Dairy Free Peppermint Tart

As you all probably know, we keep a kosher home. That means that if we have a meat meal, the dessert needs to be dairy free.

This Rosh Hashanah, my brother hosted the meal, which was a feast of amazing chicken, deli roll, veggies and more, and I was making the desserts.

I really really wanted to make a Peppermint Crisp Tart (click on the link for the original recipe) but it needed to be parve/dairy free.

Fresh mint in closeup

My one issue was finding a solid slab of dairy free peppermint chocolate. Not so easy apparently. You can get After Eights but the peppermint part is soft and I didnt think that would work. I found an artisan, bean to bar, locally made chocolate but I could not get the peppermint one for love nor money. Eventually I gave in and bought plain dairy free chocolate and then found a peppermint extract to add to the cream. 

Another concern was what to swap the dulche de leche for. It had to be sweet but diary free and I came up with using Biscoff Lotus spread. I’m not sure this is available in SA but Im sure you can find some type of dairy free alternative.

All in all the dessert was a hit, everyone loved it and it was as close to a regular peppermint crisp tart as one could hope for.

Here is the recipe.

Dairy Free Peppermint Tart
A dairy free take on my traditional Peppermint Crisp Tart
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 tub dairy free cream such as Rich's
  2. 1 jar Biscoff Lotus spread (or any dairy free sweet spread)
  3. 1 packet of plain biscuits
  4. 1 large slab of dairy free chocolate, broken or crumbled into small pieces
  5. A few drops of peppermint extract
Instructions
  1. Place the cream and a few drops of peppermint extract in a bowl.
  2. Whip the cream until it forms stiff peaks.
  3. Place a single layer of biscuits on the bottom of a large square/rectangular dish.
  4. Microwave the Lotus spread for a few seconds for easy pouring.
  5. Cover the biscuits with a layer of Lotus spread.
  6. Sprinkle half the crumbled chocolate over the Lotus layer.
  7. Add a thin layer of whipped cream.
  8. Add another layer of biscuits.
  9. Add another layer of Lotus spread.
  10. Cover with a thick layer of whipped cream.
  11. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate over the top of the cream.
  12. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.
Notes
  1. I used a dairy free bitter chocolate, if you really want it to taste like Peppermint Crisp then look for a dairy free 'milk' chocolate or non bitter chocolate. Personally I liked the bitter contrast to the sweet Lotus spread and the minty cream.
A Bit of This A Bit of That https://gnatj.com/

Scottish oatcakes of yumminess!

As you know, Paul is diabetic, and I am always trying to find yummy sugar free food to bake or cook for him.

Paul tends to eat a bowl of oats with fresh fruit in the mornings but its getting boring. I work with a lot of UK products and last week, Scottish oatcakes kept popping up. So I googled and found a variety of recipes and yesterday I tried out a simple Scottish oatcake recipe.

These biscuits can be used in place of bread. Spread some butter, honey, jam or cheese on top or just have them plain right out the oven!

Scottish Oatcakes
Yields 16
A quick to make, yummy biscuit. Can be served with butter, cheese, jam or as is.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 250g oats, whizzed in the blender until they become a flour consistency
  2. 25g butter, melted (I used margarine so they are dairy free, you could also use oil)
  3. 1/2 teaspoon bicarb of soda
  4. pinch of salt
  5. 150ml hot (not boiling) water
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 180C.
  2. Set aside a bit of the oatmeal flour for later.
  3. Mix all the ingredients together until you have a rough dough ball.
  4. If its too sticky add some more oats, if its too dry add a dash of water.
  5. Dust your surface with the oatmeal flour you set aside earlier.
  6. Roll out the dough about 2-3mm thick.
  7. Take a clean glass and cut out rounds.
  8. You can re-roll the scraps until there is nothing left.
  9. Place rounds on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
Notes
  1. These were delicious fresh out the oven with a bit of butter.
  2. If you are not using them right away you can warm them up in the oven for a few minutes before serving although they are just as delicious cold.
  3. Store them in an airtight container.
Adapted from Penny's Recipes
Adapted from Penny's Recipes
A Bit of This A Bit of That https://gnatj.com/

Pumpkin!

My mommy in law sent me a recipe for pumpkin bread and last night I finally managed to make it.

The original recipe called for 3 cups of sugar and white flour. Since Paul is diabetic I switched things around a bit so he could also enjoy it.

When I started writing up this post I realised that I had only taken a quick picture of the breads before going into the oven.

bread

The loaf I brought to work went so quickly I didn’t have a chance to take a picture either. So I asked Paul to take a quick picture and send it to me.

Why I was surprised when he didn’t just send a quick cell phone pic is beyond me. I know better.

What follows is the gorgeous styled photo shoot he did.

Baked pumpkin bread 

Baked pumpkin bread 

Baked pumpkin bread 

Baked pumpkin bread 

Baked pumpkin bread 

And now for the recipe.

Pumpkin Bread
Yields 2
Yummy, sweet pumpkin bread
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups cooked, mashed pumpkin
  2. 2 cups sugar replacement (original recipe calls for 3 cups sugar)
  3. 1 cup oil
  4. 4 eggs
  5. 2/3 cup water
  6. 1 and 1/3 cup white flour
  7. 2 cups wholewheat flour (original recipe was all white flour)
  8. 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
  9. 1 teaspoon nutmeg (I didn't have so I left it out)
  10. 1 teaspoon cinnamon (I didn't actually measure, I just poured a whole lot in)
  11. 2 teaspoons baking soda
  12. 1 cup chopped nuts (I used almonds since that's what I had on hand)
Instructions
  1. Heat your oven to 180C.
  2. Prepare 2 bread tins.
  3. Cook your pumpkin and then drain and mash it.
  4. Add all the ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mix until well combined.
  5. Split the mixture between the 2 tins.
  6. I kept a little back and used my 4 teeny tiny little miniature bread tins, just for fun.
  7. Bake for between 45 minutes to an hour. I stuck with Hilary's suggestion of an hour (I put the mini tins in for the last 20 minutes).
Notes
  1. Enjoy hot out the oven with melted butter.
  2. Its equally as good, cold the next day.
A Bit of This A Bit of That https://gnatj.com/

Cheese, cheese, everywhere!

Shavuot, a celebration of the day the Jewish people received the Torah. As with all Jewish celebrations, we have special food related to the holiday. For Shavuot that means dairy.

Cheese, cheesecakes, pasta with lots of cheese and cream, ice cream, and most importantly (to me anyway), cheese blintzes. Yummy crepes filled with a sweet cream cheese mix and fried. They can also be made as savoury blintzes.

I found a recipe on Tori Avey’s site and modified it slightly. They were delicious!! Recipe below. All the lovely pictures taken by Paul.

batter
batter

 

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Fold over the bottom

 

Fold sides in
Fold sides in 

 

Keep rolling up and tucking the sides in
Keep rolling up and tucking the sides in 

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Cream Cheese Blintzes
Yields 9
A yummy sweet cream cheese filling wrapped up in a delicious crepe.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Crepes
  1. 4 eggs
  2. 1 cup flour
  3. 1/3 cup sugar (I used cup for cup sugar replacement)
  4. 3/4 cup milk
  5. 1/4 cup water
  6. 1 tsp vanilla
  7. Pinch of salt
  8. Nonstick cooking oil spray
  9. Oil
Filling
  1. 1 package cream cheese
  2. 1/4 cup sugar (I used cup for cup sugar replacement)
  3. 1 egg yolk
  4. 2 tsp fresh lemon juice (I didnt have any and it was fine)
  5. 1 tsp vanilla
  6. Pinch of salt
Crepes
  1. Mix all the crepe ingredients together.
  2. Make sure the batter is smooth and there are no lumps.
  3. Transfer your batter to a jug for easy pouring.
  4. Spray a non stick pan with oil spray.
  5. Pour a small amount of batter (about a third of a cup) into the pan and swirl the pan around to spread the batter.
  6. Leave for a minute or two until the crepe is set, the exposed side of the crepe will feel slightly tacky if you touch it but not completely dry.
  7. Do not flip the crepe.
  8. Set aside on a plate and separate each crepe with wax paper or paper towel.
  9. You should get about 9 thin crepes.
Filling
  1. Mix all the filling ingredients together with a fork.
  2. The mix should be thick-ish and slightly lumpy.
Put together
  1. Lay out one crepe.
  2. Place a tablespoon or so of filling onto the bottom half of the crepe.
  3. Roll the crepe up and over the filling and fold in the sides.
  4. Continue rolling (and folding in the sides) until the crepe is sitting, fold side down on your surface.
  5. Set aside.
  6. Continue this process until all the crepes are rolled.
Final Step
  1. Heat a small amount of oil in the pan.
  2. Place 2 or 3 blintzes, fold side down, in the oil and fry for 30-60 seconds.
  3. Carefully turn the blintzes and fry the other side for 30 seconds.
  4. Remove from oil and drain on paper towel.
  5. Repeat this process with the remaining blintzes.
  6. Keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.
Notes
  1. The original recipe called for ricotta cheese as well as cream cheese. I didn't use ricotta and the filling was fine.
  2. If your batter is too thick you can add a dash more milk or water to thin it out. Your crepes should not be too thick or you wont be able to roll them up.
  3. You can leave out the sugar in the filling and add mushrooms, spinach or any other savoury filling.
  4. These are best served hot but I ate one that had cooled down and it was just as delicious.
Adapted from Tori Avey
Adapted from Tori Avey
A Bit of This A Bit of That https://gnatj.com/

Dreamy Zucchini

I’ve been ordering organic veggie boxes every two weeks from Maggie’s Garden for a few months now. 

One of the things I love about the boxes is that I get to try out veggies that I wouldn’t normally buy. Like kohlrabi and zucchini. 

I’ve received zucchini a few times now and every time I’ve grilled or fried them and then thought to myself, ‘That was nice but why didn’t I make zucchini bread?’

So this time I specifically ordered a kilo of zucchini so I could make bread. I searched for a sugar free recipe so that Paul could eat it too and what I came up with was delicious!

zucc

Diabetic friendly zucchini bread
sugar free, whole wheat zucchini bread
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 eggs
  2. 1 1/4 cup canola oil
  3. 1 1/2 cup 'spoon for spoon' sweetener
  4. 1/4 cup water
  5. 1 tsp vanilla
  6. 2 cup grated unpeeled raw zucchini
  7. 2 cup whole wheat flour
  8. 2 tsp baking soda
  9. 1 tsp baking powder
  10. 1 tsp salt
  11. 1 tsp cinnamon
  12. 1 cup chopped walnuts
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Beat eggs, oil, sweetener, water and vanilla until light and thick.
  3. Fold zucchini, then dry ingredients, into wet batter until just blended; add nuts.
  4. Pour into greased pan(s).
  5. Bake for 45 minutes.
  6. Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing.
Notes
  1. This was really yummy served warm with melted butter. It was equally yummy served cold.
Adapted from Just a Pinch
Adapted from Just a Pinch
A Bit of This A Bit of That https://gnatj.com/

No knead wholewheat artisanal bread

The #BestBossEver sent me a link on Facebook to this recipe and I knew I had to try it for Shabbat tonight. 

Although the actual preparation takes all of 5 minutes, you do need to prepare your dough a minimum of 8 hours before you want to bake it. 

So I made my dough last night before I went to bed. It literally took 5 minutes. This afternoon I baked it, which took about 20 minutes to heat the oven and let the dough rest after shaping and a further 45 minutes to bake. 

image

Here’s the recipe. 

No knead wholewheat artisanal bread
Easy peasy bread
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
45 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup white flour
  2. 2 cups wholewheat flour
  3. 1 teaspoon salt
  4. 1/2 teaspoon yeast
  5. 1 and 1/2 cups warm water
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl mix all ingredients together with a wooden spoon.
  2. Mixture will be shaggy looking.
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap not too tightly (I then covered the bowl with a towel).
  4. Leave at room temperature for a minimum of 8 hours but up to 24 hours.
  5. The dough will have doubled in size and look bubbly.
  6. Turn oven to 180C and place a high sided dish into the oven to get warm.
  7. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and shape into a round.
  8. Set aside until the oven is ready.
  9. Once ready, cut an 'x' into the bread and gently transfer to the hot dish.
  10. Do NOT burn yourself!
  11. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes covered.
  12. Uncover the dish and bake for a further 15 minutes.
  13. Let cool before slicing.
Adapted from It's Always Autumn
A Bit of This A Bit of That https://gnatj.com/

Whole wheat scones of yumminess!

Over the last few months, Paul’s blood sugar has started acting up. He’s now on a new medication and I’ve renewed my efforts to cook and bake healthier, more diabetic friendly options.

On Saturday we decided to watch a movie with the kids and I wanted to make a snack of some sort that we could all enjoy.

I cant really remember what made me think of scones but I bought some organic whole wheat flour and decided to do a google search.

scone2

The results were divine. The kids went back for 3rds and 4ths and Paul said the scones were excellent.

Sugar free whole wheat scones
Yields 12
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  2. 1 cup whole wheat flour
  3. 3 tablespoons 'spoon for spoon' sugar substitute
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  5. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  6. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda (I totally forgot to add this and it came out just fine)
  7. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  8. 1/3 cup butter
  9. 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  10. 1/3 cup buttermilk (I didn't have buttermilk so I used a mixture of 1 cup milk with 1 tablespoon vinegar and then used the required amount)
  11. 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  12. Buttermilk for brushing
  13. Rolled oats to sprinkle on top of the dough
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar substitute, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Using a pastry blender (or your fingers), cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.
  5. In a small bowl, beat egg slightly; stir in the 1/3 cup buttermilk and cranberries.
  6. Add buttermilk mixture all at once to flour mixture.
  7. Stir just until moistened (some of the dough may look dry).
  8. Turn out onto a floured surface.
  9. Knead dough for 10 to 12 strokes or until nearly smooth.
  10. Pat dough to an 8-inch circle about 3/4 inch thick.
  11. Brush top with additional buttermilk; sprinkle with oats, pressing gently into dough.
  12. Cut into 12 wedges. (I used circle and heart shaped cookie cutters, I then took the left over dough and smooched it into 'rounds')
  13. Place dough wedges 1 inch apart on an ungreased or parchment-lined baking sheet.
  14. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until edges are light browned.
  15. Serve warm.
Adapted from Diabetic Living
Adapted from Diabetic Living
A Bit of This A Bit of That https://gnatj.com/

A lesson in patience

A few weeks ago Louisa posted that she was making sourdough. I hounded her relentlessly on Twitter about the process and she inspired me to try it myself.

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I knew it was going to take time, you have to create a starter (a mix of flour and water that creates a natural yeast) and that it would take at least a week for it to be ready. I didn’t realise that actually making the bread would take almost an entire day (PSA: read the recipe from start to finish before you begin), because the yeast is not instant it takes much longer for the dough to proof (rise) than normal bread.

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Starter

So, yup, not only did I learn how to make sourdough, I got a healthy lesson in patience.

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I have to say, the time it took was well worth it. My bread was delicious, especially with a big bowl of homemade chicken soup!

First up: How to make a starter

Sourdough Starter
A natural yeast made from flour and water
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Ingredients
  1. Flour (rye is suggested as the easiest flour to use, I used regular flour)
  2. Warm water
  3. Glass container with lid
Instructions
  1. Make sure your glass jar and any spoons you use are clean.
  2. Place half a cup flour and half a cup warm water in the glass jar.
  3. Mix gently and close the jar loosely.
  4. Leave for 24 hours.
  5. The next day, pour some of the mixture out and add another half cup flour and half cup water and mix (this is called feeding).
  6. Again, leave the mixture for 24 hours.
  7. The next day your mixture should have bubbles and should start increasing in size.
  8. Continue pouring off a bit and adding flour and water daily.
  9. Your starter should have a pleasant sour smell to it and should look like marshmallow fluff.
  10. It should take roughly a week for your starter to be ready to bake with although it can take longer.
  11. If your starter smells bad or turns green/blue, throw it out and start again.
Notes
  1. I forgot to feed my starter for a few days here and there, the only down side to this is that it took two weeks for it to be ready to use.
  2. Instead of throwing away the starter that you pour off you can pour it into a 2nd (or 3rd) jar and create another starter.
Adapted from Tips for making a starter
A Bit of This A Bit of That https://gnatj.com/
Now for the bread recipe.

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Crispy crust, yummy bread

I wanted something really simple to start with and I found a recipe on BBCGoodFood that looked like it fit the bill. I think my recipe still needs some tweaking but it was delish!

Easy Sourdough Bread
Yields 1
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Total Time
9 hr 40 min
Total Time
9 hr 40 min
Ingredients
  1. 300g sourdough starter
  2. 500g flour of your choice, I used plain white flour
  3. 225ml warm water
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. 1 tablespoon honey (I left this out)
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients except the salt into a bowl.
  2. Mix with your hands until the dough starts to come together.
  3. Add the salt and continue mixing/kneading the dough.
  4. Add a bit of flour if the dough is too sticky or a bit of water if the dough is too dry.
  5. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  6. Place in an oiled bowl and cover with cling wrap and a towel, leave in a warm place to rise for about 3 hours or until doubled in size.
  7. Remove from the bowl and knead gently to remove air bubbles.
  8. Gently flour the dough and place it seam side up in a medium sized bowl or proofing bowl to keep it shape.
  9. Cover in cling wrap and a towel again and leave in a warm space to rise for about 6 hours.
  10. Heat your oven to 200C and place a baking tray inside to warm up.
  11. Place a pan with water at the bottom to create steam, this helps form a crispy crust.
  12. Once the tray is heated, lightly dust the tray with flour and gently tip your bread onto the tray.
  13. You can cut lines into the top of the dough at this point.
  14. Bake for 40 minutes.
  15. You can open the oven door 5 - 10 minutes before its done to let the steam escape, prop the door open with a wooden spoon (I forgot this step and my crust burned a bit).
Adapted from BBCGoodFood
Adapted from BBCGoodFood
A Bit of This A Bit of That https://gnatj.com/
All photos by Paul

Chocolate Chip Condensed Milk Cookies

These are really yummy. Silky and smooth and not too sweet. Enjoy with a cup of coffee.

Chocolate Chip Condensed Milk Cookies
Yields 60
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup soft butter/marge
  2. 1 tin condensed milk
  3. 2 cups flour
  4. 3 teaspoons baking powder
  5. 1 teaspoon salt
  6. Half cup chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Mix softened butter and condensed milk.
  3. Add flour, salt and baking powder and mix.
  4. Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Roll into small balls and place on a baking tray covered with baking paper.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes.
Notes
  1. These cookies don't spread so you can place quite a few on each tray.
Adapted from Jen's Favorite Cookies
A Bit of This A Bit of That https://gnatj.com/

Diabetic Friendly Apple Crumble

Laura-Kim from Harassed Mom inspired me with her recipe for a Quick Apple Crumble.

I found what I thought was a tin of diabetic apple slices in the store and bought it only to discover it was a tin of diabetic friendly apple puree. Oh well, we made a plan and modified Laura-Kim’s recipe.

Diabetic Friendly Apple Crumble
We adapted this recipe from Harassed Mom to be diabetic friendly. For the original recipe click through to Laura-Kim's site above.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 175g flour
  2. Half a cup 'spoon for spoon' sugar replacement
  3. 110g butter or marge for a milk free option
  4. 1 tin diabetic friendly apple puree (we used the יכין brand)
  5. 2 green apples, peeled and sliced thinly
  6. Cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Combine flour and sugar replacement in a bowl
  2. Rub the butter/marge into the flour and sugar replacement mixture until it resembles crumbs
  3. In a greased pie dish spread the apple puree and layer the apple slices over it
  4. Sprinkle apples with cinnamon
  5. Cover the apples with the flour and butter mixture
  6. Sprinkle additional cinnamon over the top
  7. Bake at 180C for 35 minutes
Adapted from Harassed Mom
Adapted from Harassed Mom
A Bit of This A Bit of That https://gnatj.com/