Gluten-free Allergen-free Baking: Baked Amaranth Meal Cracker Flatbread Recipe

December 20th, 2009 yum Posted in Amaranth, Baked Goods, Bread, Breastfeeding for Allergic Baby Recipe, Dairy Free, Easy, Egg Free, Flatbread, Gluten Free Crackers, JM friendly, Nut Free, Rice Free, Soy Free, TED Elimination Diet, Vegan, potato allergy 12 Comments »

amaranthpizza

Picture a little round seed that looks like it belongs in a bird feeder or could be the start of a Chia pet. Imagine this seed surrounded by a million of its friends in a plastic clear bag from Bob’s Red Mill labeled “Amaranth Grain.” On my allergy rotation diet, this seed has become a staple, but not one that particularly thrills me. In the morning I’ve been having it boiled into a porridge with lemon olive oil, honey, nutmeg and raisins. I add all these things to mask the earthy, savory nature of the seed. Boiling it creates this gel-like stuff that seems only appropriate for an astronaut meal.

After eating this gloppy porridge one too many times, I started daydreaming about things I could do to give it a better texture. Somehow I came up with the idea of spreading it out like a pizza on parchment paper and baking it into a tasty flatbread that could be used as a pizza base or crackers. And- miracle of miracles, this technique worked and transformed my martian-gel porridge into this amazing cracker bread that rivals flax crackers for crunch and has amazing flavor too! So lately, I eat my morning glop but leave half of the stuff plain, chill it and bake it later. When I enjoy this gluten-free crunchy, salty cracker flatbread with tasty veggies, it’s hard to remember that it is the same stuff that I eat for breakfast, transformed thanks to the magic of the kitchen.

The baked seed pops in your mouth a little and the high protein count means you don’t even miss t he missing dairy, egg or soy in the recipe- it is simply fabulous, and fabulously easy. I hope the next time you find yourself facing a big bowl of amaranth gruel that you will consider transforming it into some lovely salty flatbread.

And, if like me you need to avoid nuts and dairy, you may enjoy topping it with a lovely pumpkin seed basil pesto and roasted red peppers and calling it pizza. I’ve been experimenting with both pumpkin seed and sunflower seeds… as rare allergens they seemed like a good bet, and they don’t seem to bother Baby Yum. To my delight, pumpkin seed pesto is just as tasty as I could have hoped- and I don’t miss the dairy or nuts in the slightest! What are your favorite ways to cook with pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds? Share in the comments and you just might inspire my dinner!

Gluten-free Amaranth cracker recipe
Ingredients
1/2 cup whole amaranth grain (not flour)- i use Bob’s Red Mill brand
1 1/2 cup water
salt to taste

flavored olive oil (lemon or basil)

fresh basil, torn into pieces to garnish (optional)

Directions
Boil amaranth with water for 20-30 minutes, or until you have a thick porridge like consistency. Cool and place in refrigerator and thoroughly chill.

Preheat oven to 425F.
Line pizza pan with parchment paper and baste with olive oil.

Remove chilled amaranth and spoon onto your parchment paper into a thin, round disk, much like a pizza. Baste top with olive oil (flavored olive oil is ideal) and sprinkle with plenty of salt.

Bake for 20 minutes or until bottom of crust dries out and edges start to get crisp like a cracker. Carefully peel off parchment paper and turn crust over, basting with olive oil if desired.

Bake until you get desired crispiness on both sides of cracker. Remove from oven, slice into pizza shapes and use as flatbread, cut into crackers (if you get it really crispy), or top and bake a little more in oven.

Vegan Dairy-free Pumpkin Seed Basil Pesto Recipe
Ingredients
1/2 cup shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
olive oil (start with 1 tbsp. and add more as needed to form paste)
1 small bunch fresh basil (or more, to taste)
salt
Directions
Lightly toast pumpkin seeds in a dry pan on low heat, turning as needed. Combine pumpkin seed with olive oil and basil in a small food processor and blend. Stir as needed and add more olive oil as necessary until you get a nice texture. Add salt to taste and enjoy!
Notes

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pepita

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Gluten-free Dairy-free Banana Bread Recipe

August 26th, 2009 yum Posted in Baked Goods, Bread, Dairy Free, Easy, banana 83 Comments »

bananabreadWhen the DH and I were first dating, he stole my heart by making me a gluten-free banana bread and bringing it to me on a cutting board with a beautiful red rose. Over the years he hasn’t baked for me terribly frequently, but when he does I’m always impressed with the results (and his effort). The other day we had some very ripe bananas that were apparently calling his name, because he sneaked off to the kitchen and whipped up a batch of banana bread. He used my special vanilla sugar and added extra spices for an extra-special banana bread. It seems simple, but the vanilla sugar resulted in an especially creamy and deliciously enticing banana bread. One secret of gluten-free baking that isn’t often mentioned is that a fruit or vegetable bread like banana bread or zucchini bread are very easily converted to be gluten free. In a simple quick bread based in fruit or vegetables, unlike yeast breads, I find that you don’t really need a special flour blend or to add xanthan or guar gum. They also are often extra tasty as muffins or mini muffins. Do you have a favorite gluten-free quick bread recipe? Tell me about it in the comments!

Gluten Free Dairy Free Banana Bread Recipe
Ingredients
2 cups white rice flour or your favorite simple gluten-free flour blend
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups mashed, ripe bananas (about 5)
1 cup vanilla infused sugar (leave vanilla bean in sugar overnight and then remove bean)
1/2 cup canola oil
Directions
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray medium bread pan with nonstick cooking spray or grease with margarine and reserve. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and then make a well in the center. Add eggs, banana, sugar, and oil to the center and combine them before folding into the rest of the dry ingredients. Pour or spoon batter into your bread pan. Bake for an hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for a few minutes before removing from pan, and then cool on a wire rack until you can’t stand it any longer (ideally until bread is entirely cool, but hey, I’m only human.) Slice a piece and enjoy!
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