Baking as a coeliac creates something of an identity crisis on my part. We have a saying in my family- ‘knit your own yogurt’- it probably doesn’t need explaining as whilst random, it sums up a certain ethos, one which a London Coeliac finds themselves encountering very frequently. It belongs to the health-food shop-dwelling, seed-eating superfooders of the world. They are quite likely to be gluten-free by choice and sneak in the odd hobnob now and then. ‘Knit your own yogurt’ is usually meant disparagingly- and the ‘not faddy’ side of this B is definitely more on the Haribo double cherry team than the acai berry one.
Coeliac disease, however, has widened my culinary horizons considerably. A good job that I’m also ‘not fussy’ (and in fact quite foodie). In the relentless search for fibre and fun in all it’s forms, I can now firmly claim to be a paid-up member of the seed-eaters. I’ve even tried quinoa (it didn’t go well, but I tried!). I don’t knit my own yogurt, but I do make my own chutney and bake with buckwheat.
Amy Ruth’s baking mix is definitely a knit-your-own yogurt product. It’s price mark and availability in Whole Foods (dahling) will exclude the majority- but I picked it up at the allergy show after sampling a very nice bread sample made with it, and was too embarrassed to put it down again after being told the price. I’m an absolute convert to whole grains. They are flavoursome, highly satisfying and very good for you. Amy Ruth’s packs in 4 of them- (‘ancient’ grains nonetheless) although I did have to google what chia was.
I shouldn’t have been surprised, but was a little disappointed on following the link to the Amy Ruth site that all the suggested recipes were a little too faddy for my liking (Goat yogurt? Xylitol?). I have a moral objection to this kind of food fad-ism (apologies to those who genuinely have food intolerances and allergies so need to buy food substitutes beginning with ‘x’)- most people cannot afford nor find these kinds of ingredients (but then if you’ve spent £7 on flour from High Street Ken you’re probably not one of them!). Don’t even get me started on organic. Having braces last year also taught me a valuable lesson in not restricting what you eat any further than you have to! Bravo for the experimentation, but pass me the caster sugar.
If the world were just, the moral of this story would be ‘and it tasted like health food’, but happily for me, dear reader, Amy Ruth’s mix makes a damn fine muffin. I didn’t have a scoobies where to find Agave Nectar so made a normal muffin recipe from BBC Good Food using some kindly-donated rhubarb from the in-laws. The mix already contains xanthan (cough) gum and baking powder so I took a punt and just substituted the flour directly.
The mix looked pretty- speckled and grainy, and in The Spoon Licking (don’t try this at home) tasted nutty and definitely like whole grains. I was anticipating a dense, veganish (you know- heavy, will probably give you wind, everyone pretends it as good as the real thing) outcome so I was surprised that the muffins emerged well-risen, wonderfully light, very moist and incredibly moreish. Really quite delicious. I added stem ginger and left off the sugary crumble topping in favour of pumpkin seeds (miraculously these transform from bird food to all kinds of nom when roasted). The muffins didn’t brown much, but had a great texture which holds together well. I can’t wait to eat these with vanilla yogurt for breakfast.
GF Nomability: 6/10 – totally nom, but expensive and you’ll have to figure out how to use it if you can’t find the other weird ingredients.
In related news I’ve just polished off a vegan nut roast for tea and it was awesome!
(I may have served the nut roast with instant beef gravy.)