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… Death of the Gums!

Have you ever used psyllium husk instead of xanthan gum or guar gum in your gluten-free baking?  I’ve been living/working/thriving in my gluten-free, dairy-free lifestyle for nearly 8 years now and for 5+ of them I relied on xanthan gum and/or guar gum as a binding agent to assist my gluten-absent flours. Then I learned about the magic of psyllium husk.

Ispaghula, more commonly known as psyllium, is most commonly used as a dietary fiber, though this is not my purpose for incorporating psyllium husk into my baking.

While gums have their rightful place in some gluten-free kitchens, and perform favorably when used in proper proportions, they easily can cause gummy textures in baked goods or pudding-like recipes. Additionally, xanthan and guar gums can cause intestinal and gut upset. This is the reason I continued looking for an alternative. Personal experience told me to move on.

For the past few years I have been testing all of my favorite baking recipes, substituting xanthan and guar with psyllium husk. It’s a game changer! I’m seriously NEVER going back to using gums again. All of my recipes have better flavor, better texture, and I never hear the words, “This has a funny taste”.

Is there a lot to learn before understanding how to incorporate psyllium husk into your baking? Simply put, no. Merely substitute an equal quantity of psyllium husk for your gum binder.

This Chocolate Chip Banana Muffin recipe is one of our favorites. And I’ve shared it with countless friends, colleagues, and family (99% of whom are not gluten-free foragers). It receives rave reviews.

If you’re interested in learning more about psyllium husk, I encourage you to research it online.

Will you be incorporating psyllium husk into your gluten-free baking? Have questions? Chat with me in the comments or send an email to me directly. I’d love to hear from you!

Happy Baking … with psyllium husk!

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins with Psyllium Husk
Servings: Makes 12 muffins
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes
Baking Time: 17-19 minutes
Cool Time: 5-10 minutes
Oven Temp: 350 °F
No
Gluten No
Dairy No
Soy No
Peanut
Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil - firm is best but not required
  • 2 cups gluten-free superfine brown rice flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons psyllium husk
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free dark chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup grapeseed or coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup mashed ripe banana
Directions
  • Preheat oven to 375ºF, with rack in center position of oven.
  • Oil the muffin tin cavities.
  • Add flour, psyllium husk, and salt to a bowl. Sift in the baking powder. Whisk together. Stir chocolate chips in to the flour. Set aside.
  • In a stand mixer, or using a hand mixer, blend the sugars and oil together until mixture looks like wet sand. Mix one minute longer.
  • Add eggs and beat about 45 seconds, until you reach a creamy consistency. Add mashed banana and mix until just stirred in well.
  • With mixer on low, gradually add in the flour mixture. Blend until well combined, scraping down sides of bowl a few times.
  • Scoop batter in to pan, keeping muffins equal.
  • Bake at 375ºF for about 17-19 minutes, or until muffins are golden brown and toothpick inserted comes out with just a few crumbs.
  • Cool muffins in pan on rack 10 minutes, then remove & continue cooling.

Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™

Other recipes you might enjoy:

Cinnamon Roll Breakfast Muffins

Carrot Cake with Coconut Cream Topping

Chocolate Devil’s Food Doughnuts

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… Tis the Season for the Great Pumpkin … Cake, that is!

With “all things pumpkin” season, I simply couldn’t resist making a pumpkin-shaped cake for a festive seasonal dessert. I acquired this pumpkin-shaped pan years ago and have been remiss to use it almost every autumn since. This year, as I was searching for a completely different item in my stash of “all things baking”, I uncovered it, and as luck would have it, we’re still in the right season to put it to use.

You certainly do not need a pumpkin-shaped pan to make this delicious cake. Sheet cake, Bundt cake, layer cake will all work. I’ve included notes with baking directions and frosting options in the recipe below, depending on which cake shape you choose to create.

Regardless of the shape, this gluten-free, dairy-free recipe yields a cake with a pound or Bundt style texture. It holds up to being manipulated when layered but is tender and has a crumb that is distinctly of a moist cake. The warm spices of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves bring the Fall flavor without being overbearing.

I have always loved pairing a butter cream cheese style frosting with pumpkin desserts (and carrot cake!), but many have not turned out to my liking when creating them in the non-dairy variety. Kite Hill Cream Cheese Style Spread has solved this dilemma. This is not a sponsored post, I just love finding ingredients that ultimately bridge the gap between dairy and dairy-free with delicious results. And then I love sharing these findings with you. This dairy-free cream cheese style frosting is just that bridge. If you prefer cake with no frosting, this cake won’t disappoint if enjoyed “undressed”.

Though there is never a justification needed in my mind to create a delicious dessert, I’m thinking this would be a tasty “conversation” piece for my Thanksgiving table.

Delicious for all – free of gluten, dairy, soy, and peanuts for the foragers in your life.

Happy Pumpkin Cake Baking!

Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
Servings: 1 Bundt cake or 1 8-inch Layer cake or 2 loaf cakes or 9x13 sheet cake
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 45 Minutes
Baking Time: 20-80 minutes
Cool Time: 15 minutes, plus more before frosting
Oven Temp: 350 °F
No
Gluten No
Dairy No
Soy No
Peanut
Ingredients Ingredients for cake:
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil or stick dairy-free butter substitute or cooking spray*
  • 3 1/4 cups (390g) gluten-free superfine brown rice flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder – I use Clabber Girl
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 10 Tablespoons (155g) stick dairy-free butter substitute, room temperature – I use Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Sticks
  • 1 1/4 cups (280g) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups (315g) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup Egg Beaters, room temperature – equal to 3 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups (300g) pure pumpkin puree
Ingredients for filling and frosting:
  • 8 ounces (250g) dairy-free cream cheese, room temperature – I use Kite Hill Cream Cheese Style Spread (made from Artisan Almond Milk)
  • 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) dairy-free butter substitute, room temperature – Earth Balance soy free sticks
  • 1 cup (125g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla bean paste
  • 1 Tablespoon pure pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla bean paste
Directions
  • Place rack on center position of oven. Preheat oven to 350ºF (176ºC). *Generously grease baking pan with coconut oil, stick Earth Balance, or spray with cooking spray without flour (cooking spray will lend to a crustier exterior – which is delicious but slightly more difficult to cut if using a pumpkin-shape pan). Set prepared pan aside.
  • In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
  • Using a stand mixer fitted with the flat paddle, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar and blend until incorporated, then beat until light and fluffy, pausing to scrape down the side of the bowl a few times.
  • Add the Egg Beaters or eggs, a bit at a time, beating well after each addition. Again, beat until mixture is light and fluffy.
  • Reduce speed to lowest setting. Begin incorporating flour mixture and milk, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Blend until each addition is just combined. Scrape the bowl after each addition.
  • On medium speed, blend in the pumpkin puree, scrape down the bowl, and beat until thoroughly incorporated.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan(s), dividing evenly if using multiple pans. Spread the top evenly. Bake on center rack of preheated oven, checking for doneness at about 20 minutes for 8-inch or 9x13-inch cakes, at about 50 minutes for loaf cakes, and at about 60 minutes for a shaped cake or Bundt cake. Continue baking until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out with just a few crumbs.
  • Remove pan(s) from oven and cool on a wire cooling rack for 15 minutes. Sides of cake will start to naturally pull away from pan as it cools.
  • Place wire rack on top of cake pan and invert, giving the pan and rack a gentle vertical shake to release the cake from the pan. Lift the pan off of the cake(s). Place a second wire rack on the cakes and invert again to return cake to original position if using a loaf pan or sheet pan. If using a pumpkin-shaped pan or a Bundt pan, allow cake to cool on flat side of cake so not to mar the pattern/shape. Continue completely cooling to room temperature before decorating with frosting.
  • To prepare the frosting, place the stick butter substitute in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on high until a smooth consistency is reached. Add dairy-free cream cheese and blend until smooth. With mixer on lowest speed, gradually incorporate 1 cup of powdered confectioners’ sugar. Blend until fully incorporated. Blend in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste and pumpkin puree. Mix on low speed until well combined.
  • If making a pumpkin-shaped cake, divide frosting into two equal portions. Place bottom of pumpkin on a plate with flat side up, and spread the flat side with half of the frosting. Place the top of the pumpkin cake on top, gently nestling the top to settle its position firmly in place. To the remaining half of the frosting, add remaining 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, almond milk, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste. Mix well with a whisk or mixer on low speed to blend completely. Add yellow and red food coloring (just a few drops at a time) to reach desired orange color, blending completely between additions so no streaking occurs. Drizzle frosting over top of pumpkin until it trickles down the sides. Place a cinnamon stick in the top for a stem. Place in refrigerator until serving time. Allow to come to come to room temperature for about 10 minutes before slicing. Store remaining frosted cake in refrigerator.
  • If making a Bundt cake, make the frosting as directed in the “To prepare the frosting” paragraph, then add remaining 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, almond milk, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste. Mix well with a whisk or mixer on low speed to blend completely. Add yellow and red food coloring (just a few drops at a time) to reach desired orange color, blending completely between additions so no streaking occurs. Drizzle frosting over top of Bundt cake until it trickles down the sides. Place cake in refrigerator until serving time. Allow to come to come to room temperature for about 10 minutes before slicing. Store remaining frosted cake in refrigerator.
  • If making layer cake, loaf cake or sheet cake, spread the frosting smoothly over the top of the cake(s), or frost as typical for a layer cake. You’ll not need to use the extra 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, almond milk, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste. This will make the frosting a bit softer than necessary for frosting a flat cake (but you can certainly make this softer frosting if desired). Add yellow and red food coloring, a few drops at a time, to make a desired orange frosting. Spread evenly over the cake(s). Place cake in fridge until serving. Allow 5-10 minutes to warm slightly before serving, if desired.

Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™

Other recipes you might enjoy:

Pumpkin Pecan Seven Layer Bars

Pumpkin Pie … with a bit of tipsy!

Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts

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Daily Forage - Gluten Free by Connie Veilleux - 1M ago
… Delicious Shaved Ice for the Win!

On hot summer days all we can think about is trying to stay cool, right? This naturally gluten-free, dairy-free granita recipe made with fresh fruit, a hint of honey (which can certainly be omitted if you choose), and a merely subliminal essence of basil will have you refreshed with the first sampling.

The process is easy – the waiting is definitely the most difficult part.

I chose to combine white flesh and yellow flesh peaches. You can go with all one type if you prefer. The key is that you’re choosing ripe pieces of fruit. They’ll provide the most flavor and will yield more juice. They’ll also make the peeling process easier. My peaches were just the right ripeness so I was able to accomplish the peeling process with ease simply by using a sharp knife to start a section of the skin to peel back, then it pulled off with my fingers. If you have peaches that are a bit more resistant to peeling, you can use the blanching method to release the skins without cooking the peach flesh.

To blanch peaches, score the bottom of each peach with an X. Add the peaches to a pot of boiling water, however many will fit into the pot at one time. Let sit in boiling water for 1-3 minutes. Immediately transfer the peaches to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Use a knife to peel back a corner of the scored X. The skin should pull away from the flesh easily. No need to peel the cherries. Just be sure to remove all the pitts (the juicer really complains if a pitt makes its way into the machine).

Make your juice, if using fresh fruit. Strain

Pour the peach juice into a 9×13-inch baking dish. Drizzle the cherry juice over the peach juice.

Cover and freeze for at least 2 hours. Remove from freezer. The juice will only be frozen around the edges. Using a fork, scrape the frozen sections into the unfrozen areas. Cover and return to the freezer for another 2 hours. Repeat until all the juice has frozen and been scraped into a fluffy, shaved ice texture.

If necessary, the juice can be frozen overnight or for about 8 hours without scraping. It will still scrape and fluff just fine, it just is a more tedious process. Either way works with perfect results.

This recipe will make about 12 servings of naturally sweet, delightfully summer fresh, shaved ice. Once fully frozen and scraped, the granita lasts in the freezer for up to a month. Should it clump or create pockets of solid areas, simply use a fork to scrape and fluff before serving. The flavor will be just as pronounced and delicious as at the initial serving. These qualities make this the perfect dessert for a party, since the make-ahead time required is so versatile.

Should you get a hankering for a fresh summer fruit treat in mid-winter and peach and cherry “off season”, you can certainly use frozen, then refrigerator-defrosted, fruit. You can also use bottled juice with no sugar or other added ingredients, but I prefer to rely on fresh whenever possible.

This is such a light and refreshing dessert that I love to pair a light cookie with it to embellish the offering to the next level. A perfect pairing choice is Basil Lemon Shortbread Cookies. They pair well while still keeping with the not-too-heavy dessert theme so appreciated in the hot summer months. This has been a successful combination many times with my friends, family, and even restaurant guests (who never detected that this dessert does not contain any gluten, dairy, or soy). That’s a major win! No need to make two different dessert choices just to ensure everyone can be served. Yes!

Granita? Shaved Ice? Either way … Enjoy!

Peach Cherry Granita
Servings: about 12 servings
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Chill Time: 8 hours
No
Gluten No
Dairy No
Egg No
Meat No
Soy No
Corn No
Peanut Vegan
Ingredients
  • 8 cups (1.330 Kg) fresh peaches, peeled, pitted, chunked – I used 1/2 white & 1/2 yellow peaches
  • 1 cup (190 g) cherries, pitted – I used Bing cherries
  • 3 Tablespoons honey
  • 6 medium basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • OR YOU CAN USE:
  • 4 cups fresh peach juice, strained through a sieve - (no sugar or other ingredients added)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cherry juice (no sugar or other ingredients added)
Directions
  • Directions if starting with fresh fruit: Juice peaches into a 4 or 8-cup measuring cup. Juice cherries into a 1-cup measuring cup. Discard all pulp (or reserve it for a smoothie); keep only juice to equal the juice quantities needed (reserve any remaining juice for a smoothie or another use).
  • Once you have your juices: To your clear, sieved peach juice, add 3 Tablespoons honey and whisk to blend. Gently bruise basil leaves between your fingers and add them to the sieve. Rest the sieve in the peach juice so the basil essence can infuse into the juice without letting any leaves infiltrate the juice. Allow basil to infuse for 5 minutes. Discard leaves and stir juice.
  • To the cherry juice, add 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice. Stir well.
  • Pour peach juice into a 9x13-inch baking dish. Drizzle the cherry juice randomly through the peach juice. Cover and freeze for 2-3 hours. Remove dish from freezer and scrape/shave the frozen parts with a fork to mix into the still liquid areas. Freeze and repeat scraping/shaving every couple of hours until the mixture is fully scraped. Keep frozen until ready to serve. Fluff the granita by scraping with a fork just before serving.
  • Granita will stay good in the freezer for a few weeks. Simply scrape to fluff and break up any chunks that may have formed. The granita doesn’t lose its flavor.
  • Should you get a hankering for a fresh summer fruit treat in mid-winter and peach and cherry "off season", you can certainly use frozen, then refrigerator defrosted, fruit. You can also use bottled juice with no sugar or other added ingredients, but I prefer to rely on fresh whenever possible.
  • I also like to serve Lemon Basil Shortbread Cookies with granita. They pair well while still keeping with the not-too-heavy dessert theme so appreciated in the hot summer months.

Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™

Other recipes you might enjoy:

Rustic Apple Peach Pie

No-Bake Lemon Coconut Balls

GF DF Tropical Whipped Cream Salad

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… Answering “The Call” of Friends and Family!

I’m very excited to be sharing a sponsored post with you in partnership with Onesto Artisan Crackers. Some names have been excluded to protect the innocent. Some have been changed, we’ll just call them “X” to keep them incognito. But the words, stories, and opinions are all mine and I’m sticking to them.

Onesto Gluten-Free Artisan Crackers have solved “problems” for me, and those close to me. Really … it’s true! They’ve lessened the gray hairs (actually, hair dye is taking care of that, but I have less stress to cause gray hair), they’ve shortened my gluten-free product-hunting errands, and I can mingle with greater ease at parties now when these crackers are served.

“How can this be,” you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. And when I do, it will solve all of your problems too. Well, probably not all of your problems, just the munching, snacking, appetizer-serving, and even “crumbing” dilemmas. But that’s a heck of a start in the gluten-free world, right?

This is how the situation started for me …

“I’m so excited you’re coming over. I want to make sure there’s something you can enjoy. I’m looking for gluten-free crackers. How do I know which ones to choose?”

I get this question regularly, especially from my non-gluten-free friends and family members. They want something that will be flavorful, not cardboard-ish. They want to offer a variety of choices to their guests, oftentimes being me. Yes, I have such thoughtful friends and family! They go out of their way to make sure I’m just like everyone else. They don’t want me stand out in a crowd or to get sick! I truly love that! And so the question is presented often.

To this, I reply, “What does the cracker need to “do”?

I have a few crackers that are my go-tos, depending on what the cracker needs to “do” or how it will be served. If the crackers will be paired with “cheese” (dairy-free for me, of course), I pick “X”. If they’ll be for munching without a specific pairing, I have a different favorite “X” cracker. Recently, Mr. DF and I were invited to a friend’s house for appetizers and drinks, and they wanted to make sure we had a cracker that was a good platform for smoked salmon. This required a cracker with a very neutral flavor profile and one that didn’t need to hold up to dipping, as into cream cheese, guacamole, or hummus. So I recommended yet a third cracker choice from my repertoire of “reliables”. All of these crackers are good. I’m fine with them and enjoy them regularly.

BUT … have you seen the “regular” cracker selection in the cracker aisle lately? OMG, there are choices upon choices, upon choices. Many of which the gluten-free cracker flavor profiles hush to in comparison. I want those choices! And by “I”, I mean “you and me” … I want those choices for all of us “Daily Foragers” of gluten-free, dairy-free delicious options. We want, and need, it to be easier for us, and for those who are trying so kindly to feed us.

Enter Onesto Gluten-Free Artisan Crackers

Talk about choices! Onesto has a lineup of four choices, each playing a different role in the cracker need. The entire line of these crackers has a very crunchy texture. They stand up to a smear of thick-textured spreads without breaking apart or crumbling, keeping your bite-size treat in one flavor-filled nibble. And perhaps the best part, these are delicious to any taster, not just those who have to live in a gluten-free world. These can easily become a cracker of choice for parties because there’s no need to buy “gluten-free” and “regular” crackers.

As I detail below, each variety of Onesto Artisan Crackers fits itself into a niche to satisfy various munching, snacking, appetizer-serving, and crumbing needs. Here’s how I’ve broken down my reviews and serving suggestions for you:

Four Onesto varieties:

Sea Salt

  • Though the name implies a strong presence of salt is to be expected, these were surprisingly not too salty.
  • Few, if any, coarse crystals were present on the surface of the cracker. Still these have a seasoned flavor and are definitely not “flat” tasting.
  • Sea Salt Crackers pair well with a smear of cream cheese. I like pairing these with homemade dairy-free cream cheese, a little drop of pear jelly, and a shred of prosciutto. Oh, my, this is divine!

Rosemary

  • No doubt that these are infused with rosemary. The flavor is forward but not overpowering. A nice, savory platform for, again, pairing with dairy-free cream cheese. Goat cheese would partner well here if dairy is not taboo.
  • Rosemary Crackers would pair well with a glass of white wine. I’d choose a Chardonnay or Riesling.
  • I love the idea of turning these rosemary crackers into a course crumbs and using them to make “breaded” baked chicken strips.

Everything

  • This taste-tester has always been leary of “everything” bagels, so this cracker variety caused some trepidation, expecting the flavors to be muddled together. Not to worry here. The flavors are delicious, with a sense of onion, black pepper, and poppy seed as the main players. The flavor profile is complex but not muddled together.
  • Everything Crackers were determined the flavor of choice and favorite cracker of the four. (Always stay open to a new mindset, right?)

Ancho Chile

  • The appearance of the Ancho Chile crackers is a lovely, muted brick red color, and darker in appearance than the others. It’s a perfect replication of the Red Rock here in the South of Utah desert, just FYI.
  • This variety was saved for last to taste test so the chile flavor wouldn’t skew the flavor profiles of the other crackers. Some chili-flavored crackers can be so robust that you want to make sure there’s a beer in one hand while the cracker-nibbling occurs with the other. These have a very mild chili flavor profile and are actually less prominent than the Everything crackers. Though I know many people don’t prefer spicy or bold chili flavors, the “chile” profile here could be boosted a fair amount, to be truer to the descriptive name. Chile Crackers are flavorful, just did not deliver as much “punch” as expected.
  • These could deliciously be used for dipping into a bold salsa or guacamole for a complimentary palate-pleaser.

Need more reasons to add Onesto Artisan Crackers to your pantry or party table? Onesto Crackers are non-GMO and made without preservatives – always and all varieties. They are vegan and certified gluten-free by The Gluten Intolerance Group of America and processed in a certified gluten-free facility.

Onesto Crackers have been awarded the Martha Stewart American Made 2015 Finalist recognition and Yankee Magazine Editor’s Choice Food Awards Winner for 2015 (in case you wanted more than just my opinion).

I truly love it when I can snack and feel good that I’m still making a healthy and safe choice. I wonder if Onesto can make a brownie for us?! (I had to put this out there. Come on, I know you were thinking it too!)

Where can you get Onesto Artisan Crackers? Since the company’s reach is always growing, the best way to find out if the crackers are available near you is to send them an for the most current availability in your area. Additionally, you can order online.

And be sure to check my Ingredients Listing to know if Onesto Artisan Crackers fit into your lifestyle.

What flavor of Onesto Artisan Gluten-Free Crackers will you be trying first?

Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™

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Read our review at “Onesto Artisan Gluten-Free Crackers”.

Ingredients – Sea Salt: Potato Starch, Water, Sorghum Flour, Tapioca Starch, Brown Rice Flour, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Almond Flour, Sea Salt, Raw Sugar, Pink Himalayan Salt, Xanthan Gum (a natural, plant-based thickening agent).

Ingredients – Rosemary: Potato Starch, Water, Sorghum Flour, Tapioca Starch, Brown Rice Flour, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Almond Flour, Dried Rosemary, Sea Salt, Raw Sugar, Pink Himalayan Salt, Xanthan Gum (a natural, plant-based thickening agent).

Ingredients – Everything: Potato Starch, Water, Sorghum Flour, Tapioca Starch, Brown Rice Flour, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Almond Flour, Sesame Seeds, Poppy Seeds, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Black Pepper, Sea Salt, Raw Sugar, Pink Himalayan Salt, Xanthan Gum (a natural, plant-based thickening agent).

Ingredients – Ancho Chile: Potato Starch, Water, Sorghum Flour, Tapioca Starch, Brown Rice Flour, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Almond Flour, Ground Ancho Chile, Garlic Powder, Sea Salt, Raw Sugar, Pink Himalayan Salt, Xanthan Gum (a natural, plant-based thickening agent).

Allergen Statement: Contain Almond Flour.

Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™

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Daily Forage - Gluten Free by Connie Veilleux - 1M ago
… To Cure What Ails You!

Don’t let the image fool you … this soup is picture perfect!

Starve a cold, feed a fever. Or is it, feed a cold, starve a fever? It doesn’t really matter which way it goes, this soup is sure to cure the cold or the fever. Well, that’s an exaggeration, and we can’t really claim it has healing powers, but this Asian vegetable soup recipe is packed full of vitamins and nutrition and definitely belongs in the “comfort food” category!

With the cold and flu season still causing havoc for many, and running rampant through Daily Forage, I decided to re-post one of our favorite soups to help ease through the healing process. The “stock” can be made in large batches, and kept on hand in the freezer, making the soup-making process quick and easy when you’re in a hurry, or just don’t feel up to cooking something involved. Prepare the simple stock, add the veggies (you can follow our recipe or use whatever veggies you have on hand), let simmer a few minutes, and your soup is ready to provide soothing warmth and comfort. And if that even seems too much effort at the moment, the stock by itself brings warmth and comfort. If you’re looking for something just a bit more filling, this recipe adapts well by scooping a cup of pre-cooked white or brown rice in the bottom of the bowl, then adding the soup. Yum!

With a kick from the chile oil, a bit of sweetness from the sweet chili sauce, and garlic and ginger for the asian twist, this soup has all the ingredients to help clear a stuffy head, warm a congested chest cold, and soothe a sore throat. Packed with an abundance of vitamin A in the kale, vitamin C and beta-carotene in the carrots, and antioxidants in the cabbage, getting your vitamins and nutrients to help heal what ails you won’t be difficult. Of course, this soup is delicious, and good for you, even if you’re feeling just fine.

This gluten-free asian vegetable soup recipe is easy to make, and can be easily adapted, enabling you to use whatever extra vegetables you have on hand, or particularly like. The recipe has two basic parts: the stock (which can be made ahead and frozen for later use), and the soup’s feature ingredients, which include vegetables, rice, and meat (or omit the meat or substitute it with vegan meat to create a vegan asian soup). With the basic stock recipe, and using your creativity when adding the other ingredients, the delicious possibilities are endless. We’ve even had fun creating an Asian Soup Bar and let our guests design their own soup creations. Here’s one of my family’s favorite versions. Be sure to share your favorite version with me.

Gluten-free Asian Vegetable Soup
Servings: 3-4 servings
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 40 Minutes
No
Gluten No
Dairy No
Egg No
Peanut
Ingredients Stock Ingredients
  • 4 cups gluten-free, low sodium chicken broth
  • 9 green onions, sliced into 1 inch lengths, include white end and part of green stem
  • 3 tablespoons diced sweet baby bell peppers
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons gluten-free sweet chili sauce
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free soy sauce (I like San-J brand)
  • 1 tablespoon rice cooking wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili oil
  • 1-2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
Feature Ingredients
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 1 cup shredded purple or white cabbage
  • 1 cup asparagus, cut into 3/4-inch lengths sliced on the diagonal
  • 1/2 cup cooked shredded pork
  • 1/2 cup cooked white or brown rice
  • 1 cup thinly sliced kale leaves
  • peeled and grated fresh ginger, to taste
Directions
  • Combine all Stock ingredients in a large soup pot. Heat over medium-high until broth just comes to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer over low for fifteen minutes. At this point, you can proceed with adding the feature ingredients to the entire pot, or you can cool the stock and save for future use. This stock recipe doubles easily and freezes well. With stock always on hand, it is easy to put together a quick and delicious meal at any time.
  • Adding Feature Ingredients:
  • Once the stock has simmered for fifteen minutes, add the carrots, cabbage, and asparagus. Simmer until asparagus is crisp-tender, or to your liking. Be careful ...overcooking the asparagus will cause it to become mushy. Add the pork (if not a vegetarian version) and rice. Cook another one to two minutes, or until the rice and pork are hot. To keep the kale bright green and crisp-tender, add it to the soup just prior to serving. Garnish with freshly grated ginger, to taste. Let the comfort begin.

Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™

Other recipes you might enjoy:

Mexican Chicken Soup

Cruciferous Broccoli Cauliflower Soup

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… Gathering Info on the Newest Products!

I’m very excited to be heading to Natural Products Expo West 2017 tomorrow. While this show includes education, events, and an extensive natural products trade show, running March 8th through March 12, I’m sure there will be oodles of foraging opportunities to gather health info and product exposure and knowledge. I can’t wait to bring what I learn back to you!

I’m specifically foraging for all things gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, peanut-free, and healthy! But I’m not opposed to learning about anything chocolate too! If you will be exhibiting at or attending Natural Products Expo West 2017 and would like to reach out to me, please don’t hesitate. I’d love to hear from you and meet face to face. Be sure to send a direct message to me via my Instagram account @dailyforageglutenfree, or via Twitter @DailyForage, or share as much detail as you’d like about your fabulous product that I just should not miss by sending an email to Connie@DailyForage.com.

If you’re one of my readers and would love to learn more about a product that perhaps you’ve heard about just briefly and are curious about, reach out to me via one of the channels above. I’ll be happy to check it out for you! It’s a BIG show, and not open to the public. With my Press pass, I can get you the inside track!

Discovering safe food – and products – is always a journey and I love sharing my discoveries (edible and otherwise) that make our lives safer, more delicious, healthier, and fabulously fun with you! Thanks for joining me on this journey to thriving.

Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™

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… Drink to Your Health and Your Taste Buds!

This smoothie is SO creamy with no “green” flavor. Basically, it tastes and feels like a lightened up peanut butter or nut butter banana shake. Since there is no veggie flavor profile here, and the spinach only seems to “sweeten the deal”, this is a perfect breakfast or after-school snack to give your kids for St. Patrick’s Day.

I’ve heard of people adding oats to their smoothies but I’d never tried it … yes, I most likely have been living with my head buried in the sand on this one. I guess I thought maybe the oats would make the smoothie too grainy or too thick. But I must be completely honest in telling you that I’ve been a fool. A fool, I tell you. I love the gluten-free oats in there. There’s a completion to the texture that just seems right. So, if you’ve been blind to this inclusion in your smoothies, here’s a little nudge from me. Just do it!

This recipe easily will make two servings, but I devoured the entire 12 ounces by myself for breakfast, and felt satisfied all morning long. There’s a good balance of carbs to protein, with no added sugars or sugar substitutes (which I’m highly opposed to – but more on that later), so there’s no high then low sugar spike and drop. Which also can translate to no crazy, wild kids after they enjoy this treat. And we all approve of that, right?

Single or multiple allergies in your home, or perhaps none at all (my hubby is a free-range eater, though I’m slowly converting his preferences)? This drink is perfect for diets free of gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, corn, peanuts (and/or tree nuts with alterations to the ingredients), and for those who are vegan or vegetarian. So what’s not to love?

Happy Green Smoothie Drinking! What’s your favorite smoothie flavor or ingredient?

Green Oatmeal Breakfast Smoothie
Servings: 2 6-7 ounce or 1 12-ounce serving
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Total Time: 5 Minutes
No
Gluten No
Dairy No
Egg No
Meat No
Soy No
Corn No
Peanut Vegan
Ingredients
  • 4 ounces pure pineapple juice – not from concentrate and no sugars added
  • 2 Tablespoons uncooked gluten-free oats
  • 2 heaping Tablespoons nut butter – natural, no salt or sugars added
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened, plain, dairy-free yogurt – I used Forager Creamy Dairy-Free Cashewgurt
  • 1/2 medium ripe banana
  • 1 cup fresh, organic baby spinach
  • 4-5 ice cubes
Directions
  • Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender (I used my Nutribullet). Blend until smooth and creamy. Pour and serve.
  • Safe food is a journey ... Thrive!™

Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™

Other recipes you might enjoy:

Cashew Butter Chocolate Mocha Green Smoothie

Cashew Butter Banana Date Smoothie

Macadamia Coffee Green Smoothie

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… No Bead Throwing – But So Deserving!

I LOVE cookbooks with beautiful pictures! Anytime someone wants to buy a gift for me and know that it will be a hit, though I’m always grateful for gifts, give me a cookbook. A few weeks ago, I was ogling a particular cookbook, Cooking for Jeffrey by Ina Garten, in a store and was just about to drool on the pages of exquisitely styled photographs, when my husband whispers in my ear, “Would you like to bring that home with you?” Oh, the chills of delight … I can’t say more.

Once home and alone with just this book and hours to spend without interruption, I started strolling through the pages, scouring over every story and detail Ina shares. Three hours, and two cups of tea later, I’d only made my way through the desserts. Oh, what a glorious afternoon.

In my delight, I discovered Ina’s recipe for Bourbon Honey Cake. I knew I had to make it – especially for Mr. DailyForage – since he absolutely loves alcohol-infused cakes, and he was the one who suggested I fulfill my desire for yet another cookbook. So with the inspiration of Ina’s Bourbon Honey Cake, my version was born. I hope, should she ever learn what I’ve done, I make her proud.

This cake is bold with robust flavors of allspice, cloves, and ginger. Though there is an ample amount of cinnamon included, which is much needed, the warm cinnamon flavor takes a back seat to the other spices. This pairing combined with the honey, coffee, and bourbon create a moist, richness that parallels molasses.

I was surprised that the flavor of the bourbon wasn’t most forefront, which turned out to be just fine. There are notes of a good whiskey, but not as with some alcohol-infused cakes that nearly cause a high just sniffing them. It’s smooth in the hootch department. To maintain this civility, I highly recommend using good-quality bourbon.

Orange, coffee, and almond play significant, yet supporting, roles here. I made sure to use a strong flavored, decaffeinated coffee, so as not to be seeing every hour on the clock while all others are peacefully sleeping. It worked perfectly … I slept like a baby with sugar plums bourbon cake dancing in my head.

To achieve a perfect crumb and correct moisture balance, I used my own flour blend instead of a single, superfine brown rice flour (which has been my go-to for nearly all my baking needs the past few years). This blend created a perfect balance of moisture and flavor platform since there is no soy, tapioca starch, or bean flour used in this gluten-free, dairy-free cake. A single flour may work just fine if you prefer not to mix a blend, but I would urge you not to use a blend that includes bean flour. This will result in an earthy, off-putting flavor not suited for this particular situation.

Honey Bourbon Cake will clearly not be a cake for everyone. Those who prefer layer cakes with sweet frosting slathered on the outside and oozing between the layers will most likely feel this cake is pungent and undressed. Trust me when I say that this cake needs no frosting. It would pair nicely with a whipped topping that is very nearly unsweetened, to counter the bold and beautiful. I did not serve it with a topping, but if I do next time (and there will be a next time), I’ll only do a dollop on the side, most likely of whipped coconut cream with just a hint of sugar. The ready-made, non-dairy whipped toppings available in stores will be far too over-the-top in richness. Only one key performer on this stage, please.

Serving Honey Bourbon Cake during the autumn months and holiday season will be well timed and perfectly suited for expectations of flavors and dessert styles that time of year. And yet, I felt I just had to bring this to you on Fat Tuesday. With its decadence and bourbon inclusion, my thoughts continually returned to Mardi Gras repeatedly. I’ve never experienced the bead throwing, shirt-lifting frivolities of the Bourbon Street celebration, but this cake just seems appropriate for the occasion.

With all its stand-up-and-pay-attention-to-me characteristics, I hope I’ve not scared you away from trying this cake. It received well-deserved applause at its unveiling and taste testing. It truly is one for the (recipe) books!

Happy bourbon-infused cake baking!

Gluten-free, Dairy-free Honey Bourbon Cake
Servings: 12-16 servings
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Baking Time: 40-50 minutes
Cool Time: 2 hours
No
Gluten No
Dairy No
Soy No
Peanut
Ingredients
  • 1 Tablespoon solid coconut oil
  • 1 cup grapeseed oil
  • 3 3/4 cups gluten-free, dairy-free, all-purpose flour (includes psyllium husk), plus extra for the pan
  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum or guar gum OR 3 teaspoons psyllium husk – IF your flour doesn’t already contain it
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut sugar
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 3 large organic eggs, room temperature
  • zest of 2 oranges
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup hot decaf coffee
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice – from the two zested oranges
  • 1/4 cup good-quality bourbon
  • 1/2 cup blanched sliced almonds, optional
Directions
  • Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease Bundt pan with coconut oil, then dust with a tablespoon of flour, making sure to cover all surfaces, then turn pan upside down (over the sink) and tap gently to loosen and remove any excess flour. Set pan aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine oil, coconut sugar, honey, brown sugar, eggs, orange zest, and almond extract on medium speed until well combined and creamy.
  • To a medium bowl add flour. Sift in baking powder and baking soda. Add cinnamon, salt, cloves, allspice and ginger. Whisk well to combine. Set aside.
  • In a large measuring cup, combine hot coffee, orange juice, and bourbon. Stir.
  • To the sugar and egg mixture, gradually add in flour mixture and the liquid mixture alternating between the two a bit at a time, ending with the flour mixture, scraping down the mixing bowl periodically to make sure all ingredients are well incorporated. The batter will have a thin consistency.
  • Sprinkle sliced almonds into bottom of pan in an even formation, if desired. The almonds will end up distributing throughout the cake during baking.
  • Pour batter into prepared Bundt pan. Tap the bottom a couple of times to bring any air bubbles to the top.
  • Place pan on center rack of preheated 350ºF oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick or skewer inserted in center of pan comes out clean (I usually say “with just a few crumbs” but this cake is so moist that it requires that extra cooking time).
  • Place pan on cooling rack and allow cake to cool completely in the pan. Once cooled, place a plate over the pan and carefully invert pan and plate to allow cake to slide onto plate. Remove pan. Almonds will be scattered throughout the cake.
  • Serve at room temperature. Store leftover cake in an airtight container, or well-wrapped in plastic wrap for up to 3 days. Can be sliced into single-serving portions and wrapped in plastic wrap, then in re-sealable plastic bags, and frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before serving.
  • NOTES AND TIPS: During baking, the batter rose above the top of the Bundt pan (though it was cooked enough at that point to not spill over) and bubbled and looked abnormal compared to a typical cake batter. I was concerned…unnecessarily. Just be sure to cook the cake completely, no crumbs or moisture on the skewer. Though I did stop the baking when there were a few moist crumbs on my testing skewer, the cake was perfectly moist and delicious. The bottom (which was the top of the cake while cooking) was obviously more moist than the rest of the perfectly textured cake, but didn’t hinder the flavor or presentation when serving. Just be sure to cook the cake completely – don’t be concerned that it might overcook as it rests in the pan.

Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™

Other recipes you might enjoy:

Soft Gingerbread Cake

Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts

Chocolate Bundt Cake

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