i mentioned earlier, that i think we have our cooking of main meals pretty down-pat. however, i have been wanting to try my hand at baking some desserts, breads, etc that align with our elimination diet.  so, last weekend we decided on our weekly trip to PCC to get some baking stuff. any by stuff, i had no clue what i was buying other than a list of things i read about online that were ‘essential’ for the diet we were on, as well as the things that were on this pumpkin muffin recipe i had, tightly grasped in my hand.

the essentials.

now, i realized that when starting this diet and our lifestyle change, our budget would need to change.  it’s not that were eating unhealthy.  gosh we were eating quite healthy by many standards, but the high-protein, fresh veggies, fresh fruits on a daily, weekly and monthly basis does something to your bank account. i’m not sure what i was thinking when i decided to get into baking. honestly, i wasn’t thinking. i just assumed the flour would be the same price as regular flour. maybe a dollar more. cough. cough. cough. who was i kidding?! depending on the flour, it could be almost 5 times what you pay for at fred meyers.  uh, and did i mention xantham gum (binding agent) and date sugar (replacement to sugar) were $13 bucks a pop?! yowzers.  we’ve shopped around at whole foods, fred meyers (they have a good selection of foods for folks with intolerances), PCC and they’re all the same. it made me realize why places like the flying apron charge so much. it’s because date sugar and other binding agents used in lieu of eggs or milk are ALOT more expensive. anywho, enough about sticker shock. the above is the line-up to get me started on this vegan baking kick.

all in all, it was a fun experience. i can’t say the smell of the muffins baking smelled the same as the other muffins or cupcakes i’ve made. but then again, i had to remind myself. there’s no sugar, no eggs, and no frosting. and hey, they didn’t turn out as bad as i thought. they’re weren’t that bad. and kyle liked them. that’s always a plus.

ta-da. pumpkin muffins!

i’ll definitely try to bake more things in the next coming weeks and months.  fingers crossed i get better at figuring out the batter, temperatures and such…but i may just need to give it over to pros and buy the pastries from places like flying apron. i mean, at the end of the day, i’d rather save my time for cooking since i’m a lot better at that right now.

pumpkin muffins (courtesy of http://gnowfglins.com via bastyr)

1/4 flax seed meal
3/4 cups water
1  1/4 cups unsweetened applesauce
1 can pumpkin
1/2 c. canola oil, walnut, or olive oil
1/2 cup date sugar, ground finely in the food processor
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 1/4- 21/2 c. gluten free flouor
2 tsp gluten free baking powder (feather weight brand)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup raisins
3/4 cups chopped walnuts

in mixing bowl, mix flax seed meal and water. let it sit for a few minutes. add applesauce, pumpkin, oil, date sugar, spices and vanilla extract. blend well, until smooth.

add in 2 1/4 c of flour, baking soda and salt to mixing bowl. mix until smooth. add in 1/4 cup of flour if batter is too wet. aim for a pretty thick batter that is still sticky- not extremely wet nor overly dry. add in nuts and raisins. mix lightly to incorporate.

fill greased muffin tins or muffin liners 3/4s full. bake for 20-25 mins or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. remove from oven and transfer to cooling rack. store in airtight container.