Diet, food, food allergy, recipe

My five top gluten & dairy-free sweet treats for 2014

Can you believe we’re nearly at the end of 2014? If you’re looking for some Christmas baking recipes well you may find them here.

I’ve just been perusing some of my recipe blog stats between seeing patients today and here are my top 5 sweet treat recipes from this year. They are all gluten and dairy free too. Click on the names for the recipes.

  1. Chocolate beetroot cakechoc-beet cake slice
  2. Almond, ginger & blueberry sliceginger almond blueberry slice plate
  3. Carrot & goji berry cakecarrot and goji cake
  4. Chocolate cream-filled biscuitschoc cream biscuits gift box
  5. Orange, macadamia and dark chocolate biscuitsorange macadamia chocolate biscuits tray

Enjoy!

To book an appointment at the clinic or further information on Chinese Medicine contact Dr Sarah George (Acupuncture).  Sarah is a practitioner of acupuncture (AHPRA registered), massage therapy and natural health.

Diet, food, food allergy, recipe, Traditional Chinese Medicine

Almond, ginger and blueberry slice

ginger almond blueberry slice plateAs regular readers of this blog may be aware I am a big fan of ginger. Aside from its myriad of therapeutic properties, I value it just because it so delicious!

So here is a slice based on ginger that I baked for our wonderful team of ladies I work with at the clinic in West End: The Acupuncture and Natural Therapies Centre. We have an excellent team of health professionals at this thirty year old health centre: three acupuncturists (Nicola Macdonald, Amber Fulton and me), another massage therapist (Sia Carlyon) and two lovely ladies at the reception and dispensary, Shelley and Jane.

So this recipe’s key ingredient Chinese medicine properties are:

  • Ginger: Warm, pungent and sweet. It benefits the Lung, Stomach and Spleen.
  • Almonds: Neutral in temperature and sweet, they benefit the Lung, Spleen and Large Intestine.
  • Blueberries: Cooling, sweet and sour. Blueberries benefit the Liver.

Even though the sugar is reduced in this recipe, overall it is still sweet in flavour and so tonifies the Earth element and Qi, and nourishes the Spleen and Lung. It is high in fibre and protein (for a sweet snack) but should still be only consumed in moderation.

The recipe is adapted from this one and I have altered it to be lower in sugar, gluten and dairy free with added blueberries.

ginger almond blueberry slice

Ginger, almond and blueberry slice

Ingredients

  • 175g coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar & stevia combination (equivalent to 1 cup caster sugar)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 100g almond meal
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 125g ‘naked’ uncrystallised ginger, chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 70g flaked almonds

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 190°C.
  2. Grease an 18 x 28cm rectangular baking tin. Line with baking paper.
  3. Beat coconut oil and sugar together until light in colour and well mixed. Beat in egg, then alternate the additions of coconut milk and flour.
  4. Add almond meal, ground ginger and uncrystallised ginger and mix thoroughly.
  5. Spoon mixture into prepared pan and press down evenly with a clean fist.
  6. Evenly distribute blueberries on top of mix, pressing in gently.
  7. Evenly sprinkle flaked almonds over the top of the slice.
  8. Bake for 35 minutes or until golden.
  9. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes in pan, then cool on a rack.
  10. Cut into small squares or fingers.

To book an appointment at the clinic or further information on Chinese Medicine contact Dr Sarah George (Acupuncture).  Sarah is a practitioner of acupuncture (AHPRA registered), massage therapy and natural health.

food, food allergy, recipe, Traditional Chinese Medicine

Choc-orange-ginger truffles – gluten & dairy free

choc trufflesI whipped up these delightful sweet treats several weekends ago. (My! How time flies!) I really do have a soft spot for chocolate and these are a great way to indulge my craving without any dairy or a large amount of added sugar. Plus the flavours are to die for!

Orange, ginger, cardamom, almond, cashew, hazelnut. They were all made to be blended with chocolate.

Luckily, these little truffles are also rich enough that you can’t eat too many in one sitting. And they are best shared with friends after dinner.

“What are the Traditional Chinese Medicine functions attributed to cardamom and ginger?”, I hear you ask. All is revealed here.

Choc-orange-ginger truffle recipe

Ingredients

  • 50g blanched almonds
  • 50g raw cashews
  • 50g hazelnut flour
  • 100g dried pitted dates
  • juice of one orange (about 3 tablespoons)
  • grated zest of one orange
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2-3 green cardamom pods, ground
  • Uncrystallised ‘naked‘ ginger, cut into small pieces (1/2cm²)
  • Additional hazelnut meal and dessicated coconut for rolling

Method

  1. Add almonds and cashews to food processor and blend until ground. Transfer to a bowl.
  2. Add dates to food processor and blend until they resemble a paste. Add dates to nut mix.
  3. To nut and date mix, add orange juice, orange zest, maple syrup, cocoa and ground cardamom. Mix into a thick paste. Add hazelnut meal gradually to make mixture a good consistency for rolling.
  4. Take two plates and to one add desiccated coconut, and to the other add hazelnut meal. These will be for rolling the truffles in.
  5. Take a heaped teaspoonful of mixture and roll into a ball. Insert a piece of ginger into the middle of each ball and roll until smooth on the outside. Repeat until all of the mixture has been used. Then roll each ball in either coconut or hazelnut meal.
  6. Chill until ready to serve.

For further information on Chinese Medicine contact Dr Sarah George (Acupuncture).  Sarah is a practitioner of acupuncture (AHPRA registered), massage therapy and natural health at her Broadbeach clinic and is the Chinese Medicine Senior Lecturer at the Endeavour College of Natural Health Gold Coast campus.

Diet, food, food allergy, recipe

Choc-ginger-hazelnut biscuits

choc ginger hazelnut biscuitsThis weekend just gone I wanted to work through a few ingredients that were floating around in my pantry taking up space. It gave me the perfect opportunity to test run these rich and chewy chocolate almond cookies with a few of my own modifications. All of the ingredients I already had at home and the whole recipe took about 20 minutes from prep to eating time.

For the chocoholics among us, sometimes you need something on hand for a chocolate fix to prevent you from reaching that bit too often for those high sugar, low quality, impulse buy chocolates on offer. You need something with more protein, higher fibre and the option to control the sugar content that still hits the spot! These little biscuits do the job nicely in next to no time and with minimal washing up to do. Win-win!

Ginger is an excellent digestive herb and enhances digestion of the rich nut and cocoa ingredients. I could eat ginger with just about anything – read more about my thoughts on ginger and its many uses here.

Choc-ginger-hazelnut biscuits

Ingredients

  • 1 cup hazelnut meal
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup sugar/stevia blend (or 1/2 cup sugar or suitable sugar substitute)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (sifted)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons dark choc chips (dairy-free if desired)
  • 1-2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallised ginger

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC. Line or grease two baking trays.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients in large bowl.
  3. Add egg whites and vanilla extract to dry ingredients, stir until mixture has an even consistency.
  4. Add choc chips and ginger, mix through.
  5. Roll dessertspoonfuls into balls and flatten with a fork on baking trays.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes. Allow to cool on baking tray.

For further information on Chinese Medicine contact Dr Sarah George (Acupuncture).  Sarah is a practitioner of acupuncture (AHPRA registered), massage therapy and natural health at her Broadbeach clinic and is the Chinese Medicine Senior Lecturer at the Endeavour College of Natural Health Gold Coast campus.

Diet, food, food allergy, recipe, Traditional Chinese Medicine

Gluten and dairy-free fruit and nut slice

fruit and nut sliceI’ve been asked a few times this week for my fruit and nut muesli slice recipe. These little delights are a life saver when I’m in a hurry to get out the door and need a quick snack that is gluten and dairy free, with low added sugar. Have them on hand so that you aren’t tempted by the things you know you shouldn’t be snacking on. Plus they are so much tastier than the ones you can buy with the added benefit that you can vary the fruits, nuts and seeds to those that you like most.

When selecting your fruits and nuts for the slice you might like to consider some of their general Traditional Chinese Medicine properties:

  • Almonds – moistens the lungs and large intestine, supports digestion
  • Figs – supports digestion, moistens the lungs and large intestine
  • Ginger – warms and supports the digestive system, relieves nausea
  • Goji berries (wolfberries) – moisten the body, nourish the blood
  • Red dates – energy tonic, nourishes the blood, supports digestion
  • Sultanas – energy tonic, nourishes the blood
  • Cherries – warming for the digestive system, nourishes the blood
  • Walnuts – warming and moistening generally, supports cognitive and  reproductive function

And here’s a little thought for those of us who find ourselves in a hurry a lot of the time.

Breathe.

And now here is your recipe…

Gluten & dairy-free fruit and nut slice

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups almond meal
  • A big pinch of Celtic sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/s tsp mixed spice
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, liquefied
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of shredded or desiccated coconut
  • 1 cup of mixed seeds of your choice (eg. pepitas, sunflower seeds)
  • 1/4 cup nuts of your choice, crushed (eg. almonds, pecans, walnuts)
  • 1/2 cup mixed dried fruits of your choice (eg. goji berries, blueberries, sour cherries, cranberries, figs, crystallised ginger)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C
  2. Grease and line a 20cm x 20cm baking tin.
  3. Combine almond meal, salt, baking soda and mixed spice in a large bowl.
  4. In a jug mix coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract.
  5. Pour liquids into the dry ingredients bowl and mix well.
  6. Add coconut, seeds, nuts and dried fruits, mix well.
  7. Spoon mixture into tin and use a clean fist to firm it into an even layer.
  8. Bake for approximately 20 minutes until lightly golden brown.
  9. Cool on a rack. Cut into squares or muesli bar shapes to suit your preference.

I suspect this recipe would also make excellent biscuits if heaped teaspoonfuls of the uncooked mixture was rolled and flattened onto a greased tray for baking. If  you do this let me know how it goes!

To book an appointment at the clinic or further information on Chinese Medicine contact Dr Sarah George (Acupuncture).  Sarah is a practitioner of acupuncture (AHPRA registered), massage therapy and natural health.