Gluten-Free Cooking For One

Celiac And The Single Girl, Or: How To Make Food That Does Not Suck For One Person {Although I Suppose You Could Feed Other People, Too}


Golden Milk (Turmeric Milk)

I’ve been drinking this mixture for a couple weeks now, and I really enjoy it. It seems to decrease my craving for sweets – somewhat sits in the place in my heart that I had reserved for the forbidden hot cocoa. I’ve also been feeling less achy in the joints, and my sprained ankle has definitely been improving a LOT since I’ve been drinking it. I’m following a recommendation that people with arthritis can try drinking it 2x day to start, as I have arthritis and also an injury. I know eventually I’ll have to cut it down to 1x day so I don’t turn yellow… but in the meantime, I’m going to enjoy it.

I’ve tried making this with several different kinds of milk: dairy (cow’s) milk, coconut milk, almond milk, no milk, all of these cut with water (when I’m running out of milk), and today I got a box of “Silk” almond + coconut milk, unsweetened, and am trying it. It’s delicious – all the rich sweetness of coconut milk without being as cloying (I tried full-fat coconut milk with the cream the first time and it was a bit too much). I actually found even this to be a bit rich, so I cut it about 60/40 with water (the 40 being the water).

There are many different “recipes” for golden milk out there. I’ll tell you what I’ve been doing and you can find your own groove, if you want to try it. :}  The consensus seems to be that adding freshly cracked black pepper to the turmeric helps the body use the active compounds in the turmeric more effectively, and same goes for a little oil or fat or some kind. When I was making this with cow’s milk, I figured I had the fat covered. But after I switched to almond milk, I thought: why not add a little oil?

I also wanted to make a turmeric paste to make the process easier, and there are several schools of thought on this as well. I combined a couple for this end result, as follows.

PS: Here’s the video that started me on this journey.

TURMERIC PASTE (my recipe)

Melt 3 tablespoons of coconut oil in a small saucepan
Add turmeric powder until it’s a loose paste
Crack in some black pepper
Add cinnamon, ginger, etc as you like (I usually add a pinch of ginger near the end)

Simmer this paste for about 9 minutes, stirring occasionally, to allow the turmeric to “cook” and release its active compounds into the oil. After 9 minutes is up, pour into a glass container (carefully) and store in the fridge for up to two weeks.

To make the golden milk: I “chip” off a little bit to put in milk in a saucepan, let it melt and heat with the milk, add a little honey to a cup, and then carefully pour the golden milk into a mug and drink it.

WARNING: turmeric will stain your clothes, counters, cupboards, sink if it’s porous, hands, and whatever you touch with it LIKE NOBODY’S BUSINESS. I’ve ruined a dishtowel. Your sponge will be oompa-loompa colored. Just so you know. Usually a little dab of baking soda and water on the counter will let you rub out the stains… but don’t take it for granted. Treat this like nuclear waste just to be safe.

Ok!! Enjoy drinking your golden milk!



Homemade Protein Powder

I’ve been looking for a gluten-free protein powder to add to my shakes in the morning so they stick a little better. My problem is, I haven’t been able to find one at the local stores that’s both gluten-free *and* doesn’t contain stevia. DAMMIT, STEVIA. You give me migraines and that is not ok.

So I did a quick search on “homemade protein powder” because you know somebody’s doing it… and found this.

I think I’m going to whip up a batch of this this afternoon. Nuts sometimes are a migraine trigger, but I’m going to try it and see. If that fails, maybe I’ll start keeping ground up chickpeas in the fridge and schlop a spoonful of that in the blender with the rest of this recipe and my usual milk, yogurt, and fruit. Ooh! I bet, since this contains dry milk, I could just use water instead of milk. We’ll have to see!

I’ll let you know how it goes/tastes.

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Italian-style hot chocolate (the easy, slightly more healthy version)

I had a friend over for dinner last night, and we had the slow-cooked balsamic beef, a fresh-baked loaf of the gluten-free brioche bread, and for dessert… THIS. It’s OMG yummy and so so easy to make; I had all the ingredients already, mixed the dry ingredients before my friend came over, and when we paused the movie (Bollywood movie “Barfi”, which is so much more charming than the name sounds), all we had to do was mix with the milk and heat. I made a double batch, since we were drinking out of large mugs, not charming wee teacups. So here’s the recipe as I made it:

DRY MIX per each cup of cocoa (single batch; double if drinking out of mugs):

2 tsp cocoa powder (you can use fancy, but I had plain Nestle’s cocoa and it worked fine)
2 tsp sugar (I added a little extra, 1/2 tsp per cup, because I have a sweet tooth)
1 tsp cornstarch
— Stir (I whisked) to remove clumps

TO THIS, add 1/2 c milk (I added 1 c per serving, because I doubled the recipe)
— Mix well (I whisked, because I like whisking)

Put into saucepan and heat on medium heat, stirring constantly — and I do mean constantly. Even with constant stirring, it was trying to stick to the bottom — until mixture begins to thicken. Then you’ll want to take it off the heat, because it will keep thickening after you’ve put it in mugs!! (But even if it gets way too thick, you can just include spoons and serve it as pudding… lol)

Serve, drink, yum!

I got the recipe from here:

As a follow-up to this post, which is slightly more complicated:

And this one, which is frankly decadent:

It was so good, I didn’t even care about the potential migraine. SO. WORTH. IT. 😀 Enjoy!!

(I was too busy drinking to take any photos… if you click on the links above, you’ll find some photos. Mwah!!)

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Uses for the Ginger Syrup

When I make a batch of the crystallized ginger, one of the side products is the sugary syrup infused with ginger. I haven’t been incredibly adventurous with using the ginger syrup in the other recipes because I love it for its own sake so much, but here are some of the ways I’ve been using it:

* A dollop in the bottom of a coffee mug with hot or boiling water added will make ginger tea. You could also add, you know, tea if you wanted. 😀

* A Tbsp or so in a glass of cold water to flavor it slightly, because if you’re like me, you don’t drink nearly enough water. I can get myself to drink a lot more water if it’s lightly flavored.

* The concoctions above are also great for colds, sore throat, and nausea. Ginger has long been a natural remedy for colds, nausea, and pain. I also drink this for headaches. Sometimes it helps and sometimes it doesn’t – I get truly industrial strength headaches, so sometimes nothing short of a big shot of painkiller would help. :} Hey, truth in advertising, right? lol

* I like the ginger syrup in milk – especially late at night, if I have insomnia and nausea or aches and pains – I’ll warm up a glass of milk and add a Tbsp or two of ginger, then sip it while reading in bed. Mmmmmm. (Preferably while reading a comfort-book, like Little Women, or a really really trashy romance novel)

*Add it to hot cocoa – I love ginger and chocolate. (Are you getting bored with this theme of drinking it? Because I drink a lot of liquids. Don’t worry, there are non-liquid applications coming. A couple, anyway. :}  )

* A Tbsp or two of the syrup in club soda will give you a homemade form of ginger beer — it’s a cheaper way to get a good sharp ginger beer reminiscent of Reed’s or the Trader Joe’s Triple Brewed, but without the cost — and you can control how much sharp ginger flavor you have in it.

* OK! Food applications, as promised!! You can drizzle the syrup over ice cream by itself, or you could heat it up in a small saucepan with some jam or marmalade (my favorite) to make a glaze, then drizzle that over the ice cream. Come to think of it, the ginger/marmalade glaze would be delicious on an apple tart or pie as well. With the ice cream. OMNOMNOMok I have to stop thinking about that. I’m actually drooling right now.

* A ginger glaze on ham. Yessssssss…

* Drizzled over a poundcake, especially mixed with the liqueur of your choice – or over shortcake with fruit, or – well. You get the idea. :}

* Speaking of liqueurs, I can’t drink due to migraines, so I leave the use of this ginger-infused simple syrup in cocktails up to you. Let me know if you come up with anything particularly fiendish.

I imagine it might work in place of liquid sweeteners in some recipes, but I haven’t been baking as much as usual (since I’m on vacation & not in my own kitchen) so I haven’t had a chance to try it. I’m also looking forward to trying out it on some meat dishes over the rest of the winter, which looks to be brutal. Yikes!! Ginger to the rescue!