Guest post by Gracey W.
After a few years of feeling like everything I ate made me feel awful, my doctor and I finally figured out I was gluten intolerant. I’m sure you experienced the same feelings of frustration as me — not everyone has the time to completely revamp their diet right away to make it both gluten free and delicious! And, being vegetarian and lactose intolerant (ugh) I felt like I couldn’t eat anything. I started realizing what a big part of my diet bread and other wheat products had been.
Finally I got sick of making fried rice for myself every night and did my best to stop feeling sorry for myself (okay, I still feel a little sorry) and started doing research about how to really enjoy a gluten free lifestyle. I found this blog, of course, and I started buying gluten free cookbooks and experimenting with them. Let me tell you how happy I was to find Flying Apron’s Gluten-Free & Vegan Baking Book. Baked goods have always been my weak spot, and I was sick of buying $7 brownies from the specialty bakery in my town all the time. Although I love supporting them, the costs add up, and I missed the fun of baking at home.
Why makes Flying Apron so good? I’ve tried a lot of gluten free baking recipes with brown rice flour, and been sadly disappointed, nay, disgusted at the results. Simply put, Flying Apron finds a way to make brown rice and other gluten-free flour options delicious because of their combinations with rich, flavorful foods. Take their maple berry muffins for example; the raspberries and blueberries combine deliciously with maple syrup to make something rich and delectable.
And, I love the fact that the book is vegan. Even if you’re not vegan (I’m not), I really appreciate that I don’t have to worry about making dairy substitutions when using it, because of my lactose intolerance. And, with my new food allergy, I also like that they don’t use soy products, since this is a common allergen for many. Buying environmentally-friendly dairy and eggs can get really expensive, and sometimes it’s nice to simply to not have to worry about shelling out the bucks for those products.
Even though all the cookie, muffin, and scone recipes I tried turned out great, there were a few recipes in the book that did leave me wanting. The bread I found to be a bit of a letdown. I was truly disappointed too, because I used to love making bread and was finally going to be able to eat some fresh out of the oven again. While the final product tasted good, it’s not “bread” in the sense that I was hoping; it was super crumbly and uncuttable, and there’s no way you could make a sandwich with it. Plus, I could definitely taste some chalkiness from the baking soda in the final product.
So, even though Flying Apron won’t be the answer to all your gluten-free prayers, it’s still a worthwhile buy, at least for the tasty sweets. Here’s an easy recipe from the book so that you can give it a test run. I picked it because it uses hazelnut flour, something you might never have thought to use before in your GF baking. And, the ingredient list is short, unlike many gluten free recipes. Give it a shot, they turn out great!
Hazelnut Honey Cookies
- 2 cups hazelnut flour
- 1 cup honey
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon dried lavender or dried rosemary
- 15 Rainier or Bing cherries (fresh or frozen), pitted
1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Combine hazelnut flour, honey, salt, vanilla, and dried lavender in a large bowl. Mix until smooth.
3. Scoop the cookie dough into Ping Pong ball-sized mounds and place on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Lightly press a cherry on top of each cookie and bake until firm to the touch, about 20 minutes.
Note: Today’s guest post is provided by Gracey W., an aspiring forensic scientist who has taken courses online about nutrition and health in order to learn how to live a gluten-free life. Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily of Have a Namaste.
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