Morello Cherry Trifle Sugar-Gluten-Dairy-Free

It is great when it is a season for Morello cherries, known under other names Sour Cherry or Tart Cherry. The superfood qualities of Morello cherries are researched in other posts, for example Cherry Clafoutis.

This Cherry Trifle summer recipe may sound sophisticated, but it is actually an easy recipe, so, please, don’t be scared by a number of ingredients and steps. The beauty of this recipe is that you can use this method with any other seasonal fruit in your region, just replace fruit and jelly. It also tastes divine with Mangoes, however please use toasted and crushed hazelnuts with Mango Trifle instead of almonds. For this post I am using Cherry Trifle, just because Morello Cherries are my favourite. Each component has a great taste, and when the trifle is constructed, the taste is unforgettable!

Cherry Trifle

Jelly Ingredients:

500ml cherry juice, at room temperature
10g Agar-Agar
500ml filtered water, warm

Custard Ingredients:

2 packs coconut milk powder (enough to make 600 ml of coconut milk)
600 ml hot water
2 eggs
3/4 cup rice flour
150 ml water
1/4 cup Birch sugar
1/2 cup Stevia and Monk Fruit sugar
50 g Ghee
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Biscuits Ingredients:

2 eggs
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 cup Stevia and Monk Fruit sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla exract
1/4 cup rice flour (tapioca flour for Paleo)
1/2 cup almond flour

Fruits and Nuts:

700g Morello cherries / sour cherries / tart cherries
100g sliced almonds / almond flakes

Method:

1. Jelly: mix Agar-Agar into 200ml water and bring to boil constantly mixing with a silicon spatula. Immediately add Stevia and Monk fruit sugar and stir with spatula until it dissolves and bubbles. Gradually combine with juice and the rest of water, remove from the heat, then place in the fridge to set.

2. Custard. Turn oven on at 120C. Use a tray covered with baking paper to distribute two packs of coconut powder over it and put into oven for 3-5 minutes. If needed, turn off the fan to prevent burning. It should be of light creamy colour.

3. Biscuits: Increase the oven temperature to 175C. Beet eggs and lemon juice well in a mixer until volume increases twice, add sugars and vanilla, beat further until all dissolved. Fold in flours and spread the dough in the square silicon tray, bake at 175 for 12 minutes.  When the base cake is ready, turn over on the board to cool.

4. Custard:

– Make coconut milk using only half of hot water, only 300 ml.

– Beat the eggs and mix in the flours. Add coconut milk into eggs mixture and get a consistent smooth mixture.

– Heat 150 ml water with sugar in a saucepan, stir to dissolve and get to simmering state. Add the rest of hot water (300 ml) and put the saucepan on medium flame.

– Add the eggs mixture in and constantly mix with a spatula, going through all the surfaces inside the saucepan to prevent burning or forming lumps. Once the custard thickens switch off the flame and mix well.

– If the custard formed lumps, just use a blender to smooth the custard out, it will be shiny and smooth. Combine the ghee in and put the saucepan into the fridge to cool.

5. Cut the baked base into biscuits about 18 pieces. Place them around inside the bowl vertically. When the jelly is almost set, crush the jelly into the bowl but keep all the biscuits in place. Make another layer of cherries over the jelly. Pour the cold custard over the cherries, cover the bowl and place in the fridge until serving time.

6. While the oven is hot, place almond flakes in for a few minutes until they just start changing colour. Save until serving time.

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Cauliflower and Almond Soup

How versatile cauliflower is! It is a pack of vitamins and fibre. Cauliflower belongs to the same family as cabbage, broccoli, and most of green leaf vegetables.

Its taste is mild, creamy and slightly sweet, that makes it a perfect candidate to be partnered with delicate almond flavours. I am delighted with this combination, this is why my soup doesn’t have many ingredients and it has two simple steps to cook. A perfect soup for spring or autumn, hope you will enjoy it too.

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Cauliflower and Almond Soup

Ingredients:

1 L filtered water
1 L almond milk
1 Kg fresh cauliflower
1 leek white (about 20 cm)
Seasoning
Optional: 0.5 g saffron

Method:

1. Separate all the cauliflower florets and finely slice the leek. If using saffron soak it in little water.
2. Cook the vegetables in the water with seasoning until soft, then add the saffron.
3. Process the soup until smooth by gradually adding the almond milk. Serve warm.

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Cloudy Spinach Soup

Spinach is very versatile and it is easy to incorporate spinach into a diet. That is great because spinach has so many health benefits. Vitamin C, or ascorbate, is chemically the simplest vitamin. Unlike humans, plants can synthesise ascorbate, accumulating it up to 10% of the total water-soluble ‘carbohydrates’, according to research findings. The washing process of pre-packaged spinach, which uses circulating water with chlorine-based sanitiser, “can be a potential source of ascorbate loss and younger plant tissues often have higher ascorbate concentrations than older ones, e.g. in spinach.” (Food Chemistry 233 (2017) 237–246) So, if you are buying spinach for a salad, try the baby spinach that is sold unpacked and wash it yourself.
The following is very interesting too:
“Dark green leafy vegetables are primary food sources for lutein and b-carotene, however these bioactives have low bioavailability… Lutein liberation and in vitro accessibility were three-fold higher from spinach puree compared to whole leaves. Results for b-carotene liberation were similar, whereas that of b-carotene accessibility was only about two-fold.” (Food Chemistry 224 (2017) 407–413) This is good to know, well supports my recipe for Tabouleh. They call lutein ‘eye vitamin’.

Spinach can be added to many savoury dishes, raw or cooked. I prefer cooked spinach in winter and raw in summer. We are in the middle of the winter right now in Australia. And, here I am again with a new soup recipe. Please enjoy!

Cloudy Spinach Soup

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Millet bread

Millet is an ancient grain that is gluten free and has less starch than wheat and rice. Millet has a high anti-oxidant activity and it contains multiple vitamins and minerals, also contains higher levels of protein.

In eastern Europe, they make porridge from millet, in central and west Asia they fry the grain and use them in the tea or consume as a cereal.

My great-grandmother used to make a millet bread for my mother when she was a child during the hungry post-war years. She remembers that bread as one of the most delicious treats of her childhood. So I decided to make a millet bread of my own and share with you.

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Millet Bread Recipe

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup warm milk (cow, goat, almond, cashew, soya, any)
1 egg
1/4 cup oil
2 tablespoon honey
1 cup millet flour or 3/4 cup dry yellow millet
1/4 cup white rice flour
1/4 cup almond flour
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt
1 teaspoon Bi-Carb soda
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
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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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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
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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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