Eating seasonal fruit and vegetables is easy to do living in Western Australia because the diversity of our state means we can grow a wide variety of our own produce. This year’s cherry crop was a bumper one and I have been so grateful that I could buy fresh locally grown cherries throughout the Christmas period. As both the Boy and I are predominately vegetarians at home, our house has various fruit bowls dotted around the place such that anyone visiting might think we were obsessed with food. 😉
Cherries do contain a moderate amount of fructose so for those who suffer from fructose malabsorbtion you need to be careful with your intake. For those very sensitive, you are probably best to avoid until you have your symptoms under control. After being on a strict fructose friendly diet for a few months, I was recommended to reintroduce small amounts of fructose to assess my own personal level of tolerance. I find I can handle eating a small amount of cherries as my reaction is relatively mild provided that I do not go nuts and devour a whole bowl to myself.
This addictive peach and cherry breakfast bake is made with fresh cherries and canned peaches but these fruits can easily be substituted with other more fructose friendly fruits if you prefer such as berries and fresh banana. It is the perfect dish for entertaining family groups over the festive season as you can prepare it prior to guests arriving and pop it in the oven once their all turn up. I think this is much better than standing in front of a hot stove frying eggs while everyone else sips champagne!
- 8 slices gluten-free bread, cut into 2cm cubes
- 3 whole eggs
- 300ml of your preferred type of milk (almond, rice, soy or dairy)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 x 425gm can gluten-free peaches in light juice/syrup** See note
- 12-15 fresh cherries, pitted
- 100ml of prepared coconut whipping cream (see note below)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 70ml 100% pure maple syrup, warmed
- 1 x 275ml can coconut milk (full fat, not fat reduced, refrigerate overnight)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon vanilla essence
- To make the coconut whipping cream, refrigerate a can of coconut milk overnight to allow it to harden. The following day, spoon out the milk into a bowl and add maple syrup and vanilla. Whisk or mix with an electric beater until it has the consistency of whipping cream.
- Preheat the oven to 190°C and grease a 22cmx22cm glass baking dish.
- Drain the can of peaches and discard the syrup.
- Remove the pits from the fresh cherries and cut them in halves.
- Slice about 8 slices of the bread into 2cm squares and place half the bread into the baking dish.
- Nestle half of peach slices and cherries in between the slices of bread.
- Top with the remaining cubes of bread and nestle the remainder of the peaches and cherries in this second layer.
- In medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks, milk and vanilla and pour over the bread cubes.
- Pour dollops of the whipped coconut milk prepared earlier over the bread cubes.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake for about 35 minutes or until browned and crunchy on top. Once baked, set aside to cool about 5 minutes.
- Serve immediately with warm maple syrup and dollops of whipped coconut cream.
One of my most popular recipes on the blog is my coconut flour banana bread. It is one of our staples at home and whenever we have browning bananas in the fruit bowl I will get a request from the Boy to bake it. Since I first published the recipe in early 2013, I have progressively made some tweaks to improve it whilst not taking away from its purpose of being somewhat healthy.
I found that by adding in chia seeds to my original recipe along with beefing it up with a few more eggs, the end result is banana bread with much improved texture without any of its predecessors crumbliness. This banana bread toasts beautifully and with the increased fibre content of the coconut flour it can be quite filling.
I was recently approach by Belmont Forum to provide recipes for publication on recipe cards to be displayed in their centre and I knew this paleo banana bread would be a total hit. Better still, it is very allergy friendly as it is grain free, gluten free, dairy free and fructose friendly.
- Makes 1 loaf
- 400 g ripe bananas
- 6 free range organic eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- ¼ cup (50 grams) coconut oil
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder
- ¼ cup (65 grams) pure maple syrup
- ½ cup (55 grams) coconut flour
- ¼ cup (35 grams) chia seed
- Extra banana and shredded coconut to decorate
- Preheat your oven to 150 Celsius (fan forced) or 170 C (no fan).
- Combine banana, oil, cinnamon, vanilla, eggs, maple syrup and baking powder into a blender or food processor and blend until creamy and combined. For those with a Thermomix blend for 2-3 mins | Speed 5. or until smooth and creamy. Alternatively you can do this by hand in a large bowl.
- Add the coconut flour and chia seeds and mix through. (Thermomix 2 min | Speed 2)
- Rest for 10-15 minutes to allow the chia and coconut flour to expand.
- Lightly oil one loaf tin and then line with baking paper.
- Spoon batter into the tin, at this stage you can decorate the bread with flaked coconut and sliced banana before baking.
- Bake for 55 – 60 minutes depending on your oven (a skewer inserted into the centre should come out dry). Cover the top with foil if over-browning.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool before turning out the loaf.
Anzac Day is the national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand where we cast our hearts and minds to those who have fought for our country at war. The day is a national public holiday and across the country there are numerous dawn services that are held attracting both the young and old in the wee hours of the morning. Anzac Day wouldn’t be complete without Anzac biscuits which history claims they were apparently made by soldier’s wives to send to them abroad. After spending the last three months with my days off being filled with wedding planning, it is such a treat to have these days returned to me to indulge in whatever activities I please. It has been a while since I have made any effort in the kitchen so with both the fur children supervising from their cat scratch post I scanned my pantry for some inspiration. With Anzac Day approaching us this week, I have attempted to adapt the classic Anzac biscuit recipe to create Coconut flour Paleo Anzac Biscuits that are dairy free, gluten free and fructose friendly yet still remain delicious!! Is it possible?
- 1 & ¾ cup almond meal
- 1 cup flaked almonds
- 1 cup dessicated coconut
- ⅓ cup coconut flour
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup coconut oil, softened
- ½ teaspoon bicarb soda
- 1 tablespoon water
- Preheat over to 130 degrees C.
- Combine the almond meal, flaked almonds, coconut and coconut flour in a large mixing bowl.
- Combine maple syrup and coconut oil in a small saucepan and heat very gently.
- Mix the bicarb and water together then add to the maple syrup mix, stir until mixed.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix thoroughly until combined. Add a small amount of water to help mixture stick together.
- Squeeze firmly into small balls to stick mixture together then flatten slightly and place on a baking try lined with baking paper.
- Bake for about 40 minutes until golden.
- Allow to cool on a rack before serving.
Adapted from the website The Healthy Chef by Theresa Cutter the author of The 80/20 Diet and 101 ways to lose weight.
I have been eyeing off the bananas in our fruit bowl that have been slowing ripening over the week from a lovely golden-yellow into a patchy dark black. As no one seems to be tucking into them any time soon I figured the logical thing to do was to bake myself some banana bread. I had a bag of organic coconut flour that had been sitting in my pantry for quite some time as I had been waiting for the inspiration to start experimenting with it. Well here it was, I was inspired. Coconut flour is an interesting flour to work with, it is very high in fibre so you don’t need to use as much as you would with conventional flours. The high fibre content makes this banana bread very filling which was ideal for my bridal diet as I couldn't binge out on it like I normally would!
- 1 cup coconut flour
- 1½ cup very ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
- 4 free range eggs
- 60 grams melted butter or 75 grams coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons of raw honey or vanilla honey (if preferred, note honey is not suitable for fructose malabsorbers)
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon gluten free baking powder
- 1 tablespoon vanilla essence
- Preheat your oven to 145 C
- Oil or butter a loaf pan and line with baking paper.
- Mash bananas and mix in butter, vanilla essence, eggs +/- honey if desired.
- In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients: coconut flour, baking powder, sea salt and ground cinnamon.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir to combine.
- Spoon into your lined loaf pan and bake for 1 hour and 15 mins or until golden brown. Allow to cool in pan for 15 mins.
- Serve with butter or even a dollop of jam!
Adapted from Gutsy‘s recipe.
July 2014 Addendum: It’s over a year since I posted this recipe and thought I might share with you some adaptations I have made . I reduce the amount of coconut flour by half and add 1/4 of a cup of chia seed. I’ve beefed it up and use 6 eggs and a good 400 grams of bananas. The rest of the ingredients stay pretty much the same. I found the addition of chia seed improved the texture without compromising on taste. For the full recipe head over to my post.
Coffee Pecan Bundt cake, Gluten free
I made this cake for my first participation in Perth’s Clandestine Cake Club. Each monthly meet up has a theme and for July it was “gluten free”. Lucky me…this time I could eat all the cakes!
- 120 g butter
- ¾ cup (165g) sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla essence
- 3 eggs
- 2 tbsp. instant coffee, dissolved in 2 tbsp. hot water
- 1 cup (170g) rice flour
- ½ cup (80g) gluten free cornflour
- ½ cup (80g) potato flour
- 1 tsp bicarb soda
- 2 tsp. gluten free baking powder
- 1 tsp xanthan gum (optional)
- 1 cup (250g) sour cream
- 40 g butter, cubed at room temperature
- ⅓ cup (90g) firmly packed brown sugar
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp instant coffee powder
- ½ cup (65g) pecans roughly chopped
- Cream cheese icing
- 250 g reduced fat cream cheese
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ cup (85g) pure icing sugar
- ⅓ cup (40 g) pecans, chopped
- Pre-heat oven to 180°C. Grease a ring cake pan.
- Cream butter, sugar and vanilla together in a large bowl with electric beaters.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Sift together flours, bicarb soda, baking powder and xanthan gum three times or whisk with an egg beater to thoroughly mix together.
- Add to egg mixture, alternating with sour cream.
- Spread half batter into greased pan.
- Spoon prepared filling on top of cake batter being careful not to touch the sides of the pan.
- Top with remaining cake batter.
- Bake in pre-heated oven for 30-35 minutes or when firm to touch.
- When cooled remove from pan and top with cream cheese icing.
- Cream butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and instant coffee.
- Add chopped pecans and mix well.
- Cream cheese icing:
- Combine cream cheese, juice and icing sugar in a bowl and mix well.
Adapted from Sue Shepherd’s “Irresistibles for the Irritable” cookbook available through her website
Via my fellow bloggers on Twitter I recently became aware of a brilliant phenomenon called the Clandestine Cake Club. The CCC was created two years ago by cake lover Lynn Hill in Leeds, UK with the aim to be able to get people together in a relaxed social environment so they could “Bake, Eat and Talk about Cake”.
The concept was to strictly only include cakes; no cupcakes, brownies, pies or tarts are allowed and since its inception it has grown to over 133 groups around the world including Switzerland, Spain, France and Finland.
There is currently only one group in Australia and luckily for us it’s here in Perth! The Perth branch is coordinated by Carolanne from Carolanne’s Kitchen and Jackie from Where the wind blows me. Recent awareness of this group has surged thanks to some awesome publicity in Scoop magazine, on Great about Perth and Agenda City.
I was so excited to hear that the theme for the July meet was to be gluten free and signed up to come along. As I am by no means a talented baker by anyones stretch of the imagination I began madly flipping through a number of my food stained cookbooks. I eventually decided to make a Coffee Bundt cake adapted from one of Sue Shepherd’s books.
For those who don’t know who Dr Sue Shepherd is; she is one of Australia’s leading clinical nutritionists specialising in patients with gluten intolerance and fructose malabsorption. Being a sufferer of both these conditions myself, I have all her cookbooks on my shelf every single one is worn and well used. (For the recipe for my Coffee cake please click here.)
Knowing what a sweet tooth my bestie is, I wasn’t surprised when she agreed to join me as my guest and off we headed to our first Cake Club meet! We were greeted with a warm welcome and were both blown away by the wonderful collection of cakes that had been made for the occasion. Everyone had experimented with a wide range different types of flours and ingredients to create a decadent selection that would make any gluten eater jealous.
Carolanne made a scrumptious coconut and berry cake using coconut flour. She taught me something new; apparently coconut flour has such a high fibre content that it expands dramatically once you add your wet ingredients meaning you only need to use a third of what you would use with normal flours. I have a bag of coconut flour sitting unused in my pantry, I am best to remember this expansion effect when I first use it!
My favourite cake of the day was Red Hot Spatula’s Kuihs – little Asian style cakes made from rice flour, green bean flour and tapioca flour. It was interesting to find out that traditionally in Asian cultures they do not usually bake large cakes like what we are accustomed in Western society. Instead they tend to make small single serve cute little cakes. These cakes were steamed not baked and I loved them so much that I ordered some more from her to be delivered to my work the following fortnight! She was kind enough to share the recipe with us all as a guest post on Where the Wind Blow Me.
My bestie’s favourite cake for the day was the white chocolate, macadamia nut and honeycomb cake. This cake was subtle flavoured with all three elements and had a very moist, almost syrupy texture without being too gooey.
As well as being the welcoming hostess, Liv from Col Panna baked the “Best Cake full stop”; which was a hazelnut cake with Frangelico ganache. This deliciousness was nothing sort of incredible and was made even more spectacular in that the outer layer of the cake was the best part, not the centre like many standard cakes. My bride diet went completely out the window with this one. She was also kind enough to share her recipe for us all to try for ourselves.
A final cake of note was the raw chocolate avocado cake made by Bri from East Meets West. Unfortunately I didn’t try this one as it contained dates which are chock full of fructose. I figured after the sugar and dairy overload, I didn’t need to add a fructose blow out to deal with as well. It looked almost succulent and I watched enviously as the rest of the group devoured it.
One of the great things about these cake meets is that once we are all finished at the end, we all get to fill our own plates with slices of everyone else cakes to take home to share and enjoy. As much as I dreamed of eating cake for breakfast, the Boy tucked into the container as soon as I got home and there were only slim pickings by the following morning! I guess this is a good sign on how good the cakes were as he isn’t really a sweet tooth.
The next meet’s theme is Scandinavian style cakes and is on the 4th of August from 3-5 pm. If you are interested in joining this brilliant phenomenon click the link for details how to register.
Perth Clandestine Cake Club: http://clandestinecakeclub.co.uk/groups/perth-australia/