Healthy Bakes

Gluten-Free Maple Pumpkin Pie

Easy Gluten-Free Maple Pumpkin Pie

I’m a warm-weather summer girl through and through, except for October. As soon as the calendar hits October 1st I get a case of fall fever. I love the Halloween costumes, candy, and make-believe; give me all the spiders, witches, ghouls, ghosts, and goblins. I love spooky decorations, haunted houses, scary movies, and stories. I love football season (RTR! and GPG!) and the (slight) change in seasons, from 100 degree days to barely making it to the 90s (it’s Texas, we take what we can get). I love absolutely everything about fall.

A few weeks ago we were at our local grocery store when we spotted several giant white pumpkins. They were the coolest pumpkins I’d ever seen, but it was still September and fall fever hadn’t set in yet. I was still holding on to the last days of summer as tight as I could. On October 1st when my switch flipped from Summer to Fall the first thing I did was pick up one of those giant white pumpkins. This week’s bake is inspired by my love for fall and the discovery of the Polar Bear Pumpkin.

For this recipe, I wanted to try and make a healthy pumpkin pie. A healthy pumpkin pie is as rare as a unicorn, but this one is pretty close. It’s gluten-free and low sugar, but not lacking in delicious pumpkin pie flavor. One taste tester said “Happy Thanksgiving” right after his first bite! It’s perfect to share a slice with one of your favorites or you can eat three slices by yourself with very little guilt. Below is my recipe for Gluten-Free Maple Pumpkin Pie along with my tips and tricks and don’ts that I did. Enjoy!

Polar Bear Pumpkin (this week’s inspiration)

Ingredients for Gluten-Free Press in Crust

  • 8 tablespoons of unsalted butter (1 stick), melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of fine salt
  • 1 1/3 cups of gluten-free flour, plus more as needed

Ingredients for Filling

  • 1 (15-ounce) can of pumpkin purée (not pie mix)
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup of pure maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon of fine salt

Ingredients for Streusel

  • 1/4 cup of packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of gluten-free flour
  • 1/3 cup of uncooked rolled oats (not instant)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon of fine salt
  • 4 tablespoons of cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Directions for Gluten-Free Press in Crust

  • Stir the butter, oil, sugar, cinnamon, and salt together in a medium bowl until evenly combined. Add the measured flour and stir until a soft dough forms.
  • Sprinkle the dough in small clumps over the bottom of a 9 1/2- to 10-inch deep-dish pie plate. Using a measuring cup or your fingers, evenly press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the plate (flour the cup or your fingers occasionally to prevent sticking).
  • Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  • Arrange an oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Place a baking sheet on the rack and heat the oven to 375°F.
  • Make the filling

Directions for Filling and Baking

  • Place all of the filling ingredients in a large bowl and whisk until smooth and combined. Set aside until the crust is chilled.
  • When the crust is ready, pour the filling into it. Place the pie on the hot baking sheet and bake until the outer 2 inches of the pie are set, about an hour.
  • Meanwhile, make the streusel.

Directions for Streusel

  • Whisk everything except the butter in a medium bowl until combined. Add the butter and, using your fingers, squeeze the flour mixture and butter together until they form moist clumps and all of the flour is totally incorporated into the butter. Cover and place in the refrigerator.
  • After the pie has baked for 60 minutes, remove it from the oven and sprinkle evenly with the streusel topping, breaking up any large clumps with your fingers as you sprinkle.
  • Return the pie to the oven and bake until the streusel lightly browns and the filling is set, but still jiggles slightly in the center. About 40 minutes more.
  • Remove the pie from the oven to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving.
Gluten-Free Maple Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon Oat Streusel

Tips and Tricks and Don’ts That I Did

  • This recipe makes a ton of filling and works best with a deep pie dish. I don’t have a one and ended up throwing some of the pie filling down the drain. Be sure to use a deep pie dish or be prepared to have left-over pie filling.
  • I was a little nervous about trying a press-in crust. Making crust is one of my favorite things to do in the kitchen, but I wanted to try something new. The press-in crust was much easier AND tastier than I thought it would be. I’ll be making it for other pies again soon.
  • Speaking of crust, gluten-free crusts are always a little more fragile than the traditional crust, especially the press-in kind. Don’t stress if your pie falls apart a bit when transferring it from pie dish to plate. It still tastes delicious.
  • Be prepared for lots of recipe requests. This pie is the definition of all the things to love about fall.
  • This pie can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, but I’m sure it won’t last that long.
  • All tricks aside, this pie is such a treat you’ll want to make two; one for yourself and one to share with friends and family.
  • As always, don’t forget to ENJOY!
Gluten-Free Maple Pumpkin Pie
Healthy Bakes

Healthy Gluten Free Blueberry Oat Muffins

Healthy Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins

Hey Bakers! It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog and like most of you it’s taken some time for me to adjust to our new normal (I hated that phrase 3 months ago, but here we are). I’m fortunate enough to work from home during the pandemic, but working from home AND teaching two kids in two different grades has been an adjustment. I think I make at least a thousand decisions before lunch so the blog, unfortunately, has fallen off my radar. Rest assured I have been baking and I’m ready to share all of the scrummy treats I’ve been cooking up since my last blog.

One thing you probably don’t know about me is that I’m typically a healthy eater. Although you probably wouldn’t guess that if you just looked at my bakes. I work out at least six sometimes seven days a week and have a very healthy diet that is full of protein, low in sugar, and includes tons of veggies (I do enjoy an occasional celebration weekend of course). With that being said, because we’re all staying home and staying out of gyms, I’m pivoting and taking this blog into a new direction. I’ve decided to bake and blog delicious healthy treats that are guilt-free, but most importantly taste great (I promise not to post a bake that hasn’t been taste-tested and approved by me and my taste testers). If you’re looking for delicious HEALTHY treats to get you through the quarantine, you’re in the right place.

One thing that keeps me on track with my nutrition is weekly meal preps; which includes breakfast. For this week’s bake I decided to whip up a classic; blueberry muffins! These aren’t your typical unhealthy heavy muffins so don’t worry about eating more than one. This blueberry muffin recipe is gluten-free, low sugar, and packed with yummy blueberries.

Below is the recipe for my blueberry oat muffins along with my tips and tricks and don’ts that I did.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour blend (I use King Arthur Measure For Measure Blend)

1 cup old fashioned rolled oats

3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2 large eggs room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 teaspoon orange extract

1 1/2 cup blueberries (1 additional tablespoon of flour to coat the berries)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line muffin tins with liners.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together gf flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, butter, eggs, vanilla extract, and orange extract.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the well. Then carefully stir with wooden spoon or rubber spatula until just blended.

Toss blueberries in 1 tablespoon of flour then fold them into the batter.

Divide the batter into prepared muffin tins. Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes then transfer to wire rack.

Tips and Tricks and Don’ts that I did

Spray muffin liners with non stick cooking spray. I hate when half the muffin sticks to the paper. Spraying it with non stick spray gives you a perfect muffin, every time.

I used fresh blueberries that were frozen, but you can use fresh if you’d prefer.

If you don’t want the orange flavor feel free to omit it and add more vanilla.

If you’re not gluten free, you can substitute with regular flour and get the same delicious results.

I made these as part of my weekly meal prep. Store in large freezer bag and pop them in the fridge. To reheat you can microwave them for 20 seconds or until warm.

As always don’t forget to ENJOY and STAY WELL.

Healthy Bakes

Quick and Easy Blueberry Scones

For this week’s bake I decided I would try to recreate one of my favorite coffee shop breakfast treats; blueberry scones. I wanted to create a quick and healthy recipe that could be made easily before starting my day. I honestly thought these scones would be way more challenging, but I think you’ll be surprised by how easy and fun they are to make. Below is the simple recipe along with my tips and tricks and don’ts that I did.

Blueberry Scones

Ingredients

1 lemon finely grated

1/3 cup sugar

2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup old fashioned oats

2.5 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/3 cups chilled heavy cream

2 tablespoons honey

1 cup fresh frozen blueberries

Ingredients for Topping

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons oats

1 tablespoon chilled cream

1 egg yolk

Directions

Place rack on upper third in oven and preheat to 400 degrees.

Finely grate 1 lemon with microplane into large bowl.

Add 1/3 cup of sugar and mix with fingers until mixture looks like wet sand and is very fragrant.

Add 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of oats, baking powder and salt to bowl with zest. Whisk to combine.

In a medium bowl whisk cream and honey until well combined.

Slowly drizzle cream mixture into flour mixture tossing with a fork until flour is saturated and there are very little dry spots.

Add 1 cup of frozen blueberries and fold mixture with a rubber spatula until the blueberries are evenly distributed throughout and the dough is sticky.

Dust countertop with flour and turn out dough. Mold dough into a 1 inch thick square.

For the topping mix egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of cream with pastry brush in a small bowl. Brush mixture across the surface of dough.

Mix 2 tablespoons of oats and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Sprinkle over dough.

Cut dough into four smaller squares and then each square in half diagonally.

Transfer each triangle onto lined baking sheet.

Bake scones until tops are lightly golden brown (about 20 minutes).

Let cool on baking sheet and serve warm.

Tip and Tricks and a few Don’ts that I did.

Don’t forget to freeze your blueberries the night before. If they’re not frozen they will explode during the bake and cause you to have soggy scones.

Don’t over bake your scones. Scones should be soft and warm in the middle.

These scones look like they take a long time to make. Don’t let that fool you. I made them in less than an hour on a Sunday morning before rushing out to the gym. Not only were they easy to make, but fun too!!

Pay attention to your oats. I accidently picked up steel cut instead of old fashioned. Luckily I had some old fashioned at home and ended up mixing the two. The scones turned out great, but I learned a valuable lesson in reading instead of grabbing and going based on the picture.

These scones can be frozen and reheated. If you have time, you can reheat them in your oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or you can microwave them for 45 seconds. I’ve done both, and both ways are delicious. Enjoy!

Breads, Healthy Bakes

Easy Gluten Free Bread with Lemon Jam

Happy January! For this week’s bake I wanted to do something I thought I would never ever do. Make bread! And not just any bread, gluten free bread that tastes like regular delicious bread. Typically I try to avoid eating gluten (even though most of my bakes thus far are full of gluten) so I wanted a recipe that I could make weekly and also taste like it took hours to bake. The recipe below ticked all of those boxes… easy, gluten free and most importantly delicious.

Once I had the bread recipe perfected it was suggested that I make a lemon jam to go with it. I absolutely love lemon, but had never had lemon jam so I jumped at the chance to try and make it. I’m definitely tooting my own horn when I say this lemon jam recipe will knock your socks off. It’s the best jam I’ve ever eaten and luckily the recipe makes enough to share. It’s the perfect addition to the bread recipe below.

Ingredients for Gluten Free Bread

1 cup warm milk (110 degrees)

1/4 cup sugar

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup butter

2 large eggs

Directions For Gluten Free Bread

Combine milk, sugar and yeast in small bowl and set aside for 10 minutes to froth.

Combine gluten free flour blend and salt in stand mixer. Beat on low gradually adding yeast mixture until well combined.

Add butter and eggs, mixing and scraping the bowl until well combined. Increase speed to high and mix until very smooth.

Cover with clean kitchen towel and let rise in warm place for 1 hour.

Grease loaf pan. Stir dough and pour into pan. Loosely cover with greased food plastic wrap and let rise for 20-30 minutes or until just above edge of pan.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake for 45 minutes or until top is golden brown. Remove from pan and let cool on cooling rack.

Ingredients For Lemon Jam

8 lemons

1/2 cup lemon juice

2 cups sugar

6 cups of water to boil zest

3 cups of water to make jam

Directions for Lemon Jam

Grate 6 lemons into dutch oven.

Squeeze 4 of them to have 1/2 cup of lemon juice. Set lemon juice aside.

Slice 2 lemons thinly and add to dutch oven with zest.

Pour 2 cups of water over zest and lemon slices. Bring to a boil over medium heat and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Repeat this 2 more times. This will remove the bitterness of the lemon zest.

Add sugar, lemon juice and 3 cups of water over strained sliced lemons and lemon zest in dutch oven.

Bring to a boil over medium heat. Turn heat down to low and let simmer for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.

Turn heat completely off and let sit for 10 minutes. Jam will be runny, but it gets thicker as it cools.

Store jam in jars, place in refrigerator.

Once jam has set, slice the gluten free bread, spread with jam and enjoy!

Tips and Tricks and Don’ts that I did

The yeast mixture should be frothy, but don’t freak out if it’s not a volcano of froth. Your dough will still proof just fine.

I proof my bread in the window of my kitchen because I like the idea of the warm Texas sun helping with my bakes, but you don’t need a window to proof and most ovens these days have a proof feature. Any warm place in your kitchen is fine and if you don’t have a proofing setting, you can set your oven temperature to the lowest setting and use that to proof.

Don’t forget to grease your loaf pan. You’ll want to take it out of the pan once it’s baked to cool. If it’s greased properly it should slide right out.

Slice and freeze the bread for storage. I made the mistake of just freezing the entire loaf, but when I wanted to toast a slice I had to wait for it to defrost before I could cut into it. After you slice the bread add a piece of wax paper in between each slice. Store it in a storage bag in the freezer and grab a slice when needed. Easy Peasy.

Be really careful not to get your sugar, water, lemon mixture too hot when making the jam. My first batch basically turned into lemon flavored caramel because I overcooked and overheated it. You only need to bring it to a boil, do not let it boil for an extended period of time.

Don’t worry about the rinds or zest when putting your jam into jars. The rinds get really soft and somewhat sweet during the cooking process and they taste pretty good too.

The jam will be runny. The consistency is pretty much like runny jello. Do not worry. Once it’s cooled it will firm up and when you jar it and put it in the fridge it will firm up even more.

I really like lemon flavor and wanted it to stand out more than the sweetness, but if you’d prefer less lemon flavor and more sugar, feel free to cut down the lemon juice and add more water and a tablespoon more of sugar.

This bread is perfect for this jam and this jam is perfect for this bread, but you can enjoy them separately too. Make a turkey sandwich with the bread or add the jam to your favorite english muffin. Whatever you do, don’t forget to ENJOY!