Saturday, October 30, 2010

Zucchini Cookies

It took me a week longer than I wanted it to....BUT I made the Zucchini Cookies yesterday and let me tell you, they turned out AWESOME!!!! Everyone that tried them thought they were moist and tasted incredible! I have to say, that I have made Zucchini Cookies before from fresh Zucchini, but I honestly think these ones tasted a lot better. I have to warn you, the pictures just don't show their true tastiness!

 Here's the recipe I used:

2 cups of Honeyville's Brown Sugar
 2 1/2-2 3/4 cups of Honeyville's Freeze Dried Zucchini** (equivalent to 2 cups of grated Zucchini)
1 cup Vegetable Oil
4 Tbsp of Honeyville's  Powdered Eggs + 8 Tbsp of Water
4 cups of Honeyville's Flour
2 tsp. Baking Soda
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Nutmeg
1 tsp. Ginger
1 tsp. Cinnamon
2 tsp. Vanilla

Optional ingredients:
Chocolate Chips

So I thought quite a bit about how I was going to get grated zucchini from FD many of you 'Kitchen Wizards' are going to laugh at me (my hubby did!). At first I thought, "why not just put them in the blender before I re-hydrate them? The blender will chop them up and then I will add water to them?" DOES NOT WORK!!! The blender makes them powder. Yes, and my dear sweet husband, watched me and tried really hard not to laugh and say, "I told you so!"
So my hubby, much smarter than I, knew that if I would re-hydrate them FIRST and then stick them in the blender it would work out perfectly! I still doubted, but tried it....and yes, it worked out perfectly! Don't blend too much, or you will get mush.

The recipe calls for 2 cups shredded zucchini. I did about 2 1/2-2 3/4 cup of FD Zucchini, before it is re-constituted. I felt like that was a good measurement and it turned out great. It may have been a little more than I needed, but it still worked.

Mix the ingredients together and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 mins.

hmmmm......yummy! I think I will go have one right now!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sun Dried Tomato and Vegetable Pasta

Extra!  Extra! Read all about it!  We now carry Freeze Dried Asparagus

I have a recipe that calls for Asparagus that I really like but I can't always find it fresh, let alone affordable all year round, so I reverted to using frozen during the off season.  Even in frozen form you can't always find it in the grocery store and it can still be expensive.  The freeze dried version is perfect for me--it's chopped and ready to go, I can use how much I need and then close the can and put it back on the shelf for the next use. 

I was so in the mood for this dish over the weekend.  It was cold and I wanted something that was going to be satisfying, easy to make, and easy to eat so I could curl up somewhere and get lost in a book.  With Tenille's rave review of the Freeze Dried Zucchini I tossed that in as well.

Missing from photo: Olive Oil, Parmesean Cheese, TVP-Bacon
3 cups Penne Pasta (uncooked measurement)
1 cup Honeyville's Freeze Dried Zucchini (not rehydrated)
3/4 cup Honeyville's Freeze Dried Asparagus (not rehydrated)
2 cloves Garlic, minced
2 Tb. Olive Oil
2/3 cup Sun Dried Tomatoes packed in oil
Parmesan Cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a big pot, cook the Penne Pasta according to package directions.  During the last minute of cooking add the Freeze Dried Zucchini and Free Dried Asparagus. 

Meanwhile in a small pan, saute Garlic in Olive Oil.  Drain noodles and vegetables.  Transfer back to big pot.  Add Garlic and Sun Dried Tomatoes.  Lightly toss to combine.  Season with Salt and Pepper.  (Be mindful that you are going to be adding the TVP Bacon which does have some saltiness too)

Once the portions are in individual bowls, sprinkle grated Parmesan Cheese and TVP Bacon on top.  (Which I forgot to get a picture of, but in my defense I was hungry and wanted to eat!) 

A couple of notes:
  • I've used Chicken instead of the TVP-Bacon and that is super yummy too. 
  • The sun dried tomatoes that I used were also flavored with yummy Italian herbs and spices.  If yours doesn't, considering adding what herbs you like.
  • My sun dried tomatoes came julienned so I didn't have to chop into bite sized pieces for easier eating.
Happy Eating!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Egg Bread

Our family is still eating left-over soup and it just keeps getting better and better every night!! Hope your enjoying your soup too! With the soup I wanted some homemade bread. So the following recipe, which was submitted by Cathy O (thank you!), is fabulous!

Egg Bread
2 cups warm water
1/3 cup sugar
2 T. yeast
4 T powdered eggs + 8 T water of Honeyville's Powdered Eggs (equivalent to 2 large eggs)
3 T butter melted
3 T oil
1 T salt
6-7 cups Honeyville's Alta Flour

In large mixing bowl with dough hooks (I used my Bosch mixer) combine water, sugar, eggs, butter, oil and salt.  Begin to add flour.  Add yeast with about 2 cups of flour and vital wheat gluten and dough conditioner.  Add remaining flour to clean sides of bowl.  Mix for about 10 minutes.  Let dough rise for about 1 hour or double.  Punch down, form into loaves.  Let dough rise again.  Bake at 375 for about 30 minutes, or until bread is golden and when tapped sounds hollow.  Can also brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds on bread just before putting in oven.

The first step: water, sugar, eggs, butter, oil and salt...

If you have never made bread before, I took a few pictures to help explain what I didn't understand for the longest time. Once you get close to the right amount of flour, the bread will "clean" the sides of your bowl. As you can see above, the dough is still sticking to the sides. In the picture below, I am almost finished adding flour and the sides of the bowl are clean.

The dough when first removed from my mixer 

 The dough about 1 hour later

Formed into loaves.....I know, I know, I am not the best bread maker or shaper(is that a word?)....but the taste is what matters right, not the looks??? 

About 30 mins later....

 Can you smell the bread??? I want some right now! This bread is DELICIOUS!!!
As you can see, I made regular size loaves, small loaves, and rolls. 

Thank you again Cathy O! We love it when someone submits a recipe!

Enjoy, enjoy!!! This bread is amazing!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bean & Ham Soup

So my G'pa makes the BEST Bean & Ham soup. I have always wanted to duplicate it at home....but you know food just never tastes the same when you make it yourself. It always tastes better when someone else makes it. Anyway, I tried a variation of my G'pa's recipe and this is what I came up with:

-1 package of Moki Bean Soup Mix (sold at Honeyville Farms Retail Store)
(this is a package of several different types of beans, so even if you don't have this package, use the beans you do have)

-1 Ham Bone with some meat left on it
-Freeze Dried Veggies (whatever kind you can see mine below)

I put the beans and ham bone in the crock pot and filled it with water, almost to the top of the crock pot.
The package says it will take about 8 hours in the crock pot to soften the beans. My crock pot must have super powers or something because it took a little less than 4 hours?! Yes, my crock pot normally cooks fast, but NOT this fast?!?

About 20 minutes before my family was ready to eat, I threw in the Freeze Dried Veggies. This time around we chose:

Bottom Left: Honeyville's Freeze Dried Zucchini
YAY!!!!! We got the Freeze Dried Zucchini in (retail store)!!! Let me tell you....AWESOME! I popped a couple in my mouth before they were re-hydrated and they were delicious to snack on! They also tasted just like zucchini once re-hydrated! I think this weekend I need to try Zucchini bread and cookies with it and see how they turn out! Doesn't that sound good?

And there you have it! This picture doesn't even do justice....the soup was YUMMMMMMMY!

My hubby said, "You can't even tell any of the veggies are freeze dried." It really was good soup. It's even better the few days afterwards when all the flavors really mix together.
The only other thing I would suggest is to add onions when you first put the beans in. It really spices up the flavor....didn't do it this time, but have in the past. Also you can try Celery Salt and Garlic Salt.

Enjoy your soup. It's totally soup season!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Disguising Food Storage-Extending Meat

Sometimes I get these great ideas to try and disguise my food storage into my family's dinner.

This is not what I mean but it was fun to make :)

Most of the time I can pull it off.  However there was one time I tried to extend my hamburger meat by adding whole wheat kernels that I had pre-soaked (but not long enough).  It was awful.  It became extra chewy and kind of gritty.  Weird combination regardless, let alone that it was in Lasagna.  Lasagna is not supposed to be chewy nor gritty in my book.  No one asked for seconds nor could they finish their first helping.  It was a silent dinner as everyone looked down at their plates calculating how many bites had to be taken without making me feel bad.  Once I tasted it I knew that it was a no go!  I had to redeem myself and more importantly I still wanted to find a way to extend my meat.  So I researched and found that the secret is using Cracked Wheat!!

I made the same recipe of lasagna but used cracked wheat instead.  Worked like a charm.  My husband commented, "It's good.  I like it a lot.  I can't even taste the wheat!"  I really tried to taste the wheat and I couldn't either!

In order to extend your ground beef you'll need:

1/4 cup cracked wheat (uncoooked)
1 cup water
Pinch of salt
1 lb ground beef

First in a small pot bring your water to a boil.  Add the cracked wheat and salt.  Give it a stir and cover.  Reduce heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.  Stir occasionally.  You'll end up with about 1 cup of COOKED cracked wheat.  This is what is should look like:

All the cracked wheat has softened and is ready to be added to your meat.

In a separate pan brown you ground beef and drain fat.  Add the cooked cracked wheat.

Mix it together.  And bingo you now have more meat mixture!

The recipe given won't double your meat.  More like one and a half it, maybe a little less.  I recommend that when using extended meat like this that you use it in a recipe that you'll also flavor the meat with seasonings like in tacos, lasagna, sloppy joes, etc.  I used it in lasagna. 

This is a great way to extend your food budget, use your food storage, and increase the nutrition in your diet. 

What tips do you have for extending your meals or incorporating food storage into daily dinners?

Happy Eating!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Chocolate Milk Substitute

Our family LOVES this drink and it's super easy! We put in the blender:

3 cups of Ice
3 cups of Water
And some days we add 1 Banana

Blend it up and enjoy your drink!!!

Very Delicious & Easy.....You should try it!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Vegetable Soup

For lunch today I made a delicious Vegetable Soup--well it had some Chicken Stock in it but I am still calling it Vegetable Soup.  I had some Chicken Stock in the fridge that needed to be used and I hate wasting food so therefore it got used.  It seriously was so easy to make.  I used Dehydrated and Freeze Dried Vegetables.  It was so nice that I didn't have to prep any of the veggies because they already come cleaned, peeled, chopped and ready to go.

3 and 1/4 cups Chicken Stock
2 cups Water
1/3 cup Honeyville's Dehydrated Potato Dices
1/4 cup Honeyville's Dehydrated Carrots
2 Tbsp. Honeyville's Dehydrated Celery
1/4 cup Onion, diced (You could use Honeyville's Dehydrated Onion but I didn't have any on hand)
1/4 cup Honeyville's Freeze Dried Green Beans
1/4 cup Honeyville's Freeze Dried Peas
1/4 cup Honeyville's Freeze Dried Corn (I could eat this straight from the can it is SOOO good)
1 and 1/2 Tbsp. Honeyville's Tomato Powder
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large pot combine the Chicken Stock and Water and bring to a boil.  Add the Potato Dices, Carrots, Celery, and Onion and boil for 8 minutes, stirring occassionally.
Left column starting at top: Potatoes, Carrots, Onion
Middle column: Celery
Right column starting at top: Green Beans, Corn, Peas
I added these vegetables and not the others because they are dehydrated (except onion) and take longer to rehydrate and soften than freeze dried products. Add the Green Beans, Peas, and Corn.  Boil for 3 minutes longer.  Stir in the Tomato Powder and season with Salt and Pepper to taste.

This soup makes about 4 cups.  You can add or change out vegetables and spices to fit you and your family's preferences.  My husband would have added Freeze Dried Mushrooms and not gone near the peas.  I love peas and don't know why he doesn't.  I could eat them everyday. 

Just looking at the picture makes me want to go heat up my leftovers and eat it right now!
 I am always pleasantly surprised that after rehydration these vegetables really taste like...well vegetables!  As I was inhaling eating it, I realized that with a few quick variations you would have a completely different meal:

Minestrone: Add Italian Seasoning, Pasta Noodles, Zucchini, Kidney Beans, Great Northern Beans

Taco Soup: Add Cumin, Salsa, Taco Flavored TVP, crushed Tortilla Chips, Cheddar Cheese

Vegetable Beef: Add Freeze Dried Beef Dices, Pearled Barley

Chicken Noodle Soup: Omit the Tomato Powder; add Egg Noodles, Freeze Dried Chicken

The possibilities are endless! 

While I have all my ingredients out I am going to measure a couple batches out and put the dry ingredients in some mason jars so that I can make this dish even quicker.  Plus it is becoming soup weather so I don't doubt that they will get used soon.  A couple words of caution if you decide to do the same: 
  • The vegetables will start absorbing moisture that is in the air so if it is really humid where you live, I'd think twice about storing them this way.  
  • Store the mason jars in a cool, dry place as you would other food storage items.
  • Make sure you put the tomato powder in first and work your way up the ingredients list so you can add the ingredients to the boiling broth in the correct order. 
Happy Eating!

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Low Down on Oats

Before I started working at Honeyville Farms I thought oats just came in the rolled form that I used to make cookies and eat in my morning hot cereal.  I thought they grew in flat pieces--boy was I wrong!  Oats come in a variety of forms: groats, rolled, chopped, flour, bran (just like wheat)

Oat Groats are oats before they are rolled.
Regular Rolled Oats are groats that have been rolled into flakes.
Steel-Cut Oats are groats that have been chopped.
Quick Oats are Steel-Cut Oats that have been rolled into flakes.

Each form of oats can be used in a variety of ways.  My mother-in-law uses Oat Groats to replace rice as a side dish for my father-in-law. You can make a yummy Oat Groat and Apricot bread with Oat Groats as well.  My husband prefers Regular Oats over Quick Oats for hot cereal but I am just the opposite.   It's a texture thing to me.  In a pinch, I've used Quick Oats as a replacement to cracker crumbs in a meatball recipe.  One of my co-workers from the E-Commerce department had this to say about Steel-Cut Oats:

"I'm always looking for new and different ways to get a healthy breakfast that I can prepare and eat quickly.  I think I have a winner with my latest breakfast creation.  I take a packet or two of instant oatmeal (wait, it gets much better), and add it to my coffee cup.  I then add three tablespoons of Steel Cut Oats and two tablespoons of Freeze Dried Blueberries.  I add water and microwave for a minute.  The result is a chewy variation on oatmeal that has the great flavor of blueberries and sticks with me for hours.  I get the benefits of a whole grain in the Steel Cut Oats along with all of the anti-oxidants in the Freeze Dried Blueberries.  It tastes great and starts my day off right." 

I love that Oats are so healthy for you AND they taste good.  How often does that happen?  What are your favorite uses for Oats?

Happy Eating!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Homemade Bread by Hand

From my last posts about Grinding Wheat and Wheat Flour Follow Up, I wanted to show the differences between the flours in an actual recipe so that you could SEE the difference and not just read about it. The recipe below makes 2 loaves of bread.  What you'll see in the pictures is 3 halved recipes.  I didn't want to make a total of 6 loaves to show the difference between 3 flours.  I made one loaf of each using Bakers Bread Flour, Hard White Wheat Flour, and Hard Red Wheat Flour.

1 Tbsp. Instant Dry Yeast
3 Cups Warm Water
1 Cup Honeyville's Milk Substitute (don't reconstitute this, just use the powder)
3 Tbsp. Honey
1 Tbsp. Salt
3 Tbsp. Honeyville's Powdered Shortening (don't reconstitute this, just use the powder)
7-8 Cups Flour

In a large bowl, pour Warm Water and sprinkle Yeast over top.  Add Milk powder, Honey, Salt, and Powdered Shortening.  Stir until dissolved.
Begin to add Flour to make a soft dough--about 7 cups total.  Sometimes more sometimes less.  Once it gets to this point I like to mix it with my hands as I begin to knead the dough.  I'll transfer the dough onto a floured surface to this.
This is the Hard White Wheat Flour dough.
Don't be nervous of kneading.  When I first started making bread and heard the word 'knead' I thought I'd have to go back in time 150 years, wear a hoop skirt, and draw water from a well a 1/2 mile yonder.  But I was wrong--it is easy!  I'll show you how:
If I hadn't been recording with my left hand I would have used it to help maneuver the loaf during my "quarter turn" step.  The dough shown is the Bakers Bread Flour dough.

Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic.  This bread dough felt like heaven in my hands it was so soft. 
Flour Dough from Left to Right: Bakers Bread, Hard White Wheat, Hard Red Wheat
Return the dough to the large bowl you started with.  Cover the bowl with a hand towel and let the dough raise until double. This could take an hour or longer, depending on the temperature of your home.  I happened to check mine at after an hour and it was ready.  Punch down dough, re-knead, re-shape and return dough to bowl and allow it to raise again until double.  I've been told it's because of the elevation  (approximately 4000 ft) where I live that is why I do it twice.  I've never tried bending the rules on this one.  But I'll try only raising it once and report back.

On a counter top punch down dough and separate into 2 mounds.  Using the same technique as kneading begin shaping each dough mound into a loaf shape.  I use two hands for this.  As you fold over the dough and push down with the heel of your hands, gently pull out so that the dough isn't circular but elongates and becomes a loaf shape.  Place the loaf-shaped dough into a greased loaf pan.  Cover and let raise 30 minutes.

Isn't she a beauty!  This is the Bakers Bread Flour dough all ready to be tossed in the oven.
Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes.  However don't be afraid it if takes more or less time.  I had an apartment where the oven cooked hot and every meal was always done 5 to 10 minutes sooner than any recipe said it would.  I allow the bread to cool for about 5 minutes in the pan and then I transfer to a cooling rack. 

Here is the finished product!

I cut the ends off so you could see the differences inside.  I wish I could bake heel-less bread!
When I let my husband have some he gave me a thumbs up and said, "mmm es goob, I luffet!" which translate to a mouthful of bread and "Mmm this is good, I love it!"  He took the Hard White Wheat Bread to work and shared it with his co-workers which got him invited to a weekly treat sharing group. 

Now I have to add a small, eensy disclaimer here. I only have 2 loaf pans. Therefore the Bakers Bread Flour dough was baked first by itself. I started shaping my Hard White Wheat flour dough and realized, "Wait a second how am I going to cook the third loaf!?!?" Therefore the Hard White Wheat flour dough raised for about 25 minutes longer in the pan than normal since it was waiting for the Hard Red Wheat flour dough to catch up, who was waiting for the Bakers Bread Flour dough to cook. Are we all confused now or what!

This bread really isn't hard to make, it just takes some time.  I didn't use any fancy equipment or wear a hoop skirt (but feel free to do so)!  Please try it and tell me what you think.  Leave a comment or email me your thoughts at I'd love to hear from you!

Happy Eating!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Food Storage Containers

      One of the most often asked questions is, "I just purchased....what size container will I need to store it in?" So here is one of my most favorite handouts Honeyville has! It will show you exactly how much product is stored in what size container. Now you just have to figure out what size containers you want to store in your home. Each family is different, living quarters different, size it all comes down to preference and what is convenient for you. In my family we have chosen to store the most frequently used product in 6 gallon buckets (sugar, flour, oats, wheat & rice). I have put a Gamma Lid on the bucket that we are currently using for easy access. The excess buckets have the white lids that come with the bucket that you have to pry off with a tool and that break your finger nails!!! Then when the "currently used" bucket is empty, we just dump a bucket of new product in so we can always have easy access to the product. 
Product that I wanted stored in smaller amounts I have put in #10 cans and store under my bed or in closet's (beans, pasta, jello, etc...)
I took some random pictures of what I just explained to help give you a visual. Hope this helps a little!                                                                                         
Container Size
Wheat, Beans, Rice, Sugar
Powdered Milk,
Potato Flakes, Oatmeal,
6 Grain
#10 Cans
5.72 pounds
4.2 pounds
2.98 pounds
1/2 Gallon PETE
3.5 pounds
2.5 pounds
1.5 pounds
1 Gallon   PETE
7 pounds
5 pounds
3 pounds
1.25 Gallon
9.75 pounds
6.25 pounds
3.75 pounds
3.5 Gallons
24.5 pounds
17.5 pounds
10.5 pounds
4 Gallons
30 pounds
20 pounds
13 pounds
5 Gallons
35 pounds
25 pounds
15 pounds
6 Gallons
45 pounds
27 pounds
17 pounds


As you see below....I have a Yellow Gamma Lid for Sugar. I put some masking tape on the top to remind me which product it is. If you aren't quite sure what a Gamma Lid is, see in the picture how it just screws on and off? It is super easy! Once the sugar is gone, I will fill this bucket up so that I will never have to get rid of this bucket/gamma lid.

Here is what my excess buckets look like. The good ole lid
that breaks the finger nails and you have to pry off with a tool. 

#10 Cans stacked up in my closest. Didn't want to store my fruits & veggies in 6 gallon buckets.

Have fun organizing your food storage!