Saturday, 27 February 2016

Pear & Cranberry Loaf - GF/DF...

This is a firm family favourite at our house because it's tasty without being sickly sweet, and it's gluten and dairy free which means my husband can eat it as often as he likes without getting an upset tummy.


5 canned pear halves, strained of juice
2 eggs
grated rind of one orange (or lemon if you prefer)
1/4 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup almond meal
1/4 cup dessicated coconut (finely grated coconut, not coconut flour)
1 cup dried cranberries
1 grated carrot
1 teaspoon baking powder


Preheat your oven to 180C or 375F

Blitz the pears, eggs, rind and oil in a blender.
Mix the almond meal, coconut and baking powder in a bowl.
Stir through the cranberries.
Pour in the blended pears/eggs/rind/oil and mix well.
Stir through the grated carrot.

Line a loaf tin with baking paper (my tin measures 4.5 inches x 10 inches) and pour in the loaf mix.
You can sprinkle flaked almonds or pumpkin seeds across the top, which is what I usually do.

Bake for 40 minutes.
Use the paper edges to carefully lift the loaf out of the tin, and place on a cooling rack - don't turn the loaf upside down to remove as the loaf may break before it cools. 
After 5 minutes carefully slide off the baking paper and leave the loaf to cool completely before serving.

If you'd like to save and print the recipe download the pdf here.

You can replace the pears with apple sauce, pureed bananas or tinned apricots, but keep the volume to about 3/4 cup.
Replace the cranberries with raisins, dates, dried apricots, sour creative. 
The grated carrot helps bind the mix together, and you could use parsnip or fresh beetroot instead, but don't use zucchini because the water content is too high.


Monday, 8 February 2016

A day in the kitchen and a recipe...

On Saturday I set up my iPad on the kitchen bench and watched THIS documentary while I prepared lunch and some snacks to include in my husband's work lunchbox during the week ahead.
It certainly gave me much to consider after a number of similar docos we'd watched recently.

I had already spent a few hours on Saturday morning re-acquainting myself with recipes I used to make as well as re-visiting a raw food site I haunted back in 2014 for healthy meal ideas. Sometimes you need to go back to find your way forward again, right?

There were new recipes added to the page so after checking what we had in the fridge I decided to make Loaded Coleslaw with Maple Mustard Dressing and serve it with lamb cutlets for lunch. The only change I made was to use rocket (arugula) instead of spinach leaves as I like to use what I have on hand in my pantry and fridge if possible. It was YUMMY!

(May 2017 - that raw food site is no longer active..sad)

Funny how you make one thing and suddenly you're wanting to make a lot more!

Again raiding the pantry and the fridge for what was on hand I made a Mango & Lime Mousse which was served with fresh raspberries and blackberries for dessert that night and breakfast the next day...

...a fresh batch of Protein Balls...

...a gluten free / dairy free / sugar free Pear and Cranberry Cake...

...and a batch of gluten free and dairy free Almond & Amaranth Rock Cakes.

While preparing the food I was drinking from my huge water bottle and already feeling like I had taken back some of the self-control I'd lost when introducing sugar back into our diet early last year.
On Sunday I decided to go through my recipe files with fresh eyes before planning this week's menu and shopping list. 
The past few months I've had an on again/off again relationship with a mystery virus that some days leaves me feeling as though I've walked into a double decker bus.
At first it surprised me because it came out of the blue and for three days I was unable to do much at all, then I bounced back for a few more days before succumbing to this extreme lethargy and pain all over again, and again.

I do believe that 'we are what we eat' and had to admit to myself and my husband that my (lovesick) re-acquaintance over the past 9 months with wheat, sugar and dairy had not only made me feel yuk and caused me to gain quite a few kilos, but it had also reduced the amount of healthy fresh food choices each day because I was filling up on the not-so-healthy-stuff.
Sadly this meant less good stuff being made for him as well.

I saw my doctor last week and had a wide screen of blood tests taken (to do with my Hashimotos management, high blood pressure and the new mystery illness) but I'm not sitting back to wait for the results before returning to a fresher food plan. This weekend was a time of reflection on what truly matters in regards to mine and my husband's health, energy and vitality. 
You see, he also has the auto-immune disease Hashimotos and he too has been struggling to find energy;  energy we had a year ago when we were careful with our menu and dietary requirements.

My business, Elefantz Designs, has taken more time from me that I should have allowed, and that in turn caused me to make shortcuts with our health via what I served on a plate - but you can't borrow from Peter to pay Paul and somewhere along the line payment must be made. For us this is no more obvious than in our health.
Onward and upward, I say. 
Fresh is best, and it's my responsibility to work with our bodies and give the best nourishment we can afford whilst also attending to our current need to recover from the bad choices of the last nine months.

I thought you may like to try my recipe for Almond & Amaranth Rock Cakes?
This has been tweaked and re-tested for about two years and has now reached its Goldilocks moment because it's 'just right'.

Preheat oven to 190C (375F)


1 cup almond meal
1/2 cup amaranth flour
1/2 cup dessicated coconut (or spelt flour if you can tolerate a bit of gluten)
1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
1/3 cup rapadura sugar OR coconut palm sugar OR zylitol
grated rind of one lemon or one orange
I cup of dried fruit (cranberries, cherries, raisins, dates - your choice)
1/4 cup of coconut oil
1 egg
1/4 cup of almond milk


Into a large bowl add the almond meal, amaranth flour, dessicated coconut, baking powder, lemon rind and coconut oil.
Use your fingertips to mix the ingredients until it looks like breadcrumbs.
Add the dried fruit and mix in.
Beat the egg and almond milk together with a fork.
Make a well in the centre of your dry mix and pour in the wet mix.
Mix the ingredients together until combined.

Place heaped tablespoons of the mix on a greased tray and flatten slightly with the back of your spoon.
Bake for 14-15 minutes.

Makes around 24 rock cakes.

These little rock cakes freeze very well, so if you have gluten free friends you could make a batch and store in the freezer for unexpected coffee dates!

Download the recipe HERE if you'd like to keep a copy in your recipe folder.

So tell me, what dietary changes do you need to make this year?