Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Coconut Rice Pudding

Yumm. When I was in high school, I used to live off of New York diner rice pudding and chocolate egg creams. Of course it was filled with sugar and was made with white rice. Pretty much no nutritional value but my brain needed food and this seemed to do the job. Now for the healthier version, made with brown rice, coconut milk, and sugar-free. 

Coconut Rice Pudding
  • 5 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 8 drops liquid stevia
  • milk if needed
So easy, I used left over rice and put it in a pot with all the ingredients. Heat up on medium, stir often, and add extra milk (or almond or rice milk) as needed until you get your desired consistency and have soft, plump raisins.. Easy on the stevia as well. I always start with a few drops and then add more if needed. 3 drops sweetens 1 cup of liquid if that gives you a better idea. Stevia can be tricky and doesn't taste good in everything, but it worked great here. Sprinkle a bit of coconut flakes and orange or lemon rind on top and there you go! And my very picky boys ate it up in a matter of minutes. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Vegetable Pancakes- gluten-free

The latke is amazing. Who could resist potatoes fried in tons of oil. Pretty much anything fried is delicious. That being said, this blog is called "Wheat Free and Healthy". So let's try to make the latke healthy, shall we? 

For this endeavor, I again turned to Chef Fox, world renounded for his ingenious ideas in the slow foods movement. He immediately pulled a grater from his back pocket and went to work. 

He had me use way too many paper towels and press the potatoes after grating them. He claims this is the key to a good veggie pancake. Press, press, press until most of the moisture is gone. 

Grate the celeriac and carrot, and slice the leak. Now mix everything together. 

Get your pan nice and hot. I used coconut oil to lightly fry them over medium heat. They cook fast so don't let them burn! 
Oh how beautiful a veggie pancake can be. Chef Fox likes his with unsweetened apple sauce. These can freeze well to for an easy snack or little-effort meal. Yumm!

Vegetable Pancakes
  • 4 medium sized red potatoes
  • 2 leaks
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 2 medium celeriac (aka. celery root)
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil (or more as needed) 
  • 1 egg
  • thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
Basically, just grate it all up, squeeze out veggie mix, mix in an egg and spices, then fry away! Make sure coconut oil heats up first, but don't let it smoke. Then take tablespoonfuls of mixture and pat into patties in your hand. They'll be very loose. Transfer to pan trying to keep their shape. Fry for less than 1 minute or until slightly golden-brown on each side. Transfer to a plate and serve right away to hungry and adoring fans (aka...your family). Pat yourself on the back too. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread gluten-free

This is my favorite gluten-free banana bread recipe ever! Not just because it's so damn good, but my kids make crazy noises when the I even mention it. This has fast become a staple in our house. I recommend making 2 loaves, a double batch. And I thought of leaving the chocolate chips out, but then id it really banana bread without them? I think not! 

Dry ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa flour
  • 1 and 1/4 cup almond meal (or ground almonds)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  •  1/8 tsp nutmeg (or less)
  • 1 cup coconut sugar (or try 1/2 cup and 10 drops stevia liquid)
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Wet ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 3 very ripe bananas (mushy is best, they are sweeter)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 cup melted butter or coconut oil

  • 1/2 cup- 1 cup good quality chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)

Makes 1 loaf. 
Heat an oven to 340F.

Butter pan or line with parchment paper for easy bread removal. 
Mix the wet ingredients in a big bowl, put aside. In a medium sized bowl, mix the dry ingredients.

Slowly mix the flour mix into the bowl with the wet ingredients. 

Add in chips and raisins if using. Mix until just combined. 

Bake for approximately 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Push all the children away from the bread so they don't burn themselfves by diving right in. Let cool or a few minutes, butter slices. Yumm!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Wheat-Free Pumpkin Bread

I was thinking the other day that maybe it's kind of ridiculous to try and substitute wheat flour all the time with tons of combinations of flours until it tastes and looks like the real thing....wheat. But then I realized that it's actually much more nutritious to use flours like almond, coconut, arrowroot, and quinoa. So I will keep experimenting! 

I was reading a whole bunch of pumpkin bread recipes, but was inspired by She Let Them Eat Cake's recipe and adjusted it. Here is our version of pumpkin bread:

Pumpkin Bread
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar 
  • 6 drops stevia liquid 
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (unsweetened)
  • 1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup softened or melted butter (or coconut oil)
  • 2 tbs vanilla extract
  • 1 &1/2 cups Bobs Red Mill GF flour mix
  • 1/2 cup almond meal (you can buy it or just grind up some almonds finely in a food processor if you want it to be fresher) 
  • a handful of quinoa flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1//2 cup raisins
Preheat oven at 350 degrees and butter a loaf pan. 

Mix first 7 ingredients in a large bowl. Combine all dry ingredients (sifted). 
Slowly add flour mix into wet mix until just combined. Then fold in raisins. 

Drizzle butter and sprinkle a handful of sugar on top. Pour batter into loaf pan and let bake for 40 minutes. My oven has varying temperature, so test your bread out after 25 mins to make sure it's not baking too long, then check again every so often. The challenge with this bread was to cook it enough to avoid a soggy middle, but not overdo it. Tasted great, but may add more applesauce next time. You can't go wrong with more applesauce.

Kids loved it, so it was a success! 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Almond Cookies

My bakers assistant for our gluten-free chocolate chip cookie mission was Chef Fox, a master baker already at two and always perfecting his art. He even insists on grinding his almonds down first to make the almond meal for these cookies. 

When not using wheat flour the challenge is controlling the melt. You can either wind up with cookies that melt into noting into the cookie sheet or stand up like bricks and also sit that way in your stomach.

We finally managed to whip up a healthy alternative to the oh-so-good but nutritionally empty chocolate chip cookie. By adding almond meal and coconut to the cookie, you now have a cookie that won't make you jump off the walls after accidently eating ten. And since we've replaced regular sugar with coconut sugar (and used about half the normal amount), these cookies have a lower glycemic index, about half that of refined sugar. Feel free to also replace the sugar with agave, brown rice syrup, or maple syrup. But coconut sugar works the best. 

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Almond Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cup gluten-free flour (I like Bob's Red Mill)
  • 3/4 cup almond meal
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum or 2 tbs combined ground flax and chia seed + 2 tbs water 
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter (you can also sub with cococonut oil)
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar 
  • 2 eggs (substitute 2 tbs flax seed blended until frothy with 6 tbs water for egg-free version)
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut
Preheat oven at 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Grab a medium sized bowl and sift all the dry ingredients together. Almond meal makes sifting slow but it will work. 

Add in chips, crushed walnuts, and coconut, mix until just combined. Grease baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes or until just browned. Eat and share with your family! Yumm!