Readers share their adapted family favourite recipes

In early fall, we asked readers to share their favourite recipes they have adapted for their family’s dietary needs or preferences. Many of the recipes sent in were modified for gluten intolerance dietary needs.

Donna Okkema of Vermilion, Alta., has adapted many recipes because of her gluten intolerance and feels this is her favourite.

It can be baked as a cake or as muffins. She likes being able to use the abundance of carrots and zucchini from her garden. The cake is very moist, tasty and a healthy option.

In adapting the recipe, she has also reduced the oil and sugar in the original recipe.

For her delicious adapted recipe Donna will receive a hamper with products from the following companies: the Saskatchewan Mustard Development Commission, cookbooks; NorQuin, tri-colour quinoa; Riverbend Plantation Inc., Saskatoon berry jelly and vinaigrette; Against the Grain, wild rice; Nunweiler’s Flour Company, several varieties of flour; Smucker’s Foods of Canada Corp., product coupons.

Vegetable-garden cake

Donna replaced a 1/2 cup of oil with 1/2 cup of applesauce and reduced the white sugar by 1/2 cup. To make it gluten-free, she uses a gluten-free flour blend rather than white flour.

The original recipe called for ground almonds, but Donna used almond flour.

Yields two nine-inch round cakes or 24 muffins.

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 c. canola oil 125 mL
  • 1/2 c. applesauce 125 mL
  • 1 1/2 c. granulated sugar 375 mL
  • 1 1/2 c. zucchini, shredded, tightly packed 375 mL
  • 1/2 c. carrots, shredded, tightly packed 125 mL
  • 1 tsp. vanilla 5 mL
  • 2 c. gluten-free flour blend 500 mL
  • 1 tsp. salt 5 mL
  • 2 tsp baking soda 10 mL
  • 1/2 tsp. gluten-free baking powder 2 mL
  • 1/2 c. almond flour 125 mL
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon 2 mL

Milk glaze:

  • 1/2 c. icing sugar 125 mL
  • 2 tsp hot milk 10 mL
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla 1 mL

Preheat over to 350 F (180 C).

Combine eggs, oil, applesauce and sugar. Mix well. Stir in zucchini carrots and vanilla.

Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and stir to combine.

Add to vegetable mixture, stir to combine. Pour into two greased and floured nine-inch cake pans or two 12-cup muffin pans.

Bake at 350 F (180 C) for 25 to 30 minutes for cakes and 15 to 20 minutes for muffins or until done.

Cool slightly before removing from pans. Serve warm or cool and add glaze. Freezes well.

To prepare glaze, combine icing sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth. Place a small amount of glaze on a teaspoon and drizzle over top of cake or muffins.

Gluten-Free Cheese Egg Puffs

Mae Deans of Edmonton modified an existing recipe exchanging regular flour for gluten-free and adding a few more spices for taste. It is a great recipe for a brunch, snacks or lunches. Served hot or cold, it is a winner in her family.

  • 1/4 c. gluten-free all-purpose flour blend 60 mL
  • 1 tsp. gluten-free baking powder 5 mL
  • 1 tsp. parsley flakes 5 mL
  • 1 tsp. crushed basil leaves 5mL
  • 1 tsp. onion flakes 5 mL
  • 2 c. old cheddar cheese 500 mL
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1/4 c. canola oil 60 mL

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).

In a bowl combine flour, baking powder, parsley flakes, crushed basil leaves, onion flakes and cheddar cheese. Mix together.

In another bowl, combine eggs and canola oil, beat lightly.

Add dry mixture to egg mixture, mix to just combine.

Spoon into greased 12-cup muffin pan, fill three-fourths full.

Bake in a 350 F (180 C) oven for 25 minutes or until a knife inserted in centre comes out clean.

Serve either hot or cold.


In a skillet, sauté mushrooms with a teaspoon of butter until tender and add to dry ingredients. Yields: 12 puffs

Baked Spicy Sugar Doughnuts

Marilyn Sharp of Lacombe, Alta., adapted this baked spicy sugar doughnuts recipe for her family members who are gluten intolerant, yet the whole family loves them.

She finds it is difficult to find coffee-time snacks for people with gluten intolerance, and for their family this is the answer.

Baking the doughnuts also eliminates frying in oil.

  • 3/4 c. all-purpose gluten-free flour blend 175 mL
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder 4 mL
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda 1 mL
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon 2 mL
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg 1 mL
  • 1/3 c. buttermilk 75 mL
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla 2 mL
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar 125 mL
  • 1/3 c. melted butter 75 mL

Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C).

Spray doughnut pan with oil.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and spices.

In another bowl whisk together buttermilk, egg and vanilla. Then whisk in sugar and melted butter.

Stir liquid into flour mixture until blended.

Spoon batter into doughnut pan, fill about two-thirds full.

Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until tester comes out clean.

Let stand in pan 10 minutes.

Turn out on rack and glaze.


  • 1/2 c. icing sugar 125 mL
  • 1 tbsp. milk 15 mL
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla 2 mL

Stir together and drizzle over warm doughnuts or dip doughnuts in glaze.

The original recipe used milk soured with lemon juice, all-purpose flour, salt and unsalted butter.

Marilyn uses Kinnikinnick gluten-free flour blend. I used Robin Hood gluten-free flour blend.

Gluten-Free Kutia

Naden Hewko from Macklin, Sask., wanted to modify their traditional Ukrainian Christmas Eve dish, kutia, because several of their family members are gluten intolerant.

Naden replaced the wheat kernels with quinoa. The taste is similar because of the flavour of the poppy seeds and honey.

Serves two to three people.

  • 1/2 c. quinoa 125 mL
  • 1 c. water 250 mL
  • 2 tbsp. poppy seeds 30 mL
  • 1/4 c. honey 60 mL
  • 1 c. hot water 250 mL

Rinse quinoa in a fine sieve.

Place in a saucepan with water and bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Turn the heat off and leave on the burner, covered, for another six minutes.

Fluff with a fork and allow the quinoa to cool.

Place poppy seeds in a fine sieve and wash running hot water through them.

Place in a pot, add boiling water to cover seeds, simmer a few minutes.

Drain in sieve and return poppy seeds to pot and crush as many as possible with a wooden spoon. Add to the quinoa.

Dissolve the honey in the hot water and add to the quinoa. Cool in refrigerator overnight.

Betty Ann Deobald is a home economist from Rosetown, Sask., and a member of Team Resources. Contact:

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