Banana Oat Bread

Lately, we seem to always have overripe bananas laying around our house as my kids and hubby seem to be on some sort of cyclical banana eating pattern. As for me, I have a textural aversion to bananas and can only eat them in baked goods or pulversized in a chocolate smoothie. So with this weeks batch of overripe bananas I decided to try a recipe I had pinned from the Minimalist Baker blog. This banana bread is hearty with a mild sweet nutty flavor and paired perfectly with my afternoon almond latte. Enjoy! nom nom

Adapted from Minimalist Baker

4 ripe bananas

1 egg or flaxseed egg

2 TBS honey

1 1/4 cups GF oats

1/4 cup brown sugar; I use sucanat as an unrefined option.

1 1/4 cups almond flour

3 TBS coconut oil, melted

3 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 cup coconut sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 1/4 cups gluten free flour mix #1 or a store bought GF all purpose flour mix

3/4 tsp sea salt

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup almond milk

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a loaf pan or 4 mini loaf pans with non stick spray or coconut oil.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the almond meal, flour, oats and baking powder together. Set aside
  3. Mash bananas in large bowl. Whisk in remaining ingredients. Add flour mixture and stir to combine. Pour into loaf pan or divide amone the 4 mini loaf pans.
  4. For the large loaf pan bake bread for 60-75 minutes; 40-44 minutes for mini loaves. The bread should feel firm and golden brown on top.
  5. Let it cool completely or it will crumble!!!
  6. Store in container for a few days. Freeze for longer storage.

Vegetarian Pot Pie

gluten free / dairy free / vegan option

Well….I am only 3 days late in posting this recipe which is honestly better than I predicted. It wasn’t necessarily a crazy week but it has been busy running around with my son trying to get his eye situation resolved. And with a huge sigh of relief I can say that he has been diagnosed with accomodative esotropia (crossed eyes). This is very common in children two and older and besides the headaches he gets from trying to focus causes him no significant pain. The first step is glasses and if that is not successful we will try patching his eyes followed by surgery as our last resort. We ordered his rubber glasses, blue ones, with the theory that since it is his fav color he might want to wear them. And yes, I know that is extremely unlikely to work since he is 2 and as stubborn a child as I have ever met. We also got state of the art indestructible, bullet proof lenses to go with them. Ok, just kidding about the bullet proof lenses, but the opthamologist did promise they would be hard to destroy. And with a skeptical look plastered on my face and my smart ass comments safely locked away I returned that promise with one of my own; “if there is even the slightest chance in hell that they can be broken, rest assured my kid will be the one to do it”.

okay…enough about me and on to the more important topic of food!! I decided to make this pot pie for a friend of mine who had recently been in the hospital for severe stomach issues. We cannot eat alot of the same foods and over the span of time we have been friends we have both slowly given up foods that we once loved. So when I found out she had been sick I reached out and asked what I could do to help. Her reply was….you guessed it, food. Whatever I made needed to be dairy free and gluten free but also be low spice and low acidity. Personally, I always veer towards comfort foods when either myself or someone else is sick. Unfortunatley, living with the dietary restrictions that myself and my friend have comfort foods tend to be off the table for us. For me, it is one of the main reasons I started this blog. On the one hand, I was more than willing to give up the gluten, dairy and refined sugar so I could reclaim my body and begin to heal. But on the other, I was devastated to think of all of my favorite foods being off limits and of all of the recipes I had grown up with disappearing in the blink of an eye. So, I did what any rational foodie would do. I pouted and moped around feeling sorry for myself. I ate what I was supposed to eat 99% of the time and here and there would go off the rails only to be slapped in the face with various unsavory ailments I won’t regal you with. And so the cycle went until one day I decided it was no longer worth the misery to eat those occasional “naughty” foods and that instead of giving up my favorite things I was just going to remake them to fit my needs. And here is one of my very first redo’s…..I am proud to introduce my new and improved vegetarian pot pie! Enjoy!

Ingredients

6 medium carrots; peeled and thinly sliced

1 large onion; finely diced

1 cup fresh or frozen peas

1 tsp French Thyme; dried

3 medium Yukon potatoes or 2 large sweet potatoes; peeled and chopped into 1 in pieces

2 cups vegetable broth

1/2 cup GF all purpose flour or gluten free flour mix #1

1/2 tsp black pepper; freshly ground

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

4 TBS olive oil; divided

2 TBS butter or butter alternative

1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk

1/4 cup white wine; I prefer a sauvignon blanc but that’s purely because then I can drink the remaining bottle. A buttery chardonnay would work really well too! If you would rather not use wine, just sub in vegetable broth.

Gluten Free Pie Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Peel potatoes and chop them into 1 inch dice. Place potatoes in medium saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Boil 15-20 minutes or until the potaoes are fork tender. Drain water and set aside in a bowl.
  3. While potatoes are cooking heat a large pot or dutch oven over med-high heat. Add 2 TBS of oil. Once oil is hot, add carrots and saute 15 minutes or until they begin to soften. Add onions and continue to saute until they begin to brown and carmelize; about 15 minutes. Transfer to bowl with potatoes.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and add butter and 2 TBS oil to same pot
  5. When butter is melted, add in the flour and stir constantly for 1 minute. Slowly and gradually add in the milk, broth, thyme, salt and pepper into flour mixture. Continue to stir constantly as sauce thickens; appx 10 minutes or until mixture coats a spoon. Stir in wine and cook for an additional minute
  6. Turn off heat. Stir in cooked vegetables and peas into sauce until well combined. Taste for salt and pepper.
  7. Pour mixture into 13×9 dish. Roll out your pie crust and place on top of the pot pie mixture. Helpful Tip: Make sure the crust is appx 2 inches bigger than your dish so you have plenty of edging to make a crust and seal in the pot pie mixture.
  8. Brush the top of the crust with 1 lightly beaten egg. And sprinkle with 1/2 tsp of salt. This will give your crust a nice golden brown color. Bake 20-25 minutes until filling is bubbling and crust is a beautiful golden brown.

As always, if you can eat dairy and gluten feel free to add it all back in!!! NOM NOM

 

 

 

 

 

Blueberry Breakfast Bundt Cake

gluten free / dairy free / vegan option / refined sugar free

Michigan blueberries in March. How you ask?? Well….they are frozen of course!! And believe me, they are as sweet and luscious as the day I got them from the local farmers market here in Milwaukee. When I pulled them out of the freezer the other day I was already jonesing for some sort of cake. (Side notes….I am a baked goods junky. Before you judge me too harshly let me say that I am a discerning sugar junky with impeccable taste. And while I’m on the confession train, I might as well apologize up front for my rambling writing style and general potty mouth. In terms of my rambling “habit”….what can I say…I have two young kids, two entreprenurial businesses , two passions without a paycheck and a hubby that travels. So, I never do just one thing at a time or at a nice easy pace.  And I tend to write like I talk… fast and with a mouth that would make any sailor proud, sorry mom!).

Where was I??? Oh yea….blueberries and cake. Before I had set my eyes on those Michigan blueberries I had been leaning heavily towards a redo of my mom’s amazing poppyseed bundt cake. Redo in the sense that I have recently discovered (within the last year that I am highly intolerant to gluten and (cue the sad song) most likely cow milk based dairy as well. I am currently debating whether or not to retest for Celiac’s and other auto immune diseases as I am one of many who got bad medical advice and did the blood panels after already pulling gluten out of my diet. But more on that topic later.

My mom’s poppyseed bundt cake, the same cake which was one of my favorite birthday cake options as a teenager is chock full of both gluten and dairy. The cake starts with a super moist yellow cake (the secret ingredient is vanilla pudding). Then is finished with a sweet almond glaze drizzled over the top. I mean…just describing it makes me want to jump off the wagon and run full speed to my bundt pan. I can still remember how sad I was a  year ago at the beginning of my gluten free journey when I thought this cake or any cake really would be lost to me forever. Even though I was already a lover of baking/cooking and a self proclaimed foodie I had ZERO idea how to make anything with gluten, without it. Fast forward to now and I squeal like a little pig at the thought of re-making a beloved dessert or family recipe. Armed with my newly rediscovered Michigan blueberries I took the essence of my mom’s poppyseed cake recipe and I decided to make what I now lovingly call the blueberry “breakfast” bundt cake.

This cake is a perfect choice for a Sunday brunch. It’s sweet without being overwhelmingly so and the burst of bright blueberries pairs exceptionally well with more savory brunch items. I honestly prefer this cake without the glaze. And love that wihout it the cake is also refined sugar free. However, if you are looking for a more sinful cake just add the vanilla/almond glaze and I promise your sweet tooth will be silent. Enjoy! nom nom

Blueberry “Breakfast” Bundt Cake

1 cup (2 sticks) room temperature organic butter or butter alternative, plus more to grease bundt pan

2 1/2 cups Gluten Free flour mix (see recipe below) or any GF all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt; I prefer fleur de sel salt though it is more $$$

2 cups coconut palm sugar

3 large eggs or flax seed eggs

1 cup of greek or non-dairy yogurt; vanilla or plain both work

Zest of 1 lemon

1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries; thaw and pat dry blueberries if using frozen

Cake Glaze (optional) I prefer this cake without the glaze!

1 cup of powdered sugar; sifted

1/4- 1/2 tsp of pure vanilla extract. Start with 1/4 tsp, taste and go from there. You can also do pure almond extract for a different flavor profile.

2 TBS  milk or non dairy milk

Sift powdered sugar into a small bowl. Whisk in vanilla extract and milk until you have a smooth glaze. The glaze should lightly coat you spoon. Drizzle over cake once it is completely cool.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease the bundt cake pan with butter or non stick spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda and salt together. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer or with an electric mixer beat together the butter and sugar at medium speed for appx 3 minutes, or until smooth and creamy.
  4. Turn the mixer to low speed and add one egg at a time. Make sure each egg is well incorporated before adding the next.
  5. Add the dry ingredients from step 2 and mix until combined.
  6. Add in the yogurt and lemon zest and mix. Once incorporated, turn the mixer to high and beat for 2 minutes.
  7. Fold in the blueberries. Make sure to really incorporate the blueberries into the mix. This way each bite of cake you take will have that burst of blueberries in it!
  8. Transfer mixture to bundt pan. Bake for 55-65 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Place bundt pan on wire rack, let cool for a 5 minutes. Remove cake from pan and let cool completely on wire rack.
  9. If you are using the vanilla glaze, You can make this while the cake cools. Just dip a spoon into the glaze and drizzle it over the cake. Best part is you can use as much or as little of the glaze as you would like.

 

 

 

 

 

 

gluten free flour mix #1

When it comes to gluten free flours and flour mixes there are endless options, and those options to both novices and experts alike can be overwhelming. I also believe this is one reason why people who need to be on a gluten free diet rely on so many processed GF baked goods. It can be a pain in the ass!!! Gluten free baked goods are notoriously tricky to make and not have them be either dry, gummy or flat out rock hard. It can get even more dicey when you are using a recipe that was originally made with gluten laden ingredients. And can I just say there is nothing more disaapointing than a failed baked good. Especially when its something you labored over or are counting on for a special event. One resource I found extremely valuable in the early days of my gluten free adventure and even more so when I started messing with alternative flours was the  Simply Gluten Free Magazine. No matter what issue of the magazine you buy they go over in detail what being gluten free means, the foods you should avoid and the alternatives you can replace those foods with. They also give you a variety of flour blends to use and a variety of recipes said flours will work best with. But better than any of that, they help cut through so much of the (excuse my language) bullshit and trendy hype that currently surrounds the gluten free world by publishing articles that are informative, research based and easily understandable for even the most novice GF follower. But that topic is worthy of its own post entirely so let’s get back to the business at hand. GF Flour Mixes!!! If making your own flour blends is more than you are looking for I have had great success with store bought gluten free flours as well. My two current favorites are Trader Joe’s Gluten Free All Purpose Flour and Cup 4 Cup Gluten Free Flours. As I said, it can be hard to figure out which flours are best for certain recipes, and these two help take away some of the guess work. Personally, I like to mix my own flours for my recipes because I try to stick to the “from scratch” moto as much as possible. But no one understands better than me that sometimes there just isn’t time for all that jazz!! That’s why the recipe I am about to give you is so crazy amazing! It covers a wide range of recipes such as an unbelievably flaky pie crust (yes I said flaky and gluten free in the same post), an assortment of cookies, ridiculously decadent brownies and cakes galore! And those are just the recipes I have attempted to make thus far!! By the way, no recipe will make it to this blog without first being given the seal of approval by my panel of lovely tasters. I have no doubt as I go further into my GF journey that this mix will save the day time and time again. Enjoy!

GF Flour Mix #1

1 1/2 cups white rice flour

1 1/2 cups sorghum flour

1 1/2 cups brown rice flour

2 cups of potato starch

2 cups of tapioca starch

2 TBS xantham gum

Put all the flours in a large container with an air-tight lid and whisk to combine. Use cup for cup in practically any baked goods recipes.