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gluten free

Feel Good Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is my current favourite cookie! It’s gluten free, and can be made dairy free if you’re not able to tolerate dairy. It’s made in a few minutes using just a food processor.

Why do I call it the ‘Feel Good’ cookie? Well, because chocolate chips… obviously. Plus the two flours used pack a nutritious punch which kicks the backside of wheat in just about every category. More protein, fibre and micronutrients (like iron, zinc, calcium and copper). This cookie is almost a health food!

As an added bonus it’s not obviously ‘gluten free’ there’s no chalky texture or excess crumbliness. As a Health Coach and Mum to three teenagers I’m happy to make these for a Friday treat, or a you’ve finally finished the never-ending schoolwork treat, or even as a we’re all stuck at home might as well bake treat.

A couple of notes: To make it dairy free use coconut oil in place of butter. For the teff flour either brown or white works well. Ground hazelnuts would work in place of almonds.

Ingredients:

60g butter (room temperature)

1 medium egg (room temperature)

45g Coconut sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

90g teff flour

65g ground almonds

1 teaspoon baking powder

Pinch of salt

60g chocolate chips (I use a brand sweetened with coconut sugar)

Method:

1.      Preheat the oven to 160°C fan oven, or 180°C conventional or 350°F

2.      Place baking parchment on a large tray and set aside.

3.      Blitz butter and egg in the food processor by pulsing until combined.

4.      Add sugar and vanilla, pulse until combined.

5.      Add both flours, baking powder and salt, pulse until combined.

6.      Add the chocolate chips to the mix using a spatula to mix in.

7.      Drop 10 large spoonfuls of cookie dough onto your prepared sheet. Space them well apart, and gently press down to flatten the dough slightly.

8.      Bake for 12 minutes. Cool on the tray for 5 minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool fully.

9.      Enjoy!

Keep reminding yourself that these delicious treats are giving a lot more bang for your buck than a typical cookie

Store cupboard gluten free brownie

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

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

  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!

How to make gluten free sourdough starter

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?

Ingredients:

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

Kit:

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.

Gut friendly Paleo Pancakes

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

Ingredients:

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

Method

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.