Sunday, December 11, 2011

Grain Free, Gluten Free Chocolate, Peanut Butter Cookies

Yikes!  It's been an entire MONTH since I've blogged or posted a recipe.  My apologies.  Things have gotten extremely hectic.

I did however come up with an absolutely AMAZING recipe for gluten-free, grain-free cookies.  This recipe is so versatile.  You can take out the cocoa to just make peanut butter cookies or add oats to make oatmeal, peanut butter cookies.  You can also add nuts, dried fruit or whatever you like.

1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips

Cream butter, peanut butter butter and sugar.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Stir in dry ingredients.

Drop by teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake at 350 degrees or until done.

Enjoy these delicious gluten free, grain free, chocolate, peanut butter cookies!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Decadent Gluten Free Brownies

Normally, I'm not a huge brownie person, but these were super good.  Very chocolatey, very moist, light and delicious.  You basically couldn't even tell they were gluten-free. 

They were so good I just had to share.  If you are craving chocolate, a batch of these is sure to satisfy.

They aren't healthy really...they DO have sugar in them..but for those times you just want or need a gluten-free chocolate treat..these are IT.  And, fairly inexpensive to make too.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Pasta Brocolli Alfredo

I'm half Italian, which means I grew up on pasta and absolutely love it.  I mean, LOVE it.  It is total comfort food to me and the one food I always fall back on when I don't know what to make for dinner. 

 I really, really, really love pasta.  So, when we went gluten-free, giving up pasta seemed like a tragedy.  Thankfully, there are many, many gluten-free pastas on the market.  Unfortunately, they aren't inexpensive, especially compared to regular pasta.   Although, it's still much cheaper than eating steak..or a lot of other foods, which is why pasta has remained a part of our diet, even after going gluten-free. 

A few months back I got an awesome deal on Sam Mills Gluten Free Pasta.   I was able to find it for only 1.79/bag and I stocked up on 36 bags worth.  Yes...36!  It's a pretty good pasta...a bit on the thick side and it does better in baked dishes (like macaroni and cheese) than just cooked, but it can be pretty good cooked too, with the right sauce. I don't like it so much with a tomato-based sauce, but it's really good with a cream or cheese based sauce (but then what isn't good with cream or cheese??).

Tonight I came up with this recipe, and it was so good, I just had to share.  It's pretty inexpensive, very filling and definitely delicious!  

Pasta Broccoli Alfredo

1 chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 16 oz. package frozen broccoli, thawed
1 16 oz. package gluten-free pasta
4 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons arrowroot starch

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Melt butter in a saucepan.  Add onions and garlic and saute until tender.  Stir in broccoli, arrowroot starch, salt and pepper and mix until smooth.  Stir in milk and heat until sauce is thickened and starts to boil.  Add in cheese and mix until melted. 

Mix sauce with pasta and enjoy!   Bon Appettit.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sticking to a Gluten-Free Budget

For the last several weeks, I've been working really hard to lower our food budget even more.  Actually, this is the first time I've actually had a real food budget.  In the past, I had a general idea, but when I'm at the grocery store just throwing things into your cart, it's easy to get to the cashier and be a bit shocked at the total!!

Well, no more of that for me!  I've found that the only way I can really keep our food spending in check is to really watch how much I spend at the grocery store.  When I mean watch, I mean watch.  As in, I take along a pencil and paper and write down the price of every single thing I throw into the cart.  This includes weighing produce and figuring out how much that bag of broccoli or those ten apples really cost.

Then, I take my handy, dandy little cell phone and use the calculator to add everything up and figure out my total.  If it's too much, I start reconsidering what I REALLY need and what I we can do without.   It really helps a ton and helps keep us in budget.

I also try to keep a "weekly" budget of certain items in mind... basics like cheese, eggs, milk and meat and stick within the budget for those items.  Then I allot a certain amount per week for produce and a certain amount for other items which are bought less regularly (like oil, flours, etc).  I also allot a certain extra for stocking up on sale items.

Do you have food budget?  What measures have you taken to cut costs?  Strict budget?  Sales?  Coupons? 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A "Cure" for Celiac?

The only treatment for celiac disease, at this time, is a strict, life-long gluten-free diet. But, we're working on a cure!
The above statement is a facebook status update from the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center facebook page.  I'm afraid, I just don'   What type of cure are they looking for...something that allows one to eat gluten I suppose.   But, avoiding gluten isn't all that bad.  Sure, it would be nice to indulge in pizza and cookies and bakery cakes but really none of that stuff is good for ANYONE.  Plus, it can all be made gluten-free.   In fact, I tend to believe that just about everyone would be better off without gluten.  Sure, not everyone has celiac or an obvious intolerance, but I do think many, many, many (if not most) people are negatively affected by gluten in insidious ways.

Here is a very informative page on The Dark Side of Wheat.  It's definitely worth a perusal.

My family doesn't have celiac, but we do have gluten intolerances, and in many, many ways I feel it is a blessing in disguise.   Being gluten free has forced us into healthier eating.  We have basically given up anything even remotely processed, or anything that comes in a box or has more than 5 ingredients.   We make everything from scratch.  I have discovered new foods and new ways of baking.  Coming up with gluten free meals, snacks and treats has expanded my mind and challenged me in exciting ways.  I love spending time in the kitchen whipping up new recipes.  Currently, I am enamored with coconut flour (for all baking and treats) and amaranth flour for bread.  I love coming up with new recipes and trying new things. 

Being a gluten-free household has led me to strive towards becoming a sugar-free (ok..sugar-lite) household.   I'm learning how to do more baking with honey and other substitutes, and am excited to try my hand at using stevia.

But, back to the original question of a cure for celiac.  What type of cure would that be?  A surgery to remove something?  A small intestine transplant?  Or perhaps a pharmaceutical drug that has a list of side effects a million miles long.  No thank you!   I think I'd rather stick with a gluten free diet.  Seems a lot safer than any "cure" they might develop. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Coconut Flour Peanut Butter Cookies (sugar free)

I'm been trying to bake with less and less sugar lately and came up with this recipe.   I'm starting to move towards using only raw honey and plan to soon experiment with stevia.   However, I don't have any stevia yet, so for now I've been doing a lot with honey.  These are really good.  They aren't super sweet and are cake-like cookies.but still really good, especially with a glass of cold milk!.  I love the way they hold their shape well when baking..I absolutely hate flat cookies that spread out.

Coconut Flour Peanut Butter Cookies

1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup natural peanut butter
2/3 cup honey
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Cream butter, peanut butter and honey.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Stir in coconut flour, baking soda and salt.   Drop by spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until done. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Banana Cookies

I had a bunch of brown bananas to use up the other day, so I decided to experiment with making coconut flour cookies.  They turned out really good!   Very moist and soft and banana-y.    This recipe is definitely a keeper!

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Banana Cookies

1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
3 ripe bananas...mashed
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup chocolate chips

Cream butter with sugar.  Beat in bananas, eggs and vanilla.   Stir in coconut flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.   Mix in chocolate chips.

Drop by spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes.  Do not over bake.  Take the cookies out of the oven when the bottoms are browned and the top is still soft.  They will harden as they sit, so you want them slightly soft when you take them out of the oven.

Enjoy your gluten free banana cookies!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Gluten Free Amaranth Seed Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I've been on a quest to make my recipes healthier and healthier.   There's only so much one can eat in a day, and I'm come to believe that good nutrition is THE most important factor when it comes to health.  Therefore, I find it important to make sure every bite counts nutrition-wise (well most bites anyway).  Anyway, I've been playing with amaranth grain and flour lately. If you're not familiar with amaranth seed or flour, it is very high in protein and fiber, so rather healthy for you.  However, it also resembles bird seed and has a distinctive "earthy" taste to it.   It can take some getting used to, but I've learned to like it.  

Anyway, I've decided to play around with it and came up with these cookies.  They are pretty good, moist, soft and chewy with a slight crunch from the amaranth seed.  They aren't perfectly nutritious (they do have some sugar in them) but for cookies, they're not too bad.

They were so good, hubby couldn't resist grabbing one while I was taking a picture.

Amaranth Seed Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)
1 1/2 cups sorghum flour
1 1/2 tsp xanthum gum
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips (gluten free)

Cream butter and sugar.   Beat in eggs, peanut butter and vanilla until well mixed and creamy.  Stir in remaining ingredients and mix well after each addition.  Drop by spoonfuls onto greased cookies sheets and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until done.   DO NOT over bake, they will be very soft when they come out of the oven.

Enjoy your Amaranth Seed Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Homemade Black Bean Burgers

My husband was at a chess tournament last night, so it was just the kids and I for dinner.  I decided to experiment with making black bean burgers.  I'm always trying to incorporate more beans into our diet...both for their high nutritional content and the frugal aspect.  I used to love veggie burgers (even though we do eat meat) but haven't eaten them in years since they are so processed and usually contain gluten.

Last night I decided to experiment with making my own, and they came out SO GOOD.   The kids loved them, and like all kids they tend to be a bit skeptical of "new foods".

Don't skip using the food processor.  It is vital to getting everything blended well without chunks.  Whether you are making chickpea patties, black bean burgers, lentil cakes, salmon cakes, etc...the food processor really makes a huge difference.

You can use canned beans for this recipe.  I always buy dried beans (MUCH cheaper) and soak and cook them myself.  I generally tend to soak and cook a few pounds at a time, and then separate them out into smaller containers and freeze them. Cooked beans freeze really well and I get the convenience of canned beans without the added salt or cost.  Beans tend to defrost very quickly, so as long as I remember to take them out from the freezer 30 minutesor so ahead of time, we're good.

As far as the gluten-free bread crumbs can buy the expensive ones, but I never do.  I simply save all the crumbs, crusts, or uneaten bread ends left over from my own homemade gluten-free bread in a little bag in the freezer.  It doesn't take too long before I have a cup or so of crumbs right there...practically for free.

Homemade Black Bean Burgers
2 cups cooked black beans 
2 eggs
1 cup gluten-free bread crumbs (if you don't have any, try substituting cornmeal)
2 tablespoons gluten-free mayonaisse
1 onion, coursly chopped
salt to taste,
pepper to taste
1/2 tsp cumin

Combine everything in a food processor and process until smooth.  The mixture will be very wet and soft...that's okay.   
You can either pan fry in coconut oil, bake in the oven or grill on a grill.  I used my little indoor George Foreman grill.  I simply sprayed it with gluten free non-stick cooking spray, and spooned about 1/4 cup of mixtures to form each patty onto the grill.  I then closed the grill and grilled it until the the outside turned a nice golden brown.  The burgers firmed up nicely and were delicious!

Enjoy your homemade black bean patties.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Gluten Free Millet Bread

Notice how these last two posts are about bread?

I love bread.

I mean, really, really love bread.

It just makes feeding kids so much easier...after all, when I'm in a rush or all else fails, you can slap on some nut butter  or whatever and call it a quick breakfast or lunch. 

So, I am always on a quest to make healthier breads.  Bread doesn't have to be just a conduit to hold the good can be a nutritious part of the meal itself.

So, I've been experimenting and developed a bread that doesn't use any rice flour at all.  Now, I have nothing against rice flour really, but it's certainly not the healthiest gluten free flour out there.  In fact, I'm a bit perplexed about why so many gluten free recipes feature rice flour.

Anyway, I came up with this recipe for bread, which doesn't use any rice flour at all.

It uses millet, sorghum, tapioca and a small amount of arrowroot starch.

It has a very distinctive flavor..but a good one.  The texture is perfect for sandwiches or toast and butter.  

It's awesome in that it can be sliced really thin for sandwiches.. and I do hate thick slices of sandwich bread.

And, it's super easy.   Just mix a few ingredients, let rise, and then pop in the oven.

Gluten Free Millet Bread
4 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tablespoon xanthan gum
1/2 tablespoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water.
Combine yeast with warm water and 1 tsp sugar in a small bowl.  Let sit until yeast becomes frothy on top of the water.

In another bowl, combine dry ingredients.  Mix well.

In a separate bowl, combine eggs, apple cider vinegar and oil.  Add this to the dry ingredients and mix well.  Stir in the yeast/water and mix by hand at least 50 times or until well blended.

Using wet fingers, spread onto a greased loaf pan and allow to rise for 2 hours or until the dough rises to the top of the pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until done.

Enjoy your gluten-free millet bread!

Friday, August 19, 2011

WonderMill Giveaway

Thought my frugal readers would be interested in this!!  Last chance to enter!

Gluten Free Artisan Bread

I really must apologize for not blogging recently.  We were out of town for three weeks, the last week with only sporadic internet availability.  Then, since getting back home, things have been a bit crazy and it's taken awhile to get back into the swing of things.

I haven't done much baking or experimenting so I haven't had much to blog about.

However, yesterday, I tried a gluten free artisan bread, and it is delicious!  Artisan bread is probably the one thing I miss most about being gluten free.  Pizza, cakes, cookies.. all those things I can do without or be quite happy with making my own gluten-free versions.  But, artisan bread is different. 

A good, good bread has always been my downfall.

Prior to going gluten-free, I was a  HUGE fan of the no-knead bread recipe found on the New York Times website.  You simply mix some flour, salt, water and yeast...let it sit around for awhile, shape it, let it sit some more, bake it.  Then, like magic you've got this delicious, crusty, mouth-watering bread that rivals anything found in a high-class bakery or restaurant! 

I was afraid that the gluten-free version wouldn't live up to the bread I remembered.  So, it took me awhile to work up to the nerve to try it.  I will admit I was a bit intimidated about trying a gluten-free version.  I'm SO glad I did.   It IS delicious! A nice crisp, crust and soft on the inside.    It's not as "addictive" as the gluten-containing version it, but it is still so, so, so good.

This recipe is from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.  I modified it slightly to reflect my experience with this recipe and the way I baked it (the original recipe calls for baking in a Dutch oven, which I don't have).

Gluten Free Artisan Bread
make 3-4 loaves

2 cups brown rice flour
1 1/2 cups sorghum flour
3 cups tapioca flour
2 tablespoons yeast
2 tablespoons xanthum gum
1 tablespoon salt
2 2/3 cups warm water
4 eggs
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons sugar

Combine flours, yeast, salt, xanthum gum and sugar in a bowl.  In a separate bowl, combine water and oil. 

Add the eggs, one at a time into the flour mixture, and mix thoroughly.  Add 1/3 of the water/oil mix and stir. Add another third of water/oil and mix well.  Add the remaining oil/water and mix well.  The dough will be very wet and shaggy. 

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for 2 hours. 

Store the covered dough in the refrigerator until ready to use.  On baking day, remove 1/4- 1/3 (I used 1/3 since I like a larger loaf) of the dough. Using wet hands, gently shape the dough into a loaf with a smooth top.  Allow to rise for about 1 1/2 hours and during this time preheat the oven and a glass casserole dish and lid to 500 degrees.   After the dough has risen for about 90 minutes,  gently place it in the glass casserole dish, cover with the lid and bake for 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes, remove the lid, turn the oven temperature down to 450 degrees and bake for another 15 minutes.   After baking, allow the bread to cool completely before eating or serving.  The original recipe called for slashing the top of the bread before baking.  I'm lazy, so I skipped that step, and it still came out fine! 

Enjoy your gluten free artisan bread!  Try not to eat it all in one sitting!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Gluten Free on the Road

One of the biggest challenges with being gluten free is figuring out what to eat when traveling and on the road.  Of course, you can bring your own food, but that only goes so far, especially if you are taking a very long road trip as we recently did.   We drove 1400 miles in 2 days.  It was exhausting, but even worse was trying to figure out what was gluten free while eating away from home.  The sad fact is that most people don't have a clue what "gluten free" means, and it can be very hard to get a list of ingredients from restaurants.  Gluten seems to lurk in so many hidden sauces and other items, that it can seem very overwhelming at first..

In previous road trips, we would use quick restaurant stops as  a fun way to break up the monotony of driving mile after mile and hour after hour.  However, stopping for a quick bite to eat is quite different when one can't consume a major ingredient found in many foods.
Of course you can bring your own food, but that gets pretty boring after awhile.  Plus, refrigeration can be an issue...a cooler packed with ice and cold packs isn't going to keep food really cold for longer than a few hours. When you're on the road for over 12 hours a day, it just may not cut it.

What we ended up doing is bringing along enough foods and snacks for two meals and then stopping and eating out for the 3rd meal of the day.  

We brought the following foods
  • homemade trail mix (with raisins, peanuts, cashews, and hard-shell chocolate candies (this was one of our treats). 
  • rice cakes with peanut butter
  • EnviroKidz Organic Gorilla Munch Cereal  (yes, this isn't very frugal, we almost NEVER eat cereals due to cost...but again road trips are a splurge and an exception for us)
  •  apple, carrots and bananas
  • water bottles.
Of course, the most important, useful thing we brought on our trip was a book very similar to Next Exit only specific to the interstate we traveled on.  This book was such a gem.  We could look ahead and see where we could find a specific restaurant (that we knew had gluten-free items) or a even a grocery store or walmart where we could buy things like cheese, yogurt, fruits, raw vegetables, etc.  

The key for us was planning.  Having an idea of which restaurants had gluten-free menu items (in our budget) and then combining that knowledge with Next Exit to find those restaurants or stores was so, so helpful.

Of course, once you reach your destination, the difficulties don't stop there..but at least things are a bit easier.  And, unfortunately, we have had a few mistakes, a few slip-ups that left us feeling the effects a few days later (but on the same token, it was only another confirmation that we needed a gluten-free diet for health reasons).

So, if you are embarking this summer on a long road trip have safe and happy travels and hopefully this post will make it just a bit easier to be gluten-free while on your trip!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Gluten Free Banana Bread (vegan!)

I'm not fact we LOVE eggs and dairy, but I know that many people who are unable to tolerate gluten are also not able to tolerate eggs or dairy, so I wanted to get some baked good recipes up that would apply to them.  Plus, we are running low on eggs and milk right now, so I wanted to find a recipe that didn't use those ingredients.

This is a very delicious, dessert-y banana bread.  We all really enjoyed it and actually devoured it pretty fast.  And, if has chocolate chips in basically can't go wrong with chocolate chips, right?

Gluten Free Banana Bread (vegan!)

1 cup white rice flour
1 tablespoon arrowroot starch
1 teaspoon xanthum gum
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (can be omitted for those with allergies)
3 very ripe, mashed bananas
1 cup sugar 
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup oil (you can use coconut oil, olive oil, grapeseed oil, nut oil, etc.)

Mix dry ingredients (except nuts and chocolate chips).  In a separate bowl mix wet ingredients.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix.  Stir in nuts and chocolate chips.   Bake in a greased loaf pan for 1 hour and 10 minutes at 350 degrees or until done.

Enjoy your vegan gluten free banana bread!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sweetness and Light

A sweet problem: Princeton researchers find that high-fructose corn syrup prompts considerably more weight gain

Most of you already know this I am sure.   I think just about all health-conscious person (which includes my esteemed readers) are aware of the fact that high fructose corn syrup (which is in just about all processed foods) is bad.     

However, this leads us to the question, which sweeteners are good...or at least not as bad?    I think most everyone can agree that refined sugar isn't that great for you.  After all, refined sugar, is well...refined.  That means processed. 

It can be very confusing, sorting out all the different types of sweetners on the market....granulated sugar, brown sugar, molasses and blackstrap molasses, honey and raw honey, maple syrup, stevia, splenda, aspartame, turbinado, rapadura, sucanat, agave nectar. It's enough to give anyone a headache. 

Personally, I am a fan (to use facebook terminology) of keeping things as natural as possible....this means sweeteners which are mainly unprocessed and whole.

Of course, the most "whole" sweetener out there is honey...if you can get raw honey, it's basically going straight from the beehive to your mouth.   There are a whole host of health benefits of honey....everything from treating burns to anti-bacterial properties.  Raw honey is "best" but of course also more expensive, so in our current situation, we need to make-do with just regular honey.  Many of my baking recipies use honey.

Rapadura is also a very "whole" sweetener.  Historically sugar was made by pressing the juice from the cane and boiling away the water. The product retained its critical vitamins, minerals and trace nutrients.  Yes, you read that right, sugar actually has some vitamins, minerals and nutrients in it.

Turbinado sugar is slightly more processed than rapadura, but it still retains some nutrients, the difference being that turbinado has been centrifuged slightly to remove the molasses.

Speaking of molasses, it is one of the most healthy, nutrient-dense sweetners, especially blackstrap molasses which is high in iron. Blackstrap molasses is actually good for you.

Brown sugar contains molasses, which therefore makes it a bit healthier than white sugar, depending on how refined the sugar actually was. Needless to say, most commonly available brown sugar is pretty highly-refined. Nonetheless, brown sugar is still a slightly better than option than white sugar, since it is *less refined*.

Maple syrup is also a "whole food", going basically from the tree to your mouth with only the minimal processing of boiling off the water.  Real maple syrup also has important health benefits.

I also wanted to touch on agave nectar.  While many people market agave nectar as a "healthy sweetener" similar to honey, it is actually very highly processed and  some claim it is worse than HFCS.

The last category of sweeteners to discuss is "non-nutritive" sweeteners (aspartame, sucralose, sugar alcohols, etc).  I think the title pretty much sums it up, anything which is non-nutritive must be pretty bad.   Here is an excellent article from the Weston-Price foundation detailing some of the dangers of artificial sweeteners.   The one exception being, stevia, which isn't so bad after all, although some people think there are risks.  Unfortunately it is generally more expensive than other artificial sweeteners, but a much better option, for people (like diabetics) who might need that option.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Gluten Free Pumpkin Waffles

We are still without a working oven, and it was one of those days where I had a hankering for something "sweet" for dinner, so I decided to drag out my waffle maker and try my hand at gluten free waffles. 

They were super delicious.  Not overly sweet, but very thick, hearty and filling.  I served them with whipped cream, scrambled eggs and collard greens.  Okay, so collards don't really go with waffles, but veggies are important.   We had to have SOMETHING green and leafy....and well collards where what I had on hand.

The nice thing about gluten free waffles is that waffles are generally made with multiple grains you really don't miss the gluten at all.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Waffles

1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup sorghum flour
1/3 cup millet flour
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon xanthum gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 eggs
2 cups milk
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla

Combine wet ingredients and dry ingredients in separate bowls.  Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix thoroughly.   Spray waffle iron with oil or nonstick cooking spray.   Place about 1/4-1/3 cup of batter on waffle maker and cook according to the directions.

Serve with maple syrup, honey, fruit, whipped cream, yogurt, whatever you like.

Enjoy your gluten free pumpkin waffles!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Gluten Free Italian Sausage and Rice Skillet Dinner

My oven has been broken for the past few days!  Yikes!  I'm so dependent on my oven...for baking bread, making snacks, roasting dinners, roasting vegetables.   So, last week when I noticed that it was taking a REALLY LONG time to bake anything, I started to get worried.  When the appliance guy came to look at it he said the bottom coil was broken and he would be back to fix it as soon as the new part came in.  Well, it's Friday, and still no appliance guy, so I'm guessing this means that we'll have another weekend without the oven.

I've had to resort to buying store-bought (gluten) bread for my husband's sandwiches for his work lunch.  GASP! 

Anyway, I've had to get creative in finding new ways to cook, so I decided to try something new and came up with this recipe for an Italian Sausage and Rice Skillet Meal.  I was also trying to use up a few ingredients from my freezer as we are going on vacation in a few weeks, and I didn't want my freezer to have much in it, in case we lost power (always a possibility in FL) while we were away.  Anyway, this is what I came up with, and everyone pretty much loved it!

Gluten Free Italian Sausage and Rice Skillet Dinner

1 ham bone (this is not necessary, I was just trying to use mine up from the freezer.  If you don't have one, skip step 1. in the instructions.)
2 cups of brown rice
5 cups of water
1 large can of diced tomatoes
1 chopped onion
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 tsp basil
1 tsp orgeano
1 tsp salt
1 lb. Italian sausage, cooked and drained
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella  cheese.

1. Combine ham bone and water in a large pot.  Bring water to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours or until any leftover ham on the bone is falling off.  Remove bone and discard.  

2. Add rest of ingredients except the cheese.  Cover pot and simmer for 45-50 minutes or until rice is done.  Take off heat, add in cheese, and stir until melted.

Enjoy this gluten free Italian Sausage and Rice Skillet Dinner

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Gluten Free 4th of July Cake

Gluten Free 4th of July Cake

I made this for a 4th of July party.  It was super easy, and yummy.  Although, I'm not 100% satisfied with the cake, so I'm going to play with the recipe a bit.  However, I wanted to post it here anyway, since I'm so proud of it. :)  Yes, the last row is a bit crooked, that is because the kids helped. ;)
Gluten Free 4th of July Yellow Cake

1 cup white rice flour (superfine)
3/4 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1 tsp xanthum gum
1 cup milk
2/3 cup mayonaisse
4 eggs
1 tsp salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda

Beat sugar with eggs and mayonnaise until frothy.  Add in milk and vanilla and beat well.  Stir in dry ingredients.  Pour into a greased and floured (I use corn flour to flour my pan) 13 x 9 baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until done. 


1/2 cup butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tablepsoons milk (or more).

Cream butter and sugar.  Beat in milk and vanilla until right consistency is reached (adding more milk if needed).

Decorate with blueberries and cut strawberries in the shape of an American Flag.

Edited to add:  DON'T add the cut up fruit until right before serving. Otherwise the strawberries will "bleed" out onto the cake a bit. 

Enjoy your gluten free 4th of July cake!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Gluten Free Hawaiian Meatballs and Rice

Up until this year, I had never heard of Hawaiian meatballs and rice.  It's not something my mother had ever made and not something I had ever tried.  However, several months back I had seen it listed on a meal-train for a new mom, and it intrigued me.  I LOVE meatballs, but prior to going gluten-free, I would never have dreamed of pairing meatballs with anything other than pasta.  Going gluten-free can change all that.   At that time, I kinda put the recipe out my mind, but recently came back to it and decided to give it a whirl.   In fact, I had such a hankering to try this recipe that I even did one of those "oh, I forgot an item, let me run back and get it" dashes in line at the checkout counter when I realized I didn't have any canned pineapple on hand.

It was super yummy, so I thought that I just had to share it!

Plus, it uses turmeric, which is my new favorite spice!  If you weren't aware, turmeric is an extremely beneficial spice and can even help prevent cancer.  You can learn more about turmeric benefits

Gluten Free Hawaiian Meatballs and Rice

1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. ground pork sausage
1 egg
1/2 cup gluten free bread crumbs (I just save the crumbs from my gluten-free bread and keep a bag in the freezer)
salt to taste
pepper to taste
dried minced onion to taste

Mix all ingredients.  Shape into balls and place on a cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minute or until done.


1 cup jasmine rice
2  1/2 cups chicken broth (I make my own from chicken bones and freeze it)
1 teaspoon turmeric
salt to taste

Cook rice according to package directions using chicken broth instead of water and adding salt and turmeric in with the chicken broth.  Be careful you don't add too much salt, if your both is already pretty salted.

Hawaiian Sauce:

1 can crushed pineapple.  (Use pineapple in its own juice..stay away from the heavy syrup).
2 tablespoons molasses
1 cup water
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 chopped onion
1 minced garlic clove.

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat until thickened.   Pour over meatballs, coating the meatballs with the sauce well.  Serve over rice!

Enjoy these delicious gluten free Hawaiian Meatballs and Rice!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Decadant Gluten Free Mint Chocolate Brownies

I was experimenting with different brownie recipes and came up with this!  These are extra chocolatey!    And, soooooo good! Not really a health food, but a real TREAT to have.  Warning:  These are very addictive!  Be sure to make them for someone you can share with, otherwise you run the risk of eating them all yourself!

Gluten Free Mint Chocolate Brownies

1/2 cup coconut oil
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp peppermint extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt.

Melt coconut oil and chocolate over medium heat in a saucepan until chocolate is melted.  Remove from heat.  Stir in sugar.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Mix in flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.

Spread in a greased 8 x 8 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until done.  These brownies will be soft, moist and delicious.  Do NOT over bake them.  There is nothing worse than over-baked brownies, and everyone knows they are better when slightly gooey!

These are really good when kept chilled or even frozen!  Yum..nothing like a nice, chocoately, frozen treat!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Gluten Free Molasses Cookie Bars

These gluten free molasses cookies bars are delicious.  You can also make them into cookies, but I'm lazy, and well sometimes I just want a quick, easy, healthy and delicious recipe I can whip up fast.  These fit the bill.  I managed to make them in between making bread and making pizza for dinner.  Today was an extremely busy day for me, spending more time out of the house than in.  Yet, I needed a healthy snack for tomorrow.  These came out perfectly.

Gluten Free Molasses Cookie Bars

1 cup coconut oil
1 cup of sugar (I used sucanat)
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup molasses
2 cups sorghum flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
2 teaspoons xanthum gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon allspice
1 tablespoon cinnamon

In a large mixing bowl, cream coconut oil and sugar. Beat in egg, vanilla and molasses.   Stir in dry ingredients.  Grease a 9 x 13 pan.  Spread dough into pan and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  Allow to cool before cutting.  Enjoy your gluten free molasses cookie bars.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Gluten Free Coconut Flour Lemon Cake

I made this for the Pater Familias today for Father's Day.   It turned out pretty well.   It's not super lemony, just a little hint of lemon.  If you like, you can add lemon zest to it, but we don't really like super strong lemon flavors, just a hint.

This cake doesn't rise super high, and you do need to make sure the pan is greased and floured really well, otherwise it will stick and be hard to get out.  It's tasty though, just a bit denser than other cakes.

The cake part is actually pretty sugar added, just honey.  Of course, the frosting is another story, but..oh well.

1/4 cup coconut oil (or another oil if you don't have coconut oil)
6 eggs
1/2 cup honey
3/4 cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk
juice of 1 lemon

Grease an 8 x 8 cake pan with coconut oil.  Dust with a gluten-free flour (any type, I used coconut flour).  Make sure it is greased and floured well, otherwise the cake will stick.

If your coconut oil is solid, then melt it in the microwave.  Add rest of ingredients and mix well, combining everything.
Pour into your prepared ban and bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until done.

Lemon Frosting
1/2 stick butter..softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
juice of 1 lemon

Beat butter and sugar.  Add in vanilla and lemon juice and beat until creamy and soft.  Add in more sugar or lemon juice until you reach the desired consistency.  Spread over cooled cake.

Enjoy your gluten free, coconut flour lemon cake!!  It's delicious!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Gluten Free Pizza Crust

I LOVE pizza. I mean, absolutely LOVE pizza. So, when we went gluten free, one of the first things I looked for was a GOOD pizza crust.  I think we found a winner!  My kids like this just as much as glutinous pizza crust, and it is very easy to make.   And, delicious!

You can top it with pretty much anything. We usually do tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese and chopped onions.  

Or, we do a Greek white pizza....which is another favorite.  Spread the dough with olive oil, sprinkle with garlic powder and top with chopped onions, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, feta cheese and olives.  Yummy!!

I apologize for not posting a picture.  I can never remember to grab a photo before we devour this!

Gluten Free Pizza Crust

1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup millet flour
1/4 cup arrowroot flour
2 teaspoon xanthan gum
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1/4 cup hot water (about 110-115 degrees)
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup hot water (about 110-115 degrees)
2 eggs
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons olive oil

In a small bowl, combine the yeast with 1/4 cup hot water and 1 teaspoon yeast.  Allow to sit for 10 minutes or until yeast become frothy.

In another bowl mix eggs, yogurt, honey, olive oil, apple cider vinegar and 1/2 cup hot water.
In another bowl combine the dry ingredients.  Mix thoroughly.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, stirring well.  Give it about 50 stirs by hand.   Dump the frothy yeast mixture into the bowl and gently stir in, being sure to incorporate the yeast throughout the entire dough.

This dough will be thin and sticky.  It's NOT like a traditional pizza dough.  But, on the bright side, it is MUCH easier to spread out.

Grease your pizza pan.  Wet your fingers with either olive oil or water and spread the dough out to the edges of the pan.   I use a 16" pizza pan and it makes about a 15" pizza.

Allow the dough to rise for around 30 minutes.  If you are in a hurry, you can skip this step and it still comes out good.

Pre-bake the dough in a 375 degree oven for 10 minutes.  It will puff up and rise a bit more while baking.  

Add your toppings and turn the oven temperature up to 450 degrees and bake another 10 minutes.  Be careful, do watch for burning! I use aluminum pizza pans with holes in the bottom, so they tend to take a bit longer.  If you are using a regular cookie sheet, it will probably cook faster.

Enjoy your delicious, homemade gluten free pizza!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Gluten Free Lentil Rice Nachos

Sometimes I feel like I spend all my time in the kitchen.   Which is a crying shame, because my kitchen is super small, has no windows and is actually pretty depressing.  Did I mention that it's small?  As in, it's a pain to fit two people in it at the same time, even if one of those people is less than 4 feet tall.

As a homeschooling mother, we're home a lot, we eat all our meals at home, and consequently I'm always in the kitchen. Not to mention, all the gluten-free baking and experimenting I do.

This weekend, I tried a recipe for gluten free doughnuts.  I don't have a doughnut pan, and don't believe in deep frying food, so I spent some time looking for a good, gluten free baked doughnut recipe.  I found one, and made them in my muffins tins.  They turned out okay.  They're good, but not spectacular, and to tell you the truth, they basically aren't all that different from muffins.   So, I'll save blogging about that recipe until I perfect it a bit more.  I also made 3 loaves of bread, tried making my own corn tortillas from masa harina (another kitchen failure) and cooked a big pot of beans. 

By now, I don't feel up to any more cooking (or new recipes that might fail) this weekend, so we're going to have my easy, stand-by recipe for dinner tonight.   Lentil-Rice Nachos.  It's cheap, naturally gluten-free, easy, and I love it!

Did you know that lentils are super healthy, a real power food and something many people could benefit from incorporating more of into our diet. Lentils are high in protein, fiber, folate, B vitamins and iron.

Lentil/Rice Nachos    

2 cups lentils (if you think of it, soak these the night before in water, but if you forget, no biggie, it's not as necessary as with other beans).
1 cup brown or wild rice
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp salt (I like Celtic Sea Salt)
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. garlic powder

shredded cheddar cheese
corn chips (preferably organic, as that is the only way to get non-GMO corn)
chopped tomatoes
shredded lettuce.
chopped avocado
sour cream
salsa (preferably fermented salsa).

Throw the lentils and rice in a pot with enough water to cook them (follow the specific amounts for your rice and lentils).  Or you can just eyeball it, which is what I do.  I stick my finger in the the pot and put in enough water until it comes up to my knuckle.  

Add onion, garlic, salt and spices. Let simmer for 45 minutes or so until done. 

Serve with corn chips, shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, sour cream, salsa, chopped avocado, whatever you like.

Yum!  We love this!  It is total comfort food to us, quick and super easy!

Enjoy this vegetarian, gluten-free, cheap and delicious lentil rice recipe!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Stocking Your Gluten Free Pantry

As you read though these recipes, you might find lots of ingredients which seem unusual or that you haven't heard of before.  I thought I would devote a post to explaining about ingredients commonly found in gluten free recipes, what to always have on hand, and where I like to buy those ingredients.

Let's talk flours first.  There are probably about a million different gluten free flours out one can stock them all.  If you read different bloggers and recipes you will find that everyone seems to have different favorites.

I picked my favorite flours based on price, nutrition and universality in different recipes.

Let's start with my my favorite!

Coconut Flour:  is awesome because it is grain free, high fiber, low carb and high protein.  This makes it perfect for people who may be on special diets.  When you cook with coconut flour, you typically need to add extra eggs to hold the baked good together so keep this in mind when using coconut flour.  I usually buy coconut flour on  I love the bulk prices and generally just peruse all the offerings until I find the lowest price/oz (being sure to take shipping into account) and then snatch up several cases.  The last time I bought it, Azukar Organics was the cheapest price.

Brown Rice Flour: This is the universal gluten free flour.  It is found in a large percentage of gluten free recipes, so something to always have on hand.  Again, I use my Amazon technique to find the cheapest price.   You can do that too to find brown rice flour on

White Rice Flour or Sweet Rice Flour:  These are not the same thing, but I find that I can use these interchangeably in most recipes without any issues.  The exemption might be in things like pie crusts, which I haven't tried yet.  I usually buy white rice flour directly from the grocery store.  My supermarkets stock it as it is frequently used in Asian cooking.  Our grocery story carries it with the other flours, but other stores might carry it in the International Foods section.

Tapioca Flour: I have found that the cheapest way to get tapioca flour is to buy tapioca pearl and then grind yourself.  If you have a coffee bean grinder, you can grind small amounts of tapioca pearl into tapioca flour at a time.  Just do be careful, that if you use a coffee grinder that has been used for coffee, you could impart a coffee taste to the tapioca.  Some people buy a separate coffee grinder just for this.  Of course, you could buy an entire grain mill, but those are very expensive.  I buy my tapioca pearls in bulk.

Arrowroot Powder: This is a bit less common than tapioca flour, but still used in enough recipes that I find it helpful to stock.  Again, I buy arrowroot powder in bulk, looking for the lowest price.

Millet Flour: I like millet powder because it is so nutritious.  It's a great addition to muffins, breads, pizza crusts.  If you have a grain mill, grinding your own millet is probably the cheapest, but if not, then just buy millet flour in bulk.  Currently, this is a great price.

Sorghum Flour: Sorghum flour is a frequent player in many sweet recipes I have found...muffins, cakes, cookies, doughnuts, coffee cakes, etc.  If you are planning on making sweet treats, I would keep some sorghum flour on hand.   I found this flour to be cheapest from

Xanthum Gum:  This can be bought online or found in your regular grocery store.  While it is pretty expensive, you don't use much of it per recipe, so a bag lasts a long while.  This probably isn't something to buy in bulk, just buy a bag when you need it. Here is a decent price.

Masa Harina:  This is a made from corn, and has lime added.  I have been able to buy this very inexpensively from our regular grocery store.  I'm not sure if all stores carry it, but I happen to be currently living in Southwest Florida which has a large Hispanic population.  I like to use this for thickening sauces (as it is cheaper than using other gluten free flours). It is most commonly used to make corn tortillas.  I haven't tried this yet, but I plan to soon. Homemade tortillas are vastly superior to store-bought in taste, and I'm not a big fan of corn tortillas...always preferred the flour ones.

 Apple Cider Vinegar: No, this isn't a flour, but it seems to show up in a lot of recipes anyway.  So, we always have it on hand.  Plus, there are a lot of health benefits of apple cider vinegar.  You can learn more about apple cider vinegar and honey.

I'm sure that seems like a large list, but it really isn't compared to all the other possibilities out there. 

That's basically it, other than your other basic items, honey, molasses, sugars, vanilla, baking soda, baking powder salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc....just things all cooks usually have on hand.  There are many other gluten free flours out on the market, but I can't afford to buy them all or try them all.

Some of the more common ones are soy flour (I try to avoid soy), potato starch (this is less nutritious than other flours and you can easily find recipes without it), bean flours (these are pretty healthy, but not as well tolerated by some people, digestive-ly speaking), teff flour (good, but I wouldn't use it enough to be worth stocking), quinoa flour (healthy, and when someone gave us a bag of quinoa, I did grind it up in my blender and use it), amaranth (not used enough to make it worth my money).  I'm sure there are others too.  

Everyone seems to find different flours and items they like, but these are the ones I am currently using and will probably be featured on this blog and in my recipes!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Gluten Free Coconut Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

We love cookies.  My husband especially is a big fan!  Cookies are a staple around here for snacks for hubby, so because of that, I'm always on the quest for healthier, better cookies.  In fact my husband likes to tease me that he still married me despite the fact that while we were dating I made him cookies with dates instead of chocolate chips!  Little did he know, that my cookie concoctions would get healthier and healthier as time went on and the kids arrived, and started eating cookies themselves.

I experimented a bit to get the perfect recipe here.  These aren't super sweet, they have just a hint of sweetness.  If you like a really sweet cookie you might want to add some brown sugar in as well.


Gluten Free Coconut Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
8 eggs
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
2 cups coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts*
1 1/2 cups gluten free chocolate chips

Mix butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla.  Stir in cinnamon, flour and salt.  Fold in walnuts and chocolate chips.  Form into balls and place on greased cookie sheet.  Flatten each ball slightly (these have no leavening agent, so they don't spread out at all on the can put them closer together than regular cookies). Bake at 375 degrees for 13-15 minutes or until done.  

*My secret to chopping/crushing nuts easily. My kids LOVE doing this.  I place the nuts in little plastic baggies, then wrap in another plastic bag or two, place on the floor and crush them with my feet. Gets the nuts nice and crushed, really easily.  Plus it's fun, and a great way to work out your frustrations.   Just don't tell my mom I do this please, I'm sure she would be aghast. ;)

Yes, these do have A LOT of eggs in them...but that just makes them healthier...more protein!!!  Cookies are a great way to get your eggs in, no?  Actually, these do have sugar in them, so they're not perfect, but if we're going to eat treats, why not make them as healthy as possible?  I like to use coconut flour in a lot of my baked goods due to the high fiber and high protein content.  Coconut flour has 4 grams of protein and 12 grams of fiber per compared to just over 2 grams of protein and fiber in brown rice flour.  I love these cookies, since despite the sugar, they do have a lot of good stuff in them too!  I generally use Azukar Organics Natural Coconut Flour, as I was able to get it inexpensively in bulk and it seems to be a bit less processed than other brands.  This flour is a bit brownish, as compared to other brands where the flour is totally white.
I hope you enjoy these gluten free coconut flour chocolate chip cookies!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Gluten Free Crustless Quiche

Gluten Free Crustless Quiche is one of my all-tine favorite recipes.  It is easy, inexpensive, and tastes elegant and delicious.  You can serve it for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, potlucks...whatever.  The items you put in it are only limited by your imagination.

Making a crustless quiche is actually easier than making a quiche with crust.  For one thing, you don't need a crust..(duh!).  But, for the second thing, the amount of filling you use is more forgiving.  I can't even tell you how many crust-ed quiches I have overflowed because I had too much filling and not enough to space to put it all.  With a crustless quiche you can put a lot more filling into each quiche, thereby giving each slice more protein and vegetables (since none of space on the slice is taken up with nutrient-poor crust).

Note: For the add-ins, everything (vegetables or meat) needs to be cooked and chopped. If you do use vegetables with a lot of water like spinach or zucchini. DO be sure to drain them WELL and pat dry; pressing down hard with a paper towel to get all the water out.  Too much water in your vegetables will prevent your quiche from setting and make it too runny.  There is nothing worse than runny quiche.  It is the number one difficulty people have with making quiche...too much water in vegetables making the quiche runny.

Chicken Quiche

Here is my basic recipe for gluten free crustless quiche!  Enjoy and have fun experimenting.

4 eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
1/8 cup gluten-free flour (I use corn flour, simply because I can get quite cheaply at the local store.)
salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
1 chopped onion
1 cup grated cheese (swiss, cheddar, feta, whatever you like...experiment!)
1 1/2 cups of add-ins..cooked and chopped (bacon, ham, sausage, cooked spinach,  zucchini, chicken, tuna, crab, lobster, broccoli, mushrooms etc.)

Grease you pie plate.  Put the chopped onion, grated cheese and add-ins at the bottom of the pan.  Combine eggs, milk. salt, pepper, garlic powder and flour in a bowl.  Mix well.  Pour egg mixture over cheese/onion/add-ins.  Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 35 minutes or until done.

Enjoy your crustless gluten free quiche!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Gluten Free Millet Flax Bread

I went about 3 weeks gluten-free, before I frantically missed bread and started my quest for the perfect gluten-free bread.  No only did the bread have to be gluten-free and delicious, but it had to be EASY.  I love bread, and bread with peanut butter is our family's fall-back, easy, go-to food for breakfast and lunch.  We were floundering without a good gluten-free bread.  The store-bought ones are too expensive...and let's face, they taste like cardboard.  When it comes to bread, home-made is vastly superior to store-bought, whether you are talking about gluten-free bread or regular wheat bread.

Doesn't it look lovely?.  Those brown specks you are see from the flax seed. 

I found one delicious recipe that required a million steps and making sure your water and eggs were exactly the right temperature.  While the finished product was quite tasty, I don't have time for all those steps.  So I combined several different recipes and came up with my own.

Let me let you in on a little secret.  Making gluten-free bread is EASIER than making wheat bread.  Yes, that's it is right easier!  Why?  Because you don't have to knead gluten-free bread.  The whole purpose of kneading bread dough is to develop the need to knead.  Hallelujah!

So without further is my recipe!  This recipe is moist, tasty, holds together well for sandwich and is just all together delicious.  Even the non-gluten free members of my family prefer it to glutinous bread!

Gluten Free Millet Flax Bread
2 eggs
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup oil
1 1/2 cups warm milk (warm until the milk starts to "steam" but is NOT scalded or boiling.  You should be able to comfortably stick your finger in the milk, but it will feel warm/slightly hot to the touch.)
1 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon xanthan gum
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/4 cup millet flour
1 cup white rice flour (I found this is cheapest to buy right in my grocery store.  They carry it next to the corn meal).
1 tablespoon active dry yeast

Combine wet ingredients.  In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients.   Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer (I just use a hand mixer as that is all I have) add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and beat for about 2-3 minutes, or until well mixed.  The more air you incorporate into the batter, the slightly higher it will rise.  Dough will be very shaggy and wet.  It will NOT be dry like typical bread dough.

Grease a 9 or 10 inch bread loaf pan.  Use wet fingers to spread the dough out and smooth the top of it in the loaf pan.   Cover with a towel and allow to rise in a warm place for about 2 hours.  The dough should rise up to the top of the loaf pan (or just a bit above). 

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, or until done.

Enjoy your gluten free millet flax bread!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Coconut Flour Carrot Muffins

These are a delicious, moist, healthy gluten-free coconut flour muffin.  I altered a basic recipe I found on Elena's Pantry, changing a few ingredients and quantities to suit our tastes and the ingredients we have on hand.    They only use a little bit of coconut flour, so the coconut flavor is very subtle, they don't taste very "coconut-y" (is that a word?).  They are bit moist, and did stick slightly to the muffin tin, despite greasing it well, but their taste and texture is absolutely superb.  I'm sure I'll keep working on this recipe to perfect it, but I thought I would share it now anyway.

1/3 cup cocont flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon vanilla (no, this is not a typo, you really do use that it awesome flavor!)
3 eggs
1/4 cup oil (whatever oil you typically use...coconut, grapeseed, etc,.  I typically use coconut oil.)
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup of add-ins (chopped nuts, raisins, dried cranberries, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, shredded coconut..whatever you like). 

Grease a 12- muffin tin. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.  Add honey, eggs, oil and vanilla.  Mix well.  Fold in shredded carrots and whatever add-in you choose.  (In the picture, I used a combination of chocolate chips and white chocolate chips that I wanted to use up.)  Spoon equal amounts of batter into each tin and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Allow to cool in tin before removing.

Enjoy these yummy, gluten-free coconut flour muffins!