Gluten Free Fitness

recipes

Ignite Naturals Gel Review for the Gluten Free Endurance Athlete

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Gluten-Free endurance athlete

As a cyclist, I eat my fair share of portable, hopefully non-meltable food.

In my post on fueling the gluten free endurance athlete, I outlined some options that I have tried myself.  I have a new gel that I’ve used since, and also a DIY energy gel recipe that you can use to refill a flask and save yourself some $$.

First, Ignite Naturals Reload Energy Gel.

I had wanted to try the Reload gels as they are made from “real food” ingredients.  The main ingredient is fig paste.  Yup, the stuff that is the inside of a Fig Newton.  The gels come in 3 different fruit flavors (which honestly all tasted very similar to me, but I am not focusing on any flavor complexities when I’m shoving gel in my mouth with one hand on the handlebars and trying to breathe.)

Each gel is about 100 calories and provides 25 grams of carbohydrate.  I found the packaging fairly easy to open with my teeth.  The gel itself is a bit thicker than I would prefer, I felt like I almost had to chew it.  When I reach for an energy gel, I do not necessarily want to chew.  It still went down fairly easily, with a swig of water to wash it all down. Overall, a great option and one I will continue to use.

Ignite Naturals also has a few other products that I am looking into, one I am particularly interested in in their Adrenal ReBoot.  As an endurance athlete training 8-15 hours a week, and with a history of autoimmune disease and hormonal imbalance, I am especially concerned with adrenal support.  Ignite Naturals is a company I will be doing additional work with in the future, as I am especially impressed with their dedication to natural ingredients and their company philosophy.

Now it’s my turn…

Here is my recipe for a DIY energy gel.

How to get your husband to eat more veggies

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How to get your husband to eat more veggies

I have waxed philosophic about how awesome my husband is on multiple occasions.

He is truly an incredible individual and the perfect partner for me.  Now, neither of us are perfect, but we are perfect partners.

Having said that, he does not eat nearly enough vegetables.  Recently, a colleague of his was telling him that he started juicing.  He offered Jeff a glass of juice, which he actually drank.  When I heard about this, I jumped on it.

“You mean you’ll actually drink that?!?!”  Never in a million years had I thought he would consider drinking a green smoothie or juice.  Bingo, I thought.  I can fit a whole day’s worth of veggies in a smoothie.  Plus, I’d been itching for an excuse to buy a Blendtec for a year.

I had been looking over the high powered blenders, the Vitamixes, the Blendtec, OmniBlend etc, and had decided a while back that I wanted a Blendtec.  (Lexie’s Kitchen has posted a great overview and comparison, if you need a place to start.)  The online shopping fest began, and I was actually very fortunate to find a new one for a very reasonable price on ebay.

Can you see all the nutrients in there?

We’re doing a green smoothie every weekday now.  Sometimes on weekends, but not nearly as consistently.  I’ve also used the Blendtec to make cookie, muffin, and quick bread batters, protein shakes, all kinds of stuff.  It really is versatile and super easy to clean.  I’m happy with the purchase for sure.  More happy, though, that I am finally able to get the nutrition from veggies into my husband on a regular basis.  I like him and I’d like to keep him around for a while 😉

I could have tried to make the smoothie look all nice, in a glass, with a garnish or something but let’s be honest.  You’re not here for the food photography.  This is how we roll in the GFF household.  BlenderBottle for the win. Those things are genius.

Check out the green smoothie recipe here.

All in all, I’m really happy with the Blendtec.  It fits well under my cabinets on the countertop, is super easy to clean, is no louder than my cheap blender was, and gets my husband to ingest vegetable matter.  Truly a win.

If you’d like some more gluten free stuff, go check out Gluten Free and Fit 101.  Lots of info there to read while you sip on your smoothie.

Ridiculously High Protein High Fiber Gluten Free Muffin Recipe

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I’m a tweaker.

Not a tweeker, a tweaker.  Meaning I have difficulty leaving something well enough alone, even when it’s good.  To adjust, to fine tune.  Yup, that’s me.

A few months back I posted a recipe for Gluten Free Protein Blueberry Muffins.  These were really tasty.  But, if you’ve been around these parts you know I’m also a fan of baking with beans.  No, not baked beans like the maple syrupy and bacon baked beans.  Bean puree instead of flour.  Dessert hummus style, or as Ricki from Diet, Dessert and Dogs stated so correctly…bean butter.  Doesn’t that sound better?

Anyhow, I personally prefer to soak and cook my own beans from dried rather than use cans.  Yes, it takes a little longer, but it’s essentially no actual hands on time, is much less expensive, and I know the beans have been prepared to minimize any digestive gurgling.  I prefer white navy or cannellini beans for baking.  I find that they give a smoother batter than garbanzo beans, but that’s just my opinion.  I have used black beans (and will continue to do so) for brownies for the color.

So, tweaker that I am, I took my previous incarnation of protein muffins and combined it with my love of baking with beans, to create this ridiculously high protein, high fiber, gluten free muffin recipe.

I’m not designating it as “blueberry” or “chocolate chip” or whatever kind of muffin, ’cause truth be told, you just go ahead and add in anything your little heart desires.

The Most Important Meal of the Day: Gluten Free Brinner

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Yes, that’s right.  Brinner.

Just in case you have not seen this fine piece of film, I hereby share with you the clip from the notoriously funny show, “Scrubs.”  It’s totally worth the 40 seconds.

My friends Kim and Kim (funnily enough, and no I did not plan that) at Cook IT Allergy Free and Gluten Free is Life are also big fans of brinner.  What’s not to like, really?  In the days before my celiac diagnosis, after a stressful day at work I would sometimes go out with some of my fellow therapists for pancakes aka “breakfast for dinner.” Same thing.  Hence: brinner.

Now that I am a gluten avoider, and also a bit more aware of the impact that those carb and sugar heavy meals (pancakes, ya’ll) had on my physiology and my physique, my perspective on brinner choices has evolved.

But not my love of brinner.

It’s kind of hard to beat brinner.

You have many choices when it comes to preparing a gluten free, nutritious brinner.  And really, who’s rules say that “breakfast” foods have to be eaten in the morning anyhow.  Really.

Here’s a short, totally-not-all-inclusive list of some ideas for a celiac or gluten sensitive friendly brinner:

OK, so now on to my particular brinner.  This was a kind-of-a-frittata version of my egg bake.  I used Al Fresco Chicken Sausage and here’s why.  There’s an old joke that sausage means “we don’t know what’s in it either,” but that’s not the case with these babies.  This is the ingredient list on the Sun Dried Tomato, which is the type I use the most.

  • SKINLESS CHICKEN MEAT
  • WATER
  • SEASONING (SALT, TURBINADO SUGAR, SPICES, TOMATO POWDER, DEHYDRATED ONION & GARLIC, PAPRIKA, BASIL, NATURAL FLAVOR)
  • DICED TOMATOES,SUNDRIED TOMATOES (UNSULFURED)
  • NATURAL PORK CASING.

Nice!  All recognizable as food by my great grandmother.  No nitrates, nitrites, or gluten.  And they are already cooked.

Check out my frittata egg bake recipe here.

What’s your favorite brinner?  Hit it up in the comments and share your ideas!

Tropical Traditions Coconut Cream Review

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Have you noticed I’ve done a few chocolate chip cookie recipes?

Well, even if you haven’t noticed, I have.  I seem to have a bit of an obsession with chocolate chip cookies.

Chocolate chip cookies are just such a soothing, all-American treat.  When I was a kid pre-celiac diagnosis, I had a chocolate chip cookie obsession then too.  Soft Batch cookies, remember them?  Oh, yeah.  Heated up for just a few seconds until the chips were all mice and melty…heaven in a bite.

Now that I’m a bit older, gluten free, and aware of nutrition, I try to have some redeeming qualities in my treats for the most part.

As a part of designing my diet to provide maximal quality and nutrients, I try to use coconut products on a regular basis.  Coconut is not a miracle cure for anything, and please run screaming from anyone who tries to tell you so.  However, it is a food that has some very interesting and unique properties.  And, it tastes pretty darn yummy.

Funny random fact about me: I like coconut milk, coconut cream, coconut flour, and coconut flavor in general.  However, I don’t like actual coconut.  Like, the shredded kind.  I hate macaroons.  I think it’s a texture thing.  But I digress.

Coconut oil is also not the devil as opponents to saturated fat may try to state.  Actually, saturated fat itself is not the devil.  Saturated fat in combination with refined carbohydrate may in fact, be the devil.  But again, I digress.

I feel compelled to say that coconut products contain calories.
Tropical Traditions Coconut Cream Concentrate

Tropical Traditions Coconut Cream Concentrate

This seems obvious, but I have heard stories of people adding large amounts of calorie dense coconut products to their diet and expecting the laws of thermodynamics to no longer apply.  As much as that would be fabulous, it is in fact false.  If you add calories in, you have to take some out from somewhere, or you will gain weight.

Tropical Traditions is where I get my coconut flour and coconut oil.  I saw they had a product called coconut cream concentrate, which I had never heard of/tried before.  They very kindly supplied me with a complimentary sample to try.

Coconut Cream Concentrate is pretty cool stuff.

From the Tropical Traditions website:

Coconut Cream Concentrate is certified organic whole coconut meat in concentrated form. It contains no additives* (not even water). The dried coconut meat is ground very finely, giving it a creamy consistency due to its high fat content. Since it is 70% fat, it is a rich source of pure coconut oil. Note: this is a food, not a cooking oil.

It reminded me a lot of natural nut butter, how the oil separates and comes to the top?  Same gig.

I highly recommend watching the video provided by Tropical Traditions on how to prepare your concentrate to use.  Me being me, I skipped that part thinking I could stir it like nut butter.  No, you can’t.  Warm it first.  What’s really cool about this product in my opinion, is that you could theoretically pour off the top coconut oil and use that, and then use the meat part to make coconut milk (they recommend a couple teaspoons per 16 ounces of water, and it will be “grainy” due to the fiber in the coconut.)  It’s pretty darn versatile.  I mixed up a couple tablespoons in a quart jar with water and use it in my coffee.

Here is my coconut cream chocolate chip cookie recipe.

Have you used coconut cream concentrate?  What’s your favorite way to use coconut?  Hit it up in the comments!

Zucchini: The Naturally Gluten Free Veggie of the Day and Not Really Recipe Fail

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Actually it’s the naturally gluten free veggie of the summer.

Actually, all veggies are naturally gluten free.  (That is, in their natural state, and barring any preparation styles using gluten, of course.)

Score!

Zucchini

Zucchini is an incredibly prolific vegetable in the summer.  Around here, it’s everywhere-which is great, because it’s local, in season, tasty, and less expensive than some other veggie counterparts.  It’s also an incredibly versatile vegetable.  I wrote about one use of it here in my post about shredding it up with some carrots. It has an extremely mild flavor, and it takes on the flavors of whatever you cook it with.

So it can be used in both savory and sweet applications.

Double score!

Market ingredients

Once again at the market this weekend I found myself face to face with some gorgeous huge organic zucchini.  And they were cheap!

There were some mushrooms that looked lovely, so into the basket they went.

And tomatoes.  I love me my tomatoes.  (Yes, I know they are a fruit, technically so is zucchini, but lets not split hairs shall we?)

I had cooked up a couple pounds of pork tenderloin the other day, so I knew that would be my protein source for dinner.  Why cook one pound when you can cook extra and have leftovers?  Prepare ahead and set yourself up for healthy gluten free eating success.)

Now as you may know, I don’t generally follow recipes.  I’m really bad at it.  I forget to measure all the time.  That’s why I do “not-really-recipes.”  A guideline, a template for which to alter as you see fit and with what you have on hand.

This is great, it creates a sense of freedom and creativity.

Cooking fail

Sometimes it also creates spectacular cooking fails.

Zucchini pancakes

I decided I wanted to make zucchini pancake type things.

Without consulting any resources (which I should have done) I proceeded to shred the zucchini with a box grater.  I thought I was so smart when I remembered to salt it to draw out the water and squeeze it dry.  I decided it would be fantastic to add in the chopped mushrooms to give the zucchini a bit of a meatier texture.  I threw in some sea salt, garlic, hot sauce, one egg (beaten,) mixed it up and called it good.

Heated up my pan with a bit of coconut oil (from the Misto-love that thing) and proceeded to form little round piles of goodness.

And what to  my wondering eyes did NOT appear?

Browning.  They were steaming and cooking, but no lovely carmelization and browning.  The pancakes weren’t sticking together.

The mushrooms.  They also have a high water content.  Too much moisture=no browning for Erin.  Between the mushrooms and the zucchini, I was toast.  (Figuratively)

Undeterred, I mixed it all up into a pile and cooked it.  And boy was it tasty!

So the moral of the story is this:

Sometimes Not Really Recipes don’t work out the way you think, but taste good anyway.

Sometimes that may happen with real recipes-not to worry!

There are a bunch of great zucchini recipes out there.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Bring on the zucchini!  What’s your favorite way to prepare it?

What do you Mean You Don’t Like Veggies?

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What do you mean it’s too hard to make them taste good? It’s really not hard if you keep an open mind and take advantage of what is available.

I am very lucky to have a nearby market where they feature locally grown and mostly organic produce.  I stop by there on the weekend and pick up whatever looks and smells good to me.

Last weekend, there was a bunch of beautiful bright orange carrots and some zucchini (aka summer squash-as I understand it summer squash can be either yellow or green, and the green variety is zucchini.)

It’s in season now, and was very reasonably priced.  I loaded up my basket with those and some other goodies.  Had I a clue of how I was going to prepare them?  Nope.  But, I knew I could figure something out.

In my opinion, that’s a key to preparing your own gluten free and healthful food.

Keep your options open if you are at a market such as this.

See what looks good and is reasonably priced.  When you start with fresh, local ingredients, generally you will have a much more flavorful start to your meal than if you are starting with something that has been shipped and/or processed.  You won’t need fancy sauces or preparation methods to make them taste good.

So here I am with my zucchini and carrots.  My Dad is in town for Fathers’ Day, and Jeff is at work, so it’s dinner for me and Dad.  It was Sunday, so it’s my cook ahead for the week day.

I had been marinating chicken breasts in lemon juice, fresh garlic, and lemon pepper seasoning (this is my favorite) for most of the day.  That would be our protein source.

I remembered seeing an idea to make pasta-ish ribbons from zucchini using a vegetable peeler.  I thought that sounded good, so I scrubbed my veggies with water and a veggie brush and pulled out the peeler.  2 peels into it I decided that would take far too long.  I am definitely not that patient.

I do have a mack daddy food processor which I love.  I pulled it out and gave myself a quick tutorial on how to use the shredding blade.  It worked fantastically.

I had a beautiful big pile of shredded zucchini and carrot.

Now what to do?

My theory is you can never go wrong with some fresh garlic.  Not in the amount that would protect you from vampires, but just a touch for some flavor.

Dinner is almost served…

I poured a tablespoon of coconut oil into my pan, and let it warm up over medium high heat.  Then I used my garlic press on 1 medium clove of fresh garlic and added that to the pan, stirring frequently as not to burn, just get that toasty garlic aroma floating through the house.

This is when my Dad was drawn into the kitchen by the smell of garlic, and I chased him off.

The chicken was in the oven cooking away while I was doing all this, and some sweet potatoes were keeping the chicken company in the oven.  Especially in Florida in the summertime, if you’re heating up the oven, you may as well make the most of it.

Add the shredded zucchini and carrots to the pan, and stir.  They cook quickly, about 5 minutes or so is all you need.  I added a couple shakes of sea salt and grinds of black pepper, and that was it.

We had a lovely meal of chicken, the shredded veggies, and sweet potato.  All naturally gluten free.  All wonderfully full of flavor, and easy to prepare.

You can see in the photo the eggy breakfast casserole in the background, and the pot in which I was cooking rice.  You can do this also, and get a bunch of good food prepared ahead of time.

What’s your favorite way to prepare vegetables?  If you have tricks, please share!

Gluten Free “Healthy” Treats

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I’ve mentioned before my love for chocolate. I really, really like chocolate. To the point where I don’t think I’ve ever even had a flavor of ice cream that wasn’t some kind of a riff on chocolate. Really.

When I plan on having a splurge, it always involves chocolate. I follow the 90/10 rule for the most part-if I eat well 90% of the time, the other 10% I can have whatever I want and it won’t have negative repercussions on my health or physique.

Many people will do just fine taking this to 80/20.

On that splurge, I don’t worry about calories. Many times a small amount of “real” ice cream is much more satisfying than a larger amount of “fake” ice cream. And to me, a bit of really dark chocolate is a square of heaven.

But sometimes you want something sweet, but maybe you don’t want to have a full-on splurge. You may want to keep it somewhat “healthy” and yet still quench the sweet tooth.

For that, I have some answers.

For the Superbowl this past weekend I made two items that fit that bill to perfection.

Flourless oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

I was inspired by Shirley at Gluten Free Easily and her recipe for Flourless Oatmeal Cookies. I actually stayed very close to the original recipe. The only substitutions I made was that I subbed out a bit of nonfat Greek yogurt for half of the butter, and used egg beaters. This recipe for flourless oatmeal chocolate chip cookies does not use much sugar, but you could also use stevia-I did not this go round.

Recipe: Flourless oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

 

These were awesome. I admit I did taste the batter, but for the most part they made it into the oven and to the party.
They were a huge hit-they were crunchy and wonderful. I was the only gluten free person in attendance, and everyone loved them. Given that they are treats, they are relatively healthful as well.

Black bean brownies

The second treat I made was Black Bean brownies. Various versions of this recipe have been floating around for a while now, but I saw this one at Lean Bodies Fitness, which is a community I am a part of. If you’ve never tried these, I highly recommend. I didn’t tell anyone the “secret ingredient” until after they tried, and raved about, the brownies. They couldn’t believe it. These make a very dense, fudgy brownie. Not a cake-like brownie. The next time I make these, I am going to substitute nonfat Greek yogurt for the bananas. Banana flavor is good, but I’d like to see what they are like without it. Made with this current recipe they are actually vegan.

Recipe: Black bean brownies

 

Let me know what you think in the comments!

Baked Chicken ideas

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We eat a lot of poultry. I’ve mentioned before my fear of sprouting feathers and clucking.

There was recently a Twitter discussion about eating chicken-and Sandra of the Gluten Free Optimist (aka Maryland Celiac) mentioned her need for more ideas for baked chicken. And a dislike of Italian Dressing, BBQ, sour cream, and mushrooms. (Did I get them all? I hope so!)

So consider this the baked-chicken-with-none-of-those-ingredients “not really a recipe.”

Baked chicken

When it comes to baking (or roasting) chicken, there are 3 basic methods I use. The first is marinades, the second rubs, and the third just seasoning prior to tossing them in the oven. I generally use boneless skinless chicken breast, as I enjoy the lean protein and ease. I am also very fortunate to have a local market where I can get boneless skinless chicken breasts in a family pack size for $1.49/lb. You could of course always use skinless boneless chicken thighs as well, and I have a suggestion for bone-in and skin on chicken breast at the end of this post.

Marinades

Marinades are time intensive, but not labor intensive. It does require a bit of pre-planning to allow to meat enough time to sit in the marinade, get tenderized and absorb all that flavor. Allow at least an hour to marinade, several hours would be better. I have even (accidentally) allowed chicken to marinade for almost 24 hours, and it was OK. I would not recommend that though, as the chicken can get very mushy and kind of gross as the acids in the marinade break it down more than you want it to. I tend to use zip-top plastic bags to make the marinade, then add the chicken and squish it all around so it is evenly distributed. Toss it back in the fridge and let it do it’s thing!

Ideas for marinades

(For all of these, you can add about 1/4 cup of olive or canola oil to the below combinations)

  • Lemon or lime juice, fresh peeled and cracked garlic cloves, cracked black pepper, sea salt
  • Red wine vinegar, oregano, garlic powder, sea salt
  • Apple cider vinegar, fresh chopped garlic, sea salt

You get the basic idea. You want something acidic (citrus juice, vinegar), some herbs/spices, and then a bit of oil. The only vinegar I don’t use with chicken is regular balsamic-because it makes the chicken an unappealing brown color. (although it tastes great.) I have used white balsamic which is very tasty. You can see that you can mix and match these to fit whatever you have on hand. If you have fresh herbs you can use those also. My favorite is lemon juice, garlic, salt/pepper, and chopped fresh rosemary and thyme. Very often I don’t have rosemary and thyme fresh, so I’ll use dried.

Rubs

Rubs are exactly as it sounds-a spice mixture that you rub onto the chicken and let it infuse flavor. You can take any of
the ingredients you would use in a marinade (just use a tiny bit of the acid and the oil-just enough to make a paste) and chop/process the solids very small, and use that as a rub. If you can, allow these to sit about 10-15 minutes prior to cooking. Not as time intensive as a marinade.

Other ideas for rubs
  • Cumin, cayenne, and 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (these are found canned, usually in the ethnic food section-a great smoky flavor)
  • Cinnamon and cayenne. Sounds bizarre, I know-but it’s really, really good. You can also add a tiny bit of brown sugar.
  • Onion and garlic powder, sea salt, black pepper
  • Tarragon, garlic, lemon zest
Easy seasonings

This is the simplest-just pull out the jar/can, sprinkle, flip, sprinkle, and put into the oven. Here are a few I like:
(Remember-always check labels for hidden gluten in case a manufacturer changes their formula.)

  • Crazy Jane’s Mixed Up Salt
  • Lemon pepper
  • Lime pepper
  • Creole seasoning
  • Greek seasoning
  • Old Bay
  • Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce-not quite a seasoning, but just as easy. Cover the chicken with sauce before cooking-viola! Healthier not-wings 🙂

If you are using skin-on versions, just make a slit in the skin, and put the rub mixture/seasonings inside the skin as well as on the outside. Really rub it in well, and make sure to cover as much surface area as you can. It gives a really nice flavor.

Hopefully this helped give you a few ideas for chicken.

Share your favorite way to prepare the bird of honor in the comments below! You can never have too many ways to cook chicken….

Birthdays and Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes-Heaven on Earth (Kind of a Recipe)

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Some of you may have already heard that yesterday was my birthday. Life is good-I received many birthday wishes on Facebook, Twitter, and my friend Kim at Gluten Free is Life, gave me a birthday shout out on her blog. Yesterday was Kim’s (and her mom’s!) birthday as well. I had a wonderful day, and I thank everyone for all their good wishes. It means so much to me that you took the time to wish me well. Here’s to another year!

Earlier this week Heidi at Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom (my brussel sprout buddy) had posted an amazing recipe for Sour Cream Chocolate Cupcakes. When I saaw it, I thought to myself “Self-you should make these for your birthday!” And so I did. And they were good. Really good.

Please check out Heidi’s blog for the original recipe, as I did make some changes according to what I had on hand. A definite part of my cooking philosophy is that if I want to make something and I don’t quite have the ingredients as listed-do I have something I can substitute? I am a firm believer that you need to make your cooking work for you, and not have to run out every time you don’t have something. Hence my affection for the “method” way of cooking instead of strict recipes. That is why now I’m titling my “recipes” as “not really a recipe” or “kind of a recipe.” Consider it a guideline as opposed to-written in stone you must do this or you will explode!

On to the good stuff!

Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients:

– 2 TBSP Butter

-.5 cup water

-.25 cup cocoa/cacao powder

-1 cup sugar or sugar substitute (I used .5 cups Splenda Brown Sugar and .5 cup Splenda granular)

-.75 cups oat flour and .75 cup coconut flour (the original recipe called for 1.25 c quinoa flour, which I didn’t have. I had coconut flour, and I had my Creamhill gluten free oatmeal which I love, so I threw some oatmeal into the Magic Bullet and processed it into flour. Viola! Multi-functional ingredients. I chose the oat flour to give a little texture and nutrition.)

-.5 tsp baking powder

-.5 tsp baking soda

-2 eggs separated

-1 tsp vanilla

-1/2 cup greek yogurt

-1 container of baby food puree apples/prunes (I like to use this to add moisture without fat, and also because in chocolate items it’s brown and doesn’t disturb the rich chocolate color.)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 deg F
  • Melt butter and water in small saucepan over medium heat, remove from heat and whisk in cocoa.
  • Combine in a bowl the sugar/substitute, flours, baking powder/soda, and salt. Whisk to combine. I didn’t sift because I’m lazy like that.
  • Add the egg yolk, vanilla, yogurt and fruit puree to the dry ingredients along with the cocoa/butter/water mixture.
  • Combine well, I did by hand. Beat egg white to stiff-ish and fold in. I got impatient so they weren’t quite stiff.
  • Spoon into 12 cupcake molds.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes. (Mine was 15 m in a convection oven.)Here’s the cupcake sans icing.

    Mmmm...chocolate

    But a cupcake without icing isn’t so “treat”-like. So-I used Elena’s at Elena’s Pantry Vegan Chocolate Icing recipe for inspiration. Again, I didn’t have exactly what the recipe called for so I improvised! Check out her blog for the original recipe. Here’s my riff on it.

    Chocolate Icing

    -3/4 cup of coarsely chopped whatever chocolate you have in the house (I had a little bit of 70% cacao, a couple squares of 88% cacao, and made up the remainder with Baker’s semisweet at 54% cacao. Worked great.)

    -1 TBSP agave nectar (I dropped the amount of agave since the semi-sweet chocolate had a bit more sugar.)

    -1/4 c Enova oil. (I didn’t have grapeseed.)

    -pinch sea salt

    From Elena’s directions:
    1-In a small saucepan over very low heat, melt chocolate and oil
    2- Stir in agave, vanilla and salt
    3- Place frosting in freezer for 15 minutes to chill and thicken (This seemed too long for me-the frosting was frozen when I took it out, and I had to re-melt a little bit to be able to blend it.)
    4- Remove from freezer and whip frosting with a hand blender until it is thick and fluffy

    Here is the finished product!

    Mmmm...CHOCOLATE!!

    The cupcakes were a HUGE hit! They tasted fantastic, were nice and moist, and received rave reviews from Jeff. Being a non-celiac he has a very recent memory of glutinous cakes, and he said that they were really good. I have to admit that I made these midday yesterday, and by midnight we had each eaten 6-and they were gone. Birthday splurge!

    My tweaks did make these a bit more “diet-friendly” but I would consider them a treat nonetheless.

    Enjoy-let me know if you try them and what you think in the comments!