the flour and salt thoroughly, making a well in them and adding the cottage cheese mixture and the yeast mixture. Mix to make a dough, and test for consistency, adding more water or flour if needed. The dough should be very soft. If it’s sticky, add just enough flour to keep it from sticking to the counter – not too much or the dough will get too tough to rise properly.
  • Knead by hand for about 15 minutes, or by machine for 8 minutes, adding the butter in pieces halfway through the kneading. Then place it in a large buttered bowl and cover it with a towel. Let it rise overnight in the refrigerator.

For the Rolls

1 stick of butter, melted
3/4 c. Rapadura whole organic cane sugar
2 T. cinnamon

  • In the morning, take the dough out of the bowl and cut it into two pieces. Dust a surface with flour and shape each piece of dough into a rectangle. Roll them out into large rectangles that are about 3/8″ – 1/2″ thick.
  • Brush half of the stick of melted butter on each rectangle.
  • Stir together the Rapadura and cinnamon. Using a spoon, sprinkle a thin layer of the mixture over each piece of dough.
  • Roll the dough up somewhat loosely – jelly roll style – and pinch the end to seal. Set aside while you make the caramel topping.

For the Caramel

1/4 c. honey
3 T. water
6 T. soft butter
3/4 c. Rapadura
1 1/2 c. pecans (optional)

  • To make the caramel topping, mix together the honey, water, soft butter and Rapadura. Spread the mixture in the bottom of two 9″ x 13″ pans. If you’re using pecans, sprinkle them over the caramel.
Putting It All Together
  • To slice the cinnamon rolls, take a length of strong thread or fishing line and tie the ends to two pencils. Slide the thread under one of your long rolls and cross the two pencils, pulling to cut the roll. In this way, cut each roll into about 12 pieces. Place the rolls on top of the caramel mixture and let them rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until they’re very soft.
  • When they’re about double in size, place the rolls in a preheated oven at 350 degrees. Bake them for approximately 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • To serve, remove the rolls from the pan using a metal spatula and place them, caramel side up, on your serving dish. They are best served hot out of the oven.
  • Makes about 24 rolls.

Cinnamon Caramel Roll

Some muffin recipes call for milk to make up most of the liquid. And that’s fine for those recipes. But this one is all about flavor since the apples themselves make up almost all of the liquid. If you use freshly ground soft white wheat flour, the muffins turn out light and soft, and baked in preheated stoneware pans, they’re heavenly.

Whole Wheat Apple Muffins

Soft White Wheat Flour With Cinnamon and Rapadura

Ingredients

3 or 4 fresh apples, or you can substitute 2-3 cups of applesauce
1/3 c. melted butter
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c. soft white wheat flour (use freshly ground flour if possible)
1/2 c. Rapadura (whole organic cane sugar)
1 t. baking soda
2 t. cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 c. chopped walnuts

Apple Muffins in Stoneware Pans

Directions

  • In a blender (or you can do this by hand), blend together the bananas, melted butter, egg, and vanilla.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, rapadura, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and chopped walnuts.
  • Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and spoon into buttered muffin cups.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

Variation: Apple Blueberry Muffins
Prepare as above except use 2 c. of applesauce instead of the bananas, and 1 c. blueberries instead of the nuts.

Over-ripe Mutsu Apples

Homemade Soaked Wheat Thins

I packed these crackers on a winter trip to the north woods of Wisconsin, and we ate them with organic raw cheese and homemade raw jerky from a grass-fed steer. The butter I used in the crackers was deep yellow, in fact, raw too until the crackers were baked. To me, it was the most nourishing travel meal imaginable, because at the time, I was reading a book (Cure Tooth Decay, by Ramiel Nagel) that explains how to remineralize your teeth and reverse tooth decay by eating traditional foods, especially high quality, organic, yellow butter, soaked or sprouted whole grains, raw cheese, and grass fed meats.

This recipe comes straight from the Nourishing Traditions cookbook, but it’s not a cracker recipe in the book. It’s actually the recipe for Yogurt Dough, which is used to make crusts for empanadas and even pizza. In somebody’s real food blog – sorry, I can’t remember whose it was – I read that this recipe produces crackers that taste a lot like Wheat Thins. And it does! It’s a simple recipe too, and best if you actually take the time to soak the flour. I use yogurt sometimes, but most often, kefir is what I have in the fridge, and I think I like it’s flavor best in the crackers. You can use either.

Soaking the flour in this recipe makes the crackers easier to digest and the minerals more available to your body because the phytic acid will be broken down. It’s best to soak the flour for 8-12 hours. Much longer than that, and they may become too sour. (Of course, if your kitchen is cooler, you may be able to get away with a longer soak time.)

Soaked Cracker Dough

Ingredients:

1 cup plain, whole yogurt or kefir
1/2 pound butter, softened,
3 1/2 cups freshly ground soft white wheat flour, or, if you can’t mill it yourself, use pre-milled whole wheat pastry flour
2 t. fine sea salt, plus more to sprinkle on top
unbleached flour for rolling out the dough

 

Soaking the Flour

In the Nourishing Traditions cookbook, the recipe calls for creaming the butter and yogurt together, but I’ve never had any luck with that method. Instead, I’d suggest that you mix the yogurt with half of the flour and half of the salt in one bowl, and mix the butter with the other half of the flour and salt in another bowl. Once you have two separate balls of dough, one with yogurt and the other with butter, combine the two together. I do it this way, sometimes it produces a cracker with pretty marbling.

Cover the dough and leave it at room temperature for 8-12 hours.

Rolled Out Cracker Dough

Rolling Out the Crackers

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Use a pastry cloth if you have one. Otherwise, just sprinkle some unbleached flour on the counter to keep the cracker dough from sticking. Roll the dough to about 1/8 inch thick. It’s nice to sprinkle salt on at this point and give the dough one more light rolling to press the salt in a bit. Or you can sprinkle it on later.

Either with a pizza cutter or a knife, cut out your crackers. Prick with a fork. Transfer them to an ungreased metal cookie sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, checking now and then to be sure they don’t burn. They’re done when they’re golden brown on the edges.

Homemade Whole Wheat Crackers

My mom found this recipe in the Nourishing Traditions cookbook, and wanted me to try making these for her. I thought the idea of putting arrowroot powder into cookies instead of flour sounded a bit strange, but I made them anyway.  They’re awesome! When I took them out of the oven, they were very crumbly, and broke easily (probably because they don’t have eggs in them), but after they cooled down for a few minutes they were very nice.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups almonds
1 cup arrowroot powder
1/2 cup Rapadura Whole Organic Sugar
grated rind of 1 lemon, or 1/2 orange
1/2 cup softened butter or coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
about 18 almonds for decoration (optional)

Directions:

Put the 1 1/2 cups of almonds in a blender or food processor. Turn the machine on low and grind the almonds into a meal. Pour the almond meal, arrowroot powder, Rapadura and lemon rind into a bowl and mix them together. Then add the softened butter and vanilla, and stir until combined.
Drop rounded tablespoons of cookie dough on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with a fork, or press an almond into the center.
Bake at 300 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until the cookies are just slightly brown. Remove from the oven and cool before serving. Store in an airtight container. (Makes about 18 cookies.)

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