Gluten-Free Diet

 Brownies

espresso fudge brownies gluten-free recipe

5 ounces Belgian dark chocolate
1/2 vegan margarine such as Smart Balance
2 organic happy free-range eggs
1 cup packed organic light brown sugar
1/2 rounded cup almonds, processed into a fine meal
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Optional::

1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, if desired
1/2 cup extra semi-sweet chocolate chips for the top, if desired

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with foil and lightly oil the bottom.
Using the microwave, melt the dark chocolate and butter in a large (microwave safe) measuring cup. Stir together to combine. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs on medium high till frothy. Add the brown sugar and beat until the mixture is smooth.
Add the melted chocolate mixture into the egg-sugar mixture a little at a time – incorporate it slowly- and beat well for a good minute. The chocolate will look smooth and glossy.
In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients: almond meal, rice flour, fine sea salt and baking soda; whisk together. Add the dry flour mix into the chocolate mixture and beat well for a minute. Add the vanilla, beat another half a minute or so.
You now have your brownie batter.
If you are adding nuts, stir in the nuts by hand and spread the batter into the prepared baking pan [this brownie batter is much thinner than any brownie mix batter I’ve tried- don’t worry, it’s going to be wonderful]. Shake the pan a little bit to even out the batter. Layer the semi-sweet chips all over the top of the batter and press them in slightly, if adding.
Bake in the center of a preheated 350 degree F oven for 33 to 35 minutes, or until the brownies are set. Don’t overcook.

 Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

 

Image result for oatmeal raisin cookies healthy

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine in a bowl and beat until smooth and creamy:

2/3 cup Spectrum Organic Shortening
1 cup sucanat [vegan unrefined sugar]
1/2 cup golden brown organic brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened organic applesauce
2 teaspoons good vanilla extract
2 tablespoons light olive oil

In a separate bowl whisk together the dry ingredients:

1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup oat flour [certified gluten-free Lara’s Oats]
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup vanilla rice protein powder [I used Nutribiotics]
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Slowly add the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture, beating to combine.When the dough is smooth, add in the following, by hand, and mix well:

2 cups rolled oats [certified gluten-free Lara’s Oats]
1/2 cup raisins

Use a spoon or ice cream scoop to measure out the dough, and using your palms make 28 to 30 round balls. Place the balls of dough on a cookie sheet about two inches apart. Don’t flatten them.Bake in the center of a preheated oven for about 12 to 15 minutes, until they are golden. They will be quite soft until they cool.

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Scones

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 1 15-oz. package Gluten-Free Pantry Muffin & Scone Mix

8 tablespoons Spectrum Organic Shortening
1/2 cup vanilla hemp milk- plus more as needed
2 teaspoons rice vinegar or lemon juice
1 Ener-G Egg Replacer equivalent
1/2 teaspoon Authentic Foods Vanilla Powder- or vanilla extract
3/4 cup fresh strawberry pieces
2 rounded tablespoons Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Empty the mix into a mixing bowl and drop the tablespoons of shortening into the mix. Use a fork or a pastry cutter to cut in the shortening; the mixture is supposed to look like coarse crumbs. Mine didn’t, exactly. But.

Add the vinegar or lemon juice to the hemp milk and stir. Pour into the mixing bowl.

Add the mixed egg replacer.

Stir to combine. The dough is akin to biscuit batter. At this point, if you need a little more liquid (I did) add 1 tablespoon of hemp milk at a time until the dough is moist and holds together. It should appear a bit sticky.

Add in the strawberries and chocolate chips. Mix to distribute.

On a rice floured board, form the dough into a round cake pan size loaf- like a soda bread. Using a large sharp knife, score the dough into eight wedges. Then cut the dough, and using a thin spatula, remove each piece to a parchment lined cookie sheet or Exopat. Reshape the wedges if you need to- I used a butter knife to do this.

At this point I added some extra strawberry pieces and a few more chocolate chips to the top of each wedge.

Bake in the center of a preheated oven. Check at 15 minutes for doneness- but mine took quite a bit longer than that. Closer to 30 minutes.
 

Coconut Carrot Cake

 

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3 large happy organic free-range eggs

1/2 cup light vegetable oil or Spectrum Organic Shortening
1 cup organic light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup plain yogurt or soy yogurt, or applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice, or Apple Pie Spice [or a mix of nutmeg, clove, ginger, allspice]
2 cups Pamela’s Ultimate Baking Mix [or your own flour mix with 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda added per cup of flour]
3/4 cup flaked sweetened coconut
1 1/2 cups processed [or finely grated] carrots (about 4 carrots)
1/2 cup golden raisins or currents
1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch springform cake pan.

In a mixing bowl beat the eggs; add the oil and beat; add the brown sugar and beat till smooth. Beat in the yogurt, vanilla, cinnamon and spice. Add in the baking mix and beat till combined. [The batter should be a bit thicker than wheat flour batter.] Add in the coconut, carrots, raisins and nuts; stir with a wooden spoon to combine.

Spread the batter evenly in the cake pan; and place the pan in the center of a preheated oven. Bake until the cake is firm, and a wooden pick inserted into the center emerges clean, about 40 to 45 minutes [or longer if necessary – I baked mine at high altitude]. Cool on a wire rack. Frost with your favorite cream cheese icing and sprinkle with coconut, if desired.

Cream Cheese Icing:

4 oz. softened vegan cream cheese

2 tablespoons softened unsalted vegan butter

1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract, to taste
3 cups powdered cane sugar- or more, if needed
A squeeze or two of fresh citrus, to taste- lemon, lime or orange

In a mixing bowl beat the cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add the vanilla. Add in the powdered sugar a cup at a time; squeeze a little lemon or other citrus juice into the frosting and beat till smooth. Taste test. Add more sugar, if needed, to thicken; add more juice to thin.

Frost the cake.

Makes 8 – 10 slices.

Frosted Banana Spice Cake

Image result for banana cake with cream cheese frosting

1/2 cups almonds

1/2 cup brown rice flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon Apple Pie Spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 large happy organic eggs
1/3 cup canola, safflower or extra light olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/3 cups light brown sugar
4 medium very ripe bananas, cut up and mashed into puree
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9 x 13″ baking pan by lining it with greased foil or parchment.

Process the almonds in a food processor by pulsing on and off until a fine almond meal is formed. Pour the almond meal into a dry mixing bowl. Add in the rice flour, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt and spices and whisk to combine.

In a clean mixing bowl beat the eggs; add the oil, honey, brown sugar, banana puree and vanilla. Beat well. Add the dry ingredients into the wet, and beat for two minutes.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake in a preheated oven for 33 to 35 minutes until done. Check the center for doneness with a wooden pick. The cake should appear slightly golden brown at the edge, yet still be moist inside. Cool the cake completely on a wire rack before frosting.

Simple Apple-Nutmeg Icing

To achieve a more concentrated apple flavor, heat the apple juice or [apple cider] in a small saucepan and lightly simmer until it reduces and thickens into a light syrup.

1 1-lb. box confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter [or vegan margarine such as Smart Balance]
2-3 tablespoons natural apple juice* as needed
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 dashes of nutmeg

Pour the sugar into a mixing bowl and add the butter with 2 tablespoons of the juice. Start beating and continue to beat to incorporate the butter and juice. Add more apple juice a teaspoon at a time, until you achieve the consistency you like. Crank up the mixer and beat the heck out of it until the frosting is smooth and glossy.

Frost the cake [we removed it from the pan and placed it on a cutting board first].
Sprinkle the icing with chopped nuts, if you like.