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Category Archives: Recipes

Big March Post #3: A New Place for FOOD!

It’s the last day of March and the last of the three big announcement posts promised for this month! This one continues our theme of “new:” first a new bed, then a new baby, and now… a new blog!

The new blog is a place where I can post all about food, like how we continue to deal with our changed diet due to food sensitivities, new recipes that I’m perfecting, ingredients we’re watching out for, our meal plans, and our weekly lunch wrap-up posts will move there in early April. We’re of course focusing on eating happily without dairy, eggs, wheat, nuts… basically all of the top 8 most common allergens.

The new site is NourishingRainbows.com, and for more on the name and what the site is all about, follow that link! It’s been up for about a week now and there are several new recipes up and a big post dedicated to an awesome potential Easter dinner, complete with dessert.

Here are some examples of current and future posts…

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As for 9 Years Later, this blog isn’t shutting down. I still plan on posting about the 9-year goal to self-sustainability, although the posts may be quite sporadic. I’m doing a lot of gardening this year so watch for posts on that as the season heats up (haha, see what I did there?). Thanks for hanging in with 9YL and be sure to check out the new NourishingRainbows.com!!

Vegan and Gluten Free Apple Cider Donuts Recipe (GF, V, NF, AF)

Apple Cider Donuts! The baked good that got me out of my baked goods slump. This is adapted from mydarlingvegan.com to make it gluten free as well as vegan.

Apple Cider Donuts (gluten free, vegan, nightshade free, allergy friendly)

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Here’s what you need:
For the donuts:
1 cup Pastry Blend flour mix (my own recipe)
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup apple cider
1/4 cup applesauce
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 Tbsp oil (coconut or olive is what I use)
1 tsp vanilla

For an optional glaze (omit if you want to keep this sugar free):
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp apple cider

For a sugar dusting (substitutions for sugar free*):
1 Tbsp sugar* (I use a vegan organic granulated sugar)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
* for sugar free, brush donuts with oil or Earth Balance butter, then press the donut into this sugar mixture but substitute coconut sugar or sucanat for typical sugar

Tools:
Measuring cups for quantities listed above
Stand mixer (I’ve also mixed these with a wooden spoon when I was too lazy to clean the Kitchenaid)
Donut pan (I like my stainless steel one from USA Pans)
Spoon for guiding batter into donut pan
Cooling rack
Small bowl for mixing sugar dusting (needs to be just bigger than a donut)

Here’s what you do:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and oil the donut pan (I use coconut oil or Earth Balance butter).
2. Mix all dry ingredients together in a big bowl.
3. Add the wet ingredients to the same big bowl and mix with dry until combined.
4. Spoon batter into donut pan, filling each about 2/3 full.
5. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until you can lightly press a donut with your finger and it bounces back into shape.
6. Let the donuts cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool for about 30 minutes.
7. Mix together the glaze in the stand mixer; mix together the sugar dusting in the small bowl.
8. Dip the donut tops in the glaze, then immediately dust with sugar mixture. (Again, for sugar free, brush donuts with oil or Earth Balance butter instead of using the glaze, then press the donut into the sugar mixture but substitute coconut sugar or sucanat for typical sugar)
9. Set aside the dipped and dusted donuts in a cool place so the glaze will harden.

Yields 6 donuts.

Gluten Free Flour Blend Recipes

In my quest to perfect survive gluten free baking, I’ve experimented with a lot of flours. Now I’m no where near as experienced as more serious gluten free bakers, I just do this in my spare time. But since my family has stopped eating wheat, dairy, and eggs I have taken it upon myself to make the treats we can no longer easily obtain from a store. Bread, cakes, cookies, pancakes, pastries, and donuts have become something of an obsession. And to make those I need just the right blend of flours.

The biggest thing I’ve learned about allergy-friendly baking is how important it is to have good flour blends. There is no one perfect blend that will work for everything, especially if you are able to sometimes add eggs to you mix. I have been using slightly different blends for bread, cake, etc. Soon I want to post all those recipes, but they’re not quite post-ready yet. In the meantime, I offer you some of my experimental mixes. I will probably update this post as I keep experimenting, but might as well put this out here now so I can refer to it as I post more.

A couple things to keep in mind about all the mixes:

  1. All blends yield about three cups. If you need more, just multiply the quantities by the number of batches needed.
  2. All flours are measured by weight, which is much more accurate than measuring by volume.
  3. I find my baking is more consistent if I weigh and mix my flours when they’re at room temperature. Flours should be stored in the freezer over the long term to prevent them from going rancid (source). I’ll usually pull my flours from the freezer the night before baking. Gluten free baking requires a little more advance preparation but the trade-off is getting to enjoy treats similar to the gluten-filled counterparts, so I’m willing to put in the extra effort.
  4. I get all my flours from Bob’s Red Mill, mostly because their certified gluten free facility and bulk foods store is about 10 minutes from my house. It smells really good there. And sometimes I sneak in a gluten free vegan cookie from the shop. Shhh, that’s our secret. You can find Bob’s Red Mill flours online if they aren’t available in your area.
  5. For more information about mixing gluten free flours, I like this post by Gluten-Free-Girl.

Rice Flour blend (good if you can use eggs with it since it turns out gummy with all egg replacers I’ve tried)

100 grams Brown Rice Flour
100 grams White Rice Flour
100 grams Sweet Rice Flour
80 grams Tapioca Flour
2.5 grams Xanthan Gum (or 1 teaspoon), in addition to what’s called for in your main recipe

 

Bread Blend #1 (no gum, no rice, good with egg replacers like chia seeds)

100 grams Sorghum Flour
100 grams Millet Flour
100 grams Oat Flour
80 grams Tapioca Flour

 

Bread Blend #2 (a little lighter than BB #1; no gum, good with egg replacers like chia seeds)

100 grams Sorghum Flour
100 grams White Rice Flour
100 grams Oat Flour
80 grams Tapioca Flour

 

Pastry Blend (no gum, good with egg replacers like chia seeds and a little lighter than the bread blends)

I’m still working on this one – I hate having more than five ingredients in a flour blend. But in the meantime….
50 grams Brown Rice Flour
50 grams White Rice Flour
50 grams Sweet Rice Flour
40 grams Tapioca Flour
100 grams Oat Flour
100 grams Millet Flour

Updated! Even More Crispy Baked Sweet Potato “Fries” Recipe (GF, V, P, NF, AF)

Updated 9/24/2014: Higher heat and only one rotation makes this recipe a bit lower maintenance and, most importantly, more crunchy! Also updated 10/14/14 with small tweaks of goodness.

Confession time! I have a sweet potato addiction. I ate a whole sweet potato, like a pound’s worth, just today. I’d stop myself, but for ONCE something that tastes so good IS SO RIGHT. These babies are loaded with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, beta-carotene, calcium… all the good stuff. The best part is, they’re pretty easy to make and require minimal ingredients, yet they can be dressed up with more yummy stuff if you want! Awesome. (Of course they are a starchy veggie so try not to eat a whole sweet potato by yourself in one day).

Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries (gluten free, vegan, paleo, nightshade free, allergy friendly)

Here’s what you need:
A sweet potato. I used about a quarter of a 1-lb beauty when I made these. Any more and they won’t all fit on the pan (see below).
Cooking oil of choice. I used olive oil but you could go with coconut to maintain vegan or if not, lard or tallow would be amazing (I hope to have results of tallow rendering up soon!)
Salt. I’m a fan of Himalayan pink sea salt.

Here’s what you do:
Step-by-step photos are below, but basically you….
1. Preheat oven to 425
2. Cut potato into strips.
3. Coat with oil.
4. Arrange fries on a baking sheet with space between each potato piece. Sprinkle with salt.
5. Bake for 15 minutes on the top oven rack, then flip potatoes, turn the sheet around, and bake for 10 more minutes or until the fries are browned well but not burnt. (Different color sweet potatoes cook at different rates, so keep watch. I find white sweet potatoes are the fastest, followed by purple and orange take the longest amount of time.)
6. Let fries cool outside the oven for a bit, then arrange on a serving dish.
7. Watch your “fries” disappear!

This recipe yields enough fries for one person (I’m selfish). Just make at least two trays-worth if you’re sharing because they go so fast!

Now for a little more detailed instruction, with photos!

I start by selecting amazing produce. We’re heading deep into sweet potato season right now, so start looking at the farmers markets and local grocery stores for classic orange sweet potatoes, edgy purple ones or, even, the illusive white sweet potato (the latter is to be used to trick your family into thinking they’re eating actual potatoes – muhahahaha). Our market was just full of sweet potatoes last week so I scored a bunch of orange ones. Purple ones would really take these fries to the next level!

After selecting, washing, and drying the perfect sweet potato, preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and get to work on washing the produce. Once they’re washed they can cut. For fries I like to slice them thin, about 1/4″ square by a few inches long, depending on the shape of sweet potato you have. I also enjoy slicing them in cubes sometimes. They’re so versatile! Here you can see my chopped produce for this recipe.

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Don’t eat the penny! It’s just there for scale.

Save yourself the trouble and leave those tasty skins on when you slice them! Just make sure you washed them well before you start chopping.

After slicing, it’s time for some fat to help these beauties taste even yummier and not stick to the pan. I use maybe a tablespoon of olive oil. You could also use coconut oil or, if you’re not vegan, some tallow or lard.

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Just enough oil

Now just toss your produce around in the oil to cover it. CRISP TIP #1: Well-coated fries get crispier than fries that are sparsely coated or not coated with any oil or fat at all.

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Getting yummier

And arrange on a baking sheet. Don’t rush this step! CRISP TIP #2: You want to give each fry some space, otherwise they won’t get crispy.

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Blurry because I’m so excited to eat them!

Second confession! I have an aluminum foil obsession too. I always line my pans with aluminum foil because they’re so much easier to clean. Just toss the foil! But I’m creating a lot of waste that way. Plus I’m not so sure if cooking on all that aluminum is good for us… but the pans themselves are aluminum too! So maybe once I get some better pans (stainless?) I’ll else up on my foil use. UPDATE: I’ve been using wax paper instead of foil lately. The wax paper just gets so smokey, so I wonder if it is any better than the foil…

Now is a good time to salt the fries so that the salt sticks to the oil. It’s okay to salt them after baking, too, but I find more salt ends up on my plate if I wait.

Now the baking part! CRISP TIP #3: My fries tend to get more crispy if I place my baking sheet on the top rack in my oven. I don’t know why, but that’s my oven’s sweet spot.

CRISP TIP #4: Rotate those fries! I bake them for 10-15 minutes, or until I can tell the bottoms are getting browned. Then I take them out and flip them all over. Before I put the sheet back in the oven, I spin it around so that the fries that were in the back of the oven move up to the front. If you’re baking multiple trays, move the bottom one to the top and vise versa. If your fries are of varying sizes, you may want to pull some out of the oven while the others are still baking. It is a delicate balancing act. Once you’ve got everything flipped and rotated, roast again for another 10 minutes or so, or until your fries are sufficiently browned. Browning makes them crispy!

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After roasting on all sides.

Then let them cool a little and put them on a plate.

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Salted and ready for my mouth!

There are variations a-plenty for these too!

Try adding your favorite seasonings! Just chop them fine and add them with the oil to make them really stick.
+ Minced garlic, or garlic aioli, or garlic powder
+ Rosemary
+ Cinnamon (toss with honey for an even sweeter treat!)
+ Balsamic vinegar
+ Thyme
+ Onion powder

For more variations, substitute another veggie for the sweet potato! You can make fries out of almost anything.
+ Yams
+ Squash (the shape of butternut or delicata works out the best for fries)
+ Zucchini
+ Rutabaga
+ Turnips
+ Beets
+ Celery root/celeriac

And speaking of shape, these don’t even have to be fries! They can be cubes or rounds. Slice rounds super thin and you’ll get chips! Just make sure to oil them really well or the chips will burn and stick like crazy to the pan. Experiment with oven times for these other veggies so they don’t burn and get nice and soft in the middle. Now I’m inspired to try variations too!

Enjoy the yummy healthy goodness!