Maple Hemp Pumpkin Loaf

Fall is fast approaching and what better way to embrace the cool crisp nights than with some seasonal baking!  Not only is this recipe gluten-free and vegan, but it's also delicious!  And adding in the hemp hearts is a great way to sneak in some healthy fats & protein.

This recipe was a bit of an experiment, but I'm happy to report that it turned out beautifully.  Hope you enjoy my Maple Hemp Pumpkin Loaf as much as we do! (it was devoured in under 48 hours)

Maple Hemp Pumpkin Loaf

Maple Hemp Pumpkin Loaf

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup melted Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 cup Maple Syrup
  • 2 Chia or Flax Eggs
  • 1 cup Pumpkin Puree (not pie filling - I used my own homemade pumpkin puree)
  • 2 tsp Vanilla 
  • 1/4 cup Dairy Free Milk
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon (plus some extra for the top)
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger
  • 3/4 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice (or any combo of your favourite flavours - nutmeg, clove, all spice all work well)
  • 1 3/4 cup All Purpose Gluten-Free Flour mix (I used King Arthur's blend, but any will work. Just make sure it has xanthan gum or you will need to add some to your mix to keep the loaf together. 1/4-1/2 tsp should do it)
  • 1/2 cup Hemp Hearts(or you could use any other seeds or nuts if desired)
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • Pumpkin Seeds, Hemp Hearts or Raw Sugar for sprinkling on top. (optional)

Instructions:

  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and line a standard loaf pan (9x5) with parchment paper.
  • Make your Chia or Flax eggs in a small bowl and let sit for 15 minutes. Never tried it? Click here for an easy how to!
  • Meanwhile, a large bowl mix together all your wet ingredients: pumpkin, vanilla, oil, milk, maple syrup and vegan eggs.  
  • Next stir in your salt, cinnamon, ginger and pumpkin pie spice.  Then beat on med-high until everything is thoroughly combined.
  • Add in your hemp hearts or seeds and stir. Then stir in your baking soda and flour until just combined.
  • Spread your batter evenly in your lined loaf pan and sprinkle with cinnamon and seeds/sugar if using.  Use a small knife to gently swirl the cinnamon and toppings onto the top of your loaf.
  • Bake your loaf for about an hour.  Mine took about 58 minutes, but cooking time will vary depending on your oven.  So anywhere from 55-65 minutes should do it.  Make sure to check your loaf with a cake tester when it's getting close.  Your loaf will be done when your cake tester/toothpick comes out clean from the centre of the loaf.
  • Once done, let your bread cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes and then carefully transfer to a wire rack by lifting it with the parchment paper.  Let cool for at least another 30-45 minutes (if you can wait that long) before slicing.
Maple Hemp Pumpkin Loaf

So, the Maple Hemp Loaf was family approved with the kids and hubby happily inhaling it. (notice there's only half a loaf in the photos...it was almost gone before I could get the camera!) And with no nuts, it's school safe making it perfect for lunches.  

Keep your bread in an air tight container on the counter to keep it lovely and moist.  You can certainly put it in the fridge, but it will firm up a bit more.  And since ours is now gone, I can only assume it would freeze fairly well too! Just ensure its wrapped well and in an air tight container before popping it in the freezer.

Foodie Friday: Easy Baking with King Arthur Flour Gluten-Free Baking Mix

So I was craving some garlicky, cheesy buns to have with my pasta dinner the other night.  And  now being gluten-free, dairy-free & egg-free made that desire feel completely unobtainable.  But wait, what's that in the cupboard?  A box of King Arthur Flour Gluten-free Baking Mix!  And that's how it all began.

Checking out the back of the box I discovered a handful of delightfully easy and delicious recipes.  One of them was for some mouth-watering Savoury Biscuits made with bacon & cheese.  But I didn't have any bacon and I can't eat the eggs or cream so I decided I would see if I could make my own vegan version.  Bring on the biscuits!

The recipe called for bacon & cheddar cheese.  I left out the bacon as there wasn't any in the house and opted for vegan cheese instead.  Then for the cream; I used plain almond milk.  Easy peasy!  But wait....2 eggs...what to do?  Now with baking sweet treats I could easily substitute apple sauce or banana instead of eggs.  But with these savoury biscuits I didn't think the flavours would have complimented each other very well.  Enter the flax-egg.  If you've never looked up egg substitutes you'd be surprised to find there are actually quite a few of them.  And I thought the flax-egg would be a nice addition to the Savoury Biscuits; not only for taste, but flax is also nice and healthy
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To make a flax-egg it's quite simple.  Just 1 tablespoon of ground flax and 2-3 tablespoons of water.  Mix it up and then wait.  Let your flax & water sit for a bit, 10-15 minutes will do, and the flax will slowly absorb the water and you'll have a nice little bowl of flaxy-gooey goodness
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After mixing my eggs and following the recipe on the box, I added some herb & garlic seasoning (I didn't have scallions either) and patted out the dough and cut it into rounds.  My mixture made 7 biscuits and the box said 6-8 biscuits so I think I did everything right.
Into the oven they went and then I waited.  I baked mine for a little longer than advised only because my oven didn't want to brown them up.  But no matter, they smelled divine!  When they came out of the oven they didn't quite look like what was on the box.  They didn't rise nearly as much as I had hoped.  Now I don't think this is because of the mix.  I tend to over handle my dough and the flax-egg may have played a part in the lack of fluffiness.  But the true test was how do they taste?

A while back I posted about my first attempt at biscuits that were more like pucks.  So I was really hoping these ones didn't suffer the same fate.  But to my surprise they were soft and airy even though they didn't fully rise.  No hockey pucks here!  And the flax-egg did a great job holding them together.  There was no after-taste from the the flax and they were perfectly garlicky and cheesy!  So good slathered in vegan butter!

I have to say I was quite impressed that I could take a mix from a box and adjust it to my dietary needs and it still came out great! The kids loved them and now I don't have to pine for biscuits anymore.  I can't wait to try and vegan-ize some of the other recipes on the box!
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Disclaimer: I received this product free of charge from  King Arthur Flour for the purposes of this review.  The opinions expressed are my own.

Foodie Friday: Gluten-Free Cookies for the Birthday Girl

So it's your kid's birthday; and you want to send your little Sally or Johnny to school with treats for all their classroom friends.  But wait....no nuts allowed at school....and your child is gluten-free....and another kid can't have eggs or milk....what do you do?  Spend hours searching online for a wheat-free, nut-free, egg-free & dairy-free recipe and then hope there's a late night grocery store you can hit up to find all the ingredients you need.  And then stay up late baking like a machine and praying your kids and all the others will eat your concoction?  Or you could try something much easier and stress free....King Arthur Flour Gluten-Free Cookie Mix!

At least that's what I did.  You may already know that our household is gluten-free, but now with Stella (our birthday girl) in school we can't send her with any nuts.  I'm used to baking with various nut flours, but that's a big no-no.  And add into the mix I've recently learned I'm allergic to dairy and eggs.  Needless to say, my fridge and cupboards are lacking the usual baking ingredients.  But I really wanted to send something special to school for Stella's birthday and I wanted to be able to enjoy a treat too.
Luckily for me I had a box of King Arthur Flour Gluten-Free Cookie Mix in the cupboard.  It's a great mix for your cookies and then you can design them however you want by adding your own special ingredients.  I was going to add raisins (my healthier choice) but Stella insisted on chocolate chips.  The next trick was to modify this mix to be dairy & egg-free.  Luckily it only calls for 1/2 cup of butter or shortening and 1 egg. I used a 1/2 cup of Earth's Balance Vegan Butter which I already had in the fridge.  But then I needed an egg substitute.  I would have used a banana as I've heard that works well, but wouldn't you know I'm also allergic to bananas!  So I found a great resource online that lists the various egg substitutes and what they are best used for.  Turns out the egg in a cookie recipe is just really for binding.  And a easy substitute is 2 tbsp of corn starch mixed with 1 tbsp of water.  So that's what I did and hoped for the best.

The mix was so easy to use and the instructions were fool-proof.  Once the dough was mixed up it looked just like cookie dough should.  Now the box recommended dropping it by heaping tablespoons to create about 2 dozen cookies.  But Stella's class is pretty big, so I used a teaspoon instead and ended up with about 33 cookies.  Pretty good for one box.

I baked them at the instructed temperature and found in my oven they took exactly 12 minutes to bake.  That was a long 12 minutes having to wait for those sweet smelling morsels to come out of the oven.  In the past I have found some gluten-free recipes to be a little more delicate than their traditional wheat counter-parts.  But these cookies weren't any more delicate than a wheat-based one.  (read: I didn't break them all getting them off the cookie sheet)
Once cooled, Stella and I decorated her special birthday cookies. 

 What 4 year old doesn't love hearts with star sprinkles?

We ended up with just enough cookies for us to have a sample before sending them off to school to be devoured.  And they received the seal of approval from Stella, Dad and myself.  And nobody would even guess they were gluten-free, dairy-free & egg-free.  So kudos to King Arthur Flour for making baking a fun family experience.  And now I can make the cookies AND eat them too!  Can't wait to try some of their other gluten-free products!
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 Disclaimer: I received this product free of charge from King Arthur Flour for the purposes of this review.  The opinions expressed are my own.