I know the title of this post promises an overflow of information, so I’m going to try to keep the hemming and hawing to a minimum and get quickly to the recipes!
The reason I’m sharing so many at once here is because in the last two weeks, I made two more batches of gluten-free goodies to share with my Red Clay buddies, and then I made some peach and tomato gazpacho (both vegan and gluten-free) to bring to the end-of-institute potluck dinner on Tuesday. All this food was for the same audience of eaters, so I decided to put it all in the same blog post, too, for easy sharing.
For my third-ever gluten-free experiment last Monday, I decided I wanted to make some of those no-bake fruit-and-nut balls that I’ve seen around the blogosphere/interwebs. I looked at a few recipes to get an idea of the proportions, then (of course) winged it based on what I actually had in the cupboard. In the end, these chewy little bites ended up being rich, a little sweet and a little salty, and overall pretty darn tasty!
What’s in it:
- 6 dates, pitted
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 2 cups pecan halves
- 2 tablespoons raw sunflower seeds
- 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 cup dried, unsweetened shredded coconut
- Blend all of the ingredients except for the coconut in a food processor until you have a thick mixture, almost like cookie dough.
- Put the coconut in a shallow dish.
- Use your hands or a cookie scoop to pick up about 1-2 teaspoons of the mixture at a time; roll and press your scoop of dough into a tightly packed ball. (Warning: your hands will get sticky!)
- Roll the ball in the dried coconut.
- Repeat until you run out of stuff!
For me, this made about 3 dozen little bites, which was perfect for sharing with a group. Though I’ll admit, I probably ate a little more than my fair share.
Next up was my attempt at gluten-free muffins for this Monday, which I adapted from a recipe on the Gluten Free in Boulder site (with minor changes, as always, because I didn’t have blueberries or quite enough cornmeal.)
What’s in it:
- 2/3 cup raw almonds
- 1 cup dried, unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1-1/2 cups cornmeal
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup honey (I would reduce this to 1/4 cup next time)
- 2-1/2 cups milk (I would reduce this to 1 1/2 cups next time)
- 1 to 1-1/2 cups dried cranberries
- Preheat your oven to 400°F and prepare two 12-cup muffin pans. (I would recommend using liners as I didn’t and my muffins were a little too sticky!)
- In a food processor, blend together the almonds, coconut, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt until you have a coarse meal that looks kind of like sand.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, milk, and honey.
- Add the dry ingredients from the food processor and whisk until combined. If you follow the original recipe like I did, your batter will be pretty soupy, which was kind of hard to work with and made for a fragile muffin–so if I make these again, I’ll adjust the recipe.
- Pour about 1/4 cup of the batter into each of 24 muffin cups. Top each muffin with dried cranberries.
- Bake for about 25-30 minutes. (After the original recipe’s recommended 15, my muffins were nowhere near done!)
- Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes before (carefully) removing them to a wire rack to reach room temperature.
Like I said, these muffins were very delicate when they came out of the oven, I think because the batter was just too wet, so I would reduce the liquid as noted above. And I also thought they were a little too sweet, so for my personal tastes, I would reduce the honey, too. Still, made following the directions posted here, these sweet and nutty little cakes were a big hit with my classmates.
The last thing I made for my Red Clay friends was for our potluck on Tuesday evening. Since it’s been so dang hot here in Georgia, and since it’s the perfect time of year for peaches (free from Earth Fare!) and fresh local tomatoes…
…I decided to resurrect one of my favorite soups from last summer, a cool and refreshing peach and tomato gazpacho from Epicurious. Besides doubling the recipe, here are the changes I made:
- I used dried tarragon instead of fresh (so, 1 teaspoon dried in place of 1 tablespoon fresh)
- I used rice wine vinegar in place of the white wine vinegar
- I doubled the ice and skipped the water
- I didn’t strain it at the end (and straining wasn’t really necessary anyway!)
I think last year I might have also added a dollop of Greek yogurt to this, but this time I wanted to make it vegan. And since I pretty much stuck to the original recipe, I won’t re-type it up here. But I will show you how lovely it was!
This stuff got polished off at the party, but I did save just a little bit for Micah and me to enjoy with dinner later in the week.
But more on that in my next post.