WARNING: the foods we cook for Abby are safe for her, but not necessarily for everyone. Please confirm any ingredients are safe for you before using in your diet. Food Allergies can kill and the best policy is complete avoidance. Read this post for more info.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Fig Newtons(gluten free, corn free, dairy free, soy free, citrus free)



These are in Abby's top five of all time favorites.


We were just talking about how when she was younger(and was able to eat a lot of different foods) she was always disappointed if I bought a box of these.. Now however, she see's them as absolute luxury! :-) How things change!


These are a little bit of work, but after you have made them a few times, much easier.

I am pretty sure I have posted versions of these before, but as I have made them over the years I keep modifying to make them better.(and easier!!)

Fig Newtons:

Cookie dough:
1/2 cup Tropical Traditions or Spectrum Palm Shortening
1/4 cup Domino's organic cane sugar
1/4 cup homemade Brown sugar, packed(cane sugar plus plantation blackstrap molasses)
1 Large egg
1 teaspoon homemade Vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon water(if needed)
1 1/2 cup all purpose gluten free flour
1 tsp guar gum(since these need to be shaped I would hesitate to remove the guar gum,though psyllium husk powder should work)
1/2 teaspoon Salt(safe for you, salt is tricky for the corn-free crowd. )
1/2 teaspoon homemade Baking powder

Filling:
1 1/2 cup of Made In Nature Dried mission figs
1/3 cup tamarind puree
3 Tablespoons Domino's organic cane sugar
Pinch Salt(safe for you)


1) Start with the filling.

2) remove stems and cut(at least quarters)the dried figs. Cover in boiling water and set aside to rehydrate and soften.

3)Make your tamarind puree. I cut about 1/4 cup of tamarind fruit from a block of pressed tamarind and cover with boiling water to soften. Then push tamarind through fine mesh to remove any bits of seed/shell.

4)Once figs are hydrated drain. Place drained figs, tamarind, dash of salt,and sugar in blender or food processor. Pulse until a jam like texture- it will be thick. If too thick to puree you can add a teaspoon or so of water as needed to smooth it out.

5)Make the dough!

6)In bowl cream sugars and shortening. Add egg,vanilla and beat until smooth. Now add flour, guar gum,salt, baking powder. The dough should hold together and hold it's shape but soft. If it is too crumbly add the reserved Tablespoon or less of water.

7)Split dough into 2 or 3 equal portions(we like bigger and thicker so we split into two sections).

8) Roll dough out between 2 sheets of parchment paper- aprox 4 inches by 12 inches(give or take.)you can trim the edges for a tidier fit. Remove top parchment but leave dough on bottom piece of parchment.

9) Down the center of each piece of rolled dough spoon fig filling. There should be enough dough on either side of the filling to wrap over the filling down the middle.

10) using the parchment, flip one side of the dough over the filling. Then gently flip the other side of the dough so the dough slightly overlaps over the filling. It should now look like a long tube of dough filled with fig filling.

11) Place roll on cookie sheet and place in the fridge until firm, or into the freezer to hurry things up.(about 10-15 minutes in the freezer)

12) Slice fig newton sized sections and place each cookie on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Place back in the freezer. (just until oven is hot)

13) Preheat oven to 375

14) Bake for 12-14 minutes- just until the edges turn golden- don't over bake!

15) Ideally these are best if you seal in an airtight container while still very warm, it helps the dough mimic the original better- however, Abby claims they are perfect as soon as they are cool enough to chew.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Gluten Free Freezer Roux! (corn free, dairy free, soy free)




When we first moved to the Gulf Coast in Texas, one of the first foods we learned to appreciated was gumbo. We are close enough to Louisiana that most along the coast are huge fans of gumbo, but it has to be authentic. Over the years as Abby lost foods we could adapt but once corn and gluten free I wondered if I could even call it a gumbo any longer minus what seemed like everything! These days Abby really cannot have gumbo any longer, but she can have this roux. I have found various combo's of veggies and chicken with rice are pretty tasty when mixed with roux.


It seems every family has a different recipe and so far we have found them all delicious! But the one thing that is key to all good gumbo's is the ROUX!!!


It isn't "real" gumbo or even good gumbo if you use the the packaged stuff and even worse is that all the package stuff is packed full of corn, or wheat, MSG and heaven knows what else!

It is very simple to make a roux- flour plus fat and cook and stir and cook and stir.. really it is that simple but it is time consuming!


When I have an extra hour on hand(a favorite book I am reading etc) I found I can stir and read and then freeze the roux! This has made gumbo making on another day a lot easier, and less time consuming.


1 cup Grapeseed Oil(TJ's)(or safe lard or other safe fat that will tolerate the heat threshold)
1 cup gluten free all purpose flour



Pour oil into thick bottomed pot. Slow sift in flour while stirring with whisk on high. When combined and smooth reduce temp to medium/low and keep stirring, and stirring (50-60 minutes!!!) until your roux is a deep brown. Some prefer a more milk chocolate color while others take it to a deep dark chocolate. The Northerner in me prefers a milk chocolate color.


Allow to cool to room temperature and then freeze.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Coconut Chew Bars:(gluten free, dairy free, soy free, nut free, corn free, )



My Mom was a great cook and when she passed away she gave me her favorite recipes. One that I requested was called Coconut Chew Bars. She did not make them often but over the years I often thought about them and kept meaning to make them. Now years after she passed I finally got around to making a batch. The trick was converting to "Abby safe" ingredients. We are quite pleased with how they turned out. The one major difference(to my memory)was the glaze. The original called for lemon and orange juice so I swapped for tamarind. Mine turned out some what gooey because I opted to add extra tamarind(good source of various vitamins/minerals) for extra tang so the glaze did not set up well. On a positive, we really like gooey goodness around here so we are quite pleased with the conversion. The original filling also called for chopped walnuts which I substituted roasted chickpeas for- the chickpeas were an improvement! I was never a fan of walnuts! :-) But if you can have nuts you could use any chopped nut instead of the roasted chickpea. The flour was a direct substitution so you could just use the same amount of wheat if it is something you can eat.

If I were making these to share I would stick to the 3 tablespoons of tamarind- but if you aren't trying to impress anyone? Go for more tamarind!



Crust:
3/4 cup Tropical Traditions palm shortening
3/4 cup homemade powdered sugar(caution with store bought versions.)
1 1/2 cup gluten free all purpose flour(homemade, none of the store bought are considered safe)
dash of salt(safe for you)


Filling:
2 eggs
1 cup homemade packed brown sugar(organic domino's plus Plantation organic blackstap molasses)
2 Tablespoons gluten free all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon homemade baking powder(1 part tapioca starch,1 part baking soda and 2 parts cream of tartar)
1/2 teaspoon homemade vanilla extract.
1/2 cup homemade roasted chickpea's
1/2 cup Tropical Traditions coconut flakes


Glaze:

1 1/2 cup homemade powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons melted coconut oil
3 Tablespoons Tamarind puree(we buy the block of fruit and make our own puree)


1) Preheat oven to 350 and line a 9x13 with parchment paper(you can cut the recipe in half and use a 8 x 8 pan)

2) CRUST: In bowl combine powdered sugar, flour and salt. Cut in shortening. Press firmly into base of your pan.
A)Place in oven and bake for 12-15 minutes.

3) While crust is baking, in bowl combine eggs,flour,baking powder,brown sugar, vanilla. Mix until well combined. Lastly, stir in coconut and chickpeas.

4)While crust is still hot, pour filling over the crust.

5)Bake for 20 more minutes.

6) While it bakes prepare your glaze. Combine powdered sugar,tamarind and coconut oil. I ended up using a few extra tablespoons of tamarind which was a wonderful flavor, but the glaze did not set so they ended up kind of messy!

7) When still hot cover in tamarind glaze.

8) Allow to cool completely(consider chilling) before cutting.

Friday, October 16, 2015



This is an easy one.

Basically a gluten free recipe for chocolate chip cookies and instead of chocolate chips you add coconut flakes and raisins. They get a nice chew around the edges and soft in the middle. If you are watching how much fat you eat you can reduce the coconut oil to 1/2 cup and I think they would be just fine.



2 1/4 cups Gluten-Free Flour (we mix our own, none of the store bought are safe for the corn sensitive.)
1 teaspoon homemade baking powder( 2parts cream of tartar,1 part tapioca starch, 1 part baking soda)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt(safe for you, we use pink himalayan)
1/4 teaspoon Now Brand guar gum
3/4 cup Tropical Traditions coconut oil, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed homemade brown sugar
1/2 cup Domino's or C&H organic cane sugar
2 Eggs
2 teaspoons homemade vanilla
1/2 cup raisins(we make ours to make sure they are safe)
1/4 cup Tropical Traditions coconut flakes.


1) Preheat oven to 375 and line cookie sheets with parchment paper

2) Beat coconut oil, brown sugar and sugar together. Then add vanilla and eggs

3) Now add flour, baking powder,baking soda,salt and guar gum to the mixture above. It will be a pretty stiff dough.

4) Place by spoonful a couple inches apart on lined cookie sheet.

5) Place in freezer for 10 minutes(important when baking with coconut oil, the cookies will spread too much if you don't chill first)

6) After chilled bake for 9-11 minutes.

7) Allow to cool completely. They will firm up as they set.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Carrot Cake Cookies: dairy free, gluten free, corn free, soy free..



The cookies are wonderful, but the filling is what we really love! It is as close as you can get to cream cheese frosting when you are dairy , nut and soy free. I had made a big batch of raisins the other day and besides tossing them into her cream of rice we like them best in cookies!

You can easily use cinnamon or whatever spice you prefer or is safe for you instead. Abby is still tolerating ginger and cloves so those are our go to spices still.


INGREDIENTS:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose gluten free flour
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt(safe for you, we use pink himalayan)
1/2 cup Tropical Traditions coconut oil, softened
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed homemade light brown sugar
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons Domino's Organic Cane granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon homemade vanilla
1 cup finely grated carrots (2 medium)
1/2 cup homemade organic raisins

Filling ingredients:

3 Tablespoons homemade coconut yogurt
1 1/2 - 2 cups homemade powdered sugar(only way to make sure it is completely corn-free)
2 Tablespoons Tropical traditions palm shortening
dash of salt

1) preheat oven to 375

2)line cookie sheets with parchment paper

3)Mix together flour, ginger,cloves, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.

4) Beat together coconut oil, sugars, egg, and vanilla in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in carrots, and raisins at low speed, then add flour mixture and beat until just combined.

5) Spoon 1 1/2 tablespoons batter per cookie a couple inches apart on baking sheets and bake until cookies are lightly browned and springy to the touch, 10-13 minutes. Cool cookies on sheets on racks 1 minute, then transfer cookies to racks to cool completely.

6) In bowl using hand mixer combine yogurt,powdered sugar, palm shortening and salt until fluffy(depending on your yogurt you may need more or less powdered sugar)

7)When cookies are cool fill and sandwich.

DIY Cream of Rice (gluten free, dairy free, soy free, corn free, chemical free)



With winter coming(hopefully!) it was time to grind some cream of rice cereal for Abby. I use the WonderMill and use the coarse setting to get the right consistency. I tend to grind a bunch at one time so I won't have to do it again for awhile. We like to grind in a few tablespoons of buckwheat to add some value and heartiness to it. We have found though if we use too much buckwheat it can get bitter so we only add a bit(not even 1/6th buckwheat).

I make our own brown sugar(1 cup Domino's organic cane sugar plus 1 Tablespoon unsulfured organic Plantation blackstrap molasses) and always have that on hand. I also keep some homemade margarine(Fake Butter Spread) in the fridge for Abby. When you have these already made this is a super fast and wonderful breakfast.




2 1/4 cup water
1/2 cup rice "cereal"
1/4 teaspoon salt(safe for you)




1) Grind on "coarse" on your grain mill a few cups of safe for you rice( We use Nishiki sushi rice)

2) If like us you would like to add more value, also "coarse" grind a few Tablespoons of teff, or buckwheat or other higher nutrition grain or seed to combine with your rice.

3) Store in airtight container.


4) Bring 2 1/4 water(or safe for you milk) to a rolling boil.

5) Add salt

6) Using a whisk(or you get lumps!)slowly whisk in rice cereal. Reduce heat to medium.

7) cook for a couple minutes until creamy.

8) serve.


 
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