Cake Pops

After enjoying some, I set aside the rest to indulge on my birthday the next day. My 8 1/2-year-old PoPPed them all into his mouth, and I was barely able to rescue one for myself. Laughing and crying. Here’s the simplest sugar-free version I came up with.

CakePoPsFinal
6 oz. coconut flour
6 oz. gluten-free oat flour
touch of sea salt
1/2 t stevia powder

2 large mashed organic bananas
3/4 t rice bran oil or oil of choice (ghee works well if you do dairy)

chocolate almond butter
lollipop sticks

50 minutes
245 degrees

I ground the oats in the blender. Mix the dry and wet ingredients separately (holding off on the almond butter) before combining to get the dough texture of soft ice cream. Shape into 1-inch balls about the width of a U.S. quarter and place them on parchment paper. I baked on low to preserve nutrients. They were nice and sweet. When they’re five, ten minutes out of the oven and moist, you can insert the sticks and gently frost them with the almond butter using a spoon. This is the butter I used. Using a little more oats than coconut flour will help glue the sticks into the cake, though the 1:1 ratio is fine. Yields 20 pops.

NewBitten

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Easy Cornbread Balls

Baked goods aggravate colds and upper respiratory issues but these guys actually clear up sinuses and aide breathing. Likely thanks to the sprouted flour and the fact that these are not glutinous. They are biscuit texture.

Cornballs1/2 cup organic corn flour
1/2 cup organic sprouted brown rice flour
1/4 tsp sea salt

2 T (sorghum) syrup
1 T (rice bran) oil
1 egg yolk
1/4-1/3 cup water

25 minutes
330 degrees

These flours produce yummies that are crumbly so I use the egg yolk to hold them together. I am partial to yolk over the white because the latter is very hard on the liver. You know how easily fried egg white scrapes off a stainless skillet? Visualize how stubbornly it will stick to your liver. Sorghum syrup is sweeter than rice. The salt balances the sweetness and alkalizes grains which are acidic.

On baking soda and baking powder: They are “both chemicals which deplete baked goods of the B vitamins thiamine and folic acid. These compounds also create a kind of alkalinity in the body that eradicates vitamin C.” Pitchford in Healing with Whole Foods, pg. 206. I know! It is difficult to leaven flour without yeast or baking soda. The way my son wolfs down whatever we pull out of the oven tells me taste and texture satisfy plenty.

Mix the wet and dry ingredients separately before combining. Start carefully with less water than more for dough that is not runny. Roll with palms about 1″ inch thick or the size of a U.S. quarter. Yields about 13.

Roasted Purple Sweet Potatoes

Easy and delish, I wonder that I can post something so simple. The purple sweet potato hails from Asia and in the States, can be found organic in health food markets. The conventional is sprayed – even out of Asia. This sweet potato is exceptionally sweet and tastes like candy bread. Steaming will make it moist and soft. In cooler season, roasting helps draw heat energy into the body.

ppotatesmainBuy produce as heavy and unblemished as possible. The heavier the raw fruit or vegetable, the fresher with more moisture. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Scrub sweet potato well with fingers or brush and cut off any obvious sore spots, keeping as much of the nutrient-rich skin intact. You can roast whole but because my son enjoys it as user-friendly finger food (and to shave cooking time), I slice it about 1/4″ thick. Lay out the circles on parchment paper, sprinkle with some quality sea salt. I use celtic gray. You can have fun here and try some spices. Brush with quality butter or ghee if you do dairy, or oil with a high smoke point. But I wanted to show you the no-frills in-a-hurry version with not even butter or oil. Lay the parchment on a metal tray or aluminum foil (with the shiny side touching the oven rack, as the shine is chemical P1050867coating). Roast 20 minutes, flipping halfway with tongs or fork though that’s not necessary. That’s it! When time allows, I go a little longer at about 300 degrees and watch for burns. Lower and slower are better for food in general with greater retention of nutrients.

This potato is wonderful travel food, so filling. I pop the pieces hot right into a thermos before leaving home and so serve them very warm with nuts, chlorella, or kale chips – or often, alone. As a complex carbohydrate, sweet potato will satisfy hunger longer and more healthily than regular potato. Yes, ironically full with nature’s own sugar. It’s hard to enjoy other varieties once you’ve had the purple.

Asian Kale Chips

OliveKaleDEHYDRATOR VERSION

Kale and I first met through Francesca.  My dear old friend introduced me to this superveggie on one of her visits out to California.  Fast-forward about seven years and my new friend Tonya shares a generous amount of her kale chips with my family.  Crisped kale?  Tennyson, then two, devoured them.  A new world of drying foods opened to me.  I went on to play with recipes, and Tonya and her family loved my simplified Asian version of her chips.  If I were allowed to dry only one vegetable before exile to an island, it would be the king of greens, my kale.  The red, also called purple, is less stiff than the green and smells like roses.  You can dehydrate all kale, including the green lacinato.

These guys taste way better than they look.  Dittoes Jon.  The variations are endless.  Even the basic with just olive oil and sea salt are happily addictive.  The chips stand alone as a snack or can complement a meal.  Those who don’t dehydrate bake them too high.  Despite the license given by The Food Network and almost every cookbook out there, I try to heat oils at or under 250 degrees – which means longer oven time – because they go rancid when too hot.  Sometimes I take more liberty with rice bran oil that has a smoke point of 450.  Oils that are heated lend themselves readily to cholesterol production so I reserve them until the end just before serving, when possible.  Those who do dehydrate the chips, many raw foodists, usually don’t bake them at all and end up not killing unwanted invisible critters like parasites.

I clean the kale well in a vinegar soak at least 30 minutes.  Soaking is my secret to thorough vegetable cleaning, as opposed to just running them under water.  The bath dislodges sediments well.  This batch of scrubbed, rinsed kale was jam-packed into two large bowls 7.5″ wide, 3.5″ deep. If you don’t have a ruler on hand — each was wide enough to fit my face.

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Sesame oil (optional)
Vinegar 1 T (be careful w/ any liquid seasoning.  You don’t want the kale too wet because your aim is to dry it up, and soggy leaves will be hard to crisp).
Sorghum (or maple) syrup, 1 heaping T
Miso, 1/2 T
1 head of kale

I don’t strip all the stems out, just break off the end part that runs past the leaves.  Eating the stalk with the leaves makes for better balance in the body. A macrobiotic practice, and one espoused by Paul Pitchford of Healing With Whole Foods.

Sometimes I replace the oil with 1 T almond butter.  In its thickness, it gels and coats the marinade so nicely over the kale. Adjust sweetener and salt to taste, but because syrup and miso are so concentrated you want to watch intake.  I use just enough for a little zip to the palate.  Miso should be organic.  Soybeans are among the most genetically modified crop in the U.S.

Mix the sauce up, and divide and pour into the bowls.  Divvy up the leaves with the help of another bowl if they fall out in the coating.  Transfer kale onto oven trays or first onto parchment paper.

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230 degrees in oven, 45 minutes
Flip w/ tongs halfway
115 degrees in dehydrator, 3 hours or until the wilt is crisped away, depending on size of leaves and how wet they were.

When the leaves starts browning in the oven, they’re cooking.  Flip them, being careful not to let them burn.  You want to cook them just enough to kill microbes and seep in the flavor.  It is the dehydrator that will drain, even crystallize the sauce.

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OVEN-ONLY VERSION

You must put the leaves in the oven as dry as possible, avoiding flavorings like watery vinegar because it’ll sop up the leaves too much for the oven to dry them fully before scorching.  Pat and squeeze kale firmly with a clean towel.  Coat lightly with oil to help stave off premature browning and burning.  Can mix the oil first with some syrup or just a spritz of lemon.

Mediterranean
Coriander powder, 1/3 teaspoon or to taste
Oregano, 1/3 teaspoon or to taste
Fine sea salt, 1/3 teaspoon
Extra virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon

Coriander, my favorite spice, improves and fills out the flavor of just about anything.  It minimizes the need for salt.

Asian
Sesame oil instead of olive, and skip the oregano.
Flip every 30 minutes and rotate trays because the back of the oven is hotter than the front. Bake about one hour and 15 minutes, depending on your oven, and watch for the browning.
Enjoy!