Independence Day: Happy Gluten-Free Fourth
Sir Francis Bacon
A better world where all are encouraged in their “pursuit of happiness.” And equality prevails. Isn’t that what the American Revolutionaries wanted? Ironically, a British nobleman named Sir Francis Bacon planted the seeds of the ideals of this land of “amber waves of grain.” He was one of the major players in sending explorers to Virginia in the early 1600s. He also served as Counsel to Queen Elizabeth I and dedicated free time to writing volumes of philosophy such as The Advancement of Learning.
Many believe the Utopian society he describes in the book bares direct correlation to his involvement in the Virginia Company and his hopes for a better tomorrow. The theory is laid out succinctly in a DVD entitled Secret Mysteries of America’s Beginnings: The New Atlantis. (Many also are convinced that Sir Francis Bacon was at the head of a group, which authored the Shakespearean works. If interested in more info, click here for Peter Dawkins’ site. He’s a world-renowned scholar on Sir Francis Bacon and the Shakespeare authorship question.)
As we all know ideals on paper are not always easy to perfectly execute. And America seems to serve as the grand stage where philosophies are routinely questioned. So we have rebellions and revolutions and refinement of stated standards. Thank goodness. The lionhearted courage of men and women throughout American history have brought about greater equality for all regardless of color, gender and religion.
Some critters in America have no issues.
And, yes, the fight for more freedoms continues. Including issues pertaining to food production. Without more research I will not dive into the crossfire of voices regarding issues such as the treatment of animals in the dairy, cattle and chicken industries.
For today, I will focus on the growing need for providing foods and recipes free from the protein known as gluten which is found in wheat, rye and barley products. So if you are one of the sensitive ones or are having friends over on July 4th who are wheat intolerant, support their revolution and encourage their independence from wheat! Here are some tasty gluten-free recipes, which are sure to please everyone at the party.
Such as the Ninja Baker's Gluten-Free Almond Oatmeal Apple Cookies. They are crisp, buttery and delicious. And healthy! The cookies can also be used instead of the Pepperidge Farm Chessmen called for in Paula Deen’s Not Yo’ Mama’s Banana Pudding. Other ingredients were also substituted to make the Food Network Star’s dessert a tad healthier. A detailed list follows my cookie recipe.
The Ninja Baker’s Almond Oatmeal Apple Cookies
Yields approximately 90 smallish crisp, buttery yummy cookies.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Tools you’ll need: two big bowls, a mixer, cookie sheets lined with parchment paper, a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon.
1.5 cups non-hydrogenated, trans fat-free margarine
1.5 cups almond butter (equals one 16-ounce jar of Justin’s Almond Butter)
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Evaporated Cane Juice
1-cup brown sugar
3 large cage-free eggs
2 teaspoons almond extract
3 cups Bob’s Red Mill Quick Cooking Rolled Oats
(Per their website quick cooking is better for cookies than instant.)
1 1/3 cups Bob’s Red Mill Brown Rice Flour
Slightly less than a ½ cup of Bob’s Red Mill Potato Starch
Slightly less than a ¼ cup of Bob’s Red Mill Tapioca Flour
2 teaspoons Bob’s Red Mill Baking Soda or any aluminum-free baking soda
1 heaping cup of Bob’s Red Mill Diced Dried Apples
In a large bowl whisk the oats, flours, baking soda and salt. Set aside. With the paddle attachment on your mixer, cream the margarine and almond butter until combined. Add the sugars. Next mix in the eggs one at a time until thoroughly mixed. Pour in the almond extract. Mix again. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients oats/flour/soda/salt combo. Stir in the diced apples with a spatula. Make sure to incorporate all the tiny bits into the dough by scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl.
Scoop out the rounded ½ teaspoons of dough onto your prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 11 minutes. My older oven requires that I rotate my sweets halfway in the baking process. But if you have a newer even baking oven, you are probably safe with a 9 to 10 minute bake. As a French Cordon Bleu pastry professor told me, “Trust ze eyes and nose!”
If you want a fancier dessert...Use the Ninja Baker's Gluten-Free Almond Oatmeal Apple Cookies or your favorite healthy cookies for the Queen of Southern Cooking's pudding delight.
Other Healthy Substitutes for Paula Deen’s Not Yo’ Mama’s Banana Pudding:
Skip the bananas and use dried fruits to avoid spoiling once the dessert is out of the fridge.
Use 2 cups of almond milk for the dairy kind
(Also if using dried blueberries, softening the fruit in almond milk works well.)
Substitute Neufchâtel for cream cheese. (It has considerably less fat.)
Instead of Cool Whip use TruWhip. (Confession: From childhood, I am a Cool Whip fan. However, if you want health conscious friends to enjoy your creation, go for the gluten-free TruWhip.)
Wishing you and yours a healthy, happy Fourth of July independent of all worldly concerns and cares.
The Ninja Baker