Sunday, March 16, 2014

Coconut Almond Roons (or Coco-Roons Copy Cat Recipe)


Some time back, Iherb ran a special on Coco-Roons, around $3 for a pack of 8.  We tried the lemon, chocolate chip and the brownie.  They were awesome but way out of our price range, the regular price being $8 or $1 a piece!  I got a hankering for some the other day and settled into the kitchen to make up my version.  I looked at the ingredients and started with their basic ingredients and went from there.  I did add a couple things here and there to increase nutrition.   The results?  I haven't had the others in a while and my memory could be a little foggy but I'd say pretty close if not better!  The price was definitely better.  Depending on where you get your ingredients,  these will cost between 20 to 40 cents per roon, so I'd say way better!  My coconut,  although organic, did not say raw, and I have not been able to find any raw coconut.   Even so, I still dehydrated at 105 degrees because my coconut oil, cacao nibs, lemon juice and greens powder were raw.

Here's the recipes for the 3 we tried...

Coconut Almond Roons Basic Recipe


2 C shredded coconut
2 C almonds
1/2 C maple syrup
2 T extra virgin coconut oil
1/2 t pink Himalayan salt (or to taste)
1/2 t stevita (powdered stevia)


#1  With Cacao Nibs

1 scoop (1/4 cup) protein powder (I used pea, hemp and flax combo)
1/2 C raw cacao nibs
2 t vanilla

#2 Lemon

1/2 C protein powder
2 t organic lemon flavor
zest from 1 lemon
juice from 1/2 lemon

#3 Brownie

1/2 C cocoa OR
1/4 C cocoa, 2 T cococeps and 2 T chocolate flavored raw protein powder
2 t vanilla
(Depending on how bitter your cocoa, you may need to increase sweetener)


Place coconut in food processor and process to a very fine consistency.  Add almonds and process until almonds are also very fine.   Add other dry ingredients (except cacao nibs.  Add them last as you would chocolate chips in a cookie recipe).  Process until combined.   Add wet ingredients and process until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.

 Using a rounded tablespoon, scoop out 1 T sized balls, scraping bottom so they are flat on bottom.


Place on the tray of a dehydrator.

Do this until all of the mixture is used then dehydrate for about 8 hours at 105-115 degrees.  Allow to completely cool then store in refrigerator for maximum freshness.


I like them cold but you can allow them to return to room temperature before eating.

And there you go!  I've made something similar in the past with my almond protein balls but I think the dehydrating is the key to a more cookie-like snack ball.

If you don't have a dehydrator and aren't overly concerned about the raw factor, I saw on another site where they heated the oven to 200 degrees, placed balls in oven then turned oven off and left them in there for 8 hours.  Not sure how well that would work, but there it is.  I got my dehydrator at Walmart for $30 over 10 years ago and it has been well worth the money.  My kids love dehydrated bananas and apples and we've done beef jerky and dehydrated veggies so it's definitely worth having.

I will post a breakdown of where I purchased my ingredients and the cost separately here: Roons Price Breakdown

For a printable recipe, click here:  Coconut Almond Roons with 3 Variations

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Gluten Free German Apple Pie Pancake (Pannekoeken) is not just for breakfast!

In fact, we rarely eat it for breakfast, though I'll admit we did one weekend when we had company.  My friend replied, "I think this is a first.  Ice cream with breakfast!"  I always figure, if your going to occassionally eat bad, do it early so you have a chance to burn if off throughout the day instead of eating it right before you go to bed.  Works for me.  Anyways, saw a pannekoeken on Drivers, Dine-Ins and Dives one night (my husband watches, not me!) and I thought, I've got to have one of those!  So I googled a recipe but it wasn't quite what we wanted so we modified, modified, modified and here you have the finished product.  I will link to the original gluten recipe so you can try it as originally written if you so desire.  We like it with a thicker pancake and lots of apples and cinnamon.  If you want a thinner pancake, reduce the pancake batter by 1/2.  You can use any gluten free all purpose blend, I use my own, of course, but this recipe does not require xanthan gum.  


Gluten Free German Apple Pie Pancake (Pannekoeken)

8 apples (or enough to fill up the bottom of your cast iron skillet), peeled, cored and sliced
2 t ground cinnamon (more or less to taste)
1/2 t nutmeg
1 C organic sugar (or 1/2 C sugar and 1/2 C maple syrup)
1/2 C butter or non-dairy substitute
1 C milk
6 eggs
1 T vanilla extract
1 C gf all purpose flour
1 t sugar
Powdered sugar, whipped cream or ice cream for topping

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place apples in pan.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg.  Add butter and sugar.  Turn heat to medium and cook until slightly soft, about 6 to 8 minutes.

Apples cooking
While apples are cooking, prepare the batter.  Mix the milk, vanilla and eggs in a bowl.  Add the flour, sugar and salt and whisk to remove most of the lumps.


Add the batter all at once to middle of the pan then ever so slightly, swirl the apple mixture through the batter. You do NOT want it completely mixed in.  Cook until small bubbles form around the edge.

Batter has been poured in


Finish cooking in the oven for about 10 to 12 minutes.  To serve, you can invert onto a plate (better idea if you used less batter) or serve directly out of the pan (if you made as written).  Add your topping of choice and enjoy!


Finished product!  YUM!!!


Recipe based on this recipe: http://www.food.com/recipe/pannekoeken-apple-pie-pancake-german-478280

Printable Version Here: Gluten Free German Apple Pie Pancake

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Laura's Banana Cake Gluten Free

Early in my married life, I would delight in the sweet treats made by a family friend.  One of these was Banana Cake.  She gave me the recipe and I typed it onto an index card and put it in a little picture album where it has remained to this day.  Actually, it is the only recipe from my early days that I still use on a regular basis.  Upon going gluten-free, I knew this was one thing I would NOT be giving up so I tried it, substituting regular flour for my gluten-free blend, and it turned out great!  So anytime you've got some leftover bananas that are past that "just right to eat" stage,  bake up this yummy dessert.

Laura's Banana Cake

1 1/2 C sugar
2/3 C butter or butter substitute
2 eggs (slightly beaten)
1/2 C sour milk*
1 t vanilla
2 C gluten free flour**
1/2 t xanthan gum or ground flax seed
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 C smashed bananas

Glaze:
 1 C powdered sugar
1 1/2 T butter
1 t vanilla
Sour cream (start with a couple tablespoons and add more as needed)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9 x 13 pan.  In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until well combined.  Add eggs, milk and vanilla.  In a separate bowl (I use the measuring cup I used to measure the milk), smash bananas until there are no more large chunks.  In yet another bowl, mix dry ingredients.  Add dry ingredients alternately with bananas, ending with flour.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out dry.  While your cake is baking, mix up glaze and refrigerate until your ready to use.  When mixing glaze, you want a loose consistency.  This is not a thick icing.  If you are using a thick sour cream (I use yogurt in a pinch), you can use milk after the initial sour cream to loosen it up a bit.  Once your cake is completely cool, pour on glaze, spread over entire cake and sprinkle with finely chopped walnuts.  I'll post a picture the next time I make it.

*If you don't have any sour milk, sour milk by adding 1 t of vinegar or lemon juice to regular milk.  Any type of milk will work.  I usually use almond or goat.  You can also add a little yogurt or kefir to the milk instead.  In a pinch, I have used yogurt instead of the milk.

** I make my own GF all purpose flour by combining 48oz of brown rice flour, 24oz potato starch and 24oz tapioca starch.  For a lighter blend, add an additional 24oz of starch.  Mix well and store in an air tight container.

Printable Version: Laura's Banana Cake

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Gluten Free, Dairy Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies evoke memories of lazy childhood days, baking cookies and gobbling them up the minute they came out of the oven.  Hot and gooey and just right with a glass of milk.  Gluten free chocolate chip cookies can be a bit of a challenge, that is until you discover the secret to perfect, just like wheat, chocolate chip cookies.  Coconut Flour!  The great thing about coconut flour is that you don't have to use xanthan gum, that ingredient that newbie GF bakers seldom have and for others, the nemesis ingredient that causes stomach problems almost equal to a gluten attack.  Here is our favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, courtesy of Let's Do...Organic Coconut Flour.  We have made only a few little changes.

Wheat Free Chocolate Chip Cookies


3/4 cup + 2 T brown rice flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/8 t salt
8 T butter or non-dairy alternative (we sometimes use coconut oil)
1 cup organic sugar (or 1/2 cup white + 1/2 cup brown)
1 egg or egg substitute
1 1/2 t vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup walnuts or pecan pieces (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Blend together butter and sugar until fluffy and well mixed.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  In a separate bowl, mix the flours, baking soda and salt.  Add this to the butter/egg mixture until smooth and well blended.  Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.  Drop the dough by spoonful onto pre-greased cookie sheets spaced about 2 inches apart.  Bake 8-12 minutes or until brown around the edges.  Remove from oven and allow to cool 2 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.  Makes 24 cookies.

*The cookies pictured above were made with coconut oil.  They do bake up a little differently but are just as good!  Enjoyed them with a glass of unsweetened, original almond milk for a dairy-free delight!

The original recipe does not include salt.  These just aren't the same without it.  Also, we don't use as much sugar as the recipe calls for.  These are still plenty sweet with 3/4 cup of sugar.  We also use about 1/2 the chocolate chips, more like 1/2 cup, sometimes a little more, depending on your chocolate craving that day!

Printable recipe here: Printable Wheat Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Best Gluten-Free Cornbread Ever!

It's been a while since I've done any posting.  The past 12 months have been very tragic and traumatic for my family and I, but I wanted to get some recipes on here that people continually ask for.  One of those is my cornbread recipe.  This was a gluten recipe that I found somewhere years back and have modified so much that it does not resemble the original recipe at all!  I ALWAYS get compliments on it, the kids love it and many have asked for the recipe.  One friend even said it tasted just like his Grandma's!  Talk about the ultimate compliment.  The key to making this the BEST is using a cast iron skillet.  Preheating the skillet and oil make the edges crispy and delicious.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!  I'll try to post a picture next time I make it!

Ingredients:

2 cup gf flour*
1 cup organic yellow cornmeal
½ cup organic sugar
½ t salt
½ t xanthan gum
1 T baking powder
2 (farm fresh or cage-free) eggs
1 ½ cup organic milk**
½ cup vegetable oil + 2 T for pan

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).  Place cast iron skillet*** in oven to heat as oven preheats.  About 5 minutes before the oven reaches 400 degrees, add a couple tablespoons of oil to the skillet and return to oven until desired temperature is reached. 
2.  In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, xanthan gum and baking powder.  In a separate bowl, mix milk, egg and oil.  Stir wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until well combined.  Remove skillet from oven, twirling around to make sure oil has coated entire bottom, and pour batter into skillet. 
3. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.

Notes:

*I make my own GF all purpose flour by combining 48oz of brown rice flour, 24oz potato starch and 24oz tapioca starch.  Mix well and store in an air tight container.
**I prefer to use sour milk.  You can make sour milk by simply mixing in a teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar to whatever milk you are using or use that milk that has started to go bad!  I have used cow, goat and almond milk, all with great success.  We prefer goat. 
***If you do not have a cast iron skillet, spray or lightly grease a 9 inch round cake pan and do not preheat the pan.
Click here for printable version: Printable Best GF Cornbread Ever!

Waste not, want not...or...How to make lemonade out of lemons

Ever have one of those days?  You know what I am talking about...you really shouldn't be in the kitchen or doing anything of consequence for that matter.  But you do it anyways.  Nothing good ever results.  What do you do with it?  I literally cringe when I read of people putting their baked goods straight in the garbage.  They seriously could not think of anything else they could do with it?  I personally can't afford to throw high priced gluten-free ingredients in the garbage, not with 4 kids, 2 dogs, a cat, 3 goats and 30+ chickens to feed.  So, worse case scenario, I feed it to the chickens and think of the nutritious eggs they are going to make me.  Most the time, though, it's not worst case, and I can come up with some alternative use for the "lemon" I've created.  Here are a few ideas you might find helpful.

#1  Bread- I'll admit it...I've made more than 1 inedible loaf of gluten free bread in my life.  I know I've made at least 2.  Don't dump it in the garbage.  How many recipes do you have that call for bread crumbs?  Often the problem with bread is textural (too dense, too mushy) but this is a non-issue for bread crumbs.  Make sure it is dried out a bit if it was mushy and then give it a twirl in your food processor, put it in a glass jar and put it in the fridge.  You could even add a little salt and Italian seasoning for seasoned bread crumbs.  Now you've got bread crumbs for the next time you make meatballs (or whatever).

#2 Muffins- They were actually pretty good straight out of the oven.  However, after a couple days in the fridge, they were just a crumbled mess.  Toss 'em?  No way!   I crumbled them up (the rest of the way), added a little butter and voila...pie crust.  My only suggestion here would be to dry them out a little first but we all thoroughly enjoyed the crust (and the pie too).

#3 Doughs or batters- I've made more than one mixture that just not turn out to be what it was supposed to be.  Turn it into pancakes!  Add a little baking powder, thicken it up or water it down to the right consistency and most likely, your little munchkins won't know the difference!  I did this with a tortilla dough gone wrong and kids loved them!

#4 Flour that has gone beyond the expiration date- If it has never been opened and it says, "Best by", then it is most likely fine.  Smell it and if there is no rancid smell, than you are good to go.  If you don't feel comfortable with that though, make dog treats.  There are a number of recipes available online and it will make your four-legged munchkins happy too!

Just a few for now but always endeavor to use what you can!  It's easier on your wallet and better for our earth.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie Brioche

I know most people are over their pumpkin pie cravings by now but for me, if it's cool outside, then it's still pumpkin baking time inside.  This is another recipe inspired by Healthy Bread in 5.  I made their Pumpkin Pie Brioche for the veggie co-op to rave reviews.  However, I had already gone gluten-free by that time and never got to taste it.  I determined that I would come up with a gluten-free version so I could see what all the hype was about.  I ended up making it 2 ways...a regular gf pumpkin pie brioche and a gf pumpkin pie brioche with candied pecans.  Yes...yes, I did say candied pecans and they are even better than you are imagining!  The regular makes great toast and even better french toast.  I also imagine it would make a really good bread pudding (I'm thinking with eggnog and rum).  The one with the candied pecans is great just by itself with a nice hot cup of tea, with cream and sugar, of course.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie Brioche (adapted from Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day)

820 g or 6 1/2 Cups all purpose gf blend (or equal parts sorghum, tapioca*, potato)
2 T or 1/2 t yeast**
1 T kosher salt
2 T xanthan gum
3 t pumpkin pie spice (or 2 t cinnamon, 1 t ground ginger, 1 t nutmeg)
1 1/4 cup milk (I use almond) or water
3 T dry milk powder (if using water)
4 large eggs
1/2 to 1 cup sugar, honey, agave (depending on how sweet you want this)
3/4 cup neutral flavored oil or melted unsalted butter
1 15 oz can of pumpkin puree
Raw sugar for sprinkling on top

*If you use or have Expandex on hand, substitute 1/2 the tapioca for Expandex
**If you want this now, use 2T yeast and you'll have bread in a few hours.  If you prefer to do a slow rise, use 1/2 t yeast and let sit out overnight, then refrigerate for up to 5 days or bake immediately.

Whisk together your dry ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer (flour, yeast, salt, xanthan gum, spices, sugar, if using, dry milk powder, if using). 

Combine liquid ingredients (eggs, honey, if using, oil) with the pumpkin puree and slowly pour into the dry ingredients.  Mix with stand mixer with paddle attachment until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.  Cover (not air tight) and allow dough to rest for 2 hours if using 2T yeast or for 8-12 hours if using 1/2 t yeast.

When you are ready to bake, grease an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch nonstick loaf pan (or how ever many loaves you are making.  I usually do all my baking at once to save on electricity as the baked loaves freeze well, just pre-slice.)  Measure out 1.5lbs of dough into each pan.  Smooth out the top of each loaf and cover and allow to rest for 90 minutes, if using refrigerated dough, or 40 minutes if using fresh dough.  (I put mine in the microwave with a steaming cup of water.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Just before baking, sprinkle the top of each loaf with the raw sugar.  Bake for 40 to 50 minutes.  The loaf is done when caramel brown and firm.  Remove from oven and allow to sit in pan for 10 minutes (really...don't try to take it out earlier.  Set your timer for 10 minutes and then when it goes off, remove your bread, right then, don't get distracted and forget.  Too soon or too late and you will have a hard time getting that bread out!) then remove to a rack.  Allow to cool before slicing and eating.

**Variation**  Pumpkin Pie Brioche with Candied Pecans

To make the candied pecans, in a nonstick saucepan heat 3 T butter, 1/2 t cinnamon, 1/2 C sugar and 1 C of chopped pecans over medium heat for about 8 min until thick and bubbly. Spread out on a silicone mat or piece of parchment and cool in the fridge. Once cool, separate into little pieces and divide into 3 equal batches (I usually weigh out the whole batch and then divide equally).  If you don't use this all at once, store in the fridge or freezer (just don't eat it all before you bake the rest of your dough!)


When your dough is ready, measure out .75lbs of dough into the pan.  Take 1/2 of one of the batches and sprinkle on dough.  Gently press down then put in the other .75lbs of dough.  Sprinkle the other 1/2 of the batch on top, then press and cover with dough.  Most of the candy should be under the dough.  I usually do not add additional sugar to the top of the loaf when I bake it.