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food: juicer pulp in baking

my mission to use up my pulp from my juicer is slow going…
almost every internet source i’ve found so far is based around carrot pulp.  and frankly, i feel like thats the easiest one to figure out.

my orange juice this morning gave me a couple cups of pulp… that really, is low on flavour but definitely high on fibre.
so i was going to add some of it to a blueberry muffin recipe i have that usually contains orange oil and orange juice.  i figured it was the easy fix.

but my hesitation is that its hard to find out how much i can add before i throw the recipe out of whack.
muffins can be a precarious business if you don’t have your wet to dry ratio right.  and most of the mentions seemed to be “i added my pulp to muffins” which obviously is lacking in specifics and makes me wonder if these people even do these things or if they just like to say they do online.

but at last i found a mention online that said you should be able to add 1/4 – 1/2 cup of pulp to any recipe without having to change the rest of the recipe.  and thats news i can use.

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so i started out on my muffin mission… but as i was pulling ingredients from the cupboard, i found this box mix from trader joe’s.

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all you add is 2 eggs, 1/2 cup of oil and a cup of water.  so i decided to short cut this bitch and just do the box for my first attempt at pulp adding.

naturally, since i don’t use vegetable oil, i subbed in coconut oil… and added a little coconut mana for fun too… then i added in 1/2 cup of orange pulp and baked it as per the box.

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the results look lovely and smell divine, but i’ll have to report back on the taste test because i sent it out of town with my darling husband.

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baking: paleo zucchini muffins

if there’s one baked good that i have a serious soft spot for it’s a really nice zucchini bread.
preferably the kind with chocolate and/or chocolate chips in it.

and wouldn’t you know it… it’s zucchini season.

sadly, my 3 zucchini plants are not yielding bounty like i had hoped.
they appear to have some sort of pest… maybe a fungus? i don’t know.
but all my zucchinis get about an inch long and then shrivel up and die.
so it’s a good thing that zucchinis are local and cheap right now – $.69 a pound – bargain!

so… i kinda bought 2 pounds of them. and then another pound of yellow zucchinis.

but i have plans.

i found this recipe that sounded seriously yummy.
and i thought it was worth testing out.
after all, it did come to my inbox courtesy of nom nom paleo, which never steers me wrong…

Recipe: Perfect Paleo Zucchini Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2.5 cups almond butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 c. shredded zucchini, strained or squeezed
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon (GOOD quality makes a huge difference)

Instructions

  1. Add all items to a mixing bowl in order and stir.
  2. Pour into paper-lined muffin tins (trust me, this is a step you don’t want to skip).
  3. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes or until slightly brown on edges and passes the toothpick test.
  4. Makes 12 muffins.

ummm… ya.
these muffins are fucking incredible.
this is probably the best baked zucchini item i’ve ever had.
period.  paleo or not.

i did make a few slight tweaks to the above recipe…
i added about a tablespoon of raw agave syrup for a bit more sweetness and i also added a 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips.
and i didn’t have 2.5 cups of almond butter, i only had 2 cups.  but it still worked magically.
i also used trader joe’s almond butter with sea salt in it because it was all i had.
the only real difference was that i had to cook them for 21 minutes before they were done.

but i just absolutely annihilated one.  …and i’m thinking about going back for a repeat performance.
they’re light and cakey and sweet and chocolaty and so frigging good!
i’ll admit that there’s been a bit of my paleo baking adventures have netted me some puck-like results… but this was not one of them.  in fact, i would bet money that not very many people would peg this as a flour-free product.

i’ve never cooked with almond butter before… although i’ve cooked with almond flour lots… i just didn’t realize this was a “thing” that one could do.
so, awesome learning experience.

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food: coconut banana bread with lime glaze

the banana and i have a love/hate relationship.
well… more accurately its a tolerated/hate relationship.
i’m not a lover of the banana (wait – did that sound weird?) and my palate is especially offended by faux banana flavourings.
maybe it harkens back to days of the medicine not-so-cleverly-disguised.
or maybe its just gross.

as for the banana itself… i avoid it.
years back i had my gallbladder removed and prior to that surgery i was suffering from some pretty regular and horrible heartburn.  the banana was a prime culprit.
even a bit of banana in anything would cause me a pretty significant amount of suffering.
so i stopped eating them.
you know, like someone who has the capacity to learn a lesson might.

but then i had my surgery, recovered, and found i could eat some foods i’d been avoiding.
so i decided to give the old banana another chance.
this my friends, was a mistake.
i don’t have the capacity to accurately describe the acute pain i experienced, but i would akin it to having your internal organs in a vice.
i experienced straight up violent pain.
like stabbing cramping pains so painful i felt nauseous and had to lay down.
cold sweats, shaking hands kind of pain.
fun times.

but, i thought to myself, it must have been something else that factored in.  i mean, how could a banana, a piece of fruit for pete’s sake,  make me have such an awful reaction?
so i tried it again.  and again.
and i literally ate a banana every day for a two week period trying to convince myself it was not the source of this ridiculous agony.

but, it really was.
i can’t eat bananas.
i don’t know what it does to my insides, but i kinda figure its taking some sort of blender to them.

so, this recipe, is not for me.
in fact, since it’s a “healthy” recipe, but still contains the wheat, its definitely not for me.

but, recently my mom made this and i had to sneak a piece.
because when you put lime & coconut in the same thing, well that my friends, is magic time.

and i won’t fuck around here.  this recipe is outstanding.
so if you’re a banana bread lover, get in there.
because this was even worth me laying on the couch all night moaning in pain on account of wheat meets banana (terrible idea natalie.)

Coconut Banana Bread with Lime Glaze

Cooking Light SEPTEMBER 2007

  • Yield: 1 loaf, 16 servings (serving size: 1 slice)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (about 9 ounces)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
  • 1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup flaked sweetened coconut
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon flaked sweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.

Place granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana, yogurt, rum, and vanilla; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist. Stir in 1/2 cup coconut.

Spoon batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon coconut. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan.

Combine powdered sugar and juice, stirring with a whisk; drizzle over warm bread. Cool completely on wire rack.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving

  • Calories: 193
  • Calories from fat: 21%
  • Fat: 4.6g
  • Saturated fat: 2.8g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 1.1g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.3g
  • Protein: 2.9g
  • Carbohydrate: 35g
  • Fiber: 1.1g
  • Cholesterol: 35mg
  • Iron: 1mg
  • Sodium: 179mg
  • Calcium: 15mg

food: adventures in gluten free baking

i know i’ve said i don’t want to become one of those “substitution products” people, but i also have a curiosity about this junk.
and sometimes, when things go on sale for $0.99 i become powerless against them.

the heath food store beside my office has been an excellent source of things i need and things that i definitely don’t need.
for instance, when i need a snack, they have raw nut mixes in convenient containers.
they also have gluten free cookies.
see… need vs want.

the health food store also heavily discounts products close to their expiry date.  and this is where i’m most prone to splurge on crap that i really don’t need.
and they definitely suckered me in the other day… so here’s my bounty of baked good mixes and such…

first off, the famed $0.99 muffin mix.

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it required me to add an egg, buttermilk, lemon zest, butter & blueberries.
so it was actually pretty similar to the muffin recipe i used to use.

the dough/batter was very thick.  like, i used my fingers to put it into the muffin cups.  but it actually made a “normal looking muffin” for all intents and purposes.
i got 12 small(normal sized?)  muffins from it and they were not bad at all.

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the texture is on the crumbly side, but the flavour is pretty good overall.  they are vastly improved by heating them and slathering them with butter.  but really, what isn’t?

the iron test?  my husband ate 4 of them fresh out of the oven with minimal complaints on them… really the texture and “hard to eat with your hands/requires a plate” was the only real issue he had.

so overall, a fun experiment, but i’m honestly not much of a muffin person to begin with, so i don’t think i’d rush out and buy something like this again.

my other discount baking purchases were: a cornbread mix

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and a cake mix.

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the cornbread mix will get my usual cornbread treatment… meaning i will throw in a shitload of cheddar, chipotles and green onions and that will make anything awesome.
so i anticipate that one going well.  i mean, cornmeal muffins have little flour in them to begin with, so really, how bad could this be?

and the chocolate cake mix will be made and slathered with terribly unhealthy icing and so i also anticipate that one going well.  but i’ll let you know.

my other purchase that day, and the only one i paid full price for is coconut flour:

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i’m actually pretty excited about this one. couple reasons…
first off, this and almond flour are the only real “paleo-approved” baking flours that are easy to come across.
and second, i just flat out love coconut, so i’d probably use this product anyways, regardless of any dietary restrictions.

it was not cheap.  i paid $14 for 1kg of it and i have no idea if that’s a good price or a bad price… i’ll admit, i did no research.  mostly because i have no idea where else to get it, and overall i’ve found this store’s pricing to be competitive, so i just assumed this was as well.

anyways, i have yet to crack open the bag, but i’m pretty stoked on some of the recipes that i’ve come across for using it.  people LOVE this shit.  there’s whole blogs dedicated to it.  so i assume i will also adore.

 

lastly, and maybe this should go in the “shame category” from my previous blog… but holy cracker, i found THE BEST cookies ever.
of course, those assholes at trader joe’s make them.  and they are so freaking delicious it’s not even fair.

they’re so buttery and crispy and they literally melt in your mouth with magic.
you should buy them.  even if you eat wheat.

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