Category Archives: Gluten Free

JACKPOT bakes gluten free and vegan banana and raspberry quinoa muffins

Hello dear readers!

Happy Friday! I’m glad the weekend has finally come around again and cannot wait to have another enjoyable one! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend too! ;P

I thought I’d share with you all one of my recent baking experiments. I recently purchased some quinoa flour (pronounced KEEN-WAH) and wanted to bake some gluten-free muffins after tasting one at the Eveleigh Markets on the weekend. It inspired me to make my own version of a gluten-free muffin which happened to also be vegan as well.

I had some ripe bananas sitting on my bench top and some raspberries in the fridge so decided to make banana and raspberry muffins using the quinoa flour. Quinoa flavour has quite a distinct taste and I think it is more an acquired taste. This first batch of muffins turned out alright in terms of texture and flavours however I definitely think that I needed to add a bit more sweetness to the mixture to counteract the tartness from the raspberries and the strong flavour of the quinoa flavour. I adapted my recipe from Bob’s Red Mill who specialise in various flours (http://www.bobsredmill.com/recipes.php?recipe=7020) but didn’t use any eggs as I was trying to make my muffins vegan as well as gluten-free. I think that I will experiment more with my recipe and tweak it until I get the flavours just right however for a healthy gluten-free and vegan muffin, this wasn’t so bad ;P

JACKPOT’s gluten-free and vegan banana and raspberry quinoa muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of quinoa flour
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • 1-2 tsps of ground cinnamon
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of soy milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup of pure maple syrup (you can use 1/2 a cup if you like a sweeter muffin)
  • 3-4 bananas mashed with a fork
  • 1 cup of raspberries (fresh or frozen)

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Line a muffin tray with cupcake liners and set aside.
  3. Mix all your dry ingredients together (flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt) with a wooden spoon and set aside.
  4. Pour a cup of soy milk into a measuring cup or a small bowl and mix together with the apple cider vinegar to create your vegan buttermilk. Leave it for a few minutes until it curdles.
  5. Add your vegan buttermilk mixture and the rest of the wet ingredients into a small bowl (maple syrup and mashed bananas) and stir to combine.
  6. Pour your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. Be careful not to over mix your batter.
  7. Add in the raspberries into your muffin batter and fold them in gently.
  8. Using an ice cream scoop or a large spoon, spoon the batter into the cupcake liners about 3/4’s full.
  9. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. I baked mine for about 25 minutes as my batch seemed to need longer cooking time.
  10. Take your muffins out of the oven and out of the muffin tray and line them on a wire rack to cool.
  11. Enjoy!

Quinoa Flour

Dry Ingredients

Vegan Buttermilk

Mashed Bananas

Wet Ingredients 2

Wet Ingredients 3

Muffin Batter

Muffin Mixture

Muffins

Quinoa Muffins

Quinoa Muffins

Quinoa Muffins

I’ll definitely be experimenting more with quinoa flour and try to get the right consistencies and flavours but for a first attempt I was quite happy with the results. The fact that this muffin is gluten-free, vegan, has no eggs or oil in the mixture and is dairy free is a big bonus =)

So until next time!

x

Jackie

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Filed under Dessert, Gluten Free, Health Food, Healthy, Muffins, Oil Free, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetarian, Western

JACKPOT bakes gluten free paleo carrot cake muffins

Hello dear readers!

Happy Wednesday! Wednesday means it’s time for a new recipe post. Sorry for the delay in posting but it’s been another busy week and after all the birthday celebrations, I have come down with the cold and flu so have been trying to overcome the sickness despite lacking quite a bit of sleep.

I baked some gluten-free paleo carrot cake muffins for Mr Muscles last week for his birthday. Mr Muscles loves carrot cake so I knew I wanted to bake carrot cake and I thought why not make them into muffins as then he could share them with all his friends and workmates on his birthday. I searched on the net for a few recipes as I’m only starting to bake paleo as I can see a new trend towards this and more and more people seem to be interested in eating paleo. I found this recipe at Multiply Delicious (http://www.multiplydelicious.com/thefood/2011/08/gluten-free-carrot-muffins/) and adapted the recipe from this. I wanted to bake the muffins using my natural blanched almond meal so I just subbed this in for the almond flour in the recipe instead. Mr Muscles put these on a plate for his co-workers to try and he told me that once he went back to the kitchen, they were all gone. Always a good sign when a plate full of muffins disappears in no time at all. I can safely assume that his coworkers enjoyed the muffins. Mr Muscles even checked the rubbish bin to see whether anyone had chucked out the muffins but upon inspection, he noted that there were no appearances of muffins in the bin. I’m definitely going to keep trying different paleo recipes to mix things up a bit and Mr Muscles seemed to really like the muffins so I was more than happy that they were enjoyed by the birthday boy himself =).

Gluten Free Paleo Carrot Cake Muffins (adapted from Multiply Delicious)

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups of natural blanched almond meal
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • 1-2 tsps of cinnamon (I like the taste of cinnamon in carrot cake so I added a lot more) + additional cinnamon for the topping
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 3 free range eggs
  • 2 tbsps of organic coconut oil
  • 1 ripe banana mashed with a fork
  • 1/3 cup of pure maple syrup (I used more maple syrup as my banana wasn’t that ripe and I was scared that the muffins wouldn’t be sweet enough)
  • 3 medium-sized carrots grated
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts broken into pieces

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Line your muffin tray with muffin cups and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine all your dry ingredients together: almond meal, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together and set aside.
  4. In another bowl, mix your wet ingredients: eggs, oil, mashed banana and maple syrup and whisk until combined.
  5. Add in your grated carrots and walnuts into the wet ingredients mixture until just combined.
  6. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
  7. Using an ice-cream scoop or a large spoon, fill up your muffin cups 3/4 full and then add a bit of cinnamon to the top of each muffin.
  8. Bake your muffins for around 25 minutes.
  9. Take your muffins out of the pan and let them cool on a wire rack.
  10. Enjoy!

Grated Carrots

Dry Ingredients

Mashed Banana

Wet Ingredients

Wet Ingredients Combined

Carrot Mixture

Carrots and Nut Mixture

Carrot Cake Muffin Mixture

Muffin Mixture

Carrot Cake Muffins

Carrot Cake Muffins2

Carrot Cake Muffins 3

I think the banana really helped with keeping the muffins moist. The muffin itself is packed full of goodness with the bananas, carrots and the almond meal. I think this muffin is perfect for a hearty filling breakfast or a small snack on the go. I’m definitely going to try and tweak this recipe a bit more. I was a bit concerned at one stage because I thought I had put in too much carrot as the mixture was very orange but luckily it didn’t affect the end product. My only qualm about this recipe was how long it took to grate the carrots. I didn’t realise how long it takes to grate one carrot let alone three carrots and by the end of it, I think I had covered most my benchtop in orange grated carrot as some of it kept falling over the bowl and after all that grating,  I really felt I got a good workout done in the process. I love using almond meal as well especially when I’m making banana bread or banana muffins. If you weren’t doing the whole paleo diet thing, I’m pretty sure you could sub the almond meal with spelt flour or wholemeal flour, obviously bearing in mind the texture would be a bit different but I’m sure still tasty nonetheless ;p

So dear readers, what’s your favourite type of cake? Are you a carrot cake lover like Mr Muscles? Happy to hear some comments from all of you! =)

Until next time!

x

Jackie

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Filed under Cake, Dessert, Gluten Free, Healthy, Muffins, Nuts, Paleo, Recipes, Snacks, Western

JACKPOT’s eating adventures at: Cornersmith Cafe

Morning all!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend especially with the weather getting a lot warmer now. I definitely felt the heat yesterday and while it’s nice change from the unpredictable weather Sydney has had recently, I am pretty sure we are in for some even hotter weather by the end of the week…I’m told it’s going to hit 40 degrees by Friday! Better pack on that sunscreen if you plan on heading to the beach!

But back to my eating adventures from the weekend. I really wanted to try a new cafe on my list of breakfast places that I have yet to visit. I had read many great things about Cornersmith Cafe at Marrickville on various blogs and I knew that this was somewhere that I had to visit to see what the food was like and I definitely was not disappointed. The food was fresh and light and you could tell that the kitchen used a lot of good produce to create their various dishes on their menu.

The cafe itself is quite small so if you want to get a table you will probably have to get there early. Mr Muscles and I got there at 8 on the dot when it opened and we noticed that there were already some customers sitting inside. By the time we had sat down and were sipping our coffee and tea, the cafe was already quite full with most of the tables full. I can only imagine what lunch would be like as I can tell this place gets packed pretty quickly and that you most likely will need to wait in line if you are trying to visit here for lunch. I know I definitely will come back to try their lunch menu as I have heard that their Ploughman’s Plate is really good using fresh ingredients. The menu is written on a black board that has been mounted on the walls of the cafe. After you decide what you want to order (I took forever as there seemed to be so many choices) you then order at the counter.

Mr Muscles decided to order the Poached Egg Roll with Pasture Raised Ham, Garlic Aioli, Apple Chutney, Watercress and Red Cabbage upon my recommendation after reading various blogs and he was not disappointed by his choice. He could not stop raving on about his roll saying that the roll was really delicious and that the apple chutney (which you can buy in a jar from the cafe and is homemade) provided an extra flavour texture that made this roll less than ordinary. His only qualm about the dish was that the poached egg was not really poached and slightly more cooked but he overlooked this as he said that the flavour combinations worked well together regardless. Also, the watercress and the red cabbage provided a nice crunch with the ham and egg. The roll itself was crispy but soft in the middle as a good roll should be. Mr Muscles said that he would come back just to have this again.

Cornersmith also offer sides to go with your toast and eggs so as a side, Mr Muscles also ordered the Yellow & Green Beans with Quinoa, Nuts & Orange. The Quinoa salad looked very appealing and bright with the contrast of the oranges against the beans. I looked at his salad and wondered how Quinoa might work with Orange but somehow the flavour combination worked well together. The citrusy tang with the crunchy but soft quinoa and then the extra crunch from the nuts and the blanched beans. This is definitely a dish that you would want to order if you are feeling like eating something light and not too heavy.

On this visit, I decided to order the Open Toast – Local Ricotta with Mulberry & Rhubarb Compote with Nuts & Seeds served on Organic Harvest Grain Toast. This was sooooo good! So much so that I demolished the plate clean within minutes. I loved the contrast of the savoury ricotta against the mulberry & rhubarb compote jam (which is homemade as well by the cafe). The flavours all worked really well together. I loved that they had served this dish with sunflower seeds and flaked almonds as it paired well with the ricotta and jam. I will definitely order this when I come back to visit for breakfast again. I loved this so much that I bought their mulberry & rhubarb compote jam to take home with me so that I could try and replicate this dish at home. Whilst mine was not as fancy and did not really look the same, I was able to recreate and replicate my own homemade version of the dish and I was not disappointed!

All in all I thought that the cafe was really great and that the prices for the food justified what you got: good produce, fresh ingredients and quality food. The service was also very good with friendly staff who were always attentive to the customers’ needs…so much so that when Mr Muscles accidently left his sunnies at the cafe, one of the staff ran out of the cafe to bring back his sunnies to him.

Photos from my visit to Cornersmith:

 

The blackboard menu

 

Homemade Condiments & Jams

Cornersmith’s Mulberry, Rhubarb & Apple Compote $12.00

My drink of choice: Green Tea

Mr Muscles’s Coffee

Poached Egg Roll with Pasture-Raised Ham, Garlic Aioli, Apple Chutney, Watercress & Red Cabbage $12.00

Open Toast: Local Ricotta with Mulberry & Rhubarb Compote with Nuts & Seeds served on Organic Harvest Grain Toast $10.00

Side: Yellow & Green Beans with Quinoa, Nuts & Orange $5.00

My demolished Plate – Yes..it was that good ;P

After our meal, I decided to also take home some cakes that I saw on display (pictured above). I ordered a gluten free chocolate & rhubarb cake and Mr Muscles ordered a carrot cake. The chocolate cake was light and airy surprisingly and not too dense however the same can’t be said for the carrot cake which I found to be very dry and difficult to eat as a result.

I thought I’d also post a dessert I ate over the weekend while catching up with Mrs Papparazzi before we went to watch the last Twilight movie. Nothing better than green tea pudding. Sushi Tei’s Green Tea Pudding is smooth and creamy with a slight bitterness from the matcha. I wish there was more of it…it was demolished very quickly! ;P

Cornersmith

314 Illawarra Road

Marrickville NSW 2204

Ph: (02) 8065 0844

Trading Hours:

Tue – Fri: 6:30 am – 3:00 pm
Sat – Sun: 8:00 am – 3:00 pm

 

Until next time!

x

Jackie

 

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Filed under Breakfast, Brunch, Cafe, Cake, Dessert, Eggs, Gluten Free, Health Food, Seeds and Grains, Toast, Western

JACKPOT makes: Gluten Free Quinoa & Banana Pancakes

Hi all!

This is just a short post to show you all some pancakes I made over the weekend. As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, I had been itching to try to make some quinoa pancakes after my numerous visits to Bread & Circus and finally I found an opportunity to make them over the weekend. Also, as I had some really ripe bananas sitting on my kitchen table, I thought it would be nice to mix the quinoa with the banana for some added flavour and sweetness. I based my pancakes off “The Healthy Chef” website (http://www.thehealthychef.com/2012/05/102/) where I usually find an array of recipes to browse through, both savoury and sweet. Teresa Cutter has some really great recipes on there that are easy to follow and focus purely on using good healthy ingredients and using grains and wholefoods instead of the refined flours and sugars in most foods. The recipe I based from her website was for pancakes with orange blossom honey however I did not have any oranges in my kitchen nor any orange blossom water so I skipped this in favour of pure maple syrup to serve the pancakes with.

What I loved about this recipe was that the actually pancake mixture did not take long to make. The only time spent was waiting for the quinoa, flaxseed and milk to soak for an hour and the actual cooking of the pancakes. The mixture itself was very simple due to the use of my trusty Vitamix in which all the ingredients were pretty much thrown into the blender and blended until smooth.

I found the pancakes to be not only fluffy and light but there was also the lovely added texture of the black quinoa which gave a nice nutty flavour to the pancakes (the quinoa was not cooked so the raw quinoa added a nice crunch to the pancakes). The bananas also lended some natural sweetness to the pancakes as there was no sugar used in this recipe. While they might not be on the same level as the Bread & Circus pancakes, I will definitely try these pancakes again, perhaps with different combinations such as mixing blueberries or raspberries into the mixture, or adding some buckwheat into the mixture.

Gluten Free Banana & Quinoa Pancakes (Adapted from the Healthy Chef’s “Pancakes + Orange Blossom Honey)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of black quinoa seeds (uncooked)
  • 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed or chia seeds if you have it
  • 1.5 cups of almond milk or any other non dairy milk
  • 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 2 free range/organic eggs
  • 1/2 tsp of bicarb soda
  • 2-3 medium bananas smashed with a fork

Method:

  1. Soak the black quinoa seeds and ground flaxseed/chia seed with the almond milk and set aside to soak for an hour (the website says that you should soak it overnight to get better results..I didn’t want to wait that long and I thought that soaking it for 1 hour still produced great results)
  2. Place all the ingredients except the bananas into a high-speed blender (I used my Vitamix) and blend until smooth and creamy
  3. Remove the mixture into a bowl and fold in the bananas
  4. Cook the pancakes on an oiled non-stick frying pan (I used my crepe pan but you can use any flat non-stick pan) and cook until the pancakes are golden. I found that the pancakes cooked really quickly so you should watch the pancakes carefully. The first one usually always burns so don’t worry about the first one or two of the mixture. Eventually you will get the right consistency. I usually flip my pancakes when a few bubbles appear and you can notice the edges getting a bit browner and crispier. A few minutes on each side should suffice.
  5. Repeat step 4 until you have used all the pancake batter up.
  6. Serve your pancakes hot with pure maple syrup or a side of fruit.
  7. Enjoy!

Photos:

 

* You can really see the quinoa in the pancakes – all that grainy goodness!

Nothing better than eating pancakes with good grains and seeds ;P

mmmmm pancakes…

“He who goes to bed hungry dreams of pancakes”

Proverb

x

Jackie

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Filed under Banana, Breakfast, Gluten Free, Health Food, Pancakes, Recipes, Seeds and Grains, Western

JACKPOT visits: Sadhana Kitchen

Hello dear readers!

Hope you all had a lovely weekend filled with lots of good food and good company! I thought I would share with you my visit to Sadhana Kitchen. I have been wanting to go to Sadhana Kitchen for a while now after hearing about this place from friends and seeing blog posts of people’s visits to this vegan cafe.

Before going to there, I had already stalked the Facebook page of Sadhana Kitchen to see what their cake special would be for this weekend as I intended on buying some cakes to try. Sadhana Kitchen usually post up pics of their various cakes (which are guilt-free) on offer for the weekend and I usually spend time staring at their amazing creations and hoping that I can eventually taste one of these cakes. I was in luck this weekend when I had a bit of time to drop by their cafe in Newtown. I had seen on their Facebook page that they were selling an “After Dinner Mint Cake” which I knew I wanted to try. I love all things mint and all things dark chocolate so I couldn’t resist the urge to try this cake along with a few other cakes.

Sadhana Kitchen is a small cafe next to a Yoga Studio in Newtown. It’s one of those places where if you blink you might miss it. The thing that sets this cafe apart if it’s quirky and funky vibe that it emanates with paintings and graffiti outside and inside the building. The cafe itself has a very cozy feeling with a few tables inside which can be shared with others and a few tables and chairs outside the cafe if you want to enjoy the sun on a nice day. They offer a selection of breakfast items such as chia porridge, granola made of buckwheat, gogi berries, cacao nibs, crushed walnuts and shredded coconut, banana coconut pancakes and a seasonal fruit bowl. Lunch on the other hand provides very unique items of food such as their tacos served with walnut mince, a spinach and mushroom quiche, their own homemade lasagna using zucchini in place of the pasta and a superfood salad including home-grown sprouts, chia seeds, goji berries and hemp seeds. The focus of their food as you can see is on wholefoods and grains. Food that is easily digested and does not leave you feeling heavy and of course that is good for you and your body.

On this occasion, as I had already eaten breakfast, I only managed to buy some cakes to take away. I will definitely be going back to this cafe to try out their zucchini lasagna and their banana coconut pancakes.

The outside of the cafe

Chalkboard Door

A bit blurry – Sadhana’s Specials Board

Inside of the cafe

Cakes on offer

I found the cakes to be really nice in terms of flavours, textures and loved the combination of nuts and grains and healthy ingredients used in the cakes. The cake slices were generous portions as they are quite rich and decadent even if they are guilt free. The cake slices were rather expensive at around $11.00 for a cake slice but knowing that they have used good quality ingredients justifies the price tag.

AFTER DINNER MINT CAKE (ORGANIC, RAW, VEGAN)

VERDICT:

I really enjoyed this cake especially the top part of the cake. You could really taste the mint in the base of the cake which had been studded mint chocolate and coconut to provide a contrast in texture to the smooth chocolate top of the cake when eaten together. The cake is made with cacao nibs, chocolate mint, coconut and topped with a creamy chocolate mint topping. The base whilst having a nice crunchy texture, after a few spoonfuls was a bit much to eat. I ended up mainly picking from the top of the cake. It was quite addictive!

RED VELVET CAKE (ORGANIC, RAW, VEGAN & GLUTEN FREE)

VERDICT:

This cake was quite similar in texture to the after dinner mint cake. The base once again was filled with chocolate and coconut with a smooth filling. The top of the cake was garnished with dark chocolate and gogi berries. This was probably my least favourite out of the cakes if I had to choose. The base was once again a bit much after a few bites, feeling a bit dry and crumbly and so I ended up eating most of the top of the cake again. Yes I know I must be sounding like the biggest cake monster at the moment, indulging in all this cake…but they kept saying how its guilt-free and I just couldn’t resist…

MANGO FLOAT (ORGANIC, RAW, VEGAN)

VERDICT:

This was my favourite cake and I would definitely go back to buy this cake again. I asked the waiter at the cafe what was the most popular cake they sell and he told me this was it and I understand now why it is. The cake is a mango cheesecake with a base and filling of nuts and coconut. The textures really worked well together and the cake itself was so smooth, light and airy. I couldn’t stop eating this cake. You could really taste the mango in this. As decadent as this cake was, it was really moreish and I just kept wanting to eat more but I refrained and left some cake to eat for later. If you ever visit this cafe, you definitely need to order a slice of this cake!

Dreaming of cake currently…*sigh* I definitely have some Monday-itis…

Until next time!

x

Jackie

SADHANA KITCHEN

76A Wilford Street

Newtown, NSW 2042

Phone: (02) 9516 1334

Website: http://www.sadhanakitchen.com/

Trading Hours:

Tues-Fri: 7:30am – 4:30pm

Sat-Sun: 8:30am-4:30pm

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Filed under Breakfast, Brunch, Cafe, Cake, Dessert, Gluten Free, Health Food, Healthy, Lunch, Nuts, Raw, Vegan, Western