Necessity Brings Joy

So now what is that crazy woman talking about? Necessity brings joy. Sometimes when you have a need, the satisfying of that need brings greater joy than you expected.

Here’s the deal, Saturday, I ran out of almond milk. I had no cash. I didn’t want to u20160716_132308 (2)se a credit card for a gallon of milk. I looked around the pantry and saw that I had some cashews. I had been meaning to try making cashew milk. This seemed like the perfect time. It is simple. Put the cashews and water in a blender and let it rip. In minutes, there was milk.

I looked in  my vegan cookbook to get an idea of the ratio of cashews to water for a reasonable milk consistency. It was 2/3 cup of whole cashews to 4 cups of milk. That seemed like a lot of water for so few cashews so I increased it to a full cup of cashews. To my surprise I stumbled upon cashew cream. I did some research on the uses for cashew cream and discovered I had solved another dilemma I was facing. This cashew cream provides the creaminess and consistency I needed for both these projects.I wanted to make vegan ice cream without making a sugary syrup for a sorbet. This will be my substitute. I also needed a sour cream impostor to try in a new cornbread recipe I found. I will try adding vinegar to the cream to sour it. I’ll let you know the outcome.

Back to the milk. I used the ratio suggested by the experienced vegan and was rewarded with a good tasting cashew milk. There are no preservatives, no sweetener, no added anything. Two and two/thirds cup of cashews will make a gallon of milk.  What makes this most appealing is no added cost for  cream.

For you who like a little coffee in your cream, this is a healthy, tasteful preferred choice to the coffee creamers you buy in the store. I don’t usually add cream to my coffee but I tried a little. It was very good and flavorful.

So the necessity for almond milk provided the joy of cashew milk and cream. It was a good day.

 

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Continued Search for Gluten-free Sandwich Bread

I have tried several different recipes for gluten free bread. They all have been described as guaranteed sandwich bread. The first one I tried looked okay but crumbled when you sliced it. That was the result for several of them. I was about to give up and then I found the recipe using Teff flour online. This bread is gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, egg-free and vegan bread. I have no health need that actually requires this kind of bread but if I can find one that is gluten-free that tastes good and slices for good sandwiches, I am on board. I am interested in anything that reduces inflammation. Arthritis, you know.  🙂

I didn’t know about Teff flour. It is a grain used in Ethiopian cooking for baking and as a side dish. It’s color ranges from light to dark  brown. I used a brown teff because it is the one I found in my favorite market. Bob’s Red Mill Teff Flour

I am learning about different kinds of flours and their uses. My only experience with sorghum was syrup my great-grandfather bought from a friend in the country. I didn’t know it could be made into flour. The recipe is below. It makes two loaves.  Enjoy

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1 1/2 cups millet flour

1/2 cup teff flour

1 cup sorghum flour

1 cup cornstarch (double the potato starch if you can’t eat corn)

1 cup potato starch

1 cup tapioca flour

4 tsp xanthum gum

1 tbsp salt

1/2 cup sugar

2 Tbsp active dry yeast (not rapid rise)

Add:

4 tsp olive oil

3 1/4 warm water (not hot)

I halved the recipe to make one loaf. I mixed the ingredients much like making regular wheat bread. The difference is, there is no need to knead the mixture.  I allowed it to rise about 50 -70 minutes sitting on top of a warm stove. I baked at 400 degrees for 10 minutes uncovered. I then baked covered it covered for 35-45 minutes. When it has baked completely, let it rest on a rack to cool a little.

As you may have noticed in the picture the bottom and sides were beautiful. The top cracked open. I don’t know why. It was delicious while warm. The next day the top and sides were hard and a little more difficult to slice. After three days it began to mold. I guess we don’t eat it fast enough. Refrigeration was not an option because it dried out the loaf.The source of the recipe suggested making bread crumbs, or croutons after the second day.  I should have done that.

I may try it again or I may just turn to flatbread for sandwiches.

To read the recipe and the full instructions aprovchar.danandsally.com

 

Gluten-Free Bread Success

I have been trying to bake gluten-free bread that had the texture and height to qualify as a sandwich bread. The first attempted tasted fine but did not rise to the sandwich bread size standard. I made the substitutions for wheat flour as directed in my bread recipe but the outcome was not completely satisfactory. Since that effort I have searched for a recipe that would give me the desired results. I went to Barnes and Noble to get a book I had found online but they did not have it. I found another called The How Can It Be Gluten-Free Cookbook from the American Test Kitchen. I decided to give it a try.

They have several bread recipes but I chose the Classic Sandwich Bread. I used Bob’ Red Mill Gluten-Free flour blend, almond milk, homemade dairy-free butter and agave nectar instead of their blend, sugar, butter and dry milk.

 

I had to forget all that I knew about baking bread. There was no kneading to be done. The instructions said the dough consistency would be like sticky cookie dough. It was. They said the dough would rise above the pan and advised that you make this aluminum foil collar. It did. If I had not done that it would have spilled our over the pan. I didn’t make it tight or stiff enough because it spilled over a little bit. That made it hard to get out of the pan when it was done. My husband and I were quite pleased with the results. He was too thrilled about the first attempt.  🙂

I am very please with the bread and the cookbook. It is also a teaching aid for novices to gluten free cooking. The recipes are tested and critiqued by home cooks before publishing. Tomorrow is cook day. I plan to try their flatbread and corn tortilla recipes.

 

Thanksgiving Cooking Experiment

I posted this on ladywiggins.blogspot.com  for Thanksgiving. I thought I would repost it here. Vegans out there please share your recipe successes.

I hope you had a wonderful time with your family. It was just my husband and I. Our children were away this year. I had a ball. Not because they were away though. I experimented with our traditional recipes. I was motivated by my newly vegan son and my dairy-intolerant grand-baby. I had wanted to try vegan cooking for a while and I figured now was a good time.

Mac and Cheese

Attention went first to my mac and cheese. This is my grandmother’s mac and cheese so the flavors are sacred. I decided to use rice elbow macaroni. I never used it before. Next concern: How do you bring those southern flavors to vegan world: Butter, real milk, sharp and mild cheddar cheese? I was skeptical but I went all in. I replaced the cheese with veggie cheese. I replaced the milk with flax seed milk. I found it to be creamier than almond and other nut milks I’ve tried. However, what to do about butter? I found some vegan butter in my favorite organic store but the cost was ridiculous. Google came through. I found several vegan sites that had recipes for making your own vegan butter without using soy products. I made my first non-dairy butter. The results were good but I still didn’t know how it would work in my mac and cheese. It was wonderful. That gave me hope for my sweet potato pie.

Sweet Potato Pie


This was not completely vegan but it was still an experiment. I used my non-dairy butter, a blend of flax and evaporated milk and egg. I thought my husband had bought an egg substitute but he bought egg whites instead. The filling was good. The real experiment was the pie crust. I decided to try gluten free flour. Who knows why? I used coconut oil instead of vegetable oil or shortening. I either had a crumbling mess or something that was very oily looking. I wanted that flaky crust I was familiar with. As it turned out, the taste was great but the texture was too thin. Saved by the flavors.

I have learned a lot through this experiment.

  1. I will never plan to buy dairy butter again.
  2. I have since found a recipe for homemade baking shortening. That’s next.
  3. Coconut oil, refined and unrefined are my new best friends. It has so many uses besides cooking.
  4. I have found a website of a vegan sweet potato expert. Things are looking up for my Christmas pies.  http://sweetpotatosoul.com/2014/01/how-to-make-vegan-sweet-potato-pie.html
  5. Sunflower oil has entered my pantry.
  6. I found non-soy, non-gluten, non-wheat egg replacer. They also gave the ingredients and I have them in my cabinet. I wonder if I can make my own?
  7. I just found an egg replacer recipe using chia seed. Who knew? Got to try this. http://www.foodrenegade.com/how-make-egg-substitute-chia-seeds/

I also found this link for powdered egg replacer recipe. If any of you have used these recipes, I would certainly like to hear from you. My holiday baking begins in about a week and a half. I am planning to experiment ahead of time.

Vegans out there please share your experience and wisdom. I am on fire to test things out.

Journey Through My New Food Frontier

 I originally posted this on Blogger. I wanted to compare WordPress views with Blogger views. I am still comparing them.

I had the most amazing day at Barnes and Noble. A few weeks ago I began my food experiment journey into the world of gluten-free and dairy free recipes. I am happy to report the non-dairy butter was and is awesome. I found a recipe for non-dairy shortening. I haven’t tried it yet but since it is from the same cook I expect it to be amazing as well. That experience combined with my new love for certified organic foods got be excited to learn more. I went to Barnes and Noble on a search for a gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan cookbook. That was kind of silly since vegans are dairy free. 😀

Nevertheless, I spent some time searching for a cookbook that would satisfy my education and cooking for my Thanksgiving dinner. I wanted to find a particular book that I had seen in an Adventist market. I didn’t see it so I went to customer service like a good little researcher and asked about the book. I didn’t find the book but I did discover that I had only tapped the service of Barnes and Noble’s cookbooks. The WHOLE back wall contained cookbooks. I just HAD to come back another day when i could explore.

Much like that little kid at Christmas, I couldn’t wait. I was so excited that I came back and purchased a gluten-free, dairy-free cookbook without the research.. I got home and decided it really did not do it for me. The next day I returned the book and spent that amazing day searching for a cookbook that would meet my needs.

I found it! I found it! I found the perfect book for me. It has recipes but it is more of a “How to make your own” book. It is a Vegan substitution cookbook, The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions by Steen and Newman. Guide to Vegan Substitution bookThe guide explains the relationship between items used to prepare a meal for carnivores and herbivores and how to make the substitutions for the best results. As I said in the last post, I was expecting a diverse set of dietary needs to visit my home for Christmas. I needed to change my mac and cheese and sweet potato pie ingredients to accommodate animal product free, dairy free, and gluten free allergies. Rather than guessing and serving the meals with trepidation, I went boldly into the kitchen to prepare the requested dishes. The mac and cheese was a hit. I know because there was very little left over. We  ate so much that we didn’t have room for the pies. That was left to today’s dining experiences.

By the way, corn allergy is coming to visit for the weekend. What’s one more. Corn, in some form,is in almost everything.  Read your labels people.Got to label read!

New Food Frontier For Me

#dairyfree #foodallergies #cooking

I had the most amazing day at Barnes and Noble. A few weeks ago I began my food experiment journey into the world of gluten-free and dairy free recipes. I am happy to report the non-dairy butter was and is awesome. I found a recipe for non-dairy shortening. I haven’t tried it yet but since it is from the same cook I expect it to be amazing as well. That experience combined with my new love for certified organic foods got be excited to learn more. I went to Barnes and Noble on a search for a gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan cookbook. That was kind of silly since vegans are dairy free. 😀 Nevertheless, I spent some time searching for a cookbook that would satisfy my education and cooking for my Thanksgiving dinner. I wanted to find a particular book that I had seen in an Adventist market. I didn’t see it so I went to customer service like a good little researcher and asked about the book. I didn’t find the book but I did discover that I had only tapped the service of Barnes and Noble’s cookbooks. The WHOLE back wall contained cookbooks. I just HAD to come back another day when i could explore.

Much like that little kid at Christmas, I couldn’t wait. I was so excited that I came back and purchased a gluten-free, dairy-free cookbook without the research.. I got home and decided it really did not do it for me. The next day I returned the book and spent that amazing day searching for a cookbook that would meet my needs.

Guide to Vegan Substitution bookI found it! I found it! I found the perfect book for me. It has recipes but it is more of a “How to make your own” book. It is a Vegan substitution cookbook, The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions by Steen and Newman. The guide explains the relationship between items used to prepare a meal for carnivores and herbivores and how to make the substitutions for the best results. As I said in the last post, I was expecting a diverse set of dietary needs to visit my home for Christmas. I needed to change my mac and cheese and sweet potato pie ingredients to accommodate animal product free, dairy free, and gluten free allergies. Rather than guessing and serving the meals with trepidation, I went boldly into the kitchen to prepare the requested dishes. The mac and cheese was a hit. I know because there was very little left over. We  ate so much that we didn’t have room for the pies. That was left to today’s dining experiences.

By the way, corn allergy is coming to visit for the weekend. What’s one more. Corn, in some form,is in almost everything.  Read your labels people.Got to label read!