Sunday, 30 August 2015

Enjoy Life Brownies Mix Review


I decided to share this mix with my dad (who is also Celiac), mom and sister. It was great how quick and easy it was to go from box to oven. The only ingredients you need to add are water and oil. We threw a quick batch in the oven and started a movie. Halfway through we stopped for a warm brownie... Mmm. It was pretty great to have a freshly baked brownie with such little effort. 


Everyone enjoyed the brownies (including the gluten eaters). The texture was a little chewy and fudgey with crispy edges. It was sweet and chocolatey, thanks to the tiny chocolate chips that were scattered throughout the batter. You could top the brownie with icing or ganache, but it's great on its own too. We had it with ice cream for an especially decadent dessert. 


Even though this is a dessert, it contains fiber, ancient grains and added protein, which is a nice touch. It's not common to see sprouted brown rice protein and algal protein in a boxed mix. One box makes an 8x8 pan of brownies.  At $8.49 per box it's a little more than I would want to pay on a regular basis, but would be a nice treat, especially for someone who doesn't do much baking. 

Overall, it's a pretty yummy mix! 

Cost                         3 stars 
Quality Ingredients    5 stars
Texture                      4 stars
Taste                        5 stars 

Overall Rating:   4.25 stars 



Enjoy Life Muffin Mix Review




I make muffins from scratch probably once every 2 weeks, so I've had a lot of good and a lot of bad gluten free muffins over the years. There were positive and negative things about this mix. I loved how easy and convenient it was to use a mix compared to baking muffins from scratch. All you need to add is oil and water, so it's affordable and easy to make even if you're not into baking. The muffins taste great and contain good quality ingredients such as millet, quinoa, teff and sprouted brown rice protein. There are 2 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein in each serving. 


The negatives for me were texture and wetness. It seemed like it would've been better to add less water to the mix. It was soupy in consistency and hard to get into the muffin tins without making a big mess. I added blueberries to the mix and they all sunk, making it extra wet at the bottom of the muffin. Because the muffins were so moist, the texture seemed a little pasty to me. 


Overall I really liked the flavour and convenience of this mix, but I didn't love the texture. At $8.49 per box its a little pricy, but it does make about 14 muffins and would be great for someone that doesn't have time to bake from scratch. 

Cost                        3 stars
Quality Ingredients   5 stars
Texture                     2 stars
Taste                        4.5 stars 

Overall Rating: 3.5 stars 




Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Enjoy Life Foods Mixes Review

I was super excited when Enjoy Life asked me to review their new line of dry mixes! Not only are they free of the top 8 allergens, but they also contain probiotics, ancient grains (like teff, buckwheat, millet and quinoa)  and 5 grams of plant based protein per serving. Here is a photo of the print out they sent to me with some more info on the products.


My favourite thing about this review is the effort Enjoy Life put in to the blogger packages. They are pretty amazing! Complete with a branded spatula, oven mitt, stirring spoon and pizza cutter; they really went above and beyond with their blogger love! I had to show off the box to my friends and family and everyone was totally jealous. I am actually pumped about the oven mitt because my old ones are starting to wear out :) 


Isn't it adorable? I think they should make this available to purchase on their website as a gift box. It would be a great care package for a student or as a Christmas gift. I'm sure anyone would love to recieve this beauty in the mail. 

I will be reviewing the 5 Enjoy Life mixes: muffins, brownies, pancakes/waffles, pizza crust and all purpose flour blend. Click on each link for a full review. 



Pancakes/Waffles (coming soon)
Pizza Crust (coming soon)
All Purpose Flour Blend (coming soon)

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Black Bean Cookies


Most of my attempts at gluten free cookies end up dry, crumbly or gritty. It doesn't seem to matter how much xanthan gum I use. I guess the problem is with the flour, because these cookies are soft, smooth, dense and fudgey! Just a little bit of almond meal and a bunch of black beans make for one delicious cookie. 

I think I've made these cookies about 4 times in the last month and a half. They pair perfectly with my afternoon coffee! They are jam packed with protein and fiber, making them a fairly healthy treat (that is if you can keep yourself from eating the whole batch)


You need to store these in the fridge or freezer. They are great to eat straight from the fridge, but I like to microwave them a bit when taking them out of the freezer. That makes the texture gooey and the chocolate chips melty. mmmm...

makes 24 cookies
Ingredients

1 can rinsed black beans
2 Tbsp milk (any kind)
2 Tbsp olive oil (or canola)
1.5 Tbsp natural peanut butter (can use regular or another nut/seed butter)
1 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp ground almonds (you may substitute oat flour or gf flour blend)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar (use 1/3 cup if you want them less sweet)
1 tsp baking powder
dash salt
1/3 cup chocolate chips

Directions

In a food processor, blend beans, milk, oil, peanut butter and vanilla.
Add remaining ingredients 1 at a time  (excluding chocolate chips), blending after each addition.
Batter should be mouse-like in texture.
Fold in chocolate chips.
Drop spoonfulls on to parchment lined baking sheets.
bake at 375 for 10 mins (do not over-bake or your cookies can dry out. They will feel quite soft when done baking).
Let cool on the pan for 10 mins or so, then move to a cooling rack if you want them to cool faster
Store in fridge or freezer. (they will go bad really quickly at room temperature)

beans, milk, oil, pb and vanilla in a food processor

blend until smooth

add remaining ingredients 1 at a time, blending after each addition

fold in chocolate chips

drop spoonfulls on to a parchment lined baking sheet

bake at 375 for 10 mins


Thursday, 14 May 2015

Chocolate Cake


I can't take any kind of credit for this recipe, except maybe that I made it successfully and took some pictures. I actually made it for the adults at my son's first birthday celebration. I made some awesome no sugar "dog dog" cupcakes with a peanut butter cream cheese icing for my little guy. Although his cake wasn't gluten free (baby cake recipe here if you're interested anyway), ours was! Only 2 of us were gluten free but all the gluten-eaters were suprised at how good it was. This recipe is definitely a keeper!

Find it at A Girl Defloured 




I think the most important part of this recipe is the flour blend. You have to use one that's good for cakes. The recipe calls for cup4cup, but I used a mock cup4cup blend (Better Batter might work too??). Directions for how to make this blend can be found here. It looks kind of confusing and uses a bit of math, but if you decide how many grams you want total, you can use the percentages to find how many grams of each component should be added. You will need a kitchen scale for this. 



This recipe made enough for 2 round cake pans plus 4 cupcakes. Just watch the cupcakes to make sure they don't over cook. I iced it with chocolate whipped cream and a sprinkle of chocolate shavings



This really makes a stunning cake to present to anyone who is confined to a gluten free diet. They will love you forever! Haha.




Quinoa Blondies


I love the recipe I have for quinoa brownies, but I kind of left it at that for the longest time. I didn't realize there was a whole world of quinoa baking at my fingertips! Muffins, cakes, BLONDIES. Duh! It was staring me right in the face this whole time. I think technically blondies are supposed to have chocolate chips in them or something, but you can always melt them on top when it comes out of the oven if you require chocolate in your blondies.


Similar to my quinoa brownies, these blondies have a lighter, cake-like texture - go ahead and call it cake if you want, you have my permission ;). The recipe can be made in an 8x8 baking dish, as cupcakes or mini cupcakes like I have shown in the pictures. Simply adjust the baking time accordingly. Some similar recipes I've seen (thank you, pinterest) will even double the recipe, cook in round pans and make a layer cake with some kind of delectable frosting. 

Oh, and as an added bonus, these blondies contain coconut flour! Something I am trying to use and understand a bit more. I get mine from the bulk barn. 

makes an 8x8 baking dish or about 20 mini cupcakes
Ingredients

3 Tbsp Milk (any variety)
1 tsp Vanilla
2 Eggs
1/4 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 cup Canola Oil (or melted coconut oil or butter)
1 cup Cooked Quinoa
1/2 cup Sugar
3 Tbsp Coconut Flour
3/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt


Directions

In food processor or strong blender, blend milk, eggs, vinegar, vanilla and quinoa.
Mix dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.
Add dry mixture to food processor and blend with the wet ingredients. 
Pour into greased or parchment lined 8x8 baking dish
or greased/nonstick mini muffin cups.
Bake at 350 until edges start to brown and the middle is set - 25-30 mins for a dish and 12-15 for mini muffins. 

before baking

after baking 


I will try to get a picture of the blondies in the pan next time I make them. Thanks for stopping by! Hope you enjoy :)

Friday, 13 February 2015

Brownie Cookies


This is another great coconut flour recipe. It makes a nice small batch of semi-healthy cookies. The banana replaces butter and some of the sugar, and you can replace the sugar with honey or another kind of sweetener.


I find that these cookies have the best texture the day they are made, but they are still pretty good a few days old. Just store them in a sealed container at room temperature (They can be frozen but the texture isn't quite the same). This recipe only makes a dozen or so cookies, so chances are you won't have any leftovers!

makes 12-14 cookies
Ingredients

1/3 cup Coconut Flour
1/4 cup Cocoa Powder
1/4 cup Sugar (or honey or sweetener of your choice)
1 tsp Baking Powder
pinch salt
1 Ripe Banana
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
1/4 cup Chocolate Chips 

Directions

Mash banana in a bowl.
Beat in eggs and vanilla.
In a different bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Combine the 2 bowls and stir well.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Drop tablespoons of dough on parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake at 350 for about 15 mins. 


Cookie dough

Drop heaping tablespoons on parchment lined sheet

Bake at 350 for around 15 mins

Let cool and enjoy

Recipe based on this recipe at Home to Heather