Fruity Almond Loaf Cake

When you don’t fancy your normal piece of toast and cereal for breakfast this is a lovely alternative and perfect drizzled with a little honey and with a cup of tea on the side! Chocka full of naturally sweet dried fruit and using up two overripe bananas it’s naturally sugar free, plus it’s an easy store cupboard bake to make. I’ve used sultanas, apricots and cranberries but you can use whatever dried fruit you have on hand. The base of this cake is ground almonds which are naturally gluten free and give the cake it’s loaf-like consistency as well as keeping it nice and moist.

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Fruity Almond Loaf Cake

  • Servings: 12 slices
  • Difficulty: easy peasy
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GF DF SF 

You will need this:

  • 100g cranberries
  • 100g sultanas
  • 100g apricots, chopped into quarters
  • 100ml apple juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 overripe bananas, mashed
  • 150g ground almonds

You make it like this:

  1. Weigh out the dried fruit and put into a small saucepan with the apple juice, warm over a low heat until the apple juice comes to a gentle boil, turn off the heat and leave for 10mins to allow the fruit to absorb the juice and plump up
  2. Mash your bananas, lightly whisk the eggs with a fork and mix the two together
  3. Stir through the ground almonds and then add the dried fruit and apple juice mixture
  4. Pour into a lined loaf tin and bake at 180 for 30mins

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You might have noticed that I haven’t posted a recipe for ages and I’ll tell you why….since I’ve been on my new medication I’ve realised that I don’t need to eat a gluten free diet anymore. I know….amazing right?! It’s taken me months of reintroducing it and testing different combinations but it turns out gluten is definitely not my problem. After four years of struggling with my diet this seems like an enormous deal to me and means that I can totally relax my shopping and cooking habits for now. Having said that, it has become pretty normal for me now to choose naturally gluten free alternatives and it’s not like I’m rushing back to eating a whole loaf of white sliced bread every day, definitely not! But I’m no longer replacing my pasta with gluten free and if I fancy a piece of toast or a quick sandwich then it’s no longer an issue.

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For me, dairy is still my biggest trigger and now I understand that it’s because of the fat content of dairy I am continuing to make easy dairy free choices in my daily diet. I can literally only tolerate the smallest amount of hard cheese or a drop of semi-skimmed in my cup of tea if I have no other choice. I thought I’d list for you my usual dairy free replacements that I have come to rely on.

Butter – Pure free-from sunflower spread

Milk – unsweetened almond milk

Cream – Oatly single cream alternative or Alpro coconut cream

Creme fraiche – Oatly creme fraiche alternative

Cheese – Violife cheddar and parmesan ‘prosciano’

Yogurt – coconut or soya based

Custard – Alpro

Ice cream – Swedish Glace or Coconut Collaborative or Almond Dream

Chocolate – Booja Booja

I would be interested to know if there are any dairy free replacements that you love that maybe I haven’t discovered yet, do message me and let me know.

The good thing is for me is that I now understand my condition. I understand why my stomach gets upset and why I occasionally have flareups. I understand why and I can now manage it with my medication. It’s such a relief I can’t tell you!

And that’s why I haven’t been blogging as much recently because I simply haven’t needed to focus on it so much anymore. It was such a big part of my life, I had become properly obsessed with mastering and discovering every gluten and dairy free alternative out there, but now I don’t need to it feels like a weight has been lifted! Of course I will still post any good recipes that I discover for you and I will always include the gluten free options regardless, but they won’t be coming as regularly as they once did. Hope you guys understand and still enjoy dipping into my blog recipe bank for inspiration from time to time. As always, don’t hesitate to ask me a question, particularly if you’ve been diagnosed with BAM, I’m happy to share my experience and knowledge with you. Love Abi x

Nutrition Facts
Servings 12.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 145 
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8 g 12 %
Saturated Fat 1 g 4 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 31 mg 10 %
Sodium 14 mg 1 %
Potassium 117 mg 3 %
Total Carbohydrate 14 g 5 %
Dietary Fiber 2 g 9 %
Sugars 10 g
Protein 4 g 9 %
Vitamin A  4 %
Vitamin C  7 %
Calcium  6 %
Iron  2 %

Cherry & Coconut Granola

I love the flavours of cherry and coconut together, delicious in flapjacks and muffins, but today I’m making a cherry & coconut granola. I have learnt, through the various granola recipes I have created over the past year, a few tricks to make the perfect granola clusters with the perfect amount of sweetness and the perfect amount of crunch. When you buy granola mixes from the supermarket you take for granted all those lovely honey coated oaty clusters but actually they’re quite hard to make like that at home! So today I’m going to share with you a few tips to making the perfect bowl of granola.

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It’s nearly pancake day!

I’ll be honest, I have never had much luck making pancakes. But today I’m going to share with you the best recipe ever for making the fluffiest, softest, most pancakey-est (new word) pancakes, in the world, ever. Promise. Oh and yes, all gluten free and dairy free….yay!!!

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I don’t know about you guys but I only ever make pancakes for the kids on either a sunday morning or as an after school treat if something good has happened. But as I was making up the batter today I was wondering why we consider something made simply from flour, milk and eggs to be such a treat?! I suppose it’s all the syrup and lovely yummy toppings that we pile of top of them that is the treat part, but still. Essentially, apart from the little bit of butter that you cook them in, there’s nothing much in them! At less than 140 calories a pancake, that’s gotta be a good thing right?!

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Salted Caramel Millionaire’s Shortbread

This is the first time I’ve had a chance to sit down and write something for weeks….sorry lovely readers, don’t know where the time has gone. I thought I would make up for it in spades by wowing you with a sticky, chocolatey, delicious childhood favourite of surely everyone on the planet….millionaire’s shortbread. And yes, this version is all gluten free and dairy free and is just as sticky, chocolatey and delicious as you remember it!

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Creamy Fish Pie Pasta

You know when you’ve bought all the ingredients that you think you need, mentally prepared to take some time to cook a dish, got everything ready and out and prepared and then…..you realise you’ve forgotten potatoes? Yup that was how I ended up making this deliciously satisfying pasta bake when I was planning on making a fish pie! Happy accidents are the best though aren’t they? The three little bears christened it ‘Fish Pie Pasta’ and I thought I’d share it with you on this cold and frosty winter morning.

There’s nothing nicer than a huge dish of comfort food is there! How good does this look?!

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My favourite take-to-a-party dish

So you know when someone says “bring something to share” to a party….well this is the perfect dish. I took it to at least three different parties over the holiday season and it always went down a treat plus the best thing about it is, you can make it basically from store cupboard ingredients and it’s seriously easy to rustle up! What’s not to like? Naturally gluten, dairy free & vegetarian it will cater for most people’s diets and everyone’s tastes. Serve it warm in the winter or keep it cold in the summer, it’s equally good both ways. Is it a salad or is it a side-dish, you decide, but however you serve it it’s sure to be a delicious & different alternative to those same-old dishes that everyone else will be bringing!

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Breakfast Treats

I’m not much of a breakfast girl. Never have been to be honest. I can’t even think straight without my cup of tea first thing and then we’re rushing out the door on the school run and then there’s the dog to walk or a yoga class to go to. After that….that’s when I’m hungry and ready to eat something nutritious and delicious. Saturday brunch has also become a bit of a thing with the hubs and I and sets us up for the weekend ahead with a nice cup of frothy coffee alongside. Here are some of our favourite breakfast treats:

But if I’m in a rush and need to grab something quick that’s gonna fill me up until lunch then granola is always my go-to. I make fruity ones, crunchy oaty ones, full of seed ones and today I have come up with this naughty chocolate & hazelnut one for a treat!

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This recipe if for a special treat granola that tastes like dessert but you can eat it for breakfast – win win! 

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If you like chocolate or nuts or nutella or all of the above, then this granola is definitely for you! Crunchy hazelnuts, chewy pecans, little pops of chocolate chips, sweet hits from chocolate covered raisins all surrounded by sweet clusters of oaty goodness. Continue reading

Chocolate Orange Brownie Cakes

I LOVE chocolate orange!

If you read my blog often enough you will already know this fact (!!) and sorry if I’m boring but I’ve come up with yet another chocolate orange recipe for you lovely people…. this one is particularly appealing because it’s super duper easy peasy to make. Get the kids to make it or rustle it up quickly  before someone pops in for coffee – they will never realise how simple it is but it always goes down a treat I promise!

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Family Friendly Fruit Loaf

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!

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Lazy Sausage & Bean Casserole

Mummy guilt is a bit crap isn’t it?! Sometimes I wonder why we don’t give ourselves a break, I really do. I am constantly feeling guilty about one thing or another….not listening to music practice properly, getting the big bears to look after the littlest bear too much, letting them have too much screen time, not making the beds everyday, not walking the dog for long enough, not phoning the grandparents enough, not doing my own ironing (I send it out! shhhhh), not replying to emails or texts and then forgetting about them, saying I’ll go to something and then being too knackered to actually go, missing friends birthdays, not going to the gym enough to validate my ridiculously expensive membership fee, being late for school pickup, being late for school drop off, being late for most things…..arghhhhh the list could go on and on!!!

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But then sometimes I think to myself, sod it…I’m doing the best that I can, my kids are happy and healthy and loving school, my husband gets a home cooked dinner on the table most evenings, the house is kept relatively clean and tidy and organised and sometimes (sometimes) there’s nothing on my to-do-list. That’s ok isn’t it?

I get so fed up with the guilt that occasionally I go totally against the rule book and I don’t take the kids to the playground/theme park/cinema, spend hours building lego/playdough/jigsaws, arrange lovely playdates/parties/dinners and instead, I allow us, as a family, to spend the whole day doing nothing. Nada. Nill. Not a thing. And usually we do it….in our pyjamas (collective intake of shocked breath) – so what?!

I’m not ashamed, in fact I’m rather proud of our occasional days of nothing, no pressure, no clock watching, no visitors, no plans, just all of us hanging out together watching rubbish tv and getting a takeaway (do I hear another collective intake of shocked breath?!). Did you imagine because I love to cook that we never get a take away? Nonsense….we love a take away! And we’re lucky enough to have some great gdfree places nearby that very kindly agree to deliver their delicious gdfree food right to our very lazy doorstep! We have a Chinese that lists everything on its menu with allergens and will make things specially for you if you request it, we have an Indian which offers nearly 90% of it’s menu as gdfree and we even have an award winning fish and chippie that offer gluten free fish and chips mon-thurs.

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So…to help alleviate those guilty moments I have come up with a super store-cupboard-ingredient casserole that really hits the spot in those moments of can’t-be-bothered-to-cookness. It contains 1 pack of sausages, 5 tins from the cupboard and a pint of seasoned stock. The only thing you have to chop is an onion. ok maybe two onions, but that’s it I promise.

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