Gluten Free Mini Donuts

Let me sit down instead of pace type this one. My daughter loves donuts, but because of how much fat and sugar there is in the store bought ones I let her have one maybe once every 6 months (haha I know poor child) so recently they’ve been displayed in the grocery store and I’ve tried every type of detour known to moms to avoid the beautiful “pllleeeeaaassseee” eyes and so I decided to look up some gluten free baked mini donuts recipes that we could indulge in together! These may as well be called coconut mini donuts because they were made with coconut flour, coconut oil and coconut sugar. They were so scrumptious and by ‘were’ yes I mean they’re already done haha, it’s both of our faults. It brings my joy to see her happy about the donuts and next time I know she’ll be asking me to bake her mini donuts instead of asking me to buy them! Who says kids can’t enjoy a guilt free pleasure? Next time I’ll try sub almond flour and see how those taste. 

Mom of the year, I’ll take that haha. Xx

Black Forrest Banana Pancakes

Oooooh have I got a recipe for you! So backstory is that I had an impromptu travel and I left a new box of bananas in the pantry and upon my return they were all spotty and ripe so 2/3 went into the freezer and the other for porridge but since they’ve now become overripe I needed to try other things. These banana pancakes are so delicious and the black Forrest toppings were just the added bonus. This recipe also includes Waldens Farm Strawberry Syrup which is my favourite flavour compared to the caramel flavour because it just enhances the flavour of the berries. Very simple ingredients and very quick with your blender. So let’s go because I think I want to make some more, haha.

Ingredients: (Serves 1)

1/2 small banana

1/2 cup rolled oats – gluten free

1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk

Toppings-

Half cup of frozen or fresh blackberries, mulberries, black cherries and strawberries

1 70% dark chocolate square (I use Lindt)

Waldens Farm Strawberry syrup *

Instructions:

In your blender combine all your ingredients excluding the toppings and blend until puréed. Place your small non-stick frying pan on medium heat and pour the batter and spread (like you usually do for pancakes). You should get about 3 pancakes depending on size. You do not need any oil in a non-stick pan, you can use a small amount of coconut oil if your pan usually sticks. Now it’s time to layer. Add berries, syrup and dark chocolate shavings (using a peeler or zester) then close with a fresh pancake. Repeat until you’re done. 

Dig in and enjoy. Although I doubt I have to tell you!

GF | RSF | LF | Oil-Free

Transitioning To Plant-Based Milk

I remember when I first showed signs of lactose intolerance and that was when I was eating an Oreo McFlurry which used to be my guilty pleasure- the immense pain I experienced was nothing I had every felt before. Upon the second attempt to see if maybe it wasn’t just that batch boy did I feel the pain and quickly passed my favourite on (something I never used to do). I also remember my transition to dairy-free milk haha, I hated Almond milk! Honestly I thought it tasted like watered down milk, almost as disappointing as skim milk but soy milk gave me painful gas (haha, yea I said it) and almond milk and I would just have to be friends. I experimented with different brands and the variation that worked best for me was the sweetened version. And so I stuck to sweetened almond milk and it helped me to avoid adding sugar into my cereal which was a bonus and I developed a taste for it. But then when it came to savory dishes my sweetened almond milk spoiled the food and so I bought the unsweetened variation – it was still not to my taste but it was way better than eating sweet polenta for dinner. Ultimately I just stopped buying sweetened almond milk because I stopped needing it as much in my cooking and just like that I developed a taste for almond milk. Sometimes in making the transition from dairy milk to plant based milk you have to give it a chance and time. If you were like me consuming dairy most or all of your life, your tastebuds will not easily welcome the taste of plant based. But in my biased opinion I would recommend trying rice milk first, I had one carton of delicious rice and coconut milk combination and I loved it but the reason it only ended as one carton was that I couldn’t resist the fact that almond milk contained more protein and at that time I was obsessed with getting in my protein intake and so naturally almond milk and I stuck together. My father transitioned to soy milk which he enjoys and prefers unsweetened to the sweetened variation. Another option would be coconut milk (which is an acquired taste for some because some people just do not enjoy the taste of coconut). 

So for whatever reason you may consider changing to plant based / dairy free alternatives my advice would be to try them all and choose the one which resonates better with your palette and your cooking.

Salted Caramel Popcorn

Salted caramel popcorn

Ingredients (Serves 2)

1 1/2 tbs – 2 tbs popcorn kernels
1/2 tbs coconut oil

Salted caramel

1 tbs peanut butter

1 tbs honey

Himalayan rock salt

Instructions:

Place a heavy based, deep sauce pot on medium-high heat. Once hot melt your coconut oil in your pot and spread your oil evenly. Add 3 popcorn kernels as a heat test in your pot and cover with lid and wait for the kernels to pop. Once they have popped your pot is hot enough to add the remaining popcorn kernels. Cover with lid and let your popcorns pop. You may have to give your pot a shake so that the unpopped kernels can pop. You will know your popcorn kernels have all popped by sound. The popcorns will begin to slow (the time between popping corn will extend). Remove your popcorn from the heat and give it one last shake. Once there’s no sound of popping you may remove your lid and place popcorn in a heatproof bowl. In a mug add your peanut butter and honey and mix then place in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds which would be enough for the mixture to have melted. Give one last good mix and pour your caramel over your popcorn and stir through until well covered. Immediately season with Himalayan rock salt. Enjoy with a good movie and a friend.


Snack time 🙂

I Can’t Bring My Kitchen With Me Everywhere!?

Haha, I actually wonder what sort of reaction this title brings but this is the way I can describe it. I’m on vacation (whoop whoop spa time) and naturally that means I can’t bring my kitchen with me. I could be completely fussy and rent a self catering and cook for myself because I love cooking right? Uh no! Not on holiday – that is NOT my idea of a vacation. My vacation style is more of a ‘I’m not going to lift a finger, carry me slave’ type haha. So what does a gluten – intolerant, lactose intolerant and everything intolerant do on holiday? NOTHING! I’m serious, it’s vacation and I want to enjoy myself and my food. I do certainly make an effort to ensure I’m picking foods that avoid gluten or rather specific ingredients that I know will have me feeling miserable and crawling in a ball. Luckily I know of a nice Lebanese owned restaurant that has some delicious gluten-free options on their menu. Life doesn’t end because one has an intolerance, it all boils down to making smart choices. Now it’s time for that spa bed.

How To Make Your Own Peanut Butter

I’ve been holding off on this recipe since before I even got my Nutri bullet blender because I was anxious about the mixed reviews on whether or not this bullet can make nut butter and I already had an experience with making a chocolate bar base with macadamia nuts that did not exactly work in my favour. I can chalk it up to fear! Pure fear that it wouldn’t work out and the scary noise my machine would make as it growls at me in scorn – a bit dramatic I know but if you can feel my heart race at the thought you’d think of me as a little less. So I braved it today because I had time, I had no more excuses to avoid it and I decided I’d have more control through pulsing rather than just letting it do its own thing.

Psshhh what was I so afraid of? Haha, yes judge me because I really was being a drama queen. I can confidently say that Nutribullet does produce nut butter with no additives, just pure roasted nuts – that’s it. All it needs is a little patience (it’s a process), a little confidence (for me or for you, whichever helps) and some nuts. So the rave about making your own peanut butter is that you’re more in control of what you’re putting into your mouth. I am a peanut butter addict I will admit that right here and now and I have always been that way. Prior to me learning that I needed to control the amount of peanut butter I spread on my toast I would eat a tablespoon of peanut butter (yes alone) and find myself going back to the jar alone. There was a point where I had to stay off peanut butter because my butt was complaining but that’s a whole other story. I then have come to realize that there is absolutely nothing wrong with having peanut butter the problem arises when we buy peanut butter from the store and don’t read the label! There is salt, oil and sugar added and some other ingredient that I have no idea what it is and then just to ensure that it “doesn’t have enough oil” they’ve added extra oil. No wonder my butt was writing its own website. Then you add that to bread, you add banana (more sugar) then drizzle some honey (even more sugar) oh my goodness you’ve completely ruined your healthier option. And it’s those little things which add up and make you wonder why your diet and exercise regime isn’t working. Who wants to eat a teaspoon of peanut butter on an entire wide slice of bread? Not me, you’re wasting my time. So I’m creating your own peanut butter you’re more control of what you need. The amount of oils in nuts are great, much more than you think. Chop a roasted macadamia nut or crush a raw pecan nut between your fingers and feel the grease that oozes from the nuts, so why would you need the extra oil? Honestly, it only makes the process far less time consuming. So make your own, start with the basics, like peanuts and you can still add your oils and unrefined sugars in but at least you will know how much you’re consuming for your own health preferences. Enough blabbing, here we go.


Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup raw nuts of choice (I used almonds)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 160 degrees. Spread nuts evenly in a casserole dish or on a baking tray lined with baking paper and roast your nuts until golden brown (you’ll be able to smell the fragrance in your kitchen). Remove from your oven and allow them to cool completely, 30 minutes to 1 hour. If you’re using a nutribullet remember your nuts should be completely cool before pulsing as nutribullet was not made to function with hot foods and without liquids. 

Add your cooled nuts to your blender or processor and pulse. You will have to shake your case to remove from sides of the walls or use a silicone spatula to push the build up down. Give 1-2 minute breaks between pulses to allow the nuts to release their oils. The longer you spend on the process the more a smoother finish occurs. If you need to add oil I’d recommend once the peanuts have formed a dough ball consistency so you can add the maximum amount of oil required. Once done if you want you can add a pinch of salt and your honey/maple syrup or even vanilla paste and mix. Add to a used glass jar and seal. And presto easy peasy peanut butter without the added expense.


Xx

Old Favourite Breakfast Sandwich

Ahhh! This is one of those breakfast sandwiches that I eat as a treat after a long big week. I remember making this as a teen when my parents had no interest in making me anything yummy on a weekend. This sandwich is filled with all the ingredients I can think of which flavours my savory breakfast dishes. Now this isn’t one for if you’re on a diet, watching your carb or even fat in take because this is packed with oils, proteins, carbs, salt… look as I said a treat. I eat this maybe 2-3 times a year but it is so filling and delicious that 2-3 times is more than enough of a reward. So join me if you’ve climbed that ladder of a week and made it safely down because this is too irresistible.

Ingredients: (Serves 1)

2 slice gluten free bread (or bread of choice)

1 egg

2 bacon rashers

1/4 avocado

25g cheddar cheese (sliced)

1 Tbsp Mrs Ball Original Chutney 

Salt

Pepper

Instructions:

Begin by frying up your bacon rashers in a non stick pan until crispy (that’s how I prefer mine, feel free to cook yours to your liking). Set aside in a kitchen towel to remove excess oils. Add your egg season with a little salt and pepper and fry for about 5 minutes for sunny side up, you can fry both sides of you prefer your egg fully cooked. Place your slices of bread in your toaster and whilst in the toaster mash your avocado with a fork and season with salt pepper and chili to taste. Spread your avo on one slice of toast then place your fried egg above, add your cheese slices and bacon rashers on top then finish with your chutney on top and with the other slice close your sandwich and cut in half or if your handsy enough go ahead and get your fingers dirty. I usually top this up with a nice cup of rooibos tea and I’m telling you I’m full until dinner time. You could probably work this breakfast sandwich up to work with your macros but I’m not into counting anything except for measuring up my ingredients. Boom just like that a big breakfast sandwich. Enjoy, haha.

GF

Golden Milk Protein Blast Smoothie

So what happened to golden milk? It came and it went just like that and it’s too bad because I loved that I could incorporate turmeric more into my meals. I nearly got the flu bug the other day all because for ONE day out of this cold winter I finished my vitamin c supplements and so I knew I had to replenish what was missing, hello golden milk because I always add a touch of orange juice.

Lately I’ve embraced this protein shake life (wow) and I decided to do a little experimenting and I’m quite surprised. If golden milk isn’t your thing then this probably won’t be either but give it a go and let me know… yep a bonus rhyme in there.

Ingredients:

240 ml almond milk (any plant-based milk)

1 heaped tablespoon pea protein isolate

1 small banana

1/2 an orange

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ginger (ground)

1 tsp honey

Instructions:

It’s as simple as throwing everything in your blender and blending until smooth and pouring out into a mason jar and add your straw. Enjoy the spicy protein blast!

GF | RSF | LF

My Top Stay-In-My-Pantry Grains

I think over time with cooking and experimenting in the kitchen I’ve sussed out which grains I cannot have missing from my pantry. My grains are versatile, provide quick cooking, are nutritious and tasty but I’d say my top would be versatility. Because I gave up my cereals years ago I need a grain that can make my breakfast and can also double for a savory dish in the evening, this is a huge plus factor on the pocket especially if you have a food budget because it can be so easy to go overboard on spending for food. Grains like quinoa and millet are great examples of just that. 

My top would be quinoa for its high protein content for a grain and also very quick cooking time compared to rice. 

Brown rice is the healthiest and very nutritious and also perfect for when you’re watching your weight, brown rice is one grain that you can find on most diet plans. I prefer basmati just for its texture as compared to just plain rice. 

Polenta will always be my favourite, I grew up on white maize meal and once I tasted yellow maize meal I was sold and completely substituted and haven’t looked back. It is another versatile grain because from this I can create Fritters, savory porridge, crackers, sugar free corn flakes without the other added junk, wedges… it’s the alpha when it comes to versatility. 

And finally oats – this is a golden oldie and something that is Always in my pantry no matter what. I no longer regularly eat oats but I’m telling you I doubt there’s a time when it’s not in my cupboard. Oats is naturally gluten free but usually it is grown next to other gluten grains such as wheat and the cross contamination is what causes some oats to contain traces of gluten. Oats can make so many different things and it used to be my flour go-to before I used all purpose gluten free flour. 

I’d chalk it up to time and finding out your cooking style that really determines which are the top staples. 

CiaoXx

Choc-full Overnight Oats

Second week of July and that means I’ve said goodbye to yet another week of winter (I’m a spring baby-forgive me winter lovers). It’s difficult to have some banana ice cream when each morning is cold and I love my banana ice cream so it almost feels like torture. To give myself a break from all the warm porridges ive been consuming I decided maybe it was time for some overnight oats. I used to follow overnight recipes a lot at some point but I think I kind of got the hand in how to combine different toppings. I made delicious berry and apple crumble and I decided yes you get in my bowl, added a dark chocolate square and some shavings, Waldens Farm strawberry syrup for extra Berry flavour and some frozen blueberries and toasted hazelnuts. Talk about a choc-full of everything morning bowl. Filling, packed full of energy and yummy berries! A great start to the morning.

Xx