Friday, March 28, 2008

learning from food

Being forced to use one grain at a time breeds lots of knowledge about those grains! What a shock eh? Anyway, I have learned a few things about the properties of these grains and I'm sure I have a lot more to learn. So far I know that amaranth makes an absolutely scrumptious gravy! Like, dreamily good! I make a roux with the flour and fat from pan drippings. Then stir in the broth or use whatever liquid you want for your gravy. Cook until thick. Just a little salt makes a piece of heaven.
Millet makes the best pancakes. It is so light and fluffy. The biscuits are fairly good, but almost a little too soft.
Teff makes great muffins and cookies. I also really like the injera. M doesn't. Too bad for him.
Quinoa makes an excellent, rich pilaf. Toast the dry grain until the smell of the grain is released. Add in veggies and mushrooms-gotta have mushrooms!--and cook like rice pilaf. Only it cooks faster. 15 minutes is good. MMMMM. Makes good chili too.
Oh, and amaranth tortillas? Delish!
I have always known that fresh ground flour is better--and better for you. I just haven't wanted to put forth the effort with my hand crank mill. Plus it is designed for big ol what grains. For Christmas, I got the Kitchen-Aid grain mill. I have tried all the grains we use in it and am very, very satisfied. It works great and they really do taste that much better.
I went ahead and ordered the 25# bags of the grains so I could grind them. It will be significantly cheaper and I don't have to deal with x-contamination. Which I currently do.
It will be good for us too, because these grains are ancient. Wheat has been bred for shelf life. Teff, amaranth, millet and quinoa have not. They go ranid pretty fast. I hope that I can build up more of a food storage this way. Especially since if we can't get food right away in a disaster or fuel shortage, we are in serious trouble!

Here are a couple of recipes if you are curious to try our food.

Millet banana pancakes

2 med mashed bananas
1/4 melted coconut oil
1 C water
2/3 C tapioca starch (or other starch if tapioca is not okay)
2 C millet flour
1/3 C coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cream of tartar or use 2 tsp vinegar in the liquids if c of t is out
1/4 tsp stevia powder
1 tsp quar gum
dash salt
Mix all together with additional water to make a thick, pourable batter. You can use fruit juice or add honey if you don't want to use stevia.

Pour onto hot griddle and cook like regular pancakes.

Teff Muffins
2 C teff flour
3/4 C flax meal
3/4 Coconut meal (I make this by grinding coconut in a coffee grinder--same as I use for making flax meal)
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp quar gum
1/4 tsp salt
Mix well and add:
1/2 C honey
1/2 C melted coconut oil
1 C water

Mix until combined and spoon into muffin tins. Bake in a preheated 375F oven for 20 minutes.

These recipes are my own creation. If you share them, please give me credit! Thanks

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