At the end of March, I will be traveling with my [awesome] classmate Emilie to Ireland to study the medicinal applications of seaweed and Irish botanical medicine. I can not begin to tell you how excited I am. I have never been to Europe and my trip will take me to Paris, Dublin, Sligo, Galway and London. Along the way I will meet herbalists, physicians, researchers and visit universities, spas, doctors offices and castles (you can’t go to Ireland and not visit a castle). I will also have the opportunity to snap some pictures of the Eiffel tower (a life long dream) on my layover in Paris and visit my uncle and my cousins living in London (I haven’t seen them in years).
I am extremely grateful for this opportunity. The very best part is that I will be studying something I am passionate about through a grant from my University.
In preparation of our journey, Emilie and I have had several bake sales to raise funds to cover the costs of our trip. Lots of time has gone into my kitchen preparing gluten free, vegan treats to sell. I like to bake allergy friendly so that all of my classmates can enjoy my kitchen creations. Some favorites have included coconut macaroons, german chocolate cake and a super moist zucchini bread (recipe forthcoming).
Along the way I decided that a bake sale to fund a trip to Ireland requires an offering of traditional Irish Soda bread. And in case you’re wondering, traditionally this bread is not gluten free or vegan.
Baking Challenge Accepted!
I started with Elena’s recipe for Gluten Free Irish Soda Bread and made the necessary adjustments. Elena’s Pantry offers lots and lots of gluten free recipes, but not all of them are vegan so minor adjustments have to be made to accomodate a vegan diet.
Vegan modifications are SO easy and equally delicious. Plus, baking/making something that is vegan, gluten free and delicious is a great way to show people that alternative dietary lifestyles are not that challenging. With a little determination, you can still have the foods you enjoy.
- 2 ¾ cups blanched almond flour
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
- 6 tablespoons warm water
- 1 tablespoon gluten free vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons agave nectar
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, baking soda and walnuts.
In a smaller bowl, combine ground flax seed, water, vanilla, agave nectar and apple cider vinegar.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients incorporating with by hand. You might see a fun fizzy reaction take place between the apple cider vinegar and the baking soda.
Shape the dough into a 1 inch thick flat circle, roughly 8 inches in diameter.
Use a serrated knife to score the top of the dough 1/2 inch deep in the formation of a cross.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Turn off the oven and allow the bread to rest in the oven for an additional 15 minutes.
Tips: I baked my bread in a round, ceramic pie pan. I feel that ceramic cookware works best when baking gluten free. When the bread is removed from the oven, allow it to rest for an hour before slicing.