So how do you make a recipe 8SAFE?
I thought I'd try something different with this post. Instead of just giving you a recipe, I'm gonna walk you through my process for converting an 'unsafe' recipe into an 8SAFE one. And since I told you all yesterday just how much I love Heidi's Swanson's cookbook, Super Natural Every Day, I thought I'd use one of her recipes from the book. Sound good? Let's give it a try!
Original recipe: Macaroon Tart from Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson
If you have the cookbook, you can turn to page 192 to follow along. :)
Heidi's original recipe calls for whole wheat flour, butter, egg whites, and pistachios (which are all major allergens) and needed substitutions.
First, I replaced the wheat flour with oat flour. I like the flavor of oat flour, especially in baked goods, so that's what I used. But you could also use rice flour with good results, but a slightly different flavor.
You can make your own gluten free oat flour (or rice flour) very easily using a coffee grinder. I have one I that I use exclusively for making flours, and the initial $20 investment has more than paid for itself. Rather than spend the money on a whole bag of flour — I can simply make my own in the exact amount I need — which not only makes for fresher flour but it frees up cabinet space too (plus allows me to get creative with different dried grains and beans!).
Instead of butter, I used equal amounts of coconut oil. I used coconut oil to line the pan and as the fat in the recipe. I thought that only 8 tablespoons of melted coconut oil might be enough, but I actually ended up using all ten. But I would add about 8 tablespoons at first, and then add the rest in small amounts until you get the right consistency.
Then I used aquafaba instead of egg whites. This was my first time trying aquafaba in a recipe and I was pleasantly surprised! Aquafaba is the liquid that beans have been cooked in — whether you cook them yourself or drain it from canned beans. The thick liquid has a lot of the same cooking qualities of egg whites and can be used as a substitute with great success. Honestly, I had my doubts (it looks pretty gross and what about about the bean smell?) but I really was impressed by both the texture and flavor that resulted from using it!
It seems like chickpea aquafaba is a favorite for recipes, but I used the liquid from a can of organic navy beans (with great results). So I'm guessing that the aquafaba from all light beans (garbanzo, navy, butter, etc) work well as egg white substitutes. If you have any great tips or tricks for cooking with aquafaba let me know in the comments —because I'll definitely play around with it some more!
Lastly, I omitted the pistachios. Considering I've never made or tasted this recipe before — what difference would it make if there were nuts on it or not? I would have nothing to compare it to. So it was easy enough to just forget about the pistachios altogether.
However, I did really like the pale green color that the pistachios provided. Lucky for me I remembered that I use fresh thyme in my blueberry pie filling — so I thought I'd add a little to this tart to see what would happen. I love how the fresh thyme compliments the berries and the overall sweetness of the tart.
Otherwise, I followed the original recipe almost word-for-word. The recipe did call for a significant amount of sugar (which I reduced slightly) and almost 1/2 tsp of salt (which seemed like too much for my taste). I chose to experiment with frozen cherries (because they're readily available) but I'm curious to try other berries in this recipe too — I'm thinking fresh strawberries may be incredible!
So that's it! I hope this post has given you some insight into cooking 8SAFE — and how easy it can be with a little creativity and practice. Enjoy!
This recipe can be made 8SAFE by using ingredients that are free of gluten and the top eight food allergens (wheat, milk, soy, egg, peanut, tree nuts, fish, & shellfish). This recipe has been slightly modified from the original version which appears in Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson.
For the crust:
- 1 1/2 cups gluten free oat flour (or rice flour)
- 3/4 cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut
- 3/4 cup sifted and lightly packed natural cane sugar
- 1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt
- 10 tbsp coconut oil, melted
For the filling:
- 2 cups unsweetened finely shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup sifted and lightly packed natural cane sugar
- 8 tbsp aquafaba* (see note above)
- 1 pkg (10 oz) frozen cherries, thawed and drained
- a sprig of fresh thyme (optional), separated into individual leaves
Preheat the oven to 350º. Grease an 8 x 11 inch tart pan (or equivalent) with coconut oil and line the bottom and sides with parchment paper.
To make the crust, combine the flour, coconut, sugar, and salt (dry ingredients) together in a large bowl. Then stir in the melted coconut oil "and mix until the dough is crumbly but no longer dusty looking". Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared tart pan, pressing firmly to create a solid, flat layer. Bake on middle rack for 15 minutes, or until it you notice it beginning to brown. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling by combining the aquafaba, sugar and coconut until well combined. Set aside.
Distribute the cherries evenly on top of the crust and sprinkle with the fresh thyme (if using). Then use your fingers and take small clumps of the filling and tuck it all around the fruit and over the top too (but be sure to leave some cherries peeking out so it looks pretty).
Bake for 20-25 minutes until the 'macaroon' peaks are a nice golden color. Remove from the oven and let cool before serving (and sprinkle with a few more thyme leaves on top if using).