Mint Brownies

These brownies are rich and fudgey —  just the way I like them! In fact, I would consider them more a fudge-bar than a brownie. Sound good? Then whip these babies up! They’re simple to prepare. The accompaniment of mint, while not necessary, is the perfect addition. In order to get a really intense chocolate flavor, I added brewed coffee to the batter. There are several possible additions to these brownies. Walnuts, pecans or chocolate chips would be great here. As I sit and type this, I’m watching Iron Chef America, with an eye on the Vikings-Saints game as well. These brownies are the perfect, indulgent treat to round out an anti-Sunday-feeling kind of night! The best part about it is that, while indulgent, the use of high-fiber, high-protein garbanzo bean flour and coconut oil, which is heart-healthy, makes these brownies not quite so indulgent as they seem.

Gluten Free, Vegan Mint Brownies:

1 cup garbanzo bean flour

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

2/3 cup coconut oil

1 cup agave nectar

1/4 cup hot water

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons brewed coffee

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/3 1/2 cup (better mint-chocolate balance) fresh mint leaves, minced

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together garbanzo bean flour, cocoa powder and salt. Whisk in coconut oil, agave nectar, water, vanilla and coffee. Fold in applesauce and mint.

3. Pour batter into a greased, 9×9-inch baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Allow brownies to cool completely before cutting.

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Cran-Raspberry Tart

I love this recipe because it’s the perfect mix of tart and sweeet. I originally tried this recipe with blueberries, then with cherries, but ultimately, the tart mix of cranberry and sweet, unmistakable flavor of raspberry is the best combination. Add the earthy, spicy cinnamon in the crust, and you’re in tart heaven. I would also consider inverting the recipe and using the crust mixture as a topping in a cran-raspberry crisp. This would certainly be a less fussy way to use these ingredients. But alas, I am always partial to a pretty tart, which can oftentimes be deceptively quite simple to prepare.

If you like this recipe, try Elana‘s recipe for Tart and Tangy Cranberry Bars, which inspired this recipe.

Gluten Free Tart Crust:

2 cups raw walnuts

6 dates, pitted

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon agave nectar

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. In a food processor, using a sharp blade, puree ingredients for crust until crumbly and malleable, resembling the texture of wet sand.

3. Turn contents into a pre-greased tart pan. You can either use 4, 3-inch tart pans or 1 9-inch pan. Using fingers and the bottom of a measuring cup, press crust into bottom of pan and up sides until evenly distributed and smooth.

4. Using a fork, poke a few holes in the bottom of the crust. Bake tart crust in preheated oven — 12-15 minutes for smaller tarts and about 17 minutes if using a larger tart pan.  Watch carefully toward the end of baking to make sure the edges don’t burn. To prevent burning, you can wrap your edges in foil.

5. When crust is crisp around the edges, remove from heat and cool on a wire rack.

Cran-Raspberry Filling:

3 cups frozen cranberries

1 cup frozen raspberries

1/3 cup agave nectar

Directions:

1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine frozen berries and agave nectar and simmer, stirring occassionally, until bubbly and cranberries begin to pop, about 15 minutes. Reduce heat to low and continue to stir occassionally until filling mixture begins to thicken. Set aside to cool.

2. When filling has substantialy cooled, pour into pre-baked crust and chill in the refrigerator for another hour. Serve.

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Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon Bread

breadFor those who celebrate Christmas, I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. I’m back in Michigan, enjoying some quality family time in the midwest before heading back to the Big Apple to start off what will certainly be a busy year. I’m studying for, then taking, the New York Bar Exam, getting married, and will continue the process of looking for a job. Of course, I can’t neglect this blog, as it has been a theraupeutic challenge for me — one that has been a welcome diversion from some of my more stressful, perhaps less enjoyable, everyday tasks.

In between watching chick flicks with the fam (we took in The Proposal last night — a must-see for chick-flick enthusiasts like myself), sleeping in, and post-holiday shopping, I’ve managed to find some time to test out a few new recipes today. This apple cinnamon bread turned out to be a hit. This was much to the relief of my parents, who were quite the skeptics after two failed blueberry cinnamon bread attempts. The apple flavor comes through pretty assertively in this bread. The trifecta of apple juice, applesauce and sliced apple probably had a lot to do with that. Expect an old-fashioned flavor, a soft, moist center and a more crumbly, somewhat drier crust. It’s reminiscent of a coffee cake with a cinnamon crumble topping.

I’m hoping to post again before then, but just in case: Happy New Year everyone!

Gluten Free, Sugar Free Apple Cinnamon Bread:

1 1/2 cups sorghum flour

1/2 cup potato starch

1 teaspoon xanthan gum

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsweetened apple juice

1/4 cup grapeseed oil

1/4 cup hot water

2/3 cup agave nectar

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 medium-sized apple, peeled and sliced thin

2 tablespoons cinnamon

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. In a separate, smaller bowl, whisk together apple juice, grapeseed oil, agave and vanilla. Add wet to dry ingredients and stir to incorporate. Add applesauce and hot water and continue to stir until incorporated. Fold in sliced apples.

3. Pour batter into a greased 9x4x3-inch loaf pan. Sprinkle cinnamon on top and spread evenly with the back of a spoon or spatula (it’s ok if the topping mixes in with some of the batter underneath). Bake in preheated oven  for 50-55 minutes.

4. Cool in pan for 45 minutes. Carefully remove bread from loaf pan to cool completely on a wire rack.

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Gluten Free Cranberry Orange Scones

Due to the fact that I’m heading into the home stretch of two grueling weeks of finals (not to mention entering the home stretch of my last year of law school), the fatigue has set in in multiple ways. Namely, I’m feeling like I want to make this post short and sweet, since my poor hands are beginning to bear the brunt of ruthless race-against-the-clock exams. That said, the fact that I was able to make these scones after a craving for something sweet to go with my second pot of coffee of the day (o.k., I’m exaggerating…but only a little bit) is a testament to how simple these scones are to whip up. Because believe me, I would not be baking anything at this point that wasn’t easy. Plus, their sweet aroma is quite comforting as they bake in the oven, which I very much appreciated.

With the impending holidays, stress is understandably abundant for many this season — and not just those studying for exams! With another year of economic woes behind us, and a degree of uncertainty still ahead, it’s easy to become annoyed with having to deal with the everyday stresses that remain a constant in our lives. Sometimes the little things — a meal with family, a homemade gift from a friend — will remind us what’s really important this season, and always.

I hope you bake these scones and share them with someone you love. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did (but I know you will).

Yield: 8-10 scones

Gluten Free Cranberry Orange Scones:

1 2/3 cup sorghum flour

1/3 cup potato starch

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/3 cup Spectrum organic shortening

1/2 cup light coconut milk (shaken), plus more for brushing

1/2 cup agave nectar

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup fruit sweetened dried cranberries (if you can’t find them, you can substitute raisins)

1/2 cup fresh cranberries, halved

zest of one orange

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Add shortening and crumble into dry mixture with hands until small clumps form. Add coconut milk, agave and vanilla extract and stir until everything is incorporated. Add fresh and dried cranberries and orange zest and fold until evenly distributed.

3. Drop heaping 1/4 cup-sized drops onto a greased baking sheet. Brush tops with coconut milk. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until top is golden brown.

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Gluten Free Bran and Flax Pumpkin Muffins

Muffins have been getting a bad rap in recent years. One need only flip through a few fitness magazines to find some sort of article about the diet-sabotaging potential of just a single muffin. In New York, where calorie counts at fast food restaurants are now mandated by law, muffins rank among the most calorie ladden desserts. I was surpised to learn that a blueberry muffin at Dunkin Donuts had almost twice the calories of a cream-filled, gooey glazed doughnut. I knew muffins could be sneaky when it came to calories, but I didn’t know it had gotten that bad!

As someone who nearly survived on muffins for breakfast throughout college (breakfast wasn’t covered by my meal plan, nor was it served in my dorm), I object to the tarnishing of one of my favorite morning treats. Sure, some muffins out there may be the size of a small melon these days. And sure, many places selling these muffins throw in ingredients that most of us can’t even pronounce — not to mention several other ingredients most of us (food allergy sufferers, that is) can’t eat. But that shouldn’t mean that muffins lose all credibility when it comes to a sensible morning option. This recipe for gluten free, vegan and agave-sweetened muffins is ladden with fiber-boosting whole grains and flax to help fill you up in the morning. Yes, there’s fat in it — but only good fat (in the form of flax) and otherwise very little oil. Pumpkin is high in antioxidants, several key nutrients and zinc. And finally, cinnamon is said to regulate blood sugar and may even boost cognitive function and memory. Round them out with some soy milk or a shake for protein (have to do my due “protein-advocacy” diligence after years of — ahem — gentle coaxing by my mom to eat more of it) and these muffins will redeem your faith (if you had any to begin with) that muffins can have a place in a healthy diet.

Yield: 12-14 muffins

Bran and Flax Pumpkin Muffins:

1 cup sorghum flour

1/2 cup rice bran

1/2 cup potato starch

1/2 cup flax seed meal

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/4 cup grapeseed oil

3/4 cup agave nectar

3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or soy or rice)

1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin puree

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup hot water

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Whisk dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together agave and grapeseed oil. Add to dry ingredients. Add almond milk, pumpkin, vanilla and hot water to the mixture and whisk until incorporated (feel free to add nuts or raisins here as well). Fill muffin tins (greased, if not using baking cups) with batter until batter almost reaches the top of each cup.

2. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until muffins are golden brown. Let rest in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool.

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Cranberry, Walnut and Chocolate Morsels

What is it about fresh baked cookies and a glass of milk — or soy milk — that is so enticingly comforting? I’m willing to bet that no other smell quite matches that of fresh baked cookies in eliciting warm, nostalgic memories from children and adults alike. To tell you the truth, I don’t particularly remember my mom baking many cookies when I was younger. While my mom was a wonderful baker, pies seemed — and still seem — to be her real speciality. And yet, it’s when I bake cookies — not pie — that I think of home and my childhood. Maybe it’s because no matter how hard I try, I will never bake a pie that comes close to those my mom can make, and therefore no pie I make reminds me in any way of the ones I remember my mom baking when I was a kid. Whatever the reason, during my 1000+ attempts at making these cookies, I kept getting a comforting feeling as they baked in the oven, slowly filling my apartment with sweet, chocolately wafts of air.

But unlike the cookies you likely enjoyed as a kid, these gluten free, sugar free and vegan cookies have some redeemable qualities. First, you won’t experience the ever-so-familiar sugar rush — then crash — that can be associated with too much of a good (sugary) thing. Plus, the omega-packed walnuts and antioxidant-packed cranberries are actually good for you. If you don’t do sugar and can’t find fruit-sweetened cranberries in stores (I find them at Whole Foods and at my local health food store), try ordering them here, a source recommended by Elana of Elana’s Pantry. So go ahead, enjoy more than one of these wonderful, little chocolate morsels. Your body will thank you.

Yield: about 15 small cookies

For Glaze (optional): Make chocolate coating from this recipe. When baked cookies have cooled to room temperature, lay flat on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with chocolate sauce and chill until sauce has hardened. Serve chilled.

Gluten Free, Sugar Free Chocolate, Cranberry and Walnut Cookies:

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 cup sorghum flour

1/4 cup potato starch

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon Spectrum organic shortening

1/3 cup agave nectar

1/3 cup light coconut milk, shaken

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2/3 cup fruit sweetened dried cranberries

2/3 cup finely chopped walnuts

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together cocoa, sorghum flour, potato starch, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt.

3. In a larger bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together agave nectar, shortening and vanilla. Slowly add dry ingredients and whisk but do not beat (using a whisker instead of electric blades to avoid flour flying everywhere).

4. Whisk in coconut milk until incorporated. Fold in cranberries and walnuts. Batter should be more thin than a typical cookie batter.

5. Using a tablespoon for measuring, place rounded tablespoon-sized amounts of batter on a lightly greased cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart.

6. Bake cookies in preheated oven for about 15 minutes. Transfer cookies to a rack to cool.

Tip: These cookies are quite good — I’m tempted to say even better — frozen and eaten straight from the freezer. Something about the cold concentrates the flavors and yields a nice, crisp crunch. Make a double batch and freeze half for quick treat that you can enjoy anytime.

For a Chocolate-Free Version: Use garbanzo bean flour in place of the cocoa powder and increase the amount of potato starch to 1/3 cup.

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Gluten Free Coconut Cupcakes

Maybe it’s because I live in New York City, where seemingly every other storefront these days has sweet scents coming out of it, and a long glass window with rows of cupcakes beckoning passersby inside. Maybe it’s because I’m a girl, and we tend to like our sweets pre-portioned. Maybe it’s just that they’re fun to eat. Whatever the reason, I’ve been on a cupcake-making binge lately, and I can’t get enough. I’ve already made chocolate banana cupcakes with sour cream frosting, carob cupcakes, and carrot orange cupcakes, all with their own, distinct twist. It was time, I decided, for a simple, old-fashioned cupcake. This recipe fits the bill.

There’s another, more practical, reason behind my cupcake-making streak. I have recognized that while many visiting this blog share a common list of food don’ts — gluten, sugar, dairy, wheat — other, less common, sensitivities may be present in varying degress among this larger group of visitors. I needed a recipe for those intolerant of rice flour, a frosting for those who couldn’t eat corn. This cupcake fits that description. While coconut flour is one of the more expensive flours out there, a little also goes a long way. You can keep the rest in the refrigerator and add it to other flour mixtures for cakes and cookies — you can even use it to thicken other frosting recipes, as I’ve done here. The weird thing about coconut flour is that it seems to soak up a lot of the liquid in the recipe. Therefore, while the batter may seem somewhat more dry than other cupcake batters, the cupcakes will come out nice and moist when they are done.

Please Note: Cupcakes will harden slightly in refrigerator. I happen to like them this way, but to maintain the cupcakes’ lightness, store in an airtight container at room temperature and frost just prior to serving (frosting tends to melt if left at room temperature for more than a few hours).

Yield: about 10 cupcakes

Gluten Free Vegan Coconut Cupcakes:

1/2 cup sorghum flour

1/4 cup tapioca flour/starch

1/4 cup coconut flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup agave nectar

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/3 cup dry unsweetened shredded coconut for the top

Sugar Free Vegan Coconut Frosting:

3/4 cup regular coconut milk

2 teaspoons arrowroot

1/3 cup coconut oil

1/3 cup agave nectar

2 tablespoons coconut flour

1 teaspoon lemon zest

Directions:

1. To prepare frosting: in a small saucepan, whisk coconut milk and arrowroot over medium heat until it thickens and bubbles, about 3 mintues. Add to a blender with the rest of frosting ingredients and blend until smooth. Chill in refrigerator until thick, about 2 hours.

2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

3. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together coconut oil, agave nectar and coconut milk. Add to dry ingredients and fold with a spoon until incorporate. Fold in applesauce until incorporated into rest of batter.

4. Full muffin tin with cupcake liners. Using an ice cream scoop, fill baking cups with batter about halfway. Bake for 20 minutes, rotating pan halfway through so cupcakes cook evenly. Cupcakes will seem under-done when the come out but will harden as they cool. Let cool in pan for about 5 minutes. Then remove and let cool completely on a wire rack.

5. Top cupcakes with frosting and dip tops of cupcakes into shredded coconut until covered.

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Gluten-Free, Agave-Sweetened Chocolate Covered “Sugar” Cookies

Back when I was a junior in high school, my mom, grandpa and myself visited the University of Wisconsin as part of a small series of college tours. While I didn’t choose the school, I fell in love with Madison; it was charming and friendly. And at the end of our long, cold days taking in the small city, our warm, inviting bed and breakfast left a special treat that may have just solidified our love for Madison. Crisp — yet slightly soft — pepperminty sugar cookies, lightly dipped in a thin layer of chocolate, were piled high on a plate when we walked in the door. Devouring the cookies, my mom and I looked at each other knowingly. These were no ordinary cookies. They were pure bliss. We were smart enough to get the recipe. Years later, we would continue to bake the cookies — mostly reserving the slightly labor-intensive process for Valentine’s day, when we would make several batches and send them out to all of our loved ones.

I’ve gotten over many of the food losses I suffered when I received my allergy diagnosis: my mom’s famous plum dumplings, bagels and lox, even Georgia ruebens (a guilty sandwich pleasure in college). But it saddened me to know that I would no longer be able to enjoy those cookies, which somehow represented the memory of a trip that was equally unforgettable.

I’ve tried several times to recreate the recipe using agave nectar and gluten-free flours — 13 times, to be exact. Each version was similar, but also quite obviously a little off in at least one way. Nearly defeated, this was, I told myself, going to be the last version I tried before calling it quits. As it turns out, this version came closest to the original, though not quite exact. I’m not sure I will ever reproduce cookies that mimic the original, but the following recipe merits some praise for being a gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan cookie that still actually tastes like a cookie. And looks like a cookie. And smells like a cookie when it comes out of the oven. They’re delicious cooled with chocolate hardened over them (as pictured), or warm just out of the oven. They will be really soft and flimsy immediately after being removed from the oven, but if you let them sit for a few minutes on the baking sheet before removing to a rack, they will harden as they cool and remain intact. In the spirit of Halloween, I decided to substitute grated orange zest for the peppermint extract called for in the original (the cookies don’t exactly come out orange and black — but the idea stuck). You can use peppermint if you wish, or try experimenting with any number of other flavors. The chocolate dip would also be a great sugar-free, natural option for chocolate-covered strawberries.

Please Note: If you opt to do without the chocolate, keep cookies at room temperature and store in an airtight container. The soft chocolate layer is a nice contrast to the crisp cookie underneath, but without the chocolate, the texture would be much better if left unrefrigerated.

Yield: about 30, depending on size

Chocolate Covered “Sugar” Cookies:

1 cup garbanzo bean flour

1 1/2 cups Bob’s Red Mill brown rice flour (very important to use this brand)

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

3/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

zest of one orange

3/4 cup virgin coconut oil (liquify by letting jar sit in a bowl of warm water)

2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon agave nectar

Chocolate Dip:

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/3 cup agave nectar

1/3 cup virgin coconut oil

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375.

2. In a large bowl, whisk flours, xanthan gum and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk vanilla, orange zest, coconut oil and agave. Add wet to dry ingredients and fold batter until incorporated. Chill batter in refrigerator for 10 minutes, or until workable.

3. Using your hand, roll tablespoon-sized amounts of batter into balls and place on baking sheet. Leave space between each cookie. Using the side of your hand, press down on dough and form into round, 1/4-inch high, 2 inch-round cookies (this should be fairly easy using the inside part of your hand).

4. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through. Cookies should be golden brown on the outside when done. Let sit on baking sheet for a few minutes, then gently transfer to a cooling rack. Cool completely.

5. Meanwhile, prepare chocolate sauce. Over a double boiler (I just used a glass bowl over a small saucepan filled with 1/2 cup water), melt together ingredients for dip. Whisk for about a minute until shiny and smooth. Remove from heat. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes before dunking cookies. Dip cookies halfway, then let set on wax paper in the refrigerator. Refrigerate at least three hours.

6. Serve cookies cooled — should not be left out too long or chocolate will melt.

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Gluten Free Banana Nut Bread

I am so happy to finally share this recipe with everyone. I made six versions of this bread. Each was good, but there was always something that needed tweaking. Pinning down the perfect recipe is sort of like working on a puzzle. Inserting the final piece — or finally slicing the perfect piece, in this case — is always as satisfying as the completion of any other seemingly insurmountable task. But there is one thing that I absolutely hate about having to bake over and over again: dishes. I am not one of those people who finds therapeutic solace in doing dishes. And frankly, I don’t believe those people who claim they do. So I was very happy knowing I would no longer being cleaning up after any more messy, havouc-wreaking baking attempts…for now. I know there will be several other trial and error sessions in my future. Today, however, I’m enjoying my banana bread and my clean kitchen. No more baking.

My experimentation did lead me to uncover some very interesting secrets to a moist and flavorful bread: 1) Mashed silken tofu will yeild a very nice texture, and 2) a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar will elevate the banana flavor.

On a final note, I tried using both Arrowhead Mills and Bob’s Red Mill Brown rice flour in this recipe, since I was curious as to whether the difference would affect to the results. The first loaf was made using all Bob’s Red Mill brown rice flour and no white rice. The texture was very nice. But when I used all Arrowhead Mills brown rice flour, it had hints of the signature grittiness people associate with gluten free baking. So, that’s not good. Therefore, in the interest of creating a uniformly good bread, the recipe calls for part brown rice and part white rice flour, which will work no matter what brand you use. However, if you are using Bob’s Red Mill, feel free to use all brown rice flour in the recipe.

Because this bread is made with tofu, it should be kept in the refrigerator. It should keep for several days.

Gluten Free Vegan Banana Bread:

3/4 cup white rice flour

3/4 cup brown rice flour

1/4 cup tapioca flour (starch) or potato starch

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

2/3 cup agave nectar

1/3 cup canola or grapeseed oil

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 1/4 cup mashed ripe bananas

3/4 cup mashed silked tofu

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon hot water

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together agave, oil, and cider vinegar. Add to dry ingredients and whisk to incorporate. Fold in banana and silken tofu. Finally, add hot water and slowly whisk batter until absorbed.

3. Pour batter into a greased, 7x4x3 – inch loaf pan. Bake for 60 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. You may have to cover with foil about 40 minutes into baking so that the bread will cook through without the crust becoming too brown. Cool in the pan, on a wire rack, for 25 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely on wire rack.

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Gluten Free Apple Cranberry Cake

This cake is a quick and easy one-bowl-and-you’re-done operation. I adapted it from the apple cake recipe in the Joy of Cooking, which, for all intents and purposes, is my bible (the book, not the recipe). I’ve been known to bring it to bed with me to read on more than one occasion. You’ll love the smell coming from your oven as this cake bakes. In all, this gluten-free, sugar-free and dairy-free cake makes the perfect dessert for a cool fall evening. Add chopped walnuts for some extra flavor and crunch if you wish. In an effort to incorporate more gluten free flours into my baking, I made this bread using sorghum flour, which is high-protein and high-fiber and reminiscent of whole wheat. That is, if you remember wheat well enough to reminisce. I’m not sure I still do…

For a twist: try this cake topped with orange vanilla frosting from the recipe for carrot orange cupcakes. Of course, it’s very good as-is, with no frosting or sauce at all.

Gluten Free Apple Cranberry Cake:

1 1/2 cups sorghum flour

1/4 cup tapioca flour

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup agave nectar

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light coconut milk

1/3 cup grapeseed oil

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup apple, peeled and chopped

1/2 cup frozen cranberries

 Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Add agave, coconut milk, oil and vanilla and whisk until batter is smooth. Fold in apple, cranberries and walnuts (if desired). Pour batter into a greased, 8-inch square baking dish.

3. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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