Tag Archives: baking

Gluten-Free Breakfast Bread (ft. TWO kinds of chips)

In my pantry today:

  • 3 overripe bananas
  • 1 c almond meal
  • 2/3 c rice flour
  • 1/3 c flax meal
  • 3 L eggs
  • 1/8 c coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c walnut pieces
  • 1/4 c dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 c butterscotch chips

bananabreadomega3sDespite trying to remain mindful of how my dietary choices affect my health, when it’s cold I seem to be on a constant, instinctual hunt for the most comforting foodstuffs a hot oven can offer. In trying to marry these two seemingly at-war concepts I am now dedicated to uncovering the healthiest ways to be unhealthy. I feel this one loaf can be glorious illustration of such a wondrous union.

This will all be way easier if you’re using a food processor, so let’s assume you will.

Put in the food processor: oil, butter, sugar, honey. Blend. Add dry ingredients in between eggs with a little loud, mechanical punctuation on each account. When you get to the nuts-n-chips, add them in and blend for 5-10 seconds. Pour into greased loaf pan and bake at 350° for 30-55m (or until knife comes out of the center clean).

The coffee pots are set up and now breakfast for tomorrow morning is cooling on the counter, just beaming with gluten-free fiber, protein and omega-3s [flax, walnuts, coconut oil]. I’ll be better able to ever-so-gently sidestep any of that nasty Baked Goods Guilt knowing that not only is it a healthier option (than, say, a fast food biscuit + ??? + cheese), it is just as tranquilizing to my taste buds as something from a drive-thru with all 5 spoons on its sweet, sweet side.

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Coconut-Walnut Quick Bread (Gluten Free)

In my pantry today:

  • 1/2 c rice flour
  • 1/2 c oatmeal
  • 1/2 c golden flax
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 eggs (or egg replacement)
  • 3/4 c evaporated milk
  • 1/4 c sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 c coconut oil
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 c flaked coconut
  • 1/2 c chopped walnuts

coconutwalnutquickbreadOn an evening so algid I better love the oven, but my wife has the car today and we’re out of butter and milk, and have no bananas, sweet potatoes or canned pumpkin. Working off of this recipe as a basic quick bread template, I substituted what was on hand for what the cupboards lacked… all to a delicious, gluten free and health(ier) loaf of easy-to-grab-in-a-frozen-morning-hurry bread.

For the quickest way to get your bread on, start out by blending sugar/oil in the food processor. Add eggs, milk; blend. Add flour, oatmeal and flax; blend (this will help chop up that nasty texture-betraying oatmeal). Put in 1/4 c  shredded coconut and 1.4 c walnuts; pulse the machine so as not to chop those nuts unnecessarily. Pour into greased loaf pan, sprinkle remaining coconut/walnuts on top and bake at 350° for 30m (or until a butter knife inserted comes out clean).

The deployment of flax and use of coconut oil instead of butter assuages my potential guilt, whether it be carby or sweet. Sugar was still involved in the making of this loaf, but at a reduction from previous quick bread recipes. It earns 4 spoons, with a one-spoon reduction only for its sorrowful lack of dark chocolate chips. We were out of those.

Cashew Butter(scotch) Blondies & Dark Chocolate Orange Cookies

Thanks for coming back! Though I’ve had a-whole-lotta life goings on, I certainly didn’t go without cooking all this time… but blogging about it?

Eh, priorities.

Merry Christmas Eve — I am baking gluten-free for a New Year’s transition into giving glutenless living a try. I am baking diabetic-friendly* on top of that. This doesn’t mean that I’m retracting flavor.darkchocorangecookies

Dark Chocolate Orange Cookies

  • 1 c almond flour
  • 3 tbsp golden flax
  • 3/4 stick butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1/4 c xylitol
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 c dark chocolate chips
  • 6 drops doTerra® wild orange essential oil

1. Cream butter and sugars. I’ve found that the food processor works great for this because at the very end I’ll ultimately get smaller pieces of chocolate chips in these almost classic lace cookies.

2. Add egg and orange oil; blend.

3. Add dry ingredients, then chips. Blend.

4. Bake at 350° for 5-7m — let cool before removing from pan. If you can cool them overnight, they’ll solidify a little better for traveling.

Cashew Butter(scotch) Blondies

  • 1 1/2 c white beans (drained/rinsed)
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 c cashew butter
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • level 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 c xylitol
  • 1/4 c molasses
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 c ground golden flax
  • 1/4 c toffee bits
  • 1/4 c butterscotch chips

1. Make cashew butter by using the food processor to grind 1/3 c or so of roasted cashews. Or by buying it. No judgement.

2. Once you’ve measured the right amount of cashew butter, throw everything else BUT your chips in the food processor and blend until a smooth paste.

3. Then throw in the toffee/butterscotch chips and pulse the food processor until blended, but not decimated.

4. Pour into foil or parchment paper-lined 8×8″ pan and bake at preheated 350° oven for 30m.

blondies5. Do not be alarmed when they emerge looking burnt. Let cool several hours (if not overnight) before slicing.

 *They’re friendly, but not like best-friends-for-life friendly; please use your judgement on sweetening levels.

White Chocolate Macadamia Sweet Potato Bread

In my pantry today:

  • 1.25 c smashed sweet potatoes
  • 2 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 3/4 c brown sugar
  • 1/4 c ground flax
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 c canned sweet potato liquid
  • 2 tsp orange extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1/3 c chopped, roasted macadamia nuts
  • 1/4 c white chocolate morsels

wcmnspb2Making this batter in a food processor was an easy delight. Creaming butter and sugar then all that subsequent mixing can be a pain on the wrist. Instead, choose to cut up butter in pieces and put it in the food processor with sugar. Cream with mechanical vigor. Add in wet ingredients one at a time, pulsing everything into continuity with each. When all the wet ingredients are well mixed, add in the dry ingredients in parts with pulsing between each. Add little bits of can “juice” when things look too dry. Once it looks pan-ready, throw in half of your morsels and pulse. Pour into greased/dusted loaf pan and thump on the counter until settling happens. Sprinkle on macadamia nuts and remainder of morsels then tap lightly into batter with a gentle spatula. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for approximately 1 hour. Using whole wheat flour, adding ground flax and being less heavy-handed than instinct would dictate on the nuts… well, that makes this a (slightly) less guilty dessert for breakfast item to go with coffee and out the door. Or in bed with said coffee. Whatever. 5 spoons!

Cheddar Chicken Pie with Broccoli Sentinels (is Only Platonic Friends with the Curry Cabbage)

In my pantry today:

  • 1 frozen, unbaked pie shell
  • 1 can chicken breast, drained and rinsed
  • 2 c large broccoli florets
  • 2/3 c cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 “roasted chicken” flavored gravy packet
  • 1/2 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 3/4 c vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 c minced onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • pinch asafoetida

I have had so. much. pie. this holiday season. It really is kind of ridiculous how pies culminate for an annual winter slaughter of the human diet and pride: pecan, caramel apple cheesecake, plain cheesecake with a mandarin orange pie winning the pie-ze this year for both deliciousness and moxie. After rounding out the last family jaunt yesterday with a pizza, I feel it is safe to start officially distancing myself from rich meals and desserts that do nothing but inadvertently complicate my health and/or well-being.

That being said, I made a pie for dinner tonight. Don’t you judge me.

In the freezer still lived the other half of a crust two-set I’d gotten on sale, canned chicken in the cupboard and cheese in the fridge. Oh, and fresh broccoli; that’s probably the healthiest and therefore most important part of things. Before you get to arranging health around the edge of your pie, start your onion and garlic in butter heating to M. After five or so minutes of making sure everything gets coated and tossed, add the turmeric and asafoetida; stir. While that’s being perpetrated drain and rinse the can of chicken and mix your gravy packet with almond milk. Add eggs to this mixture one at a time and whisk until blended. Return to the stove and stir in 1/3 c of broth and the chicken; toss everything together and spoon into the pie crust. Add the remainder of broth to the egg/gravy mixture. Arrange chunky florets around the edges and secure it all with a pour-over of casserole gravy. Bake in a 375° oven for 45 minutes, remove to sprinkle 1/3 c cheddar over and into the florets and continue baking until a knife comes out of the middle clean. And because I made this earlier today in advance of dinnertime, when I warm it back up at 35o° for 10m I will have sprinkled on another 1/3 c cheddar. This ended up being delicious in flavor, but a little unsatisfactory to me in consistency… then again, the bottom crust I found too soggy was forked off my plate and eaten by my wife. Still, my conscience tells me to go with just 3 spoons on this.

Also, while making that I had also started some cabbage that’s been waiting patiently in the fridge. I don’t know what I’m going to do with it yet — I don’t want to take the easy way out by throwing it into broth and declaring a soup; I’ve got plenty of that in the freezer right now. No, I want this cabbage to go places, travel the world and be better than freezer soup:

  • 1 medium head cabbage
  • 1/2 c onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1-2 c vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp vegetable ghee
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1.5 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp hot curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida

cabbageThis one’s easy. Start the mustard seeds out in a ghee-oiled pot heating to M. When it’s near full heat, add the onion and garlic. When the seeds start snapping, add the spices and stir into a pasty mess. Add a dash of broth. Add cabbage in by little handfuls, all the while mixing and adding broth as needed to get everything spiced right proper. Add enough broth to cover the pan bottom, then put a lid on it and dial the heat down to the L side of ML. I cannot yet give this spoons because I do not feel it is yet a finished product. Good luck to my imagination!

 

Orange-Banana Bread with Dark Chocolate and a Pecan Crust

In my pantry today:

  • 1 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 c Bob’s Red Mill 5 grain rolled hot cereal
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2.25 cups mashed overripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 tbsp ground flax
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 c crushed pecan halves
  • 1/2-2/3 c dark chocolate chips
  • 5 drops doTerra® wild orange essential oil

chocolate_orangeYou know those chocolate oranges you find all over the place during the holidays — the ones that give you a delicious reason during times of culturally heightened stresses to hit something other than a coworker/friend/uncle/stranger/wall? That kind of holiday spirit is the inspiration, without the insinuation of violence, for these little loaves.

To make the batter, start out by putting all of your dry ingredients in a bowlobbread
together and putting in another bowl the butter and brown sugar. Cream those latter two, then add the mashed bananas; mix. Add the beaten egg; mix. Fold in the dry ingredients and chocolate chips. For a final touch, carefully drop wild orange oil in carefully, tasting after each until your orangey desires are met. Pour into whatever size loaf pans you’d like and crunch pecan halves over the top, pressing pecans gently into the wet mix. Bake at 350° for an hour, or until an inserted butter knife comes out clean. I combat the guilt of a stick of butter with the knowledge that I’m also feeding people I love whole wheat flour, whole grain oats, barley, rye, double flax and triticale (absolutely none of which you can taste over the banana, orange, chocolate and pecans). 5 spoons!

 

Lavender-Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

In my pantry today:
  • 1 box gluten-free white cake mix
  • 1 stick butter
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • 1.5 tsp. vanilla
  • 1.5 drops doTerra® lavender essential oil
  • 2/3 lb. powdered sugar
  • 1 c frozen blueberries
lavenderblueberrycheesecakeMix cake mix, butter and egg until crumbly rather than powdery. Pat down into a 9″x13″ pan, pushing sides slightly up. Have cream cheese and eggs at room temperature and mix cream cheese, eggs and vanilla until they are a smooth liquid — I used a food processor for this and I do not consider that in any way cheating.  Add powdered sugar to the food processor,  pulsing between every cup or so. Then — and here’s where I step blindly into the abyss — I added a drop and a half of lavender essential oil. In addition to smelling wonderful, this oil happens to be pure enough to be eaten. I lavenderblueberrycheesecakebarshave heard tale of lavender being a flavor as well as a scent. I wanted to try, and cheesecake can be a gentle delivery medium for a first taste of something long considered just a perfume plant. After it’s been pulsed in, take a deep breath and pour it all over the cake mix. In a small sauce pan, heat frozen blueberries until smashable and drizzle they and their liquids onto the cheesy topping. Swirl with abandon. Bake at 300° for 60 minutes or until a butter knife comes out the middle relatively clean. Cool very completely (everything has to settle in together) and cut into squares. I cannot in good legal conscience guarantee that you will be delighted, but, well, you’ll probably be delighted. 5 spoons!

Alfredioliflower Bake (Or, “Cheese is the New Meat”)

In my pantry today:

  • 1 package mini cheese ravioli
  • 1-1.5c cauliflower florets
  • 2 tbsp vegetable ghee
  • 1/2 medium red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 3 c unsweeteened almond milk
  • 2/3 c shredded mozzarella
  • 1 c grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • pinch cayenne pepper (optional)

alfredibakeMince your garlic and onion, then put in ghee on ML for as long as it takes for them to look apologetically droopy. Add 1.5 c milk and cornstarch and increase heat to MH until a boil barely begins to yawn, then reduce the temperature back to ML. Start stirrin in them cheeses. Well, 1/3c of the mozzarella and 3/4c of the Parm (the rest will go on top). Stir in the salt, other cup of milk and intermittently between said stirrings get your ravioli boiling to almost al dente. Drain and put in a baking pan. Break up any cauliflower florets that are obnoxiously large and tuck them into the pasta. Then drench it all with the cheesy sauce, then top said sauce with the remainder of your cheeses and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Bake in a 350* oven for 20-30m (or until hot).

 

Healthy(ish) Banana Bread and Subsequent Muffin Attempting

In my pantry today:

  • 1 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 c Bob’s Red Mill 5 grain rolled hot cereal
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2.5 cups mashed overripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tbsp ground flax
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 c crushed pecan halves
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder

nanabread2As in most baking recipes, combine all the dry stuff in one bowl and mix the wet stuff in another after creaming butter and sugar. Add mashed up bananas to the wet stuff, then mix it all together. Well, do this with everything but the cacao powder. That’ll be for the mini-muffins you’ll make with the overbatter.  Bake in a 350° oven for 45-60m (until a butter knife comes out of the middle clean).  The whole grain cereal you’re using includes whole grain red wheat, rye, barley, oats and flaxseed (if you’d read the bag more thoroughly before baking you might not have added that extra flax, but oh(mega) well), and using whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose makes this banana bread feel more like breakfast without dampening the flavor (thank you, butter and sugar!). This bread came out more moist than many loaves I have before tasted, and earns 4 spoons for its combination of nutrients and flavor. What batter didn’t fit in my 7.5×3 loaf pan got mixed with some cacao powder and glopped into a mini-muffin pan. This needed to bake just as long as the loaf, but aren’t nearly as moist — just chewy. They only get 2 spoons, boo!

Roasted Roots (ft. Cauliflower)

  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 3 medium red potatoes
  • carrots
  • cauliflower
  • onions
  • garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 /2 tsp turmeric
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida

It’s cold and I felt like neither going to a grocery store nor like overcomplicating the already brisk atmosphere. What was already in the kitchen that I could toss in the oven? This one’s almost in no need of directions — just cut everything up, toss it with olive oil then with the blend of above seasonings (adjust anything to taste, of course). Roast in a 350 oven° for 40m (or so). 4 spoons!