Friday, October 10, 2008

Gluten-free Chocolate Zucchini Quick Bread

This recipe is egg-heavy, because I find we do better with a lot of protein along with our sugars. With all the eggs, it's sort of a brownie/cake/quiche cross.

This cake is not super-sweet; I'll even serve it for breakfast. If you like your coffee cake or dessert heavily sweet you may want to add an extra 1/4 cup of honey or other sweetener, or mix in chocolate chips.

For the eggless version, try my Chocolate Zucchini Cake recipe with regular or gluten-free flour.

Preheat over to 350 degrees F. Oil or grease a 9" x 13" pan (I used a glass casserole dish; a metal pan may cook faster)

Peel zucchini and cut into chunks--about 2 small or 1 large zucchini.

Sift together in large bowl:

3/4 cup brown rice flour (or any other gluten-free flour)
3/4 cup ivory teff flour (or any other GF flour)
3/4 cup tapioca flour
1/2 Tablespoon (1 and 1/2 teaspoons) baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

In pitcher of large blender, combine:

1/2 cup plain yogurt or applesauce (you can substitute safe chocolate or vanilla yogurt, pureed pears or a dairy substitute)
Enough zucchini chunks to make 2 cups of puree

Blend up the yogurt and zucchini, adding more zucchini until it makes a total of 2 and 1/2 cups combined puree.

Add to blender:

1/4 to 1/3 cup oil (I used grapeseed oil, but any mildly flavored oil or melted butter will work)
1 cup honey
6 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla (optional--omit if you are avoiding corn, gluten, alcohol or fermented foods and are not sure if your vanilla is free of these items)

Process zucchini mixture in blender until smooth.

Pour zucchini mixture into dry ingredients and mix just until blended. Fold in 1/2 to 1 cup nuts or chocolate chips if desired. Pour batter into greased pan and bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out almost clean.

Let it cool for a few minutes before trying to cut it, but you can serve it a bit warm if desired. Your family won't even know they're eating their vegetables for dessert!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Sprouted Quinoa Waffles

This recipe is adapted from Sue Gregg's Blender Pancakes or Waffles recipe. (I highly recommend Sue Gregg's cookbooks.)

Measure 1 and 1/2 cups whole raw quinoa and rinse very well to remove bitter saponins. I rinse it 1/2 cup at a time in a strainer for at least 3 minutes or until it stops foaming and does not smell bitter.

Put rinsed quinoa in a bowl and cover with warm or room-temperature filtered water--about 1 and 1/2 to 2 cups water. Soak 6-12 hours or overnight. There should be visible sprouts after an overnight soak--quinoa sprouts very quickly.

Drain and rinse quinoa.

Combine in blender:

Sprouted quinoa
2 Tablespoons ground flaxseed (or 3-4 Tbs whole flax seed)
1 cup liquid (1 cup buttermilk, 1/2 cup yogurt diluted with 1/2 cup milk or water, or
1 Tbs. lemon juice or vinegar plus enough water or milk substitute to make 1 cup)
1 egg * (see egg-free variation below)
2 Tablespoons oil, melted butter, or melted coconut oil
(optional) 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (be sure it's a safe kind if gluten- or corn-intolerant)
(optional) 1-2 Tablespoons honey, maple syrup, or other sweetener

Preheat waffle iron.

Blend quinoa mixture very well at highest setting until smooth, 3-6 minutes. Add more liquid if necessary for blending.

Meanwhile, mix together:

2 teaspoons baking powder (I used Hain Featherweight--this does contain cornstarch so is not totally excitotoxin-free but is something I can eat in small amounts occasionally as a "cheat"--if you are more sensitive than I am, use your own safe baking powder or a baking powder substitute.)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

While blender is running, sift baking powder mixture through fine seive into blender. Turn off the blender as soon as the baking powder mixture is thoroughly mixed in.

Thoroughly grease or oil hot waffle iron and bake waffles until they have mostly stopped steaming (for both of my waffle irons, this is slightly longer than the iron's doneness indicator).

Carefully loosen waffle from iron. We eat these plain, but you can top with fruit, syrup, meat, or just about anything else. If you leave out the sweetener, waffles make a great base for things like sausage gravy, creamed tuna, or chicken a la king.

Troubleshooting and Variations:

Gluten-free waffles tend to stick to the iron more, so it's important to grease well and remove the waffles gently. Also make sure the waffle is done (has stopped billowing steam) before lifting the cover of the iron.

If the waffles stick too much, try adding 1/2 to 1 tablespoon oil to the batter. More flaxseed (up to 2 tablespoons more ground flaxseed) in the batter will also help prevent sticking.

If the waffles are gooey, they may not be cooked enough or there may be too much flaxseed in them.

* For a sugar-restricted diet, omit sweetener and use diluted yogurt, water, or nut milk as the liquid. If avoiding fermented foods (because of intolerances or to treat candida) also omit vanilla, and do not use vinegar as a souring agent. For vegan or egg-free waffles, try increasing flaxseed to 1/4 cup and omitting eggs, and increase liquid to easy blending consistency.

* You can leave the oil out or reduce to 1 tablespoon, but will still need to grease the waffle iron and the waffles may stick more. Increasing the flaxseed will allow you to reduce other added oils without so much of a sticking problem.

* If you wish to use plain water or un-soured milk or dairy substitute, just leave out the 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. The waffles will be more bland and won't rise as much, but they'll work.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Chebe Grainless Dutch Oven Pancake

This is a grain-free (and gluten free) version of the famous oven pancake--that fluffy egg dish also known as dutch babies, Dutch oven pancake, or German pancake. It's really more like a quiche or like a big popover or quick bread than like pancakes. Definitely a favorite dish at my house, we eat it for breakfast, lunch, or even dinner.

It goes beautifully with sweet or savory topping (sausage is especially good for a savory version). Usually I add a tablespoon of honey or maple syrup and we eat it like bread without any other topping.

(Update: This is no longer a safe food for us, now that we're limiting excitotoxins.)

This version is made with Chebe bread mix--a tapioca-based grainless bread.

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Coat an 8.5" x 11" or 9" by 13" baking pan with 1 to 1.5 tablespoons oil or melted butter.

    Beat together:

  • 5 eggs

  • 1/4 cup milk, dairy substitute or other liquid

  • 1 to 1.5 Tablespoons additional oil (I used grapeseed--you could probably leave out the additional oil, but it's really good with the oil in it)

  • (Optional)--1 Tablespoon sweetener (I used Grade B maple syrup), 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1 teaspoon herbs, or other flavoring of your choice.

  • Mix in:
  • 1 packet (7.5 oz) Chebe All-Purpose Bread Mix

  • Don't overbeat, but mix it in until all the large lumps are broken up and it's looking fairly smooth.

    Spread mixture into greased pan with spatula.

    Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. It will puff up, and then fall as it cools. Cut into slices and enjoy!

*Note: This recipe only qualifies as sugar-restricted if the sweetener is omitted.

*Important: If you're sensitive to excitotoxins or extremely sensitive to MSG, you may want to avoid this recipe. The modified tapioca starch in the Chebe bread mix is a potential source of excitotoxins.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Healthy Chocolate Smoothie

Place in blender:

1 ripe banana
8-10 oz. water, milk, kefir, or dairy substitute
[optional] A handful (about 1/8 to 1/4 cup) of raw cashews, blanched almonds, or nuts/seeds of your choice.
1 Tablespoon unsweetened powdered baking cocoa (if you prefer your chocolate less dark, reduce to 1-2 teaspoons, or substitute carob if desired)
About 1 cup ice, as desired (crushed ice works best)

Blend until smooth and enjoy!

I make this in a personal-size blender with just water, cashews, banana, cocoa and ice. It makes a quick snack high in protein and free of grains and refined sugars. The banana is sweet enough that no other sweetener is necessary. This is my standby when I get chocolate and/or sugar cravings. It satisfies my sweet tooth without giving me the later energy/mood crash or heightened cravings I usually get when eating sugary chocolate.

For a NT-style smoothie, use raw milk, kefir or coconut milk and soak or sprout any nuts or seeds before blending.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Grainless Banana Pancakes or Scramble

In our house this recipe is just called "Banana Eggs".

Mash 1 banana, add 3 eggs, beat well. Or, combine banana and eggs in blender and puree. Add 1/16 to 1/8 tsp of salt and, if desired, a dash of cinnamon or vanilla. (Remember, if you use vanilla or other flavoring extracts, check to see if it's free of your allergens.)

Preheat frying pan and cook over medium heat until golden-brown, turning to cook both sides. You'll know the pancakes are ready to turn over when they are golden-brown on the bottom and solid enough that a bubble popped in the middle leaves a hole that doesn't refill.

You can also make a delicious banana scramble just by stirring the mixture frequently as it cooks. This will make a more tender, less brown concoction similar to scrambled eggs.

I make this recipe with 2 bananas and 6 (or 8) eggs for my family. It's great as a snack or maybe even dessert, as well as for breakfast. No added sweetener needed!