Tuesday, 2 April 2019

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Homemade Hazelnut Butter



Makes 1.5 jar

Ingredients:
3 cups (400 g) skinned hazelnuts

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C).
2. Meanwhile, place hazelnuts onto a baking sheet on a baking tray in a single layer.
3. Roast for a total of 12-15 minutes at 175 degree celsius (350 degrees F), or until fragrant.
4. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
5. Roll the nuts between with your hands to remove as much of the skins as possible. You can also place them in a kitchen towel when doing so. Removing the skin as much as possible gives a creamier nut butter, but it doesn't have to be perfect.
6. Place the hazelnuts into your high-speed blender or food processor.
7. Blend on low until a butter begins to form scraping down sides as needed. If you are using a Magimix blender, blend on Speed 1 for 30 seconds, then stop and see if you need to scrap down. Next blend on Speed 2 for another 30 seconds, then stop again and see if you need to scrap down. Lastly, blend on Speed 3 for the last 30 seconds, using your tamper to push down if needed, while blending. Your nut butter will be done in these 1.5 minutes of blending :-)
8. Once the hazelnut butter done (creamy and smooth), pour it into a air-tight jar and it is ready to enjoy :-)
9. This is optional. You can also add the ground cinnamon, salt, and sugar (optional) and blend until combined (about 30 seconds). Taste and adjust desired sugar accordingly. And then store into a air-tight jar.

Storage:
You can store your hazelnut butter in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 3 weeks, or in the refrigerator for 2 months or more (check and use your common sense).

I like our hazelnut butter pure without adding any other ingredients such as sugar or cinnamon, except if I am making it into nutella. It really tastes very good already on its own, we don't need to add any sugar to enhance it. But all families are different.

Additional Information:
Of all the nut butter we tried making, hazelnut butter is our favorite. It is also the easiest to make in our Magimix blender. The other nut butter such as walnut, almonds, etc. take a longer time to make.

References:

Place hazelnuts onto a baking sheet on a baking tray in a single layer.

Roast for a total of 12-15 minutes at 175 degree celsius (350 degrees F), or until fragrant. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.

Roll the nuts between with your hands to remove as much of the skins as possible. You can also place them in a kitchen towel when doing so. Removing the skin as much as possible gives a creamier nut butter, but it doesn't have to be perfect.



Measure 3 cups (400 g)

Place the hazelnuts into your high-speed blender or food processor.

Blend on low until a butter begins to form scraping down sides as needed. If you are using a Magimix blender, blend on Speed 1 for 30 seconds, then stop and see if you need to scrap down.

Next blend on Speed 2 for another 30 seconds, then stop again and see if you need to scrap down. 

Lastly, blend on Speed 3 for the last 30 seconds, using your tamper to push down if needed, while blending.


Your nut butter will be done in these 1.5 minutes of blending :-)

Once the hazelnut butter looks creamy and smooth like the above texture, it is done :-)

Remove blender and...

pour it into a air-tight jar and...

it is ready to enjoy or stored for a month in the fridge :-) Don't throw away your store-bought hazelnut butter jar. I use it to store our homemade hazelnut butter. In this way, it is fully labeled and looks good on the outside too :-)

I use our hazelnut butter in smoothie, spread it on pancakes, bread and crackers.

Now here comes the cleaning up part:

I use Magimix Power Blender (11626SK). It comes with glass blending jug, and it is very easy to clean.

The blades are removable, making it very easy to scrap off every bit of the hazelnut butter. Thus, there is no wastage.

A completely scrapped clean jug


I did a review of our Magimix blender. You can read it here

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

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Healthy Modern Chinese Food


I am compiling a list of healthy modern Chinese cooking that incorporates nutritious ingredients normally not used in Chinese cooking such as oats, quinoa, millet, kale, flax seeds, etc. But I am also including some of more common ingredients used in Chinese cooking such as ginger as well. I have tested the recipes in our own kitchen and I am documenting it for the ease of access for myself. I will come back to update it, whenever there is a new addition.




Coat meat with ground oats and ground flax seeds for frying







Easy Healthy Chinese Braised Pork (红烧肉 Hong Shao Rou)



Tuesday, 26 March 2019

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Quick & Easy Raw Oats Breakfast



Ingredients:
1. 1/4 cup rolled oats
2. 1/2 cup fresh skimmed milk
3. A handful of goji berries, pumpkin seeds, raisins, wheat germ and chia seeds

Directions:
In a bowl, add rolled oats, add milk and topped with a handful of goji berries, pumpkin seeds, raisins, wheat germ and chia seeds.

Additional Information:
The Danes eat raw oats with fresh milk. Sometimes, when our children are tired of eating oatmeal, I will serve them this raw oats breakfast, and they like it. This is also very easy to prepare, when we are in a rush in the morning. Daddy FECS loves it too. For our Little FECS, I also add in brewer's yeast for added nutrition, although I don't do that for the rest of the family, as they don't like the taste of brewer's yeast.


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Healthy Oats Coated Crispy Chicken


Serves 4

Ingredients:
1. 4 chicken thighs
2. 2 TBS rolled oats ground
3. 2 TBS flax seeds ground
4. 1 TBS wheat germ
5. Salt & Pepper to taste
6. 1 stalk spring onions diced
7. 1/2 cucumber sliced
8. 1 red pepper bells sliced

Directions:
1. In a bowl, mix ground oats,ground flax seeds, wheat germ, salt and pepper together.
2. Coat chicken with mixture.
3. Roast chicken in preheated oven at 180 degree celsius for 45 minutes or until golden.
4. Garnish with spring onions, cucumber, red pepper and serve with french fries.

Additional Information:
This is a very healthy crispy chicken that is made in the oven. It is coated with oats, wheat germ and flax seeds, which makes it more healthier than coating with white flour, but yet equally tasty.

1. In a bowl, mix ground oats,ground flax seeds, wheat germ, salt and pepper together.

2. Coat chicken with mixture.

3. Roast chicken in preheated oven at 180 degree celsius for 45 minutes or until golden.

4. Garnish with spring onions, cucumber, red pepper and serve with french fries.

Sunday, 24 March 2019

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Braised Beef with Oats & Flax Seeds


Ingredients:
1. 1/4 cup rolled oats ground
2. 1/4 cup flax seeds ground (Hørfrø)
3. 4 pieces of osso bucco beef shanks cut into chunks
4. 4 TBS dark soy sauce
5. 2 cups homemade tomato soup or 1/4 cup store-bought tomato sauce
6. 1/2 cup frozen green peas
7. 1/2 cup frozen sweet corns
8. A handful of mushrooms
9. 2 cloves garlic minced
10. Salt & pepper to taste
11. 2 TBS cooking oil
12. 1 cup boiling water

Directions:
1. Grind rolled oats and flax seeds separately in a blender or food processor into flour and set aside.
2. On a plate, add 1/4 cup of oats flour, 1/4 cup of flax seeds flour, 1 tsp salt and sprinkle of pepper and mix well.
3. Lightly coat meat (without the bone marrow) with the flour mixture.
4. Heat pan with cooking oil on high heat, add meat and lightly fry until golden (may have to reduce heat a little so that it would not be burnt).
5. Transfer the meat to a pot, add the bone marrow and add one cup of boiling water.
6. Cover with lid and simmer the beef shanks.
7. After one hour or so, you will notice a thick layer of fat that is floating on top. Skim it off and discard.
8. Add tomato soup/sauce, dark soy sauce, frozen peas and corns, mix well and simmer for another hour until meat is tender.
9. Serve with rice :-)

Additional Information:
Traditionally, corn starch is used to coat the meat for frying to tenderize the meat. I am using oats and flax seeds instead, because it is healthier and much more nutritious, but also flavorful. I find that using a mixture of oats and flax seeds give the best effect, as these two ingredients complement each other. Flax seeds has a low smoke point, and thus it is not suited for frying directly. Mixing it with oat flour helps to blend it into the flour and at the same time, bringing out its flavor. 

The oat flour also helps to thicken the liquid for simmering into a nice sauce, but be careful not to over coat the meat with too much ground oats, as it will make the sauce too thick.

On a plate, lightly coat beef shanks with ground oats and ground flax seeds

Heat pan with cooking oil on high heat, add coated meat and fry until golden (may have to reduce heat a little so that it would not be burnt).

Transfer to a pot

Add boiling water to keep the temperature hot

Add back the bone marrows

Cover with lid and simmer the beef for 2 hours...

after one hour...

skim off the layer of fat floating on top and discard it.

Add homemade tomato soup (or store-bought tomato sauce), dark soy sauce, mushrooms, frozen peas and corns, mix well and simmer until tender.

Serve with rice :-)
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