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The Flour Series: Coffee Flour

First up on The Flour Series is…. Coffee Flour!

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What is it?

Coffee Flour is a new gluten-free flour option making its way into mainstream grocery stores as we speak.

As the Trader Joe’s package above states, coffee flour is made from dried and then ground coffee cherry husks and skins. One benefit of this is that this part of the coffee plant is usually thrown away and this new use is allowing the coffee industry to produce less waste, #wasteless!

Although I assumed the flour would have that fantastic caffeine-inducing smell to it by which coffee reels me in, it does not. The best way to describe the taste of this flour is somewhere between date and raisin. Not what you would expect.

The caffeine content is definitely present but probably won’t give you as much of a kick as you hoped. Claims are that it has about 60mg of caffeine per tablespoon, which sounds like a lot, but most recipes have you replacing less than a quarter cup of flour with coffee flour (or 10-15% substitution) because of the strong flavor. So spread that 240mg of caffeine over an entire pan of brownies and (unless your intent is to eat the entire pan) you are getting a pretty minimal amount.

Benefits of coffee flour include 3x more iron than spinach, 5x more fiber than whole grain wheat flour, 38% more antioxidants than pomegranate, 2x more potassium than bananas, 3x more protein than kale and 84% less fat than coconut flour.       Dude.

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One thing to be aware of is that none of the coffee flours I have seen claim to be organic. Coffee is one of the most chemically-treated crops in the world. So regardless of whether you are a strict organic consumer or not, this is a potential concern and you might not want to add this to every dish your making until more research is available.

What do you do with it?

Because of the harsh, somewhat bitter taste of the flour, most recipes you find on-line are for brownies or something with a lot of chcolate and sugar to help balance the flavor. Check out the photo above and see the coffee flour package has a brownie recipe on the back.

For the sheer irony of it, I am looking for a good coffee cake recipe to try using the coffee flour. Epicurious.com has some good options I’m considering since I don’t have a tried and true coffee cake recipe of my own yet.

Some resources say you can add this flour to other things like smoothies and sauces, but I haven’t tested that personally.

What does BTN do with it?

Well… I’ve tried a number of recipes, some better than others. Apparently the first round of coffee flour cookies I tried only got published in my Instastories on Instagram… Meaning those photos are gone from posterity. But my initial reaction was that they were very date-y and bitter and I did not want to double up the sugar to make then taste like a cookie.

So my next experiment was using the flour to make a morning bar, something you would expect to be more earthy, like trail mix. I did a number of trials trying to get a good bar that people would like… And still the reaction I got from what I consider my “mainstream feedback” was that they were still too earthy.

With that said, Nick and I really enjoyed them based on our palate. And even though I won’t be adding them to my order forms, look for a follow up post with the recipe coming soon!

One option I did really like was the Mocha Protein Cookies! The addition of a stevia-sweetened protein powder actually made the cookie quite delicious! I will be adding that to my offerings this month! It is packed with protein,  low on sugar, includes all the coffee flour benefits, and pretty good for a morning snack!

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I hope this helps to answer your questions and assumptions on coffee flour! I had a blast testing it this last month and I’ll keep you all in the loop as I continue to understand it’s benefits.

Have a cookie,

Lauren

The Flour Series

I am going to be starting a series on different types of gluten-free flours, what they are best used for, key nutritional benefits and some of my favorite recipes. Stay tuned! I will come back and link them all here as I post them. ¬†Comment below if I don’t have a flour listed that you are particularly interested in.

POSTS COMING SOON:

Coffee Flour

Buckwheat Flour

Banana Flour

Chickpea Flour

Almond Flour vs Almond Meal

Coconut Flour

Oat Flour

Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour

Rice Flour

New Friends

Today I interviewed Katelyn Lesk on Gluten Free-Way! Although we only met a few short months ago, it seems like it was a long time coming because we knew almost instantly when we met she would be a great guest for the show! Check out the link below on how gluten-freedom has become her lifestyle and her whys behind it! We had a great time chatting and I hope you see more of her in our Baked True North news moving forward.

Gluten Free-Way Episode 3


Have a cookie!

Lauren

And the Winner is…

Katelyn!

Private Message me on Facebook and we’ll work out the details of the cookies! ūüôā

 

Thanks everyone for commenting and creating the buzz! I pulled names out of a lunch box… for lack of a hat. But I loved all your favorites and they gave me some good ideas. Stay tuned for the giveaway cookie new release coming in the next month!

 

Have a cookie!

Lauren

Giveaway TIME!

In honor of spring and everything good in life… I am going to do a giveaway now! But it’s only going to run now until midnight on April 1st! Comment on this post as to what your favorite type of cookie is and I will pick 1 lucky winner to get 4 large cookies either in that flavor (if it makes sense) or in another flavor I offer.

Ready? Set? COMMENT!!!!!!!!!!

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Have a cookie!

– Lauren

Green Baking… eggs, but no ham.

Half of this post is an exciting science mistake/discovery and half of this post is a promotional product pitch.

It all started with an order. ¬†For me it usually does. I may have launched my business on the fact that I make darn good gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, but I have since realized ¬†that most of the time people order bakes goods, they are looking for something special. ¬†Chocolate chip cookie are a regular delivery for me to Good L’Oven, but this particular week they asked for half of the order to be Snicker-doodles.

For those who don’t know, snicker-doodles are cinnamon sugar cookies. So, I knew my usually cookie dough base, boasting a peanut buttery taste, was going to be too strong for this cookie. ¬†I do love baking with butters though. Nut butters are a staple for my cookies. ¬†So in the quest to find a more mild flavor that wouldn’t drown the cinnamon, I got some sunflower butter to experiment with. Sunflower butter is just like a peanut butter, but is not as strongly flavored.

So, after I whipped up a batch with the sunflower butter, I split one in half for Nick and I to try, and you wouldn’t believe what I saw…

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The middle of the cookie was bright GREEN.

At first I panicked… and I was trying to remember from high school chemistry if it was possible that my blender and metal bowl had caused some chemical reaction with an ingredient. So what other choice did I have but to go to Google. I searched “why is the middle of my cookie green?!!” For some reason I was sure Google would know and this time I was not let down.

Apparently, I was on to something with my limited chemistry memory, but it was the sunflower seed butter and the baking soda! The chlorophyll in the sunflower seeds reacts with the baking soda when I baked it, causing the green color to appear in the middle when the cookies cooled. Thankfully the cookies were edible! And we sure did eat them up. So, I gave one to my trusty, foodie, health friend Meredith to test and make sure she survived. She did. I however did change the recipe before delivering said baked goods to my customer. (phew!)

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(side note that I bragged to my best friend and high school chemistry lab partner about my discovery… and we determined that this was more than we may have ever learned in high school…)

Now I promised there would be another part of this post that is more promotional product pitch… Green Tea Mini Muffins! I recently received an order for a few batches of green mini muffins for St. Patty’s day.

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So here they are… green tea mini muffins! They have a light green color, so I left some plain, some with crushed pistachios and some with mini chocolate chips. Great morning treat for the breakfast event and so cute too! I might try to make them a touch greener, but I am very happy with them and they are now available for order!

  • $6/dozen for the plain minis
  • $7/dozen for either of the toppings

Let me know if you want to order these for your St. Patty’s get-togethers by shooting me an e-mail at bakedtruenorth@gmail.com or message me on my Facebook page… or scroll up to the Contact link and shoot me a note there!

Thanks to everyone for tuning in for some green fun! Happy St. Patty’s Day (a bit early)!

Have a Cookie,

Lauren

Chocolate Pistachio Health Cake

Yesterday was my beloved’s 29th birthday… and being the healthy guy he is I kinda assumed he didn’t want a birthday cake. ¬†He had put up with my cake box experimentation for dad’s birthday and I thought that was enough. ¬†But on a walk the night before his birthday he revealed that there were TWO desserts he had been craving if he could have anything on his birthday… chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, and… that Eat n’Park pistachio pudding, er fluff, er whatever it is! He asked me if I could make a healthy version of either of those.

I have nothing against Jello specifically and although I, myself, am not a pistachio fluff type of person, can appreciate that it’s a familiar yum to him. I do not, however, have any idea how to make a healthy version of it that would taste remotely similar. ¬†It’s likely the fake pistachio taste that he loves… which I don’t know how to replicate. So I decided to try a healthy cake version and maybe give it a pistachio spin and try to kill 2 birds… without actually killing any birds, if you catch my drift.

The base of my cake recipe was from my dear friend Meredith who we interviewed last week on Gluten Free-way. Her recipe is actually a Carrot Spice Cake recipe. We had made it before and Nick had raved about how cake like it tasted for having so little flour and so many eggs!

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So in order to turn this cake from carrot spice to chocolate, I simply swapped in 3-4 cups of zucchini for the carrots and 3/4 cup cocoa for the spices.  It baked up basically the same and had a nice light feel to it from the eggs.

The special ingredients behind the pistachio creme was mascarpone cheese. The idea for¬†the filling came from the idea of the pistachio fluffy stuff and although it wasn’t as strong flavored… it was in the right direction. It was predominantly mascarpone, stevia and pistachios. Then the ganache is the simplest thing and it’s so good… and it truly brought the whole thing together so he got his chocolate frosted cake with pistachio crumbles on top.

Everyone wanted in on this yummy and mostly healthy masterpiece. ¬†Unlike most heavy desserts I make… there was none left for friends. ¬†We are finishing up the last piece tonight (the very next day). Thank you to Meredith for her creative and healthy recipes that I can play around with! Sorry we didn’t save you a piece…

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Stay delicious,

Lauren

 

Gluten Freeway

I am so excited to give you the release of my second Gluten Free-way YouTube episode!!!!!!

Gluten Free-Way Episode 2

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In this second episode I interview the “health queen” herself, Meredith Dykstra! Meredith and I met through my husband, Nick, when he used to work with her at a local functional nutrition health company. I always thought Nick was healthy until I met Meredith. ¬†She has expanded my health world with healing foods as well as other mental and physical healing techniques. ¬†She is a certified health coach and I do recommend you reach out to her if you have questions about anything she mentioned in the video interview. I do fully intend on bringing her back to dive more into the details for those who are interested in health science or health biology… which are probably just terms I made up to try to describe how much more of an educated conversation you have when she starts in!

Check out Meredith’s recipes on coachmeredith.blogspot.com, and I can honestly say you won’t be disappointed if you’re looking for truly healing food that you hope will taste good!

We briefly discussed in our conversation how gluten-free eating is important, but that does not mean that you can overdo gluten-free food items.  I wanted to link back to my previous blog post on gluten-free verses healthy eating for a reference.

I also alluded to doing some bread making experiments which I haven’t shared with you all yet (other than a sneak peak on my Facebook page), but that blog post will be coming out soon as I finish up my experimentation! I think it will be worth the read. ¬†I have been doing so much baking recently that you will have to stay tuned to see what other surprises I am baking up! For starters… my newest cookie the SNICKERDOODLE is now available for purchase at Good L’Oven in Ross Township and for order on my page! But come back soon for more new gluten-freedom!!!!!!

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Have a cookie!

Lauren

Cake Box Doctor

Last week was my dad’s birthday, but to be honest, I did not have enough time to bake and decorate a cake from scratch. ¬†I also knew that he was going to get one cake from my mom before he celebrated with us, so the pressure was off to create a masterpiece. So I decided to buy… a gluten-free box cake mix.

I don’t always like to admit I use box mixes because I am a baker with really good recipes! But when you barely have enough time to get something in the oven before you run out the door telling your husband to PLEASE LISTEN FOR THE OVEN BUZZER… it’s time for a box mix. I didn’t want to take inventory of what ingredients I needed and measure everything out… I wanted to dump it all into a bowl and let King Arthur do the planning.¬†0211171426

But as the box mix called for oil, water and eggs, I decided there was still room for some experimentation in the mix to make it a little extra special. I do not use or own vegetable oil, so naturally I swapped it out for coconut oil. This is a personal health decision, and you may notice a stronger coconut flavor, but likely not. I decided to use buttermilk in place of the water and then added 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1 cup of white chocolate chips! Actually swapping water out and buttermilk in can make your cake more sense and rich.

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I literally did run out the door. I stuck it in the oven minutes before leaving for a baby shower and asked my husband (who was currently in the shower) to listen for the buzzer and try to check and make sure it was done in the middle before taking it out. He’s great to me. ¬†Really.

Quickly, between the baby shower and my parents arriving for dinner, I iced the cake (although I wish I had taken the time to make my own cream cheese frosting) and it was a hit! Thankfully there was enough leftovers for our small group the next morning… nothing like chocolate cake for breakfast!

So next time you don’t have time to bake from scratch… order from Baked True North! Ha ha. But for real, even a box mix can get more exciting with a little creativity. ¬†So have some fun!

AND… have some cake!

Lauren

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January Resolutions?

December 31st isn’t the only time to set resolutions. ¬†I actually find it is usually the worst time for me to set resolutions, because I am putting so much pressure on starting the New Year right that I blow it and can’t mentally recover for months. So this year, I have eased into resolutions.

In early January I created a road map for my business with goals for each month, so I could focus each month of doing something better or different instead of making a list of all the things I wanted to fix instantly. Similarly, Nick and I broke our year up into quadrants for personal development, allowing each quarter of the year to be focused on something specifically, including books, learning, and actions.

So, even though I was behind in reading my various newsletters, I pulled up the December issue of Celebrate Gluten-Free Magazine and noticed an article titled Gluten-Free Resolutions. The author’s three resolutions, in summary, are 1) convert a family recipe to gluten-free at each holiday, 2) get involved with the gluten-free community, and 3) cook more.

It got me to thinking how much those resolutions jived with my goals, both personal and business. One of my BTN big picture goals is to create a community of people centered around both gluten-free education and food. ¬†Food in-general is known to bring people together, but specifically allowing gluten-free food to do the same in our community, north of Pittsburgh… and HERE in this little virtual space I’ve created.

So maybe it’s cheating to steal other people’s resolutions, but I also really liked the first one about converting family recipes and it has inspired me. Just being honest… we don’t have very many “family recipes”, and even less family recipes that are baked goods. ¬†One of those was the peanut butter chocolate kiss cookie… which I did end up making gluten-free for this Christmas! Then in anticipation of Valentines day and spring, I have remade the sugar cookie, and I suppose every family has some tried and true sugar cookie recipe.

So be on the look out for future holidays where I reveal some family or simply traditional recipes that we have remade, gluten-freedom style. What old family recipes can you add your own twist too this year? Comment below and share with the community! I’ll try not to steal any of your ideas!

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Have a cookie,

Lauren Marts