Two gluten-free coconut squares on a dessert plate.

Gluten-Free Coconut Squares

Coconut is one of my favorite dessert ingredients. This recipe combines sorghum and coconut flour to make a delicious, moist cake that is topped with gooey caramel and coconut icing.

Coconut is highly nutritious, an excellent source of minerals such as copper, calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, potassium and zinc. It is also a very good source of B-complex vitamins such as folates, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, and pyridoxine.

Coconut flour has 5 grams of fiber per 2 tablespoons (with only 2 grams of total and saturated fat).

So, with the additional nutrition of sorghum flour, these treats may be better for you than the average sweet snack. They are also easy to make. I’ll definitely be making these again!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9 x 9 pan.

In a small bowl, combine coconut flour, sorghum flour, salt, and xanthan gum.

Dry ingredients mixed together in metal mixing bowl.

Coconut and sorghum flour mixed with salt and xanthan gum.

In large mixing bowl, beat eggs until fluffy. Gradually add sugar while beating until thick. Add vanilla.

Eggs, sugar and vanilla in white mixing bowl.

Beat eggs with sugar and vanilla extract.

Stir in flour mix. Batter is thick at this stage.

White mixing bowl with batter mixture and spoon.

Flour mixture is added to the eggs-sugar-vanilla mixture.

In small saucepan, heat milk and butter – do not boil.

Sauce pan on stove containing almond milk and butter.

Milk and butter warmed on the stove until the butter is melted.

Stir into batter and spread in 9 x 9 pan.

 

White mixing bowl with mixed up batter.

The milk and melted butter are stirred into the batter.

Batter in 9 x 9 pan.

Pour batter into greased pan. The batter will be about 3/4-inch thick.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Baked cake in pan.

Bake cake 25 – 30 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

While baking, make coconut topping.

Coconut-Caramel Topping

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cream or milk (I used almond milk)
  • 2/3 cup shredded coconut

Combine butter, brown sugar, and milk in a small saucepan. Heat until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Do not boil. Make sure all lumps of brown sugar are dissolved.

Butter, brown sugar and almond milk warming in sauce pan on the stove.

Melt butter, brown sugar and 2 T almond milk until lumps are gone and mixture is creamy.

Stir shredded coconut into caramel mixture.

Shredded coconut added to caramel mixture in sauce pan on stove.

Shredded coconut added to caramel mixture.

Spread over bottom layer and return to oven until it bubbles – about 3 minutes. Cool and cut into squares. Makes 12-18 squares.

Coconut caramel topping added to cake in pan.

Add coconut caramel topping and bake for three more minutes until bubbly.

Adapted from gfandme.com Double Coconut Delight.

 

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Milo says….

If it is something you want, CHASE it.

 

 

Whole grain sorghum butternut squash risotto with chicken on a plate.

Whole Grain Sorghum and Butternut Squash Risotto with Chicken

Here is a tasty dish using whole grain sorghum in place of rice for risotto. I added chicken breast pieces to this recipe to make it more like a casserole/all-in-one dish. I found that my cooking time for the sorghum was longer than the original recipe, possibly because I live at a higher altitude and things like rice and beans take longer to cook here.

I didn’t have any vanilla beans or paste, so I used vanilla extract. I’m sure it would be even better with real vanilla.

Butternut squash has a very tough skin and is difficult to peal and cut up, so be sure your knife is sharp and you are very careful. Here some good instructions if you have never done it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large boneless chicken breasts (optional)
  • 2 Tbls olive oil (for cooking chicken, if using)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 lg. vanilla bean or 1 Tbls vanilla paste (I used 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 3 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash (about 1 medium squash)
  • 2 Tbls butter, plus 1 Tbls
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked pearled sorghum
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Pepper, to taste

Instructions:

Cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces. Brown chicken in olive oil until cooked through, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. I used a little onion powder, also. Set the cooked chicken aside in a covered dish to keep it warm.

Chicken breast pieces in a frying pan with olive oil and spices.

Cook chicken breast pieces in olive oil until just done with a little salt and pepper.

In a medium saucepan, warm the broth over medium-high heat. Cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise; scrape out seeds and add them, and the bean to broth. (or use vanilla paste.)

Metal bowl containing cubed butternut squash, with chicken broth and chopped onions behind.

Chop butternut squash and onions.

Bring to a simmer; reduce heat to low. Add squash, cover and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Use slotted spoon to remove squash to a side dish. Turn heat on broth to very low and cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan or skillet, melt 2 T of butter over medium heat. Add onion; sauté until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the sorghum; stir to coat with butter. Add wine and simmer until almost evaporated, about 3 minutes.

Large skillet containing whole grain sorghum simmering with onions and white wine.

Wine and sorghum added to sautéed onions.

Add 1 1/2 cup of broth that was used to cook squash, cover and cook until almost completely absorbed, about 15 minutes. Continue cooking, adding 1/2 cup of broth at a time, stirring constantly, allowing broth to be absorbed before adding more, until sorghum is tender, but still firm to the bite, and creamy, about 20 minutes. (It took mine about 30 minutes to completely absorb liquid and get tender.)

Discard vanilla bean. Turn off heat; gently stir in squash, cheese and remaining butter, salt and pepper.

Large skillet containing whole grain sorghum with chicken and butternut squash pieces added.

Add squash and chicken after cooking the whole grain sorghum in the chicken broth.

Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with chives or additional Parmesan. Serve immediately.

Whole grain sorghum butternut squash risotto on a plate with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

I added the Parmesan to the risotto on the plate.

Makes 6 servings.

Recipe Developed by Barbara Kilment, Executive Director – Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board.

 

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Milo says….

Greet your friends with a wag and a smile, like they are the most IMPORTANT people in the world. (It’s a good way to get TREATS and a BACK SCRATCH!)

 

 

Gluten-free zucchini carrot muffin broken open on a dessert plate.

Gluten-Free Zucchini Carrot Muffins

These healthy muffins are good for breakfast or snacking. I added walnuts to make them even healthier. I also added a little xanthan gum (the original recipe didn’t call for it) to help them hold together better. They turned out really light and moist. I didn’t put the “frosting” on mine, but I’m sure that would make them even better.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup honey (or pure maple syrup)
  • 1/2 cup oil (vegetable or coconut)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded carrots
  • 1 1/4 cups finely shredded zucchini
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

Frosting (optional)

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 350F. Spray muffin tin with no-stick spray or line with paper liners. I didn’t have enough paper liners, so I sprayed my second tin.

Shred the carrots and zucchini. I used a small food processor.

Food processor with shredded carrots inside.

Carrots shredded in food processor.

A glass measuring cup containing shredded zucchini.

Shredded zucchini

Combine the almond flour, sorghum flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.

White mixing bowl containing flours and other dry ingredients mixed together.

Dry ingredients mixed together.

Add the honey, oil, and eggs and stir with a spoon until well combined. The batter will be thick.

White mixing bowl with gluten-free muffin batter inside.

Eggs, honey and oil mixed with dry ingredients.

Add carrots, zucchini and walnuts, if you are using, and mix until evenly distributed.

White mixing bowl containing finished muffin batter ready to put into muffin tin.

Vegetables and walnuts are stirred into the batter until mixed evenly.

Fill each muffin tin cup about ¾ full of the batter.

Two 12-muffin pans with batter added, ready to bake.

I didn’t have enough paper liners for the second batch so I sprayed the pan with olive oil spray.

Close up shot of muffin tin with paper liners filled with batter, ready to bake.

Muffin batter ready to bake.

Bake for 30-35 minutes. Let cool before frosting, if desired.

Close up of muffin tin containing fresh-baked muffins.

Bake muffins until golden brown on top.

You can change the proportion of carrots to zucchini – just be sure the total amount of shredded vegetables in the recipe is the same.

Gluten-free zucchini carrot muffin broken open on a dessert plate.

The muffins turned out light and moist on the inside.

Frosting (optional)

Whip the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the honey and continue mixing until combined.

Makes about 1 1/2 dozen muffins.

Adapted from recipe at FlippinDelicious.com.

 

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Milo says….

The ground is like a giant dog newspaper – SNIFFING it is how I keep up with CURRENT EVENTS!

Sorghum pilaf on a plate with a steak

Whole Grain Sorghum Pilaf

Whole grain sorghum is an especially versatile ingredient in gluten-free cooking. It can be used in place of couscous, bulgur or pearled barley. Nutritionally, sorghum contains more protein than typical wheat substitutes such as rice. It is rich in antioxidants, which makes it a safe, delicious, and healthy choice for a gluten-free diet. You can find more information about sorghum and additional recipes in this Sorghum Handbook.

I purchased this whole grain sorghum online from Nu Life Market. The instructions for cooking the sorghum in this recipe are a little different from my previous recipes, but worked really well. Toasting the grains in olive oil before cooking gives the sorghum a nutty flavor I really like and complements the garlic and onions.

Front of Nu Life Pearled Sorghum Grain bag.

Nu Life Pearled Sorghum has Nu packaging!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked sorghum grain
  • 2 1/2 Tbls olive oil
  • 3 to 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup celery, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 green onions, sliced (I used 1/2 cup chopped white onion)
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts or slivered almonds, toasted (I used almonds)
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Salt to taste
  • Dash freshly cracked pepper
Chopped carrots, celery and onion in glass measuring cups.

Chopped carrots, celery and onions.

Instructions:

Rinse sorghum kernels and drain thoroughly. In a heavy 3-quart saucepan over medium-low heat, combine sorghum and 1 Tbls olive oil. Stirring constantly, gently toast sorghum in oil for 2-3 minutes or until lightly browned. Add chicken broth. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 45 to 50 minutes or until broth is absorbed and grain is tender. Drain excess liquid, if necessary and set aside.

Cooked whole grain sorghum in pan.

Sorghum cooked in the pan.

In a large skillet, heat 1 1/2 Tbls olive oil over med-high heat. Add carrots, celery, and garlic and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes until tender crisp.

Chopped carrots, celery and onion sautéing in a frying pan.

Sauté carrots, celery and onions in olive oil.

Add onions, nuts and tomatoes. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until nuts begin to toast.

Sautéed vegetables with cherry tomatoes and almond slivers added.

Add tomatoes and slivered almonds.

Add cooked sorghum and heat through. Season to taste. Transfer to casserole dish or large platter.

Sorghum pilaf in frying pan.

Whole grain sorghum added to the vegetables and cooked until heated through.

Garnish with sprigs of parsley and additional toasted nuts. Serve hot. Serves 6 (1/2 cup portions).

Recipe Developed by: Barbara Kliment, Executive DirectorNebraska Grain Sorghum Board

 

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Milo says….

SMILE and the world smiles with you…slobber and they’ll put you OUTSIDE.