This a freak discovery while I was grinding my flours and making a boat load of mixes to make my holiday baking easier.
DRY PLAY SAND! But first why would anyone need a gluten free play sand recipe? Well for some of us even the touch of wheat or corn can cause an allergic reaction. That really sinks especially for the kiddos.
Here is the recipe: 1 part potato starch, 1 part brown rice flour, warm it up in the microwave (my flours where already warm because of my flour mill).
Get out spoons, measuring cups, plastic bowls and have fun. Pack it just like sand but with out the water.
The picture above is me (in the middle) with friends and my kids after the Dirty Dash. A good energy gel would have been nice! My local Dirty Dash is set up at a ski recreation area. Yes we climbed up the mountain to the first ski lift drop off and then back down the mountain. But I really hate energy gel, oh my gross, chemically formulated energy gel. If you are on a limited diet I am not sure of a product on the market that can meet all your needs. There are a few all natural products out but I haven’t tried them or asked about hidden corn. Gluten free does not mean corn free. GMO free doesn’t mean corn free either. So here is a much easier way to get that added boost, keep on track with diet, and save money ($2.50 per shot, no thank you).
Follow the link and enjoy a basic recipe and a protein recipe! http://beta.active.com/make-your-own-homemade-energy-gel
Adding figs is something you can do to add to the boost power. They have great qualities and seem to be the “thing” in some natural based energy gels. So add a few to your goop. Just be sure to get rid of the seeds if you want a smooth texture. You could also make chia gel and add that to your base mix. There is also pea protein which is a good alternative to soy. Making your own energy gel has so many possibilities and is so cheap that why would you still pay for it? Save your money and buy a really nice GU flask or 5.
Enjoy and Cheers!
So I have been on the experiment trial stage with coconut flour. Many in my personal life have raved about this flour. Many in my internet life also rave about this flour. Yet only one person told me the cons of this little flour before I started to bake with it. So before you head into the world of coconut flour let me give you some advice.
1. Coconut flour is thick! You will need extra liquid to achieve the same consistency. In my preliminary experiments for every ¼ cup of coconut flour I needed almost a ½ cup of extra liquid
2. Coconut flour is sticky. I mean even stickier then other gluten free flours. Do not add more coconut flour to counter act the stickiness. Add a starch such as tapioca and potato starch. Only lightly sprinkle about a tablespoon of your starch at a time over your dough to achieve a smooth texture.
3. Coconut flour is a powerhouse of coconut flavor. Yes, no one mentioned this to me. If you want to add more than ¼ of a cup into a recipe it will power out any other flavors. You will definitely come out with coconut doughnuts instead of plain vanilla flavored ones.
4. Maybe this should have been number 3. You only need a little bit of the flour for it to work wonders in your baking. Start with adding only ¼ of a cup and see how it goes. Think of it like arrowroot flour. You only need a little to make a big impact in your baking.
Final thoughts: I did like the texture that coconut flour brought to my baked goods. I would like to do some more experimenting with it so I can give a definite or. I would like to come up with a grain free mix using coconut flour as a texture enhancer. Also when you see any paleo diet recipes that only use coconut flour be aware that you are going to get a coconut, chocolate cake or coconut, blueberry muffins. So you better like coconut!
Oh yes, folks, this is yet another food rant and yes I know it is Misuse and not Miss Use the pun was intended. I work hard to give my kids good tasting food that actually looks and tastes like the wheat counter part. My muffins are muffins, my cakes are cakes, and my bread is bread. No exceptions what so ever. Then there are those of you who are determined to make food items so unrecognizable that you have to insert a food term that doesn’t even fit! I put down some of my top annoyances and I am sure as the year goes on this post will get longer.
Let me go back to the beginning, about 3 weeks ago, ok if am honest this post has been a long time in coming but it seems that Facebook and Pinterest are just mocking me at this point. What am I ranting about? Oh I will tell you my friends. For instance “Vegan Cheesecake” what the heck is that!?! It is vegan so there is no cheese, hence it can not be a CheeseCake. You know I am right on this. Call it something else like: Psuedo Cheesecake, Mock Cheesecake, or Fake-out Cheesecake. I prefer you take out the cheese all together. I have had a ”vegan cheesecake” and let me tell you I could totally tell that it was a fake trying to pass as the real thing. So please, just come up with a different name. How about Vegan Vanilla Lemon Cake. That sounds so much better.
Next is the whole cake issue. Pinterest is killing me here! There is a pin going around with a flourless pancake. The ingredients: 1 egg and two types of fruit. Hello! This is not a cake, it is a fruit omelet. Again with trying to pass off an odd food for a normal one. Really!
My favorite has to be cauliflower pizza crust. Look, I have had pizza in several different foodie cities including NEW YORK! They would just laugh at you. A pizza crust is dough, any type of dough, that is delicious. Mashed up cauliflower is not a dough of any kind and should never be used as a pizza crust, unless that is the only thing you can eat as a pizza crust because you are allergic to everything (I get that).
Back to the cheese. Cheese denotes milk from an animal; sheep, goat, cow. The milk needs to be heated up and then processed. Making cheese, specifically cream cheese, from nuts is not cheese. What you make is more of a nut butter spread. That is what it really is. So all you Raw Foodies stop tantalizing me with your Cream Cheese recipes. There is no cream cheese in these recipes! Just tell me that is a delicious Cashew Spread. I dig that.
What does this all boil down too? In one word: Honesty. I don’t think these people are actually trying to lie to us (
yes they are, just a little). It is that to get people to actually try this stuff a name is needed to entice them. I am Someone is more likely to try these odd foods if the name is some thing familiar. Yet the problem lies in the fact that all those people probably have someone in their lives like me who will call them out every time. So for all you fake food bloggers get with the program and call your food what it really is! Hey I will try things, I am adventurous, just don’t try to trick me in the name. Thank you that is all.
Hello to all who have joined me on this adventure. I am changing the name of the site to “The Mad Science of Gluten Free Baking”. The new blog address will be madscienceofglutenfree.wordpress.com. I am in the process of setting up a redirection for the site. So if you still search for mjspantry.wordpress.com you will be automatically redirected to the new address. Thanks! Jamie
We hear it every where it seems these days. Gluten free is a healthy diet and everyone should shun wheat and the like. Better yet a grain free diet is the best, or so goes another diet “health” fad. Still another one is saying that we should consume only ancient grains. Side note: don’t ever tell someone on a gluten-free diet that you are going on one “Just Because”. It is like slapping us in the face. Back to the real point of this post. I am here to tell you (brace yourselves) that gluten-free and even grain free are not healthier. Just look in stores and you will soon discover that eating this way isn’t a healthy way at all. Many of the products we crave and can get are full of starches and sugars. We have just transposed the traditional American diet to the trend of Gluten Free.
Most people feel great when they initially get rid of gluten. That is because they have eliminated most of the middle of the grocery store. No more processed foods, creamy salad dressings, forget the bakery aisle, and eating out is limited. Many candies are off-limits too. But then these same people discover the “Health Food” stores or sections of stores. Low and behold there are cookies, candies, and snacks without gluten. There are boxed dinners, microwave dinners, and quick mixes for cake. These people have just traded one bad diet for another, more expensive bad diet.
We consume to much of everything. Did you know that Americans consume more soy then most people in Asian countries. I have been told by friends and family who have traveled to China and Japan that our soy based products are more numerous than theirs. The following is a non-alarmist article on soy and how it is to be consumed. http://www.soyconnection.com/newsletters/soy-connection/health-nutrition/article.php/Guidelines+for+Healthy+Soy+Intake+?id=233
I use this example because, in my opinion, we are doing the same thing with the gluten-free craze.
I am sorry for the rant and if you are feeling a little depressed at this point. I do have a solution, although it may not be to everyone’s taste. Cook your own food. That is right, just learn how to cook. Even if you don’t eliminate wheat from your diet you will feel so much better by making your own healthy food. Limit you intake of sugar. This includes honey too. Honey can spike your blood sugar (check out the American Diabetes Association website). The one thing I make every week is bread. I make different varieties. I use the basic bread mix as a start then add buckwheat and even other grains like millet and teff. We do not have cookies and cakes every week. We don’t even have sandwiches for lunch everyday. Keep a lot of fruits and veggies on hand. If you don’t like them then learn to like them. Did you like the redundancy of the solution?
Thank you for taking time to read through this rant. Cheers!
Last Sunday I wanted to do something special for the family since it was Epiphany. Epiphany is 12 days after Christmas where many celebrate the Magi presenting gifts to the Christ. In our family I try to do fondue and make a special night. This year I didn’t get it together. I wanted a yummy dessert besides the traditional Kings Cake. I have a boat load of pears I canned this summer and so went searching for a recipe. I found one and of course quickly converted it to our liking. Enjoy!
One unbaked pie shell, 9″
2 cups peeled, cored, and diced pears (the original recipe called for fresh but I just used my home-canned pears)
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp potato starch
1 cup greek yogurt or nondairy substitute (yes I am sorry that this actually has a dairy in it, I would try coconut cream for a substitute)
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/3 cup bead mix
3 Tbs coconut shortening
Preheat the oven to 350.
Combine all the ingredients for the filling, gently blending them together. Spoon into the unbaked pie shell and bake for 25 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the topping ingredients until you have course crumbs. Sprinkle the topping onto the pie and return it to the oven for 30 minutes. Let cool. This is good served warm or cold.
Here is the link for the pie crust:http://madscienceofglutenfree.wordpress.com/2011/11/22/help-its-thanksgiving-and-im-gluten-free-part-2/