Crochet Cake – DF, GF & SF delight

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This cake got its name after I continually made it for a series of crochet ‘catch-ups’ we were having as a safe option for the GF amongst the group.  It is in fact a very simple and delicious gluten free, diary free and sugar free cake which, if served warm, can also be used as a yummy dessert.  After having to prepare some shared food for a course the kids were attending I realised that I was yet to share this  recipe on here (well I think so anyway).  So here goes!

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Straight out of the oven

Crochet Cake – aka diary free, gluten free, sugar free delight

1.5 Cups dates

1.5 Cups of boiling water

1/2 Cup Olive oil

2 eggs

2 ripe bananas – mashed

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp mixed spice

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp GF baking powder (2 parts cream of tartar, 1 part baking soda, 1 part arrowroot)

1 Cup rice flour

1/2 Cup desiccated coconut

  • Soak dates in the boiling water for 10-15 mins before mashing into a smooth thick paste.  If this is still a bit watery you can heat it slightly.
  • Mix in olive oil to the date paste and stir until blended.
  • Add eggs and bananas to date/olive oil mixture and mix until blended fully.
  • Add all the remaining dry ingredients and mix until everything is blended.
  • Line a cake tin with baking paper and pour in the mixture.
  • Bake at 180C for 50-60 mins or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Near the end of baking you may want to cover the cake with tin foil to allow it to keep cooking without the top getting too dark. It does take a while to get it fully baked.
  • Enjoy warm with yogurt/whipped cream or allow to cool on a rack to enjoy later.

Hope this finds you enjoying lots of natural sweetness in your life.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

GF Lamingtons

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Well after two gloriously warm and relaxing weeks in Australia I thought I would continue the theme into this week’s blog.  I should mention here that I have been guilty of calling these little treats a Kiwi classic however after a trip to a Queensland museum it seems that I stand corrected and declare that Lamingtons are in fact born and breed in Australia …. unlike the Pavlova but then that is another story. 🙂

Anyway I had a great GF sponge recipe given to me by a friend which when I replaced the sugar for honey turned out a little denser than hoped so waste not want not …. we made Lamingtons.

GF sponge

I have adapted this from a magazine cut out which a friend sent so apologies if it is yours and please let me know.

3 eggs – separated

50 gm runny honey

grated rind and juice of 1/2 lemon

70 gm of potato flour or cornflour

  • Preheat oven to 180 c
  • Beat the egg yolks, honey,lemon rind and juice until thick enough to leave a trail for 8 secs when the whisk is lifted. This is a fair bit of whisking so electric is a good option.
  • Fold te sifted flour slowly into the egg yolk mixture using a metal spoon.
  • Whisk the egg whites until stiff, but not dry, and fold into the mixture.
  • Pour into a lined tin and bake until it is firm to the touch, puffed and golden – around 20 -30 mins for my oven.

My GF Lamingtons

  • Cut your cooled sponge into small squares
  • Get 2 bowls ready.  One with desiccated coconut and one with runny SF jam (if you want to make it refined sugar free) or runny icing.
  • Dip each small square into some runny jam (I watered down my refined sugar free plum jam)
  • Dip each jam coated square into the coconut ensuring all the jam is covered.
  • Pop on a plate and …. Enjoy.

Hope this finds you creating your own sweet treats and enjoying life.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Back to Basics Pie

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In this household, mainly due to my aversion to thinking about and cooking evening meals, our children each cook one night a week.  The menu pretty much consists of homemade ‘takeaways’ such as nachos, pizza, fish and chips and tortilla however my eldest is beginning to branch out a little more, a little more often.

She loves pies, well actually anything pastry orientated to be truthful, and making mince pies for tea is a favourite – we haven’t quite got to the catering for all your dinner guests including your vegetarian mother ……. Anyway this has proved a bit trickier for her since we have be making a point of buying Palm Oil free as all the pre-rolled pastry has said oil in it.

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Almost ready for the oven

Although I have offered to show her how to make pastry it has always been declined …. until recently that is.  Over the last few weeks she has seen just how easy pastry can be to make and also how much yummier it is to eat!  So I thought I would share this very simple pastry recipe (from Edmonds Cookbook) which works equally as well for both sweet and savoury dishes.  It does make a lot of pastry though so either half the recipe or begin thinking of dessert ….. apple parcels anyone? 🙂

Back to Basics Pastry

2 Cups flour

125gm Cold Butter in small cubes

Cold Water

-Rub the butter into the flour until it is the consistency of breadcrumbs.

-Slowly add and mix in cold water until a dough begins to form.

-Lightly and quickly knead the dough together.

-Roll out on a floured board and use as desired.

Yes it is that easy!  The results are so much better than shop pastry too so go on and give it ago … that is the gluten and diary tolerant amongst you 🙂

Hope this finds you healthy, happy and full of energy.

Arohanui

Y

http://www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Yay for the real foodies out there!

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Thank goodness there are ‘real’ foodies out there who are creative and innovative in the kitchen! Otherwise honestly what would I have to blog about 🙂  My forte, I feel,  is in adaptations of recipes and in passing along good ideas so this week I intend to do just that.  This is a substitute for tomato paste/sauce which contains no deadly nightshades and which the awesome Hungry Cub blog has brought to my attention.

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Simmering the carrots and beetroot.

I ventured to make this up today ready for tea tonight (still deciding between pasta, nachos or pizza ….. so definitely in an easy dinner mood) and found it very easy to make. Mine did turn out quite sweet though even with the apple cider vinegar added in so I did add a bit of Worcestershire Sauce and tamarind puree to give it more of a tomato paste taste.  Seems my thinking was not entirely new however as I found a similar ‘Nomato Sauce’ recipe over on ‘Enjoying this Journey’.

Anyway here is the recipe with adaptations that I made and if you wish to see the two original recipes then please hit the links above 🙂

Nightshade Free Sauce (makes 750ml)

1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 brown onion, roughly diced
3 garlic cloves, roughly diced
2 cups peeled & cubed beetroot (1 large or 2 medium)
2 cups peeled & cubed carrot (approx 2 carrots)
Dried herbs – basil and thyme
1 cup veg stock  (sadly I just use some veg bouillon and then add water)
a few good grinds of salt
2 Tbsp Tamarind puree and some Worcestershire sauce if desired.
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
8 pitted black kalamata olives

  • Cook the onion and garlic in the oil until they are translucent and softened.
  • Add beetroot and carrot and cook for 5 mins before adding the herbs and stock.
  • Cover and simmer until the veggies are soft – around 30 mins. You may need to add a bit more water for cooking (which I did) which will effect how much sauce you end up with.
  • Remove from heat and cool before blending smooth.
  • Add the AVC, olives, tamarind paste and some Worcestershire sauce to taste and blend again.
  • Transfer into a container.  Hungry cub says to use within the week or freeze 🙂

Hope this finds you enjoying life and the food in it.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

 

GF, DF, RSF Anzac Biscuits

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So the Hungry Cub blog has done it again!  Yet another yummy recipe without a hint of dairy, gluten or refined sugar in sight 🙂  Her blog is great, with loads of simple, good, healthy food so if you are into getting more recipes then I’d recommend following Hungry Cub so you can get them coming straight to your inbox 🙂

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Ready to pop in the oven!

Anyway even though we are in the midst of the last of the apple harvest and busy stewing up apples along with starting Apple Cider vinegar (details and results in a few weeks) her Anzac Biscuit recipe looked so simple, yummy and healthy that I couldn’t resist making it and sharing!  You can find Hungry Cub’s  original Anzac recipe here and keep reading for my version which, only through laziness to actually check the recipe, is slightly less blended and chunkier 🙂

GF, DF, Refined Sugar Free (RSF) Anzac Biscuits

Makes 20 small biscuits

  • 1/2 Cup of dates soaked for at least 3 hrs
  • 3 Tbs cashew Butter (Pics is Awesome without other oil added)
  • 1/2 Cup Slivered Almonds (I used a 70gm packet which was just over 1/2 cup)
  • 1 Cup of desiccated coconut

-Drain dates (liquid not needed) and blend with cashew butter until smooth.

-Add other ingredients and mix until blended well

-Roll into small balls and place on a baking tray. Then flatten slightly with a fork

-Bake at 180 C for 10 mins or until golden.

-Enjoy 🙂

Hope this finds you happy, healthy and giving a thought for those who have gone before us.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

 

Simple Summer Salad

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I’m sitting here in my lounge, kids happily playing in the shade, and I’m feeling less than enthused about having to do anything more than sit! The weather here has been amazing and the kinds of temperatures where I just want to relax and do nothing least of all cook tea!  It is times like this when I want to eat something quick, simple and ….. well cold!

I had planned to be sharing another recipe here however as it isn’t quite right – I’ve almost got the recipe tasting good enough to share but at the moment we are a bit too chocolate cup-caked out to keep perfecting it in time for this post 🙂 – I thought I would share one of my quick and easy Summer Salads with you.  Himself actually created the original of Summer Salad after tasting something at a restaurant and then me being me …. I have swiped his recipe and adapted it to my liking 🙂

quinoa rice pasta

Not the cheapest GF pasta but the best I’ve tried by far!

This can be adapted however you like really by adding or deleting whatever takes your fancy. The sky is the limit!! The recipe below is what I do which is a gluten free, diary free version. I’m also currently leaving out the sun-dried tomatoes (see last week’s post for details) and it is still yum.  This feeds a family of 4 with extras.

Simple Summer Salad

Ingredients:

  • Ceres Quinoa Rice pasta (See image above)
  • Onion and garlic if you wish
  • Mushrooms
  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Courgettes
  • Shrimp
  • Goats Feta
  • Olives

– Slice up and fry the onion, mushrooms, courgettes and shrimp until they are how you like them – lightly fried or fried until soft- and allow to cool.

-Boil the pasta and either leave to cool or rinse under cold water to cool.

-Slice up the sun-dried tomatoes along with dicing the Goat’s Feta and add to the cold pasta with the olives

-Once the fried vegetables and shrimp are cool enough that it won’t melt the feta to pieces add everything together. Then pop into the fridge until ready to serve.

-When you are ready to serve lightly drizzle some of the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes or olive oil onto the salad and mix around to ‘freshen’ it up.

-Enjoy 🙂

Hope this finds you enjoying a relaxing evening with simple yet wholesome fare or at least planning to.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

 

 

 

GF, dairy, refined sugar free and paleo delight

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Just had to share this one, a triple layer chocolate caramel slice which is gluten, dairy and refined sugar free as well as Paleo!!

My second batch which had a double thickness base.

My second batch which had a double thickness base.

Yes you read correctly…. a delicious triple layer chocolate caramel slice which is gluten, dairy and refined sugar free as well as Paleo. This recipe is so easy and the thing I love most about it is that apart from an avocado I had everything in the cupboards.  My kind of recipe!

I will share the recipe link soon, I just wanted to add a few comments about my batches.

– Firstly the recipe says 2 avocados which I used first time around and yielded so much chocolaty goodness that we ended up just eating some as the layer was so, so thick already.  Second attempt I used one medium sized one and still had a good cover – see photo above.

– Secondly the thinner the base layer the better.  I had a bigger tin that the recipe (mine was 17 x 20 cm) and so the first batch seemed to have too thin a base however when I doubled the recipe for the base it was too thick to cut easily or to bite into. Thinner is better for this one 🙂

– Thirdly if you are not a nut lover (that is having them sprinkled on top) then you’ll be glad to know that this recipe is just as yummy without them on.

– Lastly, a big warning!!  Once you make this you will be making it again and scoffing it a lot as it is so so delicious!! Even wheat, dairy, grain and sugar loving himself couldn’t get enough 🙂

Thanks so much to Hungry Cub for sharing it.

Hope this finds you enjoying the simple pleasures in life.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Some interesting sugary viewing

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After a cat fight last week (yes an actual fight with a cat or should I say I was beaten up by a cat!), the thumb that isn’t quite letting me type and visits to the vet for mice (no they weren’t part of the cat fight) I thought I would just share some interesting viewing.

I watched the documentary ‘The Truth about Sugar’ the other night and found it interesting as well as a good reminder that eating well is important. It isn’t the full picture but it is a good general look at what the main issues are around sugar and also the food we eat. So here it is for you to enjoy too – just click on the picture or the link above.

BBC documentary about sugar

BBC documentary about sugar

Hope this finds you all without any medical mishaps for mice or men 🙂

Arohanui

Y

One year sugar free!

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Well Easter is now done and dusted!  The second for me without chocolate as I have now gone a year with out it.  I would love to say a year without sugar however that little devil is everywhere – especially in condiments and restaurant food 🙂

Themselves Easter present and eggs.

Themselves Easter present and eggs.

It has however been a year without buying baking, without shop hot chocolates (I now make my own rice milk and cacao ones at home though that are just as yum), without fizzy drinks (kombucha aside), without lollies and as I mentioned a year without chocolate!  Honestly I never thought I would be writing this, let alone be happy about it.

Who would of thought I'd make a whole year??!!

Who would of thought I’d make a whole year??!!

Sometimes it does make me feel a bit deprived of treats and other times glad that I am not bombarding my body the way I used to with that much sugar.

So as a way of celebrating I thought I’d put on a ‘1 year without sugar’ special on my products and services.  Obviously those of you further a field won’t be able to take advantage of the reflexology – everything else though can be sorted online 🙂

Special Offer

Check it out!

Just go to Becoming Healthy , see what I have and get 30% off!

Arohanui

Y

Foodie?

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Lately a few people have called me a ‘foodie’, in the nicest possible way of course, however this is definitely not how I see myself.  It made me wonder then what a ‘foodie really is, what boxes do you need to tick off to become part of this group or to have this label in life?

The sugar free, gluten free, dairy free Christmas cake I made so that I could pig out on cake!

The sugar free, gluten free, dairy free Christmas cake I made so that I could pig out on cake!

To me a ‘foodie’ is someone who cooks a lovely meal even if it is only for them where as I would happily munch on cereal or just have boiled rice every meal if my family allowed. A ‘foodie’ is a person who reads the recipes word for word in a magazine and wonders where they can source the ingredients while I quickly glance at the photo and wonder who could make it for me.

A ‘foodie’ is a person who has amazing kitchen gadgets that cook, grind, mix, and just about everything in between while I only use my big mixer (not even sure what it is called) for making face cream. A ‘foodie’ is someone who buys cookbooks and loves getting cookbooks for presents whereas I would much rather have a book on health. A ‘foodie’ is someone who adds a touch of ginger to their kombucha while I remain astounded that I actually make kombucha at all!

My kombucha, which I am so proud of for actually making.

My kombucha, which I am so proud of for actually making.

A ‘foodie’ is someone who has their evening meals thought out and organized with a smile while I linger in the dread of knowing that each afternoon I will have to produce something edible for my family, which is probably why I have encouraged herself to start cooking meals already!

All of the things above sum up what a real ‘foodie’ is to me and I am surrounded by enough of these lovely people to know that I am not one of them. Into health I may be and if that involves food then well….. I guess I can cope with that.  Maybe there should be some term for a half hearted person interested in making food, when they feel the urge 🙂 In my eyes I am as far as there is to go from a true ‘foodie’, maybe others see me a little differently though and to them I say ‘thanks’. 🙂

Hope this finds you discovering great parts of life you never knew you where part of.

Arohanui

Y