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Mediterranean grain free loaf

This bread is made from almond meal, buckwheat, eggs and veggies. Buckwheat is not related to normal wheat. It is actually a type of seed, so it is naturally gluten free.

Ingredients

170g zucchini (grated)

190g capsicum (diced)

1 red onion (diced)

1.5 cups almond meal

0.5 cups buckwheat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

3 eggs

60g black pitted olives

Method

Turn on the oven to 180˚C.

Grease a loaf tin with some olive oil

Put the grated zucchini in a sieve and sprinkle with salt. Leave for 10 minutes.

Gently fry the onion and capsicum in some olive oil until soft.

In a large bowl, mix together the almond meal, buckwheat flour, baking soda and eggs.

Then add the capsicum, onion, zucchini and olives.

Pour the mixture into the loaf tin.

Bake in oven for approximately 40 minutes. Leaf in loaf tin to cool for 10 minutes, then tip out on to cooling rack.

Berry blast muffins

Ingredients

150g buckwheat flour

150g almond meal / flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoon vanilla paste

4 eggs

1/4 cup melted coconut oil

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 cup natural yoghurt

300g mixed berries

Method

Preheat oven to 180˚C and put 12 muffin liners in muffin tray.

Mixed together the dry ingredients (buckwheat flour, almond meal, salt, baking powder).

Add the vanilla paste, eggs, coconut oil, maple syrup and yoghurt and mix until a very smooth consistency.

Add the berries and stir through, being careful not to smash up the berries too much.

Pour batter into muffin liners, evenly distributing between the 12 liners.

Bake for 30-40 minutes

Coconut pancakes

These pancakes are a fun treat for kids with a healthy twist.

They are gluten free, dairy free, grain free and are sweetened naturally with banana. Perfect for a Sunday morning treat. 

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • ½ a medium banana, mashed
  • ⅓ cup dairy-free milk (coconut, almond etc)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs, whisked 
  • ½ tsp cinnamon 
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup if desired 

Toppings

  • Berries
  • Nut butters
  • Maple syrup
  • Yoghurt 

Method

Whisk the eggs, mash the banana and add all the wet ingredients into a bowl.

In another bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.

Then combine both wet and dry ingredients.

The batter is thicker than a normal pancake mix but if it is too thick, add some more milk.

Preheat a nonstick pan to medium heat and put a dash of oil.

Once it has warmed up, add 2-3 tbsps of the batter into the pan to make small size pancakes. They are difficult to flip so smaller, flatter pancakes are easier.

Cook for 1-2 minutes on one side until bubbling, and then carefully flip. Repeat with remaining batter. 

Makes about 6 small pancakes. 

Breakfast scramble

Eggs are an easy, go-to staple for a grain-free meal. They provide a complete source of protein to keep your child full and satisfied all morning.

The turmeric adds an abundance of health benefits including anti-inflammatory effects. 

This breakfast could be whipped up in a few minutes!

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup chopped spinach or kale
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Pinch salt and pepper 

Optional sides;

  • Avocado
  • Tomato 
  • Mushrooms

Method

Heat the olive oil in a pan.

In a bowl, whisk the eggs and add the spices. 

Add the chopped kale or spinach to the pan and cook until wilted, and then add the whisked eggs and cook.

Serve with avocado and tomatoes. 

Super power smoothie

Loaded with vitamins and minerals, this smoothie is guaranteed to give your child the energy they need to start their day. It is also a great way to sneak in some extra greens into their diet. 

Ingredients 

  • 1-2 cups of greens (spinach, kale)
  • 1 frozen banana 
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1 tbsp flax seeds
  • Optional; 1 tbsp nut butter, frozen mango or berries

Method

Place all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Enjoy!

4 ingredient chia pudding

Chia pudding has gained a lot of popularity and can even be purchased at supermarkets, however, it is a lot easier, healthier and cheaper to make yourself!

Chia pudding can be made in bulk and stored in the fridge for a few days of easy breakfasts. 

This breakfast is extremely versatile and there are endless flavour options using different fruits and toppings. 

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp Chia seeds
  • 1 cup Non-dairy milk (almond, coconut, cashew etc.)
  • ½ tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp sweetener e.g. honey, maple syrup, rice malt syrup

Optional add ins

  • ½ tsp Cinnamon
  • Fresh fruit e.g. mango, berries
  • Cacao or cocoa (for a chocolatey pudding)

Toppings

  • Yogurt
  • Berries 
  • Nut butter
  • Granola 

Method

Mix chia seeds, milk, vanilla and sweetener (and any optional add ins) together.

Place in the fridge for 3-6 hours or overnight.

Top with fruit, yogurt, nut butter or granola and enjoy.

Paleo porridge

This is the perfect alternative to oatmeal when you’re trying to reduce grains.

This porridge is gluten free, dairy free, grain-free, and refined sugar free. 

It is a quick, easy and filling breakfast to keep your child’s tummy full.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup chopped mixed nuts (almonds, walnuts etc.)
  • 1/4 cup dried coconut flakes
  • 2 tbsp linseed meal (flaxseed meal)
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour 
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk (almond, coconut etc.) 
  • Dash of honey/maple syrup/rice malt syrup to sweeten

To serve, top with:

  • Berries 
  • Banana
  • Nut butter 

Method

Mix all ingredients into a bowl except the milk. Heat the milk until hot and then pour into the bowl and mix everything until it thickens. OR you could pour the milk on cold and leave the porridge in the fridge overnight to set for a quick breakfast. 

Add toppings as desired and enjoy. Makes 2 servings.


No-grain granola

This homemade granola is so delicious, easy to make, and healthy. It is packed full of healthy fats for growing children and a perfect snack or breakfast. Top it with yogurt and berries, or milk for a grain-free cereal.  You can halve the recipe for a smaller batch.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried coconut flakes
  • 1 cup mixed sliced nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews) 
  • ½ cup Pepitas 
  • ½ cup Sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp Chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp flax meal (linseed meal) 
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup rice malt syrup or maple syrup 
  • 3-4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1-2 tsp vanilla extract

Method

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees and line a baking tray with baking paper.

Combine all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl, and then add the wet ingredients (rice malt syrup/maple syrup, vanilla and coconut oil) and mix well until all combined. 

Spread the granola on the lined baking tray and bake for 15 minutes.

Gently mix/flip over the granola and place it back in the oven for 5 more minutes or until golden brown.

When ready, remove from the oven and let it sit for at least 15 minutes to become crunchy. 

Be careful to watch in the oven as it can quickly burn!

Store in a jar or airtight container. Makes around 8-10 servings.

Sweet potato shepherd’s pie

I am a huge fan of batch cooking. If you want to feed your family a healthy diet and not spend hours and hours in the kitchen every day, you need to cook in bulk. Some things like casseroles, curries and shepherds pie lend themselves to cooking in bulk. I love Shepherd’s pie, but this one has a twist as the topping is sweet potato, rather than white potato.

The recipe below will make enough for 3 meals for a family of 2 adults and 2-3 kids.

Ingredients

2kg lamb mince (preferably organic)

3kg sweet potato

Lots of fresh rosemary

4 onions (finely chopped)

2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped or crushed)

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Brown the mince in a sauce pan on medium to high heat for 5-10 minutes.

Add the onions and garlic.

Use a food processor to grind up the rosemary to a fine dust, and add to the saucepan.

Whilst the mince is simmering, start to prepare the sweet potato topping.

Chop up the sweet potato (no need to peel as long as it looks clean. Just give them a wash).

Add to a saucepan of water, and cook until tender. This will take roughly 15 minutes, depending on how small you cut them.

After the meat mixture has been cooking for about 30 minutes, pour off the liquid that has formed, into a pyrex jug.

Divide the mince evenly between 3 medium size casserole / pie dishes, that are freezer safe. I use stainless steel ones which are suitable for oven and freezer.

When the sweet potatoes are ready, drain off the water, and mash. Add the reserved liquid from the meat to the mash to make it smooth.

Add the sweet potato mash topping to the mince, dividing evenly between the 3 dishes.

Use a fork to score the top.

Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes. Eat one, and keep the other 2 in the freezer for another day.

Serve with green beans.

Why does a gluten free diet help autism (Part 3)

This is final instalment of a 3 part series on gluten and autism. You can read Part 1 and Part 2 first.

The first thing most parents of children on the spectrum say when I recommend removing gluten from the diet is that they can’t as that is all their child will eat.  That is usually confirmation enough for me that gluten needs to go!  Remember in Part 2 when I said the gluten forms opioid like compounds in the brain of children with autism.  What do we know about opioids?  They’re addictive.  So your child could literally be addicted to gluten!

The first thing you need to do is get educated.  In part one of this series, I explain all the foods where gluten can be found.  Make sure you are familiar with what is in and what is out.

Next, start to play around with some gluten-free foods.  Remember at this stage, we’re not trying to remove all grains, just gluten.  That means things like rice are still allowed, which opens a world of rice-based foods like noodles or rice cakes.  These are not fabulous foods, as they are purely refined carbohydrates, but this is a journey, and we are only on the first step – removing the gluten.

Now that you have figured out what gluten-free foods your child will eat, create a meal plan or download a ready made one from my website!.  Make sure you are never caught short having to give your child a gluten containing food.  Every time there is a slip up, you go back to the start of your trial, which can be really demoralising and difficult for you and your child.

Then hit the shops!  You may find you need to change how you shop and where you shop to get the specific foods you need.  Being gluten-free has become more manageable in the last 10 years, but it might still be worthwhile looking online or in health-food shops to find what you need.

Next comes the implementation step.  You can do it gradually, substituting one meal or snack at a time with a gluten-free alternative, or you can do it all at once.  Just remember that you might see withdrawal symptoms if you do it all at once.

Keep a diary. Remember to write down in detail what your child eats and what their symptoms are.  Start this a week in advance so you can make a comparison of before and afterwards.  The symptoms you keep track of will be specific to your child.  They could be related to behaviour, stimming, digestive issues or rashes.  Or it could be a combination of all of these!