December 29, 2010

Gluten Free Apple Crisp

1:32 PM 4 Comments
It’s a tradition in my house to eat apple crisp for breakfast on Christmas morning. We used the same recipe for many years but when my mother discovered that she had a gluten intolerance we of course had to switch it up a bit. After searching on the internet for recipes I remained unsatisfied with everything I found. I instead decided to make my own using a few as templates as well as the recipe we always used. In our recipe we use a technique where we add cornstarch and water to the apples. I could not find this technique with any recipe but I like it as it gives more substance to the fruit than traditional recipes.

I was worried that this would not be sweet enough but it came out perfect. I love this recipe because it’s healthy enough to eat for breakfast yet indulgent enough for Christmas. We usually assemble this the night before and then just pop it in the oven in the morning.

Gluten Free Apple Crisp

3-4 large apples (like granny smith)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup agave nectar
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup warm water

3/4 cup gluten free oats
1/4 cup rice flour
1 tbsp ground flax seed
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and get out an 8 by 8 inch pan
Chop up the apples into coarse bite sized pieces (you can leave the peels on its easier, healthier, and more delicious). Put into the pan and toss with vanilla extract, lemon juice, cinnamon, agave nectar, and cornstarch. Then add the warm water. Spread evenly.

Before going into the oven

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the oats, rice flour, ground flax seed, brown sugar, maple syrup, and spices. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender, two knives, or even you hands until the mixture is crumbly and the largest pieces of butter are the size of peas. Sprinkle this mixture over the apples.

Bake for about an hour, or until the apples are cooked and liquid is seeping in through the topping.

After, mmm... look at that delicious apple juice. It looks like caramel!

Serve with sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream to make it extra special!

December 27, 2010

Stollen for Daring Bakers

5:45 PM 4 Comments
Stollen has always been a part of my Christmas. My German dad buys it every year from the store. I can't remember a year that I haven't eaten a bit of Stollen. Sometimes filled with marzipan or rum flavored. I've been looking for a reason to make it myself and what better reason than my first Daring Bakers challenge? Plus its a great way to practice my German. Fröhliche Weihnachten!

Stollen is a sweet bread, much like fruit cake but denser and I think usually not as sweet. Traditionally Stollen is filled with a role of marzipan to symbolize the baby Jesus wrapped in cloth. I chose not to fill my Stollen with marzipan. If you would like to, its easy to make or you can buy marzipan.

"And a piece of Stollen in a Christmas tree"

For my Daring Bakers Stollen I used a combination of raisins, dried cranberries, prunes, and almonds. I also spiced it with cinnamon and nutmeg and did not sprinkle powdered sugar on top. It came out very well so I was happy and surprised by the results.
Ich esse gern Stollen!

Are there any treats you've always wanted to bake?

December 23, 2010

Cream Cheese Topped Gluten Free Coffee Cake

4:47 PM 2 Comments
My mom's birthday comes the day before the first day of winter. As I've mentioned before, she has a gluten allergy. Of course no birthday is complete without cake so I make her a special gluten free dessert.

By the way I honestly started making this the second I got home from my exam. I think I went into baking withdrawal for those couple weeks that I was only studying.

I found this recipe off Hey That Tastes Good. I changed it to match the types of flours I had and it still turned out amazing. This cake is absolutely delicious, you will not even believe that its gluten free!

The base is fluffy, the cream cheese on top is smooth and dreamy like cheesecake, and the strusel gives it all a nice sweet crunch.

Cream Cheese Topped Coffee Cake
adapted from Hey That Tastes Good

For the base:
1 cup rice flour
1/3 cup arrowroot starch
3 tbsp tapioca starch
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp guar gum
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2/3 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 375. In a small bowl, blend together the rice flour, arrowroot starch, tapioca starch, salt, guar gum, and baking powder, set aside. Cream the butter and sugar, then beat in the egg, followed by the milk. Add the vanilla, then stir in the flour mixture. Blend well and spread into an 8" cake pan

For the blue berries:
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 tbsp sugar
Toss the berries in the sugar, and sprinkle over the cake layer.

For the cream cheese layer:
8 oz (about 1 cup) cream cheese, softened
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
Cream the cream cheese with the egg, sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice. Beat until smooth, and drop then smooth on top of the berries.

For the streusel:
2 tbsp rice flour
2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Mash together all the ingredients with a fork until crumbly. Sprinkle over the cheese layer.
Bake the cake about 45-60 minutes, until no longer jiggley in the center, and starting to brown. Cool completely before serving.

December 20, 2010

Joy to the World Exams are Done!

6:12 PM 1 Comments

Sorry for the long hiatus. I wish I could say that I was doing something exciting but I spent most of my time studying :( and then imaging all the yummy things I was going to make over winter break. I can't wait!
And now for the long awaited oatmeal recipe!

Mmmm...chocolate, banana, and peanut butter. These are possibly the best foods in existence! I'm not sure about you guys but I need to eat peanut butter and chocolate every day. What's not to love about this great combination?
If you thought that putting juice in oatmeal was a great idea just wait until you try hot cocoa mix powder!
This recipe is sweet and smooth like pudding. You can add more or less peanut butter and hot cocoa to your own taste preferences.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Pudding Oatmeal

1/3 cup quick oats
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 banana
1 tbsp hot cocoa mix powder (or to taste)
1 tbsp peanut butter (or to taste)

Combine oats, water, and milk in a saucepan over medium high heat.
Thinly slice banana and add to the mix.
Allow mixture to cook until it starts to bubble and then stir the banana in.
Lower heat and cook, stirring frequently until all liquid is absorbed
Top with more banana and peanut butter if desired

November 20, 2010

Cranberry Oatmeal

9:36 PM 4 Comments

 I'm not much of a juice drinker but one morning I had a revelation and thought "Hey, why don't I try cooking oatmeal with some juice?" we had some cranberry juice so I decided to use that.
Oh my, was it ever marvelous! Honestly it was all I could think about every morning and I haven't gone a week without making it since!
The juice adds extra taste and sweetness to the oats, bringing it to a whole new level.
I would say this is the perfect bowl of oatmeal to have around the holidays. What says Christmas more than cranberries?

Oatmeal with whipped cream just for fun

Cranberry Oatmeal
1/3 cup quick oats
1/3 cup cranberry juice
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup water
ground flax seeds (optional)
dried cranberries

Combine oats and liquids in a saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil.
Reduce to medium heat and add dried cranberries and ground flax seed.
Cook for a few minutes until all liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently
Remove from heat and if desired sprinkle some more dried cranberries on top or drizzle on some extra cranberry juice.

If you like, you could substitute some of the water or milk for more juice which would make the cranberry taste even better.

* If you are on a gluten free diet, ensure that the oats are labelled gluten free.


November 16, 2010

The Oatmeal Obsession

9:57 PM 0 Comments
Yes I like many, love oatmeal.
There's just something about a warm creamy bowl of oats that I can't get enough of.
If you haven't caught on to this cult like oatmeal following yet here are some reasons why you should:

  1. The phytochemicals in oats may have cancer-fighting properties
  2. Oats are a good source of nutrients including vitamin E, zinc, selenium, copper, iron, maganese, and magnesium. They are also a good source of protein
  3. Oatmeal can lower blood cholesterol because of a special fiber (betaglucan) found in it which takes out bad cholesterol as it travels through your body
  4. It can aid in weight loss as it makes your tummy feel full. Also oatmeal is only 150 calories per half a cup!
  5. Oats are low in fat and full of carbohydrates so they're a good source of energy
  6. Oatmeal has plenty of vitamin B, which is important for the brain and nervous system to function properly and may help aid in memory function

If these reasons don't get you eating it, (or if you already are) stay tuned because I'm going to be posting some delicious oatmeal recipes!

November 13, 2010

Gluten Free Oatmeal Almond Butter Cookies

8:18 PM 2 Comments

My mom has a wheat allergy so naturally I bake a lot of gluten free things for her.

Recently a gluten free diet has become increasingly popular as we are finding that the gluten in wheat products is covering our digestive tracts,  resulting in less than optimal absorption of nutrients. Therefore, many people are beginning to believe that cutting out all gluten is healthy. This is good for my mom as now many companies are offering gluten free options.

I really like this cookie recipe because not only does it not use any flour, all the ingredients are easily accessible. These cookies are delightfully crunchy and perfect for dunking into your beverage of choice as all the liquid is easily absorbed by the oats.

Gluten Free Almond Butter Cookies
makes around 30
1 1/2 cups gluten free rolled oats
1 tbsp ground flaxseeds (optional)
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup almonds, coarsely chopped and roasted
dried cranberries (optional)
1/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp butter
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1/3 cup almond butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Mix together oatmeal, baking soda and ground flax seeds. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix together white sugar, brown sugar, butter or margarine and peanut butter. Beat until combined and creamy. 
Beat in egg until combined.
Combine the two mixtures.
Mix in almonds, chocolate chips, and dried cranberries.
Wet your hands. Roll into small balls. (they will spread out quite a bit)
Bake on a greased cookie sheet for 10 to 12 minutes.

November 9, 2010

Honey Cupcakes

6:42 PM 2 Comments

I always choose natural alternatives when I sweeten something. My favorite is agave followed by maple syrup and then delicious honey. I also like to tell myself that I am baking something slightly healthier when I use these.

Natural sweeteners are still like sugar because they are essentially empty calories. However, they are less harsh on your blood glucose levels than refined sugar and also may offer some healthful properties such as antibotics (specifically in honey) and zinc (specifically in maple syrup). You can also take into account that typically natural sweeteners are sweeter than sugar so you can use less. This helps save in calories!
My reason for choosing natural sweeteners is simply because I think they taste better.

This recipe was inspired from a cook book that  commemorated a similar cupcake to a region in France. The base is a super moist honey cupcake with a creamy blueberry goat cheese frosting.
If you don't have blueberry goat cheese you can substitute plain goat cheese or even cream cheese if you like then add some fresh or dried blueberries in (my goat cheese had dried blueberries).

Honey Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes

1/2 cup white all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners.
Combine flours, baking powder, baking soda,  and salt in a a small bowl.
In another bowl beat butter, brown sugar, and vanilla until creamy. Then beat in egg.
Alternating, slowly beat in dry ingredients and milk on low speed until well mixed.
Fill muffin cups 3/4 of the way full.
Bake 20-25 min until golden and firm.

Blueberry Goat Cheese Frosting
Enough for 12 cupcakes

2/3 cup (150 g)blueberry goat cheese (or plain goat cheese or cream cheese)
1/2 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup icing sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice

Beat goat cheese and vanilla till creamy
Add sugar and juice  then beat till combined
Frost onto cooled cupcakes

November 7, 2010

Day One

9:20 PM 1 Comments
Hi everyone and welcome to my blog!
To start off let me introduce myself. My name is Katarina, I am 18 years old and in my first year of Kinesiology. I love health and wellness and try to incorpoarte healthy living every where I go.
I've been reading blogs and collecting recipes for a long time. I love healthy food and I LOVE to bake.
and oh yeah I adore cupcakes!