Pumpkin Bread Recipe (Gluten-Free!)

Pumpkin Bread Recipe (Gluten-Free!)

Gluten-free pumpkin bread: my autumn go-to treat.

It’s yummy exactly as is or turned dessert-like with dark chocolate chips (I use Pascha 85% chocolate chips) and/or walnut or pecans.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, grease an 8×10 pan, and let’s get baking!

Combine:

1 cup canned pumpkin

1/2 cup olive oil

1 cup date or maple sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 eggs

1/3-1/2 cup apple cider

Add:

1 1/2 cups gluten free flour blend (I use Namaste) or regular flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon each allspice, ginger, clove

Bake for about 30 minutes.

Enjoy!

The Best Grain Free Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever!

The Best Grain Free Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever!

I know I’ve mentioned this to you before:

Some people meditate, I bake.

When I need to slow down, calm down, and organize my thoughts, I pull out the cookbooks and measuring cups.

I love tasting my way through a recipe: oh, this is the taste of sugar and eggs. And then you add the creamed butter and it smooths over your tongue. Yuuuuummmmm….

(Truthfully? I will always choose licking spoons over eating the actual cookies.)

My first big baking challenge was 20 years ago when I suddenly had to figure out how to create breads and pastries with no wheat flour. And I’m currently in the midst of my second big baking challenge!

My husband announced last month that he wanted to try eating grain-free for a while.

Grain-free, you say?

Hmmm….

And I got to work!

I’ve been keeping track of the yummiest of the recipes and I’ll be getting them up on the website for you.

But let’s start with the one I didn’t think I’d be able to pull off. Let’s start with grain-free chocolate chip cookies!

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 c. coconut flour
  • 3/4 c. buckwheat flour *
  • 3/4 c. almond meal
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1/2 tsp. mineral or sea salt
  • 3/4 c. date sugar
  • 1/2 c. maple syrup
  • 1/2 c. walnut oil **
  • 1/2 c. olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla
  • bag of chocolate chips (I like the uber dark 85% chocolate ones)
  • nuts of choice (my husband chooses none, so that’s what I go with)

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Mix coconut flour, buckwheat flour, almond meal, baking soda, salt and xanthan gum together and set aside.
  • Whisk together oils and eggs. When emulsified, add sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla.
  • Mix dry and wet ingredients together.
  • Use a teaspoon and your fingers to make little mounds on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  • Bake 10-12 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

No kidding, these are amazingly good! I was shocked when I took my first bite.

I like them hot from the oven, Andrew likes them cool. Let me know how you like them in the comments below!

Oh and the stars:

* Buckwheat is not a grain. It’s a fruit! I know, weird, right? Also the flour doesn’t have the musty smell that whole groats seem to have. I don’t love whole groats but I find that the flour adds dimension to my baking.

** The walnut oil… I bought it for Thanksgiving and still have some left. And the flavors work perfectly for this. If you have walnut oil leftover from some fancy meal you made, go ahead and use it (it will go rancid if it sits around forever) but if you don’t, simply use all olive oil.

Okay, loves, I’m back to the kitchen to perfect a scone recipe!

Hugs–

maiasig1

 

Finding Infinity at P.F. Chang’s

Finding Infinity at P.F. Chang’s

I’m in the Atlanta airport catching a quick bite at P.F. Chang’s between flights.

(As an aside, Chang’s has pretty good gluten-free junk food.)

Chang’s is dimly lit especially after the terminal’s fluorescent glow. And the bar is hopping. It feels like I’ve stepped into some weird quantum infinity and that I might see Hans Solo and Chewbacca sharing lettuce wraps in the far corner.

But weirder than that: everyone seems to know each other.

People are drinking and chatting like it’s the neighborhood pub. I start to wonder if maybe they do know each other, if I’ve walked into the clubhouse of an American subculture: the business traveler.

Or perhaps traveling, being between flights and in-limbo, erases the hard edges of our identity and we’re able to merge into something else, to be someone else, in this interstitial space.

In the anonymity of this airport bar it would be easy to do a James Bond: step into the bathroom, change my hair-do, my shirt, and my attitude, then walk into the rest of my life subtly altered not quite who I was before I ducked into the stall.

The author E.M. Forster, talks about railroad stations as portals to infinity. Here in the Hartsfield International Airport I’m hearing that sentence as a call to find our own infinity, our own complexity, and the myriad of story-lines we can choose to inhabit as we step forward into our lives.

The Hartsfield International P.F. Chang’s has become a nexus from which many roads lead out and I’m sitting at the crossroads of an infinity of options.

In folklore in-between spaces– both liminal places and times of day (like sunrise and sunset)– are the where and the when that lead to a different existence.

We forget the sheer number of in-between spaces available to us: sunrise and a sunset each day, the myriad of doorways within our homes, edges of land and sea or forest and meadow…. All of these in-betweens ask us who we want to be as we step through to the other side.

We wake up each morning and have the opportunity to step onto a path just adjacent to the one we trod upon yesterday and when we choose this a whole new reality (and a new normal) can bloom in front of us.

It would be easy to end this post here. To wrap this up neat and tidy and send you off to find your best you.

But for most of you this is where reality kicks in. This is where you say “But I have kids and a job and responsibilities. I don’t get to simply step into another reality.”

By using your kids or your husband or your job as your “yeah, but” you are in essence saying that you would not choose these things if you felt that you actually had a choice.

For many of you that simply isn’t true. You may want a day to yourself (or a month on BoraBora surrounded by people who don’t know your name or have access to your cell phone number and facebook page) but you probably don’t want that day to extend into the rest of your life.

So when you wake up in the morning in the liminal space between sleep and waking, in a rare moment free of responsibilities, ask yourself this:

Which responsibilities do you choose to pick-up again? Who will you love today? What will be important to you in the day to come? What are you willing to fight for?

Do you choose to be a mom (again, today, not merely in the moment of seeing a little blue line on a pregnancy test), do you choose to be a wife (today, not back when you said “I do.”)?

If these are your choices, own them.

Instead of telling the story of being stuck and tied down, tell the dawn that you choose this, that you picked up this responsibility today because it matters to your heart or your head or your spirit.

Airport pubs might remind us of the nature of infinity but, like any crossroads, they’re a place to move through not a place to stay.

As I slip into the rest room to put on some lip gloss, I smile at myself. I consciously choose to be happy about my weird lay over and then choose to get on my next flight home to Asheville.

Every choice we make eliminates some other choice. It’s the choosing, not the infinity, that makes a life.

Ready to live out loud? Use the comments section below to tell me what you choose today.

Hugs-

maiasig-sm

 

 

 

P.S. I can get a little zoned out in these in-between spaces. Sniffing some rosemary and/or peppermint essential oil brings me back to center and grounds me in my body.

Three Great Tips to Stay Gluten-free When You Travel

Three Great Tips to Stay Gluten-free When You Travel

Summer is a big time for travel, so I asked my fabulous friend Janelle Holden, who is a gluten-free coach, to share some tips for being gluten-free on the go in this guest post. Next week, I will send some herbal travel tips and you will be set for the summer! -Love, Maia

A few years ago, when I was new to the whole gluten-free world, I was sitting in the Denver airport, doing what I call my “despairering.”

I was hungry. I couldn’t find anything to eat that was gluten-free. And I was watching the woman sitting next to me stuff her face with pizza.

Not that there is anything wrong with that …

It was just … too much. I felt like crying and was battling my own internal temper tantrum that airports aren’t more user-friendly for people like me. It was a whole … thing.

And at that moment I vowed to make travel different. I vowed that I would learn how to take care of myself, no matter where I went. I promised myself that I wouldn’t have to stay home just to eat well. And that I would do my best, that’s all.

Since then, I have learned how to feel good while traveling, and have coached many clients through trips to mother-in-law’s houses, business trips, international destinations (like Italy), car camping, and cross-the-country family vacations.

So, since summer is upon us, and that means traveling near and far for many people, I thought I’d share with you the top 3 mistakes I see people make when they travel and what to do instead.

Mistake #1: Not bringing food with you. When you’re hungry, you will make “riskier” choices to satisfy your body’s need for fuel and that means that you have a greater chance of getting sick. Or … you’ll starve yourself and then compensate by overeating. Whether it’s a quick trip to the grocery store or an airplane flight to Timbuktu, you need to have food on your person if you’re gluten-free.

Mistake #2: Not asking for what you need. You are not a burden. You are a person. It’s okay to have needs. It’s okay to ask people to help you. It’s okay for them to say no. It’s okay for them to say yes. If you go to a restaurant and don’t tell them you have dietary restrictions, how can they help you? If you don’t tell your friend what it is that you can or cannot eat then how will she know what to cook you for breakfast when you’re visiting? Let people help you. Ask for what you need.

Mistake #3: Not planning ahead. It takes a really good plan and some thought to travel with food sensitivities. Without a plan you will find yourself reacting to the situation, worrying about what you’ll eat, and probably hungry or sick. A good travel plan includes what you will eat when you get there, where you will eat out, a list of grocery stores that are near your destination, carrying a cross-contamination kitchen kit, medications you’ll take if you get sick, and a host of other necessities. It does take work, but it can be done.

j-holdenJanelle Holden works exclusively with people with celiac disease and food sensitivities to help them transition to a gluten-free diet, travel, be social, and love what they eat.