Sunday, April 12, 2015

Gluten, Diary, Soy Free Banana Cake With Cream Cheese Icing

This is the Banana Cake recipe from the Purity Cook Book- mine is a lovely copy I found at a second hand bookstore a few years back. I've employed the "normal recipe minus 1/3 of the flour" technique, increased the amount of mashed banana so the oil and sugar can be reduced a bit, and discovered the glories of Daiya non-dairy cheese! It's a delicious cake and it keeps well in the fridge for about a week. No one will know it's gluten and dairy free. Enjoy!

Dry Ingredients:
1 1/3 cups gluten-free flour blend
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp xanthan gum

Wet Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas
1/3 cup oil
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 well beaten eggs
1/4 cup non-dairy milk soured with 1 tsp vinegar/cider vinegar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Whisk dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk/beat together the wet ingredients. Add wet ingredients to dry, and beat together until completely incorporated and very well mixed. Let stand for 30 minutes, (batter may seem runny, but as it stands the flours will absorb the liquid and it will get thicker).

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350*F and lightly grease or line with parchment paper, one 9" square pan or two 8"round layer pans. (I found the 9" square pan made a very high cake. I preferred the height I got using a 9 x 13" baking pan.).

After 30 minutes, pour/divide batter into pan(s). Bake for 50-55 minutes for a square/rectangle cake, 30-35 minutes for a layer cake. Test for doneness with a toothpick inserted in the middle. Cake is done when the toothpick comes out clean, cake bounces back when lightly touched and is nicely browned.

Let cool completely before removing from pans and frosting.

Faux Cream Cheese Frosting:

3 oz (which is 125g/@1/2 cup)  Daiya Plain Cream Cheese Style Spread
1/4 cup  Becel Vegan Margarine (or other non-dairy butter-like spread)
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups icing sugar

Beat together until smooth, creamy and of spreadable consistency. Spread evenly over cake, or between layers and on top.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Gluten-Dairy-Soy Free Raisin Bran Muffins

This is a recipe that I've adapted from my adaptation of the Company's Coming Muffins and More cookbook. These muffins have been a favourite, and I've missed them since going gluten and dairy free. They freeze well, and mix up quickly, and since they work for the new diet- I've been in heaven again. My FAVOURITE thing is coffee or tea and a raisin bran muffin with Becel Vegan Margarine and honey. This has become my "go-to" bring along muffin for travelling. A double batch makes 18 muffins that really travel well. I bring them in a freezer-type storage bag and  borrow fridge space along the way. With peanut butter, (I bring Kraft Extra-Smooth or a natural PB- the only ones I've found without soy oil) one of these muffins is a good breakfast when the hotel is serving up a "continental". Also a good lunch option, snack or supper supplement. So far the record is tasty for 2 weeks on the road.

150 ml (2/3 cup) Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour* 
250 ml (1 cup) ground flax (or 125 ml/1/2 cup ground flax+ 125 ml/1/2 cup oat bran)
3 ml (1/2 tsp) Xanthan Gum
5 ml (1 tsp.) baking soda

5 ml (1 tsp.) baking powder
5 ml (1 tsp.) cinnamon (optional)
175 ml (3/4 cup) raisins

250 ml (1 cup) non-dairy milk
5 ml (1 tsp) vinegar
50 ml (1/4 cup) canola or olive oil
50 ml (1/4 cup) molasses
1 egg

5 ml (1 tsp.) vanilla

In a large bowl, combine flour, flax/oat bran, xanthan gum, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and raisins. Mix well with a whisk. Push up around sides of bowl, making a well in the center.

In med. sized bowl, stir milk, vinegar, oil, molasses, egg and vanilla together. Whisk together until well blended.

Pour milk mixture into well in dry ingredients. Stir vigorously to combine well. You can't beat this too much.*

Let better stand 30 minutes.

Divide into greased or paper lined muffin cups. Bake at 350 * F., for about 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Remove from pan. Makes 8 large muffins.

Note: To make the Husband's Favourite "Raspberry Bran Muffins", use 1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen (un-thawed) instead of raisins, and add 25 ml., (1/8 cup) Splenda sweetener or 1/4 cup brown sugar to the flour mixture.
 Another Note: I made a batch (without cinnamon), divided the batter, added raisins to half for me, some brown sugar and raspberries to the other half for him, and he thought they were just fine. In spite of a slight prejudice against "gluten-free" things. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Baking Powder Biscuits

One of the first things we were taught to make in Grade 8 Home-Ec. A great, versatile standard. If you add a little extra milk, (on purpose or by accident) to make a stickier dough, you can either drop them onto the top of a bubbling stew to make dumplings, or drop them onto a greased cookie sheet for "drop biscuits". Add cheese and bacon! Add chopped green onion or chives! Add sugar and bake in round "cakes" to make scones! You can even use the baking powder biscuit as a pizza crust in a pinch. Perfect with soup or stew for dinner, or for breakfast, hot and fresh with jam or to hold an egg and ham sandwich.

2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 cup of butter or hard margarine
3/4 to 1 cup milk

Lightly grease a baking sheet and preheat the oven to 375*F.

Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium sized bowl. Cut the butter in with a pastry blender. If you don't have a pastry blender, you can use a couple of knives to cut at the butter, or just use your fingers, kind of squishing the flour and butter together until the butter is broken up into little flour covered pieces and the mixture sort of resembles oatmeal.

Add the milk- start with 3/4 cup, and add a bit more if needed, gently folding it into the flour mixture with a rubber spatula until it holds together. (*if you use whole wheat flour, it will take more milk than with white flour) Dough should be in a lump together but not sticky. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and gently roll out to 2 inch thickness. Either cut into circles (or hearts, or shamrocks or Christmas trees...) and place on prepared baking sheet. You can gently gather the scraps together and recut it. OR (as I usually do) just cut the rolled dough into 12 squares and place on cookie sheet. 

Bake for 15-25 minutes, until biscuits are risen and golden brown.

If you add too much dough and it's quite sticky, just drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheet, dividing it into 12 mounds. Bake as indicated until risen and nicely browned.


To make dumplings for stew, add 1 cup to 1  1/4 cups milk to make a soft, sticky dough. Drop by Tablespoons onto hot stew. Cover and let the stew simmer for 15-25 minutes until the tops of the dumplings are firm to the touch. To make dumplings in the Slow Cooker, cover the top of the slow cooker (under the lid) with a clean tea towel. This keeps the condensing steam from dripping back onto the dumplings which keeps them from getting cooked properly on top.

Cheese Biscuits: Add 3/4 to 1 cup of grated cheese with the flour, either before or after you cut in the butter.

Cheese and Bacon Biscuits: Add 3/4 cup of grated cheese and 1/2 cup of cooked, chopped bacon before you add the milk.

Cheese, Bacon and Onion Biscuits: Add 3/4 cup of grated cheese, 1/2 cup of cooked, chopped bacon and 1/3 cup of chopped green onion before you add the milk.

Easy Scones: Add 1/2 cup of sugar to the flour mixture, and increase the butter to 1/4 cup. Divide the dough in half, after the milk is mixed in, and shape it into two 6 inch circles. Score the circles with a knife, cutting each into 6ths. Brush the tops and sides with a little milk or cream and sprinkle with sugar. Bake as directed for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Sunny Girl Porridge

I like porridge. Cream of Wheat, oatmeal, Red River Cereal or Sunny Boy... love 'em all. The problem with being off gluten, is that Cream of Wheat is out. Regular oatmeal, which seems to give me a reaction, is also out. The nutty brilliance of Red River Cereal or Sunny Boy, because of the added wheat germ, likewise nixed. What then?! I gave Oat Bran a try, and found that it didn't affect me the way mealed oats did, and it was nice and very reminiscent of Cream of Wheat. First hot cereal victory! Then I thought of adding flax to it, and after perfecting the formula, I have a delicious porridge that reminds me of both Cream of Wheat and the hot flax cereals. Thought this snowy spring morning would be a good time to finally share the recipe here. A lovely hot breakfast cereal that is guaranteed to keep you warm and happy inside until lunch. 

1/3 cup oat bran
1/8 cup (2 Tablespoons) ground flax
1/8 cup (2 Tablespoons) whole flaxseed
1/8 cup (2 Tablespoons) raisins (or dried cranberries) optional
1 1/3 cups water

Put all ingredients into a small saucepan. Stir, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, stirring frequently, and let simmer for 5 minutes. Doctor it up with a bit of milk and sugar. Equally delicious with almond milk and a sprinkle of Splenda.

Serves 1.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Gluten, Dairy and Egg Free Brownie Bites

I am still in love with the Babycakes cookbooks. They have brought some joy back to this diabetic, gluten, dairy and soy-free woman's life. One of my favourite recipes has been adapted from "Brownies", in Erin McKenna's first cookbook. This is a smaller version of the original, with a few modifications. They are completely delicious, and as they are very quick to mix up and only take about 15 minutes to bake, it's super easy to whip up a batch while Brownies for everyone else are baking. Bonus: they freeze well, and even taste good before they thaw... 

1/3 cup garbanzo-fava bean flour
4 teaspoons potato starch
2 teaspoons arrowroot or tapioca starch
3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup granulated sugar (*A combination of 3 Tbsp sugar + 2 Tbsp Splenda works)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum or guar gum
3 Tablespoons Canola oil
3 Tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 Tablespoons hot water
1/3 cup vegan* mini chocolate chips (I used "Enjoy Life Mini Chips" that I purchased at Nutter's Bulk & Natural Foods) OPTIONAL

Preheat oven to 350* F. Lightly grease a 12-cup mini muffin tin. (have a second tin ready to grease and fill as needed)

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, potato starch, arrowroot, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum (or guar gum) and coffee granules. Add the oil, applesauce, vanilla and hot water, and stir until the batter is smooth. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the chocolate chips, just until they are evenly distributed throughout the batter. 

Divide the batter into prepared muffin cups. Fill to the top of each cup; grease additional cups as needed. I generally get 14-16 brownies per batch. 

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the center brownie comes out clean, and the tops have a firm edge with a softer center. Let stand in pans 10 minutes, then remove to wire rack. Fabulously, decadently delicious when served warm. Equally delicious any time. Store in airtight container in the fridge, or freeze. 

Serve iced (making a dairy-free frosting with Becel Vegan Margarine), dusted with confectioner's sugar or plain. The chocolate chips give them a "frosted" taste. 

Have I mentioned that these are delicious?

Makes 14-16 brownie bites.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Pineapple, Upside Down Oatmeal Cake

It's MOPS time again, and for our Tropical Beach Party theme we thought an upside-down pineapple cake might be fun. I had a vision of a kind of pineapple-oatmeal cake, and so I went looking. In one of my favourite cookbooks (Cooking From Quilt Country by Marcia Adams) I found both an upside-down pineapple cake and an oatmeal cake. I envisioned a mash-up of sorts and so putting them together, came up with this. The first trial was pretty good, but deemed a little too sweet, and since I had added ground flax I thought I might be able to leave out the egg. The second trial turned out nicely; with a few maraschino cherries sprinkled in for a festive colour and the egg replaced with a flaxseed substitute, either regular or gluten-free it's a delightful breakfast or dessert treat. In place of crushed pineapple I used pineapple tidbits the second time around, breaking up the chunks with the sharp edge of a plastic spatula. It worked just fine.

Pineapple Upside-Down Oatmeal Cake

1 -14oz can crushed pineapple
5 maraschino cherries, finely chopped (optional)
1 cup Gluten-Free Oatmeal  (or regular, but not instant, rolled oats)
2 Tablespoons ground flax* (or 1 egg/egg substitute)
pineapple juice + water to make 1 cup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup Canola oil

1 cup all-purpose flour or Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (if using gluten-free flour)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground mace or nutmeg
1/3 cup Canola oil
1/2 cup Agave nectar OR 1/4 cup brown sugar+1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla

Preheat oven to 350*F. Line a 9inch square pan with parchment paper or lightly grease with spray oil.

Drain pineapple through a sieve into a microwave safe bowl or glass measure.

Add water to pineapple juice to make 1 cup. Microwave 2-3 minutes on high heat. Stir in oatmeal and flax, and let stand for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix first amount of brown sugar and canola oil together and spread over bottom of prepared pan. Spread drained pineapple over brown sugar mixture, sprinkle maraschino cherry pieces (if used) over pineapple, and set aside.

In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, xanthan gum (if used), salt and mace. When pineapple juice is cooled to lukewarm, add second amount of oil, agave nectar or sugars, and vanilla. *Mix in egg or egg substitute if ground flax wasn't added to the oatmeal.  Stir together until well blended. Add to flour mixture, and fold together until fairly smooth and well blended. Pour over pineapple in pan and bake for 25-40 minutes until cake is browned, springs back when lightly touched, and a toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.

Let stand for 15 minutes, then invert onto large serving plate. Peel off parchment. 

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

If you like to bake, or to eat baking, and you have food sensitivities, you must-must-MUST get yourself one of the Babycakes cookbooks by Erin McKenna. "Babycakes" and "Babycakes Does The Classics" are both awesome vegan cookbooks. This Pumpkin Spice Muffin recipe is in the first book, but I've replaced 1/4 of the flour with ground flax and quinoa flour. I also added pumpkin seeds and raisins because I like raisins in spice cake and muffins, and because I thought the texture of the seeds would be nice. These muffins freeze well and travel well. They are equally fabulous with  Becel Vegan margarine or Kraft No-Sugar-No-Salt-Added Peanut Butter. Easy to mix up and satisfying for breakfast, lunch or snacks on the go.

1 1/2 cups Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Flour*
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/4 cup quinoa flour*
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon xanthan gum*
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 cup Canola oil
2/3 cup agave nectar*
2/3 cup rice milk
2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
1-398 ml (about 13 oz) can pure pumpkin puree
1/2 cup hot water
1 cup raisins
3/4 cup shelled pumpkin seeds
*readily available at Nutter's Bulk and Natural Foods

Preheat the oven to 325*F.

In a large bowl, whisk together flours, flaxseed, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt, cinnamon and ginger. Add oil, agave nectar, rice milk and vanilla to the dry ingredients. Stir with the whisk until batter is smooth and thick. Using a plastic/silicone spatula, fold in the pumpkin, hot water, raisins and pumpkin seeds until batter is smooth and everything is evenly distributed throughout.

Fill paper lined muffin cups 3/4 full. Muffins won't rise much during baking. Bake on center rack for 22-30 minutes, switching the pans and rotating them 180* after 12 minutes. Finished muffins will be soft to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean.

Let muffins stand in the tin for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. Store muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the fridge for a week, or in the freezer. Pop a frozen muffin in the microwave for 15-20 seconds or so to heat it up, or throw it in a bag or reusable container and take it along to eat at your next Starbucks coffee date.

Makes 18-22 delicious muffins