Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Hmmmm. I am in that "tired but alert" state of mind. I should be in bed so that I can sell my work in at least one day of the pottery sale. But, I'm not tired yet (yawn). And my body is hungry even though the rest of me is not.

Made some gluten free scones today, chocolate chip flavored. This was fun because: it was a challenge. Making stuff with other-than-standard flour is always challenging. Also, I found some of the coolest flours to use: quinoa, coconut (who knew you could buy coconut flour??), almond, tapioca and....hmmm. Seems like there was another. I only used the coconut, quinoa, and tapioca flour for these scones, with the addition of xanthan gum (because non-gluten flours tend to crumble a lot and the xanthan gum helps with that). And, although there was an egg, and butter, I was also able to make it with coconut milk instead of cream, which I never buy, whereas coconut milk is pretty much a staple item in our cupboard (it's good for curries and Filipino desserts). I had to use sugar and didn't want to use honey or agave syrup, etc because they are liquid and I was messing with things enough as it was. So, I settled for dark brown organic sugar. There wasn't a lot of it, only a third of a cup for the entire batch. The verdict? They're pretty good! I can taste the quinoa and a hint of coconut (goes well with the chocolate chips) but these actually make the finished product mroe interesting. The standards are pretty bland and uninspiring by comparison. Next time I want to try it with the almond flour! :-) If you folks want a recipe, I can post it.

Oh! Forgot! Why would I want to make this weird recipe to begin with? Well, because. Quinoa is cool: see? It has a protein level of 12-18% and the protein has all 8 amino acids, which is uncommom in the plant kingdom. Since I don't often eat meat, this is really good to know. Also, I like weird foods and uncommon agricultural crops that we hardly ever hear about. It annoys me that most of our food comes from just 5 or 6 crops. It seems to me that relying very heavily on such a narrow array of food is:
  • boring
  • not smart from a crop failure scenario viewpoint
  • not smart from a biodiversity angle
  • predisposes people to allergies and makes them a lot more vulnerable in the event of contamination of the food supply
  • Probably doesn't supply a balanced array of nutrient or minerals.
  • and besides, why is it that we can make thousands and thousands of dishes from meat, and yet we don't even try to do that with plant foods? With a few exceptions, such as soybeans, corn, potatoes, wheat, rice and peanuts, we eat most of our plant foods in just a few forms, often cooked just as they are. Only freaky people like me carry it to the next level.
What I really want to get my hands on: some teff. This is such a cool crop! You can plant an entire field from a single handful of the stuff! I found teff wraps today, but some seed or flour would be nice. And when spring comes, I would like to grow some quinoa and amaranth.


chamoisee said...

Apparently oats are gluten free too, except that they're frequently contaminated with wheat and other gluten-containing grains, and celiacs are vulnerable to even really small amounts of gluten. If, however, one grew a little patch of their own oats (hull-less would probably be best so as not to have to deal with de-hulling), oat flour and oatmeal could be used. Or millet too, but frankly, I just do not like millet.

Anonymous said...

Amaranth...Becky, will never make it up there, too short season, not enough HEAT, and SUN. Amaranth can grow here, quickly. i just had the pleasure to taste a awesome fresh Quinoa salad, at Papaya's health food salad bar. i have NEVER, ate at such a prolifically tasty, and fresh, organic salad bar, until i moved here! with ALL FRESH, LOCAL, fruit and veggies. it's like electricity of enzymes in your mouth! super blast of energy is perfect for brain damage and immune repair. millions of the smartest folks in the world, ALL come HERE, to heal.....

chamoisee said...

There is short season grain amaranth as well as leaf amaranth. There is also a handy invention called a greenhouse.

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