Bread-Making Tips

  1. Try a simple bread recipe first.
  2. Salt and fat both slow the growth of the yeast and should not be added to the yeast mixture until it has grown strong and lively by feeding on sugar and starch. (Too much sugar can also slow the growth)
  3. Develop the gluten of the wheat flour in the batter by beating thoroughly before adding other kinds of flour.
  4. It is important to do a thorough job of kneading before the first rising.
  5. Never fill pans too full.  Give the bread enough room to expand without having to billow out over the sides, causing cracked, over-browned crusts.
  6. It is important each loaf is thoroughly baked. (It is better that the loaf is smaller than unbaked)
  7. Careful not to "over raise" the bread when in loaf pans.  Bake bread when loaf is approximately double in bulk.
  8. Bread should slip easily out of the pan if thoroughly baked.
*Bread just out of the oven is difficult to digest.  Bread should be at least 12 hours old before  it is eaten.
*Bread freezes well.
*Use your imagination to make a wide variety of breads using different ingredients or combinations.
*Add 1 Tablespoon of pure lemon juice for every 4 cups of flour in the recipe to achieve lighter, high-raising bread.
*Add 1 Tablespoon of gluten flour for every 4 cups of flour to make bread "less crumbly" and raise nicer.
*Add 1 Tablespoon of lecithin liquid or granules to make bread less crumbly.

Common Defects of Bread and Possible Causes:
Dry and Crumbly: Too much flour in dough.
                               : Over-baking
Heaviness:               Insufficient kneading  
Cracks in Crust-Dry: Oven too slow
                               :  Baking before sufficently light
                               :  Oven too hot at first
                               :  Yeast water too hot
Too Thick a Crust-Dry: Oven too slow
                               :   Baked too long
                               :   Excess of salt
Sogginess:                 Too much liquid
                               :   Insufficient Baking
Ill-shaped Loaf     :   Not moulded well originally
                               :   Too large a loaf for pan

By Darlene Blaney, Healthy Choices Wellness Weekend, March 27-29, 2015.
Check out Darlene's recipe for Cranberry Orange Bread.

Cream of Broccoli Soup (Healthy Choices Cooking Class)

  • 4 C. Raw Broccoli
  • 4 C. Water
  • 2 T. Chicken-like Seasoning
  • 1 1/2 C. Raw Cashew Pieces
  • 1 T. Nutritional Yeast
  • 2 C. Water
  • 1 tsp. Salt, or to taste
  • 6 T. Cornstarch
  1. Simmer broccoli in 4 C. Water until soft.  Place in a blender and pulsate leaving some small chunks of broccoli.  Pour into a large pot.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in blender.  Blend until very smooth. Add to pot with broccoli.
  3. Cook over medium temperature until thickened.
  4. Taste; add more salt or chicken-like seasoning if desired.
  5. Serve immediately.  Serves: 6-8
- This recipe is from the Healthy Choices Cooking Class by Darlene Blaney, PhD, NCP, CFT
Call 403-746-5388 or email

Cranberry Orange Bread Recipe (Healthy Choices Cooking Class)

  • 3 C.  Orange Juice
  • 1 T. Baking Yeast
  • 1 T. pure Lemon Juice
  • 1 T. Gluten Flour
  • 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 C. chopped Pecans
  • 1 C. dried Cranberries
  • 3 C. Whole Wheat Flour
  • 4 C. Spelt Flour or Unbleached White Flour (or as needed)
  1. Warm orange juice to above room temperature, but not hot.  Place in a mixing bowl.
  2. Sprinkle yeast into orange juice.  Wait 10 minutes, or until yeast bubbles up to the surface.
  3. Add remaining ingredients.  Add enough flour so dough is not "sticky".
  4. Cover mixing bowl with a towel and set in a warm area.  Allow dough to rise for approximately 1 hour or until double in size.
  5. Knead dough, and divide in half into a round loaf and place on a baking sheet that has been prepared using a non-stick spray.
  6. Cover loaves again in a clean dish towel and let stand 20 minutes or until double in size.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until golden brown on top.
  8. Cool bread on racks.
*These loaves freeze well. Makes 2 loaves.  See: Darlene's Bread-Making Tips

This is a recipe from Healthy Choices Cooking School by Darlene Blaney, PhD, NCP, CFT Call 403-746-5388 or email

Healthy Choices Wellness Weekend with Dr. Darlene Blaney, PhD Nutritionist and Lifestyle Speaker

On Friday March 27th until Sunday March 29th, 2015, our Comox Valley Adventist Church hosted a "Healthy Choices Wellness Weekend" with gracious, much respected, and well-seasoned presenter, Dr. Darlene Blaney.  Darlene has been involved with showcasing the "Adventist Health Message" for many years.  

I recall her speaking at a Camp Meeting in Saskatchewan in the '90s when I was a recent convert to the faith, and how impressed I was with her knowledge then.  Since that time she has been involved in the CHIP health and lifestyle outreach , obtained her Ph.D. in Nutrition, and established Total Health School of Nutrition where you can study nutrition by correspondence, learn about the vegetarian lifestyle, and receive counseling about any of a legion of modern diseases that often are not properly diagnosed or reversed by orthodox medicine, but that frequently respond to Dr. Blaney's knowledgeable application of traditional and lifestyle methods.

Dr. Blaney also serves as the Volunteer Co-ordinator Health Ministries for the Alberta Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.  She and her husband, Ron, have four sons (and, as you might expect from such a dynamo, they were/are home-schooled).  Darlene has appeared on cooking shows on 3ABN, produced four popular cookbooks, provided tons of presentations and cooking classes both locally in Alberta, and internationally, and she and Ron are currently setting up an on-line Health Store (there will be a link here as soon as it's ready to roll). 

The Healthy Choices Wellness Weekend

Darlene's plane arrived at the Comox Airport in the late afternoon on Friday.  She was picked up and taken to her digs for the weekend (Casa Loma Seniors Village, actually-- sounds ominous, but it was a pretty sweet little suite and just behind the Church, too-- easy access, breakfast the next morning in the residents' dining room, even a washer and dryer).  One of our lovely members made a little vegan supper for Darlene.

At 7:00 we met at the Church and listened to part 1 of the "Healthy Choices" presentation: The Importance of Water and Exercise.  This was an informative power point presentation and sparked a LOT of questions and comments from the lively audience.  Attendees came from Up Island (Port Hardy, Campbell River, Sayward) and Down Island (Parksville, Nanaimo) and of course, the Comox Valley.  We went home motivated to start drinking more water.  There was, actually, lots of water-- rain-- all around when we walked Darlene back to her place.  We joked about how we thought we were offering her respite from a cold Alberta winter, but it had actually been 21 degrees Celsius in Calgary when she had left earlier in the day!

The next morning at the Sabbath service Darlene gave a message on "Experiencing Forgiveness".   Forgiveness is an important feature of good emotional, spiritual and mental health.  The Adventist Health Message is for the whole person.

After a nourishing plant-strong lunch we had Healthy Choices part 2 presentation on various health issues that can be prevented and often reversed with proper nutrition and other lifestyle adjustments.  Again, there were a LOT of questions and comments. Darlene impressed us with her ability to anticipate questions so that she often said, "That is coming right up!"  You can listen to more of the Healthy Choices workshop as presented by Dr. Blaney at the Alberta Conference of Seventh-day Adventist Camp Meeting from July 2013.

At around 4pm, a number of us drove to Kai Bay and took a highly oxygenating walk  (it was very windy) and I can attest that I slept like a log that night!

Sunday morning we met at 10:00 am at the Church and took in the very interesting cooking class. Darlene and her "helpers" kept the knowledge engine rolling along.  She provided tips along with the recipes, and while doing things like kneading, stirring, blending...
Darlene making some points about Bread-Making (the importance of using good organic flour these days)--                          while she kneads the recipe for Cranberry-Orange Bread

Dr. Darlene Blaney with Wyona Hertwig, our Church's Cooking School Co-ordinator
Attentive audience...
"Random" Granddaughter
Prep before the Demo

Sampling the recipes... yum!  (See recipe links below)
Cranberry-Orange Bread

Creamy Broccoli-Cashew Soup

Quick Mexican Tortilla Casserole

Quinoa Salad
Pumpkin "Cheese Cake"

Lentil Roast

Delicious Healthy "Cheez" Sauce Recipe (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

I ran across this cheezy sauce recipe via Pinterest and have modified it a little (as often happens with online recipes).  It's great to go on baked potatoes, or to use in the preparation of vegan scalloped potatoes, and as a yummy sauce for various veggies.  No cholesterol.  No gluten. No dairy.  Very little fat. No refined sugar.  Guilt-free, pretty much!
Spud2Spud - Fantastic Sweet Potato "Cheez" Sauce on a Baked Potato


  • 1 large Sweet Potato
  • 1/3 C. Nutritional Yeast (not Brewer's Yeast, not Baker's Yeast)
  • 2 tsp. (or more) Garlic Powder (organic if possible)
  • 1/2 tsp. Celtic Sea Salt
  • 1 1/2  C. non-dairy Milk (I used unsweetened Almond Milk)
  1. Peel and cook up the potato until it is soft
  2. Add potato and other ingredients to blender and blend up until smooth and creamy
  3. Enjoy this -- feel virtuous!

          BC's Sunshine Coast!  You probably can too!  See the article here that describes

         how to do that:  GROW YOUR OWN SWEET POTATOES

Cherry-Apple Pecan Crisp (Vegan, Uber-rich)

Extremely yummy Cherry-Apple Pecan Crisp

This particular recipe is a little too rich with nuts and oil to be considered a "classic" Adventist dessert recipe-- but you could cut the oil and leave out the pecans and have a fairly yummy dessert, but...

Let's just consider this something to set aside to be eaten in small portions at a celebratory meal instead of cake.  I left the skins on the apples, so there is probably more fibre in this delicious pudding than there is in, say, chocolate cake.

But enough of the rationalizing of tastiness...


2 C.    Dark Sweet Cherries, frozen, from Costco
3         Large Tart Organic Apples, cored, chopped into small pieces
1/3 C. Maple Syrup
2 T.     Tapioca Starch (or 3 T. Corn or other Starch)
Juice of 1/2 organic Lemon
1 tsp.   Pumpkin Pie Spice or just 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon


1 C.     G/F Rolled Oats (or regular Rolled Oats if Gluten is not an issue)
1/2 C.   Almond Flour or Meal, firmly-packed (I spun mine up in the Vitamix)
1/2 C.   Pecans, chopped (you could leave these out I guess, but...)
1/2 C.   Coconut Sugar (lower on the Glycemic Index than Brown or regular white sugar)
1/4 tsp. Celtic Sea Salt
3 T.      Coconut Oil, melted in a bowl over hot water


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C
  2. Cover the bottom of a 9x9" pan with parchment paper
  3. Mix the fruit and other ingredients together in a bowl and then pour into the pan
  4. Mix the topping ingredients together and gently cover the fruit mixture (don't have to smooth down, etc.)
  5. Bake for about 50 minutes (depending on how hot your oven is) or just check to see if fruit is cooked and topping is golden-brown
  6. Let sit for about 10+ minutes and then eat with ice cream (if you're not vegan) or cashew cream topping (1 C. cashews blended in 1/2-3/4 C. water or non-dairy milk.  1 tsp. Vanilla or Almond extract, and sweeten as desired.  Spin up in blender until smooth as regular cream)

Cooking School Cloud (Pick What You Want To See)

"meatballs" 21-day vegan kickstart 3-bean casserole 4660 Headquarters Rd. 5 ingredients only adventist christian Adventist cooking school agar agar Agatha Thrasher Alberni Veg Supper Club Alberni Vegetarian Supper Club Alberta allergies allspice almond butter almond flour almond meal almond milk Almond Sour Cream almondine almonds amaranth American cheez Anaheim anise ANOTHER Melty Cheez Recipe anti-inflammatory Apfel-Puddingkuchen apple apple cider vinegar Apple Duff Apple Pudding Cake applesauce apricot arroz verde arugula avocado avocado-cucumber appetizer baby carrots baby spinach baked potato Baked Tofu balsamic vinegar bamboo shoots banana mash bannock barbanzos barley barley corn casserole barley-pecan burgers barley-sunflower burger basil basil leaves bay leaf bay leaves BBQ BBQ Sauce bean medley bean sandwich spread bean sprouts beans beef-flavor Beet-Barley Borsch beets bell pepper best scramble tofu mix black bean patties blackberries blanched almonds blend blender 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