My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!

  


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Baked Doughnuts For Everyone: From Sweet to Savory to Everything in Between, 101 Delicious Recipes, All Gluten-Free

 

Wednesday
Sep212011

tidbits about beans

Just a few things to talk about for this fine Wednesday morning.

First.

Since posting “Recipes for Mom – Beans,” I’ve had quite a few questions on the topic. 

*Edited to add: The below Q+A is for the crock pot method of cooking beans, which is detailed in the post I linked to above.  Sorry for the confusion on that.  If you boil beans on the stove top it takes 1-2hrs and they should not be boiled over high heat.  Here is a link to the stovetop bean cooking method.

  • Do all beans take 5-7hrs of cook time?
    • Generally, yes.  So far I’ve cooked: kidney beans, chickpeas, black beans, white beans, pinto beans and they have all cooked within that time frame.  It just depends how “done” you want them.  If you’re using a smaller bean, like mini chickpeas, the cook time will be less.
    • If you’re cooking a very large pot of beans [~6c dry] it will take about 1-2hrs longer.
  • Can you use the “high” setting to cook them?
    • I typically cook them on high for an hour, and then turn them to low for 3-4hrs.  I have never cooked them on high the whole time, but it may work.
  • Do you have to soak the beans overnight + then rinse before cooking?
    • Soaking isn’t 100% necessary, but I feel it’s a pretty crucial part of the process. 
      • cuts down cooking time
      • thoroughly washes the beans, because they go through no cleansing process before packaging [who knows what has touched those beans!]
      • makes them easier to digest, and decreases their gaseous properties
  • Can you cook multiple types of beans together?
    • Just tested this on Monday and the answer is yes!  It worked perfectly

I used about 2c of each, dried black beans, kidney beans + pinto beans.  Rinsed them, soaked them, rinsed again, then set them in the slow cooker for about 7-8hrs.  It took a bit longer because this was a hefty load of beans!  My plan was to use this mix for chili and freeze the leftovers.  Which brings me to my next two points…

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Second.

As many of you mentioned, you can successfully freeze beans, by freezing them in their cooking liquid!!  This works like a charm!  I have frozen them in freezer bags or tupperware, with the liquid just above the level of the beans.  Freezing them without the liquid, results in a wet, chewy texture after thawing.  The only annoying part is, you need to wait until your cooking liquid cools before putting it in the bag or container you are using.  Do not let the beans cool in the cooking liquid, or they will become overcooked.  To thaw, I just stick the bag or container in the fridge, drain the liquid and rinse the beans.  Like I’ve said before, slow cooking beans [or pressure cooking which takes like 15min] is substantially cheaper

Third.

Last February, I created a recipe for Cocoa Chili.  It is my favorite chili recipe to date.  The 1/4c of unsweetened cocoa powder, adds a delectable richness, that will keep you coming back for more.

With cooling temps, I was in the mood for a hearty meal.  We were also having company for dinner, and chili + cornbread are always an '”easy to please” meal.  What I discovered today, is that you can cook this recipe in your slow cooker!!!  No messing with sautéing the onion, garlic, + bell pepper, then adding in the seasonings, stirring + adding more ingredients, etc. 

Chop it.  Toss it in.  Let it sit.  Done!

Refer to the recipe for exact ingredients and then follow these instructions.

  1. Chop veggies + garlic and add them to the pot, along with the tomatoes, green chilies, beans, broth + spices. 
  2. The only ingredient I added to the list was 1/4t coriander, but you’re fine without it. 
  3. Then, forget about it for 8hrs on low. 
  4. Also, since this wasn’t cooked uncovered on the stove, it didn’t have the change to boil off some of the liquid and thicken.  Instead, in the last 1 hour of cooking, I mixed 1 heaping tablespoon of arrowroot starch + about 1T water, stirred it into the mix.  This helped to thicken the broth. 
  5. Bask in the savory, rich deliciousness.

I doubled the recipe, because we’re all about leftovers.  And I already have big plans for them.

[photo taken pre-cooking]

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Fourth.

Stay tuned for a recap of my gluten free cornbread baking trials + the resulting “no-fail” recipe!

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Happy day in the middle of the week!

Ashley

Monday
Sep192011

my favorite zucchini bread yet {v.iii}

The vegan + gluten free zucchini bread is finally here.

I can’t tell you how excited I am about this loaf.

Not this one below.  This was trial 1.

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It had a two problems.

  • looked like a brick – didn’t rise enough
  • while the texture wasn’t gummy, it didn’t taste “done”

Edible + enjoyed, but not something I could serve and say “this is zucchini bread!”

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This on the other hand…

IS zucchini bread.

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I decided to forego the idea of a “flax egg,” as I haven’t had too much luck with them.  They seem to make things gooier than I want.  Instead, I just added flax meal to the flour mix.  One difference between the vegan loaves was the ratio of sweeteners.  In the 2nd trial, I lowered the amount of brown rice syrup and upped the amount of sucanat, to help rid the problem of the gooey center. 

Also, in the first vegan trial, I used oat flour + buckwheat flour + sweet rice flour.  After the success of zucchini bread v.II, with the almond meal, I wondered if that could possibly work in the vegan loaf.  I lowered the amount of almond meal from 3/4c to 1/4c + 2T, and upped the other flours. 

No eggs and 3 gluten free flours?

I expected crumbs.

While this loaf is slightly delicate, as long as you have a good serrated knife, you should have no problem making a clean cut.  I’ve found the diagonal sawing method to work best, which I have tried to photograph below.  If you want to play it extra safe for removing this loaf from the pan, line it with parchment paper.  However, the oil + flour method worked great.

Clean Cut Slice -

1. Start by slicing at the top edge, on an angle, with a serrated knife.

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2.  Gently saw up + down moving through the bread, still holding the knife at an angle.

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3.  Keep the sawing motion going, and apply downward pressure to cut through the bottom of the slice.  

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And there you go.  An almost crumb-less slice of bread.

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Zucchini Bread v.III

*This loaf is vegan + gluten free, if using gluten free oat flour.  Oat flour can be ground from GF steel cut oats, or GF rolled oats.  Bob’s Red Mill and a few other brands, carry both of those products, certified GF. 

  • 1/2c raw buckwheat flour [ground from raw groats]
  • 3/4c oat flour [ground from GF steel cut oats or rolled oats]
  • 1/4c + 2T almond meal
  • 1 1/4c grated zucchini, drained
  • 4T sunflower oil [or other]
  • 2T unsweetened applesauce
  • 6T milk of choice
  • 3T ground flax meal [can be ground from raw flax seeds]
  • 4T sucanat
  • 6T brown rice syrup
  • 2t cinnamon
  • 1/2t salt
  • 1t baking powder
  • 1/2t baking soda
  • 2t vanilla extract
  • 1/2c chopped walnuts [or seeds, to make nut-free]
  1. Preheat your oven to 350* and grease + flour or line an 8x4 loaf pan with parchment paper.  To grease + flour, grease all sides of the pan and add 1-2T of flour, knocking it around so all sides are covered.  Turn the pan over your sink and tap all sides, so the excess falls out.
  2. In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients, except the walnuts, and mix well.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together all wet ingredients, except the zucchini. 
  4. Mix in zucchini to the bowl of wet ingredients.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir gently, until just combined.  Over-stirring will cause a gummy texture.
  6. Gently fold in the walnuts and then pour into your pan and spread to even out.
  7. Bake centered, on the middle rack for 50min-1hr.  Quickly, test with a toothpick for doneness 2-3x.  You will definitely notice when it goes from gummy/wet to done.
  8. Let sit in the pan to cool for 10min, before sliding a knife around the edge to release from the pan.  Cut into squares with a sharp knife, and carefully remove with the help of a fork or flexible spatula.

*high altitude ~5,000ft:  oven: 365* milk: 7T baking powder: 3/4t + 1/8t

*Feel free to make this in a 9×5 loaf pan, a 9x9/8×8 pan, in mini loaf pans, or even in muffin tins.  Just remember all of those options will vary the cook time.

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Out of the 3 loaves, something about this stood out from the rest.  Minus the slight dip in the top of the loaf [likely from the lack of eggs], this was my favorite of the three.  Texture, crumb factor, and flavor, were all to my liking.  I’m still in shock of the success of this loaf, with no strange starches or gums being added to the mix.  And, I would much rather eat my eggs in whole form, then hide them in a loaf of bread!

While there may be more zucchini bread baking going on in my kitchen, I think this is the last of the zucchini recipe creations.  On to something new!

*Thanks to everyone who entered the Gluten Free Living E-book giveaway!  Also, a huge thank you to Kristin, for her generosity in giving away a copy of her e-book!  I definitely recommend this book to anyone who didn’t win. 

The winner was Jill!  Congrats!

Oh, what a great book!! My husband has celiac disease and it is SO challenging to cook for him!! I would love to win the E book so that he could enjoy being healthy via gluten free …and the tasty food.

Thank you
Jill

Ashley

Just catching up on all of the zucchini madness?