Tag Archives: wheat-free

Pecan banana bread made with ground nuts not flour

Banana bread + organic creme fraiche + Better Food Spicy Apple and Citrus Preserve

Experiment: Spoke a first draft instead of writing it. Took me five minutes. Could this be the way forward?

Here is what I said (with few amends).

Due to a delicate digestion, I think a lot about how I feel after what I have eaten.

The food is delicious. But how does it sit in my gut?

So I was interested to read in Natural Lifestyle an article by nutritionist Christine Bailey about healing the inflamed gut. A new idea. Is it possible?

The article recommended homemade yogurt (I am a believer), and well-cooked vegetables with meat broth, avoiding all grains.

The article gave a recipe for banana bread using ground pecan nuts instead of flour. No sugar. Honey instead.

Finding-out how to grind the nuts was a mission.

I even bought a new hand blender. I drove myself and the assistant at Kitchens mad questioning the nut-grinding function of every machine and found all nuts when ground eventually go to a paste because of the heat.

So it seemed nut-grinding might be a Shangri-La illusion.

So I bought my £30 Philips hand blender with a grinding attachment and further research found freezing the nuts might stop them getting too oily too fast.

I froze the nuts. I used the nut blender attachment, I found with short burts and not expecting too much fineness, I ground the nuts. It worked.

Pecan nuts are more expensive than flour. Nuts are more expensive than flour.

Here is Christine Bailey‘s recipe. I changed it: got rid of the baking agents, using eggs to make it rise, and two bananas instead of one. It filled one small and one big loaf tin. You could substitute the pecans for other ground nuts.

Grind/blend 10 1/2 oz (300g) frozen pecan nuts. A cinnamon stick adds grit to oily nuts. Add 2 tsp ground cinnamon to ground nuts. Whizz four eggs until airy then whizz with two tablespoons of olive oil (I used melted ghee butter) and one large or two small ripe banana until airy and smooth. Combine gently with nuts and cinnamon. Pour into two oiled loaf tins. Bake 180C Gas Mark 4 for 40 minutes until firm to touch. 

The banana bread tasted a bit worthy and I did go non-vegan spreading it with organic butter.

It must be noted, it was easy to eat, not sickly-eating sweetness

and afterwards my gut felt good.

It would not have been so happy with the grain.

The banana bread is a keeper but it does need a spread and I wonder what you might add to luxuriate the baked bread.

And have you grappled with nut-grinding?

Orange almond wheat-free cake

This cake meets Winkler criteria: easy-to-make, nutritious, delicious.

Fresh-tasting (from the citrus fruit) and so moist – unbelievable because it is fat-free too – no oil or marge or butter used.

[line added thanks to Grazing Kate's comment below]

I’d eaten it at a special birthday. But how to replicate it? So, I did a Google search for: “oranges almond cake” and up came the recipes. Don’t you just love the internet?

I gave Anthony Worral Thompson’s version a miss. Too complicated.

Here is my organic version of the brilliantly simple one at Mumsnet using four ingredients.

The cast assembled: cooked oranges in food processor, ground almonds and eggs wait in the wings. The fourth ingredient, sugar, missed the photo-shoot.

The recipe

3 oranges or 5 satsumas

Why chose organic oranges? Organic fruit grows at its own pace with less water and more nutrients. In contrast, chemical fertiliser’s rapid growth makes for sappy, disease-prone, more watery, bland tasting crops.

Additionally, because this recipe uses the whole orange including the peel, another good reason to prefer citrus grown without potentially toxic chemicals.

250g ground almonds

Almonds have less carbs and are more nutrition than wheat. Their price has risen because there are not enough bees to pollinate the almond flowers due to the effects of industrial farming on bees’ health. In contrast organic farming saves the bees. Organic almonds won’t have been sprayed with potentially toxic sprays during growing and storage. Kinder to bees, too.

200g sugar (experiment with less)

- or 125g of organic agave syrup which has a low GI, releasing sugar more slowly into bloodstream. It’s worth getting organic because the processing method retains more of the agave nutrients.

6 eggs

from happy, free-roaming, chickens fed on GM-free grain. Organic certification guarantees all of the former. However, if you know your hens, organic certification is less crucial. Personally I believe organic is the norm and chemical farming is the system that should be certified. But hey.

Boil the oranges or satsumas with a lid on until the peel is soft – about an hour.

Drain the fruit and whizz in a food processor, pith and pips and skin - easy as hell and adds fibre and orangey-ness

Add ground almonds and sugar (or agave) and whizz.

Add six eggs and whizz.

Pour the orangey-puree in two lined 15cm tins and bake at 190c for 45 mins – 1 hour depending on your oven. Mine got burnt on the top so I might experiment with a slightly lower heat. Flan tins seemed to work fine.

Turn out and serve with creme fraiche – organic, preferably, so you get more nutrition for your money. The cows lead happier lives too. And organic soil is nurtured and renewed to feed future generations.

Talking about organic, I am going to the Soil Association conference in Manchester next week, reporting for Maria’s Farm Country Kitchen.

PS August 2012 – This cake is such a winner. Here it is filled with organic creme fraiche, covered with melted organic dark chocolate, and topped with cherries for Armiche’s (our Canarian cousin) birthday.