I’ve been observing numerous foodblogs and their abstinence to grains.
A Grain-Free diet, as they call it, is a diet devoid of grains. This includes things like rice, barley, oats, etc.
To summarize, ALL the flours in my pantry, be it rice flour, wheat flour or corn flour unmitigatedly breach this grain free diet.
“So what the heck are you supposed to bake with?” screamed the baker in me.
Well, take it easy, Because baking is still possible without the above mentioned flours. Days after days of blogstalking activities revealed that almond flour (almond being a nut, not a grain), and coconut flour (coconut is a fruit), are the top favourites amongst the grain-free dieters.
And since i live in the tropics where coconuts are aplenty. I am using coconut flour on this grain free adventure
but WHY ???? you ask. Aren’t grains good for you? Aren’t they full of fiber? Don’t they reduce the risk of heart diseases.
Well, i guess there are two sides to every story.
The followers of a grain free diet believe that:
1. Grain are inflammatory food due to its high starch content.
Grains that are refined have higher inflammatory index than unrefined grains. So a white flour is more inflammatory than a whole wheat flour.
2. Grain contain phytic acid which binds minerals and prevent absorbtion.
This pretty much means that you won’t be able to fully and effeciently absorb the minerals that the grains boasts about.
3. Grains are linked to tooth decay.
High starches in grain is a breeding ground for bacterial growth in your mouth.
There are probably a more extensive list of the detrimental effects of grains. But I’ll leave it up to you guys to research into it on your own. My brain is starting to hurt just by highlighting the three points above. I guess i could never look into health advisor as an occupation.
Sugar Free Coconut Flour Chiffon Banana Cake with blueberries
Makes two ramekins
5 grams coconut flour
1 egg yolk (preferable organic)
10 grams coconut oil
10 grams coconut milk
60 grams ripe bananas, mashed
1 egg white
a handful of frozen blueberries
Preheat oven to 165 C (330 F).
Mix egg yolk, mashed banana, coconut flour, oil, and milk into a bowl. Stir till you get a smooth batter
Beat egg white till stiff peak.
Fold egg white into banana batter
Transfer batter into ramekins
Drop blueberries on the batter
Bake for +- 20 minutes or till the cake turns a golden brown
I know, i know, majority of you would probably feel repulsed by yet another sugar free, gluten free baby food.
But i feel the need to post this recipe, namely because it’s a recipe I’ve developed myself.
After rounds and rounds of trial error, I’ve finally came up with a cake recipe i really loved.
A cake recipe that’s subtly sweet and soft as can be.
Considering that this is an entirely sugar free (refined/unrefined, synthetic/natural), this is quite a breakthrough. No stevia, no xylitol, or any of that fancy sweeteners was used here.
The goodness came from ripe bananas.
Working with my sugar free constraints, I also wanted to come up with a frosting that’s equally healthy for these cupcakes. For days, I find myself sometimes staring into blank space. I just couldn’t think of something that’s naturally sweet and is thick enough to pipe.
Then the idea hit me. avocadoes! At first I was skeptical, I didnt know whether blended avocadoes would be too watery. I also thought that avocadoes would be too tasteless as a frosting. That’s when i decided to drop in some medjool dates in. And boy, did it work like a charm! and most importanly, baby Caitlyn loves it!
Sugar Free, Gluten Free Chiffon cake with Avocado Date Frosting
Makes 3 of the above star shaped cupcakes
15 grams rice flour
5 grams sago flour
1 organic egg yolk
8 grams olive oil
11 grams raw almond milk
60 grams banana, mashed
1 organic egg white
Preheat oven to 170 degree celcius.
In a bowl, mix the yolk, raw almond milk, bananas, and olive oil together. Sift in the flours.
Beat the egg whites till stiff peaks.
Fold the egg whites into the banana mixture.
Pour into mold and bake till golden brown (+- 20 to 25 minutes)
1 medjool date
With a blender, blend the avocado and the date together.
Using a piping bag, pipe onto cupcakes.
After my mini success with the homemade sprinkles, i was hooked.
Baby Cait is at an impressionable age where her senses and motoric skills are developing and need to be stimulated.
This rainbow pop has got colors that captivate and freezing temperature to excite. And it’s made from 100%fruits with NO sugar, coloring, jello, or any other fancy shmancy.
Healthy food doesn’t have to be boring. All it takes is a little bit of time, effort and creativity.
And here’s a little “Cait comics” I made. It’s her first experience with a popsicle!
Rainbow Pop is made of
and Blueberry Juice
On this date last year, I was making breakfast for your dad when i experienced a bout of intense stomach contractions that made me grip the kitchen counter.
“Is this it?”, I thought to myself panicking. I glanced at my unpacked “maternity” luggage a few feet away from the kitchen door. I’m not due until two weeks later.
“Let’s not panic”, I thought to myself. First time mothers usually take up to 15 hours to birth their child, i soothed myself , remembering my doctor’s words.
I finished scrambling my eggs of a breakfast, and fetched my list of “to brings” that the hospital gave me.
I scanned the list. Another wave of panic attack came over me. “Breast pump”, i whispered aloud. I cursed myself repeatedly for stalling in buying one. A vision of my sister who successfully breastfed her kids till they were two years old each came into my mind. ” You need breast pump. It is very, very,VERY important”.
I pushed that out of my mind, I wondered if I could actually purchase breastpump while IN labor. I went into the shower, and spent a good 15 minutes not doing anything. Just standing under the warm running water (Green activists can hate me for wasting water, but please bear with the panic stricken mother-to-be).
The warm water felt comforting. The contractions didn’t reappear. I composed myself. Maybe it’s just a false alarm. I got dressed and got ready for work, vowing to buy breastpumps later that evening.
On the way to work, another wave of strong contractions made me close my eyes and wince in surrender. I dialled the hospital’s number and made an appointment to see the doctor. It was the smartest thing I’ve ever done, because 14 hours later, a slimy screaming baby was pulled out of me.
“Happy Birthday Baby Caitlyn”. May you be blessed with a wealth of health and love.Mommy can’t even begin to describe how much she loves you.
PS: this is a two tiered cake. The first tier is a sugar free cake for Caitlyn, the second layer is just an average sponge cake for adults.
Sugar Free Sponge Cake with Pear Jam:
For a 10 cm cake
1 egg yolk
2 egg whites
35 ml pear concentrate (made by simmering 105 ml of pear juice till it reduced to third)
15 grams olive oil
25 grams AP flour
5 grams cornflour
Boil olive oil with pear concentrate till the mixture steams. Set aside to warm
Add in egg yolk to the olive oil mixture. Slowly stir in the AP and cornflour.
Beat egg whites till soft peaks. Fold into the flour mixture.
Bake at 170 degree till cooked (+-15 minutes )
Slice the cake halfway, spread the sugar free pear jam and sandwich it with the top layer.
Sugar Free Pear Jam
50ml of homemade pear concentrate (made by simmering 150 ml of pear juice till it reduced to a third)
1/2 tsp arrowroot starch, dissolved in a bit of water.
Stir the arrowroot starch into the pear concentrate.
Simmer till thick and bubbly
Set aside to cool
I am entering this post into the Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, organized by Amy simplysugarandglutenfree. Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays is a very delightful weekly linky which aims at sharing gluten and sugar free recipes. While this recipe is not gluten free, it is still a very healthful sugar free recipe 😉
Lots of cakes out there claim to be sugar free.
But they are laden with synthetic sugar.
I’ve seen cakes that claim to be refined sugar free.
But they are laden with a whole party of unrefined sugar.
This cake however is wholly Sugar Free.
It relies wholly on bananas and raisins to its sweetness.
Perfect for my 10 month old baby Crusta.
Yup, she is still not allowed sugar. Refined, or not refined.
My poor baby.
So till you hit your 12 month mark,
and are finally allowed a moderate amount of sugar
here is something to tide you over.
Sugar Free Banana Bread with Raisins
Makes 2 large muffins
20 grams organic raisins, chopped
40 grams boiling water
40 grams whole wheat flour
12 grams All purpose flour
1/4 tsp organic/natural baking powder
28 grams olive oil
125 grams (about 1) banana
1 egg yolk
Pour the boiling water onto the chopped raisins, set aside for half hour
preheat oven to 180 degree celcius, Grease and line the muffin tins.
Sift whole wheat, all purpose flour with the baking powder.
Drain the raisins, reserving the liquid.
Put the olive oil, banana and 12 grams of the steeped raisin water in a food processor. Process till smooth.
Pour the processed banana mixture onto the flour mixture and mix till well combined.
Add the chopped raisins and pour the batter onto awaiting muffin tins.
Before you click this window shut due to its unappetizing title, let me just say that this was purely experimental.
I wanted to know whether i could beat egg whites to its “soft peak” stage (as required in chiffon making), without the use of sugar.
And if the egg white was successfully beaten till soft peaks, would it stay that way during the baking time in the oven? Would it aerate my chiffon the way it should when it is accompanied by its sugar sidekick.
So, to put it shortly,
Is sugar indispensable in chiffon making?
The answer is,
And i’ve got proof,
Here’s a banana chiffon cake, made completely without sugar. It rose VERY well,in fact i must say, it rose better than some of the sugared chiffons i made.
So, to everyone out there who are opting the sugar-free ( to whom i offer the utmost respect and admiration ), and gluten free life
and to baby Crustabakes,
This gluten free, sugar free, chiffon cake is dedicated to you!
PS: this cake does not taste as horrible as i would have thought! In fact it’s so light, i managed to scarf down both cakes in one serving.
Sugar Free, Gluten Free Banana Chiffon Cake:
Makes 2 Cupcake size (Sorry about that, told you it was experimental)
15 gram rice flour
5 gram corn starch
5 gram oil
30 gram overripe bananas (mashed)
1 egg white
1 egg yolk
Sift the flour and the starch together.
In another bowl, mix oil and mashed bananas
Dump flour and starch onto the banana bowl, add egg yolk and mix till well combined
Beat the egg white till soft peaks (without sugar it wont be glossy, but it’s ok, it will still work)
Slowly fold in egg white to the egg yolk batter
Pour onto two cupcake cases,
Bake at 170 degree celcius for 30 mins or till fully cooked.