Tag Archives: gluten free

Healthier Chocolate Puddings plus giveaway

Time to share a very tasty recipe with you using a selection of products I received free to review from Buy Whole Foods Online. I was offered carte blanche to select any product from their online shop to use in a recipe of my choosing.

I found there was a great extensive range, so it was a difficult choice, but in the end I opted for cacao, almond flour and date sugar. I’ve never used any of these 3 products previously. In fact I’ve always been mystified as to what is the difference between cacao and cocoa since they look similar, so I decided that now was the time to investigate this question. I discovered that cacao is raw whilst cocoa has been roasted.

BuyWholeFoodsOnline cacao, almond flour and date sugar

Regular readers of my blog will know that in 2019, I am doing my best to reduce our household waste and in particular plastic. So I cast a critical eye over the parcel when it arrived. Thumbs up to Buy Whole Foods Online for using paper packaging to protect the products in transit. However the products themselves were all packed in plastic, which is still plastic even if the packets were labelled as BPA free. I’m sure a paper-based solution could be achieved. Even the supermarkets who have a very high plastic usage, sell most flour and some sugar in paper packets. Hopefully Buy Whole Foods Online will review their product packaging.

I had a recipe idea in mind, when I chose my products and this was to try to make a healthier version emulating those delicious hot chocolate desserts from Gü. I’m not sure if date sugar truly counts as healthy, but I’m sure it must be better than regular sugar. At least I hope so, since I am trying to reduce my use of sugar. So here is my recipe.

Chocolate Puddings

Healthier Chocolate Puddings

Ingredients (serves 4)

75g cacao powder
125g almond flour
100g date sugar
4 eggs
50 ml milk
75g butter

Method

Allow butter to soften at room temperature.
Preheat fan oven to 160 degrees C.
Grease 4 small ramekin dishes.
Beat together all ingredients.
Spoon into the ramekin dishes.
Place dishes on a baking tray.
Cook on middle shelf of oven for 10 minutes, until outside of puddings is set but inside is still soft.
Turn out of ramekins into pudding bowls.
Serve with your choice of creme fraiche, cream, greek yoghurt or ice cream.
Enjoy.

Chocolate puddings

These were delicious, although the inside is only slightly soft. I had originally intended it to be more gooey inside.

Here are the links to the three products I received. They all come in a range of sizes.

Organic Date Sugar 500g – made from 100% organic dried dates. Date sugar is far less processed than other popular sugars and retains the high fibre content of the fruit. It also has a naturally low glycemic index.

Organic Raw Cacao Powder 500g – 100% organic and fully raw. Cacao is highly antioxidant.

Almond Flour 500g (x2) – Low-carb, paleo-friendly, gluten free. They also stock an organic version.

I was very pleased with all three of these products and am now thinking up my next recipe. I can’t comment on cost comparison, as I haven’t seen these products elsewhere previously.

Wish I’d had them before Christmas, as I always make marzipan stuffed dates for Christmas and this year in an effort to reduce sugar, I tried blitzing flaked almonds with a little chopped date together, to use as the filling. It would have been so much easier to have used date sugar and almond flour instead, plus the texture would have been more like marzipan.

I do recommend that you take a look at the Buy Whole Foods Online store. There is a huge amount to choose from. They currently have a special offer of 10% off everything, plus 20% off selected products, using coupon code NEWYEAR19.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway cacao powder, almond flour and date sugar from Buy Whole Foods Online to one lucky winner. Think of the yummy treats you’ll be able to bake with these goodies.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear your recipe suggestions using any of these products.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of products I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

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12 Days of Clink Street – Uberdacious by Simone Santivari

I love taking part in book tours but when I was offered free rein to select any book of my my choice from Clink Street Publishing, it was a bit like being handed a blank cheque. I am used to being asked if I wish to review a particular title, but this time there were nearly 500 titles to choose between! I decided to narrow it down to one genre, namely food and drink, from which I selected Uberdacious: Eat Yourself Healthy by Simone Santivari.

Uberdacious: Eat Yourself Healthy by Simone Santivari

Here is the book blurb.

Simone Santivari has a passion for food and healthy living that inspires everyone around her.

Uberdacious: Eat Yourself Healthy is the culmination of thirty years of fun and culinary creation in her kitchen, exploring the possibilities for a predominantly macrobiotic diet. Her cooking uses simple whole foods and largely organic ingredients, removing refined products and using only natural sugars, like fruit.

Much of Simone’s approach has been inspired by her loving husband, James, who has multiple sclerosis, and for whom Simone always strives to develop the best dishes to support James’s health and wellbeing. Anyone wishing to take responsibility for their own health will benefit from Simone’s approach. Her simple but delicious recipes and snacks are accompanied by advice and information on natural remedies and holistic treatments.

Stories about food, life and Simone’s great loves are dotted throughout this vibrant cook book, and Simone hopes that her recipes and approach to healthy living will help every reader become even more Uberdacious!

When I chose this book after reading the blurb, I assumed it would be mainly recipes with the stories interspersed. However I found that the recipes don’t start until over halfway through the book after following Simone’s life-story. This was fascinating to read, as Simone has certainly led an interesting life, although sad to hear about Simone’s husband James being diagnosed with MS. And I’m sure those of my followers who love entering my giveaways will be interested to hear that Simone tells of her lucky competition wins including 3 holidays.

And then the recipe section also contains lots of healthy eating tips. I’ve sometimes thought about buying flours other than white or wholemeal, but never really known where to start. The book has now introduced me to black and red rice which I had never heard of, so I shall be looking out for those in the shops. Lots more products that I have never heard of, but I’ve now bought a jar of St Dalfour jam, which is just sweetened with apple juice. Plus there is a natural remedies section after the recipes.

Uberdacious is available on Amazon, currently priced at £9.99 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. A great book which has certainly opened my eyes to healthy eating ideas. Although a shame that the e-version of the book didn’t include the cookery illustrations which are in the paperback.

I have tried out the Crunchy Wholewheat and Oat Biscuits recipe from the book. This is a sugar-free recipe which can also be adapted to gluten-free if desired. Ideal for me, as I’m trying to reduce my sugar intake, although I only wish to replace with natural alternatives and avoid the likes of aspartame.

Crunchy Wholewheat and Oat Biscuits

Crunchy Wholewheat and Oat Biscuits

Son1 did comment that they were rather plain and son2 who usually always raids the biscuit jar has been eating these much slower. To me, this is a great result, as my aim is to reduce their sugar intake as well as my own, but because it is a gradual path, I probably need to use more agave syrup temporarily until their palates adjust.

Crunchy Wholewheat and Oat Biscuits

Now that we are into December, I’m planning to try out Simone’s mince pie recipe next.


I’m participating in the 12 Days of Clink Street Christmas blogival. Do take time to browse round some of the other posts, which cover a wide range of reading matter.

12 days of Clink Street Christmas blogtour

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Disclosure. This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free. All opinions are my own.

Coconut Haystacks

Are you often like me, wondering what to do with leftover egg white? I usually cook it as a small pale omelette, then cut it into strips and toss them in a soup. But I know there must be so many more ideas out there. Well I suddenly remembered a recipe I used to make as a child with my mum, and decided to give it a go. This was Coconut Haystacks, so called because it looked the shape of the old-fashioned haystack, that you never see any more, now that hay is just bundled in bales.

coconut haystacks

Coconut Haystacks

Ingredients (makes about 10)

1 large egg white
50g golden granulated sugar
125g desiccated coconut

Method

Preheat fan oven to 160 degree C.
Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
Whisk the egg white until it is peaky.
Whisk in the sugar.
Mix in the coconut.
Scoop some mixture with an egg cup, pressing in well.
Gently tap out onto the lined baking sheet.
Repeat until you have used all the mixture.
Bake in preheated oven for about 10 minutes until slightly golden.
Cool on a wire rack.
Serve and enjoy.

coconut haystacks

I’d love to hear your ideas for using up egg white.

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Baker Days Gluten Free Cake review and giveaway

When I saw that Baker Days were looking for gluten free and / or dairy free bloggers to review their cakes, I offered to help out. I don’t have either of these dietary issues myself, but I do sometimes cater for people who have these restrictions to their diets. I have a friend who is coeliac and my brother-in-law has recently commenced on a gluten free and dairy free diet. I also tried one of my son’s on a dairy free diet for several months a couple of years ago.

It was my niece’s 1st birthday this weekend, an excellent event to enjoy cake. And an ideal opportunity to get my brother-in-law’s views on the gluten free cake. I selected a personalised 1st birthday cake from the wide range on the Baker Days website 9 days ahead of the big event. You may include personalisation of up to 25 characters. And for some of the designs you may also upload your own photograph.

However things didn’t go quite to plan, as the cake was delivered by Royal Mail on the day of my niece’s birthday after we had left home to go to her party. I found it waiting on our return. A shame as it means both the birthday girl and my brother-in-law don’t get to taste the cake, since we are not planning another visit to see them, within the lifetime of the cake. The Baker Days website states that the cakes are good for at least 2 – 3 weeks. So instead the review is just our family’s opinions, and none of us are restricted to a gluten-free diet.

It was the letterbox gift cake which I received free to review. This is the smallest size of cake with 3-4 portions, apart from their personalised cupcakes. There are 3 larger sizes of cake, namely small which is 10-12 portions, medium which is 18-25 portions and large which is 40-55 portions. As well as gluten free and dairy free cakes, they also do sponge cake, chocolate chip sponge cake and fruit cake recipes. A wide range to suit everyone.

The cake was well packed in a bag in a snug fitting cake tin, in the outer packaging. It looked beautiful and came with an attractive blank gift card, plus a few balloons and a party blower. There were instructions advising of the best way to lift it out of the cake tin. And it was clearly labelled on the underside of the cake board as being gluten free.

One son is not keen on icing, so didn’t want to try the cake. We therefore shared it between my other son, my husband and me. We all agreed it was delicious. It was a lovely texture and moist and it had jam at the top and base, since it was only one layer due to being height restricted to letterbox size. My husband and I both said that if we hadn’t already known that it was gluten free, we wouldn’t have realised.

The gluten free letterbox gift cake retails at £16.99. A sponge cake would be £2 cheaper, which is in line with gluten free ingredients costing more than wheat flour. It is expensive compared to supermarket cake prices, but as far as I’m aware you can’t purchase a gluten free celebration cake at the supermarket. So well worth its price in my opinion, as otherwise your only option would be to bake and decorate your own gluten free celebration cake.

Take a look at all the fantastic cake designs on the Baker Days website. There are 5 recipes for the cakes – sponge, chocolate, fruit, gluten free and dairy free. They are launching a new I am sorry cake, so it would be great to hear what you are sorry for and which is your favourite cake.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition courtesy of Baker Days to giveaway a letterbox cake of your choice to one lucky person.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you can’t see the Rafflecopter box above, either click the Rafflecopter link or you may alternatively enter via my Facebook page.

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Alice Megan

 

Disclosure.  This post is a review of a product I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.