Homemade hummus, if you please!

Monica says:

Hello friends! I’ve missed you!

You know how life gets in the way when you are planning things? Well, yes, that’s what happened to me over these past few months.

It’s been forever since my last post and I truly apologize. I hadn’t been feeling well and it turns out that I have thyroid issues. And it all makes sense to me now!

Health aside, my blogging partner, Daria, has started a new career teaching pastry arts full time and we are overjoyed for her! In addition, she launched her gluten-free baking business Batter. A Gluten Free Baking Co, LLC, and she’s been super busy selling her delightful gluten free goodies every Saturday in Hershey at the Farmers’ Market on Chocolate. Her dad and I are in awe of her talent and stamina!

Check out Daria’s business Facebook page @ https://www.facebook.com/Batter-A-Gluten-Free-Baking-Co-1739749562921022/?fref=ts

So today, I am going to keep it simple, okay?

My diet has gone almost 100% organic and luckily for me, Daria, has an organic veggie garden. Every time I see her she fills my arms and cooler with lots of wonderful veggies that help me cope with my aches and pains….she’s a great kid!

Since my refrigerator has housed 2 eggplants for a few days, I decided to make an eggplant hummus. I looked for a recipe that could guide me and I found one at epicurious.com.

They never fail me!

I looked it over and checked my pantry ingredients and I had everything except the chickpeas!

No problem….I had cannellini beans….it can be Italian eggplant hummus, right?

So I modified the recipe to fit my needs, as most people do, too!

It’s fun to make things your own!

 

Here is my version:

Ingredients:

2 medium sized organic eggplants

3 T olive oil (plus a little more)

1 can of cannellini beans, drained

2 T organic tahini paste (heaping)

1 ½ tsp of minced garlic

Bunch of fresh parsley

Dash of salt and pepper

 

 

How to:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

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Cut eggplants in half lengthwise. Make a crisscross pattern with a sharp knife, here and there, on the flesh.

Rub each cut side with a total of 1 1/2 tablespoons oil; sprinkle with salt.

Place eggplant on rimmed baking sheet, cut side down; bake until tender, about 1 hour.

 

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Cool and then scoop flesh (seeds and all) into food processor and discard eggplant skins.

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Add cannellini beans, remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, tahini, fresh parsley and garlic; puree until mixture is almost smooth.

Transfer to bowl; swirl some additional olive oil on top before serving and add extra parsley if desired.

Taste and season the hummus with additional salt and pepper if desired.

You can serve the hummus in individual bowls with Lundberg Gluten Free Rice Chips, as pictured here!

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So simple, so nutritious, and so delicious! (this is my new mantra!)

Enjoy!

© 2016, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk

 

 

 

 

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Happy Trail Mix Day!

Monica and Daria say:

What can you do with a bunch of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and chocolate (yes, most definitely, chocolate)?

You can make your own trail mix!

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We grabbed a variety of nuts that we always have on hand… ½ cup of each of walnuts, almonds, and pecans.

Then we added in ½ cup of pumpkin seeds, and ½ cup of sunflower seeds.

We LOVE dried cranberries so we put in ½ cup of those and topped it all off with ½ cup of Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips!

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What is easier and nutritious to boot?

It has a great combo of carbs and energy. Trail mix is THE snack for hiking, biking, and exploring!

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Trail mix is so versatile that your ingredients are only limited by your imagination! Some of our favorited additional ingredients include puffed rice cereal, M&Ms, pretzels, unsweetened coconut, or anything else that is trail mix worthy!

Just make sure that your ingredients are gluten-free, and you are set to go!

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And did you notice that our trail mix is in a collector Pyrex bowl? Just picked it up at our favorite antique shop, The Shop 2….check them out!

Have a great day…wherever your travels may take you!

Enjoy!

© 2015, Monica & Daria of glutenfreedoubletalk

Blend up some nutrition!

Monica says:

Smoothie recipes are everywhere! They are THE go-to breakfast or energizing snack in the afternoon!

If you have a blender, you can make virtually any smoothie!

Smoothies are quick and easy, help you get more fruits and veggies, and can sustain your energy for a longer time! And did I mention, FUN?

If I didn’t…FUN ranks right up there!

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I LOVE listening to the whir of my HealthMaster™ blender (Montel Williams Living Well series)….yes, we got sucked into the infomercial and resisted, however, when we saw it at our local Boscov’s, we purchased it (and are happy to say it has been great)!

Anyway, the blender itself comes with a Smoothies and Power Drinks recipe manual and additional titles for making soups & sauces, appetizers & dressings, and desserts & ice cream, as well as an eating plan.

I’ve collected quite a few recipes into a “Smoothies” file, and I downloaded the Smoothies for Migraines ebook onto my Kindle, along with a few other titles.

When I first started blending my smoothies, I followed the recipes to the T.

Now, not so much!

It all depends what’s in the refrigerator and on the countertop….these ingredients will become my smoothie for the day!

A favorite of mine that I make fairly often is a nut and fruit smoothie.

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This one was made with 1 cup of fresh blueberries, ¼ cup of natural peanut butter (no sugar added), 2 very ripe bananas, 2 T chia seeds, 2 cups of vanilla soy milk and 6 ice cubes.

The ripe bananas give this smoothie a sweet taste

and the blend of blueberries and peanut butter round it out!

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Delightful!

So if you haven’t become part of the smoothie craze, I would suggest that you join us!

Easy, nutritious, and fun!!

What could be better?

Enjoy!

© 2015, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk

A yummy snack in a flash!

Monica and Daria say:

If you’re like us, we love to snack.

And finding a decent snack, when you’re really hungry can sometimes be a problem…you want to make a good choice, but oh, those cookies look good, don’t they?

Well, the key is to keep your refrigerator and pantry stocked with healthy items (so those cookies don’t call your name!). Fresh veggies, fruits, nuts, healthy crackers, etc. are all good choices.

So, having two avocados on hand and some great healthy chips to boot, we were on our way!

We always have garlic on hand (fresh and the squeezable type) as well as fresh limes (and the squeezable type)….and of course, olive oil, too!

Time to make guacamole!

You simply pull out your Cuisinart blender or food processor (or use a fork) and pulse the avocadoes. After a few seconds, add 1 clove of fresh minced garlic (½ tsp of the squeezable), juice from ½ of a fresh lime (or a few squirts of the squeezable lime), some salt and pepper, and then a swirl of olive oil. If you need a little more oil, stop the processor and add a little more.  Again, if you need more salt and pepper, add it or if you want a little more lime, add that!

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It’s your guacamole….make your taste buds happy!

We like our guacamole simple, so that the avocado is the star! No need to add extra ingredients….this is a no-fuss, no-muss recipe!

And the best part is that this recipe took less than 5 minutes!

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Trader Joe’s is a great place to shop and we have been so fortunate to have a member of our family who travels the state of Pennsylvania and never forgets about our gluten-free lifestyle! He is our husband and father, Lewie….great guy, always on the lookout for things we can eat!  When you enter their store, you can ask an associate for a gluten-free listing of foods available. Here is a link to it if you want to look it over!

Quinoa & Black Bean Infused Tortilla Chips are a favorite item that we have tried at Trader Joe’s and everyone who eats them….well, let’s just say these chips disappear quickly!

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This guacamole goes well with healthy chips, carrots, celery, cucumber spears, or any other veggie you can dip with!

So stock up your fridge with healthy food, and healthy snacks will be ready when you are!

P.S. Next morning breakfast with leftover guacamole (wrap dish in plastic or place in sealed container)….fried egg with avocado on gluten-free toast!

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Yummy!

© 2014, Monica & Daria of glutenfreedoubletalk

A gadget that really works!

Monica and Daria say:

Cutting watermelon into equal pieces can be hard sometimes! How big of a knife do you really need?

Here’s an answer for you!

It’s called Melonslicer!

This handy device with easy grip handles ensures a perfect slice of watermelon every time….no kidding!

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It has stainless steel blades and can slice watermelons, pineapples, cantaloupes, and honeydews up to 11” in diameter. Its easy motion cuts and cores 12 slices every time!

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The only “problem” is….who gets that cool cylinder piece of watermelon in the middle???

 

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We purchased ours at WalMart in New Jersey for $19.99 and have used it all summer.

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So look for it at your local retailer and if you even get to use it once this weekend for your holiday barbeque….no worries….next year you will be so happy!

© 2014, Monica & Daria of glutenfreedoubletalk

My favorite fruit has its own holiday!

Monica (mom) says:

I can hardly contain myself!

It’s National Blueberry Muffin Day!

Oh blueberries….my favorite little fruit.

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I eat some every morning on my cereal or just a bowl full. Any way I can get them, I do. Full of antioxidants and just pure joy!

Do you think I love blueberries?

Researchers say that fresh blueberries are an excellent source of fiber, provide vitamin C and iron, as well as have antioxidant power. Findings show that these little powerhouses can protect against certain types of cancer and help with memory. Blueberries may also protect against urinary tract infections and intestinal upsets….just like their cousin the cranberry!

My favorite way to eat them is, of course, raw, but who can pass up a great blueberry muffin?

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After trying many, many recipes for blueberry muffins, we tweaked combinations of ingredients and this is what we came up with!

A lovely little muffin that gets its sweetness from the fresh blueberries! Yum!

 

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Blueberry Muffins

Dry Ingredients

1 cup brown rice flour

½ cup sweet rice flour

¼ almond meal

1 T baking powder

½ tsp salt

 

Wet Ingredients

1/4 cup butter (½ stick), softened

½ cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

¾ cup milk (we use Lactaid milk)

 

1 ¾ cups of fresh blueberries

1 T brown rice flour

 

Muffin Making Directions:

Preheat oven to 350˚. Place muffin (cupcake) papers into 12-cup muffin tin.

Whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl.  If using an electric mixer, this should take about 1 minute.

Add your egg and combine until smooth and thoroughly incorporated. About 1 minute, too!

Next add ½ of your dry ingredients and blend.

Add your milk and incorporate. Finally, add the last of the dry ingredients and blend again. You should have a yummy fluffy dough.

Take your fresh blueberries and coat them with the 1 T of brown rice flour in a small bowl.

Now add the berries to the dough mixture and fold them in. Be careful not to break too many of them!

Using an ice cream scooper, fill each muffin cup with dough about ¾ full.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until your muffins are golden brown and spring to the touch!

Once the muffins are baked to your liking, remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for several minutes. Then remove from pan and let cool completely.

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Try not to eat all of them at once!!

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Yield 1 dozen delightful gluten-free blueberry muffins!

Happy Baking! And eating, of course!

© 2014, Monica & Daria of glutenfreedoubletalk whisks

We gained a pound or two!

Monica (mom) says:

Why are cookies so addictive and celery sticks aren’t? It’s just not fair!

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Even though I don’t bake anywhere near as much as I used to, I can’t tell you how many different gluten-free chocolate chip cookie recipes I have collected over these 12 years of living gluten-free. I guess you can almost call me “recipe crazy” because I am always on the lookout for a good recipe!

Since many of the gluten-free cookie recipes call for what we considered “strange” flours in the early days, I can now say that I am well versed in the alternative flours and understand when and why to use most of them. And if I get stuck, I just ask my resident pastry girl, Daria!

But I still seem to have my “go-to flours” that I know won’t let me down.  Among my favorites are brown rice flour, sweet rice flour, arrowroot starch, and sorghum. Don’t worry…if you’re new to gluten-free living, you will learn about these!

The biggest difference in learning to bake something that’s gluten-free is that you need to combine several different flours to get the desired taste (if the recipe is from scratch.) When we were first diagnosed back in 2002, we made a mix of several flours almost every week to use in my everyday baking! Thank goodness for the author, Bette Hagman, and her gluten-free cookbooks.

Bette’s original formula to make 3 cups of all-purpose baking mix was to mix 2 cups of rice flour, 2/3 cup of potato starch, and 1/3 cup of tapioca starch/flour. These flours were only available at the health food store and it seemed that we were always making the trip there. Once we started making 9 or 12 cup batches it got much easier….thanks to my hubby (the official GF flour mixer)!

Now there are many GF all-purpose mixes available in the grocery store, so you don’t have to do the work….so lucky!

In addition to collecting recipes that I store in a recipe file online, and the ones I’ve cut out of the doctor’s office magazines (with permission, of course!) and the countless gluten-free cookbooks that Daria and I own and share, I have three favorite recipes for chocolate chip cookies. I call them my “ultimate three!” And since I really don’t need to bake three batches of cookies on any given day, I have taken those three recipes and come up with one that I would like to share (as promised).

The cookies come out so lovely….I use dark chocolate chips (yes, Hershey’s has a “special dark”). And I love to make them big and chewy! Daria taught me to use an ice cream scoop to keep the size uniform, too! Just love that girl!

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So, as promised, here is my official chocolate chip cookie recipe!

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Gluten-free Chocolate Chip Cookies to Die For

DRY INGREDIENTS

1 ¼ cups brown rice flour

½ cup sweet rice flour

¼ cup arrowroot starch flour

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

 

WET INGREDIENTS

¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) butter, softened

¼ cup granulated sugar

¾ cup dark brown sugar

2 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 bag of dark chocolate chips (12 oz.)

¾ cup of chopped walnuts

 

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk all dry ingredients together in large bowl.

In another large bowl, cream together butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until well combined. If you are using an electric mixer, use medium speed for about one minute.

Next, add eggs one at a time, making sure that the mixture is well combined between each one.

Now add in dry ingredients and vanilla. Mix until a nice dough forms. Then add in your dark chocolate chips and chopped walnuts.

Using an ice cream scoop, place rounded mounds of dough onto your parchment paper making sure to leave at least a 2” space between cookies, since they will spread during baking!

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Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until you see that the cookies are golden. Ovens vary so keep an eye on them!

Remove cookies from oven and place baking sheet on a wire rack to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely….or eat them slightly warm!

Makes about 2 dozen large cookies, if you use an ice cream scoop. Store in an airtight container.

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Baking Note:

I use brown rice flour because it has a slight nutty flavor but you can use white rice flour instead. The sweet rice flour can be found in Asian markets or online and is sometimes labeled “glutinous” rice flour. Don’t be scared! That’s what you want!

Happy Baking!

© 2014, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk  whisks

 

Now go and enjoy some cookies and milk (Lactaid, for us, of course!) And forget the scale!

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