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Sunflower & Peach Jam Quinoa Donuts

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I was excited to have an idea for a treat that Alistaire could enjoy: gluten-free, nut and peanut free, egg free – well you know the spiel. Quinoa flour is one I work with only here and there, it has a pretty strong flavor so I usually avoid it when baking, unless it is a small amount. With the level of sugar, I figured the taste wouldn’t be too prominent. I was right on that. And guess who really liked them? Well, one would be Alistaire….the other was a certain older brother in a blue shirt. Turns out…..

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I didn’t leave them far back enough on the counter. And someone ate nearly THREE of the six donuts. Oh well, at least someone appreciated them. As in a 3½ year older. At least baby got one to himself.

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I do add a disclaimer: if you are not used to baking with quinoa, it has a very dominant smell while baking. Very earthy. I find it dissipates as it cools. But these donuts will not be light or fluffy. They are whole-grain (well, actually whole-seed) and are rich with the sunflower butter. I found the texture pleasing, xantham gum might be a good addition to lighten the batter when baking (and firming it up to be more cake-like).

Sunflower & Peach Jam Quinoa Donuts

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup Quinoa Flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • Pinch fine sea salt
  • ¼ cup SunButter Natural
  • 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed meal + 3 Tbsp water
  • ½ cup unsweetened rice milk
  • 1½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp peach jam

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325°, liberally spray a 6-Cavity Donut Pan. Whisk flaxseed meal and water together, let rest for 5 to 10 minutes, beat until thick. Divide jam between the cups, spreading evenly around, about 1½ teaspoons each.

Whisk the quinoa flour through sea salt together in a medium bowl.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk Sunbutter and flax mixture till smooth, whisk in remaining wet ingredients through vanilla, until smooth. Add to dry ingredients, stir until mixed. Scrape batter into a new gallon zip top bag, seal out air while zipping closed. Cut off a corner of bag, pipe equally on top of the jam.

Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden. Let rest on a cooling rack for a few minutes, flip over and remove pan. Let cool before enjoying.

Best eaten day of baking.

Makes 6 donuts.

~Sarah

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Zucchini Oat Brownies (GF/Allergy Friendly)

Ooh, guess what today is? Besides my littlest one turning 18 months old?

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It is National Zucchini Day!

Well, I’d probably celebrate more, but this week I had to tear out all of my squash and cucumber plants. The white fungus got to them all 😦 Ah well. At least I got to enjoy some tasty zucchini and yellow summer squash before they were infected. Apparently this year I don’t get to participate in the other part of today’s holiday “sneak some zucchini onto your neighbor’s porch and run day“. Hehheh! Oh well – there is always next year, and I now know to not buy any veggie starts (lesson learned – I bought a yellow patty pan set of plants that got it first a few weeks back, then it travels via insects landing on other plants). If anything, this year has been a great lesson in how things grow organically 🙂
Brownies

So…the other day, for National Night Out in our neighborhood, I made up these brownies. Partially I wanted to see if anyone noticed. Apparently not, because the platter was empty within minutes. And I didn’t hear any kids going “OMG, this is so gross”. Mission accomplished 😉 The boys loved them and hey, even the Teenager didn’t question what was in it. With all the chocolate the zucchini melts into it. If you are worried your kids might question it, use the fine grating side of your box grater.

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Zucchini Oat Brownies

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup Sunbutter
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ¾ cup Gluten Free Rolled Oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • 1½ cups shredded zucchini (see below)
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips (GF/Vegan/Nut Free)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°, lightly oil or spray a 9×13″ baking dish.

Shred zucchini on a couple of paper towels (layered). When done grating, roll up and let sit for a few minutes to help remove excess moisture.

Whirl oats in a mini food chopped until mostly ground.

Add Sunbutter, applesauce, maple syrup and vanilla to a stand mixer bowl, beat on medium till smooth. Add in zucchini, cocoa powder, ground oats, baking soda and salt, beat until combined. Add in ¼ cup of chocolate chips.

Spread in prepared dish, sprinkle remaining chips over the top. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean from the center.

Let cool, then cut into 20 pieces. Store tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator.

~Sarah

Sunbutter Cupcakes for Alistaire

For my little buddy, I would try anything, just so he can have a treat like the rest of us.

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Giving him a cupcake that can give wheat ones a run for their money? Yeah, that felt awesome! Moist, light with that cupcake texture and yes, allergy friendly. No gluten, peanuts, nuts, eggs, dairy….just a lot of flavor! I was proud of these cakes, I took them to our neighborhood National Night Out this week. And they were all gone in minutes. Woot!

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Sunbutter Cupcakes

Ingredients:

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Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°, line a 12 count muffin tin with papers (preferably Reynolds or Wilton).

Stir cider vinegar into milk, set aside.

Add Sunbutter to a stand mixer bowl (paddle attachment in place), beat for 2 minutes on medium.

Add oil, brown sugar, and vanilla, beat on medium for 3 minutes. Add in flax mixture, beat until combined.

Whisk flour, xantham gum, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Add the flour in slowly, in 3 batches, alternating with the milk, beat on medium until smooth.

Divide batter between the liners. Bake for about 22 minutes, until golden on top and a toothpick comes out clean in the center.

Let rest for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Makes 12 cupcakes.

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Sunbutter Frosting

Ingredients:

6 Tbsp vegetable shortening (Spectrum Organic)

1/3 cup Sunbutter

1½ tsp pure vanilla extract

2 cups powdered sugar

¼ cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (used So Delicious)

Directions:

Add shortening and Sunbutter into a stand mixer bowl, beat on low until combined, add in vanilla. Add sugar, beat in on low, then on medium until crumbly. Add milk in, 1 Tablespoon at a time, until smooth.

Pipe or spread on cooled cupcakes. Decorate with decorating sugars, if desired.

~Sarah

Allergy Friendly Chocolate Covered Cherry Granola Bars

I am slowly finding more ways to adapt and make treats for my boys, that work for Alistaire’s allergies and yet have everyone else happy. And this brings me to something. I have to remember every day to not judge others though, which is never easy – no matter your background.
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I follow a few allergy support groups for moms online and found myself feeling way out. I think what it is, is that in blogging I am surrounded by others who see the world in a similar view. And being an avoid cook, I am willing to make whatever I can from scratch to avoid potential issues with my family’s diet. Suddenly, I was reading threads on how moms could still buy highly processed foods and what was potential cross contamination or contained peanuts/nuts. And I found myself feeling overly pious/nose in the air “Why can’t you people just BAKE YOUR OWN bread! Arguing if Sarah Lee bread is OK? That Hostess products from certain plants are nut-free?. Make them donuts from scratch!” Oh wait, not everyone cooks, creates or even knows where to start. Before I spout off…I have to back up and think it out. When all you (my readers) ask something, you expect hand-crafted answers. They are just trying to get through the store. And so…I suddenly felt like a natural food freak from the town of Hippyville, Crunchtown, where these ladies are from Anytown, Middle America. I have some advantges in a way – I like cooking/baking, I know how to shop for special needs diet already and have local access to natural food stores. But more…with his having 5 food allergies, it is past the point of finding processed foods he can have. He is in a niche of a niche. There are only a handful of companies that make safe foods – no gluten, eggs, dairy, peanuts or tree nuts. So I guess I don’t have to worry if boy can eat Hostess Ding Dongs safely. He will never have one!

I go buy the theory of “If in doubt, go without” – which means I bring B’s food along (that is safe) or I make it. Which I might add, I read that one in the newest issue of Living Without Magazine.

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In the end….I am responsible for him. And I want him to enjoy the foods he can! It encourages me to keep making more, trying new ideas. In this one I adapted a peanut and nut filled recipe and made it for him. Delicious!

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Allergy Friendly Chocolate Covered Cherry Granola Bars

Ingredients:

Directions:

Spray or lightly oil a 9×13″ pan. Line with parchment paper cut to fit bottom of pan, and up the end sides. Spray or oil the paper.

Mix the cereal, oats, cherries and chocolate chips together in a large bowl.

Add the Sunbutter, honey, maple syrup and brown sugar to a medium mixing bowl, heat in microwave for 1 minute on high. Remove and stir until smooth.

Add to dry mix, stir till thoroughly combined with a silicone spatula. Pack into prepared pan, pressing down evenly.

Let cool for an hour, cut with a sharp knife into bars. Wrap each bar individually. For best storage, keep in refrigerator or freezer until snack time.

Notes:

On crisp rice cereal, I have found the store brands to be safer than the name brand – mostly due to the ingredient list. Does one need high fructose corn syrup in it? No. So read the labels, you might find the generic looks better as well.

I don’t often keep quick oats in the house, so I take regular old-fashioned oats and run them through my mini-food chopper to blitz up a bit. This works just fine!

~Sarah

Sunballs

I was inspired by a quick recipe I saw on Keeley McQuire’s blog and made an adapted batch for Alistaire to nibble on. Turned out everyone else liked them just as much…..even the Teen. But first I had to lure the littlest back inside to enjoy a snack made just for him!

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Being that they didn’t need a food processor, I had them ready in under 10 minutes (most of which was Walker trying to help me….)

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One thing I changed was using 1-minute quick oats instead of rolled oats. The texture is finer and easier for Alistaire to chew.

Sunballs

Ingredients:

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Directions:

Mix the oats through honey together in a medium mixing bowl. Make balls with a 1 Tablespoon Disher, packing tightly with hands and rolling into balls.

Add powdered sugar to a shallow bowl, roll balls in sugar. Store balls in an airtight container, in the refrigerator.

Makes about 14 balls.

Notes:

You can make your own oat flour easy enough. Grind oats in a mini food chopper or blender.

Read powdered sugar labels. Some contain tapioca starch, others cornstarch. I have good luck with Wholesome Sweeteners organic.

I tried out a new-to-me honey in this recipe, Golden Blossom Honey:

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I had received samples of it recently, the Sunballs were its first use. Taste wise?  Clear, mellow, fruity. It wasn’t what I was expecting from commercial honey (I am not a fan of most honey-bear honey found in stores. It is often so intensely sweet it isn’t palatable) I would put Golden Blossom Honey in the “I’d have it in tea” category, meaning I liked it quite a bit. And to my Mother In-Law (who I know will read this!), it is sold in Florida. You need to pick me up some 😉

~Sarah

Sesame Noodles

It is Wednesday already? Eek! I am finally catching up from the weekend. My In-Laws are on the road, off on vacation, the house is getting back to order. Kirk and I took the boys hiking on Sunday to one of my favorite places, Sunrise, at Mt. Rainier National Park. Still plenty of snow and we had nice weather, sunny and maybe 70°. I posted many more photos on my other blog. Walker loves snow (and what kid doesn’t in July?) and hey, Alistaire loves being carried 😉

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In the quest to make dinners Alistaire can eat with us (with his allergies), I am working on the sauces first, then I will adapt the pasta, as we use up our wheat pasta stock before we go to gluten-free. I can always drizzle sauces over quinoa or rice for now, for him. Thankfully we are down to maybe 8 or so boxes left of spaghetti.

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Sesame Noodles

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup Sunbutter
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp red pepper rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp lower sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp dry ginger
  • 1 tsp chili pepper sauce (Sriracha or Tabasco or similar)
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil, divided
  • 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 16 ounces spaghetti noodles

Directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, cook pasta as directed. Reserve 1 cup cooking water before draining.

Meanwhile, add all of sauce ingredients to a high-speed blender, reserving 1 Tablespoon of sesame oil for later use. Process sauce until smooth.

Toss drained noodles with remaining 1 Tablespoon sesame oil in a large bowl.

Add in the cup of reserved pasta water to blender, process until smooth.Pour sauce over pasta, toss to coat. Sprinkle sesame seeds over, toss again.

Serves 4 to 6.

~Sarah

Rhubarb & Pineapple Coconut Oatmeal

Last week I harvested my first rhubarb of the year, from my oldest plant.

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A quick snap and discarding of the leaves and I was dicing up the red stalks. Maybe rhubarb isn’t part of breakfast usually, but maybe it should be 😉

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Rhubarb & Pineapple Coconut Oatmeal

Ingredients:

Toppings:

Directions:

Heat a heavy medium saucepan over medium, melt oil and sauté rhubarb for 5 minutes, add pineapple and salt, sauté until golden. Stir in sugar till melted, then add milk, oats and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often.

Take off the heat, divide between 2 bowls and top as desired.

Serves 2.

Note:

I found the toasted coconut chips at Trader Joe’s.

~Sarah

Tropical Morning Smoothie

My garden and yards are growing. I love as spring runs into summer, and the plants start filling out. And I know what will most likely make it, and what probably isn’t doing so hot. My sunflowers though are looking great!

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Our bee baths got even prettier. Walker and I added glass stones, the kind sold for using in vases, to them for a color pop. A tube that was about $5 was enough for all 3 baths. The baths must be working, I am seeing so many more butterflies as well in the gardens. Anything to help my friends!

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Walker enjoying his seat in the back yard. I find it funny/sad that after years of claiming I wouldn’t./…I planted a row of roses along this fence. But I realized…the one thing we left after buying the house on this side was a rose-bush. I needed plants that wouldn’t get “big” and were attractive yet could be mostly ignored. And yeah…roses filled the bill. Just seems like an old-person hobby. Kirk snickers and mentions how I must be getting old 😉 And how my getting garden clogs cinched that deal as well…..

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But onto the recipe for today – a smoothie for breakfast or anytime you want to sit and feel cheery. Especially if you have a yard to sit in and be mellow….

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I have included both vegetarian and vegan versions:

Tropical Morning Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup milk (cow or unsweetened non-dairy, such as coconut)
  • 1 6 ounce carton vanilla yogurt (cow or coconut)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/3 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/3 cup frozen mango
  • 1/3 cup frozen papaya
  • 2 Tbsp roasted coconut chips (or natural shredded coconut)
  • 2 Tbsp sunflower butter (or favorite nut/seed butter)

Directions:

Add ingredients to a high-speed blender (such as a Vitamix). Blend on high until smooth, tamping as needed.

Makes 2 drinks, each about 12 ounces. Serve immediately, with wide straws.

~Sarah

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