Red Velvet Cake

A bunch of chioggia beets

The secret ingredient in this sweet dessert is — you guessed it — beets!

3 medium beets
3/4 cup butter, plus more for greasing pan
3/4 cup buttermilk
Juice of 1 large lemon
2 teaspoon white vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups Nash’s soft white flour*
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Wash beets and wrap in aluminum foil. Bake until the tip of a knife slides easily into the largest beet, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool until beets can be handled, then peel. (This may be done up to a day ahead.)

Butter two 9-inch cake pans. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment and then butter again.

In a food processor, chop beets to pieces about the size of finely diced onions. Measure 1 cup and set aside (remaining beets can be reserved for another purpose). Return cup of beets to the food processor. Purée with buttermilk, lemon juice, vinegar and vanilla until smooth.

Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter until soft. Slowly add sugar and beat until creamy. Beat in eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.

Alternate adding flour mixture and beet mixture to butter mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, and beating for 10 seconds after each addition. Scrape down the bowl after each addition of the wet ingredients.

Divide batter between prepared cake pans, smoothing the tops. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the cake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Remove pans from oven and cool completely on a wire rack. Frost with cream cheese frosting or other white icing.

*Nash’s soft white wheat flour has been milled fine, but if you want your Red Velvet Cake to be really silky, sift it before measuring it. We usually don’t, so we can get all the health benefits from the germ and bran.

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Kia’s Skillet Brownies

Triticale flour, 2 pound package

You can’t go wrong with cocoa powder and chocolate.

I’m not gonna pretend these are low fat or low sugar, or some kind of “healthy” brownie. But if you’re wanting the ultimate chocolate brownie fix, make ‘em and bake ‘em in a cast-iron skillet, and you won’t be disappointed!

1 1/2 cup turbinado or raw sugar
4 large eggs
2 cups Nash’s white wheat or triticale flour
1 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter
1/.2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips or coarsely chopped chocolate
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and eggs. In another bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa and salt.

In a 10″ or 12” cast-iron skillet, bring butter and cream to a simmer over medium heat. Add chocolate and reduce to medium-low. Cook, stirring constantly, until chocolate has melted, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool 5 minutes.

Add chocolate mixture to sugar mixture, whisking until blended (set skillet aside). Fold in flour mixture, but don’t overmix. Pour batter into skillet.

Bake for about 20 minutes. Don’t overcook, and consider that your skillet will hold a lot of heat for a while after you pull it out of the oven.

Serve warm brownies with ice cream, fresh berries and/or whipped cream! YUM!

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Kia’s Shortcake Drop Biscuits

Strawberries in a bowl

Better take care of that strawberry shortcake craving while the season is here!

These biscuits are easily prepped in 10 minutes, and take less than 15 to bake, so they’re a go-to for last minute desserts. Feeding a crowd? Double the batch, by simply doubling all the ingredients.

1 1/2 cups Nash’s soft white wheat flour
1 1/2 cups Nash’s red wheat or triticale flour
1/2 cup Nash’s wheat bran (optional)
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons raw sugar
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) cold/frozen butter, grated
1 1/4 cup buttermilk or raw milk (use 1 1/2 cup milk if you use optional bran)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all dry ingredients, and then thoroughly work in grated butter. Add milk and mix into thick batter using wide strokes. Don’t over-mix. Drop biscuits onto ungreased baking sheet, and bake for about 12-15 minutes, until just showing some golden color. Makes about 15-18 biscuits.

Tip: Omit the sugar for savoy breakfast biscuits.

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Kia’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Nash's flour in two-pound bags

What’s your favorite flour to use for these amazing cookies?

I’m not gonna lie, I’ve eaten these nutritious cookies before for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack! Sweetened with honey and loaded with nutrient-rich grains, dried fruits and nuts, Kia’s Cookies are as easy to make and share!

1 cup butter (or 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup applesauce or pureed squash, etc.)
1 large glob peanut butter or almond butter (approx 1/4 cup)
1 cup honey
2 eggs
1 splash vanilla
1 1/2 cup Nash’s wheat flour (white, triticale, or red)
1 cup Nash’s wheat bran
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
3 cups rolled oats
Extra goodies: approximately 1/4 cup each dried cranberries, raisins, nuts, flax seeds, crystallized ginger, chocolate chips—you get the idea.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Let butter soften on the counter, then add peanut butter, honey, vanilla, and eggs, and mix well. (Honey measuring tip: quickly coat measuring cup or spoon with olive oil, and then portion honey. It will slide off tools easily, with no mess.)

Combine dry ingredients, except for extra goodies. Add to wet bowl and mix thoroughly. Then mix in extra goodies.

Eat some cookie dough, while also spooning some onto baking sheet. These cookies don’t spread too much when cooked, so shape accordingly. Bake for 15-18 minutes, and don’t overcook! Makes about 24 cookies.

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Strawberry Gelato

A bucket of strawberries in the field

Aww yeah, strawberries are back! Sounds like this summer will be a hot one, so be prepared to cool down with strawberry gelato.

3 cups cut-up strawberries
6 cups milk
1 1/3 cups sugar
12 egg yolks, beaten

Place berries in a blender container or food processor bowl. Cover and blend or process until nearly smooth.

Combine 3 cups of the milk, sugar, and egg yolks in a large saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture coats a spoon. (To test, dip a spoon into the custard and draw a line with your finger through the coating. The custard is done when the edges along the line keep their shape.) Remove from heat. Stir in the remaining milk and pureed berries.

Cover surface of gelato mixture with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight until chilled. (Or, place saucepan in a sink of ice water to cool quickly; then cover and chill for 2 hours.) Freeze mixture in a 4- or 5-quart ice cream freezer according to manufacturer’s directions. Ripen for 4 hours.

We thank Better Homes and Gardens for this recipe.

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Yam Custard

2 large yams
1 14-ounce can coconut milk (solids reserved)
4 farm-fresh Nash’s eggs
1/4 cup maple syrup
Pinch of sea salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Scrub and slice yams into 1-inch cubes and steam for about 20 minutes or until a fork easily pierces the yam. Let cool.

Mix the coconut milk, eggs, maple syrup, salt, vanilla and cinnamon together. Then add yams and beat until smooth. A stick blender works really well.

Pour into a buttered pie dish and bake in a 350F preheated oven for about 1 hour or until a knife inserted into the middle of the custard comes out clean.

Whip the reserved coconut cream solids with a little maple syrup and vanilla extract and serve on top.

This recipe is offered to us by Nash’s own Myla. She assures us that it is sure to please the children in your life — including the adult ones!

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Nettle Cake with Lemon Frosting

Nettles

These nettles are too sweet to sting.

For the Cake
2 cups, packed, raw young nettle leaves (use gloves!)
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Zest & juice of 1/2 lemon
2 cups Nash’s white wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Frosting
2/3 cup butter, softened
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Zest & juice of 1/2 a lemon
Frozen berries, any kind
Lemon zest

Preheat oven to 325F. Grease and line two 7” round cake tins. Using rubber gloves, wash stinging nettles and remove stems. Place in boiling water for 3-4 minutes to remove sting. Refresh under cold water, drain and puree in a blender.

In large bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, then nettles, vanilla, zest and lemon juice. Sift in flour, baking powder and salt and stir to combine. Spoon into prepared tins, push to edges and level, then bake for 25 minutes until inserted skewer comes out clean. Cool completely.

To make the frosting, in large bowl, cream butter until fluffy. Add sugar and beat. Beat in zest and lemon juice to make a frosting consistency and beat again. Spread some between cake layers and sandwich together. Cover with remaining frosting and decorate with berries and lemon zest.

nettle cake batter

The batter…

nettle cake before frosting

…the cake before frosting…

nettle cake with frosting

…and the cake after frosting (and tasting!).

.

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Pumpkin Pie Using a Fresh Pumpkin

sugar pie pumpkins

Pumpkin pie from real organic pumpkins is easier than you think!

Best served barely warm, with freshly whipped cream kissed with maple syrup and vanilla.

1 medium sugar pumpkin
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch single crust pie (see below)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup honey, warmed slightly for easy pouring and mixing
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

To Roast/Prepare the Pumpkin:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Cut pumpkin in half and remove seeds. Lightly oil the cut surface. Place cut-side down on a glass baking dish or baking sheet with four rimmed sides. Bake until the flesh is tender when poked with a fork (usually about one-half hour to 45 minutes). Cool until just warm. Scoop out the cooked flesh from the skin and puree.

For the Pie:
Increase oven preheat temperature to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). In large bowl, blend together 2 cups pumpkin puree, spices, and salt. Beat in eggs, honey, milk, and cream. Pour filling into pie shell. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes at the new temperature, or until a knife inserted 1 inch from edge of pie comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Options:
Reducing the amount of honey to 3/4 allows the pumpkin flavor to come out more in this recipe, and also makes it less sweet.

Instead of baking in a pie crust, bake it in greased custard cups or pie dish. The result will be gluten-free pumpkin custard!

If you want to make the pie or custard extravagant, mince up candied ginger and spread a layer on the bottom of the crust, or bottom of the dish, before filling.

Exclude milk as desired, and substitute soy, rice or almond milk.

Pie Crust
2/3 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into half-inch pieces
2 cups of flour
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
6-7 tablespoons cold water

In the bowl of an electric mixer or food processor, pulse the butter, flour, salt, and sugar until the butter is the size of peas. Add the water, one tablespoon at a time, while mixing on low. When the dough just barely starts to come together, turn off the mixer and stop adding water. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead briefly until the dough is cohesive. Flatten the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for 30 minutes.

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Sweet Pumpkin Cookies

Organic pumpkin

Cookies?!? You never told me I could make cookies out of pumpkin! I gotta try this!

1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups Nash’s white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped peanuts
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 375. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the pumpkin, egg and vanilla and mix until well blended. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice and salt, and add to the mixing bowl. Stir well to form a soft batter. Stir in the chopped nuts, raisins, and chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto a large, baking sheet (or two smaller ones), allowing space for the cookies to spread as they bake. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean and the cookies begin to brown slightly on the bottom. Transfer to a cooling rack or plate. Enjoy!

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Whole Grain Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkins in the field

These pumpkins are now ripe, cured, and ready to entertain your tastebuds!

Makes two pies.

Step 1: Select pumpkin or winter squash and wash, cut in half and remove seeds. Bake in oven at 350 for 45-90 minutes until soft. Let cool.

Step 2: Scoop out the cooked pumpkin, and drain if too watery.

Step 3: Make the pie crusts. You’ll need:

  • 2 cups Nash’s soft white wheat flour
  • 2 sticks butter, sliced and frozen
  • Pinch of salt (optional)
  • 3-5 tablespoons ice-cold water

In food processor add flour, salt and butter and pulse until mixed. Add 1 tablespoon ice-cold water at a time until a ball forms. Take care not to let the dough get too wet or to overwork it. Separate dough into 2 balls and cover and refrigerate until ready to roll out crust. If you don’t own a food processor, no worries. You can do the crust by hand with a pastry cutter or fork.

Roll dough ball out on a floured surface to fit your pan, about a 12″ circle for a 9″ pie pan. Place rolled dough over a buttered pie dish and press in, crimp or flute edge.

Step 6: Make the filling. You’ll need:

  • 1 cup sugar (1 1/4 cup honey may be substituted)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • (or 4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice instead of above spices)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups cooked pumpkin or winter squash
  • 12 ounces liquid, such as local Dungeness Valley Creamery milk, canned evaporated milk, or milk substitutes such as coconut milk or almond milk

Mix all filling ingredients well in hand mixer or blender.

Step 7: Fill the crust. You may choose to parbake the crusts for 3 minutes before filling. Pour filling into crust from 1/4 to 1/2 inch from the top. Bake at 425 F for the first 15 minutes then turn down to 350 F and bake another 45 to 60 minutes, until a blunt knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Step 8: Let cool and enjoy! Ideas for excess filling: make french toast, muffins, or bake without a crust. You may choose to save the pumpkin seeds for planting next year or to roast in the oven for a snack.

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