GLUTEN-FREE FLAX PANCAKES WITH BLACKBERRY CASHEW CREAM

I’m a bit pancake-crazy. I just love whipping up different kinds of batters, and experimenting with toppings. Having tried almost every kind of gluten-free mix on the market, it’s a toss up between Pamela’s and The Pure Pantry. The latter does a wonderful buckwheat pancake mix, which is nutty and brown. My family, however, prefer Pamela’s because it gives them more of a traditional “yellow” pancake. I always customize my mixes with healthy little additions.

So, for this week’s recipe, I used good old Pamela’s.

I’m also obsessed with cashew cream. It’s the perfect vegan alternative to cheese and cream. So, you’ll be seeing me using it in a lot of recipes.

Blackberry Cashew Cream:

2 cups of whole raw cashews (they must be raw)

Filtered water

1/2 cup frozen blackberries

1tbsp agave nectar or Xylitol

Cover the nuts with the filtered water and soak overnight. In the morning, rinse them well and place them in a high-speed blender (a Vitamix is ideal). Now, the amount of water you add will depend on how thick you want your cream to be. I think it’s best to experiment. So, first try adding about 3/4 cup water and blend really well (until thick and creamy). If it’s too thick, add a little water. You really want your cream to be the consistency of regular whipped cream. When it has reached the desired consistency, add the berries and the agave/xylitol. Blend for a further 30 seconds, or until the cream has turned purple.

Scoop the cream out into a glass container. Cover and chill for about 1 hour or longer.

Fruit Topping: 

I like to add warm fruit to winter pancakes, so in this case I added warm apples and raisins.

2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cubed.

1tbsp water

1/2 cup raisins.

Place all the ingredients in a heavy saucepan over a low heat. Continue to stir and the apples simmer. You want them to be tender, so don’t overcook them into a mush.

The Pancakes: 

To serve 4 – 6

Pamela’s Gluten-free mix

Additions: I added 3 tbsp ground flax seed, 2 tbsp melted coconut oil, 1tbsp almond milk.

To Fry:

I always fry pancakes in raw coconut oil because it gives them a wonderful taste, and is super-healthy.

I heat about 2 tbsp of the oil in my cast iron frying pan, and when it’s bubbling away, I add the batter.

To Serve:

Make sure your pancakes are piping hot before serving. It helps to warm the plates. Serve with a good dollop of cashew cream and and spoon of the warm fruit.

BTW: The cream will stay good for 2 days in a sealed container in your fridge.

 

Vanilla Raspberry Gluten-free Coffee Cake

Two ingredients landed in my kitchen this week: Arnel’s all-purpose flour and a huge carton of organic raspberries (which were on sale in Pavillions. As many of you know, I’m not averse to an afternoon treat with my green tea, however, I never food that makes me feel bad (too much sugar, gluten and/or white flour), so I thought I’d have a go at making a gluten-free coffee cake that is either perfect with your mid-morning latte or afternoon treat – and way more healthy than one of those whacking scones, pastries of muffins that you’ll find at the coffee shop. The cake came out perfectly: light and slightly moist – also not too sweet. A huge thumb’s up for Arnel’s Flour. I’m going to try her buckwheat bread mix next and will keep you posted…

BTW – if you want a bigger/higher cake, you can double the ingredients and still fit it in a regular size loaf tin.

1/2 cup Earth Balance Margarine (I used the coconut one, which I love), softened

1/2 cup maple syrup

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup Arnel’s all-purpose flour

1/2 cup almond meal

1tsp baking powder

1tsp vanilla essence

1 cup fresh raspberries

 

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a stand mixer, cream the margarine and the syrup. Slowly add the egg, while mixing. Remove bowl from stand and mix in the dry ingredients. Finally, carefully fold in the raspberries.

Spoon into a greased loaf tin and bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

GLUTEN-FREE FLAX BREAD

As you may have noticed, I’m on a bit of a gluten-free baking kick right now and the crowning glory of my recent efforts is this loaf of bread. I have baked dozens of them in an attempt to get it absolutely right, and I think I’ve just about nailed it. This bread is simply DELISH and it’ll be hard to hold onto your loaf for long, because everyone wants a couple of slices toasted. My mission was to create a gluten-free loaf that #1, wasn’t like a full-on brick, and #2, didn’t taste of garbanzo beans (which is my main beef with a lot of the mixes out there.) This is nutty, and light and just very more-ish!

There are a bunch of ingredients but don’t get put off, because once you’ve gathered them, you can keep them all in a big bin or bag and whip it out when you’re in the mood for baking.

2 cups brown rice flour

1/2 cup Sorghum flour

1/2 cup potato starch

3/4 cup ground flaxseed

2 1/2 tsp xantham gum

2/3 cup powdered milk

1 tsp salt

3 tbsp light brown sugar

1 1/2 tbsp dry yeast (yes tablespoons!)

1 2/3 cup tepid water

4tbsp butter, melted and cooled

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1tsp vinegar

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Combine all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, combine the wet ingredients. Make sure that the butter has cooled, as you don’t want the eggs to cook!

Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry, mixing well with a large wooden spoon.

The mixture will be thick and goopy. Leave it in a warm place, covered with a clean dish towel for a couple of hours.

Use a large wooden spoon to” knead” it. As the mixture is runnier than a normal bread dough, you will not be able to knead it, as you would regular dough – but give it a pummeling with the spoon!

Transfer the mixture to a greased loaf pan and bake for about forty five minutes or until top is lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean.

After the first day, keep the bread in an airtight bag in the fridge. The bread is perfect when toasted.

BEST GLUTEN-FREE MUFFINS

I have a number of friends who have been told to avoid gluten, so I’ve been experimenting like crazy with all kinds of recipes for the perfect muffin. Too often gluten-free breads and muffins can either be hard and dry, or have a slightly “beany” taste, which I really dislike. I’m not wild about many of the gluten-free baking mixes out there either, however, this Arrowhead Mills one does a perfect job. These blueberry muffins are light, tasty and really healthy – the perfect breakfast or between-meal snack.

I have substituted virgin coconut oil for butter, as I wanted to make a healthier muffin. You can find virgin coconut oil at any health food store, and Trader Joe’s even carries it now.

You’ll see a strange ingredient* in the list called Lacuma. The Lacuma is a Peruvian fruit and Navitas Naturals sells it as a whole food powder. It’s a fantastic alternative to empty-calorie sweeteners – low in sugar and high in nutrients. I love baking with it.

I was also dying to try my new Kitchen Aid fire-engine red mixer. I am so excited about this new addition to my kitchen, it’s ridiculous. Suffice to say, my muffins were made in five minutes flat.

Yields about 6 muffins

 

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F

1 cup virgin coconut oil

1/2 cup maple syrup

2tbsp Lacuma Powder* (or substitute with brown sugar)

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup Arrowhead Mills organic gluten-free baking mix

1cup blueberries

Mix the coconut oil, maple syrup and sugar in the bowl.

Very slowly beat in the eggs.

Mix in the baking mix and baking powder. Finally add the blueberries. and combine really well.

 

Grease a muffin tin or line with muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

If you are saving some until the next day, keep them in an airtight bag in your fridge and gently warm them up before serving.