Tag Archives: coconut flour

Kids in the Kitchen: Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Brittany is my partner in baking. She immediately knew she wanted to bake muffins this weekend. What kind? She wasn’t sure yet. After a bit of discussion, we decided on one of my favorites – banana chocolate chip. However, I wanted to make them healthier and allergy-friendly without sacrificing taste. This took a bit of experimenting.

You see, lately, I’ve been toying around with a more primal way of eating for a variety of reasons. It took me a while to jump on board, but after reading Elana’s blog for a long time, and more recently, Mark’s Daily Apple, I took the plunge.  Right now, I’m in a “let’s see what happens” phase, and I’m not avoiding grains 100% of the time. (I will be partaking when I attend the North Texas Gluten-Free Makeover tomorrow, for instance!) I thought if I could make these muffins grain-free, that would be a step in the right direction for primal/grain-free eating, and I could feed my desire to bake creatively. (I always love a baking challenge!) So I opted for coconut flour, a bit of arrowroot starch, and almond flour in these muffins. But rather than going in blind on my “experimental” muffins and risking a failure on Brittany’s time, I opted to have a trial run a few days ago.

I was glad I did, as my first batch, while tasty, wasn’t perfect. I only used 2 bananas, and I baked at too high of a temperature. The muffins weren’t tender enough, and didn’t have enough “banana” taste. I knew what to do, and made notes to make changes for this morning.

While they’re not entirely refined sugar-free (the dark chocolate chips have some sugar to them), they were certainly much lower in refined sweeteners than normal muffins. They’re also higher in protein and fiber. But how do they taste? Lightly sweet, with a warm, full, banana flavor, and a moist and tender crumb –  Brittany and her friend (who helped us make these muffins this morning) gobbled down three a piece, and Matt even enjoyed one. (He’s not much for muffins.) I imagine they’ll be gone by tomorrow morning. If that’s not a good sign, I don’t know what is!

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

3 mashed bananas

4 beaten eggs

½ c honey

4 T liquefied coconut oil

¼ t almond extract

1 T vanilla extract

¼ c arrowroot starch

½ c coconut flour

¼ c almond meal

1 T flaxseed meal

¾ t baking soda

½ t baking powder

½ t sea salt

1 1/2 t cinnamon

½ c chocolate chips

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with cupcake papers and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix the wet ingredients (bananas through vanilla extract) together well. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (arrowroot starch through cinnamon) in a separate bowl. Combine the wet and dry ingredients in the large bowl until well-incorporated, and then stir in chocolate chips.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full and bake 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow to cool on a rack for 5 minutes, and then carefully remove from the muffin tin and allow to cool on the rack for 10-15 minutes more.

Makes 1 dozen muffins.

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays and Go Ahead Honey, it’s Gluten Free.

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Filed under Baked goods, breakfast, Budget-Friendly, Dairy-Free, Desserts, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Quick and Easy, Vegetarian

Kids in the Kitchen: Angel Food Cake

Today was one of those days. No, not those days. Just a day where I misjudged. A day where I “should’ve known better”. A day where I was reminded that gluten-free baking doesn’t always turn out beautifully in my kitchen. Of course, I realize nobody’s perfect. Everything won’t score a 10 in our kitchen. This is an obvious fact of life. But I felt disappointed nonetheless.

See, Brittany wanted to make angel food cake. We’ve made it before (wow, that was almost exactly a year ago!), and it was delightful. Except now, I’ve exclusively baked gluten-free for months. There is no wheat flour in my kitchen. And yet, I went into my first-time-ever gluten-free angel food cake with nary a worry. I didn’t opt to follow my gluten-filled recipe and simply sub alternative flours. I found another cake recipe, and arbitrarily substituted flours, not giving adequate thought to how the combinations would turn out.

And then WHAM! I was hit by a bummer of a cake. But it was more than that. It was a disappointment for Brittany. Oh, of course, we’ve all shared turns making less-than-stellar dishes in the kitchen. It’s part of experimenting, and it’s part of the cooking process. We all have to learn that lesson. Today, we did. (I just hate when I personally feel it had a lot to do with a few flour substitutions I made.)

We won’t let this experiment get us down, however. Brittany and I have already been talking about what we can change. We’re already talking about what will be wonderful to try next time. The reasons for our tenacity are many: Brittany wants to make a cake she can be proud of. (Well, so do I.) For me, I also want to achieve that goal I set for myself with any gluten-free dish: to provide a dish that is every bit as good (or better!) as a “gluten-y” recipe, sans gluten. But most importantly, I want to teach our children to cook in the kitchen. Sometimes, the two goals cannot be achieved in a single task, but we’ll keep on trying to reach both!

So, I will share the recipe with you, in case anyone happens to have opinions/suggestions on the subject. And to make things perfectly clear; I don’t hold the recipe creator accountable for the failure on our cake! (that had more to do with my errors and substitutions – besides, Gluten Free Mommy is awesome!) I do know one thing. Next time? No amaranth flour. (as my husband remarked, it makes the cake taste kind of like a dish towel!) But I would still like to work to make it fluffier and lighter, as it was rather dense. Still trying to work on how to accomplish that. Maybe I’ll revisit my old recipe, we’ll just have to see!

Gluten-Free Angel Food Cake, adapted from Gluten-Free Mommy

1 1/2 c granulated sugar

1/4 c sweet rice flour

1/4 c tapioca starch

1/4 c coconut flour

1/4 c amaranth flour

1 t xanthan gum

12 egg whites, room temperature

1 1/2 t cream of tartar

1/4 t salt

1 T vanilla extract

1/2 t almond extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place the sugar in a food processor fitted with a metal blade and turn on. You will process the sugar until it becomes fine, nearly like powdered sugar. Separate egg whites in a stainless steel bowl and let them come to room temperature. In a separate medium bowl, sift gluten free flours, salt, xanthan gum, and 3/4 cup of of the sugar. Beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar. Beat until the egg whites form soft peaks. Beat in the other reserved 3/4 cup of sugar about 3 tablespoons at a time. Beat until stiff peaks form. Slowly fold in flour mixture about 1/4 cup at a time. Once the flour mixture is combined, fold in the vanilla and almond extract. Slowly pour the batter into a tube pan (preferably one where the inside lifts out) and spread the batter evenly. Run a knife through the cake to eliminate any air bubbles. Bake for 50-55 minutes until top is golden and sides begin to pull away. Cool for 10 minutes. Run the edges of a knife along the pan and pull out the insert to the tube pan. Run a knife along the bottom of the insert and invert onto a cake plate. Serve with topping of choice!

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Filed under Baked goods, Dairy-Free, Desserts, Eggs, Gluten-Free

Kids in the Kitchen: Chocolate Chocolate Chip Pancakes

They were free this time around. Free to choose which meal of the day to prepare. Free to choose what they wished to make.

So of course, Brittany immediately chose something with an insane amount of chocolate. As any 11-year-old girl would, I suppose!

She wanted to make chocolate pancakes. But not just that. She wanted chocolate chips in the pancakes, and to sandwich the pancakes with a layer of peanut butter. And top with more chocolate chips. I knew I had to find a way to make this breakfast just a touch healthier than it would seem. But I had to be sneaky. These were supposed to be fun pancakes, after all!

So I turned to my two friends – coconut flour and agave nectar. I love using coconut flour in baked goods – it’s gluten-free, lower in carbohydrates, and high in fiber. It also seems to create fluffier, lighter baked goods than some other gluten-free flours – always a good thing when we’re talking pancakes. Agave nectar has less of an impact to blood sugar levels than sugar – an added bonus for you when you’re serving a sweet treat to kids – no crazy, out-of-control, hyped-up-on-sugar children! These weren’t health food by any means, but I did feel a bit better knowing I was making a few tweaks for the better.

These pancakes were pretty tasty – just the right amount of chocolate, and they were very filling. And for once, all of the kids enjoyed the meal! (If I haven’t told you before, I live in a house with some picky eaters.) I say that means these are definitely a keeper.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chocolate Chip Pancakes

5 eggs, separated

5 T butter, melted

1/3 c milk

2 T agave nectar

1/2 t salt

1 t vanilla extract

1/3 c coconut flour

1 T unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 t baking powder

1/4 c chocolate chips, plus more for topping pancakes

Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Separately, beat egg yolks until foamy. Fold together, along with melted butter, milk, agave nectar, salt, and vanilla. Whisk in coconut flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. Stir in chocolate chips.

Heat a nonstick pan to medium heat. Spoon 1/4 cup of batter onto the pan. Allow to cook for 3 minutes or so and carefully flip. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes more or until cooked through. Repeat with remaining batter.

Serve with toppings such as peanut butter, maple syrup, and whipped cream, and top with additional chocolate chips. Makes about 9 pancakes.

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Filed under breakfast, Gluten-Free, Quick and Easy