Food for thought 

A few ideas for meals,  I will elaborate on later as the candles burnt long enough tonight! 

Low fat Chocolate Brownies

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100 ml (4 fl oz) sunflower oil, plus extra to grease
500 g (18oz) dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), broken up
8 medium eggs
300 g (10ozs) light muscovado sugar
2 tsps vanilla extract
150 g (6oz) plain flour gluten free
1 tsp baking powder gluten free
2 tbsp cocoa powder

* optional100 grams (4 ozs) walnuts

Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan) mark 4.
Lightly grease and line two 20.5cm (8in) square tins with baking parchment.
Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water (make sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water).
Lift bowl off the pan, set aside to cool (if too hot the brownie may not cook in the middle).
Beat in the eggs, sugar, vanilla, oil and a pinch of salt in a large bowl with a handheld electric whisk until pale and thick.
Sift the flour, baking and cocoa powder over and add the *walnuts and cooled chocolate.
Fold together with a large metal spoon.
Scrape mixture into the prepared tin, level and scatter over topping* (if using).
Bake for 20-25min or until set.
Cool completely in tin before cutting into squares.

Optional Toppings:
A good handful of fresh raspberries and blanced almond slithers or broken walnuts or chopped mixed nuts.
Dusting of icing sugar and/or popping candy

To Store:
The brownie without raspberries, will keep well wrapped in foil or in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. Adding fresh fruit shortens the shelf life (if it last that long in your household!).

Tru3 J0y

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Banana Berry Smoothie

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Serves 2 (or halved for 1)


2 ripe bananas
400 grams of berries
Berries of your choice either one type or a variety (whatever takes your fancy) blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, mulberries, cranberries, loganberries

200 ml almond milk (or another dairy free milk of choice)

2 tablespoons of honey, agave (or maple syrup or another of your choice)

2 tablespoons of linseeds


Put all ingredients carefully into a blender and blend thoroughly, add crushed ice, if preferred especially on warmer days.

Serve chilled and immediately in tall glasses.

Tru3 J0y

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Apple and blackberry crumble

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Fruit mixture

6 medium small apples peeled and chopped
150 – 200 g blackberries washed
2 ozs or 50 g sugar
100ml boiling water

Mix water and sugar together.
Pour into an 2lb/2L ovenproof dish
Add apples coat in sugar solution.
Add blackberries over the top.


125 g or 4 ozs of sugar
175 g or 6 ozs of butter or dairy free alternative cubed
250 g or 8 ozs of plain flour (gluten free) or half plain (gluten free) and half ground almonds

Cinnamon to sprinkle over at the end

Add dry ingredients to a bowl and add butter, rub in the butter until the mixtures resembles that if fine breadcrumbs.

Spread the mixture over the fruit mixture.
Sprinkle cinnamon over the top.
Bake for 40 minutes on Gas Mark 5 or 190 degrees C.


Raspberries with crumble mixture half plain half ground almonds

Raspberries and peaches or nectarines

A mixture of various berries

Cherries and berries

Raspberry and apple

Apple and pear

Pear and almond

Tinned fruits – drained theses will be quicker to cook so 20 minutes on 200 degrees or gas mark 6 will cook and brown the crumble.

Variations of spices:

Choose one or a variety of a few, depending on personal preferences:

Mixed ground spice
Star Anise

Tru3 J0y

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‘Tabouleh’ quinoa salad

An adapted ‘Tabouleh’ recipe using quinoa instead of bulger wheat, a similar adaptation can be made to substitute couscous with quinoa in Mediterranean dishes.


2 cups of cooked quinoa
1 red onion, finely chopped
4 vine tomatoes, finely chopped
1 medium cucumber, finely chopped
200g of feta cheese or Goats cheese or Free From alternative
3 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Bunch of chopped mint
Freshly ground black pepper
Sea salt to taste

Simple method

1. Place all ingredients into a large bowl and carefully toss.

2.Serve in glass dishes.


Tru3 J0y

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Gluten Free Flatbread

Before you read on, I have a confession to make… I ate it before remembering to take a photograph! Ah well, I’ll just have to make another one tomorrow!

150g gluten free flour blend
Warm water
Olive oil
Sea salt

1/2 tsp of any of the following (or a combination of your choice) of:
cumin seeds
black onion seeds
fennel seeds
pine nuts

Preheat the grill to hot.
Add water gradually to the flour in a bowl and mix until the mixture is the creamed consistency.
Lightly brush oil on a baking tray/grill pan with the olive oil.
Spoon the mixture roughly on to the tray, then drizzle oil over the top.
Oil your hands, flatten the mixture out into a rough rectangle, as thin as you can get it.
Sprinkle sea salt over the top, put under the grill, watch as the dough starts to bubble and char, remove and turn over.
N.B. The dough lifts up at the edges after turning, and start to cook too quickly.
Before the dough is charring on the other side, take it out and scatter seeds/herbs over the flatbread, place back under the grill until it is lightly charred.

Serve cut into smaller rectangles, scatter with herb/s of choice: oregano, thyme, coriander, parsley or basil.

Serve with soup or dips.
Use as a pizza base, add the tomato sauce, toppings grill on hot.

Tru3 J0y

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Apple, Banana spice breakfast muffins

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1 Cooking apple, peel, core and dice
3 tablespoons of cold water
150g plus 2 tablespoons of brown gluten free flour
150g gluten free oats
2 bananas mashed
100g raisins or other small or chopped dried fruit
2 teaspoons of baking powder
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of mixed spice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 medium eggs beaten
125 ml of dairy free yogurt or 100 ml dairy milk alternative
220 ml maple syrup
1 dessert eating apple peel, core and dice


Preheat oven to 180 C/ Gas mark 4/ 350 F.

Line 18 holes of muffin tins.

Put cooking apple and water in a small saucepan bring to boil then simmer until soft. Mash with a fork and then leave aside to cool.

In a large bowl add the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Add the eggs, yogurt, cooked apple, diced apples, and maple syrup and mix gently together.

Spoon the mixture equally into the cases.

Bake for 25-30 minutes depending on if you have a fan assisted oven or longer if not. Insert a cake skewer to check muffins are cooked in the centre.

Serve hot with dairy free yogurt or cool and eat cold a great breakfast or snack when you’re on the go!

Bon appétit!

Tru3 J0y

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Cinnamon Banana Sponge cake

Cinnamon Banana Sponge cake

150 grams dairy free spread
150 grams sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 eggs, beaten
800 grams mashed bananas
400 grams of gluten free Flour
1 teaspoon mixed spice or cinnamon
60 grams broken Walnuts (if preferred)
Turn on oven to Gas Mark 4 or 180 Celsius
Line a 8″ diameter round or square deep cake tin.
Add spread and sugar to a bowl and cream using an electric whisk – adding vanilla essence and eggs.
Add mashed bananas, walnuts and mixed spice or cinnamon mix thoroughly.
Using a metal spoon fold in the flour. Once thoroughly but gently folded pour into the tin and bake for 1 hour.
Using a skewer check it is cooked once cooked place on a cooling rack until cool then remove from the tin.

using two types of gluten free flour adds variety and changes the flavour and texture.  
Swap the walnuts for another nut
Swap the walnuts for dates to be nut free


Carrot, banana and lemon cake ~ Gluten free, Dairy free, Vegan

I need to make a cake, well no, actually, truth is, I need to use up a few ripe bananas!
I don’t have nuts and I fancy a change from the usual banana cake/bread/muffins recipes.
Muffins… that makes me remember making, (years ago) banana and carrot muffins.
However, I am trying to recall vaguely the proportions in order to make a suitable recipe whilst using up my bananas and other store cupboard ingredients without having to buy too many if any extra’s! I will add photographs once completed the process, hopefully it will be delicious! I know my eldest son, (who isn’t free from anything or vegan), will want a Philadelphia cream cheese, vanilla extract and icing sugar to make the icing! For those of us who wish for suitable healthier decorations then may I suggest one to suit your tastes. Please don’t be offended if it is not your choice):
Honey drizzle
Maple syrup drizzle
Butters – nut, dairy free, coconut oil
Alternative spreads
(This proves you shouldn’t multi-task or ‘burn the candle at both ends’ – “Eventually my neighbour was able to let in!” #Random ?)
Please adapt the recipe to suit you, as long as the basic elements are followed then you can’t really go wrong!
• 3 tbsp.’s honey, raw maple, agave, or fruit syrup (honey)
• 3 tbsp.’s of mild olive oil
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract/essence
• 3 mashed organic ripe bananas
• 1 large grated carrot
• 1 lemon freshly squeezed lemon juice and zest
• 3 tbsp.’s gluten free plain flour
•2 tsps baking powder
•½ tsp of baking soda
• 1 teaspoons xanthan gum
• a handful of either chopped dried apricots/dates/prunes
• a handful of chopped raw walnuts or pecans (optional) save some to decorate
Preheat oven to Gas mark 4, Electric 180 degrees Celsius.
Grease an line three sandwich cake tins 7″diameter.
Beat the syrup, oil, vanilla, and salt.
Add the bananas, carrot, lemon juice, and zest.
Mix with the flour, baking powder, and baking soda into the banana mixture.
Fold in the nuts and apricots.
Spoon into the tins, bake for about 20-25 min, or until cake skewer comes out clean.
Leave it cool, before removing from pan.

Tru3 J0y

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Gluten and Dairy free Scrummy Banana cake

500 grams Caster sugar
400 grams Dairy free butter or oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla essence/extract
800 grams of Gluten free Self-raising flour
800 grams ripe mashed Banana’s

Equipment: electric whisk or wooden spoon, kitchen measuring scales, teaspoon, knife, mixing bowl, spatula, 8″ diameter deep round or square cake tin greased and lined with greaseproof paper.


  1. Set oven at 180 or Gas mark 4.
  2. Put the butter and sugar in the bowl whisk with the electric mixer or by hand with a wooden spoon.
  3. Add vanilla essence and mashed banana’s whisk well.
  4. Gradually fold in the flour gently mixing it carefully into the mixture.
  5. Spoon into the prepared greased cake tin smooth the top.
  6. Bake for 60 minutes at Gas mark 4 or 180.