quinoa bites F

3 Healthy Road Trip Snacks

by Claire Gallam in Recipes

The holiday season is upon us, and to many, that means lots of baking, holiday parties, endless shopping and long road trips to see family and friends. Even though it’s just as easy to pull into a McDonald’s or a Burger King when the kids start demanding food, those meals filled with fat, empty calories and sugar will only leave them hungry again in no time.

My suggestion? Skip the drive through and pack your car full with one of these healthy, fiber and protein-packed snacks for seamlessly easy road snacking. Now, I can’t promise your kids will behave, but I can promise they’ll eat these up without any complaining.

Preventing your son from licking his sister’s face or your daughter from hogging the iPad is on you, I’m just packing the snacks.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins | Bob's Red Mill

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Yields about 8 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 cups Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Flour
  • ½ cup Bob’s Red Mill Oat Flour
  • 1 cup White Sugar
  • 2/3 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of Baking Powder
  • 2 teaspoons of Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 teaspoons of Vanilla Extract
  • 1-1/3 cup of Pumpkin Puree
  • 1/3 cup of Canola Oil
  • 1 cup of Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1/4 cup of chopped Walnuts

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin tin with liners or spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, sift flour, sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt together. Form a well in the middle. Add eggs, vanilla, pumpkin and oil.
  3. Using a wooden spoon, stir until fully mixed. Add chocolate chips and nuts, stir until incorporated.
  4. Put 2 tablespoons of batter into each cup (or until 3/4 the way full). Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until browned.

Mexican Quinoa Bites | Bob's Red Mill

Mexican Quinoa Bites

Yields about 14 mini bites.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Quinoa (we love tricolor)
  • 1 large Egg
  • 1/2 cup shredded Carrot
  • 1 stalk Leeks, chopped
  • 1 clove Garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 Jalapeño Pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons diced Tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Green Chiles
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Cilantro
  • 1/3 cup shredded Colby Jack Cheese
  • 1/2 tablespoon Mexican Seasoning
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Plus Sour Cream (or Greek Yogurt) and Avocado for garnish

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a mini muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a bowl, mix the quinoa, egg, carrot, leeks, garlic, jalapeño, diced tomatoes, green chiles cilantro and cheese. Mix in the seasoning and salt and pepper.
  3. Fill each muffin tin all the way full with quinoa mix. Bake for about 16 – 20 minutes, or until crispy on the outside.

Fluffy Banana Bread | Bob's Red Mill
Easy Frosted Banana Bread

Serves about 14 – 16.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup White Sugar
  • ¼ cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened Applesauce
  • 2-½ tablespoons unsalted Butter
  • 3-½ medium Bananas, smashed
  • ½ cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour
  • ½ cup Almond Meal
  • ½ teaspoon Xanthan Gum
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 cup chopped Walnuts
  • ½ cup Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Chocolate Chips for garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a large 9 x 3 x 3 loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat the applesauce, butter, eggs and sugar, until creamed. Mix in the banana, cream and vanilla, stir to combine.
  3. In another bowl, whisk the flour, almond meal, xantham gum and baking soda together.
  4. Make a well in the center of the butter ingredients and add the flour mixture, fold to combine. Stir in the chopped nuts.
  5. Pour the mixture into the loaf pan.
  6. Bake for about 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool completely.
  7. Once cooled, frost with cream cheese. Top with chocolate chips.

Claire GallamClaire is a cookbook author, food writer and recipe creator, soon-to-be culinary student
and avid world traveler. She is recently married to a social media guru who loves *almost* everything she conjures up. She writes full-time for the Food section of SheKnowsFabulousFoods.com and is a contributing writer for the Travel section of SheKnows. You can also follow her daily musings and find delicious healthy recipes on her food blog, The Realistic Nutritionist. Follow Claire on Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date with her newest creations. 

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Ciabatta Bread F

Baker’s Dozen: Essential Tips and Tricks for Baking Success

by Stephanie Wise in Featured Articles

In my five years of baking and blogging about bread, I’ve acquired a few bits of knowledge on the subject along the way. This doesn’t mean I don’t have oh-so-much more to learn – believe me, I do, as I am often reminded by a recipe fail – but thanks to these handy tips and tricks, I’m much better off than I used to be (sayonara, loaves of bricks!).

Because I want everyone in the whole world to know how to bake a good loaf of bread because there are few better things to bake and eat from scratch, in my opinion, I’m going to share some of those tips and tricks with you – a “baker’s dozen” of handy knowledge, if you will – along with a few delicious recipes from me and other Bob’s Red Mill bloggers that can help you get started!

  1. Know the difference between active dry and instant yeast. Instant yeast can be directly added to the dry ingredients in your recipe, while active dry yeast most often needs to be activated before it can be added to the remaining ingredients. To activate active dry yeast, dissolve the yeast in a bowl of warm water (sometimes with some sugar or honey, too) and let it sit until foamy. The amounts of these ingredients should be indicated in the recipe, for example, in this recipe for Whole Wheat Focaccia Bread with Caramelized Onions from The Roasted Root. Some people like using instant yeast because you can skip a step, but I prefer to use active dry yeast in most of my recipes so I know the yeast is fresh.
  2. Some flours cannot be substituted for another. Sometimes, yes, they can, but when you come across a situation when they can’t, you’ll know it. For instance, in my recipe for Whole Wheat Honey Oatmeal Bread, it’s best to use the ratio of all-purpose flour to whole wheat flour called for so you don’t end up with the aforementioned “brick loaf.” Whole wheat flour needs more water to absorb to yield the same result as all-purpose flour with less water, but even with some tweaking of the recipe, it doesn’t always work. That being said, I will sometimes substitute up to 75 percent of the all-purpose flour called for in a recipe with whole wheat flour, but no more. The same goes for bread vs. all-purpose flour – bread flour has a higher gluten content, so when a recipe calls for it, it’s probably because it will give the bread the extra shape and sturdiness it needs. In those cases, I often suggest just sticking with whatever the recipe calls for.

  3. Check the expiration dates. This is a big one, because I think many of our recipe failures can be attributed to it. So be sure you have the freshest ingredients on hand: Baking soda, baking powder, yeast, nuts and even whole wheat flour can all lose their oomph over time. I like to keep my flours in the fridge to extend their shelf lives, and on my jar of yeast (which I also refrigerate) I’ll write the date six months from when I’ve opened it, which is when it tends to lose its freshness.
  4. How to make your own ingredients. You’ve got the oven pre-heating. You’ve got the mixing bowls set out. And then you realize you’re missing a key ingredient. Raise your hand if you’ve been there! Yeah, me too. That’s when knowing how to make your own ingredients comes in handy. Here are a few examples:
  • Buttermilk: Combine 1 tablespoon lemon juice to a scant cup of milk for every cup of buttermilk you need for the recipe. Let it sit for five minutes.
  • Cake Flour: Remove 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour for every cup you need for the recipe and replace it with cornstarch. Sift the ingredients together about four or five times.
  • Bread Flour: Remove 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour for every cup you need for the recipe and replace it with gluten additive. Stir it in.
  • Homemade Butter: Savory Simple has a fantastic tutorial on how to make your own!
  1. How to halve ingredients in a recipe. There are times when a recipe makes a double batch, or I just don’t need all of those muffins or pancakes, so I’ll halve the recipe. That’s when this nifty guide comes in handy.
  2. Keep fruit from sinking to the bottom of baked goods. Easy-peasy: Give the berries or pieces of fruit a good toss in one or two tablespoons of the flour called for in the recipe, then add them to the batter. This isn’t necessary for yeast breads, as the dough is sturdy enough to hold up the fruit. Here’s a great recipe for Blueberry Oatmeal Bread from The Lemon Bowl to give it a try on.

  3. Less is more. If there is nothing else you take from this list, let this be the one mantra you keep with you for baking. It never fails me, especially when it comes to working with dough. The less you play with the dough after it’s fully kneaded, the better. The less flour you add to it to make it a smooth, soft, pliable, elastic, tacky (but not sticky) dough, the better. The less flour you sprinkle on a surface to knead or shape the dough, the better.
  4. Know when bread is fully kneaded. Solution: The windowpane test. Once you’ve kneaded your dough, remove a small piece of it and stretch it out between your fingers to a thin membrane. If the dough breaks, it needs a little more kneading. If it stays thin and translucent, it’s ready.
  5. Make dough rise really well. If it’s the cooler seasons (meaning, it’s sub-70 degrees in your kitchen), I’ve found this trick works well to helping dough proof better: Wrap a heating pad in a thin towel, turn it on low heat and set it on a counter. Place the dough, in a covered bowl or loaf pan, on top of the wrapped heating pad. The little bit of added heat from the pad will help the dough along. Don’t have a heating pad? Place the bowl or loaf pan in the microwave or oven, turned off.
  6. How to test when a dough is doubled. I’m a big fan of eyeballing it, but for extra accuracy, place a strip of tape on the side of the bowl to gauge when the dough is doubled, or, lightly press two fingers into the top of the risen dough. If the indentations remain, the dough has doubled.

  7. How to tell when a loaf is fully baked. Take the loaf out of the oven and give it a tap on the bottom with your fingernails. If it makes a good “thwacking” sound, like it’s almost hollow, it’s probably done. But to be extra sure, insert an instant-read thermometer in the bottom center. For regular yeast breads, 210°F to 220°F is ideal; if it’s an egg or milk-based yeast bread – like this recipe for Apple Honey Challah from The Law Student’s Wife – or has a few extra ingredients in it (like nuts or veggies), aim for 200°F to 210°F. This does not apply to quick breads.
  8. How to store yeast breads. Crusty loaves store well in a paper bag and soft, milk or egg-based enriched breads store well in an airtight container or plastic wrap. Both can be stored at room temperature for a day or two before they get stale, but I like to refrigerate my breads to extend their lives (this is a huge no-no to some because it can alter the flavor of the bread, but I’d rather keep my bread around for longer). If you want to freeze bread, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, then foil.
  9. Have great baking resources at the ready. Bob’s Red Mill has oodles of resources, products and articles that will help you along on your baking journey!

StephanieStephanie is the baker/blogger/babbler behind the blog, Girl Versus Dough, where she writes about her adventures in bread baking and other tasty, unique recipes. Her approach is friendly yet inspiring, down-to-earth yet adventurous. She lives in the Twin Cities with her husband, Elliott, her furry child-cat, Percy and a beautiful baby girl, Avery. Keep up with her on Facebook and Twitter

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What is it Wednesday | Bob's Red Mill

What is it? Wednesday: Pastry Flour

by Cassidy Stockton in Recipes, What is it? Wednesday, Whole Grains 101

What is pastry flour? Pastry flour is a low-protein flour designed for baking when baking powder or baking soda is the leavening agent. It bakes delicate pastries, chewy cookies and is an excellent solution for pie crusts. We recommend our Whole Wheat Pastry Flour for bakers who want to use whole grains, but need a lighter touch. Full-force whole wheat flour is great for breads, but a little heavy for cookies and muffins. Our whole wheat pastry flour is milled from soft white wheat, which has less protein (aka gluten) than our whole wheat flour ground from hard red wheat. We offer whole wheat pastry flourorganic whole wheat pastry flour and unbleached fine pastry flour for all of your pastry baking needs.

How is it different from all purpose flour and cake flour? Pastry flour, whether whole wheat or unbleached white, has less protein than all purpose flour and more than cake flour. It’s a happy place in between.

Why would you use this instead of all purpose flour or cake flour? I am starting to sound like a broken record, but you choose this flour because you can. Because baking is an act of love and, just as you would choose your words carefully in a love letter, you choose your ingredients carefully when baking something from your heart. It sounds cheesy, and maybe it is a little, but when I bake, I bake with the intention of creating something special for my loved ones. I can’t think of the last time that I baked just to get the job done.

When you want to make a perfect blueberry muffin, pumpkin quick bread or chewy chocolate chip cookie, pastry flour is a good choice. Just between us, I would venture to say that unbleached pastry flour and cake flour are pretty interchangeable. You probably don’t need both on hand. Whole wheat pastry flour, though, is a kitchen essential when you want to use whole grains in your baking. Whole wheat pastry flour is a far cry from regular whole wheat flour. It is not nearly as heavy as regular whole wheat flour and has a lighter flavor. It’s wonderful when used half and half with white flour. I guarantee that no one will know your chocolate chip cookies have whole grains if you use half whole wheat pastry flour and half white. I know, I’ve done it. Do not, however, be fooled into thinking you can use pastry flour for bread baking. You’ll be sadly disappointed.

What is it? Wednesday: Pastry Flour

Why does protein (gluten) matter? The protein in wheat flour (aka gluten) gives baked goods structure and elasticity. For chewy breads and pizza crusts, you want to use a higher protein flour. For pastries and delicate baked goods, you want less protein.

Gluten is sticky and stretchy (think of a balloon). When leavening reacts and produces gasses in your baked good, gluten creates pockets that expand around these gasses, causing your baked good to rise. More gluten and high-power leavening (yeast) will make beautiful artisan breads with lovely air pockets. Less gluten and tamer leavening (baking soda, baking powder), make smaller bubbles and smaller air pockets. When you’re striving to create a decadent coffee cake, you want a small crumb and a moist loaf.

Is pastry flour gluten free? Nope.

Is Bob’s Red Mill pastry flour organic? We offer one organic option- Organic Whole Wheat Pastry Flour. Otherwise, our regular whole wheat pastry flour and unbleached fine pastry flour are not organic.

Is Bob’s Red Mill pastry flour enriched? Yes, our Unbleached Fine Pastry Flour is enriched to government standards with  niacin, iron, thiamine, folic acid and riboflavin. Our whole wheat varieties are not enriched, as they contain all of the healthful vitamins and minerals just as nature intended.

Is Bob’s Red Mill pastry flour whole grain? Our whole wheat varieties are made with whole grain soft white wheat, nothing added, nothing removed. Our unbleached fine pastry flour is not whole grain.

Is there a substitute for pastry flour? Not really, but if you are in a pinch, all purpose flour and cake flour are close replacements for white pastry flour. For whole grain baking, a combination of regular whole wheat flour and all purpose flour will work, but baked goods will be more dense. Luckily, whole wheat pastry flour is a very popular item and available at many retail stores.

What is it? Wednesday: Pastry Flour

Some of our favorite recipes using whole wheat pastry flour: 

View even more here

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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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What is it Wednesday | Bob's Red Mill

What is it? Wednesday: Super-Fine Cake Flour

by Cassidy Stockton in What is it? Wednesday

What is cake flour? Cake flour is a low protein white flour made from wheat. Its fine texture makes it ideal for delicate cake baking. Unlike many other brands, our Super-Fine Cake Flour is simply highly sifted, finely ground wheat flour. Some brands add cornstarch to dilute otherwise high protein wheat flour (we call this a cheap trick around here). Instead of finding a low protein wheat, other manufacturers use the same high protein wheat and cut it with cornstarch. Our cake flour has not been bleached, another common practice among flour purveyors. While bleaching can help create perfectly white cakes and aid in the baking of a cake, our test kitchen produced stellar (and oh-so-delicious) white cakes. At Bob’s Red Mill, we think baking with chemically treated flours cut with cornstarch is a little yucky. No, thank you.

How is it different from all purpose flour? Cake flour is finer and contains less protein than all purpose flour. All purpose flour is designed to be just that- all purpose. All purpose flour is designed to make fine cakes and chewy breads. Cake flour is made with cake baking specifically in mind. It creates a lighter crumb that is perfect for delicate treats, soft cookies and airy cakes.

What is it? Wednesday: Cake Flour | Bob's Red Mill

Why does protein matter? Protein in wheat flour (aka gluten) gives baked goods structure and elasticity. For chewy breads and pizza crusts, you want to use a higher protein flour. Things like cakes and pie crusts need less elasticity, making cake flour an ideal choice.

Gluten is sticky and stretchy (think of a balloon). When leavening reacts and produces gasses in your baked good, gluten creates pockets that expand around these gasses, causing your baked good to rise. More gluten and high-power leavening (yeast) will make beautiful artisan breads with lovely air pockets. Less gluten and tamer leavening (baking soda, baking powder), make smaller bubbles and smaller air pockets. With a cake, you want tiny air pockets so that your cake melts in your mouth and doesn’t fall to bits.

Why would you use cake flour over all purpose flour? Because you can. When you want to make the most beautiful and delicious cake for a special occasion, why wouldn’t you want to use special ingredients? After all, a baked good is just another way of saying “I love you.” In all seriousness, though, cake flour produces a tender, more tightly packed crumb. It can be used for so much more than cakes, as well. It makes lovely cookies, delicate pie crusts and gorgeous pastries.

Is cake flour gluten free? Nope. It’s made from wheat. Even if it has less protein than other wheat flours, it’s still got plenty of gluten.

Is Bob’s Red Mill cake flour organic? No.

Is Bob’s Red Mill cake flour enriched? Yes. Bob’s Red Mill Super-Fine Cake Flour is enriched to government standards with niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin and folic acid.

Is cake flour whole grain? Absolutely not.

Is there a substitute for cake flour? Yes, while it’s not perfect, you can do what so many of us have done in a pinch- make your own. For every cup of all purpose flour, replace 1/8th of the flour with cornstarch. Blend together and sift, sift, sift. Joy the Baker has some good tips here.

Some of our favorite ways to enjoy cake flour: 

And some non-cakes…

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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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Cranberry Orange Almond Bread-F

Cranberry Orange Almond Bread

by Cassidy Stockton in Recipes

A zesty quick bread perfect for fall, this Cranberry Orange Almond Bread is made using our whole wheat pastry flour for a little extra nutrition. This loaf would be a great hostess gift for the upcoming holiday season. Simply make a few loaves, wrap securely and freeze. Then, the morning before a party, remove from the freezer and add a bow or cute label (we love these). No hostess is going to turn down a loaf of homemade quick bread. We love this bread plain or with a little bit of butter. It’s not overly sweet, so you might prefer whipped honey butter or jam if you need a treat. It makes a great bread for breakfast or snacking any time of day.

Cranberry Orange Almond Bread | Bob's Red Mill

Cranberry Orange Almond Bread

  • 2 cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 6 Tbsp Butter, melted
  • 1 Egg
  • 2/3 cup Buttermilk
  • Zest of 1 large Orange
  • 1/3 cup fresh Orange Juice
  • 1/2 cup Almonds, chopped and toasted
  • 1 cup dried Cranberries

STEP 1 Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.

STEP 2 In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together butter, egg, buttermilk, orange zest and orange juice. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Gently fold in almonds and cranberries.

STEP 3 Pour batter into prepared pan. Smooth top with spoon or spatula. Bake for 45–55 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Move to wire rack to cool completely.

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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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bakingflourheader

NEW Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour {Giveaway}

by Cassidy Stockton in Contests, Gluten Free

Do you ever just wish someone would make gluten free baking easier? That there was a simple product swap that could replace wheat flour without having to keep 5 different flours and starches on hand? That you could just take the guesswork out of how much xanthan gum to use? Good news! We are excited to say that our newest addition to our gluten free product line can do just that.

Introducing…

Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour

Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour | Bob's Red Mill

endless possibilities, one easy solution

I think all of our gluten free products are winners, but this one is my new favorite. It’s so easy to use- just swap wheat flour with this blend cup for cup and follow the original recipe as instructed. You will bake some pretty stellar baked goods and tasters will be hard pressed to tell the difference. We even did some blind taste tests around with none the wiser. That’s a pretty good test, in my opinion.

This flour combines finely ground brown rice flour, sweet white rice flour, whole grain sorghum flour, potato starch, and tapioca flour with a touch of xanthan gum—just enough xanthan gum to create chewy cookies and springy muffins. The protein in the sorghum flour helps give baked goods an almost wheat-like texture and aids in browning, for those times you need a perfectly golden brown chocolate chip cookie.

We hope you will enjoy this new product as much as we do. To celebrate our newest addition, we’re giving away a package of this blend to five lucky winners. Follow the prompts below to enter. We’ll select five winners at random from all who enter by 11:59 pm on 7/6/14. We’re working to get this product on shelves as soon as possible, so if you don’t see it at your local store, ask them to bring it in. In the meantime, you can grab a bag at bobsredmill.com for $4.95.

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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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Fisher Whole Wheat Chocolate Almond Cookies F

Three Tips for Baking with Children

by Jessica Fisher in Featured Articles, Recipes

My grandmother was a blue-ribbon baker. Every year at the county fair she bagged multiple ribbons for her baked goods. A plump older woman with tightly curled hair and wrapped in an apron, Gramma  John was the epitome of the Midwestern farm wife. I loved visiting her on our family vacations to Minnesota each summer. Gramma had two kitchens!

This California girl had never seen such a thing. There was a regular kitchen in the home, decorated in the styles of the 70s, where we ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In the cool of the basement there was a second kitchen, austere white, and ready for business. Despite it’s professional looking nature, that’s where the fun happened!

Each summer I would bake with Gramma in that kitchen. I particularly remember her pat-in-the-pan pie crust . While mine didn’t look as pretty as hers, the pastry was easy. In fact, even my five-year old can do it.

Three Tips for Baking with Children | Bob's Red Mill

She’s the one who taught me to bake. And I’ve passed that love on to my kids.

It’s not all rainbows and butterflies to bake with children. It sounds great, but in reality, it’s a mess. It can be a little frustrating when flour flies and egg shells float in the batter.

But, it’s worth it. Now that my youngest is five – my eldest is 16 – I’m able to relax a bit and look back to see what worked and improve the things that didn’t. Here are three basic things I’ve learned.

1. Let them do.

This is hard, especially if you’re a control freak like I am. My husband is the one who modeled this for me. He let our two-year old crack eggs!

Recently, I taught my 7-year old how to use the bread machine. She even adapted a favorite recipe and wrote it down in her own words. That handwritten copy is a keepsake, for sure.

My 16-year old now bakes on his own, hunting down recipes to feed his ravenous appetite for healthier, body-building snacks.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies | Bob's Red Mill

2. Just keep calm.

Find ways that you can relinquish control and still keep your cool. For instance, let your child crack each egg individually into a ramekin. Then add it to the recipe after you’ve fished out any shell.

Set up a work space that is easy to clean. We have a very large cutting board that I often use as our work space. Most of the mess happens there, making it easy to move it all at once when it’s clean up time.

3. Have fun!

Baking is the ultimate three-for-one experience. You get food prepared, you teach your child some life skills, and you get to enjoy some good times together.

Don’t sweat the messes, the cookies that don’t look picture-perfect, or the fact that this activity takes way longer than if you did it by yourself. You’re making memories with your child and getting some great fringe benefits.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Almond Cookies | Bob's Red Mill

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 2 dozen cookies

This is a recipe from my Gramma John, updated to be just a bit healthier. I swapped coconut oil for the shortening; replaced processed white and brown sugars with demerara sugar, and used whole wheat pastry flour instead of white. I also notched up the flavor profile and the antioxidants with ginger and cinnamon. The result is a sweet, crispy, crunchy cookie that pleases kids of all ages.

  • 2/3 cup Coconut Oil
  • 1 cup Demerara Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, optional

Preheat the oven to  350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat baking mat.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the oil and sugar with an electric mixer. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until thick and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, chocolate chips and nuts, if using. Mix well.

Drop dough onto the prepared sheets by rounded tablespoons. Bake 10 minutes. Cool on a rack.

Jessica Fisher Color by Sharon Leppellere - smJessica Fisher is a mom of six children, aged 5 to 16. Homeschool mom by day, writer and blogger by night, she writes two blogs, LifeasMom and GoodCheapEats. She is the author of Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead and FreezeOrganizing Life as MOM, and Best 100 Juices for Kids. Keep up with her on Facebook and Twitter.

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What is it Wednesday | Bob's Red Mill

What is it? Wednesday: Arrowroot Starch

by Cassidy Stockton in Featured Articles, Gluten Free, What is it? Wednesday

We are very excited to bring you What is it? Wednesdays! Every other Wednesday, we’ll explore a different ingredient or product in depth. We’ll be covering the benefits, uses and common misconceptions about each. If you have any requests, leave them in the comments and we’ll work them into the schedule. 

***

Welcome to What is it? Wednesday! This week’s topic is Arrowroot Starch, AKA: Arrowroot Powder, Arrowroot Flour. A lesser-known ingredient than its starch brethren—corn, potato, tapioca—arrowroot is an incredibly useful ingredient that is often overlooked. It is frequently used in gluten free and allergy-free baking. Use it in place of cornstarch in baking, or for thickening cool liquids (read: ice cream). If you have questions we don’t address, leave them in the comments and I’ll do my best to find you an answer.

What is it? Wednesday: Arrowroot Starch | Bob's Red Mill

What is it? Arrowroot starch is a very fine, white powder akin to cornstarch made from the tubers of the arrowroot plant. The arrowroot plant, Maranta arundinacea, is a perennial herb found in tropical climates. The origins of its name are a little mysterious. One source claims that the Arawak Indians called the plant aru-aru, “meal of meals.” While another claims that arrowroot was used medicinally, being placed on wounds made with poisoned arrows to draw out the toxins. With its medicinal properties, it might just be a little of both.

How do you use it? Like other starches, arrowroot starch is used as a thickening agent in liquids and supports proteins in baking to give baked goods form. It has virtually no flavor and is allergy-friendly, making it a great option for those avoiding corn, potatoes or gluten in general.

Arrowroot does not hold its thickening abilities like other starches and is best added near the end of heating. It should be mixed with liquid to create a slurry before adding to hot liquids to prevent clumping. There is a secret to a smooth sauce with arrowroot starch. Bring the sauce base to a simmer over medium-low heat. Next, whisk ¼ cup water and 2 Tbsp. arrowroot starch together to make a slurry. Stir the slurry into the simmering sauce and heat for one minute or until thickened.

How is it different from other starches? First off, arrowroot starch does not turn sauces cloudy like some starches, and it works at temperatures below a simmer. Arrowroot starch is neutral tasting and tolerates acidic ingredients, such as citrus (hello, lemon curd!). The starch also freezes well and dissolves well at lower temperatures. In fact, it must be cooked over low heat as it doesn’t endure high temperature cooking and does not reheat well. A final word to the wise, arrowroot does not do well in milk-based cream sauces (it changes the texture), but it bakes well in cakes, cookies and biscuits made with milk.

Sweet Potato-Almond Waffles with Crispy Oven-Baked Cornflake Chicken | Bob's Red Mill & Cara's Cravings

Try one of these fabulous recipes using Arrowroot Starch:

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Almond Meal Bread | Bob's Red Mill

Almond Meal Bread

by Cassidy Stockton in Featured Articles, Recipes

How does one enjoy bread while on a low carb diet? That’s a question we have been striving to answer. Our solution? This lovely Almond Meal Bread. It may look like a loaf of banana bread, but I assure you it’s definitely not banana bread. It has a lovely whole grain texture and savory flavor, despite being made from almond and coconut flour, perfect for sandwiches, toast or straight-up snacking. Yes, it uses a lot of eggs. That’s one of the trade-offs for leaving out the gluten and the starch in this recipe. It’s a great recipe for those looking to reduce their carb intake or are following the paleo diet… or just have a bag of almond meal lying around needing to be put to good use. Enjoy!

Almond Meal Bread | Bob's Red Mill

Almond Meal Bread

Contributed by:  Sarah House for Bob’s Red Mill Test Kitchen

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time:  35 – 45 minutes | Yield: 12 servings | Total Carbs per serving: 8g, Net Carbs: 4g

Step 1

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Line an 8×4- or 9×5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper and spray lightly with pan spray.

Step 2

Whip eggs until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, sift together Bob’s Red Mill Natural Almond Meal, Coconut Flour, baking powder and salt.

Step 3

While the eggs are still whipping, slowly stream in the melted and cooled coconut oil.  Fold in the dry ingredients.

Step 4

Scoop batter into the prepared pan and smooth top.

Step 5

Bake until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 – 45 minutes.

Step 6

Let cool completely before removing from the baking pan.

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Whole Wheat Flax Beer Bread from Fitzala | Bob's Red Mill

Whole Wheat Beer Bread with Flax {Guest Post}

by Guest in Featured Articles, Recipes

Hello Bob’s Red Mill blog readers! I’m Jenni, the personal trainer behind Fitzala. Today I’ll be sharing a great recipe for a hearty snack. Beer bread doesn’t rank high on most people’s list for healthy snacks, but this one is delicious and good for you.

Most beer bread recipes are high in sugar and fat, which isn’t the best for your health. This recipe uses flaxseed meal to keep the bread moist and replace the not so healthy fats. Flaxseed is high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Another great aspect of healthy fats is that they provide a high level of satiety, making you feel more satisfied after eating.

Normal whole wheat flour can give baked goods a grainy, dense or overwhelming “wheaty” taste. You can fix this and still get the whole grain nutrients by substituting whole wheat pastry flour. It lends the lighter texture that most white flour baked goods have without sacrificing the fiber, vitamins and minerals that whole wheat flour lends.

With these two power ingredients, this bread is nutritious, satiating and sticks with you while you go about your busy day. The hoppy beer taste is just a bonus!

If you’re wary about using beer, take comfort in knowing that 75% of the alcohol bakes out. There’s not enough left in it to give you buzz of any kind, though I wouldn’t recommend using it if you are allergic to alcohol. You can substitute soda or seltzer water for beer, but I can’t guarantee the results and the taste will definitely differ.

Whole Wheat Flax Beer Bread from Fitzala | Bob's Red Mill

Whole Wheat Beer Bread with Flax

Yield: 15 slices

Ingredients:

  • 2 ¼ cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • ½ cup Flaxseed Meal
  • 1 tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ¾ teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tablespoon Maple Syrup (sugar-free is fine too)
  • 1- 12 oz bottle/can of Beer

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350°F and prepare a bread pan with grease or parchment.

Place the flour, flax, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in one bowl and whisk to combine.

Beat together the egg and maple syrup in another bowl then mix in the beer.

Pour the wet ingredients in to the dry and mix until just combined.

Place the bread mixture in your greased pan and bake for 40 minutes or until done.

Jenni Kenyon from FitzalaJenni is an NASM certified personal trainer and loves helping women find balance in health and exercise. She and her husband live in Central Washington and spend as much time as possible outdoors. Find her on her blog, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or G+.

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