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Everything Free Chocolate Cranberry Cookies | Just Take A Bite

Everything Free Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

No need to give up special treats just because you have allergies. These everything free chocolate cranberry cookies are free of gluten, dairy, eggs, nuts, corn, soy and coconut but they taste amazing!

Everything Free Chocolate Cranberry Cookies | Just Take A Bite

I’m always on the lookout for allergen friendly recipes. But usually when a recipe says allergen friendly there is still something in it that my kids can’t have. So I have to be creative and do a lot of substituting. It also means I don’t bake many treats.

Sometimes you just need a cookie.

But we were all in the mood for cookies. So I came up with these everything free chocolate cranberry cookies. And since my son is allergic to cocoa his weren’t even chocolate chip. He just had cranberry cookies.

Everything Free Chocolate Cranberry Cookies | Just Take A Bite

Being egg and dairy free I didn’t really think they’d turn out that well.

Amazing results.

To my amazement they were so good. Actually the best cookie I have tasted in a long time. I think we ate a whole batch (half recipe) in about a day. I could have eaten them all myself…but I didn’t think my kids would be very happy about that.

Tallow is my secret.

I used tallow for the fat, which is about the best replacement for butter. Any softened fat will work including lard, palm shortening and butter. Even sunbutter could work. I generally don’t use coconut oil for cookies because they tend to all apart.

I replaced the eggs with grass-fed gelatin and water. They held together perfectly!

My favorite chocolate is Enjoy Life chocolate chips. No dairy, nuts or eggs.

Everything Free Chocolate Cranberry Cookies | Just Take A Bite

Truly free of everything.

Even in my family with about a million different allergies we could all enjoy these everything free chocolate cranberry cookies. Which means they really are free of just about everything! Try putting your own spin on them by using any dried fruit, spices or even carob chips. Dried cherries would be delicious!

I think I need to make a double batch now to keep some stashed in the freezer. It’s nice to have an easy, truly allergen friendly treat on hand.

Are you searching for an allergen friendly cookie that actually tastes good?

The search is over! Everyone will love these everything free chocolate cranberry cookies, whether they have allergies or not!

Everything Free Chocolate Cranberry Cookies | Just Take A Bite

Everything Free Chocolate Cranberry Cookies
Yields 30
An allergen friendly, easy-to-make cookie.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
  2. 1/2 cup fat of choice, room temperature (tallow, lard, butter, palm shortening) OR sunbutter
  3. 4 tsp. grass-fed gelatin
  4. 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. hot water
  5. 1/4 cup honey
  6. 1 1/2 cups brown rice flour (or sorghum)
  7. 1/2 cup teff flour
  8. 1 tsp. baking soda
  9. 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  10. 1/2 cup optional add-ins: chocolate chips, dried fruit
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350*F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat.
  2. Cream the sugar and softened fat.
  3. Dissolve the gelatin in the hot water.
  4. Add the gelatin water and honey to the creamed mixture. Beat well.
  5. Add the flour, baking soda and salt. Beat well.
  6. Stir in any add-ins.
  7. Scoop 2 Tbsp. mounds of dough, an inch apart, onto prepared baking sheets.
  8. Bake 20 minutes.
Notes
  1. Store the cookies in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 10 days or in the freezer for up to a year.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/
This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Soaked Teff Crackers | Just Take A Bite

Soaked Teff Crackers

Tired of the same old crackers? Try something new with soaked teff crackers. Allergen friendly, crunchy and salty these crackers are easy to eat for toddlers or strong enough to use for dipping.

Soaked Teff Crackers | Just Take A Bite

Normally when I do any gluten free baking I use at least two different flours, usually three. I really like this combination.

Single starches.

But when  you are on a very limited diet and are trying to rotate starches that gets tricky. You sometimes have to limit yourself to one grain/starch a day. Most gluten free flours don’t work well alone (have you ever tried baking with just tapioca…it doesn’t work so well). But there is one that does.

Teff!

Soaked Teff Crackers | Just Take A Bite

Teff is a very hearty grain that reminds me of wheat or rye. It gives great depth of flavor to baked goods. Sometimes I use it for about a quarter of the flour in my baking.

But other times I use it alone. Like in these soaked teff crackers.

Family favorite.

I started making them for my little one and I so we had something safe to snack on. But soon the whole family wanted them. My son even requested these in place of the crackers I had already made for him.

I like to keep a batch on hand at all times for dipping (hummus is my favorite), eating with soup or for an easy snack on the go.

These teff crackers have a little sugar so they are like Wheat Thins. But they don’t have any vegetable oils, gums or fillers. And the flour is soaked for better digestion. Teff crackers are the perfect solution to delicious gluten free snacking. I love to add extra salt on top to really satisfy my craving for a salty snack.

Soaked Teff Crackers | Just Take A Bite

Make it fast.

What’s even better is how easy they are to make! It takes about one minute to get the flour soaking. Then the next day you’ll have crackers in the oven with about ten minutes of hands on time.

This is a great project for little hands. Invite your kids into the kitchen and show them how fun and easy it is to make food from scratch.

Double the recipe and store half in the freezer. Snack on some and save some for easy lunch packing. Teff crackers, cheese slices and homemade lunch meat make the perfect homemade Lunchable.

The next time  you are in the mood for something crunchy make a batch of teff crackers. Just be sure to make it a big batch! They’ll go quickly.

Have you ever baked with teff?

Give it a try with these foolproof teff crackers. The whole family will love them.

Soaked Teff Crackers | Just Take A Bite

Soaked Teff Crackers
Yields 50
A gluten free Wheat Thin style cracker made with teff flour.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups teff flour
  2. 4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (or melted lard, tallow or butter)
  3. 6 Tbsp. warm water
  4. 1 tsp. lemon juice
  5. 1 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  6. 6 tsp. organic cane sugar
  7. 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  8. 3-6 Tbsp. water
Instructions
  1. Combine the flour, fat, warm water and lemon juice.
  2. Cover and let sit 7-24 hours.
  3. Heat oven to 350*F.
  4. Add the salt, sugar, baking soda and 3 Tbsp. water to the soaked mixture.
  5. Mix and knead dough by hand until a ball forms. Add more water if needed.
  6. Split the dough into three equal parts.
  7. Cut four pieces of parchment paper (the size of a baking sheet).
  8. Place one piece of dough on one piece of parchment paper. Top with another sheet of parchment paper.
  9. Roll the dough between the paper until it is about 1/8" thick.
  10. Remove the top layer of paper.
  11. Cut into desired shapes with a pizza cutter or cookie cutters.
  12. Sprinkle extra salt on top of the dough.
  13. Transfer the parchment paper to a baking sheet.
  14. Repeat with the remaining portions of dough.
  15. Bake the crackers for about 20 minutes, until golden.
  16. Turn off oven. Leave the crackers in the oven for 7-10 minutes, until crisp.
  17. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
  18. Store crackers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a month or in the freezer for up to a year.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/
 This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

My Favorite Gluten Free Flour Mix | Just Take A Bite

My Favorite Gluten Free Flour Mix

Gluten free baking can be intimidating and challenging. There are so many flours to choose from! I’m helping you out with my favorite gluten free flour mix.

My Favorite Gluten Free Flour Mix | Just Take A Bite

If you’ve ever tried gluten free baking you know it can be tricky. I can make the same recipe ten times and it turns out just a little differently every time. Though that may have more to do with my lack of precise measuring when I bake.

At any rate, gluten free baking is not nearly as forgiving as baking with wheat.

The ratio of sugar to fat is very important. But the real key to successful gluten free baking is using the right blend of flours.

Use all starchy flour and you’ll get a dry, crumbly mess. Use all seeds and you might have a gooey, dense blob.

There are so many flours to choose from when it comes to gluten free baking. My recipes usually call for a gluten free flour mix of your choice. Everyone has different things on hand. And a variety of flours will work.

But after years of experimenting I have come up with my favorite gluten free flour mix.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you some exact flours to use. This is a general rule. Then use what you have on hand.

My gluten free flour mix is:

My Favorite Gluten Free Flour Mix | Just Take A Bite

Not sure which is which? Here is a quick rundown of some common flours.

My Favorite Gluten Free Flour Mix | Just Take A Bite

For your next recipe that calls for two cups of gluten free flour use one cup of grain, a half cup of seed, nut or bean and a half cup of starch. Choose from the above lists. Play around with combinations to see what flavors you like best.

Give my gluten free flour mix a try and see how your gluten free baked goods turn out!

Note that white rice can be used as a grain or a starch. It is technically a grain. But white rice behaves similar to a starch.

My Favorite Gluten Free Flour Mix | Just Take A Bite

What is your favorite blend of flours?

I often use a combination of sorghum, amaranth and tapioca. My baked goods always come out well using those three.

Find your favorite combinations. Then mix up a whole batch so baking is simple. No measuring three or four flours at a time. Just use your mix!

Create a variety to rotate through different types of flour. Gluten free baking just got a little bit simpler.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Teff and Sorghum Cherry Bars | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Teff and Sorghum Cherry Bars

Teff and sorghum cherry bars combine two flavorful gluten free grains with a sweet summer fruit to make a soaked, allergen friendly bar.  Cherry bars are perfect for easy breakfasts, snacks or even dessert!

Teff and Sorghum Cherry Bars | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Cherries, cherries everywhere!

Did you take advantage of cherry season this year?

I think I blinked and it was over.  It lasted maybe two weeks.

I’m thankful we got a good haul while they were around.  I froze most of them.  But we still have a small bowl in the fridge that needs to be used up ASAP.

We could eat them fresh.  But we are all getting cherried-out after devouring them for a few days straight.

Instead I like to make teff and sorghum cherry bars.  My kids go crazy for these.

The dough is made with soaked gluten free grains and can be mixed by hand.  The cherries are combined with gelatin and touch of honey for a sweet cherry filling.

Trying to get your kids in the kitchen?

Teff and sorghum cherry bars are perfect for little hands that want to help.  The dough is very “hand friendly” and needs to be pressed into the pan.  It is also a very firm dough, so it doesn’t spill out of the bowl very easily.

Teff and Sorghum Cherry Bars | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Teff and Sorghum Cherry Bars {soaked, gluten free, dairy free, corn free, nut free, egg free, soy free, coconut free}
Serves 12
A simple soaked bar using fresh sweet cherries. It makes the perfect summer breakfast, snack or dessert!
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup teff flour
  2. 1 1/2 cups sorghum flour
  3. 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. warm water
  4. 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  5. 4 Tbsp. olive oil (or liquid fat of choice)
  6. 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. honey
  7. 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  8. 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  9. 2 tsp. grass-fed gelatin
  10. 1 cup sweet cherries, pitted and roughly chopped
  11. 1 Tbsp. hone
  12. 1 tsp. grass-fed gelatin
Instructions
  1. Combine the teff, sorghum, water, lemon juice and oil. Work the wet ingredients into the flour. It will be crumbly. Cover and let sit 7-24 hours.
  2. Heat oven to 350*F. Grease a 9" square baking pan.
  3. Mix the cherries, 1 Tbsp. honey and 1 tsp. gelatin. Set aside.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients to the flour mixture. Mix until combined.
  5. Press half of the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  6. Spread the cherry mixture on the dough.
  7. Top with the remaining half of dough.
  8. Bake for 35 minutes.
  9. Let the bars cool completely.
  10. Cut into bars.
  11. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator (for up to a week) or freezer (for up to 6 months).
Notes
  1. The sorghum can be replaced with white or brown rice flour.
  2. Avocado oil, melted butter, lard, tallow or coconut oil will also work in place of the olive oil.
  3. You can add chopped nuts or chocolate chips into the dough or on the cherry layer.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

Worried about allergens?

No need to be!  Teff and sorghum cherry bars are free of:

  • gluten
  • rice
  • dairy
  • nuts
  • corn
  • soy
  • eggs
  • coconut

The grains are also soaked for better digestion and absorption of nutrients.  What’s not to love about a treat like that?

Let’s not forget one of the stars of this bar…grass-fed gelatin!

The gelatin helps bind the bars, create a gooey filling and adds nutrients.

If you are looking for a simple breakfast, try teff and sorghum cherry bars.  Add a dish of whole milk yogurt, scrambled eggs or  pastured bacon and you’ve got a great start to your day.

Teff and sorghum cherry bars aren’t just for breakfast.

I love using cherry bars as a simple component in lunches.  A few slices of raw cheese, fresh in-season fruits and vegetables and a cherry bar…the perfect (and easy!!) summer lunch.  Bonus that it can all be eaten with your hands.

Not sure how to use up those last few cherries?  Give teff and sorghum cherry bars a try.  You many find yourself digging in to your freezer stash to make them all year long!

You can even add chopped nuts and chocolate chips to the batter or spread them on top of the cherries for a really special treat.

Did you miss out on cherries?

No problem.  Try these bars with blueberries!  Simply mash the berries a bit before adding the gelatin.

No matter what fruit you add these bars are delicious and a perfect summer treat.

What are some fun ways you use your fresh, summer fruit?

Teff and Sorghum Cherry Bars | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Soaked Gluten Free “Whole Wheat” Bagels

Soaked Gluten Free Whole Wheat Bagels | Homemade Dutch Apple PieHave I mentioned before that I love bagels?  I wish I had them on hand at all times.  I recently shared a recipe for sourdough bagels with strawberry cream cheese.

The sourdough bagels are great!  But not if you’re gluten free.

So I figured I better come up with a gluten free recipe too.  This is my “whole wheat” bagel that is soaked (for your digestion), gluten free, dairy free, nut free and corn free.  The teff gives a wheat flavor and color to the bagel.Soaked Gluten Free Whole Wheat Bagels | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

The outside is a bit chewy.  The inside is soft.  The texture is perfect for kids – not too hard to chew.

I used a donut pan to make these bagels. If you don’t have a donut pan you can make them in a muffin pan – there just won’t be a hole in the middle.

Homemade bagels are great for a quick breakfast or they are easy to pack up for a school lunch.

Bagels also freeze well.  So you can make a double or triple batch and keep your freezer stocked for easy meals.Soaked Gluten Free Whole Wheat Bagels | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Try the bagels with a variety of toppings – butter, coconut oil, jam, cream cheese, cashew butter or nut butter.  You can also turn it into a sandwich with egg salad, salmon salad, chicken salad or locally made lunch meat.

You really can’t go wrong with a bagel.  And this version is safe for almost everyone!  An added bonus is that there are no gums or fillers in these bagels.  Just pure, simple ingredients.

Do you enjoy bagels as much as I do?  You have to give these a try.

Soaked Gluten Free Whole Wheat Bagels | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Soaked Gluten Free "Whole Wheat" Bagels
Yields 6
A "wheaty" bagel that is gluten, dairy, nut and corn free.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  2. 1/2 cup sorghum flour (or white rice)
  3. 1/4 cup amaranth flour (or brown rice)
  4. 1/4 cup teff flour
  5. 1/2 cup warm water
  6. 1 Tbsp. lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
  7. 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
  8. 2 tsp. cane sugar
  9. 1 Tbsp. water
  10. 2 egg whites
  11. 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  12. 1/4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  13. 2 tsp. cane sugar
  14. 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  15. 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
Soak the flour
  1. In a large bowl combine the flours. Stir to remove any lumps.
  2. Add the water and lemon juice. Mix. Cover. Let sit 7-24 hours.
Make the bagels
  1. Grease a bagel or muffin pan.
  2. Combine the yeast, 2 tsp. sugar and 1 Tbsp. very warm water. Let sit 5 - 10 minutes.
  3. Add the egg whites and olive oil to the flour mixture. Beat one minute.
  4. Add the yeast mixture to the bowl. Beat 20 seconds.
  5. Add the salt, sugar, soda and cream of tartar to the bowl. Beat 20 seconds.
  6. Immediately pour the batter into the prepared donut pan, filling to the top.
  7. Place the donut pan in the oven. Turn on the oven light.
  8. Let rise 45 minutes.
  9. With the pan still in the oven, turn the oven on to 400*F.
  10. Set timer for 25 minutes.
  11. Remove the bagels from the pan and cool.
  12. Store in a bag at room temperature for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
  13. Slice in half and serve with your favorite toppings.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/


In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Simple Soaked Series: Gluten Free Crackers

These gluten free crackers are made with properly prepared soaked grains and are free of dairy, eggs, nuts and corn.  They make the perfect snack whether at home or on the go.Simple Soaked Series: Crackers | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

If there is one snack most kids love it’s crackers!  But it’s pretty rare to find a store-bought cracker that is not made with vegetable oils.  Not to mention the grains are not properly prepared.  Both of which create a recipe for disaster.

That means one thing – it’s time to make your own crackers!  Really, crackers are so easy to make.  I’ve made them many times before.

But recently I made a soaked version so I can feel really good about giving them to my kids (and myself!).  So I’m finishing my simple soaked series with a basic gluten free cracker recipe that can be used in so many ways.

These soaked gluten free crackers have great crunch and just the right balance of salt and sweetness.

Simple Soaked Series: Crackers | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

The base recipe is a Wheat Thin® style cracker.  It is made with a variety of gluten free flours for a mild flavor (I used tapioca, amaranth and sorghum).  Then a bit of salt and cane sugar balance each other to make the Wheat Thin® flavor.

You can also create a rye version using teff or more of a basic butter cracker.  Both of these will use a little less sugar than the Wheat Thin® version.  Try adding some  herbs and spices for a more sophisticated cracker.

Soaked gluten free crackers come together so quickly.  It takes about two minutes to get the flour soaking.  Then another five minutes to mix the dough and five minutes to roll and cut the dough.

Less than fifteen minutes of hands on time and you’ve got delicious, nutritious homemade crackers that your kids will love.  Even better – your kids can help make them!  Get in the kitchen and make a delicious snack together.

Simple Soaked Series: Crackers | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

If you really want to make them fun use small cookie cutters and create crackers in your child’s favorite shapes.  My kids love it when I make fish shaped crackers.

These make a great addition to school lunches with slices of raw cheese.  Homemade gluten free crackers are also a perfect accompaniment to a bowl of soup for lunch.  My kids love to use them for dipping!

I also like to serve homemade crackers with hummus and salsa.  Since my son can’t eat wheat, rice or corn it’s so nice for him to have something to use with dips.  A pile of homemade crackers with a bowl of hummus makes him one happy boy.

Make a big batch of gluten free crackers and store them in the cupboard or freezer.  You’ll have a healthy snack on hand that you know is good for your kids and is something they’ll love.  Homemade crackers are also a perfect snack to keep in the diaper bag.

Have you  ever made your own crackers?  Try this simple, properly prepared and allergen friendly version.  It’ll be a hit with the whole family.

Simple Soaked Series: Crackers | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Simple Soaked Series: Gluten Free Crackers
Yields 50
A simple soaked cracker that is gluten, dairy, egg, nut and corn free.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups any combination of gluten free flour (see notes for flavor combinations)
  2. 4 Tbsp. melted coconut oil or butter
  3. 6 Tbsp. warm water
  4. 1 tsp. lemon juice, whey, kefir or yogurt
  5. 1 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  6. 8 tsp. coconut sugar or cane sugar
  7. 3-6 Tbsp. water
Instructions
  1. Combine the flour, fat, warm water and lemon juice.
  2. Cover and let sit 7-24 hours.
  3. Heat oven to 350*F.
  4. Add the salt, sugar and 3 Tbsp. water to the soaked mixture.
  5. Mix and knead dough by hand until a ball forms. Add more water if needed.
  6. Split the dough into three equal parts.
  7. Cut four pieces of parchment paper (the size of a baking sheet).
  8. Place on piece of dough on one piece of parchment paper. Top with another sheet of parchment paper.
  9. Roll the dough between the paper until it is about 1/8" thick.
  10. Remove the top layer of paper.
  11. Cut into desired shapes with a pizza cutter or cookie cutters.
  12. Sprinkle extra salt on top of the dough if desired.
  13. Transfer the parchment paper to a baking sheet.
  14. Repeat with the remaining portions of dough.
  15. Bake the crackers for about 20 minutes, until golden.
  16. Turn off oven. Leave the crackers in the oven for 7-10 minutes, until crisp.
  17. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
  18. Store crackers in an airtight container at room temperature or in the freezer for long term storage.
Notes
  1. The base recipe creates a "Wheat Thin" style cracker with a slight sweetness.
  2. For a rye flavored cracker use 1/2 cup teff flour in your flour mixture. Reduce sugar to 4 tsp.
  3. For a butter cracker use at least 1 cup of "white" flour like rice or tapioca. Reduce sugar to 4 tsp.
  4. You can add herbs and seasonings like garlic powder to the dough for a variety of flavors.
  5. You can add 1/3 cup finely grated cheese to the dough to make cheese crackers.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/


In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Simple Soaked Series: Sweet Bread

Simple Soaked Series: Sweet Bread | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Now that we’ve learned why it’s important to properly prepare grains and how to use some common whole grains it’s time to share some simple soaked recipes.  I’m starting out with sweet bread.

One of things I bake most often is sweet bread.  It is perfect for breakfast, a snack or along side a big bowl of soup.  Plus we all love it.

Sweet bread is a great medium for adding lots of healthy fat like butter and coconut oil to your diet.  We like to really pile it on!  I love a bit sea salt on top as well for a great salty sweet combination. 

A basic sweet bread recipe is the perfect starting point for many varieties of bread.  You can keep it simple.  Or you can create various flavor combinations by adding dried fruit, fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, spices and chocolate chips.

The great thing about this sweet bread is that it is soaked for easier digestion and nutrient absorption.  So you can feel good about serving it to your family.

Simple Soaked Series: Sweet Bread | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

My kids LOVE sweet bread.  I need to start making double batches so some of it can actually make it to the freezer.  We go through these two loaves in a couple days.  It makes a great addition to lunch boxes for school…again piled high with butter.

If you manage to get some of your bread in the freezer it makes an easy no-prep breakfast on busy mornings.  Just grab it out of the freezer, top it with butter or coconut oil and pair it with some eggs, bacon, yogurt or raw milk.  Breakfast is served in no time.

This bread can also be used to make amazing french toast.  Dip slices in a dish of beaten eggs and milk and fry it in butter.  Then top it with maple syrup or honey and you have a special Saturday morning breakfast.

This recipe is for gluten, dairy, nut and corn free bread.  If you tolerate gluten you can make it with whole wheat, spelt or kamut flour.

No matter how you serve it or what you add to it sweet bread is delicious.  Try this base recipe and then get creative making flavors your family loves. 

Simple Soaked Series: Sweet Bread | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Simple Soaked Series: Sweet Bread
Yields 2
A basic sweet bread recipe that is soaked and gluten/dairy/nut/corn free.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups any combination of gluten free flour, stirred together to remove any clumps
  2. 3/4 cups total soaking liquid (2 Tbsp. lemon juice, whey, yogurt or kefir + enough water or milk to equal 3/4 cups)
  3. 1/2 cup melted coconut oil, butter or organic palm shortening
  4. 3/4 cups coconut sugar or cane sugar
  5. 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  6. 1 tsp. cream or tartar (or baking powder)
  7. 1 tsp. tapioca flour or arrowroot (omit if using baking powder)
  8. 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  9. 2 eggs
  10. optional: 1/2 cup add-ins: spices, nuts, fruit, dried fruit, chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Combine the flour and the soaking liquid.
  2. Cover and let sit 7-24 hours.
  3. Grease a large and a medium loaf pan. Heat oven to 350*F.
  4. Add the melted fat and the dry ingredients to the soaked flour. Mix.
  5. Add the eggs. Mix.
  6. Stir in any add-ins.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.
  8. Bake for 50 minutes.
Notes
  1. This bread freezes well.
  2. This bread can be made with whole wheat/splet/kamut/einkorn flour in place of the gluten free flour.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/


In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

The Hows and Whys of Preparing Grains

The Hows and Whys of Grains | Homemade Dutch Apple PieOne of my goals this year is to get back on track with properly preparing my grains.  I’ve been doing it for years now, but got off track with pregnancy and a new baby.

Some may say to just avoid grains.  But I tried that and learned that my body needs them!  The most unhealthy I’ve ever been was when I went grain free.  Grains can be a very healthy part of a real food, traditional diet.  Even Nourishing Traditions and GAPS mention the benefit of properly prepared grains.

So to help us all get to where we need to be I’m sharing some information about why you need to treat your grains in a special way if you are going to consume them and how it’s done.  I actually wrote most of this a couple years ago!  But never shared it here.  It’s a good reminder for myself.  Hopefully it’s a great starting point or reminder for you as well.

In the weeks following this introduction I’ve got some basics and some fun recipes coming that all involve properly prepared grains.  I hope you enjoy!

One of the oddest and most confusing aspects of real food is the idea of soaking grains.  Switching to butter instead of margarine?  No problem.  Drinking raw milk instead of pasteurized?  You bet.  Using honey instead of corn syrup?  Done.  Get your flour wet before using it?  Say that again?  Wet flour?  How could that work?  And why would you want to?  But if you understand why you might find yourself turning your favorite baked goods into healthier soaked versions. The Hows and Whys of Grains | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

It turns out there is actually a good reason to soak grains. Little things called phytates. Grains contain anti-nutrients as a protective mechanism.  This protects them from weather and animals.  But it also makes them difficult to digest.  Your digestive juices are enemies of the grains just like any external enemy.  Grains also have compounds that prevent active enzyme activity in your digestive system. This puts stress on your pancreas. 

In the unsoaked state grains contain phytates, which makes the minerals in the grains unavailable to you.  This can lead to mineral deficiencies and poor bone density (one more thing I learned the hard way when I found out I have seven cavities!). Both enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid can be mostly neutralized by soaking the grains. This makes them easier to digest and makes the nutrients available to your body. This process also begins to pre-digest the grains, breaking down complex starches and tannins that can irritate your stomach, as well as beginning to break down proteins like gluten.The Hows and Whys of Grains | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

So without soaking the grains they are very difficult to digest and are actually harmful to your body.  This holds true for gluten-containing grains like wheat and rye but also for alternative grains like oats, amaranth and teff.  In fact oats, such a dietary staple for so many, has the highest phytate content of any grains!

Grains that are not properly prepared are harmful.  So how do you make them healthy? It’s not as hard as you might think. And, honestly, soaking often makes baking easier! It breaks up the process into very short steps that only take a few minutes here and there. The main thing you have to be willing to do is plan ahead. Soaking does take time. So if you want soaked pancakes in the morning, you have to plan and get them started the day before.The Hows and Whys of Grains | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

The basic idea is that you use cultured dairy or another acid medium like lemon juice to soak the grains for at least 7 hours (ideally 24 hours) before using them.  The length of time required will depend on the grain.

The easiest way to start is by using recipes that give exact instructions on what ingredients to use, how much and how long. Once you get the hang of it you can start experimenting.  Simply replace the liquid in the recipe with a cultured/acidic medium (kefir, buttermilk, yogurt or warm water mixed with lemon juice), mix it with the grains, cover the bowl and let it sit.  Then proceed with the recipe after the grains have soaked.  You can also add the fat/oil during the soaking step.

Soaking can be used on all kinds of grains…wheat, oats, rice, etc. It is also used for lentils, beans and nuts.  There are a few exceptions to the rule.  Coconut flour, white rice, millet and flax seed are relatively low in phytic acid.  Although soaking them will still be beneficial it is not as critical.

Although millet is low in phytic acid, it is goitrogenic.  So limit your  millet intake if you have thyroid problems.

So what do you do if you don’t have time to soak your flour before baking, or what if you forgot to plan ahead? An alternative is to sprout the grains.  This is helpful for those times you have to do some last minute baking. Simply sprout the grains, dry them and grind them into flour. Then the phytates are already neutralized and you don’t have to soak it.  You can buy sprouted grains if you do not want to make your own.The Hows and Whys of Grains | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

A third option for dealing with phytates is sourdough. Sourdough also breaks down the phytates and makes the grains easier to digest. Sourdough can be used for all kinds of baked goods.  If you want bread, sourdough is the way to go.

Soaking grains is a critical step in the baking process if you are not using sprouted grains or a sourdough starter.  It is important for aiding digestion for everyone.  It is especially crucial for anyone with a leaky gut, food allergies or food intolerances.  Even if you avoid some of the common grains like wheat and corn, you still have to properly prepare your food.  If you have cut gluten out of your diet but have not noticed any improvement, try soaking the gluten free grains you eat. 

Some alternative grains and flours are teff, amaranth, tapicoa, millet, rice (white and brown), quinoa, coconut, hemp and garbanzo bean.  These can be prepared in the same manner as their traditional counterparts. The Hows and Whys of Grains | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

The next time you start baking ask yourself one question: “Is my flour wet?”  If it is you’re on your way to a tasty treat that will be easier on your gut and provide your body with important vitamins and minerals.

Do you consume grains?  What is your favorite way to prepare them?

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Winter Spice Bread With Nutmeg Icing {soaked, gluten free, dairy free, nut free, corn free}

Winter spice bread is a gluten free sweet bread filled with spice and topped with a delicious nutmeg icing.Winter Spice Bread With Nutmeg Icing Soaked Gluten Free Dairy Free Nut Free Corn Free || Homemade Dutch Apple PieI love having sweet breads on hand.  They make great snacks or breakfasts.  I also love them with a big bowl of nourishing soup.

In the winter I don’t do as many fruity breads.  I gravitate towards warming foods with a hint of spice.

So I created this winter spice bread.  It has a bit of nutmeg and cinnamon for flavor.  You could also add mini chocolate chips for extra sweetness.

I love that this winter spice bread is soaked for easier digestion.  It also makes two loaves.  So it lasts us a few days.  One of them could go to the freezer…but our second loaf usually doesn’t make it.Winter Spice Bread With Nutmeg Icing Soaked Gluten Free Dairy Free Nut Free Corn Free || Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Just for an extra bit of flavor I created a nutmeg icing.  You can top the whole loaf of winter spice bread with the icing or drizzle it on individual pieces.  The icing soaks in and creates a rich, gooey treat.  It’s almost like eating cake!

My kids really enjoyed this bread.  The whole family did!

Whether you want a special breakfast or the perfect side for your soup, winter spice bread is just what you need.

If you like a little more rise in your bread you can use baking powder.  But if you are corn free the baking soda/cream of tartar combination works well.  Beating the egg whites separately and folding them into the batter will also make the bread less dense.Winter Spice Bread With Nutmeg Icing Soaked Gluten Free Dairy Free Nut Free Corn Free || Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

The great thing about a soaked bread is that you can prepare half of it one day and finish it the next.  Breaking it up into shorter steps really makes baking bread easy!  I soak my flour one day and then get the bread in the oven quickly the next morning.

Winter spice bread is a perfect treat all winter long.  Make a big batch so you can stock your freezer.Winter Spice Bread With Nutmeg Icing Soaked Gluten Free Dairy Free Nut Free Corn Free || Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Winter Spice Bread With Nutmeg Icing {soaked, gluten free, dairy free, nut free, corn free}
Yields 2
A sweet bread with the flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg.
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Bread
  1. 2 cups any combination gluten free flour
  2. 1 cup total soaking liquid (at least 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, water kefir, kefir or yogurt + enough water, milk or coconut milk to equal one cup)
  3. 1/2 - 3/4 cups organic cane sugar or coconut sugar (depends on your taste)
  4. 1/4 cup honey
  5. 1 tsp. baking soda
  6. 2 tsp. cream of tartar
  7. 2 tsp. tapioca flour or arrowroot
  8. 1/4 cup coconut oil (or butter), melted
  9. 1 tsp. sea salt
  10. 1 tsp. nutmeg
  11. 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  12. 1 tsp. vanilla
  13. 2 eggs
Icing
  1. 6 Tbsp. tapioca flour (or arrowroot)
  2. 2 Tbsp. honey
  3. 2 tsp. coconut milk
  4. 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  5. 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  6. 2 Tbsp. cane sugar
  7. pinch of salt
Bread
  1. In a large bowl combine the flour and soaking liquid.
  2. Cover and let set 7-24 hours.
  3. Heat the oven to 350*F. Grease two bread pans (one large, one medium)
  4. Add the sugar, honey, soda, cream of tartar, tapioca, oil, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. Beat.
  5. Add the eggs. Beat until well combined.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.
  7. Bake for 50 - 55 minutes.
  8. Allow to cool before serving.
Icing
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl.
  2. Mix until well combined.
  3. Pour over bread or serve with individual pieces.
Notes
  1. Use at least 1/3 cup starchy flour in the flour mix (tapioca flour, white rice flour).
  2. This bread freezes well.
  3. 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips can be added to the batter.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Pumpkin Spice Graham Crackers | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Pumpkin Spice Graham Crackers {gluten free, dairy free, egg free, nut free}

Pumpkin spice graham crackers are easy to make, allergen friendly and capture the warm flavors of pumpkin pie. They make a perfect after school snack or lunch box addition.

Pumpkin Spice Graham Crackers | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

For me there is no better snack than a graham cracker. Crunchy. Slightly sweet. Perfection.

I got hooked on them in college and have eaten more than my share since. Of course they came out of box.

No more boxes here. Now when I’m in the mood for graham crackers I make them!

I have created quite a few versions of graham crackers:

Pumpkin Spice Graham Crackers | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Spice it up!

Today I’m sharing my fall version of graham crackers – pumpkin spice.

They are very easy to make and very allergen friendly. Pumpkin spice graham crackers are gluten, dairy, egg, nut, soy, corn and rice free. But nobody will ever know!

You get the mild sweetness and crunch of a graham cracker combined with pumpkin and spice. This is a fun holiday treat for kids and adults. It is like pumpkin pie in graham cracker form.

Let your kids trade in Halloween candy for pumpkin spice graham crackers or add them to your Thanksgiving baking list!
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Breakfast, lunch, snack or dessert.

My kids go crazy for pumpkin spice graham crackers. Though we try not to go overboard, a whole batch is sometimes gone in a couple weeks.

They make the perfect after school snack with a big glass of raw milk. Somehow they make homework easier. But there are many other ways to enjoy them.

Pumpkin spice graham crackers are delicious broken and sprinkled over whole milk yogurt for breakfast. You can also spread nut butter in between two crackers for a nutritious snack or sandwich alternative.

Pumpkin Spice Graham Crackers | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Kids will love pumpkin spice graham crackers in their lunch.  What a fun way to give them a treat that is full of good stuff.

They can be used in desserts as well.  Sprinkle crushed graham crackers on top of pudding or grind them to make the crust for a fall cheesecake.

No matter how you serve them, pumpkin spice graham crackers are sure to be a hit.

Kids in the kitchen.

The next time your kids are begging for a treat make a batch of pumpkin spice graham crackers. But be sure to let them help.

All you need is a bowl and a spoon.  Kids can measure, poor, stir and then roll the dough. My kids always have fun making graham crackers.

You can make it even more fun by using cookie cutters to create different shaped crackers.

The dough is ready to go in the oven in less than fifteen minutes. The hard part is waiting for them to bake and cool.

Pumpkin Spice Graham Crackers | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Stock the freezer.

One batch of pumpkin spice graham crackers makes around fifty crackers. Keep half in the cupboard and store the rest in the freezer for an easy snack when you don’t have time to bake.

If your kids are like mine you might need to make a double batch!

Not sure what to give your kids when they are asking for snacks? Pumpkin spice graham crackers are just the thing. Healthy fat, vegetables and gluten free grains will give them the energy they need to keep going.

Do you enjoy graham crackers? What is your favorite way to eat them?

Pumpkin Spice Graham Crackers | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

 

Pumpkin Spice Graham Crackers {gluten free, dairy free, nut free, egg free}
Yields 50
A graham cracker with the taste of pumpkin pie.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup any combination of starchy gluten free flour (tapioca, white rice)
  2. 1 cup any combination of whole grain gluten free flour (sorghum, amaranth, brown rice, buckwheat)
  3. 1/2 cup organic cane sugar or coconut sugar
  4. 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  5. 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  6. 1 tsp. vanilla
  7. 1 tsp. cinnamon
  8. 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  9. 1/8 tsp. cloves
  10. 2 Tbsp. honey
  11. 2 Tbsp. molasses (can be replaced with honey or maple syrup)
  12. 6 Tbsp. butter, coconut oil, lard or tallow, melted
  13. 1/3 cup pureed pumpkin
Instructions
  1. Preheat an oven to 350*F.
  2. Cut three pieces of parchment paper the size of a baking sheet.
  3. In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, salt, soda, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Stir.
  4. Add the honey, molasses, pumpkin and melted oil. Stir until well combined.
  5. Split the dough in half.
  6. Place one half on a piece of parchment paper. Top with a second sheet.
  7. Roll the dough between the paper until it is about 1/4" thin.
  8. Remove the top piece of paper. Using a pizza cutter or knife cut the dough into squares.
  9. Transfer the dough on the parchment paper to a baking sheet.
  10. Repeat this process for the second half of the dough.
  11. Bake graham crackers in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes.
  12. Turn off the oven. Leave the crackers in the oven for an extra 10 minutes.
  13. Remove the crackers from the oven. Allow to cool completely.
  14. The crackers will crisp as they cool.
  15. Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the freezer for long term storage.
Notes
  1. The graham crackers freeze very well and are ready to eat as soon as you take them out of the freezer.
  2. You can replace the cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg with 1 1/2 tsp. of pumpkin pie spice.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/


In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

This post is linked to From The Archives Friday and Savoring Saturdays.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.