Easy Coconut Custard – Low Carb, Paleo, Dairy-Free

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“I hope there’s pudding!”
~ J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

 

This is a simple, satisfying and yummy dessert. It makes a firm custard, which would be very suitable as a pie crust filling. Coconut Custard is dairy-free, gluten-free and sugar-free, and high in protein and good fats. Plus it tastes delicious!

This custard can be served straight from the oven for a warming treat, or it can be easily sliced into squares when cold. If you’re on a restricted diet, diabetic, or following a low carb or paleo way of eating it is lovely to be able to have dessert that fits your eating guidelines.

If you prefer a softer custard, omit two eggs.

Ingredients

6 eggs, 2 x 270ml cans of coconut milk, 2 tablespoons of Natvia or if you are fine with sugar use a sweetener of your choice up to 2/3 cup (I’ve used maple syrup, palm sugar and caster sugar – all work well), 1 teaspoon of vanilla, nutmeg (freshly grated if possible), a little vegetable or coconut oil for greasing your dish.

Method

Preheat your oven to moderate (160 degree celcius fan-forced or 180 degree oven – 350 degrees fahrenheit).

Break the eggs into a large bowl, add the coconut milk, vanilla and sweetener and whisk together well until combined.

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Grease a 4 cup capacity serving bowl. Pour the custard mixture into the bowl and then sprinkle or grate some nutmeg over the top. Place the bowl into a baking tray with high sides. Pour hot water into the baking tray to come half-way up the side of the custard bowl.

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Place in oven for 30 minutes or until set and golden brown on top.

Serve on it’s own, or with fresh or canned fruit. We used tinned lychees with fresh blueberries – a very delectable combination!

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Easy Gluten-Free Coconut Macaroons Recipe

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“A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness.” 
~ Elsa Schiaparelli

 

I love these simple little macaroons. So quick to make, so easy and they taste like heaven – all toasty and chewy on the outside and still soft and moist in the middle.

These ones are gluten-free, and can easily be made sugar-free as well, with no suffering of taste or quality.

Most macaroons are a fiddly mixture of meringue and coconut – these ones are simply egg, sugar (or sugar substitute) and coconut thrown together, with a cherry on top. Voila! So easy a child could make them.

They are a lovely addition to afternoon tea, and are also great for fundraisers.

Ingredients:

3 cups of unsweetened desiccated coconut; 2 eggs; 3/4 cup of sugar or natvia (or other sweetener of your choice; glace cherries, halved, to decorate.

Method:

Preheat your oven to moderate (160 degree celcius fan-forced or 180 degree oven – 350 degrees fahrenheit).

Line a baking tray/cookie sheet with baking paper.

Measure the coconut and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Break the eggs in and mix thoroughly. Leave stand for five minutes.

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Now using wet hands or a small wet mold (I use an 1/8 cup measure, which gives me 24 macaroons – an eggcup also works well!) scoop up some mixture, firm it and place onto the baking tray. Wet your hands or the mold in between each macaroon so that the mixture doesn’t stick. A bowl or cup full of water will do the trick.

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Then place half a cherry on top of each macaroon.

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Place into the hot oven and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on the tray for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack until completely cool. Store in an airtight tin for up to a week. Enjoy!

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Easy Baked Cheesecake Recipe – Gluten Free, Sugar Free

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“Stressed spelled backwards is desserts.  Coincidence?  I think not!”  ~ Author Unknown

One of the not-fun parts of being unwell, or being on a restricted diet, is that treats seem to be harder to come by. So many desserts are crammed full of sugar, grains and fats. Or they have twenty steps, weird ingredients and you need specialised skill or equipment to replicate the results at home.

If you can eat dairy, you’ll find this fits the bill.  Low fat, made without sugar and grains, and high in protein, it’s suitable for people following High-Protein Low-Carb Diets, for diabetics and for anyone who is gluten-free.

This is a wonderful dessert.  But you can also feel quite happy about eating it for breakfast, as a snack, or following a big bowl of salad or vegetables as your protein fix.

And if none of these things apply to you, make it and eat it anyway – because it’s yummy!!!

I’ve used some fresh local blueberries for this recipe, but frozen ones work perfectly well too.

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INGREDIENTS

500 grams (2 cups) Ricotta Cheese, 3 eggs, 5 teaspoons of Natvia ( a stevia based sweetener), 1/2 cup of blueberries (fresh or frozen) 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, 1 to 2 teaspoons cinnamon.

Preheat your oven to moderate (160 degree celcius fan-forced or 180 degree oven – 350 degrees fahrenheit).

Line a loaf tin (23cm x 12cm – 9 inch x 5 inch) with baking paper.

Separate the eggs, and put the whites into a large bowl, and the yolks into another bowl with the ricotta.  Beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.

Whisk the yolks, ricotta, vanilla, lemon zest and nutmeg together.  Fold in the berries and then gently fold through the stiff egg white.  Pour into the pre-prepared loaf tin.

Dust top with cinnamon. (Cinnamon is a wonderful spice – it helps regulate blood sugar, lowers bad cholesterol and is very anti-inflammatory.)

Bake cheesecake for 40 minutes.  Mixture may still be a little soft to touch but will firm up as it cools.  Remove from tin when cold. Eat on its own, or with your favourite fruits and toppings. Store in the refrigerator.

Note: Don’t be alarmed if this weeps a little as it cools.  Simply drain the liquid away before you store it.  I keep mine loosely wrapped in the paper I baked it in, on a plate in the refrigerator.  The cheesecake will keep for a week, but it probably won’t last that long!

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Healthy Apple Crumble Recipe

Apple crumble has been a family favourite in our house for years. Now Autumn has arrived in Australia all the new season apples leave us spoilt for choice, and they taste positively delicious baked into a dessert.

I’ve modified this recipe so that it is gluten-free, sugar-free and so that it can also be dairy free or vegan. It’s quick to make, rich in fibre, and tastes wonderful as a hot or cold dessert, and will even double as breakfast!

The following recipe gives one serve, which I bake in a small ramekin. For more people just keep increasing the quantity, and use a larger baking dish.

Ingredients for the apple base:

One apple (today I’m using Pink Lady apples – very creamy and sweet and they keep a nice firm texture when cooked. I won’t use any sugar or sweetener as the fruit is ripe and sweet already, but a tart apple like a granny smith may need a little sweetening for most palates), six dates (optional – omit if you have diabetes or a sugar issue), 1/3 cup of water, half to one teaspoon stevia if needed (you could also use maple syrup, honey or rice syrup), a shake of powdered ginger or allspice.

Method:

Peel and core apple and chop into small pieces.

Add apple to saucepan with water and sweetener if the apple is tart, and turn to medium heat. After a minute or two add the chopped dates if you are using them.  Add a little ginger or allspice to season.

Stir often over medium heat until the liquid cooks off and the apple has changed colour.

Spoon into a ramekin or small dish, (or enjoy on its own as stewed fruit – great with yoghurt, on porridge or cereal, or even over ice-cream).

Crumble topping ingredients:

One tablespoon dessicated coconut, one tablespoon mixed seeds (optional but great for protein and fibre), one tablespoon rolled oats (if you’re celiac you may want to use a tablespoon of either gluten-free breadcrumbs, puffed rice/millet/buckwheat or a good gluten-free cereal), a little sweetener of your choice if you wish, one teaspoon of butter, vegan/vegetarian butter substitute or if you are mad on coconut like me, one teaspoon of coconut oil or cream.

The seed mix I use is called Kapai Puku. It’s available online but not everywhere – there’s a good post about it, and how you can make your own substitute here.

Method:

Rub crumble ingredients together with your fingers so that it becomes clumpy. (Very un-technical term – sorry!)

Sprinkle over apple mixture.

Bake in moderate oven until the top browns – around ten minutes.

Eat with great gusto – can be served with yoghurt, coconut cream, cream or ice-cream. Or enjoy it on its own. Comfort food at its finest.