Friday, December 16, 2011

Gingerbread Cake

This Gingerbread Cake is free from wheat, added fat and processed simple sugar, and still burst of flavour. Unbelievably satisfying I must admit, to share a cake recipe that is healthy enough to eat for breakfast. Have a bowl of natural yoghurt to go with, and a delicious breakfast is to be expected. Sounds too good to be true? Well, that is the whole point with my cooking. It is healthy and  delicious. A combo that in your eyes (or head) might be unheard of but I am asking you to change your mind and think further, beyond your previous beliefs or disbelieves. Try this recipe and you will finally realise that healthy is good!  

Gingerbread Cake
2dl/200ml fine rye flour
1heaped tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4tsp salt
1tsp cinnamon
1/2tsp each of ground cloves and ginger
8 soft pitted medjool dates
1 large egg
1dl/100ml natural yoghurt

Preheat the oven to 175ºC/350ºF and line the bottom of 4 mini 9cm quiche tins (3.5in) and set aside. If you want to make one big cake, then use something in size of a small bread tin and bake in the oven for about 20min.

Combine all the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl and set aside. 

Mix dates in a food processor until forming a paste. Add the egg and process for another 30seconds before transfer the mixture, along with the natural yoghurt, into the bowl with the dry ingredients. 

Once the ingredients are well incorporated, divide the mixture between the four little tins. Even out the surface a bit and bake in the oven for 10-12min. Check them after 10min to make sure they are not getting too dry.

HEALTH BENEFITS of Dates: Dates are loaded with vital natural fibre, vitamins and minerals and are considered to be a vital part of a healthy diet. They not only help you fight weight gain, but also constipation, intestinal disorders, heart problems, sexual weakness, diarrhoea and abdominal cancer. Dates assist in muscle development and eye health, increasing sexual stamina, and are an excellent remedy for alcohol intoxication. This reason alone makes date a true hero amongst superfoods during this boozy festive season.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Hot Chocolate

Now when I am a parent with a child of my own and Christmas is upon us I start to think about traditions and things I loved when I was a child myself. Everything I loved whenever this season came around. As an adult my choice of a hot drink is black coffee or herbal tea but as a little girl I loved the hot chocolate brought with us in a thermos on an active day out in the snow. I want to bring the hot chocolate back as a tradition for my own family to enjoy during this festive time of year or for whenever a hot drink is called for, but not without using the best ingredients possible.  

Since I am in a real festive mode I would love to deliver this Christmas Hot Chocolate in a thermos to your home. And maybe I will some day, but in the meantime I'll give you the recipe so you can make it for yourself and your loved ones. It is an early guilt-free Christmas Gift from Me to You.  

Christmas Hot Chocolate
3dl-300ml rice milk
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
2 cloves
30g 70% dark chocolate

Add milk and spices in a small pan and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and allow to simmer gently for 10min. Turn off the heat, add the chocolate, and stir to help it to melt. Fish out the spices before serve. Serves 1-2

HEALTH BENEFITS of Cinnamon: Cinnamon can block inflammation and bacterial growth in your body as well as helping to regulate blood sugar. This versatile spice is also a concentrated source of bone-building calcium and manganese, heart-healthy dietary fibre, and energy-producing iron.  

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Scandinavian Soda Bread

I am definitely a bread eater. Rarely a day passes by when I don't have a slice of bread at one certain meal. Unfortunately bread has got some bad reviews in media when it comes to weight-loss and I am here to tell you that you don't need to cut out bread when you wish to lighten the numbers on your scale. What you need to focus on is the right kind - rye, wholemeal, sourdough, high fibre etcetera and please be cautious about what you put on your bread. My personal favourite is Almond Butter with no-sugar added St Dalfour Orange Thick Cut Marmalade. 

The good thing with soda bread is that you can make it from start to finish in under 45min. So when you need bread quickly next time, why not make this delicious Scandinavian Soda Bread.   

Scandinavian Soda Bread
2dl rye flour
3dl wholemeal flour
1/2dl oats
2tsp bicarbonate of soda
1tsp salt
1tsp ground cumin
1tsp ground fennel seeds
4dl greek yoghurt
1tsp honey 

Preheat the oven to 175ºC/350ºF and line the bottom of a medium sized non-stick bread tin and set aside. 

Combine all dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Add yoghurt and honey and mix well with a wooden spoon until you have a somewhat thick sticky dough. Transfer to the bread tin and press out the dough towards the edges with the help of the wooden spoon or wet fingertips. 

Bake in the oven for 30min. Check the bread after 20min. If a stick comes out reasonably dry, turn off the oven and leave the bread in there until the whole half hour has passed. 

HEALTH BENEFITS of Bicarbonate of Soda: Bicarbonate of Soda, also known as Baking Soda, can help calm indigestion or heartburn by neutralising the excess acid in your stomach. It can also be used if you suffer from constipation. Add 1 heaped teaspoon to a glass of warm water, mix well until completely dissolved and drink (best avoided for those on a low sodium diet). This home remedy is for rare occasions only and is not to be used as a long term solution.

Note: Soda Bread should not be a part of your daily everyday diet since the bicarbonate destroys the B-vitamins in the flour.