Category Archives: Baking

SRC: Baking and Creating with Avril’s Zucchini Cornbread

Baking and Creating with Avril Zucchini Cornbread-3For November’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Avril of Baking and Creating with Avril. Avril is a pro-star baker, with tons of delicious recipes like this Hummingbird Bundt Cake, these Apple Crumble Muffins, and even a cake with Cauliflower in it!

With the help of Mr. Bean, I ended up choosing to make her zucchini cornbread as we didn’t want something that was sugar-tastic and it was definitely delicious!

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As expected, I did make a few changes: I made it gluten free, dairy free by substituting almond milk for the buttermilk and olive oil & more almond milk for the melted and cooled butter. I also reduced the sugar to 1/4 c. and used salt to help dehydrate the zucchini  instead of sugar.) Even with the modifications, it had an excellent texture, had a good amount of sweetness and was nice and moist.

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Gluten, Dairy and Soy Free Zucchini Cornbread

1/3 c. each of brown rice, millet and sorghum flours (or 1 c. of any GF flour – if you can have gluten, use 1 1/2 c. flour and omit the xathan gum)
1/2 c. tapioca starch
1 tsp. xathan gum
3/4 c. cornmeal1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt + 1 tsp salt
1 medium zucchini
1/3 c. olive oil
2/3 c. almond milk (or other dairy free milk)
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
2 eggs

  1. Half an hour before you want to make your cornbread, grate the zucchini, sprinkle it with 1 tsp salt and place in a dish towl lined strainer or seive. After 1/2 hour (or more), squeeze out excess water from zucchini. Set aside.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350F and grease a 9 x 5″ pan. (I used a 6″ cast iron skillet & 4 out of 6 large muffin tins.) If your pan(s) are metal, place in the oven while it’s preheating)
  3. In a measuring cup, mix together the almond milk and the apple cider vinegar. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, xathan gum, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, 1/2 tsp. salt and sugar.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil, milk mixture and eggs. Mix in the grated grated zucchini.
  6. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix with a spatula until all the flour is incorporated. Add more almond milk if required.
  7. Remove the pan from the oven (careful, it’s hot!) and pour the batter into it.
  8. Return to the oven and bake for ~18 min (for muffins), ~30 – 35 min (for 6″ cast iron skillet) or ~50 minutes (for the loaf pan) or until a toothpick inserted comes out dry.
  9. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
  10. Enjoy!

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Please check out the rest of Group D’s recipes by clicking below!

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SRC: Troyer’s Loving Life’s Fruit Crisp and Refreshing Strawberry Watermelon Drink

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For August’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Kirsten of Troyer’s Loving Life. Kirsten is a stay at home mom who lives in Washington State with her husband and two daughters. She shares stories, moments and recipes from her life and journey as a daughter of the Most High King.

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She has tons of delicious recipes – even including some gluten free ones! The following recipes caught my eye – creamy avocado dressing, Vegan peanut butter cups, Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps and Fusilli with Sausage, Zucchini and Cheese. When I was on holidays, we needed to bring a dessert to a dinner party, so I made a variation of Pioneer Woman’s Peach Crisp and it was a success! I was also feeling really ambitious, so on a hot day I made her Strawberry Watermelon Drink, which was super refreshing!

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I did make a few modifications to the crisp to make it more “me friendly:” made it gluten and dairy free, didn’t add the maple cream sauce (although I’m sure that would be absolutely heavenly), reduced the sugar and used the fruit I had on hand. We served it with coconut ice cream and it was delicious! Definitely a keeper!

 

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Gluten Free Vegan Peach Blackberry and Blueberry Crisp

3/4 c. Gluten free flour blend (I used Bob Red Mill)
1/4 c. almond meal (could use more flour)
1/4 c. gluten free oats
1/2 c. dairy free margarine (or other fat – coconut oil would probably work as well)
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
Dash of Allspice or Nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
Juice and Zest of half a lemon
2 tbsp. maple syrup
5 – 6 c. of fruit (I sort of eye-balled it and used two sliced peaches, ~2 c. of fresh blueberries and ~3 c. of fresh blackberries. I didn’t skin my peaches, but if you want to, Kirsten has really good directions with her recipe.)

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, almond meal, oats, sugar, cinnamon, allspice and Salt.
  3. Cut in margarine using a fork or a pastry blender (or go really old school and use your fingers, like me) until it is a moist, coarse meal.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together fruit, lemon zest and maple syrup. Pour into a 8 x 8″ pan. (I also put some into muffin cups so that I would have some available to take photos of in case nothing was left over after the dinner party.)
  5. Sprinkle topping over fruit and press down lightly.
  6. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes.
  7. Remove foil and bake for another 30 – 45 minutes until the topping is golden brown and the fruit is bubbly. (The muffin tins took about 35 minutes total)
  8. Let cool slightly before serving warm with the maple cream sauce or ice cream.
  9. Enjoy!

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Strawberry Watermelon Drink

Strawberries (I used less than 1/2 a pint)
Watermelon (3 – 4 2″ frozen chunks)
Fresh Basil Leaves (I used 2)Ice (if not using frozen watermelon)
Vodka or other hard liquor (optional)

  1. Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Add additional basil/ice if desired.
  2. Enjoy on a hot day!

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Please check out the rest of Group D’s recipes by clicking below!

 

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SRC: Life on Food’s Peach and Blueberry Buckle

Life on Food Peach and Blueberry Buckle-3For July’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Emily of Life on Food. Emily moved around the States a lot growing up, she even spent a semester in Paris (lucky!) and now spends her time looking at buildings (slightly jealous – part of me has always wanted to do things related to architecture). She love cooking from scratch and experiencing life with her Husband, who loves to help her. Lucky girl! :)

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I had a bag of peaches that I bought at the farmer’s market this week that I needed to use up. I looked at Emily’s delicious peach recipes: Peach Mango Lassi, Peach and Blackberry Crisp, and Peach and Blueberry Buckle. In the end, I chose the buckle as it looked amazing and is the easiest to send along with Mr. Bean to work.

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I made a few changes, like making it gluten free and using less sugar. I meant to make it vegan, but I couldn’t find coconut yoghurt at the store and didn’t have time to go to the health food store, so I said “what the heck” and used goat yoghurt and an egg. I used some almond flour to add some protein to offset some of the sugar, so it totally makes this a legit breakfast. :)

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Gluten and Refined Sugar Free Peach Blueberry Buckle (with Vegan Option)

1/2 c. tapioca starch
1/4 c. potato starch
1/3 c. each almond, rice and millet flour
1 tsp. xanthan gum
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. dairy free margarine
1/2 c. coconut palm sugar (heaping)
1 egg or egg replacer
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/2 c. yoghurt (I used goat, for vegan use coconut)
4 peaches, cut into 8 slices
1 pint of blueberries
1/2 c. sliced almonds

  1. Preheat oven and line an 8 x 8″ pan with parchment paper
  2. Whisk together all the flours, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer, beat the margarine and sugar together until fluffy (2 – 3 min). Add the egg, vanilla and apple cider vinegar and beat until combined.
  4. With the mixer on low, add half the flour, then the yoghurt and the remainder of flour, mixing well between additions.
  5. Fold in the sliced peaches and blueberries. Scrape into your prepared pan and smooth out.
  6. Sprinkle the sliced almond over the batter.
  7. Bake for 50 – 60 minutes, or until multiple toothpicks come out clean.
  8. Cool slightly before serving.
  9. Enjoy with or without (coconut) ice cream!

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Please check out Group D’s recipes below!

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SRC: Spiffy Cookie’s Peanut Butter Apple Bars

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For May’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Erin of The Spiffy Cookie! She literally has the cutest little cookie figure¬† – especially the one that has its eyes closed! Erin is definitely a smart cookie – she has a PhD in Microbiology! Plus, she thinks chocolate and peanut butter is the best combination ever! Spiffy Cookie Apple Peanut Bars-1

She even has a whole list of gluten free recipes! I’m happy to know that I’m not the only person who struggles to get up more than 30 minutes before I need to get out the door! She has so many delicious looking recipes like these Avocado Brownies, Raspberry Mango Margarita Pie, Banana Foster Muffins and these Cinnamon Apple Quinoa Parfaits.

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In the end, I chose her Peanut Butter Apple Raisin Bars. I made them gluten free, vegan and reduced the sugar in half. Even then, I found them to be quite sweet, although the glaze is good as it adds extra moisture.

They were delicious! The best part were the apples, especially since they got drenched in the glaze. Yum! I sent them along with Mr. Bean to work and his coworkers loved them! They didn’t last very long!

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Gluten Free Vegan Peanut Butter Apple Raisin Bars

Bars Ingredients

1/2 c. each brown rice, sorghum and millet flours *(if you don’t have one of these flours, just use more of what you have)
1/2 c. each tapioca and potato starch
1 1/4 tsp. xathan gum
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp raisins, finely diced
1/2 c. dairy free margarine (use soy free buttery spread to make soy free)
1 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. peanut butter (I used Adams all natural crunchy)
2 eggs or egg replacers (1 tbsp. powder + 1/4 c. almond or other dairy free milk)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1+ c. finely diced apples
Almond Milk (I used 4 tbsp as my peanut butter was really quite hard

Glaze Ingredients

2 tbsp. peanut butter
2 tbsp. almond milk (my peanut butter was fairly hard, so I added an extra tablespoon of milk)
1 c. sifted icing sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

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  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Line a 13″ x 9″ pan with parchment paper (I used a 15″ x 10″ cookie sheet).
  3. In a small sauce pan, melt maragarine and sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly until smooth. Remove from heat and add the peanut butter, stirring until smooth. Set aside to cool.
  4. Shift the flours and whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Stir in the diced raisins. Set aside.
  5. Add eggs one at a time to the peanut butter mixture, stirring until combined. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  6. Pour peanut butter mixture into the dry ingredients, add the apples and stir until combined. Add extra milk if necessary to make the batter more easily spreadable.
  7. Transfer batter onto prepared pan and spread the batter into the corners.
  8. Bake in oven for ~20 min for a 15″ x 10″ cookie sheet or ~30min for a 13″ x 9″ pan. The bars should be slightly golden on top and edges are slightly brown.
  9. Remove and place on a rack to cook.
  10. As the bars cool, prepare the the glaze by whisking together the icing sugar, peanut butter, almond milk and vanilla extract. Add more milk/sugar to get it to the correct consistency  for drizzling.
  11. Drizzle the glaze over the bars and cut into squares.
  12. Enjoy!

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Please check out the rest of Group D’s recipes by clicking the link below!

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SRC: Couscous & Consciousness’ Double Chocolate Raspberry Brownies

CCouscous & consciousness Raspberry Brownies-5For April’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Sue from Couscous & Consciousness. Sue is a Kiwi who loves yoga, food and conscious eating. When I first opened her blog, I was greeted with load of beautiful photos of beautiful food. Yum! Foods like her Roasted Cauliflower and Almond Salad and her Fried Zucchini, Pea and Quinoa Salad , Asparagus, Artichokes, Argulua, Pomegranate and Beet Salad, and Apricot, White Chocolate and Cashew Nut Slice. (Apparently I was mostly on a salad kick when I was looking initially.)

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I ended up choosing her Double Chocolate Raspberry Brownies at Mr Bean’s Request as he needed to bring a “not-cake” to the birthday celebration at his work. Brownies have never really been my “thing” and I’ve made them maybe once before – I guess it’s not that surprising given that we weren’t a “chocolate” family, but I was surprised at how easy they were! You essentially mix things together in two separate bowls, mix the bowls together, add the mix-ins, pour it into the pan and into the oven it goes.

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I made a few adjustments – I reduced the sugar to 1 lightly packed cup, made it gluten free and used chocolate chips instead of chopped chocolate as that’s what the store had (Although, I would recommend that you use chopping white chocolate as the majority of the chips melted.) You can also easily make this recipe dairy and soy free by using a dairy free/soy free chocolate for both the white and dark chocolate.

I also made the brownies in a 8 x 8″ pan as I don’t own a 8 x 12″ one, which meant that it was more of a brownie cake than brownie squares and the cooking time was much longer as a result. I think even a 9 x 13″ pan would work and the cooking time would be much shorter as a result.

These brownies are moist, not super dense and very chocolate-y. I’m sure Mr. Bean’s coworkers will love them and not be able to tell they are gluten free!

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Gluten Free Double Chocolate Raspberry Brownies

280 g butter (I used Earth Balance Soy-Free Buttery Spread)
250 g dark chocolate chips (The original recipe called for 200g chopped dark chocolate, but the store was out)1/3 c. each of brown rice, sorghum and tapioca flour
1/2 tsp. xathan gum
1 c. packed sugar
6 eggs
1 c. frozen raspberries
250 g white chocolate chips (Original recipe called for 200 g chopped white chocolate)

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line an 8 x 8″ pan with parchment paper.
  2. Melt butter over medium heat. Once it’s melted, remove from heat and stir in dark chocolate until it’s all melted. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, xathan gum and sugar. Add eggs and use the whisk to beat them slightly before using a spoon to mix it until smooth.
  4. Pour in the chocolate mixture and mix well. Fold in the raspberries and white chocolate.
  5. Pour batter into pan and bake in the oven for 60+ minutes (Start checking at around 45 min for doneness and rotate pan about half way through) or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Remove from oven and cool in tin. Cut into squares.
  7. Enjoy!

Sue, it was wonderful looking through your beautiful blog and I hope to try more of your recipes in the future!

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Please Check out the rest of Group D’s Recipes Below:

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