Chocolate Beet Cake

chocolate beet bundt cake

We are so fortunate to belong to the Fordham CSA this year! Exclusively for students and employees of Fordham University, this farm share has been especially productive and generous with the amount of vegetables (and fruit) we receive. All the food is locally grown in upstate New York, and is distributed at Fordham’s Rose Hill campus each Thursday, for 22 weeks! Last week, because of the 4th of July holiday, we received a double share at once! Wow! So much food! More than we can just eat, so I’m coming up with creative things to do with so much food. Everything is overflowing: lettuces, cabbages, garlic, peppers, squashes, and beets! So many delicious, earthy beets! Pink, red, yellow, white and striped!
beets

First thing I did with the beets was convince my husband to do the hard part – washing and peeling! We didn’t sort them by color, but rather, mixed all the types together. Next we boiled them for an hour, to get them as soft as possible. Next time I do this, I may try roasting instead, to retain more of the vitamins and color. I’m not sure how roasting will effect the flavor of the final product, however.  I have so many more beets, I may just try it anyway! Once completely soft, my husband rinsed the beets in cool water and pureed them using a hand blender. Beet baby food!

beet puree

Mixing all the different colors of beets resulted in a beautiful shade of intense pink.

Eating Batter

The batter tastes so good! (The best part of vegan baking is that, without egg, it’s totally ok to enjoy raw!!)

Ingredients:
Dry Ingredients:
1/2 Cup garbanzo bean flour
1/2 Cup millet flour
1/4 Cup quinoa flour
1/2 Cup sorghum flour
1/2 Cup potato starch
1/4 Cup tapioca starch
1 Teaspoon xanthan gum
3/4 Cup powdered cocoa
2 Teaspoons baking powder
1 Teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients:
2 Cups beet puree
1 Cup white sugar**
1 Cup coconut milk
1/2 Cup applesauce, unsweetened
1/3 Cup coconut oil, plus more for greasing
1 Teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Ahead of time: peel and boil beets for about an hour, until fork easily pierces beets. Rinse in cool water, and drain thoroughly. Puree in food processor or with hand blender.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using coconut oil, grease a bundt cake pan.

Mix all wet ingredients together in the bowl of an electric mixer. ** This cake is not very sweet, and up to another half cup of sugar could be used to your taste.

In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients together. Slowly add the dry into the wet until well incorporated.  Pour batter into bundt cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 60 minutes, until a wooden toothpick comes out clean.

Cool for about 20 minutes, then carefully turn cake over onto a plate.

Optional: Powdered sugar lightly sprinkled over the top would make a good addition to this cake. Enjoy with tea, coffee, or milk.

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IMG_3421  Chocolate Beet Cake

 

 

 

Banana Bread Muffins

banana bread muffins

I’m surprised that I’ve never made a recipe for banana bread before! Before baking gluten free, dairy free, and egg free, banana bread was a staple in my home. Now it’s back!

I ordered a large amount of fair trade bananas through Wholeshare.com, and needed to come up with a way to use up a good amount.  This recipe can be used to make banana bread in a bread loaf, but I decided to make muffins since I wanted to have some for tonight and some for visiting my cousin tomorrow.

Fair Trade Bananas

Gluten Free Vegan Banana Bread Muffins

Makes 22 cupcake size muffins. Also makes a 9×5 inch loaf pan. **

Ingredients:
Dry:
3/4 Cup millet flour
1/2 Cup quinoa flour
3/4 Cup potato starch
1/2 Cup tapioca starch
1Teaspoon xanthan gum
1 Teaspoon cinnamon
1 Teaspoon baking soda
1 Teaspoon baking powder
1/2 Teaspoon sea salt
Wet:
1/2 Cup applesauce
1/4 Cup coconut oil
1/4 Cup maple syrup
1/8 Cup honey
1/2 Cup coconut milk
4 Very ripe bananas, mashed
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract

1 Cup chocolate chips, non dairy (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two cupcake pans. I used coconut oil.

Mash bananas by hand. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine wet ingredients and mix well.

In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients well. Slowly add dry to wet until a batter forms. Scrape down sides of bowl to fully mix. Add chocolate chips if using. Another option would be nuts, if you can eat them.

Bake muffins for 18-20 minutes, until a wooden toothpick comes out clean. Cool and enjoy!

** Loaf pan option. Bake for 55-60 minutes. I will try this next and report back.

Gluten Free Vegan Banana Bread Muffins

Strawberry Creamed Coconut Cake

Strawberry Creamed Coconut Cake

Mid June in New York State: it’s strawberry picking time! We went to a Pick Your Own at the fabulous Fishkill Farms, which is an hour and a half north of New York City. Great family trip, with beautiful grounds and a cute country store that sells locally grown foods. They even hosted a Strawberry Festival last Saturday with live music. We went first thing in the morning since that’s the time my children are most well behaved.

photo(7)It was cool and cloudy when we first arrived. The weather improved as the day progressed.

photo(9)She was a strawberry fairy!

photo(8)Brother and sister working together!

I bought a new product recently – Creamed coconut! I was excited to try it, but I didn’t know where to start. When I was thinking about all the things I wanted to try with the strawberries that we picked, I couldn’t stop thinking about strawberry shortcake. What I came up with is more of a strawberry coconut cake!

Ingredients:
Topping:
1 Cup of Strawberries, sliced

Cake:
1 Cup quinoa flour
1/3 Cup millet flour
1/3 Cup potato starch
1/3 Cup sorghum flour
1 Tablespoon tapioca flour
1 Teaspoon xanthan gum
2 1/2 Teaspoons baking powder
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1 Cup organic sugar
1/2 Cup coconut oil, soft
2 Teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 Cup applesauce
1 Cup coconut milk (or other alternative milk of choice)

Icing:
I Package (7oz) creamed coconut
4 Tablespoons water
1/2 Cup confectioner’s sugar
2 Tablespoons organic sugar

Directions:
Wash and slice strawberries. Set aside. Preheat oven 350 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend together sugar, coconut oil, vanilla, applesauce and coconut milk. In another bowl, mix together quinoa flour, millet flour, potato starch, sorghum flour, tapioca flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet, until a cake batter appears. Pour into greased cake pan (I used a 9 inch square) for 50 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool 10 minutes before transferring.

Once cool, ice the cake. To make the icing, simply combine all ingredients. If the coconut cream is hard (it hardens when cold), place in a double boiler and gently heat with the 4 tablespoons of water until you can stir it. Stir in sugars. If it is too stiff, add water slowly until desired consistency is achieved.

Decorate the top with strawberries (or really any fresh fruit or berry will do!) Enjoy!

photo(5)Strawberry picking also co-insides with Father’s Day, so this cake was made for our at home Father’s Day celebration.

Chicken Stuffed Poblanos

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Ah the month of May, with Mother’s Day and my birthday. My birthday was this week, and it’s a tradition to have my favorite food for my birthday – stuffed peppers! As a child, I only ever knew my parent’s 1980’s Italian version of stuffed peppers. Oversize green bell peppers, stuffed to the top with white rice, ground beef, jarred tomato sauce, and topped with shredded store-brand mozzarella cheese. Just the thought of this still makes me happy!

Since becoming dairy free, I’ve taken on a new love of South West foods. I wouldn’t dare call anything I make Mexican, because I’m not as well versed in the culture as I would like to be. My sister traveled to Mexico and says I would love it there, there are so many options of foods I can eat! I’m looking forward to studying up on proper Mexican recipes and learning a lot!

These new stuffed peppers are made with poblano peppers, which are a beautiful deep green and generally very mild. I made a stuffed pepper recipe last year, as these have always been my favorite food! I wish I had tomatillos to make the delicious sauce I used last time.

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Ingredients:
4 Large poblano peppers, sliced in half and blanched
1lb-2lbs of boneless skinless chicken breasts, shredded**
Half a large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, smashed and diced
1/2 Jalapeno pepper, diced
Handful of cilantro, chopped coarsely
1 Jar of salsa, or 1 cup of homemade salsa
Chicken broth, about half a cup
Olive oil
Seasonings: Salt, pepper, cumin, nutmeg, chili powder, turmeric
1/2 Cup white rice, cooked according to package directions**
Handful of chopped kale, optional

Toppings:
Avocado, mashed, or Avocado – Tomatillo Sauce
Daiya cheddar cheese shreds – non dairy option
Extra cilantro on top

Directions:
Preheat over to 350 degrees.

In a large baking dish, lightly oil bottom and place chicken breasts. Sprinkle with seasonings, I used salt, pepper, cumin, nutmeg, and chili powder. Bake until beginning to brown, then add chicken broth to bottom of pan, about half an inch, and cover in foil. Continue to bake covered about 2 hours, until chicken falls apart with a fork.

Meanwhile, cook rice according to package directions. I used organic white basmati rice, and I added a drizzle of olive oil and a dash of turmeric to make it a light yellow.

Prepare poblano peppers by slicing them in half, removing seeds. Blanche in rapidly boiling salted water about 4 minutes, remove from hot water, and assemble in a large baking dish. I reused the one from baking the chicken, which had a lot of flavor left in the juices on the bottom.

Shred chicken next.

In a large skillet, saute onion, garlic, and jalapeno with olive oil, salt and pepper, about 8 minutes, until onion softens. Add chopped kale, and saute another 2 minutes. Add shredded chicken, white rice, salsa, and cilantro. Combine well.

Stuff the poblano peppers and bake, covered, about 20 minutes. If you are using Daiya cheddar shreds or real cheese, sprinkle over the top and bake uncovered the last 5 minutes.

Top with avocado, avocado-tomatillo sauce, and more cilantro. Enjoy!Image

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**Make more for leftovers! When I made this recipe for my birthday, I had a lot of leftover filling, because I used a 3lb package of chicken, and 1 Cup of white rice. So the next day, I made these nachos!

I added organic blue corn chips, black beans, black olives, and more salsa. Also a sprinkle of Daiya cheddar shreds or use real cheese if you can! Bake on 350 degrees until just warmed up, and chips begin to get crisp, about 8-10 minutes. Don’t over cook!

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Happy Mother’s Day and Millet Pancakes

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I love getting my handmade preschool gifts, and delicious pancakes and coffee! Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms, grandmothers, and moms to be!

I didn’t realize when I created my gluten free, vegan pancakes that these would be my family’s favorite breakfast food! Fast and versatile. Today we were out of brown rice flour, and I subbed in millet flour. Worked great! I really think you could use either one.

My original pancake recipe here.
Naturally green pancakes here.

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Today’s recipe, Millet Pancakes

Ingredients:
1 C Millet flour
1/2 C Sorghum flour
1/2 C Potato starch
1 Tablespoon Tapioca flour
1 Teaspoon Xanthan gum
2 Tablespoons organic brown sugar
1 Tablespoon Baking powder
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
2 Cups So Delicious Coconut milk
1 Tablespoon Earth Balance buttery spread, melted, plus more for pan frying

Instructions:
Mix the dry ingredients in an electric mixer. Add the coconut milk and melted butter. Blend well. If the batter looks too thick, add another 1/4 cup of coconut milk or water. Heat a wide frying pan over medium heat, and melt a little Earth Balance spread. When spread starts to bubble a bit, laddle batter onto pan.  Flip pancakes when bubbles appear on top, and bottom starts to brown lightly.  Remove from pan before over-cooking, and allow to cool for a minute before eating.

Top with powdered sugar and enjoy!
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Happy Mother’s Day!!

Oatmeal Applesauce Muffins

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Oats, oats and more oats! I need to blog about something else, but right now, I just can’t stop eating them! This could be partially due to the fact that my husband and I loaded up our pantry with oats, so it’s easy to just reach for them. I’ve been playing with my new whole flax seeds, and I love how they go with oats. In the mornings, I’ve been eating hot oats with coconut milk and whole flax seeds. Mmm! See my previous post here for my thoughts on oats in a gluten free diet.

My son has his last helper day in his 2 year old class tomorrow. I’m really surprised how fast the school year has gone by! I’m going to have a morning off with a friend tomorrow to do some shopping, and my husband is going to be class father! I’m so happy they are going to get a special day together. My only job is to provide the snack! It’s a cool rainy day today, and I really feel like enjoying cinnamon. I chose mini muffins so that they are easy for the kids to eat. Plus, then they can get 2 small ones instead of 1 big one! They’re still at an age when that feels like more!

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Ingredients:
1 1/2 Cups old fashioned oats
3/4 Cup millet flour
1/4 Cup sorghum flour
1/4 Cup tapioca flour
1/2 Cup brown sugar, organic
1 Teaspoon baking powder
1 Teaspoon baking soda
1/2 Teaspoon xanthan gum
1 Teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon salt
1 Cup applesauce
1/2 Cup coconut milk
3 Tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 Flax egg (1 tablespoon flaxmeal soaked with 3 tablespoons water)
1/2 Cup raisins (optional)

Ingredients for topping:
1/4 Cup oats
1 Tablespoon brown sugar, organic
1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon Earth Balance, melted
2 Teaspoons whole flax seeds (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven 375 degrees. Grease or line with paper a mini muffin or regular muffin pan.

Mix all dry ingredients together (oats, millet flour, sorghum flour, tapioca flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, xanthan gum, cinnamon and salt) in a mixing bowl until well combined.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix well applesauce, coconut milk, grapeseed oil and flax egg. Slowly add in dry ingredients. Add raisins or other mix in you might be using.

Prepare topping by mixing together all ingredients well.**

Pour batter first into prepared muffin pans, and then sprinkle with topping. Cook 14 minutes for mini muffins, 20-22 minutes for full size muffins. Cool in pan 1 minute, then transfer to cooling rack.

**Baking with Kids! The topping is easy for a child sidekick to do on his or her own. I use a Guidecraft Kitchen Helper so that my children can safely reach my counter. If you have a microwave that your child can reach, have him or her measure the tablespoon of Earth Balance, and microwave about 20 seconds in a microwave safe bowl until melted. In a child safe bowl, mix the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and flax seeds. It’s ok if some spills, this part does not need to be exact! Pour melted Earth Balance over the mixture and continue to stir until nicely coated. After you pour the batter into the muffin pans, allow your child to sprinkle topping over each one! My children are now 2.5 and 4.5, I find this to be a great activity for them!

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I’m going to include more ways to involve the kids (besides the cute eating pictures) in my upcoming blog posts! Stay tuned!!

Oatmeal Cookies

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There is a lot of debate over whether or not oats should be part of a gluten free diet. We love oats in our family, and don’t shy away from them. From the best of my understanding, as long as there is no cross contamination, oats are a naturally gluten free food. If you have a severe allergy or celiac disease, it is always best to err in the side of caution. In my family, the risk of reaction is minor, and so we enjoy oats quite frequently. I use old fashioned oats, these are my favorite kind for making cookies with.

I made these cookies last year. They are very similar to my new recipe, but I did not give exact measurements for my gluten free flours, since I was still in the early stages of learning about gluten free flours. Therefore, the ingredients list was not very clear. I also changed from using coconut oil to Earth Balance. Both make a delicious cookie! This new recipe is much more exact for getting similar results each time.

Ingredients:
1 Stick plus 6 Tablespoons Earth Balance vegan buttery sticks, room temperature3/4 Cup brown sugar, preferably organic
1/2 Cup white sugar, preferably organic
2 Flax eggs (2 Tablespoons ground flaxmeal mixed with 6 Tablespoons rice milk)
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 Cup millet flour
1/2 Cup potato starch
2 Tablespoons tapioca starch
3/4 Cup sorghum flour
1 Teaspoon xanthan gum
1 Teaspoon Baking soda, aluminum free
1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon, or more to taste
1/4 Teaspoon salt
2 1/2 Cups old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 Cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 Cup raisins

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the earth balance with the brown and white sugars. Add flax eggs and vanilla, mix well. In a mixing bowl, combine millet flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, sorghum flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Mix well. Slowly add dry to wet ingredients using the mixer, until a batter is formed. Add old fashioned rolled oats, unsweetened shredded coconut, and raisins*.

Place rounded tablespoons on baking sheet with parchment paper, and bake for 13-15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly on cookie sheets, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Makes 4 dozen cookies!

*Other ideas to add in place of the raisins: dairy free chocolate chips, sunflower seeds, pepitas, dried cranberries.
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