The best gluten free porridge

I grew up eating porridge or cereal for breakfast and that’s what I fed my children too. Oats (oatmeal) was a favourite of mine so when I realized I was gluten intolerant it was a bit of a let-down. I know oats is supposed to be gluten free, but it doesn’t agree with me now so I prefer to avoid it. My son grew up mostly gluten free and he doesn’t even like oats. He ate a lot of mealie meal (maize) as a child.

In the search for a breakfast porridge I have found various recipes but nothing was really up to scratch. So I started experimenting and I think I have hit the jackpot! It does take about 20 – 25 minutes cooking, but I make more than I need and it keeps in the fridge for at least 5 days. Here’s my recipe:

Gluten free breakfast porridge

½ Cup Quinoa

2 tablespoons flaxseed (linseed) flour

2 tablespoons chia seeds

2 tablespoons dried cranberries

2 tablespoons dessicated coconut

Pinch of salt

Cook the Quinoa in 1 to 1½ cups of water for 14 to 18 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Mix the rest of the ingredients with a little water and add some of the hot quinoa to the mixture to avoid lumps. Add the flaxseed mixture to the saucepan and put back on the heat. Boil for a few minutes until cooked. Serve with full cream yogurt, or any other flavouring you prefer. Peanut butter? Cream? Etc.

There you are, my new favourite breakfast porridge. Please try the recipe and let me know what you think.

Little Foxes

The wind is blowing so hard I don’t want to go outside, not even to look at my garden, or maybe especially not to look at my garden.  I know that the top few centimetres of soil is going to be dried out completely, and some of the tomato stakes are going to be blown over.  Tomorrow morning when everything is quiet I’ll gi and survey what I can rescue.  Last Sunday five cows came into my gaden – somebody had opened the gate – but luckily one of our employees saw them through the window and ran out to chase them out.  She had acted quickly and the damage was minimal.  They already call my garden ‘holy ground’ so I’m guessing that they know my heart and soul are in it. This incident rminded me of the verse in Song of Solomon that speaks of the little foxes in the vineyard.

Patty pan squash are flourishing

Song of Solomon 2:15 – Catch us the foxes, The little foxes that spoil the vines, For our vines have tender grapes.

The first flower on the bush beans

Now cows aren’t foxes, and they aren’t little, and they can do a lot of damage.  I’ve been thinking about the little foxes in the vineyard and I wonder if a camel or a donkey wouldn’t do more damage to a vineyard than a fox.  A cow, a camel or a donkey are large and can be easily seen and easily chased out of a garden, whereas a fox, or any other small animal can hide between and behind plants and do a lot of damage before it is detected. Think about a caterpillar or a locust that chews away at succulent green leaves and can only be seen at closer inspection. Sometimes we are so busy concentrating on the big problems in our lives that we fail to see the little things that are going wrong.  The subtle bad habits that sneak in, the extra spoon of sugar in a cup of tea, the negative attitude, ignoring a health warning. There are so many things that can creep up on us like the little foxes in the vineyard if we aren’t vigilant. Despite the cows my garden is flourishing and I am enjoying the time I get to spend there. It is truly my happy place.

The beetroot looks very promising

On Thursday I baked some banana muffins for the shop and today I baked some gluten free ones. They came out so well tht I’m going to share the recipe:

Banana muffins – this recipe makes 12 normal size muffins

Gluten Free Banana Muffins

1 1/2 cups gluten free flour

1 teaspoon xanthan gum (if the flour does not contain any)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

(mix these dry ingredients together)

3 ripe bananas

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon  vanilla

1/3 cup melted butter

1/4 cup milk

(place all the wet ingredients in a bowl and mix with a stick blender – or mash the bananas and then beat everthing together)

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir till they are mixed. Spoon the mixture into muffin pans and bake at 180 degrees C for about 20 minutes.  

Princess Camille.

My kitten is also bringing us so much joy. She loves it when my husband watches TV because she can lie and sleem snuggled up close to him. Have a happy week and let me know if you try the muffin recipe.

Use your gift

I am listening to a CD featuring the choir of the University of Johannesburg.  I bought it today at the Grahamstown Arts Festival after we watched their performance.  It was much more than a performance though, it was an emotional experience.  Their voices carried us through a whole spectrum of emotions from goosebumps, tears and nostalgia to joy and laughter.  These young people (and their conductors) know their stuff.  These young people do way more than merely sing and entertain.

We need different people with different talents to make our lives richer and more beautiful.  We also need to develop our own talents and gifts so that we can contribute to society.  The problem we often have is thinking that we aren’t ‘good enough’. When I listen to these young voices I know that their singing talents outstrips mine by far.  My family will tell you that I actually shouldn’t sing anywhere except in the shower.  But I have other talents and passions that I can use.  All of us do.  We must remember that one gift isn’t  greater that another one.  I also believe that we didn’t receive gifts, talents or abilities for use in private only.  I heard a beautiful song today that was written by a lady in a small town and only discovered after her death.  Apparently she had written dozens of very good songs  over her lifetime but had never publicised them.  I’m just wondering what joy she would have experienced if she had heard one of her songs performed by a choir?

I know that everyone who writes music, or paints, or acts won’t become world famous, but for every gift their has to be a recipient.  By that I mean if you paint a picture it should be painted to be enjoyed by somebody.  You didn’t receive that talent to satisfy yourself.  If you sing, there should be someone who can listen to your voice and be touched in som way; made richer for the experience.

Before I get too serious here, I want to share my recipe for gluten free chocolate chip cookies with you. I found a recipe for GF sugar cookies on pinterest and adapted it.  They are really delicious. This is the link:

This is my version:

3 cups gluten free flour (I mix equal parts of chickpea, tapioca, rice and potato flour) If you use a commercial GF flour which contains Xanthan Gum don’t add any more

3 teaspoons xanthan gum

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup sugar

1/2 – 1 cup chocolate chips (depending on how much you like chocolate)

250 g margarine (I used cordon bleu baking margarine)

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons milk


Mix the dry ingredients (except chocolate) in a bowl.  Beat the butter and sugar till light an fluffy. Add the egg, milk and vanilla and beat till combined.  Add the dry ingredients and mix till a crumbly mixture is formed (use the dough attachment on your beater, or your hands).  Add the chocolate chips and knead till a firm dough is formed.  Roll out the dough on a floured surface (about 5mm thick). Cut out shapes and place on baking paper on a baking sheet and bake at 180 degree Celcius till golden (about 10 – 12 minutes).  Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool (if you have any self control).

gf cookies

Delicious gluten free choc chip cookies

In conclusion, whatever talent you have, please use it. Don’t think its not good enough. You are unique and what you have inside of you is exactly what someone else may need to make it through their day.