About Baking & Cooking Without Gluten and Dairy
The most important thing to remember when changing from a gluten/dairy diet to a non-gluten/dairy diet is that most any of your favorite recipes can be changed simply by adding a few extra ingredients to your pantry. These are the basic, necessary items with which to get started:
1. Pamela’s Baking and Waffle Mix and Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Products
2. Spelt bread (Rudi’s Ancient Grain is wonderful)…not for those with Celiac Disease
3. Coconut palm sugar
4. Organic nuts
5. Organic canned tomatoes: crushed, diced and whole…I love the taste of the fire roasted and recommend those
Also, please have a variety of organic fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables. The organic foods always have a depth of flavor that cannot be matched by the conventionally grown varieties. Remember, your recipes will taste only as good as the quality of the ingredients.
The best sources of the ingredients outlined above are: Amazon.com, nuts.com, Vitacost, Thrive Market (online), Whole Foods and Health Food stores, as well as many of the conventional grocery stores carry many of the above mentioned items as well as the organic fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables.
If you plan on using non-gluten flour, for example, Bob’s Red Mill products, you will have to increase the amount of leavening in recipes that I have posted on this website. The Pamela’s baking mix already has some salt and leavening in it, but I have found it does not contain a sufficient amount for the cakes and breads that I make. If you wish to begin experimenting with your own recipes, please keep that in mind. You will find that there will be some trial and error once you begin, but it will get better as you gain more experience with the recipes. Please feel free to share any and all of the ideas that I have included on this website. If you have any ideas of your own, I’d love to hear from you.
Incredible Brownie Recipe
If you use a good non-stick pan, you need do nothing in the way of preparing it. If you use a regular 8 x 8 baking pan, then, grease and flour the pan, then cut two strips of parchment paper wide and long enough to stick up the sides by about 3 inches, placing the paper at 90 degree angles to one another and grease the parchment paper, again.
Set the oven temperature to 325 F.
6 ounces of dark chocolate (minimum, 70%) I use Divine or Chirardelli, 72%
1 stick of butter
1 tsp. ground coffee
3 eggs, room temperature and lightly beaten
1 tsp. real vanilla extract
3/4 cup of GF flour (I like Pamela’s)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cup of coconut palm sugar (this makes for low glycemic index brownies)
3/4 cup of chopped walnuts
Melt the chocolate, butter and coffee in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside to cool a bit, and then whisk the eggs, vanilla and sugar into the mixture.
In a small bowl, mix together the flour, salt and cocoa powder. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet, then add in the nuts. Pour the mixture into either a 10 inch non-stick pan or 8 x 8 prepared baking pan.
Place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Do not over bake this recipe. It’s meant to be moist when you remove it from the oven as the eggs will keep cooking for a bit. Cool completely before removing from the pan.
Two things to remember: the quality and taste of the brownies depends upon the quality of the ingredients, especially the chocolate, and these taste so much better when they are cooled. If someone just can’t wait to try them, they will crumble if eaten warm. The recipe is easy and simple; the taste is complex and incredible! Happy Holidays.
A Simple Fruit Cobbler
Here’s my new favorite summer dessert that’s not only yummy, but also very nutritious. I like blueberry cobbler, made from wild grown and not cultivated blueberries. While the cultivated ones are delicious and contain anti-oxidants, the wild grown ones contain twice the amount. You can buy them in the frozen food section, so they are already cleaned and stemmed…you have to love that: convenience with a super-food!
I use a 12 inch, oven-safe, non-stick pan (see last week’s blog for specifics).
20 ounces of wild-grown blueberries OR—-
6 cups of sliced peaches WITH 8 ounces of wild-grown blueberries (I like the combination of peaches/nectarines with the blueberries)
3/4 cup of coconut palm sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. non-gluten flour
Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl, until incorporated. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of Pamela’s Baking Mix or Non-gluten flour with 1/2 cup coconut sugar, 1/4 tsp. pink salt, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, cut in 6 Tbsp. of cold butter and combine until the consistency of the flour is like coarse sand. As an unusual touch, if you want, add 1/2 cup grated goat’s cheddar cheese and then add about 1/4 or so cups of coconut milk. Mix this just until combined, making certain that the biscuit mix isn’t too moist…err on the dry side.
Place the fruit mixture into the non-stick pan and drop the biscuit mixture by spoonsful over the fruit. I like to try to keep the biscuit mixture about the same thickness so it bakes, evenly. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the top is golden brown and completely done.
I suggest you place a large cookie or baking sheet under the pan in case there’s a spill over. Let the cobbler cool before serving. This should feed at least 6 people. This dessert is high in phytonutrients, anti-oxidants and low in sugar. It doesn’t get much better than this…enjoy!
Crepes vs. Pancakes Recipe:
I think that a lot of us love eating pancakes, but don’t like the amount of simple carbohydrates they contain, mostly due to the amount of flour and simple sugars that are in them. I’ve been playing around with how to still have the taste of pancakes without all the flour, thus decreasing the carbohydrate content. Here’s my solution: (of course, it’s gluten free)
This recipe makes 12-15 crepes:
8 large eggs, lightly beaten till frothy
1 cup of organic, full fat coconut milk
1 tsp. real vanilla extract (organic, if possible)
1/4 tsp. real almond extract
2 tsp. organic cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp. pink salt
3 Tbsp. organic safflower or sunflower oil
1/4 scant cup of coconut palm sugar
1 cup of Pamela’s Baking Mix (flour)
Whisk all the ingredients, expect for the Pamela’s, together and then slowly add the flour, whisking until mixed, but not over-mixed. These will be very thin, and according to how large your eggs are, you might need to add a little more flour…just enough to hold the crepe together when you flip it over in the pan.
Heat a 10 or 12 inch skillet, preferably a non-stick one, on medium heat until hot enough to cook the crepe, first spraying with coconut oil spray for the first one. Add 1/4 cup of the batter to the pan and spread the batter evenly over the bottom of the pan. I pick up the pan and turn it slightly sideways until all the batter is spread. Cook it for 1-2 minutes, then flip and cook another 30-45 seconds.
These are mostly eggs and very high in protein and relatively low in carbohydrates. You can serve these with a nut butter spread, a little jam, fruit or even a teaspoon or less of pure grade B maple syrup…your choice. They’re really, really good.
Carrot Cake, Non-gluten & Non-dairy :
This is non-gluten, non-dairy and low glycemic index. The icing was the tricky part, but it’s wonderful and so incredibly tasty. I copied this from Ina Garten, just changing the flour, dairy and sugar.
For the cake:
2 cups of coconut palm sugar
1 1/3 cups vegetable oil ( recommend organic sunflower or safflower)
3 extra large organic eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. organic vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups Pamela’s Baking & Pancake mix
2 tsp organic ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 to 1 tsp. pink salt
1 cup organic raisins
1 cup organic chopped walnuts
1 pound organic carrots, grated
1/2 to 3/4 cup of crushed and drained pineapple
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. I use pyrex cake pans, so I set my oven on 325 F. Spray oil or butter and flour 2, 8 inch round pans or 1, 3x9x18″ cake pan. You may also line the pans with parchment paper, but I find it’s not necessary if the pan(s) are floured.
In one small bowl, combine the chopped nuts and raisins with 1 T. flour and mix. In a second medium bowl, combine the grated carrot with the pineapple. In a third medium bowl, mix together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Beat the sugar, oil and eggs together in the bowl of an electric mixer for about 3-4 minutes. Add the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Fold in the carrots and pineapple and then add the nuts/raisins in by hand. Mix well.
Divide the batter equally between the two pans or into the single pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes on the middle rack or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely in the pans set over a wire rack.
***Chocolate Cake, Non-gluten
This is another Barefoot Contessa modified recipe from 2006. Again, I use only glass/pyrex baking pans and, as such, I always decrease the cooking temperature by 25 degrees F. In this recipe, the cooking time and temperature is based on metal pans and a regular oven temperature. If you have a hot or cold oven, my suggestion is to change the temp and cooking time from the recommended.
Spray oil for cake pans (may use butter) & flour for pans
2 2/3 cups Pamela’s baking and pancake mix
2 cups of superfine coconut palm sugar
1 cup of organic cacao powder (cocoa powder)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp pink salt
1/4 cup of “Saco” cultured buttermilk powder
2/3 cup of organic vegetable oil
3 extra large eggs, room temp
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
2 Tbsp. finely ground coffee beans
2 cups of water
4 ounces of good quality chocolate; I use a combination of dark chocolate chips and 100% cacao organic chocolate bar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 (9 inch) round cake pans. ( If you have 8 inch pans, go to foodtv.com and get Ina Garten’s ‘ Beatty’s Chocolate Cake’ recipe as it is formulated for 8″ cake pans.) Line with parchment paper and then, again, use the spray oil and more flour on top of that. This prevents any sticking of the cakes when turning them out to cool.
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, ground coffee beans, buttermilk powder and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the water, oil, eggs and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. Make sure you scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to ensure complete integration of the ingredients. Pour the batter into the prepared pans for 50-55 minutes, until the cake tester comes out clean. (You’ll have to keep an eye on the pans after the 45 minute mark to ensure you don’t burn them.) Cool in the pans for about 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
When thoroughly cooled, ice the layers with one of the layers bottom side up and the other top side up. Use the following icing recipe:
I used to use MimiCreme for the icing. Now that it is no longer available, my suggestion is to either make a genache or a buttercream icing. Martha Stewart has some very good recipes for icings.
My Really Yummy Easy Recipe for Granola:
For those of you who are looking to change out the sugary, pre-packaged cereals for a wholesome, organic alternative, you might like to try this:
5 cups of organic old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup organic sunflower, grape seed or safflower oil
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
1/4 cup water
1 Tablespoon pure organic vanilla extract
1 tsp. pure organic almond extract
2 tsp. organic ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. pink salt
1 cup chopped organic walnuts
1/2 cup chopped or slivered organic raw almonds
1/2 to 3/4 cup organic raisins
1/2 cup organic dried cherries
1/2 cup organic dried cranberries
Raised edge cookie sheet, standard size
parchment paper, cut to size of cookie sheet
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a very large bowl, using a heavy whisk, mix the oil, sugar, syrup and water together…this may initially be a thick messy concoction, but, keep whisking until it is smooth and silky. Add the extracts, salt and cinnamon and whisk until incorporated. Add in the oats and nuts, and coat the entire mixture, thoroughly.
Pour this onto the parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and press out, evenly. Place into your oven for 33- 40 minutes, turning the sheet around once (front to back) during baking. There’s no need to stir, at all. If you have a hot oven, it’ll be done in 33-34 minutes. Cool on a rack until you can handle the granola. Break it into small pieces (I use my hands) in a large bowl and then add your fruit mixture…do not bake the dried fruit as it will become very hard!
Store it in air tight containers in the refrigerator….it should last for 7-10 days…if your family doesn’t devour it, first.