Who doesn’t love a bit of gravy with their roast dinner? Being Wheat intolerant and liking homemade food I stay away from gravy granules and make my own. This week we had some leftover mulled wine and a last minute decision to add it to the gravy turned out to be a very good one. The end result was something a little Christmassy and very tasty.
Christmas… I literally love it. The smells, the sights, the sparkles, the foods, the fun, the family time. For us as Christians it’s a proper time to celebrate the birth of a special little baby. How better the celebrate than eat too much, drink too much and laze around?! Hold on, I’m a dietitian and a Pilates instructor…and YES I eat cake 😉
So Christmas cake for me is a big part of things, I love all the fruit, the booze, the decorating of it and the fact it lasts for soooooo long! Being wheat intolerant I know going out to Christmas event there is often not a lot of festive foods I can eat, so I make this and take a bit with me.
Last weekend I got busy soaking my fruit, I used a mix of sultanas, raisins, apricots, cranberries and prunes. My alcohol of choice this year was brandy, and I soaked it for a week…mainly so I could just keep smelling it 😉 My famous wedding cake was a mix of all the alcohol in my parents alcohol cabinet – Martini, whiskey, peach schnapps…you name it, it went in, soaked in a huge pan in my bedroom, I’m pretty sure I was drunk on the fumes, it tasted AMAZING!
So here is my wheat free, gluten free recipe – enjoy:
700g dried fruit (raisins, apricots, prunes, cranberries are all good)
1 tbsp mixed spice
125g rice flour
2 tsp xanthum gum
100g ground almonds
1 orange zest and juice
Place fruit in a bowl and cover with the alcohol, leave to soak for at least 24 hours.
Preheat oven to Gas Mark 4. Grease and line a large cake tin.
Place butter and sugar in a bowl and beat until fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time, if it starts to curdle add a little flour.
Add the rice flour, xanthum gum, ground almonds, mixed spice, orange zest and juice.
Pour into the tin and bake at Gas Mark 4 for 1 hour, then Gas Mark 3 for 2-2 1/2 hours.
When cool wrap in cling film and then foil.
To feed prick with a skewer and sprinly over 1 tbsp brandy.
I haven’t iced the Christmas cake yet, but here is a pic of last years! How do you decorate your cake? I’m thinking of dried fruits and nuts with a glaze this year.
It’s all to easy to get stuck in a rut with breakfasts, we do it as adults, and when you are a parent you suddenly have to feed a little tummy and your own. It can feel like a big responsiblity – it is. So how about getting the advice from a top dietitian and mummy?
I love giving weaning advice and I had such fun weaning my own little one. Almost everywhere I go other mummies ask me for top tips and advice, so I’ve decided to start my own range of Ebooks. Now I don’t have a big publishing company behind me so right now these are going to consist of no frills, simple, practical advice . When I get cleverer I’ll hope to add in fancy pictures and graphics, but I figure what is really needed is the basics!
So here is my first Ebook: Baby Breakfasts. It contains Meal ideas including fresh ideas for what to do with cereals, eggs and toast. Some yummy recipes for baking breakfasts goods and top tips from myself too.
There are more to come. I’d love to hear the subject you’d like an Ebook on.
Yesterday was an unforgettable day. Some of you may remember that back in January I won a Small Business Sunday (#SBS) award from Theo Paphitis (well known from Dragons Den)…yesterday was the day I met Theo and he presented me with the certificate. Here we are together:
Winning the award coincided with the time I was leaving my NHS job and launching myself full-time into running my business and being a mum. It was a HUGE confidence boost and since then I’ve really been flying. Dietitian UK now runs regular clinics including eating disorder clinics, works closely with South Coast Fatigue helping clients with Chronic Fatigue, does a lot of media work and I am now the dietitian for Slimsticks too. I also works with other businesses helping them with nutritional leaflets, PR comments, training staff, doing menu analysis and more. It’s been a fantastic 3 months.
So yesterday was the icing on the cake. We travelled up to Birmingham and enjoyed networking with the other #SBS winners. They really are a great bunch of businesses. Theo gave an inspirational talk that has given me more insight into how to move forward and encouraged me that I can do this.
I’m looking forward to all that being an #SBS winner will bring and learning more from not only Theo but also the other business winners. If you want to know more about #SBS here is the website.
A massive thank you goes to Theo Paphitis and also to the Ryman Group who hosted the event.
An interesting piece of research caught my eye this week. A team of psychology researchers in Montreal looked into how using mental imagery techniques may increase the likelihood of people eating more fruit and vegetables. They asked 177 students to aim to eat more fruit over the next 7 days. Those who planned, wrote it down and visualised how they were going to do it (e.g. where and when they would buy, prepare and eat the fruit) were twice as likely to increase their consumption.
This was based on sports psychology. “Athletes do lots of work mentally rehearsing their performances before competing and it’s often very successful. So we thought having people mentally rehearse how they were going to buy and eat their fruit should make it more likely that they would actually do it. And this is exactly what happened,” says Bärbel Knäuper.
As a dietitian part of my job is helping people plan how they will manage to alter their eating habits so this research is further evidence that planning really is key. Talking through with someone what your long term goals are, how you can put them into place and having a short term goal to achieve are vital components of achieving dietary change.