Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Soaked Homemade Grape Nuts Cereal

Generally in my house Breakfast consists of either 
Buckwheat Waffles, or eggs and toast, or cereal.  
Usually Cereal when I'm feeling lazy or have too much going on.  
Which unfortunately happens more often than I'd like to admit.  

I know you are fixing crepes, quiche, muffins
puffy oven pancakes, etc. etc. each morning 
but alas for us those are saved for weekends when I have more time.

So when I decided I didn't want to buy boxed cereal anymore, 
I started searching for other kinds of cereal 
I could make from scratch at home 
that would be much better nutritionally for my family.
I've been making granola for a while, but haven't posted my new favorite yet.  
That will come later this week.  

Today I thought I'd share a wonderful recipe that uses my two favorite ingredients.  

Whole Grain and Milk Kefir.  
It's fairly easy to make, just a little extra time so plan ahead.

Here's my milk Kefir grains freshly strained and ready for the next batch.
I love these little guys!

My milk Kefir always goes in a Mason Jar.  
Usually in the fridge for a few days to let the grains do their job.  
If I need more Milk Kefir faster, the jar goes under the counter in the cupboard for 24 hours.  
They work faster when they are warmer.  

Hmmm... Kind of like me.
Maybe that's why I live in Arizona.

Here's the Recipe:

Soaked HomeMade Grape Nuts Cereal

3 1/2 cups of fresh ground whole grain flour
(I usually mix the grains, soft white wheat, hard white wheat, buckwheat, hard red wheat, etc.)
2 cups milk Kefir
1/2 cup raw sugar
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp sea salt

We go through cereal pretty fast so I doubled the recipe, but this is for one batch.

Mix the fresh ground flour and 1 1/2 cups milk Kefir until well moistened.
Cover and let sit on the counter for 12-24 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
To the soaked mixture add remaining 1/2 cup milk Kefir, raw sugar, soda and sea salt.
Mix well.  It will be a soft runny dough like mass.  Don't worry.

Prepare a large cookie sheet with cooking spray.  I use Coconut Oil Spray.

Pour batter on to cookie sheet and spread out to an even thickness.
Bake for 30 minutes and check it.  If the sides start to brown, remove the pan and gently break up the dough and turn it over for even baking.
Continue for another 30 minutes or until browned to your liking.

If it's still too soft, bake a little more, or break up the pieces and put them in your dehydrator for a couple of hours to completely dry.

In a blender or food processor, place no more than 1/2 to 1 cup chunks of the batter and pulse to break up the pieces to the desired size.  It doesn't take too long. 20 seconds or so.

Store in an airtight container.

I like mine topped with blueberries.  These were frozen from last summer's harvest.
Still perfectly yummy!

Pour some whole or raw milk and enjoy!

So good!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Perfectly Wonderful Sprouted Whole Grain Bread

Let's get back to basics.
It's my life. My weakness. My world.
I'm constantly trying new recipes and since I make bread about every 5 days,
I make a TON of bread.

Now that I'm on the Real Food way of eating and preparing,
I sprout every batch of whole grains.
It is a little more time consuming, but not difficult.
I usually have a batch of grain at one point or another nearly every day of the week.
I just put a fresh batch of grain in to soak this morning.
It will soak for 24 hours.
Then I drain it and leave it in the container for another 24-36 hours to sprout.
Then in the dehydrator to dry for about 8-12 hours, usually overnight.
This means my grain is ready to be ground into flour in the morning which is when
I like to make bread.  
Usually while I'm getting the kids ready for school.
And since this recipe is whole grain it is fairly quick to make, 
no double rise, like normal white bread.
I can have fresh bread coming out right about the time 
the youngest kiddos are ready to walk out the door.  
Let me just say that I love the smell of fresh baked bread.

I better.  I make it all the time.

So this is my new favorite.
It is a remake of a King Arthur Flour recipe that you can see here.
But of course I "Shell-i-fied" the recipe to make it suit my tastes better.
I tried making their version and it just didn't work for me. 
Honestly I'm not sure why.

But here's my version.

Sprouted Whole Grain Bread

I soak 10 cups of grain for each batch.  It gives me enough for bread and a few cups leftover for other uses like waffles, cookies, tortillas, crackers, etc.. etc...

Here's my blend of grain:

3 cups hard red wheat
2 cups soft white wheat
3 cups hard white wheat
1 cup buckwheat groats
1 cup kamut

Place grain in large container and cover with water.

I know this next picture is a little gross, 
but I discovered another benefit to soaking and sprouting your grain.  

Let's face it. 
Grains get bugs.  

In a perfect world, 
I'd have a huge walk in freezer and refrigerator to keep all my grains in.  
I do have them in the house in a cool dark room, 
but inevitably the little buggers get in there.  
Some people would through out the whole 25 lb bag of grain.  
I don't have that luxury, 
or they would just grind it all up and 
never know they were getting a little added protein in their food.  

Not the ideal.  

So when I started soaking the grains, 
I realized the huge added benefit.  
I can fill my container all the way up.  
Swish my hand inside the grain a bit 
to loosen up the grains and allow all the buggers to float to the top.  
Pour off the top.  

Bye Bye Buggers!  

Let the grain sit drained and covered for another 24-36 hours to let the berries sprout. 
It's ok if you forget and let them get longer tails.  
I actually like the end result better than just the little nubs in the picture below, 
but I wouldn't have known that had I not been sprouting on a weekly basis.  
Put it on dehydrator trays.  
I had to cover my trays with parchment paper 
because the holes are too big and the wheat berries would fall through.

Dry in the dehydrator for 8-12 hours.  I usually let mine go overnight.
They need to be completely dry or they will gum up your grain grinder.
I cannot be held responsible for messing up your grain grinder.

Grind the grain as usual.

Now that's done, let's make Bread!

In a Bosch or Blend-tec mixer combine the following:
(if you're using a Kitchen-Aid, you will need to 1/2 the recipe)

5 1/3 cups warm water (if its comfortable for you, it will be for the yeast)
(Optional: if you have some tomato juice, I sometimes reduce the water to 4 cups and add 1 1/3 cups tomato juice.  The acidity of the tomato helps calm down the grainy-ness of the whole grain and makes it more,... well just better.)
1 cup applesauce or oil
1 cup raw sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 Tbsp sea salt
2 Tbsp dough enhancer
2 Tbsp vital gluten
5-6 cups fresh ground sprouted flour
4 Tbsp yeast

Mix for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Cover and let the mixture sponge for about 10 minutes.

Uncover the mixer and on speed 1, slowly add more whole grain flour.
As the dough starts holding together, I add about 3 cups unbleached white flour.
I wish I could be a purist, 
but unfortunately I have yet to find the perfect 100% whole wheat recipe that doesn't fall flat.

When the dough cleans the sides of the bowl, 
cover, increase the speed to 2 and let knead for 10 minutes.

Prepare the loaf pans with non-stick spray.  
Coconut oil spray is my favorite.

Put a little olive oil on the counter and on your hands when the kneading is done.
Turn out the dough and separate into 4 balls of dough.
Shape into loaves and place in bread pans.
Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until about 1 inch above the rim of the pan.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

When the oven is ready, uncover the loaves and place in oven.
Turn heat down to 325 degrees and let bake 35-37 minutes depending on your oven.
I have found that sprouted wheat tends to be 
a little more moist than traditional wheat flour 
so I bake my sprouted loaves longer to make sure they aren't dough-y in the middle.

When they are done baking, remove from oven and let cool on wire racks.

Slice a little piece of heaven, or store in airtight bags or containers.

My favorite is a fresh slice of homemade bread and real butter!

Mmmm.... is it lunch time yet?

By the way, this is perfect sandwich bread.  
Not too crumbly and holds up well for my kiddo's lunches every day.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Be Good

{J} over at Twigs and Twine has asked me for this sign for a while, 
and for some reason I keep putting it off.  

Don't ask me why.  
I'm not really sure, but I really love the colors and the darker aged wood combination.  

A good quote doesn't hurt either.  

The best part is that {J} just texted me and said that this sign has sold already.  
Maybe I will need to do more and quit being stubborn.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Farm Fresh Eggs?

Here's today's recycled wood project.  

I was so loving the orange chicken
I thought I would add it to this board.

The Chicken image comes from DaFont here for free.
The lettering font also comes from DaFont here

It's my new favorite font.
I even used it on my new blog header if you haven't noticed.

I followed the same background technique as this project and this project.

I used the projector to put the images on the board then hand painted them in.
The lettering got a hand painted grey edge for more definition.


Unfortunately my own personal Farm isn't quite up and running yet.
Hopefully this spring we will have a few new friends join our family.

Here's a quick look of Twigs and Twine with my boards on the wall.
What a fun store!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Here Chicky Chicky!

 I wanted to change things up a bit with my Pallet wood creations.

The LOVE boards are always a classic, but let's move into the kitchen.

Where do we start?

Well, Chickens of course.

I found this image as a dingbat over at for free.
I printed it out and got a transparency made over at Staples for $1.
It will definitely be a well spent $1.
Tomorrow's board will also include this lovely Chicky.


Monday, January 13, 2014

A Bit More Love

Here's a quick post of another board I just finished.  
It is similar in design and construction to this one.
I just wanted to play with the turquoise color instead of the traditional red and white.
I sure am loving the apple cider vinegar/dry brush effect for the background.  
It's an easy way to make the wood look vintage even though it's not.


Friday, January 10, 2014

A Pallet Wood Sign Roundup

I sent off another batch of Pallet wood signs last week for the grand opening 
of the new Twigs and Twine location in Phoenix.   

I wanted to share some of the pieces.  
As always they are done the same way as all my previous boards.  

I just like to change things up a bit and try new designs.

I have another batch I sent off today that I will share next week.  
Some of them are completely different than my previous style.  
Still fun.  
Still nearly 100% recycled. 
The wood of course is, but the screws are new.

So lets take a quick look at the last batch.


This board was done in a similar was as the large Love Story board using the Apple Cider Vinegar stain on alternating slats of wood to darken them.
The heart was handpainted and the LOVE is from a stencil cut with the Cricut.

I'm loving the Ombre effect, although I think the birdy is a little hidden in the clouds.

This is a similar one without the Hello added.

Finally, I loved the LOVE STORY font so much I had to do another piece with just the LOVE on the board.
It was hand painted on using the projector.

Happy Recycling!

Here's a quick peek at the signs in the store.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Some Love from Me to You

A little love already?

It's not really close to Valentine's Day yet,
but I've been wanting to do something big and I had this board
left from the JOY signs like this one I made before Christmas.

The best part is that I could use this sign any time of year, not just for Valentine's.
This piece went over to the new location of Twigs and Twine along with 
another batch of signs that I will share soon.

The boards are cut from a normal size sheet of plywood.
I had the guy at Home Depot cut it into 4 pieces for me.

After I got it home, I did a light sanding of all the edges to smooth them out a bit.

Next was a treatment of my apple cider vinegar stain all around the edges.
I didn't do the center, except for a few random places.

Next a dry brush coat of a tan paint.

Then a few random places of color.  I added some red and some turquoise.
After that a few patches of vasilene wiped on randomly.
Usually I put the vasilene over the color patches.

Last was a dry brush coat of white.

I rubbed off some of the patches of vasilene to reveal some of the color beneath.
It gives it a chipy paint effect that I just love!

For the letters, I cut them out of some brown paper grocery bags from WinCo.
Then placed them on the board in the design I wanted, and traced around them with a pencil.

Finally 2 coats of red carefully painted within the pencil outlines.
A coat of Polyurethane protects the whole piece.

Happy Early Valentine's Day
with a bit of LOVE from me!

Print It Button