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

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.

Flavours of the world: How to make Hojarascas Mexican Cookies

How to make delicious Mexican Hojarascas cookies!

One of the wonderful things about homeschooling is that making cookies can definitely be part of the curriculum! We’re studying Mexico at the moment and were sitting in the garden working with clay after watching videos about pottery. Miss decided to make and paint cookies – which then started us researching different types of Mexican cookies.

We settled on hojarascas (oh-ha-rascas) a kind of cinnamon sugar shortbread cookie. The name comes from a Spanish word referring to Autumnal leaves falling from the trees (and the crackling, crunching sound as they crumble beneath feet).

We started with a traditional recipe, and then adapted it to a Kiwi kitchen and making a small batch of about 18 cookies.

Ingredients

  • 100g butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1.5 cups high grade flour
  • Topping: 1/2 cup sugar + 2tsp ground cinammon

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180’C / 350’F and line a cookie tray with baking paper.
  2. In a large Pyrex bowl, soften or melt the butter.
  3. Add the sugar and mix well.
  4. Add the egg, cinnamon, and baking powder. Stir to combine.
  5. Slowly mix in the flour until you have a soft dough.
  6. You can can roll it out and use cookie cutters if you want to, but I like to just roll small balls with my fingers and softly flatten them.
  7. Mix the sugar and cinnamon topping on a plate and gently press the cookies into the mix on both sides.
  8. Place the cookies on the tray and bake for 10-15 mins (my oven took exactly 13 minutes!).
  9. Place on a cooling rack and sprinkle with leftover cinnamon-sugar mix. (You could also wait until they are cooled, place the cinnamon-sugar in a ziploc bag, and shake the cookies gently.)

Notes

There are many versions of hojarascas cookies online and although some use butter, traditionally they use lard or shortening. Most recipes have the sugar and cinnamon mix added after baking, whereas I added mine beforehand to help it adhere more firmly. Some recipes add vanilla, or star anise, orange zest, or nuts (like pecans) but the cinnamon and sugar are consistent throughout – it does mean that you can experiment with many variations if these become a firm favourite in your household.

You can also experiment with the ratios of cinnamon:sugar and whether you’d like the cinnamon weighted more to the cookie or topping. I made the cinnamon flavour in the cookie quite mild but others may like it stronger.

How to make kefir ice cream

Probiotic + prebiotic kefir ice-cream. Tasty, low in lactose, high in calcium.

Ingredients

  • 1 large frozen banana
  • 150g kefir
    • I used The Collective Blueberry Hemp Kefir. The hulled hemp seeds + chicory root help to add some prebiotic fibre to go with the probiotic kefir. Tip: Another option is to mix in 1Tbsp of ground linseed.

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

Directions

  1. Slice up the banana and freeze the slices.
  2. Blend the frozen banana and kefir until smooth.
  3. Serve and eat immediately. The consistency is like soft-serve ice-cream.

Black Forest Slice (GF, DF, SF, EF)

Black Forest Slice (GF, DF, SF, EF)

Black Forest Slice (GF, DF, SF, EF)

This delicious slice is full of goodness from almonds, brazil nuts, and cashew nuts. It can be served as a dessert or be frozen and added to school lunches. I wish I’d found such an easy way to make allergy free chocolate earlier!

NOTE: This is a small batch perfect for an 18x15cm pyrex dish; feel free to double the recipe for a larger quantity.

Ingredients

BASE

MIDDLE

TOP

  • 4 Tbsp dutch cocoa
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp maple syrup

Allergies: gluten free, soy free, dairy free, egg free, peanut free. Contains tree nuts.

Directions

  1. Line a pyrex dish with baking paper with overhanging sides so that you can lift it out easily. (This works better than greasing for slicing and freezing).
  2. Place the base ingredients into a food processor. Blend until well combined and sticking together. Press into the prepared dish and place in the fridge.
  3. Wash the food processor and then use it to blend the middle ingredients until smooth.
  4. Pour the fruit mix over the base and then place in the freezer for 30 minutes to set.
  5. Place the ingredients for the top into a bowl and blend until smooth.
  6. Spread the chocolate mix over the frozen middle layer and return to the freezer for another 20 minutes to set.
  7. Remove the slice from the freezer. Lift out the baking paper and slice into small serves. Enjoy delicious goodness!

Tip: The chocolate will soften easily in summer temperatures so this is best stored in the fridge or freezer. For school lunch boxes, place it in frozen.

Superfood Coconut Cacao Smoothie

I used the Healtheries Ground Chia Superfood Blend Cacao & Coconut in the Gluten Free Wild Berry Chocolate Cake and wanted to see what it would be like in a smoothie. The result is creamy, delicious, chocolatey, and with the added nutritional benefits of chia seeds!

Ingredients

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

Directions

  1. Place everything in a high-powered blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
  2. Pour into a serving glass. Consider topping with a little coconut cream or greek yoghurt and sprinkle some cacao on top.

Candied Salted Caramel Pumpkin Seeds

Candied Salted Caramel Pumpkin Seeds

Candied Salted Caramel Pumpkin Seeds

I love this recipe! It’s a fantastic candied treat that’s great for parties and for holidays. If you have food allergies in the family, it’s also a great recipe to pass to grandparents who want to spoil the kids! It’s also ideal to take to kindergarten parties and pot lucks as it’s free of all major allergens!

Don’t be put off by the idea of pumpkin seeds – these are nothing like the raw ones that you get in salads. These are as different as corn is after it’s popped and are sweet, salty, and crunchy like M&Ms. They are dangerously addictive and are great eaten straight, sprinkled on fruit crumble, or on top of ice cream.

Ingredients

In the oven:

  • 2c pumpkin seeds
  • 2 1/2T sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 3T water
  • Oil for roasting dish

Caramel sauce

  • 1 1/2T allergy-free spread (i.e. Nuttelex) / butter
  • 2 1/2T brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

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

Note: If nut allergies are not a concern,this recipe will also work well with peanuts, cashews, and almonds.

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180’C and lightly oil a baking dish (I used a silicon flan / pie dish).
  2. Mix all of the oven ingredients together and pour into the baking dish. Note: the water is important because it helps the spices to stick to the pumpkin seeds (and the seeds will absorb the water a little as they puff up during cooking).
  3. Bake the pumpkin seeds for 20-25 mins until golden and crunchy.
  4. Once the pumpkin seeds are cooked, mix the caramel sauce ingredients together in a pot. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the ingredients have melted and turned a deep golden brown.
  5. Mix the caramel sauce and pumpkin seeds together until well coated. Spread on a tray and allow to  cool.

Chocolate Banana ‘Yoghurt’ (Dairy free)

Chocolate Banana 'Yoghurt'.jpg

Chocolate Banana ‘Yoghurt’

I was looking for dairy free alternatives to yoghurt and similar products. This is a similar recipe to the Chocolate Avocado Mousse but is the consistency of pouring yoghurt instead of mousse.

Note: This recipe is best made with a food processor (or possibly an electric beater)

Ingredients

  • 1 large banana
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 3/4c coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • 3-4T brown sugar.

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

Directions

  1. Blend until smooth.
  2. Serve immediately or chill.

Fruit Crumble (allergy free!)

Gluten free fruit crumble

Gluten free fruit crumble

Looking for something easy to make for the family over Easter? Why not try old fashioned fruit crumble? Warm, delicious, comforting, and the leftovers also make a great breakfast. This recipe is a bit of a twist on an old classic as it is free of gluten and other key allergens.

Ingredients

  • 3-4c stewed fruit
  • Brown sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Allspice

Topping

  • 1c rolled oats
  • 1c superfine rice flour / plain all purpose flour
    • 1/4 tsp guar gum or xanthan gum if using gluten free rice flour.
  • 1/2c cornmeal (polenta)
  • 150g Nuttelex (allergy free vegan spread) / margarine / butter
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 3-4T honey, or brown sugar, or maple syrup.

Optional:

  • 1/2c finely grated carrots
  • 1/4c almond slivers
  • 1T ground linseed
  • 1T chia seeds

All extra ingredients that I would like to try in the topping! (Though I don’t think I’d add all at once).

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

Stewed Fruit

Some fruit does need to be stewed before being used in the crumble; these are mainly harder fruits like apples. You can chop apples up finely, add a little water, and cook them quite quickly using a microwave steamer.

If you have a food processor then it’s easy to blend fruit before putting it in the crumble dish. You’ll still need to stew fruit like apple but the food processor will help get them smooth. You can also put tinned fruits straight into the food processor and soft fresh fruits like feijoas.

Fruit crumbles are a great way to use up leftover fruit (like those apples that your toddler took ONE bite out of). For this crumble I used: 1 1/2 apples, a handful of sultanas, most of a 400g tin of apricots in juice, and a big bunch of fresh feijoas.

Serve with

Depending on allergies and budget, this is delicious hot and cold.  You could serve it with things like:

  • Whipped cream
  • Custard (can be made with almond milk)
  • Berry yoghurt
  • Ice cream (can use coconut yoghurt)

 

Directions

  1. Prepare fruit. Cook and stew the fruit if required; consider blending the fruit in a food processor.
  2. Pour the fruit into a cooking bowl (i.e. a Pyrex cooking dish or a silicon cake tin).
  3. Mix in sugar and spices. Remember that it’s easy to add more but you can’t take any out! I suggest starting with 1T brown sugar and a pinch of each of the spices. Keep adding until it is to your liking. Keep in mind that sweet fruits (like strawberries) may need some lemon juice to balance the flavour whereas acidic fruits (like feijoas) may need more sugar. There is also some sweetness being added to the topping so the fruit doesn’t need to be overly sweet.
  4. Mix all of the topping ingredients together. (I used the food processor again!). It should turn into a malleable topping that you can roll into balls in your hands and then squish and place over the fruit.
  5. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 190’C for approx. 25 mins.

Easy Butterscotch Pudding (Gluten free!)

Easy butterscotch pudding.jpg

Easy butterscotch pudding

Ingredients

Sponge

  • 1c fine white rice flour / 1c plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp guar gum (or xanthan gum) / *not needed if using gluten containing flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2c sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4c neutral oil (I used rice bran oil) / 60g margarine (i.e. Nuttelex) / 60g butter
  • 1/2c water / milk of choice (i.e. almond milk)
  • egg replacement i.e. 1T ground linseed + 3T warm water / 1 egg, whisked

Sauce

  • 1/2c brown sugar
  • 1c boiling water

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

NOTE: This is a delicious and easy self-saucing pudding that can be made free of all major allergens. I’ve included options so that you can tailor it to your needs; i.e. I made my batch gluten free, dairy free, soy free, and included the egg. You can also tailor the sugar to meet your sweet tooth; i.e. you can use less sugar in the sponge (and just have the sweet sauce), or make less sauce, or dissolve maple syrup in boiling water for the sauce.

I was thrilled when Mum sent this to me – gluten free and doesn’t require mixing several types of flour together! It’s also versatile; you could add cooking cocoa to the sponge and sauce to make this a chocolate pudding, or serve with spiced stewed apple, or with warm custard etc.

Mum mixed and cooked hers in a Pyrex dish; I cooked mine in five ceramic ramekins. It occurs to me that this would be a great gluten free option to serve at kids parties (especially winter birthdays!). It’s easy to make individual serves (if you don’t have enough ramekins consider using the large silicon muffin trays) and then kids could add to them with with things like custard, sliced fruit, fruit sauces, ice-cream, marshmellows, lemon curd, chocolate hazelnut spread etc.

Directions

  1. Mix all the ingredients together.
    • Choose whether you want to cook this in a single dish (i.e. Pyrex bowl) or individual serves; if the first option, you can mix it up in the dish it will be cooked in.
  2. Pour into cooking dish or ramekins.
  3. Sprinkle brown sugar over the top. Slowly pour on boiling water (you may want to pour over the back of a spoon to help disperse it more gently).
  4. Cook in pre-heated oven at 180’C. Takes approx. 25 mins in ramekins or 35-40 mins in pudding bowl.