I can’t even believe I am writing a post about this. It’s happening right now, right here. At the end of October I was diagnosed with being gluten intolerant and allergic to dairy (oh, and no cow at all, including meat). I have pretty much been in denial about this, but done an okay job at sticking to it. My biggest concern: I LOVE to bake. I don’t just love to bake, it’s a stress reliever for me. I need flour in my life. I love milk in my coffee, I don’t like black coffee. Did I mention I have a lifestyle blog that is FOOD heavy?!?!?
I know there is a huge quantity of gluten free and dairy free food replacements out there, but I’m not a fan (yet). I’ve had gluten free and vegan cake. In defense of baking, I wish they’d come up with a new name for it, it’s not cake. Call it dessert? Cake has some basic ingredients: eggs, flour and a fat like oil or butter. Since gluten free/vegan cake has none of those, I debate the ‘cakiness’. Brand it as unique. I’ve tried some tasty ones, but they are not ‘cake’. But then I started wondering, is it called cake not because of the ingredients, but the shape and presentation? Maybe so. We all love the beauty and decorative nature of the cake. Maybe we name it not because of the ingredients, but because of the visual. This is a debate I’ve been having with myself since looking at baked goods in a whole new light. I’ll continue experimenting and taste testing every gluten and dairy free product on the market.
One product I’ve found and love is everything and anything a coconut can produce. Coconut creamer has saved me from a path of dairy self destruction. Coconut creamer is actually really good and doesn’t taste fake. Almond milk has replaced regular milk for most other dairy uses. It’s pretty good and I am exploring other ways to use it. While I’m not a huge ice cream lover, I actually like non-dairy frozen desserts (that’s the PC name: frozen dessert).
I am a bit more resistant to not having gluten, I love me some bread and cake. I’m not fully allergic to gluten, and will have it once in a while. I’ve done a lot of research as to why we are seeing this trend, and found that most grain in America is a GMO (Genetically Modified Organism). Being my stubborn self, I went on a Google hunt for a non-GMO organically grown wheat. It was out there somewhere. Some socially responsible farmer was on the band wagon I was hopping on, and he was gonna get me to the wheat promise land. I found him and his name is Don. He organically grows heritage wheat in upstate NY and has it locally micro milled. I tried it and have no reaction to it. A true whole food. When I bake, I use it and have had great results.
I’ll keep you updated on my journey and share some recipes I come up with along the way. I have some good recipes up my sleeve.
Here’s the first recipe: Pumpkin Pancakes. These are a wonderful weekend treat and because pumpkin is low fat, making it pretty healthy. The texture is nice, and cake-like.
Gluten and Dairy Free Pumpkin Pancake Recipe
- 1 1/4 cup gluten free flour (I used King Arthur)
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder (make sure it’s gluten free)
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp each of ginger and salt
- 1/8 tsp each nutmeg and cloves
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree (if you use solid packed, it will produce a denser pancake)
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- Whisk the dry ingredients in a large bowl, then combine the wet ingredients in a smaller bowl.
- Add the wet ingredients into larger bowl of dry ingredients. The batter will be thick.
- Heat a skillet and add some oil or butter if you prefer. Pour a 1/4 cup for each pancake. When you see bubbles appear on the top of the batter flip the pancake. You might have to cook these a hair longer than regular pancakes because they are so thick.
- Check a few until you get a feel for when they are fully cooked. Serve with your favorite maple syrup!