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Cover: Gluten free cooking

Recipes with baking soda

22Jun 12

Coconut Pancakes

Coconut PancakesThese coconut pancakes are made with coconut flour, which lends a delicious and intense coconut flavour and is also a great ingredient for gluten-free baking because of its high fibre, high protein, and low carbohydrate content.  The addition of the shredded coconut and coconut-flavoured extract make the pancakes even more delicious and sweet.

It can be difficult to get these pancakes right the first time, so make sure you follow the instructions carefully, mix all the ingredients very well and don’t skip any steps, such as letting the batter set.  For best results, make sure you use a good non-stick frying pan whose surface isn’t scratched or worn. (For mini treats, try these mini pancakes with mozzarella, spinach and pine nuts.)

 

You Need:

  • 65g sorghum flour
  • 65g cornflour
  • 50g tapioca flour
  • 60g coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 200ml to 250ml milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut-flavoured extract
  • 65g sweetened shredded coconut
  • Additional butter or oil for frying

 

Steps:

 

  1. In a mixing bowl or large measuring cup, sift together the sorghum flour, cornflour, tapioca flour, coconut flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and xanthan gum.
  2. Gradually whisk in the milk, butter, egg, vanilla, and coconut extract.  Mix well until very smooth.
  3. Mix in the shredded coconut. Let the batter stand 5 minutes and then add more milk, if necessary, just until the batter is thin enough to pour.
  4. Heat the butter over medium-high heat in a large non-stick frying pan until hot but not smoking. Pour 65ml of the batter onto the frying pan and cook until bubbles appear on top of the pancake, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the pancake over and cook until it has browned on other side.
  5. Repeat step 4 with the rest of the batter to make the rest of the pancakes.
  6. Serve immediately, either plain or with maple syrup or your favourite pancake topping.

 

Ready In:  25 minutes

Serves:  2

Difficulty:   2 out of 5

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13May 12

Vegetarian Black Bean Soup

Vegetable Black Bean SoupBack in my university days, there used to be a café near my school that served the most delicious Vegetarian Black Bean Soup every Friday, and at a price that even us struggling students could afford.  Ever since then I’ve tried to keep up the tradition at my home, where Fridays are still known as Black Bean Soup day.

The original version used smoked tofu, but I’ve substituted it for firm tofu, fried with paprika and cumin. Of course, if you’re a meat-eater, you could go ahead and substitute the tofu for ham; just make sure you remove it before puréeing. Another hearty broth is this bacon, carrot, butterbean and coriander soup.

You need:

  • 500g dried black beans, soaked overnight in 5 litres of water
  • 250g firm tofu, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1.25 litres water
  • A pinch of baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Spanish onion, chopped fine
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 1 celery rib, finely chopped
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 500 ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 tbsp lime juice (lemon may be used)
  • Fresh coriander, chopped

Steps:

  1. Put the beans in a 5 litre pot with 1.25 litres of water, the bay leaves, half the salt and the baking soda.
  2. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to a slow simmer.
  3. Cover and let it cook for 90 minutes, or until the beans are tender.
  4. Remove from heat. Take out the bay leaves and set aside.
  5. Heat olive oil in a large (at least 9 litres) stock pot on a medium-high heat until it’s hot, but not smoking.
  6. Add the onions, celery, carrot, tofu and more salt.
  7. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until lightly browned and softened, stirring occasionally.
  8. Reduce heat to medium and add the cumin, paprika and garlic, and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring continuously.
  9. Add the beans and their cooking liquid back into the mix along with the vegetable stock, molasses and red pepper.
  10. Bring to the boil; then reduce to a simmer and continue cooking for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  11. Remove from heat and put half of the soup in a blender and purée until smooth.
  12. Mix the purée back into the rest of the soup.
  13. Add the lime juice and adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  14. Serve with the chopped fresh coriander as garnish.

Ready In: 2 hours

Serves: 6

Difficulty: 4 out of 5

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12May 12

Easy Onion Bhaji

Easy Onion BhajiI’ve always loved getting onion bhajis from my local Indian takeaway, but I imagined they would be quite difficult to make, so I never seemed to get around to making them myself.  Then, by pure chance, I happened to see them being made while I was waiting for my order and quickly asked the cook if he would mind telling me the basic recipe.  I didn’t have a pen or anything to write with, but luckily I’ve got a pretty good memory.  This easy onion bhaji recipe is what I made the next day by memory from those instructions.

The only real change I made (as far as I can remember) was in the frying methodOnion bhajis, sometimes known as vegetable or cheese fritters served in soups, are usually deep fried, but I wanted to try and make them a little bit healthier and lighter, so I decided to just fry them in a frying pan with a little bit of oil.  They turned out perfectly and were much lighter and less greasy than the typical takeaway fare, while still retaining all of the flavour.

Once you get the hang of making them, you can try substituting the onion with courgette or whatever other vegetable tickles your fancy.  I personally recommend eating them with tamarind sauce, but feel free to use whatever sauce you prefer, or even just eat them plain.

You Need:

  • 500 g Gram flour
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 150 ml water
  • 1.5 tbsps fresh chopped coriander

Steps:

  1. Mix the Gram flour, cumin seeds, chilli powder, salt and baking soda in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the onions and fresh coriander and mix well.
  3. Add the water and mix to form a thick batter, making sure the onions are evenly distributed throughout.
  4. Set aside for 5 minutes.
  5. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a non-stick frying pan.
  6. Drop a tablespoon at a time of the batter into the hot oil and fry for about 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.  You will need to add more oil for each new set of bhajis.
  7. Remove the finished Bhajis from the oil and let them drain on a wire rack or kitchen paper.
  8. Serve with your favourite dipping sauce or chutney.

Ready In:  30 minutes

Serves:  6

Difficulty:   3 out of 5

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02Apr 12

Sugar-free Gingerbread

Sugar-free GingerbreadThis sugar-free gingerbread is just as rich and delicious as the one Grandma used to make, but without the guilt!  I recommend using agave nectar as a sweetener, but if you can’t find it, you can go ahead and use any other fruit sweetener, or even regular sugar if you prefer, although it obviously won’t be sugar-free then.  The gingerbread freezes very well, so you can double or triple the recipe if you like and freeze the rest for another occasion. (Also try this spicy pumpkin cake.)

You Need:

  • 250g  pecans or walnuts, finely chopped
  • 250ml  agave nectar
  • 65ml canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 375g brown rice flour or sorghum flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1.5 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 250ml unsweetened applesauce

Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 175ºC.
  2. Spray a 23cm square pan with a non-stick spray and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the agave nectar or fruit sweetener and the oil.
  4. Beat with an electric blender on high speed until thoroughly blended.
  5. After you have mixed the oil and the sweetener, add the eggs, one at a time. Make sure to beat well between additions.
  6. Add the orange rind and the vanilla extract and continue to blend together for another minute. Set aside.
  7. Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, ground ginger, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon.
  8. Add the nuts to the sifted dry ingredients.
  9. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, a little at a time, alternately with the applesauce, blending well after each addition.
  10. Continue until you have added all the ingredients.
  11. Pour the batter into the pan and bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the centre of the gingerbread comes out clean.  Alternatively you can press lightly on the centre of the gingerbread. If it leaves a dent, it’s not done.  If it springs back after touching, it’s done and you can move it to a cooling rack.
  12. When cooled, slice and serve.

Ready In:  30 minutes

Serves:  8-10

Difficulty:   2 out of 5

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