Insights by Goldie
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Sound Consumer | December 2001

by Goldie Caughlan
Quality Standards Specialist

Gift giving ideas using bulk ingredients. Recipes below:

Cereal mixes:

Baking Mixes:

Bean mixes::

Students in a recent Natural Foods Kitchen class (which I teach nearly monthly in all stores) began asking about tips for turning the wonderful array of bulk foods into cost-conscious but nutritious and delicious gifts-from-the-heart. It's an idea whose time has come!

For gift giving, find interesting containers to layer the ingredients, and tie with a tidy bow. Some ideas: recycle those Mason jars from the summer's fruit jamming session; cellophane bags; festive tins. Load up three or four mixes in a basket and you've got a memorable gift!

Cereal Mixes

Sesame Ginger Granola

Makes about 4 cups

4 cups regular or thick cut rolled oats
1/4 cup whole, brown sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon powered ginger

In a small bowl, whisk together
1/2 cup honey (or 3/4 cup frozen concentrated apple juice, undiluted)
3 Tablespoons refined (not toasted) sesame oil
3 Tablespoons raw sesame butter (tahini)
2 Tablespoons mellow white style miso (such as Westbrae or Miso Master)
1/2 cup candied ginger, cut in small pieces

Pre-heat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, toss oats, sesame seeds and ginger. In a separate bowl, whisk honey, sesame oil, tahini, and miso.

Thoroughly mix wet and dry ingredients in large bowl, using hands or rubber spatulas.

Spread the mixture on two or three cookie sheets (lightly sprayed or wiped with oil), and bake. After 10 to 15 minutes, stir bake for another 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer toasted granola to the large bowl, and add candied ginger bits and toss. Cool completely.

Package and give away! Advise recipient to keep refrigerated if not eaten within four weeks or so.

Toasty Brown Rice Pudding or Porridge With Coconut, Cardamom and Cranberries

1 1/2 cups short grain brown rice
Scant 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
1 vanilla bean, split

Toast rice in a dry pan over medium heat. Cool, then pulverize, 1/2 cup at a time, in a regular blender with lid on tightly.

Combine rice with other three ingredients, and place in a large container.

With each of the next ingredients, make a separate, small package and place in the larger rice container:
1/4 cup flaked coconut, toasted and cooled
1/3 cup dried, sweetened cranberries (or substitute diced dried mango, pineapple or papaya - or a combination of those three!)

Tuck these instructions into the large container:
Whisk 3/4 cup rice mixture, including half of the vanilla bean, into 2 cups boiling water, lowering the heat to simmer. After a couple of minutes, stir in half of the fruit, stirring occasionally as it thickens. Think of your porridge/pudding like soothing cream of wheat-but with great flavor and packed with nutrition! You can thin or thicken with more water (or milk) or longer simmering. Serve hot, as porridge, or pour into pudding cups, cover with plastic wrap (not touching) and chill. Top with toasted coconut is as a delicious, crunchy garnish.

Powerhouse Breakfast with Date Bits and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Makes about 21/2 cups, plus 1/2 cup seeds

1/2 cup each: amaranth seeds, raw buckwheat groats, millet and brown teff seeds
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon allspice)
1/2 cup date pieces (these are sold dusted in oat flour, packaged in the dried fruit section)
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds

Combine all ingredients, except pumpkin seeds. With pumpkin seeds, toast lightly in a dry pan over medium heat. Set aside and cool.

Package cereal and spice mixture in a pretty container. Place toasted pumpkin seeds in a smaller package, and slip into larger container.

Include these instructions:
To serve two, mix 1/2 cup dry mix with 11/4 cups cold water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer, covered for 15 to 20 minutes. For thinner cereal, add a bit of water or milk. For a thicker treat, simmer a bit longer. Serve topped with milk or a pat of butter and toasted pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!

Baking Mixes

Powerhouse Breakfast and 3-B's Whole Grain Pancake and Waffle Mix

3-B's Whole Grain Pancake & Waffle Mix

Package separate pecans and maple syrup to complete gift
Makes about 6 1/2 cups

3 cups barley flour
2 cups buckwheat flour
1 cup blue corn flour
2 tablespoons Sucanat or Florida Crystals (less refined sugar, in bulk) or brown or turbinado sugar
3 tablespoons Rumford non-aluminum baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chopped raw pecans
8 ounces organic maple syrup, from liquid bulk, in a small bottle.

In a large bowl, mix first six ingredients. Fill up pretty containers. Make smaller packages of the chopped pecans. Make a basket of mix, nuts and syrup.

Include these instructions:
For pancakes, whisk together 2 cups of dry mix with 1 whole egg (or two egg whites), 1 tablespoon oil and 13/4 cup milk (or milk alternative). Let mixture set up for 5 minutes. Thin with milk, if desired. Sprinkle a few pieces of pecans directly onto sprayed or oiled griddle, cover with 1/4 cup fairly thin dough. Turn when bubbles appear, as with any pancake. Putting nuts directly on griddle gives a crisper nut. Or omit nuts if preferred, or stir into batter. For waffles, no different instructions for mixing. Sprinkle nuts onto pre-heated and oiled waffle grids, add batter, and close top grid, following waffle iron instructions for baking. Enjoy with warm maple syrup! Serves 2 to 3.

All-Purpose Whole Grain Scone or Biscuit Mix
This is like Bisquick™, but better!
Makes about 7 cups

4 cups organic whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup organic nonfat, non-instant, Organic Valley powdered milk (on the baking shelf)
3 tablespons Rumford's non-aluminum baking powder
1/2 cup Spectrum Organic Shortening (see note)

Mix dry ingredients. In food processor, or working by hand with a pastry cutter, cut in the shortening thoroughly. Makes about 7 cups. (This mix was inspired by and adapted from a recipe by Nikki Goldbeck in American Wholefoods Cuisine, a now near-classic cookbook, still very much in print!)

Note: Spectrum's Organic Shortening, available on the baking shelves, is pure organic palm oil, not palm kernel, firm at room temperature, yet half the saturated fat of butter, and is not hydrogenated. Fabulous when you need a "flaky" textured biscuit or pie crust dough, etc.

Include these instructions:
For basic scones: Preheat oven to 425°F. Gently spoon 2 1/4 cups mix into measuring cup. Add 1/2 cup very cold water, stir together, then turn out and knead lightly. You can use up to 3 tablespoons of flour, if necessary, for handling the dough. If you want slightly sweetened scones, add 3 tablespoons unrefined sugar at this time, with no other adjustments. Or add 1/3 cup dried currants, raisins or cranberries. If you do add the dried fruit, add up to two more tablespoons water.

Knead gently to combine. Pat into a rectangle ½ inch thick. Cut into four squares, then cut crossways, for 8 triangles. Bake for about 15 minutes, until golden. Serve while warm.

For Savory Scones: Add just 1 tablespoon sugar to dry mix. Reduce water by 2 tablespoons, and replace with 2 tablespoons minced canned chilies with their juices.

For quick Apple Spice Muffins: To 3 cups mix, add 1 cup water, 1 beaten egg, 2 tablespoons frozen apple juice concentrate and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Spoon into oiled muffin tin or paper liners, about 2/3 full, and bake in pre-heated 400°F oven for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Bean Mixes

Aduki and Mung Bean Combo for Sprouting

1/2 cup green mung beans
1/2 cup dark red aduki (also called adzuki) beans

Mix and package together in a jar or large zipper bag, with instructions for sprouting and a simple recipe for Egg Fu Yung.

Instructions:
To sprout: Place 1/4 cup mixed beans in large mouth quart jar with 1 cup water overnight. In the morning, drain, rinse and drain again. Place in dark cupboard. Repeat procedure, rinsing, draining, and returning to dark, for 3 to 4 days — no longer. Sprouts will be about 1/2 inch in length, and should be cooked, not eaten raw. The original 1/4 cup will make about 1 1/4 cups sprouts. Toss in any stir-fry for the last three or four minutes.

Or try this great, quick, high-protein supper. Simple Egg Fu Yung Recipe:
1/3 cup finely minced celery
1/3 cup sliced mushrooms (Shitake tastes best!)
1/2 cup minced onions
1.4 cup minced green peppers
1 to 1 1/4 cups of the bean sprouts (don't remove their colorful husks!)

Sauté vegetables in 1 teaspoon cooking oil on medium heat, just for two or three minutes, to soften a bit and release juices. Scrape vegetables and their liquid into a bowl with a spatula. Let cool for five minutes

Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together 4 eggs, 1 tablespoon soy sauce and dash of pepper. Optional: add 1/3 teaspoon 5-Spice powder.

Stir egg mixture into vegetables.

Heat a griddle to medium hot, lightly oil it, and using a one-quarter or one-half cup measure, dip into egg mixture and drop onto griddle. Cook each side for about two minutes. Keep warm in oven. Enjoy with rice or other grain.

Delicious Sweet and Sour Sauce
Heat 8 ounces canned, unsweetened, crushed pineapple and juices. Make a paste of 1/4 cup of juice and 1 tablespoon cornstarch (or arrowroot), and add to simmering fruit. Add a tablespoon or two of soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon or two vinegar (rice or apple cider are preferred). Cook for five minutes. Taste, and serve with the egg/veggie patties with rice or other cooked grain.

Red Lentil Soup or Sauce

Makes 2 cups of mix

2 cups red lentils
1/4 cup dried onion pieces (not powdered or granulated)
1/2 cup finely chopped dried tomato pieces
2 large bay leaves
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala powder

Mix all ingredients and place in an attractive container.

As an extra consideration, include three extra, separate labeled bags with cumin, curry and garam masala so the cook can add a little extra if desired.

Include these instructions:
Place contents in a large cooking pot with 7 cups cold water and bring to a boil. Stir, reduce to low, cover and simmer for approximately 20 minutes. At ten minutes, red lentils are digestible, and at 20 or more they become very "soupy" and thicken. Add salt to taste. If you enjoy fresh cilantro, add 1/4 cup chopped leaves to pot, and serve soup with raw chopped cilantro, plus either yogurt or crumbled feta cheese. This is also delicious as a sauce, served over cooked basmati rice, accompanied by a crisp cole slaw or steamed, chopped, vinegared kale or spinach as a side vegetable.

Spicy Hoppin' John

Spicy Hoppin' John

This black-eyed pea dish is traditionally served as the first meal on January 1st, together with rice and cooked greens — and maybe you'd enjoy some baked sweet potatoes and corn muffins on the side!

Makes 2 cups mix

2 cups black-eyed peas
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup dried onion flakes (not powdered or granulated)
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 whole smoked chipotle pepper (or 1/2 to 1 teaspoon chipotle powder)
1 teaspoon powdered cumin

Mix ingredients together and package in a container. In 3 small, separate, labeled bags, put about 1 teaspoon each of garlic, chipotle powder and cumin. Give together with a 28-ounce can of Muir Glen Fire-Roasted diced tomatoes.

Include these instructions:
Put soup mix in a large pot with 4 cups of cold water and a 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes, including juice. Bring to a boil, stir once, reduce to low, cover, and simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Salt and adjust spices to taste. Serve with cooked rice, if desired. Serves 6 to 8.

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