Healthy Gummies (seriously)

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Now that I’ve snagged you with such a tantalizing title, I can own up to the fact that this post is about dried fruit. (And right on queue, images of your grandparents and prunes dance across your frontal cortex.) But dried fruit can be so much more, especially if you’re able to make it at home. By making it yourself, you neatly side-step the often insane cost, the large amount of chemical preservatives and the extra sugar. Dried fruit makes an excellent snack when you’re traveling; it’s light, keeps well, and doesn’t leak. The only downside is that you run the very real risk of eating the equivalent of 4 grapefruits in one sitting. Just keep that in mind and you should be fine.

From left to right: dried pear, grapefruit and clementine. Healthy snacks that will satisfy even the craziest sweet craving.

From left to right: dried pear, grapefruit and clementine. Healthy snacks that will satisfy even the craziest sweet craving.

So where does this new-found love of dried fruit come from? I was the happy recipient of an old school dehydrator this past Christmas (Thanks Mom & Dad!), so I’ve been busying myself by experimenting on anything I could get my little paws on. This post is the result of that experimentation.

If you’re saying to yourself: “Well darn, I don’t have a dehydrator… All is lost.” Not true, my foodie friend – you don’t necessarily need a dehydrator, just a willingness to leave your oven on for really long periods of time. But more on that in a minute.

I could (and often do) ramble on about all the stuff I’ve dried so far, but I’ve decided to concentrate on citrus for this post. Yup, citrus. I know it’s not something one would ordinarily dry (though I just did a quick search and apparently all sorts of people have dried grapefruit – the important thing is that I had no idea so let’s preserve our belief that this is a delightful and completely original surprise). The great thing about citrus is that when it’s dried, it takes on the texture of a gummy bear, and the flavour is unlike anything I’ve tried – it’s floral and sweet and utterly addictive. This is thanks to the high moisture content in those cute little sacks of juice, otherwise known as juiceicles (I’m going to patent that term someday).

I’ve tried two ways to dehydrate your citrus, and I suspect there’s a third. I’ll say right off the bat that grapefruit probably does better in the dehydrator than the oven (at least based on my experience), though you might be all right if you line your baking sheet with parchment paper (which I forgot to do when I tried it). Then, you can scrape up the gummy remnants and not run the risk of having half of it stuck all over the sheet. This approach works really well with clementines, but their envelopes are thinner and crisp up really nicely, providing a nice counter-point to the squishy, gummy interior.

Let’s do this: Peel and decorticate a whole pile of grapefruits (8 medium-sized grapefruits gave me a medium-sized tupperware full of gummies). This involves rolling each one on the counter to loosen the skin, then peeling the skin and as much as the pith off as possible (for a real breakdown on how to segment a grapefruit, check this blog out). Aside from using your fingers to pry the segments out, you can also lay each segment on its side, then slice down the thinner edge with a knife (where the seeds usually hang out). Then, you can open the pithy envelope and peel out the juicy segment like plucking pages from a book (which I would never do, I love books). The third way (as hinted at above) involves slicing the grapefruit across all segments to make large flat discs (with or without the peel); I haven’t tried this approach yet. Have you?

Look deep into my ... clementines.

Look deep into my … clementines.

Now, you can either lay them all out in a single layer on your dehydrator trays and set the temperature for 135 degrees F and wait for about 24 hours (I check them after 12 then again around the 20-hour mark to see how they’re doing – it all depends on how thick the segments are). OR, you can try popping them into a preheated 170 degree F oven (the lowest mine goes; the closer to 135 the better, and if you have convection, even better) for about 5-7 hours. Again, it depends on the thickness of your segments. Check every hour after about 4 to make sure they’re not getting too dried out. The key is to dry the edges so that they’re a little crunchy, but to leave the middles firm and chewy (and not over-dried). The drying time will decrease the thinner your slices/segments. Once they’re the consistency you want, let them sit out to cool before putting them in a glass jar or tupperware.

Clementines are even easier: just peel, remove as much pith as possible, and throw them onto a tray. They take about 4 hours at 170 degrees F, or 6-7 hours at 135 degrees F.

As an aside, here’s what I’ve dried so far:

  • sliced mushrooms (ideal for adding depth of flavour to rice/grain or broth)
  • halved cherry tomatoes (ideal for adding oomph to tomato sauce or any pasta dish, or for more savoury snacking)
  • sliced pineapple (so delicious)
  • whole black grapes (I thought about halving them, and maybe I should have; they took 36 hours in the dehydrator but are now halfway between a raisin and a grape = utterly luscious)
  • sliced pears (subtly delicious with an excellent blend of crunch and squish; they took about 2.5 hours)
  • clementine segments (in pithy envelopes)
  • grapefruit segments (without pithy envelopes)

The next thing on my agenda: my very own “sun-dried” herbed tomatoes, and a gargantuan amount of cherries, blueberries and strawberries (once they come back in season). I don’t think my life was complete until I tried dried cherries/blueberries/strawberries. Just you wait.

It’s a bird… It’s a plane… No wait, it’s an Avocado Scone!

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I have to confess something. I… I… I hate avocados. There’s something about the taste combined with the slimy-ness that I just can’t get over. It’s not that I enjoy disliking avocados – my life would be so much easier if I loved them, since they’re generally a prominent feature in many vegan dishes. If they were sweet and slimy, I think I could handle it, but as they stand, nope, don’t like ‘em. But that won’t stop me from snarfing them down in hidden or modified forms because they’re packed full of nutrition, and because they allow you to cut down on other fats when baking.

No matter how many photos I took, these scones kept sticking their little sconey tongues out at me. Cheeky devils.

No matter how many photos I took, these scones kept sticking their little sconey tongues out at me. Cheeky devils.

Less talk, more scone:

  • 1 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour (you can replace this with more whole wheat flour if you don’t have any)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2.5 tbsp organic sugar cane
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup vegan “butter”
  • 1 tbsp ground flax, mixed with 3 tbsp warm water
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • juice and zest from 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1.5 cup chopped fruit (I’d suggest strawberries, peaches, pineapple or blueberries for this recipe, though pretty well anything would be tasty. If using frozen fruit, make sure you thaw it first, then chop into smallish pieces)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix the first 6 dry ingredients together. Once they are well mixed, cut in the butter with a fork or a dough blender until the butter chunks are roughly pea-sized. In a small bowl, combine the ground flax and warm water, then set aside (you want it to turn kind of jellyish).

In a food processor, pulverize the avocado. Add the orange juice and almond milk and mix until you’ve got a nice purée. Fold in the flax mixture, then fold in the fruit. Now add the wet fruit mixture to the dry stuff. The best results come from using your hands, so get in there and gently knead the ingredients together until the dough forms a ball. Keep some flour on hand to help dry out the dough if it gets too wet (just rub some on your hands every once in a while).

Grab a small handful of dough, roll it in a ball then flatten it so that it makes a burger patty shape (veggie of course). Place it on the baking sheet and work your way through the rest of the dough – you should have about 6 mega scones or 8 medium-sized ones. Pop the baking sheet in the oven for about 12-15 minutes, depending on how huge you made them, or until they turn golden on top. Cool for a few minutes then serve with a bit of butter or pineapple marmalade (yum yum yum).

Double Whammy: Whole Roasted Pineapple + Coffee Syrup Hazelnut Cake

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The early 2000s were a delicious bunch of years as far as I’m concerned. I’m speaking of course of the Food & Drink publication freely available through the LCBO here in Ontario. As I’ve mentioned before, each issue is chock full of annoying ads, yes, but also full of really delicious and well thought-out recipes. So it didn’t surprise me much when I paired two of their delicious recipes (printed in 2001 and 2003), and found they complemented each other really well. So I present today my tweaked versions of both recipes in one post, even though you’re encouraged to try both on their own or with your favourite vegan ice “cream”.

Just like Easter and April Fool's Day, here's are two recipes in one post (that simile made more sense in my head).

Just like Easter and April Fool’s Day, here’s another two-fer: two recipes in one post (that simile made more sense in my head). Luckily my ability to create snappy photo captions doesn’t affect the taste of the food presented here.

Let’s throw on some Alicia Keys, Destiny’s Child or 50 Cent to bring us back to the early 2000s (they all had top-3 hits for those years), and off we go. Side note: honestly, I can’t believe 2001-2003 was over a decade ago (well, more or less). Where does the time go? Ponder than while you stuff your face with cake and ooey-gooey pineapple.

Let’s get the pineapple going first, since it will preheat the oven for the cake.

Whole Vanilla Roasted Pineapple ingredients:

  • 1 pineapple, peeled
  • 1 large vanilla bean or 1 tbsp of Madagascar bourbon paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup “butter” (you can use slightly less and still have terrific results)

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Make sure all the eyes and other brown bits have been removed from the pineapple. Decide how you want to present it: either roasted whole, which will allow you to carve it at the table in a rather spectacular and dramatic fashion, or more functionally cut in half and cored. If you want to roast it whole, cut small channels into the sides, following the positions of the eyes (removing them in the process). This will give your pineapple a nice “spirally” look. If you’re more interested in cutting it up behind the scenes, cut the pineapple in half lengthwise, remove the fibrous core, then add a bunch of crosswise cuts about half an inch into the fruit. These “flaps” will fan out as the pineapple cooks, and will allow more syrup to soak into the fruit.

This is what your pineapple will look like if you half it, slice it cross-wise (kind of like you'd cut a potato for hasselback potatoes), then eat half of it before you remember that you have to take photos for your blog.

This is what your pineapple will look like if you half it, slice it cross-wise (kind of like you’d cut a potato for hasselback potatoes), then eat half of it before you remember that you have to take photos for your blog.

If you’re working with a whole vanilla bean, cut it lengthwise in half, then half again so you end up with quarters. Then cut each quarter into 1-inch sections. Stick these pieces into your pineapple so that the fruit is covered more or less evenly. If you’re working with vanilla paste, just dig in and smear it all over the pineapple. Set it aside for a moment.

In a cast iron skillet (or any other stove- and oven-safe baking dish), heat the water, sugar and butter, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Bring the syrup to a boil, then add the pineapple. Baste it with the syrup, then pop it in the oven for about an hour, basting every 10-15 minutes or so.

While that’s in the oven, start working on your cake.

Coffee Syrup Hazelnut Cake ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup organic sugar cane
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup (I know, I know, it’s the devil, but it works great in this cake. Use agave if you’d rather, though I’d use a little less than 1/2 a cup)
  • 1/2 cup strong hot coffee
  • 1/2 cup “butter” at room temperature (I didn’t worry so much about this since it will heat up as you whip it)
  • 3/4 cup organic sugar cane (not a typo, you need this amount twice)
  • the equivalent of 2 eggs (so 1 tsp egg replacer + 2 tbsp warm water OR 1 tsp ground flax + 2 tbsp warm water)
  • juice and zest from 1 lemon (about 1.5 tbsp)
  • 1 cup hazelnuts, skinned and ground (I just used a food processor to grind up pre-skinned hazelnuts)
  • 1.5 cup flour (I haven’t tried this yet, but I would assume that 3/4 cup of coconut flour + 3/4 cup sorghum flour would be an amazing alternative for gluten-free folks)
  • 1/3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup milk (almond, soy, flax or rice are all fine)

First make the coffee syrup that will act as a glaze for the cake. Combine the sugar, water and corn syrup in a small saucepan. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the mixture has reduced to about 1 cup of liquid. Don’t worry if it’s more – that just means there will be more of it to ooze into the cake and make it more deliciously gooey. Stir in the coffee once it’s ready, then set it aside to cool.

Now grab your mixer and beat the “butter” and sugar together at a medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add your “eggs”, one at a time (or half the mixture at a time), beating all the while. Add the lemon juice and zest. Fold in half the ground hazelnuts and half the milk, then repeat until both are fully incorporated. Spoon the batter into a 9-inch spring or cake pan and pop it into your already preheated 325-degree oven. Bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean (and the sides are golden). Remove from the oven, and poke the entire surface repeatedly with a skewer or knife. Pour the cooled coffee syrup over the cake and set aside until you’re ready to carve the pineapple and serve. I found that the cake soaked up all of the coffee syrup, so the extra drippings from the pineapple was a major bonus, and really tied the two desserts together. Give it a try and judge for yourself! Enjoy.

Marvellous Mango Muffins


The problem with having many hobbies is that inevitably, one hobby starts to suffer at the hands of another. Case in point: my last post was AGES ago. Though I have been cooking and concocting, I’ve been spending most of my non-cooking time on my new Etsy site: Mademoiselle Gustave. But after I made these muffins this morning I had to take the time to share the recipe. They’re easy, quick and lovely for a Sunday morning. I’d suggest Annie Lennox’s Diva album for this batch; it’s a perfect blend of slow, swaying melodies and bouncy, sing-into-your-stirring-spoon tunes. Get to it!

Mango marvelosity. Definition: the state of discovering that you love fresh mangoes after thinking that you hated them for years. Wonders will never cease.

Mango marvelosity. Definition: the state of discovering that you love fresh mangoes after thinking that you hated them for years. Wonders will never cease.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups organic sugar cane
  • 1/2 cups EarthBalance butter
  • 2 tsp egg replacer, mixed with 4 tbsp warm water
  • 4 tsp lemon juice (equivalent to 1 lemon, zested and juiced)
  • 3 cups flour (all-purpose cut with some whole wheat or 1.5 cups coconut flour + 1.5 cups sorghum flour for you fabulous gluten-free folks)
  • 1 fresh mango, cut into little bits (if you don’t have a mango, 3/4 cups of chopped strawberries or blueberries will do just fine)
  • 2.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1.5 cups almond, coconut or soy milk

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line or lightly oil 12 extra large muffin tins (or probably 24 regular muffin tins). In a large bowl, cream together the sugar, butter, egg replacer and lemon juice. Add the flour, baking powder, sea salt and milk. Stir to combine, then add the bits of mango. Try not to over-mix it lest it becomes gummy. Spoon into the muffin tins and bake for about 20-35 minutes (depending on the size of your muffin tins), or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let them cool in the tins, then feast!

Lemon Lime Raisin Hot Cross Buns


A belated Happy New Year to you all! I hope you’ve all had a great start and are excited to see what 2013 has in store for us.

Mmmmm hot cross buns. Even the name sounds ooey-gooey delicious. Dig in!

Mmmmm hot cross buns. Even the name sounds ooey-gooey delicious. Dig in!

If you don’t know about Freecycle yet, or don’t have it (or some equivalent), you should seriously consider starting up a chapter in your ‘hood. It’s such a great way to ensure that the stuff you no longer want for gets picked up by someone who desperately wants it. I recently picked up about 15 Food & Drink magazines from 1995 (ish) to present, and I’m beyond thrilled. For those of you who don’t know, Food & Drink is published by the Ontario liquor board 4 times a year. It’s handed out for free in all LCBOs, but they’re always snapped up so fast that I tend to miss them more than not. You’d never guess it’s a freebie, because the food photography is mouth-watering and the recipes are thoughtful and well-researched. Obviously most feature some sort of liquor, but there are lots of recipes that are just meant to be paired with wine. This recipe was inspired by the Spring 2009 issue, and it’s AMAZING! Just be prepared – though it’s an easy recipe, it feels like it takes FOREVER. You’ll understand it’s worth the time though when you take your first bite.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flax, almond, rice or soy milk
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup organic sugar cane
  • 1 tbsp dry instant yeast
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced (just have 2 small bowls on-hand and mix ‘em together: one for the zest and one for the juice)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2.5 cups unbleached flour (I haven’t tried the gluten-free version yet, but I assume a mix of sorghum, white rice and coconut flour would be ok. Let me know if you try it!)
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (see above)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 ground cloves
  • About 1 cup raisins, dried cranberries or currants

For the glaze:

  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon/lime juice
  • 2 tbsp water

For the icing:

  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon/lime juice
  • 1 tsp coconut milk

Grab your upright mixer or a large bowl and spoon. Stir the milk, sugar, yeast, lemon/lime zest and vanilla together and let it sit for 5 minutes. Add the flour, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and raisins and stir. Knead the dough until it’s elastic, but still a little sticky. Place in a large, lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set it in a warm place for 1.5 hours. Go do something fun for the next hour and a half, as long as you don’t stir up a draft – you dough needs a warm, snuggly place to rise.

After 1.5 hours, turn out your dough onto a floured surface (keep your plastic wrap!) and cut it into 8-12 pieces (depending on how huge you want your buns). Roll each piece into a ball and place in a lightly oiled baking dish. Cover the dish with the plastic wrap (no need to use another sheet if you saved it from the previous step) and let it rise in that same warm spot for another 45 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake your buns for 40-45 minutes, or until they’re nice and golden brown. Now get to work making your glaze: stir the sugar, lemon/lime juice and water in a small saucepan over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Once the buns come out of the oven, poke the tops with a skewer then brush the glaze over them repeatedly, allowing the glaze to soak in before the bun gets anther swipe. Leave them in the pan to cool.

Now whip up your icing by stirring the icing sugar, lemon/lime juice and coconut milk together, and spoon or pipe over the buns (once they’re cool). These buns are best eaten the day of, but apparently they can also be frozen. Happy eating!

Millet Crunchies


It’s that time of year again folks, that time when malls switch their muzak selection to a continuous loop of Christmas tunes*, when every commercial has a holiday message, and when you start fielding a plethora of dinner and potluck invitations. I have to admit I love this time of year, the inevitable ramp-up to Christmas and New Year’s Eve, though I could have done without the ridiculously early onslaught of Holiday-themed music this year – a few spots I can think of started BEFORE Halloween. Heathens.

* I nearly went nuts the year I worked Christmas at The Gap. There was no respite. The same 18 Christmas songs over and over again, without mercy. I still cringe whenever I hear those 18 songs now, and it’s been over a decade since I worked there.

I figure it’s time to share a recipe that was inspired by one of my friend Myra’s favourite recipes. She ushered me into gluten-free cooking with gusto, as she was forever providing me with delicious edibles that were both vegan and gluten-free. Not only is she a fellow foodie (I’d say about 90% of our conversations centered around food), but she’s a terrific communicator. Check out her website if you have any doubts (or are wondering why the hell I’m calling her a terrific communicator – it’s a weird adjective, I know) and be sure to watch her documentaries.

I’ve made this nut-butter version of rice crispy squares many times, each time a little differently and each time to the delight of whoever was the recipient. The great thing about this recipe is that it’s forgiving (in fact I’d say fool-proof), easy and yummy. It’s sure to please all those poor vegan, gluten-free people clamouring for something to eat at an office potluck. Bring a batch of these, and you’ll be their saviour.

Behold, the leaning tower of crunchies. I know this shot’s a bit busy and grainy (badum-bum-ching! hehehe), but I wanted to show the main ingredients in the background in case some folks didn’t know what puffed millet looked like. It’s a totally underrated grain, and one that I’m quickly becoming really fond of – you can do so much with it!

I encourage you to put your own spin on these crispies, whether it be raisins, cranberries, nuts, coconut, etc. Let the world be your crispy.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar or coconut palm sugar
  • 1/2 cup syrup (maple, agave, light corn or a combination of any of them)
  • 1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup of nut butter (my favourite combination so far as been peanut butter and hazelnut butter)
  • 2 cups puffed millet cereal (for chewiness)
  • 1 cup corn flake cereal (e.g. NaturePath Mesa Sunrise, for crunch)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Grease a deep baking dish (the oil spray is easy, but a finger covered in coconut oil works just as well), then set aside. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar and syrup until melted. Add the vanilla or almond extract (not both, they don’t always play nice) and stir until combined. Now add the nut butter and mix until you’ve got a smooth sauce. Set aside. Place your cereal in a medium bowl then pour the sauce over top. Mix to ensure even coverage, then add the chocolate chips (or whatever other goodies you’ve got in store for it). Give it a quick mix (don’t over-mix because the chips will start to melt), then dump the mixture into the glass dish and press it down firmly with a spatula or your fingers so that it’s even and dense. Now stick the whole thing in the fridge for about an hour before serving, or in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Once it’s set, cut it into squares and go to town. These squares are such a great combination of chewiness and crunch, they’re a sure-fire crowd pleaser.

A less in-your-face version, complete with corn flakes, millet puffs and raisins (not present in this particular version, but tasty nonetheless).

Remembrance Scones


When I was younger, I didn’t tend to think much about the war or about my grandfathers’ role in it. They didn’t want to talk about it, I didn’t want to talk about it, so it all just stayed below the surface. Now that I’m older and I’ve lost them both, it’s a hard pill to swallow. I want to know what they went through, what they saw, who they met and befriended, and who they lost. I’ll never know now, and that saddens me. I’m hoping though that by sharing these few words that those of you who are lucky enough to still have friends or family who survived WW2 or any of the wars that followed will screw up your courage and ask them as many questions as you can. Today, on November 11, I’m going to begin researching my family tree (my mother’s side of the family are holocaust survivors) and I will think about all the questions I may never get answers to. I’ll also remember the sacrifice millions of men and women everywhere made so that the world could become a better place, and I’ll think about those who are currently doing so.

I wanted to place a poppy in here somewhere but when I went to take it off my jacket I found it had disappeared, AGAIN. This is my 3rd poppy so far, which reflects my average rate of loss every year. Why, oh why, can’t they transition to a safety-pin poppy so that I won’t keep unintentionally dropping poppies everywhere I go? Rant aside, the flowers at the top of the page are my representation of a remembrance poppy (and a piece of jewelry I’m currently working on), to commemorate the thoughts I’ll have for my grandfathers, pictured sitting top and bottom with my grandmothers, in front of my parents. They were each lucky enough to come back from WW2 in one piece, and for that I am thankful. I just wish I’d been able to talk to them about it.

These red-hued scones represent a little piece of me on this thoughtful day, and I hope you enjoy them. They were inspired by Allyson Kramer‘s Banana Bread Scones. They’ve got no fat and are pretty healthy lil’ scones (unless you slather them with EarthBalance butter, which I fully plan on doing), so hopefully they’ll help you live a nice long life full of love and remembrance for those who have passed before us. If you prefer “regular” (a.k.a. non-gluten-free scones) that are red-hued, then check out my pomegranate scones or these scrumptious scones. I really do love scones, and these are the best ones I’ve made since I transitioned to gluten-free recipes; they’re really flavourful, dense, yet flakey. Give ‘em a try!

Here we go:

  • 1 tbsp ground flax mixed with 2 tbsp warm water
  • 3/4 to 1 cup of organic cane sugar or brown sugar (or a combination of the two), depending on how sweet you like your scones. If you use sweetened applesauce, cut it down to about a 1/4 of a cup
  • 1.5 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp xantham gum
  • 1.5 cups sorghum flour
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • ~ 1 cup chopped strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  • ~ 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease your baking sheet, lay down some parchment paper, or use a silpat. In a large mixing bowl, mix the flax, sugar, applesauce and vanilla together. Now, in a separate bowl, sift (and this is important! I never used to sift my dry ingredients but since I’ve forced myself to stop being so lazy, the results have spoken for themselves) together the rest of the ingredients except the strawberries and cranberries. Once the dry ingredients are well-mixed, add them to the wet mixture and stir until just combined. Add the strawberries and cranberries, folding them in gently.  Now get in there with your hands and knead the dough gently until you’re able to form a ball. Add a touch of sorghum flour if your mixture is too wet (i.e. sticking to the bowl). Now flatten your ball into a disc about an inch thick on your baking sheet and score it like you would cut a pie. Sprinkle a little extra sugar on top and zip it into your oven. After about 20 minutes you may want to check on it, moving it from the bottom rack to the top rack, but I’ve found the middle cooks well after about 25-30 minutes depending on the thickness of your mega-scone. If you want your scones faster, just make little individual scones. They’ll cook in about 15 minutes. Once you’ve removed the sheet from the oven, let them rest for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack… If they last that long anyway – around here they tend to disappear within about 5 minutes of emerging from the oven.

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