Healthy Irish Soda Bread

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Since today is St. Patrick's Day I decided to try my hand at making some Irish Soda Bread. I tweaked a recipe I found in order to make it healthier. It turned out great and was quick and easy to put together and have ready with our dinner. I will definitely plan to make it again. Here's how it goes:

Healthified Irish Soda Bread

Makes 1 larger loaf or two smaller ones

1 cup honey

4 cups whole wheat flour

1 tablespoon baking powder (without aluminum)

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon sea salt

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1 1/2 cups dark raisins (optional--and you could substitute cranberries, nuts, or other dried fruits quite easily)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a cast iron pan or use a cookie sheet. (or, I used one cast iron pan and one 9 inch round glass cake pan)

In your mixer bowl, combine honey, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Cut in diced bits of butter and mix periodically until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in raisins.

In a small bowl, beat eggs. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the egg, pour the rest of it in with the dry ingredients. Add buttermilk and mix for about a minute. Dough will be sticky.

Place your dough in the skillet or split into two skillets or into two blobs on a cookie sheet. Brush dough with reserved egg.

Bake 30-40 minutes until golden brown and tester comes out clean. You can serve it warm or cold, with butter or some nice all-fruit jam, or even maple syrup. It is gently sweet and quite filling. It was a big hit with my family. Enjoy! :)

Blueberry Baked Oatmeal--YUMMY!

Thursday, March 03, 2011

I have never been a fan of oatmeal. I don't do mushy grains of any sort. No grits. No rice pudding. (shudder) No oatmeal. No rice made with milk. (ew!) I just. don't. BUT, my boys like oatmeal and so does my husband, so I do make it for them for breakfast and snacks sometimes.

Well, I'm always on the lookout for good recipes that are healthy, filling, and budget-friendly, and today I tweaked one (from a friend who has a blog that many of you would enjoy. Click here to visit her.) and it turned out really great! It's a baked oatmeal, which I did not expect to like...but I love it! Probably because it's more like cake. :)

Blueberry Baked Oatmeal

* 3 c oats--quick or old fashioned, doesn't matter
* 2 T cinnamon--or more :)
* 2 t. baking powder
* 1 t. sea salt
* ½ c. organic maple syrup
* ½ c. honey
* 1 ½ c.buttermilk, or if you're doing this on the fly, just use milk with a splash of lemon juice or vinegar in it and let it sit for a few minutes to get nice and curdle-ish. You could make this with a milk alternative as well. (rice milk, almond milk, etc.) I don't know if the alternative milks would curdle, but I'm guessing that it really isn't going to matter if it doesn't.
* 2 eggs
* ¼ c. coconut oil (or butter), melted
* 2 t. vanilla
* 1½ c. frozen blueberries

Mix up everything except for the berries. Let it sit for about 5 minutes. Fold in the berries. Then pour into a greased 9x13 pan and bake at 350 for about 30-40 minutes until it has a cake-like texture and it lightly browned. Nice to eat warm or cold. You could add butter and more maple syrup to it if you wanted to. For us, it was sweet and yummy just as it was.

*Options: You could add more or different fruits to it. Fresh, frozen, or dried apples, banana, raisins, cranberries, etc. would be awesome. Also, chopped nuts would be good too! Very easy to do, you could definitely mix it up the night before and bake in the morning.

BIG hit at our house. Even from the girl who used to not like oatmeal. I like this!