There’s no way I’ll be blogging during or immediately after Thanksgiving. So I bid several days adieu as I embark on the reintroduction process, beginning on Thanksgiving day.
I’m going with soy. It was a tough decision – could’ve done corn and made cornbread stuffing, or nuts on everything, or alcohol for some good old fashioned boozy-cider-and-wine-time. But I choose soy.
My plan is to make some soy-banana nog, a vegan pumpkin pie cheesecake, a baked orange-ginger tempeh dish, and to throw some soy milk into mashed parsnips. I’ll let you know how all of that goes in a week or so when I catch my breath.
Thanksgiving seems like a huge deal to me, being a foodie – and a veg foodie at that – because the challenge of making delicious dishes (of all my favorite foods, btw) is like… too great a thrill. Especially finding savory ways to circumnavigate meat-heads. It is the perfect veg holiday. BRING IT.
Here is the (possible, and arbitrary) order for reintroduction plan:
Those are the big ones – the more common allergens/”distressors” (<- not a word apparently?), and things I eat more frequently.
If I need to continue to dig, I will also explore: beans/legumes, corn, nuts, chocolate, and potatoes. I have already “tested” (thanks to eating out and being shy regarding my “can’t-haves”) tomatoes and seeds (sesame) without negative side-effects, so I will rule those out.
As I reintroduce things, I spend the next 48 hours monitoring possible symptoms. So each food will take 3 days total. And as soon as the reintroduction day is over, I go back to my elimination diet until the next food is up. Yes, we are talking another month, easily, of this diet.
Technically, I’m not supposed to be eating “desserts” but I don’t have a clear idea of what qualifies as dessert if I am eating, say, coconut milk ice cream (2 pints down already). I’m a big believer in total emotional satisfaction with food, and yes that means eating sweet treats on occasion when I have fulfilled my nutritional needs for the day and need to fulfill my emotional ones too. Also to keep myself sane during a process like this, a little indulgence goes a long way.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, of course I couldn’t resist pumpkin bread so I pored over gluten-free, vegan recipes like it was my job and found a great one.
Check out the Fork and Beans blog – for one thing, it’s beautiful and full of tempting vegan, allergen-free treats (even candy bars!)
Her recipe is awesome as is, but of course I can’t help myself with modifications (and not because I’m snobby; more just based on what I already have on hand!). I was daunted by my first-ever gluten-free (but not first vegan) baking experience, especially when attempting it at 7200 ft, no less. Whew.
Check out this link (one more time) for her recipe, also copied below.
Gluten-free, Vegan, Nut-free Pumpkin Bread
- 2/3 c. brown rice flour
- 2/3 c. sorghum flour
- 1/3 c. potato starch
- 1/3 c. arrowroot powder
- 3/4 c. brown sugar
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 3/4 tsp. xanthan gum
- 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves (optional)
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 c. canned pumpkin puree (not the pie mix)
- 1/2 c. oil
- 1/2 c. boiling water
- 1 Tbsp. EnerG egg replacer + 4 Tbsp. warm water, beaten with electric mixer for 30 seconds
- 1/2 c. walnuts, chopped (optional) *obviously not used in a nut-free version
- Raw pepitas for garnishing the top
What did I modify? First, I used my pre-made, homemade gluten-free all-purpose flour (found here) cup-for-cup where she has brown rice flour, potato starch, and arrowroot powder. I used her recommended measurement for sorghum flour. (No particular reason, but my pre-mixed flour is a blend of starches and buckwheat/brown rice flour, and I did also happen to have an unopened bag of sorghum.)
I subbed almost all of the dry sugar for liquid substitutes. According to her recipe, the bread requires 1 1/4 cups sugar total. After some research, I opted to sub 1/2 c of sugar with 1/4 c honey, and another 1/2 c sugar with 1/4+ c molasses. I used just 1/4 c brown sugar. Do your own sugar subs research to determine what will work for you and your particular recipe.
Baking at altitude required its own adjustments, and you can research those easily as well. Modifying liquids and leavenings is a big part of it. For that reason, I used about 1/4 tsp. less of the baking powder called for, and about 2 Tbs. more water.
I also used my Trader Joe’s pumpkin pie spice, about a teaspoon, but adjust spices according to your preferences.
Okay… wet ingredients. I have never used EnerG egg replacers, nor do I really want to. Applesauce and banana work particularly well in breads like these that can be a little moist. I mashed a whole banana with my liquid sugars, added the boiling water and oil, and dumped it all + pumpkin into my dry ingredients bowl.
And lastly, I added all the remaining dried cranberries I had (maybe 1/2 cup) instead of using nuts.
I baked at 375-degrees F (a 25-degree increase in temp at this altitude is a good adjustment) for 60-70 minutes.
The aroma becomes present less than ten minutes into baking time (omggggg). After allowing the bread to cool for several minutes, I wrapped the whole thing in Saran wrap. SELF CONTROL. Pumpkin breads are always better the next day, or after they sit a while.
Boyf and I sliced it open after dinner last night and slathered melted coconut oil on top mmmmm *insert Homer Simpson drooling over a donut*
Perfection. Yes, my first gluten-free, vegan, high-altitude baking project was perfect. It’s not fair. I’m sorry to anyone who is pissed off by the ease with which I pulled that off. Very sorry. Because this bread is outstanding.
All ready for the Fort Collins Turkey Trot tomorrow!!! (minus the registration part, which I see is now going to cost me $50 DOH!) I did my final tune-up today in some freakish wind but thankfully warm temps. Ready to fly.