1

Today I was talking with someone about digestive health on a gluten free diet. Getting enough fiber, eating the right carbs, feeling good, gluten free cookies, that sort of thing.  (see gluten free chocolate chip/chunk recipe below)

The conversation came around to the usual story of digestive details best left to whispers and not in polite conversation. However, if you are someone with Celiac Disease or Gluten Sensitivity you are probably not shy of telling all about your last episode of unintentional glutening and its accompanying digestive symptoms. The hours of agony, days of fog and being unwell from a single morsel of the offending gluten.

The last time for me was in a coffee shop advertising "TRY OUR NEW GLUTEN FREE COOKIES" After being assured up an down that the cookies were indeed gluten free I  decided to go ahead and have three tiny little cookies with my coffee. I had asked about the ppm (20 parts per million is the upper limit of supposed gluten safety for those intolerant to gluten), of their gluten free flours, to which I received a sort of blank unknowing stare. This alone should have alerted me. However; the prospect of enjoying some cookies after a long walk really got the better of me.

I did enjoy the cookies, a little too sweet like many gluten free goodies I have found that rely on sugar for taste. So apart from the sugar rush, a half hour later the dreaded first symptoms started to make their appearance. It was a week before I was myself again!

This morning's conversation eventually left the gritty details and what to do about the pains of being glutened and came around to why it is important to assure the gluten free foods you are eating contribute not just to feeding yourself, but also to your ongoing digestive health.

We were talking about Astoria Mills enriched gluten free baking mixes and how the resistant starch in the form of Hi-maize  ® contained in them is a significant help for the digestive system.

One of the things that Hi-maize ® resistant starch promotes in the intestines is that it feeds the friendly bacteria so necessary to gut health. It helps produce more of a short-chain fatty acid called Butyrate which is the primary fuel source for healthy colon cells.

So what is Butyrate you ask? Butyrate is a part of the colonic mucus layer protecting the lining of the intestinal epithelium. Butyrate is produced during the fermentation of dietary fibers and plays a key role in colonic health.

So why not make even your cookies into a healthier snack with Astoria Mills enriched with vitamins, minerals and Hi-maize  ® resistant starch. Gluten Free treats can be healthier too.

Here is a recipe for some gluten free chocolate chip cookies that will make your mouth water and your taste buds do a happy dance :)

Chocolate-Chip-CookiesChocolate Chunk Gluten Free Cookies

1 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 eggs
Pinch of salt

In a separate bowl mix together:

2 1/2 cups Astoria Mills All Purpose Mix #1 (for even more nutrition exchange 1/2 cup Aztec Harvest Blend - Mix #4 for whole gluten free grain/seed deliciousness)
½ scant teaspoon Xanthan Gum
1 teaspoon baking powder

Turn mixer lower and blend the dry ingredients in with the butter and egg mixture. Whip well.

Now stir in by hand:
2 cups GF chocolate chips or chunks
(You can make your own with good quality, pure dark chocolate.
1 cup of chopped walnuts, optional

Spoon a heaping tablespoon full at a time onto a well greased baking sheet or one lined with parchment paper.

Leave room to spread, flatten each cookie with the tines of a fork.

Bake in a 375 F oven for about 10 -12 minutes until just turning golden around the edges.  Makes a little more than  2 dozen cookies depending on the size.

If you don’t want to bake them all right away, save some dough in the fridge, or in the freezer, rolled up like an ‘ice-box cookie, ready to slice and bake.

Happy Baking, Happy Eating, Happy Feeling Good,

All the best,

Trina

Astoria 7 Set Line up

Enriched Gluten free flours available in the USA and Canada. Overseas orders by special request.

1

Gingerbread Man

Well, 'tis the season we start thinking of Christmas and Holiday baking. A family tradition at our house is making gingerbread. Some years it is cut out cookies, some years we make gingerbread houses, and some years we mail our creations to family living at a distance.  Since we are a gluten free household, our cookies are always gluten free. As the cook in the household, I used to mix my own flours to bake with. Now, through Astoria Mills I get to share mixes with all of you! I’m always thinking about nutrition and eating healthy, so I created the flours and mixes that way, enriched with vitamins, minerals and resistant starch.

So from my house to yours, here is my special recipe for the most Heavenly Gingerbread Cookies.

I hope you make them and start a new tradition at your house.

Merry Merry Christmas!

Heavenly Gingerbread Cookies
By: Trina Astor-Stewart

For the very best gingerbread cookies you have ever tasted! You won’t even have to mention they are gluten free! These not only taste wonderful they will keep in an air tight container for a couple of weeks or longer.  Make sure they are cool and dry before storage. If you have someone that you would like to mail gluten free gingerbread cookies to, this is your very best recipe!

Tantalize everyone’s taste buds, fill your home with beautiful spicy aroma and create memories in your home this Christmas that will become a family tradition. You can also use this recipe to make a Gingerbread House.

(A) Beat together in large mixer bowl,
1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
3 large eggs
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup fancy molasses
1/3 cup corn or golden syrup
¼  teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt  (if butter is unsalted)
Add spices:
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon of Orange zest (optional)
1 teaspoon ground dry ginger
1 tablespoon of fresh ginger juice (grate some fresh ginger and strain)

(B)   Beat 2 minutes then add at slow speed
2 1/2 cups Astoria Mills All Purpose Flour – Mix #1
2 cups Astoria Mills Pastry Flour – Mix #2
Astoria Mills gluten free flours and mixes are enriched - buy them here www.astoriamills.ca

Quick Directions:
Cover and refrigerate dough overnight or at least 3 hours (or in freezer for 1 hour) before rolling and cutting shapes. Dough can remain refrigerated for up to 1 week for baking anytime.

Cut out as desired.

(C)  Bake cookies at 350 F - 7 to 10 minutes until done.  Cookie sheet should be lined with parchment paper. With metal pancake turner, or thin knife blade remove cookies to wire racks to cool. Repeat with remaining dough.

Extended Directions for Gingerbread:
1. Into large bowl, place (A) ingredients. With mixer at low speed, beat ingredients until well blended, add (B) occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula.  Knead into a ball, save adding more flour until rolling out, and cover dough with plastic wrap; Refrigerate dough overnight or at least 3 hours (or in freezer for 1 hour) before rolling and cutting shapes.

2. Preheat oven to 350’F. On well floured surface, using Astoria Mills
All Purpose Flour – Mix #1 shape dough into a ball and with floured rolling pin, roll out one fourth of dough 1/4 inch thick, keeping remaining dough refrigerated. With floured cookie cutters, cut dough into any shape you like.    Place cookies, about 1/2 inch apart, on slightly greased cookie sheet or for best results use parchment paper.

3. Bake cookies at 350°F - 7 to 10 minutes. With metal pancake turner, or thin knife blade remove cookies to wire racks to cool. Repeat with remaining dough.

Ornamental Royal Icing:
Beat together
1 egg white (beat slightly first)
4 cups icing sugar
1/3 cup warm water ,
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract ... experiment with the consistency.
Divide icing into small bowls; tint each bowl of frosting with food coloring as desired. Keep all bowls covered to prevent icing from drying out.

 

Place cookies on waxed paper lined cookie sheets. Decorate as desired. With small metal spatula or knife spread a layer of icing over the entire cookie surface of each cookie. Decorate by filling decorator tube with icing and forcing through the nozzle.  (If icing is too stiff dilute it with a little water.) Set cookies aside to allow frosting to dry completely, about 2 hours or overnight. Store cookies in a tightly covered container. Makes about 3 dozen small cookies or several large gingerbread men. Recipe can be doubled.

Gingerbread House Icing
3 cups icing sugar
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
2 egg whites
½  teaspoon pure vanilla extract or peppermint.
Beat in an electric mixer.

Enjoy your holiday baking this year!

Gingerbread Woman

Astoria Mills enriched gluten free mixes make all your gluten free holiday baking better. Easy to use, download a free e-cookbook and see all the delightful things you can make all year. Great gluten free breads, cakes, pies, cookies, squares and main dishes. It is real food made gluten free!

Frosted Gluten Free Lemon Square

Besides Chocolate... lemon is one of my favorite flavors for a luscious dessert, from refreshing ice creams to lemon meringue pie to these lemon squares. Just the right dessert finger food. Enjoy!

 

Frosted Lemon Squares
by: Trina Astor-Stewart

Just the right amount of tart and sweet goodness in these gluten free morsels. No one will guess they are gluten free so make enough for everyone at the party!

Layer 1
1 1/2 cups of Astoria Mills Pastry Flour - Mix #2
1/8th teaspoon Xanthan Gum
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter (or dairy free subst.)
1 beaten egg

Layer 2
2 eggs beaten slightly
juice from 2 lemons
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons Astoria Mills All Purpose Flour - Mix #1
dash salt

Mix together well and pour on top of first crust layer. Bake in a 350F oven until set in the center and a light brown color on top. Cool and Frost.

Frosting:
1 1/2 cup Icing sugar
2 tablespoons soft butter (or dairy free subst.)
4 tablespoons lemon juice
Whisk frosting ingredients together into a smooth icing. Spread on top of lemon layer. Let set, cut into squares.

These make a delicious addition to a party try of other sweets, like brownies etc.

Astoria Mills Enriched baking mixes available online at www.astoriamills.ca

 

21

Strawberry Custard Tarts

Ummm... June is for Strawberries ...any which way you can have them. These wonderful little fruity morsels are now available almost year round in a supermarket, but there is just nothing like freshly picked strawberries. I delight in the fact that they are gluten free.

Of course there are so many things to do with strawberries. They are like a smile from heaven adorning any plate.

I just love strawberry pie, strawberry tarts ... anything strawberry. My mom's favorite milkshake was strawberry and I can't think of one, but they remind me of her warm smile.

Here is a gluten free recipe for Strawberry Custard Tarts I hope you will make and enjoy! These tarts feel like a guilty pleasure, but when you consider this pastry flour has added vitamins, minerals and resistant starch ...why you can know you are getting more nutrition too!

Gluten Free Tart Pastry

A. Mix together dry ingredients well
2 cups Astoria Mills Pastry Flour - Mix # 2
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 scant teaspoon xanthan gum (more will make crust too soft)

B. Cut in with a pastry cutter, blending to a coarse mealy texture.
½  cup vegetable shortening
½ cup butter or margarine

C. Stir in Liquids
1/4 cup cold water
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 cold egg slightly beaten

Tip: I often use a food processor.    Mix together into a soft pie dough. Form dough into small balls and press into a greased tart or muffin tin. Chill for 10 minutes. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes until edges are light brown. Let cool and then add custard filling.

Top with sliced strawberries and glaze with gelatine. Place on a nice plate and serve with joy.

Vanilla Pudding

This is a from scratch method, but you can buy a gf pudding powder mix if you like.

Step One: Blend
2 cups of milk
1 cup sugar
Dash salt
In a sauce pan and heat slowly until sugar is dissolved into the milk mixture.

Step Two: Mix
6 tablespoons corn starch in ½ cup water, add this to the milk mixture and bring just to the boil, stirring constantly.

Step Three: Place in a separate bowl and beat with a whisk
3 egg yolks
While whisking egg yolks with one hand, pour a small amount of hot milk mixture into the bowl and continue blending, when the mixture has enough of the hot mixture blended in so that it won’t curdle, add this to the remaining hot pudding in the sauce pan and continue beating to thicken.

As a last step to finishing the vanilla pudding add
2 tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract

Stir together well, pour into pudding cups.

Food make with loving hands is always twice as nourishing. :)

4

Cupcakes are in! Luscious little morsels of wonderful creamy frosting on top of just the right amount of moist and soft mouthwatering cake. Gluten free cupcakes are no exception with tons of recipes out there for everyone's best cupcake.

So here I go with my version of a chocolate cupcake with a coffee twist. Light and airy cake, creamy frosting guaranteed to make anyone happy. Whatever your occasion, there is no need to make regular and gluten free for your party, these gluten free cupcakes will delight everyone and unless you tell them they won't believe they are gluten free.

Now, being a mom myself, I am opposed to just feeding kids (or anyone) a bunch of empty calories, so I am thrilled to say these have vitamin and mineral enrichment as well as resistant starch because of the enriched gluten free flour used to make them with.

Of course you can frost any way you like but the Mocha Frosting is so easy and makes these a little upscale tea party-ish. So without further ado... here is the recipe.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Mocha Frosting

  1. Beat wet ingredients together in bowl.

4 eggs
¾ cup oil
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cup milk (can be substituted with Almond or Soy milk)
2 tblsp. White vinegar

  1. In a separate bowl, blend together well

1 tablespoon psyllium husk powder (this gives extra fiber and a moist cupcake)
2 cups Astoria Mills Pastry Flour - Mix #2

(Enriched with vitamins, minerals and resistant starch)

2 tablespoons baking powder
¼ Teaspoon Baking soda
¾  cup pure cocoa

Fold/stir Dry ingredients in to wet ingredients all at once and quickly beat together until you have a smooth pourable batter.

Pour batter into cupcake liners in muffin tin. (lightly spray paper liners with gf pam) Bake at 350F for about 25 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Cool and frost with Mocha Frosting.

Mocha Frosting
Whip 1/4 lb. soft butter ( or dairy free margarine) and 2 cups icing sugar together to make a frosting. Taste, add more icing sugar to achieve desired consistency.  Add 1 teaspoon strong coffee. Pipe onto cupcakes.

Now take a big bite and listen for your taste buds singing!

4

Tea biscuits with raisins
Easy gluten free tea biscuits recipe for breakfast with eggs and coffee

There is always one of those Saturday or Sunday mornings when you get up, and think, I sure would love to have something different. Sure would like to have some biscuits. But then, you blink your eyes and say to yourself, "That is just too much work!"

Now in about ten minutes you can have these delicious little biscuits made and enjoy them with eggs and coffee.

All you do is, while the skillet is heating up to medium low, mix up the biscuit ingredients. Follow the recipe. Place on a plate. Take the same pan, cook your eggs, boil the kettle or put the coffee on and you are ready.

Easy enough to do just for yourself, pretty and tasty enough to do for the whole family or impress mom!

Stove Top - Tea Biscuits

Only minutes to make these delicious biscuits for breakfast or any time you would like a quick snack bread. The Resistant Starch and Vitamin Enrichment in Astoria Mills All Purpose Flour Mix #1 makes these even healthier.

Whisk together in a bowl:

1/2 cup cold water
1 tablespoon oil
2 eggs (or flax seed substitute)

Blend together dry ingredients:

1 cup Astoria Mills All Purpose Flour - Mix #1  (Contains vitamins, minerals and resistant starch for added nutrition)
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Baking Powder

Mix wet and dry ingredients together. Drop spoonfuls of batter onto a pre-warmed (no oil) cast iron skillet, or non stick skillet. Flatten each with your spoon. Cover and let cook for about 3 minutes, flip and cook on the other side for about 3 or 4 minutes until slightly golden. Serve warm as shown with eggs 'over easy' and coffee. Nice biscuits to scoop up that delicious yolk with.

These are very easy to make for a quick tea time snack and taste great with butter and jam. Or for a Victorian Tea, serve with clotted cream and fruit preserves.

Tea Biscuits with Apricot Jam
Tea Biscuits with Butter and Apricot Jam

The morning I made these for hubby and me, we saved a couple and had them with tea mid afternoon.

There are times, when you just need something simple and easy.