This week is Coeliacs Awareness Week – the hashtag is #glutenfreevolution. So I am doing my little bit to try and raise awareness! My Nana, my mum and two of my sisters have coeliacs disease. You can learn more about coeliacs disease here!
In brief; it’s an autoimmune disease that can go undiagnosed for years. It’s caused by the immune system reacting to gluten in foods and is totally different to allergy and anaphylaxis.
Aaron does not have coeliacs disease, but has EoE and is on a gluten-free diet due to that. I have never been diagnosed with coeliacs disease as I cannot eat it for the required three months to get tested – as it makes me soooooo ill. Our house is 100% gluten-free, so although neither Aars or I have been diagnosed with coeliacs disease we enjoy baking with various gluten-free flours and identify with #glutenfreevolution.
Gluten is what makes bread dough stretchy and elastic. Flours which are gluten-free tend to absorb a lot more liquid, need more oil and something else to try and bind them together.
Manufacturers of gluten-free products tend to use eggs to do the job of gluten in their food – but as we live egg-free too we cannot do that. If you’re vegan or allergic to eggs as well as gluten you need to find alternatives. Earlier in the week I shared our favourite gluten-free & vegan bread recipes – you can check that post out here.
Below are the foods we love to bake and eat which are vegan and gluten-free using different flours. They all began as experiments which were honed and revisited and adapted time after time until they got to a place where they have become staples in our diet. I still have a long way to go on our gluten-free journey as I get to grips with other flours like quinoa and tapioca flours but this is where we are at at the mo! The recipes below use coconut, buckwheat (it’s gluten-free), cornflour, chestnut, almond, oat, gram flours.
However many of my recipes on free2bake are made using Doves pre-mixed gluten-free flours, as I am still in the early stages of understanding the different properties of all the gluten-free flours.
We really believe that just because we live vegan and gluten-free does not mean we have to miss out. Check out our scrummy kisses here – made with cornflour and love ;P
I hope that there is something you fancy and that you’re inspired to get playing in your kitchen and creating your own recipes which are safe and scrummy and lovely for your tummy!
The first three have not been converted into my recipe cards yet so you will need to click the hyperlinks below to see the recipes.
Have a fabulous weekend, and if you’ve not signed up for our newsletter yet you can do so here! This weeks newsletter will be flitting into in-boxes on Saturday morning – a.k.a World Hummus day! So we will be celebrating the humble little chickpea in style with some scrummy free-from recipes, including of course, a delicious hummus from Lebanon.
Peace & love,
crunchy nut chia cookies are made using buckwheat flour
bonkers brownie biscuits are baked using ground almonds and cornflour
parsnip & sweetcorn muffins are made using polenta (coarse corn flour & oats)
gluten-free, vegan buckwheat & banana pancakes
We are experimenting with different gluten-free flour & buckwheat is a tasty one! Don't be scared by the name buckwheat in naturally gluten-free! The bananas make these pancakes sweet and the spicing is subtle. Enjoy :)
- 2 bananas
- 1 Tbs ground cinnamon
- 1 Tbs heaped ground ginger
- 2 Tbs ground flaxseed
- 2 C m!lk alternative (we use koko, a thin coconut m!lk)
- ½ Tbs cider vinegar
- 1½ C gluten-free oats (we use nairns)
- 1½ C buckwheat flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ C oil (we use organic sunflower oil)
In a mixing bowl mash your bananas with the spices, then add the ground flaxseed, m!lk alternative and vinegar before giving it a good stir.
Add the oats, buckwheat flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder and stir in before adding the oil. Once the oil has been stirred into the mix heat your griddle or frying pan (we use a stone pan) on a low but broad flame. If you need to grease your pan do!
Drop spoonfuls of your batter onto the heated pan - leaving space for them to expand then watch them puff up and grow.
When the colour around the edges start to change (check out the photo) flip those bad boys. The second side take less time to cook than the first, when they reach the colour you like serve them.
Remember you can reduce the amount of spices if you like - but because buckwheat has some good flavour for a gluten-free flour I think that you need this much to be able to taste the spices.
We eat them fresh from the pan, but they are great cold too. You can either cook the whole lot or store the mix in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of days so you can enjoy them fresh from the pan again!
Aars like these unadulterated or with our chocolate sauce drizzled over them, I like them with fresh strawberries.
ginger kicking nubs they’re finger-licking gooooood
These ginger-kicking nubs are super fast to make and too easy to eat. There is no refined sugar in the recipe, no dodgy fats just delicious goodness, if you eat the paleo way these will work for you - and they are crunchy (paleo folks tell me this is a treat!) The ginger means that they are kicking as well as finger-licking good!
- 1 C ground almonds
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 Tbs ground ginger*
- grind of salt (we use Himalayan rock salt)
- 2 Tbs maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 180°C (mine is a fan oven) & place some baking paper on baking trays.
In a bowl combine the almonds, soda, ginger & salt, thens slowly add the maple syrup staring as you go.
You should be able to create little balls of the mix, pop the balls on your baking tray & press the balls down with 2 fingers to flatten them a little.
Pop into the oven for 10 minutes, I like them so that they are browning on the edges as the first photo shows, it gives them a bit more bite. Place on a cooling rack and watch them disappear as if by magic!
*If your children are less into ginger reduce the amount as these are pretty fiery!
BOOM Brownies were my first ever successful free-from brownie recipe. I love brownies and really wanted my son to try them, but all the recipes I found had way too many eggs to adapt. After years of failing finally I created free-from brownies with the perfect texture: gooey & soft in the middle with a proper top! Thus they were named BOOM! Brownies. Utterly yummy, very moreish and a huge hit in our home!
- medium sweet potato (1 C of hot baked sweet potato flesh)
- ½ C mini marshmallows
- ¼ C almond paste (a.k.a almond b*tter)
- ¼ C peanut b*tter (a.k.a peanut butter)
- ¹⁄3 C soft brown sugar
- ¼ C sunflower oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ¹⁄3 C raw cacao powder
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pre-heat your oven to 200°C (fan).
Once it's hot pop the sweet potato in to bake for about 20 minutes (dependant on size) until the flesh is soft. Remove from oven and turn the temperature down to 160°C (fan)
Remove the flesh of the sweet potato from its skin and mash it with the mini marshmallows so they melt.
Now add the all the other ingredients: nut b*tters, soft brown sugar, sunflower oil, vanilla extract, cocoa powder,bicarbonate of soda and thoroughly combine.
Dollop the lot into a lined cake tin (I use a metal pan as my cake tins are either too small or too big for this amount of mix!)
Pop into the oven for 18 minutes (regardless of if it has made its way down to 160°C)
When the brownies come out of the oven you need to leave them to cool for a bit - as hard as it is to resist the incredible smells. Serve still warm
egg-free old-school macaroons! (better believe it baby!)
Yes! I have adapted an old faithful, my Granny Jo's amazing old-school macaroons into an egg-free recipe! Bonkers I know but they work really well. I made these with CoYo (a coconut yogurt) as I noticed that when I whisk it it goes frothy and a little like egg whites. If you love the sweetness of normal macaroons you can replace a couple of teaspoons of the rice flour with icing sugar as the yogurt dulls the sweetness a little. However we enjoyed the less sweet version!
- rice paper
- 3 Tbsp (heaped ) CoYo coconut yogurt
- 55 g granulated sugar
- 5 tsp rice flour
- ½ tsp almond extract
- 13 blanched almonds
- 50 g ground almonds
Preheat your oven to 140°C (fan oven). Place a sheet of baking paper on your tray and your rice paper on top of that. (You can see how I cut the spring roll rice sheets in the photo so there was minimal overlap and maximum coverage from 2 sheets.)
In your mixing bowl add the CoYo coconut yogurt and whisk it up until it is foamy like egg whites. Then whisk in the sugar. Once it's combined whisk in the flour, almond extract & ground almonds.
The mix looks sticky and is too wet to make the traditional balls - use a spoon to dollop the mix onto the rice paper. Pop a blanched almond on the top of each of the dollops.
Pop into the oven for 25 minutes (if you make larger ones bake for 30 mins). Place on a cooling rack. When they are cooling break away as much of the rice paper as is possible.
I bought rice paper from the local Chinese food store in Dorking - it's meant to be used for creating spring rolls but worked perfectly for my macaroons! Eat and enjoy the wonder that is egg-free old school macca-racca-oooons.
vegan & gluten-free coriander & lime flatbread (made with gram flour)
- 2 Tbs ground chia seeds
- ½ C gram flour
- ¼ tsp ground cayenne pepper
- grind of pink Himalayan salt
- ¾ C water*
- 1 lime's juice
- 2 Tbs oil (melted coconut oil or olive oil)
- 2 handfuls of fresh coriander (chopped leaves and stalks)**
- oil to fry batter (we use coconut oil normally)
In a mixing bowl combine the ground chia seeds, gram flour, cayenne and salt.
Whisk in the water, lime juice and oil. *it should be runny like a batter for pancakes - gram flour varies in absorbency so make sure you have a nice wet dough - you'll get an idea from the photo here.
Stir in the chopped coriander leaves and stalks (the stalks create fantastic bursts of coriander)
Heat up a frying pan and add a blob of oil to melt in it.
When the pan is hot, spoon in some batter and spread around the pan with the back of the spoon like you would a crepe. It should take about 2 minutes to cook on the first side and about 1 minute to cook on the second.
Pop the cooked flatbread into a clean tea towel in a bread basket to stay warm and then fry your next flatbread.
These are best straight from the pan, but as we like to eat together I make a batch before we start eating and keep them warm wrapped in a tea-towel.
**the more coriander you add to the mix the harder it is to hold your batter together - but persevere as the coriander is SCRUMMY!
ginger & maple muffins (with carrot but shhhhhh don’t tell!)
These delicious ginger & maple muffins are wonderfully good for you - but not if you eat as many as we did the first time I made them! They are incredibly more-ish and if you don't tell your children there's carrots in them - they will never know as the carrot pretty much disappears when baked into the body of the cake. They will happily gobble down these free-from delicious & nutritious muffins.
- 1 Tbs ground flaxseed (a.k.a linseed)
- 1 C m!lk alternative
- 1 C gluten-free oats*
- ¾ C maple syrup
- ½ C oil (sunflower or melted coconut)
- 1 Tbs ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp cider vinegar
- 2 C grated carrots (use finest setting - this is about 3 carrots or 250g)
- 1 C gluten-free self raising flour*
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan) and line your muffin tins with cases.
Into your mixing bowl add the flaxseed, m!lk alternative, oats, maple syrup, oil, spices, salt and vinegar. Give it a good stir.
Now grate your carrots as fine as you can and add them to the mix followed by the flour, bicarb and baking powder. Give it all a stir so it's just combined then dollop out into the waiting cases and pop into the oven for 20 minutes to bake.
When they come out of the oven leave them in their tins for 5 minutes before placing on a cooling rack.
*if you are ok with gluten this recipe also works with regular flour & oats
vegan & gluten-free chestnut cookies
Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan) and prep a baking tray with some baking paper.
Combine the flours in a mixing bowl.
Cut in the two fats. I use the K beater on my kenwood chef to mix them to a breadcrumb consistency - but you can rub through fingers (like making pastry).
Stir in the soft brown sugar. Then make a well in the centre for the m!lk alternative. Again I use the K beater on my kenwood chef to bring the dough together. As soon as it is combined stop working it.
Roll the mix into small balls and place on the prepared baking tray. Press these all down with two fingers to create little biscuits. Only make as many chestnut cookies as you will eat - place the rest of the dough in an air-tight container and store in the fridge until you want to make the next batch.
Pop into the oven for 12 minutes. Once they are cooked place on a cooling rack. When they are cool (after about 30 minutes) get stuck in and share with your friends who helped you forage.
They are best eaten about 30 minutes after baking and don't store well, so only make what you are going to eat and keep the rest of the dough in an airtight container in the fridge ready for the next batch!
coconut flour pancakes
These pancakes are delicious and packed full of fabulous nutrients for your growing children. They are a great way to start the day before school or on lazy weekends. Because coconut flour is full of good fats and packed with protein and fibre it's a fabulous gluten-free flour to use in baking. But it behaves very differently to normal flours, absorbing masses of liquid from the mix. We always use it in conjunction with other gluten-free flours and grains. I thought I would provide you with a pancake recipe we've created specifically for using coconut flour which you can play with for your family - you may want to alter the spicing!
In a large mixing bowl, mash up your banana, then add all the ingredients above in the order they are listed, stirring them in as you go.
Once the flour is mixed in the batter is ready to use.
Place a stone pan on a low-medium flame and heat up, once the pan is hot melt some dairy-free spread (we use vitalite) into the pan. Drop dollops of the batter into the hot pan.
When the edges of the pancakes start to cook (see photo) it's time to flip your pancakes, the second side is quicker to cook than the first. Serve them straight from the pan, or collect them all and keep them in a warm oven, or serve them cold like scotch pancakes.
*you can also use apple puree - Ella's Kitchen organic apple puree for babies works well! Or make your own stewed apples - they are really easy and yummy
The mix keeps well in the fridge in an air-tight container for a few days - we often make these pancakes on Sunday morning and put the left over mix in the fridge so Aars can start his school days with freshly made pancakes. Generally the mix is all gobbled within three days so I cannot tell definitively how long it would last in the fridge!
chocolate (date & coconut) amaze-balls
These chocolate (date & coconut) amaze-balls are bite-sized balls of yum! Full of great ingredients which make them, very nearly, a healthy treat! They are sweet and rich and more-ish, they make great gifts and when we have tea parties the children gobble them up unaware of all the goodness they are devouring! The other bonus is that they are really easy to make.
- ½ C dried dates*
- ¼ C water
- 1 flax-*gg (1 Tbs ground flaxseed + 3Tbs water)
- 100g dark chocolate at least 70% broken into pieces
- ½ C desiccated coconut
- TO COAT:
- ½ C desiccated coconut
Put your dried dates in a small bowl with the water and leave them to soak them for at least an hour before making these chocolate (date & coconut) amaze-balls.
When the dates have soaked for an hour, make your flax-*gg in a mug by combining the ground flax-seeds with the water; then leave for about 12 minutes to go gloopy like an egg. (I grind my own flaxseeds in my spice-grinder)
Pop 18 tiny cases on a plate ready for your truffles to go in, and get the desiccated coconut for coating the truffles into a flat bottommed bowl big enough to roll the amazeballs around in.
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water on a very low heat. When the chocolate is melted stir in the date paste, the coconut and the flax-*gg. Combine them until all the mix is dark (see photo)
Now you can create your little balls of YUM! The mix will roll into lovely, shiny, dark chocolate balls, pop them in the desiccated coconut, roll them about until the are covered in the white flakes, then place them carefully in the waiting cases. Pop the lid on the box and put your chocolate amaze-balls in the fridge to cool for an hour before you indulge.
*You can use pitted fresh dates if you prefer
You can store these in the fridge for up to 6 days in an air-tight container but ours tend to disappear within 3 days - can't imagine where they go ;P.
For a grown up treat check out my Disaronno chocolate treats!
I reckon they taste best served at room temperature within the first 4 days of making.