Kitchen Experiments- Gluten Free, Grain Free Gingerbread

It has been awhile since I have shared any of the foods that I have been cooking in my kitchen but ever since I made this recipe, everyone has been asking me to share it. I found this recipe in a cookbook that has been on display in my office for quite some time.  This cookbook, Nourishing Meals, was written by a two fellow graduates of Bastyr University , Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre.

book

When the book was released last year, they sent me a copy for my waiting room and to be honest, I placed it there and never really glanced through it.  I am always talking about food with my clients and frequently inquire as to “what’s for dinner”.  One of my lovely clients, Geri, told me that she was making a gluten free zucchini lasagna with pine nut ricotta that evening from the book in the waiting room.  That recipe sounded very interesting and so I thought it might be time for me to glance through that cookbook and see what I could find.  I must admit that I love cookbooks with photos and this one had a middle section with some very pretty glossy colored photos.  The first thing I spotted was the gingerbread.  I love gingerbread so I flipped to the page and found this recipe.

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What I love about this recipe is that it is made without any flour.  I will give you the recipe from the book but then I will tell you the changes that I made.  It is a very bad habit of mine that I rarely follow a recipe exactly the way that it is written.  Sometimes that is a good thing and other times, not so much!

Gingerbread

1 1/2 cups creamy almond butter

1/2 cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes

1/4 cup blackstrap molasses

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1-2 teaspoons ginger

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease an 8 x 8-inch baking dish with coconut oil.

Place all ingredients into a food processor fitted with the “s” blade and process until smooth and combined. You can also use a hand held mixer but the food processor is easier and creates a smoother batter.

Pour batter into baking dish. Bake for about 35 minutes. Cool and slice. Gingerbread will be fragile hot out of the oven but will firm up once cooled.

baked

When I saw the ingredients in the recipe I could not believe that it would hold together. But it does and it is delicious.  What a treat – a perfect high protein snack or breakfast.

So, as I said, I made a few changes.  I don’t have a food processor any more, so I made it in my Vitamix. I did not think that the baking soda was going to be enough to make it rise, so I added a teaspoon of baking powder as well. I made it twice because the first pan was eaten very quickly.  The first time I used the amount of spices recommended in the recipe.  However, I like my gingerbread spicy so I increased the ginger to about a tablespoon and added cloves as well, maybe a 1/2 teaspoon.  That did the trick.  It was much more spicy amd more to my liking.  Also, the first time I made it, I used regular almond butter from the jar.  The second time I used fresh ground almonds from Earthlight.  The freshly ground are not as creamy and a little drier so I added a little almond milk to make the batter smoother.

Anyway you make this gingerbread, you are going to love it!  Let us know what you think.  Happy baking!

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Kitchen Experiments – Pancakes anyone?

I must say that being grain free has presented a challenge for breakfast if you are thinking about typical breakfast foods.  Most mornings when I am ready for breakfast I end up staring at the refrigerator thinking about what I can eat. Cereal? Out! Rice cake with nut butter? Out! Oatmeal? Out!  Oh boy!  What else is there? Hmm, how about pancakes?  No, not your typical pancake made with flour but pancakes made with nut flour!  Oh yes!  Thank goodness!  I love soup and I can eat it anytime of day all year round, but sometimes you just want something else.  It’s actually pretty amazing all of the things that you can make with nut flour.  The only stipulation is that most recipes call for eggs and lots of them!  As you might imagine, nut flours are a lot heavier than grain flours and therefore need something to give them a little lift.  I have made pancakes with and without eggs and while both of them are good, the egg free pancakes are just a tad denser than the ones made with eggs.  My new favorite egg replacement is 2 tablespoons chia seeds soaked in 3 tablespoons of water.  That equals one egg.

Keep checking back for more grain free recipes because I found a delicious carrot cake recipe made with almond flour that I would love to share with you.  It made the perfect birthday cake for Anita!

pancakes

Hazelnut Flour Pancakes

1 1/2 cups hazelnut flour (I made my own in my vitamix but you can use the nut flour variety of your choice)

1 tsp. arrowroot flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

2 eggs

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup non-dairy milk

1 tsp. vanilla

  • In a small bowl, mix applesauce, non-dairy milk, vanilla and eggs and set aside.
  • Mix hazelnut flour, arrowroot, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon together in a separate bowl.  Form a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients.  Mix together.
  • Heat a large skillet on medium-low heat.  Lightly coat with cooking spray or oil of your choice. Drop 1 1/2 tablespoons of batter into pan and spread out slightly for each pancake.  Cook pancakes 3-4 minutes, until bottoms have browned, then flip and cook 1-3 minutes more.  (Note: Do not wait for bubbles to appear on top of the pancake like you do when cooking regular pancakes.)
  • Spray the pan again and repeat with remaining batter.  Top with your favorite fruit, nuts and syrup and enjoy!