Today I started the day doing what I love to do on a Wednesday, going for a run. I’m so very fortunate to live only minutes from the beach and am spoilt with this amazing weather here on the Gold Coast even in the Winter, that it would be ignorant of me not make the effort to utilize it.
After I drop the kids at school and preschool I make Wednesday morning my day to inhale in the ocean air while I run amongst the many other fellow runners, walkers, or just peaceful wave watchers. People from all walks of life appreciating natures beauty. It always fascinates me to observe people and wonder what is happening in their lives to bring them here.
I discard all the negativity and stress that life brings in my day-to-day busy life and focus on only that moment. I don’t have to tell you how mind health is just as important as physical health and I feel running in this environment so freeing, peaceful and so valuable for your soul and spirit.
Continue reading “Sugar Free Lemon, Chia, Honey Cakes”
Fresh figs, Oh how I have missed them, admittedly store-bought are no comparison to my Nonno's homegrown variety but seriously nothing ever is.
I sourced some from my local fruit shop as flying to Sydney might not seem feasible to collect some from his garden though with the price of them in store it was very tempting let me tell you. Not sure if it is just an Italian obsession but these fruits just tantalize the taste buds like no other.
Perfectly enjoyable on their own, though I did decide why not experiment and make a tea cake with these beauties whilst they are at their best. We have all used the dried kind before but fresh figs in baking is a whole new ball game, on another level on enjoyment. The sweetness they contribute is perfect when making desserts without added sugar, it gives the sweetness in a natural form. Pairing with another favourable natural sweetener thank god for the bees the purest kind, raw honey of course. They are truly made to go together like mac and cheese, gin and tonic, like bacon and eggs well you get where I am going here.
The cake turned out a treat. I substituted the flours to make it gluten-free and can I just say when I turned it out I was so pleased. This moist teacake (I hate to use that word but that's the best way to describe it) sweet and delicate, Oh and the smell of the figs and honey filled the whole kitchen.
I was in fig heaven.
If you are a fig lover this is one cake worth making. Served warm with melted honey drizzled over the top. You can add a dollop of fresh whipped cream or natural yoghurt to top things off.
Continue reading “Gluten Free Fig & Honey Cake”
Winter baking makes dealing with the cooler weather more warm and comforting, what more it makes us feel like staying indoors and catching up on things at home that we may not get around to doing during the busy Summer months when all we want to do is enjoy the sunshine. Take this time to get creative in the kitchen and bake some healthy afternoon treats. Continue reading “Orange, Almond & Turmeric Cake”
School has almost come to an end for the year, where has this year gone? Seems everyone can relate to this. To finish off the school year I decided to make a yummy treat for the kid’s and their school lunch boxes. But of course with healthier substitutes, no refined sugar or wheat flour in this recipe making it a great gluten-free treat. Sweetened with coconut sugar and freshly squeezed orange juice with raw cacao gives it the orangey Jaffa flavour. Beautiful moist choc orange marble cake celebrating the last week of school sounds pretty good to me.
Recipe from Taste Magazine Dec 2016 issue
Gluten Free Choc Jaffa Marble Cake
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tb grated lemon rind
100 ml extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
1 cup coconut sugar
2 eggs whisked
1 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 tsp Gluten free baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
30g dark 70% cocoa chocolate chopped
1/4 cup raw cacao
- Preheat oven to 180’C/ 160’C fan forced. Grease a loaf tin with baking paper allowing the sides to overhang
- Place the milk, juice, rind, sugar, and oil in a small saucepan on low heat, cook stirring until sugar is dissolved about 4 mins then cool for 5-6mins
- Add whisked eggs to milk mixture and stir to combine. Reserve 1/4 cup buckwheat flour. Add the remaining flour to egg mix, add coconut flour, almond meal, and baking paper with bicarb and stir till well combined.
- Transfer half the batter into a separate bowl. Stir the chocolate, reserved buckwheat flour in one of the bowls of batter and stir in cacao.
- Alternating with each of the mixes spoon tablespoons into the prepared tin. With a butter knife swirl the batter in circular movements to cause the ripple marble effect.
- Bake in oven for 45 mins cool in the pan for 10 mins. Transfer to a wire rack
Did someone say cake? Everyone enjoys a decadent piece of cake on occasion, And just because you lead a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean you should go without.
While a large amount of cakes usually contain high quantities refined sugar, there is some that can be altered. I’ve been recipe testing all my old baking recipes, altering them making them refined sugar-free and this one was a definite winner, even better than the original in my opinion.
Everything in moderation of course just because its ‘sugar free’ doesn’t mean you can consume half a cake in one day like a impulsive sweet tooth, rather enjoy a piece like you would of in the past. Relax, Pop the kettle on, invite your friends over & enjoy!
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing
Sugar-free take on Carrot Cake
2/3 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup rice malt syrup
6 dates chopped
2 cups grated carrots (around 2 large)
2/3 cup walnuts roughly chopped reserving some to decorate
1 1/2 cup spelt flour (or plain wholemeal)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp all spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
Cream Cheese Icing
250g Cream Cheese roughly chopped
1/3 cup rice malt syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
125g butter softened roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 160’c fan forced / 180’c conventional
- Grease a 20cm cake tin or line with baking paper (if using a larger tin you will need to shorten the baking time check with a skewer after 45mins)
- Soak dates in boiling water set aside
- In a large bowl beat oil, rice malt syrup and eggs with an electric mixer for 5 mins
- Discard water from dates and add to bowl, mix again for 1 min
- Add grated carrot and walnuts
- Sift flour, baking powder then add all spice, cinnamon, ginger and gently mix until well combined
- Pour cake mix into prepared tin and bake for 1 hour
- Once cake has cooled prepare icing
- Beat together cream cheese, rice malt, vanilla and butter for 5 minutes until light and fluffy
- Cut Cake in half horizontally and separate halves
- Spread half the cream cheese icing on bottom cut half then replace the top cake half
- Spread remaining icing on the top of cake
- Decorate with extra walnuts and sprinkle of cinnamon