Sunday morning, waking too late to attend church after not sleeping well, I took a few lazy hours to do some gluten-free, egg-free, allergen-free baking. (That’s the contrast between baking on a Sunday after a week off and baking on a normal weeknight: it felt lazy and enjoyable yesterday, not frenetic or harried.)
I planned to do some baking on Saturday and/or Sunday, so on Friday, I bought all the ingredients I would need. Saturday morning, I realized I didn’t own a full-size bread pan (!), so I went out and bought two for doubled-recipe baking projects.
Saturday afternoon, I altered a Sophie-Safe recipe for cranberry-orange muffins (p. 7) by using fresh-squeezed orange juice and adding the zest of an orange in the mix. I also combined lavender sugar and zest from the second juicing orange to sprinkle on top of each muffin before baking. A few minutes after I put the muffins in the oven, it dawned on me that I had never added the cranberries. This realization made me sad, because a) I love cranberries, as they are tasty and reminiscent of fall, b) sour cranberries and sweet oranges are a wonderful combination, c) I’d thawed out some of the CSA berries for no reason if I wasn’t using them in the muffins, d) I wanted the extra antioxidants and fiber that the cranberries would have added to the muffins. But, oh well, there was nothing to be done. I tried a muffin when the pan came out of the oven, and it was very tasty. Definitely a desserty muffin (lots of sugar in them to compensate for the (missing) cranberries!) that would go well with tea.
Sunday morning, waking late, I made another easy Sophie-Safe recipe–the one for banana bread (p. 8)–altering it by adding 1 t. vanilla extract, 1 t. cinnamon, and 1/2 t. ground ginger to the bread mix. I threw a handful of chocolate chips into the batter, and I topped the banana bread with a mixture of ~2 T coconut, 2 T chocolate chips, 2 T chopped (salted) pecans, and 1 tsp. ghee (clarified butter–no casein).
Without having to wash my bowls or utensils, I started on my next project: the pumpkin muffins. This is one of the joys of baking several things in a row: there is no need to clean the mixing bowls, blender, etc., thoroughly. A touch of banana wouldn’t hurt a pumpkin muffin, so I was able to move on with little clean-up.
To the Sophie-Safe pumpkin muffins (p. 9), I added 1/2 c. chopped walnuts and 1 tsp. garam masala, an Indian spice mix that gives a nice kick to some baked goods and dessert foods. (Last Christmas, my husband and I made chocolate-dipped pretzels sprinkled with garam masala. Soooo tasty!)
Most of the baked goods I made went into the freezer (the bread pre-sliced into small slices) for me to pull out, microwave, toast, and eat for a quick breakfast over the coming month. With both dieting and gluten-free/allergen-free eating, I have found preparation is key, especially when it comes to breakfast. To skip breakfast is to be left hungry and craving loads of unhealthy foods that are not “Sally-friendly,” as my friends say. To be prepared is to set myself up for success.
And to anyone who is wondering, no, I don’t eat a terribly low-calorie breakfast. I find that if I try to restrict my breakfast calories too much in some valiant attempt to cut my day’s calories early on, I pay for it later in the day when I ravenously eat a large lunch and/or dinner and snacks. I eat a 275-350 cal breakfast on most days–a muffin or gf cereal or oatmeal (with a small amount of protein added, usually from nuts) and a glass of water–and usually feel satisfied until lunchtime is approaching. Over time, I’d like to make my breakfasts more fruit and/or vegetable centric, but that’s a gradual goal; at this point, I’m doing well having figured out satisfying breakfasts free of all my allergens and intolerances! (Plus, I do try to set up my life so that I get lots of veggies and some fruit at lunch and dinner.) Baby steps, right?