Posts tagged grain free
Grain-free almond mince pies... with sugar-free mincemeat filling!

Have you downloaded the FREE Real Food Source Christmas ebook yet?

I designed it and created most of the recipes for it and i'm super excited about it... originally launched last year and re-launched last week with lots of new festive recipes! Nearly all of them are vegan except just a couple that the guys at RFS developed themselves to add to the collection.

Christmas is complete without mince pies!

... and these mince pies are one of my favourite recipe so I wanted to share it with you here today. I don't always have much luck with gluten free pastry and my first attempt at these mince pies were a little overdone... keep an eye on the oven as they don't take long to cook! You'll also need to be fairly gentle when forming the pastry cases.  But they taste yummy!

I also made the mincemeat... it was this recipe from years ago  (excuse the photo quality!)  except I used goji berries instead of cranberries this time which was a great twist... particularly since regular cranberries come coated with sugar whereas goji's don't.

The mincemeat is so good... here are a few other ways to use it...

still my favourite... Christmas baked oatmeal made even better with homemade mincemeat!

still my favourite... Christmas baked oatmeal made even better with homemade mincemeat!

Recipe: Grain Free mince pies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 1/2 cup fine almond flour 
  • 2 tbs melted coconut oil
  • 1 tbs ground chia plus 2 tbs hot water
  • 1 tbs coconut syrup (or sweetener of choice)

Method: 

Mix the ground almonds  fine almond flour together then add the wet ingredients to the mix to form a dough. It should be sticky enough to hold together but not too sticky it won’t roll out, dust with extra fine almond flour if needed.

Roll out onto a dusted parchment paper to approx. 3mm thick and cut circles for the bottoms and shaped tops as desired.

Very carefully and loosely press the circular bottoms into pie trays (they may crack if you are not careful- patch with extra dough if needed). Fill the cases with mincemeat and lay the pastry top over. Glaze with non dairy milk and sprinkle with extra coconut sugar or mixed spice.

Bake at 160C for approx 10 minutes, watch carefully for burning as the edges will go brown very quickly.

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My 'grain free' experience... and paleo 'cereal' two ways!

Going grain free for 30 days was surprisingly not as hard as I'd expected.

I am already 95% gluten free (the odd a slice of bread of portion of pasta creeps in occasionally- usually in social situations) In terms of other grains, I knew the biggest change for me would be giving up my beloved porridge oats! Particularly now the winter is here and I love the warmth of hot porridge. 

I mentioned in the original post that I would still be allowing quinoa and buckwheat and so I knew that porridge-like options would still be on the cards. Plus I was trying out these quinoa flakes from Real Food Source which are fun!   However I didn't want to rely solely on those options since not everyone can tolerate them, even though they are technically 'seeds' some see them as a grey area when it comes to a grain free diet.

So what did I change?  

It was only really breakfast that required a little extra thought. I gave quite a few ideas in the original post.  It was easy to make little snacks in advance (such as dehydrated nut crackers or quinoa cookies, plus my peanut butter fudge which I have been crazy obsessed with!!) My main meals didn't change much anyway... typically veggie noodles, soups, bean chilli etc

When I wasn't craving warmth, I often drank green smoothies as breakfast instead of a snack later in in the day which I otherwise tend to do...

I made SLA porridge with ground sunflower seeds, linseed and almonds. It is surprisingly moreish and thickens up with a great texture.  

I made the cauli-coconut porridge that I posted a few days back...

I also made a grain free 'cereal' with coconut, seeds and banana. (recipe below)

I will hold up my hands and admit to the odd slip up... can you guess my downfall? Granola!! Always granola! 

Ahhh, my mum has some in the cupboard at home (store bought but unrefined)... and about three times in moments of stress or weakness or self sabotage of sorts (i'm not really sure why to be honest) I grabbed a handful of the stuff. I know it wansn't because I needed it, or even really wanted it but it happened and i'm being honest about it.

I also didn't notice any change to my digestion, however I now have more of an understanding of what's happening there... just waiting for some test results so will fill you in on that in a couple of weeks. It could well explain why my various dietary tweaks over the last few months (grain free, intermittent fasting, low carb. high fat, low fat etc) have made virtually no difference.

Recipe: Paleo breakfast cereal

Serves approx 4 (will keep in the fridge)

Ingredients: 

  • 1 large mashed banana
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • couple of handfuls seeds (I used pumpkin and sunflower)
  • 1/4 cup linseed
  • spices to taste i.e vanilla and cinnamon
  • Add toppings such as berries, banana or non dairy yoghurt as desired.

 Method:

Mix together well until firm and sticky. Form clumpy pieces with fingers as desired and serve with non dairy milk. Store any extra 'cereal' in a airtight obtainer in the fridge for up to a week.

You can also press the mix into a loaf tin, bake for approx 15 minutes until golden on top and then slice to form breakfast bars. Also best kept in the fridge.

The cereal pressed into bars... one recipe two ways!

The cereal pressed into bars... one recipe two ways!

 

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Day to day you can always find me hanging out in these places:

 

 

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Crazy 'porridge-thats-not-really-a-porridge'!

For the month of November I went grain free, it's almost come to its end and I will report in more detail next week, but other than a couple of mini slip-ups it's been pretty much plain sailing.

The main thing I knew I needed to get my head around was breakfast, and in particular porridge (and stuffing handfuls of granola in my face!). This wasn't too difficult really since I knew I could make buckwheat and quinoa porridge versions but it's also nice to change things up from using those food which are grey areas for some on a grain feee diet.  Also, I have been experimenting with low carb quite a bit and so wanted an alternative option.

Sometimes I enjoy a green smoothie for breakfast, and then just pick at things during the morning until lunch, hmmmm not always the best plan but often what happens when I am making Wholeplus goodies. However when I have a proper breakfast, I love something warm and comforting, particularly during the winter.

This crazy 'porridge' concoction really knocked my socks off And even my mum, who is usually pretty sceptical when it comes to my crazy vegetable combinations, actually agreed it was pretty good and couldn't even guess the main ingredient initially! The textures are spot on with the softness of the cauliflower and the chewier desiccated coconut. 

Once I added some cinnamon, vanilla, a handful of berries and a little sweetness you'd never know that the trusty old cauliflower had been up to his old tricks again hiding in my meals!  The best bit is it's so easy... just like making regular porridge really.

Now I want to know your craziest way to make a bowl of 'porridge-thats-not-really-a-porridge'!

I have made so many 'hidden cauliflower' recipes now... is should write a book ;-)  

Here you can find more recipes I have tagged with cauliflower. (some are normal... some a little more off the wall!)

Recipe: Cauli-coconut porridge

Serves 1-2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cauliflower grated finely
  • ½ cup coconut milk (or other)
  • ½ cup dessicated coconut
  • spices- ½ tsp cinnamon or vanilla to taste
  • 1 tbs syrup of choice or sugar free berry jam
  • Berries or others toppings- optional

Method:

Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan, bring to the boil then simmer for approx. 5 minutes until cooked. Blend slightly with a stick blender if you prefer a smoother texture.

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Going 'Grain free' for November... and some breakfast ideas!

With my health coaching clients one of the questions I'm often asked is "what should I eat for breakfast?"

This is particularly relevant when going through an elimination diet or cleanse since breakfast is typically sugar and gluten laden- both things I aim to avoid in large quantities and particular when cleansing the system.

A 'cleansing' anti-inflammatory diet is often the first place I begin in gaining a better understanding of where symptoms such as poor digestion, skin problems, allergies and a general feeling of 'meh' might be coming from. This is also true in my own life where I sometimes feel my digestive system is compromised. I've mentioned before I think this comes down to stress levels I am working to manage better (there is a huge relationship between the gut and the brain- more on that anther time) however it's always good to change things up a little bit and experiment with different ways of approaching 'diet'. See I use the word diet very cautiously since I see these to be modifications of lifestyle choices and not something to be viewed as restriction or calorie controlling, simply tweaking the types of foods we consume in order to optimise how our individual bodies function.

Within the paleo community grain free breakfasts often rely heavily on eggs but obviously for those who follow a vegan diet this is not an option, so we need to get even more creative, ideally beyond the tofu (partly because soy is a common allergen too) and because that would quickly become boring!

For the month of November I have decided to go 'grain free' to inspire me to get creative for my clients but also to see the impact is has (or not) within my own body. 

A quick side note... I will still be including the pseudo grains such as buckwheat and quinoa since they are not technically grains though I do appreciate that those who follow a very strict grain free diet tend not to consume them as they are still related, and they offer so much more versatility! 

I will keep you posted on how I get on and update you with recipes as we go, I anticipate breakfast to be the hardest part, hence the title of this post, as I do like a sweet breakfast over savoury, but yes I'm the first to admit that breakfast can be anything at all- why not eat a salad or a stir fry for breakfast? For now, I'm going to focus in ways we can achieve that classic 'breakfast style' fix whilst grain free.

I'd love you to chime in too... have you tried grain free? Do you have any ideas to share?  

Feel free to get involved on Facebook page, or post links in the comments below.

Some suggestions from the archives to get going with... (links below the images)

Carrot cake breakfast blinis 

Breakfast crumble crisp (this has oats but could be subbed for buckwheat or quinoa flakes or a nut based granola topping)

Buckwheat breakfast bowl

Gluten free granola with fruit

Muesli bread (I want to try this subbing the oats)

Chocolate Power Pudding

Coconut yoghurt parfait


Why not sign up for my newsletter in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers plus my FREE ebook. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus.  

Day to day you can always find me hanging out in these places:

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Hot chocolate cherry pots​.... 2 mins and done!

Warning!!

Super exciting dessert awaits below!! 

 

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I made this hot chocolate cherry pot on Saturday evening (as a mini quick test when i was craving something a little chocolatey) and then because it was amazing, i made it again properly on Sunday, two different ways and this time took photos.  

I am also sharing the variation of this recipe over at the Real Food Source, the whole foods company i do a lot of work with, as it uses their amazing almond paste which i adore- if you are in the UK try it!  Check them out here and find the post (with almond paste) here. 

There are a few key words that sum up this dessert and all at once you will realise why it is amazing! 

  • Ridiculously indulgent... kills the cravings!
  • Sugar Free
  • Gluten and grain free (no flours) 
  • Takes just 2 minutes
  • Endless flavour variations and mix-ins if desired
  • Erm...its chocolate... nuff said! !

If you've ever eaten a GU Hot Chocolate Souffle pot (these dessert pots for those who don't know)  you'll know how rich and indulgent they are, you'll also know they are full of sugar and animal products.

Well hello healthy copy-cat GU Pudding pot. Ok so they don't puff up quite so much...but seriously taste wise you're right there! I will say that whilst these pots might be 'healthy' in terms of ingredients used, there are certainly not low calorie... you've been warned- I would suggest the recipe below is perfect as a sharing pot size. Go it alone if you dare!

The only difference between the recipe here and the one feature on the Real Food Source is the type of almond used- ground almonds vs almond paste. There is simply a slight difference in texture between each and the ground almond version here seemed slightly lighter in texture too.  

I made a chocolate cherry version as I had fresh cherries to hand...but you could use any berries, chocolate orange, choco-banana...or just plain ol' chocolate if you prefer!  

 

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Recipe: Hot chocolate cherry pots

Serves 2 (or as a single serve!) multiply recipe to fill more ramekins!

Ingredients: 

  • 1/4 cup ground almonds
  • 2 tbs cocoa powder (good quality)
  • 1 tbs sugar-free berry jam and a few drops of stevia (to taste)
  • 1/4 heaped tsp baking powder
  • tiny pinch salt
  • up to 1/4 cup non-dairly milk or juice of choice ( I used soy milk) 
  • small handful of pitted cherries (or other fruit) 

Method: 

Mix everything (except the fruit) together until smooth adding the liquid last until the mixture is thick but easily spoonable.

You can mix a little fruit through the batter if desired otherwise spoon into a ramekin no higher than 2/3 of the way up and top with the fruit.

Microwave for 60 seconds on high, or you could bake in the oven.

Note: I have not tried the oven version yet (due to impatience!) but I can see no reason as to why it would not work- just keep an eye on it and be careful not to let it dry out as you still want a gooey centre. 

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For more single serving (or sharing) recipes...check them out here! 

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