May 2008


I have reservations about gluten-free flour mixes, I have since the onset of my gluten-free life. On one hand, I love experimenting with unique flour mixtures; searching for the perfect blend of gluten-free flours, searching for the texture, the taste and the flavour that I crave. On the other hand, sometimes I’m lazy – isn’t everyone?

With the internet at our fingertips, it’s easy to stumble upon multitudes of mixes, sworn to give perfect results, each and every time. I have a few that I like – one of my favourites seems to be a garbanzo-fava bean flour, potato starch and arrowroot mixture that I gleaned from some of Erin McKenna’s recipes.

Prompted by the mouth-watering photos over at Delightfully Gluten Free, I recently tried out Cassandra’s biscuit mix. Although my biscuits were a little tough, I’m fairly confident that was of my own doing; I still have more mix and I plan to try the recipe again soon. Having the pre-made mix on hand, has also given me a chance to make my favourite “bisquick” recipe, a crustless quiche, now conveniently Gluten-Free, mmmm delicious!

But I digress, while on a weekend getaway with my husband a few months ago, I picked up a package of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pancake Mix and have been waiting for a chance to try it ever since. Last weekend I finally found myself craving a hot breakfast, but also feeling lazy and not up to the task of preparing pancakes from scratch (I usually use Shauna’s Recipe which, at the least requires a little bit of time to allow the batter to settle).

I prepared the pre-mixed pancakes with vigor!

Unfortunately, that was not enough. The pancakes texture, though fluffy, was heavy and crumbly, yet still sticky in my mouth. And despite being low on the ingredient list, I couldn’t escape the cornflour which was evident to both my sense of taste and smell. To say the least, I was disappointed – but that’s not to say I won’t find a way to use up the rest of that mix.

Any suggestions?

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It is with great pleasure that I write this post – I just finished installing a brand new hard drive (courtesy of my warranty) in my 8-month old laptop. I hope that for the first time in its short lifespan, it may actually function properly.

I want to start off by adding to my previous post. I awoke the next morning, only to realize that I had forgotten to mention that I had managed to find some P.A.N. (pre-cooked white cornmeal), and as such had a chance to make some Arepa’s. I think I added a “glug” too much oil, as my arepa’s were consistently slightly goopy in the middle despite longer cooking and/or baking time. Regardless, they were delicious – in fact I may just make some more tonight.

I’m home alone tonight, and softball has been canceled due to rain. I’m trying to decide whether to bake or just chill, at this point, I’m leaning towards the “do-nothing” option, but time will tell. I did in fact, once again, bake up a storm this weekend. In celebration of Mother’s day, I baked a double batch of gluten-free Biscotti for my Mom (who can eat gluten, but loves them), I baked a supposed-to-be-fluffy (but mine wasn’t) gluten-free sponge cake that I layered with mangoes soaked in maple syrup and whipped cream and after “stealing” some over-ripe banana’s from my mother-in-laws, I also made another batch of banana bread.

Then, yesterday a co-worker plopped a container of hemp hearts and a recipe for Flourless Peanut Butter Hemp Cookies from a magazine, in front of me. Although I can’t find the recipe on the website, the recipe was courtesy of http://www.poweroffood.com . Of course, I made those too and boy were they easy to make and delicious!

But I digress, after promising in my last post, I am finally ready to share my Banana Bread Recipe.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Adapted from Erin McKenna’s Cinnamon Banana Bread

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup Garbanzo-Fava Bean Flour
  • 1/4 cup Potato Starch
  • 2 Tbsp Arrowroot starch
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp xantham gum
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup agave nectar
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 Tbsp milk or non-dairy substitute
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 over-ripe bananas (mashed)
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the Oven to 350 F and lightly grease a large loaf pan.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together all of the dry ingredients.
  3. In a large bowl mix together all of the wet ingredients (except the mashed bananas and chocolate chips).
  4. Gently fold the bananas into the wet mixture.
  5. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients; just before all of the dry ingredients are moistened, fold in the chocolate chips. Do not over-stir, it’s ok if the batter is lumpy.
  6. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake in a preheated oven for approximately 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. Allow the banana bread to cool a minimum of 20 minutes before turning out, allow to cool completely before slicing.

I have been cooking like crazy for the past week…

 It started last Sunday, when I eagerly tried out Ginger Lemon Girl‘s, Delicious Gluten Free Belgian Waffles.  After craving the soft, yet crispy decadence of Belgian Waffles smoothered in whip cream and fruit for months, I finally gave in and purchased a Belgian Waffle Iron and began searching out Gluten-Free recipes.  I was ecstatic to discover Carrie’s recipe; the waffles were easy to make and tasted delicious, just like the waffles I remember.  In fact the recipe made enough waffles that I froze the excess in ziploc baggies and was able to enjoy this amazing treat all week long.  If you’re curious they crisped up wonderfully in the toaster.  Now I want to try the second recipe Carrie posted, Kelly’s Fast Whole-Grain Waffle “Sandwich Bread”, but first I’ll have to make her GF Master Baking Mix.

The first half of the week passed as per normal, feeding myself, feeding my husband; but on Thursday, I was a “baking machine”.  Friday was my five year old nephews, long awaited school Carnival/Fundraiser.  I of course, offered to make a cake for the cake walk, and my sister-in-law promptly requested her favourite – carrot cake. 

I work a part-time job on Thursday evening, and since I have known for months that I would need a fresh cake for a Friday, I made arrangements to have my shift covered.  I also decided that since I would be baking any ways, I would also bring in the treats for “Friday Morning Tea” in my office.  Last time I brought treats, I brought a carrot cake and half of a Gluten-Free Ponderosa Cake for my other GF friends.  Turns out everyone was intrigued by Gluten-Free and wanted to try it out, so this time I decided to only make Gluten-Free treats.

This Thursday, instead of working until 10pm, I baked until 10:30pm.  I made a carrot cake for my nephew; I do make his with flour, but I mix it all by hand and in the farthest corners of my kitchen, away from my food and my equipment.  At the same time, I also made my first attempt at adapting said recipe, yielding an amazing, moist gluten-free carrot cake. 

But that’s not all.  I also made Erin McKenna’s Allergen-Free Brownies again, this time using cane sugar instead of Agave Syrup (I noticed very little difference in taste – both were yummy!).  Finally, I made Chocolate Chip Banana Bread; an adapted version Erin McKenna’s Cinnamon-Banana Bread.  I’ll try and share the recipe soon.

I did not manage to get pictures of any of these treats as my office mates scarfed them down in record time – many commented how delicious the treats were and some even asked for the recipes.  In my books if gluten-eaters enjoy my Gluten-Free treats, I’ve definitley done something right.