Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mom's Brunch Recipes, Clean Eating Chocolate Zucchini Muffins,Strawberry Shortbread Trifle, Egg Sausage Strata

I had a few moms over for a brunch today and wanted to share the recipes I made!

Eat Clean Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

3 eggs, set out of fridge when you begin
3/4 cup grassfed butter (regular is fine, but not as clean), softened a bit
1.75 cups white whole wheat flour (still a whole wheat flour, white whole wheat flour is made from white wheat, versus red wheat the traditional whole wheat flour is made from)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I use half dutch cocoa and half regular, the dutch results in a richer color and better flavor)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1.25 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon aluminium free baking powder (regular will do, but not 'clean')
2/3 to 3/4 cup (depending on preferred sweetness) honey or agave nectar
1.5 teaspoon vanilla
2 medium zucchini, grated (I used the shredder disk & my food processor)
3/4 cup chocolate chips (Ghirardelli 60 % dark chocolate are the best! but you can also use semi sweet)

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, salt, soda, and powder. In a large bowl (stand mixer preferred), blend the softened butter and honey until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla, beat well. Add the zucchini and whip away (I let mine go for quite a while to, as I like to call it, pulverize the zucchini so it doesn't stick out as noticeably in the baked muffin.) Add the dry ingredient mixture and combine until everything is moist. Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour into greased muffin tins, or use baking cups of some sort. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Will make ~24

Nearly Clean Strawberry Shortbread Trifle

So this takes some work because I make everything from scratch, but it's totally worth it! You can also sub in a store bought angel food or pound cake and store bought whip cream for ease, but the homemade way allows you to control ingredients and tastes better :-) But I understand being pressed for time or not that handy in the kitchen.

First I make the shortbread biscuits. 

2 cups white whole wheat flour plus extra for dusting/patting
1 tablespoon aluminum free baking powder
several dashes of salt
1/2 cup grassfed butter (or regular will do)
2 tbsp honey
1 egg
3/4 cup grassfed milk or almond milk

Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and then use a pastry cutter to cut in 1 stick of butter. Continue cutting until the butter is well distributed and finely incorporated, will take several minutes of cutting (you can also do this in a food processor and pulse, it's easier that way but I hate cleaning my food processor and I have a pastry cutter so I use it)
Make a well in the center of the dry mixture and put the egg, honey, and milk. Whisk the wet ingredients within that well and then incorporate the flour mixture with the wet until a ball comes together. You will have to add some more flour, probably, so that the dough isn't too wet. You want it to be tacky but not too sticky. You can roll the dough out and cut if you want, but since these biscuits will be getting torn up for the trifle, I don't care if they look sloppy, so I just roll them in to balls and pat down into 2.5" (ish) circles. Bake at 450 degree for about 9-10 minutes or until done. Let cool before trying to break into bite size pieces for the trifle. The biscuits and the strawberries can be done the day before you want to assemble your trifle.

You will also need to clean two pounds of strawberries and cut off the tops. 

Cut them into bite size pieces and let sit, covered, in the fridge for a while to naturally "juice".

Right before assembling the trifle, I make some whipped cream. 

I use grassfed cream and *gasp* unclean powdered sugar. It's processed, but it's better than the crap you buy in the store, so deal with it or try to make whipped cream with maple syrup?

To assemble the trifle, layer the cut up biscuits on the bottom, then strawberries, and then whip cream, I repeated this twice. I topped it with three whole strawberries for presentation :-)

Clean Eating Egg Sausage Strata

This is basically a Taste of Home Recipe but I make it clean by making the bread from scratch and hand shredding my cheese...in addition to choosing better for you sausage and bacon and free range eggs. When I make this strata, I make a whole loaf of bread (typically whole wheat in my bread machine--tip, add vital wheat gluten to keep whole wheat bread from being a brick!) and then make two stratas because each strata takes half of a 2 lb bread machine loaf, and this recipe is really easy to double even if you're using store bought bread. You can prepare the stratas and then freeze one for later and let one refrigerate overnight to eat the next morning. This is an amazing brunch recipe and awesome for crowds. It's very easy to make, if you don't do it clean. Because making it clean takes longer, I usually make the bread the day before I want to prepare the stratas, which is a day before you want to eat it because it has to set overnight. You can also add mushrooms, spinach, etc... very customizable!
Recipe is found here; http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/cheese-sausage-strata

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