Leon: Baking & Puddings Cookbook Review Part 1

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COOKIES & CAKES
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I always like to have a little something sweet in the house. I’m a big fan of a 4 o’clock cup of tea with a piece of cake, a scone or a cookie.

I know, however, that I won’t be able to indulge in this ritual for long if I don’t make sure my sweet treats are relatively healthy so I’m always on the lookout for new and inventive ways to make healthier goodies.

Leon is a great place to start as they have a huge range of gluten free cakes and pies (their pecan pie is especially good), so I decided to give some of the recipes in their Baking & Puddings Cookbook a try and see if I could find some more delicious treats to add to my repertoire!

Here are some of the recipes I attempted.

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It’s All Good. Or is it?

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I’m a bit of a health food fan and a bit of a Gwyneth fan, so when she released It’s All Good, I’m a little ashamed to admit that mine was probably one of the first orders Amazon received.

Who am I kidding? I’m a huge fan. Of both the above.

The idea of lots of delicious recipes filled with only healthy ingredients was too much for me to resist.

I already have Gwyneth’s first book Notes From My Kitchen Table which is much more of a normal everyday cookbook and has some truly delicious recipes in it – the peanut butter cookies and cheesy stuffed turkey burgers are particular favourites in my house.

I have to admit that being a bit of a health ‘foodie’ myself – avocado on toast, porridge and egg white omelettes were already part of my repertoire, but I was very excited to attempt some of Gwyneth’s more original, delicious and uncompromisingly healthy recipes.

Here’s how I got on.

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The Food Hospital

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This has got to be my favourite cookbook.

It accompanies a Channel 4 television series in the UK where a surgeon, a doctor and a nutritionist prescribe specific eating regimes for different health conditions, often with incredibly successful results.

The programme addresses a variety of medical problems ranging from polycystic ovaries and epilepsy, to rosacea and depression and shows how diet can transform and often completely treat the conditions.

Not only are these recipes healthy and particularly good for certain ailments they are absolutely scrumptious too.

Here are a few of my favourites.

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Great Gluten Free Pizza

IMG_4194Pizza is probably the wheat laden treat I missed the most when I stopped being able to eat wheat flour.

Who doesn’t love a pizza once in a while?

I know I certainly do.

The longing deep in my soul for dough covered in melted cheese, tomato and a variety of other delicious toppings was becoming too much to bear until…

I found these delicious gluten free pizzas. Continue reading

Healthier, Happier (and mostly) Gluten Free Fast Food

Just because you want to stay healthy it doesn’t mean you don’t feel like a burger, fries or some fish and chips once in a while. I know I certainly do.

Here are some of my favourite places to get some delicious, healthy and sometimes even gluten free fast food!

Enjoy!

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Have you been to Dinner?

My boyfriend and I recently went to Dinner by Heston for our anniversary.

As big Heston Blumenthal fans it seemed like the perfect way to experience his weird and wonderful combinations without The Fat Duck‘s price tag.

The food was AMAZING and the service IMMACULATE. The whole thing was pretty PERFECT really.

So I thought I’d share the experience with you lovely people.

Apologies for the slightly shady pictures, they were taken stealthily on an iPhone. You can’t really take a Canon SLR out during dinner.

It’s just not the done thing.

Starters

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Earl Grey Tea Cured Salmon, Lemon salad, gentleman’s relish, wood sorrel & smoked roe

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Gluten Free Goodies

It’s not always easy to find gluten free goodies. But I think there are many more options available now than there ever have been before – which is great news for those of us who can’t eat wheat or gluten.

I haven’t eaten wheat flour for 6 years and had more of less become used to always being the person who couldn’t eat the birthday cake at a party or have dessert in a restaurant.

So whenever I found a place that had gluten or wheat free desserts, cakes or pastries I would always buy them. Without really even considering if I wanted them. If they were wheat free they were purchased. Immediately.

But more recently I’ve found myself picking up cupcakes and other wheat free treats all over the place. I’ve literally got more cakes and slices than I know what to do with. Which is a very different state of affairs to 6 years ago.

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Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes by Lola’s Cupcakes

Back in the day if I fancied some cake I had to make one for myself – but now I can get professionally made ones really quite easily as well!

Here are a few of the delicious wheat and gluten free goodies I’ve managed to find in London. Continue reading

Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie Recipe

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This is one of my favourite easy afternoon pick me ups.

It’s healthy but also yummy and feels just a teensy bit decadent.

To serve one simply throw a banana, 2 tablespoons of organic smooth peanut butter and about 3/4 of a cup of milk into the blender.

Depending on how runny you like it you may prefer 1/2 a cup or a whole cup of milk so play it by ear a little and see what you like.

I use organic soya milk which even my boyfriend doesn’t mind (as long as it’s in the smoothie).

You can add some honey as well if you like but I find it’s sweet enough with just the banana, particularly if you use quite a ripe one.

Happy blending!

My Favourite Winter Breakfasts

These are a few of my more unusual winter breakfast choices. I am of course a big fan of the basic English fry up (maybe a slightly healthier version), eggs on toast (fried, poached, scrambled), sausage sandwiches and other breakfast classics, but the options below are just a little bit more exciting!

Cinnamon French Toast with Sliced Banana and Maple Syrup

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Raw Chocolate Ganache Tart or as I like to call it (Avocado) Chocolate Cake

The Final Product

I’ve been meaning to make this cake ever since I discovered it on the River Cottage’s website along with some other inspiring and healthy raw food recipes.

It’s wheat, dairy and gluten free as well as being suitable for vegans – so it can be enjoyed by everybody!

It is the brainchild of Laura Coxeter who must be very clever indeed as this is quite the original recipe – avocado in a cake? Really?

It’s a chocolate torte but it’s made solely from very healthy ingredients including nuts, dates, avocado, coconut oil, pure cacao and agave syrup. There is no flour, butter or sugar. Continue reading