Gluten free

Not-so-shit paleo bread recipe

Let's be honest here, bread without gluten is pretty average.  I recently was so excited to share the local GF pizza with my parents.  To my deprived pallet it was the best thing since sliced bread (see what I did there).  They dip in and out of gluten, it's not their best friend, but it doesn't affect them in the same way as me so they can have the occasional real pizza.  They broke it to me that in a blind taste test they wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the box it was packaged in and the crust itself.   My point here is that once you have been without a certain food for a long period of time your tastebuds change.  My client this morning was so excited to tell me that a peppermint tea satiated her post dinner sweet craving now, and that's only 4 months into working with me.   SO! For all you gluten eaters out there, don't expect this to taste like your freshly baked loaf from the local patisserie, but for anyone who has been deprived for a fair while, you'll love this, topped with Anita's Pate (recipe to come) and a bit of Ed's Salsa (recipe to come).  And it's full of protein and fibre, omega-3 fatty acids and calcium.   So there baguette. 

Seed and Nut bread 

Ingredients

3 tablespoons activated sunflower seeds chopped plus extra for sprinkling

3 tablespoons activated pumpkin seeds chopped plus extra for sprinkling

1 tablespoon black or white chia plus 1 tablespoon extra for sprinkling

1/3 cup activated almonds chopped 

1.5 cups almond meal

3 tablespoons LSA

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons coconut flour

6 eggs

1 tablespoon apple cider vinega

4 tablespoons coconut oil

1 teaspoon salt 

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C. Greace a 20cm x 10cm loaf tin and line the base and sides with baking paper.

Mix the sunflower, pumpkin and chia seeds in a large bowl.  Stir through the almonds, almond meal, LSA, baking soda, and coconut flour.  Add the eggs, vinegar, coconut oil and salt and mix well to combine.  The mixture will resemble a batter rather than a dough.

Pour the dough into the prepared loaf tin and smooth out evenly with a spatula.  Sprinkle the extra seeds on totp. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.  (You will need to do a skewer test because this bread is much denser than regular bread and won't sound hollow when you tap it) Remove from the oven and allow to cool before turning out. 

I usually slice this up and freeze half of it so I can grab a piece out each day for toast.   Now I didn't invent this recipe, I stole it from somewhere but have no idea where, if it's yours please let me know and I'll credit you! 

Best ever healthy GF pacman flapjack recipe

I've always felt children are like small drunk adults.   They close-talk loudly about themselves, spit food as they talk, knock things over, dance whenever music comes on, fall over often, and frequently wet themselves.  Mine don't wet themselves any more, unless they are in full winter kit and can't get it off in time.  And even I'm guilty of that.  Oscar (9) is all skin and bone, so much so that when the Parisian neighbour (age 8) punched him this summer he bruised his knuckles and screamed loudly (in French) for an hour.  It was the first time I've heard Oscar talk in rapid French. I think he was explaining how it wasn't his fault his ribcage was so strong. Or he may have been telling him ribs were his favourite food.  Either way, there's no padding on that wee frame.    I digress, he is ALWAYS hungry.  His feet are almost the same size as mine (40) and his legs are as long as his sisters.  He eats as much as his dad, but moves more, I calculated this summer he needs at least 6 hours of full activity a day - 4 hours mountain biking, 2 hours in the pool.  Then I have an angel on my hands.   So without further ado I present to you my number one filler for him, flapjack.  He isn't totally Gluten Free but I used GF oats for this so the whole family can pick at it.  You can use normal oats though.  And as I always say, I'm a rubbish baker, so rest assured this recipe is 100% failsafe, if you muck up the quantities or change things around to suit you it will still work and you'll be the Queen (or King) of the house for at least 3 minutes. 

Ingredients

  • 150g ready-to-eat stoned dates
  • 100g organic butter
  • 3 generous tbsp honey
  • 50g ready-to-eat stoned dried apricot, finely chopped
  • 50g chopped toasted almonds or walnuts or both or any nuts you fancy
  • 3 tbsp mixed seeds
  • 50g raisins
  • 150g GF porridge oats

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Line an 18cm square tin with baking paper. Melt the butter & add to dates into a food processor and process until they are finely chopped and sticking together in clumps.

  2. Put the butter & honey & dates into a saucepan and heat gently. Stir until the everything is blended together. Add all the remaining ingredients to the pan and stir until well mixed. Spoon the mixture into the tin and spread level.

  3. Bake in the oven for 15-20 mins until golden brown. Remove and cut into 12 pieces. Leave in the tin until cold. Store in an airtight container (although I never have enough left over as you can see from this pick my monsters got to it before I could)

Pacman Flapjack

How to survive Christmas if you are a 'Freaky Eater'

I've done 3 Christmas's now as a 'freaky eater' so I reckon I have the authority to write this.  It's really important to remember that surviving isn’t just about what you put in your mouth.  Here’s 8 tips on how to survive this coming month without resorting to physical violence on a distant relative. 

GO DANCING: 

We love our endorphins (especially at Christmas), and the best way to keep these pumping through the body is sadly not through necking booze or drugs, it’s through exercise.  My favourite exercise, dancing, ticks all the boxes, not only are you listening to music, letting it enter your cells, but you are having fun with friends (or solo) and getting those muscles moving.   Also, when those who class you as a 'freaky eater' see you cutting  a rug on the dance floor they'll forget you didn't indulge in that mini-burger.  If you have to stick to traditional exercise, give yourself little rewards for every time you partake, we all love a star chart, “yes I can have that vodka and soda with berries (no sugar thanks) at the office Christmas party if I do my Vinyasa flow today.”  If it’s too hard fitting it in, walk to work, walk up and down the stairs at work, sit on a fit ball at your desk, have a snowball fight, do squats in the lift (weirdo).   Not only does this mean that those reading this in the Northern Hemisphere will keep the old SADD at bay, but those in the Southern Hemisphere are going to feel happy in togs for the month of January and thus get in all the Vitamin D required to keep immunity, and mood, high. If you maintain your exercise regime right up until Noel, give yourself the next week off.  Allow yourself a ‘deload’ week, where your muscles have a welcome change to relax and repair themselves. NO guilt, enjoy every second. 

ENABLERS:

These are people who can’t bear the fact that you aren’t eating ‘normal’ food.  They fall into 3 categories: 

Enabler A/ They think you are a twat for joining the ‘Paleo Fad’ and want you to know how much of a twat they think you are. 

Enabler B/ Because food is the cultural language of choice during the holidays, when you eat their food they see it as emotional reassurance that you care about them.  They want you to like/love them, via the medium of their Caramel Tarte/Turkey Stuffing/Garlic Bread and don’t understand that you would like them more if they didn’t keep sneaking those ‘treats’ onto your plate with a conspiratory wink.

 Enabler C/They wish they had the will-power to do what you are doing.  They want quit drinking a bottle of wine a night but can’t find the energy to break the cycle (understandable, because life is stressful right?)  They want to feel better about themselves, they see you looking smoking hot and clear eyed and sparkling and the way they deal with their emotions is to pull you down to their level by ‘proving’ you wrong with your food choices and giving you grief. 

CHANGE THE SUBJECT: 

‘Tell me about your job/mother/cat/dog/gastric bypass/prolapse’ is the easiest way to deal with enablers.   When they start asking questions about your dietary choices, don’t explain yourself, change the subject and ask them a question about themselves.  People love talking about themselves and you’ll address A,B & C all in one by doing this.  Whatever you do though, don’t make the question about food.  Anything but food.  And make sure you listen to the response.  Practice your belly breathing while you listen, unless the afore mentioned A, B & C person has bad booze breath, and then I give you full permission to mouth breathe. 

Enabler A/ Will re-think the fact you are a twat because you aren’t talking about your ‘diet’.

Enabler B/ Will know you love them because you are genuinely interested in them enough to ask a question. 

Enabler C/ Will hopefully lose the feeling of resentment because you not only look good but your inside is running clean, kind and non-judgmental too.  

Lastly on the subject of Enablers, don’t preach.  If someone won’t give up until you’ve explained why you aren’t eating something, say ‘I’ve realised it doesn’t agree with me’ or ‘I don't feel well when I eat gluten’.  Definitely don't launch into a detailed description of the damage that white bread roll is doing on their gut lining at the very moment the missile is entering their gob. 

FAKE AN ALLERGY:

I have a very good friend who has faked a peanut allergy for years, just because he doesn’t like them and he’s sick of people saying ‘what?? why??’ when he says ‘no thanks I don’t like nuts’.   This is a highly controversial subject but I think it’s a winner way out when you know you are pushing shit up hill and it means you will immediately get someone off your back.   People respect a physical disability far more than someones attempt to stay healthy.  It’s a shame we can’t wear a bandage around our bellies .

IMMUNE SYSTEM:

It’s not so bad for those down under as you are coming into summer and thus it’s not your time of year to spend weeks horizontal with the flu.  But for those of us currently nearer Santa it’s the perfect time for a flu to hit. You’ve been working hard all year, and now you stop, of course you’re going to get sick.  Not only have you been sharing snot off those shopping trolley handles, packing yourselves into indoor places with heating like malls & shopping centres, but you aren’t getting as much Vitamin D as you get in summer.  Fortunately increasing your water intake, cutting out complex carbs, increasing your fresh veggies and fat is the perfect way to keep those bugs at bay.  Sleep is too, so if you are out on a bender, make sure you have a nana nap the next day. 

PREPARATION:

This is the key to surviving.  In the lead up to christmas double your recipes, and fill that freezer with good stuff. Pate, energy balls, truffles, banana cake, nut and seed bread, nut christmas cake, casseroles, have them all on the ready to take with you to particularly ‘unfriendly’ places or pull out if you are caught out late and don't have time to cook.  

If you are hosting Christmas make an abundance of roast veggies and some particularly fancy salads to go with your ham/turkey/prawns/oysters and no-one will even notice.   

Eat before you go out so you aren’t tempted by those vol-au-vents, and have a green smoothie ready in the fridge to neck when you get home to help alkalise your gut and stop the hangover. 

CUT YOURSELF SLACK:

Right I’m not giving you permission to eat every candy cane on the tree or demolish the stuffing out of the Turkeys ass, but seriously, if you are dying on the inside because you ‘aren’t allowed’ Champagne, let yourself have it.    If your mother in law insists on making a mind-blowingly tasty christmas cake that certainly isn’t DF, GF, V, FFGFDV (I made that one up), for the sake of your relationship, eat it.   And beating yourself up afterwards is highly unproductive. Enjoy it, accept you’ve ‘slipped’ off eating what makes you feel good, and then just have another serving of greens and a digestive enzyme so you can help your body process it through ok.   Some people like to ‘plan’ a cheat day, so a whole day where you can eat what you want (or what you think you want), but I don’t recommend this as you will feel awful for days after. 

BREATHE AND LAUGH:

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the key to surviving both food and emotional stress over Christmas is to breathe and laugh your way through it.  If you haven’t yet read my article on breathing, click to it now, read it on the loo, in bed, whenever, but just make sure you do as this will keep those stress hormones low and the digestion working well to process everything you put in.  Well maybe not everything, but most things.  Laughter has the same effect, as do hugs.  So turn that frown upside down, enjoy those hurdles that leap up to meet you, smile as you listen to boring Aunts and Uncles, and just take a moment to feel gratitude for your life.  And the fact that you only see these people once a year. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cutting down on Sugar (with the help of a Winning Cookie Recipe)

Oh that beast, processed SUGAR - responsible for everything bad that is happening in your life.   Honestly, it is.   Anyway, you all know you shouldn't be eating it so I'm not going to preach to you any more about it, there's a million articles out there about how it destroys every cell in your body (and brain) and causes cancer, I'll leave you to do the research.  Today, I am going to offer you two of my many sneaky tricks when it comes to getting it out of your life.

The first,  lie down.  When you crave sugar it is very often because you are tired.  So take 10 minutes to put your feet up, get a herb tea and one of the delicious treats I'm sharing with you below.  I hear you shouting silently at me 'I don't have time to lie down'.  Make time.  It will change your life.  Turn off facebook and you'll have more time.  

So, my 2nd sneaky trick.  Before you crave it,  replace it.  If you know you are going to crave it around 3pm, make sure you have sweet veggies for lunch, carrots and sweet potato, and then, be ready with some dark chocolate, full fat yoghurt with banana and nuts, or chia seed pudding (recipe to come) or these cookies.  LET YOURSELF HAVE A TREAT.  Your body is talking to you so don't ignore it.  And then you won't be trying to push that annoying voice out of your head that is screaming at you to eat sugar.   

So I stole this recipe from The Real Food Forager, so good.  

GF,DF Killer Cookies (even the kids love them)    

Here we use shredded coconut to give the texture and softness of an oatmeal cookie. We add the raisins to give the sweetness and they come out chewy, moist and delicious.  

Raisins Add Sweetness and Nutrients

Raisins add sweetness and nutrients. They are a concentrated source of energy, vitamins, electrolytes, and minerals. In addition, they are packed with polyphenols, anti-oxidants, dietary fiber, and other phyto-nutrients. They are high in minerals, particularly iron and potassium.

Raisins also contain resveratrol, which is an anti-oxidant, that has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Studies suggest that resveratrol has been found to have protective action against cancers like melanoma, colon and prostate, and diseases such as coronary heart disease, degenerative nerve disease, Alzheimer’s disease and viral/ fungal infections.

If the cookies are too sweet, next time you make them use less honey — but keep the raisins as they pack a good nutrient punch! They are very sweet, but paired with the coconut fat from the shredded coconut, they will be balanced.

Ingredients

  • 1 organic apple cored and peeled 
  • 2 eggs, pastured if possible
  • 3 tablespoon honey 
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar (wean yourself off adding this in as you kill the baddies making you crave sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup organic raisins (use organic raisins as grapes are heavily sprayed)
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoon coconut flour 
  • 1/2 cup almond flour 
  • 1.5 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Equipment

  • Food processor 
  • Cookie sheet with parchment paper

Instructions

  1. In the food processor process the apple until it is pureed with some small chunks
  2. Add the eggs, honey, coconut sugar and vanilla and mix
  3. Add the almond flour, shredded coconut, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and mix until just combined (not processed)
  4. Add the coconut flour in small increments until you get a firm batter (you may not need it all)
  5. Mix in the raisins
  6. Place a tablespoon of the batter onto the cookie sheet
  7. Fill the cookie sheet
  8. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the cookies and with a spatula flatten the cookies so that they are all even
  9. Bake at 180 degrees for 14 to 18 minutes until they are golden on top
  10. Cool on a rack
  11. These freeze well if you have any left over

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
For 15 – 17 cookies

OK so they may look like squashed dried up old dog turd but they taste bloody good 

OK so they may look like squashed dried up old dog turd but they taste bloody good 

Bananarama Bread

I am a rubbish baker.  I like to blame it on the fact I lost my glasses toboggoning home drunk on my birthday last season.  Well not blame it on that, but because it's too expensive for me to buy new ones here in Swiss,  I can't see the ingredients properly.  But if I'm 100% honest with you it's because I hate following recipes.  When I'm cooking it's a meditative process for me, I like imagining a taste in my head and then thinking what ingredients will make it taste like that.   I usually win on the cooking front, but very rarely when baking.    That is why this GF DF Banana Bread is a winner every time. (That said not even this filter can hide the fact I may have left it in slightly too long.)  It is SO resilient, last time I substituted one of the cups of almond meal with coconut flour AND  dropped it as I took it out of the oven, and still managed to get those little folk in the house to eat it.  How rad is that!    Another reason I love it is because Oscar has a mad sweet tooth and this helps satiate that, if I can get a piece of this into him he forgets he asked me for an ice cream (every day) when he gets off the school bus.   I also really love it because my best friend Senka gave it to me, my Nana always made me banana loaf (old school styles) and I gave this recipe to my mum (she uses half carrots, half bananas) so I think of them when I bake.  Which makes me feel good.  

So here you go, here is the worlds easiest banana bread recipe stolen from Senka, god knows where she stole if from so sorry if it's yours and we stole it.  But we love it so you should be stoked! 

Mix in one bowl

4 eggs

3 ripe bananas

1/4 cup honey 

1/4 cup coconut milk or almond milk 

1 T vanilla (I just hurl a pile in)

Mix in other bowl

2 1/4 cup Almond Flour

1/2 t sea salt

1/2 t cinnamon 

2 t baking soda

Combine and bake for 35 - 50min on whatever heat you normally bake for (about 175 maybe? Don't ask me I burned it last time...maybe you could let me know.) 

 

Best ever easiest ever banana bread

Best ever easiest ever banana bread