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16 January 2014

Not Speeding Gingerbread

"Do you feel rushed?"

Sometimes I wonder if my life is happening on a compressed time scale. Fasting last week slowed everything, including all my bodily processes, way the heck down. On the last two days, I found myself constantly apologizing for being too slow when walking or speaking.  After I broke the fast on Sunday, I went to the gym on Monday. Instead of killin' it on the elliptical, the elliptical liked to kill me! I had it on resistance one/manual and I still had  to push through the machine pausing because I wasn't applying enough force. My conclusion is that speed, as a quality or concept, is neither progress nor better; it's just faster than the pace of the prior moment.





In the interest of being a punk and keeping VGF baking remotely affordable, I prefer to buy my own flours and mix them and xanthan gum as a recipe requires. Scratch that, from scratch with a few different bags of $4, $9, and $3 flours plus a $12 bag of xanthan gum isn't that reasonable. I don't tend to use mixes because I like control and I don't have that much of a need for speed in baking. However, being stymied while looking for I-forget-what at Costco last month, I settled on a large (5-lb.) bag of Namaste Perfect Flour Blend.  Since the below recipe seemed simple enough, I thought I'd try out the flour, "cup for cup," as they say. 

Nnnnoooo. No. Fresh from the oven, it was horribly squidgy and stretchy; even glutinous baked goods don't do that. The taste was there, but then again this recipe has good "bones."  Nevertheless, Mama D approved of them as tribute in exchange for doing laundry the next day.  As the Namaste site says, "Other bread recipes may require experimentation." Yeah, no kidding.

Gingerbread Cake
Modified from UHC Source for Women

1/2 cup nondairy milk
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar

1 1/4 cups Namaste Perfect Flour Blend (for squidginess) OR 3/4 cup oat flour and 1/2 cup sorghum flour and 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch sea salt

1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease an 8*8-inch pan or a 6-well muffin pan.

In a large measuring cup, combine nondairy milk and vinegar and set aside. In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients.

Add the coconut sugar, oil, molasses, water, and flaxseed to the curdled nondairy milk and whisk to dissolve the sugar.

Add wet to dry and transfer to the prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test and springs back to the touch.  Cool in the pan for 20 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.



The Commodore and I attacked a heart gingerbread with a fork and found the fragments...slurpable. Play with your food, you must!


Parting shots:
Energy drink before going out last weekend made little difference on the last night of the fast; I still was tired around midnight.

The "friend from Colorado" I mentioned before, who is in fact my signficant other, and I dressed up for a Star Wars themed party last weekend. We pretended to be an Imperial officer & his wife: "Dear, when can you get a transfer to Coruscant? These Ewoks are driving me mad!"



I threw in my lot with this guy. He pursued me like Boba Fett on a bounty and won me out. Also kept me alive with smoothies, tea, energy drinks, and and a little B12 during the final days of my juice fast. The juice fast was one of two best decisions I've made this year, which is why I can't stop talking about it. Either of them, really.