Ever fancied eating a chocolate orange for breakfast? Well, now you can. This gluten-free granola is infused with fresh orange and cocoa powder to make delicious chocolatey orange oaty clusters, then tossed with toasted cashews and dark chocolate chunks.
Tag: gluten free baking
Raspberry yoghurt baked oats Change up your usual morning porridge with a comforting dish of gluten-free baked oats, served warm from the oven. This recipe is stuffed with fresh raspberries and creamy dairy-free yoghurt for a filling, tangy breakfast. PREP TIME: 10 MINS COOK TIME:…
Cranberry, cashew & coconut granola bars
These soft and chewy breakfast bars are great eaten as a snack or as an easy breakfast on the go. They’re super portable, gluten-free & dairy-free, and can be easily prepared in advance. With no refined sugars, they derive their sweetness from a banana and half a spoonful of honey.
PREP TIME: 10 MINS
COOK TIME: 15 MINS
TOTAL TIME: 35 MINS
These versatile little bars are packed with slow-release, filling ingredients. They’re great to have on hand for anything from hiking and long-distance running to long car journeys, or simply as a fun breakfast at home.
Are they healthy?
People are slowly waking up to the fact that shop-bought granola bars tend to be stuffed with refined sugars, palm oil and whole host of other nasty ingredients – as well as being ridiculously expensive.
It’s much less of a headache to make healthier homemade versions, as you can control what goes in them. To keep the sugar content down, you can:
- Sweeten only using banana – as this is much less calorie-dense than adding sugar or honey
- Reduce the dried fruit – as this is far higher in sugar concentration than fresh fruit. You could, for example, mix fresh raspberries and blueberries into the pre-baked mixture instead, which would substantially reduce the sugar content
Having said this, the essence of a granola bar is very dense in calories, even if you reduce the amount of sugar in them. This is because the bulk formula consists of oats, which are high in carbohydrates, and some form of nuts and oils, which are both high in fat and calories.
This really isn’t an issue if you’re able to just have 1 or 2 bars at a time as an occasional breakfast or snack. However, it’s worth being clear that this is not a food conducive to long-term weight loss, if eaten regularly or in large quantities.
The ingredients for these granola bars can be roughly divided into four camps. You have a few different bulking agents; ingredients that help stick the whole thing together into solid bars; sweeteners; and optional yummy flavourings.
- Natural peanut butter: helps stick everything together (and generally makes everything 100 times nicer). You could, however, get away with omitting if you needed to make these nut-free
- Egg – helps bind the mixture up as it bakes in the oven
- Coconut oil – as above! I prefer using coconut oil instead of butter or margarine because of all the good fats and other health benefits that go with it
- Gluten free oats – the main bulking ingredient. If possible, opt for jumbo rolled oats to give a chunkier texture, although you could use instant oats if preferred
- Desiccated coconut – I’m a huge fan of anything coconut and am always finding excuses to add it into different things. It has a really subtle taste you won’t really notice it too strongly. It also helps give these granola bars a really nice texture
- Banana – probably the main magic ingredient in this recipe so don’t omit it unless you have to! Make sure to use a really ripe banana and mash it into a chunky puree. The sweet banana taste comes through really well in the cooked bars
- Honey – adding just a little bit gives some extra sweetness. You can sub out for maple or agave syrup, or omit completely if you’re trying to keep the sugar content down
- Cashews & dried cranberries – I really like this combo as a flavouring but you can totally customise to whatever you have on hand. Swap out for a pairing of walnut and chopped dates, or toasted almonds and cherries for a bakewell spinoff. To reduce the sugar content, try mixing in fresh raspberries and blueberries into the mixture instead of the dried fruit
- Vanilla essence – just to add that little extra something
- Preheat the oven to 180°C or 350°F and line a 6-inch square tin with non-stick baking paper
- Mash the banana – in a microwave-friendly bowl, chop the banana into rough chunks and microwave for 1 minute. Then use a fork to mash into a chunky puree
- Mix with the wet ingredients -in a large mixing bowl, mix the mashed banana, peanut butter, honey, vanilla essence, egg and coconut oil, until well combined
- Add the dry ingredients – fold in the oats and desiccated coconut, then tip in the cranberries and cashews and give a few rough stirs until well distributed throughout the mixture. The consistency should now be quite thick and difficult to stir, but still spreadable
- Press into the tin – scoop the mixture out into the tin and press flat into an even layer with the back of a metal spoon
- Bake for 15 mins, or until a pale golden-brown colour on top
- Score the surface of the baked mixture with the tip of a sharp knife, dividing it into approximately 9 square bars. Leave to cool in the tin for 45 minutes, then lift it out along with the baking paper
- Serve and store – cut down the score lines to separate the bars and serve while still slightly warm. Keep any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Coconut – the desiccated coconut flavour is really quite mild in this recipe, however for those who really want to avoid it, there are plenty of easy substitutions. Add an extra 3/4 cup (40g) of rolled oats, or swap it out for a cup of ground almonds for a more nutty flavour
Cranberry – quite honestly, any dried fruit works wonders if cranberries aren’t your jam. Try sultanas, raisins, dried apple pieces, apricots, chopped dates or any mixture of these
Cashews – again, the majority of nuts would be delicious here, from walnuts to pecans or almonds. Similarly, feel free to change up the peanut butter for almond or cashew butter instead
Chocolate – I don’t trust myself around the stuff, but these bars would be delicious with some dark chocolate chips thrown in. Or, if you lean to the sweeter side, some white chocolate chunks. Simply add them into the mixture along with the fruit and bake as normal
Spices – I stuck with a bit of vanilla essence for the base recipe, but a couple of teaspoons of ground cinnamon or mixed spice would be a great way to change it up a bit
Seeds – Add a bit of extra protein and texture with a few sprinkles of pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.
These bars will keep in an airtight container for at least 1 week, so they’re great for making in advance. Beyond this they might start going a bit stale. In case you want to keep any leftovers for much longer, they’re also freezer friendly.
To freeze properly, wrap the bars individually in baking parchment or aluminium foil, and then seal in a tupperware container or ziplock bag. Keep for up to 2 months in the freezer. To defrost, just leave them out on the kitchen counter for 30-45 mins.
Cranberry, cashew & coconut breakfast bars
- Mixing bowl
- square baking tin
- 1 medium banana
- 1 cup (60g) natural peanut butter
- ½ tbsp honey
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1.5 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1 medium egg
- 1 cup (50g) gluten free rolled jumbo oats
- 1 cup (100g) desiccated coconut
- 1 cup (100g) dried jumbo cranberries
- ½ cup (50g) cashew halves
- Preheat the oven to 180°C or 350°F. Line a 6-inch square tin with non-stick baking paper (if not using a non-stick version, grease the outward-facing layer of the paper)
- In a microwave-friendly bowl, chop the banana into rough chunks and microwave for 1 minute. Then use a fork to mash into a chunky puree
- Transfer the banana to a large mixing bowl and add in the peanut butter, honey, vanilla essence, egg and coconut oil. Mix together until well combined
- Fold in the oats and desiccated coconut, then tip in the cranberries and cashews and give a few rough stirs until well distributed throughout the mixture. The consistency should now be quite thick and difficult to stir, but still spreadable
- Scoop the mixture out into the tin and press flat into an even layer with the back of a metal spoon. Transfer the tin to the oven and bake for 15 mins, or until a pale golden-brown colour on top
- Remove from the oven and score the surface of the baked mixture with the tip of a sharp knife, dividing it into approximately 9 square bars. Leave to cool in the tin for 45 minutes, then lift it out along with the baking paper. Cut down the score lines to separate the bars and serve while still slightly warm. Keep any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Berry coconut-flour pancakes A decadent stack of soft, fluffy gluten-free pancakes, made with a blend of buckwheat and coconut flour and stuffed with juicy blueberries. Serve topped with rich raspberry compote and thick cream or dairy-free yoghurt for an epic breakfast. PREP TIME: 10 MINS…
Free-from Rhubarb Crumble A gluten-free, dairy-free take on the classic dessert. Serve topped with dairy-free custard to get through those cold winter evenings, or with fresh yoghurt or cream for a summertime twist. If you don’t have any rhubarb on hand, simply swap it out…
Easy gluten-free Easter fruit cake
A moist, rich gluten free fruit cake with a hidden layer of baked marzipan. Top with mini eggs for a delicious Easter cake, or deck it out with snowmen and ribbons to double it up as a Christmas cake.
PREP TIME: 40 MINS
COOK TIME: 3 HOURS
COOLING TIME: 45 MINS
My whole life, I’ve LOVED Easter. As a kid I was completely addicted to creme eggs and everything else sickly. I would happily scoop out the gloopy artificial filling with sticky fingers, easily putting away a pack of 4 in one short sitting. Not the most attractive image, looking back.
These days I’ve graduated onto more adult-y eggs. You know the ones, those dark chocolate things you see in Waitrose masquerading as avocados to please the millennials. Things like that.
Having an issue with dairy does make the whole Easter egg scene a bit more complicated than it used to. Though if I’m being truly honest, I did cave and have a milk chocolate one this year, despite the inevitable skin breakouts that it gives me.
How to make gluten-free fruit cake
When it comes to making an Easter cake though, things get a lot easier. Fruit cake is one of the easiest types of cake to make gluten-free, without noticing any difference whatsoever with the normal gluten version.
The bulk of this cake is made up of naturally GF and DF ingredients:
- Dried fruit
- DF margarine
… plus a little bit of gluten free flour.
I’m a huge marzipan fan. I can happily eat whole chunks of the stuff completely plain, although I would equally go for bars covered in dark chocolate or thick layers melted into the middle of a cake like this one.
However, I am sadly aware that for many people it can be a bit of a marmite ingredient. And to those people I say – guys, you’re really missing out.
In all seriousness, you can omit the marzipan from this recipe without any issues. Seems a bit of a travesty to me but hey, whatever floats your boat. You could always choose to top the cake with some dairy-free buttercream or royal icing instead, or have a naked cake with glazed nuts and fruit on top.
An important ingredient: the alcohol
This recipe uses two different types of alcohol:
- Ruby port
- Your choice of liqueur
Quite honestly, you could get away with almost any spirit lying around the house. I finished off a bottle of quality whisky with the port in this recipe, but you could equally use various flavours of liqueur, or sub out the port and just have one type of alcohol.
It’s really just to flavour the fruit while they soak and cook.
Easy Gluten-Free Easter Fruit Cake
For the cake filling
- 500 g (3 cups) mixed dried fruit (sultanas, raisins, cranberries)
- 1 large orange, juiced
- 2 tsp ground mixed spice
- grated zest of ½ orange
- 50 g (½ cup) mixed nuts, halved (e.g. walnuts, almonds, pecans)
- 75 ml (3oz) flavoured liqueur or whisky (e.g. orange Cointreau)
- 60 ml (2.5oz) ruby port
- 2 large eggs
- 110 g (¾ cup) dark brown muscovado sugar
- 110 g (½ cup) dairy-free butter (plus some extra for greasing)
- 90 g (¾ cup) Doves Farm Gluten Free plain flour blend
- 60 g (½ cup) Doves Farm Gluten Free self-raising flour blend
For the topping & middle layer
- 1 tbsp jam, warmed (traditionally apricot, though can use any)
- 1 pack golden almond marzipan (about 500g)
- 1 small pack mini eggs or other dairy-free chocolate eggs
- some icing sugar, for rolling
- Preheat oven to gas mark 2 or fan 130°C / 270°F. Grease and line the base and sides of an 18-20cm round cake tin with three layers of baking paper to keep cake from burning. Stick each layer of baking paper together with a bit of extra butter
- Using a large saucepan on a low heat, cook the dried fruit together with the mixed spice, orange juice and zest, liqueur and port. Once the mixture is simmering, heat for 3-4 minutes and stir regularly. Once the liquid is almost completely absorbed, remove from the heat and set aside to cool for 30 mins
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs until fluffy. Add in the butter, sugar and flour. Beat together until you get a smooth and airy mixture. Finally, gently stir in the fruit mixture and nuts
- Cut the block of marzipan into three sections. Take one section and shape it into a rough ball, before rolling out on a clean surface dusted with icing sugar, until it is approximately the size of the baking tin.
- Spoon half of the cake mix into the tin and place the rolled layer of marzipan on top. Then spoon the rest of the mixture on top, making a slight, shallow dip in the centre to prevent the cake from rising too much in the middle
- Loosely cover the cake with some tin foil and place on a middle rack in the oven. Bake for 2 hours, then remove the foil and continue baking for another 30-45 mins or until the cake is golden brown. You can also insert a skewer into the centre, which should come out mostly clean, albeit with some of the melted marzipan stuck to it
- Take the cake out of the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 30 minutes. Then carefully turn the cake out onto a cooling rack, peel off the lining paper and leave to cool completely
- For the decoration, take a second block of the marzipan, shape into a rough ball and roll out on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar. Use the empty cake tin as a template to cut around. Flip the cake upside-down and place on a plate. Brush the top of the cake with warmed jam and then place the marzipan layer on top. You might need to trim the edges a bit, although leaving an overhang is perfectly fine
- Shape the final block of marzipan into 11 balls (if you want to be traditional, otherwise decorate however you fancy). Top it off with some mini eggs or any other choice of Easter themed topping. Then serve and enjoy!
Gluten free Blueberry Protein Pancakes Fluffy American-style pancakes, bulked up with a scoop of protein powder and topped with a thick blueberry compote for a filling breakfast that’s easy on the carbs. PREP TIME: 5 MINS COOK TIME: 20 MINS TOTAL TIME: 25 MINS Until…
Gluten free fluffy American-style pancakes These pancakes are everything that a brunch at home should be: light, fluffy, drenched in maple syrup and topped with crispy bacon. Or a chunky blueberry sauce, for the vegetarians out there. PREP TIME: 10 MINS COOK TIME: 10 MINS…
5-ingredient gluten-free brownie pots
These brownies draw their sweetness from banana and honey while keeping the flour down to a minimum for a low-carb treat. They have a delicious moist, cake-like texture and are intensely chocolately.
PREP TIME: 5 MINS
COOK TIME: 20 MINS
TOTAL TIME: 25 MINS
I’m the kind of person that never keeps chocolate, sugar, or just about any other exciting ingredient at home, as I just end up snacking on them and then regretting it.
This recipe is just cocoa powder – no actual chocolate – and doesn’t have any added sugar. I did end up adding in a little bit of honey to sweeten it up more, but if you use a ripe enough banana, you can probably get away without it.
This recipe uses just five main ingredients for a healthier, much reduced-sugar version of the traditional brownie.
- Cocoa powder
- Almond butter
- GF flour
I used very little flour, so the texture is incredibly squidgy thanks to the banana and the nut butter. To be honest, the finished brownie is more of a spongy cake-like dessert.
The proportions below are enough for two large servings. You only need one banana and a spoon or so of the other ingredients.
Super handy for when you’ve got one or two things lying around that need using up, or when you only want to commit to a cheeky taster. As opposed to scoffing a whole batch in one day and then beating yourself up.
…Not that I’ve ever done that before.
Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that it’s ready to eat in 25 minutes. None of that hanging about for hours around here.
5-ingredient gluten free brownie pots
- Baking tray or individual pie tins
- 1 large ripe banana
- 3 tbsp natural almond or peanut butter
- 1 medium egg
- 4 tsp cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp gluten free self raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup - if you like it a bit sweeter
- 50 g (⅓ cup) dark chocolate chips - for an extra-rich topping
- Preheat the oven to 175 degrees fan or 190 degrees gas
- Grease a small 6 inch tray (or two small 3 inch trays - I reused a couple of old ready-made pie tins that I had lying around)
- Roughly chop the banana into a food mixer and blend until smooth
- Tip in the egg and almond/peanut butter, and continue blending
- Gently fold in the cocoa powder, flour and baking powder (and honey if preferred)
- Tip the mix into the tin(s), sprinkle the chocolate chips on top if using, and put in the oven
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until well risen. A skewer should come out still with some mixture on it, for a fudgy texture.
- Serve and enjoy!
I experimented with drizzling over a dairy-free chocolate sauce to turn the brownie into a proper dessert.
Click here for my simple 4-ingredient chocolate sauce recipe (no chocolate needed, just cocoa powder!)