food that works

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Chocolate Mmmm…

There are few people who don’t like chocolate. I find I can’t eat too much as it keeps me awake but I still like it.

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Last weekend I made some chocolate covered lychees with ginger stuffing for a bridal shower. Very yum and quite simple with only those 3 ingredients needed. My recipe came from ‘The Australian Women’s Weekly Chinese Cooking Class Cookbook’. Perhaps you have a copy too. (I googled and found lots of places to purchase including copies on ebay.)

gluten free fork

gluten free fork

I used fair trade chocolate because I was horrified a few years ago to learn that within much of the production of chocolate involved child slavery and the atrocities associated with such practices. By buying fair trade we can support those companies with more ethical practices and still enjoy the luxury of chocolate too.

gluten free fork

gluten free fork

If you have not heard of the slavery connected to chocolate or you have never investigated it, here are a few links for you to check out.

YouTube video ‘The Dark Side of Chocolate’ – a few years old but a good starting point:

World Vision’s slavery and chocolate page with some undated details on some chocolate companies and their slavery free status:

It isn’t a big step to switch to fair traded chocolate but it is a step that will contribute to making the world a fairer place. Even those companies whose true goal is making the most money are influenced by the dictates of the consumer – make your ‘voice’ count.


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Blackberry Ice cream – two ways – dairy free and more traditional

A few months ago we were driving along playing, ‘I spy with my little eye’ with our boys. Our then five-year old said, “I spy, my eye something white and happy.” I thought that was a good definition of ice cream. Blackberry ice cream, however, is pink and happy.

This first recipe is dairy free and should probably be called ice fruit instead of ice cream but that just doesn’t have the same connotation. It is delicious and completely guilt free too, so if you want to have ice cream for breakfast without qualms – you can!

Dairy free Black berry Ice cream

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3 frozen bananas

2 cups blackberries (can be fresh or frozen – fresh is a bit easier on your food processor)

Blend or process in blender or food processor until completely combined. Best served immediately. If you do re-freeze it – it will freeze very hard and will want at least ten minutes to sit next time you want it. Alternatively make popsicles with the left overs.

Black berry Ice cream – more traditional recipe

4 eggs

1/4 cup plus 2 dsp sugar ( I used rapadura, you can substitute with honey or other sugar )

600 ml pure cream

2 cups blackberries

1 dsp water

You can use the blackberries raw but I liked mine cooked. Place them in a saucepan with the water,  simmer until soft. Add the 2 dsp of sugar and simmer briefly again until sugar is dissolved.

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Separate the eggs and whip the whites until stiff. Add the 1/4 cup of sugar to the egg whites and whip it through. Whip the egg yolks into this mix.

Whip up the cream until it is thick.

Add the egg mix to the cream mix. Fold through the stewed blackberries.

Yum yum!

This makes enough to fill a four litre container with a little left over to give the kids and you a good taste testing pre-freezing. This will take about  six hours to freeze.  After that it will freeze fairly solid and you will need to rest it on the bench before serving or carve it with a knife. You could of course try in an ice cream maker, I never have, but I suspect all that extra churning might prevent the solid freezing.

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Two cheesecakes -both grain, dairy and cane sugar free

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In the middle of January my daughter is getting married. Family members of the groom are doing most of the catering for a garden tea party reception. Members of my family are the ones with the diet issues so we get to make the food we can eat.

For a while I’ve being eyeing the Raspberry cheesecake with chocolate crust over at Wholefood simply and so as a practice for the upcoming wedding, I made this for our church luncheon yesterday. Because we went strawberry picking at Sorell Fruit Farm last week, we used fresh strawberries rather than the frozen raspberries. It’s quite rich even though it has no added sweetener so a little goes a fair way. It has a reasonable firm texture so it doesn’t need freezing.

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Today I made this Mango Cheesecake from Jules Galloway. We’re saving it for our Christmas lunch though I cut and decorated this piece so I could share it with you. I know it’s yummy because two little boys and I licked the bowl. It’s a little less firm than the strawberry one above so it’s better frozen and then pulled from the freezer about 20 minutes prior to serving. I’ll be remaking this one for the wedding too though I might add some agar agar to firm it up a little. What are you making for Christmas dessert?

mini Christmas puddings

We invited friends over for dinner a couple of days ago. Between us we required gluten, chicken, fructose and dairy free food. It is hard to cater to everyone! They offered to bring a dessert which I readily accepted. They bought some mini-christmas puddings that looked pretty awesome but guess who couldn’t eat them! If you are like me sometimes not being able to eat something results in attempts to recreate it. The result was these

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Totally different to my friend’s recipe but similar look and they taste pretty awesome. I used a mini christmas pudding recipe from Wholefoodsimply. Instead of making them into little muffin cakes, I rolled them into balls and topped them with some homemade white chocolate from Bittersweet  (here the only change I made was to use coconut milk powder. This probably made the texture slightly grainier than intended but not noticeable atop the puddings.)  1/2 a glazed cherry atop the white chocolate. Hmm – yum, now if I can just hide them long enough to last more than a few days…