Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Everything-Free Baking

After a slight hiccup where he was accidentally fed pasta at daycare on day five and we had to go back to day one… we are nearly half way through Reuben’s elimination diet. It isn’t easy, and the combination of being off corn, soy, wheat and nuts makes baking interesting.

Pretty much every gluten/wheat-free product on the market, including breads, flours baked goods etc. contains either one or more of the other flours that are off limits. And probably eggs as well. So I can’t really buy any pre-made gluten free products. I need to make my own flours so that I can make my own breads and biscuits and pancakes. I’ve been using combinations of different flours like tapioca, potato starch, buckwheat (which is NOT wheat), quinoa, oats (which Reuben is allowed to eat because he is technically off wheat not gluten), besan (chickpea) and rice. None of these behave in the same way as wheat flour, so it’s a bit of trial and error, and learning about which alternative flours have which properties.

This buckwheat, quinoa and chia bread has been a favourite, although it’s sometimes quicker and easier to make up some simple pancakes with whichever flour I’ve got on hand and some Orgran egg replacer and oat/rice/coconut milk. The Quirky Cooking thermomix cookbook that I was given for Mother’s Day is full of great ideas, but I will be able to use it even more once Reuben is allowed nuts again. The poor lad has eaten a lifetime’s worth of rice in all of its various forms (rice milk, rice cakes, rice biscuits, rice flour, actual rice) and lots of coconut too.

A few weeks ago, a lovely friend gave us a package of absolutely delicious everything-free chocolate chip biscuits, and I decided to use the ingredients list on the package as inspiration to make my own. It only took me two experiments to get a cookie that, which not exactly like the one in that package, tastes pretty delicious. And so, I thought I’d share it here.

I made mine in the thermomix, so I’ll include directions for that as well as how you could do it without one. Here goes…


  • 100g oil (I used a mix of nuttelex and coconut oil)
  • 50g raw sugar/rapadura/coconut sugar
  • 50g rice malt syrup
  • 10g molasses (or 60g golden syrup – I like to use RMS + molasses to make the flavour of golden syrup with a lot less sugar)
  • 1tsp bicarb soda
  • 200g besan (chickpea) flour *
  • 90g tapioca flour *
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 100g dairy-free chocolate (I use the lindt 70% dark stuff, use dairy-free chocolate chips if you can find them)
  • pinch of salt.

*If you have a thermomix, you can grind your own chickpea and tapioca flour. You just need to mill on speed 10 for about a minute. I found this wasn’t fine enough, so I let it cool (it heats up when it milling at that speed), and mill for another minute, and repeat until it is an appropriate texture. Just be prepared, milling chickpeas is LOUD. Like nasty loud. But waaaaaaay cheaper and easier to find than the actual flours.

Method (with thermomix):

  • melt together the oil, sugar, RMS + molasses/golden syrup and bicarb soda 60degrees/3 minutes/sp2.
  • add flours, baking powder, salt and chocolate and mix on interval speed for 30-40 seconds until combined.
  • roll into teaspoon sized balls, and flatten slightly. Bake at 180degrees for 10 minutes or until cooked. They will harden as they cool.

Method (without thermomix):

  • melt the oil, sugar, liquid sweetners and bicarb soda over a low heat on the stove.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until well combined.
  • roll into teaspoon sized balls, and flatten slightly. Bake at 180degrees for 10 minutes or until cooked. They will harden as they cool.

note: I found that the lindt chocolate kind of melted into the mixture, so they kind of turned into chocolate biscuits instead of chocolate chip. I will hopefully one day find dairy free chocolate chips so I can try it that way!


And there you have it… gluten free, dairy free, corn free, soy free, nut free, egg free chocolate (chip) biscuits, a delicious little treat for my gorgeous boy!

The other snacks in the picture are apricot balls and date balls. I made them both in the thermomix, but you could do them in a food processor too. I used the same method for both; a handful of dried fruit (dates/apricots), a good dessert-spoon full of sunflower seed butter (which I also made in the thermie – and you could use any kind of nut butter if you’re allowed nuts) and a handful of shredded coconut. I pulsed on turbo for a few seconds to get it started and then blitzed on speed 8 until it was cut up and blended enough to hold together. You can add more coconut or sunbutter to make the mixture wetter/drier as needed. Reuben loves these little snacks, they’re a nice little treat!!

As much as I’m not enjoying the actual diet or the reason that we’re doing it, I’m trying to approach it from the attitude of an opportunity to be a bit creative. I’m learning a lot about alternative foods and different ways of looking at food, so that is kind of cool. And Reuben seems to enjoy most of my endeavours, which is pretty awesome. I hope you do too!

Monday, 9 June 2014

Quinten 365 {14/52}


Apologies for the massive flood of these posts these last few days. We’ve been having internet troubles and I managed to get my old laptop hooked up to catch up. And this is the last one… I’m caught up!! Yay! Quin’s photo a day posts will now be (hopefully) published each Sunday night. I hope you enjoy them!


92/365 |  Seriously. Could he be any cuter?93_365

93/365 | Three months old today!!


94/365 | Quinten often sleeps with his eyes open. Funny fella.


95/365 | Taking a steam train ride

96_365 (1) 96_365

96/365 | Two photos today. Because I couldn’t choose between the cuteness. 


97/365 | Listening to sweet tunes at the local food and wine festival.


98/365 | Opa FaceTimed from Singapore Airport today. Quin was underwhelmed.

Quinten 365 {13/52}


85/365 | There were three in the trolley and the little one said… “Help!!!”


86/365 | My assistant photographer and I went and did a photo shoot for Tante Boo. This is his ‘I’m concentrating really hard’ face.


87/365 | Feeling a bit under the weather today.


88/365 | But ready to smile again today!


89/365 | “Oh I say” *Imagine posh English accent*


90/365 | Heading home after a big day out.


91/365 | I wanna be a cowboy baby! Showing off his genuine Wrangler onesie that he got for Christmas before he was even born!

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Quinten 365 {12/52}


78/365 | Chillin’ with the Lala


79/365 | Uncle time


80/365 | Sissy-selfies. Quin’s crazy eyes just never gets old.


81/365 | Quin’s face when I told him we were going camping tomorrow! Ha!


82/365 | Quinten was our site manager for our camping setup.


83/365 | He has a special look he reserves just for his sister.


84/365 | Sleepy tent snuggles with Mama. I was soaking that up, I can tall you!

Quinten 365 {11/52)


71/365 | Trolley Bros


72/365 | Quinten meets his Great Nanny Vi


73/365 | hanging out wit Papa


74/365 | Having snuggles with Tante Boo when he spotted his Mama


75/365 | Lifegroup means lots of snuggles for Mr Q!


76/365 | Kami and her boys


77/365 | Sleepy snuggles with Lala

Quinten 365 {10/52}


64/365 | Two months old!!


65/365 | He’s all eyes.


66/365 | And sometimes those eyes are cray cray!


67/365 | Handsome little dude


68/365 | Morning snuggles


69/365 | Say whaaaat?


70/365 | Happy Mother's Day! My first as a Mama of three.


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