After reading and, therefore, being terrified by the book “Wheat Belly” by William Davis, MD, I decided to continue with my attempt to jump on the gluten-free bandwagon (or just run alongside it from time to time).
While shopping with my brother and Nonna at The No Frills on Dufferin and Bloor I impulsively picked up a bag of millet flour (it cost something like $1.99), vaguely planning to make Ethiopian injera – which will hopefully appear in a future post – and since then have been looking for recipes that call for millet flour. When I saw the CCNM cafeteria selling their famous “Hypoallergenic Diet”- friendly apple-crisp squares, and found I couldn’t afford to buy them, I decided to challenge myself to make my own. My apple squares, however, will have a new and secret ingredient: millet!
Millet is one of the oldest grains known to human kind, contains no gluten and is the least allergenic of all grains. It is therefore one of the whole grains that is easiest to digest, making it ideal for those with gluten sensitivities or difficulty digesting certain grains.
My experience with millet basically stems from the delicious lunches I had at Ethiopian House on Irwin and Yonge in Toronto, where it comes in the form of injera, or crepe-like flatbread, that is used to scoop up the flavourful Ethiopian curries. Most recipes I looked at that call for millet flour combine it with another kind of flour, either conventional wheat flour or another gluten-free flour, such as almond flour. Having no almond flour, I decided that I would boldly go where no gluten-free chef had gone before: creating a pie crust using millet as the only flour!
This recipe represents my “fly by the seat of your pants” approach to cooking and inventing recipes. In other words, I believe that if you use delicious ingredients, the details (i.e.: how much to add, how long to cook it for) fail to matter. This method of cooking can’t be helped much by the fact that I’m Italian and we eat everything (honey and nut covered spaghetti? You bet!). Apples and cinnamon are delicious and so is millet, this recipe was in the bag. Here’s how to copy it:
Gluten-Free Apple Squares
– 4 large apples
– 1.5 cups of millet flour
– 1 tbsp coconut oil
– 1 pinch of salt
– 2 tbsp honey
– 1 tbsp cinnamon
– 1 tsp nutmeg
– one glass pie dish
In a small bowl, mix the millet flour, coconut oil and enough water to create a doughy consistency that you can work with. Add honey to the mixture (this step is optional, but the first time I made this recipe, in my own shotgun approach to cooking, I felt that the crust needed some more sweetness). Add a pinch of salt.
Spread the dough evenly over the bottom of the pie dish. Set oven to 375 degrees.
Cut the apples into thin slices and cover the crust. Sprinkle cinnamon on top, evenly.
Put in oven for about 40 minutes or until the apples look “cooked”.
When ready, let cool, cut into squares, pie slices or fun shapes and serve! See, Nonna? Being gluten-free isn’t terrible!