An Abundance of Fresh Ginger – Ginger Cake Recipe

We love to use ginger in savoury meals and desserts, so finding a delicate ginger root finger in the fridge is normal in this household. Every week I usually chop it up and add some to soups, curries, stir fries, smoothies, crumbles… the list goes on. It gives an enriching, deep flavour kick that just can’t be beaten. This weekend, I discovered that an abnormally large hand of ginger (love this technical foodie term) had snuck its way into our veg delivery. A great discovery but such a purchase would normally be planned, for a specific use or in anticipation of a ginger loving guest…

What do you do when you’re sent a humungous hand of fresh ginger root?

ginger root hand

Well, in typical Sunday baking fashion, I made a cake. Loosely following the delicious Hemsley and Hemsley Jamaican Ginger Bread recipe, with a few twists and an extra healthy helping of fresh ginger root, I happily used a couple of fingers of the spicy root.

The warmth of fresh ginger running through sweet and savoury dishes awakens the taste buds and gives a satisfyingly fresh tone to whatever it is combined with. It’s as healthy as it is zingy, which is another reason this cake was at the top of my ginger recipe list. Even more satisfying, it’s gluten free, refined sugar free and dairy free (it’s another perfectly acceptable breakfast cake).

Benefits of Eating Ginger – settles, warms, soothes, relieves, cleanses.

Ginger Root

Ways to use an Abundance of Fresh Ginger Root

Healthy Ginger Cake (see below!)

Fresh Ginger Tea

Green and Gingery Breakfast Smoothie

Stewed Rhubarb and Ginger with Sugar Free Crumble Topping

Ginger Rice Noodles

Ginger Spiced Sweet Potato Wedges

ginger cake

Healthy Ginger Cake Recipe

Ingredients
100g banana
100g pear
30g melted coconut oil
4tbsp honey
3 eggs
120g almonds
100g walnuts
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp grated nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
40g fresh ginger root

Preheat the oven to 170C
Grease and line a loaf tin
In a mixing bowl, mash the banana and pear, then stir in the coconut oil, honey and eggs
In a food processor, blitz the almonds and walnuts with the cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger, fresh ginger and bicarbonate of soda
Add the dry ingredients from the food processor into the mixing bowl with the wet ingredients
Stir together gently until combined
Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and cook for 1 hour – 1 hour 15 mins until golden and a knife comes out clean
Leave to cool for 20 minutes and enjoy still warm, then have some more when completely set later!

(This recipe is based on the Hemsley and Hemsley Jamaican Ginger Bread recipe)

Enjoying Chocolate – Eating Raw

I’m not one to hide it. I like chocolate. I like chocolate a lot.

I know I’m not the only healthy eating buff with a weakness for something sweet – it’s why we experiment over and over again to conjure up recipes that deliver everything we want from a slice of cake, a cookie or a crumble, without the sugar and other nasties we strive to avoid.

As with most things, a little bit of chocolate is okay – and it’s even more acceptable if it’s a high quality dark chocolate, without added sugar and flavourings. Go one step further and you’re at raw chocolate – a popular option that’s tasty for hardcore bitter chocolate lovers but less appealing for anyone with a dominant sweet tooth. But I want to feel good about eating chocolate! For me, it’s all about balance, so I’ll let myself enjoy a morsel or two of decadent dark chocolate but only because I gorge on fresh fruit and veg, nuts and seeds, oily fish and protein packed grains the rest of the time. Chocolate is a treat I like to think I deserve.

healthy chocolate tart recipe

So, to help myself enjoy chocolate, I devised this indulgent recipe for a chocolate tart that’s got tons of nutritional value, thanks to the sum of its parts.

My raw tart recipe hides a multitude of healthy delights in its very short ingredient list. The base is made of nuts and unsulphured dried fruits, with cinnamon for additional depth of flavour. The tart filling is where the indulgence begins. It’s a kind of chocolate mousse mixture… just without any cream or sugar and with a hearty spoonful of good-for-you ingredients. Avocados, almond butter, honey and raw chocolate create a gloriously thick tart filling that’s dairy free, gluten free, refined sugar free and packed with vitamins, protein and fibre.

chocolate avocado tart recipe

I’ve served slices of this raw tart to quite a few dessert lovers now, all of whom were unaware of the goodness inside and assumed it was a homemade chocolate tart with a nutty base. The results? Lets just say that they all asked for seconds! Top the tart with crushed pistachios, flaked almonds , or some berries and believe me, you’ll fool anyone who doubts the winning combination that is avocado and chocolate.

Seriously, it tastes as good as it looks.


raw chocolate avocado tart recipe


Raw Chocolate Tart Recipe

Ingredients

250g of hazelnuts

150g of dried dates

130g of dried figs

1 tbsp of cinnamon

100g of almond butter

2 avocados

150g of honey

150g of raw chocolate

 

Prepare a tart dish by lining it with clingfilm

Soak the dates and figs in hot water for 10 minutes

In a food processor, blitz the hazelnuts and cinnamon until very finely chopped, then transfer the mix to a bowl

Use a sieve to drain the liquid from the dates and figs, then put the dried fruit in to the food processor

Blitz until the fruit is well processed

Add the processed dried fruit to the bowl with the ground nut mixture

Use a spatula to combine the nuts and fruit, pressing the ingredients together to being forming a dough

Use your hands to continue pressing the mixture together and knead it to form a ball of dough

Press the dough into the lined dish to form the base of your tart

Cover and place the dish in the freezer to begin setting the base

To make the raw tart filling, mix the almond butter, avocados and honey together in a mixing bowl until smooth

Next, if you’re using a bar of raw chocolate, process it until fine, or stir the raw cocoa powder into the filling mix

Remove the tart base from the freezer and fill it with the chocolate avocado filling

Cover the tart and leave it in the freezer overnight until set

A Healthier Scone Recipe

Scones homemade

 

Wrapping up for blustery days out during the early days of spring… I’ll be wearing a layer less but still with a light scarf wrapped around my neck and hiking boots on my feet. Meandering down lanes and between tall trees towards unknown destinations, finding secluded sunny spots for picnics and afternoons lazing in the sun- these are the things I look forward to as the days slowly grow longer. Every chance we have will be taken, to visit our favourite natural sights or explore unchartered territories.

 

When travelling to beautiful gardens, shady forests and coastal spots to make the most of our National Trust membership, cream teas are inevitable (and almost a prerequisite to the final trek of the day, right?). I’m all for treats and everything in moderation- so am always searching for ways to make the less healthy a little bit more wholesome. Plus, having to stick to a wheat/ yeast/ etc etc free diet means I sometimes need to come prepared with my own snacks!

Healthier-homemade-scone-recipe

My recipe for healthier scones is simple and really quick to make. These satisfying, soft scones are eggless- because eggs really aren’t necessary in this recipe- and sugar free- because sugar just isn’t necessary either! If I can make something without sugar, or just with fruit to sweeten it, I will. And if I can’t, then I probably won’t bother making it at all. The coconut oil replaces some of the butter in this recipe, adding to the soft and moist crumb. I made these scones completely without dairy and gluten free too by using oat milk, sunflower oil spread and gluten free self-raising flour- but you can use ‘normal’ equivalents if you’d prefer. My scones came out perfectly golden and they had just the right amount of crumbliness when we enjoyed them fresh out of the oven.

Once you’ve perfected the basic mix, make a few changes to satisfy your personal taste. Just throw in some sultanas, a swirl of almond butter, or go savoury with basil and olives. The plain and simple version of these scones are delicious eaten warm with a drizzle of honey, almond butter, or smothered in some homemade honey marmalade.

Homemade-healthier-scones

Photos are of me and my hands, thanks to DJ (the manfriend).

 

So here it is, a recipe for sugar free, egg free, gluten free and dairy free scones that can be paired with whatever you like (as long as it’s tea!).

Happy Sunday baking day!

 

My scone recipe was also featured in the March 2015 issue of Wonder Magazine!


 

Healthier Scone Recipe

 


A Healthier Scone Recipe

Ingredients

20g of cold dairy free butter (or your preferred butter)

20g of set coconut oil

225g of gluten free self-raising flour (or wheat flour if you’d prefer)

115ml of oat milk (or any other milk)

 

Preheat your oven to 210°C and line a baking tray with baking paper

In a mixing bowl rub together the butter, coconut oil and flour into a light crumb

Pour the milk in slowly, whilst using a spatula to mix the ingredients

Continue to mix in the milk until a dough begins to form

Knead the mixture with your hands to finish forming the soft dough

Separate the dough into 6 and form each piece into a scone shape

Place the scones onto the lined baking tray

Bake for 10 – 15 minutes until slightly golden

Remove the scones from the oven and enjoy warm or cold