Strawberry Amaranth Porridge

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 I (Britney) recently discovered that my body doesn’t like oats. I can’t tell you how much of a bummer this is. I mean, how do I give up oats? Granola? Granola bars? Oatmeal cookies? Yeah, I know. (Mom was sooo glad this was not her. You will still find oat recipes on this site from her. So don’t worry. You can still get your oat fix.)
Not to mention I love a good bowl of oatmeal in the mornings. What hot breakfast can you eat instead of oats? Is there anyone else out there that has an oat sensitivity and can feel my pain?
Luckily, this delicious amaranth porridge is a great substitute.
Amaranth is a grain you will love being acquainted with. It has a slightly nutty taste, is easily digestible, and has 3 times the fiber of wheat. It’s high in calcium, iron, lysine, and is totally gluten free. It has more protein than any other gluten-free grain, which makes it a great breakfast to start out your day with.
Britney

 

Strawberry Amaranth Porridge

1/3 cup of amaranth
1 cup of water
3/4 cup of almond milk or milk of your choice
1/2 cup of sliced up strawberries
2 teaspoons of honey or sweetener of your choice
Optional toppings: milk, cinnamon

Pour the amaranth into a sauce pan  on medium heat. Stir and let it heat up. You will start hearing it pop in a couple minutes. Stir until it is all toasted, for 2 or 3 minutes.

Pour in the water and let it come to a low boil. Then stir in the milk and honey. Turn on medium low heat and let it cook about 30 minutes until the liquid gets absorbed and it thickens.

Serve in bowl with milk and fruit on top of it.

Serves 1-2

 

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You need a muffin, not a cupcake. (Gluten Free)


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Have I told you that my boys will eat just about anything that is called a muffin? They are picky with so many other foods, but call it a muffin and they’re good. It’s an awesome way to sneak in vitamins. So many muffins are really cupcakes in disguise, but we don’t do that here. Our muffins won’t leave you feeling like you ate dessert.

Don’t these Blueberry Muffins look yummy? They are also nutritious! The great thing about being “grain crazy” as we are is that it’s easy to add a bit of extra nutrition to baked goods. These muffins not only contain blueberries, but they use quinoa flour–a nutritional powerhouse. The quinoa and greek yogurt make these muffins a protein-rich food, perfect for a snack or breakfast that will fill you up.

The quinoa would make these whole grain–except technically quinoa isn’t a grain. It’s a seed.

But thankfully they act as a seed. Where do you get quinoa flour? It seems to be popular these days, and I can find it in my local grocery store. But in case you can’t, you can make your own if you have a bit of quinoa.

To make quinoa flour: After rinsing the quinoa thoroughly in a wire sieve (something I do even if it says it has been prewashed), lightly toast the quinoa in your oven, preheated to 425, until it is dry and golden brown–about 5 to 8 minutes. Alternately, you could toast it in a frying pan on medium-low heat until golden brown. Cooking it this way increases the nutty flavor and gets rid of even more of the saponin–the bitter coating that protects quinoa from birds and other pests. Saponin is actually awesome–it makes quinoa need less pesticides when it is grown. After that, run the quinoa through a grain grinder or high-powered blender until it becomes a fine flour. Voila! Quinoa flour!

Britney


Quinoa Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of water
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup of honey
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
1/3 cup of milk (I used cashew milk)
3/4 cup of plain greek yogurt
2 cup of quinoa flour
1 teaspoon of lemon zest
3/4 cup of blueberries

Directions
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a small mix together baking soda, baking powder, salt, and water. Stir and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, mix together egg, honey, and oil until creamy.

3. Stir in yogurt and milk until all blended in.

4. Stir in baking soda mixture, flour, and lemon zest.

5. Fold in the blueberries. Don’t overmix.

6. Scoop into greased muffin tins. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

7. After about 5 minutes, take the muffins out of the tins and let cool on cooling rack.

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Blueberry Cream Smoothie



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What is your favorite way to get your fruit into your diet? My family loves fruit in any form, but sometimes we get to the end of the day and realize that we haven’t had as balanced of a diet that day as we meant to. When this happens, we often add a smoothie to our dinner. I have four little boys, and they are not easy eaters. My oldest is particularly picky (I honestly think his food sensitivities are genetic. From his dad’s side, of course. 🙂 But they all will eat smoothies. Except for the random exclusion of one because the color is too (insert adjective here). Or something. But in general everybody welcomes the smoothie.

This smoothie not only helps with fruit, but it adds a bit of veggies to your meal. If you’ve ever added spinach to a smoothie, you know that it tastes great. Spinach is sweet and light and has lots of amazing vitamins you won’t want to miss out on, like vitamins K, A, C, and B, and lots of valuable minerals. Popeye didn’t get strong off of it for nothing!

Besides dinner, this makes a great breakfast on a busy day. If you prepackage your ingredients in freezer bags, already sorted, in the morning you just have to dump the things in the blender. Spinach freezes well, so it can also be added to your prepared bags!

Britney


 

 

Ingredients
1/2 cup of frozen blueberries
1 cup of fresh spinach
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 frozen banana
1 tablespoon of chia

Directions
1. Pour all of the ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth.
2. Enjoy its creamy and delicious flavor! (Yes, we had to make up another step because it’s so easy to make!)

Zucchini Chocolate Muffins (Gluten Free)

 

 

 

 

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There is something wonderful about the combination of zucchini and chocolate combined. I love how soft and delicious these are. I put some extras in the freezer in ziplocks. It was so wonderful to take them out of the freezer and heat them up and enjoy a yummy snack. Every since I made them last weekend I have been wanting to make them again. So Good!!! They always have zucchini in the store.

Cherie


 

Ingredients

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1/3 cup of oil (I used grapeseed oil)

2/3 cup of honey

2 eggs

2 cups of grated zucchini

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons quinoa flour (You could replace w/  a different wholegrain flour)

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 cup dark chocolate chips, chopped up

 

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Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl beat together vanilla, oil, honey, eggs, and zucchini. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl pour in all the dry ingredients and stir with a wire whisk. Fold in the chocolate chips.
3. Combine the two mixtures together into one bowl. Stir until just combined.
4. Pour into greased muffin pan. Place in preheated oven. Bake about 15 minutes or until done.
5. Cool a few minutes and then take out of the muffin pan and cool on cooling rack.

* You could put in a square pan or bread pan instead. You will just have to watch the cooking time a little closer. Remove when done.

Makes 12 muffins

Crust-less Quiche

crustlessquiche

 

 

I was asked to make a breakfast casserole for the youth of my church group for a conference I they were having. I was happy to help, and I was given a recipe to follow. I must admit, it looked pretty good. So the next week, I came up with my own variation for my family in quiche form. Crustless, of course, since that is not only healthier, but I tend not to like the crusts. It’s all about the inside for me. I took out the ham and sausage (saves me some fat), and I added quinoa (since you know I’m crazy about grains, and who doesn’t love a protein shot in the morning from this favorite?), and I added some asparagus. But since my family sometimes balks at large vegetable chunks, I pulsed it in the blender. That way they got the nutrients without even noticing. Brilliant, right?

Enjoy!

Cherie


 

Ingredients
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/4 cup of diced onion
1/2 cup of diced green or red pepper
1/3 cup of cooked quinoa
1 cup of chopped fresh asparagus
1/3 cup of cooked bacon pieces
6 eggs
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
1/2 teaspoon of dry mustard

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Heat oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add the onions and peppers and saute until tender.
3. Add the onions, peppers, and all of the other ingredients into a blender. Pulse until just combined.
4. Grease a square 8×8 or 9×9 dish (stoneware will cook the most evenly!) and pour the contents of the blender into it.
5. Place pan in preheated oven and cook for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Serves 8