Category Archives: Cooking

Gluten Free Flaxseed Bread

One of the new kitchen toys I got this past winter was a Zojirushi bread maker. The model is called Home Bakery Virtuoso.

Among many other bells and whistles, this bread maker has a Gluten Free cycle. Baking gluten free is a relatively new thing for me. I don’t have celiac disease, nor am I even gluten intolerant as far as I know, but I just have had it in my mind to have more variety in my breads, etc. So I’ve been trying out alternative types of flours, baking methods etc. It has been an enjoyable learning experience for me.

My first attempt at using one of the recipes (called “Gluten Free Brown Rice Bread”) was quite a failure although I eventually ate all the evidence, lol. The center collapsed horribly; the texture was too dense and wet, and yet the bread would crumble when attempting to slice. In further reviewing what I had done, I attribute that failure to operator error (I later took the time to look at the DVD videos that came with the bread maker and realized that I should have scraped down the sides partway thru the cycle) and too many substitutions (I was trying to just use what I had available or could easily get at local stores).

My next attempt used another recipe in the booklet called “Gluten Free Flaxseed Bread”. Because of my inexperience and previous failure, I decided to follow the recipe exactly for this one. It turned out very well as far as taste went and well enough in texture (although far from perfect), to want to try it again.

With a few revisions to the recipe in my most recent attempt, this time the bread was nearly perfect for my liking. Good rise, golden crust, good texture (uniform crumb and sliced well) and a deliciously satisfying taste.

gluten-free-flax-bread

For those who have been asking, here is the ingredients list I used. Recording this information here will also help me remember what I did so I can make it again, too!

Gluten Free Flaxseed Bread ingredients list

1-2/3 cups cultured milk (I used homemade kefir milk)
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons flax oil
3 tablespoons honey
1-1/2 cups brown rice flour
1-1/3 cups potato starch
1 cup tapioca starch
1 tablespoon xanthan gum
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup golden flax seed
1 tablespoon active dry yeast

Notes on Method

The night before (or 8 – 12 hours):

mix cultured milk and rice flour in a bowl, cover with towel and leave to soak on countertop.

The day of:

In separate bowl, beat eggs, then mix in flax oil and honey.

In yet another bowl, add remaining ingredients except yeast, and whisk together.

Into bread maker pan, pour egg mixture, then soaked rice flour on top of that, then the mixture of dry ingredients on top of that.

Make a slight indentation into the dry ingredients, and sprinkle in active dry yeast. (the yeast should not come in contact with any of the wet ingredients)

To bake:

Set bread maker menu to Gluten Free Course and Dark Crust settings.

Press Start on the bread maker. Follow suggestions in bread maker instructions for scraping down sides of pan when the “add in’s” beep sounds (or just after the initial mixing and before the first rise).

Peaking at the progress of the bread baking through the view window of the Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso bread maker
Peaking at the progress of the baking bread through the view window of the Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso bread maker

In 2-1/4 hours, you’ll have a beautiful loaf of gluten free bread like this. 🙂

gluten-free-flax-bread-on-cooling-rack

Other methods of making

Sorry, but I can’t really be of help on this right now if you have another type of bread maker or no bread machine at all. I’ll be interested to hear from you if you have suggestions, or even favorite gluten free bread recipes you’d like to share.

Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso Breadmaker with Gluten Free Menu setting

gluten-free-flax-bread-d

Homemade Granola Cereal

Today was the day to replenish my supply of homemade granola. It’s a welcome chore since I love the smell of freshly made granola coming out of the oven.

granola

I vary slightly what I use to make each batch of granola depending on my mood (and what I have on hand), but it comes down to this basic recipe.

  • Approx 3.5 c  whole grains (today I used 2 c rolled oats, 1/2 c spelt flakes, 1 c barley flakes)
  • 1 c sliced almonds (I soak the whole almonds for several hours before to make slicing easier, but you could use already sliced almonds and save yourself a lot of time, lol)
  • 1/2 c raw pumpkin seed kernels (pepitas)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
Mix the above together in a bowl. Then add the following and mix thoroughly. 
  • 1/3 c cold-pressed organic coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 c maple syrup
  • 1 T chia seed soaked for 30 minutes or so in 2T filtered water (this acts as a bit of a binder and substitutes for egg whites)
granolabeforebaked
Bake on a rimmed cookie sheet lined with parchment or a silicon liner at 300d F for 45 minutes, stirring once at about 30 minute point. Let cool to complete crisping. 
granolaafterbaked
 
This is SO good with yogurt — it’s the treat to myself a couple of times a week for breakfast. A batch lasts me a couple of months, so I do store it in an airtight container to stay fresh.
Jackie E-S, enjoying a cooler day in south Louisiana

Homemade Cereal Flakes from Cereal Crumbs

Giving cereal crumbs a new purpose in life

When it comes to cold cereals, you might remember that I like mine CRUNCHY vs. soggy. Those crumbs that invariably collect at the bottom of the cereal package definitely do not hold up to the crunchy texture I will enjoy. Mixing the crumbs in with the whole pieces of cereal just creates a sludgier feel on my palate that destroys my enjoyment of the entire bowl of cereal.

I hate to throw good food away, and especially when it can be a substantial enough portion of a high-priced box of organic cereal.  So what to do with all those cereal crumbs?

I’d been saving the crumbs in sealed mason jars with the intent of incorporating some now and then into homemade bread etc. But I am just not using them up fast enough. Then, when I was about to buy some more cereal, it occurred to me that I could make my own flakes! And what better ingredients to start with than to use up the crumbs I already had.

I’m sharing what I did to make cereal flakes out of cereal crumbs because this crazy idea turned out so good. Sorry – I didn’t start taking photographs in the process until I realized this crazy idea might actually work.

Cereal Crumbs Flakes Recipe

Ingredients:

1 quart cereal crumbs

Filtered water

1 tsp vanilla extract or other favorite flavorings such as cinnamon or nutmeg

Instructions:

Pour 1 – 2 cups water into blender container, then add cereal crumbs on top. Blend on low to begin with, then raising to medium while  adding more water as needed and scraping down sides of container until you have a spreadable, relatively smooth batter that is just thick enough to hold its shape. I probably ended up using a little more than 3 cups of water. Add the vanilla or other flavorings and blend to mix well.

Place a portion of the batter in the center of a paraflexx sheet on a dehydrator tray
Place a portion of the batter in the center of a paraflexx sheet on a dehydrator tray

Divide the batter into 5 portions. Place each portion in center of a paraflexx sheet on a dehydrator tray.

Spread very thin
Spread very thin

Spread the dough very thinly with a rubber spatula, working from center outwards toward edges. Basically you are just making 5 huge “flakes” at this point. 🙂 Get the dough as thin and even as possible. Your patience and attention in this step will be rewarded.

5 trays of cereal flake sheets in my 9-tray Excalibur dehydrator
5 trays of cereal flake sheets ready to dry in my 9-tray Excalibur dehydrator

Dehydrate at 115 degrees F. for 4 hours or until almost dry and firm enough to peel off paraflexx sheets and place back onto the mesh drying trays.

Partially dried and flipped over onto the mesh dehydrator tray
Partially dried and flipped over onto the mesh dehydrator tray

Continue dehydrating until thoroughly dry – about 2 more hours.

The 5 dried sheets of cereal flake dough
The 5 dried sheets of cereal flake dough

Let the dried sheets of cereal flake dough cool, them break them up  by hand into cereal-sized flakes. Store in an air-tight container.

homemade cereal flakes in an OXO pop-top storage container
homemade cereal flakes in an OXO pop-top storage container

Now you have crispy, delicious flakes to enjoy. Plus the satisfaction of knowing you have given all those cereal crumbs a new purpose in life.

 

Meatless Monday Tomato Spinach Feta Crustless Quiche

I tried the recipe Tomato Spinach Feta Crustless Quiche from the Bold Of Delicious blog site tonight and it turned out great. Even John thought so … It was probably a relief to him having a relatively “usual” dish rather than some of the weird stuff I have been trying lately.

Spinach Feta Crustless Quiche
Spinach Feta Crustless Quiche

Here is a link to the recipe site I used: http://www.bowlofdelicious.com/2015/01/05/crustless-spinach-tomato-and-feta-quiche/ I pretty much made the recipe as given except for a couple minor changes (always seems I make changes, lol):

  1. I didn’t have the 8 oz of feta cheese called for (I only had 6 oz because I forgot that John had used some in salad a couple nights ago), so I supplemented with 2 oz of a fresh Kefir cheese I had made last week which is very similar to feta.
  2. I substituted dried thyme for the fresh (since my plants got killed several weeks ago and I won’t be planting again until it warms up somewhat).
  3. I just used sliced Roma tomato I had on hand rather than the cherry tomato halves the recipe called for.
  4. Also, the filling was too much for the quiche pan I have, so I divided it between that and a pie plate. (2 for 1 !)

I particularly liked how light and fluffy this quiche was. I think it is because of using the feta and fresh Kefir cheeses rather than a more traditional heavier cheese like Swiss? There is plenty left for more meals. I probably would re-heat in a pan, but I understand it is also good served cold as a snack. Have you had this before?

Quinoa Pudding

Gluten-free and dairy-free. Healthy. Tasty. Whether you enjoy this quinoa pudding as dessert or for a nutritious breakfast, what’s not to love?

Quinoa Pudding
Quinoa Pudding

Cooking time: 35 minutes + 10 minutes rest time during which most of prep of other ingredients can be done

Yield: 6 servings. Calories per serving: 229.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pre-washed white quinoa seed
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1¼ cup unsweetened apple juice
  • ½ cup jumbo golden raisins
  • ½ cup raw whole almonds
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 2-inch cinnamon stick
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • juice of half a lemon
  • grated rind of one lemon

Directions

  1. Add Quinoa to water in medium saucepan. Bring to boil, then simmer until  water nearly absorbed (18 – 20 minutes). Set aside covered for about 10 minutes.
  2. Toast almonds lightly in small pan to maximize flavor. Cool completely. Chop in mini food processor to medium-fine.
  3. Combine chopped almonds and remaining ingredients with the cooked quinoa.
  4. Cover and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently for about 15 minutes.
  5. Remove cinnamon stick. Scoop mixture into 6 individual dessert bowls.
  6. Cover and chill for 1 hour or more. Serve cold.

Serving Suggestions

  • Garnish with fresh pomegranate arils (seeds) for a festive holiday look.

    Quinoa Pudding garnished with pomegranate arils
    Quinoa Pudding garnished with pomegranate arils
  • Pour some almond milk (or other non-fat dairy free milk) over the top and stir for a creamier pudding consistency

Nutrition Facts for Quinoa Pudding

quinoa pudding nutrition information
Quinoa Pudding nutrition information