Category Archives: Baking

Ginger Biscuits: gluten free, toddler friendly or great with a cuppa.

I’ve had a yearning to make ginger biscuits for a while and today I finally kicked myself into action and did it. My little toddler helper was very pleased to be cooking as we’ve been reading all about Maisy making Gingerbread the past few days, so making Ginger biscuits was the same in her eyes ๐Ÿ˜‰

Recipe:

40g muscovado ย sugar

50g rice flour

50g cornmeal/ fine polenta

2 tsp ground ginger

1tsp xanthum gum

50g margarine

2 tbsp milk

Mix all the dried ingredients together, then rub in the margarine until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the milk a little at a time and mix to a dough (you may not need it all).

Roll out and cut into whatever shapes you like……ours had to be teddy bears and were cut by my helper.

Cook at Gas Mark 3/160C for 15 minutes. Leave to cool on a rack and enjoy.

Dietitian UK: Gluten free, toddler friendly Ginger Biscuits
Dietitian UK: Gluten free, toddler friendly Ginger Biscuits

Gluten Free Orange and Redcurrant Polenta Cake.

I’ve been meaning to try a polenta cake for AGES, finally today I got my chance. We were asked to take a dessert to our home group meeting, typically although I was given a weeks notice it was at lunchtime that I realised with a slight panic I had to knock something tasty up. Having been inspired by seeing this lemon polenta cakeย  last night and on a high after completing the filming for my Pilates DVD, I stepped up to the challenge, here it is fresh from the oven.

Dietitian UK: Gluten and Wheat free Orange Polenta Cake.
Dietitian UK: Gluten and Wheat free Orange Polenta Cake.

You know what, it was easy, peasy, orange squeezy ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’m well known for NEVER following a recipe, so here’s my adaptation, partially because I had no lemons and partially because I’m just like that. I found the red currants added a really nice zing, but you could use any berries, I just happened to have these growing in my garden (though these were last years harvest from the freezer).

Recipe:

150g margarine

150g sugar

3 eggs

75g ground almonds

1/2 tsp ย baking powder (gluten free if needed)

4 oranges

75g polenta or cornmeal

150g redcurrants

1. Preheat oven to Gas Mark3/150C, grease and line a cake tin (I’m no good with sizes so I’ll just say I used a round one!).

2. Cream butter and sugar, then add eggs one at a time.

3. Add the ground almonds, baking powder and mix well.

4. Zest all 4 orange ย and juice 2 oranges, add to the mixture, add the polenta.

5. Spoon half the mix into the cake tin, then sprinkle on the red currants and top with the rest of the mixture.

6. Bake for 45 minutes until golden on the top and the house smells yummy ๐Ÿ™‚

7. Add the juice of the final 2 oranges to a pan with the 50g sugar, boil gently for 5 minutes to make a syrup.

8. Use a skewer to make holes in the cake and pour the syrup on, it will soak in.

9. Allow to cook before removing the cake from the tin.

It’s had a good reception from my taste testers. Really moist and tangy and the redcurrants looked lovely. Though certainly a treat and not low fat, I’ll certainly be making this again.

Dietitian UK: Orange and Redcurrant Polenta Cake
Dietitian UK: Orange and Redcurrant Polenta Cake

Nutritional Analysis per portion (assuming 10 slices): 290kcals, 18.3 g fat, 29.2g carbs, 23.3g sugars.

Cheesy Courgette Biscuits for Little and Big People.

So this recipe started off as a decision to try out this lovely looking recipe from MamaCook. I weighed out the flour and then opened the margarine tub to realise it was pretty much empty. Boo.

Skip forward a few hours and margarine is back in the house. By now I’m in creative mode and the biscuits took on a life of their own! I’m a bit of a stickler for encouraging my small one to eat her veggies, so finding a courgette to hand, I decided to grate it in and then add some cheese for added yum factor. I’ll be honest I wasn’t expecting great things, but you know what, these have been a huge success, not only with the toddler girl but also with her Daddy!

Here’s how we did it:

Recipe:

100g plain flour

15g oats

70g margarine

1/2 grated courgette

15 g grated cheese

Measure it all out and then add a dash of milk to mix to a dough. My little one likes baking with me, so she rolled out the dough:

Dietitian UK, Rolling the dough for Cheesy Courgette Biscuits
Dietitian UK, Rolling the dough for Cheesy Courgette Biscuits

My little helper then advised on which cutters to use and helped me cut it all out:

Dietitian UK: Cutting out Cheesy Courgette Biscuits
Dietitian UK: Cutting out Cheesy Courgette Biscuits

We baked them at Gas Mark 5 for 15 minutes, you may need less depending on how thin your dough has been rolled (or not rolled in our case!). Here is the final result.

Dietitian UK: Cheesy Courgette Biscuits.
Dietitian UK: Cheesy Courgette Biscuits.

 

 

Wheat Free, Hot Cross Buns.

I’m certainly not an experienced baker at all….yet I love giving things a go. Plus when you are wheat intolerant it can be cheaper to make things yourself rather than buy them. So in the back of my mind I had planned to try making some hot cross buns in the run up to Easter. Typically life ran away with itself, time fly by and on Easter Sunday there were still no hot cross buns.

However on Easter Monday I was tweeted a recipe to try….it being a rainy Bank Holiday I decided to take the plunge. These aren’t something to bake in a hurry but if you are around the house and have time to let them rise then give them a go! I had to adapt the recipe which I admit did make me quite nervous, however I was delighted with the results and a teeny bit proud of myself ๐Ÿ˜‰

The final result, Hot Cross Buns.
The final result, Hot Cross Buns.

The Recipe:

200g Rice flour

100g cornmeal

100g rye flour

50g tapioca starch

50g potato flour

(Alternatively 500g of a good GF flour mix)

1 tsp xanthum gum

2 tsp yeast

300ml warm milk

75g caster sugar

50g marg

1 egg

Mix all the above together to make a dough, but don’t knead it. Then place into an oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise in a warm place. This took about 1 1/2 hours for mine. It should almost double in size and it feels risen to the touch, springy and doughy.

Whilst it rises have a sit down, a cuppa, sweep the kitchen, do some catching up on twitter (you get the idea) and also mix together:

1 tsp olive oil

zest 1 orange

100g sultanas

1tsp cinnamon

1 tsp mixed spice

1/2 grated nutmeg

Mix this fruity bunch into the dough and leave it to rise once more. I left mine most of the afternoon. Leaving it longer than needed won’t harm it. Then shape into rounds, about 12, and get ready for the creative bit. Mix a couple of tbsp of gluten free flour with a drizzle of water and mix to a thick paste. Pop into a piping back and pipe on your crosses. Here’s mine before cooking:

Hot Cross Buns ready to bake
Hot Cross Buns ready to bake

Pop in the oven at Gas Mark 7 for 20 minutes. I checked mine and swapped the upper and middle trays over half way through. Leave to cool on a wire rack and enjoy. Yum.

Wheat Free, Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns
Wheat Free Hot Cross Buns

Buckwheat Pancakes – Wheat and gluten free.

With pancake day fast approaching I’ve been playing around with pancake recipes that are wheat free, gluten free and tasty. If like me you forget about pancakes the rest of the year, maybe this recipe will inspire you to make them a bit more often.

Recipe:

50g/2 oz Buckwheat Flour

50g/2 oz Rice or Tapioca Flour

200ml milk

2 eggs

Mix the flour, make a well and add the eggs, add the milk a little at a time, whisking until you get the right consistency (double cream).

I use a spray oil (rapeseed oil) and kitchen roll when cooking pancakes to ensure the pan stays lightly oiled but also that I’m not using too much oil.

These pancakes came out with a lovely light texture and cooked really easily, in fact I found them better than the wheat filled variety! Give them a go people, but be careful not to overindulge in those toppings.

Buckwheat Pancake

Healthy Topping Ideas:

  • Chopped banana and 1 square of melted chocolate
  • Blueberries and 0% Greek yoghurt
  • Stewed apple, cinnamon and raisins (cook apples with a little sweetener, cloves, cinnamon and raisins)
  • Frozen berries cooked with a little water to make a sauce
  • Nutella
  • Nut Butter warmed slightly with a sprinkle of flax seeds
  • Lemon and a drizzle of honey
  • Tinned peaches and quark or 0% Greek yoghurt
  • Low fat cream cheese with mushrooms/spinach/grapes

What do you like on your pancakes?

 

Superhealthy oaty bars.

Flapjacks go down a storm in our house, I’m wheat free so they fill a much needed gap in my mouth. Now it seem little Kezia is a bit of a flapjack lover. In fact, as soon as she spies the tin I keep them in I get a pointy finger and a sign for “Food Now Mummy”. Cheeky monkey she certainly is.

My usual banana flapjacks use only a small amount of marg, sugar and honey, however with a hungry 1 year old and feeling inspired by a certain brand of raw food bars I decided to try something different. The results are not quite your usual flapjack (due to the distinct lack of sugar, syrup and butter!) but they make a great healthy snack for big and little people and are set to become a regular in our house already. In fact the little one even enjoyed helping me make it.

Well when I say she helped, I mean she ate half of the raisins out of the bowl, stuck her fingers in the banana, stirred the oats around and made holes in the mixture once it had been smoothed into the tray. So much fun!

These are wheat free and if you use gluten free oats they will be gluten free too. Here’s the finished product:

And here is the mess I found later on…

Superhealthy Oaty Bars
Yields 24
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
85 calories
16 g
0 g
1 g
3 g
0 g
36 g
1 g
4 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
36g
Yields
24
Amount Per Serving
Calories 85
Calories from Fat 10
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1g
2%
Saturated Fat 0g
1%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 1mg
0%
Total Carbohydrates 16g
5%
Dietary Fiber 2g
9%
Sugars 4g
Protein 3g
Vitamin A
0%
Vitamin C
2%
Calcium
1%
Iron
5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 400g oats
  2. 2 handfuls dates chopped very finely in a food processor with enough water to make into a paste
  3. 2 large or 3 medium mashed bananas
  4. 1 cup sultanas
  5. Cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Mix it all together, put into a greased and lined tray and bake at Gas Mark 5 for about 35-40 mins.
  2. Slice it up whilst it is warm and leave to cool (if it lasts that long!).
beta
calories
85
fat
1g
protein
3g
carbs
16g
more
Dietitian UK https://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/
Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

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Baking Flapjacks with the Little One.

My healthier take on flapjacks are well known by my friends, I’ve almost always got a tub of them on the go. They got me through the long early days of breastfeeding and are now enjoyed by 1 year old too. In fact she absolutely loves them. So today, when she was struggling to sleep and I was unable to bake during her naptime I decided she may as well help me. This turned into a really fun learning experience for us both.

I weighed out the oats and sultanas and Kezia enjoyed playing with the dried ingredients, especially as she was able to sneak a few sultanas! She also liked watching me measure out the sugar, honey and margarine.

Playing with the dry ingredients.

 

Then came the bananas, amazingly none of these went into Kezia’s mouth, she spent some time transferring the bananas from one bowl to another and watched as I mashed them. I left her a little in the bowl to play with being an interesting texture and tasty too ๐Ÿ™‚

Banana time

Stirring all the ingredients together was a lot of fun, although the spoon was probably a bit too large! It was a pleasure watching Kezia have a good go at mixing and seeing the look of satisfaction on her face.

Stirring with the biggest spoon!

I was allowed to place it all in the baking tray and of course Kezia then was left with the empty bowl and spoon, which she instantly started to scrape with her fingers….finding the leftovers showing it’s a natural reaction to lick the cake mixture off the spoon ๐Ÿ˜‰

Scraping out the bowl and spoon

Finally we had time for more mixing practice at super fast speed!

Look at me Mummy! Mixing in action.

What are your favourite recipes for cooking with children? Any tips to pass onto me?

 

A little bit of morning crumpet, wheat/gluten free of course.

Crumpets are a things of greatness, why should you miss out if gluten/wheat free? I love pottering in the kitchen, trying new things and I also love warm baked goods that are more savoury than sweet…being wheat free crumpets are the kind of foods I’ve missed. The shop bought versions just don’t hit the spot and are pretty expensive, so whilst pregnant and craving yummy things I perfected this recipe. It’s an adaptation of one in the Health Gluten-Free Eating cook book by Darina Allen and Rosemary Kearney, so credit should also go to them as all I’ve done is play around to make it suit me!

Crumpets may sound like a tricky thing to make and they probably are if you are making them to look like the shop bought versions. Mine look nothing like those but they taste very crumpet like and are just so satisfying to make. So if you like baking give them a go:

  • 150g rice flour
  • 75g tapioca flour or cornmeal
  • 1 tsp xanthum gum
  • 1/2 tsp bicarb
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • drizzle of rapeseed oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 300 ml milk
  • water
Mix the flours, xanthum gum, bicarb and cream of tartar together. Make a well and add oil plus eggs. Add the milk a little at a time and mix swiftly with a wooden spoon to start and then a whisk – a good arm building muscle exercise ๐Ÿ™‚ Try to get air into the batter. If it still looks quite thick add a splash of water. If should be like cake mixture. Drop tablespoons onto a non stick pan or a flat griddle pan and cook until there are bubbles appearing.ย I find a lower heat is better and they take longer than a thick pancake would. Flip over and cook the other side.ย 
Crumpets cooking on the griddle

These are best eaten warm, I find quite a few of these seem to disappear as soon as they are cooked….who knows where they go?! They also freeze really well and can be popped in the toaster to defrost and warm. Amazingly these turn out with a proper crumpet texture which you may be able to see in this photo (if you can’t then you will just have to believe me!).

Best served with a bit of jam and a good cuppa ๐Ÿ™‚ Alternatively the baby had hers with melted cheese and some cooked mushrooms which went down very well. Go be inspired and try something new in the kitchen this weekend.