Gluten Free Pumpkin Bagel Experiment



Well, here is my 1st gluten free bagel attempt! I decided to go with pumpkin bagels, because it is after all October. I ended up adapting this recipe from, with the new Namaste Foods Gluten Free Perfect Flour Blend I picked up this week. I selected it on recommendation from a friend after reading a bunch of gluten free blogs, and seeing that everyone seemed to have their own custom blend. This was pretty darn close to the one I was going to mix up myself based on Fork and Beans’ recipe, and you’re supposed to be able to sub it 1:1 in regular recipes.


Yeast proofed, yet again! I am now a yeast proofing master.

Yeast proofed, yet again! I am now a yeast proofing master.


I tweaked the order a little to save a bowl. I poured in the yeast & water mixture, then added the pumpkin, and then the spices.


I then added the flour in 3 – 1 cup additions.


My dough was definitely too sticky after the 3 cups, and it say you might need to add 1-2 tablespoons of extra flour. I ended up adding 4.



I really wasn’t sure if it was going to rise, given the GF flour and all, but left it to do its thing for an hour. While it did do some rising, it definitely didn’t double in size. After forming the bagels, the recipe had another step to leave them to rise a little for an extra 30 minutes, but since not too much happened in an hour, I decided to skip it and go straight for the boiling.



The recipe also had you bake them for 5 minutes and then flip them. As an experiment I did 3 that way. A few about 20 minutes in, and the last 3 I just left alone. There wasn’t a tremendous difference in any of the the 3 sets, though the 1st 2 did look more evenly golden.

I sliced one and found that they were extremely hard on the outside and just a touch under on the cook on the inside, so I tossed them back in the oven for another 5 minutes. This recipe called for them to baked at 400*F for 30-35 minutes, but I’d probably try a lower temp and longer cook time for future attempts to avoid the texture issues.

I was also wondering if maybe I should have let them rise a 2nd time to get them a little more airy and less dense?


Regardless, they still tasted good, especially with pumpkin butter! This pumpkin butter from Trader Joe’s is magical stuff btw, mixed with butter, mixed with cream cheese, by itself, even mixed with peanut butter – which is how I ate my bagel this morning!

In general in my gluten free baking so far, I’ve found that I need longer cook times than expected. Thomas also made some chicken (tofu) and waffles last night and found the same thing. He needed to lower the temp on the iron and cook a little longer in order to avoid the uneven cook. Other than that, you’d never know by the taste of either that they’re gluten free!

As always, thanks for reading! More to come soon.



Vegan, Soy free, Gluten free product faves

Vegan, soy free, gluten free life isn't SO bad I guess!

Vegan, soy free, gluten free life isn’t SO bad I guess!

After a fainting spell last weekend, and some blood work this week, I’ve been found to be hypothyroid. (And anemic, though only slightly lower than what has been my lifelong blood chemistry of borderline anemia, due in part to my IUD placement last month. I’m starting some serious supplementation for that.) It wasn’t incredibly surprising, given that several women on my maternal side have been as well. My [hypothyroid nurse] mom did some research on some nutrition things and forwarded them to me. While much of our diet already fits into the recommended foods, we did decide to try to minimize (not eliminate!) our soy and gluten for now. Though to be fair, gluten sounds like it’s really only a problem with the medication absorption if eaten within 4 hours of medication. As for the soy, we figure cutting down on what we’re ingesting in fringe processed foods isn’t a bad idea, and then we won’t feel bad about indulging in the less processed tofu or tempeh dish occasionally. Some of the other info was contradictory, but overall kale and cruciferous veggies are sadly not great, seaweed good, spinach okay, beans, nuts, and other veggies good to go.

Happily though, after some quick hitting of the interwebs, we realized a lot of the products we already love are soy free and gluten free. Here are some of them…

So Delicious Cashew Milk Frozen desserts come in Cappuccino, Creamy Cashew, Dark Chocolate Truffle, Salted Caramel Cluster, and Snickerdoodle flavors.

Trader Joe’s Strawberry Coconut Milk frozen dessert ice cream is SO FREAKING GOOD!

So Delicious Cultured Coconut Milk yogurts in regular or Greek styles, in a variety of flavors, all of which my cats are a fan of!

Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Spread butter, easy enough! I’ve bought this other times I’ve wanted to limit my soy intake. It’s easy to find. Tastes just as good.

Follow Your Heart has a whole line of soy free products, including their new & improved line of vegan cheeses that are INCREDIBLE and compete with Field Roast’s Chao slices (which have soy). Also, the classic vegan mayo,  Vegenaise, comes in soy free.

Daiya All Daiya products are dairy, soy and gluten free! Besides the Daiya cheese shreds that we’re so familiar with, we were recently gifted with a fantastic cheesecake on my birthday that I loved! They make a ton of products these days including yogurt (which I haven’t tried) and  cream cheese that is soy and gluten free, which we’ll have to check out if we buy some bagels. (Can’t imagine finding decent gluten free bagels though!)


As far as meat analogues go, here’s a list I took from the PETA website for Soy & GF, but have NOT tried myself:

Neat “meat” is a new product made from a mix of nuts and garbanzo beans. It comes in four flavors: Mexican, Italian, Breakfast, and Original.
Great Life by Lucinda has a variety of veggie burger mixes.
Beyond Meat’s Beyond Beef Crumbles come in both Feisty Crumbles and Beefy Crumbles flavors, and they’re made from pea protein.
Beyond Meat’s Beast Burger boasts the fact that it contains more iron and protein than its meaty equivalent, and more omegas than salmon.
Sunshine Burgers are made from a variety of beans, seeds, and brown rice. They come in eight flavors, including Shiitake Mushroom, Loco Chipotle, and Hemp & Sage.
Amy’s Sonoma Veggie Burger is made from quinoa, garbanzo beans, nuts, and vegetables.
Hilary’s Eat Well Veggie Bites and several types of veggie burgers are made with grains, beans, seeds, and greens and are certified kosher as well.

In other good news, our favorite meaty things, Field Roast, while gluten filled, appear to be soy free! Which is probably just fine for some dinners since it will be far away from my empty stomach medication taking morning time.

Pacifica – Red Red Wine, vegan nail polish review




A while back, I was lucky enough to get gifted a bottle of this gorgeous vampy red from one of the nurses at work. Apparently she is quite the nail laquer collector, and noticed this was vegan, so she thought I might like to try it. It’s Red Red Wine from the Pacifica company, which I had never heard of. Turns out that they’re 100% vegan and cruelty free, and like the other polish that I’d had success with (Zoya) it’s free of those nasty chemicals that my nails seem to hate. Pacifica 7 FREE Nail Polish is formulated without parabens, phthalates (dibutyl phthalate), toluene, xylene, camphor, formaldehyde, resin, and animals.  


I had originally just intended to do my toes, but it turned out to be such a nice shade that I ended up doing my fingernails too, and just hoping for the best. Here are several pictures from how it wore through the week…






It wore exceedingly well!! I applied it on Saturday, and that last picture was on the following Saturday, right before I took it off. I was really impressed. I’ll admit, as stupid as it sounds,  I was initially put off by the product design (ew, white!), and that’s probably why it took me so long to try it out. I don’t know if it was the formaldehyde or what in regular nail polish that I reacted to so badly to before, but ever since I’ve tried these vegan polishes, my nails not only don’t chip after one day like they always used to, but they’re left in immaculate condition instead of peeling and breaking after just one wearing. REALLY GREAT STUFF.

Futhermore, it wasn’t until I went to write this post that I discovered that they have a full line of vegan beauty products including makeup, skincare, fragrance (cough, sneeze, if you’re not allergic like I am!), etc., AND that it’s conveniently available at places like Target, Whole Foods, and drug stores! Definitely will be checking out more of their products!


What’s your favorite vegan beauty find?

Vegan Blueberry Pancakes and Ceramic Non-stick pans!

My phone photo, all other photos by Thomas!

My phone photo, all other photos by Thomas!

Last weekend I woke up with the grand idea of making blueberry pancakes and some savory tofu. So I turned to my trusty friend the internet once again for recipe advice. Pinterest turned up a bunch of gluten free versions, which I had no interest in. I was just looking for a good old fashioned simple recipe. The web provided me with this simple enough recipe Light and Fluffy Vegan Blueberry Pancakes, and I was off to the kitchen…


As it turned out, my tofu block wasn’t thawed yet, so that put an end to the idea of a savory side protein, but I was most excited to try the pancakes. I was using frozen blueberries, so I gave them a quick rinse to get the frost off.


Then I mixed up the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. It sounded like an awful lot of baking powder to me, but I use aluminum free kind, so I wasn’t too worried about it.


The only thing I subbed was flax milk for the soy milk. I used canola for the oil.


The batter came out really fluffy and bubbly from all the baking powder, and looked really promising!


So, the recipe had mentioned using a non-stick pan. In Florida, I had always kept a small non-stick around, just for pancakes. When we moved, it didn’t make the cut, as I saw that it had some wear to it despite being well cared for. I have one of these Le Creuset enameled, seasonable skillets though, which I love, and had always been curious if it could handle pancake duty. I gave it a whole bunch of butter in the hopes that it would work…


Sadly, it did not work. The one side came out okay, but after flipping, the second side stuck to the pan like crazy! We scraped up the pancake, split it, (tasted good!) and put on some shoes for an emergency trip to Target. I put the bowl of batter in the fridge to keep it away from the cats while we were gone.


Well, apparently there is this new thing called ceramic non-stick! I ended up getting a Green Pan brand, and they had an aluminum version with a plastic handle, and an anodized steel version with a metal handle, so I got the latter. Thomas ended up getting a waffle maker with the ceramic non-stick coating too. (I’ve always wanted a waffle iron!) Apparently this ceramic non-stick is the future! We haven’t tried the waffle iron yet, but I can tell you about the skillet.


This thing worked great! It’s so much lighter than my cast iron, and the metal handle stayed nice and cool. I forgot what it was like to be able to lift a skillet with one hand; it made it easy to flip! (Pancake pictured post flip!) Clean up was also a breeze!

The first pancake came out a bit crepe like. I was still getting the temperature right, and the batter seemed to have settled down while we were gone, and lost some of its fluffiness.


But then the subsequent ones came out much fluffier. Maybe the batter needed to be reactivated a bit? Hard to say, but after this the pancake going got much better!


After all was said and done, we had ourselves an excellent stack of blueberry pancakes by 5 pm, that we washed down with a couple of beers! 😉 This was definitely worth that surprise trip to Target, and I’m glad I’ll now have the means to make these babies whenever we like.


Do you have a favorite pancake or waffle recipe to share? Leave it in the comments below!