Day 334 – November 30
As promised yesterday, I’ve got three more soy and dairy free recipe trials today.
This recipe for apple banana cookies popped up on Pinterest, and it looked interesting. I couldn’t find macadamia nuts at the co-op, so I substituted cashews. Also, I accidentally used 2 tablespoons of coconut oil instead of 2 teaspooons. Finally, I used sweetened coconut. The verdict . . . I’m sad to say . . .blech! Maybe I just need to recondition my palate, but for today, my palate wasn’t having it. They were not very sweet, and just had a weird flavor. When DH tried them he said, “They seem like they need to be dipped in cream cheese or chocolate or something.” My thoughts exactly. The kids liked them well enough, and I ate a bunch since I was hungry. The plus side is that they are super healthy, so somewhat guilt-free.
I have yet to find a good substitute for cottage cheese, cream cheese, sour cream and ricotta cheese. I found this recipe to replace cream cheese, and so I tried it. I followed it to the letter, except for the milk. I didn’t have coconut milk, so I used almond milk. I’m sorry, but this tasted nothing like cream cheese, at least not right out of the blender. It was an interesting flavor that I’m sure will be good in the soup, but it definitely wasn’t what I would call cream cheese. It was very garlicky and tahini-y. Maybe once it sits in the fridge overnight the flavors will meld and will be more cream cheese-like? All is not lost, though. I think it will still work as a stand-in for the thicker dairy products. A more expensive stand-in, but I”m finding that many of the dairy and soy free option are considerably more expensive.
I made the cream cheese to go with a crockpot potato soup recipe I’ve had pinned for a while. The recipe looked easy enough, and I’m always a fan of slow cooker recipes. The problem with this one has been that it actually takes quite a long time 6-10 hours. I’ve been wanting to make it all week, but I could never get it put together at the right time. It would either make dinner late, or it would be done in the middle of the night! Today was the day, though. It’ll be ready in the morning and I”ll just keep it warm for Sabbath lunch. Check back tomorrow for my thoughts on the soup.
And a bonus gluten update. The last time I made gluten, I used vital wheat gluten. The co-op was out of that kind, so I tried high gluten flour and it didn’t quite work out. After letting it rest for 30 minutes, it was not at all solid, so I added some more gluten flour and a bit of all purpose and let it sit some more . . .no real change. I didn’t want to waste the flour, so I boiled it anyway. Instead of the broth, I just boiled some plain water, then dumped the somewhat thickened paste in. After a few minutes it clumped together and stuck to the bottom, so I loosened it and tried to break it up with the wooden spoon. Since it seemed to be working, somewhat, I dumped in some premade curry powder, 2 teaspoons of vegetable broth paste and let it boil for about an hour. It pretty much turned out more like dumplings rather than gluten, and the flavor was a little bland. I used it in the pasta dish for dinner, and it added extra nutrients, but not much flavor. The upshot of the matter is that you need to use vital wheat gluten. So now I know!