apple cider donuts

Two weeks ago we made our first venture to the apple orchard.  Kinley, Ashley and I drove to a local orchard the first week it was open to get the just-ready apples.  Gingergolds and Paula Reds were ready to be picked and we ended up with an entire bag filled to the top with red and gold apples.  I definitely seem to up my apple intake when there are fresh apples around – there is nothing quite like the taste of an apple in the fall, especially when you know they’re local, organic, and fresh off the tree.  Writing this post makes me want to go and get more even though we still have a bunch left in the fridge!  I know there are more varieties now just waiting for us to go pick some more.  I better get eating :).  And you’ve got to make sure to pick up some apple cider on your next trip to the orchard so you can try out these donuts!
Apple Cider Donuts
  • 3/4c oat flour [ground from rolled oats/steel cut/oat groats]
  • 3/4c sweet rice flour
  • 1/4c coconut flour
  • 1T organic sugar
  • 1t baking soda
  • 1 1/2t baking powder
  • 2t cinnamon
  • 1/4 t nutmeg
  • 1/8 t allspice
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c applesauce
  • 1 c apple cider
  • ~1/4 c unsweetened almond milk

1. Preheat oven to 375′.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the oat flour, sweet rice flour, coconut flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice (you could use apple pie spice instead of the different spices if you have it on hand).

3. In a larger bowl, mix together the egg, applesauce and apple cider.

4. Add the dry ingredients into the wet and stir until combined.  If the batter is too thick, add ~1/4c unsweetened almond milk to thin it out.

5. Spray a donut pan (or muffin tin) with nonstick cooking spray and sprinkle with additional sugar to coat.

6. Spoon the batter into the donut pan (or fill a plastic bag with the batter, cut off the corner and pipe in).

7. Bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

We didn’t add any additional sugar to the top – just what was in the pan, but you can definitely melt some butter and top with additional cinnamon + sugar, or make a glaze with powdered sugar + apple cider.  Whatever way you choose, you will enjoy these and be baking them up all Autumn long :).

pannenkoeken

We have very unique recipes in my family.  Recipes I used to think of as “normal” but not ones that many other people would eat on a regular basis.  Johnny Cake (aka a sweeter cornbread) with baked beans + hot dogs, crazy pancakes (might have to re-create this at some point), Hungarian Goulash, Chipped Beef on Toast with peas… I could go on but I’ll refrain.  When my sister and I were no longer little kids, she took over most of the cooking so a lot of what we had eaten when we were younger mostly went away.  We would have something every once in awhile, but it was not a common occurrence.  One thing that continued to stay around throughout life was Pannenkoeken (I think that’s how you spell it?).  We would often have it after church when we were visiting the grandparents.  Grandpa would slice up a bunch of apples, cook them with a whole stick of butter, and then top it with an eggy, cakey topping.  All topped off with cinnamon, sugar, and of course maple syrup!  (Just hopefully not the water + maple extract that was once served… don’t ask) Last Saturday was our first trip to the apple orchard so naturally we were thinking of something to cook for breakfast with apples!  Luckily, my sister had a good memory and thought of the delicious pannenkoeken of yesteryear.  One major change was no gluten and way less butter (or butter substitute).  We also made it in four individual dishes from Crate&Barrel, but you could easily make it in a 9×13″ baking pan.

Pannenkoeken

  • 4t butter (or equivalent)
  • 2-3 apples
  • cinnamon (+sugar if you wish)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 3/4 c millet flour
  • 3/4 c sorghum flour
  • optional toppings: cinnamon+sugar, maple syrup, powdered sugar
1.  Preheat the oven to 425′.
2. Place 1t of butter per dish and place in the oven to melt.
3. Core and slice the apples and layer on the bottom of the dish.  Sprinkle with cinnamon+sugar (or just cinnamon) and ~1t water and bake for 10 minutes.
4. Mix the remaining ingredients and pour over the partially cooked apples.
5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through.
6. Top with the toppings of your choice!
This recipe really brought me back.  I did not think it was actually going to be similar to what I had been used to, but it really was.  The cooked apples in the bottom make the entire thing so flavorful and delicious, and I think apples and maple syrup is one of my favorite combinations!  We each ate one of these for breakfast on Sunday morning and then heated up the other ones in the oven on Monday morning as a special Monday treat!

It’s so nice knowing that I don’t have to feel deprived from family memories revolving around food.  Although I’ll have to work on my grandma’s sugar cookie cutout recipes before Christmas!  Not sure how I’m going to survive without hers… ;).

granola for friends

I love granola much more than I should.  Yes, it is healthy, but not eaten by the handful like it so commonly is (in this household anyways).  After the gluten episode this past weekend we were forced to re-evaluate our oat consumption.  I was going on a nice streak there for a while where I had oats every breakfast – and I mean each and every breakfast.  Sure, there were a couple of other things thrown in their occasionally, but usually it was oats.  Regular oats, steel-cut oats, oat bran, overnight oats, dough-boy smoothies…  Because of the sheer consumption of oats and a new employee budget, gluten-free oats was not something that I even wanted to think about.  Yes, I will pay $2 for more oats and avoid paying $6 for just making sure they’re not cross-contaminated with wheat.  Well, as I now know – gluten-free oats should be the star of the show here.  Unfortunately we had over half of a big tub of good ol’ quaker oats to use up and I was not going to throw away any more food.  And there’s no better place to use up food you can no longer can eat than on your friends!  I surprised one of my good friends with a big ol’ bag of this granola.  And I will definitely be making it again for myself and sister with gluten-free oats.

Cinnamon-Vanilla Granola adapted from Coffee & Tea Warehouse 

  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2c light brown sugar
  • 1/4c oat flour (or whole-wheat)
  • 1/2t salt
  • 2t cinnamon
  • 1/3c grapeseed oil
  • 1/4c honey
  • 1t vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 300′ and get out a rimmed baking sheet.

2. Place rolled oats into a large bowl and add in the brown sugar, flour, salt and cinnamon.  Mix to distribute.

3. In a small sauce pan, heat up the oil and honey until they just come to a simmer.  Take off heat and add vanilla.

4. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir to combine.

5. Put on the baking sheet and bake for around 40 minutes or until golden brown, stirring every 10 minutes.

This recipe is incredibly versatile.  You can add nuts, seeds, dried fruits, cacao nibs… anything your heart fancies.  This was always my go-to granola recipe a few years back and I am not quite sure why I ever gave up using it!  I always added 1c of sunflower seeds in with the oats and it was awesome.

I highly recommend making this and having a bowl full of granola with the milk of your choice.  Just doesn’t get much better than that.

Want a more natural and gluten-free version?  Here’s what changes I will make next time for us!

  • 4 cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • 2T sucanat
  • 1/4c oat flour
  • 1/2t salt
  • 2t cinnamon
  • 1/3c grapeseed oil
  • 1/4c honey
  • 1t vanilla

I would consider decreasing the oil a bit as well… but it is just so darn good I don’t think I want to mess with it too much!  But I think decreasing the amount of sweetness and using sucanat instead of brown sugar will be the perfect alteration for our taste buds.

Now where are those gluten-free oats…

cinnamon + sugar donuts

After feeling not quite right yesterday even until going to bed, I knew today’s food was going to be hit or miss.  Kinley and I decided to drive to Alterra this morning for some Iced Americano’s – I love Alterra and it made this day start out great and I think the caffeine helped perk me up to help me continue to recover!  For breakfast I had scrambled eggs, some sauteed potatoes (leftover from dinner last night) and a piece of Sami’s Millet & Flax toast.  It was just what I wanted!

Well, there seems to be something about me and egg-filled breakfasts.  For some reason I get hungry pretty quickly afterwards even with all of the protein from the eggs and carbs from the potatoes and bread (which is why my usual breakfasts consist primarily of oats or buckwheat!).  It’s a good thing I had found a delicious looking recipe from Multiply Delicious for Cinnamon Sugar Gluten Free Baked Doughnuts to make for a ‘mid-morning snack’ ;).  I have been in the mood for cinnamon sugar recently as well as donuts (thanks to Ashley’s recent gluten-less creations 🙂 ).  I took tips from both recipes and came up with these little guys.

Cinnamon Sugar Donuts makes 6 regular + 6 minis
  • 1/2c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2t cider vinegar
  • 1 flax egg (1T flax + 2-3T water)
  • 1 egg
  • 2T organic sugar
  • 2t baking soda
  • 1/2t salt
  • 1/2t xanthan gum
  • 1t cinnamon
  • 1/4t nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten free all purpose flour
  • 1/2 c quinoa flour* (I misread the amount on this so had to add the water to counteract the excess dry ingredients – whoops!)
  • 1/4 c water*
Topping
  • 2-3T melted earth balance
  • 1/4c organic sugar
  • 1t cinnamon
*You could do 1/4c quinoa flour and no water instead.
1. Preheat oven to 350′ and spray a donut pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Spray well!
2. Mix together the almond milk and cider vinegar and set aside.  Mix together the flax and water to make the flax egg and set aside.
3. Combine the sugar, baking soda, salt, xanthan gum, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl.
4. Add the almond milk mixture, the flax mixture and the egg to those dry ingredients and whisk together.
5. Sift in the flours and combine.  Add water and stir to combine.
6. Scoop into the prepared donut pans and bake for 15-20 minutes or until heated through.
7. Once slightly cooled, dip into melted butter and then into the cinnamon sugar.

By the way, is it donuts or doughnuts?

The next time around I will definitely not use Bob’s Gluten Free mix – I am not a fan of garbanzo bean flour and that’s a big component in the mix.  I had it leftover from our first weekend going gluten free when we thought it was a baking necessity.  I’m going to pick up some coconut flour this weekend so the next time a donut craving hits I can use something similar to Ashley’s combo of Coconut, Sweet Rice and Oat flours.  The original recipe also did not call for any eggs, but I knew Ashley’s did and they would help puff up the dough better.  You could easily make these vegan if you wanted – but I was in the mood for a puffy cake-like donut!!!

Love this little ‘donut family’.  Happy Sunday!

betty, who?

There are few things I make or bake repeatedly.  I usually like to shake things up to try out new recipes and ideas.  There are only a handful of recipes I would ever repeat, and now with my gluten intolerance rising, I will most likely never be able to make my most beloved recipes again… Well, the exact recipes I initially fell in love with anyways.

I remember the recipe for French Breakfast Puffs from Betty Crocker as a often-repeated recipe, going all the way back to childhood.  It’s actually in my mom’s red Betty Crocker cookbook she received for her wedding many years before I even made an appearance.  It was always a favorite, especially the end part where my sister and I got to dunk the tops of the muffins in butter and cinnamon sugar.  I thought it was about time to make this recipe again, and did my best to replicate it while making it gluten free and dairy free.  Perfect for any time of the day.

Gluten Free & Dairy Free French Breakfast Puffs adapted from Betty Crocker
makes 10 muffins 

  • 1/3c unsweetened natural applesauce
  • 2T sucanat (SUcre CAnne NATurel aka sugar cane in its most natural form)
  • 1 egg (or flax egg)
  • 3/4 c millet flour
  • 3/4 c sorghum flour
  • 3/4 t xanthan gum
  • 1 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t nutmeg
  • 1/2 c unsweetened almond milk

1. Mix together the applesauce, sucanat and egg.

2. Sift the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.

3. Add the dry ingredients into the wet, alternating with the almond milk.

4. Scoop into a sprayed (or lined) muffin pan and bake at 350* for 20-22 minutes.

5. Allow to cool slightly (or completely) before coating.

  • 3T sucanat
  • 1 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 2T earth balance

*The topping measurements can be doubled if you prefer.  It also depends on how much of the muffin you dip and how many muffins your recipe makes.

6. Mix together the sucanat and cinnamon.  Melt the earth balance.

7. Dip each muffin first in the melted earth balance and then in the sucanat and cinnamon mixture.  (It’s easier to remove from the paper wrapping before dipping if you lined your pan).

Kinley says these are even better than the modified recipe we had been making of late which included replacing the shortening with applesauce.  Even though Betty thought she was pretty good in the baking department, I’d like to see her try to make a muffin taste better than this one!  Who needs gluten and dairy anyways?

all american dough boy

There’s nothing quite like a nice, cold breakfast on a hot, hot day.  There are definite summer morning when I can’t bring myself to make a warm bowl of oatmeal.  Well, this smoothie/oats hybrid is one of my favorite go-to breakfasts.  It is also quite adaptable with numerous topping options just like a bowl of oatmeal.

And on this 4th of July, it made a very festive breakfast.

Dough Boy Smoothie from KERF 

makes 2 servings

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2T chia seeds
  • 1 banana
  • [lots of] cinnamon
  • vanilla
  • pinch of salt

Simply combine all ingredients into a blender (or glass jar) and let it sit in the fridge overnight.  Blend in the morning, adding more milk as needed for your desired consistency.

Top with your favorite toppings!  Berries, ground flax, nut butters, granola, jam…

Hope you’re all having a wonderful 4th of July!

 

 

it’s fall… somewhere?

I was looking for something to bake.  I was in the mood for some type of coffee cake, but came up short in the recipe department.  I was also in the mood for something made with pumpkin… yes, it’s currently June but pumpkin is not a seasonal ingredient for me :).  I found this recipe for gluten free pumpkin muffins, and thinned out the base to make it in a 9×13 pan and topped with some cinnamon oat pecan topping – yum!

*I used the measurement for honey listed below as I prefer my baked goods less sweet.  If you are looking for something a bit sweeter and more dessert like, you can add up to 1/3 cup honey in the base recipe and adjust the amount of honey (or possibly add some brown sugar) in the topping as you desire as well.  Even with the 1T listed below, these bars got a lot sweeter the next day and really turned out delicious!

Cinnamon Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Base

  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1/2c millet flour
  • 1/2 cup (2T garbanzo bean flour + the rest sorghum flour)
  • 1/2 cup ground flax
  • 1t baking soda
  • 1t baking powder
  • 1t nutmeg
  • 1T cinnamon
  • 1/4t salt
  • 1/4 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 15oz can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/3 c unsweetened applesauce
  • 1T honey
  • ~3/4c water

Topping

  • 1/2c oats
  • 1/2c crushed pecans
  • ~1 1/2 T honey
  • ~1T water

cinnamon to taste (lots for me!)

1. Sift together the flours and add the flax, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt.

2. Whisk together the almond milk, pumpkin, applesauce and honey.

3. Create a hole in the center of the dry ingredients.  Add in the wet mixture and mix until combined.  You can add the water at this point to get your desired consistency.  (Since I was baking it as a coffee cake, I wanted it thinner than the original recipe made).  Pour into a 9×13 pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

4. Mix together the oats and pecans for the topping.  Add in the honey and water to create a crumbly topping.  Sprinkle on top of the base batter.

4.  Bake in at 350* for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Serve with butta!  (aka Earth Balance)

carrots for breakfast

Many people, including myself most days, ignore vegetables in the morning.  I would rather have my oatmeal without broccoli or peas and definitely no salads… Only when I happen to have spinach in a smoothie do I seem to get a dose of veg in the morning, but to be honest, there are more mornings than not where I wait until later in the day to get my veggies in.  But not this morning.

Normally baked goods with carrots contain so much sugar and oil that it definitely outweighs the benefits of carrots haha.  This recipe is great in that regard because it contains only 1T of maple syrup and no oil, leaving only the vitamins and nutrients found in carrots!  This recipe is also vegan and gluten-free, making it a great treat for almost anyone!  I just started experimenting with gluten-free baking, and it did take a couple trips to the store to stock my cupboards with some of the staples.  The original recipe called for Sweet Rice and Teff flours, which I didn’t have, so I replaced it with my favorite gluten-free flour, oat.  I also made a few other changes that I typically do to recipes ;).

Vegan & Gluten Free Carrot Muffins

  • 1c sorghum flour
  • 3/4c oat flour
  • 1/2c millet flour
  • 1/2c tapioca starch/flour
  • 2 1/2t baking powder
  • 1/2t baking soda
  • 2t cinnamon
  • 1/2t nutmeg
  • 1c finely grated carrots
  • 1/4c raisins (optional)
  • 2t vanilla
  • 1 flax egg (1T ground flax +2-3T warm water, let sit for 5 minutes and whisk)
  • 1c unsweetened organic soy milk (or non-dairy/dairy milk of your choice)
  • 1t vinegar (I used apple cider)
  • 1/3c unsweetened applesauce
  • 1T maple syrup
  • optional: pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350* and line a muffin pan with muffin wrappers.

2. Sift all dry ingredients into a large bowl.  Add in the carrots and raisins.

3. In a small bowl, combine the soy milk and vinegar.  Add in the applesauce, flax egg, maple syrup and vanilla.

4. Combine the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until fully incorporated (no risk of overmixing with gluten-free flours!).

5. Scoop into the muffin pan (I made 12 muffins).  And top each muffin with a sprinkling of pecans.

6. Bake for 20-22 minutes.  These won’t brown up too much, so make sure to test with a toothpick.

I was surprised with how big these muffins got!  Usually vegan baked goods don’t puff or spread that much, but these definitely did!  They also did not have the extremely grainy texture that is common in gluten-free goods, I think because I didn’t use rice flour?  I’m getting used to this gluten-free baking!  Glad to have another success!

tropical islands

I love islands.  Well, to be honest I have only been on a couple of islands.  I went to Hawaii in 2005, I’ve been to Martha’s Vinyard, Great Britain, Long Island… apparently besides Hawaii I have not been to any other tropical islands…  Man, that needs to change!  I do know however that I love tropical flavors.  Pineapple, coconut, mango, papaya – count me in!  And I can’t wait until I get to go back to Hawaii in November to be able to eat Dragonfruit again!  My favorite from what I can remember :).

Anyways, since it is almost officially summer (only a few more days!), I thought a tropical-inspired granola sounded pretty good.  Coconut, mangos, cashews… if only I had a beach and a cabana to sit by to enjoy it in.

Tropical Granola

  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 c coconut
  • 1/2 cup ground flax
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, cut in pieces
  • 2t cinnamon
  • 1/2t ground ginger
  • 1 serving dried mangos, cut into pieces*
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2T mango butter
  • 1t vanilla
  • ~2T water (optional)

1. In a small pan over medium heat, toast the coconut for a few minutes to develop its flavor.

2. Combine all the dry ingredients into a large bowl.

3. Mix together the wet ingredients and add them into the dry.  The addition of water in the wet ingredients helps to make your granola clump together so there are more clusters.  This was the first time trying it but it seemed to work pretty well!

4. Bake on a baking sheet in a 350* oven for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

*In normal granola recipes, raisins and other dried fruits are added in after baking.  It wasn’t intentional to bake the mango in this recipe, everything just kind of got thrown together ;).  Baking it makes the mango a little more crunchy, so it’s up to you whether or not you want to bake it or add it in at the end.

Whether you’re headed to a beach with a cabana, or simply to your backyard with a beach towel to enjoy the sun, this granola will not disappoint.

baking routines

I get into baking routines.  Periods of time where I seem to bake the same thing in different variations over and over again.  In the past I have been in the habit of making a batch of cookies every single week.  When one of my past favorite TV shows was on, Pushing Daisies, there was a pie made every week (because really, you can’t watch that show and not want to eat pie).  Rice Krispy treats have also been made + consumed weekly during one summer a couple years back.  Granola, yet another example which is also going strong at this moment.  But the real routine I am on?  Muffins.  I am just in love with these things.  Easy, portable, and the one’s I’m making are actually healthy and good for you :).  This one is also gluten free*.

I had three overripe bananas sitting in my kitchen, so what did I do with them?  Made muffins of course.  And I also added a bunch of my other favorite superfoods to make these muffins powerful.

Gluten Free Banana Power Muffins

  • 1 1/4 cup old fashioned oats (quickly ground in a blender or left whole if you wish)
  • 1/2 cup millet flour
  • 2T chia seeds
  • 2T oat bran
  • 2T millet, toasted (on the stovetop for 3-5 minutes until starting to pop)
  • 1t baking powder
  • 1t baking soda
  • 1/2t salt
  • 2t cinnamon
  • 3 medium bananas
  • 1T lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 flax eggs (2T ground flax + 4T water, let sit for 5 minutes and whisk)
  • 2T unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1. In a small bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients and whisk until evenly distributed.

2. In a larger bowl, mash the bananas with the lemon juice.  Add in the other wet ingredients and mix well.

3. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until incorporated.

4. Scoop into a lined muffin pan.  (I sprayed the paper wrappers thinking the muffins would stick without any fat, but they ended up falling out of the wrappers!  I won’t be spraying them next time!)

5. Bake in a 375* oven for 22-25 minutes.  Makes 12 cupcakes!

*This recipe contains no gluten ingredients, but depending on what kind of oats you buy some may have been cross contaminated with gluten.  If you are severely allergic or have Celiac disease, make sure you buy the appropriate gluten free products for this recipe as not all oats and other flours are considered safe.

These are perfect as breakfast, or as a snack throughout the day with just the perfect amount of natural sweetness from the bananas and applesauce.  You could also jazz these up with a few blueberries mixed in before baking or even spread with a little jam or honey on top :).