Think of Me Gluten-Free

Think of Me Gluten-Free: January 2013

29 January 2013

Twin Comfort of Dessert

I'm not sure if I'm even allowed to be sitting here, enjoying the Indie music and being around busy people, chatty people, groups of people slumped over coffees with their heads bent towards each other and deep in conversation. I haven't bought anything; I sought refuge from the rain outside. As I passed by the huge windows of this rustic coffee shop, I felt the pull of just sitting and spending time at a table situated in a corner. I love to watch the people that come and go, each one with a story which I attempt to discover. Each person has a distinguishable taste, noticeable by their sense of style as they walk from the door to the counter and order their choice of drink, sometimes pairing it with a muffin or scone, at the coffee bar.

I went to school today for a Provincial exam, and sat for three hours in the gym with all of the other English students writing three essays and answering 25 multiple choice questions. Afterwards, in our exhaustion and giddy perception of being free from the pressures of this exam, at least for a little while, some friends and I drove down the road for tea together. The woman behind the counter provided samples of aromatic tea leaves for us to smell, and help us to try and figure out which tea to make into a drink, until we all decided upon a black English tea, latte style.

So there we sat, all six of us, with twin lattes in our hands and perched in chairs situated around one small round table, legs intertwined. We went over the exam, exclaiming our surprise at some of the answers, and trying to figure out whether we had chosen the right one - if pre-exam chatter hadn't been stressful enough!

Our stomachs began to growl promptly, as our nerves settled down to make way for hunger, and our pack abruptly stood and left with the steam out of our hot mugs trailing behind. The smell of that little tea place was so calming and comforting, even if the white decor wasn't. And with a hot drink to sip I began to completely unwind from the buzz of sitting an exam.

Again we found an under-sized table to share, with nearly enough room for all of our lunches to share the space. Inside had been too busy, and all the tables were taken, so wrapped up in our fur-lined parkas and knitted scarves, and still huddled around lattes, we parked ourselves under a big out-of-place summer umbrella that dripped with the drizzling rain. There couldn't have been anything more Vancouver. Lunch was taken outside because its so beautiful, and we love it outside, but there we were wrapped up in big thick coats and leaning away to prevent being hit from the splatter of the rain.

So as I sit here, slowly warming with the steam of other's hot drinks rising into the space around me, I think of a decadent dessert to complement a peaceful afternoon. What better way to enjoy the fresh flavour of fruit with a sweet gluten-free topping than Twin Crumbles, have two for you and another, and just sit for a while.

Twin Apple-Blueberry Crumbles
Print recipe here.
The perfect complement to any meal, these little crumbles are quick to whip up when you have a craving for something sweet, and are light enough to leave your taste buds fulfilled without filling you up too much.

Fresh fruit sweetens the pots with delicious flavour, and be sure to serve them with a dollop of vanilla yogourt or ice cream for a creamy treat. This can be served as a summer or winter dessert, switching up the fillings for more seasonal fruits. Pomegranate and pear, anyone?

Serves 2


1/2 apple, sliced thinly
1/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 tsp lemon juice

2 tbsp gluten free oats
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp ground almonds (or almond flour)
1 tbsp corn flour
2 tbsp cold butter

A pinch of cinnamon


Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Divide the blueberries among two ramekins, top with sliced apple and drizzle with lemon juice. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, ground almonds, and corn flour. Chop up the butter and add into the bowl, rub between your fingers until the mixture becomes crumbly, resembling bread crumbs.

Divide the crumble topping among the two ramekins, levelling evenly. Sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon on top of each crumble.

Place in the centre of the oven and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the topping begins to brown and blueberries begin to bubble.

Allow to cool 5 minutes before serving with a spoonful of vanilla yogourt or ice cream.

Enjoy the sweetness of this treat after a long day!
xx S.

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27 January 2013

To Sip a Winter Smoothie

Last week, on one of the endless days of rain and thick cloud cover, I stayed home from school to recuperate from early mornings and what felt like a hive activity for the past few weeks since school restarted for the new year. It was one of those days where very little was going on, so Mum and I got to spend the afternoon together in our cosiest socks and big thick sweaters. I spent the morning beautifying this blog, focusing on adding more pictures and clarifying the little details which had been bothering me for some time, so it was nice to completely relax when she got home from work.

Lunch was only something small to curb our hunger, so when four o'clock came around, and after we'd taken the dog out for a walk to the lake and back, we both felt the need for a little pick-me-up and something to hold tightly in our hands to warm ourselves up. The wind had chapped our lips as we strolled beside the lake, shards of ice perched on top of each other along the shores after being pushed aside by the strong wind. There was a slight breeze as we wandered, and the clouds threatened rain in small droplets that fell infrequently onto our heads and shoulders.

We came home in a flurry as the rain picked up and quickened. Mum put on the fire to heat up the house, and I turned up the stove to make a drink to heat us up. It was then that we both ended up choosing our favourite spots on separate sofas after sipping warm smoothies, and curled up around iPads in the nooks of our arms, absorbed in the trials of our preferred shows and covered in soft blankets. The fire blazed on; the animals snoozed peacefully.

I wish every day could be as peaceful as that day was, instead, I try and stay warm bundled in a big knitted scarf and a hot beanie on my stomach today while studying for an exam. I might just make another smoothie to remind myself of that day, and to sip while I try to memorise vocabulary.

Try a favourite gluten free cookie with your smoothies as well, they're delicious when dunked - see how long you can keep them in without them falling apart!
Before I get too carried away with the goodness of these smoothies, I must quickly tell you how amazing they are. As in, you must make them today, tomorrow morning, next week. In the summer after a day at the beach with ice, in the winter by the fire in a steaming mug. And for the pumpkin obsessed (oops, that's me!), try this for breakfast too. Then, as you take the first sip, you'll realise that this really is the most delicious, creamiest, smoothest, drink ever.

They'll be your neighbours favourite, and your friends favourite, too.

Go ahead, see what pumpkin can really do.

Warm Pumpkin Spiced Smoothie
Print recipe here.

If you thought pumpkin pie was just for Thanksgiving and Christmas - think again! You can pick up a can of pumpkin pie mix from your local grocery store, or puréed pumpkin, all year round. Serve this warm smoothie as an after dinner dessert, or quickly heat it up on the stove to start your day with just the right amount of sugar and spice.

Using canned pumpkin pie mix sweetens the drink, so there's no need to add sugar, and by adding a little extra spices it will bring out the pumpkin flavour a little more when paired with the coconut milk (this can be substituted with any choice of alternative). Try using pure puréed pumpkin if you'd prefer to adjust the sweetness, I recommend doubling the amount of spices listed below and add brown sugar or honey to sweeten, then simmer for an additional 10 minutes to develop the rich flavours of all the spices.

For a creamier dessert, serve these smoothies with a spoonful of vanilla Greek yogourt (the thick kind works best), and provide a spoon to eat.

Serves 2


1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (the beverage kind)
1 cup water
1/2 cup pumpkin pie mix

Dash of vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp allspice powder

2 cinnamon sticks to serve


In a medium sized sauce pan on the stove, whisk together coconut milk, water and pumpkin pie mix.

Add in vanilla and spices and bring to a near boil.

Simmer for a few minutes (3 to 5), whisking repeatedly.

Strain into two large mugs and serve with a cinnamon stick. Top with yogourt if desired.

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24 January 2013

Goddess of Mornings

The new year had me thinking about all the ways in which I wanted to make the most of my last year of high school, a big part of that being able to manage stress in order to enjoy everything around me. First, I instinctively thought to increase the amount of time in which I slept each night, going to bed earlier and if I was lucky enough to still make the ferry, sleep in a bit longer in the morning whenever I could.

I find it so much more difficult to live on an island this year. It seems to prevent me from so much more than previous years, I can't attend some mid-week grad events unless I stay over, and the planning involved with any late night event is extensive to say the least. In the afternoon, I get home exhausted just from traveling to and and from school, and take it out on people around me in my frustration. Can't it just be easy.

And then I think back, or forward, to the summers which we enjoy every year. The ease of carefree island life, biking around in shorts and sneakers, sun tanning all afternoon on the beach (just a minutes walk from our house!) and meeting at least a couple of good friends every time you head into town. Then there's the time when you really do become absorbed in talking with close friends, an easy thing to do when they all feel like family from so many years together. Preschool apple picking to daily ferry rides together, everyone is literally in, and from, the same boat.

You begin to forget the hassle of commuting. Laughter instead, carries you home.

I wake up later now, less inclined to get perfectly organized before school, and pick up a cup of brewed tea left in the fridge overnight, I love having chai or green tea in breakfast smoothies, and blend it up with an assortment of fruit (usually a banana), often some oats, and other healthy (and delicious) foods for new flavors.

Green Goddess Smoothie
Print recipe here.

It's time to start sneaking kale into foods, stir-fries, scrambled eggs, and yes, smoothies. Blend up some freshly chopped kale in a smoothie for breakfast, and you'll feel the super charge of a vitamin boost. A single serving of kale contains 10 grams of cholesterol-lowering dietary fibre, a complete day's requirements of vitamins A, C, K, and B complex. There's also potassium, magnesium and copper. If that doesn't sound healthy, then what is?

The best thing about smoothies is how versatile they are, new straw-sipping treats can be created from nearly any ingredients which you have in the fridge and they provide on-the-go convenience. Too rushed for breakfast? Make a quick smoothie in the blender. 

Be careful not to overload on sweet fruits in a smoothie, too much can overpower the palate; green vegetables tend to balance out the flavours. Try new ingredients often, many things can be incorporated for a new flavour every time, and smoothies can be the perfect start to your day with the balance of nutrients, a complete, tasty, meal.

Serves 1 for breakfast


2 tbsp gluten free oats (optional)

1 cup fresh kale, chopped
1/2 Pink Lady, Ambrosia or Granny Smith apple (for a tarter taste), diced
1 whole banana, chopped
2 dried dates, to sweeten

3/4 cup coconut water


In the blender, combine oats, chopped kale, and diced apple with some of the coconut water. Pulse until chopped finely.

Add banana, dates, and the rest of the coconut water. Blend until completely smooth. Add more coconut water to reach desired thickness.

Pour into a large glass and serve. The smoothie can also be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 or 5 days.

Enjoy the power boost tomorrow morning!
xx S.

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20 January 2013

Homemade Soup? So Easy!

I could barely pull out the Pumpkin Maple Dinner Rolls we had put in the freezer as containers and plastic bags of gluten-free baking tumbled over what I really wanted to eat with my soup today. I guess just having three of us in the house (two during the week) makes it a little difficult to get through all the cookies and brownies, muffins and then dinners, which we always seem to make excess of.

And then just last week, with the mid-January blues getting to us and forcing us to get out of the house, somehow, any way, we stepped off the ferry and drove to Vancouver for the Gluten Free Expo. Needless to say, we brought home an even greater selection of baked goods, gluten-free protein bars, chips and crackers, but proving to be just too much to be consumed in one or two evenings - into the freezer they went as well.

It was amazing how busy the convention was; tickets were sold out as soon as we got there, and there was a two hour wait for those who had already bought tickets. People who excitedly rushed up to the front desk with tickets bought online were greeted with an offer for a rebate, cash back for their purchase and time spent. However no one seemed to grumble unhappily, perhaps their bellies were content with the aversion to wheat - no upsets there: happy bodies, happy minds.

With the promise of different food options, and new substitutes for a gluten free girl, just behind those closed doors, we decided to head off for lunch before gathering a new sense of purpose to peruse the aisles of the expo - bag in one hand to be filled with samples.

Everyone eagerly approached tables, some pushing to be handed a gluten-free brownie cut and placed into a paper muffin cup first, while others grabbed at pamphlets before stopping in their tracks to read the small information printed on it. One woman, as I passed by her table with watchful eyes and just as I glanced at the selection of products lined neatly along the front of the table, caught me with a quick smile and leaned forward,

"Let me tell you about this product," she enticed,

"You're a growing girl, and you need fibre in your diet,"

How did she know? I wondered to myself, How does she already seem to know me so well, as she continued, labelling things which applied to me.

"You have a craving for protein," She also offered, and held up the product, a protein bar with 25 g of fibre.

"Come back and buy some with your mum," She whispered.

How did she do that? How was she able to get so personal in such a small amount of time, luring me in, connecting with me, and undoubtedly making me feel as if I had to return. I hurried past her table as I tried to return back to where mum was, head down and avoiding eye contact.

Later on, as the end of the expo neared, one aisle was increasingly filling up with more people, the promise of free gluten-free goods a certain lure. One table stood out as one man handed out whole loaves of bread and packages containing four large muffins, a very generous offer compared to the thumb-sized cookies given by neighbouring tables. Another popular table was serving gluten free noodles with the customer's choice of sauces, either sweet, spicy, or peanut, however as we passed by, their stocks were empty and they had already begun to pack up. It must have been the only table which we saw as completely empty by the time we got there - the popular demand for something savoury had overwhelmed them.

I felt like that today, overwhelmed by the sweetness of so many baked goods, especially after a Berry Cheesecake which mum made for supper last night - using gluten free granola ground with butter and walnuts for the base. Then, after hot chocolates with mum and dad this morning, I was craving vegetables and spices, and the bright colours of fresh produce.

Sweet Cumin Carrot Soup
Print recipe here.

A touch of honey added to the warmth and richness of cumin seeds with the smooth carrot elements create a soup that is both hearty (just the right ingredients for an energy boosting soup) and comforting for those rainy, cold days - or any day really.

This ultimate comfort dinner soup can be chased down with a 
Pumpkin Maple Dinner Roll, buttered and topped with a chunk of cheese.

I love the rich colour of this soup, which just screams out as being healthy and full of vital nutrients and antioxidants. These carrots are high in carotenoids, which is also found to reduce the risk of diabetes - and increase how much you can see at night!

Serves 4.


1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, diced finely
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt

approximately 3 cups coarsely chopped carrots, or baby carrots
1 tbsp honey
6 cups vegetable stock

4 spoonfuls sour cream or plain Greek yoghurt


In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add diced onion, minced garlic, cumin, and salt. Stir until softened, about 6 minutes.

Stir in the carrots and honey.

Pour in stock and bring stovetop to a boil. Reduce heat slightly; cover and simmer until carrots are very soft, this should take approximately 25 minutes.

In batches of 2 or 3, purée the soup mixture in a blender until smooth. Careful, the heat may make the mixture bubble while blending, so hold the lid on tight.

For a thinner soup, strain before adding more water, or just spoon the soup into bowls as is.

Garnish with sour cream and freshly ground pepper. Serve hot.

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03 January 2013

These are Brussels Sprouts?

It must have been just last night that mum asked me,

"Can't you find a recipe for all these Brussels sprouts we have left over from Christmas dinner?"

I groaned, it's been turkey sandwiches on gluten free bread with cranberry sauce for lunch, and turkey and vegetable shepherd's pie or soup for what seems to be the entire week following Christmas.

Then she laughed and continued, "There must be loads of people with leftover Brussels sprouts."

So I was a little more than pleased when I found this recipe when I was stumbling around on the Internet, literally stumbling to find some inspiration for something to cook. It was also last night that mum and I discussed how many pantry items and leftover food we have in our cupboards and in the fridge, stacked precariously on top of one another. It's come to the point that we can't even see most of the items because they remain blocked by the most recently added package of crackers or tin of beans.

"Lets try and use up the ingredients we have first?"

So we'll start with the most perishable, and with that, those pesky Brussels sprouts we had packaged up and frozen after realizing we were all out of ideas for how they could be used. Until now.

I set about making these early in the afternoon, but after baking a batch of Pumpkin Maple Dinner Rolls, time stretched out into the evening. It was then dinner time before the oven was free, so we decided upon a tapas-style dinner with homemade gluten-free bread buns, Smoked-Cranberry Turkey Balls and these; we never thought we would be able to use up so many leftovers.

And she sighed with relief after dunking a roasted Brussels sprout into the aioli and popping the whole thing into her mouth,

"Food always tastes better when someone else makes it."
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Aioli
From Costa Kitchen
Print recipe here.

A very quick recipe to use up leftover Brussels sprouts, it can be made using raw or cooked. It's such an easy recipe with an incredible tasting outcome - you won't be giving Brussels sprouts a bad rap after tasting them like this!

If using cooked Brussels sprouts as leftovers, reduce the cooking time to 10 minutes, just so that they begin to brown and become crisp on the edges.


20 Brussels sprouts, quartered into wedges
Grape seed oil for roasting
Salt and pepper

For the Aioli:

6 tbsp mayonnaise
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp lime juice
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley


Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cut the Brussels sprouts into wedges and arrange on the baking sheet, drizzle grape seed oil over top evenly and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place on a high rack in the oven and bake for 15 minutes (if the Brussels sprouts are raw). Or until they begin to brown and crisp at the edges. Halfway through baking, turn over the Brussels sprouts to allow both sides to crisp.

To make the aioli, mix together mayonnaise, minced garlic, lime juice and parsley in a small bowl. This can be prepared up to a day in advance, and stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

Allow the roasted Brussels sprouts to cool slightly before serving alongside the aioli in a small ramekin.

If serving this dish at a party, place a small glass beside the plate with toothpicks for guests to use when dipping their Brussels sprouts into the aioli.

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A Party of Turkeys

I've tried to make blogging a consistent thing for me, especially with new goals for the upcoming year to stay focused on projects and commitments, but it turns out that stress and things going on really do get in the way. It's been test after test the last week, leaving me without time for cooking, and barely any time for just sitting on the couch to relax.

Usually, I get everything done on the weekend, however last Friday through Sunday each day was filled with jobs to do, and a birthday party one evening! I turned seventeen last week, and for my special day I invited a few of my close friends for a little afternoon tea party. I expected a small little get-together, but to my surprise when I walked in the door, the dining room table was laid with elegant little porcelain teacups and saucers, and two steaming pots of Earl Grey tea - my favourite.

There were six of us seated around the table covered with a red table cloth and a delicious array of mum's gluten-free home baking, from scones with clotted cream and jam to almond macaroons with orange icing sandwiched. There was also a small plate full of traditional English cucumber sandwiches on gluten-free bread - a must for any proper British Teatime.

I was so surprised to see so much baking, and so much delicacy put into my tea party, and it truly made it special to walk in the door to the perfect table setting. It is without a doubt that everyone enjoyed the gluten free treats, and no one hid their shock at everything being gluten free but still so tasty. Instead, the scones, macaroons, and jam filled shortbread cookies, were devoured as cups of tea were refilled continuously, and the kettle remained on for at least an hour.

Just as we thought that mum had been amazing by baking and preparing everything, one of my friends jumped up and pulled something from the fridge - my view was blocked luckily! She hung around in the kitchen for a few moments, before a large chocolate cake was brought over with brightly lit candles and everyone began singing Happy Birthday.

It definitely made it that much more special that I haven't had friends over, or really done anything, for my birthday in a number of years. In the middle of January things always seem to busy to plan a party, and it's usually much easier to pass by another birthday without creating more havoc with the stress of trying to do something. Except, it wasn't like that at all. Mum told me that she would plan the party, and do the baking, and make the tea, and clean the house - "All for me?" I asked.

"Just for you."

The cake which mum made was definitely the best cake I've ever eaten, it was made from real chocolate, and layered with a creamy chocolate coconut icing (we still had a lot of leftover chocolate from Christmas, which everyone was happy to put to good use). I remember when I was little her cakes were always decorated amazingly, one year she made a pink castle cake for a castle themed party, and another made a cake in the shape of a kid in pajamas when I had a pajama party. And this year, because I love chocolate, and asked for a gluten-free party, she made a wonderful, stacked, iced, and decorated chocolate cake that was about as good as you can get. It didn't even deflate after being cooked, and it didn't even crumble.

Everyone was so full after all the tea and baked goods, that we sat around the table chatting and laughing. Mum even said that all she could hear from upstairs at certain points when she took out her headphones was bouts of hysterical laughter, as if we were all caught in fits. We must have sat around that table for about three hours, completely enjoying being around each other and being so comfortable chatting away like gobbling turkeys. Every one of us has known each other from when were at least in preschool, and have grown up together, through elementary school, and now nearly through high school together. It was while looking through my old albums that we realised how close we all are, there are pictures of us all together at my previous birthday parties (the castle party and pyjama party included) and playing at school or at home as well. Each of my friends who came for that tea party found themselves numerously in the albums, and we just laughed more at some of the faces pulled in photographs.

I was in such bliss of being around my friends, all so close to me, and my stomach ached from laughing so hard with them that afternoon.

"Thank you mumma," I whispered after my friends had gone home, "That was the best tea party ever."

Smoked-Cranberry Turkey Balls
Print recipe here.

These were not served at the tea party, but they could be, as a perfect pairing of sweet and sour, these little turkey balls are delicious appetizer-sized meatballs with a cranberry-orange barbecue sauce. Pierce them with toothpicks, and they're perfect for sharing at a party!

Makes 12 turkey balls



1/2 lb (8-12 oz) ground turkey or shredded turkey leftover from Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner
1/2 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs, such as Glutino brand
1/4 minced onion
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
1 egg
Salt and pepper


1/3 cup cranberry sauce
2 tbsp smoky hickory or chipotle barbecue sauce
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp gluten-free soy sauce
1 tsp grated orange zest


Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a food processor or large bowl, combine turkey, gluten-free bread crumbs, onion, parsley, egg, salt and pepper.

Form mixture into bite-sized balls, approximately 1 - 1 1/2 inches wide.

Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking oil, such as grape seed, and place the meatballs about 1 inch apart.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until cooked through completely. Halfway through cooking time stir meatballs to brown both sides.

Meanwhile, combine cranberry sauce, barbecue sauce, lemon juice, soy sauce and orange zest in a small pot. Over medium heat, cook the sauce until the cranberry sauce has melted and the mixture begins to bubble, about 5 minutes.

Remove the meatballs from oven, and transfer to a large pot. Pour the sauce over and stir gently until the meatballs are completely coated in sauce.

Cover and summer over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve hot.

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Bring Me Tea, Then We'll Bake Bread

After a relaxing day spent in the kitchen yesterday, Roasting Brussels sprouts and mixing Aioli, today we decided to abandon the laziness of being at home and spend the afternoon wandering a new shopping scene on Main St. and the elegant little tearooms which sit beside them, stopping to sit among antique arrangements of tables and chairs in a pattern around large bay windows.

We sat around a large wooden table as our pots of tea remained tucked in the warmth of woolen tea cozies, and the lady from behind the counter brought over a petit vanilla macaroon speckled with lavender seeds. It was eaten too quickly for any photographs to be taken, the flavours melting in my mouth with each nibble, a sweetness so delicious with the pairing of an aromatic vanilla spiced black tea.

I remember the days when Bowen had a little tea shop, and during afternoons mum and I would venture down to a snug little table decorated with a crocheted white table cloth and freshly picked flowers. It was situated right in the middle of all the activity that went on in the town, a picturesque white cottage, complete with shutters around the windows and a flower box with yellow petunias. It was during this time that we would enjoy the warmth in sharing a pot of tea and a plate of delicate shortbread biscuits between us; this remained our special treat, and even now we fall into bliss when hands tightly hold a freshly brewed cup, and light chatter follows in ease.

The tearoom which we sat became the sort of place where patrons would enter to assess their mood with questions posed by the lady behind the counter,

"Do you feel like a spicy drink? Would you like something with a perfume essence?"

And in turn they would reply thoughtfully, thinking of the past events of the day and their current mood;

"I think I'd like something with cinnamon."

The woman would know just what to prescribe, and would reach behind her to a wall filled with shelves, each one lined with large glass jars filled with all different types of tea.

"What do you feel like?"

The tea suits your mood.

So when these were pulled from the oven in anticipation and in a certain eagerness only a little gluten-free chef about to discover the best dinner roll recipe would have, I was thrilled when a little tap on the top of the rolls sounded hollow, and later when I pulled them from the muffin tray they seamlessly left it behind.

The seamlessness of such an enjoyable day and this adventure of baking gluten-free bread has left me in a hopeful and enthusiastic mood.

I couldn't help but dance around the kitchen for a bit.

And then a bit longer.

"They worked! They worked! I did it!"
I cried out, so immensely joyful.

So here it is, my own wonder-bread.

Pumpkin Maple Dinner Rolls
Print recipe here.

I was so excited to find this recipe, I knew the rolls would turn out moist and delicious even by looking at the ingredient list; with the addition of the pumpkin purée, a tried and tested ingredient in my Pumpkin Pie Loaf, the rolls hold all the ingredients together nicely and has a delicious wintry flavor.

These little gluten-free rolls are perfect for dinners or lunches with a side of soup, or can be sliced in half as a sandwich and tucked into a lunch bag.

Makes about 15 dinner rolls.


1 1/4 cups warm water, divided, plus extra
1 tsp coconut (palm) sugar
1 1/2 tbsp active dry yeast, this is equivalent to 2 instant yeast packets

1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds, plus 1-2 tbsp as a garnish (optional)
1/2 cup corn flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
2 tsp guar gum

1/4 cup pumpkin purée
2 eggs
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp grape seed oil for dusting pan


In a small bowl stir together 1 cup of warm water, coconut sugar, and yeast. Set aside for 5 minutes and allow the yeast to bloom. (If the mixture does not become frothy, resembling the foam on top of a beer, the yeast could be inactive or expired and you will need to repeat this step with new yeast)

In a food processor, pulse pumpkin seeds until finely ground. Add corn flour, gluten-free oats, tapioca flour, brown rice flour, sorghum flour, and guar gum. Pulse until the oats are finely ground.

In a separate bowl, stir together yeast mixture, pumpkin purée, remaining 1/4 cup of water, eggs, olive oil, maple syrup, and apple cider vinegar until completely combined.

Pour until flour mixture in food processor and mix on low speed. Increase the speed to medium and blend for 1 minute. The dough should resemble the consistency of a thick muffin batter; if not, add another 1/4 cup warm water and mix on medium speed for an additional 1-2 minutes.

Coat the inside of 2 muffin tins with a light greasing of grape seed oil and flouring of corn flour. Tilt the pan upside down over the sink to pour out any extra flour.

With a large spoon, portion the dough out into the muffin tins. Cover with towel or plastic wrap and set aside in a warm spot to allow the yeast to rise. Let the buns sit until they double in size, approximately 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F.

Brush each bun with a light coating of water and sprinkle with a few whole pumpkin seeds if you choose.

Bake in the centre of preheated oven u Til the buns begin to turn a golden brown and sound hollow when tapped, this should take approximately 30 to 40 minutes.

Allow the buns to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

I used maple syrup in this recipe, because I like the rich flavoring it adds to breads, and that blends perfectly with pumpkin. Honey can be substituted instead, although it will have a less detectable taste.

Quinoa flakes can also be substituted for the gluten-free oats, especially if you cannot tolerate oats.

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