Snacks


It’s hard for me to believe that my son is almost 10 months old, I will have to return to work in less than two months, and as my husband says, everything will change AGAIN. My little man is now grasping at independence, including when it comes to eating. He wants to feed himself, though he does allow me to shovel in spoonfuls of food between bites, provided its something that he likes/wants. Unfortunately, as most parents know it is difficult to find finger foods that my guy can pick up and eat, that are safe for him to eat, that he likes and that are nutritious.

He likes to eat pasta with sauce, meatloaf, chunks of chicken, sweet potato fries, cheese, pears, bananas (sometimes), gluten-free cheerios, mum-mum crackers, avocado, gluten-free toast, rice cakes, natural baked white cheddar cheesies and I’m sure at least a few other things that I can’t think of right now.

Of course I continue to make him baby foods (much thicker and chunkier nowadays) and I have been searching the internet for recipes and ideas that might suit our needs. He really likes the fruited jello (last recipe, scroll all the way down) – I think I’m going to make it with blueberry puree next time instead of plain applesauce. I’ve also tried making meatballs with rice cereal to thicken it (he didn’t care for those too much, but I’m going to try cooking them in pasta sauce (which he loves) and have a feeling that might have better success.

Then for some reason last night I had a thought, MORNING GLORY MUFFINS they have some protein (from the Quinoa), vegetables (zucchini and carrots) and not too much sugar. This morning I got to work and was super happy with the results.

I made a few changes, namely:

  • I used the 1/2 cups of white sugar the recipe called for, but no brown sugar
  • I replaced the 3 eggs with, 2 egg yolks, 1/4 cup applesauce and 1/4 cup warm water mixed with 2 Tbsp ground flax (allow this to sit for at least 5 minutes before using, it should get goopy)
  • I used the flour mixture in my post (less quinoa than the whole foods recipe)
  • I used cornstarch instead of potato starch (because I was out of potato starch, though I prefer it to cornstarch – either would do)
  • I omitted the walnuts and orange juice
  • I used chopped craisins instead of raisins (I like craisins better and they are related to blueberries which my little guy loves)
  • I used a pear instead of an apple (combined with the applesauce egg replacement these are plenty sweet enough without the extra sugar)

I baked these mini muffins at 355 F for 17 minutes (yield 3.5 dozen mini muffins), until the muffins were golden and a toothpick inserted came out clean. They are delicious and my little guy seemed to like them – now Mom must refrain herself from eating them all herself!

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I have a lot of things to write about – a lot of meals I have made and a lot of meals I have eaten.  I have traveled to Asia with minimal stomach issues and I enjoyed a delicious Christmas Dinner, including gluten-free stuffing the entire family enjoyed and gluten-free desserts.

Right now however, time is precious.  My husband is giving our son a bottle and hoping to coerce him back to sleep, but I may be called up at any moment.

This Christmas I was thrilled to recieve Gluten Free Betty Crocker mixes for both cookies and brownies.  Though I know there are many mixes out there (which I rarely use), I am excited to hear that a mainstream company like Betty Crocker is now producing Gluten-Free products.  I have yet to try the mixes (I’ve only had them a day), but when I do I will let you know how they fare.

I always wonder how why these huge companies don’t jump on the gluten-free bandwagon, they surely have enough money to be able to chance it on a new product in a niche market.  I guess these issues need to hit close to home; right on the side of the box it explains why they decide to try out gluten-free.

Not long ago, two of our co-workers found themselves in the gluten free world. Linc was diagnosed with Celiac disease, and Colleen’s family switched to the diet for her son’s well-being.

Their experiences opened our eyes to the challenges families face following the diet. It’s hard to be different, especially when it affects sweet moments with friends and family. No one wants to miss sharing a birthday cake or see their child have to turn down a homemade cookie from a buddy after a game.

We hope we can help by bringing you these mixes for gluten free desserts that look and taste like the treats you’ve been longing to share. Finally, Betty Crocker® Gluten Free!

-The Betty Crocker Baking Team

My mother-in-law bought me these mixes on a recent trip to the states, and I have yet to seem them here in Canada though I am hopeful they will appear soon.  Anyone else tried them? Or seen them in Canada?

Camping, like all things requires a little bit of pre-planning to do successfully Gluten-Free.  With a little bit of label reading, and armed with some potato onion bread, I enjoyed hamburgers, hotdogs and roasted marshmallows; all staples of camping.

Since I can’t have the graham crackers, and I didn’t want to attempt to make my own, traditional s’mores are out.  Instead we often just shove the chunks of chocolate into the middle of the soft gooey marshmallow and try to have enough patience to let it melt, at least a little bit.

For breaky we had bacon and eggs and even Corned Beef Hash (I know, I know, meat in a can…but seriously its a greasy yummy treat), and of course I had some earlier bowls of Panda Puffs and Rice Cereal to tide me through the early hours of morning.

We enjoyed salmon freshly caught from the river by my husband and a friend.  We had it on the BBQ with peanut butter, onions and garlic (surprisingly tasty), mayo, ketchup and mustard (my Brother-inLaw’s specialty) and also with butter, dill, garlic, celery salt and onion salt which was definitley my favourite, but I like simple things sometimes.

We also got a chance to try out Mrs. Leeper’s – Wheat Free, Gluten Free, Organic Tuna Casserole.  My parents purchsed this for me on sale in the states, and it is made with a corn pasta.  You prepare this just as you would regular tuna helper.  It was quick and easy and tasted delicious.  The noodles had good texture and the sauce was creamy and not overpowering.  All in all, I will definitley eat this again – I have not seen this product in Canada, but will keep my eyes open and let you know if I see it.  FYI, they also have a hamburger lasagna which is basically a hamburger helper, which I was also surprised to discover I quite enjoyed.

I had never had blondies until a few years ago – I never realized that they were basically caramely brownies.  I’m sure if I had known that I would have tried them and definitely made them much earlier in my baking  life.  Since it was one of the last things that I learned to make before going gluten-free, it was something that I definitely wanted to add to my repetoire of gluten-free baking skills.

If you, like myself, have a bit of a chocolate addiction these Blondies are for you.  Although the delightful caramel richness of blondies should be enough on their own, the truth is I needed the chocolate too.  You could mix things up and replace some of the chocolate chips – the original recipe ALSO called for walnuts, pecans and peanut butter chips, but I voted for all semi-sweet chocolate chips.   I would like to note however, this particular recipe is NOT for you if you are watching your waistline…its full of butter, sugar and all the things that make baked goods so mmm mmm good!

GF chocolate chip blondies

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Blondies
(Adapted from 500 Best Cookies, Bars & Squares by Esther Brody)

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup millet flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/4 cup potato starch
  • 1 tsp xantham gum
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease a 9×13 pan.
  2. Whisk the first 8 ingredients together and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl beat the butter and brown sugar until smooth and creamy.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, to wet ingredients, beating until incorporated.
  5. Stir vanilla into the wet ingredients.
  6. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix.
  7. Stir chocolate chips into batter – it will be quite thick.
  8. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  9. Allow pan to cool completley on a wire rack before cutting.
  10. Enjoy – and try not to eat too much at once!

I often shop at Choices Market, but despite hearing raves about Whole Foods, there are none near my home and as such, I have never visited the store. I also had never visited their website, until a co-worker pointed out to me that they had oodles of recipes on their site. When I typed “gluten-free” into their search engine, I was ecstatic to have over 800 hits.

There are a number of recipes that I want to try, but the one that caught my attention almost immediately was for MORNING GLORY MUFFINS. I have seen “morning glory muffins” in cafes and coffee shops and have always been intrigued by the wholesome combination of fruits and vegetables, but I never expected to find a recipe, already adapted to be Gluten-Free.

I worked from home today and took advantage of that fact; I made some muffins during lunch. I made a minor changes to the flour ratio, as I find Quinoa flour a little overwhelming in flavour (and I didn’t have a cup on hand anyways). Overall I was hugely impressed, these muffins have great texture, great flavour and a pretty high healthy quotient in my books.

I don’t usually re-post other people’s recipes, but the link has changed in the past few days due to some website re-organization and I just don’t want to lose it.

My changes to the recipe:

  • Replace 1 cup of Quinoa Flour with:
    1/2 cup Quinoa Flour, 1/4 cup Sorghum Flour, 1/4 cup Brown Rice Flour
  • Replace 1 tart red apple with:
    1 granny smith apple

—————————————-

Gluten-Free Morning Glory Muffins

Makes 18 muffins

Gluten-free flours combine with apples, carrots, zucchini, raisins and walnuts in these nutritious and satisfying muffins. You can also try our Whole Grain Morning Glory Muffins.

Ingredients

2/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup evaporated cane sugar
1/4 cup natural brown sugar
1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 cup quinoa flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1/2 cup tapioca starch
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup grated zucchini
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1/2 cup seedless raisins
1/4 cup toasted coconut flakes
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 tart red apple, unpeeled, cored, and finely chopped

Method

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Put oil, cane sugar, brown sugar and vanilla into a large bowl and whisk by hand for about 1 minute to incorporate air into the mixture. Set aside. Put flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, baking soda, cinnamon, xanthan gum and salt into a second large bowl and stir well to combine. Add flour mixture, carrots, zucchini, walnuts, raisins, coconut, orange zest and apples to the reserved sugar mixture and stir well to form a batter. Scoop batter into 12 paper-lined muffin tins and bake until cooked through, about 25 minutes.

I haven’t been writing much…or cooking much…or baking much, to be honest.  I’ve just been so tired.  We had a friend and her baby over for a week, it’s softball season, which takes up a minimum of 2 nights a week and when you add in my part-time job one night a week, there really just hasn’t been any time or energy.  In fact on Friday I managed to step out of work early and was home by 3pm, and instead of baking up a storm or something else deliciously fun, I fell asleep and had a very restful nap until almost 5pm.

Of course this means I have been eating out a little more often than I like, and thus potentially exposing myself to gluten…but as of yet, I have made careful choices and avoided any undesirable episodes.

The one thing, I have been making is quiche, and lots of it.  As I mentioned in my last post, I have been using Cassandra’s Baking mix and continually making my favourite Quiche recipe.  Note the recipe is mine (from my old blog), but the link uses the traditional bisquick.  I used rice milk in the last batch and it turned out delicious – this is a very forgiving recipe – do try it if you have a weakness for quiche.  

Personally, I love quiche and can eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner – sometimes even consuming it for two out of my three meals of the day. 

note: GRrrrrrrrrrrrr I’m having trouble with my IE and inserting links…I will try and update the links later in the week. a:)

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.

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