Accepting the challenges in creating a gluten free household

Archive for March, 2011

Cranberry Apple Cake

Another one from the Gluten free Goddess… apparently I like her cakes!  Now that I see that I have two of her recipes as favorites, I will have to go back and look at her site more closely.  As should you!

This one is definitely healthier than the chocolate cake, and if you like apples and berries in your cake, you should love this one as well.  I don’t think anyone would have known this was gluten free without being told.  Yum!  We served it slightly warm with ice cream.

Gluten-Free Goddess Recipes

Flourless Chocolate Cake

I should have taken a picture.  Except that it wasn’t the ‘look’ of the cake that was exceptional.  It was the taste.  I want to post two recipes today for the same thing.  My friend Brenda gave me her recipe for Flourless Chocolate Cake.  I know that whatever Brenda makes is good, so I pulled it out for our March birthday celebration.  The only problem with her recipe was the instructions to put it into a 10 inch pan, and put the pan in another pan with water.  My only 10 inch pan is a springform pan, and if I put that in water, I would have a very soggy cake.  So I found another similar recipe.  It wasn’t much to look at, high on the edges and sunken in the middle.  If I had thought we could finish the whole cake, I would have piled berries into the centre for a picture, and to sing Happy Birthday.  But I knew we wouldn’t finish it, and the berries could make it soggy, so I endured the laughter from my kids instead.  We had it with ice cream and berries and it was wonderful.  I could have served it in the kitchen, or, alternately, cut off the high edges and cover the cake with whipped cream or an icing.  It really didn’t need an icing, though, as it is a rich cake already.  I’m not making any health claims with this cake.  It definitely is a ‘special occasion’ cake.

Read more:

Gluten Free Sandwich Bread

Most of the bought GF bread I have tried tastes a bit like sawdust.  There are those who have learned to
make good gf bread, and I have tried a number of good recipes. Occasionally I forget which recipe I liked best, but I had taken some pictures on February 17, of a bread I made and liked. Fortunately, I scribble (or type) notes onto my recipes and so was able to figure this one out by the date on the pictures and the date on the recipe. This is another recipe from The Baking Beauties. (Seriously, every thing I’ve made from Jeanine’s site has turned out well.)

In place of the xanthan gum, I tried this substitution: substitute 1 ½ tsp ground chia seeds and 1 tsp ground flaxseed mixed with 5 tsp boiling water – mix well and allow to cool.

Made with substitutions on February 17, 2011… looks and smells yummy!!

Amish Baked Oatmeal

Another family favourite for years, we often make this for our Saturday morning breakfast. Since there are just two of us at home now, we have a lot left-over. I love having a bowl of this in the fridge all week, to reheat in the microwave for a quick healthy breakfast. I’m quite sure I originally found this recipe in the Country Women magazine. Add a cup of blueberries for that extra fibre…


3 cups quick-cooking oats (certified gluten-free)
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
½ cup margarine, melted *
2 eggs
2 tsp g.f. baking powder
1 ½ tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
Warm milk
Fresh fruit and/or brown sugar

Combine the first 8 ingredients; mix well. Spread evenly in a greased 13”x9”x2” baking pan. Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Immediately spoon into bowls; add milk. Top with fruit and/or brown sugar if desired. Yield: 6-8 servings

• Substitute some or all of the margarine with apple sauce (or sour cream or yogurt) for a healthier alternative.
• Other options: add apples & cinnamon, or blueberries, or other fruit. Add flax or ground nuts for additional fibre.

Russian Borscht

When my girls were old enough to start helping in the kitchen, we would occasionally borrow an ethnic cookbook from the library, and find a recipe we wanted to try. This is based on a recipe that comes from a Russian cookbook. With my culturally Mennonite background, I was used to Cabbage Borscht, a similar soup without the beets. We all loved Grandma’s Cabbage Borscht, but I made this enough that when my family hears the word ‘borscht’, they think of beet soup. And it is naturally gluten-free.

4 Beef neck bones
2 beets
2 carrots
2 onions
12 cups water
3 medium potatoes
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cabbage
1/2 green pepper
1 bunch fresh parsley or 1 tbsp dried parsley
½ tsp salt
2 cups tomato juice
sour cream

Wash beets and carrots thoroughly. Place neck bones, beets, 1 carrot and 1 onion (cut in half) in a dutch oven (large pot) with 11 cups of water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and cook for 25 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Set carrot and beets aside to cool; discard onion and neck bones. Peel and quarter potatoes, slice cabbage and pepper and onion. Peel and slice raw carrot. Add raw vegetables, parsley, salt and 1 cup water and cook for 20 minutes. Stir in tomato juice and cook for another 8-10 minutes. Peel the cooked beets and carrot, chop and add to soup. Continue to cook 10-15 minutes. Add lemon juice before serving. Discard fresh parsley. Serve with pepper and 1 Tbsp sour cream per serving.

Gluten Free Birthday Cake

There are only six adults in our little family, but three of them have birthdays at the end of March.  That means they have to share a party.  I did purchase a cheesecake from Superstore that has no suspicious ingredients for a gluten-free diet, but I wanted to make a cake as well.  I’ve been trying a few recipes.  When I had a bag of lemons in my freezer and was craving something lemony recently, I made this one:

WARNING: If you like lemon as much as we do, do NOT make this for just two of you.  It is NOT low-fat, but it is yummy, and we wanted to eat it all!  It was still just as yummy a few days after I made it (I stored it in the fridge), but finally I sliced the remainder and threw it into the freezer where it was less of a temptation and would last longer.

I won’t post that recipe here – you just need to follow the link to the Baking Beauties site and get it there.

I was told that chocolate was in order for the birthdays, so if that one turns out as amazing, I will post the recipe here as well… or at least the link to it!

Gluten Free Oatmeal Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Another one of my favorites… This was easy to make, and so good, that I think I’d have made it again even if my husband’s tests had come out differently.  It is THAT good! 

It is from one of my favorite blogs out there:

Brenda’s Soft White Bread

After tasting the available bought gluten-free breads, I knew I needed to bake.  One of the first ones I tried was my friend Brenda’s bread recipe and it was very good.  Brenda’s husband was diagnosed over a year ago, and she, too, looked at it as a challenge.  She made amazing bread and cookies prior to the diagnosis, and wanted that to continue. Check out her blog for the recipe:


Eunice’s GF Waffles

On a recent trip to Calgary, we were treated to my sister’s waffles.  I didn’t even own a waffle iron anymore, but after this experience, I ordered one with my airmiles, and then couldn’t wait until it came, and so I borrowed one from my daughter to make my own batch for the freezer.

Eunice’s GF Waffles

Liquid Ingredients:
4 tbsp vinegar
4 cups milk
Mix these two ingredients together and let sit for 10 minutes.
6 eggs
1/4 cup olive oil
Finely shaved orange peel from the outside of one orange

Dry Ingredients:
2 cups All Purpose Gluten-free Baking Flour (commercial mix including: garbanzo bean flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, white sorghum flour, fava bean flour; or your own version of all purpose gf flour)
1 cup Gluten-free Oat Flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup cornmeal (or any other gluten free flour that strikes your fancy)
2 tbsp flax meal
1 tbsp guar gum
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Put the liquids into a mixing bowl and blend at medium speed for 2 minutes.
Slowly spoon the dry ingredients into the liquid ingredients while continuing to blend at medium speed.
Put waffle iron on medium high.
This waffle mix is runnier than most regular waffle mixes. These waffles freeze and toast well. Let the leftover waffles cool completely before putting into baggies for fridge or freezer.

Orange Date Muffins

It was my plan to post many links to other good blogs, and I will still be doing that.  The best muffins I’d had before today are the ones from  I wondered, though, if I followed her principle of baking with a scale rather than measuring cups, could I convert one of our family favorites – Orange Date Muffins?  Yup!  Shauna Ahern is a genious.  It worked.  I did convert the flour measurements to cups because it depends totally on which flours you use.  I used a variety, based on two different mixes.  The first mix is from another of my favorite gf sites:
It is simply 4 cups brown rice flour, 1 1/3 cup potato starch (not potato flour), and 2/3 cup tapioca starch.  The second you will have to get from the first site I mentioned since it is too complicated to mention here.  But it’s good and it’s good for you.  So mix some mixes and get baking.

Orange & Date Muffins – GF

 1 med-large orange
½ cup orange juice (freshly squeezed is best)
½ cup chopped dates
1 egg
½ cup margarine (room temp)**
125 g all purpose gf flour
60 g multi grain gf flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ – ¾ c brown sugar
¾ tsp salt

 Cut orange in 1/8’s, remove seeds and put in blender (with peel).  Add orange juice and dates.  Blend until liquefied.  Add egg and margarine; blend again.
Mix dry ingredients in medium bowl.  Add liquid from blender and stir to blend.  Spoon into muffin tins.  Bake at 400 F for 12 minutes.  Makes 1 dozen.

** The margarine makes the liquid quite thick, and since I always like to cut down the fat content if I can, I used ¼ cup olive oil and ¼ cup buttermilk instead.

The verdict… as good as the flour version.  Yum!