Saturday, August 29, 2009

Morning Glory Muffins 1.0.

When I formerly ate wheat, I used to have carrot "Morning Glory" muffins at camp in the mornings when they were available. The muffins were quite good, but they were very oily and not very healthy. When I discovered I needed to be gluten free, I eventually got around to finding a new recipe for them.

I believe that I originally found this recipe online at Whole Foods. I have adapted it a little to my taste and to make it more healthy. I cannot say more of these muffins! They are moist, not overly fluffly or heavy, and have lots of yummy ingredients in them. The photo does not do them justice! It was taken maybe a year ago on my older camera, which never turned out good photos. Also, ignore the poor photo shown in the linked recipe, it's not a good representation of how they actually turn out! The photo makes them appear very dry, but they are not!

Morning Glory Muffins 1.0.
    adapted from Whole Foods Market recipes 
    makes about 18 muffins

    3  happy eggs
    1/2 cup  organic cane sugar  (or 1/2 cup maple syrup and reduce flour by 3 tablespoons)
    1/4 cup  brown sugar
    2/3 cup  organic coconut oil - source
    1 tsp  vanilla extract
    1 cup  brown rice flour
    1/2 cup  tapioca starch
    1/2 cup  potato starch
    2 tsp each:
        baking soda
        xanthan gum
    1/2 tsp  unrefined sea salt

Mix ins:
    1 tart red apple, unpeeled cored and finely diced
    1 cup  grated carrot
    1 cup  grated zucchini
    1/2 cup  organic raisins
    1/2 cup  chopped walnuts
    1/4 cup  coconut flakes

To make your muffins:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine the wet ingredients in a large bowl, whisking by hand to incorporate air into the mixture about 1 minute.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and add to the wet ingredients gradually.
  4. Add the mix-ins last, gently folding with a spatula till combined.
  5. Scoop into paper lined regular sized muffin tins.
  6. Bake for about 20-30 minutes, until slightly golden brown on top; Cool, eat, enjoy.

My mom is especially crazy about these muffins! I love these muffins too, but I do not really love that they use so much white flour. I will experiment and make them with better gluten free flours like teff, or sorghum, flours that aren't as starchy and "empty" calorically. (Now that my diet has improved over the years, I have learned that grains are not the best thing for our bodies. Coming soon I will redo the recipe with more healthful flours, like coconut and almond.)

These muffins freeze well for a few months, but past six months is pushing it for ANY gluten-free baked good and so I do not recommend it. Also, be sure to store your gluten-free frozen goods in a freezer that does not have defrost cycle. The defrost cycle will damage the product over time, and it will not keep as long. Of course, if you have family or lots of friends that love muffins, they will be gone in flash and you won't have to worry about freezing them!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Goat Cheese and Zucchini Frittata

I found this recipe on Whole Food's website. It had been on my recipe to-do list and I finally had the chance to make it this summer! It was satisfying and tasty so I will definitely make it again. Double or triple the recipe depending on how many people you will serve. The amount in the recipe is perfect for one person's breakfast!

Goat Cheese, Red Pepper and Zucchini Frittata

2 eggs
salt and pepper to taste
1 T olive oil
thin slices of red onion
1/2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
goat cheese
1 red pepper, diced into pieces
fresh herbs of choice (optional)

To make the frittata:
1. Beat eggs and season with salt and pepper.
2. Heat oil in small skillet (be sure it can go under the broiler) and cook onion and zucchini until soft.
3. Add eggs and cook until slightly set.
4. Sprinkle in red peppers, goat cheese and fresh herbs (if using).
5. Place pan under the broiler for as long as it takes to cook (mine took around 10 minutes).


Friday, August 21, 2009

The Best Cornbread.

One of the first few posts on this blog involved cornbread. And now a few months later, I've created an even better version. The one previous was less moist, not as sweet, and dairy free. This cornbread is very moist, sweet (enough for cornbread) and has real butter and raw milk. It's almost decadent. The addition of fresh corn "off the cob" into the batter gives the bread a whole other dimension of both taste and flavor.

Actually, I really surprised myself with this recipe. I made this recipe from scratch with no basic guidelines except noticing that one recipe on the cornmeal bag used a lot of leavening agent. I wouldn't have originally thought to use that much, and I figured since it was on the back of the cornmeal bag, I should listen. Despite that one thing, this recipe is entirely my own.

While the bread was still hot, the whole pan disappeared. I brought some out to the camp office for the staff to grab on their way by in their usually hectic camp afternoon. As soon as I left and came back, they needed more! And so less than 20 minutes after I had pulled it from the oven, I was staring at an empty pan. Then, grabbing my other 9 x 13, I made another batch. Then I took my first bite and knew that this recipe had "arrived." No tweaking needed!

The Best Cornbread
    makes one 9x13 pan

    1 cup  uncooked polenta - Bob's Red Mill
    1 cup  Masa Corn Flour
    2 cups stone ground cornmeal - Bob's Red Mill
    2 cups  whole or 2% milk - preferably raw whole milk
    1 cup  organic cane sugar
    4 tsp  baking powder
    1 tsp  baking soda
    1 tsp  sea salt
    4  real eggs
    2  sticks butter, softened
    2  heaping cups fresh cut off corn off the cob

To make your cornbread:
  1.  Mix polenta, masa, cornmeal, baking powder + soda, and salt in large bowl.
  2.  In a small bowl, cream sugar and butter until fluffy. Add egg one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat on high speed until fluffy.
  3.  Add 2 cups of milk to the bowl with the polenta mixture. Stir until well combined with a spatula.
  4.  Gently fold in the fluffy butter/sugar/egg mixture into the milk and cornmeal mixture. FOLD in - do not stir - until combined.
  5.  Fold in the cut corn.
  6.  Pour into a lightly greased 9x13 pan and bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes.
  7.  The cornbread is done when it springs back like a cake in the middle, a poker will come out clean, and the top is a lovely golden brown.

This is not your typical dry cornbread. This bread is moist, decadent and lovely, so much so it doesn't need to be slathered in butter.  It's great on it's own! Be sure to share some with your favorite people. It just might disappear as fast as mine!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Mint Cake

Mint cake.

This is what I make in the summer for some very special people. The recipe is secret, and you'd better be jealous. Just look at the pictures and imagine millions upon millions of young adults pining over this huge commercial sized sheet cake of goodness. Well, maybe not that many people. But it's that delicious.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Upside Down Blueberry Cake

Summer here in New England means LOTS of blueberries. We have over 30 blueberry bushes on property, so in August there seems to be an endless supply of blueberries!
I decided to make this blueberry cake as a treat one morning for breakfast for my mom. My mom is an oatmeal and yogurt + cereal LOVER, and I always like to try to get her to eat something a little different. Some mornings there is no going between her and her bowl of mixins. Story short, she ended up eating it for lunch! She loved the blueberries and the texture of the cake. One of the best things about this cake is that it is so easy to whip up, it cooks in a short amount of time, and it's mini sized! I baked this in a mini bundt pan, which makes it a perfect sized breakfast for one, or shared between two and topped with creamy vanilla yogurt. I suppose it wouldn't be such a bad thing for dessert either!

Upside Down Blueberry Cake
    makes one mini bundt pan, double or triple the recipe and do it in a normal sized pan!

For the "bottom" blueberry layer:
  1.  Sprinkle enough blueberries to cover the bottom of the bundt pan, then sprinkle uncooked oats, add a drizzle maple syrup (not too much) on top of the oats and then sprinkle as much cinnamon as desired on top of the whole mixture.

For the "top" cake layer:
    2 Tbsp  melted KERRYGOLD unsalted butter
    2 Tbsp  maple syrup - always buy organic
    2 Tbsp  organic yogurt - mine was vanilla low fat Stonyfield
    2 Tbsp  almond flour - unblanched and ground at home
    1 Tbsp  coconut flour
    1 tsp  organic teff flour
    1/4 tsp EACH: xanthan gum, baking soda, baking powder
    dash EACH: sea salt, nutmeg, vanilla

To make your upside down blueberry cake:
  1.  Mix all ingredients above in a small bowl with a whisk.
  2.  Spoon on top of the blueberry "bottom" of the pan.
  3.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes on the highest rack until puffy, then move it to the middle rack and bake for about 4 minutes more or until the cake springs back when gently touched.
  4.  Be sure to place a cookie sheet on the bottom of the pan so the "dribble overs" are caught and don't burn on the floor of the oven.
  5.  Let cool completely. To free from the pan, take a normal silverware knife (not a butter knife but one with little teeth) and gently insert the knife on the edge between the cake and the pan and work knife around the whole pan. Shake the pan gently over a plate and cake should come right out!

As I said, this cake is originally intended to be eaten for breakfast topped with some vanilla yogurt, but it will do double duty for dessert as well, but with ice cream instead!

Enjoy your August blueberry frenzy!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Namaste Parmesan Crackers

Mhmm, crackers! Ever since going gluten free my mom has been craving her crackers. One day I decided to put an end to it and experiment in the kitchen. Viola!

To make this recipe I took my favorite gluten free pizza crust mix, Namaste, added a few ingredient and turned it into a cracker! The mix is soo versatile.

These crackers have a GREAT crunch! They are not very flaky like other crackers, but have a wholesome satisfying texture and ever so slight cheesy crunch.

I have made two batches of these already- they keep disappearing! This will definitely be my go-to cracker recipe from now on. The recipe is so forgiving, so feel free to experiment with your own favorite ingredients.

Namaste Crackers

1/2 cup Namaste pizza crust mix
2 T cornmeal - I used Bob's Red Mill
2 T millet flour - fresh ground by me!
2 tsp olive oil
2 T melted KERRYGOLD unsalted butter
1 T grated fresh raw milk parmesan cheese
warm water as needed

To make your crunchy delicious crackers:
1. Add ingredients to a small bowl and whisk together.
2. Add warm water as needed and fold together with a small spatula.
3. Turn onto a lightly Misto-ed cookie sheet (can use a silicone baking sheet here if you have one- I don't, YET!)
4. Roll thin with a pizza roller to about 1/4 - 1/8" thick, making sure that there are no thin spots and you cannot see the cookie sheet through. Because there are large particles in the flours in cannot be super thin.
5. Slice into desired square shape with a pizza cutter.
6. Bake on the middle or bottom rack of the oven at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until the middle is firm and edges slightly brown, rotating once.

*If you add too much water add 1 T millet flour.
**It is better for the dough to be on the wet side, than the dry side

Summer is the greatest time for crackers. Fire up a few batches and then you have an easy snacking and a low key dinner item for the next month! My mom and I like to have "girl dinners" where we have a smorgashboard of different things like crackers or rice cakes and peanut butter, carrots, peppers, celery, cucumbers and dip, a small salad or sweet potato, and whatever fresh fruit we feel like, especially cut up apples.