February 5, 2013
baked goods, Freezing, Frugal cooking, Tips, Uncategorized
all-purpose flour, baking, flour mix, gluten-free
Did you know that flour can go bad? Whole grain flours are especially at risk, as they contain more natural oils and fats that can become rancid. And any flour is at risk of getting small bugs in it, as it is impossible to completely remove the insect eggs from the flour. Ew. You already know that it’s cheaper to buy flour in bulk, and if you’re making your own gluten-free flour mix, you’ll end up with several pounds each of a bunch of different flours. (I counted one time and discovered that I had eleven different kinds of flour in my house at one time. I may have an obsession with collecting gluten-free flours.) That’s a lot of flour to use up, and the likelihood of it going bad in my house is pretty high. It’s no savings to buy in bulk if you have to throw half of it away due to an invasion of pantry moths.
The quick tip for this Tuesday is to freeze your flours. Yes, our favorite kitchen tool here at Food Allergies on Ice is the solution once again! Keeping the flour very cold helps to keep the oils from becoming rancid, and keeps those tiny insect eggs from hatching. It’s also a dry, airtight space which helps the flour stay dry (obviously important!) and prevents bug invasions. (You know, in case the kids leave the back door open and a bunch of flies come in. Again.) Of course, you can use this trick to preserve gluten-containing flours as well.
One caveat to the freezer trick, though: make sure your flours come up to room temperature before baking with them or your recipes may not turn out as well. Here’s what I do: my bulk flours are in a box in the freezer. I pull out the box and mix up 2 kg of my All-Purpose GF flour mix at a time. That’s enough for a week or two of baking and it stays in an airtight container on my kitchen counter. The box of bulk flours is returned to the freezer for safe keeping until the next time.
Pretty simple, but this simple trick will help you save money and make tastier food. I call that a win!
June 13, 2012
applesauce, baked chicken patties, chicken patties, corn-free, egg-free, freezing chicken patties, gluten-free, quinoa
I know this is labeled as kid food, but the grown-ups at our house love these chicken patties, too. I love that the recipe is allergen-free. There are no eggs, gluten, corn, soy, or any of the other top 8 allergens in the recipe. Not only is it safe for many people’s allergies, it’s really easy – just throw the stuff in the food processor and let it go!
However, this recipe deserves Best-of-the-Web status, but only after some minor tweaking. We substitute pureed veggies (or baby food, since we’ve got a ton of that lying around) for the applesauce, add some more seasonings (oregano is a good place to start), and bake them instead of frying them (easier to mass-produce that way). Some of us like the patties dipped in applesauce, others prefer to use mustard. Of course, you can change all that up according to your family’s taste. This is really a super-versatile recipe.
These do really well in the freezer. Just flash freeze the cooked patties, pop them in a labeled baggie, and you’re good to go. I recommend cooking the patties about ¾ of the way, then freezing them, as that helps preserve the moisture during the reheating process. If you do this, just spread them out on a cookie sheet and reheat at 350 F. Make sure the internal temp reaches 165 F, of course.
Chicken Patties (gluten-free, egg-free)
- 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast half (about 7 ounces), cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 scallions, coarsely chopped (or onions, or dried minced onion – whatever’s handy)
- 3/4 cup cooked quinoa, room temperature
- 3 tablespoons applesauce, plus more for dipping
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, or canola oil
- Pulse chicken and scallions in a food processor until coarsely pureed. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in quinoa, applesauce, and salt, if desired. Form into 2-inch patties that are 1/2 inch thick. Patties can be refrigerated up to 2 days or frozen up to 1 month until ready to cook.
- Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add patties to skillet; cook, turning once, until golden brown and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Serve warm with applesauce.