Monday, December 31, 2018


Vegan and Gluten Free. Fluffy and delicious. Simple to make and you can make a big batch and freeze them!

Vegan and Gluten Free
No added fat, banana-Free 
and Fluffy!
Adapted from by My Little Blue Heron

Pancakes are a perfect food: simple, quiet and comforting. They’re inexpensive to make, kids love them, and these will make everyone happy. They're oat-based, gluten and fat free, they have no dairy or eggs, and they're very delicious.

If you don’t have oat flour, weigh out oats (weight, not volume) and grind them in your blender. If you’re gluten free or making these for someone with Celiac or gluten allergy/sensitivity, make sure you buy gluten-free oats. Use dairy-free milk. To keep them nut-free, use oat or hemp milk! I like Califia Farms Almond Milk.

Authentic Foods’ vanilla powder is certified gluten free. I use it interchangeably with my own vanilla extract.

Listen: you won’t believe how easy these are to make. The entire recipe is prepared in a blender! (If you have a new power blender, start your engines!)

Top these with fruit, applesauce or apple butter, hemp seeds or hearts, nut butter, tahini, sunflower butter, bacon or sausage or meat subs, or if you’re like me, be a stick in the mud and slather them in maple syrup.

Never too many pancakes - I double the recipe and freeze them for pancake pangs. Cool them and stack between sheets of wax paper and freeze them. Reheat in a toaster, an oven or a microwave oven. 

So simple and simply so yum. Flip in the new year!

peace and pancake love,

Vegan and Gluten Free

Equipment: Blender, Non-stick skillet

½ c. unsweetened applesauce
1 ¼ c./146g./5.2oz. oat flour (rolled oats may be ground in blender)
½ c. non-dairy milk
2 tsp. lemon juice (buy organic lemons)
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
½ tsp. baking powder (aluminum free)
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp.vanilla powder (heaping!) or 1 tsp. (generous) pure vanilla extract

If you don’t have oat flour, in a blender grind oats into flour (remember: weigh them before grinding!).

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until mixed.

Don’t overmix. 

If batter is too thick, adjust by adding ‘milk’, a little bit at a time.

Batter will be thick.

Heat non-stick pan and pour enough batter (about ¼ to 1/3 of a cup) onto heated non-stick skillet. With a spoon, spread and smooth into a circle. Begin with one pancake to get the thickness and heat and cooking time just right.

Although this is a thick batter, it should be thin enough that bubbles appear and the pancake appears to become ‘dry’, when it’s time to flip to the other side to finish cooking. All this should take a few minutes on each side. Once you’ve got it all down, repeat until you’ve flipped your last cake.

Yield: 6-8 pancakes (more if small, less if you Mickey Mouse them.)

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Gluten Free Spice Cookies

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With a spice profile borrowed and tweaked from the great Alice Waters, these wonderful GF spice cookies will become a favorite. Use King Arthur GF All Purpose Flour, and you'll have perfect cookies for snacking, dunking, sandwiching or using in "sweet and sour" recipes.

Gluten Free Spice Cookies
Adapted from David Lebovitz and Alice Waters by My Little Blue Heron

David’s Lebovitz's blog is wonderful. From time to time he offers gluten free recipes or links to GF. This recipe is wasn't GF and was originally from Alice Waters (The Art of Simple Food). 

The spice profile is wonderful (thank you, Alice Waters!) The black pepper gives them a real zing, so if you want to de-zing them, reduce the black pepper. You can omit the black pepper and substitute with some allspice.

Spices are the playground area of baking. They won't effect the chemistry. Bundle up and go out and play! Reduce the black pepper, up the ginger, the cinnamon or down the cloves.  

I grind my cloves in an electric spice grinder. Buy an inexpensive coffee grinder and reserve it for spices.  I use two different varieties of ground cinnamon, both great. If cinnamon is fresh (less than a year old), it's perfect! Cassia or Ceylon - either will do.

GF flour (this is important): For this recipe, don't use a cup-4-cup blend or a blend that has added Xanthan or Guar gum. My favorite packaged blend in the U.S. is King Arthur Flour's Gluten Free All Purpose Flour (the one without 'gum'). It's not inexpensive. When you find it on sale, pick up a couple of boxes.

If you want your cookies to snap, make sure you bake these until they are quite brown. If you bake them light, they’ll be softer, more chewy. I like these chewy. In fact, if you throw in a cup of raisins, up the cinnamon and ginger and down the pepper, you'll have some lovely, chewy raisin-spice cookies* (variation below). Raisin cookies are comfort cookies.

Unbaked batter can be kept for a couple of days in the fridge or a month in the freezer. If they stick around, baked, they’ll keep in an airtight container for a week or more.. These freeze beautifully.

New Spice! New Year! Happy New Year!

Happy New Year
Happy New Year
May we all have a vision now and then
Of a world where every neighbor is a friend
Happy New Year
Happy New Year
May we all have our hopes, our will to try
If we don't we might as well lay down and die
You and I

peace and love,


4 c./480g. gluten free all purpose flour (King Arthur recommended) 
     (NOT "measure for measure" or "baking mix" or anything with added xanthan gum)
2 tsp. guar gum
2 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 to 3 tsp. ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp.freshly ground black pepper 
1/2 tsp. ground cloves (freshly ground is best)
8 oz./225 g (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature 
1 1/2 c./227g. coconut sugar
1/4 c./80g. molasses 
1/2 tsp. vanilla powder or 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 eggs, size large, at room temperature

Add 1 cup/160g. of (organic) raisins at the end of mixing. You might alter spices: reduce or omit black pepper and increase cinnamon and/or ginger. Increasing cinnamon and omitting pepper will produce a milder tasting cookie. Increasing ginger will give more zing. 


In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, guar gum, baking soda, salt and ground spices. Set aside.

Using the paddle attachment of your stand mixer, whip together the butter, sugar and molasses. Add the eggs and mix until lightened in color. Add the vanilla powder or extract. (MLBH truc: coat inside of glass measure cup with flavorless oil for an easy pour!) 

Dump in flour mixture and mix until completely incorporated and the batter is well-combined.

Transfer to a smaller bowl and refrigerate for an hour or more until the batter is firm.

Pre-heat oven to 350º F. (175º c), racks in upper and lower third of oven; and line two baking sheets with parchment. 

Using a small cookie scoop, or a tablespoon, place dough on baking sheets. Each sheet should have a dozen balls. Using your fingers (you can dampen then slightly with cold water), depending on how crisp you desire your cookies to become, flatten the balls into disks (start with 1/4"). After one batch, you'll be in the driver's seat.

Bake until the cookies are uniformly golden to dark brown, rotating cookies half way through the bake. This should take approximately 10-12 minutes. Darker will make them crispier, lighter will be softer.

Cool briefly on sheets and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Mesquite Flour and Guajillo Chile Butter - Gluten Free

Chocolate Chip Cookies 
Mesquite Flour and Guajillo Chile butter
Gluten Free
My Little Blue Heron

Mesquite “flour” from Peru, is from the pods that grow on the Mesquite tree. The beans are ground, rendering a fine, sweet, warm and “smoky” flour. It’s great for baking. Pairing well with chocolate, coffee and cinnamon, it’s gluten free, high in fiber and iron and everyone together: “Amazon sells it”. I love it (the flour). I paired it with arrowroot, my preference to tapioca; and combined Muscavado and brown sugars. You can sub coconut sugar and any other sugar you like. I wouldn’t use too much, if any white sugar in this recipe. I use very little white sugar. 

Chocolate chips are up to you. I recently bought Guittard organic bittersweet wafers and they rock my world. But they rock my wallet, too. If you want to cut down on sugar, try Pascha sugar free chocolate chips. They’re also expensive. It’s worth the extra for excellence. Use quality ingredients, and you’ll have fine results. 

If you’re not adding nuts, try some chopped up dark dried cherries – that’ll work nicely. Trader Joe’s sells them without added sugar.

I had been topping these off with coarse salt and Turbinado sugar. I stopped – too many tastes going on. But if you love salt/sweet/hot altogether, give it a whirl!

Be sure you don’t under-bake these. If they’re not completely baked, they won’t hold up (gluten-free’ll do that.)

Here’s to opening our borders for those who seek asylum, safety and freedom. Here’s to freeing detainees (children!) from our concentration camps. Finally, here’s to the swift removal of a truly sick man who wears the cufflinks of a president and to establishing some dignity, intellectualism and sanity (yes, there isa sanity clause) in America if it isn’t already too late.

To love, peace, good health and happiness for all beings. To chocolate chip cookies.

peace and love,

Mesquite Flour/Guajillo Chile Butter 
Chocolate Chip Cookies 

84 g. toasted/cooled and chopped pecans (or walnuts)
113 g. Guajillo chile butter (see below – recipe will yield more than needed)
½ tsp. vanilla powder (or 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract)
100g. Muscavado sugar
50 g. light brown sugar
130 g. mesquite flour
45 g. arrowroot flour
1 tsp. kosher salt
¾ tsp. baking soda
1 egg, size large, room temperature
170 g. bittersweet (very dark to unsweetened) chocolate, coarsely chopped

To make the browned Guajillo Chile butter: 
Melt 226 g. (2 sticks or 18 Tbsp.) unsalted butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan with 2 Guajillo chiles. Skim foam and discard. Cook butter until ‘browned’. Optional: For real picante, add chipotle powder (to taste). For this recipe it’s not necessary to strain but if you’re using this for recipes that will reveal the butter, please strain through a fine mesh sieve. Set aside to cool.

Sift or whisk together mesquite and tapioca flours with salt and baking soda. Set aside.
MLBH truc: Mesquite flour will puff out like a cloud of confectioner’s sugar, but worse. When adding this to the batter, throw a dish towel over the mixer before you power up.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix together the cooled butter and sugars. 

Add the egg and mix on medium speed until lightened.

Dump in the dry ingredients and mix until combined. (see above MLBH truc!)

Add the chopped chocolate and nuts and mix until combined.

At this point, you can roll into logs (parchment or waxed paper) and refrigerate or freeze for slice and bake cookies. Or, you can proceed and bake these as drop cookies.
If batter is too soft, refrigerate until firm.

Preheat oven to 350º F. 
For drop cookies, use small cookie scoop and flatten to ½”, using fork tines, crisscross. 

Bake until browned, about 8-12 minutes.  Cool on racks before removing from parchment. Store in airtight tin or freeze.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Applesauce Loaf - Grain and Sugar Free

Applesauce Loaf: Paleo, grain free, gluten free and sugar free.
Applesauce Loaf 
Grain-free/Gluten Free/Sugarless
My Little Blue Heron

I published this recipe nine years ago. The link will take you to the recipe made with wheat flour. Since, I’ve adapted it twice: for gluten-free baking and for paleo baking. This one's the paleo version.

You’ll need to put my All-purpose paleo flour together. Here’s the link.

This cake's a snap to make, and the recipe's great for paleo diets because it has no added sugar. It’s easy to digest, packs nutrition, and it’s simply delicious. Use unsweetened applesauce. I try to use homemade, but it’s perfectly okay to use jarred.

I’ve substituted other dried fruit, but my favorite is dried cherries. Dried cherries almost always contain added sugar. However, Trader Joe’s Unsulfured Dark Sweet Cherries have nothing more than fruit. Ma Cherry Joe-more.

I advise you don't add chopped nuts to the paleo version of this recipe. This will add to the oil content. The almond flour is plenty. I've reduced the Canola oil amount to accommodate the oil content in the flour.

So, put this together (it takes like 10 minutes).

How can you turn your nose up at any loaf… it’s LOAF!

peace and loaf,

Grain Free Applesauce Loaf

8x4 loaf pan, brushed well with melted coconut or palm oil (or lined with parchment paper)

1 ½ c. unswseetened applesauce
75 ml. flavorless oil (Canola)
1 egg, size large, room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract, or ¼ tsp. (1 g.) vanilla powder
204 g. all-purpose paleo flour
1 g. kosher salt
9 g. baking powder (gluten and aluminum-free)
3 g. baking soda
2 g. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
85 g. dried cherries, cut or chopped, medium

Preheat oven to 325º F.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk together until well-mixed.

Beat the egg.

In a medium bowl (or in a large enough measuring cup), combine applesauce, oil and beaten egg.

By hand, add wet ingredients to the dry and mix (don’t beat, just mix) until completely combined.

Add dried cherries and stir until incorporated.

Transfer to prepared loaf pan and bake in the middle of the oven for about 50 minutes, or until tester comes out dry.

Transfer to a cooling rack, and after 10 minutes, or when you can manage the loaf comfortably, release from pan (if you’ve lined it with parchment, simply lift it from the loaf pan and you’re good to go!) and cool completely before slicing and serving (or wrapping). MLBH truc: if you wait too long to release paleo loaf from its hot pan it’ll steam itself into a gummy pudding. Blech.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Blueberry Cardamom Chia Pudding

Chia Pudding with Blueberries and Cardamom
Adapted from Gena Hamshaw by My Little Blue Heron

Chia was always a novelty item that grew into an animal that looked like green upstate roadkill. They sold it at the drug store for $10. I think they grew it into other shapes too, maybe Santa? I will call this my pet chia pudding.

Some people have issues with the texture (kinda like tapioca meets large quinoa). Here's why (especially for vegans/vegetarians and people seeking these nutrients): Chia seeds are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants, iron, and calcium. A 28-gram, or 1-ounce, serving of chia seeds also contains 5.6 grams of protein. Interest piqued? 

This pudding will win you over to the acquired taste. It’s delicious. It’s beautiful in color. Add it to or add to it: layer it with overnight oats, yogurt (dairy or non-dairy), mixed into smoothies, cereal, or sprinkle some granola or nuts or fresh or dried fruit over it. On its own, it's purple chia haze. 

You’ll need ground cardamom (I grind my own so it’s really fragrant and fresh). The original recipe calls for fresh blueberries, but I make mine with frozen organic blueberries that I buy in large bags at a really great price at Whole Foods and it’s yum. Frozen or fresh, when you can, use organic berries. Use unsweetened almond milk. My favorite is Califia. They make an unsweetened vanilla that rocks. Maple syrup isn’t inexpensive. I buy mine at Costco or Trader Joe’s. Vanilla extract? It’s a fortune. I’ve been making my own with bourbon and vodka and used vanilla beans – it takes time, but the result is lovely and will save you some cash. Vanilla powder is great. Authentic Foods makes a good one, but there’s some sugar in it. Most vanilla extracts have some sugar added – even my holy grail vanilla extract, Baldwins, has sugar. grrrr.

I make this and I freeze it in ½ cup containers. It’s great for snacks and school lunches. 

This may become your first and last chia pudding recipe.

peace and love,
Great read by Sharon Salzberg
Blueberry Cardamom Chia Pudding


1/2 cup chia seeds (white or black)
2 ½ cups unsweetened almond milk
1 cup blueberries, preferably organic, fresh or frozen
1 ½ tsp. ground cardamom
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ cup maple syrup (you can use agave, but I haven’t)
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Measure and put chia seeds in a large bowl that will accommodate at least 4-6 cups.

Place all ingredients (EXCEPT CHIA SEEDS) in a blender (I use my Vitamix) and blend on high until smooth.

Pour blueberry/almond milk mixture over chia seeds and mix well with a fork or a whisk.

Let sit for five minutes.

Mix well (again) with a fork or a whisk and let sit for ten more minutes.

Stir again. Cover. Refrigerate overnight.

Stir. If too think, add some almond milk.

Texture is similar to tapioca (very small beads.)


With Metta, from My Little Blue Heron's Kitchen


Pancakes Vegan and Gluten Free No added fat, banana-Free  and Fluffy! Adapted from by My Little ...

My Little Blue Heron's Arsenal