Acorn flour muffins

I wanted a little something to serve with morning tea, so I baked up a batch of acorn muffins. these lovely muffins have a soft crumb, are low in refined sugar, provide a fair amount of protein and fiber, use simple ingredients and are vegan. The following is my recipe for these yummy muffins.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cup plant based milk
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice or apple cider vinegar 
  • 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flax seed mixed with 2 1/2 tablespoons water)
  • 1/3 cup nut oil (walnut, hazelnut or pecan)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1/2 cup wheat bran
  • 1/2 cup acorn flour
  • 1 1/2 cups All-Purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries, blueberries or raisins

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425F and prepare a muffin tin.
  2. Whisk together the plant milk, apple cider vinegar, flax egg, oil, brown sugar, maple syrup and vanilla extract in a bowl. Whisk together the wheat bran, acorn flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a larger bowl. 
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and add the walnuts and cranberries. Stir to combine.
  4. Fill the muffin tin with the batter evenly. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until a toothpick comes out cleanly when poked into a muffin. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. 

End of the season canning

Harvested the very last of our vegetables for the season. These little odds and ends created 5 pints sweet and sour Brussels sprouts, 3 pints of pickled golden beets and 2 of red beets, 6 pints of beet greens, cup of dehydrated celery powder, a few acorn squash for cold storage, and a large pot of potato, celery root and leek soup that will be canned tomorrow. Now for a bit of rest and relaxation…

Vegan low fat, low sugar applesauce bread

Apple production this year was very high so i canned a lot of apple butter, apple sauce and pie fillings. I used the last batch of applesauce processed to make some moist and yummy applesauce breads to consume now and to be frozen as nice treats for the winter months. some of the nice things about this bread are it is simple to make, low in sugar and fat and best of all vegan. this recipe used is as follows.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons water
  • 1 1⁄2 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1⁄4 cup white sugar
  • 1⁄4 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄4 cup raisins
  • 1⁄4 cup walnut pieces

Directions

  1. Mix ground flax seed and water into a small bowl and set aside for 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F And prepare a loaf pan.
  3. Mix flax seed mixture with applesauce, oil sugars and salt in a large bowl, and combine thoroughly.
  4. Stir in flours, baking soda and baking powder; mix well.
  5. Stir in raisins and walnut pieces.
  6. Pour into a prepared loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean.
  7. Let it rest in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out and allow to cool on rack.
  8. Store in air-tight container.

Fermented or pickled sun chokes (Jerusalem artichokes)

Our Jerusalem artichokes have stoped flowering and the first frost is due any day so it is time to harvest some sun chokes (the tubers of the plant) for preserving and roasting.

Depending on how the sun chokes are cut they can be either creamy little morsels or crispy little chips, with both preparations they will have a very nice slightly sweet taste. To make soft potato like chokes cut the tubers into bite sized pieces and then toss with olive oil, sat and pepper, and bake skin side down on a sheet pan in a 400 degree oven until the chunks start to brown. For chips thinly slice the chokes, toss with olive oil and salt, lay out on a sheet pan in a single layer and bake at 400 degrees or air fry until crisp.

For longer term use and to add some brightness to fall/winter salads, tacos and vegetable trays sun chokes can be fermented or pickled. The recipes I use for these methods are listed below.


Fermented sun chokes (Jerusalem artichokes)

  • 2 pounds sun chokes
  • 1 quart of well or filtered water
  • 2 Tbsp sea salt or pickling salt
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp dried red pepper flakes or fresh chopped red pepper
  • 1- 1/2 gallon or 2 or 3 quart glass jars

Directions

  1. If using a 1/2 gallon jar place the garlic and hot pepper or flakes into bottom of the jar. If using quart jars, distribute the garlic cloves and chopped red peppers or pepper flakes into the bottom of the glass jars.
  2. Wash and scrub the sunchokes well, but don’t worry about peeling them. If they are too large to fit inside your jars, cut them up into large chunks.
  3. Tightly pack the sunchokes into the jar(s) so they are held in place between the walls of the jar and will stay submerged in the brine.
  4. Mix the salt and water together until salt is dissolved. Pour enough water mixture into the jar(s) of chokes to submerge the contents, leaving 1 inch of headspace at the top of the jar(s). Place a lid on the jar(s) and place them on a tray in a place that gets no direct sunlight for about 5 to 7 days.
  5. Check on the jars every day to assure the chokes remain submerged and to release gasses by loosening the twist top until you hear a little bit of air escape.
  6. After a few days taste the chokes to see if you are happy with the taste and texture. if a stronger flavor is desired let the jar(s) sit for another day or two. When happy with the flavor put the chokes in the refrigerator to slow down the fermentation process.
  7. The fermented chokes will keep for several months. Enjoy.

Pickled sun chokes

  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • 1 pound sunchokes, scrubbed
  • 1/2 cup medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup green or red bell pepper, small diced
  • 1 large garlic clove, very thinly sliced
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup sorghum syrup
  • 1 teaspoon light brown mustard seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 clove
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 quart size glass jar and lid

Directions

  1. Fill a large bowl halfway with cold water and add the lemon juice. Slice the sun chokes into 1/2-inch disks and place them in the water solution. Soak the chokes for 15 minutes.
  2. After 15 minutes drain the chokes and place them back in the bowl and sprinkle them with the salt. Allow them chokes to sit on the counter for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  3. While the chokes are sitting in salt, Add the remaining ingredients to a sauce pan and bring to a boil, then turn the pot off and remove from the heat.
  4. After two hours drain the chokes but do not rinse. Transfer the sunchokes to a quart-size glass jar and pour the cooled pickling liquid over top. Cover and store in the fridge for at least a day before using.

Vegan shepherds pie

Now that the cooler fall weather has set in we are spending a fair amount of time outside preparing our little homestead for winter, which leaves little time for meal prep for a household of hungry people. These compressed food preparation windows have me dusting off some old recipes that produce tasty, filling dishes that use few ingredients, while staying true to our preference for vegan meals.

The dish that I prepped before bed last night and then baked off for dinner tonight was a vegan mushroom and walnut shepherds pie that is yummy fresh out of the oven and just as good leftover for lunch or dinner the next day. the following is the recipe i use for this pie.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1/3 cup vegan butter
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced (1 for the potatoes, 4 for the filling)
  • 1 tablespoon neutral flavored oil
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds mushrooms, sliced thickly
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped and roasted in a dry pan
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce or aminos
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Boil the potatoes in salted water until until soft. Drain the potatoes and then place in a large bowl.
  2. Mash the potatoes, then add the vegan butter, 1 minced garlic clove and salt and pepper. stir the mixture and set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes or until they have softened.
  4. Add the mushrooms to the onions and cook for another 5 minutes.
  5. Add the carrots to the onion mixture and cook for another 5 minutes.
  6. Add the garlic, tomato paste, soy sauce and walnuts and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat and season the mixture with salt and pepper.
  7. Transfer the mushroom mixture to a large baking dish and cover with the mashed potatoes.
  8. The shepherds pie can be covered in refrigerated for up to 24 hours before baking or placed in a 350 degree oven uncovered for 30 minutes or until the filling starts to bubble around the sides of the dish.
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