Tag Archives: almonds

Beetroot Muffins

muffin 002With all the baking thats going on in the UK at the moment it seems like a good time to get on board with healthier options. Carrot cake gets all the press when it comes to cake baking, here we use beetroot maximising the earthy flavour and awesome colour that it gives out. The individual muffins help me in the restraint department. When we make a big cake I just keep carving ‘carpachio’ slivers off until the cake has disappeared. Individual cakes helps me display a modicum of inner strength, convinicing myself that one is enough. If you don’t have muffin cases then use baking paper New York deli style. Suitable for gluten free.

Ingredients (makes 8 muffins)

200g ground almonds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder (gluten free baking powder if you want to keep the recipe gluten free)
100g caster sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
60ml oil
2 medium eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
75g beetroot (once peeled and grated)
Zest of one orange

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade. Lightly oil the muffin tin and put a paper case in. If you have a silicone muffin tin, there is no need to use cases.

Take a mixing bowl and mix all of the dry ingredients. In a seperate bowl whisk together the eggs, oil and vanilla. Fold the two together. Stir in the grated beetroot and the zested orange.

Spoon into the prepared muffin tin and pile nice and high, so that the muffins will rise above the line. Put into the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a nice golden colour on top and an inserted wooden skewer into the centre of the muffin comes out clean. Leave to cool completely in the tin.

Cinnamon and Honey Cake

This is a tasty tea time cake with lots of cinnamon, which has strong resonances of a Moroccan kitchen.

Ingredients

250g ground almonds
1/4 tsp Maldon sea salt
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
50g walnuts roughly chopped
65g dried raisins
60ml  organic sunflower oil
6oml good quality organic honey
2 large eggs

For the top;

2 tbsps ground cinnamon
2 tbsps oil
60ml honey
50g flaked almonds

Method

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees.  Mix together the ground almonds, salt, bicarbonate of soda, walnuts and currants together.  In a seperate bowl whisk together the oil, agave and the eggs.  Fold in the egg mix to the almond mix.  Pour this into a lined and greased 20cm springform cake tin.  To keep the recipe gluten free, I tend to use cornflour.

Now you want to prepare the topping for the cake.  Mix together the cinnamon, oil, agave and almonds.  Evenly distribute over the top of the cake and then put into the oven for 30 to 235 minutes.

Leave to cool in the tin for at least 40 minutes before removing.

Raw Brownie

This is a real success story.  It´s  a  5/10 in terms of how easy it is to make with superb results.  The first time we made this recipe we  used all cocoa powder.  As we are always trying get more health into our healthy desserts we were trying carob, which hasn’t got great press, unfairly so.  This recipe uses  50g carob powder and 25g cocoa.

Nothing was lost in the taste but a little gained in the originality of using  a fairly unknown ingredient.  I would see no problem in replacing the cocoa for the carob gram for gram.  This is an effective and tasty snack to pack up if you are training to get through to the next part of the day or just in your lunch box as a healthy sweet thing.  Raw Brownie has unlimited shelf life within reason.

Ingredients

300g dried figs
250g peeled almonds or 150g almonds and 100g walnuts
65g hazelnuts
75g cocoa or carob powder
50g dessicated coconut
2 tsps vanilla essence
3 tbsps orange blossom water (if you cannot get this then use either rosewater or fresh orange juice)
50g dried cranberries

Method 

Soak the figs in water for an hour.  Thoroughly drain the water and blend until nice and smooth in a food processor.  Roughly chop the almonds (and walnuts if you are using them), and add to the processor.  Pulse the nuts with the figs.  It is okay if there are a few chunks in the mix.  Chop the hazelnuts and add to the mix along with the cocoa powder, coconut and vanilla essence.  Pulse a few times.  The mix should be starting to come together now.

Remove from the food processor with a silicone spatula and place into a bowl.  Chop the cranberries with a large knife and stir into the mix.

At this point we want to add the orange blossom water.  Do this one tablespoonful at a time, making sure the cranberries are evenly distributed.  Once all the water has been added the mix should be smooth and pliable.

Take a disposable aluminum tray or tupperware container approximately 30cm long and 18cm wide, if you don´t have exactly these measurements that is okay, it will just affect the thickness of the brownie.  The desired thickness is 1cm thick.

With a spatula, evenly press the brownie into the container.  Once this is done, lay greaseproof paper over the top.  Place a heavy weight over the top and leave for an hour.  This is to ensure the brownie is nice and compact.

Place in the fridge for one hour to set, before cutting into pieces.  It is upto you what size pieces to cut the brownie, but they do not need to be big.

Keep in a tupperware container in the fridge.

Beetroot and Cranberry Cake

Ingredients

140g spelt flour
110g ground almonds
2 tsps baking powder
100g soft brown sugar
175ml olive or sunflower oil
200g peeled and grated raw beetroot (this should be the weight once grated)
100g dried cranberries
2 large eggs
Zest and juice of a small orange
30-35 whole peeled almonds

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°.  Grease and line the bottom of an 8in (20cm) round spring-form cake tine.  Grate the beetroots into a large bowl, roughly chop the cranberries and add to the beetroot.  Sift in the flour and the baking powder.  Mix in the almond powder and blend the mix thoroughly.

In a separate bowl beat the eggs and whisk in the oil.  Add this to the beetroot mix, stir well and add the zest and the juice.  Pour the batter evenly into the cake tin and then carefully lay the almonds onto the batter.

Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Banana & Almond Bars

This is an alternative recipe to flapjacks. We found all flapjack recipes contained butter and sugar.  We tried a few flapjack recipes substituting the butter for oil but they did not hold together.

In this version the natural sweetness comes from the bananas and the dates. The bananas bind it all together.

Ingredients

2 large, ripe bananas
125g dates (buy dates without the stone)
60g walnuts
60g blended linseeds or pumpkin seeds (you can buy this already done in health food shops, there is a good brand called Linwoods)
225g small oats
125g flaked almonds

Method

Heat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade.  Place the flaked almonds into the oven and toast until golden brown.  Take out, leave to cool and reduce the oven temperature to 180 degrees.

Mash the bananas until very soft.  Chop the dates into small pieces (size is not so important, but they need to be fairly small).  Roughly chop the walnuts, and mix together all of the ingredients except for the flaked almonds.

To bake these bars you need a 22x22cm (9x9in) glass or ceramic baking dish. Lightly grease the dish with olive oil.

Evenly spread the flaked almonds onto the bottom of the dish, and then press the oat mix over the top.  Press down firmly with your hands as you need the almonds to stick and to ensure a compact biscuit.

Bake in the oven for 30 mins.

Leave to cool completely, before cutting into squares.  If you have used a metal baking tray, then you will need to turn out onto a board, to prevent scratching the tray with your knife.