This last week of the Holiday Progressive Dinner, we’re all making bread. Bread at Christmastime is a natural, whether it’s quick breads, muffins, yeast bread, sweet rolls or dinner rolls. We give it as gifts, we eat it with meals and it’s the perfect little “somethin’ somethin'” to take away the afternoon hunger pangs. And, in the spirit of the holidays, or at least true confessions :), I have to tell you that bread is one of my greater weaknesses. I could make a meal out of it, day or night. I would rather have a slice of warm homemade bread than a cookie, on most days, and I don’t see that condition improving anytime, soon. Bread has become the villified “carb”, in the latest craze of nutritional overhauls, but I can’t help it. It’s my FAVORITE! lol Thankfully, our fabulous sponsor for week six is Nutiva! Organic, healthy superfoods is what they are all about and I was able to use some of their extraordinary coconut products to make our traditional homemade crescent rolls without giving up a bit of flavor, texture or homey aroma! They’re fabulous and you’re going to love them! I’m not the only one baking bread, today, though. Not only will you get to enter an awesome giveaway for $75 in Nutiva products, at the end of this post; you get to collect all SIX scrumptious holiday bread recipes, too. Click over and visit my friends, enjoy their recipes and if you get a minute, leave a little love, behind, in the way of a comment. Would you, please? Thank you!
Busy-at-Home : Homemade Crescent Rolls
Will Cook for Smiles: Coconut Oil Carrot Bread
Adventures in All Things Food: Cheesy Chive Biscuits with Coconut Flour
The Gunny Sack: Pumpkin Gingerbread
Daily Dish Recipes: Cranberry Orange Mini Loaves
Flour on My Face: Coconut Pumpkin Cranberry Bread
Nutiva Red Palm Shortening and Coconut Sugar were the ingredients that made a healthy difference in my delicious, holiday recipe, today, but those are far from the only organic super foods offered at Nutiva. They have built their product line around coconut, hemp, chia and red palm. The health benefits of coconut oil have become fairly mainstream knowledge in the United States, but the nutrition doesn’t stop just at oil. Nutiva offers a full line of organic coconut-based products like coconut manna, coconut sugar and coconut flour. I substitute coconut oil 1:1 for the fat in any recipe and have great results. I’ve used it half and half with olive oil for frying chicken and it is fabulous! I also try to add some into my husband’s smoothies each day. Coconut manna is pureed coconut and is excellent as a spread, can be used in sauces and smoothies, or if you’re like me, eaten right off the spoon! It’s SO good! Nutiva’s coconut sugar is unrefined and unprocessed. It has a taste similar to caramely brown sugar and contains potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron, and B vitamins. Substitute it for white or brown sugar in a recipe on a 1:1 ratio. I have not used coconut flour in any of my recipes, yet, but some of my friends are sharing recipes, today, that use it. It’s the next item on my new, healthier ingredients to try list!
Red palm was one of the products I was most excited to test. After giving up hydrogenated shortening, years ago, I thought I would never find an adequate substitute. For biscuits, frying and even cookies, sometimes the texture and convenience of shortening was what I preferred, but we have gotten so used to only using butter or coconut oil, now, that I haven’t given it a lot of thought, in recent years. I LOVE Nutiva’s red palm shortening! It’s actually a blend of coconut oil and red palm oil and it’s perfect for frying AND baking. Nutiva makes red palm available as oil, buttery spread (a blend of coconut oil and red palm oil) and in a sunflower/red palm oil blend. Red palm oil has a buttery texture and a mild, carrot-like flavor. It is an extraordinary source of Vitamins A & E, plus it’s Organic, Vegan, Non-GMO, Dairy Free, Soy Free, Canola Free and Trans Fat Free. It’s good in soups, sauces, sauteing and for making popcorn! I’m so excited to have learned about red palm oil and to have a nutritious option to the shortening I grew up with in the 70’s and 80’s.
Chia seeds are a staple in our house and I use them in smoothies, on yogurt, in oatmeal, granola and pudding! They are the most simple way to add protein into everyday dishes. They’re loaded with antioxidants, omega-3’s, unbelievable amounts of complete protein and healthy fiber. Chia seeds absorb liquid like a sponge, and therefore take on the flavors of whatever they are soaked in. Once they are saturated, they remind me of tapioca. Chia is available is a seed that can be white or black.
Hemp was a new product to me and I have been excited to learn about all the wonderful healthy benefits. Again, it is high in protein, omega-3’s and minerals. It is considered to be the world’s most nutrient-rich seed. I’ve been using it just the way I do chia, on oatmeal and yogurt and blended into smoothies. It doesn’t absorb liquid the way chia does though, so it retains it’s nutty qualities, making it a nice addition to homemade bread, too. Nutiva makes hemp available in seed form, but also in hemp oil, hemp protein powder and hemp shakes.
Crescent Rolls are one of the simplest yeast breads to make. I amped up the nutrition in this family favorite recipe, by substituting Red Palm shortening for part of the butter and Coconut Sugar for all the sugar in the recipe. My rolls are still flavorful, soft and YUM! I’m anxious to experiment with substituting coconut flour for part of the unbleached all purpose flour, too, as I learn more about how to use it. This time, though, I used all purpose flour and our tried and true favorite is still the bomb! I hope you enjoy it!
- ¾ cup warm milk
- 4 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup Nutiva Red Palm Shortening
- ½ cup Nutiva Coconut Sugar
- 5 - 5½ cups unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon quality sea salt
- Over low heat, melt the palm shortening. It doens't have to be hot, just melted. Add ½ cup coconut sugar. Stir and then set aside to cool and let the coconut sugar begin to dissolve.
- In a 1 quart bowl, mix together warm milk, yeast and 1 teaspoon coconut sugar. Be sure the milk is not too hot, so you don't kill the yeast. It should be around 100 degrees. Mix slightly and set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the eggs.
- Slowly add the melted shortening and sugar mixture, as the mixer continues to run. Be sure to add it slowly ad allow it to incorporate, so you don't cook the eggs with the heat of the melted fat.
- Add the milk and yeast mixture to the mixer bowl and beat to combine all ingredients.
- Add one cup of lour and the salt and mix to combine.
- Change out the paddle beater for your dough hook.
- Add the remaining flour ½ a cup at a time. Only add enough flour to allow the dough to form a ball that cleans the sides of your mixing bowl.
- Knead on medium-low for 5 minutes.
- Form the dough into a smooth bowl and place it in a large greased bowl to raise. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to raise until doubled in size (30 min to an hour depending on room temperature).
- Punch down the dough and press into a flattened circle on a lightly floured countertop or on a silicone work mat.
- Use a rolling pin to continue flattening the dough into a round disk that is about 18-20 inches in diameter.
- Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough circle into 16 triangular slices.
- Roll each triangle of dough, starting at the wide end and rolling all the way to the tip.
- Place the rolls on a lightly greased cookie sheet, point-side, down and allow to rise for about 30 minutes.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Crescent rolls will be golden brown.
- If you like, brush the hot rolls lightly with melted butter and then serve.
Follow Nutiva on Facebook to stay up to date about their excellent specials, coupons and products. You’re going to love incorporating their high-quality, healthy, organic products into your cooking and baking. Your family is going to enjoy the same dishes they know and love and you can be excited to know that your incorporating healthier options into their diets for the new year!
GIVEAWAY: To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this post, telling me the Nutiva product you are most excited to try and leaving a link to the page you found it on, at Nutiva.com. Register your comment in the Rafflecopter form , below, and you’re entered! Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway