Whole Wheat Bread

Let’s face it – the aroma of bread baking is wonderful. Homemade whole wheat bread is much better than store bought bread. When baking bread yourself, there are no preservatives and you have total control over the ingredients. 

One kind of bread that is generally a nutritious and versatile addition to a healthy diet is whole wheat. The USDA recommends making half your grains whole and whole wheat bread can help you do that. You might ask why whole wheat is healthier than white bread.

Whole wheat bread is made from flour that contains the entire wheat kernel, including the bran and germ instead of kernels that have been refined and overly processed. It is in the minimal processing that wheat retains the most nutrients, including protein, fiber, B vitamins, antioxidants, and trace minerals (iron, zinc, copper, and magnesium). Leaving the wheat kernel intact makes for a less processed, more nutritious bread. Additionally, a diet rich in whole grains has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and some forms of cancer.

 

Today’s recipe

Whole Wheat BreadThis recipe is for an incredibly healthy and oh so tasty whole wheat bread that will make you never want to buy store bought bread again. Additionally, the recipe is extremely versatile, so you can tweak it to your tastes and your moods. For equipment, I use a bread maker, but this recipe can easily be adapted to standard baking in the oven as well.  

LIQUID

For liquid, you can use water if you like. Typically, I either add some coconut milk powder to the water or mix it with some oat milk  (which I make myself using this recipe) for some added nutrition and flavor.  If you are not vegan, you could also substitute standard milk for the water.  

FAT & SWEETENERS

Sometimes I like some sweetness in my bread. This particular day when filming I decided it was a sweet sort of day. The recipe calls for vegan honey. You could easily use standard wildflower honey or not include honey at all.  This is completely optional.

I like to avoid as much fat as I can so I chose to go fat free in my recipe. Typically, I substitute unsweetened applesauce for the oil. In my opinion,  applesauce is sweet enough on its own without added sugars. If I do add sweetener to my bread, I usually choose coconut palm sugar, which has a low glycemic index, minimizing any blood sugar spikes. If you choose to use oil instead, you could do that instead of the applesauce.  

FLOUR

When it comes to flour, I like to mix them. In my experience, a mix of whole wheat and bread flours tends to give it a smoother texture. The flours are something that can also be mixed around. You could easily incorporate smelt or coconut flour in the mix as well. As long as the total amount of flour stays the same, feel free to experiment.

RISING

You might notice that I add vital wheat gluten to my bread recipe. This is an optional component but I found that when included the rise is much better. For yeast I use a red yeast. You could use a standard yeast as well if you choose.

ADD-INS

Sometimes I will add a smidge of vanilla and cinnamon into the mix for variety also. If you wanted a more savory bread you could add in some seasonings. Might I suggest some rosemary, basil and parsley? Perhaps a bit of oregano? The possibilities are truly endless. 

THOUGHTS…

I can never resist taking a slice right out of the bread maker when it is still hot and steamy. I spread some plant-based spread on it and perhaps a bit of jam and it is like heaven. If you try the recipe, please feel free to leave me some comments to let me know how it came out. If you do some substitutions and additions please share. I would love to hear about it!  

The complete recipe is below. Here is the video!

       

Yield: 1 Loaf

Whole Wheat Bread

Whole Wheat Bread

There is nothing like homemade bread. This recipe is extremely versatile and makes a tasty bread that is heart healthy with whole grains, no fat, no eggs and no dairy but all the great taste!

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup warm water or milkĀ 
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 cup honey or honey alternative
  • 2 TB oil or applesauce
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 TB vital wheat gluten (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 1 TB sweetener (optional)

Instructions

  1. Add water or water/milk mixture to baking pan
  2. Add honey or honey alternative
  3. Add oil or applesauce
  4. Cover liquid with the flour or flour mixture
  5. Sprinkle salt on top
  6. Sprinkle vital wheat gluten on top
  7. Add sweetener (optional)
  8. Sprinkle yeast on top, making sure it does not get wet
  9. Put baking pan in bread machine, lock down and set it
  10. Wait for the bread machine to make bread
  11. Remove from bread pan
  12. Allow to cool for 10 minutes
  13. Slice and serve
  14. Store in ziploc bag to keep fresh

Notes

* I sometimes combine non-dairy milk with the water or add some coconut milk powder to it. The recipe works fine with just water, but the creaminess of a milk adds something really nice to the bread.

* In lieu of the honey I use a vegan honey alternative. If you are not on a vegan diet, feel free to use honey.

* Oil is not needed. Applesauce makes a nice substitute. I use unsweetened applesauce. It adds to the texture of the bread and gives it a little sweetness.

* A mixture of flours works best for the texture of the bread. You can use whole wheat flour and omit the bread flour if you choose (it will be less smooth in texture but it is perfectly fine), or you can combine the two as long as there is at least half of the whole wheat flour (3 1/2 cups total flour) the bread will be fine.

* The vital wheat gluten is optional but I find it makes a much better bread when it is included.

* The sweetener is entirely optional. When using a sweetener I typically choose raw coconut palm sugar.

* I use a raw red yeast for my bread. Standard yeast will do as well, just use regular yeast and not fast acting yeast.

* Make sure the liquids are completely covered by the dry ingredients before adding the yeast. The yeast should not get wet when first adding to the bread maker pan

* This recipe can also be used for baking in the oven. I just appreciate the convenience of my bread maker.

RECOMMENDED INGREDIENT LINKS:

Nutrition Information:

Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1 Slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 80Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 40mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 3g

* this information is an estimate

 

Yes, you read that right. Today I am going to show you how easy it is to make oat milk at home… and it only takes 5 minutes!!  

There are many reasons to drink oat milk. Yes, there are other non-dairy choices but oat milk is extremely good for you and is packed with health benefits. It is also almond-free and is vegan. There are many stories about how the almond industry is affecting the bees. Honeybees are the only pollinators for almond crops. The almond industry in this country is huge and they have pretty much decimated the bee population in this country for their own gain. In the month of February, the almond industry alone uses about 80% of the honeybees in the entire country! They are fed sugar water as food each January to try and stimulate activity. They are then shipped to the west coast from all over the country and forced into empty almond fields. There they are fed more sugar water as they wait for the crop to grow. Beekeepers are getting paid handsomely for the use of their bees in this manner. The bees are being forced to change their natural behavior just to take care of the almond crops. Most of these crops are sprayed with toxic chemicals and pesticides, which in turn is harming and killing the bees. Until things change, this is just an abusive practice. As a result, many people have boycotted almonds. These practices also raise the question of whether or not  non-organic almonds or almond milk is actually vegan. It isn’t technically an animal product but sentient beings are being killed to provide those almonds. If honey isn’t vegan, when it is from bees but the local beekeepers are not killing their bees with toxic pesticides, then are almonds really acceptable? I will get off my soap box now.

Oat milk is a wonderful alternative. Homemade oat milk is dairy-free, lactose-free, sugar-free, nut-free, soy-free, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, heart healthy and oh so tasty! Oat milk has a pleasant taste, is high in beta-glucans (making it a fiber-rich choice), helps replace saturated with unsaturated fats, helps lower your bad cholesterol, contains bone-strengthening minerals and helps regulate blood sugar levels. Homemade oat milk will not have the additives that are typically included in commercially made oat milk, such as rapeseed oil, dipotassium phosphate, calcium carbonate, tricalcium phosphate, sea salt, dicalcium phosphate, riboflavin, vitamin A, vitamin D2, vitamin B12 and sugar.  Additionally, store bought oat milk can get very pricey and you never really know the quality of the ingredients or processing.  When you make your own oat milk at home you can be sure all the ingredients are of great quality and there is nothing extra in there. Plus, you can make your own chocolate milk, berry milk and vanilla milk this way!  You won’t ever want to buy it from the store again!

The complete recipe is below. Here is the video!

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Please comment below if you try this recipe. I would love to hear your thoughts, and would love to hear about any additional ingredients you tried in it!

Five Minute Oat Milk

Five Minute Oat Milk

Oat milk is very good for you and great for your heart. There can be many hidden sugars and preservatives in store bought oat milk. It is VERY easy to make at home though! I will walk you through how to make it in just five minutes in your kitchen.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup organic rolled oats
  • 1 tsp vanilla (optional)
  • 1 TB cacao powder (optional)
  • 1/4 cup berries (optional)
  • 2 TB coconut milk powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp coconut palm sugar (optional)

Instructions

  1. Add water to blender
  2. Add oats to blender
  3. Add vanilla to blender (optional)
  4. Add cacao powder to blender (optional for chocolate milk)
  5. Add berries to blender (optional for berry milk)
  6. Add coconut milk powder (optional for Coconut Oat Milk)
  7. Add coconut palm sugar (optional for sweetened milk)
  8. Blend until oats are broken down
  9. Strain the liquid through a nut milk bag
  10. Pour into bottle
  11. Chill and serve

 

Fresh Fruit
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Healthy Smoothie

One of my favorite easy breakfasts is a healthy smoothie. I include kale, a selection of fruits, nuts, protein powder, maca powder, hemp seeds, ground flax seeds, a little cinnamon and some non-dairy milk. One of my favorite is banana-almond. I put it all in my NutriBullet and it blends so easily. If you don’t have one, you could use a blender (thought it might take a bit more effort to get it to blend evenly) or you can buy one here (https://amzn.to/3a7R3jG). I often will set up bags with the fresh ingredients in them and leave in the freezer. This makes it easy to pull one out, add in powders and nuts, put it in the blender while I start the coffee and let it thaw just a bit before I blend. I have the ability to make it whatever consistency I like this way. It could be a sorbet texture I can eat with a spoon or just a refreshing smoothie. And the mix-in possibilities are endless. 

 

Healthy Smoothie - Power BreakfastSOME POSSIBLE INGREDIENT CHOICES:

        • Blueberries
        • Strawberries
        • Pineapple
        • Canteloupe
        • Honeydew Melon
        • Peaches
        • Kale
        • Almonds
        • Walnuts
        • Maca Powder
        • Protein Powder
        • Hemp Seeds
        • Chia Seeds
        • Ground Flax Seeds

One of my favorite dinners is Tuscan Rice. It is vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, heart healthy and so very tasty. This is a meal I make once a month. I make plenty so I have leftovers and freeze it in ready-to-eat portions that carry me through the month. The ingredients are readily available and inexpensive so this is a dish that can be made both easily and economically.

In my Tuscan Rice I include Sweet Potatoes, Baby Bella Mushrooms, Zucchini, Summer Squash, Sweet Onions, Red, Orange & Yellow Peppers, Dry Lentils, Brown Rice, Crushed Tomatoes, Basil, Oregano, Parsley, Salt substitute, Pepper, Chili Powder, Garlic Powder and Onion Powder

All ingredients below available by clicking on them:
Crushed Tomatoes, Onion Powder, Chili Powder, Garlic Powder, Minced Garlic, Pepper, Salt, Parsley, Oregano, Basil, Brown Rice, Dry Lentils

Tuscan Rice

Tuscan Rice

One of my favorite dinners is Tuscan Rice. It is vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, heart healthy and so very tasty. This is a meal I make once a month. I make plenty so I have leftovers and freeze it in ready-to-eat portions that carry me through the month. The ingredients are readily available and inexpensive so this is a dish that can be made both easily and economically.

Ingredients

Instructions

First, cook sweet potatoes al dente in microwave. Next, slice the vegetables. I have chosen baby bella mushrooms, onions, peppers, zucchini and summer squash. Put olive oil in large deep pan, heat to medium high. Add minced garlic. Saute until brown. Add sliced vegetables, turn heat down to medium, sauté vegetables for 3 minutes then turn heat down to low and cover. Start rice cooker with 1 cup rice and 1 cups water. Set to cook. Cook some lentils in saucepan. Open a large can of ground peeled tomatoes. Drain cooked lentils. Add lentils and can of tomatoes to vegetable mixture. Add oregano, basil, parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, salt and pepper. Skin cooked sweet potatoes and cut into chunks. Add to mixture in pan and cook on low to medium heat. Allow to simmer while rice cooker finishes. Add cooked rice to pan and stir into mixture. Remove from heat. Tuscan rice is ready to serve and enjoy. It pairs nicely with some fresh garlic bread.

Notes

Fresh garlic bread is really good with this.