Category Archives: Non_processed Ingredients

Quinoa Porridge

Quinoa is a grain that is very low in cholesterol and sodium but high in minerals, such as  magnesium and phosphorus, and a very good source of manganese while also being gluten-free, high in protein, and doesn’t cause some of the allergies other grains do. We love this recipe for a highly beneficial breakfast alternative.
quinoa_porridgeThey key to good-tasting quinoa is to rinse it in cold water extremely well to remove the bitter saponins that are natural in this grain. Wash it in a fine mesh strainer under cold running water while stirring it around to get all the areas for a minimum of 30 seconds to a minute. This will remove the bitter taste considerably.

Quinoa Porridge:

1/2 cup quinoa – well rinsed

water

1 Tbsp honey

1 Tbsp butter

dash of salt

cinnamon

Pour well-rinsed grain into a pan and cover with enough cold water to cover the grain by about 1/2 an inch. Cook on medium heat for about 30 minutes or until grain has “popped” or looks like little curly things are coming out of it and it’s soft. Drain out the excess water. Add milk, salt, butter and honey. Heat just enough to melt honey and mix it in well.

Make enough quinoa to have it readily available throughout the week for quick breakfasts. Pour about 1 cup of the cooked grain into a bowl, top with fruit, cinnamon or herbs. Different, tasty, and good for you. The bomb.

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Elderflower Champagne

Elderflower-champagneQuite the treat if you grow your own elderberries. It is a bit of a toss-up as to whether to let the blossom heads go so you have elderberries for tasty jellies or their medicinal qualities, or to use the flower heads for this delightful and refreshing beverage. We suggest growing enough elderberries that you can do both.

Making elderflower champagne is easy.

4 to 5 large (6 inch or so diameter) or double that of smaller elderflower clusters

2 quarts warm, filtered, distilled or non-chlorinated water

2 quarts cold, filtered, distilled or non-chlorinated water

1 pound honey OR 1 1/2 pounds sugar or Rapadura cane sugar

2 large lemons (peel the rind off and slice)

 2 tablespoons cider or wine vinegar

1. Do not wash the elderberry flowers. It is their natural yeasts that will cause fermentation. Just shake off any insects and remove the thick stalks.

2. Place the honey or sugar in a very large bowl and pour in the 2 quarts of boiling water. Stir until the honey or sugar has completely dissolved.

3. Add the 2 quarts of cold water. Stir in the vinegar or lemons and the elderberry flowers.

4. Cover with a clean dishtowel and let the mixture sit at room temperature for 48 hours, stirring at least twice a day.

elderflower-champagne-makingBy the end of these two days you should see signs of fermentation: the top of the liquid will look frothy and bubbly, especially when you stir it. If the liquid is still completely still after 48 hours, add a very small pinch (just a few grains) of wine or baking yeast and wait another 48 hours, stirring occasionally, before proceeding to the next step.

5. Pour the fermenting elderflower champagne through a finely meshed sieve to strain out the flowers (and lemon rind, if using). Use a funnel to help transfer the brew into clean plastic soda-type bottles with screw tops or thick ceramic or beer bottles with flip tops. Do not use corked wine bottles because elderflower champagne is quite capable of popping out the corks or worse, exploding the bottles. Leave at least an inch of headspace between the surface of the liquid and the rims of the bottles. Secure the tops.

6. Leave at room temperature for a week, “burping” (opening briefly) the bottles at least once a day. After the week at room temperature, move them to the refrigerator, but keep “burping” the bottles occasionally for another week.Once your champagne is done doing it’s thing, then you can permanently store it in glass bottles.

Elderflower champagne will keep in the refrigerator for several months. The earlier you drink it, the yeastier it will taste. Wait at least 2 weeks from bottling if you want it at its best. The honey version takes slightly longer to ferment out than the sugar version. The final drink should be fizzy and lightly sweet.

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Edible Flower Recipes

Some flowers are not just pretty to look at, they can be eaten as well, and some of them are not half bad. Below are some of the best edible flower recipes using various flowers. You can interchange any of the blossoms in these recipes, however, not all the other parts , such as leaves, shoots or roots are interchangeable or usable though. See each individual recipe for what parts can be used. Blossoms should be used and eaten within just an hour of picking or they will wilt.


stuffed_nasturtiumStuffed Nasturtium Blossoms:

Nasturtium leaves can be eaten raw in salads. They have a flavorful bite much like radishes. The blossoms are very attractive especially those of the variety called peaches and cream or any of the variegated varieties.

Mix soft goat cheese or cream cheese with herbs like rosemary, thyme, dill or garlic and drop about a 1/2 tsp of the mixture onto a fully-opened nasturtium flower. For an extra surprise, candy the flowers first, with the recipe below.


candied_flowersCandied Flowers
:

Any edible flower can be used for this recipe. Edible flowers include not just the nasturtium above but violets, daylilies and squash blossoms. The smaller flowers work beautifully for garnishes such as the violets used as this cupcake topping.

Of course, they look best when used with a white or light colored frosting.

Clean and dry your flowers or petals. Use a brush to paint a thin layer of egg white onto each side of the flower petals or blossoms. Gently place them into a shallow bowl of superfine sugar and sprinkle sugar over them to coat. Remove from the bowl, and place them on a piece of waxed paper. Sprinkle some more of the sugar over them. Allow them to dry until stiff, about 8 hours. Store at room temperature in an airtight container until using.


daylily_saladDaylily Salad:

Most parts of the common daylily, Hemerocallis fulva, are edible. WARNING: NOT ALL LILIES ARE EDIBLE. Such as the Easter lily which is poisonous if consumed by people or pets. See our Garden Circkles article for how to use all the parts of this plant.

Clean and wash the blossoms, do not use the green part at the bottom of the blossoms as they tend to be bitter. Pull the petals off and toss them on top of salad greens for a very colorful, unique salad to impress your friends with. Best eaten with a light dressing like grapeseed or olive oil and vinegar. Heavy creamy dressing tend to just bury the taste and beautiful color, which you don’t want to hide.


deep-fried_flowersDeep-fried Flower Blossoms:

Use very fresh blossoms that have just been picked so they hold their shape when being battered and fried. The flower buds, or partially opened flowers work best for this recipe.

Also, a slightly sweet batter brings out their flavor better. Then dip them in a honey-mustard sauce or powdered sugar.

Batter:

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Make Your Own Granola

Usually granola bought from a store is stale tasting because it’s been sitting on the shelf or in a bulk bin for a while. It’s so easy to make your own granola and you can make it to suit your taste completely and change it up if you get tired of a certain flavor.

Homemade granolaHomemade Granola:

1/2 cup frozen wild blueberries. (They should be the small, wild variety so they dry in the oven and won’t get moldy later on.)

3 cups rolled organic oats, or 1 cup oats, 2 cups triticale* or other rolled grain.

1 cup chopped pecans

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp fresh ground ginger

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/3 cup honey

1/4 cup maple syrup

3 Tbsp olive or grape seed oil

1/2 cup raisins or any dried fruit

Mix the oatmeal, blueberries and pecans with the honey, maple syrup and oil thoroughly in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt, ginger and cinnamon while mixing well. Then spread out evenly on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 325 degrees, stirring and flipping the mix every 15 minutes until golden brown for about 30-45 minutes.

Remove from heat, let cookie sheet cool on a rack until you can handle it with your hands. Scoop up the granola with your hands and put it in a jar with a lid. Make sure the granola has cooled to room temp before placing the lid on the jar so condensation doesn’t develop in the jar and mold your granola.

Mix in raisins or other dehydrated fruit, or add them when you pour out a bowl of the cereal to eat. Can be stored up to one month, but we find it never lasts that long. At the time that you eat it, you can add bananas, fresh peaches etc.

If you ever get bored with the flavor, you can get creative and experiment with your own variations. Even dehydrate your own fruits, such as peaches, cranberries etc. to add to your own special mixes. Have fun with it!

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Gingersnap or Graham Cracker Crust

With some pie fillings, a regular crust just won’t do. This crust adds flavor to pumpkin pies and most cream pies. You can substitute graham crackers as well. Do a search for our recipe for homemade graham crackers from scratch for an especially tasty snack or for crusts when you don’t want the processed crackers.

35-40 organic gingersnap cookies
(2 1/2 C when crushed)
1/2-3/4 stick of organic butter (just enough to make crumbs stick together.)

Crush cookies into fine crumbs. Add just enough melted butter to hold crumbs together. Press mix evenly into 9″ pie pan covering bottom and sides. Put in 400 degree oven for
5-10 minutes or until slightly browned and hardened.

Want to follow our recipe club and get updates on new postings, holiday recipes when they get posted and special pages? Follow this online recipe book.

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Overnight Oatmeal

We love how people on the internet think this is a “new” concept. The idea of soaking grains instead of cooking them for maximum nutritional benefit goes way back. There are variations of this idea making huge waves all over the web right now, but the idea of soaking your grains instead of cooking them was discovered and implemented years ago by a few of the first pioneers of macrobiotic and raw food diets before they were considered “en vogue.” Dr. John Christopher, MH, ND, and Jethro Kloss, author of the famous book “Back to Eden” were just a couple such pioneers when the first revival of raw food diets took place way back in 1939.

overnight_oatmeal

Pour the desired amount of grain into a bowl, add room temperature water enough to cover the grains by about 1/4 inch, add a dash of salt (the salt softens the water to make it more absorbable by the grain). Cover it and let it sit for 8 hours or overnight. That’s it.

Now most recipes online will tell you to put it in the frig overnight because they don’t want to risk somebody getting sick from eating oatmeal that they forgot about on the counter for days. But honestly, you can let the oatmeal sit for up to 8 hours at room temp without it going bad and it will soften up much better and quicker at room temp than in the frig. Just FYi. But….if you don’t want to take the chance, by all means, refrigerate it, but it would take whole grains at least 24 hours to start to ferment at room temp, and actually, many macrobiotic diets purposely ferment grains because they are very good for your digestion and fermentation gets the most nutrients out of the grain. Only you know what you feel comfortable with.

When you get ready to eat your overnight oatmeal, or buckwheat, or tricale or whatever grain you prefer, add your desired flavoring, milk, honey etc. Or…there are many variations to this recipe listed below.

Peanut Butter and Banana Overnight Oatmeal.

Mash a banana in your jar or bowl, mix in about a Tbsp of peanut butter. In another bowl mix your ground grain or flakes with enough water to cover them by about 1/4 inch and mix. Add this mix to the peanut butter mix and let sit 4-8 hours.

Very Berry Overnight Oatmeal.

Add blueberries, raspberries or strawberries to the overnight mix. For an extra special taste, add a tsp of maple syrup as well.

And of course, Pumpkin Oatmeal.

Add cooked, fresh pumpkin, a tsp of maple syrup of honey, a few crushed pecans or walnuts and raisins and you’ll have your fiber for the day for sure.

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Homemade Vanilla Pudding

Vanilla pudding is a main ingredient in a lot of pies and desserts, so being able to make it from scratch rather than using the pre-processed stuff from a box is a major health achievement. Not too mention, homemade tastes so much better and is a great snack or dessert all on its own.

Vanilla-pudding1/4 C cornstarch
1/3 C Rapadura® or evaporated cane juice sugar
2 C. organic milk (can be low fat or non-fat, soy or almond)
2 organic eggs, slightly beaten
2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla

Combine cornstarch and cane juice (or sugar). Whisk milk into it. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thick and bubbly. Whisk half of the hot mix into the eggs. Then add egg mix into remaining hot mix on stove. Cook until thick (ridges form when you stir it) Remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla. Keep refrigerated.

For more recipes like this one using non-GMO and non-processed ingredients, see our recipe book in the Main Menu at the top of this page.

See our main site, Circkles.com, for more alternative health information.

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Basic White Bread Recipe

Basic White Bread: Makes 1 loaf.

Many people resist making their own bread because they believe it’s too time-consuming. We can make this recipe in about 15 minutes, and since it’s so simple and we make it almost every week, we have the ingredients memorized.

1 cup warm water

1 package (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast

1 Tbsp honey

2 eggs

1 Tbsp grape seed or olive oil

1 tsp salt

3 1/2 cups flour (you can substitute 1 cup of this with

buckwheat or whole wheat for added nutrients.)

Rinse your mixing bowl in hot water to warm it up. Pour the 1 cup of very warm water into it and add the honey. Stir the honey to dissolve it, sprinkle yeast on top and let proof for about a minute.

In a mixer with a dough hook or a bread machine (or do it the old-fashioned way in a bowl and kneed it later)mix in the egg, salt and oil until mixed well. Gradually add the flour in 1 cup amounts at a time mixing well in between each addition. Mix thoroughly.

Turn dough out on a floured surface and kneed untilwell mixed. Most dough machines do not mix the dough well enough to avoid having to kneed it by hand altogether. Formthe dough into a loaf and place it in a lightly greased bread pan, cover with a light cloth and let rise in a warm place (atleast 70º) for an hour.

After an hour when the bread has risen, bake at 350º for 20-25 minutes until lightly brown on top. Remove to a wire rack and leave the bread in the pan for about 15 minutes before you try to remove it from the pan or it will stick.

Want to follow our recipe club and get updates on new postings, holiday recipes when they get posted and special pages? Follow this online recipe book.

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11 Reasons to Ditch Processed Foods.

Processed foods have been taking a real hit lately, and rightly so. We have been waiting for at least 15 years for people to get a clue about the dangers of processed foods. Finally, more and more people are going back to cooking, but it doesn’t have to be any more time-consuming, and even it it is, studies and articles like the one below prove it is worth a little extra effort. Many celebritites are jumping on the non-processed bandwagon as well. If you haven’t made the transition to healthier, non-processed eating yet, this recent article by Rodale Press will give you some of the best reasons why there is no time like the present to kick the processed food habit.

Leah Zerbe, Rodale.com Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Facts: Letting your kitchen go dormant in favor of relying on processed foods could shave years off of your life. A 2012 study published in the journal Public Health Nutrition found that people who cooked at home at least five times a week were 47 more likely to be alive after 10 years than the people who relied more on processed foods.

Healthy Tip: Circkles Healthy Recipe of the Month is a great place to start. Our recipes are designed to help you make the transition away from processed foods while still fitting into your busy lifestyle.

 The Facts: Breakfast bombshell: Residues of more than 70 pesticides have been found in individual boxes of cereal. Why? Many pesticides today, particularly the go-to chemical applied to genetically engineered crops, are systemic. That means the chemicals wind up inside of the food you’re eating.

Healthy Tip: Beware of “natural” cereals. Testing by the Cornucopia Institute found that “natural” cereals are often contaminated with crop pesticides, warehouse fumigation chemicals, and genetically modified ingredients (GMOs). Choose organic if you truly want to avoid toxic chemicals in your food.

 The Facts: Flavored noodle mixes, processed meats, packaged mac and cheese, soda, frozen dinners, other processed foods, and fast food are notorious for containing questionable levels of phosphate-laden ingredients that could promote kidney deterioration and weaker bones.

Healthy Tip: If you’re in a pinch and do reach for processed foods, avoid ones with ingredients like “sodium phosphate,” “calcium phosphate,” and “phosphoric acid,” or anything with “phos-” in the word.

The Facts: Eat processed foods? If so, you’re an unknowing participant in a huge experiment. To date, more than 80,000 chemicals have been approved for use in the U.S., many of them used in processed foods. Unfortunately, only about 15 percent have been tested for long-term impacts on human health.

Healthy Tip: Cook like your great-grandmother. If an ingredient looks like it belongs in a science lab, avoid the product. Make a vow to visit your local farmer’s market regularly to experiment with fresh ingredients. Form a neighborhood cooking club, and hold get-togethers at which members whip up a different bulk meal from whole ingredients. Break the results down into smaller servings, swap, and share for a fridge full of healthy options all week long–without investing tons of time in the kitchen!

 The Facts: Added sugar is the not-so-sweet trick the makers of processed foods use to get you hooked. In 2005, Princeton researchers found that eating sugar triggers the release of opioids, neurotransmitters that light up your brain’s pleasure center. Addictive drugs like morphine and heroin stimulate those same pleasure pathways. Scary fact? After 21 days on a high-sugar diet, you could start showing signs of withdrawal–chattering teeth, anxiety, and depression–when sugar is taken away.

Healthy Tip: Don’t replace a healthy breakfast like low-sugar organic oatmeal with a sugary coffee drink.

 The Facts: Processed foods–even pickles, cake mixes, and “healthy” juices–often contain food dyes that make food appear fresher than it really is, in essence, tricking you, the consumer. Some berry juices contain 0 percent fruit juice, relying solely on artificial coloring. The problem? Some food dyes are tied to serious health problems like ADHD, asthma, allergies, and cancer.

Healthy Tip: Stick with organic foods, since organic standards ban the use of artificial food dyes, so organics are colored with food sources like turmeric and beets. Better yet, try your hand at making your own homemade picklesand other kitchen staples to avoid harmful additives.

 The Facts: Your face could start resembling crinkle-cut chips if you turn to munching processed foods on a regular basis. Research shows both the phosphates and the genetically engineered ingredients often added to processed foods promote aging.

Healthy Tip: Instead of processed foods, choose fare that actually promotes younger-looking skin, including alkaline-forming foods like kale, parsley, almonds, pears, and lemons. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as pastured eggs, wild-caught Alaskan salmon, and walnuts, also help hydrate your skin, reducing wrinkles. Tomatoes help fight damaging sunburns, reduce skin roughness, and boost collagen.

The Facts: Since the low-fat fad began, Americans have become fatter and sicker. One reason? Low-fat dairy products are stripped of conjugated linoleic acid, a healthy fat shown to fight weight gain and cancer. Added sugar often takes the place of fat, making you feel hungry and unsatisfied.

Healthy Tip: Know your fats. Industrial fats like partially hydrogenated oils are dangerous, but fat from organic, grass-fed animal products like yogurt actually benefit your heart and brain.

The Facts: Added sugars, specifically fructose from table sugar and the high-fructose corn syrup found in most processed foods, block the hormonal signal that tells your brain it’s time to stop eating, according to obesity research by Robert Lustig, MD, a pediatric neuroendocrinologist at the University of California – San Francisco. The result? Never-ending hunger that leaves you fatter yet feeling unsatisfied.

Healthy Tip: According to the American Heart Association, we down about 22 teaspoons of sugar a day; that’s about 25 pounds more than people consumed annually just a few decades ago. Watch out for surprising hidden sources of added sugars, such as bread, crackers, bottled tea, frozen dinners, and sauces and marinades.

 The Facts: Processed foods may seem like a deal in terms of convenience, but when you break down the cost, it’s generally cheaper–and way healthier–to make those same foods from scratch. For instance, a popular brand’s microwave bowl of chili costs $3.39 and includes harmful bisphenol A, fake food dye, and industrial meat raised using antibiotics, as well as other questionable additives.

Healthy Tip: You can whip up a batch of gourmet, 100-percent-organic chili from scratch using fresh ingredients, including omega-3-rich, heart-healthy grass-fed beef, for about $2.86 per serving. Cheaper, tastier, organic, and healthier!

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