Everyone needs a great gluten free brownie recipe in their back pocket! Here’s a secret… brownies are one of the very few baked goods that taste better without gluten.

I’ve spent more time than I care to admit baking gluten free brownies. I have three recipes in my book alone… But, I like this one because it gives you that chocolatey hit and you probably have most of the ingredients in already. It doesn’t need any gums to act as binders, and it’s more economical than a recipe which is basically melted chocolate held together with cocoa powder and eggs.

I was actually surprised by how passionate people became about their favourite brownie. When I owned a bakery, customers would be deeply unhappy whenever I tweaked a recipe.

This is a modified version of Alice Medrich’s Cocoa Brownies first published in Bittersweet in 2003. https://www.amazon.com/Bittersweet-Recipes-Tales-Life-Chocolate/dp/1579651607


140g melted butter (or coconut oil for dairy free – avoid margarine)

200g coconut sugar or brown sugar

80g cocoa powder – sifted

salt – pinch

0.5 tsp vanilla extract

2 large eggs

65g cornflour – sifted

Optional: 50g nuts/chocolate chips/cherries


  1. Preheat oven to 160 celsius
  2. Either line a 20cm square tin with baking parchment, or use a silicone square container.
  3. Place butter, sugar, sifted cocoa and salt in a large heat-proof bowl above a pan of barely simmering water. Stir occasionally to help the butter to melt, you are literally just gently warming the mixture through.
  4. It will look a bit gritty, remember the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Don’t Panic!
  5. Take off the heat, add the vanilla extract.
  6. Add each egg individually and beat it into the mixture as if your life depended on it.
  7. Add the cornflour and use a spatula to incorporate into the chocolatey batter. When there are no more visible specks of flour, use the spatula to beat 40 more times. Feel free to count out loud.
  8. Add any optional ingredients like nuts or chocolate chips. I used slivered honey almonds in the brownie pictured.
  9. Spoon into your prepared tin, and help it to spread into the corners.
  10. Bake for 25 minutes, it may look a little underdone at this point. Don’t worry it will firm up more as it cools.
  11. DO NOT OVERBAKE! I feel quite strongly about this as my daughter always overbakes brownies, and that gives you a dry texture that’s more like an overly thick cookie.
  12. Let it cool completely before attempting to slice.
  13. Enjoy!

Try it and let me know how it compares to your current favourite gluten free brownie!

There has literally never been a better time to start making sourdough bread. Literally. Never. After a couple of months of trying the keto diet, I could feel homemade carbs calling my name. I always keep a small stash of gluten free sourdough starter in the freezer to be used in case of emergencies. I feel that current times classify as such.

So why bother making your own sourdough? Well, you don’t have to go to the shops for bread, you don’t need to keep a stock of yeast, you’re saving yourself from all of the mystery ingredients in supermarket bread and let’s face it most of us are at home with extra time on our hands. (I’ve gained around three hours every day due to not having the school run and after school sports activities).

“Think of your starter as a low-maintenance pet…” Yes, I’m actually quoting myself. Who does that?! It’s from my book The Twice as Nice Guide: Gluten Free and Dairy Free Baking. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Twice-Nice-Guide-Winning-Recipes/dp/1912009978/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=twice+as+nice+guide+gluten+free&qid=1584978302&sr=8-1

There are many different ways to begin making a starter. This is an updated version from my book. Did I mention my book yet?


500g millet/sorghum/teff/buckwheat flour (use whichever gluten free wholegrain flour you have to hand)

500g white and brown rice flour by Dove’s Farm

1 litre bottled water


Freezer bags (the kind that close like Ziploc) Medium size

Large thermos flask (I like to use an Easiyo yoghurt making container)

Instructions – Day 1:

Measure 25g of the wholegrain flour and 25g of the rice flour into a freezer bag. Add 120g of water, and mix well. Seal the bag. Mix again. Open and release any air. Reseal.

Place this bag into a second bag, seal, release any air and reseal.

Fill your flask three quarters full with hand hot water, and place the double-bagged flour and water into it. Seal the flask. Check it every few hours and make sure that the water stays warm.

24 hours later:

Fish out your flour and water bag from the flask. There may be a few bubbles, and maybe some yeasty aromas. Carefully open the bag, add 25g of the wholegrain flour, 25g of the rice flour and 80g of bottled water.

Mix, seal the bag, mix some more. Let out any air. Reseal. Return to the second bag, seal, let out any excess air from the second bag.

Refill your flask with hand hot water. Place the double-bagged flour mix into the flask, and periodically check to make sure that it stays warm.

24 hours later:

Weigh the flour mix, discard half. Put the remaining half into a clean (not sanitised – it’s not jam) lidded container. I like to use a Kilner jar without the rubber seal.

Add 25g wholegrain flour, 25g rice flour and 50g bottled water mix using a wooden spoon.

Close the lid and leave on the kitchen counter for an additional 24 hours. Do not use the locking mechanism.

Your starter is now ready to bake with! If you’re going to be using it regularly it’s fine to leave it on the kitchen counter. Every day remove a tablespoon of starter, and add a tablespoon of flour and water each day. If you know that you won’t be using it for a while place it in the fridge with the lid loose. Each week discard a couple of spoonfuls of the starter and add a couple of flour and water.

Keep using the flour mix of 50% wholegrain and 50% rice flour. After about a month it’s okay to move to tap water.

I find it helpful to freeze a couple of tablespoonfuls of starter in case something happens to it. You can then just defrost it and two tablespoons of the flour mix, and two tablespoons of water to kick it off again.

You’re now ready to bake which is where the fun starts. Please do message me with any questions.

I’m lucky enough to have two parents in their 70s. My Dad, in particular, is part of the at risk group for coronavirus, as he used to smoke 40+ a day for 40+ years and my Mum was exposed to all of that second-hand smoke. Right now no-one in my immediate family is taking an immunosuppressant which would increase their risk of picking up any cold or virus going. So which vitamins and minerals support your immune system?

This is how we’re staying as healthy as possible. In addition to the common sense steps recommended by the WHO (not THE WHO) https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses we’re taking the following vitamins. While ordinarily I’d recommend a food first approach, I’m using these vitamins as back-up in case of a lack of access to fresh food.

Vitamin A: Supports cell growth, it acts as an antioxidant and is critical in maintaining the structure of mucosal cells (like those which line your respiratory and GI tracts). A lack of this vitamin results in poor night vision, keratosis pilaris aka ‘chicken skin’ that appears on the back of arms, dry skin, dry eyes, eczema, psoriasis, hypothyroidism, autoimmune disease and infertility. 

Best food source: Liver (from cows, sheep, chickens, geese, turkeys or fish) followed by egg yolks, it’s a fat soluble compound so requires fat to be absorbed.

Note: Taking Vitamin A along with Vitamins D and K2 significantly reduces the potential risk of vitamin A toxicity.

Vitamin D: Increases intestinal absorption of calcium and is a known immune modulator. If your levels of Vitamin D are outside of the optimal range then your immunity can be compromised which increases your risk of infections. You can find this vitamin in food, sun and supplements. I like the dminder app which calculates how much Vitamin D you’re being exposed to depending on your skin type, location and clothes. This article by Chris Kresser will give you more info on Vitamin D https://chriskresser.com/vitamin-d-the-new-super-nutrient/.

Best food source: Cod liver oil, fish, shellfish, grass-fed meat.

Vitamin K2: Works in synergy with Vitamins A and D. It may prevent toxicity from these other two fat-soluble vitamins.

Best food source: Natto (Japanese fermented soy product), Gouda, Brie, Poultry liver

Vitamin C: Probably the best known vitamin for supporting the immune system. It’s an antioxidant and a cofactor for many enzymatic reactions like producing collagen and neurotransmitters. It’s not stored in the body so we have to obtain it from our diet or supplements as we can’t produce it ourselves. A deficiency results in poor wound healing and fatigue. Good levels of Vitamin C reduces all causes mortality risk. That said, there’s some controversial evidence that large doses of this vitamin can block the actions of anticoagulant drugs. I prefer to take liposomal Vitamin C, but given the cost of purchasing this form I’m choosing to alternate with other types.

Best food source: Red peppers, citrus fruits, kiwis, strawberries, grapefruit.

Vitamin E: Another fat soluble vitamin that’s needed to maintain proper immune function. Are you seeing a theme here?

Best food source: Avocados, olives, nuts and seeds.

Zinc: This mineral is necessary for both the development and function of immune cells. It functions as a cofactor for over 300 enzymes and chemical reactions. Like Vitamin C it can’t be stored in the body and so you need to make sure that you’re consuming it regularly or supplementing. Zinc is a cofactor that helps to convert Vitamin A to its active form.

Best food source: Oysters, red meat, cheese, crab, turkey.

While I would always prefer to obtain these vitamins from food which increases their bio-availability, I’m trying to cover my bases by having them on hand in case of drastic measures such as isolation. You can see that the majority of best food sources come from animal products, so veggies and vegans should be ready to start supplementation. These vitamins and minerals are necessary to support your immune system.

So I wouldn’t be writing this if my friend Clare had been able to buy hand sanitiser last week. But she went to nine different shops and failed to find any!

Lots of businesses that typically make different alcohol-based products are now starting to make their own brand hand sanitiser, like BrewDog.

This is something that you can easily make at home in less than a minute which is significantly easier than visiting every shop in town.

You’re going to need isopropyl alcohol (min 70%) aka rubbing alcohol, aloe vera gel and some essential oil… I used lavender.

I know that most people might not have these products to hand, although you might find some rubbing alcohol languishing in a forgotten first aid kit, or essential oil in a gift pack left from Christmas.

In a bid to make our home even more eco-friendly I’ve recently started to make my own house cleaning solutions following recipes from Clean Mama https://cleanmama.com/category/diy-homemade-cleaners/ This means that I don’t have to spend my time elbowing people out of the way in the supermarket as we all embark upon an international virus-led Spring clean.


  1. Weigh out 125g of alcohol in a bowl
  2. Add 50g aloe vera gel
  3. Whisk well
  4. Add 7 drops of essential oil
  5. Whisk well
  6. Use a funnel to pour the mixture into a spray bottle.

That’s it. It took me longer to type this than to make it. What’s stopping you from checking your first aid box and bathroom cabinet to make your own hand sanitiser?

These gut friendly paleo pancakes are a great way to start your day! They pack almost 20g of protein per serving, along with good fat, zero added sweeteners and a hefty portion of Vitamin A, D and Selenium (>20% of your RDA).

One serving which is approximately 4 pancakes will give you a little over 5g of fibre. The combination of protein, fat and fibre will keep you full until lunch-time. They’re naturally gluten-free, and don’t feel like you’re eating ‘diet’ food.

If you have 10 minutes in the morning, then you have time to make these.

Serves 2


100g ground almonds

25g dried, unsweetened coconut

1 tsp gluten free baking powder

0.5 tsp salt

0.5 tsp psyillium husk (optional, makes them a little easier to flip)

2 large eggs

125ml milk or mylk (I like Good Hemp, Creamy Seed Milk)

1T ghee or butter for frying pan

Optional add-ins to mixed batter:

1 tsp cinnamon or 1 tsp vanilla extract or 1 T dried blueberry powder


Mix dry ingredients together. Then mix wet ingredients together. Or, throw caution to the wind and mix all in one bowl. Put frying pan on the stove with ghee on medium heat.

Spoon/pour the mixture into the pan. Leave undisturbed for 3 minutes, then flip and cook for another 2/3 minutes.

Keep first batch warm, while you repeat with remaining batter.

Serve with kefir, almond butter, berries and a sprinkle of flaxseed*.

*I’m currently using Waitrose’s Milled golden flaxseed with maca, cacao and chicory inulin. This is a gut friendly product as it contains prebiotics and insoluble fibre.

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