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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Gluten-Free and Flavor-FULL


Gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free are all BUZZ words used to describe HEALTHY foods. I love baking DECADENT desserts for holidays and parties, but for more regular occasions I like to bake HEALTHY treats. I love when someone tries my gluten-free baking and says "there's no way this can be healthy, it's too delicious." You CAN slash calories and fat without sacrificing flavor. Some simple replacements include:
  • Brown rice flour for all purpose flour
  • Applesauce and/or banana for butter
  • Flax seed eggs for eggs
  • Olive oil for vegetable oil 
  • Almond or coconut milk for milk
  • Agave syrup, stevia or coconut palm sugar for granulated sugar
  • Protein powder for flour   
When my college friend, Lorraine, was in town with her 4 year old and newborn, I offered to bake a dessert for our playdate. She was excited but requested something gluten-free. Her husband, Oleg, and son, Maksim, are not officially celiac, but they feel better when they avoid gluten. I try to stick to a gluten-free and low carb diet during the week and save my "carbs" and "gluten" for the weekend. I stumbled upon a DELICIOUS gluten-free, vegan, banana, chocolate muffin recipe from Huckleberry's cookbook that I thought would be perfect for the playdate. I paired the muffins with a light, airy whipped cream frosting but they can be consumed without frosting too.
Tips for Gluten-Free Baking: 
  1. Use a KitchenAid Stand Mixer
  2. Pick the gluten-free flour of your choice - I used brown rice flour instead of the Huckleberry Gluten-Free Flour Mix, which is a blend of brown rice flour, oat flour, potato starch and cornmeal
  3. Skip walnuts if someone has a nut allergy 
  4. Freeze KitchenAid mixing bowl and whisk before making whipped cream (Olivia of My King Cook has lots of tips on making whipped cream, and not just in a stand mixer!).  
xoxo Archana
Adapted from Huckleberry 
Gluten-Free Vegan Banana Chocolate Muffins
Yield: 15 muffins
Ingredients
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp brown rice flour
  • 6 tbsp almond flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt 
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon 
  • 3 tbsp flax seed meal (mixed with 3 tbsp water)
  • 6 tbsp olive oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 7 tbsp blue agave
  • 6 tsbp almond milk (or coconut milk)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 ripe bananas (4 mashed, 2 sliced)
  • 3 tbsp walnuts (skip if nut allergy)
  • 1 cup dark chocolate 
Directions
  1. Position a rack near the top of your oven and preheat to 350F
  2. Place cupcakes liners in cupcake pan
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt cinnamon and the flax seed meal 
  4. In a small bowl, combine the oil, 5 tbsp of blue agave, milk and vanilla
  5. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk together by hand just until combined
  6. Fold in the mashed bananas, walnuts and chocolate
  7. Lightly toss the sliced bananas with the remaining 2 tbsp agave syrup
  8. Use an ice cream scoop to fill the muffins and top with banana slices (I skipped this step since I was frosting the cupcakes)
  9. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the muffins are browned and spring back slightly to the touch
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Whipped Cream Frosting
Yield: 4 cups
Ingredients
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 tbsp confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of cream of tartar    
Directions
  1. Freeze Kitchen Aid mixing bowl and whisk 
  2. Whip heavy cream until soft peaks form
  3. Spinkle confectioners' sugar
  4. Add vanilla extract and cream of tartar
  5. Be careful not to overmix
  6. Use a 1M tip to pipe frosting over cupcakes
After we devoured our gluten free cupcakes, we went for a lovely hike. It was a beautiful day to enjoy the outdoors. 
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Stand Mixer: Kitchen Aid Tilt HeadKitchen Aid Bowl Lift (we prefer the bowl lift model, but it's more expensive)
Cupcake Carrier: Wilton (includes cupcake and mini-cupcake pans)


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