I’m sure an interesting outcome for many of us since undertaking self-isolation has been the rediscovery of our love for baking. This isn’t a bad thing of course, except for our waistlines! The banana trees in our backyard have been producing beautiful bananas which has meant I’ve been baking lots of banana cakes and banana bread. Below are some of my favourite recipes.
One of the ingredients I love using in my baking is almond meal. It has been interesting to observe over the past decade, the increase in people becoming more aware of their diet. They are looking more closely at what they are eating plus there has been a real resurgence in cooking at home. I find customers are more and more looking for unique products, or often products we have sold for a long time but have now become well known. We have found almond meal has very much become the food of choice for many over recent times. It is a fantastic food for those suffering from gluten intolerance plus those following the Paleo Diet. Almonds also contain the highest amount of protein of any nut and are great for a nutritious snack. We find almond meal is very versatile – it makes cakes moist, rich and crumbly. It can be used as an ingredient in fruit crumbles together with xylitol (instead of sugar) and butter – just mix into a paste and sprinkle over fruit and bake. This meal can be used as a crust for fish or chicken giving it a yummee crispy, crunchy crust. Just dip in eggs then crust with almond meal and cook. Then of course it can be used in biscuits, breads, scones, muffins and cakes.
Below are some of my favourite recipes. With Mother’s Day this Sunday, I don’t think there’s a better way to show your Mum you love her, than taking the time to bake her a lovely cake.
RAW CHOCOLATE CARAMEL TORTE
Base - 1 cup almond meal, 1 cup shredded coconut, 2 tbsp cold pressed coconut oil, 2 organic dates pitted, 1 tbsp maple syrup.
Caramel – 50g almond butter, 1tbsp cold pressed coconut oil, 4 organic dates pitted, 2 tbsp maple syrup, 2 tbsp almond milk.
Chocolate – 1 skinned & pitted avocado, ¼ cup raw cacao powder, ¼ cup maple syrup, 1 tbsp cold pressed coconut oil, 1 tbsp cacao nibs.
Base – combine ground almonds and coconut in food processor then add coconut oil, dates and maple syrup. When processed press mixture into cake tin placing in freezer for 10 minutes to set.
Caramel - combine almond butter, coconut oil, dates, maple syrup in food processor until formed into a smooth, thick paste. Slowly add almond milk thinning down to desired caramel consistency. Spread over biscuit base and return to freezer for 10 mins.
Chocolate topping – combine all ingredients in food processor then smooth evenly over caramel and top with cacao nibs. Set in fridge for an hour.
ALMOND BERRY CAKE
Cake - 2 cups almond meal firmly packed; ½ baking soda; 1 tsp baking powder; ¼ tsp ground cinnamon; 2/3 cup maple syrup; 4 eggs; ¼ cup melted coconut oil
Topping - 2 tbsp lemon juice; 1 tbsp maple syrup; 1 cup strawberries; 1 cup fresh blueberries; 1 cup Greek yoghurt
Mix almond meal, baking powder, baking powder and cinnamon. Whisk eggs, maple syrup and coconut oil together then pour into almond meal mixture until well blended. Pour mixture into greased 23cm cake tin in preheated oven at 160 C for 45 mins. When cake is cooked, place on rack prepare topping. Whisk lemon juice and maple syrup and slightly warm in saucepan. Whilst cake is still warm brush the topping glaze over the top of the cake and allow to soak in. After cake has cooled, spread yoghurt over the top of the cake then place blueberries and halved strawberries on the cake.
GRAIN FREE BANANA BREAD
4 organic bananas; 4 eggs; ½ cup almond butter; 4 tbsp melted coconut oil; ½ cup almond meal; 1tbsp cinnamon; 1 tsp baking soda; 1 tsp baking powder; 1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 180c. Combine mashed bananas, eggs, nut butter and coconut oil in food processor or mixing bowl. Once blended add almond meal, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and vanilla. Mix well then pour into greased loaf tin. Bake in preheated oven for 60 mins.
For more information and tips on baking call in to see Bev and the team at Go Vita, Your Health Shop at 5 North St, Batemans Bay or phone on 44729737. Don’t forget to tune in to Bev on Go Get Healthy on 2EC every Wednesday at 12.30pm.