In past posts I've discussed the "holy quartet" for ideal every day meals: easy, inexpensive, tasty and healthy. This is more of guideline/analysis than a set of rules, as the intention is to make food less complicated and more enjoyable. This is relatively new for me, as I spent most of my adult life as a vegan/vegetarian or attempting to subscribe (usually imperfectly) to the newest "health" fad. All of that changed about a year ago when I realized that worrying so much about what I was putting (or not putting) in my body was probably more detrimental to my overall health than the GMO soybeans I tried so hard to avoid.
I suppose you could say at that time I adopted some version of intuitive eating and I've been a happier, more grounded and self-confident person since. It's also allowed me to truly enjoy and experience all aspects of a new culture.
Unfortunately, about a month ago, I had an unavoidable run-in with the food police. I'll spare you the details, but I begrudgingly chose to eliminate certain foods (gluten, dairy and nightshades) from my diet to see if they were the culprit of some strange physical symptoms I've been fighting.
Being back in this overly-restrictive paradigm was not pleasant, so I tried to balance it out by recreating some of my favorite treats in a way that fit the diet. To be perfectly honest, I found many alternative baking resources totally complicated, expensive and just plain impracticable. After a lot of digging, I found this simple and straightforward guide to alternative baking and set out to make a gluten-free apple cake.
The substitution process was really simple and this cake is super buttery, crumbly and delicious. So, if you're suffering from food allergies/sensitivities or feeding someone who is - this cake is an excellent choice, especially with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Remember, I bake in a combi oven from hell , so your baking time and temperature might be a little different.
2.75 cups (250 grams) gluten free oat flour
1.25 cups (280 grams) butter
4 tsp baking powder
1.75 cups (395 grams) granulated sugar
1 apple thinly sliced
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Preheat oven to 180 (350 F). Mix oat flour and baking powder in a large bowl. Mix sugar and butter, leaving about .25 cups to the side. Mix the oat flour/baking powder and sugar/butter until smooth. Place sliced apples in a medium sized bowl, cover with lemon juice and sugar and toss gently. Grease a 9" spring form and pour half of the mixture in, pour apples on top and then pour the rest of the batter on that.
Bake for 40 minutes, until cake is deep golden brown and passes the fork test (stick a fork in the middle of the cake and it should come out clean).
While I've yet to identify the cause, I am thrilled to report that gluten, dairy and nightshades are not the problem. Besides peace of mind in keeping a flexible diet - I DID come of this gastronomical experiment with a better understanding of gluten-free baking (I think it's been made entirely over complicated) and a kick-ass apple cake recipe.
Do you suffer from any food allergies or choose to avoid certain types of foods? Do you have any tips or resources?