Archive for May, 2013

May 28, 2013

These Muffins are Gouda!

Last week Ben & I had the privilege of providing a cooking demonstration of the food that will appear in our “Take Me to the River” episode for the local Gluten Intolerance Group. We are always grateful for the chance to share delicious food with other folks who want to be healthy, so this was a great opportunity.

Demo in Kitchen

 

The Cooking2Thrive® kitchen is an intimate space too small to accommodate more than a handful of people, so the group borrowed the facilities of a local church where everyone ended up crowding into the kitchen while I breaded 3 Pepper Fried Chicken Tenders and mixed up batches of Gouda Muffins.

Kitchen 1

The kitchen was hot and noisy. Ben did the frying and baking.

Ben

Luckily, there was plenty of room to spread out in the dining room where we served Gorgonzola Tarragon Deviled Eggs, Southern Style Green Beans, and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies along with the chicken and muffins.

Dining Room

 After dining, visiting, and viewing displays of gluten-free flours and their nutritional properties, each participant went home with a 3 Pepper Fried Chicken Tender recipe card.

Recipe Card

 

We also had several requests for the Gouda Muffin recipe. For all of you who asked, and for the rest of you as well, here you go:

Gouda Muffins

Makes 12 medium muffins

1 cup white rice flour

1/2 cup brown rice flour

1/2 cup potato flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp xanthan gum

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

8 oz whole milk plain yogurt

2 eggs

1/4 cup melted butter

6 oz Gouda cheese, diced

Preheat oven to 425º.  Grease muffin tin.

Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the yogurt, and egg. Pour the liquid over the dry mixture and gently stir. Add the melted butter and continue to mix until you reach a firm, non-sticky consistency. Fold in the diced Gouda and place dough in muffin pan.  Bake at 425º for 12-15 minutes or until top is browned.  Remove to rack to cool.

Okay, truth time – that’s how I do it.

Here are the official instructions and the process our chef prefers:

Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl. In a larger bowl combine the yogurt, egg and butter. Slowly fold the dry mixture into the liquids until you reach a firm, non-sticky consistency. Stir in Gouda and spoon dough into muffin pan.  Bake at 425º for 12-15 minutes or until top is browned.  Remove to rack to cool.

Help me out – try the recipe both ways and let me know which works better by posting your comment here! 

May 16, 2013

What’s the best flour to use in a gluten-free recipe?

What’s the best flour to use in a gluten-free recipe? Well, that depends on the recipe and your eating plan.

If you maintain a gluten-free lifestyle, you’ve probably read your share of labels on prepackaged gluten-free products, baking mixes, or flour blends. Most of these labels lead you to believe that the best flours to use are white rice, brown rice, potato, corn and tapioca. Reading such labels also makes the addition of xanthan gum, guar gum or carrageenan seem normal. To further promote the idea that these specific flours are best, many gluten-free cookbooks recommend using a combination of them as a standard baking mix.

If you’ve become accustomed to seeing these ingredients over and over again, it may come as a surprise to learn that there are more than 30 additional gluten-free flours readily available for purchase. Why is that good news?

The wide variety of flours available can be used to tailor a recipe to be more healthy for you. For instance, if plants in the nightshade family make your joints ache, you may want to avoid using potato flour or potato starch. If you are at risk for Type II Diabetes, you may want to choose flours made from nuts or legumes because they contain fewer carbohydrates.

My entire family demands food that tastes good, but we also have some texture police so having flour options allows me to maximize the health factors and taste while minimizing unpleasant textures. Using a combination of high protein flours makes it possible to create a pleasing dough for baked goods without having to add xanthan gum. For instance, I sometimes choose a high protein nut flour so that I can eliminate the addition of any gum. A recipe made without gums is easier for your body to process. The result isn’t just friendlier for the belly; it has a lighter crumb without the graininess often created by rice flour combinations.

Many gluten-free flours have a pronounced flavor. This can be exacerbated by a lengthy shelf life. The best way to create a flour mix with a flavor profile that’s compatible with a recipe is to taste the flours. If you’re going to use flour that has a bit of sweetness, then it’s best to use it in a sweet recipe. If you have a flour with a vegetable taste, then it is better suited for a savory recipe. Of course it can be quite expensive to buy a wide variety of specialized flours all at one time so you may want to try new options slowly over a period of time. As you taste, explore and become familiar with a wider range of products, you can expand your list of favorites and adapt traditional recipes accordingly.

When we do a Cooking2Thrive® cooking demonstration, we bring a variety of flours for the audience to smell, touch, and taste. Along with the flour, we display the following nutritional and cost information. I hope you find it helpful as you choose ingredients.

Flours

Have you tried using an unusual flour combination recently? If so, how did your dish turn out?

 

 

Nutrition information pulled from the Nuts.com website. We have no association with Nuts.com other than as satisfied customers who consume their products.