Recently I’ve became more interested in making gluten free “all purpose” flours and recalled a blog post on how to make your own. I bought a scale months ago so in July I decided it was time I started making my own also.
This post by gluten-free-girl and the chef is my go to when making a new gluten free flour. I’ll be the first to admit that baking is one of the most applicable and often most difficult uses of algebra, but my 7th grade algebra skills usually prevail!
I was making pancakes for a friend and she requested gluten free, so I decided to make vegan pancakes because I haven’t been buying eggs lately. I bought a bunch of gluten free flours recently, so I decided to do buckwheat with sweet rice flour.
I found these vegan pancakes on Pinterest from One Ingredient Chef and they looked delicious so I decided to go ahead and try a buckwheat version. To my surprise and delight, they were delicious! Now, be warned that they taste completely different than whole wheat pancakes or even all purpose gluten free flour. The taste is very difficult to describe, but the texture is a bit chewy.
Follow the recipe exactly (sugar optional) but for the flour substitute 1 cup buckwheat/sweet rice flour, recipe following.
Gluten Free Buckwheat, Sweet Rice Flour Mixture
100 grams Sweet Rice Flour
66 grams Buckwheat Flour
With an electric scale, measure out separately the sweet rice flour and buckwheat flour.
Every 6 months or so I venture to make my own granola bars. The first I made, which were simple but sugary, were these Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Granola Bars. Months later a friend turned me on to dates in baking and I tried these Cinnamon Walnut Date Balls. These were low in sugar but stored best in the freezer. I’ve tried some no bake, but for me they don’t seem to bind.
So, my goal is to create a granola bar that is low in sugar (i.e. honey, agave nectar) and doesn’t require any type of oil or butter (i.e. coconut oil, peanut butter, almond butter, apple butter) and doesn’t crumble upon the sight of a knife. Agh, what a challenge!
Result: They actually don’t need any sweetener!! The dates make them sweet enough, but in the future I think I will substitute 1/4 cup maple syrup or agave nectar for 1/4 cup (appx) of dates. The dates make them a tad bit too rich, so I’ll need to work on a good balance. I think I’m off to a good start!
Enjoy with fresh berries and greek yogurt drizzled with agave nectar!
2 Cups dates, pitted and soaked in a bowl of water (measure before removing pits)
2 Cups Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
1/2 cup flax seed
3/4 cup nuts and seeds
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 cup dried berries, cherries and raisins
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
Preheat oven to 325º F.
Remove the dates from the water with a slotted spoon and pulse in a food processor, adding additional date water (from soaking dates) until the dates resemble apple butter.
In a large bowl, combine the Oats, flax seed and cinnamon. Add the dates and a few Tablespoons of water (as needed) until the mixture is moist but not wet.
Mix in the nuts, seeds, and dried fruit until well combined.
Line an 8×8 or 9×9 baking pan with parchment paper. Press into the baking pan with another sheet of parchment paper and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and freeze until the bars are firm (about 1 hour). Lift the parchment paper out of the pan and cut into 8-12 bars.
I am really excited to share these muffins with you today. I bought Fig Butter at Trader Joe’s last season and just this year started spreading it on crackers with goat cheese. I kept my eyes pealed for a baking recipe but ended up creating my own when I baked muffins for my church. I baked them again this morning at my friends house and I think I tweaked the recipe to perfection.
I am not really a recipe creator, but I do love taking a recipe and pondering how I can adapt it for another ingredient. If you are trying to use mostly local and seasonal produce like myself, it is necessary to adjust recipes to fit the season. I will confess that I am not that strict but I am trying to be aware of where produce comes from and purchasing in season and local as much as possible.
The figs in this recipe are like a lead actress that carries the film as the matriarch of the family. With the Oscar nominees out, I want to make sure that I see Meryl Streep in August: Osage County before March though I’m also looking forward to seeing Julia Roberts as the grown up daughter. I think you will be surprised by the blackberries as well. Blackberries are usually too tart for me, but they are balanced well here by the sweetness of the fig butter.
1 1/2 cup sifted All Purpose flour
3/4 cup ground flax seed
3/4 cup oats or oat bran
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
8 Tbs (1/2 cup) butter
3/4 cup organic brown sugar (I swear it tastes so much better!)
Preheat oven to 350º F. Line two muffin tins with liners.
In a medium bowl mix the flour, flax seed, oats, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon with a whisk. Set aside.
Melt butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and nutty in aroma, about 8 minutes. If solids settle on the bottom of the pan, pour into a mug and set aside until the solids settle in the mug.
Transfer the melted butter to a large mixing bowl. Mix with the fig butter, eggs slightly beaten and buttermilk.
Fold in the flour mixture until just combined. Rinse and cut the blackberries in half and fold into the batter.
Fill muffin liners almost to top with batter.
In a small bowl mix the melted butter, oats and brown sugar and press together with your fingers. Sprinkle streusel on top of batter.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until browned and a toothpick comes out clean.
I am not very good at looking back over a year, so I’m not so sure about a year in review. Honestly, it feels like a personal exercise just as a runner training for a marathon.
I embarked on a big personal change this year and shared with friends as they experienced big changes in their lives. Neighbors who I shared life and food with moved to Colorado, a roommate of nearly 3 years got married, and my best friends and happy hour buddies moved to Santa Barbara.
A going away brunch for our neighbors
I was a bridesmaid in two weddings this year, to two beautiful brides who I had the pleasure of living with.
A best friend’s bridal shower (same friends who moved away 😦 )
Another best friend, favorite roommate and Asian chef at her wedding
This year I bought a DSLR camera and pulled my old film camera out of the closet. Getting back into photography has been slow going, but I am so thankful for what is available at our fingertips.
Taken with Cannon AE1-Program, Kodak PORTRA 400, exposure adjusted
Taken with Canon AE1-Program, Kodak PORTRA 400, exposure adjusted
Taken with Cannon AE1-Program, Kodak PORTRA 400
If you are interested before or after reading, I created a few poll questions to better understand you my readers.
Thank you for taking the time to stop by in your busy holiday schedule!
This is one of my most viewed posts this year and it completely took me by surprise. I love tofu, but I am not loyal to it. Even though you can do so much with it, the texture throws me off. My favorite is Trader Joe’s high protein Organic super firm tofu. I know, it sounds crazy but it works really well and doesn’t fall apart.
I really like discovering alternative ways to prepare foods. This tofu is baked which makes it super easy and really helps to absorb the marinade of soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and cilantro. The pine nuts add a nice texture and complexity to the dish.
This is my 2nd most popular post of 2013 and let me tell you, this was one delicious juice. Beets and Swiss Chard are from the same family and have an intense sweetness to them.
Warning: beets and swiss chard in juice form can have adverse affects as they cleanse your body (from my understanding and experience). You may experience dizziness or the juice may flush you out. I recommend that you start out by juicing only 1/2 of a beet and you may consider substituting another vegetable or green for the swiss chard; I really like a 1/2 inch slice of sweet potato.
This was my 4th most viewed post and oh so much fun to make. Honestly, though they were gluten free I haven’t experimented with gluten free flours enough to be happy with the results. This cake turned out great, but I think the garbanzo bean flour in the mix reacted strangely with the carrots.
I have done a lot of baking this year and in May my parents brought me my Kitchen Aid mixer. Yes, I am one of those people who can’t stand the thought of waiting until I’m married to fill up my kitchen. Currently I am pretty well stocked (it really helps when roommates marry and leave behind what they don’t need) so it makes baking easy.
I also made a record number of cake pops this year. Ok, I made cake pops with my roommate a whole 3 times, but for us it was a record!
I actually posted about this in May but attended the Earth Day event in April. It was an amazing dinner and such a unique event to attend. Farm to Table dinners are becoming more popular and more restaurants are starting to go this way, but what was so exciting about this dinner is that the local farmers who provided the vegetables attended the event. We were able to meet a few local farmers and learn how we can support urban farms in our city.
This is my most viewed post of all time and makes me astounded at the internet. Have you ever thought about what the creative process looks like now? With Google, Tastespotting, and Pinterest etc. exchange of ideas that happens so quickly.
I absolutely love these cake pops. I am a big fan of red velvet cake and the Martha Stewart cake I make tastes amazing! I am still craving these 7 months later!
I took a hiatus from blogging in June after my friends wedding and was touch and go much of this year. I just couldn’t manage work, blogging, and weddings!
Ok, so these aren’t even a blip on the radar of the most popular posts this year but I sure loved them and the mango-corn salsa was darn delicious. I have to admit, the quality of the chicken sausage was everything. Purchase juicy sausage from Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods and make sure it’s not pre-cooked. The Italian Kale makes a nice bun and is sure worth experimenting with.
This year I learned that you can make amazing pancakes with Almond milk. This recipe from Silk makes delicious pancakes that taste very similar to buttermilk pancakes. My friend made me Swiss Pancakes when I visited and I found them so much fun to play with. With only 4 ingredients, if you alter one it makes the pancakes completely different!
This soup really didn’t rate this year, but it was rather tasty. I was so thankful that I made so much soup and homemade broth this year. When the California weather gets cold, though rarely it seems, it is handy to have soup in the freezer.
The sweet potatoes and red lentil gave this soup a really nice flavor. Surprisingly, this soup has no dairy or coconut milk.
This is one of the top 20 posts from this year and top 10 for this month. With this one, numbers really don’t matter. It just tasted so good! The croutons provided an element of surprise and really balanced well with the bacon.
I am in love with soups, stews and chili currently; basically anything that keeps me warm!
I had to include these as one of my favorites! They are the 3rd most viewed post this month, so I think I see great potential. 🙂 They were so much fun to make and were a hit amongst our friends. The cake is super moist and pares well with the Ganache frosting. I learned so much about cake pops, which I shared here.
If you made it this far, I hope you enjoyed reading.
What was your favorite post of your blog or event in your life?
I visited friends in Santa Barbara a few weeks ago and they made us Swiss Pancakes from their mother’s recipe book. There is just something about a typed out recipe with food stains all over that draws me in! 🙂 They were delicious and used my favorite ingredient combination: lemon juice and powered sugar. I’ve cooked them a few times at home and my favorite thing is how easy and forgiving they are. My friend modified the recipe on the spot and I took a quick glance at the typed out recipe and wallah I had “memorized” it.
I tried making them at home and used what I had on hand: whole wheat flour and almond milk. They turned out great and I realized that I could probably easily modify the recipe to make it gluten free as well as dairy free.
So, here’s to lazy Saturday mornings and pancake breakfasts!
1 Cup Almond Flour (or Almond Meal) sifted
1/2 cup plain Almond Milk
1/4 -1/3 cup natural cane sugar (depending on taste)
1/2 lemon juiced
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8×8 pan and set aside.
In a large bowl, sift the almond flour and mix with the sugar.
In a small bowl, mix the almond milk and egg with a fork.
Add the wet mixture to the dry until completely combined.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the edges are browned and pulling away.
Remove from the oven and squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lemon over.
I watched a documentary last week about the food industry in America; showing how our food industry is largely a reflection of our political culture. Convenience food became a norm in the 1950’s due to advancements in food science; a necessity to feed our troops in World War II. A baby boomer described how he had forgot how food tasted; literally he forgot for 40 years what a fresh tomato tasted like.
In the 1960’s a food revolution began; which we now see with farmer’s markets, local farms, pasture raised meat, and farm-to-table restaurants. Although many Americans are choosing to spend the “extra” money on organic, local, and ethically raised foods, much of our population still fills their daily calories with nutritionless foods.
My parents, growing up in the 1950’s, were a product of conveniece food and it carried on to how they fed us. My dad’s idea of chinese food was canned with those crispy noodles and my mom’s go to easy meal was Banquet or Hamburger Helper. My mom did however, turn to the Joy of Cooking for pancakes and coffee cake. I still crave both on Saturday mornings, especially the smell of cinnamon and sugar coming from the kitchen.
This morning I made a Whole Wheat Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake made with coconut milk, adopted from eating with S.O.L.E. Months ago, all my baking was with coconut milk; like these delicious Carrot-Apple Bran Muffins. The coffee cake turned out perfect. The outside was crisp and the inside was nice and moist. The whole wheat flour makes the cake more dense, but the cinnamon streusel topping complements it well.
I’ve learned through experience that baking with whole wheat is tricky. I now buy all purpose whole wheat flours, but they’re not all the same. This flour is from Trader Joe’s and is pretty mealy. I have found others to be better for cakes and cookies, such as Kroger’s organic all purpose whole wheat flour. Be sure to sift the flour because the air in the flour will make a huge difference versus packed flour.
1 can full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups lite brown sugar, loosely packed
3 cups whole wheat flour, sifted before measuring
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup lite brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut shavings
1/2 cup oats
2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 deg. F. Line the bottom of a spring form pan with parchment paper and spray the sides.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the coconut milk, oil, eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add the flour mixture to the coconut mixture until fully combined.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the streusel ingredients.
Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle half of the streusel topping over. Pour the remaining batter into the pan, spreading to the edges if needed. Add the remaining streusel topping.
Bake on the center rack for 70 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean.
Cool on a rack and then remove from the pan to serve.
Tonight I watched The Perks of Being a Wallflower. It is a beautiful movie about a young boy who feels so alone and is tormented by memories in his past. At the beginning of his freshman year, he doesn’t think he’s noticed, but by the end of the year he has friends that he loves deeply. When he is with his friends, he feels infinite.
In a strange way, this granola make me feel the same way. Not so much infinite but at peace and feeling that I have something to give. I picture a grandmother who bakes love into every batch of cookies. I think of a mother living on a budget who wants her kids to eat wholesome food. I see myself years from now hoping to please my new husband.
1 cup nuts and seeds – I used almonds, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts
1 cup dried berries- I used dried blueberries and dried cherries
1/2 cup flax and chia seeds
1/2 cup organic coconut flakes
Preheat the oven to 300 deg. F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mix together the oil, agave, maple syrup, salt, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, and black pepper. Mix well. Add the oats, nuts, seeds, and coconut flakes. The dried fruit can either be baked with the granola or added after it cools. I like it baked with the granola.
Spread out the granola mix on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes until golden, turning the granola every 2-3 times to bake it evenly. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Stir in the dried fruit and store in an airtight container.