Friday, May 18, 2012

Quick Gluten Free Muffins

I have to say, figuring out how to make a decent gluten free muffin has been an ongoing challenge. Throw in the factor of not being able to use eggs or dairy-based milk and this makes it even harder. But, is this the end of the world? Absolutely not! Our family has adapted, I have learned that not every muffin will be store-brand beautiful or perfect all of the time and I realized that sometimes, my oven likes to play tricks on me and cause such mishaps as boiling brownies. (That was not fun to clean up at all).

I will admit that cooking with food allergies is a constant puzzle. It's a good puzzle. We are blessed enough to live in a world where foods options are changing, new sources are found and companies continue to provide some new staples that we can utilize to make our lives a little easier than before. I will also admit that although I consult many people on what to cook and how, I find myself taking shortcuts to be able to accommodate our schedule. I have guilt about not being able to make every single food item from scratch but I have learned that this is still ok. We are still healthier than we were 2 years ago, 5 years and each year brings better foods. I rationalize that the shortcuts that I take are still healthier than the shortcuts that I used to take before I began this never-ending journey. I learned to just breath and do whatever I can do each day and that's all.

This is a recipe that I came up with for my son. Because he is fine with cooked cheese, we use dairy-based cheese but I am sure a non-dairy cheese would be fine as well.

Corn Muffins with Sausage & Cheese
1 Cup crumbled, cooked sausage (or more, depending on your desire)
Baking spray
3/4 Cup organic cornmeal
1 Cup rice flour
3 Teaspoons Hain's Gluten Free baking powder
1/2 Teaspoon sea salt
1 Cup water
1/2 Cup vanilla rice milk (or other milk)
Ener-G powdered egg replacer
1/2 Cup pureed zucchini squash (washed)
1/2 Teaspoon chives
1/2 Cup shredded cheese of your choice
3 Tablespoons pan drippings from the sausage

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a muffin pan with baking spray (mini muffins work the best).

In a medium bowl, combine the cornmeal, rice flour, baking powder and salt together. Add the water, milk, egg replacer and chives. Mix until blended. Add shredded cheese and sausage with drippings. If the mixture seems too watery, add a bit more cornmeal.

Spoon into the muffin tins filling only half way (if you fill it too much, they will spill over during cooking). Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, approximately 20-30 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge or freeze. To reheat, it's best to pop them into the toaster oven until warm.

Saturday has always been biscuit day at our house. It has been hard to change from those fluffy Bisquick biscuits to the gluten free version but I tweaked the recipe and I (think) it's being accepted.

Gluten Free Bisquick Biscuits
2-3 Tablespoons Spectrum All Vegetable Shortening
2 Cups Gluten Free Bisquick
Milk of your choice
Baking spray
*Optional- add-ins such as fruits or spices to make different varieties

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray a muffin tin with baking spray. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mash up the shortening so that it will be easier to combine with the ingredients. Add the Bisquick and milk. Start with a small amount of milk and gradually add a bit until the consistency is still thicker but not unmixable.

If you are adding in fruit, add it into the mixture and combine gently. Pour into the muffin tin and bake until a toothpick comes out clean. You may also want to top with a mixture of confectioners sugar and juice or milk.

If you are making a flavor using spices (such as cinnamon and sugar) add in approximately 1-2 tablespoons, then sprinkle an additional small amount on top of the muffin once it's in the pan. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean.

Leftovers are tricky as these do not stay fresh too long. I have found that keeping them on a plate and covering them with plastic wrap helps to keep them from getting stale for a day or two. I recommend reheating tham as well.

Mom Tip- Let you children help you cook.  Make a mess and just enjoy their company because one day, they won't be there to make a mess with you.

- Tracy

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