Sunday, March 14, 2010

Green Millet Crackers for Dipping

St Patricks Day Millet Crackers
by: Trina Astor-Stewart

A hardy-n-healthy cracker you can use for dipping into spinach dip. Go good with Gluten Free Beer! Easy and quick to make. Millet is high in protein, iron, magnesium and potassium. Hemp protein is vegan and makes for a little green and healthy twist.... See More

Place Millet seeds in a coffee grinder and grinding a little at a time to make

1 cup finely ground raw millet seeds, which you place in a bowl and mix together with,
2 tablespoons ground blond flax seeds
1 scant teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ teaspoons Xanthan Gum
3 tablespoons Hemp Flour or (Vegan Protein Mix with Hemp)

Beat together and add to mixture all at once

¼ cup cold water (plus 2 tablespoons)
1 egg
Knead into a smooth dough and place on a counter dusted with about
2 tablespoons of Sweet Rice Flour

Knead again, adding more Glutinous Rice Flour if needed and roll out into a thin dough, about ¼ inch thick. Cut shapes, or squares. Place on lightly greased baking sheet. With the tines of a fork, prick the tops of the crackers and sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Bake in a 350 F oven for approx. 15 minutes. Cool and store in a tightly closed container.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Gluten Free -Olympic Pep ...Chocolate Brownies

Everyone needs a little extra pep or energy and chia seed and flax are so good for you. I always think it is fun to add a bit of extra healthy stuff, even in a treat. Astoria Mills baking flours are enriched too!
Go for the Gold and Enjoy the Olympics ....and some Olympic Pep Chocolate Brownies.

1. - Blend together well in separate bowl
¾ cup Astoria Mills Pastry Flour Mix #2
½ teaspoon Xanthan gum
½ cup Chopped Walnuts
1/8th teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
1 tablespoon ground Chia seeds
Set aside.
2. -In a small saucepan melt and set aside:
½ cup butter
¼ cup cocoa
3. -In a medium size bowl, beat
3 eggs until frothy, add, but don’t stir
3/4 cup Brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure Vanilla Extract
Now add melted chocolate and egg mixture on top of flour mixture and stir all together quickly.
Scrape batter into an 8x8 square buttered pan. Bake in a 350 F oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Don’t overcook. Frost while still warm. Cool completely before cutting.

Note: You can also use Astoria Mills All Purpose Flour Mix #1 for the brownie recipe above. They turn out great, Mix #2 makes them just a bit more oohey goohey, you decide.

Chocolate & Peppermint Frosting:
Beat together
4 tablespoons soft butter
5 tablespoons Boiling water
1 & 1/3 cups icing sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
2 or 3 drops of peppermint extract

Looking for some great tasting, soft moist gluten free breads. There is nothing like the fragrance of freshly baked bread and Astoria Mills mixes makes it soooo easy! Even a busy College Student could stir some up. No special utensils required.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Gluten Free Labeling

People who live with gluten intolerance or celiac, or are trying to avoid gluten for other health issues, worry most about whether the foods they are eating are processed to assure their safety.

Often foods that are naturally gluten free are processed on equipment that also processes wheat or other gluten containing foods.

For instance buckwheat which is gluten free, if processed in the same mill as wheat, is not gluten free. Many people find this out the hard way, and think they cannot tolerate certain foods only to find that it is not the food itself but how it was processed. Even products that have been labeled gluten free in the past, such as a wild rice I tried, resulted in giving me a negative reaction. On closer examination, the rice was stone ground in a mill that processes wheat and even though the stone grinder was seemingly meticulously cleaned, I still had a reaction.

In a recent survey, 60 % of people on a gluten free diet have experienced similar situations. One woman I talked to recently said she was really tired of getting reactions from products she thought were gluten free. Many of us are extremely sensitive and even a little can make us feel ill. This is difficult as sometimes you rack your brains trying to figure out where it was that you got glutened, what did you do that you have to now not do.

Most of us are habitual label readers and many of us actually go to company websites to find out more about the status of their gluten free manufacturing processes. Thankfully there are now several gluten free networks available that those who are gluten intolerant can join and ask questions or share food choices with. Although gluten syndrome or celiac disease starts a person down a gluten free diet path, there are friends who have done it all and are willing to share their recommendations.

Ultimately it is a trial and error process as even among the gluten avoiders, there are varying degrees of foods they can tolerate. Some whose systems have not been overly damaged, or those who have been on a gluten free diet for some time can eat a large variety of gluten free grains, bean flours, nuts and so on. Some who have more damage find that they can be on a long road to recovery. It can take from 6 months to 2 years or more to heal the gut. Those new to the diet need to eat simple whole foods as their first mainstay then after about 3 weeks to two months can broaden their horizons to some processed gluten free foods and baked goods.

The good news is that the food industry now realizes that the gluten free diet market is rather large and well informed. New dedicated gluten free manufacturing facilities are being set up, so there is hope.

Astoria Mills Enriched Breads and Baking mixes are manufactured in a dedicated gluten free facility. This means that all ingredients must be sourced from dedicated gluten free facilities as well which is not always an easy task. We are working on bringing an ancient grain blend to market in the near future, as soon as we can locate all of the ingredients from gluten free growers and processing facilities. We eat the same foods we sell !

Astoria Mills thanks all those who have been spreading the word about us. After having launched in November 2009, we sold out of our original run in less than two months. With no fancy ads and marketing other than our website, we are really grateful for the response.

So reading labels, even for gluten free specified foods, is still a big part of all of us on a gluten free diet, but we can take comfort in the fact that it will get easier in the future.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Gluten Free Pizza Excursion

One of the ways people like to get together with friends and family is by sitting down and enjoying a pizza together. So we brought our gluten free pizza mix already made up to Pizza Pino's Pizzeria. We had such a good experience the first time we tried Astoria Mills Pizza Mix #5 in a taste test at a professional pizzeria, we wanted to go for it again so more of our family and friends could enjoy some too.

We would like to thank Pizza Pino’s, a local Ajax pizzeria known for their delicious pizzas, for accommodating us. Pizza Pino’s again prepared to use Astoria Mills pizza dough to make pizzas in a special area prepped for gluten free.

I made three packages of Mix #5 the day before ( took 5 minutes to mix up), let it rise, put it in the fridge overnight, kneaded it into 3 large balls the next morning and headed over to Pino’s by 11:00 AM. By then the dough had come up to room temperature ready to be rolled out for toppings. Each 700g package made a generous thick crust extra large pizza! (Just so you know, we also provide larger wholesale amounts to pizzerias when asked)

Once again it was awesome and we all enjoyed it. Our friends and family were split pretty evenly between gluten intolerant and able to eat wheat so it was great that we did not have to order separate pizzas for those who could eat wheat, they loved Astoria Mills pizza crust and said it was no different than what they usually get in wheat.

Of course, Pino’s toppings were awesome and there is just no comparison to having the pizza baked in a real stone pizza oven, although we love it at home too. We could hardly wait to start eating but made sure to take a couple of photographs of the pizza as it came out.

I’m sure if you ask ahead you can bring some Astoria Mills Pizza and have yourself a party too! If you do, be sure and take a bit of Mix #2 along as a dusting mix when they are rolling the dough out. Pizza Pino's cleaned a separate counter area and spread parchment paper underneath the pizza in order to help assure every measure was taken to avoid cross contamination.

If you would like to watch a video of the gluten free pizza excursion have a look at this link.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sharing New Gluten Free Recipes

Turkey Meatloaf

Meat layer:
1 ½ lbs. ground turkey
½ cup finely chopped onion
½ cup finely chopped celery
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon gluten free soy sauce
3 eggs lightly beaten
1 cup breadcrumbs made from leftover GFCF
Astoria Mills Light Brown Bread Mix #6

1 small tin tomato paste blended with
1 tablespoon fruity olive oil
dash salt and pepper each
4 tablespoons brown sugar

Method: Blend all ingredients together in the meat layer and place in a loaf pan. Spread topping over the meat layer and place in a pre-heated 325 F oven for about an hour until turkey is fully cooked. Remove from oven slice and serve with a side plate of salad and vegetables.

Easy Thin Crust Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie

Crust- Crumble together the following and dust evenly on buttered pie plate.
7 tablespoons Astoria Mills All Purpose Mix #1
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Filling: Beat eggs and add other ingredients and blend.
3 eggs
2 cups pure pumpkin Puree
¾ cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup milk

Add pumpkin filling on top of thin crust and bake pie for about 35 minutes at 350F. Cool and serve with a dollop of whipped cream sprinkled with cinnamon.

Green Bean Casserole -Gluten Free

Saute 2 chopped onions in 5 strips of chopped bacon (or olive oil)until brown
Add 1 lb green beans
1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper each
1 teaspoon gluten free soy sauce

Place in a casserole dish and pour this mixture on top:

1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup milk blended with
2 tablespoons corn starch

Place a layer of sauteed onion slices cut in rings on top

Place in 350 F oven and bake for 25 minutes. Serve hot.

The Five Minute Lunch

With a few leftovers you have a hot lunch or snack in less than five minutes!

In a bowl blend the following:
1 raw egg
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
¼ teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons Astoria Mills All Purpose Flour Mix #1
dash salt and pepper each
¼ cup diced cooked chicken
½ cup cooked mixed vegetables ( mixture of corn, peas, carrots etc.)
¼ cup diced mozzarella cheese ( optional)
Stir into a batter. Add a tablespoon of milk or water if batter is too thick.

Drop by the spoonful into a medium heat non-stick fry pan or into a little hot oil in a skillet making a 2 or three patties. Fry on one side until golden, flip and finish cooking on reverse side. Enjoy! A really great lunch for kids of all ages, quick and easy. Good served with a cheesy dip too.

Astoria Mills new Enriched Gluten Free Baking Mixes

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Gluten Free Taste Test at Celiac Support Group meeting

Last night I attended a Celiac Support Group Meeting, just thought I would drop in with some of our new Astoria Mills GFCF pizza mix for people to try, along with a few mini tea sandwiches. I don’t like to attend a meeting and not bring a few goodies at least!

Little did I know that Catherine of Frugal Freebies would also be attending for the first time. She did not say anything at the meeting to me, but surprised me this morning with an email saying she had written about me in her blog! What a great article and I’m so glad Catherine tasted and liked!

I brought a GFCF Asparagus & Basil pizza made using the new, Astoria Mills Italian Breads & Pizza Mix #5 as well as miniature broccoli and cream cheese sandwiches on one of Trina's on my Victorian Tea Bread, a light fluffy sandwich bread made using Astoria Mills Fine Flour Mix #3.

Thank goodness I brought the pizza, minus cheese, as one lady there cannot have any dairy.

People there had lots of questions and I was glad to answer them. They love that the mixes are good everyday foods, with only a little sugar in the breads to feed the yeast, no sugar in the others and less salt.

They were also thrilled to hear about the enrichment formula included in the mixes as so many are having a hard time assimilating and getting enough of the nutrients they need in their diets.

Kyle Paterson of Astoria Mills also attended with me and talked about how easy it is to use the mixes. Not being an experienced cook himself he wondered about having a system of mixes at first, but after seeing the cookbook, just loves the idea that people can make all their favorites with only a few mixes. Three enriched flour mixes and two enriched bread and pizza mixes. He also liked that I included support recipes, like the sandwich fillings, not just the bread recipes.

Everyone loved the pizza and the sandwiches. The recipes are in my latest book which Astoria Mills is including free with the purchase of mixes.

Catherine of Frugal Freebies and Born to Love tells about the event so well, go have a look at Catherine's Frugal Freebies Blog and read what she says.

Thank you Catherine!