I know I know, I have’t blogged for ages….I’m sorry, don’t tell me off! Half term is a killer with 3 kids suddenly needing to be entertained all day long, plus we’re moving house this month so everything is a bit crazy at this end! Half surrounded by packing boxes, signing bits of paperwork, filling in forms, emptying cupboards and chucking out years worth of stuff we’ve been accumulating in the loft. It’s not pretty but it’s got to be done!
Thankfully the new house has a beautiful kitchen that I can move straight into so there shouldn’t be any delay in my recipe testing and cooking. Having said that, had an amusingly stressful experience this weekend when my range cooker just stopped working in the middle of me cooking a roast dinner. I mean, what’s that about?! I had to dig out all the instruction books to figure out what could be wrong, plus read the microwave instruction book properly, for the first time ever, to figure out how to finish cooking my roast chicken in it!
Got me thinking though, how reliant I am on my oven. When we designed our current kitchen it was the first thing I put in and I knew exactly what I wanted – an enormous catering size double oven range cooker with a six burner top. It’s perfect for me because I can do lots of asian style cooking in my woks on the top as well as roast in one oven and keep the other clean just for baking.
So I obviously use my oven every day more than once a day probably, but I wonder if it’s only because I love cooking so much. I love to be in my kitchen, to stand in front of the larder cupboards and have a think about what to cook or bake with and then to get it all ready to pop in the oven. But I have begun to realise that there are lots of people out there who don’t feel like this at all. What is second nature to me in the kitchen might not be to others, ingredients I am familiar with might sound strange and foreign to you, and the methods of cooking I assume my readers understand may be unclear.
So for all of you out there who aren’t that comfortable in the kitchen perhaps or who see it as a drag or a necessary chore, I am going to try to make my recipes and instructions more transparent for everyone to understand and use. Let me know if you think I am achieving this won’t you?!
On another note, because of my recent diagnosis with Bile Acid Malabsorption, I now understand that I cannot process fats well. So I am going to try to include a nutritional breakdown for all my recipes ongoing which will highlight specifically fat content. You will find it right at the bottom of this blog post. And at the start of each recipe I will make a note of the grams of fat in each serving.
For me, and other BAM sufferers like me, it’s nothing to do with good fats or bad fats, it’s just fats. They go through our system with an over-production of bile giving us horrendous stomach ache and horrible ibs symptoms. I suppose it will therefore make my recipes a bit healthier if you are trying to follow a low fat diet for other reasons but that’s not particularly the intention. I will still of course be cooking gluten and dairy free but, where appropriate, I will include options or alternatives for those items so you have more of a choice.
So my recipe of choice today is a delicious and healthy fruit loaf full of hidden goodness from both fruit and vegetables. I have used a combo of courgette and banana so it has the taste of a banana cake but the added nutrition from the courgettes which give it a lovely light texture. Sultanas give little hits of sweetness and the cinnamon leaves a lovely warmth in the mouth. Feel free to substitute any of the dairy and gluten free items for non dairy and gluten free alternatives, I am pretty sure it won’t affect the outcome but I haven’t tested it.
The really great thing about this recipe is how low in fat it is but how you’d never know by tasting it. Honestly. if you don’t believe me you’ll just have to make it won’t you?! And the reason is that there is no butter in it. The main reason baking is so high in fat generally is because of butter. Even veggie butter is high in fat because it’s made from vegetable oils. So instead of butter the richness in this loaf comes from the banana, the moistness from the courgette and the milk, and the rise is created when the yogurt combines with the bicarbonate of soda. Clever eh?!
Family Friendly Fruit Loaf
GF DF – fat content: 1g
You will need this:
- 300g plain gluten free flour (or regular flour)
- 2tsp baking powder
- 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2tsp cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 85g light brown sugar
- 130g sultanas
- 170g mashed very ripe bananas
- 225g grated courgette
- 60ml almond milk (or regular milk)
- 50g plain soya yogurt (or regular plain yogurt)
- 2 beaten eggs
You make it like this:
- Sieve the flour into a bowl with the baking powder, bicarb, cinnamon & salt
- Sieve again to make sure it’s all well combined
- Stir through the sugar and add the sultanas
- In a separate bowl mash the bananas and add the grated courgette, milk, yogurt and beaten eggs – stir together well
- Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine thoroughly
- Pour into a lined large loaf tin and flatten the top
- Bake in a cool oven at 150degrees c for 90mins
- If you notice the top getting too brown wrap a piece of tin foil around it (I did this after about 45mins)
- Leave to cool for 10mins or so before lifting out onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before cutting (otherwise it will be too soft)
- Perfect on it’s own or toasted with a bit of butter mmmmm
The kids and I have enjoyed this for breakfast, for an afternoon treat and for pudding – I hope you enjoy it as much as have done! Let me know, Ax
|Amount Per Serving|
|% Daily Value *|
|Total Fat 1 g||2 %|
|Saturated Fat 0 g||1 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 0 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g|
|Trans Fat 0 g|
|Cholesterol 23 mg||8 %|
|Sodium 69 mg||3 %|
|Potassium 117 mg||3 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 34 g||11 %|
|Dietary Fiber 3 g||13 %|
|Sugars 13 g|
|Protein 2 g||4 %|
|Vitamin A||2 %|
|Vitamin C||6 %|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|