A food-sensitivity client asked me to help her create a quinoa muffin recipe that uses ingredients that are all safe for her. I decided to take it a step further and make the recipe more universally-accessible for a variety of sensitivities by writing it to be adaptable to any needs. Use your preferred oil, milk or milk-substitute, eggs or egg-substitute, berries or fruits, etc. and make the recipe your own.
I tested it out this weekend and my kids gobbled up the results. I hope you like them, too.
2 eggs, or 2 Tbs tapioca flour or ground flax seed mixed with 6 Tbs warm water, or 2 mashed ripe bananas, or other safe egg substitute
½ cup pure maple syrup or safe sweetener
2 cups dried cranberries or other dried or frozen fruit or berry, or nuts
Preheat oven to 375F. Line muffin tin with paper muffin cups.
Mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
Whisk together the milk or water, oil or fruit puree, eggs or egg substitute, maple syrup in a smaller bowl and add to the dry mixture. Stir well. The batter will be very thick.
Add the berries and/or nuts and fold into the batter.
Ladle the batter evenly between 12 cups. Bake for 22-25 minutes until the tops are golden brown and a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Move to a wire rack to cool completely before storing or freezing.
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 25 mins for regular muffins, 12 mins for mini-muffins
Total time: 35 mins
I wasn’t sure what to do with a bunch of chicken drumsticks that had thawed during our freezer disaster but I knew I wanted to do something gluten-free and out of the ordinary, and these coconut-quinoa encrusted drumsticks fit the bill.
I got inspired while searching the internet for chicken leg recipes and came across this one for Crunchy Coconut & Lime Drumsticks from The Family Feedbag, so I took the recipe and tweaked it a bit to meet my wheat-free household’s needs. And, I didn’t have a lime but I did have a lemon, so that filled in. Instead of the chile powder called for, I used a Cajun spice mix. Just a small change.
The bigger changes came from making the drumsticks wheat-free by substituting spelt flour for wheat flour, and quinoa flakes for Panko bread crumbs. While spelt does contain a gluten protein, it is different enough from wheat gluten that many gluten-intolerant people can tolerate spelt just fine. To make this recipe completely gluten-free, swap out the spelt flour for almond flour. In fact, next time I’m going to make these with almond meal and I think they would be even better.
I love using quinoa flakes in place of bread crumbs in lots of recipes. Quinoa flakes make a very simple gluten-free breadcrumb solution.
I also skinned the drumsticks simply because I don’t like chicken skin. You can leave it on, of course, when you make your own version..
My family gave this recipe a double thumbs up for deliciousness and has already asked me to make it again.
Here’s the recipe for fun and different chicken legs.
Gluten-freeCrunchy Coconut Chicken Drumsticks.
3 lbs. chicken drumsticks (about 12), skinned
3/4 cup spelt flour or almond flour/almond meal
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup shredded coconut
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. Cajun spice mix (I use a blend from the Savory Spice Shop. You can also use plain chile powder.)
Place the skinned (or not) chicken into a dish. Zest the lemon and reserve the zest, then slice the fruit and squeeze lemon juice over the chicken. The acid will start marinating the chicken. If you have time, cover and place in the fridge for a few hours.
Spread the flour or a plate. Beat the eggs in a bowl large enough to fit a drumstick.
In a medium bowl, mix together the lemon zest, shredded coconut, sea salt, and spice mix.
Create an assembly line:
Roll the drumstick in flour.
Dip it in the egg.
Roll the drumstick in the coconut mixture.
Place the drumsticks on a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet leaving space between each one. Put the sheet into the oven and bake for about 40 minutes or until the chicken brings a meat thermometer up to 180 degrees F. For best results, turn the drumsticks after around 25-30 minutes to brown all sides.
A few years ago, a friend passed along a recipe for a dairy-free cream pie that was so scrumptious that I’ve since taken the concept and adapted it to make other variations. It’s a delicious dessert that will wow a crowd of regular eaters as much as those vegans, gluten-free’rs, and raw foodies at your table. I wish I knew from where it originated, but I’ll just have to settle for telling you that I was not the original creator.
You can make the tart in advance all the way through step 2 and complete step 3 just before serving.
Banana and Coconut Cashew-Cream Tart
Makes 1 nine-inch tart
For Tart Shell:
1 1/2 cups whole pecans
Pinch of coarse sea salt
1 1/2 cups pitted dates
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight and thoroughly drained
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup, and more to taste
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
3/4 cup desiccated coconut
3 or 4 ripe but firm bananas
1. Make tart shell: Coarsely chop pecans and salt in a food processor. Add dates; pulse until thoroughly combined, 15 to 20 seconds. Add syrup; pulse just until combined and mixture sticks together. Press nut mixture firmly and evenly into a 9-inch pie plate, wetting your fingers as needed. Set tart shell aside.
2. Make filling: Grind nuts to a coarse paste in a blender. Add water, syrup, and vanilla scrapings; blend until smooth, about 5 minutes, scraping sides as needed. Mixture should be the consistency of thick pancake batter. Set aside 2 tablespoons coconut; add remainder to blender, and process to combine. Pour into prepared shell, spreading evenly.
3. Thinly slice bananas on the bias; arrange in slightly overlapping rows, beginning at edge of tart. Sprinkle with reserved coconut; serve immediately.
I spied this recipe from the book in the newspaper recently and have been just waiting for an occasion calling for cupcakes to try it out.
It can be tricky to bake wheat-free cakes, but I’ve tried Elana’s recipes in the past and had good success, though I think this recipe takes the cake (ha-ha). Simply delicious and so-o-o-o easy with only 6 ingredients! I baked them together with my 6-year old and then whipped together a simple butter/powdered sugar/vanilla frosting with a couple tablespoons of coconut milk added to thin it out.
The demand for the cupcakes started out slowly at the bake sale last night, but by the end of the evening’s activities, every single one had been sold and enjoyed. And my family, at least, was glad there was a yummy gluten-free option to munch on at the event. 🙂
Here’s the recipe for
Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes from Elana Amsterdam:
1.5 cups dark chocolate chips
1 cup hazelnuts
3 large eggs
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 10 muffin cups with paper liners.
Combine the chocolate chips and hazelnuts in a food processor, and process until they have the consistency of coarse sand. Add the eggs and agave nectar, and pulse until combined, about 10 seconds.
Scoop 1/4 cup of batter into each prepared muffin cup.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 1 hour, then frost and serve.
My only variations: I doubled the recipe and made 1 dozen regular cupcakes and about 40 mini cupcakes. I left them in the oven a little too long waiting for the toothpick to come out completely clean; next time I will pull them out after 25 minutes no matter what. They were still yummy, though! 🙂