Discover Sweden – How to make Swedish apple pie (gluten free + keto)

This is so easy to prepare as everything goes into the oven at the same time! This is higher in carbs for keto (at 7.5g/net carbs per serve) so it will work for some but not for others but it’s definitely much lower than a traditional apple pie. For those who aren’t on keto, feel free to sub ingredients (there are notes in the recipe).

Ingredients

  • 200g almond flour
  • 100g salted butter
  • 100g erythritol/monkfruit
    • This works 1:1 so you can use 100g sugar if non-keto.
  • 1 egg
  • Lemon Juice (one wedge)
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Optional: 1/2 tsp cardamom, or 1/2 tsp ground ginger, or a 1/4 tsp nutmeg.
  • 1 large green (Granny Smith) apple; equiv. to 250g thinly sliced apple after peeling and coring.
  • 1 small green-skinned winter squash; equiv. to 200g thinly sliced after peeling and coring.

If you’re not on keto, then feel free to use as many apples as you wish! If you are on keto, then you’ll want to use sparingly. You can significantly reduce the carbs/serve by switching to almond flour and a sugar replacement; reduce slightly more by switching to a mix of apple and squash; and reduce further by using a mix of apple and chayote / choko. The accompanying vegetable takes on the flavours of the apple and spices so that it simply tastes like apple!

100% apple = 8.6g carbs/serve; apple + squash = 7.5g carbs/serve; apple + chayote/choko = 6.6g carbs/serve.

Allergies: free from gluten and soy. For dairy free, consider replacing butter with coconut oil or nuttelex.

Directions

  1. Grease your baking dish and preheat the oven to 180’C/350’F.
  2. Prepare your apple and winter squash. It’s best to slice very thinly – especially the squash as it takes longer to cook than the apple.
  3. Place the slices in a mixing bowl. Add 2 Tablespoons of the pre-measured sugar, the lemon juice, the cinnamon, and any other spices. Give everything a good tumble until the slices are evenly coated. Layer them in the baking dish.
  4. In the emptied mixing bowl, soften the butter. Stir in the rest of the sugar replacement. Mix in the almond flour and a pinch of salt. Mix in the egg. Tip: this mixing order ensures that the raw egg doesn’t get scrambled into hot butter!
  5. Spread the topping over the apples.
  6. Bake for 40-60 mins.
    • Why the big time variation? From 40 minutes, you want to keep a close eye on when your crust starts to brown. You may find that it cooks quicker than your filling, especially when using squash (and depending on how finely sliced the filling is). If needed, cover the pie with tin foil, reduce heat, and allow the pie to keep simmering while keeping a close eye on it.
  7. Delicious served warm with whipped cream.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Based on 8 servings per recipe; nutritional breakdown is approx:

Serving Size: 1 Serving

Average Quantity
per Serving
Energy1122.4 kJ (268 kcal)
Protein6.3 g
Fat, total23.4 g
– saturated7.6 g
Carbohydrate7.5 g
Dietary Fibre4.3 g

Discover Sweden – how to make Swedish Cinnamon Buns (kanelbullar)

Swedish cinnamon buns differ from their American counterparts in several ways – the inclusion of cardamom, the wonderful looping and knotting to form them, and the simple glaze that traditionally uses Swedish pearl sugar. This is a small batch recipe that I made for family – feel free to double it!

Ingredients

Group 1 – Activating Yeast

  • 1 1/2 tsp surebake yeast
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm water (or milk)

Group 2 – Making Dough

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 Tablespoons rice bran oil (or 1/4 cup melted butter)
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons water

Group 3 – Filling

  • 1/2 cup soft brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 cup buttery nuttelex (or butter, or margarine)
  • Few drops vanilla

Group 4 – Glaze (optional but traditional)

  • 1 egg + 1 Tbsp water + Swedish Pearl Sugar to decorate.

Allergy: free from dairy*, soy, nuts, egg*.

Note: We differed from traditional recipes by not using dairy or egg but I have included these in the recipe notes so that families can make their own choices.

Directions

  1. Combine Group 1 (yeast, sugar, warm water) in a bowl. Wait about 10 minutes until frothy and giving a yeasty smell (indicating that the yeast has activated). In winter, I use a metal bowl and sit it in a sink of hot water.
  2. Add Group 2 to Group 1. Into the bowl, add the flour, cardamom, salt, rice bran oil, and sugar. Combine. Add the 3 Tbsp of water. You will now be able to use fingers to mould into dough.
  3. Fold and knead the dough until smooth and elastic. Cover and place in a warm place until doubled in size. Tip: in winter, I do some kneading for the share joy of it and then place in the breadmaker on a dough setting!
  4. Use Group 3 to make the filling. Combine brown sugar, cardamom, cinnamon, nuttelex/butter, and vanilla. Mix until smooth.
  5. Folding and shaping:
    • Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and form it into a large rectangle. Evenly spread the filling over it.
    • Lift the top edge of the dough and fold the top 1/3 down to the middle; lift the bottom edge of the dough and lift up to the middle.
    • Roll the dough again into a large rectangle.
    • Cut the dough into 6 strips.
    • Pick up a strip, stretch and twist lightly, loop twice around the three middle fingers of your other hand, then once over the loop, and coil with the bottom tucked in.
  6. Place the knotted cinnamon buns onto a baking sheet and place in a warm place. Allow them time to rise until almost doubled in size.
  7. Preheat the oven to 180’C / 350’F.
  8. While the oven is heating, make up the egg wash if desired. Whisk the egg and water, then lightly brush over the scrolls. Sprinkle with crunchy Swedish pearl sugar.
  9. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm.

Nutritional Information

Based on 6 servings.

Average Quantity
per Serving
Energy1692.7 kJ (404kcal)
Protein4.8 g
Fat, total17.9 g
– saturated4.1 g
Carbohydrate55.2 g
– sugars24.1 g

How to make cheese scones (keto + gluten free)

I love these gluten free cheese scones! They are tasty, versatile, great for lunchboxes, and only 4g of carbs per serve! I always make a double batch so I have some to freeze. They are also tasty with homemade butter on them 🙂

Ingredients

  • 100g almond flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 50g grated cheese (I recommend Colby)
  • 40g mozzarella (grated)

Allergies: gluten free, soy free, peanut free.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 200’C / 390’F. Grease or line a baking tray.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  3. Divide into 4 even amounts. Roughly roll into balls. Place on tray and pat flattish.
  4. Cook for approx. 12-15 minutes (until golden brown on base). Remove and allow to cool.
  5. Delicious warm with butter; dipped with soup; or as a side with meat and salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Based on 4 servings per recipe; nutritional breakdown is approx:

Serving Size: 1 Serving

Average Quantity
per Serving
Energy1087.5 kJ (260 kcal)
Protein13.5 g
Fat, total21.5 g
– saturated5.6 g
Carbohydrate3.9 g
– sugars1.5 g
Dietary Fibre2.7 g
Sodium449.8 mg
Calcium366.7 mg

Healthy Hearts Chocolate Fudge Brownie

Healthy Hearts Chocolate Fudge Brownie Free from dairy, gluten, and soy.

I wanted to make something that tasted decadently chocolatey but without a lot of added sugar and minimizing ingredients that are common allergies. It can easily be adjusted to make it suitable for any food restrictions in the family, daycare, or school. Lentils contain a wide range of nutrients and are made up of over 25% protein!

Healthy heart Chocolate Fudge Brownies

Ingredients

  • 2 x 400g tin lentils (approx. 2 cups of drained lentils)
  • 1 cup chopped dates
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup rice bran oil
  • 1/2 cup almond meal + 1/2 cup fine rice flour
    • (or substitute 1 cup plain flour)
  • 1 cup dutch cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • Optional: 90g pureed green vegetables (spinach, peas, courgette)

Allergies: gluten free, dairy free, soy free, peanut free.

What type of lentils to use?

There are many types of lentils and many online recipes suggest using red lentils. This is probably because they are split, skinless, and can have a sweet nutty flavour. To be honest, I went with what what was affordable and convenient – tins of brown lentils!

How can I replace egg?

I used egg as I wanted the protein but for an egg free alternative, you could pre-soak the chia seeds in 6 Tbsp boiling water for 15-20 minutes or use something like Orgran’s Egg Replacer.

Directions

  1. Put oven on to pre-heat to 180’C / 375’F. Grease your brownie tray (I use rice bran oil).
  2. Rinse lentils thoroughly. The lentils will need to be cooked and their cooking time is going to depend on what form you’re using (i.e. dried lentils will need to be simmered for 15-20 minutes).
  3. Put the kettle on to boil while you chop up the dates (the measurement of 1 cup is after they’ve been cut up).
  4. The dates need to be soaked in boiling water until soft. Personally, I took a big pyrex dish, put in my (rinsed) soft brown tinned lentils + my roughly chopped dates + a small amount of water. I then put it in the microwave on High for 2 minutes, stirred, and then put back in the microwave for another 2 minutes.
  5. Pour the hot date / lentil mix into a food processor and blend till smooth.
    • A metal blade is ideal for smoothness but then you’ll need to change to a plastic blade (or wooden spoon) for combining the rest; if you’re not worried about a perfect puree then you can just use a plastic blade throughout.
  6. Mix in sugar and maple syrup. Taste test for sweetness.
    • Note: instead of sugar, you could just use 1/3 cup maple syrup. The dates will also add natural sweetness.
  7. Mix in egg and oil.
  8. Mix in almond meal, rice flour, dutch cocoa, salt, baking powder, chia seeds, and any optional ingredients. (I went for green veggies, someone else might go for chopped walnuts).
  9. Bake for 30-35 mins.

The gluten free version comes out as a soft, fudgey, chocolate slice; with normal flour it will probably be higher and a bit firmer. Blind taste testing by neighbour was successful both for approval rating and not guessing the lentils.

Recommended topping: a spoonful of Nature’s Charm Coconut Chocolate Fudge Sauce. It tastes amazing while also being vegan, dairy free, and soy free.

Blueberry and Lemon muffins (Keto + Gluten Free!)

These Keto friendly muffins are gluten free, soft, naturally sweet, and contain only 3.3g net carbs per serving! They are lovely served warm from the oven (and can be frozen to use as needed).

Ingredients

Allergies: free from gluten and soy.

Note: These muffins are sugar free and naturally sweetened by the cream cheese and blueberries. If you prefer them sweeter you could add a little Maple Syrup (either natural, or an alternative like ‘Queen Maple Syrup Flavoured Sugar Free’ to maintain the low carbs).

Tip: For a finer consistency, consider ordering finely milled almond flour online.

Directions

  1. Line or grease a 6-serving muffin tin. Preheat the oven to 180’C / 350’F.
  2. Melt the butter (I use a large pyrex jug in microwave).
  3. Stir in the almond meal. Let it stand for 5-10 mins so that it thickens a little.
  4. Stir in the baking powder, eggs, and cream cheese.
  5. Gently fold in the fresh blueberries and lemon peel.
  6. Spoon into the muffin tin. Bake for 18-22 mins (or until a toothpick comes out clean).

Nutritional Information

Based on 6 servings per recipe; nutritional breakdown is approx:

Average Quantity
per Serving
Energy874.1 kJ / 209.9 kcal
Protein6.1 g
Fat, total18.8 g
– saturated6.5 g
Carbohydrate3.3 g
– sugars2.6 g
Dietary Fibre2.1 g
Sodium219.5 mg
Calcium54.9 mg

Gluten Free Lemon Cake

This delicious gluten free lemon cake was inspired by both our study of Colombia, where corn flour is a key ingredient in many traditional foods, and our sun drenched lemon tree.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup GF cornmeal flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups gluten free plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • pinch salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 120g Nuttelex (or margarine, or butter)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • approx. 3/4 cup water (or rice milk, or milk, or greek yoghurt).

Allergies: gluten free, dairy free*, soy free, nut free.

Directions

  1. Line or grease a large spring-form cake tin. Preheat the oven to 180’C / 350’F.
  2. I like to keep things simple. Put everything in a big bowl in the order listed EXCEPT the water. Tip: a flour sieve is great for keeping out the lemon pips!
  3. Add 1/4 cup liquid and mix with an electric beater. Slowly keep adding water and mixing until you have a good cake batter consistency.
  4. Pour the cake batter into the cake tin, smooth, and bake for 30-35 mins (or until a toothpick / sharp knife comes out clean).
  5. Sprinkle with a little icing sugar, or whip up a lemon icing for a more lemony flavour.

Tip: I like to eat it warm from the oven and then freeze the rest to pull out as needed.

Tip: For a more lemony flavour, pierce many times with a toothpick when the cake is half cooked. Cover the top of the cake in a thin layer of sugar and squeeze a fresh lemon over the top; then place back in the oven. The lemon syrup will soak into the cake while it continues baking.

Yummy Chocolate beetroot muffins!

This is a versatile recipe that can be used to make moist scrumptious cupcakes, muffins, or mini-cakes.

Ingredients

  • 150g grated fresh beetroot
  • 2 eggs (whisked)
  • 1/2 cup rice bran oil
  • 1/4 cup water, rice milk, or cow milk.
  • 1 1/2 cup high grade flour
  • 3/4c sugar
  • 1/3 cup Dutch cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • Optional: 2 tsp hemp seed protein powder

Allergies: dairy free*, soy free, nut free.

Directions

  1. Put oven on to pre-heat to 180’C / 375’F. Grease your muffin tray or springform mini-tins.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, and sugar into a bowl. Add hemp seed protein powder (if using). Whisk.
  3. Add the grated beetroot, eggs, and rice bran oil. Mix to combine. It will still look a little dry. Add the water / milk and it should look just right once mixed in.
  4. Divide the mix amongst your muffin cases etc.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes (or until a toothpick / sharp knife comes out cleanly from the centre).

Allow to cool and then consider icing CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM ICING (ALLERGY FRIENDLY).

Light and fluffy Scones

These are the kind of light, fluffy, round scones that one imagines having with berry jam, clotted cream, and china cups of tea. They are made with flour and baked in the oven and rather different from the large, quartered, barley flour or oatmeal griddle scones from which they are descended.

My childhood has many pleasant memories of making scones in sunlit kitchens and they are wonderfully versatile as they can be served with everything from sweet honey to umami Marmite and cheese.

If you make kefir at home keep in mind that you can use it in baking! Although the probiotics will die in the heat, they will leave behind an enriched milk with little lactose and will add a lightness to your baking.

Ingredients

  • 75g butter
  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 6 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp wheat germ
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 to 1/2 cups milk (or 3/4 cup milk kefir + 3/4 cup milk)

Directions

  1. Start oven pre-heating to 220’C / 428’F. Grease a baking tray or line with baking paper.
  2. Measure and cut butter into a mixing bowl.
  3. Sift in flour, baking powder, and salt. Add wheat germ and sugar.
  4. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles golden breadcrumbs.
  5. Add 3/4 cup of milk (or kefir). Mix to combine.
  6. Slowly add up to 3/4 cup of additional milk; stop to knead as you add the extra liquid. You want to draw all the dry ingredients into the mix without it getting too wet and sticky.
  7. Pull off the dough into approximately 12 pieces. Roll into rough balls in your hand and then flatten slightly. Place on prepared baking tray.
  8. Bake at 220’C / 428’F for 10 minutes. The scones should rise a great deal. Check if they are cooking evenly (and adjust their placement in the oven if not). Reduce the heat to approximately 180’C / 350’F and bake for another 5-6 minutes until golden.

Cheesy Oat Muffins

Cheesy Oat Muffins

These delicious muffins have protein, calcium, fibre and are delicious served warm with butter or dipped into winter soup.

Ingredients

Allergies: soy free, egg free*, nut free.

Directions

  1. Start the oven pre-heating to 180’C / 350’F and grease the muffin pans.
  2. Whisk the eggs, milk, and oil.
  3. Add the salt, sugar, and oats.
    • Tip: If you prefer a fine texture to your baking, use an electric hand beater to combine. This will help to break the oats into a finer texture (without demolishing them into oat flour).
  4. Add the wheat bran, wheat germ and cheese. Sift in the flour and baking powder. Mix well to combine.
  5. Spoon the muffin mix into the greased muffin trays and pop into the pre-heated oven.
  6. Bake for 25-35 mins until the muffins are cooked through (test with a knife or skewer to see that it comes out clean).
  7. Allow muffins to cool on a wire rack.

These are brilliant served warm with butter and are still lovely for breakfast in the morning. Consider freezing leftovers to heat up as needed.

Caramel Crunch Cookies

Caramel Crunch Cookies

These delicious crunchy cookies are also a great opportunity to discuss science in the kitchen! STEM discussion points follow after the recipe 🙂

Ingredients

  • 125 butter
  • 1/2 brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup or golden syrup
  • 1 Tbsp milk
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Allergies: soy free, egg free, nut free.

Directions

  1. Start the oven preheating to 180’C / 350’F.
  2. Have a grown up mix the butter, sugar, maple syrup, and milk in a pot. Heat until the butter is melted and the mixture is almost boiling – you’ll be able to see the surface tension change as it begins to think about bubbling. Make sure that you stir constantly so that it doesn’t stick or burn.
  3. Remove from heat and allow the caramel to cool to lukewarm.
  4. Sift the flour and baking soda into the pot and mix into the caramel.
  5. Stir well and it will turn into a caramel coloured cookie dough.
  6. Roll the cookie dough into balls and flatten on a baking tray (either greased or lined with baking paper).
  7. Bake for 10-15 mins or until golden brown.

Science in the Kitchen (STEM)

  1. Gravity & Weight: When you’re using kitchen scales to measure out the butter, take a few moments to talk about why things have weight and why we weigh them. That butter would weigh about 20g on the Moon and about 315g on Jupiter.
  2. Solids, Liquids, Gas: It’s a good idea to have a grown up do the stirring with the caramel mixture as it gets very hot; keep young helpers interested by helping them to safely view the way the ingredients change. Ask them if the butter and sugar going into the pot are liquids or solids (the latter); then show them what happens when heat is applied (becomes liquid); as the mixture cools and is combined with the flour it’s state changes again (solid).
  3. Gassy Bubbles: Ask young helpers what’s different about the ingredients in this recipe. The answer is that it uses baking soda rather than baking soda. The baking soda causes small carbon dioxide gas bubbles in the cookie mix causing it to rise when it goes into the hot oven. Tip: Get the cookies in the oven quickly as the longer the mix is left at room temperature, the less the cookies will rise.
  4. Sweet Surprise: A great way to see baking soda in action is to make a candy version of these cookies. Have a go at making Hokey Pokey!