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Gluten Free Baking Recipes--Chrystal Carver

@GFHomemade  #GlutenFreeHomemade

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Updated November 8, 2016

I’m crowning Chrystal Carver the queen of gluten free baking recipes!

She has taken the local gluten-free scene by storm and is creating a positive buzz at the national level with her new cookbook, Sweet & Simple Gluten-free Baking:  Irresistible Classics in 10 Ingredients or Less! 

Some of the big players in the food world are sitting up and taking notice, including Gluten-free Living and Cooking Light.

Intrigued by this dedicated baking dynamo, I asked Chrystal if she would share with us her family’s journey to gluten freedom.   

Please welcome her with a rousing applause.

What was the defining moment in your life that began your journey to gluten-freedom and influenced the direction in life you chose as a result?

A couple of years ago, my girls started developing symptoms we hadn’t seen before. They were irritable, had digestive issues, and at one point they stopped eating. After a series of tests, we were informed that they were gluten-intolerant. Not really knowing what to do, we removed all gluten from their diets. Within three weeks, we saw huge improvements.  We were so grateful that our girls were happy again, not experiencing discomfort, and they were eating. A parent will do anything for their child and their child’s health.

How life changing was it?

It was extremely life changing - like anyone that has to change their diet. We ended up having to remove gluten, dairy, peanuts and eggs from our two little girls’ diets. They were already picky eaters learning to love food. They had to learn to love food all over again . . . gluten-free.

What is the biggest challenge for you about Gluten Intolerance?

Traveling has been a big challenge. We are getting better at it by bringing our own snacks and doing research beforehand. I still find gluten-free food options to be limited. I honestly believe the world is better at accommodating gluten-free diets, but it still feels like a challenge.

Are there any particular issues about gluten-free living you feel passionate about?

Yes! I am passionate about making it simple. We don't need to over complicate things. We have so many options with meats, veggies, fruits, gluten-free pastas, rice, quinoa, etc. Baking should be just as simple. It goes back to the basics of baking, we just need to figure out what flour blends give us the textures and flavors we desire.

What inspired you to write about your gluten free baking recipes in “Sweet & Simple Gluten-free Baking:  Irresistible Classics in 10 Ingredients or Less!”?

Before they were diagnosed, I baked weekly. After their diagnosis, I didn’t really know what I was going to do because my girls could no longer enjoy my baked treats. I turned to gluten-free cookbooks and packaged mixes. I found that most gluten-free packaged goods were expensive and they involved a lot of processed ingredients. The cookbooks I purchased required elaborate ingredients or too many steps.  With my love for baking and my problem-solving background, I started converting the everyday classic recipes into gluten-free equivalents. 

One day, my mother-in-law asked me how many recipes I had developed or redeveloped. I told her I had over 80 recipes documented. She recommended that I publish a cookbook. At first I was hesitant. Working full time and raising two girls doesn't leave a lot of time to take on extra projects. But, after some careful consideration, I realized that others might be struggling with the same challenges our daughters faced. So, I decided to develop this cookbook for my girls and for everyone else who is restricted to a gluten-free diet.

What do you like most about what you do?

I like to help people and I like to make things easier for people; improving someone's life is rewarding.

What future projects do you have on your “drawing board”?

I currently have an outline for a second gluten-free cookbook, but I haven’t gotten serious about it yet. I'm still working on marketing my first one since it just came out in August [2014].


Gingersnaps

To get a taste of what’s in store for you in her wonderful cookbook; Chrystal is sharing one of her all-time favorite gluten free baking recipes.

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Prep Time: 10 minutes 

Cook Time: 15 minutes 

Servings: 36 

Ingredients: 9

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup shortening
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour blend*
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • granulated sugar for rolling cookies

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Position the oven rack in center of oven. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening, sugar, egg and molasses.
  3. In a separate medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to the wet mixture until combined.
  4. Roll the dough into teaspoon-size balls. Dip one side of the dough balls into sugar and place sugar side up onto the cookie sheet two inches apart.
  5. Bake for 12–15 minutes or until lightly brown and starting to crack. Carefully transfer cookies to a wire rack and cool. Store in an airtight container.
  6. *For this recipe, Chrystal uses her all-purpose gluten-free rice flour blend. Rather than making a whole batch, you can scale it down to 1 cup white rice flour + ½ cup tapioca flour + ½ cup potato starch, or use your preferred gluten-free flour blend.


About the Guest Author

Chrystal Carver  “As a full-time working mom, I am inspired to develop gluten-free recipes that are delicious, quick and easy. My recipes don't call for extravagant ingredients or labor-intensive steps. They use only one or two bowls, require less than 30 minutes to prepare and take less than one hour to bake. My motto: Have fun and keep it simple!”

“Chrystal enjoys working in the community, volunteering and pleasing gluten-free palates. In her free time she enjoys developing recipes, hiking, swimming and traveling with her husband and two daughters. Chrystal and her family currently reside in Oregon.”

Visit Chrystal at her website, Gluten-free Palate.  You can find Chrystal on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.


Featured in . . . 

The Gluten Free Daily





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