Remember my food-photo-dump post about my time in Marin? I promised recipes, and here they are! With a bit of a back story to go with.
I love my dear friend Erin, and I blame (thank) her for jump-starting my passion for health and well-being. We were roommates our freshman year, and I secretly considered myself the luckiest freshman ever to have been randomly assigned to live with this girl. We shared a passion for good food, dedication to academics, and of course lots of silly quirks – but we were different enough that we got along perfectly.
Erin is eco-friendly in every way – a ‘green girl’, promoting clean living. To our room she brought her whole collection of all natural cleaning products, kitchen supplies, and room decor. Her accomplishments in this field would put many adults (forget college students!) to shame. She inspired me to start using chemical free cosmetics. She inspired me to stop using disposable bags. She inspired me to completely cut out foods with chemical preservatives and processed ingredients.
Over a year later, I’ve made incredible progress. I’m now completely turned off by certain foods and products that were once a big part of my lifestyle – and I feel better for it. I’m helping my body, and my environment. Granted, I haven’t made it to Erin’s level, but I’m doing my part for now and feeling good about it. That being said, when I visited her this month, I jumped at the chance to pass on some eco-foodie knowledge I’ve learned from the blog world. Erin has a gluten intolerance, and has gone vegan this past year. In my short time blogging, I’ve learned a few things about the little nuances of vegan and gluten-free baking – or so I’d like to believe.
Inspired by the two rotting bananas on the counter, Erin and I set out to make banana-related baked goods.
We were looking through recipes from everywhere – her cookbooks, my favorite bloggers, our collections. [[disclaimer – many chocolate chips lost their lives to our stomachs during this whole process]] First I had to make sure we had all the essentials, including a good gluten-free flour mix, unprocessed sugar, baking powder and baking soda, non-dairy milk and some sort of egg-replacer – wait, what’s that? Erin had never used a vegan egg-replacer – never even knew that chia or flax seeds had the magical power of holding baked goods together! “So that’s why all of my creations fall apart!” In general, she rarely follows recipes. While in general I’m not super strict about recipes, quality baking is a science. Amounts matter – for consistency more than anything, and in a recipe with no oil, we needed something more than bananas to hold the batter together.
Overall it was a success – even just being able to share a bit of foodie knowledge. To make them gluten-free, I’d experiment with a mix of oat, brown rice, coconut, and arrowroot flours.
But wait, there’s more! Baking part II turned out much better than part I. Remember this?
We sat and enjoyed our rather generous (read: perfect) helpings, watched a cutesy movie, tired and sunburnt, and tried not to think about the fact that I had to leave the next day. I felt so lucky to met this girl, to have learned all that she has to give, and to have taught her something of my own. Next time, I’m dragging her home to Chicago with me
Side note: don’t forget I’m switching domains on August 1st to eatlearndiscover.com !