Raw Cacao & Pecan Cake recipe (gluten, dairy, soya and egg free!)

There’s a great new book coming out that really should be on your Christmas list.

It’s called ‘Meals That Heal‘ and it’s not only informative, it looks beautiful and has lots of exciting recipes for you to try. We asked the author, Karen Maidment, a health and nutrition specialist to tell share one of her recipes with us…

“As a health & nutrition specialist, personal cookery coach and author of Meals That Heal Anti Inflammatory Healthcare & Free From Cooking, real foods that are also healing are my number one priority.

“Thanks to Goodness Direct us free from foodies can purchase mouth watering delicious ingredients without the fear of food sensitivity associated pain.

“This gorgeous recipe combines some of my favourite super foods, raw cacao, coconut oil and raw honey allowing you to reveal in this decadent treat completely guilt free, enjoy!”

cacao and pecan cake, gluten free, dairy free, soya free, egg free

Raw Cacao & Pecan Cake

Free from gluten, dairy, soy and egg!

Serves 8
Preparation time: 15min
Cooking time: 45-50min

170g/6oz organic Dove’s Farm Gluten Free Plain Flour
110g/4 oz organic raw cacao powder
110g/4 oz organic coconut sugar
2 tbsp organic raw honey
1 sp organic vanilla extract
1 tsp Organic Dove’s Farm Baking Powder
1 tsp Dove’s Farm Organic Bicarbonate Soda
250ml Organic Biona Coconut Milk
170g/6oz Organic Biona Coconut Oil
125g organic pecan nuts

1. Preheat the oven to 170°c, 340°f, gas mark4
2.  In a large mixing bowl sift the flour, cacao powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and sea salt.
3. Place the coconut oil, milk, sugar, vanilla and honey in a saucepan and melt on gently on a low heat.
4. Make a well in the middle of your dry ingredients and pour the melted wet ingredients in. Mix using a whisk (electric or hand) until there are no lumps.
5. Using a rolling pin smash the pecan nuts (inside a bag) into small bite size pieces. Sprinkle 2/3 of the nuts into the mixture, combining with a wooden spoon.
6. Grease a false bottomed cake tin thoroughly with coconut oil and pour your cake mixture in. Sprinkle the rest of the nuts onto the top of the cake.
7. Bake in the middle of the oven for 45-50 minutes until a skewer comes out clean from the centre of the cake. NOTE: if the top of the cake starts to burn simply cover with a sheet of greaseproof paper.
8. Once cooked carefully work your way around the edge of the cake with a knife to loosen, and then using an oven mitt gently push the cake up from the bottom and out of the tin. Set on a wire rack to cool. Once slightly cooled remove the cake tin base from under the cake.
9. Dust with a little icing sugar.


Pecan Pumpkin Tart recipe

It is pumpkin season so if you’re looking for a pumpkin recipe try this one from nutritionist and chef, Christine Bailey…

pecan pumpkin tart recipe

Pecan Pumpkin Tart

I love cooking with seasonal produce – pumpkins have a wonderful sweet buttery flavour making them perfect in sweet dishes. I developed this fabulous dessert to make it gluten free and dairy free – it is also a big hit with children. For speed you use a can of pumpkin puree but you can also steam pumpkin or butternut squash and puree it yourself. If you are interested in some ideas for festive gluten and dairy free treats then book onto my Cookery Day on 2nd December in Wokingham, Berkshire. See my website for details www.advancenutrition.co.uk

250g pecan nuts
60g pitted soft dates
1tbsp vanilla extract
2-3tbsp agave nectar or honey

400g can pumpkin puree
2 eggs
125ml Vanilla Rice Dream or Coconut milk
1tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp allspice
1tsp ground ginger
1tbsp vanilla extract
60g soft brown sugar

Place the pecan nuts in a food processor and process until very fine. Add the dates and agave and process until the mixture comes together. Press the mixture into a greased loose bottom 20cm round cake tin.

Place all the filling ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Pour into the cake tin and bake for 1 hour until the filling has puffed up in the centre and turn light golden.

Serve warm or cold. Decorate with a dusting of icing sugar, cocoa powder and crushed pecan nuts

Calories per serving 311kcal, Protein 4.9g, Carbohydrates 19.9g of which sugars 18.9g, Total Fat 23.8g of which saturates 2.3g

(Recipe copyright Christine Bailey http://www.advancenutrition.co.uk)

Christine’s Cashew and Pear Millet Porridge (gluten free recipe)

gluten free porridge

This is a wonderful creamy porridge, designed by nutritionist Christine Bailey, using the whole millet grain rather than flakes.

It’s perfect as a gluten free option and the addition of the nuts provides protein to help stabilise blood sugar levels. You can even make this the night before and heat it up in the morning if rushed for time.  Top with additional fruit, nuts and seeds and a sprinkling of ground cinnamon if wished.

Serves 4

125g (4½oz) ¾ cup millet
750ml (26floz) 3 cups water
2 ripe pears, peeled, cored and diced
150ml milk or milk alternative
50g/1¾ oz/ 1/3 cup cashew nuts
4 dried apricots
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp raw honey
1tbsp ground flaxseed

1. Put the millet and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.  Add the pear and continue to cook for a further 15 minutes until all the water has been absorbed. Set aside.
2. Put the remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
3. Pour the nut mixture into the millet and mix well. Serve hot or cold. Top with additional fruit, nuts, seeds and a sprinkling of ground cinnamon if wished.

Storage: This can be kept in the fridge for up to 1 day. To reheat, place in a saucepan with some extra milk and simmer, stirring, until warmed through.

Christine is a qualified nutritionist and chef and author of numerous healthy recipe books.  One of her specialisms is digestive health and cooking for people with allergies including those sensitive to gluten and dairy.  When she’s not writing recipes she advises clients and companies. For additional gluten free recipes why not book on to one of Christine’s cookery days or purchase one of her e-books online (See www.advancenutrition.co.uk)

Gluten Free Pasty – a tip

We have a good common sense tip here from Emma Speake who sent in this tip for making Gluten Free pastry:Gluten free pastry

‘I like baking with gluten free flour but I always find the pastry too crumbly to handle. When making pies or tarts etc, instead of carrying the pastry on my rolling pin, as I would if I was using ‘normal/wheat flour’ pastry, I roll it out on a large chopping board (the thin plastic ones are the best for this) and use the chopping board in a number of ways: firstly it allows me to place the pie dish on the pastry upside down and then turn the board upside down to place the pastry unbroken in the bottom of the pie dish, this obviously doesn’t work if the pie is filled so in that case I use the board to carry the pastry to the untopped pie and slide it off, usually tilting the board slightly, and onto the pie. Works perfectly and allows me to work with shortcrust gluten free pastry, minimising crumbling’.

Thanks Emma. Next time I make pastry I won’t be so exasperated as usual 🙂



Making Gluten Free Batter

We asked a few of our coeliac friends for their top tips in Gluten Free Cooking. Here is Diane Cochrane from Saltcoats top gluten free tip: Gluten Free Batter –

“When making a Gluten free batter, add egg to the batter for thickness, but also add a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda, so that it cooks all the way through.

My recipe is really tasty for chicken, fish and onion rings, and cheese sticks too”.


180g cornflour
180ml milk
1 egg
half teaspoon bicarb of soda
half teaspoon xantham gum
half teaspoon of salt

Co Yo has arrived, a vegan yoghurt that is heaven in a mouthful (receipe)

Co Yo has to be one of the most highly anticipated coconut desserts this season.

It is, quite simply, a coconut milk yoghurt, making it a delicious alternative for vegan and dairy-free palates. But it has to be tasted to be believed.

Some say it’s better than normal yoghurt because it has a superior creamy and fresh taste – something you’d expect from coconut. But the flavour is also light and gently nutty and, mixed to make other varieties, like Pineapple Co Yo or Mixed Berry Co Yo, well let’s just say it’s not unappropriate to describe it as “Heaven in a Mouthful”.

But whether it’s the fruit flavours or the Natural Co Yo you get a surprisingly filling probiotic delicacy, perfect for cereals or with fruit or as a combination for savoury meals too.

It’s also gluten free with no artificial preservatives or colouring. In fact it’s 100% natural – employing the benefits of coconut: full of minerals and healthy fats, particularly lauric acid which boosts the immune system.

Co Yo.. Heaven in a Mouthful
Co Yo.. Heaven in a Mouthful

Just to entice your tastebuds, here’s a recipe to try:

CO YO Cherries
This special treat contrasts the slight bite of coconut yoghurt with the sweetness of cherries.

450g fresh cherries
Piece of fresh ginger about 6-8 cm long, or substitute ginger syrup
50-100g coconut sugar, to taste
400g CO YO coconut milk yoghurt, natural flavour
25g chopped nuts

1. Place cherries in small saucepan with sugar and 60ml cup water. Chop fresh ginger into pieces then squeeze each in a garlic crush to capture the juice. (Alternatively leave out the sugar and add 120ml ginger syrup to cherries.)
2. Heat the cherries, sugar, ginger (or ginger syrup) and simmer until cherries soften. Mash lightly with a fork and allow to cool.
3. Add your choice of chopped nuts (macadamias or brazil nuts are excellent), stir into a generous serving of CO YO and serve.

Fun with new pancake ideas (video)

We’ve been messing around in the kitchen in the run up to pancake day.

We tried vegan pancakes, egg free banana pancakes and buttermilk pancakes and I think you’ll agree (recipes here). We had a lot of fun.