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Grain Free Cinnamon Roll

Delicious Grain Free Cinnamon Rolls!

As I mentioned in the review on the Real Bread Mix from California Country Organics, we were going to be trying their grain free cinnamon roll mix for my wife’s birthday. We did, and they are quite delicious! We even took them one step further and made them into orange rolls instead of just plain cinnamon rolls since this is a family tradition on her side for birthdays.

As with the other Real Bread mixes – is this a perfect substitute for a cinnamon roll? No, but its pretty darn good, and is one of the best grain free cinnamon roll I’ve ever had.

Much like the other mix, the taste is quite good. Due to the other flavors and sweetness from the cinnamon, orange, and sugar involved I could not taste any of the coconut flour.

The texture is a bit different than regular bread, as mentioned before, but is still quite enjoyable. I think it’s a bit more noticeable in these than in a loaf of bread, but wife says these are great.

She was quite happy with these for her birthday in spite of their small draw backs, and they satisfied our cravings for cinnamon rolls. Once again, I high recommend you check out the Real Bread mixes for yourself! We will definitely be buying more from them.

Real Bread Mix Cinnamon Rolls:

Ingredients:

1 Real Bread Cinnamon Roll Mix

1 cup of eggs whites

1 cup of water

2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar

½ cup butter softened (I ended up using 1/3 cupish)

1/3 cup Cinnamon

1/3 Cup sweetener of choice (we used coconut sugar)

Optional: Zest of 1 orange if you want to do Orange Rolls

Instructions

  1. Follow the instructions on the mix to make the dough
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Roll it out to a roughly 12×8 rectangle, ½ inch thick on a piece of parchment paper. You can sandwich the dough between each side of the paper to help keep your rolling pin clean.
  4. Spread with softened butter
  5. Sprinkle your cinnamon and sweetener evenly over the surface of your dough, leave about a half inch plain on one side of the 12 inch side of the dough. This allows a better seal when you roll it up and keeps filling from squishing out as much.
  6. Optional: Spread your orange zest around at this point if using
  7. Starting with the long side that has the filling all the way to the edge tightly roll the dough up. Focus on trying to keep the roll as tight as possible.
  8. Cut your roll into 12-14 sections depending on your desired size of cinnamon roll.
  9. Spray or butter your pan and place the cinnamon rolls in it, cut side down. The mix calls for a 9×13 pan, which I used but there was lots of space left. I think I would use an 8×8 next time.
  10. Bake for approx. 30 minutes or until golden brown and delicious. They will rise in about the last 10 minutes of baking.
  11. Let cool, ice with the glaze of your preference, and enjoy!

Notes and Tips:

  • This size results in a fairly “bready” cinnamon roll. If you prefer it thinner just roll it out into a larger rectangle. You might need to adjust your filling measurements at that point.
  • If you want to add additional flavor feel free to add more zest to the filling or into the dough. You can also use some orange oil (or even orange extract) if you have good quality essential oils on hand.

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

6 oz of cream cheese

¼ cup of butter

6 Tablespoons Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice

Zest of 1 orange

6-10 Drops Orange or Tangerine Essential Oil

3 Tablespoons Coconut Sugar

2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup

  1. Cream your butter, cream cheese and coconut sugar together until smooth in either a stand mixer or with a hand mixer.
  2. With your mixer on low, slowly add in your maple syrup and then the orange juice until fully combined.
  3. Add your zest and citrus oil and combine.
  4. Taste and adjust sweetener level, and citrus components to your taste.
  5. Spread on either hot or cooled cinnamon rolls as your prefer. Or eat it with a spoon…

Notes:

  • This results in a fairly thin frosting, which is Katie’s preference. Somewhere between a glaze and a frosting. If you want it thicker, then reduce your liquid.
  • You can easily omit the citrus elements and make a more traditional cream cheese frosting.
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Crispy Gluten Free Waffles (also paleo!)

Crispy Gluten Free Waffles!

Waffles or pancakes? I feel like there is quite the divide between people on that question. That is, of course, not even talking about Belgian vs regular waffles, thin and crispy vs fluffy pancakes. Certainly the debates can go on and on. For me, it very much depends on the mood I am in as I love them both. Obviously, in our household, they always have to be gluten free waffles or pancakes, too.

Our oldest daughter requested waffles for her birthday breakfast, and with the current state of food allergies in our home, we had to go digging for a new recipe. My wife found this one and it is quite good! They are light and crispy, but also paleo, though they are not low carb due to the tapioca starch. Their only downside, I would say, is if you are making a lot and holding them in the oven they might start to soften just a bit. They are still quite good, but they don’t hold super crisp, so you might want to work in batches. They are really delicious though, and I highly recommend you try these gluten free waffles! We did use a regular waffle iron and not a Belgian waffle maker. If you make these in a belgian waffle maker, let us know how they come out!

Ingredients:

1 Cup Blanched Almond Flour

1 Cup Tapioca Flour

2 T coconut flour

2 t baking powder

¼ salt

2 eggs

¼ cup melted coconut oil (or melted butter)

1 t apple cider vinegar

1 cup almond milk (or any milk of your choice)

½ vanilla

Instructions:

  1. Preheat waffle iron according to manufacturer’s instructions
  2. Place all dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk until all lumps have been removed
  3. Add liquid ingredients and whisk for 2 minutes or until batter has thickened. Batter will be similar to a thin pancake batter
  4. Spray or wipe on a thin layer of oil onto waffle iron (I only did this the first time, possibly even unnecessary)
  5. Cook waffles according to your waffles irons instructions (I used about a 1/3 cup for our iron)
  6. Enjoy with lots of good butter and excellent maple syrup!

This recipe is originally from Nurture My Gut.

 

These are a great quick, easy, delicious waffle that the whole family can enjoy and the kids can help make! They have really good texture that compares well with “normal” waffles! Use these waffles to make your day a tasty day and let us know if you like them 🙂

Chris

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The BEST grain free keto bread mix!

I don’t know about y’all, but I love bread! Making good bread gluten free is hard; making a really good grain free keto bread is even harder. Gluten just does certain things that makes bread do bread things. It’s extremely hard to replicate. I think I have found a great product to try that fulfills many of the desires of bread while also being gluten and grain free and keto/low carb friendly! I ran across mention of California Country Organics on Instagram and decided to check them out.

They offer 4 baking mixes along with a couple of cookbooks that are all grain and gluReal Bread Grain Free Bread Mix ten free as well as keto and low carb friendly. I ordered the rustic bread mix and the cinnamon roll mix. We have only tried the rustic bread mix so far. I got the cinnamon roll mix for my wife’s birthday and will either update this review or do another one then.

The Results

Their product pictures impressed me right off the bat. A lot can usually be judged by the pictures. Certainly, as is always true, the outward appearance does not necessarily indicate the quality of the interior. I’ve found with gluten free products, though, that how it looks is usually a decent indicator of the overall product.

The Finished Product!

Their bread turned out fantastic! My wife, whom has gotten used to GF stuff but still typically avoids it, loved it and thought it was fantastic as well. It has a nice crust to it, the texture is nice without being too spongy and it has an excellent regular bread flavor.

The Downsides

The recipe on the back is a bit confusing. It lists some of what you need at the top, but depending on the mix (cinnamon rolls for one), the rest of what you need is buried in the instructions. This is not the end of the world but it does make it a bit more confusing.

They are a little labor intensive, although it’s really not bad considering you’re making homemade bread. It is not simply, “add ingredients and stir”. You add all the wet ingredients, then add your mix, stir it together, then rest it, then you knead it for a bit, then you shape it and bake it. Compared to a typical loaf of bread this is not far off, but compared to most gluten free mixes this requires a bit more effort. It is well worth it in my opinion, but just be aware.

Is it worth it?

These bread mixes are totally worth trying!! While they do require a touch of extra work, it creates a tasty gluten and grain free and low carb bread. There is only about 2g of net carbs per slice. Each slice is nicely satisfying, too, so if you are trying to stay under 20 or 30 grams of carbs, you can have one slice and be satisfied without busting your allowance.

Head over to their website and check them out. We will let you know how the cinnamon rolls taste soon! They are available on amazon as well, but if at all possible I think it is always a good idea to support a company directly through their website. Let us know if you love these breads as much as we did!

Make it a tasty day,

Chris

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Crepini: The Best Low Carb Tortilla

The best low carb tortilla!

I have an unending love of tacos. Tacos could truly be my entire diet 🙂 The problem is that if you are ever not eating tortillas, making tacos is not really an option. If you are trying to eat grain free and/or low carb, there are not many options, and most of what does exist is terrible. But, good news! I have found the best low carb tortilla! It is called the Crepini, and we got them at Costco last week.

Ok sure, technically it is a crepe, but regardless, it is a flat, flexible piece of “bread” that we can fill with things and eat! It is flexible, holds up to fillings without getting soggy or cracking, and has a nice fairly neutral flavor without any grains or carbs.

The Competition

If you are looking for gluten free choices, corn tortillas are the obvious choice. They are delicious, cheap, and readily available. The problem is if you are looking for something that doesn’t have a ton of extra junk added, your only option is finding a sprouted corn tortilla, and those are expensive and rather hard to find.

The other gluten free options are, as a general rule, not even worth looking at. If you need to avoid corn, or want to avoid all the additives, you are in a bit of a bind.  If you are eating keto or low carb, you are in much the same boat. There are a few things out there, but, frankly, a lettuce leaf will serve you better than anything else I’ve found.

The Solution

I’m eating keto for a little while, and my wife has always made me breakfast tacos on Saturday morning as I get ready for the farmers market. My wife was at Costco, saw the Crepini, and decided to give them a try (since corn tortillas don’t exactly pair well with a keto diet).

These things are great! They really are the best low carb tortilla! Heck, they hold together better than most tortillas in general! Egg and cauliflower are the only ingredients. They are zero net carb, and each one has a gram of protein.

I crisped these tortillas in a pan, and they remained flexible and strong. They are about the size of a normal corn tortilla, so they hold about the same amount, and I have not had one tear on me yet. The flavor is ever so slightly egg-y, but mostly neutral. No weird flavors like a lot of alternative tortillas.

If you are looking for a low carb tortilla, I highly recommend the Crepini. It is flexible, holds together beautifully, the flavor is nice, and it is fairly reasonably priced. You can purchase these at Sprouts, Costco, Walmart, and several other regional grocers.

Have you tried crepini before? If so, let us know how you have used them!

Make it a tasty day,

Chris

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A Gluten Free Pancake for that Special Breakfast

Gluten Free pancakes with blueberries!

For some reason breakfast has always had a special place in my heart. Maybe because when it is done right it’s a fun and special start to the day that sets the tone. It could just be the yummy food. Maybe it’s because when we visited my maternal grandparents I would get up early with my grandpa, and I would help him make a special and delicious breakfast for everyone. No matter why, breakfast will always be my go-to special meal. One of my favorite breakfasts is a good pancake, slathered with good butter and just the right amount of syrup. Sometimes I want the nice, light pancakes my grandpa used to make, some days I like a strong, sturdy flapjack that will last me quite a while. We decided to go the flapjack approach this time.  This is a fantastic gluten free pancake recipe.

This recipe was originally featured in Bon Appetite quite a few years ago, and is from Blackberry Farm Resort in Tennessee. My understanding is that these are a regular staple for a delightful gluten free breakfast in their restaurant.

A Few Substitutions

I did not have everything on hand that this recipe called for, specifically brown rice flour. I also did not have oat flour, but as we spoke about yesterday, that was super easy to make my own. We are also doing our best to keep the girls off of dairy at the moment, so I needed to substitute for the butter milk.

For the brown rice flour, I increased the oat flour and buckwheat flour each a bit to compensate and that worked out beautifully.

As a general rule, you can always just substitute water in for milk. You can always use non-dairy milk such as almond or coconut, but we did not have almond and I didn’t want the coconut flavor in this particular recipe. I ended up using half water and half apple sauce. The apple sauce helped add some of the body that was lost because of the water used, but also when paired with some water did not thicken the batter too much.

These turn out fantastic as a gluten free pancake even with the substitutions. They have the nice nuttiness from the buckwheat without being bitter. The cornmeal adds a nice texture to them without being grainy. And the oats make the recipe filling without being too heavy. There is also a touch of maple syrup in them which, frankly, makes them just sweet enough to be perfect without any additional syrup on top. I highly recommend these for your next special breakfast!

Adding the Cornmeal
Combine the dry goods

 

Kids can even crack eggs!
We Just added all the wet into the dry to cut down on bowls.
Adding the Butter
Please be careful with hot butter!
Gluten Free pancakes with blueberries!
We added Blueberries!

Sausage and pancakes!
We paired these hearty pancakes with breakfast sausage.

Tasty Gluten Free Pancakes

Ingredients:

1 Egg

2 Cups Buttermilk

¼ Cup Pure Maple Syrup (none of that fake stuff)

1 Cup GF Oat Flour

2/3 Cup Yellow Cornmeal

1/3 Cup Brown Rice Flour

¼ Buckwheat Flour

1 Tablespoon Baking Powder

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

¼ Cup (1/2 Stick) Unstalted Butter, Melted

1 Teaspoon Salt

Butter or oil for skillet

  1. Whisk Egg, milk, and syrup in a small bowl.
  2. Combine all dry goods together in a large bowl
  3. Whisk butter milk mixture into dry goods.
  4. Add butter and whisk until no lumps remain
  5. Heat a skillet or griddle over medium heat, add butter or oil just to coat the pan.
  6. Use a ¼ cup to portion batter into the pan. Make sure to leave some room around each one to make it easier to flip them.
  7. Cook until the bottoms are browned and the bubbles are set on top, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and let brown on the other side. Remove to a warm oven.
  8. Enjoy with a good butter and syrup!

 

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Are Oats Gluten Free, and all toddlers favorite food!

Trader Joes Gluten Free Oats

Oats: that ubiquitous, always available grain that comes in a form anywhere from glop thrown in a bowl, to a high end energy bar, to a packet that is probably more sugar than anything else. Although many people find it to be delicious, many people also despise it. The only thing more confusing than the statistical probability that your spouse will like or hate oat meal just as much as you are: are Oats Gluten Free?

Would it be a helpful answer if I said it depends? Sadly it is true, sometimes oats are safe to eat and sometimes they are not. While Oats themselves are gluten free (not grain free though)., they end up becoming contaminated in the growth and processing phases. Sometimes oats grow together with wheat, as well as being transported and processed together. Therefore, the oat itself will not cause you harm, while the cross contact that occurs that will get you into trouble.

Not sure what cross contact is? Find out here!

What am I to do!?

“I love oatmeal! What am I to do!?”  You say.  The great thing is the market has provided us an option! Certified gluten free oats are available and fairly easy to obtain. Amazon has 6 and counting different brands of certified gluten free oats available. Trader Joes has a great gluten free oat, and its one of the most inexpensive.

Gluten Free Oats come in all shapes and sizes just like regular oats. You can buy them rolled, or quick cooking, or flavored in packets, or in cups, or as steel cut or whole grouts. Whatever you preferred way to eat oats, you can do it with gluten free oats!

A Word on Trust

Once you start roaming the internet looking for gluten free related articles, you will quickly find broken trust. Someone ate a product that made them sick. Maybe it was mislabeled, or they grabbed the wrong thing, or it was contaminated, who really knows. However, their trust in that part of the system is now broken.

There is an inherent trust we have to place in the purity of our food sources. That is true for all of our food, not just gluten free products! Praise God we have a remarkably safe food system here in the United States and almost the entire 1st world. We can walk into any grocery store and not be fearful our food might be spiked with a poison or our flour is cut with talcum powder. Those are very real fears for much of the world.

Individuals with food allergies have to take on even more trust, though. When we buy a product that says Gluten Free we trust them that they are telling the truth! Third party certifications do help with that but then we are trusting the third party. While there are ways to test foods yourself, self-testing for gluten gets expensive and time consuming and is another topic on its own.

Should I just not eat anything but raw carrots then that I grew myself then? No, but we do need to pay attention and ask questions. Read labels, research companies, look for third party certifications, and understand what a company is about. In the case of oats, look for information like is included on the back of the Trader Joes GF oats bag below. Most importantly in the end after you’ve done your research, relax and enjoy life. Stressing over the food is not worth it.

Traders Joe's Gluten Free Oats Label Details

Can I eat O’s?

Cheerios, the favorite food of everyone below the age of 6, plus a lot of them above 6 too! Are the oats gluten free in cheerios? That is a fantastic question to ask, and certainly is highly relevant to our discussion of trust.

Cheerios uses oats from mixed crop fields and as such cannot be certified gluten free.  None the less, they call them gluten free, and most gluten free people can eat them. Why? The deal is they have developed a process to separate out the wheat, barley, etc that might be mixed in. Cheerios then tests their product to make sure it is below the Federal Standard of 20 ppm of gluten. To find out more information, go here.

The fact that they developed a giant sorting machine to do this is pretty cool! But, we place trust in the manufacturer here, no matter how cool the science is. Are cheerios safe to eat for gluten sensitive people? You have to find out for yourself. I and my daughters can tolerate them without any issues, but I know others who cannot. Can other people not tolerate them because of the potential for gluten cross contact in cheerios or something else entirely? It’s hard to know.

Try a few and see how you do, you might be surprised! If you find your can’t tolerate them, some toddler with gladly take them off your hands 🙂

The Conclusion

Are oats gluten free? The answer is yes, oats themselves are gluten free, but often get contaminated later. You should find a quality manufacturer that sells a certified gluten free oatmeal that makes you happy, and go enjoy it!

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Grain Free Breakfast – Pineapple Upside Down Cake

A Grain Free Breakfast Recipe For Your Weekend

It’s Friday! I don’t know about you folks but for me that means I still have more work tomorrow. It’s fun work, though! I get to go to the Farmer’s Market and spread the joy of brownies! Today we have a tasty recipe that you can make for breakfast tomorrow.  Grain Free Coconut flour pineapple upside down cake! This recipe makes a wonderful, healthy, make-ahead grain free breakfast and it comes from Wellness Mama, the original article can be found here.

Pineapple upside down cake seems like a recipe from the past. People do still make pineapple upside down cake, but it feels like a recipe from another era. Arranging the pineapple on the bottom of the pan and flipping does take a bit more work but it is visually appealing and fun for kids! Get your kids involved in making this recipe, our girls had a great time even at 3 & 4 years old.

egg breakfasts, protein breakfast, paleo breakfast, grain free, gluten free, kid friendly, whole 30
did you know a 2 year old can actually crack eggs?!

 

If you have never used parchment paper before I HIGHLY recommend it. Parchment paper is not the perfect answer for everything, but it makes baking 85% of recipes much easier. We use it for our brownies for the same reason that it is used here for the cake – makes clean up and flipping it over a breeze!

family friendly, kid friendly,
cook with your kids!

 

*Special Brownie Tip*

If you want to decorate your brownies, cook them with parchment paper lining the pan. Let cool in the pan, then flip the pan over onto a cutting board and pull the parchment paper off. The surface you see (the bottom of the brownies) will be perfectly smooth and ever so slightly sticky for decorating with powdered sugar, decorator’s gel, melted chocolate, sprinkles, etc!

 

Now back to pineapple upside down cake and grain free breakfasts.

Cherries

You could use frozen or dried cherries if you don’t have fresh on hand. Defrost the frozen cherries first, and then pat them dry with a paper towel. Defrosting them first will allow the majority of the liquid to go elsewhere and not throw off the texture off the cake. You can do this with any recipe calling for fruit if you need to use frozen fruit.

fresh cherries
pitting those cherries! use a cherry pitter, not a toddler….

Pineapple

For the pineapple we did not use rings. We do not have and I refuse to buy a pineapple corer, haha. No kitchen uni-taskers! We took a fresh pineapple, peeled it, cut vertically into 4 sections, cut the core out, and sliced the sections into thin slices. I would recommend a ¼ inch slice. Obviously that is up to you. Canned pineapple would be a great option as well here.

fresh fruit, whole foods, grain free, paleo
fresh fruit always wins!

Coconut Flour

Last quick tip before we move on. How to measure wheat flour is quite the argument, with everyone having learned a different way from their grandmother. Do you scoop, or pack, or fill and sweep.  For coconut flour especially, I highly recommend the fill and sweep method. Coconut flour soaks up SO MUCH water that if you add too much it will throw off your recipe. Take your measuring cup and, using another spoon or scoop fill your measure cup from the container. When the measuring cup is heaping full, use the back of the knife to scrape it off flat. You do not want to pack it in, just loosely pour it into the measuring cup. A little coconut flour and a lot of eggs can make lovely grain free breakfast options as they yield a fairly nice, spongy, tasty texture for some variety from plain eggs!

Grain Free Breakfast Substitutes

I do want to let you know, before you jump in, that if you are expecting a grain free perfect replacement of pineapple upside down cake, this is not it. This recipe is delicious and highly enjoyable. We will be making it again. This recipe is also fairly eggy, and is more of a clafouti style, custardy coconut flour texture. I think you’ll love it, but I do want to make sure people understand what it is first. It makes a better breakfast alternative than dessert alternative.

It is great that this has so many eggs, though! It’s crammed with protein and is filling. That makes it great for an all in one grain free breakfast. If you know you are short for time the next day, bake it the night before, put it in the fridge, cut slices and toast them in the morning, easy!

You can see our first grain free blog post here – and look for many more delicious gluten and grain free breakfast (and other meals) recipes to come!

grain free breakfast
little cracking, but still pretty – use halved cherries for a prettier effect
grain free breakfast, family friendly
beautiful
kid friendly, family friendly
grain free breakfast alternatives

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup coconut flour
  • ½ cup butter or coconut oil (softened, but not melted)
  • 8 eggs
  • ¼ cup honey or maple syrup (optional)
  • 1 dash salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ can cored pineapple slices in juice or ½ of a fresh pineapple
  • ¼ cup fresh cherries or maraschino cherries

Preheat oven to 325°F.

  1. Prepare a 9-inch round baking dish or spring form pan by lining the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. If using fresh pineapple, peel, core, and cut into ½ inch slices.
  3. Arrange the pineapple slices on the bottom of the baking dish you are using.
  4. Place the cherries around and in the center of the pineapple slices.
  5. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the rest of the ingredients. If needed, thin with pineapple juice or coconut milk to get a spreadable consistency.
  6. Spread the batter over the pineapple and cherries.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-40 minutes until cooked through and no longer soft in the middle.
  8. Loosen the edges of the cake and carefully flip over onto a plate or baking sheet.
  9. Serve and enjoy!