25 March 2014

Rejuvelac Beginnings.

Check out how to make your very own Rejuvelac. A fermented, probiotic-rich drink made from sprouted grains!

Cover 1/2 cup of wheat berries in filtered water and allow to soak overnight. I chose to use wheat berries, but feel free to try quinoa, buckwheat, rye berries, etc. Just don't use rice.

Sprouting time! To sprout the berries, strain and rinse the wheat berries and add just enough fresh water to keep the berries moist. Rinse and strain the berries a few times a day until they sprout. Sprouting time greatly depends on the grain you choose to use, the season and temperature of your room. My wheat berries sprouted in 3 days. You'll know when they're ready once they sprout a little tail about half the length of the grain.

Strain, rinse and transfer the berries to a very clean 1L Mason jar. Fill the jar to the top with filtered water and cover with a clean towel or a couple layers of cheesecloth. Allow the soon-to-be rejuvelac to ferment at room temperature for about 2-3 days depending on how tangy you want it. Make sure to keep your jar away from any direct sunlight. Give it a good stir with a clean spoon once a day. The water will gradually become cloudy and will taste fresh, lemony and fermented when ready. This water can now be called rejuvelac!

Strain out the wheat berries and keep the liquid! You can reuse the berries for another batch of rejuvelac if you want. It will only need to be fermented for 1-2 days this time around.

The rejuvelac can be refrigerated for up to a week.

I've read about crushing the sprouted berries before fermenting them which sounds really interesting! I think I will try that method next time. Also, instead of using water as the fermenting liquid, try using soy milk, coconut milk or fresh almond milk. The resulting milk will be nice and thick, almost like a cream.

Check out these pics of my process!

Soaked wheat berries.

Sprouting the berries.

Sprouting the berries.

Still sprouting the berries.

These sprouted berries are ready to go!

Day 1 of fermentation.
Day 2 of fermentation.
Day 3 of fermentation. Ready!

Smoothie Life

A new fave smoothie (not Pepto..) : Strawberry Cream & Basil! This was inspired by a cherished NYC falafel shop that I went to way back in 2006 or 2007.

Throw the following in the Vita-Mix and blend, blend blend! For about 1 minute.
300g strawberries, partially frozen
About 1 cup of homemade almond milk* or however much you need to get the blender going
Coconut cream or butter** (I made my own!)
1 large medjool date
1 Tbsp white chia seeds
5 fresh basil leaves

*How to make homemade almond milk:
-Cover raw almonds with water and allow to sit overnight or at least for a couple of hours.
-Drain, rinse and peel or don't peel the almonds.
-Add almonds to Vita-Mix and add just enough water to achieve a milk-y consistency. Blend until super smooth.
-Pour the liquid through cheese cloth, sieve or a nut milk bag if you have one! Squeeze the pulp to extract as much milk as possible. Store in a jar in the fridge for 5-6 days.
-Once pulp is strained out, you can return the milk to the blender and sweeten it with a date or 2, agave, maple or sugar. You can also add a pinch of salt or a couple drops of vanilla! Or any flavorings for that matter! Go nuts! haha..

**How to make homemade coconut butter:
-Choose the best quality/best tasting untoasted shredded coconut. You"ll need to use at least 1 cup to get the best results..
-Add the coconut to the Vita-Mix with just enough liquid of your choice (water, rice milk, etc) to get the blender going. Try to add as little liquid as possible to end up with a really thick butter.
-Blend for at least 5 minutes or until completely smooth.
-Pour into a jar and refrigerate for up to a week, or maybe longer. Mine hasn't lasted long enough for me know! FYI, once the coconut butter has been chilled for a couple of hours it will firm up significantly.
-You can use this cream in smoothies (obviously), soups, curries, on toast, etc. Yum!

Enjoy your life!

04 March 2014

This and that from back in time. And seitan!

From now on, my rare blog posts will force you to scroll on for ages.  Sarry!

Christmas chestnuts that I ate a Christmas time.

Donut cake. GF.
Moldy lemon juice. ew.
Chlorophyllic H2O

Croissant looking pastries. Apricot and Raspberry.
Recipe here.
Ferrero style somethings.

Annnnnnndddd, a recipe. Just because! I've really been into seitan lately. Wheat meat. Pure, delicious gluten. My body pretty much hates it, but I don't really care.

Here's a basic recipe for simple tasting wheat chunks.

Seitan- 2 ways!
1 cup vital wheat gluten (Bob's Red Mill is available in most health food stores)
5 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 cup water
4 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari (full sodium)
1 Tbsp ketchup and or mustard
1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp fennel seeds

The simmering broth :
5 cups water 
Salt, garlic powder, black pepper, Bay leaves, thyme, etc. Basically enough spices to make a yummy, salty tasting broth. Or just use 5 cups of veggie broth.

In a covered medium sized pot, bring spices and water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, remove lid from pot and reduce heat so that the water is at a simmer. This is important because you don't want to boil the seitan, you just want to simmer it so that you don't end up with water logged gluten balls. Now prepare the seitan!

Combine the first five ingredients in a large bowl. Knead the dough with your hands for about 4 minutes or until the gluten turns very elastic and spongy. Divide the dough into 4 or however many portions you desire. Knead each portion a little more and form into semi-falt, smooth disks. Drop them into the simmering water and set a timer for 40 minutes! Keep an eye on the water to make sure it doesn't ever boil. Once it's done, let the seitan cool in the broth and refrigerate once cool enough. It will keep this way for about a week. Or you can use it while it's still hot.

I usually slice up the seitan balls into thin strips and fry them up in a littleuntoasted sesame oil with garlic, allspice, nutritional yeast, green onions and sesame seeds until crispy! e and repeat with left over seitan. If you haven't already cooked it all at this point, just store in the fridge in its broth. It should keep for about a week!

Another option is to bake the seitan instead of simmering it! Baking seitan gives it a firmer texture, kind of like pepperoni. To do this, prepare the seitan as you normally would. But instead of preparing the broth and simmering it, wrap it up in a layer of parchment paper and foil and form it into a log shape. Roll the seitan up in the papers and twist the ends to hold in the dough. Careful not to wrap it up too tightly though, the seitan will expand as it bakes.

Bake the log in a preheated, 350 degrees F oven for about 40 minutes. Remove log from the oven and remove the foil and parchment paper. Slice and enjoy the seitan as is, or slice up and fry up! Check out these pics of my seitan making :

PS: Next post will probably be about cheez.

16 November 2013

Good Saturday morning, all!

I finally received the new Ms. Cupcake (hardcover!) cookbook in the mail all the way from England!

And it's just been sitting on my coffee table for a couple of weeks... Tragic! And unlike me.

I've been following this British, retro, vegan bakery on Instagram for the last while and their photos have been so inspiring! And so far... with one recipe tested... I have not been let down! It just makes me want to visit the actual shop even more than I thought I did!

So, as I was saying... this lovely book has just been lying around for a while now.  I've definitely been thinking and planning on cracking it open to bake up something magical... like their delicious looking lemon curd slices, custard nanaimo bars, jaffa cakes, jammy dodgers, bakewell tart cupcakes, blah blah blah, you get the picture!  But it's just been a little difficult for this baker to bake on her (very limited!) time off! These days, it's pretty much the last thing on my mind. Sore wrists and all...

But turns out this morning was the perfect time! I'm running a little low on exciting ingredients at the moment, so I made basic chocolate chip cookies! They've got a nice crisp exterior and a chewy centre. I like my cookies to be a little on the flatter/crispier side so I flattened them more than was instructed in the book's directions. They also had a great flavor thanks to the abundance of vanilla and use of brown sugar!  Judging by this recipe... the rest of the recipes are sure to be equally outstanding! If you can nail a super basic recipe like classic choc chip cookies, then you can do anything! Good job Ms. Cupcake! :)

Here's the recipe if you want to give it a try for yourself

Ms. Cupcake's Chocolate Chip Cookiesmakes 16 large cookies

1 Tbsp egg replacer powder, I like Ener-G brand
3 Tbsp lukewarm water

150g non dairy butter, room temperature
75g vegetable shortening, room temperature
150g cane sugar, or use white sugar
170g light brown sugar
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract

300g all purpose flour, I like La Milanaise organic all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
100-150g dark chocolate chips or chunks, I like minimal chocolate chips in my cookies :)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg replacer powder and the water until frothy and set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, using electric beaters, to cream the butter, shortening, sugars and vanilla until combined.
To this creamed mixture, add the egg mix to the mixing bowl along with the flour, baking powder, baking soda and chocolate chips.
Stir to combine using either a spatula or a electric beaters.
You should have a nice soft, play dough textured dough! Feel free to taste test since it's egg free! Yummy!
Using an ice cream scoop, scoop 16 balls of cookie dough onto 2 separate cookie sheets. Flatten to half an inch if you want flatter, crisper cookies, or barely flatten at all if you prefer plumper, chewier cookies.
Bake for 12 minutes or until slightly golden. If you bake until they are darker brown, they will be very crispy once cooled.
It's up to you! :)