Friday, October 30, 2015

Raspberry and Lemon Shortbread Rounds (Gluten free, dairy free, sugar free)

When the lovely Lucy here put out a call for "free-from" recipes I just knew I had to jump in. Not simply because I consider myself (in all modesty) a bit of an expert in the field of free-from baking (more on that later), but quite honestly, I have no other outlet just now for my creations (except my tummy). It's only fair to warn you, expert or no, that I have always been a haphazard baker. When I was about four I watched my Dad make drop scones without measuring any of the ingredients, and from there I never looked back.

Now, the only reason I measure when baking is:
1. If I'm using a mixture of ingredients I'm unfamiliar with, and
2. In retrospect when creating new recipes, in order to vaguely remember the formula for next time. There: you have been duly warned

I came to free-from baking in a long, roundabout way. I have always experimented with different ingredients that entice and excite me. But like most, it has also been an enforced health journey for me. I first gave up dairy, and instantly cured many congestive complaints. Then I gave up wheat, and finally gluten altogether - curing me of chronic fatigue and digestive upsets.

More recently I have experimented with giving up sugar (of all kinds) in a bid to kill a chronic candida overgrowth (terrifyingly common in today's culture of refined foods, and basely responsible for most chronic illnesses). Suffice to say most of my bakes and creations these days are dairy, gluten AND sugar-free, and often vegan too (beat that GBBO!). This makes them no less tasty (I am particular on that front!) and above all they are QUICK and EASY, because I like pretty instant results.

I created with the help of my 4 and 6 year-olds this weekend! Unusually for it doesn't contain chocolate (sorry about that) but I do use cacao butter. If you can't source cacao butter easily, feel free to substitute as you see fit

3/4 cup whole almonds
1/4 cup dessicated coconut
1 tbsp whole flaxseed
1/4 cup buckwheat (or other GF) flour
1 tbsp freeze dried raspberry powder (or other flavouring)
1/4 tsp GF baking powder
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp almond butter
1 tbsp honey or syrup
Zest & juice of 1/2 lemon

1/3 cup cacao butter
1 tbsp freeze dried raspberry powder
1tsp honey/syrup
Few drops vanilla extract

To Make: 

Grind together the almonds, coconut and flaxseed to form a flour. Mix with rest of dried ingredients for biscuit dough. Gently melt the oils, almond butter and honey/syrup together over a bowl of hot water, then add in the lemon juice and zest. Pour over the dried ingredients and mix well to a dough.

Take spoonfuls of the dough and roll into balls, place on a nonstick baking tray (or greaseproof paper) and flatten out evenly into discs about 1/2cm thick.

Bake at 180C for about 10 minutes, until the biscuits begin to brown.

Cool on a wire rack and make the icing by gently melting together the cacao butter, honey/syrup, vanilla and raspberry. Allow to cool and thicken slightly before dribbling over biscuits. Enjoy!

If you liked these recipes do try out Zoe's first ebook, Real Food Raw, which contains lots of fun, quick and easy wholefood recipes especially created for a free-from diet. There's also lots of great tips and help in there to support you in transitioning between food habits, and how you can make it easy for yourself.

 Zoë Foster is a Life Energy Alchemist at, where she helps soul-driven women balance their natural energetic highs and lows and find their own rhythm - one that maximises both creative output AND self-care on a whole-person level. Zoë is also a writer and yoga teacher and lives on the edge of magical Dartmoor in Devon, UK with her young family.

 You can connect with Zoë on Facebook, Instagram, Periscope, Pinterest and Twitter at @ZoeKMFoster.

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