A Plateful of Energy Cakes
I have loved to bake since I was little. My older sister Diane got me started when I was about 8 years old. Every Sunday, I would help her in her kitchen to make a traditional Sunday Lunch..., Roast Beef, Yorkshire Pudding, etc. and always a dessert. Sometimes trifle, sometimes apple crumble, or blackberry and apple pie... good, basic, traditional English food.
About five years ago I discovered I was gluten intolerant and should avoid all foods with wheat, barley, rye and oatmeal. It put a real dent in my eating and baking habits I can tell you, but my gosh almost immediately I felt better for avoiding the gluten, and have steadily been doing better, until a few months back when I started to get stomach cramps and digestive problems, like I'd had when I ate gluten. So, I went back to the drawing board and came across a book by Elaine Gottschall called "Breaking The Vicious Cycle - Intestinal Health Through Diet." She recommends something called a Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) to heal the intestines. So, after reading it, I decided to give it a try. I no longer eat starches (potato, corn, tapioca - GF baking staples.) I no longer eat sugar, maple syrup, agave. I do eat raw honey and cook with it, and instead of baking with starches and grain flours, I bake with almond flour.
I really like eating this way. I feel like even though my choices are narrowed, that what I do put in my body, actually makes me feel great, AND there's more books, recipes and information coming available, plus web sites about the SCD. This growing awareness I believe, is due in part to researchers and parents finding that children with Autism and problems connected to leaky gut syndrome and other intestinal disorders (Crohns, Colitis etc.) do SO much better when they try this diet.
So, I'm getting back to baking again, and here's a new recipe I want to share:
A tasty, easy to make, healthy protein snack, great for chomping after a work out (or run,) or just a yummy treat with afternoon tea. - the protein source may come as a surprise to some of you, it not only comes from almond flour, but great northern beans too!!! Don't be put off, you can't taste anything that resembles a bean - really!!! Enjoy,
2 cups almond flour
1 cup chopped hazlenuts (or pecans or walnuts)
1 Tablespoon of Anise (zipped for 5 seconds in a coffee grinder)
1 tspn baking powder
1 tspn baking soda
pinch of sea salt (fine)
zest from 1 lemon
1/3 cup unsweetened cranberries
1/3 cup of shredded coconut
1 can of great northern beans (well rinsed)
1/4 cup of grapeseed oil
1/2 cup of honey
1 egg white beaten
1 generous splash of vanilla extract
1/3 cup chopped dates
1/3 cup sesame seeds
- mix first 9 ingredients in a bowl together.
- put the sesame seeds in a medium bowl, put to one side.
- put drained beans, oil, honey, egg white and vanilla in a food processor and blend
till the ingredients make a smooth paste, then add the chopped dates and run for approx.
- add the bean mix to the dry ingredients in the bowl and stir well. When all the ingredients
are blended together, scoop a dessert spoonful of mix, and roll it into a ball, then dip and
cover with the sesame seeds.
- place the cake on a parchment paper covered baking tray, and flatten slightly. Do the same
with the rest of the mix.
- bake in a 350' oven for 20-25 minutes.
- on a cooling rack for half an hour.