These are light, fluffy and a real celebration of Autumn. Unlike totally grain-based gluten free cakes, these keep fresh and moist for days (just keep them somewhere cool). I like to use reusable silicon muffin cases for this – muffins come off really cleanly and you are reducing waste as well. I adapted the recipe from one I found on supermummy.com. with a bowl of natural coconut or dairy yoghurt and some berries these would make a good breakfast too. Yummy!
To make this into a breakfast enjoy each muffin with a generus dollop of unsweetened coconut/almond or dairy yoghurt. This gives more protein to keep you fuller longer….
To make 12 x 7cm muffins
1 rounded tbs honey
100g coconut oil (or butter, if you want dairy), melted with the maple syrup/coconut sugar and cooled
3 tbs unsweetened almond milk (or other unsweetened milk).
Level tsp of vanilla powder or extract (not essence, if you want to be gluten-free)
1 heaped tbs coconut sugar (or use 2 scant tbs pure maple syrup)
2 large eggs*
75g buckwheat flour
75g ground almonds
1 level tsp baking soda (also called bread soda)
Generous pinch Himalayan salt For the apple pieces:
2 cooking apples
1 tbs buckwheat flour
½ level tsp Ceylon cinnamon
*If you have any leftover egg whites in your fridge, this is a good place to use them up. Instead of using 2 large eggs, I used two small/medium ones then at the end, with the apple pieces I folded in 2 very stiffly beaten medium egg whites*. The result was fab.
1. Peel core and dice the apples. Toss in a bowl with 1 tbs buckwheat flour and the Ceylon cinnamon until fully coated. Set aside.
2. Preheat oven (fan 180C standard 195)
3. Beat butter/coconut oil, milk, coconut sugar or maple syrup, vanilla and eggs in a bowl until frothy.
4. In a separate bowl whisk buckwheat flour, ground almonds, baking soda and salt together. Add to the liquid mixture and beat until fully amalgamated.
5. Fold the coated apple pieces into the mixture (along with the optional 1-2 stiffly beaten egg whites if you have some hanging around the fridge).
6. Spoon the mixture into 12 x 7cm muffin cases, supported by a muffin tin if you have one (this gives a nice shape to the finished product). If you don’t have a muffin tin, use a baking tray for the muffin cases.
7. Heat your oven to 180C while the muffins rest for a few minutes.
8. Bake 20-25 minutes (mine took 20) until golden on top. They are done when a skewer or toothpick inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean.
Why these are better for you:
Buckwheat is eally a seed rather than a grain. It is packed with a polyphenol (natural plant chemical) called rutin. Rutin is a powerhouse for aiding collagen production. Collagen is needed for healthy bones, tendons, ligaments, gut, connective tissue, and for keeping you younger a lot longer. Rutin has recently been on my mind as I implement a programme to heal tendonitis. I had a few minor shoulder injuries a few years back that prevented me moving properly (for 4 years), the tendon got pinched an inflamed. Ouch!!! Nothing like a (lot of) discomfort to refocus the mind on a few forgotten foods.
Sweetened with coconut sugar or maple syrup and containing apple to help feed these good bacteria these are SO much better for you than standard muffins loaded with refned sugar and toxic oils.
Buckwheat is naturally gluten-free. In EVERYBODY (whether gluten-sensitive or “normal”) gluten tears the lining of your small intestine. The damage lasts a minimum of 3 hours in ALL people (recent research has filmed this!). This damage allows bacterial fragments, gut bacteria and undigested food to spill into your bloodstream- putting your immune system into “attack” mode. This is a factor in inflammatory, autoimmune and mental health conditions. Using coconut oil or butter instead of omega 6 oils (like rape, sunflower, for example) means you avoid toxic trans fats produced by heating or refining nut/seed oils like sunflower, vegetable, rapeseed, sesame or peanut. Butter is healthier than damaged polyunsaturated oils.
This is a real crowd-pleaser that an Italian lady taught me to make when I was au-pairing in Rome. Rather then being fried, the meatballs are actually cooked in the tomato sauce. You really need lean meat for this otherwise you’ll have a lot of fat floating on the serface. Its up to you (and incidentally saturated fat is not the demon we were led to believe – much scientific evidence now to prove it).
If you would like to reduce the quantity of meat in the recipe, substitute cooked puy lentils for some of the meat. Raw meatballs freeze well too – just thaw thoroughly before cooking in tomato sauce.
For 5-6 big eaters
For the meatballs:
350g lean beef mince, organic if possible
350g lean lamb mince (or use extra beef mince if you prefer)
2 tbs freshly grated parmesan (if avoiding dairy, use 100% wholemeal gluten-free breadcrumbs instead of the cheese. If you eat gluten, normal brown crumbs are OK)
1 heaped tsp fresh thyme leaves
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
A few good grinds of black pepper
1 organic egg, beaten
A pinch of himalayan or Atlantic sea salt
For the sauce:
1 litre passata (sieved tomatoes)
1 onion, peeled and halved.
1 dsp extra virgin olive oil
Small bunch fresh basil, rinsed, if you have it.
1. In a bowl combine all the meatball ingredients and mix well – the quickest way to do this is with your hands.
2. Shape into balls about ¾” in diameter and place in a single layer on a plate in the fridge to solidify for at least ½ hour if possible.
3. To make the tomato sauce combine the passata, the peeled halved onion and olive oil in a wide-bottomed saucepan or deep frying pan, bring to the boil, then simmer until the onion is translucent – usually about 20 minutes. This sauce can be made up to 2 days in advance if you wish.
4. To cook the meatballs, bring the tomato sauce up to the boil in your wide bottomed saucepan or frying pan, then gently slide the meatballs in so they form a single layer. Do not stir (or you will break up the meatballs), just shake gently if necessary to distribute the meatballs in a single layer.
5. Cook on a medium heat for around 20 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through.
6. Remove the stalks from the basil, tear up roughly and add to the pan. Serve in bowls.
A large salad of green leaves and radicchio, cucumber and thinly sliced red onions
Optional extra (if you don’t want weight loss). Choose one:
A slice of gluten-free wholemeal bread or (if you eat gluten) some 100% wholemeal sourdough bread
2-3 baby boiled potatoes per person
Why this is good for you: Cooking meat at low temperature in the sauce avoids the production of the harmful oxidation products. Oxidation by products from charring food cause free radical damage, linked to digestive and skin problems, inflammation and premature ageing. Tomato sauce is very rich in lycopene, a potent anti ageing, anti-inflammatory antioxidant. Red meat is a good source of iron so for many people it’s useful to eat once or twice a week.
This is a nice, comforting weekday recipe and is great value too. It freezes well to give you a stash of ready meals.
Indian lentil dhal
For 3 See “larder & shopping” section for unusual ingredients
1 rounded dsp extra virgin coconut oil
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1 pint boiling water (or water leftover from steaming vegetables)
1 tsp Dr Coy’s Vegetable Bouillon (for SC Diet). Otherwise Kallo low salt veg stock cube (optional) or 1level tsp Vecon vegetable bouillon
28g creamed coconut, grated or chopped up – or 2 tbs thick tinned full fat coconut milk
1 level tsp (teaspoon) turmeric
1 rounded tsp garam masala (from Asian shops or make your own by grinding 25 g each of cardamom seeds, cloves, cinnamon sticks, black peppercorns in a coffee grinder or mini food processor to a fine powder)
225g/1 cup/230ml red lentils
Optional: a handful of fresh (rinsed and destalked) coriander leaves to garnish
Put onions, oil, 1 tsp water into a saucepan, cover and sweat 5 mins until onions are softened.
Add spices, garlic, cook 2 mins. Add a tablespoon or two of water if the mixture is dry.
Stir in the lentils, cook 1 min, add the boiling water. NB Don’t add stock cube or salt-containing vegetable bouillon before lentils are cooked or they will toughen and take forever.
Bring to the boil, cover and cook on a gentle heat for 20 mins or until soft.
Meanwhile dissolve the veg stock cube or bouillon if using in a little boiling water. Stir the chopped/grated coconut or thick coconut milk and the dissolved stock cube (if using) into the cooked lentils until dissolved. The mixture should be soft but not sloppy.
Season to taste, adding more water if you want the mix thinner.
Scatter over the coriander leaves if using
At least 1/2 a plateful steamed greens and other vegetables per person (e.g. shredded cabbage, broccoli florets, mange tout peas, sugar snaps, green beans and cauliflower, sliced carrots or sliced/diced turnips) and optionally (if you’re NOT on SC Diet) a little brown rice
Why this recipe is good for you: Spices and herbs lower inflammation and delay the onset of wrinkles! Soluble fibre in lentils and beans feeds good gut bacteria needed for a healthy immune system, good digestive and bowel function and hormonal balance. This type of fibre lowers cholesterol, and helps eliminate used hormones and toxins by sticking to them in the gut, carrying them safely out through the bowels. Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides that go to help energy production rather then being stored in your body as fat. These medium chain triglycerides are also helpful for brain function, especially for anyone experiencing age-related memory decline. Lentils and brown rice are also rich in B vitamins needed for energy production, libido, stress control and mood. Deficiency of B vitamins is common if you are stressed or regularly eat refined foods, stimulants or drink excess alcohol.