A few weeks ago I was invited to submit a recipe to a truly beautiful blog, Healthy Blender Recipes, as part of “Gluten Free Baking with KitchenAid”. KitchenAid has very generously donated a 7-qt (yes, SEVEN-QUART) mixer as part of this fabulous giveaway during April. Don’t forget to register – you have until the end of April to do it. Mention “Be Free Piggy” and double your chances. Good luck!
So about that recipe…
What? Me? A recipe? Published? On someone else’s blog? With dozens of other wonderful and highly accomplished gluten-free bakers? Oh my goodness!
I hadn’t shared a recipe of any real significance since before I started Be Free Bakers, thousands of cookies and nearly three years ago. I have talked about how to cook, taught classes in gluten free baking, visited people in their homes for private consultations, and probably talked an ear or two off at a farmer’s market – but to submit a recipe on a national, insanely-beautiful blog, well, now, that was a bit of a different story!
Now what do I do? I was so nervous!
The lovely Tess Masters, who runs this gorgeous blog, told me to submit one of my “show stopping” recipes. “That would be a good idea,” she said.
Show stopping? Did I even have any of those? Our cookies are pretty good, I thought, but those were already being produced. Cupcakes, well, I’m coming out with a mix to make those. She wanted something new, fresh – interesting. Hmm…
Frantic baking sessions began. What should I make? Should I share my cracker recipe? Pizza crust? New bread? Those all work beautifully at home, but will take weeks of tweaking – I tend to bake intuitively when developing something new, so few things are written down. Should I do pancakes? I make a ridiculously delicious, completely whole grain, sugar free beauty that needs no eggs or even egg replacers. Those would be good. But we already sell the mix – and surely, in a month of other gluten free offerings, a beautiful pancake recipe would be in the lot (yes, indeed, there already has been a fabulous pancake recipe submitted – check it out: Gluten Free Cat’s High Protein Sugar Free Banana Pecan Pancakes. Whatever shall I submit?
After many sleepless nights and countless emails to Tess and friends, testing madly for proper proportions, I settled on a standby that has worked magic with my own children for many a moon. It’s easy, it’s quick, it uses a Be Free Bakers’ whole grain flour blend – and, honestly, how could one go wrong with bananas and chocolate anyway? Alas, Chocolate Monkey Business, made with Be Free Bakers very own Jen’s Blend.
Before we get to the recipe actually submitted, however, I feel it is my absolute obligation to tell you that you truly will be in heaven by trying any one or all of the recipes submitted in this month’s ““Gluten Free Baking with KitchenAid”. Family and friends have tried too many to count and have not been disappointed with a single one!
One recipe in particular has been made a record 3 times – and that was within ten days! Yup – it was THAT GOOD! Thank you, Kelly Courson and Celiac Chicks! Here is the recipe, featured on Healthy Blender Recipes’ beautiful blog: Celiac Chicks Gluten Free Dairy Free Peanut Butter Love Bars. We made a few minor modifications to accommodate peanut and egg allergies: almond butter instead of peanut butter; flax/egg trick instead of eggs and had to wiggle and poke them a bit while baking as the almond flour wanted to puff up, but they were “silly easy”, very fast, super delicious and highly healthy. Yes, we took Kelly’s suggestion and added some chocolate chips on top. These were so good they didn’t last more than 18 hours in our home! We wolfed them down pronto.
We have prepared even more amazing recipes from Tess’s amazing recipe selection (vegan cauliflower soup = new favorite) and have clicked over and explored each and every one of the lovely GF Baker’s blogs and websites included in this month’s collection. Check out the top chef lineup here : I am dreaming of gorgeous food lately…
Each of these women are truly remarkable human beings. I am truly honored and humbled to be included in such an amazing cast of professional women! Now go enter the contest and win that KitchenAid – please, so you can keep on baking on and enjoying this world of culinary delights!
Chocolate Monkey Business
1 cup Be Free Bakers’ Jen’s Blend
1/2 cup Organic Evaporated Cane Juice
3/4 teaspoon Himalayan Sea Salt (the beautiful pink salt full of minerals)
3/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
Scant 1 teaspoon Xanthan or Guar Gum
Scant 1 teaspoon Baking Powder (we use Featherweight, by Haines – gluten-free, corn-free)
3/4 cup Organic, Soy-Free Mini Chocolate Chips – we used Organic Callebaut for this recipe; Enjoy Life makes some lovely mini chips as well.
1 Medium/Large Ripe Banana, broken into 1-2” pieces
1/3 cup canola or melted coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon Organic Almond Extract
1 teaspoon Gluten Free Vanilla – Costco’s is gluten free
2 teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar – Bragg’s is our standby
1 cup Almond, Rice, Coconut or Soy Milk
Add 1/3 cup pecans or walnuts
Add blueberries instead of chocolate; use ½ cup instead
Delete banana and add ¼ cup additional Jen’s Blend plus 1/3 cup additional almond milk instead
- Preheat oven to 340° convection or 350° conventional oven.
- In a 1-cup measurer, add 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar; fill cup with almond milk. Set aside for a few moments to allow it to curdle.
- With paddle attachment on your KitchenAid mixer, put all dry ingredients into already lifted-up bowl.
- Add curdled milk, extracts and banana.
- On slow speed, mix just until all ingredients are combined.
- Place cupcake liners into your favorite muffin pan. If you have a favorite pre-seasoned pan, (cast-iron muffin pans are magical, for example) liners are not necessary, but if not using paper liners, we recommend slightly oiling the pan and then lightly coating with flour for easier release. (We love these eco-friendly liners – even the name of this muffin came from Siege, with the owner’s permission.)
- Using a traditional ice cream scoop, fill liners to ¾ full, sprinkle a light coating of sugar on top (to aid in extra crunchy yumminess on the top of the muffin) and place in oven.
- Cook for 18-20 minutes, 2-3 minutes less with a cast iron muffin pan – or until tops are slightly brown and muffins feel solid when tapped.
Allow to cool – just enough not to burn your mouth – and dig in! These are phenomenal warm. We’ve served them to groups of small children and adults alike – not one has ever been refused!
If any happen to have any left over the next day, wrap them individually in a zip lock bag and put them in your lunch – or sneak them in the car on the way to work. Just be sure to wipe the chocolate off your face before going inside.
Also, don’t be afraid to play with this flour blend. Jen’s Blend is a highly versatile blend that can be used to make cupcakes, muffins and cakes of all varieties. We’ve even been known to make bread and/or seaweed scones with it from time to time! One local restaurant, You Say Tomato, uses it to make the best Fried Chicken (or carrots, squash or other roasted veggies) on the planet. They’ve given us permission to publish that recipe on our website – so stay tuned, it’s coming soon!
Thank you for the love you put into your food. All the best to you and your families!