A Bread You Can Make With Just 3 Ingredients

Jannine Myers

I was recently browsing the site of an acquaintance (Tully Zander) and came across an easy bread recipe she shared. It’s so easy in fact, that it contains just three ingredients. Which, by the way, reminded me of a post I published a few years back when I was living in a US military community and shocked by the breads available in the base commissaries. Some of the more widely purchased breads, unbeknownst to those buying and consuming them, contained an ingredient list a mile long (not kidding; read my post).

Here in New Zealand, the breads generally contain far less ingredients, and supposedly non-harmful emulsifiers (used to enhance flavour and preserve shelf life), but if you don’t mind baking and would prefer to make your own bread, there are many safe and simple recipes online that even your kids would have no trouble following.

This one below, is my “slightly tweaked” version of Tully’s easy bread recipe. It’s the same essentially, except that I made it not only dairy-free but gluten-free as well. Although not as soft in texture as Tully’s recipe, I am sure that a little experimentation of flour and liquid amounts, as well as time spent kneading the dough, could potentially fix that.

I have been eating my bread toasted and I love it! It actually brings back childhood memories of weekend breakfasts, when almost every dairy in NZ sold freshly baked white bread loaves on Sunday mornings. Mum would send my brother and I out to buy a couple of loaves, and we’d devour them with butter and our favourite spreads (along with our cups of hot milo).

Nothing quite compares with the smell and taste of the breads back then, but give this recipe a try; it sounds bland and boring with so few ingredients but I think you’ll be surprised.

A favourite combo of peanut butter and banana

A favourite combo of mine: peanut butter and banana – and served with hot tea or coffee….sooooo good!

Ingredients:

4 cups gluten free flour

2 tsps yeast

1 1/3 cups non-dairy milk (or water)

Directions:

In a large bowl mix together the flour and yeast, and form a well in the bottom.

Pour in your choice of non-dairy milk (or water, for a lighter, fluffier bread), and gently combine until the flour and yeast absorbs it all.

Now you can begin to work on your dough. Knead it into a large ball and place on a floured surface. Do this for approximately five minutes or until it becomes smooth and a bit sticky. Resist the temptation to add additional flour, unless it’s so moist that it won’t combine. Alternately, if it’s too dry, add more milk or water, just a little at a time.

Once that’s done, lightly dust some flour on the top of your dough, place in a bowl and cover it with a kitchen towel. Let it sit in a warm, dry place and allow it to rise for an hour (or until it doubles in size).

Return the dough back onto your working surface and gently flatten it. Knead it some more to get rid of the excess air bubbles, and start shaping it into a loaf by repeatedly folding it on itself and rolling it.

Place your dough into a lightly greased loaf pan and cover again with a kitchen towel. Allow to sit for a further hour.

Allow the dough to rise by setting it in a warm, dry place for an hour or so

Allow the dough to rise by setting it in a warm, dry place for about an hour.

Towards the last few minutes of the previous step, preheat the oven to 180 C. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden. If you are unsure, perform a quick tap test and check that it sounds hollow.

Let the bread cool for 5 to 10 minutes before you turn it out onto a wire rack. Best eaten while still warm from the oven, or toasted.

[This bread stores well in an air-tight container kept in the refrigerator, and you can slice and freeze it too if you want to save for later]

Spiced-Apple Tofu and Millet Bake

Jannine Myers

A co-worker asked me recently how I cook with tofu; she had been using it mostly as a stir-fry ingredient but was lost for other ideas on how to use it and how – specifically – to turn it into a palatable dish that the whole family might enjoy. I find tofu to be a very versatile ingredient that can enhance almost any recipe and please even the pickiest of taste buds; the following is my latest tofu creation, and listed further below are links to a couple of other tofu recipes that you might like to try:

18554922_10158545888805562_1592678690_n 18555047_10158545888910562_2065040448_n

INGREDIENTS
3/4 cup uncooked millet
¾ cup almond milk
¾ cup water
3 or 4 green apples
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cloves
1 tsp minced ginger
1 packet firm tofu + a little almond milk to blend with (use soft tofu if you prefer a less dry texture)
¼ cup raw honey
1/4 cup raisins
¼ cup chopped brazil nuts
Additional milk (if needed)

DIRECTIONS
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly grease a pie dish.

Remove the tofu from package and wrap in paper towels to absorb excess liquid.
Add the millet, almond milk, and water to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer covered for about 15 minutes.

Skin and dice the apples and add to a small saucepan. Add a little water, as well as the spices and minced ginger. Bring to a boil then turn heat down and simmer covered until all the liquid has absorbed and the apples are soft and mushy.

Melt the honey, and add with the tofu to a blender, then pulse until a smooth texture is achieved (add a little almond milk if necessary). In a large mixing bowl, add the cooked millet, the pulsed tofu, the stewed apples, and the raisins and brazil nuts. Mix until well combined. If the mixture is still quite dry, add a little more milk.
Pour the mixture into greased pie dish and bake for about 20 minutes until the edges are golden brown.

Serve warm with plain yogurt and fresh kiwifruit slices, or your choice of fruit.

[✨ Spiced Apple Tofu Bake ✨ A great breakfast alternative! Millet contains various minerals and is high in Vitamin B, and tofu is too! Not to mention that tofu is a good source of protein]

For a little more tofu inspiration, try these tofu brownies, or these curried tofu strips with creamy coconut yoghurt dip.

Jannine Myers

– Nutrition and diet has always been important to me, but it becomes even more so during times of training, racing, illness, and injury. Just as I would normally pay attention to how I fuel my body during peak training phases, I also pay extra attention to my food choices whenever my body is under other types of physical (or emotional) stress.

Key Tip # 5 – Get interested in nutrition! Seek out information on the web and at the library, or consult a dietitian if necessary; learn what foods will help to speed up your recovery. Since my immediate goal is injury/recovery-related, my kitchen efforts at this time are focused on meals that contain a lot of anti-inflammatory foods such as broccoli, salmon, walnuts, flax and chia seeds, blueberries, and ginger and turmeric. On that note, I’ll leave you with one of my anti-inflammatory (and easily portable) breakfast meals:

Turmeric-Ginger Fruit Blend With Oats 

17361487_10158239952260562_1979659111_n

17328283_10158239952475562_152901390_n

Ingredients (Serves 4):

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 small banana

1 small apple

3 dried dates

1 tsp ground turmeric

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1 cup oats

Toppings: 

Plain greek yogurt, a couple of pieces of fresh fruit (optional), pumpkin seeds, coconut shreds

 

Directions:

Mix the coconut milk, banana, apple, and spices together in a blender.

In four bowls (or containers with lids), add 1/4 cup dry oats to each. Top with a little water to moisten the oats. Pour the coconut milk mixture in even portions over all four oat bowls. Refrigerate for at least an hour. When you’re ready to eat, top with a dollop of yogurt, some pumpkin seeds and coconut shreds.

Enjoy :)

A Protein Powder Solution For Runners On A Budget

Jannine Myers

A question I am sometimes asked is if I can recommend a reasonably priced protein powder. Protein powders seem to inhabit the kitchens of almost anyone who exercises these days, and I can see why since they take the guess work out of calculating recovery and performance-gain nutrition needs. But they’re really quite expensive, and while I can’t recommend a more affordable product, I can suggest a much cheaper alternative.

Powdered milk is an often over-looked nutritional gem. Although not as rich in protein as actual protein powders, it’s still a very good source, and also a great source of magnesium, calcium, and Vitamins A and D. I always have powdered milk in my pantry – admittedly, because I live in a location where typhoons love to stop by – but I actually do use it when I’m out of protein powder. It’s so versatile that it can be used in baking recipes, in smoothies, in oatmeal, and even in sauces and soups.

To help get you started – should you decide to pick up a bag of dry milk powder the next time you’re at the supermarket – here’s a recipe I created that’s quick and easy, and perfectly nourishing after a run or workout.

Milk Powder Protein Cake-In-A-Cup

14457457_10157385248770562_1881182163684752948_n

Ingredients
4 tablespoons Non-Fat Dry Milk Powder
1 tablespoon Coconut Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 packet Stevia
1 Egg
1 tablespoon Coconut Milk/Cream
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 tablespoons Frozen Blueberries

Directions

Add all the dry ingredients to a large mug

14470607_10157385447375562_3570212607285191451_n

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, coconut milk, and vanilla.

Pour wet ingredients into the mug and mix well with the dry ingredients.

14463000_10157385447370562_552280553213385390_n

Add the blueberries and gently fold into the mixture.

Put the mug in a microwave and cook for about 90 seconds.

Remove the mug from microwave and allow to sit for a couple of minutes to cool slightly.

Enjoy your mug cake; you should have a nice blueberry sauce at the bottom of the cup :)

14463308_10157385248640562_7448203907231443749_n

 Nutrition Information: 265 Calories, 6g Fat, 12 g Carbohydrates (4g Sugar), 9g Protein, 15% Calcium, 10% Iron, 8% Vitamin A

Spirulina Breakfast Bowl

Jannine Myers

Are you familiar with the health benefits of Spirulina? Spirulina is a natural algae powder that’s impressively rich in protein, antioxidants, B-vitamins, and other nutrients. It’s often recommended to vegetarians because of it’s high protein and natural iron content, and that also makes it a fantastic food source for pregnant women, or for anyone recovering from illness or surgery, and most certainly for female athletes. 

Here’s a super nutritious “Spirulina” breakfast recipe for you to try:

13599701_10157005687745562_406863852_n

Ingredients

1 cup fresh blueberries

1 ripe nectarine, pit and skin removed

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

Handful almonds

2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds

1 tsp organic spirulina powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

Pinch of sea salt

3 ice cubes (or 1/2 frozen banana if you prefer a slightly sweeter taste)

 

Directions

Throw everything into a blender and pulse to the consistency of a smooth puree. Pour into two serving bowls, add some home-made granola, and top with a little shredded coconut.

[Recipe adapted from PoppiesandPapayas]

Lychee Coconut Muffins

Jannine Myers

Here’s another recipe that came about as a result of wanting to use up lingering ingredients; this time it was a can of lychees that I had intended to use some time ago but never got around to it. The end result was a deliciously moist “lychee-coconut muffin.”

12312488_10156182803725562_2076159836_n

12325407_10156182803715562_1832466253_n

I decided to go with a combined coconut flavour since I always have coconut on hand and I also had some Chobani Coconut Blended Greek yogurt in the refrigerator. A little organic muesli thrown in the mix gave it a really nice texture and taste. I have to warn you though – these are not a low-calorie/low-fat muffin, but they do taste good and they contain a good amount of protein and calcium (approximately 5g protein and 33mg calcium).

Ingredients

1/4 cup Bobs Redmill GF 1-to-1 Baking Flour

1 3/4 cups Bobs Redmill GF All Purpose Baking Flour

3/4 cup organic muesli

1/4 cup unsweetened finely-shredded coconut

1/2 cup coconut flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

dash of salt

1/8 cup agave syrup

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 egg, beaten

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1 8-10oz. can lychees, drained and chopped into small pieces

handful of chopped walnuts

1 tbsp mixed sugar and shredded coconut

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a muffin tray with cupcake liners.

Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix. In a smaller bowl, combine wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. Add to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Add the lychees and gently blend in, but don’t over-mix. Pour batter evenly into the 12-lined muffin cases, and top with a few walnuts and a light sprinkling of sugar and shredded coconut.

Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes. Allow to cool, and enjoy with your favourite tea.

Honey Bran Rock Cakes

Jannine Myers

This week’s recipe came about out of necessity – well, sort of. I had a few bags of various types of flour in my pantry, and all almost empty. Rather than dispose of them, I decided to combine them all and bake something that I thought I might like; the end result was what I have decided to call my “honey bran rock cakes.”

12233106_10156144917835562_1060582768_n

Have you ever had savoury rock cakes by the way? With cheese and onion soup mix? They’re delicious! But these honey bran rock cakes are not bad either, and if you’re into healthy then these are definitely the better choice. Made with a good-tasting honey (I used Heavenly Organics Himalayan Raw Acacia Honey), and Bob’s Red Mill Wheat Bran, these semi-sweet rock cakes are great for those of you looking for a healthy snack with a little extra fiber.

Ingredients

1/4 cup brown rice flour

3/4 cup gluten free all-purpose flour

1/2 cup gluten free whole wheat flour

[Note: this recipe is not intended to be gluten free – I just used gluten free flours because that’s what I had left in my pantry; the wheat bran obviously contains gluten]

1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill wheat bran (or any other brand)

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup honey (your choice)

1/4 cup coconut oil (I actually used a little less than a 1/4 cup)

1 egg

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Mix milk and bran and let sit for at least 5 mins.

Combine coconut oil and honey, and melt in microwave.

Sift together the flours, baking powder, and baking soda.

Combine flour mixture with bran mixture, honey mixture, and beaten egg.

Place by teaspoonfuls on a greased baking sheet.

Sprinkle with shredded coconut and sugar.

Bake approximately 10 minutes.

Allow to cool before serving.

A Is For Autumn And Apples

Jannine Myers

It’s Autumn now and along with the obvious seasonal changes such as temperature and length of days, we’re also seeing new fruits and vegetables at the local farmers’ markets and grocery stores. Last week I picked up a bag of fresh green apples, and I couldn’t resist using them to make a spiced apple loaf with chunks of raw ginger.

12166856_10156063111625562_610835501_n

When I was growing up, I always remember seeing health charts at school and at the doctor’s clinic with a picture of an apple, followed by the caption “An apple a day keeps the doctor away!” If only staying healthy were that simple, but actually, apples do contain many nutrients that make them worth eating on a regular basis.

Here are just a few reasons why apples are good for you:

  • Apples are a low-calorie, high-fiber food; in other words, you can eat apples for a guilt-free sweet snack, and their fiber content will leave you feeling full for much longer.
  • One apple counts for about 1 cup of fruit; the recommended daily fruit intake is around 2 cups for adults on a 2000-calorie diet, so an apple a day meets half the daily fruit requirement.
  • Apples are a great source of immune-boosting Vitamin C.
  • Apples contain quercetin, and interestingly, research suggests that quercetin may help to improve endurance and lead to other fitness gains. The jury is still out but so far the data revealed looks promising. [Read this article for more information]

So even if you don’t feel like chopping up apples for baking purposes, enjoy eating them as they are!

P1070412

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose gluten free flour, plus 1 tsp
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • dash ground cloves and ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons agave syrup
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup apple juice, unsweetened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 chunk of fresh ginger, finely chopped (about 1 tsp)
  • 2 cups apple, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a loaf pan with a little butter.
  2. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, and spices to a large bowl and mix to combine.
  3. In another large bowl, add the oil and sugar. Using a mixer, mix on medium speed until well combined. Add the egg, agave syrup, apple juice and vanilla, and mix until combined. Reduce speed to low, and gradually beat in the flour mixture, being careful not to overmix.
  4. In a medium bowl, toss together the chopped ginger, diced apples, chopped nuts and 1 tsp flour until combined. Fold fruit and nut mixture into the batter.
  5. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Place pan on baking sheet, and bake until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 60-65 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes before removing it from pan and letting it cool completely on a wire rack (although, it tastes best when it’s still warm from the oven).

Try Eating Purple Foods For A Greater Antioxidant Effect

Jannine Myers

Purple fruits and vegetables are known for their high antioxidant content, and the reason we should all want to eat foods with lots of antioxidants is because they help to combat the aging process and keep us looking younger and healthier!

Additionally, the purple pigment in foods such as eggplant, purple cabbages, blackberries, and blueberries, all contain certain flavanoids that offer protection from certain diseases, including some cancers. With so many different kinds of purple fruits and vegetables to choose from, there’s no reason why you can’t get more of them into your daily diet.

Here’s a recipe to get you started; it’s a baked purple sweet potato and blueberry mash:

P1070398

P1070401

Ingredients

  • 2 purple sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1/8 cup coconut oil, 1/8 cup organic unsweetened soy milk
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter, unsalted
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon, plus extra for garnish
  • 1/4 cup walnuts and some shredded coconut for garnish
  • Plain organic yogurt

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 400F. Boil sweet potatoes for about 15 minutes, then drain.
  2. In a blender or food processor, pulse all the ingredients, including the cooked sweet potatoes (but excluding the blueberries). When the mixture is well combined, add the frozen blueberries and stir.
  3. Divide between 5 ramekins. Sprinkle with shredded coconut and walnuts. Bake for about 10 to 15 mins.
  4. Serve with yogurt and a dash of cinnamon.

 

This Week’s Farmers Market Buys – Part Two

Jannine Myers

Another purchase I made at the farmers market last weekend is a bag of yomogi leaves.

IMG_0502

I first learned about the yomogi plant (known in other countries as mugwort) a few years ago, when I asked one of my Japanese friends why yomogi mochi, or kusamochiseemed to be so popular. Apparently, the yomogi plant grows everywhere in Japan, and because it’s so abundantly available, it’s commonly used to make mochi.

While yomogi leaves are great for making delicious rice cakes, they can also be utilized in many other ways and they are actually believed to contain significant anti-inflammatory effects. One way I use yomogi leaves is by adding them to my smoothies; the leaves do have quite a distinctive taste but I don’t find it unpleasant at all.

IMG_0490

Ingredients

Yomogi leaves – a decent handful

Fresh ginger – cut a generous piece

Grated carrots – 1/4 cup

Frozen (small, or half) banana

Frozen strawberries – 1/4 cup

Camu camu powder – 1 tsp

Chocolate protein powder (I use Vega Protein Smoothie Choc-A-Lot) – 1 scoop

Almond milk -1/4 cup

Water – 1/2 cup

Throw everything in a blender and process till smooth and creamy.

If a “yomogi smoothie” doesn’t sound like it’s for you, then you can always try some kusamochi; I bought this one with the sweet azuki beans inside and coated with kinako powder – yum!

IMG_0506