Coffee Extract…Here Comes the Mocha Frosting!

I am on a major coffee kick thanks to Borealis Coffee Roasters and their incredible 3 Phase Expresso. That has left me no choice, but to make coffee everything. This is all good except sometimes I need some extract for that extra little kick and you know what that means. So here I go with a new extract…fingers crossed.

 

Experimenting with Extracts…Did Someone Say Chocolate?

My determination to keep ingredients real and simple has led me done the road of experimentation. My need for chocolate flavoring that doesn’t contain additives has led me to make this quick and simple extract.

Sugar….Let’s use fruit!

 

Sugar, sugar, sugar…. what do we think?

I think sugar is “Sweet” and we all could use a little extra sweet in our day.

We all know that too much sugar isn’t good for us, and here at D’s we’re all about making better choices and having healthier options, but ARE we going to give up on all sugar…NO! Should we STOP making yummy treats…NO! So what are we to do?

Common sense tells us that the food that is least processed, freshest sourced and has the highest nutrition value is going to be the “best” choice. So here at D’s we use the least amount of sugar possible while still making a yummy sweet treat, use local ingredients when available, and YES even make our own fruit sugars for some of our favorite recipes.

The big question is….Is fruit sugar better for you?

Get a quick overview of the difference between natural vs. refined sugar, where they come from and how the work in our body and make your own decision.

“The American Diabetics Association” has a ranking system for figuring the Glycemic Level  of food. Read the article and learn about the difference in GI Levels according to food, ripeness of produce, and even how cook time can affect the levels.

We could research for days on end and for every positive analysis we find, there will be a negative one to thwart it. Studies can be done, experts can give testimony and facts can be documented, but at the end of the day a good portion of what we “know” or “believe” is based on our own current health issues, desires and popular diet fads. So what does all that mean? All we can do educate ourselves and make the choices that work best for our lifestyle.

All I can say is strive to do what is best for you and in the meantime I will continue to make cookies.

Keeping it Sweet,

D

 

Making your own sugars is simple yet time consuming, but are well worth it!

Takes approximately 26 hrs from start to finish. Actual busy time is approx. 1 1/2 hrs.

  • Slices fruit very thin; can use a mandolin for apples
    • Place in single layers on baking sheet covered with parchment; or directly on dehydrator
  • Dry out fruit
    • Dehydrate for approx. 24 hrs or put in oven at 175 degrees for 8 hrs
    • Shut oven off and leave in for an additional 12 – 16 hrs until crisp
  • Grind in coffee or spice grinder until fine powder

 

 

Reading Recipes…It’s all in the order.

Get some quick tips on how to read a recipe for the best results.

Looking to replace eggs in a recipe…I’ve got you covered.

Grab some quick and simple ideas for replacing egg in almost any recipe.

 

EforAll Mid Pitch

 

 

Gluten Free Coffee Cake Experiment

After almost four years of failed attempts at making a good Gluten Free Coffee Cake I think I finally have it figured out.

Vanilla Extract…So easy to make and yet so Yum!

One of my favorite in house recipes with simple ingredients and easy to follow instructions.

Flavored Sugar

Taste brought to the next level is easy to accomplish with the added essence of flavored sugars!

Lemon Sugar

  • Zest lemon(s); I use 1 lemon for each 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • Process zest and sugar together
  • Lay out on a baking sheet and dry out; approx. 2 – 3 hrs
  • Optional – process again to mix throughout
  • Store in air tight container; I store mine in the refrigerator

 

Vanilla Sugar

  • Split beans and scrape out seeds – Learn how Here – I use 1 large bean for each 1 cup of sugar
  • Process seeds and sugar together; leave empty pod in sugar as well
  • Store in air tight container in a cool place for at least 2 weeks; the longer it sits the more flavor will develop

 

Now use your sugar in any drink or recipe you want to add a little umpf to and Enjoy! 

Local… Freshness, taste, health

 

 

Benefits of locally sourced food

Everyone is jumping on the band wagon of locally sourced products whether they are grown, raised or produced. Why? Although there are many reasons including economy, freshness and even trend, I think health is the best reason of all.

Knowing your food is critical for overall health. What is the nutrition value, its origin, and how is it processed are all questions of importance. I know, funny that a baker, essentially a maker of treats should be worried about any of those items, but in reality I worry about them all. My goodies are made with as many local ingredients that are available, with healthier alternatives when possible and always minimally processed.

Just a couple reasons to buy local.

Fruits and veggies from local farms or farmers markets…whether farmed  organic, I.P.M. or more conventional methods will always be fresher than store bought. The fresher picked the fruit or veggie is the more nutritional value it will have.

Cross contamination is another reason to buy local. Contamination can occur from handling so common sense tells us less hands equals less chance of passing along harmful bacteria. Local farmers and producers have minimal handling (employees) and therefore lessen the chances of transfer through human contamination.

Education about your food and it’s sourcing doesn’t get any better than straight from the producers mouth. If you are interested in your food cycle then you should visit your local farms, farmers markets and small businesses to get the most direct education out there.

So local…an awesome weapon to have in your arsenal of health and wellness realization.