Yum Peaceful Cooking: December 2013

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread with Chia Seed binder

This recipe wasn't originally gluten-free. To be honest, I've had this recipe long before I knew that Celiac existed. Long before I knew what "gluten" was. In fact, I've had this recipe since I first started to learn how to bake.

Let me "date" myself....this recipe sheet was not printed from a computer, or copied on a photocopy machine. It was printed from a ditto machine. And yes, the ink is purple. And if you know what I'm talking about....you can probably almost smell the ink.

Way back when....(think...That 70's Show) I took a cooking class in middle school as part of the home ec "wheel". And we baked Pumpkin Bread. I kept the recipe (and the quiz that's on the bottom half of the paper) all these years but had not baked it since.

Although it looks like I've used it numerous times. I did bake it for Thanksgiving that year and apparently at the tender age of 12? 13? I was an extremely messing little baker.

Fast forward to the present. My daughter asked me to bake this as a gluten-free version. I couldn't pass up the challenge. I was, however...nervous. I don't enjoy the aftertaste, nor the texture of g.f. breads. My daughter doesn't seem to mind (she's earthy like that).

Anyway, just to make sure I wasn't messing anything up, I poked around the internet to see how other's were making gluten-free pumpkin breads, and that's when I came across a really great blog Gluten Free Girl and where I learned what was causing my g.f. dislike. Xanthan gum.

And that's where I learned about the wonderful chia seed replacement. I got excited cuz I actually had chia seeds in my cupboard!

Here's the basic chia seed replacement rule:

Grind up some chia seeds. Mix it with boiling water at a 1 part chia, 2 parts water ratio. This will form a gooey mixture. When a recipe calls for xanthan gum, replace it with an equal amount of the gooey chia seed mixture. If you are converting a recipe, use 1 tsp for every cup of "flour".

Note: you may have to increase the baking time due to the added moisture.

I'm going to share my converted gluten-free version. Of course you can just use all purpose flour and omit the chia seeds, and that's the original recipe.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread
(adapted from Mt. Gleason Jr. High home economics class)
Printable Version

1 1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 eggs
3/4 cup pumpkin
1/4 cup applesauce
2 tsp premixed chia seed and water mixture as instructed above
2 cup sifted oat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/3 cup chopped walnuts or raisins (optional, I did not add either of these)
1/3 cup water

Preheat your oven to 350' F. Grease and flour 2 bread pans or line them with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the sugar and oil. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, beat eggs until fluffy. Stir in the pumpkin, applesauce, and chia seed mixture. Set aside.

Sift the dry ingredients together, 3 times.

If using walnuts or raisins, add them to the dry ingredients.

Starting with the dry ingredients, alternately add dry ingredients and water to the pumpkin mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.

Divide the batter between the two prepared bread pans and bake for about 45 mins to an hour (or so). I can't give you an exact time because that part of the recipe is illegible. Plus the time needed to be increased due to my chia seed mixture addition. Just keep checking it. The recipe does say that it's done when the top of the bread springs back when lightly touched with your finger tip. I used the toothpick method.

The results? Delicious and very moist. Still a little crumbly but not in a dry, corn bread sort of way. And check out the mound! To me, that is a beautiful sight. If you'd like, you might increase the spice measurements for a stronger flavor, as they are mild as is. 

Let me make a statement here: I am not required to have a gluten free diet, nor are any members of my household. I do have a very dear close friend and an aunt who have Celiac disease. I am not fluent in the ways of hidden gluten in common foods. I am not a source of medically accurate advice on the subject. I am aware of the negative affects that gluten has in our diets. I enjoy experimenting in my kitchen. My girls are very health conscious and on occasion prefer to eat gluten free. This is where my dabbling comes to play. Any misinformation is purely accidental and due to ignorance on my part. Please feel free to point out anything that I have misinterpreted. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Winter Blush and an Uncommon Goods Giveaway

I have a little something, and then some, to add to your Holiday Cheer!!

I'm giving away a 
$50 Gift Certificate to 

and I have a great little cocktail recipe for you as well.

You see that pink marble looking glass in the above photo?

No, it's not a candle holder.

No, it's not marble.

It's a shot glass. And it's been carved out of Himalayan Salt! I don't know about you, but I think that's ingenious! And yes...when you take a shot, you taste the salt.

This little gem (it's one of four gems. I mean, honestly, who wants to take a shot by themselves?) was a gift from Uncommon Goods. I'm really looking forward to using these for the holidays, especially the New Year. Cheers!!!

Actually, they have a lot of great gifts and items to brighten up your holidays. If shot glasses aren't your thing, don't worry, you can choose from an incredible variety of items from gifts for 'her' to gifts for 'him', household items, stuff for kids, your office...decor and accessories for your bar. Seriously, their products are very unique and fun. 

But when I saw these shot glasses, they spoke to me. Rather loudly. You could almost say they were screaming my name! 

Almost as loudly as this beautiful cocktail.

Winter Blush
makes 6 cocktails

1 1/2 cups cranberry juice
1/2 cup ruby red grapefruit juice
1/2 cup silver tequila
1/2 cup orange liqueur
1/2 simple syrup (equal amounts of sugar and water heated to a boil, stirred until sugar dissolves)
Sprite to top off served cocktails
Candies cranberries (recipe to follow) to garnish
Orange slices to garnish

Combine the cranberry juice, grapefruit juice, tequila, orange liqueur and simple syrup. When ready to serve, pour some in a shaker filled with ice, shake until chilled and strain into a glass. Top off with Sprite and garnish.

Refreshing, sweet and a little tartness that's controlled by the Sprite. And dangerous. You can't taste the alcohol much so you better watch it. 

As for the candied cranberries...so beautiful and so easy to make:

1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water, boiled while stirring until sugar dissolves. (this is simple syrup). Poor hot simple syrup over a cup or two of cranberries. Cover and refrigerate a few hours or over night. Strain the simple syrup out (save for using in a cocktail or other recipe). Roll the berries in fine sugar (also known as bakers sugar)

Allow to dry and use as desired.

Don't forget to enter for your chance to win the $50 Gift Certificate below! 

Good Luck and Happy Holidays

I was not compensated for this post, however Uncommon Goods supplied me with the Himalayan Salt Shot Glass.  They are also supplying the gift certificate for the giveaway.  All opinions are my own.