Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Review Of The Sneaky Chef's No-Nut Butter and my recipe for No-Nut Butter Cookies :)

I received some products to try from The Sneaky Chef. One is a smooth pasta sauce, which I haven't tried yet, but will probably be reviewing next. The other is No-Nut Butter, made from golden peas. It is exactly what it sounds like, a peanut butter substitute made with no nuts in a nut free facility. It is also free of all top 8 allergens, made with no high fructose corn syrup, no hydrogenated oils, no artificial colors or flavors, and is packaged in a BPA free jar. As if all that weren't enough, it tastes delicious! Emily has decided she likes it much better than sunbutter and has been eating it on sandwiches, ants on a log, and simply as an apple dip all week long. The flavor is a little less "nutty" than sunbutter and a little sweeter in my opinion. The texture is softer and thinner, almost like softened butter. It's definitely better for spreading on gluten free bread. Sometimes with the sunbutter I have to spread it so hard that the bread falls apart, No-Nut Butter just glides right on. We love it! That being said, there are only two minor drawbacks. The protein content is only 3 grams, not a problem for Emily, but my older daughter Nikki is a vegetarian and needs all the protein she can get. The other is that, although the flavor is perfect for sandwiches and other snacks, it got lost when I tried to make N0-Nut Butter cookies. Nikki said they taste like oatmeal cookies to her. Don't get me wrong, the cookies are REALLY good! They are soft and chewy, they just don't have an obvious nut flavor. I loved them, Emily loved them, and the neighbor up the street (who eats peanut butter, eggs, dairy, and wheat) loved them. No-Nut Butter is currently available in some East Coast Whole Foods stores, and you will find it online here at netgrocer. Now, on to the cookie recipe...

No-Nut Butter Cookies:

1/3 c Millet flour
1/3 c Gluten free oat flour
1/3 c Sorghum flour
1/4 c Potato starch
1/4 c Tapioca starch
1/2 t Xanthan gum
1/2 t Baking soda
1/2 t Baking powder
1/2 c Dairy free margarine (we use Nucoa)
1/2 c No-Nut Butter
1/2 c Granulated sugar
1/2 c Brown sugar
1 Eggs worth of prepared Ener-G egg replacer
1 t Vanilla extract (make sure it’s gluten free)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, using a whisk, mix together the flours, starches, xanthan gum, baking soda, and baking powder, and set aside.

In a mixing bowl cream the margarine and No-Nut butter on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add the sugars and beat until combined, scraping down the sides as needed. Beat in the egg replacer and vanilla. Slowly add the flour mixture, about 1/3 at a time, scraping down the sides after each addition.

Shape the dough into 2 inch balls, or cheat like I did and use a small spring action ice cream scoop. Place balls 2 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheet. Flatten by making crisscross marks with the tines of a fork.

Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. They should stay soft and fresh in an airtight container for about 5 days.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Super Good, Gluten Free, Vegan Pancakes! (aka Pancakes for Syrup)

I have tried a lot of pancake recipes. Some of them I invented, some of them I borrowed, none of them spectacular...until now. I found this pancake recipe at Cinnamon Quill and the author was kind enough to allow me to re-post it. These are hands down the best gluten free vegan pancakes I have ever had! I had to play with my measurements a little, and my pictures aren't nearly as beautiful as hers, but both of my girls LOVE them hot off the griddle, or microwaved from a frozen state. I added some personal notes into the recipe as to what changes I made. Also, if you check out Cinnamon Quill's original recipe, she includes some helpful troubleshooting tips of her own. Enjoy! :)

1 1/4 c Non-dairy milk
1 t Cider vinegar
1 Eggs worth of Ener-G Egg Replacer
1/4 c Canola or safflower oil
2 t Vanilla extract
Oil for pan
1/2 c Rice flour
1/2 c Millet flour
3/4 c Tapioca flour
1/4 c Brown sugar
3/4 t Xanthan gum
1 t Baking powder
3/4 t Baking soda
Tiny pinch salt
Up to ¾ c of water (reserved)
In a medium mixing bowl, stir together wet ingredients. Whisk in dry ingredients, making sure there are no big lumps of flour. At this point, look at the thickness of your batter, it should be only slightly thicker than standard pancake batter. If needed, mix in a little water at a time, until desired consistency is reached. I added the full ¾ of a cup of water, but I think it is because I used soy milk (the thickest of the alternative milks), and white rice flour instead of brown rice flour.
Preheat skillet or griddle; brush with a very light layer of oil or cooking spray. Let batter stand 3-5 minutes, if it thickens too much you can still add more water. Keep in mind that thinner batter equals thinner pancakes.

Using a ladle or ice cream scoop, pour batter by the scant 1/4 cup onto the hot pan. Cook until edges look set and there are little bubbles on the surface of the cake. Flip and cook 30-60 seconds more, until bottom is golden. If you are using a non-stick skillet, you may need to lower the heat quite a bit.

Halfway through, you may need to refresh the oil on the pan, depending what kind of pan you are using.

Because they are thick, these pancakes may take a bit longer to cook, be patient, and do a test pancake to determine exact cooking time.

Makes about 18-20 5″ pancakes.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Egg-Free Easter Eggs! (Egg Free, Dairy Free, Gluten Free Crispy Rice Treats)

OK, so they're a little lumpy...it's a work in progress. Emily saw the commercial for Easter themed rice crispy treats and had this great idea. Every year we debate weather to dye eggs in this house, since half the family is allergic to eggs.The fun, however, is not in eating them but in decorating them. Since we can touch the shells without incident, we usually dye eggs and then Daddy has to eat them all. "Well", Emily said, "why don't we make rice crispy eggs and cover them in white icing so they look like real eggs, then we can decorate them!" We had so much fun!!! I think we all agreed it was even more fun than decorating real eggs. Just be sure to use edible substances for decorating. We used colored icing (just powdered sugar, water, and food color), candy sprinkles, and Paas Color Snaps which look like Q tips (kind of a rip off though, as 1 package was only enough to color about 4 eggs).

3 T Dairy free margarine
6 c Mini marshmallows
2 Dozen hollow plastic Easter eggs (optional)

Wash and dry the plastic eggs before you start. Use margarine or oil to grease the insides of the eggs.
Melt margarine in a large pot over low heat. Add marshmallows and continually stir until they are completely melted and smooth. Remove from heat and add cereal. Mix until cereal is fully coated.
Using greased hands, take a plastic egg and pack as much cereal mixture as you can into each side. Close the egg until it is snapped shut and continue to hold it firmly closed for a few seconds, until you can let go without it popping open. Move on to the next egg. This is a great family project, the more hands involved, the faster it will go. (optionally, you can simply form the eggs by hand, but I didn't seem to possess the skill required for this) While your eggs set up, prepare the icing.

SUGAR ICING (dries fairly hard):
6 c Sifted powdered sugar
6 T Water
1/4 c Corn syrup

Mix powdered sugar and water until smooth. Stir in corn syrup. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed until all ingredients are fully incorporated. Lay out a wire cooling rack with foil or plastic wrap underneath to minimize the mess. Remove crispy treats from plastic eggs and dip them one at a time into the icing. Coat each egg fully, shake off excess icing, then place it on the wire rack to dry. They will take 5 hours or more to harden completely. Now decorate your "eggs". Have fun and HAPPY EASTER!!!