Accepting the challenges in creating a gluten free household

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

I have had very little trouble making gluten-free muffins that tasted yummy.  At least when they were fresh.  Within a day or two, though, they were obviously ‘old’. Frustrating.

I have experimented a lot with Paleo recipes (grain-free) and was delighted to find a new Chocolate Chip Banana muffin recipe that not only tastes good fresh, but actually improves after it cools down overnight.  I do keep them in the fridge or freeze them if they won’t be eaten for several days.

My 3-year old grandson wanted to make Chocolate Chip muffins with me the other day.  We first made Orange Cranberry Muffins, which he enjoyed, but still insisted we needed Chocolate Chip Muffins.  So we made them.  And he ate.  Several.  He’s a little guy, so 2-3 muffins is a big deal! We did share, but I think he got a lot more than 1/2.  Today I had 3 grandchildren here, and so 3 more disappeared as their pre-naptime snack.

Because I have changed the recipe to suit us, I will give you my version as well as the link to the original version.  Enjoy.

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

3 medium very brown bananas
3 egg yolks
3 TBS melted butter or olive oil
1/4 cup real maple syrup
2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
2 tsp gf vanilla extract

1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 1/2 cups of almond flour
2 TBS of coconut flour
2 tsp of cinnamon

3 egg whites
1 – 1 ½ cups chocolate chips (or blueberries)

Link: http://www.mygutsy.com/gaps-banana-blueberry-bread/

I have tried to follow healthier baking (& eating) principles this year, but holiday baking is something I can’t give up.  However, it is not what it used to be (pre-gluten-free days). So I cheat sometimes with regular sugar in some snacks.  Besides, what is ‘healthy eating’ to one person, is still far from it to another… There are many ideas of what constitutes healthy eating.  

Anyway, I was pleased when my daughter told me that she loved all my baking this year, but her favorite was the white chocolate, peppermint cookies.  “You can’t even tell they are gluten-free,” was her comment.  They were the perfect chewy Christmas treat.  The recipe is here:

http://www.thebakingbeauties.com/2012/12/gluten-free-white-chocolate-and-peppermint-cookies.html

Check out Jeanine’s other baked goods… I’ve always had good results with her recipes.

Bread

Harvest Sun Bread – one of my favorites of 2013:

The ingredients are here. For the method, please visit the website.
Harvest Sun Bread (Gluten-Free/Dairy-Free/Soy-Free/ Corn-Free)

1 ½ cups brown rice flour
3/4 cup potato starch
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup millet flour
1 ½ teaspoons xanthan gum (I use Authentic Foods for a corn-free variety)
1 ½ teaspoons coarse sea salt
2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (unsweetened)
1/3 cup leftover cooked gluten-free oatmeal (made from gluten-free certified oats)
2 tablespoons molasses
4 large eggs, room temperature
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup warm milk or milk substitute

The photo is mine.

Autumn

Colors. I know this is a food blog, and I have a lot of catching up to do… I’m on a journey, and it seems there are many side-trips on the way, so I’m not always sure what to blog about (in order not to contradict myself terribly…) I do want to get back, and have you share that journey with me. My kitchen will always be gluten free because of my husband’s Celiac, but sometimes it’s Paleo, sometimes it’s just plain Real Food! And sometimes we indulge in treats that aren’t all that healthy at all…

Pinned

Years ago I joined Facebook. It was a way to connect with family members, and friends past and present. Since we’ve moved a few times in our lives, those connections meant a lot to me. However, one of my daughters refused to join Facebook, so it took a bit of effort on my part to remember to post photos where she could also access them. She did reluctantly join Facebook recently when she discovered that a group she was a part of, posted everything on Facebook, and without it, she was out of the loop.

Then I joined Pinterest… mostly out of curiosity. The more I used it, the more it made me think of this daughter of mine, and I mentioned it to her a few times, and finally showed her the interesting pins I was seeing. She joined. She’s hooked. Pinterest is nothing like Facebook, actually, except that you have to join something online. And you do choose your community. But unlike Facebook, Pinterest is actually useful. There are links to useful creative ideas such as organization, photography, and recipes to name a few. (Or rather, to name most of what I look at…) I’ve chosen boards that I want to see regularly because they are my friends. Or because they seem to like the same things I do. Or because they collect gluten free recipes…

I will often check Pinterest for inspiration on what to make for dinner. I couldn’t count the number of recipes I have tried from there. So maybe I need to pass on a few of my favorites to you. And even mention a few that weren’t so good… but I tried them.

So if you’re interested, read on…

Sloppy Joes: http://www.mommymoment.ca/2012/08/sloppy-joes-recipe.html
I have made Sloppy Joes for years, but this recipe jumped out at me just as I was thinking that I had too much ground beef in my freezer, and what would I do with all of it!!! As usual, I changed a few things… it doesn’t have to be kid-friendly at my house most of the time, so I added real onions and garlic rather than the powder. It was yummy. Next time I’ll try Jeanine’s gluten-free buns as well. They also look very good.
http://www.thebakingbeauties.com/2012/08/gluten-free-buns.html

Then there is the Best Recipe I Ever Messed Up! Truly! http://amy-newnostalgia.blogspot.ca/2010/05/best-recipe-ive-ever-messed-up.html
I cut it into 1 1/2 inch squares and took a piece with me to work every day while they lasted! Soooo very good!

I’ll post more of my pinned successes soon…

Double Chocolate Cookies

The original recipe for these cookies (from the lady who gave me the recipe) was Cow Pie Cookies.  Had to drop that name.  When she brought these ‘Cow Pie Cookies’ to work one day many, many years ago, I was afraid to try them.  The name may have been one issue.  The other was that my friend was NOT domestic.  Not at all!  I was a “Stay-at-h0me-mom-wannabe’.  She thought I was crazy.  But I had to be polite.  So I tried her cookies.  I’ve been making them ever since.  At least until we went GF.  Oh how I missed those cookies.

I took a long time to finally try to convert the recipe.  I didn’t want to make it too complicated, so I decided to try just substituting the flour with a commercial GF all-purpose flour from Bulk Barn.  It worked.  I did add a wee bit of xanthan gum according to the directions on the flour bag.  They were soooo yummy hot out of the oven. And they were still soooo yummy the next day when I took them to work to share with a friend.  We agreed that there was no way anyone could tell they were GF.  Here’s the recipe:

Double Chocolate Cookies – GF

A.
1 cup margarine
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
½ tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla

B.
2/3 cup cocoa
2 large eggs
1 tsp baking soda

C.
½ tsp xanthan gum
2 cups gluten free all purpose flour
2 cups chopped chocolate bars or chocolate chips

In a large bowl, combine A ingredients.  Cream until fluffy.  Beat in B ingredients. Stir in C and mix well.  Using 1 Tbsp dough for each cookie, shape dough into balls.  Press down slightly.  Bake at 325 for 8-10 minutes.  Do not overbake.  (Smaller cookies may be done quicker.)

DO NOT OVERBAKE!

DO NOT OVERBAKE!

Seriously.  They can look a little wet in the cracks.  I think that’s the secret to making these cookies ‘to die for.’

Pesto and other things

I have been super busy with facebook, pinterest and reading blogs – ok… maybe I don’t have a good excuse for not blogging. I had in mind that this blog was for gluten free recipes that I was making, but if I have time to bake, I don’t seem to have time to blog. So this entry will be a mishmash of recipes that I have found and plan to make again…

The first one I want to share is pesto. I made a basil & pine nuts pesto a year ago, froze it in ice cube trays, and when I remembered I had it, and took one out for pasta, pizza, sandwiches, etc, I was always reminded how much I love pesto.

Today I had some kale in the fridge. I haven’t bought it before, but have seen how much everyone loves it on Pinterest. When I got it home, I realized the recipe I had planned on making was far too complicated for someone who might not even like kale. (Though I must say, I can’t think of a vegetable I don’t like…)

So I looked for something simpler. I came across a recipe for pesto made with kale. How intriguing! I had to try it. It was a winner. I did add all the basil I could find in my sad little garden. It wasn’t much – but I did get a bit of the basil flavor into the pesto.

http://pamelasalzman.com/kale-pesto-recipe/

We had another birthday celebration this week, and I was flip-flopping between chocolate and lemon for the dessert. Both are things I crave!! So I made both. We had these individual cheesecakes for the family party this week, and the chocolate bar is being saved for Sunday with my family. I will admit to sneaking a piece into my lunch each day as well. Both were very yummy, and very little work.

The lemon: http://www.easyeats.com/recipes/1203-lemon-cheesecake-cupcakes

The chocolate: http://amy-newnostalgia.blogspot.ca/2010/05/best-recipe-ive-ever-messed-up.html