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Archive for September, 2010

This recipe is vegan and soy-free, so it is a great alternative for those who cannot tolerate these foods.

The recipe can be halved and used as a spread for the Pumpkin Oat Loaf I published on September 14.  This was my original intent when I created this recipe.  The result was so rich that I knew it would work perfectly as the filling for a pumpkin pie.

Vegan, Soy-free, Pumpkin Pie Filling

2 cups pecans

2 cups pumpkin purée (either homemade or canned)

2 tblsp lemon juice

2 tblsp white miso

1/3 cup agave syrup (maple syrup is also ok)

¾ tsp vanilla

1 ½ tsp ground ginger

1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon

¾ tsp ground cloves

¾ tsp ground nutmeg

Place pecans in a food processor and combine until a butter is formed.  This will take about 5 – 7 minutes.

Add the remainder of the ingredients to the food processor, and combine.  Spoon mixture into your favourite pie crust, top with coconut or soy whipped cream, and enjoy.

This recipe can be halved and served as a dip as well.

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So first of all I’d like to point out that for once I have a decent photograph posted here.  I’ve learned that it’s not actually entirely my fault that all of my photos turn out, well, um, poorly.  I used a decent camera for the first time last night and, well, you can judge the results for yourself.  Now that I have something decent to use hopefully the quality of photos you find here will improve.  And now you can all see what these items actually look like (i.e. like it wasn’t some back-alley bakery pumping these things out).

This works really well as a breakfast bread.  It is a relatively milk-tasting bread.  Some toppings that would go really well on this would be an apple butter or pumpkin spice butter (published here in a separate post on September 21).

The reason I am now using oats in my recipes is because I’ve finally found some gluten-free oats here in Canada!  This is big news.  Really.  The brand is Only Oats and they are available at Bulk Barn stores across Canada.  For more info or to make a purchase visit their website http://www.onlyoats.ca/ 

I still tend to use eggs in my recipes, especially when I’m making a loaf like this or a cake.  The lift that eggs give to baked goods simply can’t be mimicked.  However, if you cannot tolerate eggs you can use an egg substitute such as flax meal, apple sauce, or Ener-g Egg Replacer. 

In general, if a recipe calls for only one or two eggs, they can be replaced without compromising the integrity of the recipe.  If more than two eggs are called for, it becomes more and more difficult to replace them.  However, substitutes can be found, although a little bit of experimentation may be necessary.

Pumpkin Oat Bread

Inspired by a recipe found in Living Without magazine

1 cup sorghum or quinoa flour¼ cup tapioca starch

¼ cup arrowroot

¼ cup brown rice flour

1 tblsp baking powder

¼ tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cloves

¼ tsp sea salt

½ tsp nutmeg½ tsp xanthan gum

1 cup boiling water

½ cup gluten free rolled oats or quinoa flakes

3 eggs (or 2 eggs and increase xanthan gum to 1 tsp – 3 eggs really holds it together well)

1 cup pumpkin puree

2 tblsp canola oil

¼ cup honey

2 tblsp pumpkin or flax seeds

 

Preheat oven to 350°F.   Place one of the oven racks into the middle of the oven.

Lightly grease 1 large loaf pan with your oil of choice. 

In a small bowl, pour boiling water over the oats and let mixture stand for 20 minutes.  If using quinoa flakes, let stand for 5 minutes.  If there is any easily apparent excess water in the bowl after the soaking period, gently drain the water off.  Do not press down on the oats to remove excess water.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, salt, and xanthan gum.

In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, pumpkin puree, oil, and honey.  Stir in the oat mixture. 

Do not combine the liquid and the dry ingredients until you are ready to pop them into the oven.  Combining the wet and dry ingredients immediately activates the baking soda and the life it gives the loaf will be lost.

Stir the wet mixture into dry ingredients until just moistened and fully combined.

Spoon batter into prepared pans and sprinkle pumpkin/flax seeds on top.  Place pans in preheated oven and bake for 35- 40 minutes until done.  The top will be golden brown and your kitchen will be filled with the aroma of the spices.  It is easy to underbake this loaf, so I recommend leaving it in for 5 for minutes, no matter how long you have been baking it.

Cool in the pan for 1 hour before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.  Use a knife to loosen the sides from the pan before turning out.  Try to lift the loaf out of the pan to avoid losing seeds.  Cool the loaf completely before cutting (otherwise it will crumble and simply fall apart), approximately 3 – 4 hours.

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Ok, this is a very basic post.  But I learned this today and thought I should share.

I have tried cooking gluten-free noodles in the past, but they always turn out really gummy.  So gummy that they are truly unappetizing.

The method is very simple, and the real trick is not to boil them.  I’m going to guess that a lot of you already know this little bit of information, but for those of you who don’t I thought I would share.  The great thing about gluten-free noodles is that they give you more freedom to experiment in the kitchen.

Cooking Gluten-free Noodles

Bring approximately 3 litres of water to a boil either on the stovetop or in the microwave. 

Once the water has come to a boil remove from the heat and add the noodles to the water.  Place the lid on the pot and let the noodles steep for 10 minutes.  Stir the noodles occasionally so they don’t stick together.

Drain the noodles and either use them immediately or put them in the fridge for later use.  The noodles can be stir-fried or simply re-heated with your choice of sauces and toppings.

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This is yet another recipe that really couldn’t be easier to make, yet has maximum impact on the tastebuds!  Additionally, the recipe can be easily modified to match your specific tastes and allergies.

You can use any type of nut butter you desire; Sunbutter also works really well, but something like tahini would be too runny.

You can use any type of milk that you prefer, as long as it is not flavoured.

You can use any type of chocolate that you like.

The measurements used in the recipe are really the only things that are fixed – everything else can be modified.

It is not necessary to own a mini-cupcake pan.  You can just purchase the little mini-liners and fill them carefully by hand.  The only real benefit of the mini-cupcake pan itself is that it makes the job less messy.

Maggie’s Peanut Butter Cups

2 cups chocolate chips or chocolate that has been cut up into smaller pieces (this makes melting the chocolate that much easier)

1/4 cup milk of choice

1/4 tsp flaky salt, such as sea salt or kosher salt

Approximately 3/4 cup nut butter of choice

Line mini-cupcake pan with mini-cupcake liners. 

Place chocolate in a glass bowl and microwave for approximately 1 – 1 1/2 minutes.  Keep a very close eye on the chocolate in the microwave, as it can burn very easily.  Even if the chocolate does not look like it has melted, take it out of the microwave after 1 minute and stir it around; sometimes this is all it takes to complete the process.  If you prefer, you can melt the chocolate in a double-boiler on the stove-top.

Once the chocolate has melted, add your milk of choice and salt.  Stir to combine.

Using 2 teaspoons, spoon half a teaspoon of chocolate into each mini-cupcake liner.  Once this step has been completed, add 3/4 – 1 teaspoon of nut butter to each mini-cupcake.  Use the rest of the chocolate to cover the tops of each cup.

Refrigerate the cups until they are set (at least two hours).

If you are using a nut butter that is not very runny, you can do the same thing that I did.  I filled each liner about half-way with chocolate, then simply took 3/4 teaspoon of the nut butter, formed it very lightly in my hands into a ball, and pushed it down into the centre of the cup.  This eliminates a lot of fussing about.  However, this will only work if the nut butter is not runny.

If your nut butter is more on the liquid side, the above method will not work because the butter just sits on top of the chocolate.  The end result is a runny cup…a bit like the one I have pictured above!

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