How to get rid of your sugar addiction – when going out (4/4)

Friends at cafe eating (blog)

Going to a bar, café, sports game or the movies can seem almost impossible if you are planning to eat or drink anything at the venues as sugar is added to most things. Many of these businesses capitalise on the fact that you are going out to enjoy yourself. Who wants to go to a place with delicious food and drinks and feel deprived?

There is a fair few things you can do to make sure you can still go out and enjoy yourself without feeling like you are being difficult and still adhere to your life-style choice.

  • Ask your regular places (or find some new ones ) how much sugar there is in the various recipes you would normally eat or drink. Then ask for alternatives. You can ask when you are there or you can call or email them in your own time, so that when you go with your friends that, just like them, you can just look at the menu, picking something, and then enjoy it. Sorted!
  • If you are going somewhere you haven’t been before you can still contact them ahead, but if you don’t have time or only find out last minute – do some research in general. Get street-smart on sugars, know your stuff. Find out what the biggest culprits are on restaurant menus and which are the best options (this would depend on what type of food you normally go for). This will allow you to make easier choices when you have a new menu in front of you. You can, of course, always ask the staff in the venue.
  • If you have to choose something from a café to takeaway, there are usually a couple of gluten free and dairy free options, however, sugar-free is still highly unlikely to be on offer in your typical café. If you have time, order something from the sit-in menu and ask if you can take it away. Many things on lunch menus are naturally sugar-free but ‘glass cabinet’ offers typically aren’t if you are looking for lunch.
  • Finally, if you are going somewhere you know has zero options which are suitable for you, for example the cinema, bring your own snacks! (just keep in mind that some places don’t allow people to bring their own food)

I hope these tips were helpful. Please share any of your tips 🙂

If you would like to see more articles like this and sugar-free recipes you can follow me here (via email, see top right on this page) or on Facebook.

 

 

Delicious banana cake

*** Scroll to the bottom for the full sized cake ingredients***

I had a vegan friend visiting a couple of days ago and wanted to make something nice we could have for a snack. I didn’t really fancy baking a whole cake so instead I just made two individual small cakes in small spring-form pans. I converted a banana cake recipe from Delicieux, which is a favorite of mine, to bake with dextrose to make it free of processed fructose and swapped hens’ eggs for flax seed ‘eggs’. The vegan versions did sink a little bit in the middle, but the taste was still as delicious as usual. Actually, I made 3 batches the same day to get it right. The first one, I have to admit, didn’t sink a ‘little’. It rose beautifully and then sank in the middle all the way to the bottom! But, as they say, practice makes champions.

Main (blog)

VEGAN – GLUTEN FREE – DAIRY FREE – EGG FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE

Ingredients:

Approx 2-3 tbsp whole flax seeds + 6 tbsp water (or 2 eggs)

1 ripe banana

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp soda bicarbonate

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 nutmeg

80 grams of ground almonds

70 grams of dextrose (glucose) powder

Directions:

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Preheat the oven at 180C (355F) and grease 2 springforms (10 x 5 cm / 4 x 2 “).

Make the flax seed eggs by measuring off the whole flax seed (around 4 spoonfuls – this is an esitamate as it depends on how finely you grind the seed). Grind or process the seeds as finely as you can. Then measure up 2 tbsp ground flax seed and add it to a small bowl with the water. Stir thoroughly and the pop in the fridge to set into a gooey mix for at least 15 min while you measure of all the rest of the ingredients (don’t skip this step).

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Measure up the remaining ingredients into a bowl and then add your flax seed egg (or hens eggs). Give it a good stir and then pour into your two spring forms. Pop them in the oven and make a little tent of foil to cover with (make sure you make room for the cakes to rise or they will stick to the foil). Bake for 1 hour (will differ from oven to oven).

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When the time is up take out the cakes and leave for a couple of minutes to cool, then carefully pop the springforms open, put them aside and leave the cakes on the bottom plates to cool completely. Then serve as it is or with your favorite toppings. I am slightly addicted to chocolate peanut butter spread at the moment or you could add fresh homemade Nutella (add a bit of peanut oil and mix to make it runnier if you wish).

If you want to make a full sized cake, use the following ingredients and the same directions as above:

4 tbsp of whole flax seeds + 12 tbsp water (or 6 eggs)

3 ripe bananas

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp soda bicarbonate

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 nutmeg

250 grams of ground almonds

220 grams of dextrose (glucose) powder.

If you would like to see more recipes like this you can always follow me here (via email, see top right on this page) or on Facebook.

Fructose free “Heinz” ketchup!

I admit to the hideous crime of having covered vast amounts of my food in the past in ketchup…. (which contains 30% sugar!). I blame it on my sugar addiction though. And possibly a little bit on not having time to cook proper food – after-all, ketchup can make most bad foods taste better haha…

So, anyways, since I quit fructose, I have been trying to make replacement recipes. My preferred brand has always been Heinz and my other half’s has always been Watties. None of the first recipes were particularly successful, but then I stumbled across one on http://www.topsecretrecipes and thought I would have a bash at replacing the sugar in the recipe which turned out perfect!!! I actually ended up with a product that we both liked by using a Wattie’s tomato paste for the “Heinz” recipe – success!!! This recipe does have a tiny amount of fructose, see comment at the bottom.

CTP_5217

VEGAN – GLUTEN FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE – PALM OIL FREE

Ingredients:

One 6-ounce (170 ml) can tomato paste or puree – although, I have made a version with a 10 ounce (285 ml) can too. Less sugar and still tastes awesome! (I use Wattie’s Tomato Puree)
1/2 cup (8 tbsp) dextrose (glucose) powder
1/2 cup (120 ml) white vinegar
1/4 cup water (60 ml)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

IMG_3664  IMG_3667

Combine all ingredients in a medium pot on medium heat and stir well. When it starts to boil, immeadiately reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring often. Remove the pot from the heat and cool down. Transfer to your desired container and store in the fridge.

By the way,  this recipe does have a bit of fructose in it (tomatoes naturally have fructose but only around 1%. Puree is concentrated however, even still, each 30 ml portion of this recipe has less than 1 gram. Keeping me well under my 15 gram per day goal.

Quick weekday pork meatballs with raw carrot and pear salad

These meatballs are inspired by my Danish heritage (they are called ‘frikadeller’ and are normally flat) and take only 20 minutes of prep and 25 minutes of baking in the oven. Super easy on a weekdays when you don’t have time to cook for hours. Makes around 10-12 meatballs and enough salad for two.

photo(1)

GLUTEN FREE – DAIRY FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE – PALM OIL FREE

Ingredients:

Meatballs:

500 grams (1.1 lb/17.6 oz) pork mince

1 tsp peanut oil

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 small onion, chopped finely

1/4 cup of rolled oats (gluten-free)

Salt and pepper to your liking (I used ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper)

1 egg

Sauce:

2 cups (17 floz/415 ml) of  chicken stock

1 stock cube

4 tsp of corn flour

4 tsp of soy sauce (I haven’t tried it yet but you can substitute for coconut aminos which is super low in sodium and sugar – if not, just check that your soy sauce is not massively high in this – pays off to check brands)

Salad:

4 medium carrots

1 medium pear

½ small lemon

Directions:

Preheat the oven on 175C (350F).

Prepare the sauce by mixing the corn flour with a little bit of cold water. Then dissolve the stock cube in a bit of boiling hot water from a kettle and stir until completely dissolved. Now put all the ingredients in a pot, stir well. Turn the heat to medium and stir continuously until it thickens.  When it has the right consistency, take it off the heat (if it doesn’t get thick enough, mix some more corn flour and water separately, take the pot of the heat, let it cool down for 5 minutes, then mix in the extra corn flour mix, put back on the heat and stir again)

Now combine all the meatball ingredients in a bowl and mix with a fork or your hands (or if you want a finer consistency put it all in a food processor – I just like the rustic texture from hand chopping).

Shape the meatballs (approx 2 tbsp per ball) and place in a baking tray lined with a baking sheet. Then pour over the meatballs and pop in the oven for 25 minutes (test one to see if the liquids run clear – if they do, they are ready).

While the meatballs cook boil your preferred rice.

IMG_3591  photo(3)  photo(2)

5 minutes before the meatballs are due to come out the oven you prepare the salad. Peel or wash your carrots. If you can get organic carrots that’s best, then all you need to do is just cut off the ends and scrub them to keep all the nutrients in the peel. The non-organic ones I always peel as the peel will also contain all the pesticides they are sprayed with. In this case I have organic pears but regular carrots.

Slice the pear in 4 pieces and de-core it. Then grate the carrots and pear and squeeze over the lemon (add more if you like it zingy). Combine gently and serve with the rice, meatballs and sauce.

photo(4)

Mini chicken veggie pies

Finished pie

I have wanted to try making pastry forever, it just always seemed tricky, and gluten-free pastry more so. Tonight I tried making gluten-free (and dairy free) pastry for the first time and it was very nice indeed (although, I must say, I think I will make a separate post for the pastry, it needs more experimenting). This is the recipe for the filling though (makes 12 mini pies or you can choose to use only some of it then and pop the rest of the filling and sauce in the freezer and pull out another night where you have little time to cook, e.g. serve with rice). This could easily be made vegetarian and vegan by substituting the chicken for more veggies and use vegetable broth.

GLUTEN FREE – DAIRY FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE – PALM OIL FREE

Ingredients:

500 grams (1 pound) of chicken breast halves – cubed

1 cup sliced carrots

1 cup frozen green peas

1/2 cup sliced celery

4-6 inches (10-12 cm) of a large leek, sliced

3 onions, chopped

10 small/medium mushrooms

1/3 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 tsp garlic powder

2 1/3 cups chicken broth/stock

Preheat oven to 175C (350F). In a pot, combine chicken, carrots, leek, and celery. Pour over half of the broth and boil for 10 minutes. Add the peas, cook for 1 minute longer and then remove from heat, drain the broth into a separate container and set aside.

In a second pot, cook onions in a little oil until soft. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Slowly stir in chicken broth saved earlier. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat and set aside.

Mushrroms and onion onion and flour sauce

Prepare the muffin pan with the pastry. Blind-bake for 10 minutes. Then spoon chicken and veggie mix in and pour over the sauce and seal with lids.

Filling Filling and sauce

Crack an egg and whisk with a fork. Brush the lids with egg and make little slits in them. Then pop in the oven for another 10 minutes. Done!

Pear and blueberry loaf

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Fresh out of the oven

This loaf was divine, moist and as one of my colleagues said “different texture and deliciousness in every bite”. I have started towing all my experiments in to work to see how they fare with “regular” people (sugar addicts) and this recipe fared extremely well.

I amended this recipe quite a bit (to accommodate no dairy and no fructose other than  naturally occurring fructose in the fruit) from the book Gluten Free Baking by Michael McCamley.

GLUTEN FREE – DAIRY FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE – PALM OIL FREE

Ingredients:

200 grams of dextrose (glucose) powder

7 tbsp coconut oil

3 large eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

125 g / 4 1/2 oz gluten-free plain flour (shop bought or home mixed)

1 tsp gluten-free baking powder

1/2 gluten-free bicarbonate of soda

1/4 tsp xanthan gum

85 g / 3 oz ground linseed (flaxseed)

pinch of salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamom

3 super ripe bananas, mashed (leave them until they turn all spotted black – then they are the sweetest)

4 tbsp water

1 pear, canned or cooked (choose a very sweet pear), diced

70 g / 2 1/2 oz blueberries

Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Grease a loaf tin or line with baking sheets.

Melt the coconut oil in the microwave and let it cool down (if you don’t, it will cook the eggs!). Then you add the eggs and vanilla essence and mix with a fork. In a separate bowl measure out the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate, xanthan gum, linseed, salt and cinnamon and mix.

Mixed  Flour  IMG_3454

Then add the dry mixture to the egg mix and combine. Then add mashed banana and water and mix well.

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Now you spoon half of the mix into your loaf tin. Then spread out the diced pear and 3/4 of the blueberries over the mix and pour the rest over. Then add the last blueberries.

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Bake in the oven for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. I didn’t cover with foil so mine turned out quite brown – next time I will cover 30 minutes into the baking time. I also was baking quite late and pulled it out the loaf tin a bit premature so it spread out a little afterwards but still tasted delicious!

Super charged!

Just wanted to share my recent findings from quitting sugar (fructose). And when i say quitting, I don’t mean 100% because that is ridiculously difficult  (there is sugar in almost everything – the obvious ones but also fruit and vegetables) and un-needed. Unless you suffer from fructose malabsorption I wouldn’t recommend boycotting fructose completely as we need all the other goodies found in, especially, vegetables. My aim is to stay below 15 grams of fructose every day (which is the equivalent of 2 bananas, 2 Medjool dates, 5 cups of raspberries, 12 prunes, 16 passion fruits, 25 carrots or 1.5 kg of spinach – so munch away on veggies and low fructose fruit as crazy as you want, there is no way any normal person would eat too much of that).

It has been two months now, not easy, but I’m loving the effects. There are many benefits (most might say weight-loss if they are packing a couple of extra pounds), but my main one is that I used to have energy slumps throughout the day. I work regular hours and and would come home from work and have little energy to do anything (cooking, exercising and even walking the dog took so much effort). Now, I’m full of energy all day long (good for work) and can give my home life the same attention my work gets (good all around).  As I am a bit of a statistics nerd I tracked my productivity and came up with the diagrams below (before and after). Would love to hear from anyone else out there on a fructose free journey. And, if you are considering if it is worth the trouble, I would recommend reading The Sweet Poison Quit Plan by David Gillespie – food for thought!

Sugar - productivity

Raw boysenberry jam

JAm1 (3)

On Friday we were getting all packed up to go to the coast for the weekend and I was looking for a spread. I had just baked some fresh bread (surely this is the best use of a Friday night lol) and spotted this raw jam recipe on Clear the Way. I didn’t have any strawberries but grabbed some boysenberries out of the freezer and defrosted. It made for a delicious breakfast all weekend accompanied by a bowl of granola (topped with almond milk).

Ingredients:

1 cup fruit

2 tbsp chia seeds

2 tbsp water

Sweetener to your liking (optional – I used 5 drops of Stevia and 1/2 tsp dextrose)

Jam1   Jam2

Super simple: Chuck your chosen berries in a food processor, add vanilla essence, process, cool, put in jar, job done!
(make sure the jar is sterile by washing it in warm water and soap, clean, then pop in oven at 175C for 10 minutes and your jam will likely last longer – if you don’t eat it all straight away that is :))

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