Tag Archives: gluten free recipes

Things I have been cooking lately #159: Gestational diabetes friendly peanut butter blondies

With only 4 or 5 weeks until Little O makes his appearance and I can technically eat whatever I want I have been starting to fantisise about the list of things I am going to eat immediately post labour. In the meantime I am continuing to experiment with baking things that I can eat safely. My latest successful endeavor was these peanut butter blondies that I adapted from a Peace, Love and Low Carb recipe. They are very low sugar and carb so even if you don’t have GD and are trying to stick to these principles they’d be great for a sweet snack. They are also gluten free!

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Things I have been cooking lately #155: Gestational Diabetes friendly peanut butter brownies

When I started my virtually no sugar, low carb gestational diabetes diet I thought I was going to get mad sugar cravings and wake up in the night sweating and thinking of cake. That hasn’t happened. Although I sometimes dream of Ben &Jerry’s peanut butter cup ice-cream or wish I could just have a piece of fresh tiger bread, I have mostly been fine with getting to eat pretty much as much cheese as I want. What I have been missing is baking. A lot. Like a whole lot. So I decided to do a little experiment and rework one of my favourite brownie recipes to make it GD friendly… and it worked! Not only are these brownies very low in sugar and carbs but they’re also gluten free and passed the 15/30/45/60 blood sugar test advocated by the gestationaldiabetes.co.uk website. What that means is that I tested my blood sugar every fifteen minutes for an hour after eating one of these (paired with some creme fraiche) and all the readings were below my after food target. (Please note that if you have gestational diabetes or type 2 diabetes and want to try these you should repeat the same test on yourself to ensure you are not missing a spike. Everyone’s tolerance is different).

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Things I have been cooking lately #30: Gluten-free gooey dark chocolate cookies

Gluten-free recipes can be a bit hit and miss but these cookies do not disappoint. Despite having no oil or butter in them they are rich and chocolatey with a satisfyingly chewy centre. I took them to work and they disappeared within minutes. I will admit that I wasn’t sure they were doing to work while I was making them but stick with it because the pay-off is totally worth it.

Gluten-free gooey dark chocolate cookies
Adapted from divine-baking.com

3 large or 4 medium egg whites
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
2 ½  cups icing sugar
½ cup cocoa powder
1 tablespoon rice flour
Pinch of salt
1 ½ cups (about 180g)  good quality dark chocolate chips (or if you can’t be bothered with chips, just hack up 2 slabs of Green & Blacks. The quality of the chocolate makes all the difference, so don’t skimp.)

Pre-heat your oven to 180 C. Put a pot of boiling water on the stove and rest a glass bowl on top of it. The bowl should not touch the water. Add one cup of the chocolate chips to the bowl and allow to melt, stirring occasionally. You can melt the chocolate in the microwave but if it goes wrong there is nothing you can do to salvage it. I prefer the old school, safe method. When the chocolate is completely melted, set aside to cool a little.

Now beat the egg whites to soft peaks with the cream of tartar using an electric mixer. This can be tricky, so here are my tips for doing it right:

  • Always use a glass or metal bowl – never plastic.
  • It won’t work if there is a drop of fat or yolk in the bowl so separate your eggs carefully and wipe your bowl with a piece of kitchen roll and a drop of vinegar before you start
  • The cream of tartar really helps
  • You will know you have soft peaks when you can lift the beater out of the egg white and it makes a little peak that flops over at the end. If the peak doesn’t flop over, you’ve gone too far!

Once you’ve got your soft peaks, add one cup of the icing sugar a little at a time, continuing to beat. Once all the sugar is in, keep beating until you get a creamy marshmallow texture. It shouldn’t take more than the few minutes. Don’t panic if you become surrounded by a cloud of white powder. Just make sure you vacuum after.

In a separate bowl, mix together another cup of the icing sugar, the cocoa, flour and salt. Now turn down your mixer to a slow speed and add the dry ingredients a little at a time. Then stir in the melted chocolate and remaining chips.

Put your mixing bowl in the fridge for 10 minutes for the dough to stiffen up.

In the meantime, grease two baking trays with a little oil and put your remaining icing sugar in a bowl.

When your dough is nice and stiff, take a tablespoon of mixture at a time, roll into a ball and then roll in the remaining icing sugar to thickly coat. Place on the baking tray. You should get 9 – 10 per tray. Bake each tray for 10 minutes. Prepare to be amazed!

Makes 18 – 20 cookies

Dark Chocolate Cookies

Things I have been cooking lately #22: Aubergine “pizza”

My husband is aubergine mad so when I found this recipe that combines the joys of pizza and aubergine without all the bread, I was sold. It’s also a super quick and pretty healthy. Yum!

Aubergine “pizza”

2 large aubergines
1 ball of low fat mozzarella
About half a cup of tomato passata
Pizza toppings of your choice – I used sliced baby tomatoes and olives but the sky’s the limit
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper

Heat the oven to 180 C. Slice the aubergines into 2cm slices. Brush with olive oil and griddle. I did this on the George Foreman grill but you could easily use a griddle pan on the stove top. You want them to be showing grill lines but still firm. Probably a couple of minutes per side, max. But it’s easy to tell then they’re done.

Lay your griddled aubergine slices on a baking tray (I put some baking parchment on mine to stop it from sticking) and spread a couple of tablespoons of passata on each slice. Then top with torn up bits of mozzarella, followed by your toppings. Bake in the oven for 10 – 14 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and serve.

Serves 2 – 4. Paul and I ate all of this between us but if you are less greedy or serve with a side salad and garlic bread it would go a lot further.

Aubergine pizza

Things I have been cooking lately #19: Gluten free peanut butter fudge brownies

I have to admit than on reading a brownie recipe with no chocolate, butter, oil or flour in it I was pretty sure it was going to be rather sad. However the pictures and the fact that there was lots of lovely peanut butter (look… I eat it out of the jar) was enough to make me try these and boy am I glad I did. They are deliciously fudgy and rich, gluten free and considerably lower in fat than standard brownies. Also ludicrously easy to make. Get in!

Gluten free peanut butter fudge brownies
Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

½ cup oats
½ cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
170g fat free vanilla yoghurt
¼ cup semi skimmed milk
1 cup Demerara sugar
½ cup smooth peanut butter, make sure you get a sugar free, additive free one – you don’t need all that crap

Put all the ingredients except the peanut butter in a blender (or in a large bowl and get at it with a stick blender) and blend until smooth. Grease a 20cm x 20cm baking dish and line with baking parchment.  Pour in the chocolate mixture.

Put the peanut butter in the microwave for 30 seconds. Add the melted peanut butter to the brownie mixture a few spoonfuls at a time, dotting over the surface and then swirl through with a knife to create a marbled effect.

Bake at 180 C for 25 minutes.

Allow the brownies to cool completely before cutting all they will fall apart. Prepare to be amazed.

Makes 12

brownies