Delightful Dairy Free Muffins

I love baking….even when I did not love cooking as much as I do now. For this reason I always try my hardest to avoid baking unless I know someone else is going o enjoy it…because I’m weak to pastries of all kinds.

My friends really find it hard to believe that I can make dairy free breads, pastries of all kinds, but it’s truly possible. I’ll teach you how starting with this recipe:

Ingredients

2 1/4 cups spelt flour or whole wheat flour  (insert whatever flour you have here)

1/4 cup coconut sugar (or your preferred sugar)

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 tsp. all spice

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 cup apple sauce

3/4 cup non dairy milk

1/3 cup maple syrup or honey

1 tsp. vanilla

Fruit of your choice (I put figs…you can do blueberries, dried cranberries or raisins)

Instructions

Pre-heat the oven to 350*. Have a muffin pan with cupcake liners ready or simply use the muffin pan direct and spray with oil to coat them to ensure they do not stick to the pan.

Next, mix the flour, the spices and salt, baking powder. Sift the mix until well combined in a large bowl.

In a smaller bowl, mix the liquid ingredients; honey, applesauce, milk and vanilla extract. Mix it up.

Now mix up the wet mixture with the dry and combine. Next add the fruits (blueberry or figs or fruit of your choice). The batter will be thick. Spoon the mixture into the cupcake liners or directly to the muffin pan. Bake for about 25 minutes until when a toothpick is inserted in the center comes out clean.

 

Baking with Teff, a Nutritious African (Ethiopian) Grain

I love cooking with ancient grains when I feel like eating less but getting full quickly! The whole grains I love including in my cooking include Amaranth, once a sacred food of the Aztecs and Quinoa, which was consumed 3,000 to 4,000 years ago by the populations living in the Andes.

Bob’s Red Mill, one of the top sources for whole grains offers numerous ancient grains including amaranth, buckwheat, bulgur, farro, freekeh, kamut, millet, quinoa, sorghum, spelt and teff.

Most whole grains, with the exception of brown rice and sorghum are good sources of protein, meaning that one serving supplies 10%-19% of the daily recommendation.

This weekend I played with a lot of grains, Teff being one of them. Teff is the world’s tiniest grain which is believed to have originated in Ethiopia thousands of years ago. It contains more calcium than most grains and has a toasty, sweet-bitter flavor.

There are different ways you can enjoy whole Teff. It can be cooked like polenta, used to thicken soups, stews and casseroles. Teff flour becomes dense and slightly gelatinous when wet, making it good for certain baked goods that you want to be moist or fudgy.

So this weekend I decided to make a chocolate cake using Teff flour for the kids…and for myself…lol.

Ingredients

1 cup Teff Flour

1 cup spelt flour (or any other whole wheat flour or even unbleached all-purpose flour)

1 tsp baking flour

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground allspice

1/2 cup raisins (optional)

1 cup coconut sugar (or whatever your sugar preference)

1/3 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup almond milk (or any nut milk or regular milk)

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 large eggs or 1/3 cup flaxseed gel (binding agent)

1/2 cup cacao (you can hold back if you wish…i think i used almost 1 1/2 cups). Just make sure your batter has enough sugar when using cacao which can be very biter.

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Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350*

Combine  all the flours and next ingredients on the above list until all spice, stirring with a whisk.

Place the rest of the ingredients in the mix and blend until well blended.

Spoon the batter into a loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350* for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in Pan on wire rack. Remove loaf from pan and cool on rack.