Layered Peanut Butter Freezer Fudge

Stuck at home and looking for a fun and delicious recipe that the whole family will love? We have just what you need, easy layered peanut butter freezer fudge! This simple yet hands-on recipe makes for the perfect sweet treat while also being dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan!

This recipe is also an opportunity to try out some of the Fair Trade products that we have in our store! Coconut Oil and Chocolate are products that traditionally have not always fairly compensated the farmers that produce them. Buying Fair Trade versions of these products makes a positive impact on the lives of these farmers and makes the cultivation of these products more sustainable as well. For this recipe, we suggest using Dr. Bronner’s coconut oil and Equal Exchange chocolate chips, but we have many more Fair Trade options in our store for you to choose from! You can find some of our staff’s favorite Fair Trade items in another of our blog posts.

What You’ll Need:
  • 8×8 inch Baking Dish
  • Parchment Paper
  • Small Saucepan
  • Small Mixing Bowls
  • Measuring Spoons/Cups
  • Rubber Spatula
  • Baking Sheet
  • Ziplock Bag (optional)

Ingredients:
  • 1 + ½ cup Peanut Butter
  • 6-8 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1 ½ cup Oat Flour (Divided)
  • ¼ cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1 cup Coconut Milk (Divided)
  • 2-3 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 2 cups Chocolate Chips

Makes 12+ servings!

Instructions:
  1. Begin by heating the small saucepan over low heat and adding in 1 cup of the peanut butter and all of the maple syrup.
  2. Mix together the peanut butter and maple syrup, stirring constantly for about one minute or until smooth.
  3. Remove the peanut butter mixture from the heat and evenly divide into two mixing bowls.
  4. To one of the mixing bowls add in half of the oat flour (¾ cup), half of the coconut milk (½ cup), and all of the cocoa powder. Mix until smooth and thick to form the chocolate layer.
  5. To the other mixing bowl add in the remaining oat flour (¾ cup), remaining coconut milk (½ cup), and remaining peanut butter (½ cup). Mix until smooth and creamy to form the peanut butter layer.
  6. Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper and using clean hands or a rubber spatula press the chocolate mixture into the bottom of the pan to form an even layer.
  7. Scoop the peanut butter mixture on top of the chocolate layer and press into an even layer on top.
  8.  Place in the freezer overnight or for at least 3 hours to set.
  9. Once fully set remove the layered freezer fudge from the parchment and cut into 2-inch cubes.
  10.  Melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil together in a small saucepan or double boiler over medium-low heat until smooth and creamy, being careful to not burn the chocolate by stirring constantly. 
  11.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  12.  Using a fork or slotted spoon, dip each fudge chunk into the melted chocolate sauce, drain off extra chocolate by gently tapping the side of the bowl and then set on the parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  13.  Place into the freezer for a minimum of 30 minutes to allow the chocolate sauce to harden.
  14.  *Optional – For an extra touch scoop a tablespoon or two of peanut butter into a small ziplock bag. Using scissors cut off the tip of one of the bottom corners of the bag and use it as a frosting piper to drizzle peanut butter on top of each fudge chunk!

Store in the fridge for up to a week or the freezer for up to a month.

*Recipe Adjustments:
  • Peanut butter can be substituted with almond or cashew butter.
  • Coconut milk can be substituted with any plant-based milk.

Tips:
  • If your peanut butter is extra thick add a splash of extra coconut milk to help with mixing and if your peanut butter is thin and drippy add an extra ½ tbsp of oat flour to thicken it up.
  • To make your own oat flour simply pour whole rolled oats into a food processor, high-powered blender, or clean coffee grinder.

Recipe developed by our staff member, Rheanna Smith. Rheanna has a background in nutrition and food science, and along with working in many departments here at the Davis Food Co-op she actively runs a food blog containing healthy recipes and nutrition tips. Keep an eye on our Co-op blog to see some of her recipes and give her Instagram account a follow for additional health tips and ideas, @rheannnabanana.

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Making Your Own Sourdough Starter

The shelter in place order has led many to take up their whisks and spatulas and bake their hearts out. However, this has also led to may supplies that we are used to having available, yeast we’re looking at you, become near impossible to find.

Don’t despair, your dreams of turning your kitchen into your own personal bakery need not be lost, a sourdough starter is surprisingly easy to make. This is why we would like to show you how to make a sourdough starter with nothing but whole wheat flour and water. 

What Is A Sourdough Starter?

A sourdough starter is a concoction of flour and water that captures the wild yeast and bacteria that are present both in the ingredients and the air. This is so convenient because instead of having to buy yeast from the store, you allow the natural fermentation process to take place. Once your starter is ready to use it becomes akin to a low-maintenance pet that you keep in your kitchen and have to feed in order to keep it alive. 

Why You Should Make One

Well before all else, sourdough bread rests at the pinnacle of deliciousness. Once you have one you can add it to just about any recipe to pack in extra flavor. One of our favorite things to make with our starters is pancakes!

But research also suggests that the cultures in sourdough break down gluten, making it easier to digest.

Getting Started

The process of getting your sourdough starter thriving can take about five days.

What You’ll Need

If you have a kitchen scale that is ideal for measuring out ingredients, but if you don’t have a scale measuring cups work just fine.

  • 1 cup(113g) rye or whole wheat flour(additional flour needed for feedings)
  • ½ cup(113 g) cool water(filtered water preferably)

Feeding Your Starter

Ideas on what and when to feed your starter differ. For this guide, we will be recommending that you feed your starter twice a day after the first day that you put it together.

Day 1

Combine the flour and water in a non-reactive container. Clear glass is best as it lets you see the progress of your starter most easily. If you have a Mason or Weck jar on hand this is a great time to use it! In any case, you want to pick a container that will be large enough to accommodate the growth of your starter.

Once you have ensured that all of the flour has been incorporated into the mixture you want to cover it loosely and let it rest at room temperature for 24 hours.

Day 2

You may or may not have seen any changes after the first 24 hours. Bubbles or not just trust the process and continue on! In the morning and at night you must discard anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 cup of your starter, depending on how much it has grown. Then add 1/2 cup rye or whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup water to the remaining starter. Mix well, cover, and let rest at room temperature.

Day 3

By this point, you should be noticing changes with your starter. An aroma, bubbles, and expansion all mean that you are on the right track. In the morning and at night discard anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 cup of your starter, depending on how much it has grown. Then add 1/2 cup rye or whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup water to the remaining starter. Mix well, cover, and let rest at room temperature.

Day 4

In the morning and at night discard anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 cup of your starter, depending on how much it has grown. Then add 1/2 cup rye or whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup water to the remaining starter. Mix well, cover, and let rest at room temperature.

Day 5

On day five you should expect your starter to have doubled in volume and have a multitude of bubbles. It is also normal for it to be giving off a tangy aroma at this stage so do not be concerned. In the morning and at night discard anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 cup of your starter, depending on how much it has grown. Then add 1/2 cup rye or whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup water to the remaining starter. Mix well, cover, and let rest at room temperature.

If it is not at this stage yet continue feeding and discarding in the morning and at night until it reaches this point before moving on to the steps outlined for Day 6.

Day 6

 Discard all but 1/2 cup of your starter and feed it as usual. Let your starter rest at room temperature for 6 to 8 hours; by now it should be fully active, with bubbles breaking the surface. 

How To Tell If Your Starter Is Ready

One of the most common ways to tell if your starter is ready to use in recipes is to do what is referred to as the Float Test! All that you need to do is place a tablespoon of your starter in water and if it floats its ready to go!

Using Your Starter

When following a recipe simply remove as much of your starter as is called for! If you do not have enough at the time simply continue feedings until you do.

We can’t wait to see all of the wonderful things that you make with your starters! Feel free to tag us with your creations or documentation of your growing process on social media. We have started a starter on the day of this blog and will be updating you with its own progress!

Maintaining Your Starter

You’ll want to store your starter in the refrigerator and feed it regularly. Give it 1 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of water once a week. Make sure to mix well and time and now cover it. The container should not be airtight.

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Zero Waste Vegan: Cashew Yogurt

Ingredients:
  • 2 Cup Raw Cashews
  • 1Tbsp Sweetener (Agave, Maple Syrup, Honey, Unrefined Sugar)
  • ~60 Billion CFU Probiotic (DFC Brand is Vegetarian or use any vegan probiotic, use as many capsules as needed)
  • Water

  1. Soak your Cashews in warm water for 6+ hours, I typically do it overnight. 
  2. Separate the cashews from the water.
  3. Put the cashew in a blender or food processor. Add about 1 cup of water, sweetener, and probiotics. 
  4. Blend until smooth, you may need to add more water to get the consistency you want. 
  5. Set yogurt in a bowl, cover with a towel (it needs to be something breathable), and store in a warm place (on your countertop is probably fine).
  6. Let the yogurt sit for at least 6 hours. Then put it in the fridge! 
  7. Eat it with the dried blueberries from our bulk fridge or fresh strawberries. YUM!

Tips: 
  • At first, the texture will be similar to ricotta. Blend for longer to make it smoother. (I love ricotta! So I don’t blend it for too long)
  • I like to add vanilla to give a little extra flavor!
  • You must add some kind of sweetener, even if you don’t want it sweet! Probiotics need something to eat in order to grow!

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Zero Waste Vegan: Oat Milk

Ingredients:
  • 1 Cups of Rolled Oats
  • 4 Cups of Cold Water
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • Add Unrefined Sugar to Taste if you want it sweeter. (or use pitted dates, agave, or honey)

Materials:
  • Blender
  • Ultra Fine Cloth

  1. Place all ingredients in the blender and blend for a minute.
  2. Use a cloth to strain and put it in a container.
  3. Put in the fridge.
  4. Done!

Tips: 
  • Use cold water. When you cook oats they form a goop. If you use warm water, your milk will be goopy.
  • If you don’t have an ultra-fine cheesecloth or nut milk specific cloth, you can use a piece of cotton. It will take longer for the milk to drain and you will need to squeeze it out.

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How To Make Your Own Scoby

How To Make Your Own Scoby

Many people love kombucha for both its flavor and health benefits. If you love kombucha or are just an eager learner, this guide will take you through the first step of making it yourself. 

Acquiring a SCOBY(Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast) is the first towards making your own homebrewed kombucha. You can choose to either purchase a SCOBY or make one yourself. Making one is cheaper, surprisingly simple, and of course more fun. So follow along to learn how to make your own SCOBY!

Some of you might be wondering what exactly a SCOBY is. Often referred to as “kombucha mushrooms” or the “mother”

What You’ll Need:

  • 7 cups water
  • ½ cup white granulated sugar
  • 4 black tea bags(or 1 tablespoon looseleaf)
  • 1 cup of store-bought, unflavored, unpasteurized kombucha

Tools

  • 2-quart or larger saucepan
  • spoon with a long handle 
  • 2-quart or larger glass jar
  • paper towel, coffee filter, or tightly woven cloth(not cheesecloth) to cover the jar with
  • rubberband

Instructions:

  1. Make sweet tea in the saucepan on the stove. To do this you will first bring the water to a boil. Once the water is bubbling vigorously remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the sugar and add the black tea. Allow the mixture to steep until it has reached room temperature, and then remove and discard the tea. 
  2. Combine sweet tea and kombucha in the jar. Now that the sweet tea has cooled off you will add it to the large jar. Then add the kombucha on top. Stir to combine. 
  3. Cover and observe mixture for 2-4 weeks. Now that the mixture has been combined you will need to cover the mouth of the jar with some sort of tightly woven cloth, a coffee filter, or a paper towel. Secure the covering with a rubber band(or two). You want to keep the jar somewhere where the average room temperature is around 70°F, it won’t get carelessly moved around, and where it is out of direct sunlight. Sunlight can circumvent the fermentation process so it is important to protect your jar from too much direct sunlight.
  4. Observe the changes. You won’t notice anything different about your mixture for the first few days, but gradually bubbles will begin to form on the surface. These bubbles will over time gather into a filmy layer. Bubbles will gather at the edges of the jelly-like film. This is due to carbon-dioxide from the fermentation process and is a good sign that all is going well!
  5. Eventually, this film will thicken into an opaque layer. This process can take 2-4 weeks depending on the conditions in which the jar is kept. Once this layer is about a ¼ inch thick it is ready to be used to make kombucha! 

Once all of these steps have been completed you will be ready to try a recipe to make your own kombucha! You will keep the SCOBY from this recipe, but the liquid will be far too vinegary to drink. You can discard it or use it as a cleaning solution for your counters if you like.


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Eating For Immune System Health

As a food co-op, the health and wellbeing of our community is our top priority. We receive questions daily about vitamins and supplements, which are wonderful additions to a diverse diet of healthful foods. But a good immune system starts with a healthy diet. Like any other system, your immune system is complex and requires balance to thrive.That said, there is no diet that can prevent you from becoming sick. But eating a variety of healthy foods is the best way to secure overall health. The confusion of the past weeks has upset many of our regular patterns, and amidst all this stress and confusion it is more important than ever to maintain a balanced diet consisting of whole foods packed with nutrients.

We may not be nutritionists or physicians, but as a supplier of healthful foods, we like to think that we know a thing or two about what’s good for our wellbeing. So here are some tips on how to best support your immune system health. 

Vitamin C Rich Foods

We would be remiss to make a list such as this and not mention the holy grail of cold and flu season. We’ve all been advised by a well-meaning friend or relative to consume extra vitamin C when there is a nasty bug going around. And while this vitamin isn’t the magical cure-all that many would have us to believe it is, it has been shown to play a role in improving immune system health. Research has shown that eating 200mg daily of this vitamin is most effective, as any greater amount cannot be properly absorbed. Foods that are high in vitamin C are citrus fruits, bell pepper, cauliflower, broccoli, and kale. Vitamin is absorbed best by the body when paired with iron. So you want to stack supplements or foods containing each of them.  

Foods with Vitamin E 

Much like vitamin C vitamin E has been linked with greater immune system health. This vitamin has been shown by research to be a powerful antioxidant that can help modulate the functioning of the immune system. You can get your daily dose of this vitamin by adding sunflower seeds or almonds to your meals and snacks. While these two are the best sources of vitamin E it can also be found in spinach, peanuts, avocado, and many other foods. Vitamin E is also present in many cooking oils such as safflower oil and wheat germ oil. The best way to get enough of this vitamin is to eat a well-balanced diet full of healthy fats, experts warn against overdoing it with supplementation for this one. 

Sources of Selenium

Studies have linked a lack of selenium with a delayed immune response. This often-overlooked mineral can be found in Brazil nuts and seafood. Brazil nuts are an easy addition to a morning bowl of oatmeal or can be chopped up and used as a garnish on a salad. Selenium is often included in multivitamins or can be found isolated as a supplement. All forms of this mineral are shown to be well absorbed by the body. 

There are many more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants linked to greater immune system health, but we thought that we’d keep it at three just to get you started. Make sure to check out our Recipes page, which we are constantly updating with healthful recipes!

Sources:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-system

https://www.oregonclinic.com/about-us/blog/how-healthy-eating-patterns-shape-your-immune-system

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10714244

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