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
- 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)
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Line a muffin tray with cupcake liners and set aside.
- Mix all your dry ingredients together (flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt) with a wooden spoon and set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Add in the raspberries into your muffin batter and fold them in gently.
- Using an ice cream scoop or a large spoon, spoon the batter into the cupcake liners about 3/4’s full.
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. I baked mine for about 25 minutes as my batch seemed to need longer cooking time.
- Take your muffins out of the oven and out of the muffin tray and line them on a wire rack to cool.
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!
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)
- 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
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Line your muffin tray with muffin cups and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine all your dry ingredients together: almond meal, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together and set aside.
- In another bowl, mix your wet ingredients: eggs, oil, mashed banana and maple syrup and whisk until combined.
- Add in your grated carrots and walnuts into the wet ingredients mixture until just combined.
- Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
- 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.
- Bake your muffins for around 25 minutes.
- Take your muffins out of the pan and let them cool on a wire rack.
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!
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)
- 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
- 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)
- Place all the ingredients except the bananas into a high-speed blender (I used my Vitamix) and blend until smooth and creamy
- Remove the mixture into a bowl and fold in the bananas
- 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.
- Repeat step 4 until you have used all the pancake batter up.
- Serve your pancakes hot with pure maple syrup or a side of fruit.
* You can really see the quinoa in the pancakes – all that grainy goodness!
Nothing better than eating pancakes with good grains and seeds ;P
“He who goes to bed hungry dreams of pancakes”