AN EASY GLUTEN-FREE & VEGAN FRENCH TOAST + THOUGHTS ON WELL-BEING DURING THESE TOUGH TIMES

 

Currently I am practicing physical distancing, working from home, and only stepping outside my house for essential items – namely food. it is definitely becoming an odd “new normal” and while I miss being able to go out to the famers markets, the beach, or a botanical garden, I know that I am keeping myself and others safe by staying home and limiting interaction.

I believe food can create joy and bring communities together but  while we are encouraged to stay home (unless you are an essential worker and I thank you whole heartedly for all you do), it may also mean we are turning to our own kitchens to cook. While I LOVE cooking and baking, until recently I didn’t always have the time to do so. ⁣

I’m joining this #UNitedWeEat challenge to show you an easy breakfast recipe using simple ingredients. A lot of people right now are worrying about how they’ll finance their next meal; this includes people like myself who may have an allergy or autoimmune condition. Going to the store (while wearing a mask and only touching items we need) has us focusing on ingredients that will create meals that are nourishing, convenient, and versatile.⁣

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Gluten Free Blueberry Banana Muffins

Prior to these muffins, bananas would never find their way into my nourishment. I never cared much for their flavor and texture: too bland, an off-putting “sweetness.” As the inner Lara-Jean Song in me awakens, I let whatever is in the cupboard, pantry, fridge dictate what sweet I will create that day.  

A few weeks ago I truly wanted to put these fresh blueberries for good use but was lacking a jumping point. After overlooking several banana-blueberry xyz recipes I kept lingering on the possibility of indulging the banana in my repertoire. I bit my tongue and thought “what’s the worse that can happen, I’ll hate it and never make it again”

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GRAIN FREE SALTED ALMOND CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIES

AWILDFLOWERSPIRIT.COM CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Sometimes I get the urge to bake. Think of Lara Jean Covey from Jenny Han’s To All The Boys I loved Before Series. I can stress bake, creative bake, leisure bake, etc. It’s a habitual meditation for me – carefully measuring out the ingredients and mixing for a proper consistency. It is also creative when it comes to integrating new flavors and textures, an art form at best. However, it is frustrating when you’re missing key baking ingredients but don’t get the urge to run out to the market as replenish what is needed. So I improvise, mentally taking note of what I do have and what can be used in place of.  

These are some of the most delightful cookies I have savored and they come together quite easily. If you don’t use tahini very often, this recipe will come in handy as you can use the remaining tahini to recreate these cookies when your first batch disappears. I will admit the variety of chocolate is absolutely important and it took this recipe to see that. I had some Taza chocolate discs in my pantry that I thought “what the heck, let’s put them to use.” They look like jeweled cocoa jewels nestled in the brown (coconut) sugar color of the cookies.

This recipe is adapted from The Chalkboard Magazine, I highly recommend following all the directions and making them for a cozy day. If you don’t have chocolate feel free to sub with almonds, cranberries, or dates. These cookies are chewy and not too sweet – just right. 

To make these cookies:

1 large egg replacement (like flax egg) or egg
½ cup tahini
½ cup blanched almond flour
½ cup coconut sugar
½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp vanilla
one 2.7 ounce Taza chocolate disc (I used Salted Almond)
¼ tsp pink sea salt

Preheat your oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Mix together the egg replacement/egg, tahini, almond flour, cinnamon, coconut sugar and baking powder. Chop the chocolate into medium chunks, a little bigger than a chocolate chip and fold in the mixture gently.

Taking about 1 tablespoon of batter and form into a cookie shape. Place on the baking sheet and space each cookie 2 inches apart, until you have used all of the dough.

Bake in the oven for 7-8 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet.

Per the Chalkboard: “These can be stored in a cool place in the pantry for 2 days or in the fridge for 1 week. You can freeze these for 3 to 4 months.”

FLORAL TAHINI GLUTEN-FREE TOASTS +Bread Srsly

Can I just say I am extremely lucky that my boyfriend happens to make the trek with me out to LA (Erewhon specifically) to get the most delicious gluten-free bread. If you live in LA or happen to be visiting, I really recommend visiting Melrose. An adventure is to be had when you load up an electric scooter and ride your long along the colorful streets with unique eateries. Erewhon is a magical, self described “health food market” with plenty of allergen friendly foods and products. Erewhon carries Bread Srsly, which meant we stocked up on plenty of loaves and rolls. 

Bread Srsly was the first gluten-free bread that tasted like real, quality bread, which for me meant I wasn’t missing out on flavor and texture. I hadn’t had their delicious bread until recently when we went to the Celiac Disease Gluten Free Expo. While we were there, we sampled their new varieties. It is worth every penny for this bread.  The tangy sourdough flavor that leads to peak bread-high. I attribute this to the bread being wild-fermented, or cultured. 

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