Coconut Milk Biscuits

Coconut Milk Biscuits

 

I recently found myself with an almost full can of coconut milk leftover in the fridge and no intended use for it.  Rather than let it go to waste (gasp!), I set out to find a fun, new way to use coconut milk.  We also happened to be running low on our stock of muffins in the freezer.  

 

(I like to keep lots of muffins on hand in the freezer as an easy snack to grab on the go, to pack for the kids to eat at school, or as an early breakfast option on weekends to hold off the hungry munchkins until the real breakfast can be prepared and served.  But I digress…)

 

So, with a can of coconut milk in hand and a hankering for muffins, I cobbled together a recipe that turned out to be more biscuit than muffin but equally pleasing to eat and still serving the intended purpose of quick snack or breakfast item.  Yay!

 

One of the best parts of this recipe is that there are only a few ingredients and it’s one of those dump and stir sort of recipes that does not require a mixer or even a second bowl to clean.  (Okay, that’s actually two best parts.)

 

Now, when you look at the list of ingredients, and probably again when you stir them together, you might be skeptical of this creation of mine. 

batter for homemade coconut milk biscuits

But trust me…it’s going to be good!  Like I said before, just think of it more as a biscuit than a muffin and you will not be disappointed by its flaky texture and buttery flavor (even though it contains no butter!).  Also, you can easily make them into a sweet snack by adding dried cranberries to the batter as shown in the recipe below.  We’ve tried them with and without the cranberries and love them both ways!

 

Anytime that I am baking muffins or biscuits (which is just about every week in our household), I love to use these muffin tins (see below) that are half silicone and half stainless steel and 100% awesome!  I think that my grandmother originally found them on some “As Seen On TV” promotion and ordered them for my mom, who quickly realized their awesomeness and ordered a set for me.  (Thanks, Mom!)  I have since procured a second set.  So that I can make two dozen muffins or biscuits at a time.  And because two is always better than one when you find something that you know will become one of your go-to kitchen gadgets. 

food-grade silicone and stainless steel muffin tin

Let’s count the reasons why these muffin tins are awesome…

1.       they require no greasing of each individual muffin cup (that was always one of my least favorite parts of baking muffins and I honestly make way more muffins now than I used to because of these pans!)

2.       there is no waste created by disposable paper muffin cups

3.       the stainless steel frame provides a sturdy pan structure (unlike the all-silicone muffin pans) and still allows you to easily pop the muffins out to cool

4.       they can be cleaned in the dishwasher (!)

5.       it is not necessary to hand wash individual silicone muffin cups that always come with these little tiny creases that are impossible to get baked muffin batter out of them! 

 

(In case you can’t tell, I tried out the individual silicone muffin cups first and was impressed with their baking ability but not happy when it came time to clean up!  If you’ve ever cleaned one before, you know what I’m talking about!  Now we only use those ones for snack cups in the kids’ school lunches.)

 

I searched everywhere online to find these muffin tins and I could not find the exact ones that I have in my kitchen.  But these are the closest thing I could find and sound like the exact same idea.  I would highly recommend adding these to your wish list as soon as possible!

 

[NOTE: If you are going to shop around, make sure that you purchase “food grade silicone” for any silicone bakeware because it is designed to withstand higher temperatures.]

 

Coconut Milk Biscuits
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Ingredients
  1. 2 ½ cups coconut milk
  2. 1 ¼ cup whole wheat flour
  3. 2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  6. [½ cup dried cranberries, optional]
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Add all ingredients [except cranberries] in order to a mixing bowl. (I found it helpful to pause and whisk after adding the coconut milk because I use the full fat version, which tends to separate in the can. Then proceed with the remaining ingredients.)
  3. Stir to combine. Batter will be thick and doughy. [If using, fold in cranberries.]
  4. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown and crusty on top.
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Slow Cooker Chili and Buckwheat Cornbread

Slow Cooker Chili and Buckwheat Cornbread

Even though we had a gorgeous 70°F day last week, today’s brisk temperatures and biting wind are reminding us that winter isn’t quite over yet.  This next week’s forecast shows temperatures hitting 70°F again one day and snow only two days later.  So while Winter and Spring battle it out, here is a winter menu to warm you up on the cold, blustery days like today. 

 

One of my favorite wintertime comfort foods is a hot bowl of hearty chili with a chunk of cornbread on the side.  Mmmm…..

 

I also love using the slow cooker any time of the year because it shifts the dinner prep time from evening to morning and generally takes the edge off of dinnertime.  That way I can relax a bit more and enjoy the kids when they get home from school instead of having to get started on chopping and cooking soon after they get off the bus. 

 

So it’s no surprise that my favorite chili recipe to make is a slow cooker chili recipe!  (Keep on scrolling for the recipe.)

 

I’ve tried several variations of a cornbread recipe to go with the chili and have landed on a Buckwheat Cornbread recipe that is gluten-free but still moist and with a hint of sweetness that all good cornbread should have.  AND it contains buckwheat, which is one of the more amazing foods that I have stumbled upon over the past few years. 

 

Despite what the name suggests, buckwheat does not contain gluten and is not related to wheat at all.  Buckwheat is in the same family as rhubarb and sorrel and the part we eat is actually the seed of the plant. You get buckwheat flour when you remove the hull and grind the seed. 

 

[Here’s a shopping tip: if possible, try to find “light” buckwheat flour when purchasing at the store because the “whole” buckwheat flour is made by grinding the buckwheat hull in with the flour, which adds a darker color similar to wheat flour but virtually no nutrients.  In effect, this dilutes the benefits of the buckwheat flour and you get less for your money.]

 

The list of benefits from buckwheat is seemingly endless.  When I pulled my various food reference books off the shelf to research the health benefits of buckwheat, I was amazed to read the long list of vitamins and minerals that are contained in buckwheat.  I knew that it was a healthy food but didn’t realize just how much it could be helping our bodies!  Read on to see what I’m talking about…

 

In addition to the benefit of being gluten-free, buckwheat is the best known grain source of high-quality protein, contains many essential amino acids, and is rich in iron, zinc (essential for maintaining a healthy immune system), copper (helps you get more restful sleep), selenium (an antioxidant that can help protect the lungs from free radicals and prevent asthma AND helps to alleviate feelings of depression), and magnesium (a mineral needed for proper energy metabolism).

 

Buckwheat contains two important flavonoids – quercetin and rutin – that have been shown to block the spread of cancer.  And the rutin also helps to prevent heart disease and is great for our overall cardiovascular health because it keeps our blood flowing properly and unobstructed.  And since buckwheat also contains vitamin E, the effects of these flavonoids are enhanced. 

 

Buckwheat reduces levels of damaging LDL cholesterol and lowers blood pressure

 

Buckwheat also helps to control diabetes by controlling blood sugar levels.  The carbohydrates in buckwheat are digested more slowly than other forms of carbohydrates, which causes blood sugar levels to rise more evenly.  This also leaves you feeling full longer, making it easier to eat less and control your weight

 

So, what’s not to love?  Check out the recipe below and try a little buckwheat love in your diet today!

 

 

Slow Cooker Chili
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Ingredients
  1. 1 pound ground meat (beef, venison, or turkey)
  2. 1 onion, chopped
  3. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 1 cup green bell pepper, chopped
  5. 1 cup celery, chopped
  6. 2 cups dried kidney beans, soaked overnight and cooked (or 4 cups canned)
  7. 4 cups tomatoes, chopped
  8. 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  9. ½ Tablespoon honey
  10. ½ Tablespoon molasses
  11. 1 teaspoon salt
  12. 1 cup corn (frozen or canned is fine)
  13. 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  14. (optional variations to add heat: 1 minced fresh jalapeno pepper, 1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon hot sauce)
Instructions
  1. Brown meat in a pan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, pepper, and celery and sauté for about 5 minutes. Place everything in a slow cooker.
  2. Add remaining ingredients to slow cooker and cook on high for 30 minutes and then on low for 8 hours. Serve with buckwheat cornbread.
Adapted from Simply in Season cookbook
Adapted from Simply in Season cookbook
Life From Scratch http://lifefromscratch.com/
Buckwheat Cornbread
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups cornmeal
  2. 2 cups buckwheat flour
  3. 2 Tablespoons baking powder
  4. 2 teaspoons salt
  5. 4 eggs
  6. 1 cup coconut oil (melted) or applesauce
  7. 1 1/3 cup milk
  8. ¾ cup honey
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a 9x13” pan with butter or coconut oil.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the cornmeal, buckwheat flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil or applesauce, milk, and honey.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until no dry spots appear (batter will be thin).
  5. Pour into prepared 9x13" pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Life From Scratch http://lifefromscratch.com/