Saturday, January 30, 2016

Apple - Grain Squares

I know we've all been there at least once - you cook up a batch of rice or grains to go with a stir-fry or stroganoff and wind up with a cup or so leftover. It's never enough to re-purpose on it's own (if you're cooking for more than yourself), but it's too much for people like me to feel OK about tossing it. This goes double in times like these where the economy is less than kind, and the grocery bills keep stretching higher and higher! Yes, you can freeze the remains of the pot... but I personally don't like the texture when it thaws and (knowing me) I'd just leave it there until I eventually threw it out in it's freezer-burned glory.

I used to love having the bowlful or so of cooked rice in the fridge - as a kid, rice pudding was the dessert my dad and I would eat gallons of and it was a blaze to whip up in the microwave using a splash of milk, some sugar, cinnamon and raisins. These days see a milk-free menu on my plate - not to mention more than just plain boiled white rice in the fridge! I've become a huge fan of pretty much every colour of rice (but white!), savouring bowls of not only our go-to brown Basmati, but Wehani, heirloom blackBhutanese red, purple Camargue and (my favourite) pecan varieties of rice without any adornment, and have opened my pantry to millet, amaranth, teff and buckwheat. All of these add extra possibilities to the leftover rotation, their unique flavours and textures working wonders in baking, both sweet and savoury.

Apple-Grain SquaresPerusing one of Rodale's cookbooks (and the particular one escapes me at the moment), I came across the inspiration for this lightly sweet, whole grain dessert. A baked "rice pudding" of sorts, though without dairy, it's a combination of shredded apples, cooked millet and brown Basmati rice bound with egg whites and brown rice flour, sweetened with stevia and laced with toasted sunflower seeds and rum-soaked raisins. The pan bakes to golden, dense-yet-moist perfection and is more than worthy of inclusion at breakfast or dessert - and since it's gluten, dairy, nut, sugar and added-fat free why not have more than one a day?

Shared with Gluten Free Fridays 

Apple-Grain Squares

Apple - Grain Squares
Makes one 9" pan, 12 pieces
4 large apples, shredded (no need to peel)
¼ cup sultana raisins
3 tbsp spiced rum
1 cup cold, cooked brown Basmati (or your favourite whole-grain) rice
1 cup cold, cooked millet
½ cup brown rice flour
¼ cup tapioca starch
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tbsp ground cinnamon
4 egg whites
½ tbsp liquid stevia
1 tbsp vanilla
¼ cup sunflower seeds
  1. Combine the apples, sultanas and rum in a bowl and let stand 30 minutes.
  2. Heat the oven to 325F and line a 9” pan with parchment or greased foil.
  3. Combine the cooked grains, flour, starch, flaxseed, baking powder and cinnamon in a bowl.
  4. Add the egg whites, stevia, and vanilla, mixing well.
  5. Fold in the apple mixture (with any liquid) and the sunflower seeds.
  6. Spread evenly in the pan, smoothing the top.
  7. Bake 40 minutes. Cool in the pan.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 148.6
Total Fat: 2.3 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 18.1 mg
Total Carbs: 27.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.2 g
Protein: 3.6 g