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Rustic Blueberry Bars

Just this summer I came to realize that kombucha (the fermented beverage I rave about for it’s health benefits, flavor, and frugality) is a wonderful dough/batter enhancer for quick breads.   If you remember vinegar and baking soda experiments from elementary school you can imagine how kombucha starter liquid would react with baking soda due to its similarity to vinegar (but without the vinegar taste or smell).  It puts fizz in the dough!

I do not have the patience of a tadpole, so if I want to eat delicious healthy baked goods I have to plan ahead and make-ahead wherever possible.    I put dry ingredients in mason jars as you see in my top photo.  The flour I used for these make-ahead mixes includes Premium Gold’s “Gluten Free Flax & Ancient Grains All-Purpose Flour” which is made from brown rice, flaxseed, quinoa, buckwheat, and amaranth.  These are exactly the same things I used to have to buy separately and grind up myself to add by hand to make healthy baked goods, so this product saves me a lot of time.  My mix also includes sprouted spelt (or wheat, kamut, or rye) so it is not gluten-free.

I used to put baking soda in with the dry ingredients, but I am learning that with kombucha bread it works better when mixed fresh with the liquids and that using kombucha as an additional leavening agent makes quick breads completely idiot-proof.  That means that if I stick with the basic chemistry, I can use my make-ahead mix to create portion-controlled batches of just about any kind of quick bread in just a few minutes.

Today I used up some fresh blueberries that were not sweet enough to eat out of hand, and a little bit of left over Naked Juice Company’s Green Machine (which has kale, spinach, wheatgrass, seaweed, and broccoli in addition to 5 fruits) .  This I added to the baking soda and a generous splash of kombucha.  Quick, while it bubbled up like a volcano, I stirred all this into the flour mix.  Voila, blueberry bar batter!  All that was left to do was sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the top, drizzle it with maple syrup, roll it in oil to form a log, slice it into bars and bake.  Even I was a bit skeptical about this process, but the final result was not green at all, and did not taste a bit like veggies.  In fact, I plan to try putting Green Machine in my next batch of chocolate chunk cookies.  Note that a little baking soda goes a long ways, so too much will be noticeable.

These days I am usually cooking for just one or two, so my oven of choice is Gourmia’s 10-in-1 Multifunction Robotic Cooker which got bad reviews when some test bakers tried to make cookies in one without elevating them.  Duhh, that is sort of like putting your steak right on charcoal instead of using the grill.  I admit the directions that came with the unit were a bit lacking.  Anyway, it has a preset that works perfectly for this recipe, so all I do is put the food in the cooker on top of an inverted silicon baking pan, select “grill” and push the start button.   Gotta love technology!

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Written by Ann Hartley

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    • When we first moved to where I am now we had to submit an architectural drawing to get permission to remove the range top and oven to reduce power consumption enough to add an outlet for my computer, Alex. When the inspector came out he was angry and turned to my husband and demanded to know “How is your wife going to cook?” Dear late hubby stood up tall and replied “My wife is an executive, she doesn’t have to cook!” Well, I cook every day, but I haven’t used a conventional stove or oven in over 40 years.

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