“Natural Meals in Minutes” by Rita Bingham

Looking for a perfect companion book to Country Beans? Check out the innovative Natural Meals in Minutes, also written by Rita Bingham. The author again exhibits her wealth of knowledge and years of experience in making healthy foods quickly. These recipes, all meatless, show us how to painlessly include fiber from grains and beans in our diets and make uncommon foods with common ingredients!

As with Country Beans, Rita Bingham presents her information in a very readable manner, providing us with basic information, nutritional information, resources an Information Section and of course, wonderful, interesting recipes!

In this book, Natural Meals in Minutes, Rita combined her three previously published booklets: Introduction to Natural Foods, Powdered Milk Cheeses, and Sprouting, plus additional revised data and recipes. I consider these two books a must-have for families seeking to eat healthier and doing it easily.

Honey Maple Nuts

  • 3 cups wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup dry milk powder
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar *
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons maple flavoring*
  • ¼ cup melted honey 6 tablespoons water

Mix dry ingredients. Using electric mixer or egg beater, add maple flavoring, honey and only enough water to moisten. Mixture should be very fine, just like commercial Grape Nuts. Spread on 2 or 3 baking sheets and bake at 325°F for 10 minutes. Stir to break up granules and bake 5-10 minutes longer, until golden brown. Cool and store in air-tight container. Serve with milk.

Reviewers Note: If you are trying to decrease your sugar consumption, try using Sucanat instead of brown sugar. We would use pure maple syrup instead of maple flavoring.

Reviewer’s Note: Try baking this recipe on unglazed pizza stones.

Pita Pockets

  • 1 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tablespoon yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Mix well for about 3 minutes by hand, then gradually add another 1 1/2 – 2 cups flour and knead this stiff dough about 10 minutes. Cover and let rise about 45 minutes in a warm place. (If you’re in a hurry, omit this step)

Place on a floured surface and shape into a long log, about 2 inches in diameter. Cut into 1 1/2 inch slices. Shape into balls and roll from center out to edges into circles about 7- 9 inches in diameter.

Place on a pre-heated baking sheet on the lowest shelf of a 500°F oven for 4-6 minutes or until pita puffs all over and browns slightly. Remove from oven, cover with towel until cool, then store in plastic bag in fridge or freezer.

Reviewer’s Note: Try baking this recipe on unglazed pizza stones.

Whole Wheat ‘N Seed Bread
(for bread machine)

  • 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 3 tablespoons applesauce or canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons honey or molasses
  • 2 tablespoons flax seeds, coarsely ground *
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower seeds, coarsely ground*
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon vital gluten flour
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast

*Use a blender or seed grinder to grind seeds to a coarse meal.

Measure all ingredients except yeast into baking pan in order listed. Make a depression in the middle of the flour and sprinkle yeast into it, ensuring that the yeast does not touch any liquids. Place pan in baking unit and close lid. Select proper course and crust control setting.

Using an electric mixer, combine all ingredients and knead 6 minutes. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Knead 4 minutes. Turn dough onto a lightly oiled board and shape into 2 loaves. Place in pans to rise until doubled. Bake at 350°F for 4-50 minutes, until golden brown and loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

Reviewer’s Note: You can make this easily by hand as well. Combine ingredients in a large bowl and mix well, until dough holds together in a ball. Turn onto a lightly oiled surface and knead dough for 10-12 minutes or until dough is light and springy and no longer sticky. Add as little flour as possible while kneading to make sure the bread is not too dry. Shape and bake according to directions using 8 inch x 4 inch size bread pans.

E-Z Potato Rounds

  • 6 medium potatoes
  • Parmesan cheese (opt)
  • Salt and pepper

Scrub potatoes and cut out any bad spots. Cut into 1/3 inch slices and place rounds on baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle generously with salt, pepper and parmesan (opt). Bake in a pre-heated 400°F oven for 20 minutes. Turn over, sprinkle again with seasonings, and cook another 10 minutes. Cool on tray.

Reviewer’s Note: This is another good use for the unglazed pizza stone! 2 cups Rice Dream or milk substitute 1 cup frozen raspberries 1 banana 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 cup frozen apple concentrate 10 ice cubes 1 tablespoon almonds (optional).

Red Raspberry Smoothie

  • 2 cups Rice Dream or milk substitute
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 banana
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup frozen apple concentrate
  • 10 ice cubes
  • 1 tablespoon almonds (optional)

Place all ingredients in a blender and process on high for about 2 minutes, until smooth.

Almond Power Bars
(Great for backpacking!)

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 3/4 cup dates
  • 1 cup dry milk powder
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower seeds, toasted
  • 1/2 cup warm honey
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut

Using a hand meat grinder, food processor or strong blender, coarsely grind almonds and dates. Mix in remaining ingredients. Press into an 8 inch square pan. Cut into 1 inch squares (or you could roll into balls)

Natural Meals in Minutes by Rita Bingham.
Published by Natural Meals Publishing. $14.95
1st Printing, May 1997
Originally published as the Natural Meals in Minutes Series (Book 1- Introduction to Natural Foods, Book 2- Sprouting, Book 3 -Powdered Milk Cheeses)
© 1997 Natural Meals in Minutes
All recipes used by permission.

Contact Information:
To order Country Beans, Natural Meals in Minutes or the Quick and Wholesome Foods video:
Toll-free order line 1-888-BEANS -06 (232-6706)
Internet: www.naturalmeals.com
E-Mail: getinfo@naturalmeals.com

© 1995-2008 Vickilynn Haycraft and Real Food Living. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this review may be copied, stored or transmitted in any medium, for any reason without prior written permission of the author.

About Vickilynn Parnes

A student of health and nutrition for 40+ years, Vickilynn Parnes has over 30 years of actual hands-on experience reviewing and personally using different tools of the homemaking vocation, focusing on the areas of health and nutrition. Vickilynn is a magazine columnist, product reviewer, cookbook author and radio talk show host, as well as being full-time mom to 5 children.