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Friday, August 23, 2013

Whole Wheat Bagels

I love bagels, more specifically, everything bagels!  However, I have to carefully watch my carbohydrate intake and the bakery shop bagels are usually too large.  I decided to try making mini whole wheat bagels.  This recipe uses a mixture of whole wheat flour and whole wheat pastry flour for the dough.  I made 12 smaller sized bagels and a mixture of onion flakes, ground sea salt and dehydrated roasted garlic, poppy seeds, and sesame seeds for the "everything" topping.  They were surprisingly easy to make.  Each bagel has approximately 195 calories if sugar is used.

Whole Wheat Bagels

1 1/4 cups plus 4 Tablespoons water (heated to 120 to 130 degrees F per yeast instructions)
1 Tablespoon Bread Machine Yeast
2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3 Tablespoons preferred sweetener (or sugar)
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

Everything Topping

2 Tablespoons Poppy seeds
2 Tablespoons Sesame seeds
2 Tablespoons dried onion flakes
Coarse salt (optional)
Dehydrated roasted garlic (optional)

Mix hot water with the Bread machine yeast.  Combine water mixture, flour, sugar, salt, vegetable oil and yeast in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer.  I actually mixed the dough by hand, although it would be easier to use the dough hook and combine the ingredients using a stand mixer.  Increase the water by tablespoon as necessary to achieve the right balance of liquid to dry ingredients.  Mix using the stand mixer for approximately 8 or 9 minutes.  Stretch the dough with your fingers.  If the dough tears easily, it needs more kneading.  Fully developed dough should be able to stretch to a thin layer without ripping.

I spent a few minutes kneading the dough on a lightly floured surface because I did not use a dough hook to combine the ingredients.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and a warm towel.  Let rise for 2 hours.

Set the dough down on a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal size pieces for mini sized bagels.  Roll into long strands and join the ends to form a bagel shape.

Combine the poppy seeds, sesame seeds, dried onion flakes, sea salt, and dehydrated roasted garlic for toppings, or as desired.  I found a container of roasted garlic and sea salt with an adjustable grinder in the spice aisle of my local supermarket which worked well.  Stir to combine.

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.  Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large saucepan.  Boil the bagels 3 at one time until each one rises to the surface.  Boil approximately 1 minute per side.  Remove the bagels from the pan using a slotted spoon.

Dip the bagels in the toppings as desired and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Add toppings to each bagel as desired.

Arrange on a baking sheet.  Place in the oven and bake in a preheated oven for approximately 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Strawberry Mango Muffins

I came up with a recipe for Strawberry Mango muffins using fresh strawberries,  Protein Zone Mango Naked Protein Juice Smoothie drink, and oat bran.  The Naked brand protein juice smoothie is a fruit drink with whey protein and has no added sugar.  The drink contains mango, oranges, bananas, and apples.  This recipe yields approximately 18 muffins at 161 calories/muffin. 

Strawberry Mango Muffins

1 1/4 cups Protein Zone Mango Naked Protein Juice smoothie drink
1 egg
1/4 cup honey
1 cup fat free sour cream
1/4 cup preferred sweetener (or sugar)
1/4 cup natural applesauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup water
1 cup oat bran
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (I used Bob's Red Mill)
2/3 cup Muesli Fusion An-ox cereal (with goji berries and blueberries)
2/3 cup chopped strawberries

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Combine the Protein Zone Mango drink, the egg, honey, preferred sweetener (or sugar), applesauce, vegetable oil, vanilla and water and stir to combine.

Mix oat bran, whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, walnuts, coconut, and muesli cereal in separate large bowl.  Stir to combine.

Add smoothie mixture to the dry ingredients and stir to combine.

Wash and chop fresh strawberries.

Carefully fold chopped strawberries into batter and gently stir to combine.

Place muffin liners in pan and add batter until about 2/3 full.

Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes until cooked through. Remove from oven. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Our day trip to the Buffalo Zoo!

This past Friday my daughter and I were looking for something fun to do and the weather was perfect to spend the afternoon outside.  I love taking long walks and my daughter really enjoys the zoo.  This is an ocelot that was in the Rainforest Falls exhibit.  Ocelots weigh between 17-24 pounds and stand between 16-20 inches tall. 

Also in the Rainforest Falls exhibit there was a cave inhabited by vampire bats.  The bat shown below would fly around, and come back to this small area and peer out at us from the other side of the glass.  He was a very entertaining little fellow.  These creatures feed on blood, but they rarely attack humans.  Horses, cattle, and other livestock is what they usually feed on.

My daughter got a kick out of the anteaters which were also part of the Rainforest Falls exhibit.  This little guy paced back and forth while we were watching.  I wondered whether this was typical behavior for the species.  I read that the "pacing" we observed at the zoo may actually be a feature of an animals normal behavior.  In the wild it would be as if the anteater was wondering the pampas in search of termite mounds.

Here is a White-faced saki monkey staring out at us as we made our way around the final part of the Rainforest Falls exhibit.  A pair will often mate for life.  They are very devoted and will strengthen their bond by grooming one another.

This is a spotted hyena, it was very sleepy and taking a nap when we passed by the exhibit.

We loved watching the otters.  They reminded me of little children frolicking in the water and playing amongst themselves.  They were a hoot to watch.

The otters were my daughter's favorite attraction at the zoo.

This male lion was very active during our visit.  Someone mentioned that he was waiting to be fed.  He was banging at the window below and was being very vocal. 

This picture reminds me of the expression "lazy lion". 

This tiger was pacing in circles.

He must have been getting hot and wanting to cool down.  Because shortly after this picture was taken he climbed into a pool of water and relaxed.

The meerkat exhibit was interesting to observe.  I read that this species exhibits "cooperative" behaviors in which each individual plays an important role.  Meerkats are found in Southern Africa and live in groups consisting of 5-30 individuals.

It was amusing to watch several of them play with this plastic red toy. 

The gorillas are located in the Zoo's Main Animal Building.  They are the largest members of the primate family and range in size from 4 to 6 feet while their weight ranges from 150 to 450 pounds.  The males of the species tend to be larger than the females.

We enjoyed a very beautiful day at the Buffalo Zoo.  This was a special treat for the both of us as the end of the summer is approaching quickly.  I will miss the time we have spent enjoying the more mild weather outdoors.