just a drop of simple sunshine


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Multi-Seed Bread

There’s a recipe floating out there for a coconut flax bread, which I believe originated from Tropical Traditions. It is indeed delicious, but my tummy? Cannot handle that much flax seed. I feel uncomfortably full for most of the day afterwards, & that’s just not a fun state to be in. But, it being a rather delicious bread made with 100% Real Food ingredients, I really wanted to turn this into a bread I could enjoy.

Enter: the Chia seed.

Chia seeds are, believe it or not, the same thing from the “Chi-chi-chi-CHIA!” commercials! They’re completely edible & rather interesting – they form a sort of gel & are chock full of protein, fiber, & good fats.

Multi-Seed Bread

gluten-free, high-fiber

What you need:

  • 1 cup coconut flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup flax meal
  • 1/4 cup chia seed + 1/4 cup water, set aside to gel
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar

 

How to do it:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°
  2. Mix together dry ingredients, adding chia gel.
  3. Add wet ingredients, mixing well.
  4. Grease a baking pan (I use a standard bread pan; it’s what I have!) with a bit more butter & gently place batter inside. It’s a very dense, heavy batter than doesn’t rise all that much, so be sure to not squish it firmly into the pan.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes or until a knife comes out clean!
  6. Serve warm smothered in butter, or after it’s cooled, with peanut butter & jelly. Enjoy!


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Gluten-free cheesy biscuits

Cheddar bay biscuits, anyone? Every time I pass our Red Lobster, I sigh mournfully. Although they might be one of the better restaurants for the gluten-free crowd (om nom scampi om nom nom), I know the cheddar bay biscuits will be too much to bear. I can pass on Outback’s pumpernickel, Brown Derby’s rolls, & every other restaurant’s bread du jour.

But the biscuits? I knew I’d eaten my last.

Or so I thought!

I don’t even know how or why inspiration struck, but I’m so glad that it did, & even more so that my original idea worked so well! Turns out the basic coconut muffin recipe is incredibly versatile – not only can it be used to make muffins & bread, but you can add biscuits to its resume, too.

Cheesy biscuits

gluten-free, grain-free

What you need:

  • 1/3 cup butter, plus more for pan
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup cheddar or colby jack cheese, shredded (more if desired!)
  • 2 tablespoons dried chives

 

How to do it:

  1. Melt butter. Stir in eggs.
  2. Add coconut flour, chives, salt, baking soda, & baking powder.
  3. Stir in cheese.
  4. Generously grease a cookie sheet, then drop large spoonfuls of batter onto the sheet. (It made 12 for me)
  5. Bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes, until a knife comes out clean.
  6. Completely optional step: throw a bit more shredded cheese on top, then pop back into the oven for a few minutes until melted.

 

This is… oh man, I was so excited when I bit into it. SO, SO GOOD! Perfect when hot, slathered with butter. Fabulous with a bit of pepperoni. I think next time I might try to make pepperoni rolls with them – the flavors are just so good together. These would be great as bun alternatives for upcoming Memorial Day cookouts – sliders, anyone?

If you try these out, definitely let me know what you think!


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Coconut flour banana bread

Is there anything so delicious as butter smeared on just-baked banana bread? Personally, I’m not so sure. With a few bananas well past their edible-as-is state, I decided to try my hand at a gluten-free banana bread. The husband didn’t like it so much – “I think I’ve lost my taste for bread. Except for muffins. I still like muffins. Hint hint.” were his words, but I declared loudly: More for me!

This totally hit the spot. As with many things I thought I’d given up for good, I didn’t even realize how much I missed it. Now, to be fair, it’s been so long (a year & a half, at least) since I’ve had the real stuff that I can’t honestly say it tastes just like the real thing. Frankly, I think I’m just so used to the consistency & taste of coconut flour that that tastes “normal” to me now. But try it out, & let me know what you think!

This recipe might look familiar, as it’s basically the same one for my gluten-free coconut flour muffins. Hooray for easy recipe transfers!

Banana bread

gluten-free, high fiber

What you need:

  • 2-3 very over-ripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup butter, plus more for pan
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup nuts (optional; I used sliced almonds)

 

How to do it:

  1.  Melt butter. Stir in eggs, bananas, vanilla, & honey.
  2. Add flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, & baking powder.
  3. Gently mix in nuts
  4. Generously grease a bread pan, then pour in batter.
  5. Bake at 350° for about forty minutes, until a knife comes out clean. This won’t raise like the traditional stuff does, but I personally found it just as tasty.

 

This was breakfast for about a week. I personally love to eat it with some cheese & cold meat, maybe a few fresh strawberries. Delicious!


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Rivvin’s Amazing Microwave Bread

mmm turkey time...

Let’s face it – there’s not much easier & cheaper than throwing a sandwich together. I’ve been experimenting with the coconut flax bread recipe that’s out there, & I do have a coconut-flax-chia seed bread that I really like, but those take time to bake & I’m having some difficulties making it last longer than a few days before it goes bad. The oopsie bread recipe is amazing, but that’s also a long process (quite messy, too), so I don’t make it all that often.

I’ve looked at available gluten-free breads, but their nutrition is iffy & wow, they’re expensive! Spending seven dollars on a tiny loaf of bread that may or may not be tasty completely defeats the purpose of eating a sandwich. But since I went gluten-free, I’ve been determined to find an acceptable substitute. So when I happened upon the MDA forum thread The Sandwich is Back, and He’s Pretty Pissed, I’ll admit, I was skeptical (albeit amused), having tried so many promising recipes that have ultimately failed. But Rivvin’s recipe for five minute microwave bread also made me curious, & as I was delighted to discover that I still had a bag of almond meal back in the way back of the cupboard, I gave it a shot.

You know what? It’s really quite good. So fast, so tasty, & it definitely has the texture of wheat bread. I do feel that it’s far too much bread for one serving – flax & almond meals are very filling, what with all that fiber, so you don’t need a very big or thick slice. So! Here’s my take for making two sandwiches:

Five Minute Microwave Bread

quick & easy

What you need:

  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter or coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup combination of almond meal & flax meal – I’ve been using two tablespoons of each. I do NOT recommend using the full 1/4 cup of flax only, & don’t even bother trying out coconut. I tried with one tablespoon coconut, two tablespoons of almond meal, & one tablespoon of flax, & it just didn’t really work.

 

How to do it:

  1. Mix everything together, then pour into a square glass dish. Spread evenly.
  2. Microwave for 90-100 seconds.
  3. Cut into four squares (I use a silicon spatula) & flip out of pan. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then doctor it as you like!

 

If you want to save your second sandwich for the next day, wrap it loosely in a paper towel, parchment, or wax paper. Tuck it inside a bag, & place somewhere cool (your pantry, perhaps?). Putting it in the fridge was a definite failure – the bread just fell apart & stuck to the paper towel, which made me quite sad that lunch hour.

April’s issue of Whole Living featured an article entitled Make a Better Sandwich, & for the first time in a long time, I’m looking forward to testing out some of these ideas. Yay for the sandwich being back in my life!


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Coconut flour muffins

I’ll tell you right up front: this recipe borrows heavily from Elana Amsterdam’s Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins. Thing is, I link to it so often, with my variations, that I figured it’d be easier to just post how I make them. Thank you for creating these, Elana! I love them oh-so-much!

My husband LOVES muffins, & he especially loves them with strawberries. Personally, I love a good old-fashioned blueberry muffin, but I’m not picky. Sometimes I make these with my usual Sunday morning cook-a-thon, & they never seem to last long enough.

Coconut flour muffins

gluten-free, high fiber – makes eight muffins

What you need:

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 cup fruit, thawed if frozen (blueberries, strawberries, peaches, blackberries – the possibilities are endless!)

 

How to do it:

  1. Melt butter
  2. Mix all ingredients, except fruit, together in a large bowl.
  3. Allow to rest for about five minutes.
  4. Stir in fruit.
  5. GREASE muffin pan or muffin liners with butter. Without it, the muffin sticks to the liners in a most unfortunate way.
  6. Pour batter into muffin pan/liners. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes, until a knife comes out clean.

 

Enjoy! Next time you have a staff meeting or other engagement that will include donuts, bagels, & the like, take these along. They’re quite divine with a nice cup of English Breakfast tea…