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Friday, December 30, 2011

Perfect Excuse For Baking

Since it's the holidays, I've been doing some baking. I know that I'm not supposed to consume too much sugar, but for some reason this time of the year it's hard to say no to cookies and cakes. Since I can't eat most, I decided to make my own. I discovered this amazing website: So many great gluten free and vegan recipes.

To take to my husband's parents for Christmas I made the Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies. The only change I made was instead of using 1 and2/3 cup of brown sugar I tried 1 and 1/3 cup of coconut sugar. The cookies were very rich tasting. They had almost a caramel flavor. Not sure if it's my reawakened taste buds or the fresh addition of coconut sugar.

I also made mini cupcakes from a gluten free mix I had bought some time ago. The mix called for eggs, but I subbed Ener-G Egg Replacer. The mini cupcakes were light, airy and super chocolate-y.

For dinner the other night I made the Mexican Pumpkin Soup. The soup is super spicy and filling. If you have a cold, this dish will make you sweat it out. The soup made a lot, which I like. Leftovers make life easy. I also toasted a gluten free burrito. I spritzed it with olive oil and sprinkled cayenne and sea salt on it before setting it in the over for about ten minutes. The chips went perfectly with the soup.

Most mornings I begin with a glass or two of green juice followed by g-free oatmeal mixed with fruit. Some mornings my body says it can't stomach another bowl of cereal. About a twice a month a bake a batch of muffins. Half of which I freeze to have on hand when cereal falls out of favor. Yesterday morning I made the Carrot Muffins. The recipe required coconut flour. A new ingredient that I was skeptical of purchasing. Would I use the flour again? For this recipe, instead of using 1 cup of light brown sugar, I added in 3/4 cup of coconut sugar. My husband ate one right of the oven. No complaints. And he's a muffin connoisseur. He usually picks one up from Crumbs or Zabars at least two or three times a week. The muffins have a rich taste and are very satisfying. I've tried other g-free, vegan muffin recipes. None compare to the Carrot Muffins.

Karina of Gluten Free Goddess, mentions that the secret to g-free baking is finding the perfect mix of flours. In most of her recipes she uses three to four flours. She writes that g-free fours have a more pronounced taste than regular wheat flour. To keep one flavor from over powering another, you have to find the perfect blend. When I began g-free baking I was skeptical of purchasing so many tiny bags of different flours. At this point, I've accumulated so many that baking isn't such a pricey trip to the grocery store any longer.

Next up is buckwheat flour and Karina's Flourless Vegan Chocolate Cake.

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