Friday, March 31, 2017

Blueberry Muffins (Corn Free, Gluten Free)

So, this morning I tried something different...I put a twist on my favorite muffin recipe by replacing the oil with butter, and putting the sugar through the food processor till it was powdery. I also cooked the muffins at a lower temperature. The results were fantastic!!!!!
Please forgive me for my overdone enthusiasm...but I like when my experiments turn out good!
Fresh organic blueberries, kerrygold irish butter, sugar in the raw, freshly milled light brown rice flour, and Greek yogurt make a good team. They work willingly together to produce an amazing outcome!
As always, I try to stop and think about what it is that makes things work. I assess my desired outcome, and try to figure out how I can get there. With muffins,  you want it to be moist and somewhat heavy. Slightly sweet, but not overboard, and of course, fresh fruit needs to be involved.
Size matters, too. Texture is of the utmost importance. So, how do you get there???
Simply follow me.... I will show you how!!!
1 1/2 cups freshly milled organic light brown rice flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar in the raw put through the processor till powdery
1/3 stick butter cut into flour
Just enough greek yogurt to make a moist dough about 1 1/2 cups....a few tablespoons of milk to thin out the dough makes it easier to work with
1 teaspoon of vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract  (optional)
1 cup fresh blueberries
Line muffin tin with unbleached paper muffin cups. Fill cups almost entirely with dough. Bake in preheated 400 degree oven. If tops brown too quickly, reduce heat to 350 degrees. Muffins are done when toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean. Yields 9 muffins.
Have a Happy, Healthy, Gluten Free day!!!
~Em Kennedy ~

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Gluten Free, Corn Free Cookies

Have you ever felt that uncomfortable feeling when someone offers your gluten free child a cookie without your permission? Brrrr, I tell you it gets to me. But they always mean well by it. The endless questions...the explanations...the blank looks you receive...the frustration all caused by a cookie! So, you mom, need to have a backup ready!!!!
"Oh, they can only have certain kinds of cookies. If you want to get them something, here is the brand you can buy, and Walmart sells them." (I can just hear myself saying it, again.) ;)
What is your favorite gluten free cookie brand? I like to give my kids the Glutino Wafers that come in chocolate, vanilla, and lemon. They are corn and gluten free and do not contain xanthan gum, carrageenan, or annatto. You will also notice that they are considerably low in sugar for a cookie! (Yeah, for you mom!)
Glutino also makes a yummy animal cracker, in two flavors...original, and graham. (These contain xanthan gum.)
Another favorite is Pamela's brand. They have honey Grahams, cinnamon flavored grahams, and a large variety of other cookie flavors including pecan shortbread cookies (YUM). The only hang up is that they contain xanthan gum.
There are other brands out there that are also good...What is your favorite???
Every child should have a cookie from time to time! (Every adult, too;)
Cookies bring a smile.
Have a Happy, Healthy, Gluten Free Day!!!
~Em Kennedy~

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Perfect Texture

When talking gluten free baking, one cannot forget to mention the importance of the use of yogurt in making a high quality dough. Most gluten free flours lack the moisture and high protein content necessary to maintain a moist texture after baking. Because there is no gluten in the flour, you won't have that sticky gelatin like hold to maintain consistency as well. If you use traditional milk, or even buttermilk, or a thin yogurt, you will get a gritty crumbly texture. I don't know about you, but to me that is not appetizing! When I eat a cake, or a biscuit for instance, I want it to be moist and stay together as I handle it. I want to be able to slice my biscuit and put a piece of elk filly steak in the middle with fried onions (or sausage, bacon, beef steak). Don't you agree?
The trick in order to eliminate all gums, including xanthan gum, is to use the right flour, and the right yogurt. The best flour is one that is freshly milled from light brown rice. Not only do you retain the vitamins and minerals that rice is rich in, but you also end up with an excellent texture. White rice is too gummy and makes a tough dough. Brown rice is heavy. Light brown rice has the perfect combination of gumminess and fiber. When you mix your flour, baking soda, salt, butter, and vinegar, with high protein Greek yogurt you get the bond that holds the proper consistency once baked. The high protein is the key, and that combined with the texture of the light brown rice makes an awesome biscuit. If light brown rice is not available in your area, brown rice will work but it will result in a slightly heavier biscuit. Again, the Greek yogurt is the key to keeping it from being gritty. The Greek yogurt should have at least 20 grams of protein per serving size.
Interested in giving it a try???

Here is my recipe for a pan of biscuits:

Yield 9 large biscuits:

1 3/4 cup freshly milled organic light brown rice flour (brown rice will work)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda (not baking powder)
3/4 teaspoon salt (I use David's Kosher salt because it has no added ingredients)
1/3 stick of butter ( Extra Virgin Olive Oil can be used but is not as good)
1-2 teaspoons vinegar
1 1/2-2 cups high protein Greek yogurt (Use just enough to be sure that all the flour is wet. There should not be any dry flour at the bottom of the bowl. It should all combine into a sticky kinda wet dough.)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees:
Mix together dry ingredients first, then add butter cutting it in with a pastry cutter. Add vinegar and yogurt stirring well. Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls into a buttered 8 or 9 inch square glass baking pan (should make 9 biscuits). Bake until they are brown and no longer doughy in the middle. 15-25 minutes based on your oven.
Let cool in the pan for five minutes before serving.
ENJOY!!!