Saturday, April 7, 2012

Breads and cakes - So many delicious gluten free recipes - so few I can eat!

There are so many beautiful gluten free sites and blogs out there with such delicious looking recipes! And I still haven't found any breads or cakes that don't have significant amounts of ingredients I am allergic to in! Very frustrating!
Hence the name Food Free - because that is how it feels sometimes, when out of inspiration and trawling the web for some good ideas, somewhere ---at least I am creative enough to usually find at least inspiration, then work out my own solution!
Bread is the main craving and difficulty - bread and cakey stuff....
They always include one of the following (obviously, I do understand that this is what makes them bread and cake!!):
Whole grains / yeast / almond flour / potato starch / milk / butter / eggs / soja / buttermilk / rice flour / sugar / honey etc. etc. 
My main problem being that 'Gluten free flour' is not an option - as it is not technically gluten free! It usually contains some other grain (even if it's just rice or corn) which do contain proteins that are types of gluten - it is just different gluten to those that affect celiac sufferers :(
So I have come up with the closest thing I can to bread - inspired by my Swedish friend, who found a "scone" recipe in an old Swedish cookbook (it does not resemble any English scone recipe I know!!) and adapted it for me! Bless her heart. It was a good experiment and I have been playing with it ever since - there have been about a million more experiments so far!
I have also been obsessively trying to make it sweet and cakey - with unsatisfactory results so far... but getting there!
Check out my Savoury Scones recipes....

Savoury Scones

sort of bread...
My basic recipe for savoury scones:

190g Chickpea flour (gram flour) (1 cup)
or flour mix - whatever you CAN eat - for example, 2/3 ch/pea and 1/3 Buckwheat)
1 1/2 tspn Bicarbonate (7.5ml)
1 tspn Salt
6cl (60ml) Olive Oil (or grapeseed oil - or whatever neutralish tasting oil you can eat)
1 tbspn Chia seeds (10g)
18 cl water (maybe more) (180ml)
optional: 1 tspn curry powder and 1 tspn curcuma
or 1 tspn Aniseed and fennel spice.....

I almost never make this bread without herbs or spices. The flours have strong flavour and it brings it into balance with a bit of spice.
These are an aquired taste - don't imagine it will be like eating fluffy, bland bread... it is more of a cakey texture, heavier (especially if you use a high ratio of chickpea flour) and has a flavour.
Those of you, like me, who are totally starved of anything like this will appreciate it though! REMEMBER, I can only eat vegetables, fruit, quinoa, pulses and 100% buckwheat crackers - so I neeeeeeed these!! They are perfect for when you've made a soup :)

Mix dry ingredients (except chia seeds).
Add Olive oil and rub in until you have a breadcrumby mixture - sort of like soft breadcrumbs - basically, when you squeeze a handful of the crumb mix together, it will stay together but then crumble again when you break it. This is similar to when you make pastry, before you add the water to bring it together.
Add chia seeds and any others you like.
(gloopy mixture)
Mix in water with a wooden spoon. The mixture should be very sticky, wet like cake batter but not quite as runny.
I usually let it stand a bit and add a dash more water before spooning into cake tray.
The chia seeds act as a binder - there is no egg in this recipe and no gluten which would normally be present in the flour and hold it all together...

Oven cook at about 200 C for 15-20 mins... let them cool before trying. They are good eaten with hummus, lentil spread or any kind of relish.

Use whatever flour combo you like - to be honest, I change it almost every time! You can do half chickpea half buckwheat.... you can use some Amaranth for moisture - I use it because of that. It can be dry without - especially if you use more buckwheat in your mix. Or you can do pure chickpea, it tastes good that way but sits heavier in the tummy!

I usually make this with added pumpkin seeds, lin (flax) seeds, sesame seeds etc. I also always use spices or herbs such as oregano or thyme.
You can also use vegetable ingredients such as grated courgette - really good with lots of chopped mint. Just adjust the amount of water if you add a wet ingredient like that. (the picture at the head of my blog is of courgette and mint bread)
I also like to use some cooked buckwheat in this - I usually have some in the fridge. It makes the bread texture lighter. I REALLY recommend this...
I intend to try this using Quinoa soufflé (puffed quinoa) for an even lighter, maybe chewier (?!) result. Will keep you posted.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Azuki and Quinoa Flapjacks!!

Roll up roll up for some of my amazing healthy flapjacks! Their only evil is a high level of fructose due to all the fruit!
80g (½ cup) Azuki bean flakes (rolled) or rolled buckwheat (preferable but I have problems finding them!)
80g (½ cup) rolled Quinoa
80g (½ cup) (2 handfuls) Raisins or sultanas
1/4 cup Apple juice (optional)
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup olive oil or less
30g (large handful) sesame seeds
palmful Chia seeds (thought it might help mixture stick together)
1 small pear
20g (small handful) Goji berries
40g fresh berries (I used 4 strawberries)
40g dried apricots (for me this was 4 apricots)
50g Dates (6 dates or so)
1 tbspn Agave syrup

(vary these ingredients as much as you need - skip to end for suggestions and notes on this)

Put everything - except juice and oil- into the bowl of a mixer if you have one. Pulse until everything very finely chopped.
If you do not have a mixer just chop everything small and grate the pear.
Add apple juice (or whatever liquid) then add oil through hole in mixer as you pulse the mixture again.

The mixture resembles this!