Healthy Habits: Make Your Own Pizzas

Crusts from cauliflower?

I don’t know how many folks have eaten artichokes, but growing up in Korea and Japan, artichokes were not a food I had known even existed until my in-laws served it to me when I was dating my husband. The idea of using one’s teeth to scrape off tiny bits from the leaves and working your way down to the small “heart” in the center was strange to me. But then, to my husband, being served sauteed octopus for dinner by his future in-laws was a bit disturbing, to say the least.

Because we grow up in different parts of the world where certain foods are prevalent or because our family ethnicity favors specific types of food, often the variety of foods we choose to eat are limited. In this day and age, though, where food is shipped from everywhere and where companies are creating almost anything they can imagine, we can expand our food options in ways we could not before.

For folks with food allergies, this is a great thing, and an item I have come to appreciate recently is the cauliflower crust for pizzas. In the beginning, most contained cheese which was sad for someone with dairy allergies, but now companies are making them without the cheese, so folks who have gluten, dairy, and nut allergies are able to partake.

This has opened up wonderful possibilities for homemade pizza making. While companies are making gluten free pizza crusts, most of them are made with rice flour which has no nutritional value. The cauliflower crusts offer some value, and they are tasty if you prefer a thinner, crispier crust for your pizzas. By making pizza homemade, you control how healthy the pizza is. You can eliminate items like sugar (which is often in the sauces), reduce sodium and fat (which are often in the toppings), and increase the nutrients by adding vegetables other than just peppers and broccoli (which are the usual offerings from delivery places).

Here are some ideas if you want to make homemade pizzas:

The Crust:

  1. You can buy both regular and gluten free pizza crust in box versions where you add the necessary ingredients and make the crust yourself.
  2. You can go to the cold section of your grocery store and by pre-made regular and gluten free pizza dough which you just spread onto your pan.
  3. You can purchase already made, formed, partially cooked regular and gluten free pizza crusts. These usually are in the pasta-sauce-pizza sections of the grocery store and come wrapped in plastic. You just open the package and put the crust on your pan.
  4. You can find frozen regular and gluten free crusts in the freezer section of your grocery store. This is where I get the cauliflower crusts which I prefer to use.

Sauces:

  1. Traditionally folks use a pizza sauce made from tomatoes. You can find many on the market. Choose ones which have no sugar and are made with olive oil. You don’t necessarily need to use “pizza” sauce, though. You can use a marinara or spaghetti sauce which you like as well. I like Victoria’s brand which is made just with tomatoes, garlic, onions, olive oil, and herbs. You just spread the amount you prefer on the crust. You can also make your own by cooking down tomatoes with herbs until the sauce is nice and thick.
  2. If you prefer a white sauce, you can make your own in a couple of different ways: One is to heat over medium/low heat a tbsp of olive oil in a pan with garlic, onion and your favorite dried herbs. Then add two tbsp of a gluten free flour like oat or sorghum flour to the oil and stir until completely mixed. Add one cup of a favorite dairy free milk like oat or flax milk and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture has thickened.  Add fresh, chopped herbs of your choosing and spread it over the pizza crust. A second way is to cook over medium/low heat a cup of coconut cream in a pan with garlic, onions and dried herbs of your choosing, simmering until the cream thickens, and then adding a couple of tsp of nutritional yeast and fresh, chopped herbs before spreading it over your crust.
  3. If you prefer a non-saucy alternative for your pizza, you can simply slice ripe tomatoes, drain the juice in a colander, and then layer the tomato slices over the pizza crust. As well, if you have no nut allergies, you can consider putting a cashew nut cheese spread over the crust.

Topping Ideas:

  1. One type of pizza we like is to saute mushrooms, spinach, and butternut squash, diced into small pieces, with garlic, onions and herbs spread them onto the pizza.
  2. Another option is to saute diced zucchini with garlic, onions, and herbs, and mix it with diced pieces of a favorite turkey or vegan sausage and sprinkling them onto the pizza.
  3. A third way we like to eat our pizza is to saute broccoli, cut into small pieces, with garlic, onions and herbs, and mix it with small, leftover pieces of cooked chicken and spreading that onto the pizza.
  4. A fourth suggestion is simply using whatever vegetables and meats you have in the fridge and coming up with your own combinations.

For the “Cheese”:

  1. If you don’t have a dairy allergy, then using any combinations of mozzarella, ricotta, parmesan, or romano cheeses works.
  2. For folks with dairy allergies, one option is to use dairy free cheeses like Daiya mozzarella. I find that flavoring the vegan cheeses with garlic, herbs and onions goes a long way to intensifying the taste, and I will add a tsp of olive oil and a couple of tsp of nutritional yeast to help the cheese melt better.
  3. Another option is to just dust the toppings with a vegan parmesan like Follow Your Heart parmesan.
  4. If you don’t want “cheese” altogether, you can drizzle the toppings with a glaze like a balsamic vinegar reduction where you simmer 1/4 to 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar until its reduced and thickened.
  5. You can also simply cover the toppings with freshly chopped herbs like basil or mint.

Cooking:

  1. For the best results you should always cook pizzas at a high heat. I use 500 degrees, but if you’re not comfortable with that, don’t go lower than 425.
  2. If you are using any type of pizza dough, you should oil the pan and sprinkle it with cornmeal or flour so it won’t stick. You should also cook the dough just as it is first until it’s almost done.  At 500 degrees, that’s just five to ten minutes. Then you add the sauce, toppings, and cheese and finish cooking the dough for another five minutes until the cheese is melted or the toppings are heated through.
  3. If you are using a pre-made crust, whether from the aisle or frozen section, you add the sauce, toppings, and “cheese” options and then cook the pizza for about ten minutes (if cooking at 500 degrees). Pre-made crusts usually don’t need you to do anything to the pan like oiling because they’re already mostly cooked and won’t stick.
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Recipe Revamping: Coffee Cake Muffins

“Be prepared….”

Being of a certain age and generation, I always had a bag in the car which contained a blanket, a flashlight with extra batteries, water, and extra socks, and I had been taught by my dad how to change a flat tire. Now, with the prevalence of cell phones, folks believe they are just a phone call away from help. That is, until we read the news story like the one about the couple who broke down in the middle of a snowstorm with stalled cell coverage and died from exposure.

So, being a bit OCD, I tend to err on the side of preparation rather than not, when I am travelling, and I acted no differently when I recently attended a college reunion. My husband chuckled at one of my bags. It was a large bag of allergy friendly snack items, filled completely to the top. “You do know they’re feeding you, right?” he said.

“Yes,” but I don’t know if I will be able to eat any of it,” I replied.

As it turned out, I was able to eat, but as expected, my choices were limited. One buffet of a dozen items had three side dishes which I could eat but no main entree, and at another meal, even the salad had cheese, nuts and croutons already on it, though this time I had a nicely grilled piece of chicken to make up for the missing entree the night before.

Though I didn’t need all that I had packed to eat, my daughter and I did gratefully dig into the dairy, nut, and wheat free package of double chocolate cookies I had thought to throw into the bag and which called to us after we spent two meals watching others eat decadent desserts which would kill us.

So, when I had to attend a brunch this past week, I thought it best to go ahead and bring something to contribute to the food options. I wanted to make muffins because they’d go with anything else that was offered but I wanted something “breakfasty”. In my search I discovered coffee cake muffins, but of course, the recipes were not allergy friendly and had more butter and sugar than I cared to use.

The original recipe for just a dozen muffins called for 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup white sugar, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt, 3/4 cup milk, 1/3 cup melted butter, and 2 eggs for the batter. Then it called for 1/3 cup white sugar, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 cup butter, and 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour for the streusel, as well as 1/4 cup powdered sugar with 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1 tsp of milk for a drizzle.

The first thing I decided was that all that sugar and butter had to be dealt with. I switched the melted butter in the batter to extra light olive oil, and I decided to omit sugar altogether from the batter. For the milk, I used a gluten free oat milk, and for the flour, I chose a whole grain gluten free blend. I omitted the salt and added nutmeg to complement the cinnamon. For the streusel, I reduced the sweetener to 1/2 cup and used coconut sugar instead, and I cut the butter to 1/4 cup, using a vegan soy free butter in its place. I omitted the salt from the streusel, too, adding in nutmeg to the streusel as well, and I used a gluten free oat flour for the flour to add protein and fiber, reducing the amount to 1 cup. The drizzle, I omitted altogether.

Since I have no issues with eggs, I didn’t make any substitutions but folks can always use all egg whites or flaxseed mixed with water or aquafaba or egg replacer, if need be. Also, because I switched to gluten free flour, I increased the baking soda by 1/4 tsp to help the batter rise.

Because I knew the batter wouldn’t be sweet, I poured half the batter into the muffin tins and layered a streusel topping in the middle of the muffin as well as on top. The result was a tasty, healthier version, which the folks at the brunch enjoyed as much as my family.

Coffee Cake Muffins

Ingredients:

Batter:

1 1/2 cups whole grain gluten free flour blend of choice

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 cup favorite plant based milk (I used a gluten free oat milk)

1/3 cup extra light olive oil

2 eggs

Streusel:

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1 cup gluten free oat flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1/4 cup vegan soy free butter

Baking Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners.
  2. Mix together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and baking soda for the batter. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together the “milk”, oil, and eggs. Add to the dry ingredients and blend well until smooth. Let it sit while you make the streusel.
  4. Mix together the coconut sugar, oat flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Using clean hands, mix in the vegan butter until you have large crumbs and no leftover dry ingredients.
  5. Divide half the batter among the 12 muffin cups. Sprinkle the batter with half of the streusel topping.
  6. Top off the muffin cups with the rest of the batter, and sprinkle the remaining streusel topping on all the muffins.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. The muffins will have puffed, be golden and a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean.
  8. Let the muffins cool for at least a few moments before digging in.

 

Healthy Habits: Easy Allergy Friendly Company Meal

Help….

This past weekend, my family traveled to New Jersey to celebrate my niece’s First Communion. The reception afterwards was at a beautiful, well-reputed restaurant where my brother had rented a room, complete with a buffet of assorted options from seafood, beef, and chicken to pasta and rice to salads and roasted vegetables. Of the ten items to choose from, I could eat three. The rest were all cooked in butter.

Fortunately, my brother had arranged for a special plate to be made for me, but it can be sad to be the odd person out, watching folks enjoy food you can’t have. This experience was fresh in my mind when a friend called to ask if there was something quick and easy she could make that would also be a “nice, company meal” because she was hosting a dinner where one person had severe food allergies. No wheat, eggs, dairy, nut, soy, or citrus foods could be served.

I applauded her desire to make something which everyone could eat and immediately thought of one of my go-to meals, chicken and vegetables. This may seem like a ho-hum meal to serve company, but if you roast whole carrots with sliced zucchini and bake tender, seasoned chicken breasts and serve both with a beet sauce, the experience becomes more than ho-hum, and if you look at the pictures, the food looks pretty, too, which enhances the appetite.

What’s even better, is that the entire meal takes only about 45 minutes from beginning to end to make, which gives you plenty of time to hang with your guests. While the veggies roast, you work on the chicken, and while the chicken cooks, you work on the sauce.

Company Baked Chicken Breasts and Roasted Vegetables

Ingredients:

2 lb bag of whole carrots, peeled (normal size, not crazy, huge ones)

Zucchini, sliced lengthwise into quarters, about size to eight medium-sized ones

6 chicken breasts, 4 ounces each (palm size portion, not crazy, hormone-induced size)

olive oil

onion powder

garlic powder

oregano

thyme

tarragon

red pepper flakes

black pepper

1 1/2 cups cooked beets (I buy precooked, ready to go ones in the vegetable section)

1 cup unsalted, no sugar chicken bone broth (I find this at my local grocery store)

1 tsp minced garlic

2 tbsp chopped onion

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp ground ginger

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
  2. Lightly coat the carrots with olive oil and place into a large oven proof pan which will hold the carrots in a single layer with space left for the zucchini to be added.
  3. Roast for 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the carrots.
  4. Remove the pan, stir the carrots, lightly coat the zucchini quarters in olive oil, and add them to the pan.
  5. Roast for 5 minutes, remove the pan and stir, adding onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, tarragon, red pepper flakes and black pepper – all to your liking.
  6. Roast for another 5 minutes and arrange the vegetables on an oven safe, serving platter, and set aside. Turn the heat down to 450 degrees.
  7. While the vegetables are roasting in the oven, line a 9 x 13 pan with parchment paper and lightly brush olive oil on both sides of the chicken breasts. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken breasts with the onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, tarragon, red pepper flakes and black pepper – to your taste and liking.
  8. Cover the chicken breasts with another piece of parchment paper, tucking the ends in around the chicken into the pan.
  9. Bake the chicken for 15 minutes.
  10. Remove the chicken from the oven and let it sit, exactly as it is with the parchment covering it, and turn down the heat to 300 degrees. Let the chicken sit for 10 minutes to reabsorb its juices.
  11. Put the veggies which have been transferred to an oven safe serving platter into the oven to finish cooking while the chicken sits for the 10 minutes.
  12. While the chicken breasts are resting and the veggies are finishing, put the cooked beets into a blender with the bone broth, garlic, onions, cumin and ginger, and puree until completely smooth.
  13. Pour the sauce into a microwave safe, serving pitcher, and microwave for a minute at a time until the sauce is warm.
  14. After the 10 minute resting time, remove the parchment paper from the chicken, remove the veggie platter from the oven, and serve both with the warmed beet sauce.

 

 

 

Healthy Habits: Broccoli Muffins

“He won’t eat vegetables….”

A friend with a young son who is a picky eater reached out to me a few weeks ago. I was in the midst of the busiest time of my drama season but I wanted to help her anyway. Her son’s pediatrician had said she needed to get more green vegetables into his diet, but he refused to eat vegetables. Since he has had food allergies for most of his young life, he has adapted to being picky about what he eats.

As I mentioned, I was in a rather busy time of life so trying to figure out a recipe he would eat was not high on my ideal list of using my time, so I decided that I’d consider a muffin recipe to make. One, muffins are quick and easy. Two, we could eat them with most anything as I was experimenting. Three, children like muffins, and adults can hide most anything in a muffin.

In the end I worked out a savory broccoli muffin which my family really liked and which my friend’s son ended up liking, too. He apparently never even realized it had broccoli in it! So, I share it here for you to try for yourself.

Broccoli Muffins

Ingredients:

2 cups whole grain gluten free flour blend

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp dried basil

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp ground onion powder

1/4 tsp ground thyme powder

1 cup chopped broccoli florets

2 slices vegan cheese (I used Chao cheddar)

1 cup liquid egg whites

1 cup unsweetened oat milk

1/2 cup extra light olive oil

Baking Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, oregano, basil, pepper, ground onion, and ground thyme, and set aside.
  3. In a food processor, pulse the broccoli florets with the vegan cheese slices into you have well blended small pieces.
  4. Mix the broccoli and cheese mixture into the dry ingredients.
  5. Add to the dry ingredients the egg whites, oat milk, and olive oil, and mix quickly, just until the dry ingredients are incorporated into the wet and well blended.
  6. Divide the batter among the muffin tins and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until puffed, golden, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

 

Cake Mix Revamping: Citrus Ginger Chip Cupcakes

“I knew you had food allergies….”

A very kind woman whom I had only recently met brought me a hostess gift which was a basket of Bob’s Red Mill gluten free cake mixes. It was lovely of her to be considerate of my allergies, and I appreciated her thoughtfulness.

Now for true confessions: I hold a prejudice against a majority of cake mixes. They have too much sugar, use the the worst type of flour with no protein or fiber, and usually are not very tasty, in my opinion. I will admit that some of that is changing. I have seen whole grain cake mixes on the market, as well as mixes claiming to have less sugar. I will also concede that using a cake mix when you are rushed for time will shave off five to ten minutes of prep time, and the convenience of that can be worthwhile to folks.

I decided to make the best of the situation, because as strong as my prejudice is, stronger still are my feelings about wasting anything. My family will tell you that I will turn leftovers into new meal after meal until every morsel is gone, rather than throw food out.

So, I assessed the Bob’s Red Mill Vanilla Yellow Cake mix to see what I could do. I could not change the sugar content or the lack of fiber and protein, but I could make sure not to add any more sugars than needed. I decided, therefore, to make cupcakes with no frosting, but I would need to jazz up the flavor if there was not going to be frosting. To do so, I zooped uncrystallized candied ginger with Enjoy Life chocolate chunks and mixed that in with the cake mix, along with some orange zest. While the candied ginger and chocolate chunks still had sugar, it would be much less than using frosting.

Once I figured out the flavors, I needed to think about the ingredients I needed to add to the mix. The recipe called for 3 eggs. I opted to use 1/2 cup of egg whites with one whole egg. It also called for melted butter or vegetable oil. I chose to substitute extra light olive oil.

When the cupcakes were done and cooled, I have to say I was not unduly upset with the result. It was still a cake mix batter with too much sugar and no protein or fiber, but it was tastier, and I had added a good fat and reduced some of the bad fat and calories. Also, as my husband is quick to point out, indulging in something not as good for you every once in a while usually will not hurt you.

Citrus Ginger Chip Cupcakes

Ingredients:

1/2 cup uncrystallized candied ginger

1 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chunks

Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Vanilla Yellow Cake mix

2 tsp dried grated orange peel

1/2 cup egg whites

1 egg

1/2 cup extra light olive oil

1/2 cup water

Baking Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line 18 muffin cups with cupcake liners.
  2. In a food processor, zoop the candied ginger and the chocolate chunks several minutes into very small pieces.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the cake mix and the ginger/chocolate pieces, adding the dried orange peel.
  4. Add the egg whites, egg, oil, and water, and using a mixer, blend slowly at first until all the ingredients are incorporated. Then on a higher speed, mix the batter for a minute or so until it’s thick and well mixed.
  5. Divide the batter evenly among the 18 muffin cups.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes until the cupcakes are puffed, firm to the touch, and/or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (When I baked them, it took 22 minutes.)
  7. Cool in the tins for about five minutes. Then remove them to a wire cooling rack to completely cool.
  8. Enjoy!

 

Healthy Habits: Rethinking Weeknight Pasta

 

 

“But it’s all I can eat….”

My oldest decided a few weeks ago to do the elimination diet, which basically is eliminating everything except meat, poultry, fish, and non-starchy vegetables from one’s diet. She could not eat wheat, soy, dairy, nuts, peanuts, eggs, sesame, corn, peppers, potatoes, vinegar, yeast, sweeteners of any type, etc…, which meant dinners became a bit more complicated.

Since I usually include non-meat protein in many of our family dinners, I had to rethink our meals for a few weeks to make sure we were not eating too much meat and chicken. Obviously, eating more fish and beans was one solution, but the number of fish or bean dinners we currently eat are not my husband’s and son’s favorites as it is, so I did not want to create issues there. We could increase our vegetable dishes, but not being able to add any cheese, whether dairy or soy, or add tofu meant having no protein at all, which does not work for my or my daughter’s hypoglycemia.

So, as I thought about eating more meat and chicken dishes, it occurred to me that I could rethink weeknight pasta dinners, which is a staple for most families. Pasta and sauce is quick and easy for those busy nights when families do not have much time to pull dinner together. For my purposes, pasta and sauce was also a good dinner to be able to alter for our dietary needs.

For the pasta, we simply opted to substitute many of the grain free, protein packed pastas which are on the market: red and green lentil, chickpea and bean pastas are easily found at most supermarkets and are actually quite tasty. The ingredients are literally just red lentils or chickpeas or beans. Nothing else. So, for folks who need to watch ingredients, these pastas are great one ingredient pastas. (NOTE: there are pastas which mix flours with legumes to add protein. These are fine, too, if folks can eat grains.)

For the sauces, the solution was simple: substitute half of any meat or chicken with vegetables or quinoa. That way we had the protein but not as much of it. The result were healthier sauces which were just as filling but with less meat and poultry. Some of the pasta sauces and meatball recipes we made are below in case any folks want to try them for themselves.

Beet and Meat Pasta Sauce:

In a large skillet, brown 1/2 lb of lean hamburger meat with finely chopped onions, garlic, and herbs such as oregano, basil, black pepper, and thyme. Drain the fat from the meat and add 8 oz of frozen riced beets, one cup frozen chopped spinach, and a 16 oz can of no salt, no sugar added petite diced tomatoes. Saute until most of the liquid from the tomatoes has evaporated. Add a jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce (I use Victoria’s which literally only has tomatoes, garlic, salt oregano, and onions as its ingredients). Heat until warm and serve over a protein based ziti style pasta.

Kale-Carrot Turkey Pasta Sauce:

In a large skillet, brown 1/2 lb of lean ground turkey with finely chopped onions, garlic and herbs such as oregano, thyme, basil, and black pepper. Drain the fat from the meat, and set aside. In the skillet add 2 tbsp olive oil. Heat the oil for a minute and add 1/4 cup of a gluten free flour like GF oat or sorghum or millet. Stir until well mixed with the oil. Add 2 cups of a no salt, turkey bone broth, stirring and cooking over medium heat until it begins to thicken. Flavor the sauce with herbs like oregano, thyme and basil. Add the browned turkey, 8 oz frozen chopped kale and one cup grated carrots. Heat until the kale and carrots are soft and fully cooked. Serve over a protein based spaghetti style pasta.

Quinoa Meatballs:

Mix one pound of ground beef, chicken or turkey with 2 cups of cooked quinoa. Add to taste: chopped green onions, minced garlic, black pepper, oregano, basil, thyme, dill, and onion powder. Form into quarter cup size meatballs and place the meatballs on a pan lined with aluminum foil and lightly greased with olive oil. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the meatballs for 25 minutes until browned on top and cooked through. Serve with your favorite sauce and protein based pasta.

Healthy Habits: Most Everything Free Blackberry Filled Mini Sponge Cakes

“You won’t be left out….”

So, what do you do when Valentine’s Day is approaching, and you cannot have eggs, dairy, wheat, soy, nuts, peanuts, chocolate/cocoa powder, sesame, coconut, or any non-fruit sweeteners, whether sugar or natural? Then, even planning for a nice dessert after dinner seems to out of the question, too.

This was the problem presented to me this week, and I had to really think about how to make something which was free of everything but would somehow seem a bit special at the same time. Removing every other ingredient except for sweeteners would not actually be a problem. Removing all sweeteners, however, becomes a bit more problematic.

Removing sugar from a cake means removing the ingredient which absorbs the moisture from the protein and carbs and which helps with the leavening process. This means your baked good will be more moist and dense simply by virtue of removing the sugar. Sugar substitutes like coconut sugar or agave, while not as efficient as sugar, can still do the same job. Once you are limited to only fruit, however, there’s not much you can do, other than to increase your dry ingredients and decrease the liquid but then the result may be a very dry dessert.

As I considered options, I realized that sponge cakes are actually cakes which are made to be more dense on purpose and that maybe I could use the lack of a sugary sweetener to my advantage. In the end I created blackberry filled mini sponge cakes, using Polaner’s Blackberry All Fruit. While not chocolate, it is a different, which could be therefore be considered special.

Blackberry Filled Mini Sponge Cakes

Ingredients:

3 cups whole grain gluten free flour blend

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp cloves

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsp ground flax seed

6 tbsp hot water

1/3 cup Polaner All Fruit

1/2 cup hot water

2 cups mashed ripe bananas

1/2 cup safflower oil

2 tsp vanilla

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Polaner Blackberry All Fruit

Baking Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 24 muffin cups with cupcake liners
  2. In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and salt. Set aside.
  3. Mix the ground flax seed with the hot water, and let it thicken.
  4. In a large bowl mix together the blackberry all fruit with the hot water and add to it the mashed bananas, oil, and vanilla.
  5. Add the thickened flax seed to the wet ingredients.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients with the vinegar and mix just until blended.
  7. Evenly divide the batter among the muffin cups.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes until the cakes puff and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Remove the mini cakes to a cooling rack and allow them to cool.
  10. After the cakes are cooled, fill a pastry bag with a round tip with blackberry all fruit, insert the tip into each cake until the tip is hidden by the cake, and then slowly squeeze the all fruit into the cake until the cake puffs. Slowly pull the cake tip out and fill in the remaining space with all fruit, just ’til a little bit of the all fruit is peeking out of the top of the cake.