We have been in nearly perfect isolation for now three weeks. Just the Saturday before the state of alarm on the 15th of March was called out we went to look at the new boardwalk at Cuesta Maneli, which was burned down in 2017 during the wildfires that raged in the National Park. On the way we met our last guests, that came the previous week with a big motorhome and stayed two days with us and then moved to Matalascañas. Now they are stranded in Portugal until the borders open again. We showed them our favourite part of the beach and had great fun.
We also added to our flock of hens in time and have now eight hens roaming our finca. They will soon give us eggs. We now have 3 white, 2 grey, 3 red hens.
We are aware that we are privileged in this time of quarantine. We have a beautiful house and five hectares of olives, through which Nigel now pedals every day on his new mountain bike. One lap is 1 ½ km. So we don’t suffer of this confinement, in fact we enjoy the tranquillity and having time to ourselves.
Now we have time to do things, which we don’t usually get around to when we have to look after guests.
All the olives that have been sitting in brine since November/December are now in different marinades, with herbs or garlic, lemon, chili etc. I received a bagful of lemons from our neighbours across the road and proceeded to pickle them in salt. Apparently they add a zesty lemony flavour to lots of Moroccan dishes. It’s really easy, just cut off the tops and bottoms, nearly quarter them, fill coarse salt into the gaps and layer tight into a jar, always with salt between. Fill the jar with squeezed lemon juice and wait for a month at least.
I have taken up baking, a necessity if I want to eat some decent gluten-free bread and cake. My bread is now a staple and I have added scrumptious muffins to my repertoire.
Here are the recipes, taken from the internet:
Blueberry & Banana Quinoa Flour Muffins
- SERVINGS 12 people PREP TIME 15 minutes COOK TIME 25 minutes
- 2 cups Quinoa Flour
- 1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
- 3 Tbsp Unsalted Butter (I replaced it with coconut oil)
- 2 Eggs
- 1 cup Milk (lactose-free or rice milk)
- 1/2 cup Maple Syrup (I substituted with honey)
- 1 Banana smashed
- 1 cup Blueberries (I had none, so used frozen fruit instead).
- Pre-heat oven to 180°C. Line a muffin tin with paper liners or grease well with butter or oil.
- Mix dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Melt butter/coconut oil in a saucepan on low heat.
- In a large bowl add eggs and beat together. Add milk, melted butter, maple syrup/honey and smashed banana to eggs and mix well. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and gently fold in blueberries.
- Bake for 25 minutes until the tops spring back when lightly touched.
These cookies turned out a bit on the dry side, maybe because I used very little peanut butter that I had left in the jar and added some rice flour to make the mix less sticky. I only used the peanut butter up this way because the quality was not great. There you go, if you don’t use first class ingredients you won’t get great results.
Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies
Soft, chewy, Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies make the perfect pick-me-up cookie, or snack. These easy flour-free peanut butter cookies are loaded with healthy fats and protein and are quite scrumptious.
READY IN: 20mins YIELD: 24 cookies
- Preheat oven to 180°C and grease cookie sheets.
- Beat together peanut butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth.
- Add beaten egg and baking soda to peanut butter mixture and beat until well combined.
- Roll 1 teaspoon of dough into a ball and place on cookie sheet.
- Place dough balls one inch apart on cookie sheet and flatten with tines of fork making a cross pattern.
- Bake until puffed and a golden pale, about 10 minutes.
- Cool cookies on baking sheet about 2 minutes and then transfer with spatula to rack to cool.
- May be kept in air tight container at room temperature for 5 days.
- Makes about 2 dozen cookies.
These muffins are a real treat, full of flavour and moist.
Spiced Apple Carrot Muffins
Prep Time: 8 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 28 minutes Servings: 9 muffins
- 1 cups large carrot peeled and grated (1.5 shredded carrot)]
- 1 apple peeled and grated
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 1/3 cup coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup or honey
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger peeled and grated
- ¼ cup almond meal/flour
- ¾ cup brown rice flour
- 1 tablespoon tapioca flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 180°C and lightly oil a 9-hole muffin pan
- Whisk together the eggs, coconut milk, maple syrup, and ginger.
- Add in the grated carrot and apple and stir to combine.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the remaining (dry) ingredients.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients and mix until combined.
- Fill the muffin holes 3/4 of the way up and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until muffins test clean.
At this stage in my gluten~ and lactose free journey I am not looking back. Meals and baked goods can be just as delicious as the wheat flour and milk variety. It’s just a matter of trying out new recipes and to be adventurous. The ingredients can now be purchased in the supermarket, from maize flour to quinoa flour, special bread mixes etc. Nigel is well adjusted to my style of cooking and has no complaints.