Posts tagged ‘gluten free’

August 10th, 2011

Coconut Flour Blueberry Muffins

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. I’m not going to pretend I’m sorry, or that I haven’t had time to post. I simply just didn’t feel like posting. I’m keeping myself from making this blog a job.

Since my last post, we’ve added a new member to our little family! Meet Toaster!

Toaster was hanging out under our friends deck and on their porch. B and I had been playing around with the idea of getting a new cat, so that B can actually have a pet that loves him. Acey is a little scared of B and always has been. When we took him home, I was assuming Acey would hate him right away, and I was right. But after a few days, she wasn’t acting as hostile toward him and we thought she would. We thought she would go through a total personality change or lash out with undesirable behaviors, but she hasn’t. Toaster jumps on her and tries to play with her, and she runs from him, but the best part is, she chases him back! It’s as if she’s been telling us this whole time that she’s been lonely! She would follow me every where, sleep on me, eat with me, and talk to me, every hour of the day.

Need less to say, he is a welcomed addition to our family! I almost feel like I have a baby, though. He takes a lot of energy and wants to play all of the time. I haven’t been cooking much since we’ve had him, and breakfast food especially, is a turn off. I’ve been eating too much of the same thing and I’m finally burnt out. I bought a huge carton of fresh blueberries to force myself to bake some stuff with them, before they went bad.

I went with a smoothie first, and added them into a salad to use up the bult of them. Today, I tried out a new cookbook and went with a classic, blueberry muffins. They were super easy to make and they were delicious, bursting with juicy warm berries and slathered with salted butter. These will probably be made over and over and over. I love that I can eat more than one muffin and not feel guilty about it, since these muffins are made with a little honey, and healthy oil and fiber filled coconut flour. Try them! You won’t be able to stop eating them.

Blueberry muffins
adapted from Cooking with Coconut Flour by Bruce Fife
3 eggs
3 T melted virgin coconut oil
3 T raw honey
1/8 t almond extract
1/4 t sea salt
1/4 C sifted coconut flour
1/4 t baking powder*
1/2 C fresh blueberries*

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

Heat an empty pan until hot, and turn off the heat and melt the coconut oil.

Blend all ingredients, except the blueberries, in a high speed blender until smooth. *I use a blendtec and used the batter button.

Fold the blueberries into the batter.

Pour the batter into 6 lined muffin cups.

Bake for 16 minutes.

These are enjoyed best warm from the oven.

*I’ve made them again and they puff up more with 1/2 t of baking power and brown a little more. I like them better this way.
* frozen blueberries tend to make the muffins a bit soggy, if this is your only option, try using sugar instead of honey.

February 10th, 2011

Potato and Broccoli Fritatta

Yes! I’m still here. You would think being snowed in would mean lots of blog posts, about interesting food, etc. You would think I would have delighted my stomach with warm hearty slow cooked meals. Nope! Just the opposite.

Being snowed in for me, means watching lots of documentaries that make me question everything I believe about the food I eat. I made some, not so pleasant discoveries about a staple ingredient in my cooking. I used Quorn a lot. B liked it and that was the first reason I continued on with it. It was easy to use in place of meat and it was not made from soy. I do not care to incorporate too much soy into my diet, so this was a major plus. Then I decided to stop eating gluten. I THOUGHT some quorn products were gluten free. I was wrong. While the ingredients listed don’t say wheat, some of their flavors and starches are derived from wheat.

Another discovery I made was that another ingredient- autolyzed yeast (and others), is a form of MSG. I felt so lazy when I found this out. Why didn’t I do me research! I think I was afraid of another food being taken out of my diet. In all fairness, I will say I do not believe I am sensitive to the wheat and MSG in the Quorn products, however, I believe B is! One more thing to add to the trash can.

After coming to terms with the fact that I will no longer be eating processed “fake meat”, I had to start getting inventive.

I made this beautiful potato and broccoli frittata and it was so delish and satisfying. You can add as many ingredients as you want. It’s a great quick dinner in one pan!

Broccoli and potato fritatta

I-2 potatoes (enough to line the bottom of the pan and more for the top
2 C raw broccoli floretts, cut small
4 eggs
Extra virgin Olive Oil
1/2 t salt
pepper to taste
hot sauce to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
With a mandolin, slice the potatoes very thinly.
Boil in hot water until tender but still sturdy…about 3 minutes
Drain the potatoes
Add evoo to the bottom of a 9 inch oven safe skillet and place the potato slices in a concentric patter covering the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Fry the slices over medium high heat until golden brown.
Beat the eggs until light and fluffy. Add the salt and pepper and a little hot sauce if you like it spicy.
Slowly add the eggs to the potatoes and evenly distribute the broccoli. If you are going to add cheese, evenly distribute that as well.
Cover the top of the egg mix with the left over potatoes slices and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until there is very little jiggle in the middle.
Place a plate on top of the skillet and flip over the frittata. Serve immediately.

*if you like your eggs on the spicy side, jalapenos are a great addition!

December 23rd, 2010

Seven Layer Cookies

I don’t know why I feel like I have the go-ahead to eat like Buddy The Elf during the holidays. The first thing that I eat in the morning is some form of chocolate, and then I eat a healthy breakfast and then I finish it with multiple forms of sugar, such as cookies, chocolate, or a sweet drink.

I’m not the normal Christmas cookie maker. I don’t share! I make these cookies with myself in mind. Sure, I consider what would be good to other people, but only if I know I’ll have lots of left overs. I make my goodies and hide them. This has definitely gotten a little out of hand, but I figured out how to combat my holiday sugar addiction.

Two years ago, I was introduced to seven layer cookies. It had marzipan in it, which I adore! It has chocolate, and layers of apricot jam, which is always the perfect compliment to intense flavors. This was my kind of cookie! I made them right before we left to head home for Christmas. I had the scraps in the fridge at home and displayed the rest at Christmas dinner. I was slightly shocked to see people eating one after the other. I got a little panicky because I didn’t get to really enjoy them yet! Before I knew it, I had just one or two left, so I hi-jacked them, to eat myself. They were perfection in the form of sugar!

The next year, I made them a little earlier and I made quite a dent in the final count before I even packed them up. This year, I made them 1 day before we leave. Once I taste one, I can’t stop, so it’s best when I don’t have multiple days to nosh on them.

This year, I changed the recipe a little bit, making it more wholesome and less damaging. It’s still a lot of sugar, but I swapped out the butter for virgin coconut oil, and replaced the food colors with vegetable juices. The colors don’t pop like the ones made with the artificial colors, but who cares! They’re delicious.

Merry Christmas to all of you and your families!

Seven Layer cookies

4 large eggs, separated
1 c sugar
8 Oz. homemade almond paste
1 1/4 C virgin coconut oil at room temp.
1 t almond extract
2 c King Arthur Gluten Free flour mix
A pinch of baking powder
1/2 t xanthan gum
1/2 t salt
red and green food coloring, I used beet juice for the red and spinach juice for green (pre packaged)
1 (12 oz) jar apricot preserves, heated and strained
1 c dark chocolate chunks

Almond Paste/ marzipan

1 egg white
8 oz. blanched almonds
8 oz. powdered sugar

In a Food processor, grind almonds until very very fine and a little warm. Pulse in the powdered sugar until well combined. With the machine running, add the egg white slowly. Process until it forms a dough, about 3 minutes.

Seven Layer cookies

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 13×9 pan with parchment paper.

Beat egg white with a whisk attachment of a stand (or hand) mixer until stiff peaks. Sprinkle 1/4 c sugar and continue beating until glossy and stiff. Transfer to another bowl, then switch to the paddle attachment. Beat almond paste and remaining 3/4 c of sugar until well combined. Beat in oil until light and fluffy. Add yolks and almond extract and beat until combined.

Turn mixer to low, and add flour mix, salt, and xanthan gum and baking powder. Mix until just combined. Fold in 1/4 of the egg whites to lighten (it won’t do much lightening) and then fold in the rest. If dough feels too thick to spread, fold in a tablespoon or two of milk. Divide dough into three bowls. Add beet juice food coloring in one bowl, then green in another, just until you get the color you desire. Spread red dough into prepared pan (will be thin), and bake 10-12 minutes until slightly firm and a toothpick inserted in comes out clean. Remove red layer to a rack to cool, prepare another sheet of parchment paper (or another silicon liner) and spread white layer as before. Bake, then repeat with the green.

Once all layers are cooked and cooled, divide the preserves in half. Spread half of the preserves on the green layer, then lay the white layer on top. Spread that with the rest of the preserves, then carefully place the red layer on top. Cover with wax paper, then top with a heavy cutting board or cookie sheet, and refrigerate for 8 hours.

Bring to cake to room temp. and heat the chocolate over a double boiler until just melted. Spread a thin layer on one side and freeze until it sets. Once it sets, flip it over and do the same one the other side, and freeze. Cut in1x1 inch squares and keep cool!

November 2nd, 2010

Pumpkin Waffles With Apple Maple Syrup

There it is! I’ve been waiting for my cooking/baking urge to kick back in. It took a break after my umpteenth batch of summer ice cream.

I was getting a little worried because it’s fall. What’s better than baking in the fall?! All the cinnamon, clove, pumpkin and apple flavors to play with. Here’s a secret, I don’t like cinnamon! I mean, not to the point of refusing to eat something because it has cinnamon in it. I guess I just don’t like just cinnamon as the main flavor. I hate snicker doodles, oatmeal raisin cookies, cinnamon coffee, you get it. I like the smell of it but I guess in my mind, I figure if you’re going to eat something decadent, why wouldn’t you eat chocolate! I know there is the other side of the argument, where people just don’t like chocolate, like my Dad for instance.

I do like when cinnamon is an accent flavor. On Saturday, it felt like the perfect fall morning, crisp and cool and I could smell the neighbors wood burning stove. B was outside raking leaves. This was the morning I would make pumpkin waffles for the first time this year. I knew it would be a little different, since the last time I made them they were made with wheat flour. These would be made grain and gluten free.

They were a success! Warm pumpkin, spiced up with cloves, ginger, cinnamon and vanilla. I think they were even better, because I made a homemade apple syrup from reduced, fresh pressed apple juice, mixed with warm maple syrup. Fall perfection! These were also guilt free since they were grain-free. No grains to burden your body and made with healthy ingredients.

Grain-free Pumpkin Waffles
3 T coconut flour
1 T mesquite flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t cinnamon
pinch of ginger
1/8 t ground cloves
2 T almond flour
3 eggs
3/4 C. pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 T virgin coconut oil melted

Combine all the dry ingredients with a whisk in a medium bowl. In another bowl, combine the eggs, pumpkin and oil until well combined. Heat your waffle iron on medium (if you have numbers I used about a 3.5). Mix the dry into the wet. I did not butter my waffle iron since I think there is enough oil in the batter. Spoon your batter evenly on the waffle iron and cook until it lets you know they’re done. This makes 4 square waffles.

Reduced Apple Maple syrup
juice of 4 apples (I used a juicer)
Reduce the juice in a sautee pan until thick and syrup-y. Add in about 1/4 C. of maple syrup and serve.

October 21st, 2010

Hazelnut Macaroons With Homemade Nutella

Hazelnuts trigger a very distinct feeling and memory for me. In my (German) family, hazelnuts scream Christmas. My favorite Christmas cookie that my family makes is the hazelnusse cookies. It’s a hazelnut meringue atop a backoblaten, which is a baking wafer, used back when parchment and silicon mats were unavailable. They always reminded me of the communion wafers from church.

Everyone in my family makes them, and it took me forever to master this family cookie. I remember trying to make them when I was little, and I would always end up with flat, unfamiliar rounds of crunch. My mom would have to take over to fix my mistakes. It’s funny how, as an adult, I look at the recipe and realize, with a little family guidance, the mistakes I made. I always over mix the batter and deflated it.

When I moved on, to French macaroons, I was well practiced. I was so intimidated by French macs at first, because of hearing how hard they are to make. When I made my first batch, I realized I had been making these for years, just with less flavor variety.

As I was planning my Dads surprise 70th Birthday Party, I knew I wanted to make Nutella filled hazelnut macaroons. Even though it wasn’t Christmas, it was a celebration, that a lot of our German friends and family would be at. It would be something they would recognize, with a twist.

I was so happy at how they turned out, even B was hovering over them, begging to have more. At the party they seemed to go pretty quick. The more unattractive ones were left over, and as we were cleaning up, my Dad said to my Uncle, “hey, these are pretty good!” and finished them up. That’s all I need to hear, to know if something is good. My Dad is a man of few words, and if he praises something, it must be really good!

There weren’t any left. Enough said

Hazelnut Nutella Macaroons

macaroons adapted from Cannelle et Vanilla

181 grams hazelnut flour
243 grams powdered sugar, sifted
138 grams organic egg whites
3 grams egg white powder
2 grams fine sea salt
2 grams of cinnamon
81 grams sugar

Sift the powdered sugar, sea salt, and cinnamon with a fine mesh strainer or sifter into a bowl. Add the Hazelnut flour, and stir with a whisk. Add eggs whites and egg white powder into the bowl of an electric mixer, and whip on medium until soft peaks form. Continue whipping, now on med. high speed and gradually add the sugar until you get stiff peaks.

Add the hazelnut flour/ powdered sugar mix to the meringue and fold gently, trying not to lose too much air. Make sure everything is uniformly mixed. The batter should have a little volume but should not be too runny.

Put the batter into a piping bag and pipe into uniform rounds on a parchment lined baking sheet. If there are any peaks, wet your finger and smooth it out.

Let the macaroons dry for at least 30 minutes or until they are dry to the touch. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes, rotate the pan and bake 7 minutes longer.

Remove the sheet of parchment and let them cool on a cooling rack.

Homemade Nutella filling

adapted from
1/3 C hazelnut flour
1/2 dry nonfat milk powder (organic)
1/3 C. sugar
1 T. honey
1/4 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 T. cornstarch or tapioca starch
3/4 C. milk
1 T. virgin coconut oil

In a small sauce pan add the first 6 ingredients and combine. Then add the Milk and oil and whisk over medium heat until it starts to bubble and thicken. Take off heat and add to a sealable glass container.

To assemble macaroons

Let the hazelnut spread cool completely and add to a piping bag. Pipe the spread in a concentric circle on the hazelnut macaroon, because it will not spread so, cover the shell completely. Do this before serving or they will go soft and a little soggy over a few days.

August 23rd, 2010

Chocolate Truffle Cookie Bites

I adore days like today. It’s been a little bit overcast all day, a tiny bit humid, with a refreshing East breeze with a hint of cool. Today’s temperature is 77 degrees. I love it because it’s August. I always feel like right when I’m getting totally sick of Summer’s hot revenge, God blesses me with a day like today. It’s like a fall teaser. It should be hot and humid, but it’s just barely humid and cool, especially in the evening.

I love thinking about Fall and it’s magical transformations, cool, brisk evenings, and affectionate rendezvous with the outdoors, savoring the farewell to your time outside. It might just be me, but I want to jump the gun on feeling fall as soon as possible. I want to get in the kitchen and create an atmosphere, specific to fall memories.

There are all kinds of cookies I love, but there is something really special about a truffle cookie. I had the ingredients on hand, so I just started to create. It all worked out for me, one try! I think I might play around with it a little more, but these cookies were so addicting just the way they are. The crunch of the chocolate chips is the source of the addiction, I believe.

I used “Let’s Do Organic” coconut flour, and I must say, I’m not a fan. I got it because it was cheaper that Bob’s Red Mill, but it was the same weight so I thought why not. The reason why not is because it’s very grainy and not powdery like a flour. But regardless, it worked out. But next time I’m going to use Bob’s and it will probably provide a bit denser crumb.

Chocolate Truffle Cookies- Grain and Gluten free
8 oz butter room temp. (I used salted)
3/4 C sucanat sugar
1/4 C mesquite flour
1/2 C coconut flour (if you use BRM you may need a little less)
1/4 C almond meal
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt* (I like a salty bite but dismiss if you don’t want it salty)
1/4 C. coconut milk
2 squares (28 g) unsweetened baking chocolate- chopped
5 squares (63.3 g) semi sweet chocolate- chopped
1 t vanilla
1 T virgin coconut oil
3 eggs
1/2 C chocolate chips

Pre heat oven to 355 degrees
In a small sauce pan, boil the coconut milk and add the chocolates and stir until melted.
Add in the vanilla and coconut oil and set aside to cool slightly.
In the bowl of your mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add eggs one at a time
combine flours and almond meal, salt and baking soda and add to the cookie batter.
Mix on medium until well combined and turn down to stir.
While the mixer is on the lowest speed, add in the melted chocolate mix and stir until fully incorporated.
Stir in the chocolate chips
on a parchment lined cookie sheet, use a small ice cream scoop to measure out the cookie batter.
press down to compound a little bit to push out trapped air.
Bake for 15 minutes.

July 15th, 2010

Update: First Physical In Years

I feel like I’m slowly (mentally) being starved.  Not really, but it just seems like that.  B and I made a doctor’s appointment back at the end of May.  Neither one of us has had a physical since… I don’t know when.  I thought it was about time, especially since some of the small aches and pains complaints from B couldn’t be solved with my “magic potion” (apple cider vinegar).

I had started myself on an iodine supplement program and I wanted to find a doctor who was competent with iodine.  My search lead me to a practice two hours away.  I wasn’t thrilled with the drive, but I thought it was probably going to be worth it after I had a phone consult with one of the PA’s.  It seemed like a good fit.

As I was watching the doctor read over my 15 page questionnaire, I was a little nervous with her “all business” demeanor.  After we talked and I had answered questions and asked some of my own, she said she thought I had a leaky gut!  I thought, “Wow, I study every thing, why haven’t I studied this?!”.  She explained why she thought this was, and told me I should limit my consumption of grains.  I told her that I tried going gluten-free before and that it made me sick all the time.  She said that my dependence on other grains was probably causing the digestive issues.

There were several blood tests B and I had done.  After feeling like I was attacked by a vampire, B and I crashed the minute we got home.  Once I woke up, I studied leaky gut  and grain impact, for quite a few hours.  I even watched video diaries of children with autism be completely healed through diet and supplements and environmental detox.  It’s scary what our every day conveniences are doing to the next generation of children.

It seemed so much easier this time, not eating as many grains.  Maybe it was because the doctor B met with told him to watch his carbs, so we were in this together.  Or, maybe it was because I wasn’t trying to keep a tally of slip-ups and I was choosing to just back off on all grains, not eliminating them completely (do you know how depressing that would be!).

After getting over the shock of “what am I going to eat?” and thinking of creative ways to rethink my eating style, I think we’re going to make it!  I made simple changes, like using bib or romaine lettuce instead of burger buns, eating more greens so I feel full, and eating a lot of black beans because they don’t make me feel bad and finding creative ways to use coconut flour for baked goods.  I’ve been eating almost a cup of brown rice a week, which is pretty good for me.

I had, what some call a “wheat belly” before, and now my stomach lays flat.  B has lost quite a few pounds since cutting back and I have also maintained a small weight loss even though I don’t “need” to lose weight.  I don’t feel bloated anymore (which was a constant), much less heartburn,  my skin is much clearer, and my case of eczema that popped up out of nowhere last Easter has completely gone away!  I was freaking out because nothing would make it stop itching and I would scratch so hard I would break the skin and bleed.  I had never had it before and I think it was part of a “health crisis” (when you detoxify your body to the point where everything bad surfaces at one time).  After I started eating less grains, I noticed one day that it was completely gone, and is still gone!

I think this is going to be a life-time commitment,  so I will probably post a lot of recipes that are sans-grain and gluten but not all the time.  As I explore this new world, I hope I can be a guiding light for some who wish to join me.  You know that saying “Nothing taste as good as skinny feels?”  Well, I think it should change to “Nothing grain, tastes as good as not feeling bloated feels!”

Here are my before and after pictures of my shins where the eczema had been.  I took then with my phone, so sorry about the quality, but you get the point.