Babycakes Gluten Free/Vegan Donuts

My dear friend, Sarah, gave me the “Babycakes Covers the Classics” recipe book for Christmas this year, and let me tell you… aside from Young the Giant concert tickets from my dad, this has got to be my favorite Christmas present from this year! Sarah and I went with my mom to NYC this past summer, and of course we couldn’t leave the city without taking a stop in Babycakes, arguably the top vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free, and generally allergy-free bakery. I double fisted a pumpkin cupcake and a vanilla sprinkled donut and I fell in love with both at first bite.

Naturally, I couldn’t have been happier when I found out that the founder of Babycakes, and my heroErin McKenna, has written not just one but two fantastic (and super cute) recipe books, making it possible for even the most average gluten free college student such as myself to make the amazing Babycakes confectionaries in my own kitchen!

I recently tried out the plain cake donut recipe and it was a rousing success! While I won’t post the recipe itself (in hopes that you go grab a copy of the recipe book for yourself), I will give you some insight on the process of the baking-of-the-donuts as well as some tips and tricks along the way!
This is what you’ll need. And yes, I am aware that Nestle Chocolate Chips are not vegan but I’m not vegan either, so I’m going the cheap route. 
Bob’s Red Mill. 
Bob’s Red Mill. (whatta bargain!)
Bob’s Red Mill
This stuff is freakin’ expensive, but totes necessary. Getting this on Amazon in bulk next time.
Bob’s Red Mill.
Coming upon the measurement “1/8 tsp”. #firstworldproblems
It’s not fancy, it’s cheap, and it works. 

Takes baking to the next level.
Very similar to cake batter at this point- once all ingredients are fully incorporated. 
Oh and b.t.w, you will absolutely need one of these.
Fill it up with a bit of room at the top so it doesn’t overflow, but is a good sized donut.
Well, it will look better once its’ all cooked.
Well hey! Look who’s on the back of the Garbanzo flour!
Cinnamon sugar topping.
Be sure to do this topping procedure about 5 minutes after they pop out the oven so it sticks.
Aren’t they purrrrrty?!
This is what they should look like fully cooked. Slightly puffed, beige/brown colored.
Dad told me not to do it this way, but what can I say… I’m still in my teens, I’m gonna rebel. And it worked. HA Dad!
Ooooooh. I ate to many of these.
Keep stirring or else you’ll have some burnt chocolate which is no good at all. 
Vanilla glaze in the works. Glaze the donuts after letting them sit 15 minutes. They’ll be warm but not hot.
Please, please, use this nice under-belly side of the donut as the glazed top for maximum donut-attractiveness.
Dunk-ty dunk dunk with a light grip. 
Like a Krispy Kreme, I tell ya!
I regretted this, so I ate it. It was delicious, but ugly. 
The best.
Dunk the donut, give it a light twist, lift up, let it run a tad, place on a tray.
Homemade goodness.
Get in my belly. 
Daily Life, Tips & Tricks

What to Get a Celiac for Christmas

It seems like Christmas is approaching at turbo-speed this year. I could have sworn that I just flew home from Denver for Thanksgiving yesterday, and now I find myself here- wrapping presents, drinking hot chocolate, and listening to Carol of the Bells… ok, more like the Justin Bieber Christmas album, but same thing.

This post might be a little late for most, but for you procrastinators out there, here’s a quick list of things that the celiac in your life would probably like having.

A Babycakes cupcake or two. Or five.

Every celiac who has the chance to travel to NYC should run straight to Babycakes NYC as soon as they de-board the plane. I’m telling you… this place is heaven, not only for celiacs but for anyone with a gluten intolerance, dairy intolerance, or a vegan diet. However, if you are like me, and do not have the money to simply fly over there whenever I want one of their delectable cupcakes, they offer delivery! Mind you, its expensive as hell considering it’s just a cupcake but it will probably mean the world to a celiac who a) has been addicted to their baked goodness since tasting it for the first time or b) just wants the chance to try a Babycakes baked goodie for themselves. I would suggest ordering your cupcake(s) just a couple days (max) before Christmas cause they send them as quick as possible, seeing as their baked goods have no preservatives.
I don’t really know if I would choose to wear this on any regular old day but it would actually be really funny for a gluten free convention/celiac convention, or just for sleeping. Either way, it would get a laugh out of me if I got this for a gift from someone.
Mind you, not all of us like tea. Including myself- I find if quite revoting, kind of like hot water that has been mixed with dirt and garbage juice. But thats just me. If you have a friend who orders tea at Starbucks on a regular basis, they would surely appreciate some nice tea for themselves. Tea also helps relieve some symptoms of being glutened for some people, so it might be nice to have on hand.
We celiacs have all had the awkward and unsettling experience of trying to explain the basics of celiac disease to a clueless waitress who has no idea what “gluten free” even means, let alone what celiac disease entails. With gluten free dining cards, all a person has to do is hand the waitress one of these cards that explains the basics about celiac disease (condensed of course), which is then taken to whoever is preparing the food. These cards even come in multiple languages- great for traveling!
An iPhone (or some other kind of smartphone)
So this one is definitely on the more expensive range, but it has features that could make all the difference for someone dealing with food allergies and complications. The internet connection of these phones is what I can see coming in handy. For example, impromptu trips to the store for cold medicine would be made less stressful, being able to Google search if certain medicines are gluten free. Requests to go out for dinner with friends would be simple, as one could just look up gluten free restaurants around their area. Not to mention various apps that are meant to help people struggling with a gluten intolerance/allergy/celiac disease.
Daily Life

Pins/Music of the Week!

Rome: where I’ll be living around this time next year!
This is divine
I could easily (and happily) get morbidly obese with sweet potato fries.  
I’m convinced we’re soul mates. And yes, he is my boyfriend, in my own head.
Honestly, who doesn’t want their toes to look like this?

I came upon this video/singer when I was reading my favorite blog HelloGiggles. I instantly fell in love with her voice and her quirky style, along with the perfect song choice. This is the perfect song to fall asleep to on a wintery night- take a listen!


Black Bean Brownies; Gluten Free!

 Why does there have to be this grouchy pre-conceived notion that ALL desserts that are tasty and delicious have to make us fat?

Why do we have to be using granulated sugar when we could be using the natural sugars from fruits or agave nectar or honey? Why can’t we, instead of using sugar-calorie ridden milk chocolate, use real dark cocoa-that has been proven to have health benefits? Why do we have to use all these complicated enriched flours to thicken things when we could use natural thickeners, say like black beans? (cue segway)…

Now, I know this is nothing competely new to a lot of you foodies out there, and I certainly cannot take the credit for coming up with the fabulous idea of using black beans in brownies, BUT I’m posting this anyways because I think that it’s important for people to realize that dessert doesn’t have to be the enemy! It can, in fact, contain loads of protein and fiber and other good things- it’s all just about using unexpected ingredients.

You Will Needs:
4 oz unsweetened chocolate
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups soft cooked black beans (drained, please)
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 tbsp vanilla
1/4 cup instant coffee
1/4 tsp sea salt
4 large eggs
1.5 cups light agave nectar

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a brownie sized baking pan with parchment paper and lightly oil it with butter or non stick spray

Melt the chocolate and butter in a glass bowl in the microwave for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on high. Or, (for what I find to be better consistency), put a bowl over a saucepan w/ simmering water and slowly melt the chocolate and butter by stirring it over the heat of the hot water. Stir with a spoon to melt the chocolate completely. Put in the beans, 1/2 cup of the walnuts, the vanilla extract, and a couple of spoonfuls of the melted chocolate mixture into the bowl of a food processor. Blend about 2 minutes, or until smooth. The batter should be thick and the beans smooth at this point.

In a large bowl, mix together the remaining 1/2 cup walnuts, remaining melted chocolate mixture, coffee substitute, and salt. Mix well and set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs until light and creamy, which should take about 1 minute. Add the agave nectar and beat well. Set aside.

Add the bean/chocolate mixture to the coffee/chocolate mixture. Stir until blended well.

Add the egg mixture, reserving about 1/2 cup. Mix well. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 1/2 cup egg mixture until light and fluffy. Drizzle over the brownie batter. Use a wooden toothpick to pull the egg mixture through the batter, creating a marbled effect. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the brownies are set. Let it cool for a bit, then dig in!

Tips & Tricks

Signs that You Should Get Tested for Celiac Disease (or other gluten issues)

One of the most complicated aspects of celiac disease is the fact that there are so many possible symptoms that a person with celiac could possibly have. Almost all celiacs have had the similar experience of seeing a crazy number of specialized doctors, being given every pill on the market, and being diagnosed with every kind of ailment out there. Here is a list of some symptoms that you might see as a red flag for celiac disease or another kind of gluten sensitivity…

  • A family member has been diagnosed with celiac disease or some kind of gluten intolerance.
  • GI issues, IBS, abdominal pain, nausea, etc
  • Skin issues; rashes, eczema, psoriasis, allergic reactions to certain skin products
  • You have been diagnosed with conditions such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, thyroid issues, and adrenal issues.
  • Anemia; pale skin, low red blood cell count
  • For women: premenstrual disorders, irregular periods, infertility, difficult or problematic pregnancies, miscarriages
  • Neurological/psychological issues; depression, seizures/epilepsy, ADD/ADHD, learning disabilities, autism, bipolar disorder, irritability/moodiness, brain fog, anxiety/panic attacks, OCD, restless leg syndrome
  • Insomnia, other sleep issues
  • Frequent headaches
  • Organ issues like appendicitis, gall bladder, kidney, liver problems
  • Dental issues like discolored teeth and enamel defects
  • Other food intolerances like lactose intolerance
  • Weight issues (underweight and can’t gain weight easily or overweight and can’t lose weight easily)
  • Frequent infections/illnesses; sinus infection, strep throat, pink eye, bronchitis, ear infections, flu, common cold, etc
  • Down syndrome
  • Cancer- usually stomach, pancreatic, lymphoma
  • Frequent or constant fatigue
  • Canker sores/mouth ulcers
  • In children: failure to thrive, difficulty in development, difficulty concentrating in school (often misdiagnosed as ADHD or ADD), short stature, bloated belly, leg aches and pains, irritability
  • Asthma
  • Hair issues; falling out, thinning, not growing, brittle
  • Blood pressure is too high or too low
*About 40% of those with celiac have NO symptoms
*Be sure to continue eating gluten regularly before getting tested, or else the test will be skewed and you will not get a proper diagnosis.
Daily Life

Pins of the Week/Song of the Week

Dream. House.
Lululemon makes me want to workout. Quite the feat.
Can this be my life?
Hello, gorgeous.
New years?
I absolutely love it when I come upon a YouTube musician who actually puts out true quality, original stuff. You can only take so many covers of Adele songs, so it’s quite refreshing to find some new content. This melody is so catchy, her voice is so soothing and warm, and the song has great variance throughout the whole thing. The quality is awesome too. Have a listen!
Tips & Tricks

Celiac Disease Facts & Figures

One in 133 Americans have celiac disease.

This means that about 3 million Americans suffer from celiac.

Nearly 95% of celiacs are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.

The average person waits 6-10 years to be correctly diagnosed.

5-22% of celiacs have family members who also have celiac.

The number of people with celiac disease in the U.S would fill 4,400 Boeing 747 planes.

It would take 936 cruise ships to hold every American with celiac disease.

Many people who test negative for celiac disease are gluten sensitive and find that symptoms go away with a gluten free diet.

By 2019, the celiac diagnosis rate may reach 50-60%.

Gluten free sales exceeded $2.6 billion by the end of 2010 and are expected to reach over $5 billion by 2015.