Fluffy Gluten Free Free Pancakes

Last week my family and I (Mama and Daddy Green Me plus Little Boy Green) took a little stay-cation right here in Colorful Colorado. We drove south about an hour from the north Metro Denver area and stayed in the Park Meadows and Tech Center area. On Wednesday night we enjoyed a delicious Gluten Free dinner at PF Changs followed by an early night (we slept from 9 PM to 8 AM) in a very comfy over-sized King Room room at the Marriott Denver South for $52.80 (plus tax). The next morning we got up and headed to the Wildlife Experience followed by lunch and a gluten free shopping expedition at Deby’s Bakery & Cafe.

We bought a full selection of items at Deby’s from prepared baked goods to her pastry flour mix. One of the extra bonuses of the Deby’s bakery is that nearly all the goods sold there are also dairy free and many are either vegan and or avoid what they call the allergenic 8. The 8 allergens that many of their products avoid include: gluten, trans-Fat, dairy, caesin, corn, soy, peanut and tree nut.

I thought this was kind of neat although I was disappointed to find that 4 of the 10 products that we bought were mislabeled in some fashion. For example, my pecan pie claimed to be a cherry pie on top and an apple pie on the bottom, a dangerous mistake if someone was allergic to tree nuts! My cinnamon rolls were delicious, but the label said they contained 4 and yet we only found 3 inside and so on.

Nevertheless, everything we bought tasted delicious and upheld the Deby’s tagline: Gluten Free Food So Good You Will Want to Eat It! If you’ve ventured very far into the frozen gluten free goods case at any grocery store, you will know that most gluten free baked goods taste like goat feed. Or worse.

My most exciting purchase, since I generally prefer to make my own baked goods rather than buy them, was a 5lb bag of her pastry flour mix. The mix is somewhat similar to Bobs, but clearly has some variation as the taste was very pure and wheat flour like. And, most importantly to this post, it made wonderful pancakes!  If you do not have access to Deby’s flour you can likely substitute your own gluten free flour mix.

Dry Ingredients (sift together):

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten free flour mix*
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp flax meal
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Wet Ingredients (stir together well):

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups soy milk (or your favorite milk product)

1. Sift together the dry ingredients

2. Beat together wet ingredients

3. Combine wet with dry and stir vigorously for about 1 minute. Make sure that everything has combined well. Stir again for another minute. Batter should be very thick, but spreadable. Similar to cake batter. Set aside.

4. Prepare your griddle or pan, while letting batter sit for about 5 minutes. You will see the leavening starting to react and make the batter kind of puffy.

5. Scoop 1/4 cup of batter (plus a little) onto your seasoned hot griddle (or your frying pan). Spread it out a bit if needed. Cook 1 to 2 minutes until firm enough to flip. Cook another few minutes until golden. My batch made exactly 11 pancakes about 4 inches in diameter.

6. Serve warm with fried eggs or your favorite breakfast sides! Delicious, light, fluffy with just the right amount of crisp on the outside!

*Deby’s Gluten Free Pastry Flour ingredients are listed as: Rice flour, Potato starch, Tapioca flour, xantham gum. If your were to mix up your own you might try 3/4 cup Rice Flour, 1/4 cup each Potato Starch and Tapioca flour, plus 1/4 tsp xantham gum.

P.s. I will eventually post a picture, but I took it with our back up camera, before realizing that its memory card does not plug into my lap top.

Allergy Free Antioxidant Muffins

A few weeks ago I decided to use juice and flax seed to make a fruit based mini-muffin as a snack. We were hosting a play date for a baby sitting co-op that my neighbor is putting together. At the meeting I had guests with allergies to eggs and nuts, as well as, gluten and dairy intolerance. One of the guests may have also had an issue with soy.

To get around all these food issues I made a pumpkin muffin using rice flour and juice for the liquid. The muffin turned out pretty tasty, but it was not quite perfect and so warranted a little adjustment. Most of all I was pleased to discover that juice made a perfect substitution for milk in a muffin recipe and so I was quite thrilled this morning to find a box of POM juice on my front porch.

Earlier this fall Id been contacted by POM to see if Id like to try some of their juice in a few recipes. Ive been a pomegranate lover since I was a little kid and my husband and I were definitely early adopters of POM Pomegranate juice; however, in the last few years since having our son weve sort of fallen off the band wagon.

One issue with being gluten free or dairy free or really anything free is that folks who eat these diets are more prone to nutritional deficiencies due to limited food groups. Dairy free folks tend not to get enough calcium and vitamin D.  Gluten free folks can easily miss out on fiber and other nutrients found in wheat, rye and or barley. And, so not only is it fun to make a muffin focusing on increasing antioxidants and other nutrients, but it is also smart!

And so, with a box of POM juice in my kitchen I was inspired to make an antioxidant muffin. Pomegranate juice has been all the rage for the last few years not only due to taste and its rich color, but because the fruit is packed with more antioxidants than your average fruit or berry. To make this muffin I decided to combine the antioxidant power of the POM with some organic cocoa powder rich in polyphenols and some flax seed meal to add both fiber and lignans, which are yet another antioxidant powerhouse.

You will also notice that I used raw Agave and cinnamon. Some people like agave, some don’t. If you are in the anti-agave camp feel free to substitute an equivalent amount of honey for similar results. I’ve found that adding cinnamon to recipes with either chocolate or fruit rounds out the flavor. Furthermore, studies show that cinnamon may help reduce both blood glucose and cholesterol. These are not health issues for my immediate family, but they are for much of the population, so whether or not you choose to use agave, I do insist that you make these muffins with cinnamon!

Sift Together Dry Ingredients:

1 and 1/4 cups gluten free flour mix (I used Bobs Redmill)

1/4 tapioca flour

1/4 cup finely ground flax meal

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1.5 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

Add 1/2 cup mixed dried berries after sifting and stir to coat berries with flour.

Mix together Wet Ingredients separately:

1/3 cup canola oil

1/3 cup Raw agave

3/4 cup POM Pomegranate Juice

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine dry with wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. Lightly oil mini-muffin pan (makes 24) or line regular muffin tin with liners. Spoon batter into tin until just below the top of the tin – do not over fill. Bake mini muffins for about 18 minutes and regular sized muffins for about 22 minutes. Muffins should rise gently and be springy to the touch when finished baking. Remove from oven and cool in the tin for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes gently remove from tin and cool on rack for another 10 to 20 minutes.

Serve immediately or eat within 24 hours. Freeze any muffins that are not consumed in 24 hours. Gluten free baked goods tend to taste better when frozen and reheated rather than being left out.

Substitutions:

  • You can easily substitute the gluten free flour mix with a regular whole wheat flour. If you do so, omit the tapioca flour and reduce the baking powder to 3/4 tsp.
  • You may substitute the ener-g egg replacer for one real egg. Add the egg to the wet ingredients and reduce the canola oil by 1 tablespoon.
  • You may could also increase the flax meal by one tablespoon and eliminate the egg replacer with no additional alternations.
  • If you do not have POM juice on hand you could use another juice; however, if you are looking for pomegranate juice read the labels carefully. In my own research Ive not been able to find another pomegranate juice that is 100% Pomegranate they all seem to be diluted with grape juice or other fruit juices. Also, POM juice is made from 100% California Pomegranates, which is important if you are concerned about clearing of forests elsewhere to grow pomegranate trees.

Nutritional Info for 2 Mini Muffins or 1 regular muffin (recipe makes 24 or 12): 180 calories; 7 grams fat; 22 grams carbohydrate; 2 grams protein; 3 grams fiber.

Disclaimer: The author of this blog did receive complementary POM Pomegranate Juice from POM; however, I have no other agreement with nor have I received compensation from POM other than to use the juice in recipes. I readily agreed to this offer as I am continually looking for healthy and tasty ways to mix up and inspire our everyday foods! Please feel free to add questions or comments below and I will respond as best I can!

Easy Rolled Arrowroot Meringues (Gluten Dairy Free)

Yesterday I had a friend visiting for tea who is allergic to corn. I wanted to make a snack that was guaranteed to be corn free with a hint of Christmas. At first I was dismayed to learn that all I happened to have left in my pantry was a package of arrowroot flour! I made a quick Google search for arrowroot flour recipes and came upon these tasty little cookies!

They were quick to make, easy to roll and are quite pleasing to eat! The big surprise is that they are very light and delicate with a crunch. Much more like a meringue than a traditional sugar cookie. The flavor was lightly sweet with a hint of almond and I will definitely make (and eat) them again.

I made some adjustments to the recipe to make them 100% corn and dairy free, as well as, gluten free.

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 cups arrowroot flour (plus more for rolling)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 oz +/- plain soy milk

Per the instructions at the Perfect Pantry I first sifted the flour and sugar together. I then beat the egg and canola oil together with the almond extract. Next I added in 2 oz of the soy milk. While stirring I added the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, slowly adding additional soy milk until everything was just barely combined. I then commenced kneading the dough. At first I was skeptical that it would become pliable, but all of a sudden it was almost too pliable. I turned the dough on my silicon mat and sifted about a teaspoon of arrowroot flour on the dough, which I then kneading back in. I had to do this a few times until I had a soft, but workable dough that was easy to roll out and perfect for cut cookies! Next time I make them I will use coconut milk (or cream), but it is good to know that the recipe worked just perfectly with a substitute!

editors note: These cookies also make good cat treats. When we returned from an outing to the park several were broken and one was on the floor. I figured my toddler must have gotten at them when I was putting on my shoes, but later in the afternoon I caught my cat eating one! Needless to say the remaining cookies are now in the cookie jar!