Ask Chef Phyllis:
What do I do with the four tablespoons of pureed pumpkin not needed in my recipe? I confess, I usually toss it in the trash after a week. When I make a recipe that leaves little bits of this and that, it makes me feel guilty about not putting leftover ingredients in little containers. This takes time and energy away from the true goal—easy, enjoyable baking. Mostly I need a moist, gluten free recipe for easy pumpkin bread and maybe some cookies for my gluten intolerant child. There are so many recipes available online, and I don’t have the time nor the inclination to try them all. Please help.
—Mary Murphy from Nampa, Idaho
You make a very valid point, Mary. This recipe uses the whole can of pumpkin. You’re also right in that there’s an explosion of gluten free recipes available online now. For the busy homemaker, I suggest choosing only recipes (such as the two below) that use a standard amount of an ingredient—one stick of butter and one can of pumpkin puree. You’ll save time by using prepared pumpkin pie spice instead of the cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and allspice that you’d otherwise have to measure separately. I believe these efficient suggestions will change your opinion about spending time in the kitchen. Happy baking!
Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread
1 stick (½ cup) butter, room temperature
1 cup organic cane sugar or coconut sugar
1 (15 oz.) can organic pumpkin puree
2 cups gluten free flour
1½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon white vinegar
2 tablespoons (or to taste) raw honey for glaze (optional)
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Mix butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs and pumpkin puree. Beat until blended.
- In a small bowl, whisk flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to pumpkin mixture and blend well. Add vanilla and vinegar. Mix until combined (do not over mix).
- Butter a 9×5-inch loaf pan if you plan on baking pumpkin bread or an 8×8-inch square pan for bars. Pour in the batter. Bake in loaf pan for about 1 hour or square pan for 35 minutes.
- If desired, glaze with honey while still warm. Cool completely before slicing.
Gluten Free Organic Peanut Butter Cookies
These super easy cookies call for only 5 ingredients! If desired, you may substitute organic almond or cashew butter for the peanut butter.
1 cup organic peanut butter (I like Adams Natural Crunchy)
1 cup cane sugar (I like Rapunzel Organic Whole Cane Sugar)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon baking soda
- Preheat oven to 350°F. In the order given, mix the ingredients in a medium bowl by hand, or use a hand mixer.
- Roll cookie dough into 1-inch balls. Place them on an ungreased cookie sheet, spaced about an inch apart. Flatten the top of each cookie with the tines of a fork in a crisscross pattern.
- Bake for exactly 11 minutes. Remove from oven.
- Gently remove the cookies from the cookie sheet. Cool completely on a wire rack. Store in an airtight cookie jar.
To choose your organically grown and fresh ingredients wisely, use the following criteria:
- chemical- and hormone-free meat
- wild-caught fish
- pasture-raised, organic eggs
- whole, unrefined grains
- virgin, unrefined, first-press organic oils
- whole-food, unrefined sweeteners
- pure, clean, spring water
- sea salt
- raw and/or cultured milk and cream products