Sunday, August 5, 2012

Peanut butter banana goodness

Although I try to stick mainly to "whole foods", I like to have baked goods now and then. I have found all kinds of gluten-free substitutes that I really enjoy. Unfortunately, a $6 loaf of bread isn't often in the budget. I am in search of a bread recipe as good as the high priced store bought ones. So far I haven't found the perfect one but I keep trying.

I gave this recipe a try recently and it is good- Paleo Bread. However it is a bit too "almondy" for me to use as a regular bread substitute (but it is worth a try, you may like it). I do enjoy tweaking recipes and used that one as a base for my current favorite quick meal:
Banana nut muffins
1 cup nut butter (I used peanut butter)
1 cup mashed ripe banana (approx. 3)
2 eggs
1 T vanilla flavoring
1 T vinegar
3/4 t baking soda
sweetener of choice (I use a dash of stevia) You may decide to add a few tablespoons of maple syrup, sugar, honey, agave etc...)

I used a square muffin pan. Regular muffin tins would work and I plan to also try it in a 9" round pan.
Prepare muffin tins with butter or spray). Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Mix nut butter, banana, eggs and vanilla with mixer until well blended. Stir in baking soda and vinegar.

Pour into prepared pan. Bake until set, approximately 15-20 minutes depending on pan used. They cook more quickly than traditional quick breads.

Optional tweaks and serving suggestions (playing with a recipe is my favorite part!).
     Add nuts, dark chocolate pieces, chopped dates, orange flavor, craisins, coconut...
     Mix chocolate with a bit of coconut oil or vegetable oil and drizzle over the top
     Add vanilla and a little sweetener to greek yogurt and serve on top of warm muffin (see photo)

The one pictured topped with greek yogurt just barely survived long enough for the photo. It made for a good breakfast!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Fun with Garbanzo bean flour

I ❤ Socca

What is it?

I probably don't make Socca the "right way" but what I have been making is simple, gluten free and delicious. Works for me. Garbanzo bean flour, water, oil and seasonings. Couldn't be easier. Two of my favorite versions can be found from David Lebovitz and "Affairs of Living". I won't say that my version is anywhere close to traditional. The one we had today included lemon juice and black pepper and was a dipper for a taco dip. Unusual but tasty! Recipes call for cooking under a broiler but I have also been known to use a very hot pan on the stovetop. I look forward to trying more recipes with this bean flour. I like the flavor and texture.

I haven't found garbanzo bean flour locally. There is a garbanzo/fava bean mix but I didn't like the flavor. However, I get garbanzo flour and lots of other good stuff at Vita Cost. They have free shipping until the end of the month (on orders over $49) and otherwise shipping is only $4.99. Good deal since I will need more bean flour soon. It has passed the ultimate test. Even my husband likes this stuff!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Gluten Free Bakery Review

Katz Gluten Free

I found out about Katz Gluten Free Bakery from a blog I ran across. Katz has a sample pack (pictured above) which is free except shipping. I ordered that along with a package of sandwich rolls. The rolls were great lightly browned with olive oil and topped with thin sliced beef and homegrown tomatoes.

I liked some items in the sample pack better than others but the Katz products are definitely worth giving a try. I would especially recommend the breads and rolls. The chocolate cupcake was good as well. The sample pack was a generous mix of a variety of products. I haven't tried everything yet but here are my reviews of those I sampled:

Chocolate cupcake- Awesome. No frosting, just a dense chocolaty little cake. My favorite item from Katz so far.

Raspberry/Apricot Tart (both pictured above)- 2 small individual cookies/tarts. A little dry but still tasty. One had a tangy delicous apricot topping and the other was an excellent raspberry topping. One of these with a glass of milk was a wonderful treat.

Cookie with sprinkles- a small hard cookie with a nice sugar cookie flavor. I usually like more of a plain vanilla cookie. They do have one but it wasn't included in the sample pack- I'll have to include it in the next order.

Chocolate chip cookie- a small hard chocolate chip cookie. Not real chocolately but a nice treat.

Honey muffin- Ok taste, a little dry.

Whole grain bread (serve toasted)- Very nice texture. Reminds me of an English Muffin toasting bread. It made for a nice breakfast treat with an egg. I'm not sure that I would care for the flavor alone but it's great as a sandwich.

More reviews to come as I try the products. I would recommend Katz. Nothing I had was bad, some were just more to my tastes than others.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Cravings Place

I recently found out about the mixes from The Cravings Place (thanks Darla and Mary). I bought the Quick Bread and Muffin Mix and loved it. I have the Cornbread Mix on order now. The ingredient list of the muffin mix includes: brown rice flour, vanilla bean powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, corn starch, sea salt, cinnamon, baking soda, xanthan gum and nutmeg. All I really care about is the gluten free part but it is also listed as nut, egg, dairy and bean free. I also like that it is not presweetened. It is best with a bit of agave, honey or maple syrup but was still tasty with just stevia.

It is pretty good when made according to package directions but since I can eat them, I add egg and dairy. So far one of my favorite versions included a banana, egg and kefir. I still have to play with the recipe before I'm ready to post it. However, I at least wanted to write about the mix because I like it better than any other I've tried. If you have already tried it, I would sure enjoy any recipe suggestions. If you are eating gluten free, I would recommend this mix.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A nutty date

I wish I had taken a picture of these cookies. I guess I will just have to make them again. I had some extra medjool dates to use at Christmas and came up with a recipe that I like. I made it again this weekend. I added some dried cranberries this time too. I think that it was an improvement. It added a nice slightly tart flavor that worked well with the sweetmess of the dates.

1 cup medjool dates chopped (it helps if they are very fresh/soft)
3 T coconut oil at room temperature (may substitute butter)
1 cup walnuts or pecans
1 cup unsweetened coconut (sweetened coconut would probably work too)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 egg
(If the dates are dry, add a little honey or agave to hold the mixture together)

Mix everything except the egg untill well blended. Add the egg. Take a rounded tablespoon of the mixture and roll into balls. Place on cookie sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for about 15 minutes. They should be set but still soft. Watch closely, the bottoms burn easily.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Tweaking, always tweaking

I've tried a number of recipes for gluten free bread and rolls. There are some that I liked well enough but not so much that I cared if I made them again. Here is an exception. I wish I could claim this recipe as my own but it is just some tweaks I applied to this recipe. I will make these again. Soon. I wanted something bagel-like. Although these lack some of the chewiness of bagels, I still like them. Give it a try or have fun and tweak the recipe a bit yourself. The original recipe doesn't call for dropping them in the boiling water. I like the way they turn out with my tweaks but the original recipe is excellent. Stop over at the Spunky Coconut and give her recipes a try. No matter what version you choose, they are at their best when warm.
Rosemary sandwich buns

3 T chia seeds ground in coffee grinder (or use golden flaxmeal)
3 T applesauce
2 T water
4 tsp apple cider vinegar
3/4 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 cup almond milk
Beat together

1 T agave (or honey)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp chopped dried rosemary
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup potato starch (or omit and use another 1/4 cup of tapioca flour)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder

Mix well

Bring water to a boil in a large kettle. Take a small amount of dough about the size of a golf ball and kneed into a bun or bagel shape. Place on a plate. Once all are formed, carefully drop them into the boiling water and leave there for one minute. If needed, I gently pushed them under the water with a large spoon. Remove carefully with a slotted spoon and place on a pie plate or other container. Let them cool slightly. Turn them over to drain. Place on baking sheet that has been coated with olive oil or non-stick cooking spray. Lightly brush olive oil on the top and sprinkle with any toppings you like (my favorites: cracked black pepper, sea salt, sesame seeds). Bake at 350 degrees for 24 minutes.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


This spring we planted 20# of seed potatoes. We are now enjoying the harvest. The majority of them were grown in bags or pots so the harvesting is very easy with little damage to the spuds. However, some were planted in the raised beds and get nicked when harvested. They are perfect candidates for immediate cooking into lefse or other breads made with potatoes.

In general, my diet changes have meant the end of baking those things unless I gave them away. However, I recently adapted my favorite bread recipe that uses potatoes. My husband rarely comments on food. He just eats what is put in front of him and doesn't rave or complain. However, this bread got what from him is a huge compliment "You will make this again. Right?". It's a good question because I often throw in a bit of this and that and can't recreate a recipe. This is one I can make again. It is quick, easy, my husband and I like it and it uses up the "injured potatoes". Perfect.

I use Pamela's Bread Mix and Flour Blend. Eventually I hope to make my own mix but I am still trying different recipes for that. Here is our foccacia recipe. I topped it with a sprinkle of course ground salt, fresh cracked pepper and Italian seasoning. I will have to add a picture of the bread another time because we ate it before I thought of sharing the recipe. Oh well. I will just have to make it again.

Potato Focaccia
1 cup potatoes mashed
1 T rapid rise yeast
1 1/2 cup (105F) water
3 ½-4 c gluten free flour blend
2 tsp salt
1 T olive oil

Boil potatoes until tender. Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl and then mix potatoes, flour (add up to 4 cups to make a soft dough), salt, dissolved yeast, and olive oil until blended. Set aside to rise until double (about ½ - 1 hour). Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat 8" baking pan with oil, place dough in pan and turn to coat dough with the oil. Bake until golden brown, about 1 hour.