3/16/17

Homemade Pumpkin Bread - Flour Free, Sugar Free & made with healthy Flax Seed


Re-posting:  I have guests coming tomorrow to stay for 3-4 days and I currently have this bread baking in the oven; a perfect tasting and moist pumpkin bread that we love because it's flour free and sugar free but guests love because it's just plain GOOD.  They don't even know it's 'healthy' unless they ask or we tell them.

There are two ingredients I like to cook with because I know they make almost anything they are added to moist, and will probably (more than likely) always turn out.  Cocoa and pumpkin.  Cocoa powder in cookies always makes the most delicious and chewy never-dry-out cookies and pumpkin does the same in breads and bars.  I'm a fan of quick breads - from zucchini to pumpkin and everything in between.  On my pumpkin bread I like to smear it with a bit of cream cheese icing as it is then just like a yummy pumpkin bar.  But the bread is so good and so moist, you don't need to top it with anything if you don't wish to.

This bread is also very, very healthy!  Ground flax seeds have a nutty taste and are a noted health-giving digestive aid. They are also high in fiber and are powerful natural cholesterol controllers. In a 2 Tablespoon serving size (13 grams) the fiber content is 1.33 grams of Soluble Fiber and 2.67 grams of Insoluble Fiber. Ground Flax seeds are a good source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids, with 2 Tablespoons having 2400 mg of Omega 3. 

Pumpkin Bread

1 1/2 c Golden Flaxseed Meal
1/3 c coconut flour
1 c almond flour
1/4 c brown sugar substitute
1/2 c Erythritol
1/3 c whey protein powder (unflavored or vanilla)
2 1/2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t Xanthan Gum
1 1/2 t pumpkin pie spice (or use 1 t cinnamon, 1/4 t ginger and 1/4 t cloves and dash nutmeg)
1/2 t salt
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
5 eggs
1/4 c coconut oil
1/3 c almond milk (unsweetened)
15-25 drops liquid sweetener
1 t vanilla

In a bowl place the dry ingredients;  flaxseed meal, coconut flour, almond flour, brown sugar substitute, erythritol, protein powder, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, spices, salt.  Stir well.  In another bowl place the wet ingredients;  pumpkin, eggs, melted coconut oil, almond milk, vanilla and sweetener.   I used about 25-30 drops of liquid sweetener but do a taste test and use what you prefer.

Combine dry and wet ingredients.  Stir well with mixer or by hand.  Place in a greased 9X5" loaf pan and bake at 350 for about 55 minutes or until the center is set and comes clean when you insert a thin knife or cake tester.  Let cool in the pan at least 10-15 minutes before removing to cool completely.  If you can wait 1 more day to eat this, I suggest wrapping in plastic wrap, then in foil, and refrigerating 24 hours.  I love the flavor and texture pumpkin breads have when you do this - although it's not necessary.







You might be interested in some of these related products to make this bread;


Natural Almond Meal Flour - 5 Pound Bag
Brown Sweetener: 16 oz by Just Like Sugar
Truvia Brown Sugar Baking Blend
Now Foods Erythritol Powder 100% Pure 2.5 lb
Coconut Secret Raw Coconut Flour (Gluten Free), 16 Ounce Canister
Bob's Red Mill Organic  Flaxseed Meal, 16-Ounce Packages (Pack of 4)
Bob's Red Mill Gum Xanthan, 8-Ounce





         





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3/9/17

Shrimp Scampi with Riced Cauliflower - (low carb if you need it to be and delicious even if you don't!)





Here is something I whipped up earlier this week for dinner and luckily I did snap a picture quickly on my phone of this one so I could put a picture on the website.

The only problem with putting a recipe here is that I don't actually use a recipe when I make Shrimp Scampi - I mean, it's just shrimp, garlic and butter with some parsley and a dash of Italian Seasoning!  I just throw stuff together. But I will type out a guesstimate and go from there.

Shrimp Scampi with Riced Cauliflower

1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 T olive oil
2 T fresh, minced or chopped garlic
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
1 t dried italian seasoning
1 T parsley
1/2 head fresh cauliflower

Cut and clean the cauliflower.  Put large pieces or chunks of it into your food processor with the S blade and pulse until it's the size of rice.  Depending on the amount of cauliflower and the size of your processor you might want to do this in 2 or 3 batches.  Do not over mix.  Keep it rice sized.  Place into a microwave safe bowl and pop it into the microwave to cook about 4-5 minutes.
While the cauliflower is heating, in a pan on the stove, heat the olive oil; add the shrimp and garlic.  Cook for about 4-5 minutes until the shrimp turns from gray/white to pink.  Add the butter and seasonings.  Quickly stir over medium high heat until the butter is melted and the seasonings are mixed through.  By now your cauliflower should also be done.  Serve the shrimp scampi over the cauliflower.  










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3/7/17

Spicy Chicken Sausage with Spinach


I make this dish fairly often because it's so good but also because it's so easy - and easy to use what's on hand to substitute.  Originally a year or two ago I made it with cream cheese and salsa.  One day I decided to leave those out and discovered a whole new dish.  I've been making it this way ever since.

Sometimes I have yellow and red peppers on hand.  Other times I have one or the other.  I often use yellow squash zucchini in this dish.  Another option is when I don't have fresh peppers on hand, I always have freeze dried peppers in the pantry so I simply reconstitute about 1/4 cup in warm water for 5 minutes and add them. 

One of other reasons I love this dish is that it's a great idea to use up chicken sausage if you've grown tired of your 'regular' way of eating it.  Back when I used to buy it about 10 years ago (I make all ours from scratch now), I remember wondering what in the heck I could use it in.  Many times store bought chicken sausage has little or not real flavor; this is the recipe for that!



Chicken and Spinach

4 links of chicken sausage (I use homemade chicken, feta & spinach sausage)
10 oz. pk. frozen spinach, thawed
1 c red and/or bell pepper, chopped
1/2 c celery (optional) diced
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
1 T minced, fresh garlic (cut back if you aren't a fan of garlic, we love it)
1 T butter
1/2 c jalapeno slices (canned) or 2 small jalapeno's fresh (increase, decrease, leave out; to your own taste)
14 oz. can diced tomatoes
1/2 - 1 T dried red pepper flakes (more/less on how spicy you want it)
1/2 t ground cumin
1/2 t chili powder

If you need to cook your chicken, do it first or just use leftover chicken from another meal or frozen/cooked chicken of choice.   Saute' the onion, celery and peppers in butter until tender either remove the chicken or do it while it's in the pan. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer.  Cook until it's warmed throughout and all vegetables are tender.










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3/6/17

Using your Food Storage: Healthy, All Natural Peanut Butter - Homemade from Peanut Powder

This post is sponsored by Valley Food Storage





There is a good feeling that comes with making your own foods from scratch; not to mention knowing just what is IN your foods.  No preservatives, chemicals or artificial anything!

One of the items I always have on hand is peanut powder.  I keep this on hand not only in our emergency storage, but I use it my daily cooking - (My Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars - yum!)

Valley Food Storage is a company specializing in long term storage food.  Most of their items are packaged for up to 25 year storage in optimal storage conditions; but their foods are also terrific for every day use, traveling and camping or hiking.  They are always adding new products to their line and reached out to me to test a couple of their freeze dried items as well as their peanut powder.

What I loved right off the bat was the really long ingredients listing.

Ingredients: Peanuts

That's it. Peanuts.

Opening the package I really loved how finely ground it was! Unlike another brand I've used in the past (and no longer buy) that was grainy, this is fine grained and smells so fresh!

The true test of any peanut powder isn't how it works in things like smoothies or baked goods because the flavor and texture can be masked by other products.  No, the real test is to see if it makes a good everyday peanut butter!  I need it to be smooth, fresh tasting, delicious and so good I could eat it with a spoon, not just on a sandwich.

To re-hydrate into peanut butter you use equal portions of powder and water to start.

Here is 2 Tablespoons of Valley Food Storage Peanut Powder mixed with 2 Tablespoons water....  quickly mixed with a spoon.  Wow.  It was mixing so quickly and easily, but best of all?  Smooth!



After you have it mixed, you can leave it as is with nothing else in it for a really healthy version but you will probably want to add a couple items to make the flavor 'pop' and taste more like the peanut butter we Americans are all accustomed to.  Our regular 'off the store shelf' peanut actually adds a number of items including corn syrup (sugar), salt, oils, etc.

I suggest adding just two items;  salt and either a natural sweetener or honey!   You will want to do taste tests on how much you want to add but a good starting point for 2 T powder mixed with 2 T water is a shake (dash) of salt and about 1/2 teaspoon honey or sweetener.  Mix.  Let it set for a minute or two for the flavors to meld together a bit.  Now taste test.  Add a little more sweetener if you wish or a few more grains of salt.  Again: the normal American is used to peanut butter that has a lot of sweeteners in it so you may have to teach your body what true homemade, healthier and less sweet versions taste like.


I found this peanut powder to be so good!  I actually ate it all with a spoon and didn't even make it into a sandwich or anything else. 

Not only did I think it was really good, but it's now my current #1 favorite brand for purchasing.  It blows my previous brands out of the water in fresh taste and texture.



If you like crunchy style peanut butter so chop up some dry roasted peanuts with your food chopper or your food processor (just PULSE quickly do not let it run!) and add the amount you wish to your homemade peanut butter.


Thank you so much to Valley Food Storage for introducing me to a great new product of theirs!  They also offer a 15% off coupon on their site when you sign up for their email offers!














You might also be interested in these related Valley Food Storage products available through Amazon;

Freeze Dried Meals for Lunch and Dinner (5 Servings of Irish Pub Cheddar Potato Soup) - Long Term Emergency Food Supply by Valley Food Storage
1 Month Value Long Term Pantry Supply of Healthy Freeze Dried Survival Food for Emergency Preparedness - Valley Food Storage
Freeze Dried Strawberries - Healthy Fruit Snacks - Perfect For Camping, Emergency Preparedness, And Snacking - By Valley Food Storage (3.5 Cups)
   








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3/1/17

Cheese Filled Wontons - this one is Pepper Jack Cheese Wontons





If there are only two ingredients can you really call it a 'recipe'?   You don't even have to measure anything for these yummy snacks -you just use as much or little as you want, depending on how many you want to make!

Our family makes these with all different kinds of cheeses - you can try whatever kinds of cheese you have in your house.  Mainly, I'd say we love these with cream cheese - with or without jalapenos.  But if you have some Pepperjack cheese on hand, it's a super quick way to make an incredible little spicy bite.

Pepperjack Wontons

As many wontons as you want
Pepperjack cheese to equal about 1" square for each wonton
oil to fry
water to seal

Lay out your wontons
Use a finger dipped in water or a pastry brush to brush the edges with water
Lay a cubed piece of cheese on half of the square
Fold over to form a triangle
The water you brushed on the edges will seal the wonton
Heat the oil to about 350 degrees
Cook the wontons until golden brown, turning over as needed
Drain on paper towels
Serve as is or with a favorite sauce if you wish















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