Nutribrex biscuits 

I’m on a mission to come up with a plain biscuit style snack for my son to take to school for a play piece. Something a little more nutritious than just flour, sugar & fat. I’ve been using the basic shortbread recipe I like and mucking about with the ingredients. I really liked the ones I made with oatmeal and Sunbutter in them but alas he did not. Today’s effort was made using Nutribix. I’ve only made these once! I’m sharing at special request but I think they turned out pretty well.

Nutribrex biscuits

Makes approx 24 depending on size of cutters

Ingredients

50g Nutribrex (3 pieces)

175g plain gluten free flour

1/2 teaspoon Xanthan gum

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

75g soft brown sugar

150g Stork block

Instructions

Preheat oven to 180C

Blitz 3 Nutribrex in a food processor (or crush in a bowl) until fine

Add gluten free flour, xanthan gum, flax and sugar to the food processor and combine on a low speed (or stir well)


Chop Stork block into small squares and add to mix along with the vanilla


Blitz until breadcrumbs form and then pulse till the mix comes together (or cut into mix then knead gently till it comes together)

Turn mix out onto a well floured surface, I use baking parchment and squish together into a ball. Divide ball into two and squash down with your hand then roll with a well floured rolling pin (or just use the palm of your hand)

Cut out shapes and place on a baking tray. You may want to line your tray with baking parchment, I didn’t and a couple of my biscuits stuck! I made two trayfuls.


Bake for 8 minutes then rotate the tray and bake for a further 8 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes on the tray before transferring to a cooling rack. My hearts worked better than my stars as the points of the stars got a little crunchy.

Remember you’ve made them for your children and don’t eat them all before they come home from school!

Banana & avocado muffins

Banana muffins/loaves are a staple in our house. Great for breakfast, after school snack or with dairy free custard for pudding. This is a twist on my regular recipe in an attempt to get some healthy fat into my kids. We are a nut and butter free house which leaves our options limited. I’m a great believer in ‘if we’re not allergic to it we should try eating it’ unfortunately when it comes to avocado my kids point blank refuse. Honestly one bad experience with a ‘healthy’ avocado chocolate mousse….

Anyway I’ve discovered if I blend it so no green bits show my kids will cheerfully if unknowingly eat avocado. Just not in an unsweetened chocolate mousse. If your kids are fussy you need to blend it silly till completely smooth or they’ll spot that one teeny bit of green and freak out. 

Banana & avocado muffins

Makes 12 large muffins

Ingredients

2 cups plain gluten free flour.( I used one cup rice, 1/2 cup potato starch, 1/4 cup sorghum & 1/4 cup Teff but Doves farm plain gluten free flour works too. If you want to use self raising flour which often contains xanthan gum just omit it and the raising agents) 

1 teaspoon xanthan gum

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup sugar

2 ripe bananas

1 ripe avocado

1/2 cup sunflower oil (have also used coconut oil before)

1/2 cup Apple purée (I use baby fruit pots)

1 tablespoon cider vinegar (or lemon juice)

Dairy free spread for greasing the tin

If desired –

1/2 cup dairy free chocolate chips 

1/2 cup chopped dates 

Instructions

Preheat oven to 180C and grease a 12 hole muffin tray

Measure flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda & cinnamon and sift into a large bowl. Whisk to combine. 

Chop the bananas and scoop out the avocado and blend together in a food processor (can mash together if green bits not an issue)


Once smooth add the oil then the apple purée and then the sugar. Finally mix in the cider vinegar. 


Pour wet ingredients into the bowl containing the dry ingredients and stir well. If using mix in the chocolate chips and dates. 

Distribute the mix evenly between the 12 holes. I find an ice cream scoop works really well for getting 12 even sized muffins. If you’d like a more rustic look you can spoon the mix in. 


Bake for 18 minutes and once the tray is cool enough to handle transfer the muffins to a cooling rack to cool completely. 


We like to eat ours cut in half with some dairy free spread. They’ll keep for 3 days in an airtight container and also freeze well. 

Dairy free strawberry frozen yoghurt

 


Simple yummy dessert with the bonus of fruit and calcium! I’ve made this for my son’s sweet tooth, also gorgeous without the added sugar!

Ingredients

2 cups Koko plain yoghurt

2 small ripe frozen bananas chopped

1/2 cup Sugar & Crumbs strawberry milkshake icing sugar

Squirt Dr Oetker pink gel colour

4 large strawberries chopped into small pieces

Also absolutely delicious with Sugar & Crumbs Pina Colada icing sugar! Just leave out the chopped strawberries or substitute with ripe pineapple

Instructions – makes approx 6 scoops

Blend the yoghurt, bananas, icing sugar & colour together until smooth

Pour into ice cream maker and churn for 20 minutes. If you don’t have an ice cream maker this would be lovely frozen in ice lolly moulds.


Stop ice cream maker and stir in chopped strawberries

If making for later and you have the patience freeze in scoops otherwise dive in!

Double chocolate pancakes

The kids are off school Friday-Monday for the May weekend (well they have been back nearly two weeks so it was about time for a break *rolls eyes*). We’ve no grand plans as we’re all choked with the cold and it is properly freezing. Like snow freezing!! This is the view out my window last night!

  
After a lazy long lie in watching back to back Transformers episodes with my boy my daughter appeared and requested chocolate for breakfast. While I wasn’t up for Easter chocolate for breakfast – that’s purely something we do on Easter Sunday and how on earth does she still have chocolate?? The boy had polished his off by Easter Monday! – I was up for something chocolatey so I threw together double chocolate pancakes with chopped dates and banana. Free from gluten, milk, eggs & nuts. They were so simple and so good I thought I’d share. 

Double chocolate pancakes

Makes approx 12 

Ingredients

1 cup gluten free self raising flour (I used Doves Farm)

2 Tablespoons sugar

2 Tablespoons cocoa (I used Tesco’s own)

1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed 

3 Tablespoons water

1 cup dairy free milk (I used Koko)

Generous squirt of lemon juice

Handful chopped dates

Handful dairy free chocolate chips (I used Plamil)

1 chopped banana

Sunflower oil for the pan

Instructions

Place the flaxseed and water in a small bowl and sit aside

Squirt some lemon juice into a cup measure then fill with dairy free milk (could use a teaspoon cider vinegar but my fridge was closer than the cupboard)

Measure 1 cup self raising gluten free flour into a bowl, add sugar & cocoa and whisk to combine

Add the flaxseed mix and the dairy free milk to the bowl and mix well

Stir in the dates, chocolate and banana 

Heat a frying pan wiped with oil on a medium/high heat. I use 7 on my induction hob

Spoon a small amount of mix onto the pan to check its hot enough. If it is bubbles will rise to the top, flip with a spatula and cook for a few seconds on the other side. 

Cook by generous spoonful, 3 – 4 at a time depending on the size of your pan. Stir well between batches as the chocolate chips are inclined to sink to the bottom of the bowl. 

  
Once cooked place on a plate lined with a piece of kitchen roll while you make the rest

  
Serve warm with dairy free spread and toppings of your choice. The boy had jam and honey and big sis had maple syrup. 

Proper yum!

  

Spiced mini muffins with cream cheese icing 

I love these muffins, they are pretty and packed full of veg. Always a bonus when feeding children!

The recipe makes 48 mini muffins which is masses but I freeze small bags of them for future snacks. 

  
These muffins are teeny. You could make bigger ones, they’ll just need baked for longer. 

Ingredients

2 cups plain gluten free flour (I used 3/4 cup rice, 1/4 cup Teff, 1/2 cup sorghum & 1/2 cup potato starch)

If you don’t need to be gluten free use plain flour and omit the xanthan gum. 

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

3/4 cup brown sugar 

1/3 cup sunflower oil

1/4 cup apple sauce (I use baby purée)

1 cup grated/processed veg (I used one carrot, one parsnip & one courgette which yielded about 2 cups)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

1 teaspoon cider vinegar

1/3 cup dairy free milk 

Icing 

60g Creamy Violife

2 tablespoons dairy free spread (I used Vitalite)

1 cup icing sugar

Instructions

Preheat oven to 180C and line 2 mini muffin tins (24 muffins each) with paper cases. I think these would be lovely without cases baked in a greased mini muffin tin but the cases disguise the veg better!

Wash/peel/chop the carrot, parsnip and courgette and whiz them in a food processor until finely chopped. If you don’t have a food processor you could grate them. I sometimes make soup or veg to put in shepherd’s pie at the same and keep a cupful for the muffins.   

 
  
Measure out and sift the flour, xanthan gum, bicarbonate of soda,baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger into a large bowl and whisk well to combine. 
In another bowl combine the veg, oil, apple sauce, vanilla extract, cider vinegar and dairy free milk then stir in the sugar. 

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just moistened then measure by teaspoonful into the prepared tins. 

  
Bake one tray at a time for 12 minutes, allow to cool for a few minutes in the tray (until it’s cool enough to handle) then transfer to a cooling rack. 

  
While the muffins are cooling make the icing.

Mix the creamy Violife and the dairy free spread together (I used my mixer) then slowly add the icing sugar and mix till smooth. The icing is quite runny, if you’d like it to be thicker add another half cup of icing sugar. There will be enough to ice at least half the muffins depending on how many you plan to freeze. Any extra can be stored in the fridge and (if you are anything like me) eaten on any biscuit/cake/loaf you like or just by the spoonful. 

  
Once the muffins are cool you can ice them either with a spoonful on top or piped on but as it’s very soft it doesn’t hold a shape. Iced muffins should be stored in the fridge. Muffins can be frozen until you remember you have some. I should probably say 3 months but I found some I made about 6 months ago and they were grand defrosted and iced! 

  

Double chocolate soft cookies gluten free & vegan 

I am obsessed with soft American style cookies after making Lucy’s Friendly Foods lemon & ginger ones recently. http://lucysfriendlyfoods.com/2016/01/05/cold-busting-lemon-and-ginger-cookies/ they are such a lovely texture and the kids loved them. I’ve been inspired to make strawberry & dairy free white chocolate cookies following the basic recipe and today I tried double chocolate. Wow. These are really good! My son ate two then said can I please have ten thousand more of those? I’ve adapted this recipe from Lucy’s to make it gluten free and chocolate. I’ve had success with several biscuit recipes recently doing a straight swop of plain flour for gluten free flour + 1/2 teaspoon of xanthan gum.

Ingredients – makes approximately 20

1 + 1/4 cup plain gluten free flour (I used Doves Farm)

2 tablespoons cocoa

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup of dairy free chocolate chips (I used Plamil dairy free catering chocolate)

1/2 cup dairy free spread (I used Vitalite)

1/2 cup caster sugar

2 tablespoons golden syrup

2 tablespoons dairy free milk (I used Rice)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 190c

Cream together dairy free spread, sugar and syrup then stir in dairy free milk

Sift flour, cocoa, xanthan gum, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a large bowl and whisk well

Slowly stir dry ingredients into the spread/sugar mix until you have a soft sticky dough then stir in chocolate chips

Drop mix by heaped teaspoon onto two baking trays (I don’t line mine as they are excellent and don’t stick but you may need to line with baking parchment if you prefer)


Bake one tray at a time for 8 minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the tray then transfer to a cooling rack.


Enjoy with a cold glass of dairy free milk

Warning!! It is really hard to stop eating these!

Freefrom Fish cakes

I’m always looking for ways to get more vegetables into my children. One will willingly eat carrots and sweet corn (but not baby corn) and the other will eat broccoli and any kind of corn. Both like baked beans but I’m not sure they really count. They are also weird with potato. They’ll eat it on top of shepherds pie, roasted or potato smiley faces (which are a safe option for us! How cool is that?) but look at mashed potato on their plates like I’m trying to poison them. I feed them fish cakes made with mashed potato and extra veg purely for my own amusement. I do a lot of crazy mummy laughing in my head when they demolish them!

I don’t have a set recipe as it’s a great thing to make with leftovers so amounts differ. Also I made enough for 8 hungry people last night (to feed 4) so I’m not really to be trusted with amounts.

Usually I make fish cakes with left over mashed potato, a tin of tuna, a tin of sweet corn and some gluten free flour. Depending on how seasoned your potatoes were you can add salt & pepper and lemon juice to the mix.

Last night I had a large cooked salmon fillet to use so I boiled 6 large potatoes in a huge pot till soft then mashed them with a splodge of Vitalite and some salt and pepper. I boiled 2 carrots and parsnips then blended them and mixed them into the mash. If you were using tuna this would not be a good way to hide carrot as the mix was a bit orange! When my daughter commented on the colour I said it was the pink salmon she could see….

I then added a cup of gluten free flour to the potato mix, removed the skin from the cooked salmon, flaked the fish with a fork and stirred it in. I seasoned with salt, pepper and lemon juice.

How to

Heat a large frying pan on a high heat (I used 8 on my induction hob) with enough oil to cover the base.

Take the fish/potato mix by the handful and shape into a pattie. Could make smaller ones for little kids.

Coat the pattie in a light dusting of gluten free flour by sitting it on a plate of flour then gently turning it to coat the other side.

Place gently in the pan using a spatula to avoid splashing yourself with hot oil. Fry for approximately 2 minutes on each side until golden (also known as not too pale, not burnt). I cooked 4 at a time and prepared the next batch while they were cooking.


If you are making masses you can keep them warm in the oven till they are all cooked. Let them cool a little before giving them to children.

When it’s just me and the kids I serve the fish cakes with lemon juice and a big blob of tomato ketchup for dipping but we went posh last night since it was salmon and had extra veg. 2 fish cakes was ample for the kids. I ate 3 but would have been fine with 2!