Tag Archive for Whole grain

Muesli and fruit breakfast

A delicious and healthy breakfast!

Although I love (fat-free) Greek yoghurt, I don’t really like it in this recipe, because it doesn’t mix very well with the other ingredients because it is quite thick. Therefore I use a more liquid, not too acidic yoghurt as alternative. I find the standard muesli you can buy in the supermarket a bit boring (and it tends to be a bit stale as well), so I either buy a premium brand (like dorset or eat natural), or I buy something from the whole foods shop, that has a more in it than only oats and raisins. Use broken linseed and not whole linseed, because it has a hard shell that you cannot digest, so you don’t absorb any nutrients from a whole linseed, it just passes through you whole. You can either crack them yourself, or buy them already broken (but keep in mind they tend to turn rancid quite fast). And you can use any bran you like, I use wheat bran, but oat bran is also very nice if you can find it.

Muesli and Fruit Breakfast

Muesli and fruit breakfast (serves 2)

1 apple
1 kiwi
1 small orange (or a mandarin or minneola)
2 slices of pineapple (preferably fresh or from a can on juice, not on syrup)

300 ml mild yoghurt
90 g muesli
2 tbsp broken linseed
2 tbsp bran

Core the apple and slice in small cubes. Peel and core the kiwi, slice in small cubes. Peel the orange, slice in small cubes. Slice the pineapple slices in small cubes. Mix all the fruit together and divide over two bowls. Divide the yoghurt between the two bowls, then sprinkle over the muesli, linseed and bran. Eat immediately.

Courgette Oatmeal Bars

And here is another recipe to use up courgettes. These bars are soft, sturdy and filling. I like it when things like this are not too sweet, but this recipe makes bars that are really just barely sweet. They were almost not sweet enough for my taste (although my husband adores them as they are), so when you like things to be sweeter, add more honey. They have quite an unique taste and texture, so it is quite hard to describe it accurately. Think more along the line of a sturdy baked oatmeal, than something like a cookie bar. They can be frozen very well, so you can make a batch and eat a square each day as a snack.

Courgette oatmeal bars (18 squares)
Slightly adapted from A Sweet Baker

2 cups grated courgette (about 1 large or 2 small courgettes)
2 eggs
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup mashed banana (about 1 medium banana)
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts

Preheat the oven to 175C and line a 23×33 cm baking dish with baking paper.
Mix courgette, eggs, coconut oil, milk, honey, banana, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla well. Stir through the rolled oats, them fold in the raisins and walnuts.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and flatten with the back of a spoon until it is even.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until top is golden brown. Remove from the baking dish (using the baking paper) and place on a wire rack to cool completely. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container for 2 days, or freeze them.

Carrot Courgette Muffins

Another recipe for the courgette surplus. These muffins are very moist, which means that they keep well and can be frozen as well. The moistness mainly comes from the carrot and the courgette, but the muffins certainly don’t taste like vegetables. They are barely sweet, and walnuts add a bit more texture. Because the muffins consist mainly of vegetables and whole wheat flour, and only have a little bit added sugar (in the form of honey/maple syrup) and fat, they are actually quite healthy and filling. My muffins are a bit darker than you can expect from the recipe, because I used stroop (Dutch molasses/treacle), which is darker than honey/maple syrup.

Carrot Courgette Muffins

Carrot Courgette Muffins (12 muffins)
Slightly adapted from Cupcakes & Kale Chips

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
45 g butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup finely grated courgette
1/2 cup finely grated carrot
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 175C and line a muffin pan with paper or silicon liners.
Mix flour, cinnamon, salt and baking soda, and mix together butter, honey, egg and vanilla extract in another bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir together until just combined. Add the courgette, carrot, raisins and walnuts and stir until just mixed. Divide the batter over the muffin cups.
Bake for 20-25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Leave to cool 10 minutes in the muffin pan, then take out to cool further.
Store in an airtight container for 3 days maximum, or freeze.

Whole grain cinnamon swirl bread

Whole grain cinnamon swirl bread should say it all. A delicious whole grain bread base filled with a perfectly balanced swirl of sugar, cinnamon and raisins, to be enjoyed as it is or roasted smeared with butter. Extra perfect, because I could use up some of the grain flakes and other stuff that I had left. Unfortunately, I had some difficulties with this recipe. For some reason (probably my flours) the dough came out much too wet, even after adding lots of extra flour, making it quite impossible to kneed and roll. Luckily, the end result was (even though it didn’t have a perfect swirl) very jummy. I expect that making this recipe is a lot easier when you have a stand mixer. In the original recipe they add the water to the liquid ingredients, I adapted the recipe here to hold it back and only add it (or some of it) if necessary to prevent a very messy wet dough like I had.
The recipe makes two loaves, you can halve the recipe but you can also make both breads and freeze one of them for later use. My loaves are unequally sized because I do not have two loaf pans that are the same size. For that, I used a bit more dough and filling for the larger one, and a bit less for the smaller one.

Whole Grain Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Whole grain cinnamon swirl bread (2 loaves)
Slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen

635 g whole-wheat flour
160 g mixed whole grains*
2 tsp salt
50 g brown sugar
1 large egg
55 grams vegetable oil
300 ml lukewarm milk
13 g dry yeast (or 2 packets)
300 ml lukewarm water

100 g sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
85 g raisins or currants
5 g flour
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water

Combine milk, sugar and yeast, whisk until the yeast is dissolved. Add the egg and the oil and whisk until combined. Combine flour, grains and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture and use a large wooden spoon to mix for about 1 minute. Gradually add the water while mixing, the dough will be coarse and wet, but should not be too wet. Leave to rest for about 5 minutes.
Mix the dough for another 2 minutes with the spoon. The dough should be firm and more smooth, supple and sticky. When it is very wet you can add more flour, a spoonful at a time. If it is very stiff/dry, add more water, a spoonful at a time. Mix another 4 minutes, using the large spoon.
Dump the dough onto your workspace. Knead a few times, form the dough into a ball and let it rest for 10 minutes (cover with the empty bowl upside down). Repeat this process two more times. Then transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl that is large enough for the dough to double. Cover with cling film and place on a warm spot to rise for about 60 to 70 minutes. The dough should be doubled.
Prepare the filling by mixing the sugar, cinnamon and flour. Prepare your loaf pans by greasing them.
Divide the dough in two. Roll one of the pieces into a rectangle of 40 x 20 cm. Brush the dough with the egg and water mixture. Sprinkle half the cinnamon sugar mixture over the dough, then half the raisins. Beginning with a short edge, roll the dough into a log. Press the seam and ends to close them, and place in the prepared loaf pan. Repeat with the other piece of dough.
Cover the pans with cling film, placing it loosely on top to keep room for rising. Place the loaf pans on a warm place and leave to rise for about 1 hour, or until the dough crowns about 3 cm over the rim of the pan. Meanwhile heat the oven to 190C.
Place the loaf pans in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes. When done, it will sound hollow when tapped.

*Which whole grains to use: rye flour, rye meal, rye flakes, cornmeal, cooked grits or polenta, rolled oats or oat flour, amaranth, uncooked ground quinoa, cooked whole quinoa, quinoa flakes, whole or ground flax seeds (limit this to under 30 grams of the mix), or cooked brown rice, bulgur or barley.
I used 35 gram cornmeal, 30 gram of flax seeds, 30 gram amaranth, 30 gram quinoa flakes and 40 gram of millet flakes.

Whole grain apricot muffins

Without reading the recipe (or someone telling you), you would never know that these muffins are made with whole grain flour and extra bran as well. Most of the time, recipes use a mixture of white and whole grain flour, because baked goods made with only whole grain flour tend to be very dry and tough. But not this recipe, the muffins are lovely tender, moist, not too sweet and they have a lovely crispy top. Just from the oven they are delicious, but they stay that way for 3-4 days, so you don’t have to eat them all at once. And with all the fibre in them, they fill you up as well.

Apricot Muffin

Whole grain apricot muffins (12 muffins)
From “Gezond eten voor je darmen – Sophie Braimbridge”

75 ml sunflower oil
2 eggs
150 g sugar
150 g low-fat yoghurt
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of baking soda
pinch of salt
pinch of cinnamon and ginger
1 tsp vanilla extract
150 g whole grain flour
50 g bran
75 g dried apricots, chopped

Preheat the oven to 190C. Put paper muffin cup liners in a muffin tray.
Mix oil, eggs, sugar, yoghurt, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and vanilla with a whisk. Add the flour and bran, fold through with a spatula. Add the apricots and fold through as well. As with all muffins, mix the batter as little as possible to achieve the best results.
Divide the batter over the cups in the muffin tray. Place in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until they are golden and a sateh stick comes out clean. Leave to cool for a few minutes in the tray, then take out and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

Whole Wheat Rolls

A few weeks ago I made a basic whole grain bread. It was delicious, but there were a few things I wasn’t completely happy with. I think one of the perks of making bread at home is the delicious crispy crust. Although the bread had a delicious crust to start with, it became softer and chewier due to storing it airtight to prevent the crumb from drying out after slicing the first slice. And although the bread was still very delicious, I wondered if it was possible to fix this issue and make the bread even better.
That is why I made individual sized rolls instead of a loaf. The recipe stays the same, but in the shaping step you divide the dough in 12 equal parts, roll them into rolls and place them on a baking sheet; and in the baking step you bake them for 10 minutes at 230C and 15 minutes at 200C.
I froze half of the rolls, and left the other half out and about on the cooling rack. Both worked great, the ones on the cooling rack stayed crisp for 2 days, and the ones from the freezer (defrost by leaving them a few hours on room temperature) stayed pretty crisp as well. And both could be crisped up by placing them a few minutes in a hot oven. So in the future I will make rolls instead of a loaf!

Whole Wheat Rolls

Whole Grain Bread

It’s maybe not the best weather for baking bread (summer finally came to the Netherlands), but I did it anyway, because I finally found a nice-looking recipe for simple whole grain bread. I like all the special breads, made with white flour or are enriched with all kinds of ingredients, but for us, those are not suitable for every day meals. And bought everyday breads are either flavourless, or too expensive. That is why I’ve tried to make whole grain bread many times before, but it always ended up flavourless and crumbly in texture, so I kept buying cheap but flavourless breads from the supermarket. But this recipe is different: it uses a poolish (preferment) and has a long, slow rise, which both give a lot of flavour and help with the texture. And indeed, the result is great! It is quite some work to make this bread, so the next thing I’d like to try is if the bread freezes well. In that case, I can bake two breads at once, eat one directly and freeze the other for the other halve of the week. I’ll keep you posted!

Also check out these rolls made with the same dough!

Whole Grain Bread

Whole grain bread (1 bread)
slightly adapted from “Uit de keuken van Levine

250 gram whole grain flour
250 gram water, room temperature
1/2 tsp dried yeast

80 gram water, 20 – 25 °C
250 gram whole grain flour
1 tsp dried yeast
1.5 tsp salt
15 gram soft butter

sunflower oil (or other neutral oil) for greasing the bowl
bread tin of 23 – 25 cm, greased

Make the poolish 6-8 hours in advance (when you’re baking in the morning, you can make the poolish the evening before, when you’re baking in the evening you can make the poolish in the morning). Make sure you use a bowl that is large enough, the mixture will at least quadruple. To make the poolish mix the whole grain flour, water and yeast with a wooden spoon or fork in a large bowl until everything is combined well. Cover with cling film and leave to bubble away at room temperature for 6-8 hours. It is important to use the poolish before it collapses, so don’t leave it too long.
To make the dough: add all the ingredients for the dough to a bowl (I just dump all the other ingredients on top of the bowl I used for the poolish) and mix well with a fork or wooden spoon. Dump it onto your workspace (optionally greased with some sunflower oil, but no flour!) and knead it to a supple dough in 15-20 minutes. It is very sticky in the beginning and only starts to become less sticky at the end of kneading, but don’t add any extra flour because this will make the bread less tasty. Do the windowpane test to check if the bread is kneaded enough: take a small ball of dough and stretch it slowly while turning. If you get a nice, thin window it is good, if it rips, kneed an extra 5 minutes and try again.
Form the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly greased bowl. Turn it around so that all the sides of the ball are covered with a little oil (this prevents the dough from drying out and forming a hard skin). Cover with greased cling film and leave to rise for 45 minutes at room temperature. It should almost double in size.
Dump the dough on your (greased) workspace and press the air out. Form it in a ball, cover with greased cling film and leave to rest for 20 minutes. Then form the dough into a loaf (check the original recipe for more extensive guidance, it has a link to pictures with the forming process): roll the dough into a rectangle (the long side is horizontal). Fold the right side to the middle of the dough, do the same with the left side and let the sides overlap slightly (basically you fold the dough double, but with the seem in the middle on top). Then, roll the dough again, but this time the long side of the rectangle is vertical, and the short horizontal side should not get broader than the baking tin you will use. Then, roll the dough up, starting at the top (short, horizontal side), making sure to roll it very tight. Close the seem by pinching it and place the loaf in the baking tin with the seem down.
Cover with greased cling film and let rise for the second time, about 60 minutes. Again, the dough should almost double in size. It has risen enough when you press it with your finger and bounces back slowly. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 230C.
Place the loaf tin with the risen bread onto a baking tray in the oven, spray with a spray bottle some water on the oven walls to create a steamy environment. Close the oven door immediately. Bake the bread 20 minutes, then lower the temperature to 200C and bake for a further 20 minutes. Remove the bread directly from the tin after baking and leave to cool completely on a wire rack before attempting to slice it.
Storing the bread air tight will make the crust chewy (still very delicious), so when you like a crispy crust and the bread is intact it is best to keep it out in the open. When you ate some slices, do store it airtight, otherwise the crumb will dry out. The bread will keep at room temperature for 2-3 days if you store it airtight and only slice the bread you need immediately.

Whole grain cottage cheese bread

After an unsuccessful experiment , I had quite some cottage cheese leftover. Someone suggested that it was a nice snack combined with some berry’s, but I really don’t like the crumbly texture. So I went searching on the internet (it is great to use foodgawker and pinterest for this!), looking for recipes to finish up my cottage cheese. A complication: most of the things I found were either things in which the texture of the cottage cheese was still present, or desserts, cakes and more sweet stuff, while I wanted to make something savoury which would hide the crumbly texture. I did find a very interesting recipe for very low carb cloud bread, but since I had a lot more than three tablespoons of cottage cheese leftover, I searched further. In the end I went with a recipe for whole grain cottage cheese bread, and was very happy to do so. 100% whole grain bread usually is very dry and can get quite bland too, but this bread was very moist and flavoursome. It is also a straightforward bread to make and doesn’t take to much time. I will definitely make this bread again! We spread some herbed cream cheese on top and ate it with a bowl of tomato soup.

Cottage  Cheese Bread

Whole grain cottage cheese bread
Adapted from Little Accidents in the Kitchen

420 gram whole wheat flour
7 gram dry yeast (1 package)
1 1/2 tsp salt
40 ml warm water
1 cup cottage cheese
2 eggs
50 gram butter, softened
more flour to work dough, if necessary
1 tbsp milk, for brushing

Pour the flour in a big bowl. Make a well in the middle. Sprinkle the yeast on top on one side, the salt on the other side (otherwise the yeast will be killed).
Blend cottage cheese together with the water till smooth. Add the smooth cottage cheese together with the eggs to the flour.
Stir everything together with a fork, then use your hands to kneed the dough. Kneed for about 10 minutes, then knead in the butter until it is absorbed. It should be a smooth and wet, but not sticky dough (if not, add a bit more flour or water to achieve the right consistency). Knead for a few more minutes.
Place dough in a bowl, cover with either cling film or a damp towel and allow to rise for 40-60 minutes, or until doubled in volume.
Divide dough into 8 equal pieces. Shape into balls and place the dough balls into a greased baking dish.
Cover again and allow to rise for another 30-40 minutes. Preheat the oven.
Brush lightly with milk and bake at 205C for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Serve warm or on room temperature.
Note: I think this bread would also be delicious with some herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano, chives, garlic, black pepper) added to the dough.

Whole wheat goldfish crackers

Goldfish crackers are really famous in America, and maybe also in other countries, I don’t know. What I do know is that they are not available in the Netherlands at all. Luckily, there are many recipes around to make them yourself, and this recipe from Smitten Kitchen is even healthified a bit by using mainly whole wheat flour, without the fish tasting like whole wheat at all. These crackers very simple, just nice and cheesy and lovely to snack on.

Only… I don’t have a goldfish cutter… so I used a star instead. And the suggested cheddar in the original recipe is in the Netherlands either cheap and disgusting, or quite expensive. So I used a nice and affordable aged Gouda instead (for the Dutch people: belegen).


Whole wheat goldfish crackers
from Smitten Kitchen

3/4 cup cheese
30 gram butter
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/8 all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon onion or garlic powder
1/8 salt

Preheat the oven to 175C.
Use a food processor to mix all the ingredients together (I tried without, that didn’t work, so stick with the food processor).
If the dough is very soft, put it in the fridge.
Roll the dough to about 3 mm thickness, I found this works best by rolling it between two layers of cling film. Use a cookie cutter to make shapes, transfer them to a baking tray lined with baking paper.
Bake in the middle in the oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges are barely brown. If you leave them to brown further, they will get bitter.
Put on a rack to cool.

Whole grain chocolate chip cookies

These are the best chocolate cookies ever! They have very healthy ingredients, but don’t taste healthy at all. They taste like very, very nice chocolate cookies. And the best thing: do you know the feeling that you get when you eat to much cookies? That stuffed, slightly dizzy and nauseated feeling? And still be hungry/get hungry again after half an hour? Not with this cookie. They are very satisfying to eat, fill you up nicely and you will stay full for quite some time. No feeling of guilt after eating cookies any more, because this is about as healthy as you can get for healthy, tasty indulgence!
The cookies are best if you rest the batter as long as you can, at least 1 hour and up to 24. In this way the flavours can work in to each other and the moisture can be absorbed by the grains. But if you are short on time or just impatient, you can also bake them immediately, they still taste very good. The original recipe suggests to bake them ever so slightly underdone, so that they are nice and chewy. I prefer to bake them a little longer, so that they are nice and crisp. It just depends on whether you like chewy or crisp cookies.
The cookies store quite well in an airtight container. I found that the longer baked cookies were nicer the next day than the shorter baked ones, but again I think it depends on what you like. So try it out for yourself!

Chocolate Cookies

Whole grain chocolate chip cookies (9-12 cookies, depending on size)
Slightly adapted from Cookie and Kate

1 1/6 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 tsp baking soda
1/3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon and/or vanilla
75 gram butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup raw sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup rolled oats
135 gram chocolate chips (I use a mix of chopped dark and milk chocolate bars, if you want to be really healthy use the darkest chocolate you can get/like)

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon/vanilla in a bowl. In a separate bowl, cream the butter with the two sugars. Mix in the egg and scoop the dry ingredients from the other bowl trough. Take care not to overwork! It will be a very stiff dough. Then mix in the oats and chocolate. Cover and leave to rest (put it in the fridge if you leave it for a longer period).
Preheat the oven at 190C. Line a baking tray with baking paper (or a silicon mat). Scoop generous tablespoons of the batter on, and flatten them a bit. They will spread, so don’t put them to close to each other. I find that the amount of dough that this recipe makes produces 9-12 cookies (depends on how generous your tablespoons are) and that they will fit precisely on 1 baking tray.
Bake the cookies for 12-16 minutes (time depends on your oven and the amount of chew/crisp you like). Leave them rest on the baking tray for 5-10 minutes to firm up, then transport to a rack to cool further. This is really important! If you try to take them from the baking tray immediately, they will fall apart. And if you don’t let them cool on a rack (or something else that lets the air circulate around) the bottom of the cookies will be very soggy.
Eat when cooled.