Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Baking on the GAPS Diet (+ Carrot Cupcake Recipe)

Once I introduced nuts back into my diet, the baking was on! I just have to make sure I don't eat too many cupcakes or slices of "bread" at once, or I do get a little stomach ache.
Almond and coconut flour are the two I most commonly use in recipes. Coconut flour has a tendency to be a bit dry, and almond flour is said to not be so healthy when baked or heated. I personally like to use some of both. I generally don't measure, but I'd say I usually use half and half or 2:1.  Sometimes, I use some ground hazel nut meal as well. It has a great flavor!
My original grain-free/GAPS baking experiments were often oily and wet in the middle, but still pretty tasty. To avoid the oily, I used less oil and more eggs. To avoid the mushy in the middle, I cook lower and longer. A lot of recipes I was finding on the web had baking powder and/or baking soda in them. I avoided those since I was pretty sure they weren't GAPS friendly. Here's why:
Baking powder=baking soda + cornstarch: This obviously has starch, which is to be avoided on the GAPS diet.
Baking soda: Though GAPS legal, since it is very alkaline, it is not recommended for people with low stomach acid (I think that's me).
I learned all this from a great article on The Well Fed Homestead's site. It seems that both baking powder and soda are best avoided for me. However, in such small amounts, it seems that they can't be that bad? The more you "cheat," the harder/longer it is to heal. Honestly, the recipes are much better with at least baking soda. If I don't have yummy baked goods, I might cheat even harder on something else. I'll have to play it by ear. Who wouldn't want to eat these yummy looking cupcakes?

Here's a recipe I adapted from a couple of people for the carrot cupcakes above:
Cake ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes):
 1.5 cups nut flour (I used a blend of coconut and almond)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
4 eggs
4 tablespoons coconut oil
1/3 cup honey
1.5 cups grated carrots
1/4-1/2 cup raisins (old dry ones are best)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Frosting ingredients:
1/2 cup ghee (or butter. coconut oil would probably work too)
1/4 cup honey

Preheat the oven at 350.
Mix the dry ingredients, in a mixer or with a hand held blender to get coconut flour clumps blended.
Add the carrots.
Melt coconut oil, add honey and mix.
Whisk eggs.
Add liquid ingredients to dry, using mixer or blender if necessary.
Place in cupcake holders (works best without paper holders - use silicon or directly in pan)
Bake about 20 minutes.  

Whip ghee/butter with honey.  Use frosting tools or smooth onto completely cooled cupcakes. 
These cupcakes were amazing! You could barely tell they were grain free, let alone gluten free. I'll have to try them without the baking powder and soda and see what happens. The frosting wasn't enough to cover the entire 12 cupcakes, but, it was so intense, it only needed as much as is shown.

 Lately I'm loving listening to Zola Jesus as I get busy around the house, or am just relaxing. Her music is a lovely blend of eerie and soulful tunes. I like all her albums! 

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