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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Waffle Dippers with Orange Berry Compote - The Lemon Bowl 2

4 Quick Meal Ideas for Toddlers

by Liz Della Croce in Recipes

Toddlers have a mind of their own which can make mealtime stressful for parents and kids alike. With a few simple strategies and a bit of patience, here are a few tips for making fast, healthy and toddler-friendly meals the whole family will love.

  • 6-Cup Muffin Tin Meals: Think outside the traditional round dinner plate and try serving your next meal in a 6-cup muffin tin instead. You can fill each cup with a variety of foods including meat, whole grains, roasted vegetables, salad and more. At breakfast, try filling one tin with yogurt, a second tin with granola and the remaining four tins with their favorite fresh fruits and seeds.
  • Snacks as a Meal: Instead of the traditional meat, rice and vegetable dinner why not try a composed meal made up of your toddler’s favorite snacks? Use a bento-style plate and fill it with string cheese, hummus, whole wheat pita bread, cherry tomatoes and apple slices. Serve with a glass of milk for even more protein and vitamins. As long as you offer a variety of options, snacks can easily turn into a well-rounded meal you can feel good about serving your toddler.
  • Avoid Food Fatigue: Toddlers, like adults, get tired of eating the same foods day after day. Since they are still developing language skills it can be difficult for them to express their food boredom and as a result they often shut down and simply refuse to eat the foods they once loved. Help combat food fatigue by offering more variety.

Try swapping out the usual potatoes or pasta with a tasty whole grain like farro, bulgur or spelt. These whole grains are chewy, nutty and extremely versatile. Serve them on their own or try this Autumn Harvest Spelt Pilaf made with fresh apples and pecans.

What are your go-to fast meal ideas for toddlers or kids of any age? Leave a comment below – we would love to hear your ideas!

The Lemon Bowl Head Shot 2013Liz Della Croce is the creator and author of The Lemon Bowl, a healthy food blog. Since 2010, Liz has been creating delicious recipes using real ingredients with an emphasis on seasonality. Liz has appeared live on the TODAY Show and tapes regular cooking segments for her local NBC affiliate station. Through healthy eating and regular exercise, Liz has successfully achieved a personal weight loss milestone and has a passion for helping others reach similar goals. New in 2013, Liz launched Healthy Habits, a feature on The Lemon Bowl where her loyal readers and growing audience can find practical advice, resources and information on creating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

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Poppy Seed Cakes F

Getting the Whole Grain Back to School

by Jessica Fisher in Recipes

As the school year gets under way, I find my days much fuller than they were a month ago. Since I teach our six kids at home, I really have to hit the ground running. My days are full with lessons, chores, and writing projects. It can be extremely tempting to shrug off good nutrition in exchange for getting something done.

Yet, I know that it’s better to invest some time in wholesome snacks and meals for my family – and for me!

Poppy Seed Cakes | Bob's Red Mill

I know that the first cold of the season is just waiting to strike. If I limit our added sweeteners, increase our whole grains, include lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, and make ice water the more frequent option, we’ll all be healthier and happier.

Sometimes, it’s just a matter of having a plan and setting yourself up for success. Here are some ways you can easily add more whole grains into the back to school diet — for your health and for your kids’:

1. Bake up some granola.

I regularly bake up big batches of granola. Kids of all ages (husbands included) have been known to start eating it up before it’s had a chance to cool. Sometimes I can’t even get it to the container before it’s half gone.

Making homemade granola allows you the option to customize sweeteners and avoid allergens. Plus it tastes great!

Serve granola for breakfast with milk, in parfaits, or for snacking. My husband has even started taking cereal and a container of milk to work for an easy and economical lunch. You can easily pack granola and a small container of milk in the lunchbox.

2. Pop some corn.

I grew up in the age of the air popper, so it’s no surprise that my 7-year old daughter knows how to pop corn. We keep a regular supply of Bob’s White Popcorn on hand, for snacking. It’s easy to pack which makes it a fun thing to take on the road.

3. Bake with whole wheat pastry flour.

Whole Wheat Pastry Flour | Bob's Red Mill

One of my favorite baking products under the sun is whole wheat pastry flour. It offers the light texture of all-purpose flour yet it has the whole grain without tasting too wheaty.

I use whole wheat pastry flour in most of my quick breads and even in our family’s favorite apple pie. No one notices the difference, except I know they are eating a little more healthfully.

One of my recent concoctions with whole wheat pastry flour is a redo on my mom’s poppy seed cake. I found it years ago on an index card in her recipe box. The original was a bit more complicated with beaten eggs whites and shortening. I tweaked to make it simpler and healthier.

My kids and husband give it rave reviews. I bake it in muffin papers, like a sedate cupcake, packed full of power. Already individually portioned, these cakes are perfect to take on the road or to brownbag.

Poppy Seed Cakes | Bob's Red Mill

Whole Wheat Poppy Seed Cakes

  • 1-1/4 cup Milk
  • 1/4 cup Poppy Seeds
  • 1 cup Demerara Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Sunflower Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 2 cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1 tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350 °. Line 18 muffin cups with paper liners.
2. In a large mixing bowl combine the milk and poppy seeds. Allow the seeds to soak for about five minutes.
3. Add the sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth.
4. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk again until smooth.
5. Divide the batter among the prepared pans, just a tad less than 1/4 cup batter to each muffin cup. Bake for 20 to 25 minute or until a tester inserted comes out with a few crumbs attached. 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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Step By Step Crepes | Bob's Red Mill

Step by Step: 7 Grain Crepes

by Cassidy Stockton in Recipes

Talk about a dish that intimidates me! I’ve never made crepes because they make me nervous, but I do like to eat them. With this easy step-by-step guide from our test kitchen, I might just have to give them a go so I can enjoy crepes in the comfort of my own kitchen (and pjs). I love that this recipe uses one of our whole grain pancake mixes, making me feel just a little less guilty about the indulgence.

Crepes, like many of the other recipes we’ve been sharing lately, can be sweet or savory. Fill sweet crepes with jam, fresh fruit, nutella, almond butter or just a simple butter and powdered sugar combination. Fill savory crepes with combinations of sauteed mushrooms, spinach, goat cheese, scrambled eggs and crumbled bacon.  The possibilities are endless. For a gluten free version, try these Quinoa Flour Crepes.

7 Grain Crepes (step-by-step)

Contributed by:  Sarah House for Bob’s Red Mill

  •  ¾ cup Bob’s Red Mill Organic 7 Grain Pancake Mix
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 cup Milk

Step By Step Crepes | Bob's Red Mill

Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl.

Step By Step Crepes | Bob's Red Mill

Step By Step Crepes | Bob's Red Mill

Step By Step Crepes | Bob's Red Mill
Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Heat an 8 – 10-inch crepe pan or non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium heat.

­­­­­Lightly butter or oil the pan.

Step By Step Crepes | Bob's Red Mill
Using ¼ cup of batter per crepe, pour one serving into the hot pan and immediately begin to tilt the pan and swirl the batter to evenly coat the base.

Crepes-7
Let cook until set, about 1 – 2 minutes.  The edges should easily release, indicating the crepe is ready to flip.

Step By Step Crepes | Bob's Red Mill
Using a thin spatula, tongs, or carefully using your fingers, flip the crepe over and continue to cook until lightly browned, about 1 minute.

Step By Step Crepes | Bob's Red Mill
Step By Step Crepes | Bob's Red Mill
Turn the cooked crepe out onto a rack to cool while preparing the remaining crepes (repeat steps 2 – 4) or keep warm in a 200°F oven.

Step By Step Crepes | Bob's Red Mill
Spread with filling(s) of your choice and roll or fold into a wedge to serve.

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Abeleskivers F

Step by Step Aebleskivers

by Cassidy Stockton in Recipes

Aebleskivers are a delightful, Danish confection that marries the texture of a pancake with the airiness of a popover. Typically aebleskivers are filled with apples or other delights, but many recipes in the United States are simply puffs of sweet dough. Aebleskivers require a special pan which may be hard to come by locally, but many online retailers offer them if your hunt proves fruitless. This recipe uses our Buttermilk Pancake Mix, but you can make these from scratch, as well. 

Aebleskivers – Step by Step

Contributed by:  Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods

Step by Step Aebleskivers | Bob's Red Mill

Ingredients

Directions

1. Separate yolks and whites into two separate bowls.

Step by Step Aebleskivers | Bob's Red Mill

2. In a medium bowl, whisk yolks until thick and pale yellow.

 

3. Whisk 2 Tbsp melted butter into yolks.

Step by Step Aebleskivers | Bob's Red Mill
4. Whisk water into yolks.

Step by Step Aebleskivers | Bob's Red Mill

5. Whisk Bob’s Red Mill Buttermilk Pancake Mix into yolks.  Set aside.

Step by Step Aebleskivers | Bob's Red Mill
6. In a separate bowl with a clean whisk, whisk whites until stiff but not dry.

Step by Step Aebleskivers | Bob's Red Mill
7. With a rubber spatula, mix a dollop of stiff egg whites into the yolk mixture to lighten the mix.

Step by Step Aebleskivers | Bob's Red Mill
8. Fold the remaining stiff whites into the yolk mixture with the rubber spatula.

Step by Step Aebleskivers | Bob's Red Mill
9. Preheat aebleskiver pan according to the manufacturer instructions or over medium heat.

10. Brush each aebleskiver cup with melted butter.

Step by Step Aebleskivers | Bob's Red Mill

11. Fill each cup ¾ full with batter.

Step by Step Aebleskivers | Bob's Red Mill

12. Cook until bubbly and set around the edges, about 1 ½ minutes.

13. Turn over each aebleskiver using a fork or toothpick.

Step by Step Aebleskivers | Bob's Red Mill

14. Continue to cook on the second side until browned and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 minute.

Step by Step Aebleskivers | Bob's Red Mill
15. Remove from aebleskiver pan and dust with powdered sugar to serve.

Step by Step Aebleskivers | Bob's Red Mill

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Puff Pastry F

Step-by-Step Gluten Free Puff Pastry

by Cassidy Stockton in Featured Articles, Gluten Free, Recipes

When we developed our Gluten Free Pie Crust Mix, gluten free puff pastry was a distant ship on the horizon. We knew it was possible, but had to chart our course, if you will. You see, you can’t just go buy gluten free puff pastry dough. That hasn’t stopped us from wanting to work with one, though. Puff pastry is a fun and delicious ingredient full of many possibilities. Our recipe expert, Sarah House, worked diligently for months before she came up with this version using our gluten free pie crust mix. We’re not going to beat around the bush here, this is time consuming. It is not, however, hard. It just takes a little patience and commitment. We promise, it’s worth it. This pastry comes out flaky, light and oh-so-buttery. Simply use the pastry as called for in your favorite recipes and create fanciful gluten free desserts and decadent appetizers.

Step By Step Gluten Free Puff Pastry | Bob's Red Mill

Gluten Free Puff Pastry

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

Prep Time: 60 minutes | Rest Time:  20 hours | Yield: approx. 36 oz

Ingredients

1. Cube 4 oz of cold butter and place in a large bowl with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pie Crust Mix.

2. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until the mixture is the consistency of coarse cornmeal.

Puff Pastry Step 2
3. Add ice water as needed until the mixture forms a consistent and well-hydrated dough.

4. Form dough into a rectangle and wrap well in plastic wrap.  Chill at least 4 hours or overnight.

Puff Pastry Step 4

5. Meanwhile, shape the remaining 8 oz of butter into a wide, flat rectangle (about 5×8-inches).

Puff Pastry Step 5

6. Wrap in parchment paper, then tightly in plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.

7. Remove dough and butter block from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature until butter is just soft enough that a fingertip can make a dent in it with moderate pressure.

8. Roll the unwrapped dough between two pieces of plastic wrap or parchment paper to a square twice the size of the butter block.

Puff Pastry Step 8

9. Remove the top layer of plastic or parchment from the dough and unwrap the butter block.  Place the butter block in the center of the dough square.

Puff Pastry Step 9

10. Fold the top and bottom edges of the dough over the butter, then fold in the sides.

Puff Pastry Step 1011. Place the butter-filled dough in between two clean pieces of plastic wrap or parchment paper.

Puff Pastry Step 11

12. Roll the dough into a long rectangle about 10 x 16-inches.

13. Remove the top layer of plastic wrap or parchment paper.  Using the bottom layer of plastic wrap or parchment to assist in moving the dough, fold the bottom third of the dough up towards the center.

Puff Pastry Step 13

14. Fold the top third of the dough down to meet the bottom of the first fold.  This is one complete “fold.”

Puff Pastry Step 1415. Roll the dough into a long rectangle about 10 x 16-inches.  Repeat a second fold, wrap the dough securely in plastic wrap and chill at least 4 hours.  Two folds have now been completed.  Repeat the double-folds three more times for a total of 8 folds, making sure to chill for at least 4 hours between each double-fold.

Puff Pastry Step 1516. The gluten free puff pastry is now ready to use.  Follow a specific recipe’s instructions for precise shaping and baking instructions.

Puff Pastry Step 16

 

 

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Salad Header

5 Whole Grain Dishes to Step Up Your Potluck Game

by Cassidy Stockton in Featured Articles

Memorial Day seems to be the official opening day of barbecue and picnic season. What’s better than bringing together those you love over some delicious food? And what’s more fun than serving something that shows off your culinary chops? Sure, potato salad and pasta salad are perennial favorites and not overly difficult to put together. Wouldn’t it be more satisfying to bring a dish that isn’t filled with empty carbs and mayonnaise that everyone raves about? Health benefits aside, you know you will likely be the only person who brought something remarkable and different. Here are a few whole grain swaps you can make to step up your potluck game.

1. Instead of potato salad, bring Warm Kamut® Berry Salad with Bacon, Brussels Sprouts and Gorgonzola. Sure, this salad is a little time-consuming to make, but so is potato salad (unless you’re opting for a prepared version). Gorgonzola and bacon bring their A-game in this dish, while whole grain kamut berries and Brussels sprouts team up for a well-rounded dish that everyone will enjoy. If you can’t keep it hot, don’t worry, warm will be lovely and you won’t have to worry about any mayonnaise turning. If you can’t find kamut berries, wheat berries and farro will both make a comparable replacement.Warm Kamut Berry Salad with Bacon Brussels Sprouts and Gorgonzola

2. Swap a antipasto salad for Vegetable Bounty Quinoa Salad with Asian Vinaigrette. Far more nutritious than pasta, quinoa packs a nutritional punch and the flavors in this salad are warm and bright, perfect for pairing for a spring gathering.

Vegetable Bounty Sm

3.  Trade a pasta salad dressed with mayonnaise for this Curried Carrot and Sorghum Salad. The creamy curry dressing is both gluten free and vegan, making it perfect for any gathering and will quickly put mayo out of mind.

Curried Carrots and Sorghum Salad

4. Sure, a green salad is a great way to go, but wouldn’t it be more fun to bring Tabbouleh? Filled with fresh tomatoes and seasoned with mint and parsley, Tabbouleh comes together quickly and delivers a light, fresh flavor perfect to pair with grilled chicken or fish.

Tabbouleh

5. Keep it fresh and light with this Millet Spring Roll Salad. Who cares what you swap for this one? The bright flavors of this dish will counterbalance other, heavier fare and you’ll be able to school people on what millet is and impress them with your culinary prowess. Who has the time to make real spring rolls when you can turn them into a delicious salad?

Millet Spring Roll Salad

 

 

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1green-onion-pancakes F

Meatless Mondays: Savory Green Onion Pancakes

by Guest in Gluten Free, Meatless Mondays, Recipes

I adore green onion pancakes but they usually require you to create dough, which needs to be kneaded, rested, and then rolled out. At JoyFoodly, I’m always looking for ways to simplify recipes for families. Really, this is the only way anyone who is busy can joyfully recreate a favorite recipe time and again. For this savory and delicious green onion pancake, I’ve found a way I think you’ll love that’s quick and seriously yummy.

It all starts with the star of the pancake, the green onion batter. For this recipe, my shortcut is my always on-hand Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pancake Mix. You can whip this batter up in no time. I especially love to get kids involved with measuring ingredients and stirring the batter.

The other thing I love about this pancake batter is that it can take quite a bit of green onions, so if you’re also looking for a way to really use up a lot of them (or just love green onions!), feel free to overstuff and top these beauties for extra crunch. If you’re not sure how to cut or prep green onions, here’s a quick video we’ve put together for our Joyful 12 Kitchen Learning Lab that will help make your prep just a little more joyful:

Here’s to your family having some fun in the kitchen on this Meatless Monday. Don’t forget to add a little drizzle of sauce to kick up the fun one extra notch!

PS: We thought the sour cream on top could be optional but we highly recommend it not be!

Tips to help your kids love Savory Green Onion Pancakes

We include tips like this in all of the recipes in our online kitchen learning lab, the Joyful 12! Learn more here.

  • Get them involved: Making batter is a great lesson for kids in the kitchen. Show them how to accurately measure ingredients and why this is important. Have them help you incorporate the dry and the wet ingredients and learn when the batter is the right consistency (not too thick but not too runny)
  • Be a food explorer: People eat pancakes all over the world! In France, they eat thinner pancakes called crepes. Here, we are making a savory vs. sweet pancake. Ask your child what they think about savory pancakes.
  • Taste your creation: It’s fun to make one pancake from the batter and have your child help you taste test it. Do you want to add more green onions to it, or maybe more Chinese five spice? Then, when you’ve finished cooking them all, you’ll already know your child likes them because you involved them in making them and tasting them!

1green-onion-pancakes

Savory Green Onion Pancakes

Serving size: 4 | Prep time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch Green Onions
  • 1-1/2 cups Pancake Mix (we use Bob’s Red Mill® Gluten Free)
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 cup Coconut Milk
  • 2 Tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Chinese Five Spice
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 3 Tbsp Coconut Oil or Vegetable Oil
  • Sour Cream, optional topping

Sauce to Drizzle

  • 2 Tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 1-1/2 tsp Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Tamari (Gluten Free Soy Sauce)
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 pinch Hot Pepper Flakes

Directions
Note on Substitutions: you can use soy or almond milk in place of coconut milk, and vegetable oil in place of coconut oil.

2-ingredients

Get Organized:

1. Take 5 minutes to get out all your ingredients, measuring and cooking equipment needed, and place them on a cookie sheet within easy reach.

2. Make the sauce that can be drizzled on top of pancakes by combining all ingredients in a bowl and stirring together.

3. Cut the green onions into small discs. Set aside a few green tops to be used to sprinkle over pancakes when you serve them.

4. Preheat oven to 325F, to keep cooked pancakes warm while you finish cooking all the batter.

3mixing-batter

To Cook:

1. In a bowl beat the egg together with the coconut milk and sesame oil.

2. In a separate bowl, combine the Chinese five spice and salt with the pancake four.

3. Add the pancake flour and spices to the egg mixture gradually, stirring to combine.

4. Stir in the cut green onions into the batter.

5. In a nonstick pan, heat enough coconut oil in the pan to just cover the bottom of the pan.

6. Use a spoon to place 1-2 pancakes into the pan. Cook over medium-high heat. Look for bubbles on the outside of the pancakes. Flip and cook another minute.

7. Hold finished pancakes in a warm oven on a cookie sheet.

8. Serve with a dollop of sour cream (optional but yummy), extra green onions, and the sauce on the side, which can be drizzled over.

hollie-headshot-postsChef Hollie Greene is passionate about bringing the joy of good food to your family. She created JoyFoodly™, a San Francisco mission based company, to help families joyfully get more fruits and vegetables into their families’ diets. The Joyful 12™, Chef Hollie’s Online Kitchen Learning Lab, helps parents explore and learn how to joyfully get twelve fruits and veggies into their families’ diets each season.

Chef Hollie is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute in NY and has taught over 2,000 children in New York and California through her work with non-profit programs partnering with Rachael Ray’s Yum-O!, Mayor Bloomberg, and as a Professional Expert for the State of California’s Healthy CA Kids Initiative. Follow Hollie on Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date with her newest joyful kitchen creations.

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Jars of Grain F

Storing Whole Grains

by Cassidy Stockton in Featured Articles, Whole Grains 101

If you asked Bob how to store whole grains, he’d tell you to buy an extra fridge. Put it next to your regular fridge and fill it with all of your whole grains. Most of us don’t have the ability to add an extra fridge into our lives. Even if someone gave me a free fridge and offered to pay the increase in my electrical bill, I couldn’t fit an second fridge into my kitchen. Excepting those who are able to have a fridge or freezer with spare room, the rest of us are stuck scratching our heads and hoping our grains will be fine. Here’s a rundown on where to store whole grains. I hope it will give you some insight and inspiration for your own kitchen and maybe frees up a little room in your freezer.

Whole Grain Storage | Bob's Red Mill

Whole grains are best kept in the fridge or freezer to prevent rancidity. True. They are. BUT, this is more important when a grain has been broken up in some way- be it milled into flour, cracked into cereal or flaked like oatmeal. Whole grains themselves (brown rice, wheat berries, quinoa, etc.) are more shelf stable that we think. Some of these grains can last many years without going rancid. That’s how nature made them. Most whole grains that have been broken up in some way will last up to two years, sometimes longer, without spoiling.

Here is a quick breakdown of where to store products.

  • Whole Grains (wheat berries, brown rice, quinoa, millet, etc) used once a month: room temp
  • Whole Grains used less than once a month: freezer
  • Dried Beans: room temp
  • Flour, Cereals, Cracked Grains used once a week: room temp
  • Flour, Cereals, Cracked Grains used less than once a month: fridge or freezer
  • Baking Mixes: room temp or fridge, do not freeze
  • Refined Grains, Flours and Cereals (white flour, white rice, etc): room temp
  • Items that should always be kept in the fridge or freezer: 
    • Almond Meal
    • Hazelnut Meal
    • Coconut Flour
    • Wheat Germ
    • Rice Bran
    • Flaxseed Meal (whole seeds are fine at room temp)
    • Hemp Seeds
    • Active Dry Yeast (do not freeze)

I recommend airtight containers for everything, but at the very least use airtight containers for things left at room temperature. Bugs love whole grains and nothing keeps a bug out quite like a mason jar. Plus, mason jars filled with whole grains and beans are very pretty and make a lovely addition to your decor. You can make your own labels like we did with the display above, or cut out labels from our bag and adhere them to your jars. At my house, I have these labels (below) that include basic cooking instructions. While I might have the recipe down pat, others in my house do not and I want to eliminate the “I didn’t know how to cook it” excuse, if you know what I mean.

quinoa

I hope this has been helpful. Do you have any insights from your kitchen on how to best store grains?

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What is it Wednesday | Bob's Red Mill

What is it? Wednesday: Coconut Flour

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. 

***

Coconut is all the rage these days—coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut sugar—if it has coconut in it, it must be good for you. For the most part that is true and coconut flour is no exception. It’s tremendously rich in dietary fiber and very low in carbohydrates. These two factors combine to make a product that is especially ideal for those who need to be conscious of their blood sugar and who are following a low carbohydrate diet. It’s naturally gluten free, so it’s becoming very popular with those on a gluten free diet. This is one of the most difficult and confusing Bob’s Red Mill products to use. It’s not impossible and it is totally worth learning how to use it, but this product does not behave like a typical flour and presents some unique challenges in baking.

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

How is it made? Coconut flour is made from the flesh of mature coconuts after coconut oil has been extracted. The remaining coconut contains only about 15% of the oil from the original coconut. The flesh is dried at temperatures above 118°F to eliminate any microbes and is held at 179°F for approximately 30 minutes, which means this product is not considered raw by most raw foodists.

Does it taste like coconut? Because there is no milk and most of the oils have been removed, coconut flour does not have a strong coconut flavor. I’d be lying if I said it was void of any coconut flavor, but it is quite mild and would be masked by any strong flavor like chocolate, coffee, garlic or almond. It’s similar to coconut oil, actually, there is a hint of the coconut, but it’s not like baking with ground up shredded coconut.

Does it contain sulfites? No. I cannot vouch for all coconut flour, but our coconut flour does not contain sulfites or any other preservatives.

How do you use it? That’s the real meat of the issue, isn’t it? How do you use such a unique flour? The single, most important thing to remember about coconut flour is that it is very high in fiber and requires a lot of liquid. More than you would think, actually. If you look at coconut flour recipes, they often call for a lot of eggs (I’m talking 6 to 8 whole eggs for a single recipe).  At first glance, you’ll think it’s an error and it can’t possibly need that many eggs. The thing is, though, it really does. The eggs help replace the gluten and balance out the high amount of fiber. If you are egg-free, try The Spunky Coconut. She has many recipes that are egg-free.

You’ll be relieved to know that there are so many wonderful food bloggers out there experimenting with this product and finding ways around the use of a dozen eggs for a single recipe. They’re getting creative and coming up with recipes like Chocolate Glazed Strawberry Donuts (Cara’s Cravings), Chocolate Marbled Cupcakes (Jeanette’s Healthy Living) and Vanilla Coconut Poundcake (Non-Dairy Queen, below).

Vanilla Coconut Poundcake

Here are tips from our Test Kitchen:

  • Store coconut flour in the fridge or freezer for the longest shelf life.
  • Coconut flour can replace up to 20% of the total flour in a recipe.  Liquid will need to be increased by 20% as well.
  • It is recommended that you use an equal part coconut flour to liquid.
  • Coconut flour is very high in fiber and will absorb large amounts of liquid.  These batters may not resemble the same batter made with wheat flour.
  • Increasing the fat in a 100% coconut flour recipe will keep the product moist without having to add excessive amounts of liquid.
  • Some 100% coconut flour recipes may appear too runny.  Let the batter sit for a few minutes to absorb the liquid.  The liquid will be absorbed further during baking.
  • Reducing the sugar or granulated sweetener will make the final product drier and crumbly.
  • Always sift coconut flour before using.
  • To store baked goods with significant amounts of coconut flour, wrap loosely in plastic.  If no air is allowed to circulate, the baked good may become soggy.

My single tip for getting to know coconut flour? TRY AN EXISTING COCONUT FLOUR RECIPE. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Use a tried and true recipe. We have a few on our website and there are so many amazing bloggers out there doing a great job with it. Check out All Day I Dream About Food, Jeanette’s Healthy Living, Cara’s Cravings and The Spunky Coconut for some inspiration.

Finally, find more great tips from Jeanette’s Healthy Living and watch this video for even more insight.

Finally, we received some great customer questions on Facebook and I’ll try to address some of them here. These are the questions that I wasn’t sure how to work into the narrative.

Coconut Flour and Browning: Some customers have found that baked goods made with coconut flour brown more easily. While we have not found this to be true here, we think this could have something to do with the natural sugar in the flour.

Coconut flour is gluten free, do I need to use Xanthan Gum? Yes and no. If you are baking a 100% coconut flour recipe with a bevy of eggs, it is likely that you will not need xanthan gum. If you are adding coconut flour to a gluten free blend or are not using a recipe heavy in eggs, xanthan gum might be necessary.

How many carbs does it contain per serving? A 2 Tbsp serving of Coconut Flour contains 8 grams of Carbohydrates (3 grams net carbs). Keep in mind that you use far less coconut flour than conventional wheat flour in recipes.

I have a coconut allergy, will I react to coconut flour? Unlike coconut oil, coconut flour contains coconut protein and will cause an allergic reaction if you are sensitive to coconuts.

I hope this clears up some of the mysteries about coconut flour. Have more questions? Leave them in the comments and I’ll try to get you an answer right away.

About The Author
Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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