Natural New-Tella Granola F

Natural New-Tella Granola

by Alisa Fleming in Gluten Free, Recipes

Whole foods are a new thing to my teenage niece, who has lived with us for the past year. I was able to transition her into whole grains, increase her fruit intake, and even get her to “like” salads. But for the level of exercise she now enjoys, her protein intake is still a bit deficient, particularly in the morning. Since she isn’t a fan of chomping on whole nuts or nut chunks, I decided to get a little creative by using hazelnut meal along with hearty oats and her favorite morning food, chocolate.

Natural New-Tella Granola | Bob's Red Mill

In this Nutella-inspired granola, the hazelnut meal blends seamlessly with the oats and natural chocolate coating for a delicious flavor without the overpowering presence of whole nuts. She LOVES it, and luckily, my husband and I do, too.

To note, I use certified gluten-free oats in this recipe to keep it gluten-free for my husband. I also use allergy-friendly chocolate chips for a dairy-free granola. If you want an even more wholesome option, feel free to substitute cacao nibs for the chocolate chips. It will yield a slightly less sweet, more dark chocolate-hazelnut granola.

Natural New-Tella Granola | Bob's Red Mill

Natural New-Tella Granola

Yield: 4-1/2 cups

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

Method

Preheat your oven to 250ºF.

Place the oats and hazelnut meal in a large bowl, and toss to combine.

Place the sweetener, oil, cocoa, vanilla, and salt in a medium bowl, and whisk until smooth.

Pour the chocolate mixture over the oat-hazelnut mixture, and stir until all the oats are well-coated.

Spread the uncooked granola onto a large baking sheet, pressing it into somewhat of a single layer.

Bake for 60 to 90 minutes, checking in to stir every 30 minutes. It should appear toasted, but not burnt, yet will still feel a bit soft (it will crisp up as it cools).

While the granola is still hot, gently stir in some or all of the chocolate chips (we usually add about half), just folding it in a few times; they will melt and “cluster” the granola just a little.

Once cool, stir any remaining chocolate chips into the granola.

Natural New-Tella Granola- Mocha and Vanilla options | Bob's Red Mill

Mocha Option (left)

You can add 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee to 1 tablespoon ground coffee (your favorite) depending on your desired intensity. Also, some dairy-free dark chocolate covered coffee beans would make a tasty addition in place of the chocolate chips.

Vanilla Hazelnut Option (right)

While I do love chocolate, I’m a devoted vanilla lover first and foremost. For my breakfasts, I decided to balance this dark chocolate yin flavor with a light yang cereal: Vanilla Hazelnut Granola.

Alisa Fleming, Go Dairy FreeAlisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa has three new books in the works, and is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry. Her dietary specialty is dairy-free, but she also has expertise in gluten-free and allergy-friendly.

 

 

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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.

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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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Apple Cinnamon Walnut Brown Rice Farina | Bob's Red Mill

Meatless Mondays: Apple Cinnamon Walnut Brown Rice Farina

by Julia Mueller in Gluten Free, Meatless Mondays, Recipes

Howdy doody, Bob’s Blog readers! I’m Julia Mueller from The Roasted Root! I’ll be joining you here from time to time with recipes using Bob’s Red Mill’s products. I’ve been using Bob’s products ever since I began the search for cooking and baking alternatives to wheat three years ago. Through the BRM product line, I continually learn about new ways of using whole grains, flours, and nut meals to whip up delicious eats. Recently, I have been eating brown rice farina as porridge for breakfast and I can’t think of a better way to start the day!

When I was a kid, I loved the instant cream of wheat that came with fruit topping pouches. I remember the commercials where kids would be using the fruity topping to draw pictures in their cream of wheat. Free-style art on my breakfast food? Sign me up!  I poked and prodded my parents until they bought into it. From there on out, I was sold down Cream of Wheat River.

Apple Cinnamon Walnut Brown Rice Farina | Bob's Red Mill

BUT! Gone are the days of instant cream of wheat with little drawing packets. That river dried up long ago. Not only because I no longer have the time to draw on my breakfast before I leave for work in the morning, but also because I limit my intake of wheat to a bare minimum. For this reason, breakfast porridge made from oatmeal, quinoa, or brown rice farina is now my go-to fuel in the morning.

But the farina fun doesn’t stop in the morning – oh no! One of the best parts about brown rice farina is its versatility. Not only can you get creative with it for breakfast, but you can use it in cakes, or even serve savory meals on top of it. The end result is bound to be tasty, healthful, and satisfying.

Add apple cinnamon walnut brown rice farina to the list of genius ideas to get children to eat their breakfast. It’s very quick to throw together (10 to 12 minutes is all it takes!), and the apple-cinnamon flavors coupled with the naturally sweet maple syrup are sure to win anyone’s affection. Case in point: this is a healthful, easy meal that can appeal to breakfast eaters of all ages.

Are you sold down Brown Rice Farina River? I certainly hope you have a marvelous journey, filled with apple, cinnamon, walnut splendor.

Apple Cinnamon Walnut Brown Rice Farina | Bob's Red Mill

Apple Cinnamon Walnut Brown Rice Farina 

Ingredients:

  • 3-1/4 cups Water
  • 1 large Apple (I used Honeycrisp), peeled and finely chopped or shredded
  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Brown Rice Farina
  • ½ teaspoon ground Cinnamon
  • ½ cup Walnuts, chopped
  • 2.5 tablespoons pure Maple Syrup (or to taste)*
  • Almond Milk, Coconut Milk, or regular Milk for serving

*You can also sweeten the brown rice farina with brown sugar if you don’t have pure maple syrup available

Instructions:

  1. Add the water and chopped apple to a pot and bring to a full boil. Boil gently for 5 to 8 minutes to soften the apple.
  2. Slowly stir in the brown rice farina, cinnamon, and walnuts, and stir consistently as the farina thickens. Continue cooking for 5 to 8 minutes, then add the maple syrup and stir to combine.
  3. Serve with almond milk, coconut milk, regular milk, and/or a dollop of yogurt on top.

JuliaMuellerJulia Mueller’s two greatest passions are food and the great outdoors. Creator of the food blog, The Roasted Root, Julia enjoys whipping up and photographing nutrient-dense recipes that are healthful yet comforting, and are approachable to make any night of the week. Most of her recipes are vegetable and meat-based, gluten-free and refined-sugar free. Julia is also the author of the cookbooks, Delicious Probiotic Drinks, and Let Them Eat Kale! An avid mountain biker and snowboarder, Julia enjoys balancing work with playing outside in the mountains. Keep up with her on Facebook and Twitter.

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What is it Wednesday | Bob's Red Mill

What is it? Wednesday: Xanthan Gum

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. 

***

I freely admit that I bit off a little more than I intended with this topic. Xanthan gum is a hard one! It has an unusual origin and many, varied applications. We’ll see if I can clear anything up or if I just make it more confusing! Thank you to everyone who submitted questions on Facebook. We had over 80 submissions and they all break down into these basic questions. If you have more questions, leave ‘em in the comments and we’ll get to them.

What is it? Wednesday: Xanthan Gum | Bob's Red Mill

What is Xanthan Gum? The short, basic version is that xanthan gum is a coating from a particular bacteria- Xanthomonas campestris. This bacteria grows a protective coating. Think of it like an orange peel or the skin of an onion. It’s a protective layer. When fed a particular food, this bacteria’s coating becomes very sticky and makes a great binding and thickening agent in baking. I can get super technical about this, but I don’t think that is necessary. Scientists harvest this sticky layer, dry it out and sell it as a food additive. End of story.

What is this “particular food” mentioned above? Most commonly, Xanthomonas campestris is fed glucose (sugar) derived from corn, soy or wheat. This glucose comes from the starch of the plant and contains no protein, which means if you have a corn, soy or wheat allergy, you can likely enjoy xanthan gum. The bacteria that grows our xanthan gum is fed wheat glucose. There is no gluten in our xanthan gum. 

Why use Xanthan Gum? This is a slightly bigger question. Xanthan gum works well in place of gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye and barley that some people cannot tolerate). Xanthan gum helps trap the air bubbles created by leavening agents (baking soda, baking powder, yeast) to allow your breads and baked goods to rise. It helps thicken liquids, which is why it is often found in salad dressings and sauces. This thickening action helps hold gluten free baked goods together and keeps them from becoming too crumbly.

How is it different from Guar Gum? We’ll do a whole post on Guar Gum soon, but a short answer is that they’re made from two different sources- xanthan gum from a bacteria and guar gum from a seed native to Asia. In the kitchen, there are important differences in using xanthan gum versus guar gum. In general, guar gum is good for cold foods such as ice cream or pastry fillings, while xanthan gum is better for baked goods, especially those that use yeast. Foods with a high acid content (such as lemon juice) can cause guar gum to lose its thickening abilities. For recipes involving citrus you will want to use xanthan gum. Read more about how they are different and similar in this post: Guar Gum vs Xanthan Gum.

How should I use Xanthan Gum? Generally, we recommend the following. Every recipe is different. Too little xanthan gum and your baked goods will be crumbly, too much and they’ll be rubbery. If you’re just getting started, we highly recommend following a recipe that calls for xanthan gum to get the hang of how much to use and when.

Cookies………………………………¼ teaspoon per cup of flour
Cakes and Pancakes………………..½ teaspoon per cup of flour
Muffins and Quick Breads………… ¾ teaspoon per cup of flour
Breads……………………………….1 to 1-½ teaspoons per cup of flour
Pizza Dough…………………..…… 2 teaspoons per cup of flour
For Salad Dressings…½ teaspoon Xanthan Gum per 8 oz. of liquid

For liquids, it is best to add xanthan gum to the oil component in a recipe, making complete mix of oil and gum before adding to the rest of liquid ingredients. Using a blender or a food processor is a great way to get the gums to dissolve properly.

Why does it cost so much? This answer is based on speculation, as it’s very hard to pinpoint why some ingredients are expensive. Based on what I know about our ingredients from our Purchasing Department, it is expensive because it is costly to produce (we’re talking specialized labs that must grow, then harvest, this ingredient) and there is a limited supply. Yes, it’s spendy at approximately $15 for a half-pound, but you use very little in a recipe and a bag should last you 6 months (depending on how much you bake).

What is it? Wednesday: Xanthan Gum | Bob's Red Mill

Xanthan gum is messy, what is the best way to clean it up? I find this question slightly amusing because gluten is very messy and hard to clean up, so it seems rather fitting that its replacement would be equally so. I couldn’t find any good tips for how to clean it up, but one customer did recommend sodium persulfate for cleaning up xanthan gum that has gelled with water. I don’t know who has this laying around the kitchen, but I don’t. I have also heard that peroxide is promising (turns out our awesome test kitchen gals are working on this), so you could try that. No matter what, it’s a total disaster. If you have a good tip, PLEASE SHARE IT WITH US!

How does it affect my body and why can’t some people tolerate it? There have not been any significant studies to determine what effect xanthan gum has on humans, but I did find a good article that talks about the studies that have been done. It appears that there is little to support xanthan gum being harmful to adults, but it should not be fed to infants.

More and more, I meet people who cannot have xanthan gum. It upsets their stomach, causes gas, bloating and diarrhea. These are not all people who follow a gluten free diet. I have heard from several gluten free customers who initially blamed their issues on gluten, but later realized it was actually the xanthan gum. The symptoms are very similar. You’ll see that more and more gluten free food bloggers are not using xanthan gum and are opting to use an alternative or leave it out altogether.

What are some alternatives to Xanthan Gum? First, there is guar gum. It works essentially the same way, but you typically use more guar gum than xanthan gum. The people who cannot tolerate xanthan gum often have similar issues with guar gum. Other people are using psyllium seed husk, chia seed, flaxseed or a combination of these. These work because of their high soluble fiber. When you add water, these ingredients gel up. This works well for binding and thickening for most recipes. Our friend Jean Layton, blogger and naturopath, swears by her Pixie Dust. Her recipe, found here, combines psyllium husk powder, flaxseeds and chia seeds and produces marvelous results (we should know, we tested it to find out!). Depending on the recipe, you can sometimes get away with just leaving it out. Some recipes will be just fine without it. It takes experimentation, but, hey, that’s what gluten free baking is all about!

I hope this helps clear up some of the major questions. As I said above, if you have any others, please, leave them in the comments and I’ll do my best to tackle them.

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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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Find Your Inner Goldilocks {Giveaway}

by Cassidy Stockton in Contests, Featured Articles

Happy *almost* February. How are those resolutions panning out? Hanging in there? At Bob’s Red Mill, we love this time of year.  We’ve hit the “reset” button after the holidays and, with a month under our belts, healthy eating and healthy living is starting to feel second nature and not an adventure in foreign cuisine. At least, we hope so. If you still feel like you’re slogging uphill towards your health goals, we’re here to help! 

It’s no joke that breakfast is the cornerstone of any healthy eating lifestyle. A good solid breakfast will fuel your mind and body for whatever road bumps life has to offer. What better way to do that than with one of our whole grain hot cereals? Not only are they jam-packed with whole grain nutrition, they are delicious, too. While many manufacturers pulverize grains into oblivion, only to reconstitute them with added fillers, enrichments, flavors and colors into shapes that look like grains, Bob’s Red Mill keeps it simple. We take a whole grain and break it into a few pieces, then we mix it with other whole grains, seeds and nuts to bring you cereals with exceptional flavor, no tricks or gimmicks—just whole grains, as nature intended.

Porridge with Cherries | Bob's Red Mill

The nutritional benefits of these hot cereals are obvious, but it’s easy to forget when you’re rushing through the morning. Whole grains, these living seeds, are perfectly tuned to human nutrition. They gift us with a wondrous combination of fiber, protein, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Choosing these cereals over other breakfast offerings will leave you and your family feeling satisfied, nourished and fully charged to face the day.

Real whole grain cereals need cooking—and it’s easy. Our whole grain cereals must be cooked to unlock their nourishing power, and all it takes is a pot of water and a little time. Taking a few minutes in the morning to lovingly prepare a hot, nourishing breakfast can bring back something missing from our busy, modern lives. It can be a time to find a quiet moment in an otherwise chaotic world. Really, what’s 10 minutes out of the 1440 minutes in a day? Instead of choosing a quick-fix breakfast, celebrate the time it takes to cook these whole grains and savor what might be the only quiet time you get all day.

We want to help you find your inner Goldilocks and we’re giving away FIVE hot cereal sets! Winner’s will have their choice of two cereals from our line up of 10 Grain Cereal, 8 Grain Cereal, Organic High Fiber Cereal, Whole Wheat Farina, Brown Rice Farina (GF) and Mighty Tasty Cereal (GF). To enter, simply follow the prompts below. Winners will be chosen at random from all who enter by 11:59 pm on 2/7/14.


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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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Birdspotter Recipe of the Week | Bob's Red Mill

Birdseed Stir Fry

by Cassidy Stockton in Birdspotter, Featured Articles, Recipes

For the second year, we’ve teamed up with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to bring bird lovers the ultimate birding photo contest. Each week we’re giving away prizes and sharing some of our favorite recipes, perfect for fueling a healthy, happy day of watching birds. Check back here each week for a great recipe, and don’t forget to vote on your favorites and enter your own photos in BirdSpotter!

***

When most people think of millet, they think of birdseed. After all, it is one of the main components of a wild bird seed blend. Millet is a great seed for certain birds, but Millet is also one of the most nutritious grains available for humans. Unlike most other grains, this versatile, gluten free grain is alkaline, which makes it easy to digest and helps balance the body’s natural tendency towards acidity. Millet is an excellent source of dietary fiber, making it a great solution for those looking to add more fiber to their gluten free diet. The light flavor of millet allows it to be sweet or savory, which means the possibilities are endless. This stir fry is simple, yet satisfying and is a great way to give millet a whirl for the first time.

Birdseed Stir Fry | Bob's Red Mill

Birdseed Stir Fry

  • 1/2 cup Hulled Millet
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 Tbsp Oil
  • 1 cup sliced Onion
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp minced fresh Ginger
  • 1 large head of Broccoli, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced Carrot
  • 5 oz canned Water Chestnuts
  • 1/4 cup Cashews, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Gluten Free Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Honey
  • 1 Tbsp Corn Starch

Directions

Step 1

Bring water and salt to a boil. Add millet and return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 35 – 40 minutes.

Step 2

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a wok or large pan. Add onion and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute. Add broccoli, carrots and water chestnut and cook until crisp-tender, 7 – 10 minutes. Add cashews and cooked millet.

Step 3

Combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey and cornstarch and pour over vegetables. Cook until dressing is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

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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: Flaxseed 101 + Flax Egg Replacer

by Cassidy Stockton in Featured Articles, Gluten Free, Health, What is it? Wednesday, Whole Grains 101

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. 

***

While chia seed may be the power seed darling in the media these days, we wanted to remind you about another fabulous power seed—flax seeds! Flax seeds are a wonderful source of omega-3′s offering up 1800 mg per 2 tablespoon serving. They are also a fantastic source of fiber, with a nice blend of insoluble and soluble fiber. 

Flaxseeds and Flaxseed Meal | Bob's Red Mill

Why are omega-3′s important anyway? Omega-3 fatty acids are broken down into three specific acids- ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). These acids work together to support brain development, the functioning of the immune system, cardiovascular health and are beneficial for healthy skin, hair and nails. How they work together is complicated, but the short version is that our bodies can make EPA and DHA, but cannot make ALA. ALA is the backbone for EPA and DHA, and must be consumed in our food. Read more about the interplay between these acids here.

The conversion of ALA into EPA and DHA is harder for the very young and the elderly, which means people in those categories have to be sure to get enough ALA in the first place. Fish, and their subsequent oil, are one of the most common sources of all three omega-3′s. Sure, that’s great, but that doesn’t work for vegetarians or vegans. Also, have you tried fish oil? Gross. That’s why brands now market lemon and strawberry flavored fish oil so you can eat it and not taste the fish. I love fish, don’t get me wrong, but I’m not a fan of a fish-flavored salad. I digress… There are many plant-based sources of ALA (which, let me remind you, your body will turn into EPA and DHA) including FLAX seeds, chia seed, hemp seeds, sesame seeds, walnuts, and, I just learned today, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts (albeit not as much as the seeds).

Why would you pick flax seeds over any other plant-based source? Flax is an excellent source of dietary fiber. Coupled with the omega-3, the soluble fiber and insoluble fiber work together to absorb and remove cholesterol from the blood stream (healthy heart!) and keep your digestive house neat and tidy. Yes, chia seeds will do that, too, but flax seed is much more affordable and just as effective. You just need to be sure to eat ground flax seed. The flax plant is solely interested in propagating the world with more flax plants, and the human body cannot break down the flax seed. You get virtually no benefit from eating the whole seeds, though they are quite tasty.

flaxseed brochure cover

Luckily for you, Bob’s Red Mill mills whole flax seeds for you. Our flax seed meal is freshly milled using a technology that maintains the cool temperatures needed to keep the oil from oxidizing. I can’t speak for all other brands, but many brands press the oil from the seeds before grinding, so you’re not really getting the whole package as nature intended. We offer several varieties- brown, golden and organic versions of both. The only difference between the two colors is just that, the color. Some prefer the golden for baked goods, as it blends better.

Flaxseed meal is very versatile and is an excellent egg replacer in baked goods (recipe below) and can be sprinkled on salads, hot cereal, smoothies. Some folks around here just mix their 2 tablespoons into water or juice and drink it like an elixir. Personally, I prefer the mixed-in route. We have loads of great recipes for how to incorporate this power house seed into your diet on our website. Be sure to snag a $1.00 off coupon on our homepage, as well.

Flaxseed Meal “Egg”

For one egg, combine 1 Tbsp of Flaxseed Meal with 3 Tbsp of water. Let stand 3-5 minutes. Use as you would an egg in baking. This works best for muffins, quick breads, cookies, pancakes, etc. It is not the best choice for a cake, which relies heavily on eggs for rising or anything that has a fine, delicate texture.

1235C164_FlaxseedMeal_f_HighRes

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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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macaroni and cheese

Meatless Mondays: Vegan Cheese Sauce + Feeding a Toddler

by Cassidy Stockton in Featured Articles, Meatless Mondays, Recipes

Over the last few months, I have been on a journey to figure out what was causing my 15 month old’s seemingly endless bout of eczema. The itchy, dry, red rash covered his whole body and nothing was helping. After multiple visits with his pediatrician, a dermatologist, and an allergist, we were doing a heavy regimen of steroids, lotions and antihistamines. Nothing was working very well and the idea of keeping my little one on steroids and antihistamines indefinitely was NOT on my agenda for his childhood. Finally, I decided to visit a naturopath. I knew that there had to be a deeper reason for this skin issue than “kids just have it.” With her help, we tried a few remedies, starting by removing dairy from his diet, then adding on a probiotic, vitamin D, and a healthy dose of omega-3′s daily.

Within a few weeks, his skin had completely cleared up. We do not know which of the remedies was the most helpful, but, we are not changing a thing. It worked. That’s all that matters. In this line of work, I am not surprised that food interventions coupled with a probiotic and omega-3′s changed his chemistry for the better. I talk to people every day who have seen huge improvements in their health by adding omega-3′s in the form of flax and chia or by removing dairy or gluten. Food is medicine.

macaroni and cheese

All of this is to say that we had a heck of a time figuring out how to feed a toddler when milk is out of the question. Not that he ate a ton of milk-based foods, but string cheese was his favorite snack and macaroni and cheese was a special, much beloved, meal. After buying a box of non dairy mac and cheese (at $4 a pop!), I realized that the “cheese” powder was pretty darn similar to this recipe for “Cheese” Sauce. I thought I’d give it a whirl. It was a big hit over whole wheat macaroni, and worked well for enticing my son to eat broccoli and other veggies. Plus, I like that I can control what is in it. He gets some bonus B-vitamins and (in my house) we replace the margarine with coconut oil to increase the good fats my son is missing out on from not drinking whole milk at this age. While I still haven’t mastered feeding the picky toddler, at least I have some mac and “cheese” to fall back on. 

Nutritional Yeast “Cheese” Sauce

This sauce is great for nachos, vegetables, potatoes, sandwich spread (just a dab), well, just about anywhere you might like some cheesy, saucy goodness. 

Nutritional Yeast

  • 1 tsp Mustard
  • 1/4 cup Margarine, Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
  • 2 cups Cold Water
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/2 cup Unbleached White Flour
  • 1/2 cup Nutritional Yeast

Whisk together in a heavy bottomed sauce pan:

  • 1/2 cup Nutritional Yeast Flakes
  • 1/2 cup Unbleached White Flour
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt

Place pan over medium-high heat and whisk in:

  • 2 cups cold Water

Continue whisking as sauce thickens, bring to a rolling boil, reduce heat, cook 1 minute, remove from heat.

Whisk in:

  • 1/4 cup Margarine or Oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard

Sauce will thicken as it cools, but thins down when heated.

Makes 8 servings.

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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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Birdspotter Recipe of the Week | Bob's Red Mill

BirdSpotting Granola Bars

by Cassidy Stockton in Birdspotter, Featured Articles, Recipes

For the second year, we’ve teamed up with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to bring bird lovers the ultimate birding photo contest. Each week we’re giving away prizes and sharing some of our favorite recipes, perfect for fueling a healthy, happy day of watching birds. Check back here each week for a great recipe, and don’t forget to vote on your favorites and enter your own photos in BirdSpotter!

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These granola bars are so easy to make and so delicious, you’ll wonder why you ever bought all of those packaged granola bars in the first place. With three types of coconut (trust us on this), chocolate chips, dried apricots and dried cherries, it would be easy to mistake these healthy treats for cookies. They are the perfect fuel for a mid-morning snack, a nice treat in a lunch box or a great take-along for birding adventures.  Our bakery makes these every week and they are a favorite of customers and employees, selling out faster than you can say “Blue-Footed Booby.”

BirdSpotter Granola Bars

BirdSpotting Granola Bars

Directions

In a large bowl, mix together the coconut, flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, oats, chocolate chips, apricots, almonds, cherries and seeds.

Mix flaxseed meal and water; let stand for a few minutes.

Combine the molasses, sunflower oil and vanilla. Add the flaxseed meal mixture and mix thoroughly. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir to combine. Press dough into a greased 9 x 13-inch baking pan and bake at 350°F for 15 minutes. Let cool before cutting. Makes 32 bars.

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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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Cannellini Bean Spread | Bob's Red Mill

Meatless Mondays: Cannellini Bean Spread

by Cassidy Stockton in Meatless Mondays, Recipes

Christmas is around the corner and that means you likely have company coming to you (or are heading out). Either way, this is a delicious appetizer that works for most dietary restrictions and is sure to please picky palates. This spread goes well with veggies and crackers, and is pretty simple to whip up.  A fabulous alternative to hummus, this spread uses creamy cannellini beans in place of garbanzo beans. The inclusion of carrots adds a subtle sweetness that pairs beautifully with rosemary and thyme. Drizzle with high quality olive oil and you have a classy, different appetizer sure to wow your guests (or hosts).

Note: This time of year, soaking and cooking dried beans might not be feasible, so you can opt to use canned Cannellini beans or even Great Northern beans in this recipe. Freshly cooked beans add something to this recipe, but we’ll look the other way… just this once.

Cannellini Bean Spread | Bob's Red Mill

Cannellini Bean Spread with Rosemary

  • 1-1/4 cups Cannellini Beans
  • 1/2 cup Onion, chopped
  • 1 Carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried Sage
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 large Garlic Clove, peeled
  • 2-inch fresh Rosemary Sprig
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 4 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Directions

Soak the cannellini beans overnight in cold water to cover by 2 inches. Drain the beans and rinse them. Put them in a pot with the onion, carrot, sage, bay leaf, garlic clove, and enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until tender, 1 to 1-1/2 hours depending on the age of the beans. Add the rosemary sprig to the pot, stir, and set aside for 15 minutes.

Drain the water from the bean mixture, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Remove the bay leaf and rosemary sprig, and discard. Transfer the bean mixture to a food processor and pulse on and off, adding a bit of cooking liquid if necessary, until the beans are mostly smooth. With the machine running, pour 2 tablespoons of the oil into the processor, blend until smooth. Transfer dip to a serving bowl, drizzle with remaining olive oil and serve.

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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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