Category Archives: GF cookery
March 21, 2013 by Tamika
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.
This loaf would be wonderful with orange zest and juice, or lime, substituted for lemon.
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).
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…..
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!
February 27, 2013 by Tamika
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.
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.
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.
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.
February 5, 2013 by Tamika
I miss bread. Real bread. Fresh baked bread. The flexibility of throwing a loaf together and knowing it will be, if not perfect, then completely passable as bread. What I miss more is sourdough bread. I tossed my sourdough starter once I had to cut gluten out of my diet. Pfft. I figured I was never doing THAT again.. no great bread. Ever.
This has been many
monthsyears in the making. My trial and many errors of gluten free bread baking. If you read this you’ll know I don’t consume corn or corn products, that includes the golden child of gluten free baking xanthan gum. Which, as most of us gfr’s know, makes gluten free bread behave like glutened bread, all air pockety, stretchy and chewy. ( Actually it’s the golden child of the corn industry and is in nearly everything these days. I just found frozen sweet potato fries coated with it.. WHY? I won’t address the conspiracy to undermine the health of the general public here). I’ve been working through established gf bread recipes as well as creating my own for 3 years now. I’ve made some pretty good bread and excellent pizza dough ( wood fired in a friend’s outdoor straw bale oven, the best). Unhappy with all the starch needed (tapioca, arrowroot and potato) for gf bread, I’ve been working it down in quantity for months now. When I decided to make a go of sourdough starter with this buckwheat flour, I was hoping to be able to eliminate yeast as well.
A good sourdough starter takes time and patience. Gluten free sourdough starter takes a little coaxing and a lot of patience. I followed this starter recipe that was featured on Michael Rhulman’s website a few years ago, it comes from Two Sister’s Bakery in Alaska, and is perfect. I chose to use light buckwheat flour because it has a wonderful taste, it’s one of my favorites, you could choose another grain or seed flour (buckwheat is a seed, like quinoa) keeping in mind it will be the bulk flour of what you bake with it, therefore the bulk flavor.
Gluten Free Sourdough Starter
In a quart sized jar, or larger, combine 8 ounces flour with 8 ounces water, stir well. Place 2 leaves of ORGANIC red cabbage into the mix. Let this sit at warm room temperature (70-80*) over night, uncovered is fine ( I have cats who I’m positive creep the counters at night when they know I won’t douse them with water) I cover mine with a coffee filter, it is porous enough to let natural yeasts from the environment in to get the starter going and can be changed if it gets crusty.
Around 12 hours later add another cup of flour and water each, stir again. At this point the red cabbage may be bleeding colour out into the starter, this is normal. The cabbage is fermenting, the same process as sauerkraut, the liquid that it releases will create a natural yeast environment for the flour to begin a slight fermentation process, and attract more natural yeasts from your environment. It will smell sour, even stinky. Continue to keep it warm.
Depending on the temperature of your starter you may not see any fermentation bubbling action (see top photo) for a few days. It will not bubble up the same way gluten flour does (see photo with Rhulman link), with gluten free flours the process is slower. My initial starter turned a purple grey with an unpleasant smell, I persevered, stirring it and scraping off purplish crust from the sides of my jar, it took 4 days to be just right. When to start feeding the starter is determined by how fermented the initial batch is; if it’s bubbly and sour smelling it’s time. As you feed it the smell will become more mild and pleasant.
An important part of keeping a healthy sourdough starter is FEEDING, removing some starter and adding fresh flour and water for the yeasts to feed on. The starter you remove will be the base for your dough, bread, pizza, crackers, even pancakes. For your first feeding, remove the cabbage leaves. If your container is large enough add 4 oz flour and 4 oz water to the starter stirring well, just this once. Again, keep at warm room temp. If your container is maxed out for space, remove 1 cup of starter, mix 4 oz flour and 4 oz water into the remaining starter in the jar. Every feeding following your first will require you to remove at least one cup of starter and replace with same amounts of flour/ water (1 cup starter = 4 oz f/w each. 2 cups starter= 8oz f/w each). I feed my starter once a week, at least. If I want to bake twice in a week with it I make sure to keep it at warm room temp and have at least 2 full days in between removing starter for use (and feeding!).
3 months into my starter it is now at a point where I can go with out yeast in my dough, until now I have had to add small amounts of yeast, using the starter as ‘flavour’ more than as leavening. I will be posting some bread and pizza dough recipes in the upcoming month. Until then, go ahead and explore!
If you want to take a break from maintaining your starter, keep it in the fridge and feed it once a month. It will go dormant, reawakening once you bring it out to room temperature for a few days.
Quick Crackers: What to do with the starter you took out during feeding, when you have nothing else to make: 2 cups starter, 1 cup other flour (amaranth, rice, ect) 1/4 cup water, 2 tsp salt and 1tsp pepper: knead into a ball, let rest 20 minutes. Divide ball in half. Roll out on a rice floured surface as thin as you can, cut into squares and bake in a 400* oven until brown and crisp.
Of course, this could be a flat bread covered with olive oil and zatar or smoked paprika, onions, olives, anchovies.. or a cracker like pizza dough.