Even though I'm now into Wk 17 I'd better report a bit on last week and the lead up to No 3's b'day party. I was really glad I was able to do a lot of prep before-hand as I did feel quite organised by the morning of. A few things (like the cupcakes, sausage rolls & meatballs) I'd made earlier and frozen till the day of. There was definately more savoury things at the party than sweet as I was really trying to avoid using any refined sugar in any of the food. In the end I used coconut palm sugar in the muffins & cookies and only used icing sugar to make the icing for the cut-out cookies that the kids took home in their party bags - and even then I gave them a choice of iced or uniced.
However, some of the other yummy things I disovered in my search for sugar-free sweets resulted in a couple of goodies listed below:
Honey Caramel Popcorn
1/2 cup of corn kernels popped
1/2 cup of honey, 1/4 whipped cream & 2 tbsp butter - melted together and brought to a gentle boil, simmer for 8 mins (don't let it burn!). Pour over popcorn and mix thru quickly, let cool and ENJOY!
On a practical note, make sure you soak all your pans and bowls straight away as this caramel sets hard.
Another variation I found but haven't tried yet was Peanut butter choc chip Popcorn:
1/2 cup of corn kernels popped
1/2 cup of peanut butter melted with 1/2 cup of honey
1/2 cup of choc chips - and mix all together.
And I also made the Pecan Caramel Toffees out of "Healing Foods" by Sandra Ramacher:
1 cup honey
1 cup nut butter (I just used natural peanut butter, just make sure it has no additives)
2 tbsp butter
3/4 cup chopped pecans (wish I'd toasted them)
Bring the honey to boil in a saucepan and let it boil for 8 mins (will froth up). Turn off the heat and add nut butter, butter and chopped pecans. Let it cool for about 10 mins and then spoon tbspfulls into little cupcake papers. Set in fridge but eat at room temp.
These basically tasted like a mouthful of peanut butter & honey, but I was surprised they weren't that popular at the party - maybe too sweet? So, have popped them in the freezer for a tasty morsel every so often- definately good for a sweets craving......hmmmmm...... like now!
And what else? Oh, yes, the birthday cake! Well, thanks to my sister, I was able to try a chocolate gluten free, sugar free cake the week before and she sent me the recipe which I will also include below:
Soak 2 cups of whole grain flour (of your choice - I used brown rice flour) in 3/4 cup of natural yoghurt and 3/4 cup of whole milk. This is not a wet mix, it will look like a thick cake mix. Leave overnight - this makes it more digestible in the cake.
When you are ready to cook, preheat oven to mod temp and grease a deep square cake pan.
In a mixer, mix together:
1/2 cup of melted butter or coconut oil
3/4 cup of honey
2/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa (I used half cacao powder, half dutch process cocoa)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
Add in the flour mix by spoonfuls till blended well. This should be a nice sloppy cake mix now, if not you will need to add more liquid.
Pour into cake pan and put into oven for up to 30 mins. Check it after 15 mins and then every few mins, because it does cook fast. Stick a wooden skewer in and when it comes out clean it's done. Err on the side as caution as even slightly undercooked it tastes fine and actually more "mudcakey". Cool in the pan for a few mins before flipping out.
I iced B's cake with a chocolate ganache made from 70% cocoa Organic chocolate and pure cream and even tho this had very little sugar in it, if you wanted completely sugar-free you can do what my sister did and make a philly cheese icing with philly cream cheese, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Do it to taste. I made this icing for my banana muffins and prob used 2 pkts of cheese, up to 1/2 cup of pure maple syrup and prob a tbsp of vanilla extract. You could seriously eat this out of the bowl on its own!
It is a dense cake and yes, it's not that sweet but I like the choc ganache on top to give it a little more depth. The kids seemed Ok with it, so was overall pretty happy with the results.
So now, it's left to us to finish the leftovers! Not such a problem altho I'm glad the sausage rolls and the honey/soy chicken drumettes are done with! Now just a few muffins and a bit of cake left. I must say the sushi was probably the biggest hit (I bought it premade) along with the little individually boxed salted popcorn - no ones likes too many kids' hands in the one bowl!
So, as to be expected, this 11th kg is taking it's time to fall off. Along with all the food foibles I had further trouble with the gym too - couldn't get there on the public holiday and then injured my back somehow and couldn't go another day! So thankful that after 2 days of pain killers and pain patches, it settled down a lot and then my chiro made sure everything was back in place, and I haven't had a skerrick of pain since. Phew! So back to the gym again this morning. And after a morning of grazing on bread & leftover cake - I have to spend today researching some inspiring recipes to get me back on the straight and narrow. Will post anything successful :-).