I am not the only one thinking about amaranth in recent days. After I posted my popped amaranth energy bars recipe on Thursday, I stumbled upon the following article about amaranth, published just three days earlier:…
[Post #16 for 365 days of Vegan, Gluten-Free Portable Power Pucks]
With apologies to the fair citizens of Boston, this (wicked good) interpretation of Boston Brown Bread is a far cry from the original.
But only so far as the ingredients are concerned.
As for taste? Boston brown bread all the way.
So, here is the (brief) story. Growing up, my mother was an avid co-op shopper, vegetable gardener, and home cook; she rarely bought any kind of ready-made foods. One exception was Boston brown bread.
Have you had it? It is traditionally made from a mixture of corn meal, rye flour, and whole wheat flour, a liberal dose of molasses, and a sprinkle of raisins before being baked in empty coffee cans (the latter of which deliver its unique shape and steam-baked texture). It is moist, dense, brown sugar-y, without being too sweet, and immensely satisfying; I was crazy for it. My mother did not buy it often (when she did, it was always the B&M brand), but on those lucky occasions when it showed up in the grocery bags, I always attempted to get more than my fair share.
So, experimental baker that I am, I made a Boston brown bread power puck in a newfangled, uber healthy way.
I used whole grain teff in place of any flours and some pea protein powder, which may sound crazy, but in fact adds a corn-like background flavor along with a generous plant-based protein boost. The molasses remains–because molasses rocks–as do the raisins (if you are a raisin hater, you can leave them out; I think we can still be friends).
Oh heavens, are these ever yummy. When I stack them as I did below, it’s almost as if they were baked in a can. If I take out my contact lenses and stand on the other side of the room.
Power to the puck!
[Post #3 for 365 days of Vegan, Gluten-Free, Portable Power Pucks]
Happy Tuesday everyone!
I hope you had a fulfilling weekend. Ours was hectic, but now it’s rain, rain and more rain, perfect for catching up and also ideal for baking an array of pucks.
I have several friends and spinning participants who competed in the Boston marathon yesterday (whoo-hoo! You guys rock!) who have specifically requested some healthy chocolate to both celebrate and refuel. I am happy to oblige with my Fudgy Teff Breakfast Pucks.
These double chocolate wonders resemble muffins in the photo above, but they are more like portable breakfast porridge disguised as a rich, fudge-like brownie. They taste like pure decadence, yet have a mere 138 calories per puck, are naturally gluten-free, have no added fat, no nuts, and are naturally sweetened by dates.
The star ingredient is teff, the world’s tiniest grain. In addition to being naturally gluten-free and high in protein, fiber, magnesium and iron, it is also an excellent source of vitamin C. It is a great addition to your pantry! The remaining ingredients–unsweetened cocoa powder, dates, milk (nondairy or dairy), vanilla, and flaxseed meal.
Assembly is easy-breezy. You will need to cook the teff, but it only takes about 10 minutes. Next, blend the dates with the milk and cocoa powder and then stir everything together. Spoon the batter into muffin cups, bake, and you have chocolate bliss, perfectly portable, incredibly filling and oh-so-amazing.
You can easily bump up the protein, too! I like to add a scoop of vanilla pea protein to the date-cocoa-milk mixture (I add about 3 to 4 tablespoons of additional liquid–either water or milk). Feel free to do the same with your favorite protein powder.
Power to the puck! 🙂
A recent visitor to this blog recently sent me a lovely email, thanking me for my quinoa book. The book has been out for several years, so it was a particularly nice surprise. Towards the end of her note, she asked me if I had any ideas of what the next “big grain” might be following quinoa.
I replied that I didn’t. But I hope it will be oats.
Sure, they’re familiar, but that’s a huge part of their appeal. Easy to find, easy to use, inexpensive, and incredibly versatile, they are super grains by almost every measure.
And their nutrition is off the charts. Rich in complex carbohydrates and high in protein, oats contain all of the B vitamins, including traces of B12, are rich in vitamin E and contain trace amounts of vitamin K. They are also the only cereal containing saponin, a hormone-like substance that helps the pancreas regulate insulin production. If that was not enough, oats are also loaded with minerals, silica and other trace elements the body needs to build strong bones and muscles and to maintain joint elasticity.
What really sets oats apart is how they benefit digestion. Oats contain more soluble fiber than any other grain. Soluble fiber dissolves, which slows down digestion. Not only does this make you feel fuller (and more satisfied) for longer, it allows for greater absorption of nutrients and may contribute to lower blood pressure.
And speaking of feeling full and satisfied, how about a hearty bowlful of oats reminiscent of carrot cake? They are every bit as delicious as you can imagine, and a cinch to make,too. I suggest grating the carrots the night before (I cannot operate a grater before several cups of coffee). Happy eats!