Milola’s backbone is, without a doubt, the quality of its raw materials. Today we want to present you with some of our favorite ingredients.
We’re still amazed that something as simple as a whole grain can pack so much energy and vitality. Not to mention make pastry and bread taste so good.
At Milola we believe that baking and nutrition are not contradictory terms; we don’t need to choose one over the other. This conviction drives us to constant research and experiment: to re-think every ingredient so as to make the best of it, more flavorful and interesting, with the intention to surprise our customer’s palate all the time.
It inspires us every day and gives meaning to a cuisine based on a feeling of respect for every ingredient that comes into our kitchen.
But we don’t just eliminate allergens. The challenge for us is that our cakes should be as light as possible, reducing the fat, sugar, and calorie content, while never compromising the final product. Our customers should only experience sheer joy to their senses. We want to show our customers that, when you don’t rely on wheat for everything, you can open up to a world of nutrition and flavour in grains such as millet, quinoa, sorghum, teff, buckwheat, rice, flaxseed. And the flavours from our land: almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, chestnuts. Yes, Milola is a regional cuisine.
This Ancient Grain was the first naturally gluten-free flour that helped me achieve great results baking years ago. This is where things started to get really interesting for me, and maybe because of it, it is one of my very favourite grains to use. I always achieve the best texture in baking when sorghum is involved, and even though it has a mild flavour, I find it greatly enhances the flavour of the other grains I pair it with. I just simply love it.
Sorghum flour is high in protein, iron, and dietary fibre. It is also high in antioxidants, which support cardiac health. In addition, the starch and protein in sorghum take longer than other similar products to digest. This slow digestion is particularly helpful for those with diabetes.
Sorghum originated in Africa thousands of years ago, and then spread through the Middle East and Asia via ancient trade routes, travelling to the Arabian Peninsula, India and China along the Silk Road. Today sorghum remains a staple food in India and Africa, where it is used to make roti and flatbreads. and happily, for me, it is growing in popularity all over the world.
Brown Rice —
You cannot be born on the shores of the Mediterranean sea and not have rice as an absolute staple. This is kind of like mother’s milk to us. Just like with olive oil, rice is what makes me feel like I am a part of this land like I belong to this ‘terroir’. Rice is the second-largest crop in the world, so I’m guessing I share this feeling with millions of people around the world.
Brown rice flour has a slightly sweet, nutty flavour, and finely ground gives a moist, smooth texture to baked goods. An absolute staple in the gluten-free world, because of its incredible versatility. Rich in carbohydrates and low in fat, high in protein, iron, fibre and vitamin B, as well as manganese, which helps in the proper development of bones and cartilage, and also in better absorption of calcium.
The first real love story that happened in my kitchen and ended in a long time commitment was between teff and cocoa. They accidentally met one morning (accidental meetings happen a lot in my kitchen), rub flavour notes against each other, and never looked back. It was a match made in heaven.
It was also one of those days I go to bed with butterflies in my tummy, a smile on my face, a warm heart, and the satisfaction of knowing that I have a winner. I have a world of possibilities ahead of me that many others will be able to enjoy. Our brownie and chocolate muffin can only taste as amazing as they do because of this union. How I love these Eureka moments!
Teff is a tiny ancient grain, native of East Africa, that has been a staple of Ethiopian cooking for thousands of years. Have you ever tasted Injera in an Ethiopian restaurant? That unique flavour comes from this beautiful grain.
Technically a cereal grass, this nutritional powerhouse is the smallest grain in the world but has a much larger percentage of bran and germ compared to other grains, which makes it a great source of dietary fibre, protein, amino acids, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium and zinc. The calcium content in teff greatly surpasses that of all other grains.
It adds whole grain nutrition to your baked goods, and if you pair it with cocoa and chocolate, you won’t stop smiling. Trust me.
I started using millet in the whole grain form long before I thought of using it as a gluten-free flour. I used to make these amazing millet croquettes, stuffed with tofu, arame seaweed and carrots, dipped in a beautiful sauce…yum. Then, in my never-ending search for new gluten-free flours, I added millet to the mix, and well, there is virtually not a day when I don’t use it. This is a true staple for me.
Millet was first farmed nearly 10,000 years ago and was revered as one of the five sacred crops in ancient China. Millet is also mentioned in the Old Testament, the writings of Herodotus, and the journals of Marco Polo. I mean, we cannot all be wrong, right?
Millet has a subtle flavour and adds moisture and structure to baked goods, as well as a lovely creamy colour. It works just as well in sweet and savoury baking, so you can add it to any gluten-free flour mix and it will perform beautifully.
This ancient grain is also a good source of protein, essential amino acids and dietary fibre. An excellent source of manganese, phosphorus and magnesium. This naturally gluten-free grain is alkaline, which makes it easy to digest and helps us balance the body’s natural tendency towards acidity. Don’t you love it?
Listen, If you know me, you know I love rhubarb. If you don’t know me, let me tell you: I REALLY LOVE RHUBARB. Deeply, crazily, passionately. So when I first tasted this pseudo-cereal, the seed of a plant related to rhubarb, what do you think could happen? You guessed right: love. Unconditional, never out of style love. Sure, it didn’t hurt that it came into my life in the form of a Galette Bretonne, but, I mean, who wouldn’t love buckwheat??
Despite its name, buckwheat is not related to wheat at all, and it is naturally gluten-free. Yay for me! It is a hearty, flavorful, nutritious flour with many health benefits and an assertive, strong personality. An excellent source of magnesium, copper, and dietary fibre, buckwheat is one of the best sources of high quality, easily digestible proteins in the plant kingdom. This makes it an excellent meat substitute.
High protein buckwheat flour is being studied for possible use in foods to reduce plasma cholesterol, body fat, and cholesterol gallstones. It has also been shown to provide health benefits, including improved blood sugar control.
And because it grows so quickly, it usually can do so chemical free! Buckwheat flowers are very fragrant and are attractive to bees that use them to produce a special, strongly flavoured, dark honey. The wonders of the natural world!
Quinoa, baby. How I love your nuttiness, your earthy notes, the structure you give baked goods, the moist crumb. I loved you long before words such as superfoods were used. You allowed me to enjoy couscous-like dishes when couscous was removed from my life, wholesome salads and patties. You didn’t just make me feel like I was normal, you made me feel like I was privileged to be under this new diet.
The FAO declared 2013 ‘The International Year of Quinoa’, giving this Ancient Grain well deserved attention and recognition as one of the most nutritious grains available. Technically a grass seed, of the Chenopodium family (closely related to beetroot, spinach and amaranth), it is compared to a grain because of how it is used in the kitchen.
Quinoa was a staple food for the South American native population living in the high altitudes of the Andes Mountains. Recognized for its high nutritional qualities, it was known as the “mother of all grains” by the Incas and had a spiritual significance for them.
Quinoa is a complete source of protein and contains all nine essential amino acids. This superfood is rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals, and a great source of iron and magnesium. Naturally gluten-free, this powerful grain is a great addition to your diet. Quinoa flour imparts a unique, bold, nutty yet earthy flavour to baked goods and it pairs beautifully with spices, fruits, nuts and herbs.
One spring day, walking through fields of almond trees in bloom in the Alpujarras, the mighty mountain range south of Granada, I had one of those sacred, once in a lifetime moments. How generous can Nature be? First, you have a beautiful tree. Then comes spring and it offers you the most stunning flowers, an incredible view. And then, right after the flowers, we get fresh almonds.
If you have never tasted raw, fresh almonds you are missing out, and you need to get yourself on a plane to Spain as soon as spring comes. I kid you not. Because, quite frankly, I cannot describe with words what it is to eat raw almonds. It is a taste that continues to give when words have already run out. So start booking that plane ticket.
And then, after those raw almonds, we let them dry, and we can continue to enjoy them in so many ways! Roasted, ground, in pralines, whole, and in their flour form. We use almond flour in all of our Brownies and Blondies. And we use almonds in one of the best cookies you can ever have: our Almond, Orange & Cardamon cookie.
Almond flour adds moistness and a rich nutty taste to baked goods. It is low in carbohydrates, gluten-free and a great source of protein, fibre, vitamin E, polyunsaturated fats and omega 6 fatty acids. Perfect for Paleo and grain-free baking and cooking. As I said, isn’t Nature pure generosity?
My soft spot for hazelnuts has forced me to break some sacred rules: to substitute walnuts in brownies and cookies. You are probably gasping in disbelief right now, but it will only last until you bite into our Spiced Carrot Cookie, our Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookie, our Double Chocolate Cookie, or our famous Chocolate Brownie and Spiced Carrot Blondie. Trust me, it was the right decision.
Hazelnuts add a deep aromatic nuttiness to baked goods. We always use toasted hazelnuts because the roasting process brings out so many flavour notes. Peeled and ground into a delicate meal, they add an intense richness to pie crusts, galettes, scones, cookies and pastries. They impart a milky, brown buttery taste that goes well with sweet and savoury dishes alike.
Naturally gluten-free, and low in carbohydrates, they are Paleo-friendly and grain-free diet-friendly. They provide a good amount of vitamin E, a high boost of protein, and are a good source of monounsaturated fats. But the main thing is, they’re so delicious…
Golden Flaxseed —
The ultimate pantry staple for your health. Perfect for a nutty flavour in baked goods, and a great nutritional boost to gluten-free living. Flaxseed is also great to reduce or replace fat or eggs in a recipe. We add this versatile ingredient to all of our cookies. It adds a nutritional punch to an already nutritious sweet treat.
Flax seeds have been consumed for around 6,000 years and may have very well been the worlds first cultivated superfood. King Charlemagne believed so strongly in the health benefits of flaxseed that he passed laws requiring his subjects to consume it. I mean, we are not gonna take it to such extremes, but if it’s good enough for King Charlemagne, and we’re bringing it to you within the best cookies in the world, why would you resist??
Although flaxseed meal contains all sorts of healthy components, it owes its primary healthy reputation to three of them: omega-3 essential fatty acids, lignans and fibre. Omega-3 essential fatty acids are good fats that have been shown to have heart-healthy effects. Two tablespoons of our Flaxseed Meal offers 2430 mg of omega-3s.
Lignans have both plant oestrogen and antioxidant qualities. Flaxseed contains 75 to 80 times more lignans than other plant foods. Flaxseed Meal is high in dietary fibre containing both the soluble and insoluble types. It’s also a powerful natural cholesterol controller. I’m telling you, this beauty is a dream come true.
Psyllium is a form of fibre made from the husks of the Plantago ovata plant’s seeds. It sometimes goes by the name ispaghula.
Psyllium acts as a wonderful binder in gluten-free baking, and we combine it with flaxseed to make our cookies the heavenly bite they are.
Psyllium is a prebiotic — a substance needed for healthy colonies of probiotics to grow in the gut. A healthy colony of good bacteria in the digestive system is essential for healthy immune function. Your body is better able to fight infection, reduce inflammation, and maintain healthy tissue and cells.
Psyllium, therefore, promotes digestive health, and research shows that taking psyllium is beneficial for the heart and pancreas as well.