Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Gluten Free "Birthday Cake"

One of Anneli's all time favorite things is birthday cake, and since Amelia's first birthday is right around the corner I decided to start experimenting with different recipes to try and find a cake that would be gluten free, low in sugar, and somewhat healthy. Well surprisingly my first shot was a success. Even Hunter who cares very little for sweets enjoyed this cake. I'm going to call it Sweet Potato Zucchini Cake, although I also had yellow squash on hand that I through in there also. So here it is, you can also make this recipe your own, I find it very forgiving.

Sweet Potato Zucchini Cake


1c buckwheat flour
1c oat flour (you can grind oatmeal in a coffee grinder)
2tsp cinnamon
1tsp nutmeg
1/4tsp cloves
1tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3c pure maple syrup
3/4c coconut oil (much cheaper online than in the stores!)
3 large eggs
1tsp vanilla
2c grated zucchini
1c cooked sweet potato


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil and flour 25x9 cm round bundt pan, you can also use loaf pan but will have extra batter. Sift first 8 ingredients into medium bowl. Beat maple syrup, eggs, and vanilla in large bowl. Mix in zucchini and sweet potato. Add dry ingredients and stir well.

Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake until tester inserted comes out clean, about 1 hour 20 minutes. Let cool and turn upside down on cooling rack or plate.

I also tried to make a frosting for this cake, last night failing the attempt. I do have the concept but failed to execute it properly. 1 can coconut milk, 1 to 2 Tbsp maple syrup or to desired sweetness, corn starch or arrowroot powder, maybe 1 tsp or so dissolved in COLD water....yes this is where I failed, and salt to taste..oh 1/2 tsp or so. My frosting turned out all lumpy because I had a memory lapse and used hot water instead of cold water to mix in my corn starch. It tasted creamy and delicious, just very lumpy and the texture bothered me a bit. Heat coconut milk on low heat, stir in maple syrup, and salt, bring to low boil and whisk in corn starch that has allready been dissolved in COLD water. Stir until thickens, cool and frost on cooled cake. VOILA...gluten-free, dairy free cake!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Gluten Free?

Awhile back I sought out help for Anneli and her eczema. For as long as I remember she had rough dry skin that would break out in itchy rashes now and then. I had some thoughts of it being a possible food allergy but was clueless, except for a 200+ dollar allergy testing from a doctor, how to go about finding what allergy she might have if any. My sister introduced me to this wonderful website forum where you can find countless information on health, nutrition,  and how-to's.  I posted some of the symptoms Anneli was having and I got quite a few responses, one woman told me the three main food allergies are wheat, dairy and soy. Pretty sure it wasn't dairy since we do very little dairy in our home, I decided to cut wheat out of her diet. And realizing it's not really fair for her to go in it alone I made the plunge myself. We have now been wheat-free, gluten-free for almost two months. Anneli's skin smoothed out, no more rough dry skin! She seems to be doing really well with it, her being only 2 helps alot, she isn't really aware of all the things she isn't eating that others eat. Yes, it can be challenging. Outtings and eating out can be difficult, I've learned to plan ahead. I haven't tried my hand at gluten-free baking yet, but I have been experimenting with making pancakes. Our little farmers market has a stand that sells freshly ground buckwheat.So after a few experimental batches I came up with this:

"Soaked" Buckwheat pancakes
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup oat flour, I ground rolled oats in a coffee grinder.
enough plain yogurt to wet the flours
1 Tbsp honey (don't use if child is under 1)
1 tsp salt
1tsp baking soda dissolved in 1 Tbsp warm water
1 egg

coconut oil or butter for frying

Soak flours in the desired amount of yogurt, I use mostly yogurt and add just a little water till I get the desired consistency. Soak flours in yogurt mixture 7-12 hours, or overnight. This process breaks up the phytic acid. Phytic acid bonds with iron, calcium, magnesium, copper and zinc in the intestinal tract, blocking their absorption. It also makes the buckwheat more palatable, since us westerners are use to a white bread diet.
When ready to make your pancakes, mix in honey, salt, dissolved baking soda. Seperate egg white from yoke, add in yoke, beat egg white until fluffy(this makes fluffy, light pancakes) and fold into your pancake mixture. Heat skillet, add butter or oil. Ladle batter onto hot skillet, cook until brown and lots of little bubbles form, flip and brown the other side, cook all the way though. Serve with maple syrup or other of your choice. Enjoy!