It’s a tough life if you’re looking to lose weight, or indeed if you have sensitivities or intolerances to certain foods, because the likelihood is that the food you want is the food you cannot eat.
Jordan Bourke is a chef and co author of the Guilt Free Gourmet and he is here to give you the good news that all is not lost. There are alternatives.
200ml Rice milk
1tbsp Lemon juice
200ml Vegetable oil (rapeseed/grapeseed/sunflower)
280g Xylitol (Don’t be put off by the chemical sounding name, it is a natural sweetener available in good supermarkets and health stores)
2 tsp Vanilla extract
2 tsp Ground cinnamon
2tsp Mixed spice
1/4 tsp sea salt
270g Rice flour (if you can handle a little gluten, you can also use white spelt flour which is much better for you then normal white flour)
2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
1tsp baking powder
230g Grated carrot
200g Desiccated coconut (and some more to serve)
60g Walnuts (walnuts cracked from their shells are fresher and taste far better)
1 tin Pineapple (227g tin) (read the ingredients and make sure it is nothing but the natural pineapple and its juice)
1 container of Tofutti (this is a cream cheese alternative made from soya. It tastes exactly the same as normal cream cheese and is perfect for this cake. It does contain a very small amount of sugar in the ingredients.)
2 tbsp agave
Zest of 2 lemons
Desiccated coconut to scatter on top
Preheat oven to 180C. Line the base of two 8inch sandwich tins with greaseproof paper.
In a bowl, sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt, mixed spice and cinnamon. In another bowl combine the eggs, rice milk, tbsp of lemon juice, oil, sugar and vanilla. Mix well. Add flour mixture and mix very well.
In a food processor, blitz up the tin of pineapple. Then in a bowl, combine together the shredded carrots, coconut, walnuts, pineapple and raisins. Using a large wooden spoon, add the carrot mixture to the batter and combine very well.
Pour the cake mixture into the prepared sandwich tins and bake for about 1 hour. If a skewer does not come out clean then cover the top of the cake with tin foil (so it does not burn) and leave to bake for another 10 minutes or until a skewer comes out just clean. Some ovens vary in temperature, so if the top begins to colour too much or burn before the hour is up you can also cover with tin foil. Leave to cool completely and turn out onto a wire rack.
For the frosting, combine all the ingredients together. When the cake is cool, spread half the frosting on to one cake then place the other on top and spread on the remaining frosting. To serve, liberally sprinkle desiccated coconut over the top.
Sticky Toffee Pudding
Made using rice flour, wheat free and dairy free as the sauce is soy cream to create the same effect.
Sticky toffee pudding
I adore sticky toffee pudding, but there is no denying it, they really are not fantastic for you. It seemed a shame to drown all the natural goodness of dates with pounds of sugar, so I eventually figured out a way to achieve that deep, toffee taste without all the bad stuff. This version is still wickedly good, but infinitely better for you, so all the more reason to have another!
225g Dates - (stones removed and chopped)
200ml Boiling water
100ml Rice milk
90g Sunflower spread or other dairy free butter
150g Coconut palm sugar - (Available in health stores and online. If you can’t find it you can substitute 130g xylitol)
2 tbsp date syrup
180g Gluten free flour blend or rice flour (Available in good supermarkets and health stores)
1 tsp Baking powder
1tsp Bicarbonate of soda
1tsp pure vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
6-8 Mini pudding moulds, depending on the size
100g Sunflower spread or other dairy free butter
175g Coconut palm sugar. (Available in health stores and online. If you can’t find it you can substitute 100g xylitol and 50g maple syrup)
1tbsp Blackstrap molasses
100ml Maple syrup
Half tsp Vanilla extract
230ml Soya cream and a little extra to serve
Pinch of sea salt
In a pan melt the sunflower spread, sugar, molasses and maple syrup over a low heat. Simmer for a few minutes and then gradually stir in the soya cream, vanilla extract and salt, bring to the boil for a minute or two until it has thickened a little. Keep warm.
Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and flour the pudding moulds. Place a disc of oiled greaseproof paper on the base of the moulds so they turn out more easily.
Soak the dates in the boiling water for 5 minutes, then blitz in a food processor until smooth. Add in the remaining ingredients and blitz again until well combined.
Spoon into the prepared moulds, but not right to the top as they rise quite a bit. Bake for about 20 minutes or until they have risen and are firm. You can check the centre with a skewer. 10 minutes before they are finished make the toffee sauce as above.
Leave the puddings in their moulds for about 5 minutes and then turn onto a plate and spoon the toffee sauce over and around it with a little extra soya cream to top it off. Say it with me, ‘heaven!’ You can also serve this with the coconut frozen yoghurt.
And you have brought in some granola and some energy bars – how do we make those?
Granola is absolutely one of the simplest things you could ever make in a kitchen, costs half the price and tastes infinitely better then the store bought stuff… in my opinion!
Store in an airtight container.
400g Jumbo Oats
120ml Organic pure maple Syrup
100ml Flavourless Oil i.e. sunflower, grapeseed
1 tsp of Cinnamon
75g Chopped unsulphured dried apricots
100g Mixed nuts & seeds, eg. Pecans, hazelnuts, cashews and pumpkin seeds (or whatever mix you fancy) – lightly roasted
Preheat the oven to 180 C.
Mix together the cinnamon, oil and maple syrup. In a large mixing bowl, combine together the oats and the oil mixture until all the oats are evenly coated.
Spread the oats out on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 20 – 25 minutes until they are a lovely golden brown colour. Give them a stir one or twice during cooking to make sure they are all evenly cooked. If it looks like they might burn, turn the heat down by 10 C and mix them around again.
Let the oats cool down and then mix them together with the lightly roasted nuts and seeds, and the raisins and dried apricots. If you feel like you want more cinnamon feel free to add in more at this stage.
Resist the temptation to mix all the ingredients together and bake as one. The reason being that the dried fruit burns alarmingly quickly and ruins the granola as it takes on a bitter taste. The nuts also cook faster then the oats, so it is better to lightly roast them separately.
Healthy Energy Bars
100g cashew nuts
100g walnuts (or pecans or other nut of your choice)
150g dates, pitted
2 tbsp coconut oil (this is solid at room temperature)
Good pinch of sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp cacao nibs (optional – cacao nibs are full of anti oxidants and add a lovely chocolaty crunch to the bars)
Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until the mixture comes together into a ball. It should stick together when pressed between your fingers.
Turn the mixture out onto a flat work surface. Roll it out into a square or rectangular shape until it is about 2-3cm in thickness. Smooth out the surface with the back of a spoon and tidy up the edges so you have an even square or rectangle shape. Then cut into bars. You can also shape the mixture into little balls, or whatever you like really.
For more see www.jordanbourke.com