I love to cook and bake. I grew up baking all the time with my mom and my grandmothers. My dad used to work as a chef. Food and cooking is somewhat ingrained in me. Also being a nutrition nerd, I enjoy trying new recipes with healthier ingredients. Last week I made Chocolate Chip Blondies made with garbanzo beans (recipe from: Chocolate Covered Katie) and gave them to the friendly people in the office upstairs. I didn’t tell them what they were made of until they started eating them and saying “mmm these are really good”. They were shocked. This kind of inspired me to make this a somewhat regular thing. Each week or so I’m going to try a new recipe/alter a popular recipe to “healthify” (thanks to my fellow nutrition nerd Allie for that word) or to accommodate for some kind of allergy. I’ll then use my little guinea pigs upstairs for an unbiased taste test.
This weeks project: Zucchini bread.
My future mother-in-law brought me a giant zucchini this weekend fresh picked from her garden. She suggested making zucchini bread, of course that sounded great to me. After chatting with Renee, she agreed zucchini bread was a definite, but she requested gluten-free so she could have some too. So began my first GF baking mission. I started researching just what went into a gluten free quick bread. Most recipes called for sorghum flour, tapioca flour, rice flour, and/or some other mixture of flours most people have probably never heard of. Since I did not have any of those flours on hand, nor did I want to go buy them all I opted for a recipe that simply replaced regular all purpose flour with a GF flour blend. Just my luck I stopped at my second home, Target, and found Bob’s Red Mill GF All Purpose Baking Flour on clearance sale! So I went home and put together the ingredients and made some zucchini muffins and mini muffins. Note: if you’re going to use this recipe the mini muffins only needed about 15 minutes in my oven, and the regular size muffins needed about 25 minutes.
I was pleasantly surprised at how good these muffins are. Gluten free baked goods have a reputation for being dry and crumbly and far from their gluten containing counterparts. These muffins, however, were moist and delicious just like the real deal! All of my lovely tasters agreed too. Everyone said they would never guess they were gluten free, although the first question after I offered was “what are these free of this time?”
This mini project has inspired me to try experimenting more with GF cooking and perhaps challenging myself to a GF week. When that will happen is TBD.