Blueberry Apple Coffee Cake! (Gluten-free Option)

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Vegan Blueberry Apple Coffee Cake:

Ingredients

2 tbsp ground flax
6 tbsp hot water (or 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp)
1 1/3 cup sweetener of your choice.*
Zest of one lemon (optional)**
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup melted coconut oil or vegetable oil
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups unbleached white flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 granny smith apple, core removed, diced
1 cup blueberries

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 5 x 9 loaf pans.

Next, make your flax seed “eggs” or gel. Mix the ground flax with the hot water, whether boiled or straight from the tap. Whisk together and let sit for a few minutes while you gather the rest of your ingredients.

In a large bowl, add sugar, flax gel, oil, lemon zest and vanilla. Mix together. I whisk these particular ingredients, but once I get to adding the flour, I fold it in with a spatula. I find I get a much fluffier baked good by doing this with all of my cake-like treats.

Next, add baking soda, flour cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir, whisk or fold until all dry ingredients are incorporated. Lightly fold in apples and blueberries. I used frozen blueberries and added them straight from the freezer. No matter fresh or frozen, be very gentle as to not break them. (A little breakage will most likely happen.)

Place batters evenly in two loaf pans, or even in muffin tins if you so desire! Bake for about 50 minutes, but check at the 40 minute mark. You will know if your cake is done if when you insert a toothpick, the pick comes out clean, the sides of the cakes start pulling away from the pan or it springs upward at a light touch of your finger. The toothpick trick is probably your best bet!

Streusel Topping: I don’t think coffee cake or muffins are complete without a sugary streusel top! I like the streusel finish on this particular cake because the cake itself is not very sweet. It makes the cake or muffins a little bit more special! I make mine from instinct, but here is a plethora of recipes for you to choose from! Mine is made with vegetable shortening, brown sugar, flour and cane sugar. When I made a gluten-free version, I omitted flour altogether, even a gluten-free one (though I’m sure the mild tasting rice flour would work great), and it was fine.

Gluten-Free Option: I made a gluten-free version of this cake, which I LOVED, by using 1 1/2 cups garfava flour and 1 1/2 cups Trader Joe’s gluten-free all purpose flour. I also added 3/4 tsp xanthan gum. However, you may not need to add the gum, as Caroline did not and her muffins were fine.

*I like to use brown rice syrup or agave syrup, but cane sugar, maple syrup, or brown sugar will all suffice!

**Lemon brings out the flavor of berries.

This coffee cake recipe is a veganized version of this zucchini bread recipe.

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Vegan Metal Brunch — A Success!

The vegan black metal brunch I attended on Sunday was a huge success! It was a potluck, and everything I had was awesome. I love eating other people’s dishes — I get so sick of my own. I’ve been trying out new recipes here and there — I’m kind of a picky eater these days. I don’t want too much gluten, or anything too heavy, but I get bored real fast with salads. I have been enjoying the vegan blog Olives for Dinner, I make her crab cakes almost weekly! It’s fun to play with ingredients and tastes I normally wouldn’t think to put together myself. There were jackfruit tacos at the brunch, which reminded me that I am very much looking forward to trying out this recipe.

photo-1Here we have, clockwise from the top: a “beef” slider with homemade queso, a bbq jackfruit taco with coleslaw, gluten-free biscuits with gluten-free country gravy, avocado-tomatillo sauce, which goes with the pumpkin black bean empanda that is covered by my southern-style greens.

The point of this post, without getting too long winded, is that I used a combination of garfava flour and Trader Joe’s gluten-free all purpose mix with fantastic results. I made my biscuits, using half TJ’s mix and half garfava flour and they came out great. I wanted to try them without corn flour, as it’s such a common allergen for people. I also did this for the zucchini bread recipe I liked so much last week. It was a risk, as I turned it into an apple-blueberrry coffee cake, and gluten-free at that! Seriously, just sub 1.5 cups garfava flour and 1.5 cups TJ’s gluten-free mix to the 3 cups of flour it calls for, and viola! No one could even tell it was gluten-free! The only thing was that, and I always forget this, gluten-free baked goods tend to bake faster than their regular flour counterparts. So instead of taking 50 – 55 minutes, the bake time was closer to 40 minutes. Oh yes, I also added 3/4 tsp xanthan gum.

You can tell when cakes are done one, or all, of three ways:
They start to pull away from the sides of the pan.
When you stick a toothpick in the middle, it comes out clean.
When you lightly press down on the top of it, it springs right back up.

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My new not-so-secret weapons for gluten-free baking! I like the TJ’s mix because not only does it have rice flour in it, but a couple heavier starches. I think they help with binding, but I’m not totally sure. When I looked at the package though, I didn’t think the mix was enough — I had an instinct it needed to be cut with garfava flour, which I’m glad I followed!

I’ll write out the recipe for the coffee cake in another post, coming soon! I am so proud of the results!

Vegan Metal Brunch!

My buddy Sean invited me to a vegan, heavy metal, potluck brunch on Sunday, and since my best friend Caroline is going to be back in town, the gang is reuniting! Caroline and I had plans to go to Donut Farm, but we’re going go check out this metal brunch thing instead. I’m into indie pop myself, but I like meeting new people and experiencing different things (so that I never have to do them again. I kid, I halfway kid).

Since every single time I go to Donut Farm I order the biscuits and gravy with a side of southern greens, I will be bringing a homemade version to the potluck! I’ll be sautéing a variety of greens (a southern-style mix, spinach and Kale, all from TJ’s) with some liquid smoke, and preparing my gluten-free biscuits and gravy!*

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I’ve been dying to try the Trader Joe’s gluten-free baking mix, so I picked some up today. During a TJ’s shopping trip awhile ago, I read the label, to see what flour mixture they use, and I my first thought was, “Oh man, this needs to be cut with some garfava flour”. I don’t know why, I can’t explain the science, but that was my baker’s instinct. I’m not sure if I’m going to play around with it for my biscuits and gravy, but I was thinking that I wanted to make a gluten-free coffee cake for the brunch as well. I can be a little of an over-achiever sometimes, or always, when it comes to showing off food. Of course, I always end up underwhelmed by what I make, but we are our harshest critics, right?

If all goes well, I will definitely post all about it! If not, I’ll pretend it never happened.

*The brunch is not a gluten-free event, but I like to bring these kinds of items because that allergy/sensitivity runs so rampant. Plus, I fancy myself a pretty great vegan and gluten-free baker, so it’s just another chance to show off! “THIS IS GLUTEN-FREE?? YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME”, is what I go for.