Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Plantain donuts - AIP, paleo, dairy, grain & gluten free

I have been following the Auto Immune Protocol diet for 3 (or could be 4, I've lost count!) weeks with the aim of getting an handle on my own auto immune diseases.  If you want more information about AIP click here.  Initially it can seem daunting but 3/4 weeks in I am finding it quiet manageable.  Lunch and dinner did required a few changes, namely omitting nightshades and certain spices, but really nothing major.  Breakfast & snacks required a more major overhaul.  Previously I would snack on nuts or dried fruit or regular paleo baked goods. Not any more! Introducing the plantain donut! Baking at its AIP finest! Breakfast and snack rolled into one, hello!

Plantain Donuts
Recipe adapted from here

1 plantain cut into pieces
1/4 cup of mashed sweet potato (cooked)
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
2 tbs maple syrup
2 tbs coconut oil
1 tsp cinammon
pinch of salt

To "glaze" melted coconut butter, toasted coconut flakes & sea salt 

Preheat your donut maker.  Put all of the ingredients (except for the glaze) into a blender and process until a smooth thick batter forms. Using a piping bag or a Ziploc bag with the corner cut out fill each donut mold with the batter. You need to overfill each one so the mixture fills both the top and bottom halves of the donut maker as the batter will not rise.  Leave for at least 5 minutes. They are done when they feel a little firmer to the touch and the outside it golden in colour (mine took more like 7 minutes).

Whilst they are cooking toast the coconut flakes under the grill. Warm the coconut butter on a plate. 

When the donuts are done dip them in the warm coconut butter then the coconut flakes and leave to cool slightly allowing the butter to firm up and the flakes to stick.

This quantity made 8 mini donuts.  Best eaten warm straight away!

The original recipe by Don't eat the spatula made them in waffle form. I think they would also work well as proper donuts (i.e. fried).  

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Spinach and feta muffins

I am a fan of a savory breakfast. I think its my English roots which means you are hard wired to love a Fry Up (click on link to Wikipedia page for those not in the know, you are missing out). Oh! I do miss a Full English (yup another colloquialism).

These savory muffins are quick and easy to knock up and keep well in the freezer so can be defrosted on demand for those busy week day mornings.  Bonus: they are grain free and gluten free.

Spinach and Feta Muffins

4 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
Salt & pepper to taste
ground nutmeg
1 shallot finely chopped (or onion)
4 tbs defrosted frozen spinach
100g feta

Preheat the oven to 395F. Grease a 12 hole muffin pan.

Mix all the ingredients together except the spinach & feta until you have a smooth batter.  Make sure you squeeze all the water out of the spinach then fold into the batter with the crumbled feta.  Spoon the mixture into the tin. Fill each muffin hole to about 3/4 full, they will rise a little.

Bake for 15-20 mins (mine took nearer 20 mins) until brown on top and a skewer comes out clean.  Cool in the tin for 5 mins then turn out onto a wire rack to completely cool. Store in the fridge.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Cafetiere cosy

I had a few girlfriends round for coffee on Monday so the Daddy cafetiere was deployed but as we were busy chatting our coffee was busy cooling. Yuck to luke warm coffee.  I rather un-stylishly wrapped a tea towel round the pot and made a note to get on with making a cosy for the cafetiere.

I found this great tutorial on Stumbles & Stitches blog and essentially followed her ideas.

First up you need to measure you cafetiere to determine the size of the cosy.  Measure the diameter of your cafetiere - 1", then the height from bottom of spout to base of cafetiere + 1".  This will give you the larger of the two rectangles, mine was 13 1/2" x 6 1/2".  The second smaller rectangle will make up the fastener that goes between the handle. So measure the height between the handle & use a standard length of 5".  My smaller rectangle was 5" x 4".

I chose to use scraps for the outside of the cosy as I have a bazillion and I love this particular fabric (Kokka Echino London fabric) as its a great colour and a slightly heavy weight linen which is suitable for this project.

Sew the scraps together to the required size then press the seams open.  Trim to the size of the larger rectangle.  Lay this over a piece of quilt batting (or fleece) and join the two by stitching either side of the seams.

Pin before stitching batting to outside fabric
Next attach a piece of Velcro to the fabric on the outside of the cosy about 1/2" in from the edge & in the middle.

Pin the batting layer to your second fabric which will be on the inside of the cosy, right sides together. Sew together leaving a gap for the smaller rectangle to fit in. This will be the opposite end to the Velcro end.

Stitch the smaller rectangle together as you did the larger one (with out the quilting stage).  

Poke the smaller rectangle into the larger one and stitch all the way round the larger one to attach it and finish the cosy.

 You are done! One finished cafetiere cosy!

 Such an easy and fun project, I'm thinking of knocking a few up for Christmas gifts.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Chocolate courgette (zucchini) muffins - grain, nut & dairy free

I read an article in a UK newspaper in which the journalist stated going out of a summer evening was dangerous.  The reason being was the fear of coming home to a bag of over sized courgettes (aka marrow) on their doorstep at this time of year.  Sadly this doesn't ring true in my neck of the woods, but I do have my own courgette plants to deal with.

I've written up various recipes for courgette overload (click here) and this one is a variation of the chocolate cake recipe I posted before. However this version is grain & dairy & nut free. My eldest has a friend who is allergic to nuts & dairy and I struggle for 'exciting' things to give her for a snack. This recipe hits the mark; just don't let them see you make it (its rather off putting!).

Chocolate courgette muffins

4 eggs
1 ripe banana
2 tbs cocoa powder
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 tsp cinammon
1/4 cup of maple syrup (or honey)
1 medium sized courgette grated
1/2 cup of chocolate chips

This makes about 12 muffins or it can be made into a loaf.

Preheat the oven to 350F and grease the muffin tin.

Blend all of the ingredients together (except the courgette & chocolate chips) in a blender until fully combined.  Take care to ensure the baking soda is mixed in well with the coconut flour before you add it to the wet ingredients. It can clump otherwise.  Stir in the courgette & chocolate chips by hand.  Fill the muffin tin about 3/4 full, they don't rise much.  Bake for about 35-45 mins, test with a skewer (if they are done it will come out clean).  Cool on a wire rack.  

If you do the loaf format it will take longer.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Snack attack - Raspberry and almond bars

The girls are back to school so packed lunches and afternoon snacks are back on the menu.  These bars are healthy-ish, tasty and filling which is a must in an after school snack. Almond and raspberry is a winning combination.  Will even declared them the best thing he'd tasted all day; thumbs up all round!

Raspberry & almond bars
Recipe adapted from Real Simple

1 cup of jumbo (old fashioned) oats
3/4 gluten free flour
1 1/4 cup of whole raw almonds
6 tbs coconut oil
1/4 cup of honey (mild flavored)
3/4 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1/2 cup of raspberry jam

Preheat the oven to 350F and line an 8" square tin with baking parchment.   Blend the oats, flour & 1 cup of the almonds in a food processor until ground.  Add in the rest of the ingredients, except the jam, and pulse until combined. It will form a gritty thick paste.  

Reserve about 1/2 cup of the mixture.  Using your knuckles press the remaining mixture into the tin until flat & evenly distributed.  Using an offset spatula spread the jam over the base.  Take care to get jam up to the edges and in the corners.  Pulse the remaining 1/4 cup of almonds until roughly chopped. Sprinkle them with the reserved mixture over the jam.

Bake in the oven until golden brown on the edges and bubbly, about 45 minutes.  Leave to cool completely in the tin before cutting up.  I made about 16 squares. Store in the fridge.

Almond jammy goodness.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Anna inspired costume

The Frozen frenzy died down a while ago for my girls (isn't it about time Frozen 2 came out?!) but I think it is still very much alive amongst the younger ones. If our recent trip to Disneyland and the number of kids in Elsa costumes is anything to go by.  

My goddaughter was a little late to the Frozen party, in fact to the whole movie watching thing, so she is still very much a rampant fan.  I decided to make her an Anna costume for her birthday (Thanks Rob for the inspiration!). The sewing element is very simple and the techniques could be applied for any number of princesses, if you are that way inclined.

The skirt is a basic circle skirt with elastic sewed directly into the waistband.  Circle skirts are so easy to do and give the desired swirlyness. The cape is then the same principle except you then cut the circle of fabric to give the opening and instead of attaching a waist band you attach a hood.  I chose fleece for the cape which doesn't require any hemming, bonus!

To make the bodice I used one of my daughters vest tops as a template to cut out the basic design. Then created a velcro fastening at the back for ease of on/off.  

Cape detail
The great thing about making dress up costumes is you don't need to be too hung up on perfection; just make sure your seams are good and strong as these outfits can get ripped on and off at lightening speed several hundred times a day!

I am pleased to report the outfit was well received - "Best present EVER!" was mentioned!