Fabulously Free Blog: Pressing Restart
Now that we’re well and truly into the new year, some of our well-intended resolutions have probably fallen a little by the wayside. We slip back into old habits so quickly, even when we feel better for having changed them. What’s that saying? We’re only human…
Well, I have a confession to make: last autumn I started slipping back into eating gluten. Not every day, but I started finding it difficult to stick to it all the time, especially during the winter holidays when we’re surrounded by family members and friends and when the cooking and shopping is often out of our control. And if I’m honest, I found that I really missed the taste and texture of freshly baked bread.
Because I’m not allergic to wheat or gluten, adding it back into my diet wasn’t that much of a problem, but because I know how much better in myself I felt when being gluten-free, I have kept to a low-gluten and low-wheat diet since.
As spring approaches – slowly! – I have been spending a lot of time in the kitchen making energy bites, warm salads, soups and simple, low-gluten baked goods using rye flour, which is naturally low in gluten and wheat free. I’ve made some delicious scones, digestive biscuits and grissini, and tempted by a Nigel Slater recipe, I’m going to try my hand at some rye-pumpkin seed rolls later tonight.
One of the best ways to create new recipes is using up ingredients in your cupboard or fridge that would otherwise be thrown out or go past their sell-by dates.
Case in point: I wanted to stock up on some healthy snacks for my husband who can easily and quite happily eat an entire loaf of banana bread in two days, so I decided to make some energy bites.
Looking at what I had in the fridge, I found a small bag of carrots that were getting slightly soft. So I grated them up and tossed them into the bowl with cashew butter, sunflower seeds, flaked almonds, chia seeds, diced dried apricots and figs, a spoonful of raw honey and two teaspoons of a superfoods powder which has raw cacao, maca, lucuma and hemp powders all mixed up to give recipes that extra boost. The grated carrot added a lovely crunchy, moist sweetness to it, which we both loved. Next time, I think I’ll try a courgette.
I’ve definitely found that having healthy treats and food on hand is a really good way to get back or stay on track, and cooking for ourselves and our loved ones feels good too.
I keep returning to the simple truth that you need to balance what you do and how you eat – and do what’s right for you. But don’t ever feel defeated – you can always press the restart button.
Ondine’s rye-oat scones recipe
Half (regular sized) mug light rye flour
Quarter mug dark rye flour
Half mug oats
Half mug gluten-free brown bread flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp unrefined sugar or sugar alternative (I used organic sucanat)
One-third of a mug of milk or dairy-free milk (I used organic oat milk)
8 tbsp butter or alternative (I used organic goat’s milk butter), cold and grated (yes, grated)
1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees Celsius (Gas Mark 7)
2. Combine oats, flours, salt, sugar and baking powder
3. In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs and milk till frothy
4. Combine with the dry ingredients and add in the butter
5. Knead until thoroughly combined, putting in more rye flour if the dough feels too wet
6. Shape into 7-8 rounds and place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
7. Bake for 15-17 minutes until golden brown