Cherrie Clafoutis

I agree, cherries are superfood, especially Morello cherries. They are also called sour cherries, and in US they are tart cherries.

Lately, I hear that Morello cherries contain melatonin. This is a very unique quality, as melatonin hormone is naturally produced in the body but many suffer from a low levels of it and, hence, lack of sleep. Then synthetic melatonin is used for adjusting the body’s internal clock for changing time zones or insomnia. Sour cherry is a natural source for melatonin, however they are very seasonal. So, I found that they are excellent berries for freezing.

Other outstanding qualities of cherries are powerful antioxidants like anthocyanins and cyanidin. Scientific experiments demonstrated that Morello cherry diet inhibited tumor development, and the ‘results suggest that tart cherry anthocyanins and cyanidin may reduce the risk of colon cancer.’

This Clafoutis recipe below does not contain cane sugar and dairy proteins. For my family, it is a perfect dish for brunch celebrations.

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Cherry Clafoutis

Ingredients:

350g Morello cherries
2 eggs
100g Rice Malt Syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
270ml light coconut cream
1 tablespoon ghee
2/3 cup white rice flour, fine

* 18cm silicone baking dish

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 185C.
2. Place cherries in the saucepan with 1 tablespoon of water, cover and cook on a very low heat for 15 minutes.
3. Using an electric mixer beat eggs until smooth and light. Add all the ingredients gradually and continue to mix until well combined.
4. Place cherries on the bottom of the form evenly and pour batter over the cooked cherries.
5. Bake at 180C for 25 mins with fan on, or at 200C for 30 minutes with no fan. Serve warm.

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Fructose Free Chocolate Cake

Fructose is contained in most sweeteners that are used in traditional desserts. Refined sugar, honey, maple syrup – all contain fructose. Fortunately, it is recognised now that sugar is the main source of fat that build up in the human body. Spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels may also cause dysfunctions of organs.

Since I discovered Brown Rice Malt Syrup, I have been really enjoying it in my recipes. Rice malt syrup is fructose free, it is made from 100% brown rice. Australian brands make organic Brown Rice Malt Syrup that reduces arsenic to hardly detectable levels. This is good information to be researched for those who consume rice regularly.

The malt syrup is made through fermenting rice to break down the starches and then transforming it into syrup through cooking. The syrup contains soluble complex carbohydrates, maltose and glucose. Rice Malt Syrup is a lower GI product in comparison to fructose and it takes more than an hour to digest.

So, here you are, for milk, fructose and gluten intolerances I have a chocolate dessert for you!

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Fructose Free Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

270ml coconut cream
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Lemon and Cashew Dessert Recipe

Cashew tree produce cashew apples, and cashew apples have cashew seeds. The green seeds are processed, and we find them as light brown cashew nuts on the food store shelves.

From a traditional stir fry to a modern cashew milk, from breakfast to dinner, cashew nuts prove to be more versatile every day. Health benefits of the cashew nuts inspire not only many of us who experiment with home cooking but also some food manufacturers.

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Date Dessert Recipe

Dates

Dates are  delicious, and they have a caramel flavour when used in baking. If you are one of us who decided to exclude refined sugars from your diet and you still have traces of a sweet tooth, you should consider Dates, such a versatile sweetener. This fruit is very sweet but at the same time it is considered to be a functional food.

According to Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition (Volume 52, Issue 3, 2012)  ‘it is apparent that the date fruits are highly nutritious and may have several potential health benefits’. Dates are a rich source of energy, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Compared to other dried fruits such as apricots and figs, dates are a good source of compounds with antioxidant activity.

The same Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition published a research where ’10 minerals have been reported in dates, with the most prominent being selenium, copper, potassium and magnesium, providing more than 15 percent of the recommended intake of these minerals in 100 grams of dates, which is roughly 4 dates. As dates have a high potassium and low sodium content, they are a healthy choice for those with hypertension.’

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Blueberry Muffins Recipe

Blueberries

In Australia, Blueberries are my favourite berries. Every year I organise Blueberry picking trip to one of the local organic blueberry farms.

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Magic Tablecloth. My daughter and a friend are picking blueberries in December 2015.

The blueberries can be stored fresh very well at low temperatures for up to 1 month. They don’t just stay fresh but they also retain all their qualities that provide health benefits. There is research just on that, and ‘The results suggested that sufficient available energy status and a stable enzymatic system in blueberries collectively contribute to improve chilling tolerance, thereby alleviating pitting and maintaining quality of blueberry fruit in long-term cold storage.’ (Food Chemistry, Volume 164, 1 December 2014, Pages 493-501). 

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Dried Nectarines Recipe

Nectarines

Nectarines, plums and peaches are in abundance this month. If you have a nectarine tree, for example, and you harvested buckets of nectarines, try to dry them. Then use dried nectarines throughout the year to add something unique to your recipes.

Add nectarines to your tagine while making goat or lamb along with the other spices and fruits from your recipe. If you are making veal in a creamy sauce you can try adding the dried nectarine instead of mushrooms. You can also soak the dried nectarines in boiling water to make a flavoured water, let it cool down and refrigerate before drinking. Finally, another option is to add a few pieces to your herbal tea when making a gourmet tea in a pot.

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Dried Nectarines

Ingredients:

Nectarines (not very ripe)
*Optional: apple cider vinegar
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Apricot Paste Recipe

Beautiful apricots are now ripe and sweet across Australia. This simple delicious addition to your cheese board is full of Christmas spirit. This paste is prepared with raw apricots and takes only 10 minutes.

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Apricot Paste

Ingredients:

500g apricots, ripe and sweet
1/8 cup semisweet or sweet white wine
1g agar (European, fine quality)
* Fine mesh sifter drum, silicone spatula, 170ml wide jar.
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