Spotlight On: Pamela's Gluten Free Baking & Pancake Mix

3 stars

Now I can be a purist (some might say masochist) when it comes to cooking and baking. I love cooking and baking from scratch. I love developing new recipes or adapting classics to fit the way I eat and live. When I create a new recipe that really sings, It lights me up! And I want to have everyone I know over for dinner to feed them so they can feel lit up too! I am a food geek. It is true.

When I became gluten free about 6 years ago (read my story here) I made everything from scratch. From cookies to bread to chicken parmigiana; you name it and I adapted my favorite non gluten free recipes to become gluten and refined sugar free. Now part of this was because I love to cook. I grew up cooking and it is one of my favorite things to do. But the flip side to this was at the time, there were practically no gluten free manufactures creating gluten free products that actually tasted good or were good for you. Most of what was out on the market at that point either tasted like cardboard or was filled with sugar. So the only option for me was to make it myself and that is exactly what I did.

My life revolved around cooking. I literally planned out my days and nights so I could cook and experiment with the dishes I loved and was missing. I spent a lot of time in the kitchen. Hours on end, every day. At the time I had a lifestyle that supported it. I was teaching yoga full time and my schedule was very flexible. I could come home in the middle of the day and prep for dinner. So basically my jobs were teaching yoga and cooking. It was amazing and I was so blessed to have that time.

These days my time is still created by me but I have much more happening in life. I am building a clinic practice, I am in a very in depth women's herbal program, I am finishing two other certifications, one in raw nutrition and the other in business. And that is just my work related commitments. Probably most of you can relate! We all have full lives (hopefully) filled with the things we love to do; be it work, raising children, or going to school.  Life is full and time is speeding up. 

Even though I still do a lot of scratch cooking, I am so elated when I find a product that saves me time without sacrificing my tenets of healthy eating. Enter: Pamela's Baking & Pancake mix.  Now again, I am a purist so when I first bought this product, I had guilt. I seriously felt bad about not making up my own batch of a flour blend. Especially since I have a recipe for everything from bisquits to waffles that are tried and true. But on this particular Sunday morning I really wanted blueberry pancakes but was feeling lazy and did not want to mix up my pancake blend. So I sent my husband to the store for this mix. And I was not disappointed. Pamela's mix is a blend of: brown rice flour, white rice flour, almond meal, cultured buttermilk, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt and xanthan gum (not from corn).

What I love about the mix is the light and flavorful texture it adds to baked goods. The almond meal gives it a great flavor and protein content. The mix of brown and white rice flour is a refreshing twist rather than just plain rice flour (which you see a lot in gluten free mixes), and they use sea salt rather than a table salt. What I wish it had to make it a 4 star experience? Organic ingredients and a different stabilizer like guar gum rather than the xanthan gum. But with the progress that has happened in the last 5 years, I know it is coming!

I will leave you with one of my first gluten free recipes.  ( it has been updated over the years) But it is gluten free and refined sugar free with a raw icing! Enjoy!

Chocolate Cupcakes with raspberries

 

8 tablespoons organic grass fed butter (like Kerrygold)

3/4 cup organic coconut sugar

1/8 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon of sea salt

1 large organic farm raised egg ( or 2 small)

*1/2 cup sorghum flour

*1/2 cup tapioca flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cacao or dutch cocoa powder

3/4 cup organic raw buttermilk

1/2 teaspoon organic vanilla

*Substitute Pamela's baking mix here if you like! 

Preheat the oven to 350º F and line a muffin tin with silicone baking cups or paper cups.  

Mix together the *sorghum, *tapioca flour and cacao or dutch cocoa and set aside.

Cream together with a hand or stand mixer the butter and sugar until mixed well. Add in the baking soda, baking powder and salt. The mixture should become lighter in color. 

Add in the egg and vanilla until the batter becomes very light and fluffy. Add in slowly the buttermilk.

Next add in the Pamela's baking mix or the sorghum/tapioca mix until silky, about 3 to 5 minutes. (Really depends on the use of a hand or stand mixer)

Scoop out batter into cupcake cups about 2/3 full. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the cupcakes are buoyant but firm. 

Allow cupcakes to cool before icing.

Icing

1/3 cup semi-soft pitted Medjool dates
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup ripe avocado flesh (from about 1
medium avocado)
1/3 cup cacao powder or cocoa or carob

Blend together in a food processor until smooth.  

Top with fresh raspberries. And Enjoy!

 

Fresh out of the oven! 

Fresh out of the oven! 

Superfood Granola

I think one of the most frequent store bought products for people is granola. It is such a filling and quick breakfast or snack and with so many choices, some of them healthy, why not pick it up at your local health food store?

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Even the most conscious of brands like Udi's use an ingredient that I choose not to eat. The usual suspects are refined sugar and canola oil. I want neither of these ingredients in my life on a regular basis. And if I am choosing to have refined sugar, it has to be worth it and for me that would be a chocolate souffle or a lemon cake. Something so decadent that when I am eating it, my whole body knows what a treat it is. Granola is not on the list.

And neither are most packaged foods. I rarely buy anything in a package but if you start to read labels on even the foods you think are "healthy" for you, you will have a food awakening. Most packaged foods use sugar, an omega 6 oil like canola, which by the way is the worst possible oil to use in my opinion, (more on that in a future post) or an unknown ingredient like 'natural flavoring'.  And if by some slim chance none of these are in your healthy packaged food, check the sodium content. I bet it is through the roof!

At this point some of you are thinking, "Is she crazy? I do not have the time to scratch cook everything!?!" I know it feels this way sometimes. And the easiest thing to do is go to Whole Foods and grab a dinner from something in a box that seems healthy. But you can manage your time to allow for good food. Check out this and this post to help keep you organized and support you to make the best food choices possible for you.

Do not be fooled; the choices out there for processed foods are mostly horrible for you and in a lot of cases the environment. The large manufactures of 'food like products' are making "food" in laboratories, using ingredients that are addicting and in some cases causing major disease to manifest in the body. The best choice you can make for your health is to begin to eat a plant based whole food diet rich in superfoods and superherbs. I am a conscious meat eater so I am not advocating a sprout only diet. Most things in moderation is how I live. But I do not eat meat from unknown sources. I choose to eat eggs and meat from local farms that have sustainable humane practices. If you do not know much about this way of conscious meat eating, check out the film Food, Inc. and in particular the way Joel Salatin farms. The way he farms is the criteria I use when purchasing meat from farms for my family.  It is sustainable, humane and it heals the earth that factory farming destroyed.

Even if you have until this point, chosen prepackaged granola or a boxed cereal, starting with this easy shift into scratch made food will make a difference to your health and your wallet. In the cleanse I lead yearly with Cher Aslor, Nourish, we teach you how to make the staples you usually buy at the store. Moving away from processed foods into whole food living is how you will continue to be healthy or move into health in a deeper way for yourself and the ones you love. You are worth it.

Superfood Granola

Makes 6 cups

2 cups of gluten free rolled oats

1 cup of raw buckwheat

1/2 cup of raw walnuts ( or any nut you prefer, like brazil or almond) soaked overnight in pure water, then drained and lightly crushed

2 tbs raw whole sesame seeds

2 tbs raw whole flax seeds

1 tsp cinnamon

4 tbs raw seed or nut butter

4 tbs coconut nectar or real maple syrup

3/4 cup dried superfood berries like goji berries, mulberries or golden berries

Combine the first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl and mix to combine. Add the nut or seed butter and coconut nectar or maple and mix thoroughly until the butter-sweetener mixture is evenly distributed. This may take a heavy hand but it will mix.

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To keep this raw, place in a dehydrator on 100 degrees for 8 hours or until your desired crispness.

If you do not have a dehydrator or care to keep it raw, preheat your oven to 325. Place granola on a parchment lined baking sheet in an even layer. Cook for 20-22 minutes shaking the tray throughout to make sure the edges are not burning. Let sit for 10-15 minutes until cooled, add in your dried berries.

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Curious about a whole food lifestyle and want to learn more? If you are local to Colorado, join us for this year's nutritional and lifestyle cleanse, Nourish: A Way to Radiant Living starting May 1st. RSVP to the free informational session on April 8th, here. Of if you know you want to want to make these changes and would love the support of a rich community and years of education in nutrition, movement therapy and lifestyle, register here.  You will have to set up a profile on mind body if you do not have one already. Cannot wait to see you this May!