Morning Glory Muffins Gluten Free & Vegan!

Family traditions. Something as a child you don’t think much about but as you age you start to cherish these traditions. Traditions are bonds that hold our human connections together.  Now, I’m not necessarily talking about religious traditions, though for some these traditions are extremely important and relevant to their culture. I’m referring to traditions that your family does that are unique to your family. Perhaps even traditions that are weekly. It could be as simple as Sunday morning brunch or Friday night movie night.

As you grow older and your life starts to develop a schedule that no longer includes some of your family on a daily basis you begin to create new traditions. When I met my husband, it was important to me that we have our own traditions as a family unit (be that 2 or 4 of us). Food always plays a major part – whether it is a gathering of friends and family to decorate our Christmas tree or New Year Day traditional feast – food is a priority. Probably when you think back to traditions you did as a child, food was involved.

Living on the West coast, neither my husband or I have immediate family to gather with for holiday weekends. This is a large price we pay to live in a place that is surrounded by mountains, ocean and never-ending forest. Long weekends that I associate with traditions always make my heart a little achy – missing my family for simple things like sibling yelling matches and unending guttural laughter. As a child, this Easter weekend would be filled with church, an Easter egg hunt and a wonderful feast of food on Sunday – mostly listening to my Grandmother tell dirty jokes. Now, as little Q becomes old enough to really enjoy traditions – my husband and I wanted to create some for him.

We will be making a huge feast on Friday (not a normal tradition for food) allowing us all weekend to digest. On the menu is a beautiful free run turkey with home-made stuffing, scalloped sweet potatoes, broccoli salad, sautéed Swiss chard and I’m still deciding on dessert…could be a tough one. I’m sure a hike will be in there somewhere or the discovery of a unique neighbourhood as we enjoy the sunshine. Sunday morning Easter egg hunt is a must – what kid doesn’t want to search for chocolate eggs??? And to follow will be a delicious brunch which will include these Morning Glory muffins. These muffins are really a meal in themselves, packed with carrot, apple, raisins, walnut and coconut. I have created this gluten-free, vegan version which has been tested by everyone and the postman (literally) who had no idea that it was not the “traditional” version.  They are unbelievably moist with a wonderful fluffy texture (something hard to achieve with gluten-free baking) and utterly satisfying. Use a food processor to save time on grating and feel free to cut the recipe in half if you’re only looking for 12 muffins. This makes 24 – lots for leftovers to freeze and have as an easy on-the-go breakfast. Remember, eating clean means planning ahead and these muffins are a great way to do that. Serve to your weekend guests for breakfast (perhaps warm with some almond butter or fresh smashed fruit?). YUM!

What traditions will you be doing this long weekend? Any new ones that you are creating with your family?

Morning Glory Muffins Gluten Free & Vegan!
 
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • 6 tbsp chia seeds mixed with 1½ cups water OR 6 eggs
  • 4 cups of carrots, grated
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored and grated
  • 1 cup apple sauce
  • 1 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • 4½ tsp pure vanilla
  • 2½ cups brown rice flour
  • 1½ cups sorghum flour
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 4 tsp baking soda
  • 4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 cup (approx) water as needed to moisten mixture
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, mix chia seeds and water. Let sit and thicken.
  2. With a food processor, grate the carrots and apples. Place in a very large mixing bowl.
  3. Add apple sauce, melted coconut oil, raisins, unsweetened shredded coconut and raw walnuts. Mix well together and set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together brown rice flour, sorghum flour, coconut sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, sea salt, and xanthan gum.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and begin to mix. Mixture will be dry, so as needed add approximately 1 cup of water until the mixture is just moist. Try not to over mix!
  7. Grease 2 large muffin tins (total 24 muffins) and scoop mixture into tins until mixture is gone. Fill each one up nice and high!
  8. Bake for 30 - 40mins depending on your oven. Don't over bake or may be dry. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Dairy-Free Pancakes

WOW – am I excited about this simple recipe! I have had several weeks where recipes (baking ones in particular) have not been turning out. One Saturday morning I woke up, sauntered into the kitchen with my little man Q and decided to make pancakes.  Realizing we were out of our normal Bulk Barn mix and that to get more of it would require a 6 hour drive (that’s right, there is no Bulk Barn in Vancouver!), I thought I would wing it and try to make my own.

I discovered a new brand of brown rice flour that I believe made a huge difference in how the pancakes turned out. Now, I am not a person to favour brands. If I can get a product that I feel is comparable to a name brand, at a lower price, I will. If you haven’t noticed, I like to get the best bang for my buck! Unfortunately, gluten-free has its price. You’re never going to find a 2.5kg bag of nutritious gluten-free flour for $4.49. It’s just not going to happen! But when I saw Cuisine Soleil at the store, I thought it was a reasonable price for a 1kg bag of organic brown rice flour at $7.99. Compared to the East food is more expensive here, so prices may vary in your province. Also, I like that this is a Canadian company so I felt good about buying it.  The taste and texture were far superior to any other brand I have worked with – and I use a lot of brown rice flour! I’m looking forward to trying their All Purpose GF Flour blend for baking and getting their Buckwheat for another pancake option. Anyways, if you haven’t already checked them out, they have a store locator on their site to help you find a retailer.

These little cakes turned out soft and fluffy, did not crumble and were totally satisfying for a weekend treat! Top them with fruit and some maple syrup (the real stuff of course) and you’ve got a happy tummy – without any uncomfortable side effects. SO easy! When you try them, let me know how they turn out!

Ever discovered a product at the store that surprised you in quality for value?

Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Dairy-Free Pancakes
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup non-dairy milk (I used almond)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tbsp grape seed oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • ¼ cup tapioca starch
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp xanthan gum
  • ¼ tsp salt
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together all wet ingredients.
  2. In a smaller bowl, mix together all dry ingredients.
  3. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, whisking together. Let mixture sit for 2-5 mins to the side while the ingredients thicken.
  4. On medium heat, lightly grease frying pan with oil (like coconut) and in batches, scoop pancake mixture on to heated pan. When pancakes start to bubble, flip over.
  5. Serve right away, good and warm with fresh fruit, nuts and maple syrup. Makes about 10 medium sized pancakes. Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for 2-3 days in a sealed container.