If your child is sensitive to products containing gluten - aka wheat - or is suffering celiac disease, finding safe foods and recipes can be a challenge. Luckily, more and more food manufacturer's are making gluten-free products and innovative chefs are coming up with a mouthwatering array of gluten-free recipes. Missy Chase Lapine, better known as the Sneaky Chef, has included an entire chapter of allergy-free recipes in her most recent cookbook The Sneaky Chef to the Rescue. Here are three of the Sneaky Chef's gluten-free desserts suitable for the whole family!
This flour-blend is used in two of the following dessert recipes – and can be used in your recipes needing gluten-free flour.
Ingredients: 2 cups rice flour (ideally brown rice flour) 2/3 cup potato starch (not potato flour) 1/3 cup tapioca flour or tapioca starch 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
Directions: Combine all ingredients in a bowl. This gluten-free flour blend can be stored in a sealed, labeled plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 4 dozen
The White Bean Puree in this recipe boost each cookie's nutritional value by adding protein, fiber and other vitamins and minerals.
Ingredients: 1 cup Gluten-Free Flour Blend (recipe above) 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened 1/4 cup sugar 1/4 cup packed brown sugar 2 egg yolks 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1/4 White Bean Puree* 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together flour blend, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars until creamy. Beat in egg yolks, vanilla and White Bean Puree. Add dry ingredients and mix on low speed. Stir in chocolate chips.
2. Make small cookies by dropping rounded teaspoonfuls, spaced about 1-inch apart, onto nonstick or parchment-lined baking sheets. Spray tops of cookies lightly with oil and flatten with the back of a spatula.
3. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool on a metal rack. Store cookies in an airtight container for to 3 days or freeze them in a plastic bag for up to 3 months.
*White Bean Puree: Puree 1 (15-ounce) can of white beans with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water. Use 1/4-cup for this recipe and store the rest in the refrigerator for another use.
Makes about 16 brownies
These gluten-free treats get an antioxidant kick with the Purple Puree.
Ingredients: 6 tablespoons unsalted butter 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips 2 large eggs 1/2 cup sugar 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 1/2 cup Purple Puree* 1 tablespoon cornstarch 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder 1/2 cup Gluten-Free Flour Blend (recipe above) 1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter or spray and then lightly flour (using gluten-free flour blend) the bottom of an 8- or 9-inch square baking pan. Melt butter and chocolate chips together in a double boiler or in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool a bit.
2. Meanwhile, in another bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, Purple Puree, and vanilla. Combine with chocolate mixture. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together cornstarch, cocoa powder, cinnamon, coffee, flour blend and salt. Add this to chocolate mixture and blend thoroughly.
3. Bake for 32 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in pan before cutting. Keeps for a week in the refrigerator, covered tightly.
*Purple Puree: In a food processor, puree 3 cups of raw baby spinach leaves (rinsed), 1-1/2 cups blueberries, 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice and 1 to 2 tablespoons water. Use 1/2-cup for this recipe and store the rest in the refrigerator to blend in smoothies, hamburgers, or other baked goods.
Gluten-Free Granola Bars
Makes 2 dozen bars
A tasty cross between a marshmallow treat and a granola bar - but healthier and gluten-free.
Ingredients: 2 cups cornflakes, crushed (about 1 cup) 1/2 cup ground almonds 2 cups crispy brown rice cereal 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil 1/2 cup honey 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-inch square or 11x7-inch baking pan completely with parchment paper or foil and butter. In a medium-sized bowl, combine crushed cornflakes, ground almonds, rice cereal, cinnamon and salt. Mix in oil, honey, vanilla and chocolate chips. Mix well then pour into baking pan. Press down with the palm of your hand, evenly distributing into the corners of the pan.
2. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, checking occasionally to prevent burning. Remove from oven and, using the parchment or foil, lift entire bar out of pan. Place on a flat surface and, while still warm, cut into small bars. Store completely cooled bars in an airtight container or freeze in plastic bags.