Monthly Archives: December 2013

Big Chewy Gluten Free PB Cookies

Chewy GF PB Cookies

I will admit it, these were an accident. I have tried so many gluten free cookie recipes and have never achieved the chewy cookie so imagine my surprise when I accidently created the most amazing recipe! Do any of you follow Sally’s Baking Addiction? You can see her blog here http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/ but beware, she is not allergy friendly. Her recipes always look amazing though and are perfect food porn. I came across her recipe for 4 ingredient peanut butter fudge and had to try it! But me being me, I subbed the butter for vegan margarine and it just didn’t work. It tasted great but stayed too wet and I couldn’t cut it without it mushing. Maybe it just needed more icing sugar to make up for the water content of the margarine but I decided I would recycle it and not throw it away as my boyfriend suggested. I added some cookie like ingredient; 2 eggs and some brown rice flour, and baked up it all up into these delicious cookies. I almost cried with joy when I bit into one and it was like those big chewy ones you can get in the supermarkets. So I thank you Sally for your recipe, I owe you one!

PS. I know this is very different from my recent post but it’s Christmas! I wouldn’t advise eating food like this all the time but these cookies are perfect for a treat. So enjoy!

Here’s the recipe for my cookies

1 cup Smooth Peanut Butter
1 cup Vegan Margarine (I used Vitalie)
1 1/2 cup Brown Rice Flour (the best GF flour for cookies)
4 cups Icing Sugar (Confectioners Sugar)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Medium Eggs
100g Chopped Dark Chocolate
Optional: a pinch of Salt if you are using unsalted PB

This looks really bad for you, and is, but it makes about 30 big cookies.

Melt the butter with the peanut butter and stir until there are no lumps. Sift in the icing sugar and combine well, along with the vanilla. Mix in the flour and then the chocolate chunks.

GF PB Cookie Dough

I used an icecream scoop and a dessert spoon to add blogs of the dough to a lined baking tray as the mixture is a bit too sticky to do by hand. I left an inch or 2 between each one but they do spread. If you leave an inch or so, it will give you nice big, flat cookies. No need to flatten or shape before baking as they will do their own thing.

Bake at 180c/160c fan for 10-15 mins or until the egdes are golden and the middle is still quite pale. Allow to cool before attempting to take off the paper as I had a few casualties for being too eager.

I think it must be the icing sugar as apposed to caster sugar that makes them chewy. Everyone loved these and no one guessed that they were gluten free, dairy free. I haven’t tried it with egg replacement but would love to hear how it goes if any one does!

GF PB Cookie

I hope you all had a brilliant Christmas and I wish you a very happy and healthy new year.

Advertisements

Pre Christmas Organic Fruit and Veg Delivery

Christmas is a really tough time of year to eat healthy. There is so much temptation around and very little of it is fruit and veggies, especially raw. It’s easy to just let go and say “well it’s only once a year so I might as well enjoy it”. An believe me, I do plan to enjoy it but I also plan to include healthy options. This will be easier for me when I am at home. Christmas Day and Boxing Day are both spent at my parents where they cook up all the yummy Christmas dishes and we enjoy time together as a family. Because the main Christmassy times are spent there, I have no need to buy any naughty foods, except baking ingredients for the treats I take over for my family to eat. And that is why I did a big order with Abel and Cole, the organic Fruit and Veg people who deliver boxes of organic items to your door. I used to order from them but stopped when it became too expensive. These days, I have learnt to value my health more and I am happy to pay that bit extra for everything to be organic and also to have a wider variety of foods to choose from then I can get at the local supermarket.

This box is called the Super Juicing Box. It is fixed ingredients so if you have informed them of items that you don’t like, you may still receive them in this box so check out the ingredients. The box also has a minimum of 7kg of produce. Inside are oranges, apples, beetroot, carrots, celery, ginger and one lonely lemon.

Super Juicing Box

Everything else I ordered I picked separately and not in any set box as I am quite picky due to my IBS. Below you can see blood oranges, chard, baking potatoes and kiwis. I have never seen blood oranges in my local supermarket so I am pretty excited about these. I think I will just eat them as they are and juice the normal orange ones that came in the juicing box. Also chard is pretty hard to get hold of. I’m planning raw wraps with the leaves and with probably juice or sauté the stalks.

Organic

This picture shows “black” tomatoes but look more dark green, a big bag of kale, two baby gem lettuces, and some pretty cool multi colour chillis; one is even purple which I have never seen before!

Organic

I ordered this plain bio soya yogurt to add to recipes or smoothies as it was only 99p. I don’t really like the taste of most soya yogurts but it has live bacteria and no added sugar so I had to have it.

Sojade

Lastly, I order some low chemical cleaning products as that is something I am also concerned about. Why does washing up liquid need to be fluorescent green? The prices of these were not a great deal different to the branded chemical cleaners in the supermarkets so I was more than happy to add them to my order.

Ecover

I think Abel and Cole deliver to most addresses in the UK so if you are interested then take a look at their website: http://www.abelandcole.co.uk

How are you staying healthy this Christmas? Do you have a organic delivery company you use or any other kind of finding exciting products?

Have a happy and healthy Christmas everyone! And happy Christmas from Lola too 🙂

Lola

Low Fat, Low Sugar Cranberry Sauce & Muffins

Happy Christmas everyone! I won’t lie, I am pretty slack with this blogging thing so I probably won’t post again before the big day. I love everything about Christmas, not least the food! And cranberries are such a Christmassy food. When I was younger I used to love the cheese with dried cranberries in, spread on crackers, or a generous dollop on some turkey. My dietary habits have changed a lot since then but I do still plan to have meat this Christmas. But this is the first year that I have made my own cranberry sauce and my first year buying raw cranberries. I did try one raw and won’t be doing that again! Although my beautiful kitten Lola snapped one up that fell on the floor and didn’t even flinch! That cat will eat anything though. I was going to dehydrate some but I didn’t want to end up with a bag of dried sour berries that I would never eat. So with my first ever bag, I made cranberry sauce and cranberry muffins. The sauce first:

Cranberry Sauce

Jarred cranberry sauce is full of sugar and god knows what other additives that I don’t really want to eat. But how do you sweeten something so sour without heaps of sugar? I chose to add two nice ripe and sweet red apples and some stevia, but I would love to know if anyone has any better ideas.

Recipe
200g Raw Cranberries
2 Large Red Apples
4 Sachets of Stevia (or sweeten to taste with the liquid kind or other sweetener)
Water

Cranberry Apple Sauce

Heat whole cranberries with a few tablespoons of water in a pan on a low heat. Small dice the apples (I peeled mine) and throw them in too. I stewed this until the berries melted into a sauce and the apples softened. Add stevia or sweetener to taste.

This would also make a great fruit sauce layer for a crumble or a pie if you add more apple and less water to thicken it up. I froze some of mine for the big day and spooned some into soya yogurt for a tasty snack once it had cooled down.

Next up are the muffins:

Low fat cranberry muffins

Again, I didn’t want to fill these with sugar but I did add a sugar/stevia blend to keep them light. Apples go well with cranberries so I added applesauce in place of butter/oil. These are perfect for a packet lunch or a light snack.

Recipe
100g Raw Cranberries
110g Gluten Free Flour Blend
110g Unsweetened Applesauce
60g Lyte at Heart Sugar/Stevia Mix (or 110g Sugar)
1 tsp Gluten Free Baking Powder
1 tsp Mixed Spice
1 tbsp Ground Flax
3 tbsp Water
Christmas Cupcake/Muffin Accessories

Christmas Cupcake Accessories

Slice cranberries in half, leaving the tiny ones whole. Mix sugar with applesauce and allow it to sit for a moment while you mix the flour, baking powder and spices together. Mix the flax with the water and add into the the sugar mix. Beat together before stirring in the flour mixture. Bake in muffin cases at 180c/160c fan for around 15 mins. The mixture will make 6 large muffins or 8 small ones.

What else do you do with cranberries at Christmas time? Have you dehydrated cranberries before without adding sugar?

Have a great Christmas everyone! 🙂

Hungry for Change – Food Matters

If you have even a slight interest in nutrition, healthy eating or feeling well, I urge you to watch this video. I don’t normally post things like this but I just watched the video and my eyes are well and truly open. A lot of it was completely new to me even though it is so simple. It will make you angry, sad and determined to change. I would love to know what you think of it!

http://www.foodmatters.tv/free

By the way, you only have 2 days left to watch it for free. You won’t regret it 🙂

Garlic and Sage Butternut Squash Baked Fries

Butternut Squash Fries

I am a carb addict. Always have been and probably always will be. White potatoes get such bad press by my god they taste good. If it wasn’t so unhealthy, I could live off potatoes. Chips/fries, Crisps/chips (I’m English but realise more of my views come from America, mash, boiled, baked. Drool. Just having a plate full of butternut squash fries is probably not great either but it feels so much more virtuous than a plate of deep fried white potatoes, without even the skin to bring fibre to the table. Butternut squash has a colour for starters. A basic rule to live by, or one that I live by when all the information and conflicting stories get a bit too overwhelming, is that colour in fruit and vegetables indicates vitamins. So choosing a beautiful orange squash over a white, starchy potato is a no brainer.

Butternut Squash

See my funky knife? I love this baby. It cuts veggies into cool crinkle shapes to make healthier food just a little more appealing; perfect for kids! Or for grown ups who eat with their eyes. I’ve made all kinds of baked fries with this knife. My favourites are butternut squash, sweet potato and carrot…and white potato. Don’t judge me! And then there’s the garlic, herbs and oil. Choose and oil with a high smoking point like coconut or rapeseed if you are going to cook on a high heat. Olive oil is good if you cook low and slow. Butternut squash is pretty soft and melts down quickly so I tend to cook it on 180c for 15-20 mins for a slight crisp with a soft centre. I like dried sage with butternut squash but pick your own favourite. Garlic burns easily so your best to mince it fine into a paste with the oil or to add slices or diced pieces near the end. Or infuse the oil and don’t actually add any solid garlic.

Fries

I used:

1/4 of a squash per person
1 garlic clove per person, minced
1/2 tbsp oil per person
1 tsp dried or 2 tsp fresh sage person

Cut into desired shapes and bake at 180c for 15-20 mins. Enjoy!