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Sago, Coconut Cream and Banana

Sago

Oh sago… Where have you been all my life? Seriously a simple, delicious dessert that everyone will love. Sago is made from the starchy pulp of a specific type of palm tree. Yup, starch. That makes sago about 90% carbohydrates, so be careful, diabetics.

[ Serves: 4 | Time: 60 Minutes | Cost: $4 ]
[ Joes Rating: 4.5 / 5 | My Rating: 5 / 5 ]

Ingredients

100 g dry sago
400 ml coconut cream
½ teaspoon stevia or 2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons coconut, shredded and toasted
2 tablespoons almonds, chopped and toasted

Method

  1. Put the stevia, sago and coconut cream in a pot and cook over a moderate heat for 5 minutes, stirring continually.
  2. Remove from the heat and place in the fridge until chilled.
  3. Serve with toasted nuts and coconut.

Yum, give me extra nuts and coconut!

Observations

  • I adore sago. No, I mean I REALLY adore it. I could eat it all day long. It’s so easy and so delicious. Ahh sago……. *drool*
  • Diabetic Note: Banana is always bad for me. When it comes into the equation, my blood glucose levels get crazy. Having said that though, my bloods handled this dish exceptionally well.
  • Ethical Note: I want to do some research about sago. I am not sure how sustainable the crop is. Many south-east Asian rainforests are torn down to make way for crops such as palm sugar. For now, the jury is out until I can find the time to research this further.

 

 
 

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Banana and Coconut Cream Custard

I stumbled across this wonderful recipe by Real Food Forager and was very eager to try something similar. I don’t know why I waited so long, to be honest. It should now be a part of our regular diet – it was just that good!

Silky, creamy and smooth – a perfect dessert.

[ Serves: 4 – 6 | Time: 30 Minutes | Cost: $4 ]
[ Joes Rating: 4.5 / 5 | My Rating: 5 / 5 ]

Ingredients

2 ripe bananas – puréed
1 can coconut cream – well incorporated ¹
4 free ranged eggs
2 tablespoons agave ²
2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon stevia

Method

  1. Mash and purée the banana in a blender until it is smooth and creamy.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until well aerated.
  3. Pour the mixture into a tart tray and bake at 180°C for 30 minutes.
  4. Serve hot or cold ³.

Creamy and delicious.

Observations

  • Note 1: The original recipe called for coconut milk and gave instructions on how to convert coconut cream into coconut milk. I opted to just use a tin of coconut cream and the results were delicious. If your coconut cream is solid in the tin, warm it until it melts and becomes incorporated.
  • Note 2: The original recipe uses four tablespoons of honey, however, I was concerned about the glucose content. I’ve altered it to be half agave and a little stevia to make up the sweetness required. The dish didn’t suffer for the substitutes. If you don’t have agave, you can use sugar, honey or just stevia as desired.
  • Note 3: The original recommended refrigerating the custard and serving it cold. We had some hot to taste test it (for research, I assure you!) and found it was moist and not all that appealing. When we set it in the fridge, the moisture seems to disappear and the texture and taste strengthens. Although it can be eaten hot, it is our opinion that served chilled is the only way to enjoy it.
  • Diabetic Note: There is always something about bananas that sets my blood glucose levels screaming. This dish, however, even when served with some low GI ice cream (Bulla lite brand) was ok. Watch the fat content of your coconut cream (I use a lite variety), the sugars (see note 2) and serving size as there is plenty of sugar in the bananas.
  • Ethical Note: These bananas were well past their prime and were due for the compost heap. Even so, they were perfect in this dish.

Served chilled with low Gi Ice Cream – a diabetics dreams come true.

 

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Strawberry and Choc-Chip Sourdough Pikeletes

My daughter Brittany loves to bake. She is often baking muffins and cakes in the kitchen and I would consider her *cough* to be a *cough* better baker than I am. The other day she was looking for something to do and I suggested making some pikeletes out of the left over sourdough starter for the day. She made two kinds of pikeletes – choc-chip and strawberry. Below are her instructions.

[ MAKES: 12  |  TIME: 20 MINUTES  |  COST: $2  ]
[  Brittany’s RATING:  4  / 5  |  MY RATING: 4  / 5 ]

Ingredients

1 cup sourdough starter
½ cup choc chips
2 tablespoons soy milk
1 tablespoon agave
1 tablespoon butter
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda

Method

  1. The butter needs to be melted so it can be incorporated into the batter easily.
  2. In a bowl, gently mix the starter, milk, agave, and butter.
  3. Add the salt and baking soda and mix gently until incorporated.
  4. Carefully stir the choc chips and or strawberries into the mixture.
  5. In a frying pan, bring a little oil to a moderate heat.
  6. Using a spoon, put one or two spoonfuls into the middle of the pan and allow to cook until golden brown. This will take 2 – 4 minutes.
  7. Turn the pikelete over and cook until golden brown. This will take 1 – 2 minutes.
  8. Serve hot or cold, with fruit, cream or chocolate sauce.

Observations

  • You can substitute sugar for the agave and regular cows milk for the soy milk. I forgive you.
  • If you want to try Brittany’s strawberry version, only add ¼ cup choc chips and add ¼ to one-third cup chopped strawberries to the batter.
  • As with all muffins, cakes and pancake mixtures, mix gently. The more vigorous the stirring, the tougher the end product.
  • Brittany made two batches of these (one of each) and we enjoyed them cold for morning and afternoon tea for several days. They remained soft, fresh and delicious. YAY for sourdough!
  • Diabetic Note: One or two of the strawberry version for morning or afternoon tea will not break the carbohydrate budget. This will depend on size and density of the pikeletes.
  • Ethical Note: We had strawberries in the fridge getting towards the end of their shelf life. By incorporating them into this recipe, we reduced potential wastage problems. YAY for us!

 

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Banana Muffins

This is a little bit of an experiment so I was weary of the results. To my astonishment, what results is nothing short of bananary goodness.

[ Makes: 12  |  TIME: 30 MINUTES  |  COST: $2  ]
[  JOES’ RATING:  4  / 5  |  MY RATING:  3.5  / 5 ]

Ingredients

3 ripe bananas
1 cup sourdough starter
½ cup wholemeal flour
½ cup chocolate chips
1 free ranged egg
1 tablespoon chia seed
1 tablespoon agave
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon stevia

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Mash the bananas with a fork until smooth. Add the egg, stevia, agave and starter and mix gently.
  3. Add the wholemeal flour, baking soda and chia seeds and mix gently.
  4. Stir through the choc chips.
  5. Fill your muffin trays or liners until ¾ full.
  6. Bake in a moderate oven for 18 minutes.

Observations

  • It is really important not to over work the batter. A gentle hand is needed for lighter, fluffier muffins.
  • If you are after a more refined, fluffier texture, use white flour instead of wholemeal. Wholemeal gives you a much denser body.
  • If you are not a convert to the joys of agave, just use ordinary honey.
  • When baking, put a bowl of water in the oven so it is moist with steam. This will stop your muffins from drying out.
  • There is a fine line with this recipe between deliciously moist to overcooked and dry. Test it with a knife tip or a skewer from 15 minutes and adjust cooking time to suit your oven. I found the 17 minute mark to be ideal for me.
  • Originally, I used 2 tablespoons of chia bit it sort of over dominated the other flavours. In this case, more is not always best.
  • The choc chip and banana combination was made of winning!
  • Diabetic Note: Agave is the nectar of a cactus and has a lower glycemic index than other sweeteners such as refined sugar and honey. I use it when I can’t use stevia which had no effect on my blood glucose levels. Agave is also a strong choice for vegans who don’t eat honey. It is also 1.5 times sweeter than honey, so is used sparingly. Just as well, really, because it is expensive!
  • Ethical Note: I used way over ripe bananas in this instead of throwing them away. YAY for reduced waste!
 

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Carrot Sourdough Muffins

I have made this so many times lately that I thought it deserved sharing. They have become a bit of a staple in the house for morning and afternoon tea treats. This is a delicious way of using up your sourdough starter and although it has a lot of elements, it is so easy. It is adapted from a Richard Packham recipe.

[  SERVES: 2  |  TIME: 40 MINUTES  |  COST: $3  ]
[  JOES’ RATING:  4.5  / 5  |  MY RATING:  5  / 5 ]

Ingredients

1½ cup plain flour
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup active sourdough starter
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup raisins
½ cup graduated sugar OR 1 teaspoon stevia
¼ cup butter
¼ cup milk OR soy milk
¼ cup chopped walnuts
1 free ranged egg
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon all spice
¼ teaspoon salt

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Grate your carrot finely. If you can only use a coarse setting, boil it lightly for a few minutes until its par cooked. Allow it to cool before using it.
  3. In a bowl, cream the butter and the sugar together until it becomes pale. This will take several minutes.
  4. Add the egg and milk and mix well.
  5. Add the starter, flour, baking soda, spices and salt. Incorporate your dry ingredients into the egg mixture gently. Do not overwork the batter.
  6. Gently stir through the carrots, raisins and nuts.
  7. Half fill your muffin papers.
  8. Cook at 180ºC for 16 – 18 minutes.

Observations

  • It is really really important not to over work the batter. If you give it the bare minimum of work, your muffins will be lighter and fluffier. If you use a blender, your muffins will turn into stones. A gentle hand is needed for this one!
  • I use to cook the carrots but now I use finer grated raw carrots and it tastes so much better. Be guided by your grater size / thickness.
  • When baking, put a bowl of water in the oven so it is moist with steam. This will stop your muffins from drying out.
  • There is a fine line with this recipe between deliciously moist to overcooked and dry. Test it with a knife tip or a skewer from 15 minutes and adjust cooking time to suit your oven.
  • I have tried all manner of fruit and nuts in this mixture. I’ve used almonds and macadamia nuts as well as sultanas and cranberries. What I have mentioned in the ingredients list was my favourite combination.
  • Diabetic Note: I use Stevia where possible. It is a natural substance that is sweet without causing a blood glucose reaction. I use Stevia here to replace half a cup of sugar to my benefit without ruining the texture of the muffins. As a result, I can have one or two of these for morning or afternoon tea without feeling too guilty. Certainly it doesn’t seem to upset my BGL too much.
  • Ethical Note:  I found it to be almost impossible to buy Australian walnuts in the supermarket but the health food store had a few options. Where possible, I purchase locally, but sometimes national options are the only possible ethical option.

 

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Baked Apple and Custard Tarts

While I was making the Quiche Lorraine yesterday, I had a tiny bit of pastry left over for the crust. I decided to try something VERY out of my element.

[  Makes: 6  |  TIME: 30 MIN  |  COST: $4  ]
[  JOES’ RATING: 4  / 5  |  MY RATING: 4  / 5 ]

Ingredients

Filling: Inspired from Essential Kids

1 apple
2 free ranged eggs
2 free ranged egg yolks (in addition to the above)
¼ cup soy milk
¼ cup sugar substitute (or sugar)
sprinkle of nutmeg for garnish

Crust: recipe from Richard Packham

1 2/3 cup white flour
2/3 cup butter
½ cup sourdough starter
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda

Method

  1. To prepare the crust, sift flour, salt and baking soda together. Cut in the butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 1/2 cup fresh starter, just until all ingredients are moistened. Add a few drops water if too dry, a spoonful more flour if to moist. Cover or wrap and let stand 30 – 60 minutes.
  2. Roll out the pie crust on a floured surface, turning the dough a ¼ each roll to form a circle. Carefully press it into a greased muffin tins. Place some baking paper carefully onto the pastry and half fill it with dried split peas, heavy dried beans or coffee beans. Bake in a preheated oven (200°C) for 10 minutes. Remove the beans and baking paper and bake for a further 10 minutes until golden.
  3. Peel the apple and slice into thinnish wedges. Add to a saucepan with enough water to just cover it and cook for a few minutes, until tender. Allow to cool.
  4. Whisk the eggs, milk and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  5. Place a few cooled apple pieces to the bottom of each muffin and pour in the egg mixture. Top with a sprinkle of nutmeg for garnish.
  6. Bake at 160°C for 40 – 55 minutes. Check regularly by inserting the tip of a knife into the tart. It is ready when the knife comes out clean.
  7. Allow to cool slightly and serve with *whisper* ice cream

Observation

  • I over cooked mine ever so slightly resulting in a slightly dry tart. Mine was ready in about 40 minutes so take care.
  • Simple recipe, delicious results.
  • Diabetic Note: Ice cream? What are you talking about?! I don’t eat that – its bad for diabetics…
  • Ethical Note: I made this simply to use up the left over dough from the quick, and I am glad I did. No waste = win!
 

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Sourdough Cinnamon Scrolls

A few weeks ago, I saw this amazing recipe for Wholemeal Sourdough Cinnamon Scrolls by one of my favourite foodies, The Ragamuffin Diaries. Due to continual sourdough starter failure, I’ve had it book marked with a promise of getting back to it once I had a stable starter. That amazing feat of strength has been achieved after four failed starters! (Organic rye starter succeeded where organic white and wholemeal attempts failed). These scrolls would be the real test for my week old starter, and let me tell you, my starter aced the test with a A+ grade test result!

[  SERVES: 8  |  TIME: 24 hrs  |  COST: <$5  ]
[  JOES’ RATING: 4.5/5  |  MY RATING:  4.5/5 |  BRITTANYS RATING: 4/5]

Adapted from the original recipe by Ragamuffin Diaries

Ingredients

Dough:

1 ½ cup sourdough starter
2 – 3 cups whole wheat flour
2/3 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons agave
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda

Filling:

about ½ cup raw sugar
olive oil
cinnamon
chopped nuts
currents / raisins

Glaze:

¼ cup raw sugar
1 – 2 tablespoons coconut milk
1 tablespoon maple syrup

Method

  1. Afternoon before you want your finished product, mix your sourdough starter with 1 cup of flour. Cover with a moist tea towel and allow the rough dough to rest for six hours.
  2. After resting, mix the rest of the dough  ingredients. Add more flour / starter as needed so the dough is workable but not too sticky. Knead it for 4 – 5 hours. Place in a well oiled bowl and cover with a damp tea towel to rest overnight.

    Note how much the dough has risen after the first rest period!

  3. The next morning, prepare a work space by oiling its surface. You will need a workspace that is roughly 50 cm x 30 cm.
  4. Punch down the dough and move it to the work surface. Use your hands to shape the dough into a rectangle shape. Use the rolling pin to make it an even thickness of 1 – 1.5cm thick.
  5. Using your hands, lightly oil the dough surface before distributing your filling evenly over the entire surface.

    Note the well oiled surface and evenly spaced ingredients.

  6. Carefully roll the dough along the long side. Be gentle and go slow, patting it firm along the way. (You don’t want to rush and rip the dough or make it too loose.
  7. Cut the newly formed scroll log into individual scrolls that are roughly 2 – 3 cm thick. Place them into a baking dish that has been lined with some baking paper. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rise for 1 – 2 hours.

    Before and after final rest. Note how much they have grown in size.

  8. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Once the scrolls have finished rising, bake them in the oven for about 20 minutes.
  9. After the scrolls have cooled, break then apart carefully. Prepare the glaze by whisking all the ingredients together. Drizzle the glaze over the warm’ish scrolls. 

Observations

  • Use honey or maple syrup if you don’t have some agave syrup.
  • Oiling your hands before transferring your dough to the work surface will make it easier to handle and work with.
  • I have to admit that I did all this in one day so we could have them that night and it worked perfectly well, but do observe the rest periods – the dough needs that time to incorporate and let the sourdough to do its thing.
  • The original recipe called for coconut oil. I used olive oil and it seemed to be fine (although I don’t have a real comparison)
  • We used walnuts, almonds and currents. I really would have loved some shredded coconut through this, but didn’t have any on hand. The fruit / nut combinations are endless.
  • Diabetic Note: Hmm, all that sugar. As you can guess, it didn’t do my blood glucose levels any real favours, but that might also be because I had 4! Limit how much sugar you use, and your serving size for happy BGLs.
  • Ethical Note: Sourdough = win… ’nuff said.
 

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