Here is a cake worth adding to your repertoire — it’s super-fast to put together, pleases many dietary requirements (it’s free of gluten and dairy) and can either be dressed up or down depending on how you serve it.
Each brand of cookie was rated on a 5-point scale (5 being the highest). The cookies were evaluated on taste, nutrition and ingredient quality, with special attention paid to the types of sweeteners and fats used in the all-important filling.
In this week’s news: California takes a hard stance on soft drinks; marketers realize there’s more bread to be made in the gluten-free aisle; and an amino acid in spinach gets the spotlight.
California to Bust Soda’s Bubble?
Along with several medical experts, a California state senator proposed adding a warning label to the packaging of sodas not unlike what now appears on cigarette packaging. The wording — developed by a panel of national healthcare leaders — would read, “STATE OF CALIFORNIA SAFETY WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay.” According to data cited, one soda a day raises an adult’s chances of being overweight by 27 percent and a child’s by 55 percent.
No need for a box of chocolates to signify Valentine’s Day this year. Instead, just look to your pantry for a sweet-salty idea that will melt anyone’s heart. This dessert combines comforting chocolate chip cookies and tempting dulce de leche, which makes up the molten center. The fact that these stuffed cookies also happen to be gluten-free — that’s the sweetest part of all.
Gluten-free dreams really do come true. The Girl Scouts have added a new cookie to their lineup — bite-size, certified gluten-free Chocolate Chip Shortbread cookies. The good news for many parents of gluten-intolerant kids is that their Girl-Scout-badge-carrying daughters can now actually eat the cookies they sell as part of the Girl Scout Cookie Program, which generates $700 million annually based on 200 million boxes sold.
Made with a basic gluten-free flour blend of rice flour, tapioca flour, cornstarch, potato starch, xanthan gum and guar gum, the new cookies contain no artificial flavors or colors, high-fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oils — unlike most of the Girl Scout cookies. However, the cookies do contain other common food allergens, like dairy, egg and corn, as well as GMOs.
What I like most about creating gluten-free baked goods is combining a range of flours, particularly whole-grain and nut flours, to replace the wheat flour that one would normally find in a cake or muffins. Small amounts of quite a few flours help achieve a better texture than just a single variety.
Millet is a golden-colored, gluten-free whole grain that tends to be a little dry when cooked, like rice or quinoa, but becomes soft and creamy when simmered with extra liquid. The addition of coconut milk complements it perfectly and gives porridge a luxurious texture and richness that really is a step up from your average winter breakfast cereal.
Wheat flours are an obvious no-no for gluten-free baking, but gluten is also commonly found in other baking staples like some brands of oats, as well as candies and leavening agents, so it’s important to read labels carefully. It’s also helpful to experiment with recipes ahead of time and find a good standard all-purpose gluten-free baking flour, like Bob’s Red Mill or Trader Joe’s brand.
If you follow a gluten-free diet or are just cooking for guests who do, here are some holiday sweets.
With more and more gluten-free products on the market, finding the tastiest can be tricky. Here are some recent arrivals to the gluten-free aisle, just in time for the holidays.