Get Your Gluten Free Baked Goods!

My kids’ school hold a big fundraiser each year for the school garden.  This year was no exception.  We all had a great time enjoying old fashioned games (bobbing for apples, scavenger hunts), arts and crafts (sewing potpourri sachets, creating art from recycled materials), a pie eating contest, raffle and bake off.   In addition there’s a large bake sale.  This alone raises over $1,000.  I was asked this year to make gluten free desserts for the sale.  I took the challenge especially since I had recently done some gluten free baking while reviewing the book, Quinoa Cuisine (see review) and I had just received another helpful cookbook entitled 150 Best Gluten Free Muffin Recipes by Camilla Saulsbury.

I was baking and testing recipe for weeks.  Not only did I test the recipes as written usuing my own mix of flours, but I also decided to try Bob’s Red Mill gluten free all pupose baking flour.  They make a great variety of gf offerings for baking.  Herein lies all the expense and trouble when people think about gluten free baking.  If you don’t have to eat gluten free it is more expensive to properly stock your pantry.  For instance the Bob’s Red Mill was $8 for a 2 pound bag.  However it was even costlier for me to buy the quinoa, teff and rice flours and mix them myself.  Plus there is the worry if you’re buying the flours bulk that can may be contaiminated by a gluten product.

I narrowed down my two favorites and baked multiple batches for the big day.

From the 150 Best Gluten Free Muffin Recipes cookbook I made Double Chocolate Banana Muffins and Cinnamon Sugar Muffins.  The double chocolate were a huge hit.  The banana gave them the right amount of moisture and the chocolate, well there was both whole and cocoa (what’s not to like?).  My son liked the Cinnamon Sugar however my daughter and her friend did not.  I think it was a texture issue, as gluten free baked goods are denser and the flour is a bit heartier tasting.  This book has helpful information about gluten and alternative ingredients.  Each recipe also has tips to make it casein-free (which can be a connection for some with other health issues).

My other choice was the Lemon Glazed Pound Cake from Quinoa Cuisine.  I made the pound cake as directed with the quinoa flour, but made it again with the Bob’s Red  Mill GF Flour and everyone preferred that one.  I would make this any occassion – for gluten free needs or not.  It was very tangy and had a good dense pound cake consistency.  We enjoyed it at home with a bit of vanilla bean ice cream on top during our taste testing.

Once I made all the muffins and pound cake for the bake sale, I decided to wrap each individually so someone who needed to stay away from wheat wouldn’t have to worry about cross contamination from the rest of the baked goods at the sale.  My daughter and I cut and wrapped each piece of pound cake and individual muffin and then tucked them in baskets with ingredient cards on top.  They looked great.  However when I went over the baked goods table during the event I realized the gluten free items weren’t selling.  The moms said not as many were requesting gluten free items, plus maybe it was too hard to see the items in the wrappers.  I quickly unwrapped them and luckily they sold.  That was an error on my part.  A child who’s checking out the baked good options needs to see it and want it, for mom to buy it.  Most don’t care if it’s gluten free or not.  I went a little overboard with my food safety.  Next time unwrap most and wrap only a few for those with celieac and gluten issues.

I took those items that didn’t sell home with me.  Yes, I could’ve given them away but not with all the time and money that went into them.  (Selfish mommy, I know).  I froze them and served them to my son’s baseball team a few days later.  It saved me some time and they loved them.

 

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Update to Day 4

So my family explained to Katie, the sitter about the hunger challenge.  She saw all the unhappy faces in the fridge and cupboard.  I was glad I made the vegetable parmesean as sometimes she’s eats a gluten free diet.  So I didn’t want our restrictions to impact her diet and health.

pizza
veggie parmesean

 

My husband and I ate the pizza and veggies.  I must say they were both really good.  A nice salad would’ve gone well too, but we need to preserve.  We’re only half way there.  So we headed to back to school night and saw all the kids artwork, and listened to the teacher presentations.  It actually ran late so we only had about an hour to ourselves.  We headed to a beer pub, Mill Valley Beerworks.  Was this cheating?  I suppose.  But my husband had a gift certificate, so that’s why we chose it and technically we didn’t spend any money.  We each had a drink.  But I couldn’t help ordering a mini pork slider for myself.  (I actually would’ve liked about a dozen).  I cannot tell a lie.  I was really hungry from eating early and not much, since I wanted to be sure there was enough for the kids and sitter.  Yes, I cheated.  Again I didn’t pay, but it was $4 and thus almost my entire day’s allowance.  Technically I could subtract the $4 from my left over money, which brings me to $21 for the next few days.  This is where I’m getting stressed (we need bread, cereal, fruit) and would go to the Food Bank to see what they had for me to suplement and make it through to the next food stamp allotment.

Beerworks

The kids and sitter ate later.  When we got home it was all gone.  Good thing I wasn’t banking on eating that.  Kids were in bed.  However I learned this morning the kids had dessert.  I wondered what they had, thinking the sitter wouldn’t have gone behind the unhappy faces.  They had mango sorbet which was in the freezer.  They knew that wasn’t part of the challenge, but there’s no unhappy faces because the tape doesn’t stick in the freezer (and there’s not much that is part of the challenge).  Oh well.  I couldn’t get mad.  Everyone cheated a bit.  This has been hard for them and they’re getting a bit agggravated by me and the challenge.  Actually everyone is a bit on edge.  I think it comes from lack of choice and freedom.

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