May
20

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Blueberry Barley Muffins

Whole Grain Blueberry Barley Muffins

Whole Grain Blueberry Barley Muffins

I grew up picking blueberries around our cottage in Northern Ontario… and not just picking a sour cream container worth to get enough to sprinkle on cereal in the morning but rather enough to fill freezers with blue bounty to last until the next season.

I still pick large amounts of blueberries,  I’ve become pretty practiced and can usually out pick the other members of my family  and now I have my kids along with me – learning to be comfortable in the bush, as well as gaining an understanding of the lasting reward that hard work can bring through a year of blueberries in baking.

These blueberry muffins call for whole barley flour – my preferred whole grain flour for sweet quick breads,  I find the taste sweeter than whole wheat flour.   Given I also like to diversify the grains in my diet this is also a good means of achieving that.  But, if you don’t have access to whole barley flour substitute whole wheat.

Enjoy these, and if you can get out picking take some time to sit in the bush, let your hands do the work while your mind gets to ponder over the issues of the day.


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Apple spice loaf – with whole grain flour

Apple see a lot of use in my home.  Our fall harvests from the neighborhood trees in a good year can be substantial.  The best of these are kept for fresh eating, seconds are peeled, sliced and dried or  frozen for pies, apple braids and the like, those that are a bit softer get transformed into apple sauce that we can, and finally the really bruised ones get turned into apple cider on the homestead press.

Apple Spice Loaf with Barley Flour

Apple Spice Loaf with Barley Flour

So we end up using a lot of apple sauce through the season, and this apple spice loaf is one of my favorite recipes. It’s a quick loaf – so it honestly doesn’t take more than five minutes to mix the ingredients, put it into a silicon loaf pan (which means I don’t even need to take the time to butter and flour the pan) making it a cinch to pull together.  In spite of being so easy – it is a lovely loaf the blend of apple and spices is lovely.  While the loaf is a great accompaniment for a nice cup of tea or coffee it most often serves as a bread substitute in our lunches, adding variety to our brown bags.  Made with whole grain flour – and I usually use whole barley flour for quick breads – it fills you up and keeps you satiated.

I think this is a pretty good example of better living today – you get a great rich filling and wholesome loaf, add diversity to your meals that sees you content to skip the cafeteria line for lunches and uses some of the bounty around us.  It is also a great example of how easily all this can be pulled together.  It honestly takes more time to wash the bowl than it does to prepare the batter and slide it into the oven.

Of course, you don’t need to use your own apple sauce or even flour you’ve produced at home to get a very nice product.  So take five minutes to make this apple spice loaf and add some great baking to your lunches.


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Peanut Butter Barley Cookies – Junior Baker Approved

Jumbo Peanut Butter and Barley cookies

Jumbo Peanut Butter and Barley cookies

Whole barley flour works wonderfully in a host of baked goods – in most cases I prefer it to whole wheat flour for cookies and sweet quick breads – and so does my junior baker.

You might have a bit of trouble finding whole barley flour unless you mill it yourself, but that is one of the advantages of having your own mill.

Barley flour peanut butter cookies ready for the oven

Barley flour peanut butter cookies ready for the oven

While I know that these could be scaled down to bite sized if you engage the junior baker the cookies are always going to be jumbo sized.  It’s not every cookie that will scale up nicely – but these do just fine, and you can adjust the baking time to suit the level of chewiness you desire – from wonderfully chewy to crisp.

Cookies are probably the greatest reason to get and use silicon baking sheets – they practically banish cookies with burnt bottoms, so don’t waste your ingredients or effort by forgoing its acquisition.

So, whether you have a junior baker or not these are great PB cookies so make yourself a batch.