Whey to go

Whey energy bar cookies! Immensely pocketable. These kept me going
strong on our Christmas Eve ride down the coast.

Gluten Free Oats
Whey (leftover from making cheese or straining yogurt)
Dried fruit (I used dried Serendipity Farms plums)
Honey (above honey from friend Robert of City Bees)

Soak the oats in whey for 30 minutes or so. The oats will soak up most
of the liquid. Strain the oats and squeeze them lightly to remove excess
whey. Mix these with dried fruit of your choice and the remaining
ingredients. Add honey until you reach your desired sweetness.

Heat the oven to 250. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour
the mixture evenly on the paper and spread it flat. Bake for 30 minutes
and check on it. If the top is crusty, flip it to cook the bottom. Bake it for
another 30 minutes. The cookie should be pretty dry but still flexible.
Cut it into rectangles and store in the freezer. Bring a few cookies with
you on your next bike ride!


I jar what I can

Persimmon season is drawing to a close, and I scooped up the last of
the fruits at last Wednesday's Castro Farmers Market.

To keep them around a little longer, I made a batch of persimmon butter.
It was my biggest canning project yet.

Persimmon Butter

40 fuyu persimmons
10-12 lemons, juiced
chopped fresh ginger to taste
cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice to taste
sugar to taste (1-2 cups, reassess after the mixture reduces)

Chop the persimmons and cover them with water in a large soup pot.
Let them boil for a while with a lid before adding the rest of the
ingredients. Remove the lid and boil for a long time. When the liquid
has evaporated a little and the persimmons are starting to get soft
and stringy, puree the whole mixture in a blender. Put the puree back
on the stove and start to reduce on a low flame. Stir occasionally. This
should take a few hours. When the mix has reduced and thickened,
taste and add sugar, spices and lemon juice accordingly (the lemon is
for acidity for safe canning practices). When it is just right, transfer to
sterilized jars and process in a hot water bath for at least 10 minutes,
or store in the fridge immediately! Eat it with toast, with yogurt, as a
filling for donuts, or a smoothie filler!

Spiced persimmon smoothie:

1/2 c plain unsweetened yogurt
1/2 peach, frozen
1-2 T spiced persimmon butter

Blend thoroughly, enjoy immediately.


Clean Beets-Drying your vegetables!

Exciting things are happening here in my part of the world! Firstly, outer
space pizza dough. This was topped with parsley and butter beans as an
accidental falafel pizza.

I visited an allergy clinic a few weeks ago, hoping to figure out why I've been
so sick this year. It seems I can't eat tapioca, garbanzo, or potato, three of the
most popular GF flour substitutes (Tapioca is the main ingredient in most of my
breads). The pizza dough was made with arrowroot and quinoa flour in an effort
to learn the ways of some new ingredients.

This bread had amaranth and quinoa but no starch. It taught me a few things
about baking with eggs, something I haven't done in months.

It's been a treat to be excited about food these days. I've been canning
jams and drying fruit, so I thought I'd experiment with root vegetables.

I snatched these beets from Happy Boy Farms last week and roasted them
with turnips and Serendipity thumbalina carrots, salt and olive oil. I
wanted to make an energy bar from vegetables instead of dried fruits, so
I shredded the roasted veggies in my food processor, along with some
braising greens, rosemary, ginger and garlic, and spread it all out on a
baking sheet to dry in the oven. They bars are a little fragile, but really

Finally, it's the first night of Chanukah, and I wish you all a warm
and filling holiday.


Chocolate Coffee Loaf

This was served to a well-lubricated crowd at this season's first holiday
party. It went quickly.

Chocolate Coffee Loaf

1/2 c tapioca starch
1/2 c white rice flour
1/2 c brown rice flour
1/2 c gluten free cocoa powder
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
2 t guar gum
2 T finely ground (decaf) coffee (use up to 1/4 c for stronger taste)
1/2 t salt

3/4 c sugar
1/2 c olive oil
1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
3/4 c whey (use buttermilk if you don't have whey)

Preheat oven to 325. Mix ingredients together and pour into a loaf pan.
Bake for 50-60 minutes. If you slice your cake and it isn't fully baked,
spread pieces on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 5 minutes.
Call it cake toast.

Polenta Cake

Known as cornbread in the real world, this polenta cake is spiced, so I call it cake.

Polenta Cake

1/2 c tapioca starch
1/2 c brown rice flour
1/2 c white rice flour
1/4 c gluten free polenta
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
2 t guar gum
1/2 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t allspice
1/8 t nutmeg

1/2 c sugar
3/4 c buttermilk (to make it vegan, substitute your favorite milk, plus 1 t apple cider vinegar)
1/2 c olive oil
1/2 c unsweetened applesauce

Preheat oven to 325. Mix all your ingredients together, snack on
some applesauce, add 1 t orange zest if so desired, snack on the
orange. Pour batter into a cake pan or cast iron pan and bake for
35 minutes. Let cool slightly before taking it out of the pan. Slice
and serve warm with yogurt.


Kabocha pie!

Red or green kabocha squash makes a mean pumpkin pie. It's got more
flavor than a pumpkin by far, it's easier to peel, and you can buy them
at your local farmers market from now until March!

The pie dough I used is a modified version of the Rugelach dough recipe.
It came out incredibly flakey and pastry-like. Very exciting.

This recipe should make enough dough for 2 small pies.


3/4 c tapioca starch
1 c brown rice flour
1/2 c white rice flour
2 t guar gum
1 1/2 T sugar
1/4 t salt

1 stick butter
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2-1 cup cold water

Mix dry ingredients. Cut in cold butter with a knife until crumbly.
Add cream cheese and small amounts of water and mix until dough
just holds together and isn't crumbly. Wrap dough ball in plastic
and store in the freezer while you prep the filling. When ready,
preheat oven to 375, roll out dough to desired thickness and
transfer to pie pan (The cast iron was pretty but it made the bottom
crust very tough.). Flute the edges if desired. Score bottom with a fork
and bake for 15 minutes.

Kabocha Pie Filling (egg-free)

(I did this filling to taste, and advise you to do the same, but here are
some approximations.)

This is enough filling for one pie.

1 small kabocha squash, halved, deseeded and boiled until fork-tender
about 1 cup buttermilk
1/4 c plain greek strained yogurt
1/2 c sugar (to taste)
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t allspice
1/8 t nutmeg
1/4 t salt
1 t lemon or orange zest

Peel boiled squash and puree (with some water if necessary).
Mix all ingredients together and edit until desired taste is achieved.
It should be the consistency of a stiff pancake batter.

Pour into a par-baked pie crust and bake for 50 minutes or until cracks
start to form in the top (since there is no thickener in this recipe, it
must bake for a long time, but in the end the texture is incredible).

Serve with the remaining container's worth of greek yogurt mixed with
orange zest, orange juice, fresh ginger and a touch of sugar.

1 pie will feed 12 of your closest friends.