Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Peanut Butter Cookies (Sugar Free, Dairy Free, Wheat Free)

So I'm trying to type and eat at the same time.

These cookies are my new love.


And good for you.

And one of my kiddos even eats them.

What more can I say.

Oh, they're raw... so they're instant. Mmm-hmmm!

To make 10

1/2 cup pitted dates and 1 tsb hot water, blitzed to a puree.
1/3 cup ground almonds
2 tbsp porridge oats
2 tsp ground hemp or flax seeds - optional, but oh so good for you - if you don't have them just use 2 tsp extra ground almonds
1 heaped tablespoon peanut butter (ours is sweetened already, if yours is not you may want to taste the mix and add 1 tsp maple syrup)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp melted coconut oil/butter

Method? What method. You blitz the dates till smooth however you can - I managed it with a stick blender in a tall jug.
Divide into balls and flatten.
Sure you can pretend that you need to know how long to chill them for, but you and I know they won't make it to the fridge!

Monday, January 25, 2016


I've been baking less and less with sugar recently. And trying to avoid flour. But these little babies - which I discovered in the award-winning Honey and Co book, have taken pride of place in my life. They are essentially little cheesy scones - so simple to make - bung the ingredients in a food processor, blend, press together and cut. They take less than 20 mins from start to belly. Most of that time is cooking.

I make them about three times a week for a speedy breakfast or lunch, sometimes with sliced beetroot, sometimes with baked beans, and sometimes just in my hand on the way down to collect the kids from school. I have (of course) adapted the recipe, to make it easier to remember without referring to the book and to use what I have to hand. Itmar's introductory story about them is worth the price of the book itself - as he recounts how he incurs the wrath of the Italian pastry chef each morning who threatens him with the mafia - because he steals them hot from the oven. Which is the best way to eat them.

I keep meaning to take a photo, but they're not photogenic, and have usually ended up in my belly before I can find my camera. So just I am very gratefully borrowing one from Rachel's kitchen

Makes 10 

Before you get your ingredients out, start preheating your oven to 170C (fan)

50g feta cheese
50g mature cheddar cheese
50g cold butter
100g plain flour
2 tbsp buttermilk (or sour cream) plus a little more for glazing
1 tsp nigella (black onion) seeds
1 spring onion cut into rings

Put everything into a blender and whizz for 20 seconds until it all comes together. If it's not coming together add a little dash more of your buttermilk.

Tip out onto a floured baking sheet, push the dough gently together with your hands, flattening it to about 1 inch thick.

Cut into triangles and brush with a little extra buttermilk.

Bake for 10-15 mins depending on how hot the oven is at this stage. They should be golden when ready. Leave to cool for a couple of minutes and then for sheer pleasure eat hot.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Lauren's Life Loaf (Gluten free, Dairy free, Sugar free)

Eating gluten free one of the biggest losses is nice bread. I have discovered bearable GF bread in the supermarket, which doesn't break the bank, but it's hardly a joy to eat. And not particularly good for you - full of highly processed starches etc. It does the job when an oat cake won't cut it, but that's it. It's a stop gap. A carby filler of misery.

And then my step-mother, Lauren, introduced me to THIS bread.

This has flavour and nutrition by the bucket load. And no artificial or processed anything. Just yummy goodness. She discovered it at My New Roots...

No mess, no kneading, no fretting and fast to do - very crunchy and smooth and rich

quantity for normal loaf tin:
1 cup/ 135grms sunflower seeds
1/2 cup/90 grams whole flax seeds
1/2 cup/65 grms hazelnuts halved
1.5 cups/145 grms rolled oats (like Flahavans)
2 tablespoon chia seeds
4 tablespoons psyllium seed husks (3 tablespoons if using powder)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon maple syrup
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1.5 cups/ 350ml water

Line a loaf tin with parchment paper.
Combine all the dry ingredients mixing thoroughly.
Whisk the maple syrup, oil and water together then add to the dry ingredients mixing well until everything is completely soaked and the dough becomes very thick (if the dough is too thick to stir add a teaspoon or so of cold water until the dough is manageable).

Flop the dough into the prepared tin smoothing out the top with the back of a spoon.
Leave to sit on the countertop for at least 2 hours, all day or all night is better (sometimes I just do it for 5 minutes and it’s still good!). To ensure the dough is ready it should retain its shape when you lift the parchment.

Preheat oven to 175*C/350*F - or middle of aga - and even when on low heat

Place the loaf tin in the middle of the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove the bread from the loaf pan and place it upside down directly on the greaseproof paper on the oven rack. Bake for another 30-40 minutes. Bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped. Allow to cool completely before slicing.

Store in a container for up to 5 days.
Can freeze - slice before freezing so easier to take out a slice to toast.


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