Tag Archives: xylitol

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Kelp Noodles with a Chilli Lime Dressing

Last night I made a recipe from Christine Bailey’s new book The Raw Food Diet. A raw food diet is increasingly recognised as a superhealthy way to eat (and followed by many celebs, including Jennifer Aniston and Demi Moore). Raw food is basically food that hasn’t been heated above 47.7°C/118°F. It’s all about pure, unadulterated, whole food that is rich in vitamins, minerals, enzymes and phytonutrients – mainly from lots of veggies (especially green leafy ones), fruit and nuts. Processed or refined foods are out, and alkaline foods and drinks are in, especially those that are nutrient-dense, such as kale. And by not cooking any of the food above 47.7%, the valuable enzymes are preserved. Raw foodists swear that their diet improves their digestion and immune function. Many lose weight and say that their skin and hair looks much better, and that their energy levels are much higher. They also claim that it can bring relief to allergies and intolerances, as well as reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other chronic conditions. You don’t have to follow a raw food diet 100% of the time. It makes sense to eat food in its natural state and devotees reckon that even if you can only eat 40-50% of your food raw, this will make a huge difference to your health and wellbeing.

I made Christine’s Kelp Noodles with a Chilli Lime Dressing. I’ve never tried kelp noodles before but I’ve been wanting to try them because they’re so good for you. Kelp noodles look and taste very similar to glass noodles and are simply made of the sea vegetable, kelp, and water. They’re beloved by many people, including raw foodists, as an alternative to pasta or noodles because they are totally unprocessed don’t need to cooking, (People looking to lose weight also love them because they’re very low in calories and carbohydrates.) Plus, kelp is a true superfood, like all sea vegetables. It’s rich in minerals, including iodine, plus enzymes, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron and amino acids. It’s also very cleansing and detoxifying for the body.

Kelp noodles have a very mild taste and soak up flavours beautifully. In this recipe, Christine has added delicious shiitake mushrooms, red pepper and cucumber and created a strong, vibrant dish, full of punchy flavours, especially from the chilli lime dressing. This recipe uses dried kelp noodles, but I used noodles that were immersed in water and sodium alginate, so I didn’t need to soak them.

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

Preparation time: 20 minutes plus 20 minutes soaking time     Serves: 2     Storage: will keep in the fridge for up to 1 day

Ingredients:

  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 225g/8oz/1½ cups shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, halved lengthways, deseeded and julienned
  • ½ cucumber, deseeded and julienned
  • 1 tbsp chopped Thai basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp chopped mint leaves
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 large handful baby spinach leaves
  • 350g/12oz kelp noodles (soaked for 20 minutes, then drained)

Chilli Lime Dressing:

  • 1 tbsp tamari soy sauce
  • juice of 3 limes
  • 1 tbsp xylitol
  • 1 tsp deseeded and finely chopped red chilli
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  1. Mix together all the dressing ingredients in a bowl, then chill until needed.
  2. Put the onion, mushrooms and pepper in a bowl and toss with the dressing. Leave for 10 minutes to soften. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

Nutritional analysis per serving: Calories 84kcal • Protein 4.2g • Carbohydrates 16.2g • Fat 1g (of which saturates 0.2g)

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Nectarine Tart

This pastry is beautifully light and stays a golden colour, even though the tart is in the oven for 50 minutes. For this to happen, you need to add a little more water than normal – so that there is enough moisture in the pastry – making it extremely sticky! Don’t worry – I’ve included step-by-step instructions here, showing how to handle the pastry so you can roll it thinly and still get it into the tin in one piece!

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

Preparation time 10 minutes, plus 30 minutes chilling     Cooking time 50 minutes     Makes enough for 1 x 20cm/8in tart tin or 4 x 10cm/4in tartlet tins

Ingredients:

  • 7 nectarines, stone removed and quartered
  • 50g fruit sugar or xylitol
  • 2 tbsp cornflour

Pastry:

  • 75g rice flour
  • 55g gram flour
  • 20g maize flour
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 50g fruit sugar or xylitol
  • 1 tsp xanthum gum
  • 80g chilled dairy-free margarine, diced
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  1. Sift the flours, almonds, fruit sugar and xanthum gum into the bowl of a food processor and blend well. Add the dairy-free margarine and blend until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg and and then 2 tablespoons chilled water and blend for 20–30 seconds until the mixture comes together to form a light, very sticky dough.
  2. Shape the pastry into a ball, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and arrange the nectarines over the base of a 20 x 30cm/8 x 12in tart tin. Sprinkle the sugar and cornflour over, covering the fruit evenly.
  4. Dust a large chopping board with rice flour and gently roll the pastry in the rice flour a little, so that it’s just possible to roll out initially. Roll the pastry to about 3mm thick, large enough to cover the tart tin. When the pastry becomes too sticky to work with (which it will!), cover it with a sheet of baking parchment so you can roll over it. Pick up the baking parchment and carefully lift it and place over the fruit in the tart tin (the pastry will stay stuck to the parchment enabling you to do this). Press down firmly round the sides of the tin to cut the pastry and carefully peel the parchment off the pastry, leaving the pastry on top of the fruit. Using a knife, remove any extra pastry over the sides of the tin.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes then remove from oven, wrap in baking parchment, and bake for a further 20 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and the fruit is tender (use a skewer to test this). Serve either hot or cold.

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Apricot and Cardamom Soufflés

This is a soufflé with wonderful flavours from the apricots and cardamom. (I’ve used ½ teaspoon of ground cardamom, but if you want a more subtle taste, just use a little less.) Some soufflés are made using a custard mixture, which invariably uses flour, and others tend to use cream. But I’ve opted for a incredibly light and fluffy version without any alternatives to the flour or cream – just concentrating on the whisked egg whites and the fruit.

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

Preparation time 10 minutes  cooking time 20 minutes     serves 4

Ingredients:

  • dairy-free margarine, for greasing
  • 5 egg whites
  • 100g sugar, fruit sugar or xylitol
  • 500g apricots, stoned and quartered
  • scant ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 and grease 4 x large, deep 350ml ramekins with dairy-free margarine.
  2. Put the apricots and half the sugar in a small, heavy-based saucepan and heat gently over a low heat for about 10 minutes, mashing frequently with the back of a wooden spoon, until the fruit has softened into a puree. Strain the mixture through a non-metallic sieve into a large mixing bowl thoroughly and mix in the cardamom and vanilla extract. Mix the cornflour together with 1 teaspoon of water in a small bowl to make a runny paste and whisk into the strained apricots mixture.
  3. Meanwhile, in a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites using a hand-held electric whisk or food processor until they form stiff peaks. Add the remaining sugar and continue whisking until they form glossy peaks.
  4. Add a third of the whisked egg whites to the apricot mixture and whisk until well blended. With a metal spoon, carefully fold in the remaining egg whites until they are all thoroughly mixed in.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared ramekins and bake for 10–12 minutes until very lightly browned on top and well risen. Take out of the oven and serve immediately.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake… with a Rich Dairy-Free Creamy Icing

I have to admit, I adore chocolate! I spent ages perfecting this recipe, because I think it’s important to have a truly divine chocolate cake recipe in your life! The secret to the lightness and moistness of this gluten- and dairy-free chocolate cake is in the method. By using two cake tins, wrapping them in greaseproof paper and baking them for a longer, less heat-intensive time, the flours in the mixture cook through but don’t burn or get too dry on the sides. I hope you love this!

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

Cooking time 45 minutes;   serves 10-12

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 200g dairy-free dark chocolate, with at least 70 per cent cocoa solids
  • 150g dairy-free margarine, plus extra for greasing
  • 180g fruit sugar or xylitol
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 80g rice flour
  • 20g gram flour
  • 20g maize flour
  • 2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • ½ tsp xanthan gum

Icing:

  • 200g dairy-free dark chocolate, with at least 70 per cent cocoa solids
  • 80g fruit sugar or xylitol
  • 200ml soya cream
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Grease 2 x 22½ x 7½cm baking tins with dairy-free margarine.
  2. Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a large heatproof bowl. Rest the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Stir from time to time until the chocolate has melted.
  3. Using a hand-held electric whisk, beat the margarine and xylitol or sugar together in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the vanilla extract and then the egg yolks, one at a time.
  4. Put the egg whites into a clean bowl and whisk using the clean hand-held electric whisk until they form stiff peaks.
  5. Sift the flours, baking powder and xanthum gum into the bowl containing the margarine, sugar and egg yolk mixture and carefully fold in with a metal spoon. Fold in the whisked egg whites making sure the mixture is thoroughly combined but not stirred too heavily, or the air will be lost.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tins, dividing evenly, and spread it into the corners with the back of the spoon. Cover the tins with 2 pieces of greaseproof paper, making sure the ends of the paper are tucked under the tins. Bake for 40 minutes until risen and firm to the touch and a skewer inserted in the centre has just a little mixture sticking to it. Remove from the oven, remove the greaseproof paper and discard. Leave to cool in the tins for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
  7. When the cake layers have cooled, prepare the icing. Melt the chocolate as above. Add the sugar and stir in until thoroughly blended. Meanwhile, heat the soya cream in a small saucepan. Add 1 tbsp water to the cornflour in a small bowl and stir to form a smooth paste. Add the cornflour paste to the soya cream and, using a hand-held electric whisk, whisk the mixture until it has thickened. Pour into the chocolate mixture and stir until thoroughly mixed in.
  8. Take one of the cake layers and spread more than half of the icing onto the side which was on the bottom of the cake tin. Sandwich the two layers together and spread the remaining icing on the top.

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Plum Crumble


It’s well worth making the effort to use fruit sugar, or xylitol, for the crumble if you can get hold of it. Both have a much lower GI (refined sugar is usually at least 5x higher) making this a healthier version of crumble. Plums themselves are high in fibre so they’re a great fruit to eat – and this recipe makes them very moreish!

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

Preparation time 5 minutes  cooking 20-25 minutes  serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 50g dairy-free margarine
  • 1kg plums, halved and and pitted
  • 6-8 tbsp runny honey
  • 4 star anise

topping:

  • 150g rice flour
  • 25g buckwheat flour
  • 25g gram flour
  • 100g chilled dairy-free margarine, cut into small cubes
  • 75g fruit sugar or xylitol
  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas 4.
  2. Heat the margarine in a large, heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Add the plums and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the honey, depending on the sweetness of the plums, and the star anise  and cook for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, make the crumble. Sift the flours into a large mixing bowl and add the sugar. Add the butter and, using cold fingertips, rub it into the flours and sugar until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. You can also do this in a food processor: simply sift the flours into the bowl, add the sugar and the margarine and blend briefly until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  4. Spoon the plum mixture in a 2.5-litre ovenproof dish, removing the star anise as you find them. Crumble the topping mixture over the plums, making sure all the plums are covered.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until browned on top. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.