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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Spicy Lemon Cake Recipe

Lemons

Lemon is a versatile fruit.

If ‘use of lemon’ is searched on Google it returns a lot of various references. One page suggested 45 uses for lemon, and in addition to that there are comments with even more suggestions.

It is claimed that lemon has miraculous healing qualities. After reading research material I think the root quality of lemon is in its high content of vitamin C. Although there are many other vitamins and minerals in lemon, as well as being packed with antioxidants.

Unfortunately, I could not find any supporting material for the alkalising qualities of lemon, as there were many claims on this lately. It has been very popular to drink lemon water in the morning 15-20 minutes before breakfast. I trust it may help many, or it is what I’ve heard from others. Food Matters site listed the benefits of lemon water last year.

I use lemon juice in my cooking every day. One day I decided to create a recipe that would contain a fresh lemon as a central ingredient of the dish. So, here you are, my judges.

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Spicy Lemon Cake

Ingredients.

Base:
1/2 cup plain yoghurt
1 egg
2 tablespoons stevia
2 tablespoons flaxseed oil
150g ground hazelnut (or almond)

Filling:
2 medium lemons (~8cm)
1/2 cup of stevia
1/2 teaspoon of baking spice  (containss ground cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger)
5g agar-agar powder
1/2 cup water
Topping:
300g whipped cream
1 teaspoon stevia
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Cooking.

1. Soak agar in cold water in a covered saucepan. Preheat the oven to 175C.
2. Cover the bottom of the spring cake tin with baking paper and wipe sides with oil.
3. Mix yoghurt, stevia, egg, oil and hazelnut meal to form a dough. Using a spatula spread the dough in the tin. Bake at 175C for 15 mins.
4. Peel zest off lemons but leave it on 1/2 of one lemon. Cut the lemons to remove the seeds. Using a blender, process lemons with the baking spices to make a paste.
5. Constantly mix water with agar on medium heat until the mixture boils, add stevia and heat until it bubbles. Remove from the heat.
6. When the base is ready, combine the lemon paste and agar syrup then spread the filling over the base and refrigerate for an hour.
7. Once the cake is cold beat whipping cream, stevia, and vanilla essence until soft peaks form and spread to make a third layer.

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