Friday, September 21, 2012

No Need to Fret with No-Knead Bread!

Do you, or someone in your household, bake this fragrant, hearty, genuine crusty bread?  The particular loaf above is a rye bread with caraway seeds in it.  It has a crispy, crunchy crust and a hole-y crumb (inside of the bread).  I baked it using the fantastic recipe and videos from Breadtopia AND my brand new favourite tool (read: kitchen toy) called LaCloche (you can see it in the background.)  It's a stoneware, or clay (or you can use enameled cast iron) "baker" that comes in two parts: a baking 'pan' base (more like a cake pan in shape) and a heavy lid.

Available from Amazon. Click Above.
The LaCloche simulates baking your bread in a clay oven (the highlight of Pioneer Days in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan was the delicious bread the Hutterites baked in an earthen/clay oven behind their booth).

This rye bread is no-knead... that means you don't thump and knead it as part of the process.  It's made with quite a lot of water, and allowed to rise twice.  The first rising is for eighteen (18) hours.

My husband is of German extraction and rye bread for him is comfort food heaven.

The recipe and a how-to video for this bread can be found HERE.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Upside-Down Vegan Banana Cake

So, I made this delicious Upside Down Banana Cake adapting a recipe from the blog US Masala I saw on Pinterest-- dee-lish-us!  I did lots of substitutions to the original, but I'm sure it tasted just as good, but not better.  This is a great way to use up 3 or 4 over-ripe bananas.  I made fresh apple sauce in my Vitamix, but you can, of course, use the ready-made stuff.  And I used both coconut oil instead of butter and coconut oil (melted) instead of the oil called for in the original recipe.  AND, I made full use of my food processor, as usual.  But other than that, well, it could be the same recipe.
For the Upside-Down Layer:

  • 3 ripe bananas, cut in 1/2" pieces
  • 1/4 C. Brown Sugar
  • 3 T. Melted Coconut Oil
For the Cake:
  • 1 C. Unbleached Flour  (or sub 1 1/2 C. GF mix for this and the tapioca starch)
  • 1/2 C. Tapioca Starch
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp. Organic Cinnamon
  • 5 T. Coconut Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla (I used Vanilla Powder)
  • 1 C. Coconut Milk 
  • 1/2 C. Organic Apple Sauce (I made mine in blender, raw, from 2 diced apples)
  • 1 very ripe Banana
  • Set Oven to 350F
  • Combine the melted Coconut Oil and Brown Sugar in the bottom of a 9" round cake pan (I used a silicon pan, so if you are using a metal/glass pan, spray with DIY cooking oil
  • Cover the syrupy bottom of the pan with the sliced bananas
  • Combine the Flour, Tapioca Starch, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Sea Salt, Cinnamon, Coconut Sugar and Powdered Vanilla (if using) in the Food Processor and combine with a couple of pulses.  Put this dry combo into a small bowl.
  • Combine the 'wet' stuff in the Food Processor until the banana is puree-- Coconut Milk, Apple Sauce, Banana, and Vanilla (if using the liquid)
  • Put dry ingredients back into the food processor and with a limited number of pulses, combine (just until moistened)
  • Pour over the banana layer
  • Put in oven for 40-45 minutes
  • Cool on a rack and then carefully turn over.  You might want to use a silicone pan (a treat) or perhaps a cheesecake pan or just put parchment paper on the bottom and sides of your pan for easy removal of the cake
Hope you enjoy it!  We sure did!

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Bushels of Salads...

Every Girl Should Know How To Make A Salad
I have had a lovely summer... and lots of great salads! Above is a picture of my 6-year old granddaughter making a salad -- what I want her to be skilled at in the kitchen, actually.  In my day it was an omelet.  But we vegans have different ideas about what is appropriate! If you want to see a pile of excellent salad recipes why not go to my Pinterest Salad Board and 'follow' it?  There are great recipes for salads on there right now, and a bunch more to come!  You could have a different salad every day of the! (Keep them organic of course!)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Imagine this Beauty in your Garden!

Wow, I just ran across this gorgeous stained glass structure while doing my early morning peruse of PinterestCan you imagine anything so beautiful in your own garden?  Can you imagine yourself inside of this enchanting art piece: the sun streaming through and reflecting all the colors, blending them-- what if there was sunshine AND rain falling: imagine the rainbows!  This is the inspirational and beautiful idea-filled material you will find on Pinterest... are you part of it yet?  If not, why ever not?  Follow me and I'll follow you!

If you are the photographer/artist/owner of this image, let me know and I will credit you or delete it from my blog.  The same disclaimor is on the Tumblr blog where I got this from.

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Friday, June 29, 2012

How to Lose Weight and Stay Healthy at 60+

Anyone out there who is over sixty (or maybe just over 50) knows how hard it is to take off weight and keep it off .  Weight loss is harder for older people than you might think... or that is, healthy weight loss.   So I was absolutely thrilled to read about how Low Fat Vegan Frederic Patenaude's mother, who is in the 55+  age group, lost 55 pounds in just 8 months (she still has another 15 to go to reach her ideal).    I'm excited because Frederic talks about what his mom now eats and what she avoids eating, and it really isn't too different from moi!  It actually fits in very closely with what most of us saw in the film "Forks Over Knives" or what you can get from Dr. Michael Greger at
So, do you wonder why it is so hard to lose weight when you are over 55? Speaking from experience, I think it is a combination of really jumbled up eating "habits" (yo-yo dieting, eating the wrong things, over-eating even the right things, rewarding habits (hmm... I've had such a crappy week I deserve XXX or I've done so well this week I deserve XXX and other 'habits' more closely affiliated with your life.) It gets harder (or for me) to make permanent changes the older I get. The traffic on those neuron highways in my brain that I use all the time is solid gridlock.

So, what wonderful news about Frederic's mom, for her, Frederic, and all of us who are battling the bulge into our twilight years... click to read the blog post where Frederic talks about the foods his mom eats, the ones she avoids, and what sort of exercise she gets. (Also see the beautiful Before and After pics of his mom!)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Organic Gardening in my Yard and Garden- Early June 2012

The following pictures are of aspects of our front, side and backyard that I have been working in/on.  Today was a splendid point-and-shoot picture-taking day.
Ancient Apple Tree with Comfrey and Digitalis at its base attempting to nurse it back to wellness.
This almost looks like it could be some cutesy flower box on Pinterest, doesn't it? It's really our deck step with weeds poking through-- shame, shame!
Lupins in the sideyard where no one gets to see them-- therefore, do they exist? (next 2 pics also)

Our expanded "Kidney garden" in the front... the multi-colored orange bark mulch was recentlly laid down
and will, I hope, have more interesting features as time goes on.  Daylilies, catnip, irises, fragrant Asian lilies, lavender, and other stuff grows here.  In the mulched area is a fig  tree (bearing this year we hope) and an infant Azalea I bought last year at Canadian Tire.  It had a nice show of magenta blossoms in the earlier Spring.
The Fig Tree with our late-blooming Rhodo in the background (left).

Thornless Blackberry-- a gift from our dear deceased Pastor, Gordon Smedley.  It bears prolifically.
These multi-hued Coat of Many Colours Roses bloom in our front yard from early Spring until late Autumn.  It is said that they came from a slip from the Rose Garden at the Empress Hotel in Victoria and many of our neighbours have the same roses, thanks to the green thumb brilliance of the original owner of our home back in the 80s.

These delicious lemondrop-scented heritage Irises came from a jaunt 
to Seedy Sunday  in Nanaimo in March. 

A Hens-and-Chicks succulent that our son retrieved from a florist dump
A little club-nosed strawberry in the front flowerbed, very close to where people walk.  
I'll go bring it in for supper.

Thanks for looking!  Sorry that there wasn't anything in the way of organic veggies in this self-indulgent foray!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Eat Less, Sleep More, Improve Your Memory!

Paul Nison is right when he says these are not new findings (that overeating leads to memory loss). In 1983 Agatha Thrash published her vegetarian cookbook called "Eat for Strength". The title is taken from the Bible verse that reads: "Blessed are you, O land, whose king is of nobility and whose princes eat at the appropriate time-- for strength and not for drunkenness." -Ecclesiastes 10:17, New American Standard Bible (1995) This also speaks to Daniel and his fellow captives who had dedicated themselves to the Lord and refused all the fit-for-a-king rich food that was offered to them in Babylon. Less is more. People who live longer with their wits about them are frequently shown to eat pretty simply and mainly from a plant-based source.

Paul Nison is a Messianic Jew and a high raw vegan. He is quite careful about how he eats and bases much of what he eats on Biblical principles.

Drunkenness in terms of eating, quite shockingly, refers to how the body processes excess starches to become sugar, which in turn, become alcohol... another expression for drunkenness is "intoxication"... being made toxic.

Paul's book, The Daylight Diet, talks more about eating less and getting more rest as part of a good longevity regimen.

Organic Granny's RECIPE INDEX

Organic Granny's RECIPE INDEX
Mostly Vegan & Gluten-Free Recipes