These little 'bites' are such a favourite in my house. Well, at least for me and the Senior-Junior team member. It's just enough sweet, chocolate and chew to help us avoid anything sweeter, chocolatier or chewier!
These nut-free bites were developed after Senior-Junior ended up in a class with a peanut-ban.
So many recipes are based around peanuts, which is great if you're not on a peanut-ban. Really, you can use any nut or seed butter in place of peanuts.
And there are so, so, SO many different types of nuts and seed butters around the place. Peanut butter, almond butter, almond / brazil / cashew butter, cashew butter, pumpkin seed butter, sesame butter (tahini).
Nuts and seeds give us a nice little package of nutrients: mono, saturated and polyunsaturated fats, protein, selenium, iron, magnesium, calcium, B vitamins, vitamin E ... and fibre. Here's some great information about what each type of nut is high in.
So, next time you're looking for a little, not-too sweet, not-too chocolaty, not-too chewy treat ... try this! Gluten free and SCD options at the end.
1 cup of dates - soak in 1 cup of water for 5 minutes before cutting dates in half (keep the water)
1 cup oats (use wholegrain oats for more iron)
1/3 cup coconut
1/4 cup dark choc chips or cocoa nibs
2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon tahini (or nut / seed butter of your choice)
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon each of sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds
Zest and juice of 1 large orange
Put all the ingredients in to a food processor and blitz on high for 1-2 minutes. It's ready when the mixture starts to come together, and stays in a ball when you squeeze it. If it's falling apart add 1 tablespoon of the date water).
Roll teaspoons of the mixture in to balls. Store in a sealed container in the fridge.
Leave for at least 1 hour before enjoying.
Gluten free option: Replace oats with rolled rice. Soak the rice for 1-2 minutes in hot water to soften before adding, otherwise it'll be super crunchy. Also check your dark cocoa and choc chips are gluten free.
SCD / GAPS: replace oats with 3/4 cup ground almonds and use cocoa nibs rather than choc chips
Gravy is one of those random stumbling blocks when it comes to following a diet. Strange isn't it! What is it about this warm salty liquid that can make or break a roast dinner?!
But we don't often think about gravy until we realise we can't have it. Then it makes us sad because not having it is just ... well ... wrong!
Gravy goes with roast meat, sausages, mashed potato (or cauliflower), mince in cottage pie ...
Traditionally European, gravy was a way of disguising dry or tough meat! But now it's just a part of good old comfort foods.
Here we look at what to do if you are craving gravy but following a gluten free or low FODMAP diet, GAPS / Paleo diet or just want to get away from using the packet gravy.
The most simple way to make a no-packet gravy is to use the meat juices that have come from the meat you have cooked. You can drain off the juices and pour them in to a pan or lift out the meat and use the baking pan as your saucepan. Mix in 1 tbsp flour to the meat juices and heat on the stove. As the liquid heats up it will thicken. Add herbs, spices, salt or pepper to taste.
Another way is to use a home made stock or broth. Melt 1 tbsp butter or ghee in a pan. Add 1 tbsp flour and cook for a minute or two. Slowly add one cup of stock or broth. Season with salt, pepper or herbs as you wish.
1 whole chicken, 4 chicken thighs or 8-10 large chicken drumsticks - free range if possible
Water - filtered if you have it
Salt (Himalayan or sea salt if you have it, if not just table salt)
Optional: 1 chopped onion (don't put this in if you are low FODMAP), 2-3 chopped carrots, 2 bay leaves, 1 teaspoon peppercorns
Put the chicken in a large pot and cover with water. Add the salt and any of the other options. Cover the pot with a lid and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and cook on low for 2 hours. Let broth cool slightly before removing the chicken and straining off the stock. Shred the chicken separately and enjoy as a meal!
You can freeze the stock and use in cooking. Try freezing in either zip lock bags (1 cup per bag) or in ice cube containers.
Basic bone broth
Beef, lamb or chicken bones. You can buy these from the butcher or save from stock or roast meat. Try and get organic or grass fed meats if possible
Salt and peppercorns
1 tablespoon vinegar or 1/2 lemon
Put the bones in a large pot - pack down well and cover with water. Add the salt, pepper and vinegar or lemon. Cover the pot with a lid and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer (gentle boil) for 3 hours or longer if you can. Let the broth cool and strain off the liquid. Again this can be frozen in ice cube containers. If it is kept in the fridge it is best drunk or put in soups, stews or gravies within 24 hours.
GAPS / Paleo / Grain free gravy
Thickening gravy usually needs some flour to thicken. So how can you make nice, thick gravy when you are avoiding flour?
Gluten free / Low FODMAP gravy
There are a few gluten free stock cubes out there on the market. You can use these or use the stock or broth recipes above. But how to thicken them?
Flax seeds (linseeds) are great. Why?
Well, they are high in omega 3 fats which means they are good for our heart & reduce inflammation.
Also, flax seeds are a good way to increase our fibre intake. And that's always good.
Square, circle or rectangle crackers are so traditional! Let your inner-crazy come out with randomly sliced crackers. Don't fret that they are all different shapes. Use our quick trick to make sure they all cook the same.
1/2 cup flax (linseed) seed
3/4 cup white flour
3/4 cup wholemeal flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp each of course ground and fine ground salt
1/2 tsp black pepper, course ground
1 tsp mixed dried herbs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup olive oil
Mix the dry ingredients together. Mix the wet ingredients together. Pour wet in to dry and mix to a dough. Roll out the dough until it is about 1/2 cm thick. Transfer the rolled out dough on to a sheet of baking paper on a baking tray. You may need to cut the dough in half first so it fits on two sheets. Using a knife or rotary cutter (pizza slice) cut in to long strips, then across diagonally - what ever takes your fancy.
Here's the tip - DON"T separate the crackers before they cook. Then they will all cook at the same speed and brown-ness regardless of their size or shape.
Bake at 180 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Gluten free or low FODMAP? Use 1 1/2 cup of gluten free flour instead of 3/4 cup plain and 3/4 cup wholemeal flour. Make sure the baking powder is gluten free.
Low carb / Grain free / GAPS / SCD / Paleo? Use 1 cup ground almonds. Add the wet ingredients slowly to get the dough consistency. Almond flour is "thirsty" which means it soaks up the wet ingredients quickly. Baking powder is optional. If you don't want to use baking powder then don't add the salt to the dry ingredients, but sprinkle it over the top of the dough before you slice it and cook it.
Kefir whey is the great by-product of making milk kefir cheese. It's a clear slightly fluorescent yellow liquid that is full of probiotics and protein. If you don't have kefir whey you can use yoghurt whey - strain the kefir or yoghurt through a cheese cloth or coffee filter paper for 3-4 hours.
Beat 1 egg with 1/4 cup sugar or powdered stevia. Sift over this 1 cup of plain flour and 1 tsp baking powder. Add 2 tbsp kefir or yoghurt and nearly 1 cup of whey. Stir until just combined.
Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan and cook 1/4 cup of pancake batter until the topside bubbles. Flip and cook on the otherside for a minute or so.
Make it gluten free by using gluten free flour and baking powder. Kefir is low lactose so suitable for a low FODMAP diet.
A refreshing alternative to plain kombucha or chia seed pudding. The chia seeds add extra fibre to your diet and the kombucha is full of great probiotics.
Mix 1 cup kombucha with 3/4 tablespoon of chia seeds. Mix. Let sit overnight to thicken. Drink.
That's it. Can't really be much more simple!