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
3/4 cup rice malt syrup
4 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup pure cocoa or raw cacao
2 cups white ground almonds (almond meal/almond flour)
Also required: a 20 cm removable cake tin (spring form), 2 bowls and an electric mixer.

Optional (Cherries contain low fructose): 1 cup morello cherries (frozen or fresh), stones removed.

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180c degrees. Make a single layer a piece of baking paper for the base of the springform and a double layer wide to cover the sides.

2. Combine coconut cream, syrup and cocoa well in a bowl using a spoon to get a smooth and shiny mixture. Put aside about 1/4 cup of this chocolate mixture and save it in a fridge for later use when the cake will be ready.

3. Using an electric mixer beat egg yolks until creamy. Add all the remaining chocolate mixture and continue mixing on the medium speed until completely incorporated.

4. Place egg whites in a second bowl and let the mixer run until soft peaks form.

5. Add almond meal to the bowl with the chocolate mixture and combine to get a consistent mixture by using a large silicone spatula.

6.  Dividing into three portions, gradually and gently fold the egg whites into the prepared chocolate-almond mixture through in a figure of eight movement with a large spatula.

7. Pour the cake dough into the middle of prepared tin, and if the cherries are used, mix them in during this step. Bake for 25 mins at 180 degrees in a fan forced oven. Then turn off the fan and bake for another 15 minutes at 160c.

8.  Let it cool approximately to the body temperature before removing from the form. Once cake is on the platter, spread the saved 1/4 cup of chocolate on top of the cake. It should melt and run through the sides of the cake.

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Breakfast Cookies

I created Teff cookies and I found them magical. First, one cookie keeps you going for a few hours and also, they are great for weight management.

Besides Teff’s high-fibre and high-protein qualities, which were mentioned in the previous posts for Teff recipes, this super grain also contains vitamins K, B1, B2, B3, B6 and C, which is unique for a grain. Combination of minerals is also admirable, just a few to mention: copper, zinc, magnesium, iron (which is easily absorbed), and what is the most attractive for me is high amounts of calcium. If your body, like mine, doesn’t agree with dairy products, Teff is a very good option for calcium consumption. This array of vitamins and minerals found in Teff makes it a healthy, weight-managing and bone-strengthening food.

There is also a nut butter ingredient in my recipe. My choice is a cashew nut butter, which I love using for my desserts. However, a similar result can be achieved by using peanut butter. Peanuts have more protein than any of the other nuts. Also, peanuts champion the other nuts with plant Sterols, which can help lower bad cholesterol in your body and reduce the risk of heart disease. Cashews have the lowest fat content (the same as pistachios), although peanuts aren’t far behind.

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Breakfast Cookies

Ingredients:

1.5 cups Teff flour
1/4 cup Rice Malt syrup
1/4 cup Maple syrup
1/3 cup sunflower oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup Cashew nut butter
1/4 cup macadamia pieces

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 175C. Keep all the ingredients at room temperature.
2. Mix all the ingredients except Teff flour in the bowl using just a tablespoon until consistent.
3. Add Teff flour to the mixture and using your hands mix and form a baton.
4. Place baking paper on the large tray and roll the dough baton with your palms to make it 5 cm in diameter.
5. Cut in half, then each half into two, and again until you get 16 pieces. Form a cookie smoothing the edges of the each piece and layout on the tray. Bake for 12 minutes.

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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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Pumpkin Bread Recipe

In addition to being healthy, pumpkin also contains another healthy ingredient, that is pepitas, or pumpkin seeds. Pepitas are very rich in minerals such as zinc, magnesium and iron. They are also high in protein content, about 20%. Unfortunately, like many other nuts and seeds, pepitas contain anti-nutrients like phytic acid, or phytate, that can make all the previously discussed important nutrients less bioavailable when you consume them. These anti-nutrients bind to minerals, especially zinc and iron, and the minerals cannot be absorbed.

I found a study that was specifically designed to research this factor in pumpkin seeds. It concluded, ‘The subsequent digestion under intestinal conditions showed that Zn becomes less accessible, indicating that antinutrients like naturally present phytate may be responsible for complex formation in the small intestines, thus reducing the potential for Zn bioavailability.’ (Food Chemistry, Volume 128, Issue 4, 15 October 2011, Pages 839-846)

So, if you plan on consuming seeds or nuts on a regular basis, it would be wise to soak or sprout them, that is what doctors advise. Unfortunately, ‘the soaking of whole seeds for 24 h can lead to leaching of iron and, to a lesser extent, of zinc ions into the soaking medium.’ The same applies to all legumes and grains. The good news, it was also proved that fermentation can completely hydrolyze the phytic acid. (Food Chemistry, Volume 138, Issue 1, 1 May 2013, Pages 430-436) And by the way, the heating also causes phytic acid reduction.

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Pumpkin Bread

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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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Poppy Chestnuts Recipe

Chestnuts

Warning, these Poppy Chestnuts are addictive!

Are chestnuts really nuts? The high content of carbohydrates and low content of fat in chestnuts set them apart from the other nuts, but they really are nuts 🙂

If you are on a Paleo diet and wish to have more carbohydrates, chestnut flour is the perfect ingredient to use, for example to thicken sauces.

Chestnuts also contain the highest amount of vitamin C in comparison to other nuts. Cooking, however, significantly reduces the vitamin C content of the chestnuts. Still, boiled and roasted chestnuts can be good sources of vitamin C since it may amount to about 25% of the recommended dietary intake for an adult man or woman.

Chestnuts are very special, because there is 20-30 times less phytic acid in chestnuts than in other nuts like almonds or walnuts. Phytic acid is only present in grains, legumes and nuts. I’ve also learnt something new about phytic acid. Phytic acid impairs absorption of iron and zinc, and to a lesser extent calcium, during consumption of a meal. It doesn’t affect any subsequent meals though.

So, it seems like having almonds as a snack between meals is a very good idea. And legumes and grains should be soaked before cooking, as soaking reduces the phytic acid content significantly. On the other hand, phytic acid was found to be effective against kidney stones. Maybe snow peas can be a good snack too?

Chestnut flour tastes great and it is gluten free. I really wanted to have something unique and personal made with chestnut flour, and here is the outcome below, the Poppy Chestnuts recipe.

Although for a well balanced diet occasional phytic acid is not a problem and phytic acid content in chestnuts is insignificant, I just need to remember now to have them separate from the main meal!

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Poppy Chestnuts

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Gluten and Sugar Free Banana Bread Recipe

“Oh Hallelujah, our problems are solved. We have banana bread.”
Watch this episode of Simpsons and you will definitely want to try my recipe:-)

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Banana Bread

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