Gummies!!!

It’s amazing how, over a year, you can miss certain textures in your food. One of the ones that I really wanted to try for the holidays (but didn’t in the end) were gummy candies. But Valentine’s is just around the corner… so I’ve made these! 


I found the original recipe on YouTube, here https://youtu.be/YQ2DweIAGtk, but here it is again, in a smaller batch: 

Heat 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 can coconut milk together until the sugar dissolves. 

In another bowl, mix 1/4 of rice flour and 3/4 c tapioca starch (the original recipe insists you use the flour, but… they’re the same thing… so I dunno what he meant there). 

Add the coconut milk mixture to the flour mixture, and stir well. Add about 1/4 c milk until the mix is thinned to the consistency of milk. If you want to do layers, split the mix in half (I used plastic bags) and colour one bag (I used blueberry juice). 


Start by pouring a thin layer in the bottom of your silicone mould. Steam it for 1-2 minutes. Add another thin layer, steam 1-2 minutes. Continue adding layers and steaming until you’re at the end. I steamed the last layer for 3 minutes just to be sure. 

Then put them in the fridge, and let it set for 10-30 minutes. 

Then pop them out of the moulds. And hide them from yourself; they’re addictive!!! Make sure it’s an air right container so they don’t dry out. I’m testing them now to see if it should be fridge or not… I’m thinking not…

Variations: I added a bit of coconut to the bottom of one of my moulds. Lovely!!! My next batch I plan on trying coconut flour instead of rice flour so that the flavour is more coconutty- these are relatively bland, all things considered. 

I also wonder if, since coconut milk is kinda like cream, if one could make this with cream instead and have it work the same way. I might try that for other flavourings. If I can ever try other flavourings…. anyways happy experimenting! 

Cocoa(not) SNICKERDOODLES 

The other day I stopped by a small natural food pantry on my way home from work. A friend had insisted she’d found safe all-purpose flour for me there, but as it turns out it had traces of nuts. Which explained some hives.

I digress. I chose to force myself to look around and see what else they had… and they had Coconut Flour from Earth’s Choice!

So I decided to try it out in a recipe I adapted from what was my favourite cookbook as a child, the Treasury of Creative Cooking. It has gold pages, which obviously makes it better. If you want to make it gluten free, be sure to use GF oats, and check with your celiac to be sure that oats are not a problem for them (some celiacs are sensitive to oats, others not).

Cocoa(not) Snickerdoodles

Heat oven to 375F. Grease your cookie sheets or add Parchment, or silicone mats.

In a large bowl, beat:

1 cup butter, softened (bet this would work with coconut oil too!)

3/4 c brown sugar (I just used raw sugar)

3/4 c granulated sugar

Add in:

1 large banana

Mix well.

Slowly add:

2 c uncooked rolled oats 

3/4 c white rice flour (I had a bit less)

3/4 c coconut flour (I had a bit more)

1/4 c dry milk powder (next time if I’m baking for my lactose-free colleague I’ll try adding more coconut flour instead of more lactose…)

1 tsp baking soda

Mix it all well, you should get a large glob. This dough is perfectly safe to eat as is… and is an excellent addition to ice cream. I expect it’d be amazing coated in chocolate, if you can have that sort of thing (maybe someday!!!). 

Before you bake them, put 2 Tbsp of white sugar and 2 Tbsp raw sugar in a bowl. Roll the dough into 1-2″ balls, and coat in the sugar mix. Put them on your cookie sheet, and press flat. Mine didn’t spread, but the original recipe calls for 2″ space between. 

Bake 8-10 mins (375F), until firm in the centre. Put them on wire racks to cool. Then hide them from the children. And from yourself.

Enjoy! 

Marshmallow #Fails

When you are substituting a TON of ingredients in recipes… Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. 

Just in case you think I’m some sort of innate cooking genius… I burned eggs as a child multiple times. And bacon. And water. A lot of what I know comes from failures, so this month I thought I’d share one of my MANY failures of last year. This one was one I ate, and enjoyed. There were a few (dehydrated yogurt & fruit leather for example) which were so inedible I just had to compost. And some, like grapefruit toffee… which I made myself eat over a month or two because I’m that stubborn. 

This past summer the attempt was MARSHMALLOWS! So far it’s resulted in some very sweet, not very marshmallow like confections. I can’t use gelatin because of the sulphites, and agar is very far down the list of things to try next when I have no hives. Chocolate is MUCH higher.

But anyways, I found a recipe that used icing sugar and corn syrup, and substituted golden syrup… and i think the recipe wasn’t well tested. I tried it twice in small batches with complete failures. Delicious failures, mind you.


I tried it later at different temperatures, and it looked a lot more like marshmallows… smooth… but was basically just sugar fudge. With no flavourings.

So. All that to say: If you have a marshmallow recipe that doesn’t use gelatin or agar… please let me know!

Or if you know how to MAKE gelatin that might work too. 

Beans, Chard, and a dash of adventure

I made some awesome pumpkin seed soup again a few days ago (I’m sick. Again.), but I somehow bought too much chard and so tonight I contemplated how to use it up. I decided to look online for some non-soup alternatives, and ran across this recipe which also uses canned beans. A bonus when you’re figuring out how to reduce your crazy grocery bill (cooking from scratch is SO expensive!). 

You might initially think: um. WHAT is THAT? Or it may remind you of Dr.Suess and some things that should not be green. But there comes a point with allergies where a girl gets a little stir-crazy eating the same flavours day in and day out. I was beginning to think I’d tasted all the variations in flavour possible from the list. Nope!!! This is actually pretty good!

Without further ado, I give you: Green Fritters

You’ll need:

– chard, cut up (I just used the leafy part from one bunch, and fried the stems for another meal)

– a can of beans (I used white northern)

-flour of some kind (I used white rice, about 1/2 a cup-a cup)

-salt. 

– butter.

In a large bowl, using an immersion blender, blend the salt, rinsed beans and chopped beans together. (I did this in a blender. It was less successful). It will make a mixture that is pretty liquidy.

Then you add the flour in small amounts until it’s stiffer and more like the consistency of waffle batter (or stiff peak egg whites).

Put some butter on low heat in a frying pan, and drop spoonfuls of the mixture into the pan, frying it slowly and flipping it until you end up with a fritter that is firm all the way through. 

Good luck!

Peanut Soup- without Peanuts?

Today is day 22 of being sick. I’m getting better, my doctor assures me… and at least I can clear both my ears again! I made lots of chicken soup earlier this week, but today I decided to try a family recipe/ cures-what-ails-you: West African Peanut Soup.

It’s also a great recipe for harvest time, when you are suddenly faced with WAY more leafy greens than you could possibly cope with. Or way more vegetables, period. As per my usual, I substituted most of the original ingredients, and took out some of the ingredients I couldn’t have. So feel free to add back in the onion, garlic, ginger, pepper, cumin and thyme… And play around with it as much as you like- amounts are HIGHLY variable! Here’s what I did, and it’s AWESOME. Plus it only uses one pot. YAY!

Pumpkin Seed Soup

  1. In a food processor, blend about a cup of pumpkin seeds until they start to stick to the walls of the food processor. If you kept going, you could make this into pumpkin seed butter… but that’s not necessary for this recipe.
  2. Pour a tablespoon or two of vegetable oil into a large soup pot. Add in the pumpkin seeds and stir.
  3. Throw in a few cups of beans (these can be cooked, canned, or fresh beans), several beets (or tomatoes, like the original recipe), several cups of squash (I used butternut, cubed into smaller squares), two (or three) sweet potatoes (also cubed).
  4. Cover with broth or water (about 4-8 cups), and boil/simmer until very soft- about 20-30 minutes.
  5. Add a couple cups of corn, 6-10 cups of leafy greens (can be pre-cooked or raw- I used chard), and salt (plus other spices if you can) as desired. I also added a cup or so of cubed cooked chicken that I had on hand. Simmer until everything is hot, and the greens have wilted. Enjoy!

If you end up with more than you can eat at once, this is a soup that freezes and reheats well, and makes a lovely gift for friends who might be feeling under the weather as well!

Coconut!

It’s been hard to tell but I *think* coconut is alright for me! #happydance. I made macaroons the other day, inspired by the 5-ingredient minimalist baker recipe online… Except I realized afterwards that I actually omitted two ingredients and substituted all of the others! But they are simple and SO ADDICTIVE that I thought I’d share my version.

    

Coconut Macaroons

You’ll need:

A blender (a real one, not an immersion blender, unless you want to be showered with coconut)
A spatula (the silicone types that let you scrape things) or a long spoon to let you stir the blender contents (including near the blades).

A silicone baking mat, or if you can use it- parchment paper, and a cookie tray.

Directions:

1. Blend 3 cups of coconut, 2 Tbsp butter, 2Tbsp syrup (I used golden cane sugar syrup, but you could use any syrup really). Preheat oven to 350F

2. Stop the blender frequently to stir, until everything sticks together when you press it against the blender’s wall.

3. Use a curved tablespoon, or mini scoop, to scoop out the mix. Press the mixture into the scoop and place onto baking tray (I like to flip a heaping tablespoon onto the silicone mat on the tray, then press it down, then tap gently until it releases!)

4. Bake for 6-10 minutes. Watch it carefully. Take it out when golden brown, and resist the immediate urge to eat them all: they’re less crumbly once they cool!

Beet Greens… Tasting good?

We grew beets this year (the stripey sort, much milder than the regular reds), and as winter draws nearer I’m finding myself excited about the beets- I hear you can store them in a cool, dark place for a long time!!! 

Much less exciting are the beet greens, which I forced myself to cook & eat if ever I accidentally bought whole beets with leaves in the store. Almost ruined the meals I added it to… But edible is edible. 

Thus began the quest for a better recipe. Imagine my shock when I found a source suggesting it could be used in salad! I haven’t had salad since… Christmas. Last year. I thought about it though, and decided that if I could make dressing…. I could probably eat salads regularly until frost! Here follows the shockingly delicious recipe:

  

Beet Green Salad

First take the greens (you can throw in some chard leaf too) and let them soak ~10 mins in cold water, then scrubbing clean where necessary. 

Remove the leaves from the harder stems, and place only the leaves in a salad spinner. Dry off (you can steam or fry the stems in butter). 

To make the dressing, put a cup of berries in the blender. Add ~1 cup rice vinegar, and 1/4 c olive oil. Blend. Then add honey (golden cane sugar syrup for me) slowly until the dressing tastes balanced, about 1/2 a cup. Store the extra in a jar in the fridge.

To serve, toss the greens with the dressing, add a few whole berries and some seeds as well. Enjoy!

PS Anyone know a good cooked beet green recipe? I still want to eat those stems without plugging my nose to full the tastebuds.