Vegan Blueberry Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

It’s 3:15 am… a time of… well not really day OR night… it’s a time no person should ever experience let alone when they’re SO worn out and sleepy all they want to do is go back to sleep. I’ve you’ve been following A Byte of Life, you’ll have read the post on Spain (also found here) which was a MOST incredible trip! We were seriously debating how long we could just fall off the grid and NOT come home! But alas, common sense or something to that nature won and we got on the multiple planes home. Oh hey jet lag, how are you? Are YOU the reason I’m up at 3:15am!?

Turning to my tried and true comfort, I started googling for recipes. If I can’t sleep I may as well bake right!? My love for lemon poppy-seed is almost as strong as my love for a good bottle of red wine, and thankfully, the mister LOVES a good lemon poppy-seed ANYTHING! The request was made and I had a mission ahead of me: your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to create a delicious lemon poppy-seed baked good that’s not super sweet and melts in your mouth Well, now that’s a fun challenge!

Lemon Blueberry Poppyseed Bread
Lemon Blueberry Poppyseed Bread

Vegan Blueberry Lemon Poppy Seed Bread
—-
1/4C canola oil
1/4 C  honey
1/4C applesauce
1/4 C soy milk
zest & juice of 1 lemon
—-
2 C Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbs poppy seeds
1 C fresh blueberries (put in freezer for about 30 minutes before using)
—-
Pre-heat oven to 375
Combine the oil, applesauce, soy milk, honey , lemon juice and zest in a bowl
Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add the poppy seeds and mix to combine.
Add to the wet ingredients and incorporate
Fold in frozen blueberries. Note that the batter will be thick
Place into a greased loaf pan, sprinkle raw sugar on top
Bake at 375 for 35 minutes(turning once half way through cooking)

Tasting notes:
It’s not your typical fluffy, white flour, white sugar lemon loaf you’d get at Starbucks. This is a more rustic bread and it was quite good! The gluten-free flour lends to a bit more of a mealy texture. Next time I’d add a bit more lemon juice. It’s not a sweet bread at all, so you’d need a lemoncello glaze, or blueberry jam/lemon curd/clotted cream to make it more pastry-ish.

All in all, it’s a good solid rustic breakfast bread…and…I better go taste another slice before posting this review ūüôā

Chocolate Chip Cookies (From the Flying Apron Cookbook)

Fresh Flying Apron Cookies (Gluten-Free, Dairy- Free)There are some days you just NEED a cookie. Yep, you heard me, NEED. Cookies have that magic power to transport you out of your current location and into a place of yumminess. Like a shield that goes up, even if just for a moment as you take that fist glorious bite of fresh baked gooey sweet bliss, you are hidden from the world and it can’t get you.

Well, today is one of those days and its not even 8am. Goody. Lets just say that I didn’t get to consume the better part of my morning coffee because my jeans go thirsty (and selfish) and wanted a drink. Rude. The .ease they could have done was ask. But, then I would have said no, AND wondered why my pants were talking. So, already one of “those days”. While I yearn for a fresh baked cookie (with how this days going, obsess might be a better word) and try to hide the coffee on my jeans from my client meeting today, I wanted to post a recipe for one of m FAVORITE cookies from a local vegan bakery, The Flying Apron. If you’re smart enough to whip up a batch, save me one! I’ll bring the pants and we can wring out a cup of coffee to share!

Chocolate Chip Cookies
From: The Flying Apron Cook Book
makes: 25 cookies

2 ¬ĺ c. brown rice flour
1 ¬Ĺ + 1 tbsp c. garbanzo flour
1 tsp baking powder
¬Ĺ tsp baking soda
¬ĺ tsp salt
1 c. canola oil
1 c. organic whole cane sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 c. rice milk
1 c. (8 oz) dairy-free dark chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350
Combine flours through salt in a large bowl
In the bowl of a standing mixer combine canola oil, cane sugar and vanilla until well mixed
With the mixture at low speed, add the flour mixtures and the rice milk alternately, a little at a time until smooth, about 3 minutes
Stir in chocolate cips

Scoop dough onto greased baking sheet and bake until golden and slightly firm to the touch, about 17 minutes.

Flying Apron Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

I fell in love with Flying Apron¬† bakery a bout 6 years ago when I was diagnosed with a dairy allergy. No dairy…means… no… BAKED GOODS!? What about my cookies, muffins, and scones!?¬† While lactose was the allergy, being a digestive tract allergy meant that gluten would quite possibly be an “irritant” for me even thought I wasn’t necessarily allergic to it. “Oh Joy” … my first thoughts… and many of the subsequent thoughts afterward. This diagnoses came before food allergies were really becoming main stream and I must confess it was a very rough life adjustment for me, being miss baked goods lover, to find things that were both dairy-free and yet still tasteful. Flying Apron¬†specializes¬†in gluten-free, vegan baked goods, and breads as well as savory lunch items including savory veggie hand-pies,¬†macaroni dishes, pizzas, soups, and salads to name a few. They rotate their menu to feature dishes that incorporate seasonal and local ingredients.

It was at their Fremont Cafe that I first had the realization that gluten-free and/or dairy-free baked goods didn’t have sacrifice taste and make me feel like I was chewing on a soggy 10 day old strip of cardboard! Previously, adhering to food allergies meant an immediate departure from any sort of taste, texture or delightful food experience. ¬†But when I first bit into a Flying Apron muffin, my food allergic life changed for the better. Their baked goods, breads, and savory items are really delicious and¬†intensely¬†palatable. Mind you, this review is coming from both the dairy-free AND the “MORE BUTTER PLEASE” review voice of this household. I’ve got him hooked on both the¬†¬†Flying Apron¬† Chocolate Chip Cookies (which are both Gluten-free & Dairy-Free) as well as the Mighty O Vegan Sprinkle Doughnuts. Muwahaha!!)

Well, I’m quite obsessed with their chocolate chip cookies which is saying a LOT for someone who isn’t particularly fond of¬†chocolate. My all to often nightly ritual consists of mixing a Flying Apron cookie and a few small scoops of LivingHemp Ice Cream which can actually become an expensive habit and deprives me of both my baking fix and smelling the house up with cookie scent!

 

 

Flying Apron’s Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
15 cookies 

2 3/4 cups brown rice flour
1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon garbanzo bean flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup canola oil
1 cup organic whole cane sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup soy milk
1 cup (8 ounces) dairy-free dark chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Combine the brown rice flour, garbanzo bean flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the canola oil, organic whole cane sugar, and vanilla until well mixed. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and rice milk alternately, a little at a time, until smooth, about 3 minutes. Stir in the chocolate chips.
3. Scoop the dough onto greased or parchment-lined baking sheets with an ice cream scoop. Bake until golden and slightly firm to the touch, about 17 minutes. For a fancy look, dust the cookies with cocoa powder while they are still hot.

 

Banana Walnut Bread (gluten-free, dairy-free)

There is something about the smell of fresh baked banana bread that warms the heart and soul. “Summer”, and I use the term loosely, has started to creep around Seattle. Today is a balmy and overcast 70 degrees but whenever it’s grey I always get the cozy urge to bake. This weekend, we’re adventuring up to see my family and while I’m baking the bread for both my roomie and his mum who’s visiting us, I’m also baking this to surprise my dad.

Since I was a little girl, whenever there were bananas that were even one day past perfect my father would take my hand and guide me to the fruit bowl and say “Kate, you know what THAT means right!? … BANANA BREAD”!!! I always loved baking this for him, and filling the house with the warm smells of bread and seeing his joy as I would pull that loaf out of the oven, hovering as all good taste tester seems to do, barely waiting for it to cool before cutting thick slices and serving it up to one very happy man!

Like clockwork, whenever the weather in Seattle is grey, ahem most of the year, my ache to bake exponentially increases. Even if I don’t¬†particularly¬†WANT a baked good at that moment,¬†sacrilege¬†I know, I just can’t calm the urge until I’m mixing up the dough and filling the house with the smells of a bakery then¬†fending off the taste tester as I try to pull it out of the oven.

Truth be told, I simply LOVE baking! For myself and more so for others to enjoy . While I can’t have you all in my kitchen this moment eagerly awaiting the “ding” of the kitchen timer indicating that fresh baked goodness is ready to being it’s futile attempt to cool before being devoured, I CAN share with you by posting this tried and true recipe!

This recipe yields one large loaf or three small individual loaves. Personally, I prefer to use smaller individual size loaf pans and because they’re easier to gift and look cuter on a plate (true story!). I’m not allowed to freeze bread in our house but these loaves freeze quite well for future rainy day enjoyment or to give as a hostess gift for a last minute dinner party! They also make great muffins!!

My loaves are in the oven now so here’s a sneak peek of THIS batch. (Photos below are previous¬†completed batches)

Banana Walnut Bread
Banana Walnut Bread

 

 

Banana Walnut Bread
From:The Good Housekeeping Cookbook

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 c. flour (can use Whole-Wheat or Gluten-Free)
  • 2/3 c. white sugar
  • 1 tsp. double-acting baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 c. shortening
  • 1 cup mashed bananas ( 2 ripe bananas)
  • 1 small banana, cut into chunks
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (my own addition)
  • 1 fresh orange, squeezed (my addition)
Banana Walnut Muffins and Bread
Banana Walnut Muffins and Bread

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Grease and flour ( or non-stick spray) your baking pan(s)
  3. In a large bowl, mix the first 5 ingredients
  4. Cut in the shortening using a pastry blender (or two knives scissor-fashion) until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs
  5. Stir in the remaining ingredients until just blended
  6. Bake in pre-heated oven as directed below:
    Large loaf pan: 55-60 minutes
    4 Individual Loaf pans: 30-40 minutes
  7. Cool in pan on wire rack
  8. ENJOY!!!

Gluten-Free 101

Gluten-Free
Gluten-Free

Pasta, Bread, Cookies, Pizza…

Why would you ever say goodbye to these wonderful LIFE staples!? Well, how about you find you’re allergic to gluten and they’re basically Krypontine to you?

When I first discovered as a teen that I was lactose-intolerant it was awful trying to navigate the lifestyle changes. Finding alternatives for my beloved milk, cheese and ice-cream were the least of my worries. Eating out became a nightmare, explaining that “it’s an allergy, not a preference” while fiercely praying that the kitchen might understand that I wasn’t TRYING To be high-maintenance and serve up my meal without any “special” presents from the kitchen. From helping a waitress to understand that yes that butter slathered on my toast might be delicious but it is still “diary” to learning how to navigate the hidden dairy in menus…food intolerance was frustrating and embarrassing to the extreme.

I state all of this only to lend validity to my statement, “gluten-intolerant friends… I UNDERSTAND your pain!” Whether it’s a choice to minimize gluten in your diet to an allergic necessity, the initial stages of gluten-free living will take work! I promise you though that like lactose intolerance you will learn what to look for and what to stay away from while embracing your choices as such and not as an ailment or your own personal “freak” button.

The may clinic has a GREAT article that lists gluten/gluten-free foods and what to generally avoid. Typically, you’ll need to avoid wheat, oats (unless specifically listed gluten-free), barley, rye, spelt and other flours. Gluten can reside in VERY obscure places so you will have to learn to navigate food labels. For example, beer and soy sauce contain gluten. As do many gravies, dressings and sauces. The Mayo Clinic Gluten-Free Article gives you a few great lists to read up on where you’ll find gluten and what to avoid.

Basic List of Gluten Free Foods

  • Beans, seeds, nuts
  • Eggs, Soy and most dairy products
  • Fresh meats, fish and poultry (not breaded, batter-coated or marinated)
  • Fruits, vegetables
  • Rice, Corn/Corn Meal, Flax, Quinoa
  • Gluten-free flours (rice, soy, corn, potato, bean), Hominy (corn), Amaranth, Arrowroot, Buckwheat, Tapioca, Millet, Teff, Sorghum

So, now that you have a basic list of what your new best friend foods are, let’s dig into the FUN part!! Thankfully the now mainstream nature of food allergies has done wonders for the food industry. No longer does gluten-free mean “taste and texture of cardboard”. I LOVE giving my family and friends treats that are gluten-free and/or vegan only to tell them afterward that the cookie they just ate was in fact gluten AND diary free! I have to give a little humor here and share a name with you that you may here now that you are on a gluten-free path: glutard. Pronounced glue-tard. Definition: one who can not process gluten. I have my version also: lactard. Pronounced lack-tard. Definition: one who can not process lactose. (if you can’t laugh at yourself what’s this world coming t0!)

Shout out

flying apron bakery & cafe
flying apron bakery & cafe

 

Here I have to pause and give a shout out to my wonderful local Flying Apron Cafe who has been helping glutards and lactards like ourselves enjoy cakes, cookies, muffins and savory dishes for years now! Their commitment to quality and TASTEFUL food paved the way for much of Seattle’s gluten-free progress and I’m forever grateful! If you’re not located in Seattle you can STILL enjoy their amazing food thanks to the new recipe book Flying Aprons Gluten-Free and Vegan Baking Book.

 

 

Our Tried and True Recipes
There have been quite a few requests for gluten-free recipes on the blog and we’ve been enjoying some wonderful gluten-free recipes that I’ve been posting on the Gluten-Free page as we try them! Also I wanted to highlight a few great sites for you. If you have any that you discover on your gluten-free journey that you’re loving PLEASE write and let me know so I can include them in this list! This is a journey for ALL of us to share and I’m happy to update this list as more resources that you find to be “tried and true” surface!
Update: I’ve also created a page dedicated to living gluten-free which you can view here: Gluten-Free Living

Recipe Inspiration

  • elana’s pantry includes many gluten-free as well as paelo recipes for everyday foods that you may have thought were “off-limits” due to dietary restrictions or lifestyle changes. She also includes substitution’s for making recipes gluten-free¬† which I found incredibly helpful! There truly is a science to baking and keeping the right ratios of ingredients to retain the right consistency and taste.
  • cannelle et vanille has a long list of some really wonderful looking gluten-free goodies from sweets to savories, breakfast to dinners and everything in between you’ll find some great inspiration for gourmet gluten-free cooking
  • one of my go-to sites for natural and healthy living is Whole Life Nutrition which contains a plethora of recipes for not only gluten-free living, but also cleanses and natural living recipes, tips tricks and plans (they also have a section of the elimination diet which might be helpful for you to read up on if you’re newly gluten-intolerant)
  • gluten-free goddess is an EXCELLENT blog about all things gluten-free and some lovely food photography as well!
  • gluten-free girl and the chef is a fun site with recipes and videos for a gluten-free lifestyle
  • another site i love, 101 cookbooks, has some great gluten-free recipes that you can take a look at and their photos are truly inspiriting!
  • Whole Foods is my go-to market for gluten-free baking and cooking. They also have awesome recipes and menu ideas posted online!
  • PCC Natural Markets also has online recipes, tips for gluten-free living as well as aisles stocked with products and friendly staff that can help you on your journey! Go wander for a few hours and you’ll find some treats!
  • Search Results for Pintrest Boards titled Gluten-Free Living (I have not clicked through and verified that all recipes listed are gluten-free. I’m merely providing a way for 4 more hours of you day to dispensary while you get lost in Pintrest!)

And there you have it wonderful friends! A VERY swift gluten-free 101 guide! PLEASE contact me if you have specific questions, need recipe help, have a recipe or resource to share!!!

Cheers to delicious living!!!

Easter Brunch Cake: Spiced Carrot Cake w/ Walnut Coconut Glaze (Paleo)

Spiced Carrot Cake w/ Walnut Coconut Glaze
Spiced Carrot Cake w/ Walnut Coconut Glaze

Happy Easter everyone!! What better way to celebrate the Seattle sun than with a delicious cake for Easter brunch. A member of the family recently enrolled in cooking school so this was the year for me to take a back seat in the kitchen and a prime seat on the patio with a mimosa and let someone else do the work!

But, a chef can’t QUITE sit still that long so I whipped up a breakfast cake recipe, keeping in mind the diet of our Paleo host and hostess and I have to report that it turned out to be a delightful little post-brunch treat.

I was positive that our new chef would do just fine filling our stomachs with the main course so we needed a festive cake that was just a tad sweet, had a nice moist yet crunchy texture and a flavor that was both rich and light to satisfy the last few remaining bits of space in our brunch-ers stomachs. This cake did the trick! I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, since my recipes are comprised of a little of this and a handful of that but the measurements below are rough estimates.

Notes: If it feels a bit dry, add more applesauce or soy milk. A bit too wet ¬†opt for more coconut or a dash more flour. With the glaze, keep the mindset that less water is better! It’s easier to add more water than have a half batch of glaze leftovers.

I did a bit too much and wound up with a half bowl of glaze! Above all else, pour another mimosa and have a wonderful day!!

 

Spiced Carrot Cake w/ Walnut Coconut Glaze (Paleo)

  • 1/2 c apple sauce
  • 1 c coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 c packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/3 c soy milk
  • 2 c shredded carrots
  • 1/3 c unsweetened coconut

Glaze & Topping:

  • 1/3 c unsweetened coconut
  • water (as much as needed)
  • chopped walnuts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8inch round cake pan with Pam or Misto with Canola oil.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, applesauce and soy milk until smooth.
  4. Gently mix egg mixture into dry ingredients until moistened; mix in carrots. Transfer batter to prepared pan.
  5. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes (if browning too quickly, tent cake with aluminum foil). Cool in pan, 15 minutes. Turn out of pan, remove paper, and cool completely on a rack, right side up.
  6. Transfer to cake pedestal, and sprinkle with crumbled walnuts
  7. Make glaze and drizzle over the top of the cake and walnuts or dust with confectioners’ sugar.

Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies

Disclaimer: This is a recipe for GLUTEN-FREE gingerbread. If you’re looking for regular gluten-FILLED gingerbread, you can find the recipe HERE.

Starting before Thanksgiving, there is a certain craving that I start to notice. It’s not just for the warmth of a cup of tea, or the delicious flavors of roasted turkey and holiday meals. No, it’s much MUCH more than that… I get the urge to bake EVERYTHING in my recipe books!¬† Channeling the reverse of Santa who consumes the baked goods, I try to make enough cookies, cakes and treats to feed everyone who might get within 10 feet of my door! Unless you adore baked goods being forced upon you at every turn, it’s best to avoid me for the holiday season!

While I do a lot of baking for others, which includes cooking with those luxuries I can’t enjoy like whole milk and butter, there are a few treats that I make in abundance purely to keep around the house. Gingerbread¬† cookies are my ALL TIME favorite! How can one go wrong with the delicious rich spices, the crunch of the crispy edges and the soft wonderful center… the complimentary royal icing that adorns the top of that lovely treat and even more, the sprinkles or toppings that are hand-picked to decorate the surface of such a treat. Okay okay, I’m getting a little too into the description of the cookie but does that explain how much I adore them!

I love gingerbread and use ANY excuse to throw a party (yes, it’s actually true!) so it goes without saying that I host a gingerbread decorating party each year. This year, there were actually quite a few gluten-free guests in attendance and I decided that it would be a good exercise to be a bit more mindful with minimizing gluten in my own diet. So, off on the adventure I was to make a gluten-free gingerbread cookie! COOKIES FOR ALL!!! For the cookie part, I complied the recipe from a few different ones that I found and¬† kinda pulled a “wing-it” with this one. They turned out GREAT! I love Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flour, even the non-glutards (don’t get offended… I’m a lactard) couldn’t tell the difference and enjoyed them!!


Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies

Ingredients

5 Cups Bob’s Redmill Gluten-Free flour
2 T. baking powder
2 t. baking soda
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. ground ginger
1 t. salt
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1/2 t. ground cloves
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup molasses T. vanilla

In a small bowl, stir together gluten-free flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg, and cloves, and set aside.
In a medium bowl, place the remaining ingredients, and stir to combine.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir well to combine.
Cover the bowl, place it in the refrigerator, and chill the dough for 1 hour or more.
Using a little safflower oil, lightly oil (or mist with oil) two non-stick cookie sheets and set aside.
Sprinkle a little gluten-free flour over a work surface.
Divide the chilled dough into quarters, work with only one-quarter of the dough at a time, and keep the remaining dough covered and chilled until needed.
Working in batches, roll out the quarter of dough to 1/4-inch thickness, and cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters.
Carefully transfer the cut cookies to the prepared cookie sheet.
Bake them at 350 degrees for 6 minutes (the cookies will feel slightly soft to the touch).
Allow them to cool on the cookie sheets for 3 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.
Repeat the rolling and cutting-out procedure for the remaining cookie dough.
Store the cookies in an airtight container.

Good House Keeping Royal Frosting
2 cup(s) confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoon(s) meringue powder
3 tablespoon(s) water, plus additional as needed
Assorted food colorings (optional)
Directions
In bowl, with mixer at low-speed, beat confectioners’ sugar, meringue powder, and water until blended. Scrape side of bowl with rubber spatula. Increase speed to medium; beat until soft peaks form, about 10 minutes. Icing should be stiff enough to hold its shape when piped. Thin with more water, if needed.
Tint icing with food colorings as desired; keep surface covered with plastic wrap to prevent drying out.