Cooking and Baking Made Easy with Quinoa and Quick Breads

Cooked quinoa, left, and uncooked quinoa, right. Because quinoa plumps up some when cooked, a little goes a long way, so you get more for your money. File photo

QUICK BREADS – Are just like their name suggests. Quick breads use baking powder and/or a combination of baking soda as a leavening agent, which requires no time for the batter to rise, whereas yeast bread takes a long time to rise and needs to rest between the risings.

Make sure that the baking powder and baking soda and your yeast are used within the date indicated on the container for excellent results. Quick breads usually have a much heavier texture than yeast breads as they include fruits, nuts and additional added goodies. The following recipe includes a usual combination of apples and cheese.

Apple-Cheese Sandwich Bread

• ½ cup shortening

• 2/3 cup granulated sugar

• 2 eggs

• 1 cup ground, unpeeled (seeded) apples

• 2 cups all-purpose flour

• 1 teaspoon baking powder

• 1 teaspoon baking soda

• ½ teaspoon salt

• ½ cup grated American cheese

• ¼ cup finely chopped nuts

• milk (if needed)

Cream together sugar and shortening; set aside. Beat eggs; add ground apples with the juice. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add dry mixture alternately with egg mixture to creamed mixture.

Add cheese and nuts. If apples are not juicy, add a small amount of milk. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for one hour in a greased standard loaf pan. Makes one loaf.

Cool loaf of bread completely on rack, slice thin. Cream cheese makes a wonderful filling — or how about trying ham salad?

QUINOA – Was called “chisaya mama,” translating to “mother of all grains,” by peoples of the Andean area of South America as far back as 6,000 years ago.

Quinoa was scorned by settlers to that area who considered it food for the peasants.

This grain has more protein than any other grain. Grains tend to be used in side dishes instead of main dishes. Quinoa is soft and can be bland, which means it can be incorporated with almost all foods.

To use on a more daily basis, add quinoa to soups and pasta dishes. It’s also great in stuffing. It needs to be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator or a cool, dark place, as it will spoil quickly.

Quinoa is gluten/wheat free. When we get to the letter “W,” we will be taking a look at wheat-free diets and how they help those with wheat allergies.

Because of a natural protective coating, quinoa can have a bitter taste. Rinse thoroughly before using, washing away the residue.

Quinoa cooks quickly and you must be careful not to overcook, as it will be really mushy. It is a somewhat pricey grain to purchase. Because it plumps up when cooked, a little goes a long way, so you get more for your money.

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About the Author:

E. M. (Bette) Banjack is a noted columnist, author, media host, and cook who writes stories of local families, and anecdotes of growing up and living in Phoenixville. Bette wrote a weekly column for ten years in The Phoenix, the local paper serving the Phoenixville area.

Her fourth and latest book, Neighborhood Kitchens – A Collection of Stories & Recipes, has just been released.

The articles and recipes posted on Health Tips and Advice, another Life Balance Network Site, were as a result of interviews of family and friends, and first appeared in her weekly column between 2003 and 2006.

Bette’s newest column series, Recipes ABC-XYZ, is appearing in The Phoenix, and will also be posted on FoodSource.

Bette hosted several TV shows on local broadcast cable TV on cooking with appearances of many hometown guests. Episodes of Bette’s cooking show “Look Who’s Cooking” can be viewed on another Life Balance Network site, FoodsSource, or on YouTube.



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