For years I’ve been making these scones with slight variations, trying to find the best recipe. I think I’ve found it. They are not too sweet and therefore would be lovely with a cream cheese icing or a sugary glaze, plus that would make them a little prettier, because honestly, they are not that attractive. If you add xanthan gum I’m sure you can get a smoother finish, but it’s just not that important to me and I like the not-so-sweetness of them. As any gluten-free eater knows, it’s fairly easy to make sweet gluten-free items taste good, but it’s harder to find things that aren’t loaded with extra sugar. Of course, you can use all white sugar instead of the brown sugar that I use below, but the depth that the brown sugar adds is lovely and suits the pumpkin well. Here’s the recipe:
1 C vanilla coconut milk (or whatever milk you like)
1/2 C sunflower oil (or whatever oil you like)
Add the flax meal to the milk and set aside. Add the dry ingredients up through the salt together and mix. Blend the sugar and oil in a separate bowl, then add the pumpkin. Slowly add the dry ingredients and the flax/milk combo to the wet ingredients and blend until just mixed, adding more milk if need be. Refrigerate the mixture for 3-8 hours (or overnight), then bake at 360 for 30 minutes on baking pans lined with parchment paper.
I hate to add a picture because the really are much tastier than they look, but here goes~
Oy. I better make some more so I can get some good pics of these little beauts. My boys certainly won’t mind another batch and the house smells divine for hours after they bake so it’ll be more than worth it.
My friend gave me a zucchini the size of large 2 month old baby so I figured I’d switch my plan of making pumpkin scones to zucchini muffins. After looking for a recipe online that I could play with I realized there wasn’t much out there that had all our needs covered~ gluten, dairy, egg, and nut free, so the “playing’ part was pretty extensive. Anyone who believes that old adage “Baking is a science, cooking is an art” obviously never baked with food intolerances in mind. I can’t say it’s a perfect recipe as it was indeed my first go at it, but they didn’t crumble (and no xanthan gum!) and they taste pretty good. Plus we used that freaky zucchini so now my sons no longer have a prop pretending to be cave-men. It really did look like a primitive weapon. Here’s the recipe:
2 T flax meal + 5 T water (set aside at least 10 minutes)
2 C grated Zucchini
1/2 C apple sauce
1/4 C sunflower oil
1 t vanilla extract
1 C brown rice flour
3/4 C oat flour (make sure it’s gluten-free)
1/2 C millet flour
1/4 C tapioca flour
3/4 C brown sugar
2 t cinnamon (or more~ actually will do more next time, but it’s personal taste)
1 t nutmeg
1 t baking soda
Preheat oven to 350. Prep muffin pan with oil, spray oil, or liners. Add the grated zucchini, apple sauce, oil, vanilla extract, and flax that has soaked in water all together and mix well. In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients together before blending the wet and dry together~ easily done with a spoon, no need to get your mixer dirty. Fill the muffin pan~ 12 regular sized muffins. Cook for 23-25 minutes.
These were good out of the pan but I did think a little more cinnamon would have made them better so I sprinkled some cinnamon sugar on top. I’m sure my boys won’t mind the extra sweetness although they’ll probably miss running through the kitchen yelling “Aaarrrgh” with the zucchini.
This is a conversation that keeps popping up lately, so I thought I’d share a couple of things we do for surviving the school year’s endless birthday celebrations, holiday parties, and the myriad of other reasons gluten, dairy, and sugar are consumed in the classroom on a weekly basis. There was one year where one of my son’s classmates had food allergies so severe that all celebrations were limited to a couple of specific food items~ Annie’s fruit bunnies was one and I don’t remember what else…maybe popsicles…? Anyway, that class did not suffer because there were no birthday cupcakes~ I promise. And when I went to that Valentine party with gift pencils, novelty erasers, sparkly stickers, silly tattoos, and sugar-free lollipops, then went to my other son’s party where mounds of candy were piled up on all the kids desks, along with heart cookies and sugary punch and absolutely no boundaries, it kind of made me sick. Anyway, each classroom has its culture and you just have to be prepared for the inevitable. School supply shopping includes something for the boys to have in their classroom cabinets at all times for those birthday celebrations and it goes with them to school on day 1 if not before. We usually choose Lucy’s cookies because the cookies are wrapped three to a package, there’s a little variety for the year, and they are free of all kinds of allergens, as you can see. Other friends I know have stored rice crispy treats at school because those too are individually wrapped so they can keep for months. As I mentioned above, Annie’s fruit snacks are also great if your child is a real gummy candy lover. I’d love to hear what some other favorites out there are…
On a different school snack note, I found something that my youngest has missed for years. He used to love Pirate’s booty and any cheesy puff thing like that. Earth Balance actually has a vegan cheese puff and apparently it’s a winner. One more thing my sons don’t have to miss~ Yay!
Aren’t these flowers just the prettiest? I got them at the Redmond Farmers Market last Saturday and they are still going strong in our front windows. These aren’t what I went to the Redmond Market intending to buy, but I couldn’t help myself, especially since they had such an inviting price ($5). The Redmond Market, located right next to the Redmond Town Center, is a Saturday tradition from May-October and the gluten-free options there are abundant. If you are hungry you can order a gluten-free crepe (made where the other crepes are so do be careful)at Anita’s crepes or enjoy a tamale just down the way at Hermosa Mexican Foods’ booth which is my son’s favorite thing about the market by far. Wildflour Gluten Free bakery has a booth there and when I get there early enough I buy two of their baguettes, but they sell out fast! Many of their items are dairy free but not all, and most have eggs in them, but all are gluten-free and there is a nice variety at her booth. It is delicious fun to buy a pint of fresh berries and sit down with a baguette and snack while watching some live music that rotates through there all summer. Another gluten-free bakery that has a booth there is Fancy Free bakery which touts a much longer list of ‘free-of’ ingredients~ no peanuts, eggs, dairy, etc, so pretty much anyone could find a treat there, and they will not be disappointed. I bought sourdough bread there and it is truly sour-ly awesome. I heard two other vendors discussing with near rapture the lemon bars they bought there but when I went to check them out myself I was too late…definitely getting to the market earlier next Saturday. There are of course plenty of produce farmers, jewelry makers, planted pots venders, much more there, but I personally adore the fact that there are so many gluten-free finds. I just wish it lasted all year-long, but I guess that just makes it all the more special. Now if only I could wake up and get going on Saturdays earlier to fully take advantage of it…Hm, maybe by August I’ll get that part down. At least I managed to get flowers last week. They are lovely.
Part of the reason I haven’t written much lately has to do with a trip to see my family in Louisville, KY, which turned out to be a very easy place to visit with multiple food intolerances in our crew. The other reason is the sheer craziness of summer with two high-energy boys~ it takes some time to adjust from school year days to summer days and honestly, I’m still adjusting. But, here’s what you will find in Louisville if you head that way (maybe in May…?) It is the Derby City after all.
Annie May’s Sweet Café is a gluten and nut free place that also has a large selection of vegan items. We went there for lunch and immediately regretted having not gone earlier in the trip. My son thought their vegan cream of broccoli soup was ‘epic’ and three of us got sandwiches we very much enjoyed and I was the only one of the three who is even gluten intolerant. The desserts we ate were delicious~ mostly cookies with cream in the middle, some vegan and some not depending on the person. My sons and I had the vegan kind which were dipped in chocolate too and probably the most decadent thing I’ve had in years. I don’t know what the vegan cream was in the middle but it definitely tasted like the real thing and I did not ask because if I knew how to make those things I might never leave my kitchen again.
Just down the road is Bluegrass Burgers which advertises on its sign outside, “Gluten free buns and beers” but it isn’t just buns and beers actually because I asked about the veggie patty and the black bean patty (they have both!) and those were also gluten-free and vegan. They were nice and patient about my questions, something that can be hard to find at restaurants where the going trend is to hate on people with food intolerances. They were extremely friendly and their food was great but there is one warning, their fries are way too good. Seriously, if you don’t want to eat a ton of them, just say no because once you start it’s all over~ they are seasoned to perfection and more addictive than chocolate covered cashews. Highly recommend this place. (And chocolate covered cashews for that matter.)
And of course there’s pizza. There are several places that have gluten-free options, but we chose Blaze Pizza because they have vegan cheese, all the pizza pies are individual size, and they cook them quickly in a wood fire so there (theoretically) isn’t much wait time. I was impressed that when I ordered the gluten-free crusts and vegan cheeses that they asked me if they needed to change gloves when handling those pizzas. They knew what they were doing when it came to allergies and I felt quite safe feeding their food to my kids and eating it myself. We liked the taste but it kind of reminded me of Chuck E. Cheese pizza, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, something about it was just similar…the thinner crust, snappier cheese, slightly sweet tomato sauce. But if that isn’t to your taste, there are plenty of other pizza places that have gluten-free crust options, such as Mellow Mushroom,Impellizzeris, Puccini’s, Uncle Maddio’s, and Cottage Inn Pizza, so basically wherever you are in Louisville you are never far from gluten-free crust.
Something else you are never far from in Louisville are natural foods stores, so in a pinch you can always find allergy free food at Whole Foods, Lucky’s Market, or shop local and visit Rainbow Blossom at one of their five locations.
A surprising amount of allergy-friendly food can be found at the most unusual place of all, and I say that mostly because the town’s name is Santa Claus but also because the amusement park there, Holiday World, is, well, an amusement park (and water park) which generally aren’t hubs of allergy free dining.
This place is about 70 miles from Louisville and well worth the trip if you are traveling with kids or just like rides, water parks, and Christmas music in July. Just check out this list of allergy-free foods that you can get there and you’ll be adding Santa Claus, Indiana to your must-do list. The only thing I caution is to have the list handy with you before you go in to order because the people behind the counter weren’t always up-to-date on the offerings. There seemed to be one person in charge who handled the allergic folks and the rest of them waved her down to deal with us. That was fine with me, as long as there was one person dedicated to keeping us safe I was thoroughly impressed. We also had to wait extra time for the allergy free food so another caution is to go before your four-year old is in low-sugar-sunburnt-over-tired-and-hungry-tantrum-mode, but really it wasn’t too long of a wait, 15 minutes maybe. Of course 15 minutes with a hungry child is a lot longer than 15 minutes with just yourself to worry about, so you’ve been forewarned. But both my sons said the place was better than Disney Land, so check it out.
I’m sure there are plenty of other restaurants that accommodate gluten intolerant people but I just want to highlight one more because their menu is very clear with calling out gluten-free items, along with vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, and whatever other kind of ~ian you want to call yourself, they’ve heard it all before. Ramsi’s Café will fill your worldly cravings when you’ve tried all the gluten-free pizza (impossible!) and eaten all the burgers on gluten-free buns that you can handle. Kids are welcome but if you are going to leave them behind for an evening out with your significant other, this is the place to go. When you are finished with dinner be sure to walk up and down Bardstown Road for some fun shopping and people watching, or grab a movie at the nearby Baxter Avenue Theaters. Enjoy!
At this point in the year I’m pretty much souped out. Not eating it, just making it. So, I’m quite excited to have found this gluten-free ramen that takes all of 4 minutes to make and tastes seriously good. The one I like is by Lotus Foods and has a miso base and I’m pretty sure when my oldest tries it, he’s going to be hooked too because he loves miso, and noodles, and especially fast prep. Try it out yourself on a day when your missing dorm cooking, or more likely, just want some fast soup on a chilly Spring day:
Back in the glorious days of my sons eating nuts and dairy, my oldest loved nutella on dinner rolls as a snack or lunch item. I decided to look for homemade nutella recipes online to see if there was something I could convert and oh my, there are scores of nutella fans out there, making homemade versions, making dairy free versions, making nut free versions~ I mean if you are looking to make your own nutella, by no means should you stop your quest here. There are hundreds of recipes out there, and most start with the raw seeds or nuts and are truly from scratch. After reading more than a few variations, I decided I didn’t want to go to the store a second time today to get the ingredients I lacked, so I’d just try a quicker, not-so-from-scratch way of making a chocolaty, nutty flavored spread. The sunflower butter I’d bought to replace my son’s peanut butter cravings never really satisfied him, so I grabbed that, the half bar of baking chocolate I had left over from something else, and a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
I melted the 2 oz of unsweetened baking bar on low heat while scooping 1/2 C of the sunbutter into the food processor. I added the 1 t of vanilla extract, and then the melted chocolate and processed until smooth, which didn’t take long. I really wanted to avoid the confectioner’s sugar most recipes called for in my research, but when I tasted the blend I knew it needed some sweetening, so I added 1 T honey and blended again. That was better.
My son tried it on a Maninis dinner roll when he got home from school and gave it a thumbs-up. (His mouth was full after all.) I will probably play around with this recipe a bit more, but for a quick fix, this works well.
You can’t really ever go wrong with tofu and broccoli, at least in my oldest son’s opinion. His favorite way to eat that healthy combination used to be wrapped in a spelt tortilla with garlic sauce. He even wrote an essay about that dish in third grade when asked about his favorite thing to eat, but sadly, he can’t eat spelt anymore and corn tortillas are just not the same. They are great for soft tacos, quesadillas, and ‘beandillas’, (a quesadilla made with refried beans instead of cheese) but corn tortillas just do not complement the broccoli and tofu like the spelt did. He missed that dish terribly, along with countless others, once his gluten intolerance was discovered, but now he’s found a new favorite way to enjoy broccoli and tofu. Here’s the recipe:
1 package brown rice fusilli
½ yellow onion
2 crushed cloves of garlic
3-4 cups broccoli, cut into bite size pieces
1 package extra firm tofu, drained and wrapped in paper towels to get out extra water
Approx. 2 T. olive oil (1 for the stir fry and 1 for the pot of pasta)
1 T. balsamic vinegar (or to taste)
1 T. gluten free Tamari
Dried basil and oregano to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
For this dish, I start the water boiling for the pasta as I begin the cutting up process. Pour in at least one tablespoon of the olive oil in a large pan, and then add the onions, cooking until translucent. Next the garlic should be added in, with the broccoli following. Pour the vinegar over the broccoli while stirring the veggies. Add the tofu then cover the tofu with the tamari. While cooking, stir in the herbs, salt, and pepper, and cook until the broccoli is bright green and the tofu is warm throughout with a bit of browning. Meanwhile, make the fusilli according to the package directions, and when all is done combine into approximately 4 bowls. This is one pasta dish that doesn’t require parmesan, but feel free to add it if you prefer, or if you like just drizzle on a bit more olive oil. For my son and I, we do not add anything but our forks.
My son needed a science project and I needed a reason to try to make the sourdough starter recipe I’ve been eyeing for months, so we decided to work together and see what happens. The recipe we are using is from Jennifer Katzinger’s Gluten-Free & Vegan Bread. I’ve wanted to make sourdough starter for a long time now, ever since I read about it being a more easily digested bread than other types with single strands of yeast, but the recipes I read always seemed too complex and involved too much planning. Once I read Katzinger’s version which was already gluten-free I started thinking I could do it. Except I didn’t. There was still that planning part that got in my way, until my son’s science fair came up and I thought, we could do this~ we have a week and a half, plenty of time to get the starter going and then to try to bake with it a couple of times, with enough time even for a failure or two. We will actually use the starter later today for the first time, but actually making the mother was easier than I expected, so in case you are feeling daunted by the idea yourself I thought I’d share the steps so far. First, get a gallon size glass jar and put in 1C teff flour and 1C water.
Then add two purple cabbage leaves and the skin of half an apple.
Mix well again and then let it sit in a warm spot for 12 hours before stirring and adding more teff and water. After 48 hours (with 12 hours in between stirrings and adding more flour and water) it should be bubbling with yeast activity.
It is then time to take out the cabbage leaves and apple skin and put it in the fridge. It is ready to be used.
Now it’s time to test if this has worked. There is starter resting on my kitchen counter right now warming up with fresh teff and water for 4 hours and hopefully creating some yeasty activity. Crossing my fingers that we will have fresh sourdough bread by tonight. We’ll see!
I don’t know how long I’ve been overlooking this bread, but I have a feeling it’s pretty new to the scene, but boy has it made a splash. I’d say about half the time I go searching for it, there’s none to be found:
This is Olivia’s Super Free Baguette and that picture is from their site: http://oliviasuperfree.com/home.html. I’ve been making garlic bread with the baguettes~ olive oil, Tuscan salts, garlic, 425 degrees for 10 minutes, and it turns out really lovely. I can imagine making a big sub sandwich with these too. The texture is great, the flavor is good, and the lightness makes it easy to use in meals (as opposed to being so heavy that all you can do with it is slice and eat it.) The kids whole-heartily approved.
The other bread I’ve found lately is Flying Apron’s new white bread which tastes even better than their old one and they are actually finally making enough that you have a decent chance to buy one on white bread days, (bonus!), which at the Redmond location are Tuesdays and Thursdays.
This is a hearty loaf made with quinoa, oat, and I think sorghum flour though I could be wrong about that last one. It has the whole grain goodness of stand-out healthy grains which is so rare in a gluten-free loaf. I love this bread but surprisingly, my sons are not full-on excited about it, though my oldest adores the white rolls made from the same ingredients~ go figure. I think they have gotten so use to the fluffy lightness of gluten-free breads that this denser loaf seems strange to them, like a child who’s been eating regular white bread suddenly tasting a whole wheat loaf~ not exactly the same thing. That’s fine for now because it means more for me! I’ve been making veggie sandwiches with this bread~ one side gets hummus spread on it, the other gets avocado, and in between goes spinach and lettuce, tomatoes, red peppers and whatever else I can find. I haven’t had a fulfilling sandwich like that in so many years I can’t even begin to remember~ until last week that is, at which time I started having them almost every day. Seriously, if you are in the Seattle area and haven’t tried this loaf because you aren’t in the habit of buying a ‘white’ bread~ this loaf will surprise you.
Those two breads above are also vegan, soy, and nut free~ it can be done!
The last product is a granola bar from KIND. These are not the same bars that have been around for a long time, they are different~ flatter and wider for one thing, but the best part is at least one flavor, the oats and honey, is nut free.
This pic is from their website.
Trying to find a gluten-free, dairy-free protein bar that doesn’t have any nuts in it, especially almonds, is extraordinarily difficult. We eat some bars from Nugo and Enjoy Life Foods, but having a new one to throw into backpacks for snack time is extremely welcome at this point.
If you have any new gluten-free favorites, let me know~ I’d love to hear about them.