Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Cinnamon Masa Waffles

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If you are looking for a unique breakfast to serve those with a host of food allergies, find out if corn is okay, and whip up these easy chocolate cinnamon masa waffles. We loved them. These were developed for a certain little boy who has developed new allergies to rice, soy, and legumes. If you’re in the same boat, consider purchasing an inexpensive bag of Masa. Masa is corn flour that is much finer than cornmeal. It is sometimes called Maize, that is usually sold in the ethnic food isles. Make sure it says gluten-free on the bag. Otherwise, you cannot be guaranteed that the food manufacturer didn’t grind the corn in the same equipment as wheat flour.

A few things to note about masa is that is is very tender and does not need the addition of starches like potato starch or tapioca flour. We found out the hard way that treating masa like rice flour by adding the starches (usually required for rice flour mixes) resulted in a very gummy end-result. Also, masa absorbs twice the amount of liquid as other flour mixes. Therefore, you will need to double your liquid when working with masa as a baking flour replacement. Remember that masa is intended for making tamales and soft tortillas.

Also note that your masa mixture will be kind of thick as a baking replacement. But don’t worry, you want that. Since eggs are eliminated, you want this mixture to be very thick and this stuff tends to hold very well together without the eggs.

Lastly, there is a distinctive corn flavor with masa but it pairs very well strong spices and flavors such as vanilla, caramel, cinnamon or chocolate. Up the ante on the spice, and also on the sugar a little, too. But not too much sugar. With masa, it’s a very fine line between not-sweet-enough and way-too-sweet. It takes some experimenting, but it won’t be long before you’re working with masa like an old pro. Bonuses: It’s inexpensive compared to rice flour, you get a lot more for your money, and you don’t need to add other flours to it.

Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Cinnamon Masa Waffles

In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine:

1.5 cups (12 oz or 150 grams) Masa

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

4 Tablespoons cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking powder

4 teaspoons light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

Then add:

3 Tablespoons of vegetable oil

2 cups (16 oz.) water or your favorite non-dairy liquid such as coconut-almond milk

Following the instructions of your waffle iron manual, heat and prep the surface of your waffle iron. TO AVOID SOY, do not use a spray cooking oil. Instead, use a brush to apply a light coating of vegetable oil to the iron.

Mix together the ingredients above with a fork until ingredients are well-combined and lumps are removed. You will notice that the mixture will be very thick, almost like you’re going to make brownies. This is good and exactly what you want.

Using a 1/3 measuring cup, ladle waffle mixture onto each waffle section of the iron. You do not have to fill every square entirely or else the mixture will spread and overflow during the baking time.

When your waffle iron light indicates that the cycle of baking is complete, lift the lid and use a fork/tongs to pull up a corner. The waffles might need a little coaxing out of the iron. Cook a little longer if you’re having a hard time getting them out of there.

Top with bananas or strawberries and an extra dusting of cinnamon.

These are also great without the cocoa powder.

 

Vegan Gluten-Free Grapefruit Bars

grapefruit barsThe small addition of honey in this recipe softens the tones of raw grapefruit while leaving its extra-bright and unique flavor to shine. If you cannot tolerate honey, simply omit it and add an extra 1/4 cup of sugar or light syrup of your choosing. In this version of the classic citrus bar cookie,  we have omitted eggs, gluten, dairy, and soy. We made an egg version, too, but found that this recipe turned out better. You can also try this in tangerine, lemon or lime.

For the Crust

1/2 c. non-hydrogenated shortening or non-dairy margarine

4 oz. applesauce (I used one of those single serve snack cups. I like to keep them on hand for my child and to have fresh applesauce on hand for vegan baking)

2 cups gluten free flour mix

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

For the Filling

2.5 Tablespoons EnerG egg replacer mixed with 1/2 cup water

Zest of two grapefruits (about 2-3 Tablespoons)

Juice of two grapefruits (about 1 to 1 1/4 cup liquid) – juice into a separate liquid measure cup, not the bowl

1/4 c. honey

2/3 cup tapioca starch

pinch salt

1 tiny drop of allergen-free red liquid food coloring (optional)

Directions – CRUST

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Coat a 9X9 inch baking dish with a little bit of the shortening or with cooking spray.

In a large bowl using a beater or in a stand mixer, beat the shortening and sugar together until well-combined. Add the remaining ingredients and beat for another minute or two until the mixture begins sticking together. If it is too crumbly, add a bit of liquid.

Press the mixture into the dish and bake for 15 minutes. Bring it out of the oven and let cool for a bit while you finish the filling.

Directions – FILLING 

Stir together your egg replacer and set aside. (Note: if you do not have egg replacer and you are not allergic to eggs, use 4 eggs for this recipe. Alternatively, you can try flax or chia seed gel. If you do, let me know how it turns out as I have not tried a seed gel for this recipe yet.)

In a large bowl, add the tapioca starch and slowly whisk in the grapefruit juice until the starch is well combined. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk together until well combined. Pour the mixture gently on top of the cookie crust and return the pan to the oven.

Bake for approximately 25 minutes.* The edges will look set but the center will still be quite liquid. That is okay. Tapioca-based desserts tend not to be fully set until cooled completely.

*If using eggs in this recipe, bake about 30-35 minutes and make sure that the center is set before taking it out of the oven.

Let cool at room temperature for 15 minutes and then transfer to the refrigerator to further cool and set. It should be ready to cut and serve in about 2-3 hours.

The Best Allergen-Free Chocolate Pudding

Chocolate PuddingWhen your guy says “oh my” and gets lost in the first bite,  you know you’ve got a winning recipe. My two neighbors also gave this a big thumbs up… with jokes about licking the bowl.

*Ahem* One of us (who shall remain nameless) might have done such a thing.

Tapioca starch is recommended for this recipe. We tried making this with arrowroot starch but it didn’t turn out so well. Tapioca starch is perfect for this and as an aside, is also a versatile substitute for cornstarch in gravies, and a substitute for eggs in custard-style pies (see the pumpkin pie recipe for an example).

This chocolate pudding is quick and easy to  make and it’s also good enough to eat when it’s still warm. It tastes a lot like that delicious gooey chocolate filling of a chocolate lava cake. YUM!

If you’d like to add an allergen-free whipped cream, I recommend Cybele Pascale’s Whipped Topping from her book The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook. If you are not allergic to eggs, you could use marshmallow fluff whipped to a softer consistency with a little water to make a whipped topping. In the meantime, enjoy this delicious chocolate pudding!

P.S. Hint: Freezer Molds! Make chocolate pudding pops out of this, too! 🙂

The Best Allergen-Free Chocolate Pudding

4 cups water (Note: You can replace water with a safe milk-substitute for a slightly creamier consistency. If you do this, please ask whoever you serve it to if the milk-substitute is safe for them. Many people are allergic to rice, almond, and soy milk. We are pretty happy using water, and it’s less expensive that way).

1/2 cup tapioca starch

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup of dairy-free chocolate chips such as Enjoy Life brand (check for other allergens if needed). Add less or omit chocolate chips if you want a more mild chocolate flavor. If you do omit the chocolate chips, add 1/2 cup of palm oil shortening or else the mixture will be very gel-like.

1 teaspoon of vanilla

In a large saucepan, stir 1 cup of the water tapioca flour and cocoa until blended and smooth. This step helps get rid of lumps before you begin cooking.

Set the heat to medium and stir in the remaining 3 cups of water. Then add sugar and salt. Cook and stir constantly until mixture thickens to pudding consistency. Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate chips and vanilla. Keep stirring until chocolate melts.

Chill in refrigerator or pour into popsicle molds for pudding pops later.

The Easy No-Bake Allergen-Free Cheesecake that You’ve Been Looking For. Almost Perfect. Accepting Challenges.

Foodie Challengers: Can you bring this allergen-free cheesecake to perfection? I developed this today but the filling needs refinement. It needs a creamier texture and stronger “real cheesecake” flavor. For some reason, the flavor weakened significantly during the chill and set process. It tastes like a mild vanilla jello. It’s good on it’s own (maybe for flan?), but otherwise, the crust overpowers it.

As for the crust, it is absolutely perfect and should remain unchanged. It has a really great graham cracker flavor and texture. When I ate a slice of this, the combination of the crust with the strawberries made me feel like I was having a cheesecake experience. It is the closest thing to cheesecake that I’ve had in years.

The filling really needs the most help, it needs a richer texture and deeper flavor. Ready to take on the challenge? Here are the requirements of the challenge:

1. it must use products that you can get from a store (not special ordered online)

2. it must be no-bake. And it must be free of dairy, eggs, soy, corn, peanuts and tree nuts.

So, should a solid fat be added such as earth balance or organic non-hydrogenated palm oil shortening? What about more nutritional yeast for the distinct cheesy flavor? Would a homemade condensed unsweetened milk help? Pureed bananas? Corn-starch-free melted marshmallows? Maybe?  What are your thoughts?

Anyway, if you like a milder, lighter, flan-style filling, you might want to stick with this recipe as is. It’s not bad at all. I had two slices of it and feel happy. But it could be better. And I look forward to hearing what you do with this.

Here’s the recipe:
No-Bake Crust

Coat the bottom of a spring form or cake pan with wax paper or a little oil.

In a food processor, process gluten-free chocolate rice crispy cereal until you have 3 cups of very fine crumbs. The finer, the better.

Then add crumbs to a bowl along with 1/2 cup of maple syrup. Mix until crumbs are all coated and it sticks together. Then press into the bottom of the pan. Cover and refrigerate.

The Cheesecake Filling

Boil 1/2 cup of water.

In a bowl, add 2 envelopes of non-flavored gelatin. Stir the boiling water into the gelatin and stir until dissolved.

Then add 1/2 cup sugar and stir until dissolved.

Add 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast, 1 tsp vanilla, the juice of 1/4 of a lemon and stir.

Then add a pinch of salt and 1 15 oz. can of full fat coconut milk.

Pour into the prepared crust, cover and put in refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours.

That’s it! What do you think would make the filling richer and creamier?