Salted cocoa coco bliss balls

Salted Cocoa Coco Bliss Balls

If you’re yet to try a bliss ball, you might be wondering what the fuss is all about. I have to say though, having made them (and eaten them) in such a short amount of time I am fully on the bliss ball bandwagon. Come join.

You will need:
A food processor/mini chopper

1 x cup nuts (I used a mixture of almond, hazelnut, walnut and pecan)
2 x tbsp coconut oil
1 x tbsp peanut butter
1 x tbsp cocoa powder
1 x tsp maple syrup
1 x tbsp desiccated coconut
1 x tbsp flax
1 x tsp chia seeds
good pinch of salt

Whack your nuts in a food processor and pulse until combined and roughly but quite finely chopped.

Add all the other ingredients. I just use my mini chopper and find I have to add things in stages as it’s so diddy. The more liquid ingredients, particularly the coconut oil, really help the mixture pack down so I would add that after the nuts, along with the cocoa powder first of all. The salt is what makes the chocolate taste more chocolatey and makes them really delicious so I recommend a generous twist.

The best thing about bliss balls is that you can mess with the recipe to please yourself – nuts / nut butters are pretty essential, but you can use cocoa, cinnamon, oats, protein…dried fruit if your stomach permits you… the list goes on. I strongly encourage you to lick the mix and make them to your taste. I think it needs the sweetness from the maple syrup but if you’re ok with dates add a couple to the mix as they do wonders for the texture too.

You can move the mixture to a larger bowl before adding the desiccated coconut, flax and chia if your processor is weeny like mine. Mix together with your hands and roll into bitesized balls before laying them out on a tray / plate.

Pop in the fridge to set for 20 mins. They are then yours to enjoy for as long as you can make them last!

 

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Dairy free buckwheat loaf

Dairy free buckwheat loaf

This dairy free buckwheat loaf has saved my bacon many, many times now.

I just can’t get on with the gluten free breads in shops. To me they taste oddly sweet, artificial and the texture is all wrong. Instead of being springy like the wheatful loaves I once loved, off-the-shelf gluten free bread almost melts in my mouth (and not in a good way).

Because of these disappointing and expensive varieties, I’ve made it my quest to find an alternative to grain based bread that actually matches up. Something you could serve your wheat loving friends without them making a strange face afterwards.

I think the answer lies here, in this Hemsley & Hemsley recipe. While I find many of their recipes a little hard to tackle, mainly because they sometimes call for obscure ingredients (kelp noodles anyone?) this one is superb, and you can get everything you need in Tescos.

This recipe makes one small loaf, but don’t be fooled by the size – this stuff is seedy, it’s dense, flavourful and filling…delicious by itself – you can also add some raisins into the mix to make a sweeter version. Did I mention it’s completely dairy and yeast free too? The anti bread that tastes like bread.

Dairy free buckwheat loaf

You will need:
1 x large sweet potato / 1/2 a butternut squash
110g buckwheat flour (you can make this quickly by chucking buckwheat groats into a food processor and whizzing until fine)
4 tbsp arrowroot (or buckwheat flour – which is what I use)
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp ground flax seed
2 tbsp lemon juice
180g mixed seeds (I use a mix of sesame, sunflower, pumpkin & linseed)

Preheat the oven to fan 180 C.
Peel and weigh out 200g of squash / sweet potato. Microwave for 5 minutes until fully cooked and then mush it up with a fork (or stick it in a food processor).
Leaving the seeds until last, mix all the dough ingredients.
With floured hands, shape into a loaf, making shallow slits in the top of the loaf.
Pop him in the oven for 40 mins until golden.

And that’s it! I really recommend picking up a copy of The Art of Eating Well, the book this recipe is from. There are some total gems amongst it’s pages and it’s especially inspiring as all Hemsley & Hemsley’s recipes are inventive whilst being  totally gluten free. Rejoice!

Dairy free buckwheat loaf

Vanilla and almond chia breakfast pudding

Vanilla and almond chia breakfast pudding

This is a yummy and refreshing way to start the day. It’s super easy to make, just needs to be made the night before.

You will need:
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 cup almond milk
1 tsp vanilla paste (could use vanilla extract but the paste is so much more delicious and potent)

For the topping:
1 x banana, sliced
2 tbsp peanut butter (crunchy is best for this pudding)
Sprinkling of mixed seeds (I used sunflower, pumpkin, sesame and linseed)

Vanilla and almond chia breakfast pudding

In a jar or glass, add the chia seeds and then pour the almond milk on top. Give it a good stir and pop in the fridge for at least two hours (but overnight is best). If you can, try and stir it every ten minutes or so for the first half hour to ensure it sets evenly.

Once it has, you can add whichever toppings you like, but I suggest you include a little sweetness and a little crunch. This time I opted for a layer of crunchy peanut butter, some sliced banana and some mixed seeds.

There is some misleading content online that suggests chia seeds are not low FODMAP, however Monash University have tried and tested these little guys and have approved the quantity of 2 tablespoons. Read about their research on chia seeds and other so-called superfoods kale and coconut water in the Debunking the Myth Behind Superfoods article. Monash also warn here that chia seeds aren’t tolerated by some people with IBS so that it might be worth trying a smaller portion first.

Chia seeds are a good thing to include in our elimination diets though, as they are a rich source of nutrients that we might be missing out on while we figure out our intolerances. They’re high in omega-3 fatty acids (60% of their composition is omega-3s!) which are especially good for us IBS sufferers as they reduce inflammation. They’re also high in fibre, something else we often miss out on with the elimination of grains, you will get 10g in just 2 tablespoons! And then there’s the antioxidants, minerals and their ability to maintain healthy insulin levels. They really are popular for a reason, so get ’em down ya!

It’s worth mentioning too, I think, that after eating this for breakfast, I’ve made it all the way through until lunchtime without a single thought of food, which for me never happens. I’m such an elevensies person, and today the need for a sweet something totally passed me by.

miso pot noodle

miso soup

 

This is perfect for when you need a quick packed lunch and all you have is unappealing leftovers.

You will need:
1 x pack rice noodles
selection of steamed and legal veg
1 x green part spring onion
2 x tbsp miso paste

 

Add all ingredients to a bowl / tuppaware. Just add boiling water when ready to eat and cover for three minutes to let the noodles cook and the miso come alive. Easy, healthy, filling and delicious. What more could you ask for!

raspberry sorbet, berries & dark chocolate

sorbet

The low FODMAP diet is so restrictive. Especially when it comes to sugar. But I find ways of eating pudding, of course, as I have such a sweet tooth. When my family reach for the frozen yoghurt/ice cream some evenings, I turn to sorbet. One of my favourites is raspberry sorbet, which is delicious topped with berries and some crushed raspberry filled dark chocolate. Little bit of glucose in here but sometimes you just need a little lift and I don’t think the amounts are too shameful! Better than diving into a gluten-filled dessert at least.