Posts filed under ‘in the kitchen’

baking with chickpea flour

I’ve dabbled lightly with using gluten free flour in baking before but steered toward savoury recipes or pancakes to avoid being duped by the palatability of gluten free puddings laden with sugar.   I do have a gluten free lemon drizzle cake recipe on my blog but that is a case in point – it’s so totally delicious and moreish because it contains a ton of butter and sugar!  To be honest I’m not too keen on gluten-free flours, the results have always tended to be brick like and unattractive.  But today I happened across the gold medalist of gluten free flours judging by the totally spongy cake produced.  I found this recipe for chickpea flour banana cake on Camilla’s Power Hungry website and the result exceeded all expectations – I never imagined I’d be using the words “light and fluffy” to describe a gluten free cake! As Camilla describes in the comments section of her blog this recipe is intentionally sweetened for a more cake like texture.  I always look at the comments from other readers for insights into successful adjustments to a recipe, particularly sugar quanitities, the changing of which can have more than just an impact on the flavour.   I thought two bananas would have enough sweetness for a not-quite-savoury gluten-free carb alternative so I only used 2 teaspoons of honey melted with the coconut oil and 2 teaspoons of cashew nut butter (just using up almost empty jars). The result was a terrific texture and not very bananary at all as I only had newly bought firm bananas in stock (I’m guessing it would have tasted sweeter the more ripe the bananas are). Luca and I enjoyed it buttered and topped with jam and I’d happily dunk it in soup too.  I shall definitely be using this as my go to base recipe and re-work it with other favourite additions like lemon curd, spicy ginger and grated carrot and walnuts.    The other variation I made to the recipe was the addition of Pulsin pea protein powder. Camilla had suggested reducing the amount of yoghurt if using honey instead of cane sugar but as I’d already whizzed mine up I decided adding another dry ingredient would work just as well. I’m not generally very experimental with protein powders other than blending them into smoothies but as the Pulsin pea protein is flavourless I thought it would be a good opportunity to try it out. You would never know it was there and with no added sugar or sweeteners and 80% protein there’s really no limit to what you could sprinkle the pea protein powder into. It was lovely to do some baking with L. It doesn’t have to be complex cooking with children, a bowl and a wooden spoon suffice more often than not. L even had a go with my Oxo good grips hand held mixer which E tried for the first time around the same age. 4 years later stainless steel bowl and mixer still look like new and continue to survive being used in the bath for whizzing up bubbles and as a hat and accessory, as well as for so many different cooking tasks!

Making Camilla’s chickpea flour banana cake (with variations)

  • 1.5 cups chickpea flour
  • 1.5 teaspoon baking powder
  • 0.75 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 0.5 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons honey (Camilla uses 0.5 cups sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons nut butter (your own choice preference)
  • 0.5 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 large mashed bananas
  • 0.25 cup melted coconut oil
  • 20g Pulsin Pea Protein powder
  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees C.  Lightly grease a 9 inch square baking tray.
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl (flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon).
  3. Whisk the eggs, sugar, yogurt, banana and oil in another bowl until well blended.
  4. Add the wet mixture to the flour mixture stirring just until moist.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan
  6. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes.
  7. Cool cake in the pan for 10 minutes then cool completely on a wire rack.

October 13, 2017 at 12:02 pm 3 comments

easy peasy pink coleslaw

13-3-17 - Beetroot slaw_Rachel's yoghurt 4BI’m still trying to get more veggies into my life!  Some days are more successful than others and I’m learning to over estimate the amount of fresh produce I need to eat to feel satisfied and double up quantities.  I made this coleslaw by magimixing a red onion, a hunk of white cabbage, 3 carrots and a beetroot.  I’d forgotten that I had run out of mayonaise so reached for some yoghurt instead.  It was actually rather delicious with this Rachel’s Greek Style Ginger Yoghurt.

Luca rather liked it too (and getting so messy of course).


Second babies eh, not afraid to try anything!

April 3, 2017 at 9:03 am Leave a comment

making cookie pressed biscuits

Chocolate cookies 4BMaking biscuits for friends on Day 3 with the Kindness Elves was so simple thanks to our Oxo Good Grips Cookie Press.
Cookie press butterflies 4B
Dozens of perfect-every-time mini cookies easily pressed into a range of 12 different shapes using a one-click handle that even a 3 year old can manage.
Collage - cookie press 4B
The secret to perfect biscuits is all in the dough, made by following the recipe in the booklet provided to the ounce.  Substituting any of the ingredients (like thinking self raising flour will do in place of plain the first time you use it) will be courting disaster.
Trust me, I know!
cookie press dough 4B
chocolate cookies colling on rack 4B
Disclaimer: With thanks to Oxo Good Grips who sent us this cookie press to try.
I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.

January 5, 2016 at 12:10 am Leave a comment

making quinoa tabouleh

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with bread. I love the taste and the texture of a nice fluffy sandwich but I hate the feeling of bloating and lethargy that follows it.
How ironic then that when I’m pregnant it’s just about all I can manage to eat along with bananas and wheetabix! Now that the worst of my sickness is settling down and I’ve discovered that raw tomatoes and onion have an alkalising effect in the body despite their acidity perhaps it’s time to make this again – quinoa tabouleh. Not only is it a less glycaemic form of carbohydrate but it’s rich in protein. What’s not to like!
Quinoa 3 4B

How to make Quinoa Tabouleh (serves 4)

250g dry quinoa, rinsed and drained
500ml water
1/2 veg bouillon cube
1 tsp turmeric
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
pinch of freshly grated lemon zest
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
pinch each of turmeric, ground coriander, ginger, cumin and paprika
1/2 tsp cinnamon
250g finely cubed tomatoes
2 spring onions, finely chopped
2 heaped tbsp coarsely chopped mint
50g coarsely chopped parsley
salt and freshly ground pepper
Quinoa 1 4B

♥  Bring the rinsed quinoa to the boil in a pan with the water, stock cube and turmeric.
♥  Cover and simmer on a low heat until the quinoa is al dente.
♥  Remove from the heat, tip into a wide bowl and leave to cool for 20 minutes
♥  In a large bowl combine oil, lemon juice and zest, crushed garlic and spices.
♥  Tip the cooled quinoa into the bowl and add the chopped tomatoes, onions and herbs and toss gently.
♥  Season to taste with lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Chill until serving.

Quinoa 2 4B

This recipe is from Connor Middelman-Whitney’s fabulous ‘Zest for life: the mediteranean anti-cancer diet’ cookbook. Check out the Zest for Life website for more details or Connor’s youtube channel for walk-you-through videos of some of her favourite recipes.

October 27, 2015 at 6:00 am 3 comments

lemon curd loveliness

10-7-15 - lemon ring cake 4B
10-7-15 - lemon ring cake close up 4B
10-7-15 - lemon ring cake sprinkles 4BA generous dollop of lemon curd; my favourite addition for jazzing up a simple ‘weight of 2 eggs’ cake recipe (double dollops for this 4 egg version). It seems baking has become a bi-annual affair having not greased my tins since E’s birthday in January. This ring cake headed off to E’s playgroup fete and proved quite popular I hear.
What’s not to love about a ton of sprinkles on a cake?
10-7-15 - lemon cup cake sprinkles 4B
Baking buddy E’s cup cake versions!

July 30, 2015 at 9:44 pm 2 comments

easy peasy skinny base pizzas

29-9-14 - spicy tomato chutney jar 4B2014 was the first year in five that I’d not made any chutneys, jams or cordials.  Small wonder really as my love of preserve making began when allotment grown vegetables and spare time were both in abundance!
29-9-14 - spicy tomato chutney jar_opened 4B
So instead I’ve been working through my stores of tomato chutney as a starter for chunky salad dressings or as an alternative tomato sauce for quick pizza’s spread on a pitta or flat bread base. I particularly like Warburtons thins as a lower carb option for a simple, crisp, skinny base
Warburton thins pizza 4B
Cooked pizza 4B
Mission accomplished – another empty jar!
Empty chutney jar 4B

July 27, 2015 at 9:11 pm Leave a comment

going wild for garlic

Cranham woods with E 4BA walk in Cranham woods turned into a happy stumble* across patches of wild garlic when we went to explore this strange looking tree. Cranham woods with E - strange tree 4B Cranham woods with E - wild garlic 4B
What fun we had collecting sticks (no surprises there), nibbling on wild garlic leaves and eating our snacks to free up our Tupperware box for foraging. Cranham woods with E - stick man 4B Cranham woods with E - snack time 4B
Turns out a small snack box doesn’t hold much and it’s pretty slow going when you’re a forager clutching a stick collection! Cranham woods with E - forager 4B
To make our pesto style sauce I whizzed up our garlic leaves (17g), with 10g walnuts, 10g hard cheese, seasoning and 25ml rapeseed oil (different choice of ingredients but quantities based on those in Hedgerow (River Cottage Handbook, No.7)Wild garlic pesto collage 4B
It tastes so fresh and vibrant and it’s surprising how such a small amount goes a long way.  The equivalent of 5 teaspoons of pesto has stretched to jazzing up pasta, potato salad and adding some zing to soup. Wild garlic pesto - on pasta 4B
No prizes for guessing where we’ll be returning to soon!

*Literally a stumble when only a minute or two before E had learned that getting out of a tree is not always as easy as climbing in. No harm done and all in the name of independence! Cranham woods with E - climbing out of strange tree 4B

April 4, 2015 at 11:20 am Leave a comment

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