Category Archives: seeds

Seeded Spelt Loaves

Since I went on the bread making workshop  I’ve been wanting to try out some breads using non-traditional flours.  I’ve had some Wholegrain Spelt Flour in the cupboard for a while now and was wondering what to bake with it.   Spelt is an ancient grain, a cousin to wheat although  it contains a broader range of nutrients and is high in vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, folic acid, E, manganese,  copper, and magnesium.   It also contains a wide range of minerals and is a good source of fibre .

I used this recipe from Dove’s Farm  except that I made 4 mini loaves, omitted the nuts and added a mix of sunflower, pumpkin, sesame and flaxseeds to the top as well as the dough.  Before adding the seeds on top I egg washed the dough to give a nice sheen.

Speltflour

 

The dough was a little harder to work with and didn’t rise with as much aplomb as my usual wheat-based flour doughs but nevertheless the resulting Spelt bread rose well enough and was delicious.

Spelt loaf ND

 

We’ve enjoyed these loaves with a numbers of toppings and fillings, from cheeses to honey and even my jam!  It was also delicious toasted the next morning.  Even the tiddler enjoyed a slice  or two, although I think she’s a little confused about why I would put seeds in her bread when we usually put them in the garden!   

I popped one of the loaves into the freezer, the great frozen abyss that is my old chest freezer, I cannot wait till I have an upright one with drawers!

If you want to try using non-traditional flours, Spelt is a great one to start with,  it has a lovely nutty flavour and with the addition of seeds a very healthy alternative to traditional wheat.

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My Kitchen Garden

I love this time of year, although this year, this time of year has come a little late due to what seemed like the lack of early Spring.  When the soil starts to warm up I get my seed packets out from seed I have saved from last year & beyond and a few fresh packets from the garden centre and start sowing my socks off!

This year, however, apart from the flowers I am only planting Cherry Tomatoes, Pomodoro Tomatoes, Medium Tomatoes (we love Tomatoes and use a lot in the kitchen), Courgettes, Chilli’s of varying degrees of heat (Jalapeno, Chilli Cayenne & Scotch Bonnet), Basil, Oregano and Parsley.  Our garden has gone through a bit of a metamorphosis in the last couple of years and I’m not equipped for more than that this year.

The Tomatoes all popped out quite quickly, the Courgettes the same but the Chilli’s took a long time to germinate and to date the Scotch Bonnet are still keeping us waiting!

I grow some vegetables every year but have always wanted a dedicated kitchen garden where I can grow most of my vegetables and herbs, I don’t have time for an allotment even if I could get one.  This small, but perfectly formed kitchen garden is a start and what we can’t eat we will swap with the neighbours, I’ve already been offered some beetroot, love it, all organic and fresh!
How does your garden grow this Spring??

Chia Seed Pudding

I first read about Chia seeds a couple of years ago and then about a year or so ago I found  some not really knowing what to do with them but reading about their nutritional benefits I was keen to try them and find out how to incorporate them into my diet.

Chia is a gluten-free wholegrain that comes from a desert plant in Mexico called Salvia hispanica. These tiny black and white seeds were used long ago by Mayan and Aztec cultures to boost energy.  Because they have a mild, nutty flavour, chia seeds are easy to add to a variety of foods and drinks.

There certainly is a nutritional powerhouse within these tiny, versatile seeds, they are said to have twice the protein of any other seed or grain, the protein is a complete protein with all 8 essential amino acids and 5 times the calcium of milk plus boron which is an important mineral that helps transfer calcium into your bones.  With more omega-3 fatty acids than salmon, a wealth of antioxidants – four times higher ORAC value than blueberries and 3 times more iron than spinach, chia’s nutritional benefits are extremely valuable.


The best way to use chia is to soak in water first (although Chia will absorb any liquid), the seeds will rapidly absorb the water to create a gel which can be used almost immediately although more of the nutrients will be released with a longer soak.  Unlike flaxseeds, there is no need to grind Chia first.  The seeds are easily digested and absorbed and the nutrients are quickly assimilated into the body. 


A recommended daily intake is one tablespoon of chia, but make sure you drink plenty of water as chia is very high in fibre.


How to eat:

For breakfast I’ve been adding a tablespoon to coconut milk and leaving to soak for a few minutes and then use the milk to cook oatmeal.  Chia combines well with yoghurt and fruit and can be added to smoothies, juice, puddings, sauces, soup, cereal, etc for an added boost of nutrition. 

Quick Chia Drink

1 tblspn Chia seeds
150-200ml of your favourite juice

Mix the juice and Chia together, pop in the fridge for 15-20 minutes for the seeds to absorb the liquid. Stir and drink!


Chia Seed Pudding – serves 2

This pudding is very reminiscent of the Tapioca pudding we ate as children.

Take:

1 cup of coconut milk or any milk of your choice, we like almond too.
⅓ cup Chia seeds (less if you prefer a less dense pudding)
¼ tsp vanilla extract (or to your own taste)
Sweetener of your choice – maple syrup, honey, stevia, etc

Stir the Chia seeds into the coconut milk, then add the vanilla.  Leave for 20 minutes to allow the seeds to absorb the milk, stirring after about 10 minutes to avoid clumps of seeds.  Add a sweetener of your choice to your own palate.  I don’t use any sweeteners – it tastes great without!  At this stage you can add anything you wish, cocoa nibs, cinnamon, dried fruit, nuts, etc.

For a chocolate variation:  add 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder to the milk and whisk together before adding the Chia seeds (if using raw cacao powder, you will need a touch of sweetness as it can be a little bitter for young tastes).

Enjoy, it’s delicious and nutritious!

Note:
If you are allergic to sesame or mustard seeds you should not be consuming Chia seeds without consulting your health care provider first.