Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fresh Fig Oatmeal Muffins - Gluten-Free Option

It was finally time to use the remaining fresh figs before they decided to grow grey hairs and maybe decide to get an AARP card! 

I mentioned making Fig muffins during the Fig Cornmeal Cake’s post, but wasn’t really sure what other ingredients would be in them.

I looked at a few online, but didn’t see one that I really liked.  I decided to use the usual whole-grain mix, some Earth Balance Buttery Spread, cinnamon, orange juice for more flavor and reduce the sugar.  I sat down, wrote up the recipe, looked at the nutrients and decided to reduce the fat by using some of the part-skim Ricotta.

I had mixed up the Dry Ingredients at least two days before I finally got around to making the muffins.  At the last minute, I thought the batter was a bit thin, so I added the oat meal to thicken it up a bit.   That was a great choice!

The oat flour was ground in the food processor several times, sifted and the remaining bran, sent thru the coffee grinder, so all of the fiber of the oatmeal is included.  I estimate that was 1/3 cup old fashioned oatmeal, ground to flour.

I had intended to use coconut oil in another recipe a few days ago, but decided not to use it.  Since it had been warmed, I did not want to put it back in the jar with the other oil.  So I added it in just to use it.  It does not add any particular flavor as it is such a small amount.

There is nothing like a nice muffin for a snack or even breakfast.  The Turbinado sugar adds a bit of crunch and the oatmeal adds a little chewiness because I used old-fashioned oats.  Feel free to use minute oats(not instant).

There is a nice aroma coming from the oven as the muffins bake…

Fresh Fig Oatmeal Muffins - Gluten-Free (Ready to serve) B

Fresh Fig Oatmeal Muffins - Gluten-Free

Dry ingredients
3/4 cup King Arthur Gluten-free Whole Grain Flour Blend
1/4 cup oat flour (ground from old fashioned oatmeal)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp non-aluminum baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 pinch cream of tartar
1 tbsp dried milk powder(good quality milk powder, suitable for baking bread)
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal

Wet Ingredients
1/4 cup part-skim Ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
1/2 cup Splenda brown Sugar Blend for Baking (or 1 cup granulated sugar)
1 tbsp coconut oil, softened
3 tbsp buttery spread, at room temperature
1/3 cup orange juice

Add ins
7 fresh black figs, chopped

1 Tbsp Turbinado Sugar

  • Line a 12-cup muffin pan with non-stick paper liners. If you do not have non-stick liners, either spray the muffin pan and omit the liners or spray the liners.
Fresh Fig Oatmeal Muffins - Gluten-Free (prepared pan) B
    • Whisk the dry ingredients except oatmeal. Stir in the oatmeal after the other dry ingredients are mixed. Set aside.
    Fresh Fig Oatmeal Muffins - Gluten-Free (dry mix and oatmeal) B
      • Chop the figs into about raisin-sized pieces.
      Fresh Fig Oatmeal Muffins - Gluten-Free (chopped figs) B
      • Turn the oven to 350F degrees as you begin to mix your muffins.   
      • Beat all Wet Ingredients until creamy, except orange juice. Lightly stir in the chopped figs.
      Fresh Fig Oatmeal Muffins - Gluten-Free (wet mixed) II B
      • Fold in the Dry ingredients, adding the orange juice, gradually. Mix until just combined. Do not over mix.
      Fresh Fig Oatmeal Muffins - Gluten-Free (batter mixed) B
      • Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups. Sprinkle Turbinado sugar over the muffins
      Fresh Fig Oatmeal Muffins - Gluten-Free (ready for oven) II B
      • Bake 25 to 30 minutes in the pre-heated oven, or until browned and springs back when pressed lightly.
      • Remove from oven, remove from muffin tin to a wire rack to finish cooling.
      • Serve warm.
      Fresh Fig Oatmeal Muffins - Gluten-Free (served) B
      • Store any left-overs in refrigerator.   Microwave 10 seconds to re-heat.

      Yield: 12 muffins

      Nutrition Facts – calculated using Living Cookbook
      Nutrition (per muffins): 141 calories, 1.9g monounsaturated fat, 1g polyunsaturated fat, 2.2g saturated fat, 5.7g total fat, 36.9mg cholesterol, 20.2g carbohydrates, 2.6g fiber, 17.5g net carbohydrates, 6.9g sugar, <1g fructose, <1g galactose, <1g glucose, <1g sucrose, <1g maltose, 118.8mg sodium, 145.3mg potassium, 3.6g protein, 52.4mg calcium, <1mg iron, 117.7IU vitamin a, <1mcg vitamin b12, <1mg vitamin b6, 2.9IU vitamin d, 1.9mcg vitamin k, <1mg zinc, <1mg thiamin, 6.6mcg selenium.
      Recipe Type
      Breakfast, Brunch, Muffins

      Sunday, September 18, 2011

      That time of the year again….Fig Cornmeal Cake(AKA Polenta Cake) (Gluten-Free)

      Every fall, I have to remind myself to get black figs at Whole Foods Market, so I can make a fig cornmeal/polenta cake.

      Normally, I just buy 1 carton, Thursday I bought two without thinking. So, I added a few more figs to this version of my Fig Cornmeal Cake. 

      This is a once a year treat, so I do not skimp on the ingredients.  I accidently picked up part-skim ricotta cheese instead of full-fat, so I improvised from the first  Gluten-Free Fig Cornmeal Cake (AKA Polenta Cake). A little more ricotta  and buttery spread was added to make up for the missing fat.

      Fig Polenta Cake - just out of oven B

      Gluten-Free Fig Cornmeal Cake II

      Wet ingredients
      1/3 cup Buttery Spread  + 1 tbsp (used Earth Balance)
      1/4 cup   Honey 
      1/2 cup Turbinado or Demerara sugar 
      2 large eggs
      3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
      2 tsps vanilla extract
      1/2 cup orange juice 
      Dry ingredients1 cup yellow cornmeal
      1/4 cup Coconut Flour Blend (purchased)
      1/2 cup almond flour (almond meal)
      1 1/2 tsp baking powder
      1/4 tsp sea salt
      Add- in8 to10 black figs, sliced (about 10)
      2 Tbsp Turbinado or Demerara sugar, for topping
      • Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly oil a 10-inch cast iron skillet.
      • In a large bowl, beat all Wet Ingredients until creamy.
      • Whisk all Dry Ingredients together and fold into batter.
      Fig Polenta Cake - ready to mix B

      Fig Polenta Cake - mixed B
      • Pour about 2/3 of batter into prepared skillet. Top with the halved figs. If they are large, slice into 3 pieces. 
      Fig Polenta Cake - figs added B

      • Spread remainder of batter over and spread to cover figs.  Sprinkle the Turbinado sugar over the top.
      Fig Polenta Cake - ready for oven B
      • Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until lightly browned.
      • Remove from oven and allow  to cool. Cut into wedges and serve plain or with honey or whipped cream..
      Fig Polenta Cake - served  B

      Fig Polenta Cake - a closer look B
      Servings: 12

      Nutrition Facts as prepared
      Nutrition (per wedge): 277 calories, 11.1g total fat, 3.7g monounsaturated fat, 1.1g polyunsaturated fat, 5.2g saturated fat,56.6mg cholesterol, 42.6g carbohydrates, 3.4g fiber, 39.2g net carbohydrates, 28.8g sugar, 2.9g fructose,  110.3mg sodium, 276mg potassium, 5.2g protein, 127.5mg calcium, 1.1mg iron.

      And, it was worth waiting for…Embarrassed smile
      I may attempt to dehydrate or use the remainder in muffins, because I don’t really like the sweet taste of fresh figs.
      Figs  B

      Tuesday, September 13, 2011

      Lemon Cheese Cake Bars - using a gluten-free cake mix

      There was a request for a gluten-free lemon cheese cake in Celiac Disease Support Group on Facebook today. I had completely forgotten about this recipe that I made numerous times when needing a quick dessert for girl’s get-together or something to take to work.

      Since there is no scanner attached to the machine I use to connect to Facebook, I grabbed the camera and took a picture! I have no clue which magazine it came from, but since it mentions Duncan Hines cake mix, it probably came from Duncan Hines. This exact recipe does not exist on the current Duncan Hines website.

      I began collecting recipes from newspapers and magazines in the 70s, long before there were personal computers. At first, I clipped and kept them in a shoebox. After outgrowing the shoebox, I bought a couple large scrap books and cut them out and glued them into the scrapbook.

      Of course I had a couple of cookbooks, but I found the ones from the newspapers and magazines caught my interest more, possibly because most had pictures. Even back then, I tweaked and created new versions of recipes. Most tweaks were not written down, but penciled in on a sheet of paper in the scrapbook.
      Magazines started doing whole page recipes, so the amount of paper grew. And of course, food companies started giving free recipe booklets. If it was dessert, I took one!

      I remember in the mid 80’s trying to get a handle on all of the recipes, so I started grouping them according to type of recipe. Finally, during the early 90s, I spent a few days when I was away from work and did the keep this, throw this and got rid of lots of paper. We didn’t recycle back then in Omaha, so all of it went into the garbage can to be picked up by the trash hauler. Now, I recycle anything that will be accepted. We now even have a re-use room to take any kitchen, laundry or household product in Washington County. Minnesotans really believe in recycling to the max!

      This recipe has been copied on company ‘Xerox’ machines (back when machines had no memories and nobody cared), hand copied and one attempt was to rip it out of the book. I used the old style of glue that was called mucilage, that once it was on something, it could not be detached!

      Well, I am in the get rid of the extra paper mode again. Since having to go gluten-free, I donated at least 5 boxes of cook books (boxes the size of those office paper boxes). Of course, there are the other personal papers that have been shredded too.

      This one is a tweaked version, because most gluten-free cake mixes do not come to the standard of Duncan Hines cake mixes.


      Lemon Cheese Bars from Cake Mix

      Dry Mix
      • 1 pkg. gluten-free yellow cake mix
      • 1 pkg lemon fat free sugar free pudding and pie filling
      • 1/2 tsp baking powder (non aluminum)
      • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
      • Remainder of Dry Mix
        • 1 egg
        • 1/3 cup oil
        Creamy mix
        • 1 cup Dry Mix
        • 2 8-oz pkg cream cheese - softened (used Neufchatel)
        • 1 cup sour cream
        • 1/2 cup sugar (used sucralose)
        • 2 eggs
        • 1 tsp lemon juice
          · Combine Dry Mix ingredients with a wire whisk


          Measure 1 cup of the Dry Mix, set aside for adding to the cream cheese.

          Combine remaining Dry Mix with 1 egg and the oil until mixed.


          Press in the bottom of a shortening greased 13X9X2 inch pan.


          Bake for 10 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 350 F. It will puff up a little.


          Combine all Creamy Mix ingredients (except Dry Mix) at low speed until fluffy


          Mix in the Dry Mix just until blended
          Dollop the Creamy mixture over the partially cooked Crust, use the spatula to gently spread it over the crust.

          Bake an additional 40 to 45 minutes. Gluten-free version takes longer to bake. The edges will be browned.



          Cool and serve, optionally with a dollop of sour cream

          Watch it after 35 minutes until you are familiar with making this version. This version baked about 45 minutes.
          Substitute sucralose for the sugar or any sweetener that measures the same as sugar
          Add the dry mix in at the very last minute and mix just to blend in. Over mixing will make it a little more like bread instead of like cake.
          If you want a thicker cake, use a smaller pan

          Servings: 16
          Nutrition Facts as prepared
          Nutrition (per serving): 194 calories, 4.3g monounsaturated fat, 1.5g polyunsaturated fat, <1g linoleic acid, 3g saturated fat, 9.3g total fat, 48.7mg cholesterol, carbohydrate factor: 4, 25.5g carbohydrates, <1g fiber, 25.5g net carbohydrates, 10.8g sugar, <1g fructose, <1g sucrose, 129.3mg sodium, 38.3mg potassium, 2.6g protein, 37.9mg calcium, <1mg iron.

          The original recipe