Archive for Gluten Free

Life-Changing, Vegan, Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ugh. Gluten-free baking.

I don’t know how you people do it! Give me vegan baking any day of the week… that stuff I get! But gluten-free? Nope. So much more complicated.

In the past, I’ve pretty much defaulted to a gluten-free flour mix, but honestly, there are very few of those out there that are any good. They all just taste like chalk to me. Maybe that’s because I’m not a celiac and I’m not gluten free, but I struggle with the dry texture of many gluten-free baked goods.

Recently, I decided I was going to conquer my fears and I was going to create a recipe for an allergen-free Chocolate Chip Cookie. That meant no: eggs, dairy, flour or nuts.

vegan gluten free chocolate chip cookies

Challenge accepted!

There’s also the issue of cost. You’d think a recipe that included “less” would also be less expensive to make, but that’s just not true. Gluten-free baking mixes are expensive, and many flour replacements, like almond meal or coconut flour, are not cheap.

So, my challenge was to come up with a recipe that was vegan, gluten free, contained no nuts, and ideally included cheaper ingredients.

It was a tall order, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned from writing a cookbook, it’s that failure isn’t the end. Failure is just a stepping stone. I’ve been working on this recipe for a couple of weeks now, adding, subtracting, tweaking, and I finally got it to where I am satisfied.

Earlier versions crumbled like dust, but adjustments to the ratios of flours and a lot of research finally brought me to this.

These are really good. I challenge you to even be able to tell if they are gluten free. They are chewy and soft and really, really delicious.

I want to shout out Enjoy Life Foods. I have been a big fan of their allergen-free, vegan chocolate chips for quite some time now, but they just released a chocolate mega chunk that rocks my world. This stuff is the bomb.

 

Vegan, Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup vegan butter or coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsp aquafaba
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp chickpea flour
  • 1/4 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips (recommend: Enjoy Life Chocolate Mega Chunks)

Method

  1. Place the oats in a blender and blend well until they achieve a flour-like consistency.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, place the vegan butter, brown sugar, coconut sugar, vanilla and aquafaba. Mix slowly at first, and then turn up the speed to whip it for a minute.
  3. Add the baking powder and the salt, and mix briefly.
  4. Add the rest of the dry ingredients, and mix at low speed until combined. Add in the chocolate chips and mix just to combine.
  5. Place the bowl in the fridge for 10-15 minutes to rest.
  6. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Scoop the cookies out and drop by tablespoons on to greased cookie sheets.
  7. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 12 minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the pan, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in a tightly-lidded container.

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Brazilian Tapioca Crepes {Vegan, Gluten-Free}

My life has been blessed with many Brazilians. There’s my dear friend Lili, and then there’s the hordes of Brazilian students I have in my classes right now.

They are lovely people; friendly and upbeat, and their cuisine is pretty spectacular. If you’ve never had a Brigadeiro (a kind of chocolate truffle), well, you’re missing out.

I recently got turned on to a new-to-me ingredient that is popular in Brazil. This followed on the heels of me watching the episode of Chef’s Table that featured Brazilian Chef, Alex Atala. In his episode, he talks quite extensively about manioc.

manioca brazilian tapioca

Manioc is known by many names. It’s often called tapicoa, yucca or cassava. It’s a starchy root, similar to a potato. Up until now, my only experience with this particular ingredient was eating it sliced thinly and deep fried as yucca chips, which was delicious.

But it turns out you can make a flour out of manioc as well, and this flour happens to be gluten-free. Now, I’m always looking for new (read: better) gluten-free ingredients. Most of them out there are pretty disappointing. Manioc has some interesting potential.

Daiya, for example, a vegan cheese, is made from tapioca. What makes it interesting is that the tapioca has a kind of natural elasticity to it, that makes it stretchy, like cheese. I’m experimenting currently with vegan cheese recipes using tapioca flour.

In Brazil, this flour is often made into a kind of pancake or crepe. It’s often eaten for breakfast, or you can buy it as street food with various fillings.

Here in Vancouver, it’s challenging to find, but a new company, Manoica Vancouver, has started to manufacture it. This stuff is ready-to-use, as opposed to other kinds, that require soaking and straining.

The texture is denser than a French crepe, more robust, less delicate. It’s filling and hearty.

I made two versions; one with cheese (you can also use vegan cheese) and one with Nutella and blueberries. I wanted to try both savory and sweet options. The cheese one was my favorite, but they were both pretty good.

brazilian tapioca crepes

Brazilian Tapioca Crepes {Vegan, Gluten-Free}

Ingredients (for each crepe):

  • 1/2 cup manioca flour
  • generous pinch of salt
  • crepe fillings: butter, grated cheese, fruit

Method:

  1. Place a sieve over top of a bowl, and measure 1/2 cup of manoica flour into the sieve. Push it through the sieve with the back of a spoon. Add a generous pinch of salt and stir.
  2. While you’re doing that, heat up a flat (ideally, crepe) pan over medium heat. You don’t need any butter or oil for this.
  3. When the pan is pre-heated sprinkle the manoica flour all over the pan so it’s evenly distributed. Now, using the back of your spoon, push it down to flatten and even out the layer. As it cooks, it will bind together to make a crepe.
  4. After about 30 seconds, flip it and cook it briefly (20 seconds) on the other side.
  5. Remove to the side, and brush with butter and sprinkle with cheese. Roll up the crepe and put it back in the pan briefly, just to melt the cheese. Eat while hot.

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