Product review: Gluten-free flapjack mix

I’ve had this box of flapjack mix in my house for at least 3 months and finally decided to open it and see what it was all about..

Wellness Warehouse launched their own brand of gluten-free mixes a while ago and I noticed that they’re in fact very reasonably priced! I think the flapjack mix was roughly R29? Not bad considering most other G.F mixes are close to R40 or R50! I think it’s because most of them are imported.

These ones don’t contain any weird artificial preservatives and additives which is nice to know:)

I was a bit hesitant to try them in the beginning because in my experience all gluten-free flours that I’ve baked with have left a very ‘crumbly’ product. These were not crumbly in the slightest! I did notice however that the actual mix contained quite a bit of raising agent (as the texture was a bit too “cake-like”) and I found I needed to add at least double the amount of milk the recipe called for, just to thin down the batter and allow for a flatter and more even flapjack.

The only ingredients that you need are 3 eggs and some milk. I used soy milk just because I like the flavour.

Taste-wise they were great but it must be noted that you need to season the mix with a pinch of salt before cooking. I decided to flavour my ‘jacks’ with dried strawberries and simply stirred them into the batter.

I served them with a drizzle of honey and a few raw almonds. They were delish and made about 20  medium size flapjacks.

xxx

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Pumpkin Pecan Loaf

I decided to share this recipe with you because it turned out so well and I know I will definitely make it again sometime. I made it for my Wellness Warehouse Post last week and I’ve been nibbling on it NON STOP !!
It has a slight banana bread flavour, which I find quite strange- as there’s not even the smallest ounce of banana in it?! Weird.

Anyway, try this! (Oh, and for those that care… it’s both gluten and dairy-free. Yip)

What you will need:
1 cup cooked, pureed pumpkin
½ cup oil
2 eggs beaten
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp gluten-free baking powder
2/3 cup pecan nuts, roughly chopped

What to do:
Preheat your oven to 180 Degrees C. Grease a standard size loaf tin and set aside. Mix together the eggs, oil, pumpkin and sugar. Combine the brown rice flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Fold the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture and add the nuts. Stir until you form a thick batter. Pour the batter into the loaf tin and bake in the oven for 40-45mins.


Socca

I have just finished reading a novel by Nicky Pellegrino called Delicious.

The book is set (mainly) in a small region of Italy quite close to the town of Naples. You would be right in guessing, from the title, that this book focuses heavily on food. Italian food!

It is a compelling story of how a young girl from a poor family, runs away from home in search of a better life, only to be confronted with many challenges and decisions that inevitably steer her future in an unexpected and uncertain direction.

Family bonds (and lack thereof) play a major theme throughout the novel but one thing that remains constant and ultimately brings all the characters together in the end, is food.

“I have some of today’s fresh mozzarella with tomatoes and some home-baked bread.”

“tender young broad beans with warm goat’s cheese”

“they also plucked shiny red peppers from the vines and fried them in olive oil with a little onion, then simmered them in tomatoes.”

I love reading these kinds of books because it inspires me to cook “minimally” – in other words, simple recipes, with few ingredients, that, when ‘thrown’ together- produce nothing but pure mouth-watering magic.

It was to my excitement then, the other day, that I discovered ‘socca’. And although this appetising morsel is not native to Italy (although I’m more than sure it’s eaten in some regions!), it comes from Nice in the south of France.

Simply put, socca is an unleavened sort of pancake or flatbread that is eaten as street food, and as any well-travelled person will know, this is the type of cuisine you want to try if you hope to truly experience the culture of a new and exotic place.

Socca is traditionally cooked in a wood-fire oven and comes out hot and crispy. With just a shy sprinkle of salt and some pepper- the bread is then savoured with a glass of rose’  in the blazing European heat.

I don’t know about you but I can totally imagine myself enjoying this while wandering the busy streets of Nice, after a day of lolling in the waves and browning my body on a French beach. Sigh…

Now what makes the socca so delicious, I think, is that it’s made using chickpea flour which gives it a real nutty rich flavour. (This also makes it gluten-free) and although the classic recipe only includes the flour, some salt, water and olive oil- one can really jazz it up to one’s liking. I added a touch of cumin to mine but really, you could even make a  sweet ‘breakfast’ socca  by adding some sugar and perhaps some cinnamon.  The options are endless!

For now though- here is the recipe for the socca I made today. Trust me, this is one snack that I will be making again…and again. Simple, quick and completely Delicious!

Directions:

Combine water and olive oil and add to chickpea flour. Add salt. Whisk batter ensuring there are no lumps . It should be the consistency of thick cream. Allow to stand for at least an hour. Preheat oven to 250 deg C. To cook socca, heat a cast iron frying pan and pour enough batter to cover the surface of the pan. Once socca starts to bubble,  place in the oven until crisp and nicely browned. Cut into shards and sprinkle over some salt and pepper.

xxx