Finding My Balance With Food

With all the people out there who are still resolved to stick to strict New Year’s resolutions centered around their eating habits, or those who have thrown in the towel because they slipped up once or twice, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about finding my balance with food.

 

Eggs, peas, carrots, and mushroom chicken sausage

Eggs, peas, carrots, and mushroom chicken sausage

 

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Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake Bars

As promised in Wednesday’s and Thursday’s posts, here comes a decadent, delectable recipe for Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake Bars! One of the tougher aspects of gluten free baking is that I can never be absolutely sure that the treats I bake taste as good as what most people consider ‘the real thing’. I used to be able to bring treats somewhere and have people tell me they were good before they knew I was gluten free, but now pretty much everywhere I’d bring any food, everyone knows, whether family or friends. So when I set out to make something special for my dad’s birthday this year, I used my brother as an honest taste-tester so I could be absolutely sure that what I cooked up was fit for the occasion.

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Pumpkin Puffins

Pumpkin may be an autumn flavor to some, but I enjoy pumpkin treats all year round! The traditional autumn blend of pumpkin, maple, and cinnamon can warm you up throughout a chilly winter. These are similar to my other gluten-free muffin recipes in their use of rolled oats as a base, but incorporating pure pumpkin gives them a slightly creamier texture and puffier tops. They’re also dairy-free and  vegetarian (and can be adapted to be egg-free and vegan), great to bring to school or work to share without any worries – everyone can partake! Or whip up a batch over the weekend and have them for breakfasts or snacks throughout the week. Pumpkin Puffins are a great way to start off your day on a warm and cheerful note.

 

Pumpkin Puffins on a Plate

Pumpkin Puffins on a Plate

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats

1/4 cup gluten-free sorghum flour

1 cup pure pumpkin (I use Libby’s or Farmer’s Market Organics, but if you’re up to the task of roasting your own, I’m sure that would be fantastic!)

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 cup vanilla coconut milk

2 large eggs (you can also substitute additional 1/4 cup applesauce + 1 tbsp flaxseed)

1/3 cup applesauce

1/4 cup brown sugar (this works best with the pumpkin, but feel free to substitute stevia or other sweetener)

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp flaxseed

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Cooking spray or additional olive oil

 

 

Puffin batter

Puffin batter

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Spray 12-muffin tin with cooking spray or lightly brush each muffin cup with olive oil.

3. Mix all dry ingredients in large bowl.

4. Add in coconut milk, applesauce, eggs, olive oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Mix well (roughly 8-10 good stirs) but be careful not to over-stir, or the batter will become too thin.

5. Pour batter evenly into muffin cups.

6. Optional: sprinkle a pinch of extra brown sugar on each muffin top.

7. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

8. Let cool.

9. Enjoy!

 

 

 

© 2015 Renaissance Runner Girl. All rights reserved.

Birthday Confetti Fairy Cakes

I tend to try and see the best in people, and want to make sure that all my friends and family are happy. I’m often told that this is an impossible goal. But whoever said you can’t please everyone underestimated my skills in dessert experimentation, because I’ve finally concocted a recipe guaranteed to please any birthday boy or girl AND all of their friends and family, no matter what allergies or dietary restrictions they have!

It’s hard enough to make gluten-free and nut-free cakes and treats, but these are not the only allergens that can cause problems. So I came up with a recipe that is free from all of the ‘Big 8’ allergens. Obviously, you won’t use fish or shellfish much in baking, and I already eliminate gluten and tree nuts. But these fairy cakes are also made without dairy, eggs, soy, or peanuts. They’re vegan and kosher too. And you know what? Even without all of these ingredients, they taste exactly like a classic vanilla birthday cake! I call them fairy cakes because they’re smaller than the typical cupcake and made without icing, instead using allergen-free sprinkles for a pretty top. But the recipe is adaptable for a full-size birthday cake or larger cupcakes with icing (recipes for those coming soon). They’re a guaranteed palate-pleaser and they’re safe for most people, with little tweaks in the event that someone you want to bake a treat for has other dietary restrictions. I hope one day to be a mom who can make birthday treats for my kids that EVERY one of their friends can enjoy – making these for a good friend’s birthday for a group that includes gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, and soy-free eaters was a perfect test run!

 

Birthday fun(fetti) for everyone!

Birthday fun(fetti) for everyone!

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup sorghum flour

2/3 cup organic cane sugar OR stevia OR other sweetener (if you need a sugar-free substitution)

1 cup So Delicious vanilla coconut milk (or equivalent if someone has a coconut allergy!)

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

1/2 tbsp olive oil

Allergy-free rainbow sprinkles (optional, but who DOESN’T love birthday funfetti?)

Extra olive oil or cooking spray (to grease the cupcake wrappers)

 

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Spray 12 cupcake wrappers with cooking spray or lightly brush with olive oil and place in 12-muffin tin.

3. Mix all dry ingredients in large bowl.

4. Add in coconut milk, applesauce, olive oil, and vanilla extract.

5. Pour batter evenly into cupcake wrappers.

6. Top with sprinkles.

7. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

8. Let cool.

9. Enjoy!

 

 

...or scrumptious as they are!

…or scrumptious as they are!

Delicious with icing added...

Delicious with icing added…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© 2015 Renaissance Runner Girl. All rights reserved.