Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Spring has Sprung!

Well, just a quick update first of all :-)

I have broken the 80kg curse and am bobbing around just underneath on a delightful total of 18 kgs loss! To say I am pleased is an understatement - there is such a freedom at knowing I can walk straight into most shops and just buy a sz 14 off the rack, and even then the waists can be a little roomy, however, with such a generous post-baby paunch below, I doubt I will drop much more in the size department. But do you know what???? I really don't mind. In discussions with my PT yesterday, I told her how that spare tucked away tyre is not what I can judge my body changes by (ESP as it seems to get looser, not tighter), but by the gradual smoothing of the tummy above the waistline. To look nice and flat-ish in a slim fitting singlet or tee, is a constant source of joy and utter gratefulness to God for keeping up my strength in this on-going adventure.

I have found that I have let a bit of flour/ bread sneak back into my diet and am trying to wrap my head round finding constructive substitutions again in times of dire temptation.... Rice & pasta I don't seem to worry about, but I have to be on the alert for sneaky additions here and there (like at the Teppanyaki bars I've been frequenting lately - the most delectable grilled meats, veggies, & sashimi but must be wary of the tempura, fried rice & miso soup). It's been lovely to get out of my comfort zone a bit but School holidays proved a little bit difficult, as with the relaxed atmosphere, I seemed to want to eat more and snack a little bit freer than normal. And of course there are more opportunities to have a glass of vino at night as it's not a school night!!!  Also, with both mine and my husbands birthdays in October - we did over-imbibe at times, but not as dramatically as I was going to allow myself. 

I won't waffle on today but will put up a few SUCCESSFUL sweet recipes I have been working on to find alternatives to the stuff I am trying to avoid:

Apple & Blueberry Crumble

I loooooove a good crumble - it has to be sweet, meltingly soft below, and a little crunchy and crusty on top.  Every time I've cheated a little in creating the crumble but I have finally found the perfect mix:

Dice 6 - 8 peeled apples into good-sized chunks (smaller than 1/4s though) and cook a few minutes in lemon water till just tender.  Drain and cool. 

In a bowl put 100g of cold diced butter.  Add 1/2 cup of almond meal, 1/2 cup of coconut flour, 1/2 cup of chopped macadamias (or any nut or oats if you want) and 2/3 cup of coconut palm sugar.  Knead butter into mix with fingertips until it all resembles rubble. 

Place cooled apple into a greased pie dish and mix through 1 tsp of cinnamon and 2 tbsp of maple syrup and then add 3/4 cup of frozen or fresh blueberries.  Tumble them through the apple gently so the colour of blueberries does not bleed everywhere.  Sprinkle crumble mix all over the top - thick is best!  Place in oven and cook until top is golden and fruit is bubbling up  - serve with a dollop of cream! YUM!

Rich Chocolate Coconut Tart

The base is crusty coconut, the filling - succulent rich chocolate - 2 of my favourite things together!

Crust:  2 cups of dessicated coconut, 2 egg whites, 1/3 cup xylitol.

Mix altogether and then press into bottom of greased springform pan (with base in upside down - not sure why??).  It needs to be a THIN crust, but it's better to start off with too much than too little.  Pat in firmly up the sides first before filling in the holes on the base.  It does not have to look perfect, believe me!   Place in mod oven to brown - 20 - 30mins.  I found the top side edges browned VERY quickly so cover them with foil so the base can get more golden.  Pull out and leave to cool.

Filling:  Heat through 300ml of pure cream in a saucepan until just about to boil.  Pour over 300g of chopped 70% cocoa eating chocolate (this has very little sugar in it so if you need a little extra sweetener, swap 100g of 70% to 50% cocoa- now available in Lindt;  or add a tbsp of maple syrup) and let sit for a few minutes for chocolate to melt.  Mix until smooth and then let cool a little.  Add 2 beaten egg yolks (handily retained from the crust) and 1 tbsp of vanilla extract, and if necessary strain mixture through a sift to get rid of any accidental eggy bits.  Pour into base and put in fridge for 4 - 6 hours till choc is set.  Release from pan, and carefully lever off of base.  I served this with some creamy marscapone sweetened with a little maple syrup and vanilla extract.  A delightful treat.

I already have Christmas on my mind and am discovering some good recipes for some old favourites - a Chrissy cake using coconut flour and no processed sugar;  some sugar-free chutneys to give as gifts and preserved lemons - I LOVE this time of year!  I have downloaded a 12 week Christmas holiday planner and am getting all "dopey" over lists, lists and more lists........

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