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Gluten-Free Mushroom Stuffing (Vegetarian)

Gluten-Free Mushroom Stuffing Muffins (Vegetarian)

When I found out I was going to be a part of Book of Yum’s Gluten-free Vegetarian Thanksgiving Event – I was so excited. This is the first time I have had the pleasure of participating in something like this, but I have wanted to ever since I started my blog a year and a half ago. This one felt like the perfect place for me. Although I am not exactly a traditional vegetarian, I consider myself to be a “conscientious omnivore”, meaning I only eat meat that I feel good about eating that comes from a local farmer where it is raised humanely, free to roam, eat pasture and not be filled with hormones or antibiotics.  We get all of our meat from Sojourner Farms in Olean, NY. This is the ONLY meat we ever have in our home and I feel like it is the right choice for us. We probably only eat meat anywhere from once a week to once a month at home, depending on what we have on hand and what we feel like. The rest of the time we eat completely vegetarian. I really love cooking vegetarian and find that eating a mostly vegetarian diet plus eating a small amount of local pasture-raised meat to have really changed my health immensely. I also feel like for me, it is a wonderful way for me to take a stand against the factory farming industry.

Sea, from Book of Yum, really wanted this event to not only make the transition into the first holiday season for newly diagnosed gluten-free folks to not seem so daunting, but to also highlight all of the wonderful options for those who are, or are cooking for those who are gluten-free and/or vegetarian (or vegan). Many of us find ourselves bringing our own food since many times the hosts are so terrified and paralyzed by what to cook, plus it alleviates the stress we have on wondering what we are even going to eat when we show up at someone else’s house. I love all of the wonderful recipes that have been featured so far, it’s such a great collection of classic dishes and new unique Thanksgiving options.

This year, like last, hubby and I are making the healthy and gluten-free Thanksgiving meal that we want and eating early in the day. After I get up and go to an early morning yoga class, while hubby takes our dog, Seri, to the park, we’ll spend the day cooking together, watching the parade and football and a enjoying a relaxing day at together at home without any work. After we are done eating, we will head over to my parent’s where they are having nearly 30 people for dinner (!) and we’ll join them for dessert, a cocktail or two and it will be the perfect way to have it all.

We took a nice long drive out to the country yesterday to pick up our Thanksgiving turkey from our farmer, Pierre, at Sojourner Farm in Olean. Since we will be having a turkey for our Thanksgiving dinner, I wanted to plan the rest of the meal without any meat. I was really excited to take on the challenge of making a meat free stuffing this year. So making it ahead of time for Book of Yum’s event was even more exciting since it was a test run of this recipe, for me. In the past I have sought out some type of healthy sausage to make my mom’s famous stuffing recipe that I had to have, but it always feels so redundant and unnecessary to have a side dish with meat in it, alongside the turkey. I really don’t need or want that much meat in one meal.

Gluten-Free Mushroom Stuffing Muffins (Vegetarian)

I decided on making mushrooms the stars of the stuffing this year. This delicious side dish is so full of rustic and earthy flavor, the mushrooms have a nice chewiness to them and the beautiful fresh thyme pulled it all together so nicely. Additionally, as you can see by the above photos, I also decided to experiment with making little individual stuffing “muffins”, if you will. I dreamt this up as a way to make sure that everyone gets lots of the crispy goodness that makes stuffing so darn delicious. Come on, admit it, you’ve gotten into with a family member on Thanksgiving over who get’s the edges. In our house, my hubby usually gets the crispy edges on anything that has them, by default. If you don’t care about the crispies (as my husband calls it) or don’t want to mess with a muffin tin, this will perfectly fit into a 9″ x 13″ baking pan. I ended up having a little bit leftover after filling the 12 muffin cups, that I put into a very small glass casserole dish. I didn’t want to call this recipe “Stuffing Muffins”, as I feared it would turn people off, since it does sound pretty disgusting, really. Even if you don’t try the stuffing “muffin” approach for this Thanksgiving, you have to try it soon, it is so worth it and I honestly cannot believe I didn’t think of it sooner.

This stuffing does have two eggs in it, so if you are vegan you could experiment with an egg replacer such as Ener-G or making your own flax-seed egg replacer (To replace one egg: 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds plus 3 tablespoons hot water. Stir together until thick and gelatinous.) I have never made my stuffing vegan, but I am sure it would work perfectly. Please let me know if you try it out. Additionally, you will obviously have to make sure the bread you use is vegan.

Besides being very excited about how this recipe turned out, I am also very excited that I get to have stuffing twice in a week’s time, that isn’t a bad deal at all. Stuffing is one of my favorite things about Thanksgiving dinner, I don’t think I have it any other time during the year, so it always feels so special. Between that and the mashed potatoes, those are two things that will NEVER be missing from my Thanksgiving menu. For my husband, Mark, I always have to make him a single-serving of his Momo’s famous sweet potato casserole, complete with an ungodly amount of butter, brown sugar and yes, it is even topped with marshmallows. It’s not for me, but I can totally appreciate how it won’t be Thanksgiving for Mark without it, so I will always make it for him.

What dish will always be a part of your Thanksgiving dinner?

Gluten-Free Mushroom Stuffing Muffins (Vegetarian)

Gluten-Free Mushroom Stuffing Muffins (Vegetarian)
Gluten-Free Mushroom Stuffing (Vegetarian)
serves 6-8

1 loaf of gluten-free bread, dried and roughly torn into small pieces (I used a loaf of Rudi’s all natural gluten-free multigrain bread, you can use your favorite bread)
1 – 1 1/2 cups mushroom broth, vegetable broth or water
1 medium onion, finely chopped or grated
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
8 ounces fresh cremini mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 cup wild mushrooms, fresh or reconstituted from dried, roughly chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, roughly chopped
2 large farm fresh brown eggs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Crumble or tear the dried bread into small pieces and place into a 9″ x 13″ glass baking pan. Wet the bread with enough broth or water so it starts to get soft, but you don’t want it insanely soggy, either. If you add too much liquid, just pour it out. Mix with eggs, mushrooms, onions, celery, herbs, olive oil and salt and pepper. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty, roll your sleeves up and just get your hands in there to mix it all up, it’s the only way to do it. Once everything is evenly mixed in you can either leave it in the baking pan and bake it as is or start scooping with your hands, an ice cream scoop or a large spoon into a greased non-stick muffin pan. (I greased mine with a very small amount of vegetable shortening). If it doesn’t all fit into the muffin pan, scoop the remainder into a small glass casserole dish.

Place the glass pan or the muffin tin into the oven and bake for 45 minutes to an hour until the top(s) are browned and crispy. Let the stuffing “muffins” cool slightly before attempting to pop them out of the muffin tin and don’t worry if they don’t come out like a perfect muffin shape, most of mine didn’t, some even fell apart a little. Don’t worry, it’s stuffing, its rustic and it isn’t about the shape and look of them, it is all about the crispies!

Enjoy.

NOTE: since I didn’t want to dry my bread overnight or for a day or so, I placed the sliced loaf in a single layer on a baking pan in the oven at 200º for about an hour to dry it out.

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Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Bread with Crystallized Ginger and Walnuts

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Bread with Crystallized Ginger and Walnuts

Well, the last week has been another crazy one for us. We have a ton of awesome projects happening, we had our Fab.com sale and we were in Birmingham, Alabama meeting with a client and taking reference photos of the city for some illustration work we are doing for them. It has been a fun whirlwind. Of course, this means my time in the kitchen has been limited and therefore my posts on here limited, as well. I have had some fun ideas for things I want to make, but finding the time has been difficult. Thankfully, I made a big batch of delicious pasta (inspired by a post on Pinterest) last weekend and have been living off of it all week. I made my version with gluten-free penne, butternut squash, dried cranberries, sliced fennel and a bit of parmesan. It was simple to make and I made a large enough amount, so it worked perfect for dinners and lunches on the fly all week, when I didn’t have the time or the ingredients to make anything else.

After taking some time last night to plan a few meals for the week, I finally was able to get to the farmers market and the grocery store this morning to stock up. Even though I had some work to get done, our assistant was here helping us print posters and it was generally a madhouse, I wanted to make the time this morning, regardless of all that was going on, to bake some pumpkin bread, to use up one of the pie pumpkins I have had for a few weeks.

When creating this recipe, I decided that the bread had to include the typical lovely spices that sing so beautifully with pumpkin, a nut or seed of some kind and I wanted something else. I was debating between dried cranberries or some other dried fruit or chocolate chips and then I thought of crystallized ginger bits. I thought they would compliment the pumpkin and other spices perfectly. I was right, the combination of pumpkin and the spices with the walnuts and the ginger was perfection. There is a subtle kick from the ginger that is so nice. This bread isn’t too sweet, so it would be perfect as breakfast or dessert. It would also be great with a thin layer of butter or cream cheese spread on. You could leave out the ginger and nuts or substitute whatever you’d like there, pecans, pistachios or any other nut or seed would be great, as well as raisins, dried currants, cranberries, chocolate chips, etc. Have fun with it.

I’ve really been enjoying creating my own blends of flours for baking, either individually for each recipe, or in a large batch as an all-purpose blend to use for a couple different recipes. I really love Gluten-free Girl’s ratio of 70% whole grains plus 30% starches for creating a great gluten-free whole-grain all-purpose flour that you don’t need to add xanthan gum to. It is so versatile since you can really use whatever you have on hand or can easily find at the store in any amounts or combinations, as long as the ratio remains 70% to 30%. I definitely have my favorite flours that I use all the time, but this ratio is so great for people with other food sensitivities to nuts or corn, etc.

This time around I created a 700 gram blend of almond, millet, buckwheat and teff flours and then added in a 300 gram blend of tapioca and arrowroot starches. I mixed them all together and placed them in a large storage container. I used just 250 grams of that all-purpose blend for this bread and I put the rest aside for another recipe. You could certainly use just one flour and one starch if you don’t feel like blending or buying multiples, but I have really found that a couple of different types of flours and starches really builds a much better base. See the list below that Shauna recommends and play around with what you love.

Shauna recommends the following grains for the blend:
Almond
Amaranth
Brown Rice
Buckwheat
Corn
Millet
Oat
Quinoa
Sorghum
Sweet Brown Rice
Teff

and the following starches:
Arrowroot
Cornstarch
Potato Starch
Tapioca Flour
White Rice Flour

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Bread with Crystallized Ginger and Walnuts

 

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Bread with Crystallized Ginger and Walnuts

Pumpkin Spice Bread with Crystallized Ginger and Walnuts
Makes one loaf

2 large farm fresh brown eggs (use an egg-replacer to make vegan)
3/4 cup coconut sugar (regular raw sugar, maple sugar, sucanat or brown sugar would also work)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup fresh pureed pumpkin (canned will also work)
1/4 cup almond milk (cow’s milk or other non-dairy milk will also work)

250 grams of your favorite gluten-free all-purpose flour blend – see above notes on what I used (this can be anywhere between 1 1/2 – 2 cups of flour depending on what you are using, but I really recommend weighing)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 cup crystallized ginger, roughly chopped into little bits (reserving approximately 1 tablespoon for the topping)
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped into little bits (reserving approximately 1 tablespoon for the topping)

Preheat the oven to 350º F. Grease and flour a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan.

Sift the dry ingredients (flour, spices, salt, baking soda and baking powder) together in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

In the large bowl of your stand mixer, beat the eggs and coconut sugar together until very well combined and fluffy. Approximately 3-5 minutes. Slowly while the mixer is running, pour the oil into the sugar and egg mixture, then add in the pumpkin, almond milk and vanilla, allow the mixture to mix another a minute or two until everything is well combined.

Then add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl with the wet ingredients. A little at a time, while the mixer is running on a low-speed. Mix until well blended. Then fold the crystallized ginger and walnuts into the batter. Mix the remaining crystallized ginger and walnuts together and set aside.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and sprinkle the ginger and walnut mixture all over the top. Place on the center rack in the oven and back until the top is golden brown, about an hour. Make sure a cake tester or knife comes out clean. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for about 30 minutes, then gently turn the bread out of the pan (being careful not to knock all the nuts and ginger off) and allow it to finish cooling on a wire rack.

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Concord Grape Jam

Concord Grape Jam

I got an email a few weeks ago from Farmers & Artisans, an amazing local shop that features produce, dairy and meat from local farms. They were offering 4 and 8 quart baskets of Concord grapes from Blackman Homestead Farm in Lockport. I decided with how much I am in love with my juicer right now, I need to buy the 8 quart basket, so I could experiment with making juice and trying to make jam for the first time. I never buy jam at the store because I hate all the preservatives, but occasionally I will buy a jar from the farmers market. I was a little concerned about the jam making since I had never done it before and I really didn’t have a great way to remove the seeds as I don’t have a food mill. I made jam twice, trying out two different methods to see which would work best. The first way, I added the grapes whole to the food processor, with the sugar and pulsed them a few times to break them down and mash em up. Then I cooked the jam down, allowing it to thicken. Once it seemed like it had cooked down enough and was quite thick, I ran it through a strainer to remove the seeds. The only problem with this method is that not only did it remove the seeds, but it also removed the thick hunks of gooey goodness (the natural pectin) that makes jam what it is. I ended up with more of a Concord Grape sauce or thinner jelly. I tried adding it back to the saucepan to allow it to thicken more, but it just didn’t do it. The jam needed bits of the skins and more of the natural pectin. All was not lost, I have been spooning the first batch of jam over granola and oatmeal, it would also be great drizzled over ice cream or yogurt or in a smoothie.

So, the second time around I decided to separate the skins from the flesh or pulp (and therefore the seeds) of the grapes, one by one. It sounds kinda tedious, and I guess it kinda was, but I didn’t mind, I knew it would be worth it. Then I pulsed the skins with the sugar in the food processor and cooked that down on its own, cooking the pulp down in a second saucepan by itself, mashing every so often to break it down. Once the skins had cooked down quite a bit and really gotten thick and jam-like, I strained the pulp from the other saucepan through the strainer to get as much of the juice and added it to the beautiful skin mixture. It was surprising how easy the whole process was. From what I have read Concord grapes are a slip-skin variety grape so I suppose that is what made that part of the process so much easier than I had anticipated.

Concord Grape Jam

You could certainly make a larger batch and go through the hassle of canning and preserving if you wish. I am not versed at all in preserving and honestly am quite intimidated by the whole process. Maybe some day when I have a huge kitchen and tons of storage space I will experiment with it.

This jam is preservative free and is full of intense grape flavor. It is perfectly sweet and tart. I am sure you could experiment with using honey as a sweetener instead of sugar, I just wanted to go the traditional route for my first time. If I get around to experimenting with honey, I will report back.

Obviously if you have a food mill you can simply process the grapes whole with the sugar, then use your mill to remove the seeds and cook down the mixture in one pan, no need to strain.

Gluten-Free Multi-Grain Rolls

Gluten-Free Multi-Grain Rolls

I decided to fully enjoy this jam I needed to make some delicious gluten-free multi-grain rolls. I couldn’t just slop it on any ol’ store-bought bread or roll, it seemed sacrilegious. I used gluten-free girl’s recipe with a few subtle substitutions. I used tapioca starch instead of potato flour and I made my own oat flour since I couldn’t find any that was certified gluten-free. I highly recommend this recipe. These rolls are incredible and I love that the recipe is gum free (no xanthan or guar gum). They are super crusty on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. These rolls are perfect as is with a little jam, toasted with a veggie burger, etc. The same recipe with make two boules instead of the rolls, if you wish. I thought I was in love with gluten-free girl’s previous bread recipe, but this one blows it out of the water. Try it!

Oh and by the way, I have a very small amount of grapes left – not enough to really do anything major with – so I plan to soak them in vodka to make some tasty Concord grape infused vodka!! Come on, how could it not be good?

Concord Grape Jam

Concord Grape Jam

Concord Grape Jam
makes about 1 cup
Inspired by Healthy Green Kitchen and a handful of other recipes I came across

2 lbs fresh local concord grapes, about 5 1/5 cups or so (if you can find them seedless YAY – I wasn’t that lucky)
2/3 cup organic raw sugar plus 1 tablespoon
juice from 1/2 lemon

Separate the skin from the pulp of each grape, by applying pressure to the grape with your thumb and index finger, shooting the pulp right out. It’s fun and very simple to do.

Process the grape skins with the sugar in your food processor or blender until mostly smooth but still a tad bit chunky. If you want your jam super smooth, process longer. Transfer to a medium saucepan and add the juice of half a lemon. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Watch it carefully and stir often so it doesn’t stick or scorch. Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for approximately 25 minutes until it has reduced down and thickened.

Meanwhile in a smaller saucepan cook the grape pulp (insides) and 1 tablespoon of sugar over a medium-high heat, bring to a boil and mash the pulp as it cooks to break the down. Once bowling reduce the heat and allow to simmer as long as your grape skins do. Once the grape skin mixture has thickened, remove the pulp from the heat and strain through a strainer or cheesecloth to remove the seeds. Add the juice that drained out to the grape skin mixture.

Allow the jam to continue cooking another 10 minutes until thick. Taste for sweetness and add more sugar if it isn’t sweet enough for you. This was plenty sweet for me. The jam will continue to thicken as it cools. Trust me. It also thickens a bit more once in the refrigerator, so down cook it down too much.

Allow the jam to cool before pouring it into a well cleaned and tightly sealing jar. This jam will keep in the refrigerator for approximately 1 month.

NOTE: I have to apologize for the lack of process photos with this post, I had intentions of showing step by step photos of the entire process. However, the morning I was making this jam it was very dark and stormy. The lighting in my kitchen was horrible and with the yucky wind and rain, I wasn’t able to tote things out to the back patio as I usually do. If you have any questions regarding the process, please don’t hesitate to ask.

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Gluten-Free Banana Bread

For some reason the smell of overripe bananas drives me crazy. There is no specific reason for it, it’s just so strong and obnoxious to me. Any time they are on the counter and past the point of eating on their own, I always think ‘banana bread’. The perfect use for those little stinkers. This is a very simple gluten-free recipe that requires very little thought and only a  few ingredients. If you hate measuring and buying multiple flours, Bob’s Red Mill makes a great all-purpose gluten-free flour. Of course, you can always create your own all-purpose flour mix, as well.

The great thing about this recipe is you can always change it up, you can add dried fruits like raisins, cranberries or cherries, chopped nuts, chocolate chips, etc. You can even come up with a sweet glaze to drizzle over the top and make this a delicious and simple dessert. This time around I kept it simple and just went with chopped pecans. I also have read you can substitute apple sauce for the oil in this recipe, I will have to give it a try to see how it works out.

This bread is just like the “real thing”, moist and light and it browns nicely on the outside. It has a nice sweetness and has the perfect amount of banana flavor without overpowering. It is equally as nice for breakfast toasted and topped with a smidge of butter alongside a cup of your favorite tea as it is served as dessert with a bit of cream cheese spread over it (I have fallen in love with Nancy’s Organic Cultured Cream Cheese).

Gluten-Free Banana Bread
adapted from Bob’s Red Mill
serves 10

1/3 cup grapeseed oil
2/3 cup organic dark brown sugar, packed
2 large local farm-fresh brown eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe organic bananas (I used 4 small bananas)
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Other ingredients you could add:
chocolate chips
raisins
dried cranberries
blueberries
peanut butter chips
coconut

Preheat oven to 350º F.

Use a bit of grapeseed oil to grease a 9×5-inch non-stick loaf pan. You can also make smaller loaves, use three 5×3 inch loaf pans.

Cream together oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in large bowl. Add flour, xanthan gum, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg to egg mixture, alternating with bananas.

Beat until smooth. Stir in nuts and any other add-ins. Transfer to pan(s).

Bake 9×5″ loaf for 1 hour, 5×3″ loaves for 45 minutes. Make sure a cake tester or knife comes out clean.

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Currant Spiced Flax-Seed Muffins (gluten-free)

I have become obsessed with muffins in the last year. They are such an easy thing to whip up and put together, you can eat a few fresh out of the oven, then freeze the leftovers and have breakfasts for a week! What I love about muffins is that I can make a batch and freeze them all just before going on a road trip. I always pack a cooler and these take up little room and then eating both on the road and when we get to where we are going is so much easier for me. We leave bright and early tomorrow morning for Kentucky to see Mark’s family, so I thought making sure I have some healthy options while we were away was smart.

It’s wonderful how versatile this muffin recipe is, there are so many flavor combinations that you can play with. I have found that the almond flour yields the best results with gluten-free muffins. They are fluffy, light and aren’t dense as some gluten-free baked-goods tend to be. This time I decided to add in some flax-seeds for some fiber and other healthy goodies like Omega-3 fats. They gave these muffins a great crunch and brought a nice nutty flavor. If you are thinking you wouldn’t like the whole seeds, you could certainly grind them up first and add them in with the flours, ground up.

This is my first time baking with Sucanat and I am pretty happy with it. Sucanat is dried pure cane juice, it works great as a substitute for brown sugar in most recipes. Unlike refined processed white sugar, it retains it’s natural molasses content and is a true unprocessed sugar. It has a lower sucrose levels and it is believed that it is healthier than other sugars.

I always have dried unsweetened currants on hand, they are great in salads, with grains and in baked-goods. They currants pair very well with the spices in these muffins, they have so much flavor. If you wish to skip the eggs to make these muffins vegan, replace the egg whites with 1 tablespoon Ener-G Egg Replacer whisked with 1/4 cup warm water till frothy.

Currant Spiced Flax-Seed Muffins (gluten-free)

Currant Spiced Flax-Seed Muffins
makes 12 muffins

1 1/3 cups almond flour
1 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup potato starch or tapioca starch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 cup organic sucanat (dried cane juice)
2 tablespoons light olive oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 organic free-range egg whites (depending on the size, you are looking to get 1/4 cup of liquid), beaten until frothy*
1/2 cup warm water, more as needed, up to 3/4 cup
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup organic flax seeds, (I used them whole, you could certainly grind them first)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/3 cup dried currants, no sugar added

Preheat oven to 375º F. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners.

Whisk together the first 7 ingredients (up to and including the xanthan gum). Beat in the sugar, olive oil, vanilla, egg whites, warm water and lemon juice. Beat until it is smooth and like a thick cake batter.
Add in the flax seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and dried currants. Stir briefly, until thoroughly combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake in the center of a preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden and firm to the touch. A wooden pick inserted into the center should emerge clean.

Cool the muffin pan on a wire rack for five minutes. Gently pop the muffins out to continue cooling on the rack (don’t cool them longer than 5 minutes in the hot pan- they’ll definitely get soggy). Enjoy a muffin after they have cooled 10 minutes, you know you want to.

Freeze any leftover muffins in tightly sealed freezer bags and pop one out for a quick and easy breakfast.

*See above note about making these vegan.

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IMG_2322

Here is another recipe from our Thanksgiving feast. This cornbread was great. It has been years since I have had cornbread. I wanted to have some fun with it, so I decided to go with a cheddar and green onion variation. It was so fantastic. Moist and fluffy, with the little bits of extra flavor from the cheese and green onions. As with most cornbread, it is best slightly warm with the smallest little pat of butter on top. I can’t wait to make this again. It was so easy and it made for great breakfasts the week following Thanksgiving.

I am remembering how amazing this cornbread was while writing this post and I think I am going to have to make it again this weekend. Hmm maybe this time with some jalapeños and cheddar. Yum. Enjoy.

 

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Gluten-Free Cheddar and Green Onion Cornbread
serves 8
adapted from Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef

1/4 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup potato starch
1/4 cup sweet rice flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons organic raw sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/3 cup canola oil or melted butter
2 large farm fresh eggs, at room temperature
1 cup low-fat organic milk, at room temperature
1 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Place rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 400º. Generously grease a deep, 9-inch square baking dish with soft butter, oil or nonstick spray.

Sift the sorghum, tapioca, potato and sweet rice flours into a large bowl. Add the sugar, baking powder, salt and xanthan gum, mixing well. Add in corn meal, stir to combine.

Combine the eggs, milk and oil in a small bowl and beat with a fork. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix on low-speed with your mixer until blended. Beat another 30 seconds with the mixer on high. Do not overmix. Add in the cheddar and green onions, stir gently to combine.

Pour the batter into the greased pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until nicely browned and a toothpick stuck into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before cutting.

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Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Hazelnuts and Cranberries

I am obviously on a pumpkin kick right now, so I am playing around with all kinds of pumpkin recipes. Since I had baked the beautiful sugar pumpkin to make homemade fresh pumpkin puree a few days prior, I had muffins on my mind. I also wanted to experiment with making up my own recipe, since I had really never done so with baking. Playing around with flours and measurements when it concerns baking, frankly intimidates me. I am always worried that with one little misstep, an entire recipe can be ruined. With all the baking I have been doing in the last few months, I felt like I knew enough about what flours I liked and what they needed to be paired with, to attempt to create my own combination. I am happy to report that my first attempt at making my own recipe, was a success!

These muffins are perfectly moist and fluffy and have so much pumpkin flavor. I decided to add in some chopped hazelnuts and dried cranberries that I had in the pantry, please feel free to omit these, or try out other nuts, fruits or even chocolate chips. Experiment and have fun. I am finally loving baking, which is something I have always longed to enjoy.

Looking to make these vegan? Instead of two eggs, use 1 tablespoon Ener-G Egg Replacer whisked with 1/4 cup warm water and use almond or soy milk in place of the milk.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Hazelnuts and Cranberries
makes 12 muffins

1 1/3 cups almond flour
1 cup corn flour (allergic to corn? – try sorghum or brown rice flour)
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup organic dark brown sugar
2 farm fresh free range brown eggs (We get our eggs from Painted Meadows Farms)
1 1/3 cups fresh pumpkin puree
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tablespoon organic vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts

Preheat oven to 375º F. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners.

Mix dry ingredients (the first 11 ingredients) together in a large mixing bowl. In another bowl, whisk together your eggs, pumpkin, olive oil, milk, vanilla and lemon juice. Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Mix the batter thoroughly, either with your stand mixer or by hand, to combine all the ingredients, mix until smooth. Stir in the hazelnuts and dried cranberries by hand, mix until incorporated.

Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake in the center of a preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden and firm to the touch. A wooden pick inserted into the center should emerge clean.

Cool the muffin pan on a wire rack for five minutes. Gently pop the muffins out to continue cooling on the rack (don’t cool them longer than 5 minutes in the hot pan- they’ll definitely get soggy). Enjoy a muffin after they have cooled 10 minutes.

Freeze any leftover muffins in tightly sealed freezer bags and pop one out for a quick and easy breakfast.

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