Celebrating a Gluten Free Shabbat

August is my favorite time of year to write about Shabbat. It is really one of the few months without any major Jewish Holidays, besides Tu’B’Av, which came late this year and was on August 3, 2012. Shabbat starts at sundown on Friday night, and ends at sundown on Saturday night with a ritual called Havdalah. Shabbat is a day of rest for most people of Jewish dissent. Although, I tend to spend time cleaning the yard, picking up the house and cooking, it is still a day of ‘less stress.’ I do not have to get up at ‘the crack of dawn.’ I do not have to pack lunches. I do not have to yell at anyone to get showered or dressed right away. And I definitely do not have to crack the whip on homework. It is a sweet, quiet, family day. In the past, and you know when I refer to ‘the past’ I am referring to our ‘gluten days’, we would bring in Shabbat with a nice big fat braided Challah and we would go to Subway for dinner before services. It was very frustrating and heartbreaking to watch my girls stand back and watch as others enjoyed the challah on Friday nights and even the oneg afterwards, a celebration filled with cookies and desserts. However, my girls were the first to rise to the challenge and compromise because they knew in the long run they would feel better because of it. At first, I did not make any challah because I knew it just wouldn’t taste the same. I have since designed a great challah that I even bake and sell to friends for their Shabbat dinners. But with new circumstances come new traditions. We decided to have nachos and now eggs for Shabbat dinner, at home. We often find ourselves at the local FroYo store for a sweet treat before services so that when they see all the yummy desserts at the oneg, they know that they enjoyed their dessert before services. It also gives them energy to get through services and does not keep them up so they will not go to bed. We love our new tradition. Traditions are important, especially during the holidays, and Shabbat is a holiday that comes for Jews every Friday night. Do not let gluten free living stop you from enjoying family traditions. If your old traditions involved gluten, and chances are that a lot of them did, change them, make them meaningful, make them fun. And feeling good afterwards will make the whole experience richer and more memorable. Shabbat Shalom.
I know many people share the tradition of Challah French Toast on Saturday mornings. Well, here is a delicious recipe that you can serve with fruit, yogurt and maybe some turkey bacon and don’t forget the coffee! It will make you forget about that old French Toast stand by.
Sour Cream Apple Coffee Cake*-2-1-11-335
1 medium apple
2 tsp cinnamon
4 T brown sugar
1 ½ cups Brown rice flour
½ cup Potato starch
¼ cup tapioca flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
¾ tsp xanthan gum
2 large eggs
1 ½ cups organic sugar, divided
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup light sour cream
1/3 cup grapeseed oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a cheesecake spring pan with olive oil.
Mix cinnamon, ½ cup sugar and brown sugar in a small bowl.
Peel, core and chop apple into small pieces.
Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and xanthan gum in small bowl.
Beat egg and 1 cup of sugar in large bowl. Add vanilla.
Add sour cream, and oil and beat for 30 seconds.
Add dry ingredients to egg mixture.
Evenly spread ½ batter to bottom of pan.
Top with apple pieces and ½ cinnamon sugar mixture.
Layer the other ½ of batter on top.
Sprinkle remaining cinnamon sugar mixture on top.
Bake for 50 minutes. Do not open oven.
Cool cake and serve with coffee!

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