gluten-free

Sweet Ambrosia Cookies

Ambrosia: The food of the gods. It is said the consumption of ambrosia results in immortality.

Recipe: Sweet Ambrosia Cookies

I can't promise immortality, though I will say these honey-sweetened aromatic cookies are pretty satisfying and delicious :-) Inspired by Tahini Oatmeal Walnut Cookies, these are made with sweet nutty sunflower seed butter, which is abundant in these parts (and for some, easier to digest than tahini). Rich and healthy, these gems also contain oats, pecans, coconut, vanilla and cinnamon. These cookies happen to be vegan and wheat-free/gluten-free - they're really quick and easy to make too!

How to make your own healthy baking powder

The other day I ran out of baking powder, so I decided to make my own. I was delighted with how easy it was, and how well it worked in my recipes - just as good as the store-bought stuff. The best part is, the home-made variety doesn't contain aluminum, so it's much better for you, and doesn't impart an aluminum flavour. (Knowing what we do about aluminum, I'm surprised that some baking powders still have it! To be fair, the store-bought baking powder I used didn't contain aluminum, it had corn starch, monocalcium phosphate, and sodium bicarbonate.) Another bonus to making your own: you can choose your own starch, I use tapioca starch. (Typically, baking powder contains corn or wheat starch, so this recipe is good for people with corn or gluten intollerances/allergies.)

Recipe: Aluminum-free Baking Powder

Happy healthy baking :-)

Sprouted Quinoa Cornbread


Fresh cornbread with homemade guacamole: yum!

Here's another healthy tasty quick bread for cornbread lovers ~

Recipe: Quinoa Cornbread

I've updated classic cornbread to make it healthier, without compromising flavour or texture. Like my Quinoa Rice Bread, this is also made with germinated/sprouted quinoa seeds, resulting in a moist delicious nutritious bread that's surprisingly easy to make. (I've served it to non-health nuts with rave reviews :-) It's also great for special diets, as it's naturally gluten-free, and optionally dairy-free and sugar-free.

Fresh cornbread with guacamole.

Surrounded by a lovely crust, this cornbread is terrific warm and fresh out of the oven. If keeping longer than a day, I wrap it up and store it in the fridge, and then toast or grill thick slices - particularly good topped with homemade guacamole, or butter and honey!

Toasted cornbread with butter and honey.

Spring Experiments & Fabulous Gluten-free Recipes

Image (a tasty little experiment): Mini Rice Flour Cream Puffs with Rose Water Icing (coloured with beet juice)

Lately I've been busy in the kitchen experimenting and tweaking new recipes. Stay tuned for Toasted Coconut Granola, Sweet Ambrosia Cookies, Sprouted Quinoa Cornbread, and more... In the meantime, check out these fabulous rich chocolate recipes - all gluten-free:

Amaranth, Quinoa and Dark Chocolate Cake
“Lighter than Air” Chocolate Cake
Very Healthy Chocolate Bars
Chocolate Pavlova

Happy baking!

Marvelous Macaroons


The first time I had a real fresh almond macaroon was in French Switzerland. After one sweet crisp chewy almondy bite, I was hooked. Later, I looked up recipes for classic French-style almond macaroons, and was pleased to see how simple they are (basic ingredients; almonds, egg whites, sugar) and easy to make. Another bonus: they're gluten-free! After several delicious experiments, I came up with this lovely not-too-sweet version of classic French-style almond macaroons, here made with fresh almond flour, fragrant orange zest and honey.

Recipe: Honey Almond Macaroons

Miam miam!

Gluten-Free Sprouted Quinoa Rice Bread


It's official: I'm off wheat gluten, for now... I've been avoiding wheat gluten for the last month, and have been feeling generally healthier: less bloating, less overall aches and pains, better mood too :-) I went on a bit of a wheat binge yesterday, and bam! Bloating, joint pain, and a noticeably compromised immune system. Good thing there are many other great things to eat besides wheat out there. Here's a delicious moist gluten-free quick-bread I've been enjoying:


Recipe:
Quinoa Rice Bread

Similar to cornbread, this bread is made with healthy sprouted quinoa and brown rice flour instead of cornmeal. Sprouting the quinoa is easy: rinse the seeds in cold water (3X), then soak the seeds in at least twice as much room temperature water (6-12 hours) and voila! your quinoa is germinated/sprouted. This makes the seeds healthier, easier to digest, and easier to puree (which is perfect for this recipe). This bread is great fresh out of the oven with butter, alongside hearty soups, or toasted and slathered with nut butter and honey for breakfast. The slice in the photo is embellished with almond butter, raw honey, and cinnamon: yum!

rich dark chocolate spread


As a child, I absolutely loved spreading nutella on my toast. These days, I'm more into dark chocolate, as well as natural healthy whole ingredients. I came up with this exquisite silky dark chocolate spread to satisfy my craving:
Recipe: Noir Chocolate Spread

It's perfect for slathering on toast, crackers, rice cakes, or for enjoying with strawberries or other fruit. This sweet decadent raw vegan treat is good for you too: rich in healthy omega-3 flax oil, full of antioxidant-rich cocoa, and sweetened with raw agave syrup.

The bread in the photo is gluten-free quinoa bread from Little Stream Bakery, a superb moist almost-cake-like sourdough bread, my current favorite :-)

Gluten-Free Oats?


Photo of oat flowers (avena sativa) by Andreas Trepte

Are oats gluten-free? For someone with Celiac Disease who can't tollerate wheat gluten (almost 1% of the population), this is an important question. Adi Lucas posted this sweet comment and great question under my recipe for Spiced Pineapple Oat Cookies:

"Hello Patty and thanks for the wonderful recipe. I´m always trying to improve my stash of healthy recipes and this one works great for me! I love oats as it goes fine with the small amount of carbs I include on my daily diet. My question is the following: I have heard that oats are forbidden for celiac disease and as I have a good friend with this problem, I´d like to know what kind of oats you use in this recipe so I can tell her about it. Thanks."

Candida, Xylitol, & Spiced Pineapple Oat Cookies

I was recently on a moderate version of the candida diet (a.k.a anti-candida diet). It's a particularly difficult diet, as you need to "starve the yeast" (candida) in your system by NOT eating sugar (refined, natural, sweet fruits...), yeast, refined flours (including starches), mushrooms, fermented food (tofu, cocoa, tea), vitamins/supplements with yeast (like most B vitamins), most dairy, alcohol, vinegar (except apple cider vinegar), nuts/seeds (because they often have mold on them)... The hardest part for me was not eating nuts!

Fat Tuesday!


New Orleans Mardi Gras maskers, c. 1915, scanned from old postcard. Note women carry whips to fend off any unwanted attentions. (Wikipedia)

It's Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Pancake Day, the last day of Carnival! I'm putting on something sparkly and frying up some pancakes tonight :-)

  • Festive pancake recipes:

Awesome Almond Buckwheat Pancakes - a personal favorite
Swedish Pancake - a lovely giant pancake you bake
Dee's Oatmeal Pancakes Recipe - these sound great
corn and bacon pancakes
- yes, bacon in pancakes is awesome! (get oganic)
Oatmeal Bacon Pancakes - Irish recipe, sounds yummy

  • Pancakes for hardcore healthy eaters + gluten-free:

Super Pancakes (for one or more) - packed with nutritious filling whole grains
Carolyn's Breakfast Pancakes - "...we have had this breakfast EVERY SINGLE DAY for the past 2 years"
Protein Power Pancakes - quick easy gluten-free sugar-free breakfast for one
Gluten Free / Sugar Free / Lactose Free Pancakes - the name says it all
Delicious Gluten-Free Pancakes - this has great reviews