Tag Archives: agarve syrup

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Berry, Acai & Chia Smoothie

Post-detox – and I have a plan for keeping the weight off and making sure I carry on eating a nutrient-dense diet. The first and easiest thing is to continue having juices/smoothies for breakfast. I’ve always loved doing this but I’d slipped out of the routine. Firmly back into it now, though!

This recipe showcases two amazing ingredients – acai berry powder and chia seeds. Someone gave me some acai berry powder the other day so I tried it out in this smoothie and it gave the smoothie a beautifully rich, complex taste – as well as incredible amounts of nutrients, including phytochemicals, antioxidants and omega-3 and -6. Buy some today – you won’t regret it.

But how can I call this a smoothie, you’ll be wondering?… There’s no yogurt, banana or any of the other things you normally make a creamy smooth smoothie from. The answer is the tiny, nutrient-powerhouse that is the chia seed. Chia seeds are super-rich in vitamins and minerals, especially calcium, potassium and iron, they have the highest amount of omega-3 in any plant-based ingredient and also contain excellent quantities of fibre and protein. What’s more, when chia seeds are mixed with liquid, they expand and form a coating of gel. This means that they can act as a bulking ingredient – and this is why you can get a smoothie consistency when used with a juice mix, and why many people swear by chia seeds for weight-loss as they feel fuller for longer. But it also means that they can be used as a substitute for eggs in baking – more of that to come…. So go for it with chia seeds – sprinkle them onto salads or stir-frys, thicken soups and stews with them and try them in this awesome smoothie.

gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, soya-free, egg-free, nut-free, citrus-free

Makes enough for 2 people

2 tbsp acai berry powder
2 tbsp mesquite meal, agarve syrup or honey
300g/10½oz mixed frozen berries
1l/35fl oz/4 cups apple juice
1 tbsp chia seeds

1. Put all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and process until smooth.

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Raspberry Cake

It’s amazing how delicious raspberries are – and how incredibly versatile. Zoe adores them, so I’ve been making the most of the raspberries available this year, and experimenting with all different types of recipes that use them. This is a lovely cake, full of the taste of summer, no matter what time of the year. You can make this with delicious fresh raspberries but you can also make it with frozen ones, instead. Frozen fruits are a gem – often higher in nutrients than fresh fruit that has been shipped in and sitting around for ages during the distribution process. They’re much cheaper to buy and, of course, you can store them in your freezer and simply take them out when you want to use them.

I’ve used coconut flour alongside the rice flour because it makes baked goods deliciously moist. It’s hard to find but you can buy it from on-line retailers, such as Goodness Direct. And the cake is incredibly moist and moreish, anyway, because of the raspberries in it. Lovely summer-time food – even if it’s chilly and raining!

gluten-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, seed-free, citrus-free

Makes 1 cake (10–12 slices)     Preparation time 10 minutes     Cooking time 40 minutes

  • 150g/5½oz dairy-free margarine, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 150g/5½oz/scant 1 cup fruit sugar or caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 100g/3½oz/heaped ½ cup rice flour
  • 50g/1¾oz/scant ½ cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • ½ tsp xanthan gum
  • 50g/1¾oz/scant ½ cup ground almonds
  • 350g/12oz fresh or defrosted, frozen raspberries
  • 2 tbsp agarve syrup, to decorate
  • 2–3 tbsp fruit sugar, to decorate
  • raspberries, to decorate
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and lightly grease a deep 20cm/8in cake tin with dairy-free margarine and line the base with baking parchment. Using an electric mixer, beat the dairy-free margarine and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and gradually beat in the eggs, a little at a time, until well mixed.
  2. Sift the flours, gluten-free baking powder and xanthan gum into the mixture and fold in, then fold in the ground almonds and gently fold in the raspberries. Make sure the mixture is well mixed, but take care not to overmix it. Pour it into the tin.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes, then cover with baking parchment to prevent the cake from overbrowning. Bake for another 10–12 minutes until firm to the touch and cooked through.
  4. Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes, then remove from the tin, transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely. Once cooled, spread the agarve syrup over the cake, then sprinkle over the fruit sugar. Top with raspberries and serve.

Dairy-Free Strawberry Soup

I’d read various recipes for Strawberry Soup and had always wanted to try one. So I experimented yesterday using balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, agave syrup and soya yogurt with the strawberries, and then added some mint. It was good but I thought I could get richer, sweeter tastes if I baked the strawberries and balsamic vinegar. So I remade it and here’s the result. It’s unusual but great. Serve it as a starter – and enjoy the rich, sweet/sour tastes exploding in your mouth.

gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, seed-free

Preparation time 5 minutes     Serves 4

  • 800g strawberries, hulled
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp agave syrup
  • 1 small handful mint leaves
  • 250ml soya yogurt
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Put the strawberries on a baking tray and drizzle the vinegar over. Bake for 20 minutes until tender.
  2. Put in a blender or liquidiser and add the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth, pour into a serving bowl and leave to chill in the fridge for 2 hours before serving.