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Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on this blog are free of gluten, peanuts, soy, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, shellfish, cane sugar, oranges, and yeast. Most recipes are also free of egg, dairy, and tree nuts (if used, reliable substitutions will be provided for these when possible). Check out my recipe index for a full list of recipes by category. 

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Entries in Recipes: Breakfast & Brunch (30)

Tuesday
Jun022009

Seven days of green smoothies: kale, collards, watercress, oh my!

I had been feeling a bit weighed down.  Heavier. Part of it is that I am heavier - I've gained some weight.  As I've been healing, I've been gradually putting weight back on, the last couple months especially so. This is a good thing, because I had gotten too thin for my body type, and felt totally deficient.  And while I feel better, and my naturopath, friends, and family all agree I look healthier, I feel every ounce of it.  Like maybe I gained a little more than ideal, and need to moderate out a bit.  Maybe I've been baking too much and eating too much flour (this is a VERY distinct possibility).  A person only needs to eat so many muffins, cookies, and breads over the course of a week, even if they are vegan, sugar free, and gluten free.  Who knows.  Anyway, I needed a change.  With my recent feeling of heaviness and the coming of spring, I wanted to feel lighter and more alive, and not so digestively sluggish and weighty.

So, of course, I first turn to food.  What am I eating?  How can that change?  I decided breakfast would be my focus.  I need a filling, big breakfast, otherwise I'm starving by 10 am, and my blood sugar is a disaster.   I need something with a good mix of carbs, protein, and fat, and I feel weird if it doesn't include some form of vegetable.  A little piece of fruit or a piece of toast just doesn't cut it. I really had been eating just about anything for breakfast - chickpea flatbreads with veggies, steamed squash with yogurt, grain salads with beans, homemade sushi rolls, leftover soups, whatever.  It was always kind of random.  

So, instead of the random approach to breakfast, I decided to start making green smoothies.  I'd really forgotten about smoothies.  I used to make them all the time, but had really lapsed out of them, especially when I was feeling so ill.  I was reminded of how awesome they are after reading something on Vegan Whole Foods Momma about her green smoothie habit.  "Oh yeah!", I thought to myself.  "Green smoothies! Of course!"  I don't know why I hadn't thought of it sooner.  Filling, full of veggies, and a great high energy way to start the morning.   I could add some protein powder for the protein I need in the morning, and I wondered if a lower GI start to the day would help stabilize my unreliable blood sugar.  It seemed like the perfect solution to my dilemma.  I decided to embark on a trial week of green smoothie mornings to see how I felt during, and after.  

A Week of Smoothies: My Recent Morning Elixers

Here's a record of what has been going into my blender the last week.  Some were better than others - there were no disasters, but definitely some winners. 

 
DAY 1: WEDNESDAY, 5/27/09
BLUEBERRY KALE CARROT SMOOTHIE

5 kale leaves
1/2 c blueberries
3 small carrots
2 T carrot juice
1 T ground chia seed
2 tsp lemon-flavored cod liver oil
1 scoop berry rice protein powder
1 c water

Review: Super delicious.  It was a vibrant blue-green color, was nice and thick, and had a lightly sweet flavor.  This was a smoothie to chew.  Don't be turned off by the inclusion of cod liver oil.   My brand has a great lemon flavor, and it actually added a nice lemony flavor.  And it was definitely better adding it to the smoothie than taking teaspoons of it plain (my normal habit).  If you aren't vegan, I'd totally recommend taking cod liver oil.  It is full of great omega fatty acids and vitamin D.  This smoothie made a little over 16 oz.

DAY 2: THURSDAY, 5/28/09
COLLARD RASPBERRY CUCUMBER CASHEW MINT SMOOTHIE 

9 small collard leaves
1 large handful fresh mint
1 c raspberries
1/2 cucumber
1/8 c soaked cashews
1 scoop berry rice protein powder
2 tsp lemon cod liver oil
1 c filtered water

Review:  This smoothie had too much going on, as evidenced by the long title. And while it was fairly tasty, it was not as tasty as yesterday's, and just involved too much stuff.  The color was kind of a browny green, it wasn't very pretty.  But it was nice and thick, and very filling.  I think it actually would have been better without the berries.  And I don't think I'll add cashews to a smoothie again anytime soon - I'm having trouble digesting cashews lately, I'm getting stomach cramps after eating them (boo!!!!).  This was my final cashew experiment to determine if it has just been random or if the cramps really have been cashew-induced.  Unfortunately, the cramps came, so cashews and I are now officially on a break.  This recipe made about 20 oz, and held me through until lunch.  Despite feeling a little crampy, my energy level all day was great, no mid-morning or mid-afternoon blood sugar issues, and I felt very focussed and alert.  


DAY 3: FRIDAY, 5/29/09
WATERCRESS CELERY APPLE PARSLEY SMOOTHIE ***WINNER!!!***

about 1/2 large bunch watercress
1 Fuji apple
3ish stalks celery and leaves
1 handful fresh parsley
1 scoop vanilla rice protein powder
2 tsp lemon cod liver oil
2 tsp flax oil
1 c water

Review: Third time is the charm, they say, and that is definitely the case with my third smoothie project. It is a beautiful bright green, with a light, sweet, refreshing flavor.  The bite-y flavor of watercress is really delicious with the apple.  I added a whole cup of water, forgetting the large amount of water already present in the celery, and ended up with a ton of smoothie - about 32 oz worth.  So, I drank half right away in the morning, and had the other half as a mid-morning snack, which was great. As the other folks at the photo studio chowed down on donuts and a catered bagels and cream cheese (just the thought makes my intestines bind up), I relished in my energizing, electric green smoothie.  

DAY 4: SATURDAY, 5/30/09
MINTY BEETY GOATY SMOOTHIE

1 1/2 raw beets
beet greens
1 large handful mint
2 tsp cod liver oil
1/4 c goats milk yogurt
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
flax oil

Review: I added something else to this and I am totally blanking on what it was.  Seriously, I don't remember.  Anyway, it was good.  The beets, beet greens, and mint were an awesome combination, and the goat's milk yogurt added just a little bit of creamy goodness.  The smoothie was a beautiful deep red color - gorgeous. It was sweet and refreshing and very filling, which was good, because my morning making wedding invites for my friend's wedding ended up much longer than I anticipated and crept into mid-afternoon.  The smoothie kept me going strong, along with some rhubarb scones (yes, I made another batch!) and lots of baby carrots.

DAY 5: SUNDAY, 5/31/09
ARUGULA CARROT BLUEBERRY PARSLEY SMOOTHIE  ***RUNNER UP!***

1 cup packed arugula
5 small carrots
3/4 c blueberries
1 large handful parsley
2 scoop vanilla rice protein powder
2 tsp lemon cod liver oil
1 T chia seeds
1/2 T ghee/flax oil/olive oil blend
1/2 tsp cardamom
water

Review: Super delicious, kind of a funky greeny brown color with blue flecks.   I really really liked this one.  It made a ton, about 4 cups, enough for one big glass right away and a 16 oz jar for a mid-morning snack.  This smoothie combination was great - the arugula added a nice bite-y twist, and the overall blend of flavors was very delicious - the hint of cardamom was nice.  Highly recommended combination.   I made it very protein packed (2 scoops!) because I knew today would be another long day, and I needed a strong start to the morning.  And it worked, because my energy level was great - I really think the green smoothies in the morning are the way to go!  

Anyway, my sustained, rockin' energy allowed for lots of spontaneous, strange adventures to occur today.  Today I saw oddities that will forever be burned into the back of my mind. So I'm glad I added an extra scoop.  

DAY 6: MONDAY, 6/1/09
KALE APPLE CELERY BASIL SMOOTHIE***RUNNER UP!!!***

3 leaves kale
1  small green apple
3 stalks celery
fresh basil leaves
2 tsp cod liver oil
2 tsp azuki miso
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
water

Review: the combination of kale, apple, and celery sounded like a good salad.  So I decided to make it into a smoothie, with a little slightly wilty basil that needed to get used up.  It was really delicious, and the basil was very refreshing.  Great flavor combination, and it was a beautiful green color.  Adding a blob of miso sounded like a good idea to get some good bacteria in the mix.  Made about 24 oz, enough for a big glass right away and a nice midmorning snack.

DAY 7: TUESDAY, 6/2/09
CHARD BLUEBERRY CHAYOTE SMOOTHIE

3 leaves swiss chard
3/4 c blueberries
1/2 chayote
2 scoop berry protein powder
2 tsp cod liver oil
1/2 tsp cardamom
SweetLeaf Sweetener (stevia)
water

Review:  I didn't plan on berries today, but found these lovely blueberries at the store yesterday that were too good a deal to pass up.  So, in they went with some berry protein powder, and I ended up with a super berry smoothie.  It was sweeter than usual because my sweettooth was aching this morning and I medicated it with some stevia.  It was a dreadful brown color.  But it was pretty tasty and did the job of filling my tummy.  Not my favorite combination thus far, but not bad.  Made about 20 oz.

SO, THE VERDICT?

After 7 days of green smoothies, I feel more energetic, more alert, less heavy, less bloated, and definitely more cleansed in the digestive tract.   My smoothies fill me up, but without the feeling of heaviness from grain-based or starchy breakfast foods, and without blood sugar crashes later in the day.    I have felt so much like "myself" this past week, I feel more alive.  Maybe part of it is the great weather - but I also think that my body is just happier starting the day this way. And it is fun to blend a bunch of stuff together, it is kind of like a little experiment.  And it is a delicious, easy way to start the day - I find throwing stuff in a blender to be pretty darn simple.

I don't add ice because icy cold smoothies tend to make my digestive system seize up like a car in the cold Minnesota winter.   So, instead, I drink mine room temperature, with no resulting stomach cramps.  I've always known this to be better for me, but I was interested to learn that it actually makes sense.   Here's why, from a traditional Chinese medicine perspective: An excess of cold drinks (as well as an excess of raw food) cause cold in the stomach, which is destructive to stomach qi.  The stomach and spleen need to be warm and energized in order to function properly and to regulate the partnering systems of the body.  But an excess of cold, raw foods deplete that energy, leaving an exhausted stomach that does not have the energy to properly digest food. Other irregular eating habits, like eating late at night, overeating, eating too quickly, drinking liquids with meals, or eating too often also deplete stomach qi.  A stomach qi deficiency can cause a variety of issues, like stomach pain, poor digestion, weakness, loose stools, nervousness, and lethargy.  It can lead to a qi deficiency in the spleen and a general disharmony between the two organs, which are very closely related in TCM theory.   For those of us with sensitive or healing digestive systems, we need to save all the qi we can down there!  I have found that nearly eliminating all cold drinks from my diet (among other stomach q-friendly modifications) has definitely left me with a happier stomach-spleen and much better digestion.  The Chinese medicine advice for good digestion and health?  Moderation.  Eat things at a moderate temperature, eat moderate portions, eat a moderate mix of both raw and cooked foods, and chew well.

GREEN SMOOTHIE BENEFITS 
  • Fast to prepare - wash vegetables, put in blender, and blend.  5 minutes, tops.
  • Cleansing - vegetables are cleansing to the system, and it is a great way to start the day
  • Low calorie, and nutrient dense - provides a nutrient-packed punch of energy in a relatively small number of calories.  You won't even need coffee!!!!
  • Easily transportable - pour into a jar or thermos and take with you!
  • Endlessly versatile - any vegetable combination works and it can be tailored to fit your needs exactly!
  • Easy servings of vegetables - no easier way to pack in those vegetables, seriously
  • Low carb, low sugar, and diabetic and candida-friendly - depending on what you add, this is a great solution for people watching sugar intake
A FEW SMOOTHIE-FRIENDLY SUGGESTIONS
  • As my mom used to tell me, "Chew your juice".  Seriously, that's what she said.  We had a Vita-Mix and made crazy thick "juice" smoothies a lot.  So, make sure to chew your smoothie as you drink it.  This isn't really juice, it blended vegetable, and your body still needs to do work to break it down and digest it.  Chewing will stimulate stomach secretions and make it even easier to assimilate all the good nutrients in that smoothie.
  • If you buy or make fresh juices (carrot, beet, etc), freeze leftover juice in ice cube trays.  Then you can have a cube or two ready to add to a smoothie whenever you'd like.
  • If fresh berries are on sale, buy a bunch, wash them, and freeze any you don't eat.  
  • Add leftover salads from yesterday to today's morning smoothie.
  • Always keep a variety of fresh greens and vegetables in your fridge so you can always make a smoothie.
So, give it a shot.  Maybe you'll like it.  As for me, I'm going to keep on this smoothie kick!  I'd love to hear your favorite recipes and suggestions.  I'm thinking tomorrow I might try a creamy pear-zucchini-kale combination...
Wednesday
May272009

A Tale of Two Granolas and a Sneak Peak of Scones: Crunchy Rice Flake Granola, Sprouted Buckwheat Apple Granola, & Rhubarb Scones (gluten free, vegan)

I really love granola and muesli, but am presently banished from oats (even the GF ones!) due to a mild oat allergy.  Oh my, I've missed the delicious versatility of oats.  Oat flour!  Warm bowls of oatmeal!  Oats in bread and cookies!  Oats in soup!  But most of all, I've missed granola and muesli.  Oh, granola.  How I love concocting new granola recipes.  One of my personal favorites from years back included molasses and currants and crystallized ginger.   I used to churn out some pretty killer batches of granola. 

Yes, I'm hoping to return to oats someday.  Even if I could eat oats now, all my old recipes would be too high in sugar anyway.  So, in the meantime, I've been playing with oat-free, low-sugar granolas, with success!  These are my two most recent experiments, and I'm pretty happy with them, so decided to share.  One is a more traditional-style granola, using rice and and quinoa flakes and baked in the oven.  The other is a sprouted buckwheat g"raw"ola I made in my food dehydrator.  They are both crunchy and delicious, low low low in sugar, and totally satisfy my granola desires!  
I left both of my granolas pretty simple, and did not add nuts, fruit, or seeds.  Since I tend to keep a loose rotation to my diet, keeping things a little more plain allows for more flexibility.  Too many different ingredients gets hard to fit into my low-repetition meal planning style, and I can embellish with whatever other ingredients work that day on a bowl-by-bowl basis.
If you'd like to add nuts, seeds, coconut, fruit, etc to the whole batch, feel free.  Add seeds/nuts to the grain mixture before baking or dehydrating, and add any dried fruits after.  Keep in mind that that you may need to increase the quantity of wet ingredients in both recipes to coat the additional dry ingredients that you choose to add.  
Have fun, enjoy! 
On a different note, over the Memorial Day weekend I baked up some delicious rhubarb scones, served with blackberry coconut cream.  They were warm, crumbly, and divine. Here's a sneak peak.  For more scone-filled deliciousness, page all the way to the bottom of the page, and stay tuned for a scone recipe in the near future...
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GLUTEN -FREE, VEGAN CRUNCHY RICE FLAKE GRANOLA RECIPE

This is a mix of brown rice flakes, quinoa flakes, rice bran, and crushed rice cakes.  Crushed rice cakes add a good crunch and some bulk.  My fav rice cakes are the ones by Lundberg Family Farm; I'm sure most of you GF readers are probably intimately familiar with the entire Lundberg rice cake collection!  Use whatever flavor you have on hand in your pantry - my last batch used the Wild Rice (wild rice/brown rice blend), this time I used the Mochi Sweet (brown rice/sweet rice blend).  I think it would be interesting to try using using one of their many flavored varieties - I'm intrigued by the Sweet Green Tea flavor that I've seen lately in stores.   If you don't want to use rice cakes, I think you could substitute any GF crunchy cereal, or maybe even a puffed one. 
This granola is fairly crumbly with a fine, light, crispy texture.  In past experiments, I've done things a little differently, and came out with a more chunky, cluster-filled granola.  Both ways are good; I like how light and crunchy this batch is.  Enjoy!
yield: about 4 cups
1 1/2 c brown rice flakes (I used Eden Organics brand)
1/2 c quinoa flakes
1/2 c rice bran
4 crushed Lundberg rice cakes (any flavor) or about 2 cups GF crisp or puffed cereal, or other GF cereal, like like Nutty Flax, Nutty Rice, or something else
1/4 c fruit puree (I used a nectarine/peach blend)
1/4 c melted coconut oil or light-tasting oil
1/2 tsp vanilla (optional for more flavor)
1-2 T brown rice syrup or agave nectar (optional - helps to stick things together and add a little sweetness, but not necessary)
1 T mesquite flour or cinnamon/nutmeg/ginger/etc
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp stevia
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c ground chia seed
  1. Preheat oven to 325* F, and coat two baking sheets/pans with parchment paper.
  2. Mix rice flakes, quinoa flakes, rice bran, and crushed rice cakes in a large bowl, and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, fruit puree, and vanilla and brown rice syrup, if using.  Add stevia, salt, and spices, and stir until well blended.  Add chia seed, and stir.  This will form a thick paste.
  4. With your hands (yes, your hands!) rub the chia paste into the rice flake mixture until well combined and evenly distributed throughout.  Let sit a few minutes to allow rice flakes to soften.
  5. Spread mixture onto baking sheets and bake for about 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes and rotating pans in oven.  Granola is done when it is dry, golden, and crisp.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Store in air-tight containers.
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GLUTEN FREE, VEGAN, RAW SPROUTED BUCKWHEAT APPLE GRANOLA RECIPE


I have been eyeing up the sprouted buckwheat g"raw"nolas I've been seeing in stores lately.  They look so crisp and tasty.  The catch?  Most contain ingredients I can't eat - like lovely chunks of walnuts or sesame seeds or big juicy dried fruit pieces - or are so frighteningly expensive I refuse to buy them.  So, I had decided to make a batch of my own, but didn't quite know how to proceed; I had buckwheat soaking and figured I'd wing it from there.  You can't really screw up too badly with a food dehydrator.  But conveniently, the same day, I stumbled across I Am Gluten Free's recipe for sprouted buckwheat grawola! It provided a great started framework.  This recipe is mildly sweet, with a tasty hint of apple.  I love the light, crispy texture and nutty flavor.  lus it is MUCH more affordable to make than purchasing in the store, and I can actually eat it, which is nice.  : )  I didn't use much agave, so it is also pretty crumbly, which I like.  but f you want something more chunky and full of nuts and stuff, I'd follow the link below to the original recipe on I Am Gluten Free.  She also makes suggestions of what to do if you don't have a dehydrator.  Bon appetit!
Inspired by and adapted from I Am Gluten Free's Grawnola Recipe

yield: 2 cups
1 c dry, unroasted buckwheat groats +  water for soaking
1 small apple, cored and chopped
1/4 c ground flax
1 T mesquite flour or cinnamon/nutmeg/ginger/allspice/etc
1/2-1 T agave nectar 
1 T coconut oil (optional)
splash water
1/4 tsp salt
  1. Rinse buckwheat groats, and place in a large bowl with fresh water.  Lightly cover, and soak for about 12 hours, changing water half way through, if possible.
  2. Strain buckwheat and rinse very well, until no longer gooey and water runs clear.  Set aside and let continue to drain.
  3. In food processor, place apple, flax, seasonings, agave, coconut oil, salt and a splash of water.  Pulse a few times until you have chunky paste.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together sprouted buckwheat and apple flax mixture, stirring until well combined and evenly mixed.
  5. Spread on lightly oiled dehydrator sheets, and dry at 110* for about 12 hours, or until crispy and dry.
  6. Store in an airtight container.

 

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GLUTEN FREE, VEGAN RHUBARB SCONES!
Here's a sneak peak of the aforementioned rhubarb scones I'm working on.  Served with a tasty blackberry coconut cream, they were the perfect light breakfast, especially paired with a cup of tea and many Scrabble games.  I'd like to make a few adjustments and try them again before posting the recipe, but I thought I'd share the photos.   Stay tuned...

 

Sunday
May032009

Apple Pear Streusel Cake (gluten free, vegan, sugar free)

While reading my copy of The Yeast Connection Cookbook some time ago, I came across a recipe for "Magic Apple Pie".  I was intrigued - it was a crustless pie, sweetened with pureed pears.  I knew I had to try it some time.  I've had a hankering for a fruity dessert thing lately, and since I am having a few friends over tonight - the first social gathering at my new apartment! - I decided now is as good a time as any to try this whole magic apple pie thing out.  Instead of a pie pan, I put it in a square pan to make a cake, and whipped up a crunchy, lightly sweetened streusal topping to add to the top.  As it baked, and my home filled with the sweet smell of baking apples, I got a good feeling about it.
I couldn't resist sampling a bite before my friends arrived, and was totally pleased with the result! This cake is a little fragile, but has a good texture and amazing flavor. The combination of pears and apples is lovely - making the pureed pear sweetener is a litlte time consuming, but well worth the effort.  I used mesquite flour and a little allspice to achieve a spicy, warm flavor, but if you can tolerate cinnamon, go ahead and use that.   The streusal topping is crunchy and just a little sweet, and adds a nice touch. 
My friends really liked it, and thought it tasted great.  They were surprised that it didn't have any added sugar.  I like getting feedback from my gluten-eating, sugar-loving friends because I feel like I've lost my ability to be an impartial judge - I'm glad they are good sports and supportive of my baking endeavors.  We all agreed that while the cake was totally delicious, it would be awesome to add berries.   The cake is fairly moist and the apples are juicy, but overall, it is verging on the crumbly side, since brown rice flour tends to cook up a bit dry.  So, added berries would help add a nice, juicy twist - apple blackberry perhaps?  Or maybe use sliced pears instead of apples, and add blueberries.  Or sliced peaches and raspberries.  Or use only berries.  Or maybe rhubarb?  A handful of nuts or seeds thrown in would be delightful as well.  The combinations are endless, and I'll need to try this recipe again.  
Give a try exactly as it is, try using other fruit, or add nuts; either way, I think you'll be very happy!  This would make a great crumb cake for breakfast brunches or afternoon tea parties.  For something more dessert like,  serve up with a scoop of your favorite ice cream-like frozen dessert, or a dallop of whipped coconut milk or non-dairy yogurt - or the real stuff, if you're a dairy eater.  


APPLE PEAR STREUSEL CAKE (gluten free, vegan, sugar free)

adapted from The Yeast Connection Cookbook by William G Crook and Marjorie Hurt Jones
yield: 1 9"x9" pan (12 or 16 slices)
2 1/3 c pureed ripe pears
1 c brown rice flour
1/2 t salt
2 T mesquite flour OR 1 t cinnamon and 1/4 t nutmeg
dash of allspice
4 1/2 - 5 c finely sliced cooking apples 
1/3 c coconut oil, warmed to liquid
1/4 t vitamin C crystals OR 1 t cream of tartar
1 t baking soda
2 T boiling water
1/2-2/3 c streusel topping (recipe below)
MAKING PUREED PEAR SWEETENER
  1. Wash and chop pears, and put in blender to the 3 cup level.  Liquefy.
  2. Add additional fruit to reach about 2 1/3 c, and liquify until smooth.
  3. Transfer to saucepan and boil 20-25 minutes, stirring occassionally, until it boils down and condenses to 3/4 c.  
ASSEMBLING INGREDIENTS
  1. While pear sweetener is boiling, prepare other ingredients.  Oil and dust with flour a 8x8 or 9x9 square cake pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, and mesquite flour/spices and mix well.
  3. Peel and slice the apples, and set aside.  Preheat oven to 350* F.
  4. Once pear sweetener is ready, add vitamin C crystals to the cooked fruit puree.  NOTE: If using cream of tartar, combine it with the flour.  Stir the oil into the fruit puree until well mixed.
  5. Pour the pureed fruit mixture over the flour mixture, and mix well with a whisk or electric mixer.  
  6. Combine baking soda with boiling water, stir to dissolve, and add to the flour/fruit mixture.
  7. Quickly fold in the sliced apples, and immediately transfer batter to prepared pan.
  8. Sprinkle evenly with struesel topping, and place in oven.
  9. Bake 55 minutes, or until cake and topping are browned and apples are tender.
  10. Let cool completely, slice, and serve!
CRUNCHY BROWN RICE STREUSEL TOPPING (gluten free, vegan)
yield: about 2/3 c 
1/2 c brown rice flour
1/3 c crispy brown rice cereal, lightly crushed
1 T xylitol
dash allspice, cinnamon, or nutmeg
3 T coconut oil, solid
  1. Lightly crush rice cereal in your hands, and mix in small bowl with other dry ingredients.
  2. Rub solid coconut oil in to cereal mixture with your fingers, until it is well combined and crumbly.
  3. Sprinkle over muffins, cakes, bars, or breads before baking.  NOTE: because  there isn't any sugar in the recipe, and rice flour does not brown like wheat flour, it will not get brown in the same way as traditional streusel.  

 

Sunday
Apr122009

Mesquite Millet Sorghum Waffles with Spicy Sweet Cashew Sauce (gluten free, vegan, low sugar, wheat free, Candida friendly)



Sunday mornings call for rich, tasty waffles.  Especially Easter Sunday mornings when I won't be eating baskets of full of candy.

A couple weeks ago I went on an online shopping spree for ingredients, which included whole sorghum grains and mesquite flour.  I've been reading about mesquite flour everywhere it seems, and the food blog community is using it in everything from pancakes to cookies to bread to savory dishes.  I had to try it.  As for the sorghum, I've wanted to get my hands on the whole grain.  Not only can you cook it up like any whole grain to use in pilafs, soups, or whatever, I heard you can pop it like popcorn.  Plus, I want to try sprouting it, grinding it, and make it into an Essene or Ezekial bread type loaf.  

My waffle craving seemed like a good opportunity to give these new ingredients a spin. Mesquite flour has a unique cinnamon-coffee-chocolate flavor and it gives baked goods a beautiful rich brown color.  When added to baked goods (about 2 tablespoons per cup of flour) it lends a rich, earthy, spicy twist that is oh-so-yummy. As for the sorghum, it combined beautifully with my trusted friend millet for a waffle that is crisp on the outside and moist and chewy on the inside.  Hooray!  But the best thing, by far, about these waffles is that they don't give me that terrible brick-in-the-bottom-of-my-stomach feeling that regular wheat waffles always did.  Why, darling?  Because they are gluten-free and fabulous!!!

I didn't make these very sweet, so if you like a sweeter waffle add more xylitol or use a squirt of agave or your favorite sweetener.  I drizzled these with a quick, easy, and super tasty cashew butter sauce  and it was heavenly.  Whole grain and fabulous, these are waffles you can feel good about that will leave you feeling satisfied.  They are high in fiber, protein, and full all those great vitamins and minerals.  While I'd say these are Candida-diet friendly, they are not low carb, and mesquite flour does have naturally occurring sugars.  While they are whole grain and there is only a small amount of sugar per waffle, if you are in a stage where you are very strictly watching your carbohydrate and sugar intake you may want to wait a while on making this or just give yourself a smaller portion size.   I've included approximate nutritional information below.

If you try these waffles, and like the overall technique, be sure to try  my Sprouted Quinoa Millet Waffles and Sprouted Buckwheat Coconut Waffles.  Wrap leftovers tightly and freeze for later; place a frozen waffle in a toaster oven or toaster and they crisp up like a dream.  Leftover batter can be thinned out a little and made into pancakes! Enjoy! 


 

 

Mesquite Millet Sorghum Waffles

yield: 4 5-inch square waffles, plus a little leftover batter 

If you don't have sorghum, feel free to substitute whole buckwheat groats, or use whole grain quinoa (use 3/4 cup millet and 1/4 cup quinoa).

  • 1/2 cup whole dry sorghum grains
  • 1/2 cup  whole dry millet grains
  • 2 tablespoons mesquite flour
  • 1/4 teaspoons allspice or 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon corn-free baking powder
  • 2 teaspoon xylitol, a pinch stevia powder, 20 drops stevia liquid, or 1-2 tablespoons agave, maple syrup, or brown rice syrup
  • 2 tablespoon ground flax seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil, warmed to liquid (or other oil)
  • water

THE NIGHT BEFORE...

  1. Rinse quinoa and millet, and place to soak in water overnight or for at least 5-6 hours. 
IN THE MORNING...
  1. Drain grains, and rinse well.
  2. Place grains in blender, or if using immersion blender, a large blending cup.  Level grains, and add just enough water to cover. 
  3. Add the salt, mesquite flour, flaxmeal, allspice, baking powder, oil, and xylitol. Blend until well mixed and smooth.  It will be a thick batter, but if it is too thick to blend properly, add a little water at a time just until it blends. Let sit for 10-15 minutes for flax to fully absorb liquid.
  4. Heat up waffle iron, greasing if necessary (I like to brush the iron with melted coconut oil).
  5. Once heated, fill waffle iron. Close iron and bake as directed in waffle iron user's manual, until waffle stops steaming and starts to smell done. I found that about 7 minutes in my waffle iron was just about right.
  6. Remove from iron and let cool a minute or two on a rack, the waffle will continue to crisp up.  Serve warm with your favorite syrup, spread, or the tasty cashew sauce below...
Approx nutritional information per waffle (about 4 waffles per recipe): 260 calories, 9.5 f fat, 39 g carb, 6.4 g fiber, 2.4 g sugar, 6.2 g protein



Spicy Sweet Cashew Sauce

yield: about 1/4 cup sauce, enough for about 2 people
  • 2 tablespoon cashew butter
  • 3-4 tablespoon water
  • pinch allspice or cinnamon
  • pinch mesquite flour
  • dash salt
  • squirt agave, to taste
  1. Warm cashew butter and water until cashew butter softens.
  2. Add other ingredients, and whisk together until smooth and creamy, adjust agave/seasonings to taste.
  3. READY!

 

variations: substitute your favorite nut or seed butter for the cashew butter, or alter the seasonings to fit your preference!

 


Sunday
Mar012009

Sprouted Buckwheat Coconut Waffles with Kabocha Coconut Sauce (gluten free, vegan, sugar free, candida friendly)


Waffle attempt numero dos!  I couldn't help myself, I needed to try making another waffle recipe.  Today is a buckwheat day, so it was time to pull out the old buckwheat groats and see what would happen.  I always end up combining buckwheat with coconut it seems, I really like the flavors together.  And this recipe is no exception!  I think these waffles are pretty great, and each one packs a major nutritional punch.  Buckwheat, amaranth, coconut, and flax seed all have lots of healthy fiber, as well being natural sources of healthy protein and amino acids.  In fact, amaranth is one of highest sources of both in the gluten-free "grain" world, and along with buckwheat, is a great low glycemic "grain" option. And let's not forget about all the healthy omegas from the flax seed.  Or all the benefits from the coconut.  In addition to being ever so tasty, coconut provides a ton of nutritive value.  Coconut oil and meat provide lots of healthy antioxidants, fatty acids, polyphenols, and vitamins, most notably lauric acid, capric acid, and caprylic acid, all of which have naturally antifungal, antimicrobial, and antibacterial properties.  What does that mean?  It helps to regulate healthy bacteria in the gut, for starters.  That's important for everyone, especially those of us with pesky Candida issues.  And coconut is a good source of protein, and is also low on the GI scale.  


Like my other waffle recipe, this recipe uses the whole amaranth and buckwheat grains, not their flours.  The soaking process helps to neutralize phytic acid, and starts the sprouting process, activating important enzymes, breaking down proteins, and making it more digestible overall.  Hooray!  So, make sure to leave time to let your grains soak before  making this recipe.
After pulling the first beautiful batch out of the waffle maker - and being really pleasantly surprised at how great the waffle looked - I decided I needed a sauce.  A coconut base seemed fitting, and I remembered the can of coconut milk in my pantry.  Then I remembered the Kabocha squash I had in the fridge that didn't get used in my soup last night.  Perfect!  Squash and pumpkin, particularly Kabocha, often get combined with coconut in southeast Asian cuisine, so I figured it was the perfect choice.  
I love kabocha squash.  I fancy myself a bit of a squash aficionado, and I think kabocha is really wonderful.  The flesh is dense and very sweet, the color bright and vibrant, and the skin totally is totally edible and very nutritious - once cooked it becomes very soft, unlike many other squash skins.  Kabocha is used a lot in Japanese and macrobiotic cooking, I love to use it to make soups, fun little squash-agar agar "jiggler" treats, or just to eat it plain.  Anyway, the sauce was super yummy and really beautiful, and ready in about 8 minutes, just in time to pull out my second batch of waffles from the waffle maker.  I ended up with a ton of sauce, so I'm freezing the leftovers in small batches to use for my leftover waffles.  Or just to eat plain when I want something sweet and pudding like -the natural sweetness of kabocha and coconut are really decadent, even without added sweetener!  It is so rich and flavorful, it begs the question "Is this really vegan?".  Make sure to find organic or all natural coconut milk, since many commercially produced varieties can be filled with all sorts of strange preservatives or additives.  I chose lite coconut milk, since full fat gives me trouble sometimes, but choose whichever you prefer.
3/5/09 UPDATE: I ate two leftover frozen waffles for breakfast today, and they were awesome!  I put them in the toaster oven to thaw, and toasted them for about 5-7 minutes until they were warmed through.  The inside was still soft, and the outside was crisp!  So, the waffles passed the frozen and thawed test with flying colors.  I also thawed my leftover squash sauce to use for dunking.  It was a pretty great way to start a Thursday.
SPROUTED BUCKWHEAT  COCONUT WAFFLES 
yield: approx 5 5-inch square waffles
3/4 c whole dry buckwheat groats
1/4 c whole dry amaranth grain
2 T shredded coconut
2 T coconut flour
2 T melted coconut oil
1 T ground flax seed
water to cover soaked grains + 1/2 c
1 tsp vanilla extract (alcohol and gluten free)
pinch cardamom
stevia (or agave nectar) to taste
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vitamin c crystals (optional, helps with leavening)
  1. Place buckwheat and amaranth to soak in water overnight or for at least 5-6 hours. 
  2. Drain grains well in a very fine sieve - amaranth is very small and likes to escape.  If you don't have a fine sieve, just try dumping out as much of water as you can, or use something fine and meshy like cheesecloth.
  3. Transfer to a blender, or if using an immersion blender, a large cup or bowl. 
  4. Level grains, and add just enough fresh water to cover. Add the coconut, coconut flour, salt, cardamom, baking powder, vitamin c crystals (if using), melted coconut oil, flax, vanilla, agave and stevia, and 1/4 c of the additional water. Blend well.  Coconut flour absorbs liquid like crazy - so, if necessary, add the additional 1/4 c of water to make a thick, but still spoonable, batter.  Let sit for 5-10 minutes for flax to absorb some of the liquid.  If it seems to thick, don't hesitate to add a little extra water.
  5. Heat up waffle iron, greasing lightly with coconut oil. When ready, fill waffle iron with batter. Close iron and bake as directed in waffle iron user's manual, until waffle stops steaming and starts to smell done. I found that about 8 minutes in my waffle iron yielded a well cooked waffle that had a beautiful golden color and seemingly impossible crispy crust.
Remove from iron and let cool a minute or two on a rack, the waffle will continue to crisp up.  

 

 


yeild: approx 2 c sauce 
1 c organic lite coconut milk
1 1/2 c Kabocha squash, peeled and diced (or other dense, sweet squash like Hubbard or Buttercup)
optional, if more sweetness is desired: pinch stevia  - or if sugar isn't an issue for you use agave or a little maple syrup (the maple would be really good!)
optional: fresh or dried ginger
optional: 1 T flaxseed oil
  1. Steam Kabocha until soft, or microwave in a covered dish with a little water for 5 minutes until tender.
  2. In a blender or with an immersion blender, mix coconut milk and cooked squash until smooth, adding more coconut milk as necessary to reach desired consistency.  
  3. If desired, add a pinch or stevia or a squirt of agave to taste, some fresh or dried ginger for added kick, or a tablespoon of flax oil.
  4. Serve warm over waffles!  Freeze leftovers to use later.  Or just eat it because it is that good.  :)