Sunday, January 27, 2013

Seed Buns!

 Well here is my first attempt at making the seed buns I have been thinking about making for ages now!
I now have my own seed grinder (this coffee grinder) and so make my own ground linseed and ground pumpkin seeds.

And the result is delicious! The texture is really good, grainy, nutty (but no nuts!) and surprisingly bready (for someone who has been deprived for a long time!)

The recipe is as follows:

1 cup seed flour (I did a bit more linseed than pumpkin)
1 tsp bicarbonate
3/4 tsp salt
a dash of raw apple cider vinegar (a tsp?)
1/5 cup olive oil
1/3 cup water
1 tsp chia seeds
1 tsp ground coriander
nearly a tspn of aniseed and fennel spice

Mix the seed flours, chia seeds, bicarbonate and salt. Pour in the olive oil and work with fingers to make a breadcrumb type mixture. Add spices, vinegar and water and mix well with a wooden spoon. The mixture seems dense and spongey at the same time! Very strange, but have confidence!
Spoon into a muffin tray or whatever you have available! I sprinkled fleur de sel onto each one, pressing it down a bit into the dough. You could try to make a focaccia style thin bread - and I reckon it'd make a great crackerbread (guess what I'm doing tomorrow? Experiments!!)
Pre-heat the oven for a few mins then whack them in and cook on high heat for about 15 mins (keep an eye out that they don't burn on the outside). I then continued to cook them on medium heat for about 5 minutes, then turned off the oven and left them in there for about 10 mins more.
This worked out fine for me but EVERY oven is different! They came out beautifully moist (but not wet or squidgy, don't worry!) and did not dry out atall.

I have eaten them with tapenade, on their own (proof that they actually DO TASTE GOOD!!), am confident they would be delicious even with jam despite the spices (delicate flavour) and my 2 year old just ate one with tuna - he had a BIG grin on his cheeky chops :)

So this is a real success and I will be making them again and again, without a doubt!

Hope they work out for you! Enjoy! And let me know your variations/tweaks/ideas!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Linseed Pumpkin seed crackers!

This is a good one. Oh my, this is so tasty, it's one of those things that makes you want to build a machine that does nothing but cook these all day long...Mmmmmm...
Unfortunately, it is something you can only really make in small amounts (unless you have several hours, several ovens and a lot of patience of course).

This recipe calls for the left-over seed 'mulsh' as I call it, from making 'Pumpkin seed Milk'

I am usually left with about 300g of said 'seed mulsh'. I split this in half and this half will make one batch of crackers. It can be kept for a couple of days in the fridge so needn't be made straight after a batch of milk!

150g pumkin seed mulsh
about 50 or 60g linseed, whole
about 100g grated onion
olive oil (big long lug)
salt and pepper
curry spice blend (check no additives!!)
curcuma (or whatever spices or herbs you fancy!)
(I imagine fresh mint would be really good!)

I mix all of the above thoroughly, then spread onto greaseproof paper on an oven tray - I am not going to pretend I do this perfectly with a spatula - no, I get very messy and spread it out with my hands, nice and even and nice and thin. I cook this is the oven for about 10 minutes - medium heat, then turn it down for another 5 mins or so. I then switch of the oven and leave them for a while. Say half an hour. At this point, I take it out, see how soft or crispy they are - they usually need more drying to crisp up (remember, those seeds came form making milk so there is a lot of moisture in there that needs to gently come out).
So I put out another sheet of baking paper and turn the giant cracker out onto it, the origanl piece of paper should peel away nicely in one piece. I then cut it into squares and pop it back into a low heat oven for about 10 mins. Keep your eye on them. Turn the oven off and lift the crakers off the tray....leave to cool on the side for a while...and you will soon have crispy seed crackers! Mmmmmm.... I also sprinkle fleur de sel onto them, which makes them all the more addictive!

Bon appetit!

Milk - non dairy of course!

Have I still not posted about "milk"?
As you may know, I am dairy intolerant and also allergic to nuts... the only seeds I eat are chia, linseed and pumpkin (or any other squash or melon seeds). So I was quite excited when Micki Rose of Truly Gluten Free pointed me in the direction of her article in Foods Matter about making your own dairy free milk. She said she had never tried it with pumpkin seeds, but why not?!
So I gave it a go a couple of months ago - and now make it quite regularly.
I was never a fan of milk, always liked the idea of it but hated the taste - probably because my body knew it was bad for me! But it comes in handy for anything resembling cereal, at breakfast and also for making curry sauces or soups creamier and the like. I have not tried to cook fish in it - not so sure how that would be but I'll get back to you on that!

So what I do is simply soak a bowlful of pumpkin seeds for at least 24 hours. Change the water once in that time if possible. I then drain them and rinse well (the aim of this soaking and rinsing is to render the seeds more easily digestible by getting rid of 'enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid'.). The seeds then go into a blender. I do a ratio of about 1 cup of seeds to 2 cups of fresh water. With pumpkin seeds, any more water makes the milk too watery for me. Blend! I blend it well so as much milky goodness as possible is released.
Then the milk needs to go through a seive/ muslin to separate the seed mulsh from the "milk" liquid. 


The resulting milk is refreshing and full of goodness. As I said, it is a help in cooking and an alternative to fruit juice on cereal, for anyone avoiding too much fructose. It does not taste like dairy milk - it tastes like... well, pumpkin seeds to be honest! But I like them so that's fine by me :)

Don't forget, you can flavour your milk exactly as you wish to! See the article by Micki for more ideas of what to make fake milk out of and inspiration on what to add to it. 

Happy milking!

Thursday, January 3, 2013


So I shouldn't be eating chocolate - it is in the lectin (Bean) family... But I am not off lectins totally yet so I thought I would have a last love affair with the stuff for New Year! Oh dear... this is NOT a New Years Resolution is it?! Whoops, got it all wrong again!!
Luckily, it is not easy for me to get a supply of chocolate that is raw and pure where I live- so it is easier to never eat it! But I got some raw cocoa the other day and when I had a flash idea yesterday, I couldn't resist!

I have long been out of lin seed (flax) as our local supplier ran out!! But we have some in again (yay!) just in time for my Christmas present from my mother-in-law!
She bought me this coffee grinder recommended to me by Micki Rose on her Truly Gluten Free blog.

It is amazingly good for grinding seeds! Not only have I ground Lin Seed, but also Pumpkin Seeds! I thought they were perhaps too oily and not dried... but they ground nicely

1/4 cup Linseed flour (ground flax)
1/2 cup Ground pumpkin seeds
2 to 3 tblspn Cocoa
Chopped raisins (organic, oil free)
Agave syrup or honey (or whatever your preference)
pinch of sea salt
A sprinkling of ground vanilla pods

Chop the raisins up as finely as you can by hand - or however you would normally chop sticky little fellas like them - and put all the ingredients in a bowl together. Mix up then add water bit by bit until you reach the desired consistency...
You might want to make individual chocolate 'balls' (and maybe coat in cocoa powder before serving) or fill a container and put in the fridge to be cut up or scooped out as needed (perhaps as part of another desert - pear-based would be delicious with this!) or add a little more water to have an instant sloppy gloopy chocolaty dessert! It's up to you! Bear in mind that the longer it stands, the more the ground seeds absorb the water so you may have to 'refresh' with a little water before use/ serving, depending on how you have decided to use it.

I came up with this because all the raw 'chocolate' recipes I have found in the past, used nuts, almond flour etc. but of course, you can experiment and add any ingredients your diet allows. Nuts, dried fruits, fresh fruits etc. EXPERIMENT and ENJOY!

Next time I do this, I'll take a picture before devouring it and post it here - Promise! ;P

TGF onion and sage stuffing!

Stuffing was a challenge as I can't eat any gluten-containing flour (yes, that includes rice flour) and I can't eat nuts (so no almond flour for example) I needed linseed flour - and I can't get it here! Argh! But luckily, I had a little ground linseed left - so I made a little 'bread' bun, following this foccacia recipe (roughly!)

2 cups ground flaxseeds
1 tsp baking powder OR 2-3 egg whites
4 eggs
½ cup water
1/3 cup olive oil

...but I used 1/2 cup ground linseed, a little bicarb and only a little bit of one egg... a little oil and water, a dash of vinegar and of course, sea salt.

The next day (Christmas day!), I broke the bun up into breadcrumbs and mixed it with fried onions, a tablespoon of sage, salt and pepper, some olive oil and a little beaten egg (woodland).

I cooked it in the oven, in a little round shallow cake tin for about 15 minutes or so. I cooked it ahead of time and kept it warm with foil on top, then stuck it back in the oven to warm a bit whilst serving up the rest of the meal. A great success! Perfectly moist and very tasty indeed! And not greasy, woo!

TGF Christmas Dinner!! (Truly Gluten Free)

Yes, I managed it! A simple yet delicious Christmas dinner with just enough Christmassy flavours for me!

It doesn't look much - but taking photos of real food is never glamorous!! So here it is - homely, badly presented, cosy and yummy Christmas dinner!
All the right flavours in all the right places :)

It consists of Roasted veg: sweet potatoes and parsnips in olive oil ...and delicata squash in Rosemary, honey and mustard. We also had brussel sprouts fried in garlic, my very own TGF stuffing (extremely simple! Recipe here), leeks with nutmeg and a special rump steak -marinated for a day in wine, thyme, garlic and a dash of balsamic- and cooked to perfection for the first time in my life lol!! It was perfect - and I am well known for my disastrous steaks (hence the marinating!!)... All in all, it was tasty, filling and enjoyed by all 3 of us!
I consider myself lucky to be able to eat all that and not get ill! People who are more traditional would also have to make their own cranberry sauce etc for this to be a full on Christmas meal - but I am not bothered about these things! And we were too stuffed to even dream of Christmas cake or pudding!
Our meal was completed by homemade Christmas crackers!
Best joke: How does father Christmas like his pizza? Deep pan, crisp and even. Hahaha, it HAD to be about food, didn't it?!
Happy New Year Everybody!! xxxxxxxxxxxx