Tag Archive: whole wheat

Apr 02 2014

Whole Grain Streusel Coffee Cake #client #samplewholegrains #giveaway

Disclosure: I was approached by Oldways to be a Whole Grain Sampling Day Ambassador for 2014. They sent me a box of samples for my participation. I received no compensation for this post. All opinions remain my own.

Sample Whole Grains

On the first Wednesday in April every year, the Whole Grains Council holds its annual Whole Grain Sampling Day, an opportunity to try whole grain foods and see just how fantastic they really are. Their theory is that you’re more likely to buy it if you try it, and I have to agree. There are many foods I’ve passed over in life because I never tried them before–and I usually discovered later that I was missing out!

Whole Grain Sampling Day gift box

Today you’ll find a multitude of options for sampling whole grain foods. From specials at Dunkin’ Donuts to Denny’s Restaurants, California Pizza Kitchen to Roman Meal–the conversation will be taking place online through social media and there will be deals and opportunities to try whole grains in person, too. Whole Grains Council has a page on its website detailing some of these programs.

my daughter enjoying a graham cracker

When I was approached by Oldways to participate this year as a Whole Grain Sampling Day Ambassador, I was excited! My personal goal of integrating more whole foods–and, by extension, whole grains–into our diet while continuing to enjoy the sorts of foods we’ve always loved had finally coincided with a program to do just the same. It was meant to be! As an Ambassador, I would receive a box of samples of some great ways to incorporate whole grains into our diet AND be able to give away the same box to one of my readers! Yes, YOU will get a chance to win your own personal whole grain sampling day box and eat your way through it! Pretty cool, huh? (Enter at the end of this post in the Rafflecopter box for your chance to win!)

Whole Grain Sampling Day

The box arrived and I was elated. There were more products in it than I expected. And while I feared it might consist of the sort of twigs and flakes we tend to imagine whole grains to be–tasteless, bland, and boring fare saved only for 80s health food crazes–I was completely wrong. There were Mi-Del honey graham crackers and Roman Meal sandwich bread and Real McCoy’s rice puffs. My kids fought over the Skeeter nut-free cookies, quickly devouring them and begging for more. There was a cinnamon crunch Snackimals cereal from Barbara’s they couldn’t wait to dive into. The BelVita breakfast cookies soon became my quick snack before skiing, providing energy when I was on the go. And the Saigon Sunrise Vietnamese cinnamon kettle corn from Pops-a-Lot–WOW. I shared it with my co-workers and we couldn’t stop picking from it. I never would have imagined cinnamon + kettle corn, but it’s a winning combination. None of this was boring or bland. And I was thrilled!

Whole Grain Sampling Day

I also had the opportunity to order a 5-pound bag of All Natural Ultragrain Blend All Purpose Unbleached Flour, which I used in the recipe I’m sharing today. It’s a cup-for-cup replacement for all-purpose flour that gives you the nutrition of whole grain while combining the taste and convenience of white flour. As a baker, I was very intrigued about this product. Baking, in particular, is tricky if you’re trying to sub in whole grains. They change the texture, often making the finished product chewy or dry, with a graininess that can be undesirable. Their claim that I could use this flour blend in place of white flour and end up with a baked good that was just as appealing was one I had to test out. And I couldn’t think of a better way than with an indulgent coffee cake. Rhyme and reason, after all. I like to blend my extremes.

Ultragrain Blend All Purpose Flour

The Ultragrain flour seemed finer than white whole wheat flour I had used in the prior testing of this recipe. When the coffee cake emerged from the oven, it was fluffier than the last time I baked it–off to a great start. I was so impatient waiting for it to cool. I wanted to try it right away. The verdict? FANTASTIC! The crumb was light AND moist, which was not what I expected at all. If you didn’t know any better, you wouldn’t be able to detect the whole grains hidden inside. Ultragrain lives up to its claim! I’ll definitely be looking for this at the store.

Whole Grain Streusel Coffee Cake

So get on out there today and add some whole grain to your day. It’s really a lot easier than you think–and tastier, too! If you need some ideas on other recipes to try, Oldways also has a fantastic whole grains Pinterest board. Enjoy!

Whole Grain Streusel Coffee Cake

4.5 from 2 reviews
Whole Grain Streusel Coffee Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Breakfast/Brunch
Serves: 16
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, cold and cut up into pieces
  • ¼ cup All Natural Ultragrain Blend All Purpose Unbleached Flour
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup raw turbinado sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1½ cups All Natural Ultragrain Blend All Purpose Unbleached Flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • ⅓ cup butter, softened
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large cage-free egg
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease an 8"x8" baking dish and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, rub the butter, flour, brown sugar, raw sugar, and cinnamon together with your hands for a couple minutes, working it over until you get crumbly clumps like wet sand. Set aside.
  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  2. In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup, whisk together the yogurt and whole milk. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar until light. Beat in the egg, mixing until incorporated. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  4. Alternate adding the flour and yogurt mixtures, mixing until just incorporated.
  5. Spread in the prepared baking dish and sprinkle the topping over the batter.
  6. Bake for 24-30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. Cool completely before removing from pan and serving.

Whole Grain Sampling Day

Want to win your own Whole Grain Sampling Day box?

All you have to do is enter in the Rafflecopter box below. Contest open to US residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Nov 26 2013

Cranberry Apple Crisp

Thanksgiving is nearly here and I haven’t even begun to plan. Luckily, we’ll be feasting at my sister-in-law’s house–my contribution is just a small part of the whole shebang–but I still feel like such a slug for not at least having an idea of what I’ll be presenting on Thanksgiving day. I really should be better at this by now. I’m 36, after all!

Cranberry Apple Crisp

The problem is that I have always been a mood eater. As such, I have also always been a mood baker. I can schedule anything I want but when it comes down to the nitty gritty, if I don’t feel like it, it won’t happen. And I can have quite the rebellious spirit. I’m such a brat.

This year, I’ve had cranberries on my mind a lot. A key harvest fruit here in New England, cranberries usually get their moment in the limelight as that gelatinous goo that slides out of a can moments before being ferried to the table for the big meal. Not my idea of featuring them at their best.

Cranberry Apple Crisp

I almost always volunteer to bring dessert to family gatherings and I’m quite impressed with what I’ve conceived today. Apple Crisp is one of my most favorite ways to eat apples–simple, modest, with the intoxicating aroma of pie without all the fuss. Apple Crisp is about as close as you can get in the baking world to relying upon intuition to guide you, as you would while cooking. No leavening, no eggs, and few ingredients. Fruit’s a little tart? Add more sugar. You prefer Gala apples? You should probably use less sugar. Don’t want to use sugar? You could try maple syrup. So many options! It seemed ripe for the addition of tangy cranberries.

Cranberry Apple Crisp

The combination is harmonious. Different layers playing together, working off each other to create a whole far exceeding the sum of its parts. A little buttery goodness in the crunchy topping, apples that are perfectly sweetened and have great texture, and then the cranberries come in, tart and tangy, slapping your taste buds and calling them to attention. Wow! I am loving this! Add a little bit of sweetened whipped cream and you have the perfect Thanksgiving dessert.

Cranberry Apple Crisp

Will I bring this to our Thanksgiving repast? That remains to be seen. But I highly recommend it for yours! Or for any time you want a little something fruity that’s not too sweet. Happy Thanksgiving!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Cranberry Apple Crisp
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8
  • 2 pounds granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries, washed and picked over
  • ½ cup demerara sugar
  • ¾ cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • ¼ cup demerara sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, cold
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a deep dish pie plate with butter or coconut oil and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, toss the apple slices and cranberries with the ½ cup demerara sugar. Spread into the prepared dish.
  3. In another large mixing bowl, stir the flour, oats, remaining sugar, cinnamon, and sea salt. Cut the butter up into chunks and cut it into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender or two knives, working the butter in until you have small chunks of it throughout.
  4. Sprinkle the topping over the fruit and bake, uncovered, for 45-50 minutes, or until fruit is tender and the topping is crisp and lightly browned.
  5. Cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Serve warm with a dollop of ice cream or sweetened whipped cream.

What are you baking for Thanksgiving this year?

Sep 27 2013

Happy 3rd Blogiversary to Me! I Baked You A Fresh Apple Cake!

Can you believe it? 3 years ago today I felt compelled to put myself out into the universe through this blog and here I am today, transformed by the experience. What an amazing journey this has taken me on!

Fresh Apple Cake

As the story goes, when I started this blog, it was at the beginning of my creative resurgence. My renaissance. I reconnected with an old friend from high school and was inspired once again, after far too many years of ignoring that part of me. I enrolled in a Shakespeare course. I signed up for Creative Writing. I pulled out my DSLR and got to work capturing the world. And I decided that dreaming about becoming a published author someday without actually writing was a tad ludicrous. Hence, the blog began.

Fresh Apple Cake

It wasn’t about food at first. I was too afraid. What did I have to add to the conversation? Who would be interested in what came out of my kitchen? They say you should write what you know, so I wrote about the community around me. And soon discovered that I knew more about my kitchen than what would be the hip thing to do. As a mother to two young children, I spent more time in my kitchen than in night clubs and theatre seats anyway. And just like that, poet in the pantry became a food blog.

Fresh Apple Cake

There have been a lot of unexpected benefits to inviting you all to my table. This last year, in particular, has been one of many exciting opportunities!

Yup, it’s been quite the year!

Fresh Apple Cake

It wouldn’t be anything without all of you, though. This blog exists because you are here reading it. Like the tree that falls in the forest, if you were not traveling along this road with me, it would be as if none of this happened. Thank you for your continued support!

So this celebration is really more about you than me. And in your honor, I baked you a Fresh Apple Cake–perfect for this time of year! The best part? It’s a one-bowl operation. Toss everything together, spread it in the pan, and you’ll be eating in your own honor in no time! (Psst! I give you permission to eat the entire cake, if you so wish! It’s YOUR day, after all!)

Fresh Apple Cake

Thank you! May there be many more blogiversaries we can celebrate together!

Fresh Apple Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 9
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon dried orange peel
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 dash ground cloves
  • 2 large cage free eggs
  • 2 cups chopped tart apples (no need to peel if you don't want to)
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped roughly
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9" square baking dish and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together all the ingredients.
  3. Transfer to baking dish and bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  4. Cool completely before serving.


Feb 21 2013

Rise and Shine! KAF’s Morning Glory Muffins

Growing up in a house with a mom who bakes and blogs about it has really impacted my kids. Not necessarily in an abundance of goodies, though it cannot be denied that they probably enjoy more homemade fare than the average kid. Instead, my daughter has decided she wants to be a food blogger when she grows up–and she’s decided that the ripe old age of 12 is when she’ll be ready. In the meantime, she’s practicing.

KAF Morning Glory Muffins

When I do a photo shoot, she runs for her Nintendo DSi or my old point-and-shoot camera, ready to capture the moment and share the results. She’s even been known to take her treats and set up her own shoots, propping up stuffed animals, grabbing cloth napkins and special plates from the props cabinets to add her own touch. I haven’t had the heart to tell her that she still needs to find a “real” career. But it’s nice to see the fruit didn’t fall far from the tree.

Mags's photo shoot

One day, she pounced on me when I walked in from a long day at work, eager to share that they had a special snack at school that day. A friend had celebrated her birthday and instead of the usual sugar-coma-inducing cupcakes or cookies, this friend brought in Morning Glory Muffins, baked by her father. My daughter knows this because she asked. Who made them. How were they made. And if she could have the recipe. I kid you not. Her classmate was a bit puzzled by her last request, but my daughter was insistent; she wanted to get the details so we could recreate them at home.

Mags's photo shoot 2

Her friend never did come through with the coveted recipe–I’m sure she forgot about it shortly thereafter. But I have not forgotten, and Morning Glory Muffins have been on my mind ever since. After a lovely Google+ hangout last night with Allison of King Arthur Flour, I decided to browse their recipes for some inspiration–and there they were: Morning Glory Muffins. This was surely meant to be.

KAF Morning Glory Muffins

I have little patience for grating veggies. Instead, I cut the carrots and apple into chunks and put them in the mini food processor to chop finely. A little texture in a muffin like this is a good thing. These are not overly sweet–no cupcake masquerading as a muffin here. But you won’t miss it. They also do not rise a whole lot, thanks to the whole wheat flour. Despite this, they are far from being hockey pucks–fluffy with a hefty helping of power-packed add-ins to fuel you on a long, busy day. Or at least get the kids to make it to lunch without having their tummies start grumbling in class. They’ll appreciate that.

KAF Morning Glory Muffins

It’s going to be a beautiful morning!

KAF's Morning Glory Muffins
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Breakfast/Brunch
Serves: 18
  • ½ cup dark raisins
  • 2 cups King Arthur Premium Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
  • 2 cups peeled and grated carrots
  • 1 large tart apple, cored, and grated (or peel it; your choice)
  • ½ cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • ½ cup roughly chopped walnuts
  • ⅓ cup shelled sunflower seeds
  • 3 large eggs
  • ⅔ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup fresh clementine juice (from about 2 clementines)
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, cover the raisins with hot water and set them aside to soak.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, spices, and salt.
  4. Stir in the carrots, apple, coconut, nuts, and sunflower seeds.
  5. In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and clementine juice.
  6. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until evenly moistened.
  7. Drain the raisins and stir them in.
  8. Scoop the thick batter into the prepared pans. You'll be filling each well pretty much to the top. KAF said you'd get 12 muffins, but I filled 18.
  9. Bake 25-28 minutes, or until domed and a cake tester inserted in the center of one of the inner muffins comes out clean.
  10. Remove from the oven, let cool for 5 minutes in their pans on a wire rack, then turn out of pans onto the rack to finish cooling.
  11. Store in airtight containers at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.


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