oat flour

How to Make Oat Flour

Oat flour is a great alternative to wheat flour in quick-breads, cookies, muffins, pancakes, waffles, and other baked goods that don’t require the structure of gluten to help them rise. Whole grain oat flour is higher in protein and fiber than highly-processed all-purpose/white wheat flour. It also has many other nutritional benefits, such as a lower glycemic load, which makes it an excellent choice whether you are gluten-intolerant or not. It’s my favorite alternative flour when it comes to flavor because it’s mild and a little nutty tasting. It makes for a chewy texture in cookies and a very moist texture in quick-breads and muffins.

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Smoky and Spicy Black Beans and Rice

This is a fast, easy meal, perfect for a busy weeknight. It should only take you about thirty minutes to make, provided you have leftover rice in your fridge. You could make a more authentic Spanish rice by toasting the rice with the onion and adding more liquid and blah, blah, blah, but that’s not what we’re doing here. This is a great example of how to make the most of what’s in your fridge, freezer and pantry. My thought process went sort of like this: I’m sick of Easter ham and I want something spicy. Nicole (my niece) heated up one of those frozen chipotle black bean burgers earlier and it smelled really good, I should do something with those. Oh good, I have leftover brown rice, bell peppers and celery I need to use. I’ll start with an onion. These fire roasted tomatoes would be good and this corn would sweeten it up. I’ll use pureed chipotle in adobo to add some extra smoky heat (I know you’re making fun of me right now and I don’t care)… And, thirty minutes (okay, maybe 35, I’m no Rachael Ray) later, dinner was ready. And it was delicious!

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Cheesy Lemon Quinoa with Kale

cheesy lemon quinoa

 One of my favorite things to do when I have the time is to watch documentaries on Netflix, mostly about food/nutrition/wellness. I know, I’m a nerd. I’m okay with it. Of all of them I’ve watched, and I have watched many, the one I saw this weekend did the best job explaining the consequences of our industrialized food system without being too preachy. It didn’t tell me I need to become a vegan who eats only raw, organic produce grown no further than 5 miles from my home and I really appreciated that. It’s called “Fresh” (subtitled: New Thinking About What We’re Eating) and it, very simply, focuses on why the monoculture farming methods and feedlots that presently dominate our food supply are so damaging, and exactly how polyculture farming methods are more sustainable, healthier for us and our environment. It features some really cool farmers and food activists who are working very hard to educate us before we make decisions at the grocery store. I thought I would help them out by mentioning “Fresh” to the two or three people who actually read this blog. Big of me, I know. Seriously though, I would love it if everyone would watch this one because I’m pretty bad at explaining it on my own.

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