bite my words

Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving


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Recipe: Sweet potato cornbread muffins

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I had some sweet potatoes that needed using and I was scheming a way to use them in cornbread. I decided to go for a cornbread muffin just because the crispy crusts of buttery cornbread are the best, in my opinion. Making muffins maximizes the crispy edges over traditional cornbread. Using sweet potato also meant that I could use a little less butter, not that these are really healthy but any justification to have a second one…

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sugar (white or cane)

2 eggs

3 small sweet potatoes (about 1 cup, roasted, peeled, and mashed)

1 2/3 cups flour

1 cup cornmeal

4 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1 1/2 cups buttermilk (I use a splash of apple cider vinegar and regular milk)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Combine eggs, milk, and mashed sweet potato in a small bowl. In a separate bowl combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the creamed butter and sugar, alternating with the milk/egg/sweet potato mixture.

Spoon into greased muffin tins. Bake in centre of oven for about 25 minutes, until muffins spring back easily when lightly pressed on top. Cool, eat.


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Recipe: Quinoa Pumpkin Pie Granola

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I shared a pumpkin granola recipe a couple of years ago. That one was kind of chewy. This one is nice and crunchy.

Ingredients: 

4 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa

1 cup pecan pieces

1/4 cup flax seeds

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

dash of ground nutmeg

1/4 cup melted virgin coconut oil

1/2 cup honey (or maple syrup)

1/4 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 – 1 cup raisins

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300F.

In a large bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients (except for the raisins), then add the wet. Combine thoroughly. I find my hands are best for mixing so ditch the spoon if you want. Depending on your own size, you can spread on one large baking sheet or two smaller ones. Bake in middle of oven for about 45 minutes, stirring every ten minutes or so. Granola is done when it turns a nice golden brown. Remove from oven and stir in the raisins. Allow to cool then store in an airtight container.


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So hot; overnight oats

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Overnight oats are totally hot right now because they’re cool. In the summertime, if you’re anything like me, you don’t crave a bowl of hot oatmeal for breakfast. That doesn’t mean that you don’t need a good breakfast. The perfect, quick, easy, and tasty way to get the satisfaction of oatmeal for breakfast, with none of the heat, is overnight oats.

I prefer to make them in a mason jar as I can make a few batches and stash them in the fridge for breakfast. Another great trick is to make them in your nearly empty jar of peanut butter (or other nut butter). I’m sure that if you don’t have any jar you could still make them in a bowl; just cover with a lid of cling wrap before refrigerating.

The key to overnight oats is letting them sit long enough for the oats to absorb the liquid ingredients. I like to make mine in the evening and then all I have to do in the morning is grab them out of the fridge. Make sure you mix your ingredients well, before refrigerating. This is also where a mason jar comes in handy because you can just shake it like crazy.

Here are a couple of my favourite versions I’ve come up with:

Stewed rhubarb and coconut overnight oats

1/4 cup stewed rhubarb (use your favourite recipe or combine about 2 cups of rhubarb, squeeze of orange juice, bit of orange zest, and 1 tbsp of sugar – this will make enough for several servings of overnight oats or use the extras for another recipe)

1/4 cup quick oats

1/2 cup milk (cow, almond, coconut, whatever you prefer)

1/4 cup greek yoghurt (plain or coconut both work well for this recipe)

1 tsp shredded unsweetened coconut

Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate until thickened (preferably overnight). Enjoy as is.

Choconana PB overnight oats

1/4 quick oats

1/4 cup plain greek yoghurt

1/2 cup (unsweetened) chocolate almond milk (or use plain milk and add 1 tsp of unsweetened cocoa powder)

1/2-1 mashed banana

1 tbsp natural PB

Mash the banana and PB together, put in jar with all other ingredients. Mix well. Refrigerate. Enjoy!

Basically, you can combine any fruit, nuts, seeds, you desire. Although you may want to add nuts in the morning so that they don’t get mushy in the mixture overnight.

Have a great weekend!!

 


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Kale salad

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A weekend post! It’s been a while, I know. Sorry… Running low on cooking tips and foods to write about. However, I need to share with you my current obsession: kale salads. They are so good!

It took me a while to work-up the nerve to try making one, actually. After all, kale is kind of tough and potent when it’s raw. I’m very comfortable tossing it into soups and casseroles but I was reluctant to try a salad. I’m so glad I got over that! Kale salads make great cheap, nutritious lunches. The especially great thing about them is that, unlike other salads, you can make a big batch (dressing and all) and it keeps fantastically in the fridge for a few days. The trick is to massage the kale. That tender love makes all the difference. Just wash and chop your kale, sprinkle with a tiny bit of salt and then massage the leaves until they’re bright green and fragrant. Then add your other ingredients, dressing, and toss.

I love tahini-based dressings like this one from Cookie and Kate. I like to add toasted sesame seeds and chopped tart apple, shaved parmesan, maybe a little creamy avocado. It’s really up to you. The addition of nuts or seeds makes it a more balanced meal, providing some much needed protein.


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Fighting fire with oil

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As I’m sure you know, hot peppers like jalapeños can vary considerably in strength. There are times when I find they’re not spicy at all and other times when I feel them burning my eyeballs while I’m cooking them. You may also notice that sometimes you can be left with burning fingers for hours after chopping hot peppers.

You could wear gloves to protect your fingers from the fire when chopping hot peppers but who keeps gloves in their home kitchen? Not me.

I recently learned this great trick to protect your digits: either coat your hands with oil before handling the cut peppers or, if you’re concerned about your dexterity with greasy hands, rub them with oil and then wash them with warm water and soap after handling them.

“Why does this work?” my fellow cooking nerds might wonder. The oil in the capsaicin will dissolve in oil but not in water.