Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Whole Wheat Wednesday and One-Ingredient Ice Cream

It has been an interesting week. I’ve had a chance to visit with a friend I have not really visited with for years. I have also done some reading; considering all the yard work, painting projects and other things I have had going on, that is amazing in and of itself.

One thing that I learned this weekend is that there seems to be a sense of awareness (I almost used the word panic) about preparedness. More than one person has stated they have had strong premonitions or promptings – I have heard both words used – about the coming winter and the financial “condition” this nation is in. More than one person told me, just this weekend alone, that they are gearing up for what they believe is going to be a long, cold and difficult winter. Interesting. Another said she feels there is a “time limit” for her to get prepared, with food on her shelves and enough fuel to get her through the winter. I also read that at a family reunion this past month, one father told his children and grandchildren that he was insisting that each of them have a 6 month (minimum) food storage on their shelves before October. That is quite a request.

This has made me think a lot about the coming winter. With such a tough growing season throughout the whole country, it is not surprising that there is more of an awareness now about food shortages and cold weather trauma. One lady mentioned a dream she had about an early hard freeze that left crops still in the fields. Scary! I don’t even like to think about that but with all the strange weather we’ve had this year it could happen. If something like this did happen, it would affect everyone, not just those who live in farming areas, but anyone who eats.

I’m struggling with using more food storage lately. Maybe it is the heat and my lack of desire to cook, but it’s been a tough summer for trying to incorporate more food storage. Nothing sounds good and it seems like a lot of extra work. One good way to use food storage without really trying though is in pancakes or waffles. Bonus: it doesn’t heat up your kitchen much.

One of the first ways I ever used whole wheat was in waffles and pancakes. I love the blender whole wheat pancakes and they are an old standby when I don’t have any whole wheat ground and am in a hurry. I love them. I also love mixes. Homemade mixes taste so much fresher than the mixes you buy and it’s great to be able to whip up a batch of waffles in a hurry.

This is a great recipe that uses several whole grains. The whole wheat flour to white flour ratio is 2 to 1 in this recipe. Adjust it as you wish but I love this ratio. Toasting the wheat germ and oat bran enhances the flavors or you can purchase them already toasted. You can buy these in bulk for just pennies without having to buy a large quantity if you wish.

I also love that this recipe uses buttermilk powder as well. My mom always used buttermilk powder in her pancakes and waffles when I was a child and I still love pancakes or waffles made with it. You can purchase it in large quantities or smaller containers in almost any grocery store. There are several different brands as well.

This recipe makes a large quantity of mix. If you have limited space in your fridge you can easily cut the recipe in half. These waffles are great served with fresh fruit and there are so many fruits available right now. Give this one a try; I think you’ll like it.

Whole-Wheat Waffle Mix Recipe
Y: 40 Servings
8 c. whole wheat flour
4 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. toasted wheat germ *to toast: toast on a baking sheet at 375°F for 5- 7 minutes until lightly brown
2 c. toasted oat bran *to toast: toast on a baking sheet at 375°F for 5- 7 minutes until lightly brown
2 c. buttermilk powder
6 T. baking powder
4 t. baking soda
2 t. salt

For Waffles:

2 c. waffle mix
2 eggs
1 c. water
2 T. canola oil
2 T. honey
In a large bowl, combine the first eight ingredients. You can buy toasted wheat germ and toasted oat bran or you can quickly toast your own. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. Yield: 17 c. mix (about 8 batches). Recipe can be halved.
To make waffles: Place 2 c. waffle mix in a bowl. Combine eggs, water, oil and honey; stir into waffle mix just until moistened. Bake in a preheated waffle iron according to manufacturer's directions until golden brown. Yield: 5 waffles (about 6”) per batch. *Note: Look for buttermilk blend powder next to the powdered milk in your grocery store.

I’m also including a fun ice cream recipe that has only 1 ingredient. Bananas. If you have not tried this, you must. I’ve had this recipe in my file for a long time but didn’t think I’d really ever make it. It was a great alternative to making banana bread and heating up the house. I was a skeptic when I heard of this and I’m not a banana lover in the first place, so I had to try it and see if it worked. It did and it was good. There are so many things you could add to this. Try it for yourself.

Banana Soft Serve “Ice Cream”
You can freeze this “ice cream” if you want but it’s best eaten immediately.
2 large very ripe bananas
¼ t. vanilla Optional
Peel bananas and slice into ½”discs. Arrange banana slices in a single layer on a parchment or wax paper covered baking sheet. Cover with wax paper or parchment. Freeze 9-10 hours until solidly frozen.
Puree banana slices in food processor until chunky, scraping down the bowl as needed. Continue to puree, scraping sides and bottom of processor until the mixture reaches a smooth, soft serve-like consistency. Add vanilla, if desired. Serve immediately. For a variation: blend in a few Tablespoons of Nutella, peanut butter or chocolate sauce if desired. I plan to slice a couple of strawberries into the mix next time.

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