Welcome to my crazy world of real food cooking ...

Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly Plants. -- Michael Pollan

I wish I could take credit for that because I think it sums up how we should eat. Simply -- eat stuff that really is food, instead of stuff that is food like substance. The supermarket is almost entirely food-like-substances, and, my friends, you should probably never ever eat them.

Fortunately, there is a world of deliciousness out there, and it can all be had in a way that not only doesn't harm your health, but in a way that benefits you hugely.

I think it's important to eat stuff that satisfies you, that keeps your blood sugar stable, and that gives you stuff your body really needs to run optimally.

But baby, it's gotta taste good.

I really like getting experimental in the kitchen. I love cooking, I love layering flavours, and I love coming up with really super yummy food. I have very strong opinions about what constitutes food, and there are a lot of things I won't touch in the kitchen. Bottom line? Pretty much everything I make is ridiculously good for you even if it tastes decadent. Although there are occasional big fat cheats ... but even those stick to real food, my friends.

For food that is usual gluten free, usually free of cane sugar, usually super low on the glycemic index, full of protein, fiber, flavour, and excellent energy, join me and Alice down the rabbit hole.

Every recipe on this blog is my own original effort and idea, so please pass 'em on, giving credit where credit is due.

Many thanks, and come back often. I'm really glad you are here!

:)

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Gluten free bread with millet and buckwheat

This bread for me has a pretty nice flavour, as well as decent loft and texture. I've played around with different combinations of millet and sorghum, but for us right now, this millet and buckwheat combo is hitting the spot.


With non-gluten flours you can't make a kneadable dough like you do with wheat flours. You'll make a sticky, stiff batter that you'll scoop into a pan. It will rise a little, not tremendously, but adequately. My kiddo adores this toasted. I had some with almond butter yesterday and thought it was very tasty.


equipment:
loaf pan -- prepared with oil/parchment etc
mixing bowls
mixing spoon
measuring cups
measuring spoons
oven


ingredients:

a
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1 tbsp yeast

b
1 cup millet flour
1 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp xanthan gum


directions:
1. put the ingredients from part A together and combine. set aside to let the yeast proof
2. put the ingredients from part B in a bowl and mix well
3. add part A to part B and thoroughly combine
4. scoop the batter into a prepared loaf pan
5. cover and let rise for 2 hours in a warm location
6. bake uncovered at 345 for 60 minutes
7. remove from the pan and let cool before cutting



Friday, 17 November 2017

Vegan Gluten-Free Cassava Cake

You may or may not know that tapioca is a starch from cassava, and is an excellent prebiotic. Additionally, it's a delightful way to add springy texture to gluten-free baked goods. Amazing. We love it. And then I heard about cassava flour, and it's not the starch, but rather the whole cassava root dried and ground, and relatively unprocessed.  And by reputation, quite delightful.

I decided to try a very very simple cake, using mainly just millet and cassava, coconut sugar, water, and avocado oil.

I was sent a Paderno professional 8 inch square pan by Canadian Tire to test for them for their #TestedForLifeinCanada programme, and wanted to see how it would fare on a basic gluten free vegan cake.









equipment:

measuring cups
measuring spoons
oven
mixing bowls
mixing spoon
whisk
Paderno Professional 8 inch square pan


ingredients:

A
1 cup millet flour
1 cup Otto's Cassava flour
1/2 tsp ground tonka bean
2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar

B
2 cups water
1/4 cup avocado oil
1 cup coconut sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

C
2 tbsp coconut sugar


directions:

1. add the dry ingredients from part A to a bowl, and stir until they are completely combined
2. add the wet ingredients from part B to a bowl, and stir with a whisk until they are completely combined
3. add part B to part A, mixing until completely combined
4. pour into a prepared pan
5. sprinkle with coconut sugar
6. bake at 345 for 45 minutes

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Basic Babycakes -- gluten free, nut-free, and vegan

These are our go to little baby cakes at the moment. They are sweet and satisfying, and depending how you dress them up, can pass for villainous or virtuous. For a hallowe'en treat, I mixed in some chocolate chips, and put a mini pumpkin-flavoured marshmallow in the middle of each one -- which oozed out of some of them like a ghostly apparition. Gluten free, nut free, and vegan, these are a simple and delightful little treat. 



p.s.a. : also good with chocolate chips!!:









equipment needed:

muffin/cupcake cups
mixing bowl
mixing spoon
measuring cups
measuring spoons
oven


ingredients:

a)
1 cup millet flour
1 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
2 tsp xanthan gum

b)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp tonka bean powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar

c)
1 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup coconut nectar
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract

d)
1/2 cup avocado oil (melted coconut oil is also great, but cakes made with coconut oil will be harder when they come out of the fridge, and will need some time to warm up)
1 1/2 cup water

e)
1 cup of chocolate chips (Optional)

f)
24 mini marshmallows (optional)

directions:

preheat the oven to 345 degrees
1. combine the ingredients from part d and set aside
2. in a bowl, mix the ingredients from a) and b) -- thoroughly combine
3. stir c) and d) together
4. mix the wet and dry ingredients together -- I like to use a whisk
5. stir in the chocolate chips
6. scoop  a little of the batter into the silicone cupcake cups. If using, put a mini marshmallow in the centre of each, and top with more batter. If not using mini marshmallows, just divide the batter evenly between 24 cups
7. bake at 345 for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cupcakes feel springy and a little firm when pressed gently
8. when cool, remove from the silicone cups (if using) and store in an airtight container in the fridge


makes 24 small baby cakes

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

really good simple baby cakes -- vegan, gluten-free, and nut-free

This is really delicious. Simple, super yummy little cakes. Pleasing. They taste like more. They go perfectly with a cup of tea. They rock an after-school snack or an after dinner treat. Breakfast? Sure!! Dessert? You betcha. This is the cake you need now.








p.s.a. : also good with chocolate chips!!:









equipment needed:

muffin/cupcake cups
mixing bowl
mixing spoon
measuring cups
measuring spoons
oven


ingredients:

a)
1 cup millet flour
1 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1 tsp xanthan gum

b)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp tonka bean powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar

c)
1 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup coconut nectar
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract

d)
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 1/2 cup warm water


directions:

preheat the oven to 345 degrees
1. combine the ingredients from part d and set aside
2. in a bowl, mix the ingredients from a) and b) -- thoroughly combine
3. stir c) and d) together
4. mix the wet and dry ingredients together -- I like to use a whisk
5. scoop the batter into the silicone cupcake cups and bake at 345 for 30 to 35 minutes


gluten free bread V2.0 -- our simplest vegan loaf

Bread. What can I say? It's never been my jam, but I know most people love it. By most people I mean, like everyone in the world except me. Or maybe just everyone in my world. So for me going gluten free is no big. It's like here eat some nuts and seeds with your avocado and vegetables. And then my son going gluten-free (and incidentally and coincidentally a whole host of problems going away), and cue his sad sad sad face. He wants toast. He wants bread fingers to dip in his soup. He wants a pb and j sammie. Sigh.

So, gluten-free bread.

Well, version 1 was in a word terrible. The birds and squirrels didn't mind it though.

But this one, version 2, has my son's blessing. He will eat this forever for the rest of his life even if he can ever eat gluten again. This one is so good he'll eat it everyday. Toasted, souped, sammied ... you name it. His sad face has gone gone gone.

Yay!!








equipment needed:

oven
prepared loaf pan
mixing bowls
mixing spoon
measuring cup
measuring spoon


ingredients:

a)
1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp psyllium husk

b)
1 1/2 cups water 
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1 tbsp bread yeast



directions:
1. combine b) and set aside
2. in a larger bowl, mix together all the ingredients from a). You'll want to make sure they are very very well distributed. There are some magical ingredients in here that won't mix well if they are clumped together when water is added.
3. add part b) to part a) and stir quickly and efficient until completely combined
4. scoop into a prepared loaf pan, and smooth the top
5. let rise covered for 1 1/2 to 2 hours
6. bake at 345 degrees for 1 hour
7. turn out onto a cooling rack
8. when fully cool, store in an airtight package in the fridge



gluten free bread v 4.0

My son is a bread lover. And because of a variety of health issues, he has had to go gluten-free, to his chagrin. However, this rather credible loaf makes things a little easier. This is version 4, and it's got a wonderful texture. He also loves version 2. This one has chia, which makes this bread a little more suitable for use by people who have blood sugar issues. This bread dough doesn't have the same texture as gluten-containing bread. You have to scoop it into the bread pan as a sticky mass instead of as a clammy, well-behave dough ball. However, it rises well enough to become nicely spongey, and developed a pleasing crust when baked. The taste is enjoyable, and it toasts up beautifully. Finally, it mixes up in just a few minutes, and is very easy to make.






equipment needed:

oven
loaf pan

ingredients:

a)
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1 tbsp bread yeast

b)
1 cup sorghum flour
1 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup ground chia seeds

c)
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tbsp psyllium husk powder


directions:

1. combine the ingredients from a) and set aside
2. in a larger bowl, combine b) and c), and mix until completely and evenly dispersed
3. when a) has foamed up, add it to the mixture of b) and c), and mix quickly and well
4. put the resulting stiff batter into a prepared loaf pan, and smooth the top of it
5. cover it and let it rise for 1 1/2 or 2 hours
6. bake at 345 for 1 hour
7. turn out of the baking pan and let cool on a rack
8 when fully cool, store in an airtight package in the fridge.

Chocolate Monkey Cookie Bars -- delicious vegan, gluten free, and nut free banana and chocolate treats

There's no such thing as a bad banana in this house. My fellas both love eating them, but if they ever hang around too long, they can fulfill their destiny as delicious cookie bars.

These are nutritionally dense, full only of high octane fuel. I like to throw a couple of these in my son's lunch box because with all the excellent ingredients, I know they'll help him power through the day at school. Additionally, they taste great, so he looks forward to them.





equipment needed:

oven
2 8x8 square baking dishes -- (I like silicone but if you don't use silicone, make sure you prepare it well so the batter doesn't stick)
mixing bowl
mixing spoon
seed grinder for chia or buy already ground
measuring cups
measuring spoons


ingredients:

a)
2 cups mashed overripe banana
1/2 cup date sugar
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

b)
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp ground tonka bean (optional!)
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt

c)
1/4 cup raw cacao
1/4 cup tapioca starch or green banana flour
1/4 cup ground chia

d)
2 cups shredded coconut

e)
1 cup fair trade chocolate chips


directions:

1. preheat the oven to 345
2. combine the ingredients from part a) -- you may want to use a whisk
3. whisk in the ingredients from part b)
4. whisk in the ingredients from part c)
5. stir in the shredded coconut
6 stir in the chocolate chips
7. divide evenly between prepared 2 square pans (or use a big rectangle one!)
8. bake at 345 for 45 minutes or until they are done
9. score into bars while they are in the pan, allow to cool, and then remove.
10. Store in an airtight container in the fridge


Sunday, 6 August 2017

"granola" bars -- gluten free, grain free, sugar free, low inflammatory vegan snacks

Both a friend of mine and I are struggling with auto-immune diseases right now. In an effort to reduce  grain proteins, starches, and sugars in an effort to decrease our inflammatory load, I came up with these awesome bites. Soaking the seeds and nuts before using helps that too!!











equipment needed:
mixing bowl
mixing spoon
measuring cups
measuring spoon
coffee or seed grinder
oven
square pans -- I like silicone pans -- 8 inch x 2 (and place the silicone on a metal baking sheet for stability)
metal spatula (for cutting the bars after
(or a knife and cutting board)




ingredients:
1/2 cup coconut butter
1 cup xylitol
1/2 cup boiling water
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp psyllium powder
1/4 cup green banana flour
1/4 cup ground chia seeds
1 cup almond flour
1/2 tsp xanthan gum

1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp tonka bean power

(optional 2 tbsp cacao powder)





1/2 cup hemp hearts
2 cups shredded coconut
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup walnut pieces


345 for 40 to 45 minutes

Oatmeal Cookie Deliciousness -- what vegans eat

These are the kind of cookies that pack a nutritional punch and keep you going when you need a nibble during the day.  Packed full of whole foods, these are both fuel and treat. Pair them with a cup of tea for a satisfying snack.








equipment needed:

mixing bowl
mixing spoon
measuring cups
measuring spoons
whisk
oven
silicone baking mats or parchment paper
cookie sheets or baking sheets
kettle


ingredients:

a)
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 cup coconut nectar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

b)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp tonka bean powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp ceylon cinnamon
1 tsp xanthan gum

c)
2 cups shredded coconut
2 cups large oat flakes

d)
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup hemp hearts
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raisins


directions:

preheat the oven to 345

1. combine the ingredients from part a) and mix with a whisk until smooth
2. stir in the ingredients from b) and c), working quickly
3. add the ingredients from d), and fold in evenly
4. scoop onto the lined baking sheets, and shape and flatten with wet fork
5. bake at 345 for 20 minutes




2 dozen generous cookies
12 per tray

Monday, 10 July 2017

Upside down Apple Cake -- gluten-free, vegan, nut-free

My Bubbi Sarah was a tiny and tough old woman who came here from Poland when she was a young girl. She'd witnessed a tremendous amount of change in her life by the time she died after the new millennia at the age of 102, but one thing was constant -- her love of making the old traditional favourites for her family's eating pleasure. She'd make mandelbrot, poppy seed cookies, roasted eggplant, and her famous apple cake. With a nudge she'd say "Did you try the apple cake? It's good. I made it."

I miss that. So I always think of Bubbi Sarah when I bake an apple cake.

Now, I can't claim to hold a candle to her apple cake. This one is lovely, however. The cake is delicate, soft, spongey, and moist, with perfect integrity, and a light sweetness and spiciness. I'm sure Bubbi Sarah would have been baffled by my use of millet and buckwheat flours, but I like to think she would have enjoyed it.

If, like me, you are allergic to wheat, or if you simply want a change, this gluten-free, nut-free, vegan cake is wonderful.

I love the way an upside down cake looks, with a pretty pattern in apple slices on the now-top. I sprinkle coconut sugar liberally to affect a sort of caramelization on the now-top, and it's a thing of pleasing deliciousness.




















equipment:
round 8 inch pan, coated with coconut oil and parchment
mixing bowl
mixing spoon
knife
cutting board
measuring spoons
measuring cups
whisk
oven


ingredients:

a)
1/2 cup millet flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour

b)
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp tonka bean powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ceylon cinnamon

c)
1/4 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup warm water

d)
1/2 cup coconut sugar
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

e)
2 tbsp coconut sugar
1 apples, cored and sliced


directions:

preheat the oven to 345 degrees

1. prepare the apple and the pan
2. cover the bottom of the pan with parchment, then cover the parchment with coconut sugar sugar and apple slices (e)
3. combine the warm water and coconut oil (part c) and set aside
4. mix together the dry ingredients from a) and b) in a bowl
5. mix the ingredients from d) into the ingredients from e)
6. using a whisk, combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients
7. pour the batter over the sliced apples
8. bake for 30 to 35 minutes at 345
9. cool and invert onto a plate

Saturday, 8 July 2017

*** Really Good Cake -- Simple Cake -- gluten free vegan cake

This cake is amazing. It's a wonderfully spongey, simple, tasty, moist, delicious cake. Goooooooood cake. Really good cake.

Buckwheat flour tends to have a particular and strong flavour, and I am usually loathe to use it outside of very specific applications.  However, the ingredients in this cake balance it all perfectly and there is nothing about this cake that isn't just delicious. It's just ... lovely.

Don't bother me I'm imagining it with fresh strawberries that have been sliced and stirred together with a touch of maple syrup and a pinch of honey spooned over top, releasing all their secrets ...

Sorry, what did I miss?

Anyway, this cake is just a perfect spongey lovely cake. I can't wait to make it again.









equipment needed:

square silicone cake pan
mixing bowl
mixing spoon
measuring cups
measuring spoons
oven


ingredients:

a)
1 cup millet flour
1 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1 tsp xanthan gum

b)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp tonka bean powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar

c)
1 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup coconut nectar
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract

d)
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 1/2 cup warm water


directions:

preheat the oven to 345 degrees
1. combine the ingredients from part d and set aside
2. in a bowl, mix the ingredients from a) and b) -- thoroughly combine
3. stir c) and d) together
4. mix the wet and dry ingredients together -- I like to use a whisk
5. pour the batter into the silicone pan and bake at 345 for 45 minutes
(or bake as individual cupcakes for about 35 minutes)





45 minutes 345 degrees