1. Almond Lemon Honey Loaf

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    March 21, 2013 by Tamika

    IMG_1079 I am currently grain free and finding it challenging and rewarding to redo favorite recipes, yet again, into grain free and sugar free options. This loaf is based on one that is gluten free and features almond meal, one I made and devoured, until my body rebelled against grains. I’m not forcing you into this journey with me, (I’ll offer the original GF recipe too), however, I’m discovering people are eager for grain free options. I am a firm believer that variety in our diet, as in less grains and starches, more seeds, nuts and legumes, can only be healthier for us.

    Coconut flour tends toward the dry side, it absorbs a huge amount of liquid, the batter may seem thin for loaf batter, like pancake batter, don’t worry, almond flour keeps it moist while the coconut soaks up the liquid.

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    This loaf would be wonderful with orange zest and juice, or lime, substituted for lemon.

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    Almond Lemon Honey Loaf.

    3 large eggs, separated (2 lg eggs not separated for gluten free version)
    1/2 cup softened coconut oil OR olive oil (extra virgin will impart a strong flavor)
    1/4 cup yogurt (or kefir/coconut milk/ almond milk), or more
    2 tsp. lemon zest
    3 tbsp. lemon juice
    1 tsp. vanilla extract
    1/2 cup honey
    1 3/4 cups almond flour (1 1/2 almond flour if doing gluten free version)
    1/2 cup coconut flour (3/4 cup brown rice flour if doing gluten free version)
    1 Tbsp. flax seed meal
    1/2 tsp. sea salt
    1/2 tsp. baking soda
    2 tsp. baking powder (OR if sensitive to baking powder use 1 tsp baking soda and 1tsp apple cider vinegar).

    Lemon glaze:
    1/4 cup lemon juice
    3 tbsp. honey

    Pre-heat oven to 350*, oil a loaf pan, set aside.

    Combine all dry ingredients in a small bowl. Beat egg whites until stiff, set aside. With stand or hand mixer, beat egg yolks (whole eggs if doing gluten free), yogurt, honey, juice, zest and vanilla (and apple cider vinegar, if using) until well combined, add softened coconut oil then dry ingredients. Beat for a couple of minutes, to ensure the coconut flour absorbs liquids, add egg whites, if batter seems thick, add a little more yogurt or milk (or even water).

    Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until the sides are golden and a toothpick inserted into the middle has no raw dough on it.

    Meanwhile melt honey and lemon juice together. Drizzle on top of loaf while it’s cooling, it will soak in, adding moisture and a hit of flavor.

    Remove from oven and LET COOL COMPLETELY before turning out and slicing…..

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    Because it doesn’t have gluten to hold it together and will most likely fall apart if it’s not cool. It’s alright, it’s still delicious!

     

     

  2. gluten and dairy free Chocolate Pudding

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    February 27, 2013 by Tamika

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    Wait, this is a smoothie!

    One of my food heros, Mark Bittman, posted a recipe in the NY Times for Mexican Chocolate Pudding using tofu back in 2009, when the idea of leaving dairy behind in desserts was gaining momentum for those of us not vegan, or of Asian ancestry. For the rest of us Americans, well, TOFU pudding? (I must interject here that I ate homemade soysage, and other interesting back-to-the-land foods growing up). Fast forward to 2013. Life has changed, tofu is mainstream to the point of over consumption, a very American trait, and we now eat so much Kale one might think we’re rabbits. I strive for balance. I believe in everything in moderation (including moderation! as Oscar Wilde put it). To me that means consuming reasonable amounts of high quality, organic, mindful foods, local if possible. Sometimes I make dairy-full puddings and sometimes not.

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    Chocolate dairy free Pudding (tweaked somewhat from Mark Bittman’s original recipe)

    1 11oz container of Silken Tofu

    1/3 cup water OR strong COFFEE for a mocha pudding

    1/3 cup organic sugar or coconut palm nectar (if you choose a liquid sweetener, reduce other liquids)

    7 oz good quality dark chocolate, chopped or broken up

    1 teaspoon vanilla

    1 tablespoon flax meal (plus more if making a smoothie)

    pinch of salt

    Spices as you wish, a pinch of cinnamon, cardamom, chili, ginger, ect.

    Melt sugar in water or coffee over low heat, add chocolate stirring until dissolved. Remove from heat. Don’t let this cool for long, or the chocolate may be grainy when blended with the tofu.

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    Place a spoon full of water or coffee in bottom of blender, add tofu, blend to combine, scrape the chocolate mixture into the blender, add flax meal, salt, vanilla, spices if you wish. Blend on high, scraping down sides of blender once.

    Pour mixture into small ramekins or a large bowl. Refrigerate at least an hour until cool and set.

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    Sprinkle with some chocolate shavings for pretty serving.

    To make a SMOOTHIE:

    Scoop about 3/4 cup cold pudding into a blender with 1 banana, adding any spices you’d like. Blend until combined. If you want a frozen smoothie, slice banana and freeze for an hour first, or use other frozen fruits such as blueberries or pineapple. Garnish with a teaspoon of flax meal.

     

  3. gluten and grain free Almond Cookies

    Leave a comment

    February 9, 2013 by Tamika

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    I must confess to a complicated relationship with nuts (as I sit here eating almond butter with bananas on rice cakes). I like them sprinkled in salads, in Middle Eastern food (ground pistachios in Kefte, hells yes), ground in various pesto, and alone as a snack (sometimes). I don’t like them in cookies, brownies, tossed in pies or tarts, BUT I do like them as the main ingredient in cakes, a lovely Hazelnut Cake, or Almond Torte, where they are primarily ground and the main event, highlighted only with spice and sweet (and a little salt if you’re me).

    These Almond cookies represent mini gateau! I found them on Leite’s Culinaria, called Almond Biscotti, of course unlike any biscotti I’ve ever made, or eaten, or seen.

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    Make them in this cute little pyramid shape, I’ve tried other shapes but they just aren’t as moist (see the little ones to the left in the photo above? they were dry).

    I changed the recipe very little, added some lemon zest, omitted almond extract (see, there is that complicated relationship again), cut sugar a bit, upped almond flour. I have ground my own almonds into meal, in an effort to save money, I didn’t get as fine a grind before the almonds wanted to be butter, you may have better luck, I find Bob’s Red Mill Almond Meal is terrific.

    Almond Cookies (gluten and grain free) makes about 28

    5 cups almond meal

    1 1/2 cups organic cugar

    6 egg white (Planning tip: save your yolks and make lemon curd!)

    zest of one lemon and one small orange or clementine

    2 tsp vanilla extract

    whole sliced almonds for coating cookies

    powdered sugar for dusting

    Preheat oven to 350. prepare baking sheets with parchment paper.

    In a food processor add half the almond meal (no need to be exact) and all the sugar, pulsing on/ off for 30 seconds. This is to grind the sugar down into superfine.

    In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a deep bowl using a hand mixer) add all the almond meal, sugar, egg white and beat for a minute on medium speed. Add vanilla and zest, beat on medium for a couple of minutes until well combined and the almond meal looks to be absorbing the egg white.

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    Using about 2 tablespoons of dough, shape into little pyramids, I find it necessary to wet my hands from time to time to keep the dough from sticking. Roll them in the sliced almonds and place on a baking sheet. You’ll get the hang of it!

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    Bake at 350 for 13-16 minutes, until they are golden on the edges. Let cool completely before dusting with powdered sugar. These keep very well stored in an airtight jar or container. The won’t have to keep long though:

    Anecdote: While selling my gluten free baked goods at a farmer’s market recently a woman handed me $5 and pointed at the almond cookies, I handed her a bag with 3 (they are 3 for $5), she said she only wanted one so I gave her one, she took a bite, I started to hand her change when she suddenly grabbed the bag with the other two cookies exclaiming “Oh my, never mind, I need these!” and laughed! I think you’ll feel the same way!

     

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