Banana and Coconut Muffins – gluten free

The best thing about muffins is that you don’t overbeat them, so they just need to be mixed and you are done.  This is also a good way to use those bananas that are just too ripe for anyone to want to eat.  The riper the banana, the stronger the flavour, that is why these don’t have a lot of sugar in them.  Makes 12.

Banana and coconut muffins

Banana and coconut muffins

Preheat a fan forced oven to 180 celcius, 200 if not fan forced, grease the cups of a muffin tray or use muffin papers if you prefer

90g softened butter

1 tbs brown sugar

3 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed

1/2 cup dessicated coconut

1/2 cup sour cream

1 &1/2 cups gluten free self raising flour

2 large eggs, beaten

 

Beat butter and sugar together, mix in bananas, coconut and sour cream, fold in flour and add eggs.  Spoon into muffin pans and bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned and just firm in centre.

 

Peach baked custard

This is very easy to make and is a good way to use those peaches that no-one seems to want to eat fresh – it is best made with soft peaches as you do not cook them before you put them in the custard.  They will soften when you cook them, but will not be as soft as, say, tinned fruit.  There is still a little bit of resistance to the bite, they aren’t mushy but aren’t hard either.  Baked this way really seems to bring out the flavour and they are delish!

Peach baked custard

Peach baked custard

5 peaches, remove the stone and halve the peaches (or if you have a bigger pie dish, you can put more in!)

2 eggs

2 tbs sugar (yes, that is all you need)

1 tsp vanilla essence

1/4 cup sour cream

1 cup cream

2 tbsp coconut flour

 

Preheat a fan forced oven to 160 celcius, 180 if not fan forced.

Arrange the peaches, cut side down, on a very lightly greased pie dish.  In a large jug, beat the eggs lightly, then add the sugar, vanilla and creams and mix well.  Add the coconut flour and mix again, pour over the peaches then place in the oven.

Bake for approximately 25 minutes, the custard should be lightly browned around the edges, and just firm in the centre.

Low sugar mango mousse

I love the tropical flavours in summer.  I also love Mango, but hate the mess I make of myself trying to cut one up.  Imagine my excitement when I found mango in juice in a jar in the supermarket!  Then I debated with myself whether to just scoff it as it was, or make it into something.  I experimented with making a mousse, as there was a mango mousse that I used to love, but the restaurant would not part with the recipe, so I had to guess.  I call this a low sugar mousse as I just added a bit as I went and stopped when I thought there was enough.  This mousse is not very sweet, but I like that.  You can add more sugar if you like a sweet mousse.  This quantity serves 4.

Low sugar mango mousse

Low sugar mango mousse

1 X 650g jar mango in juice, drained

2 tbsp icing sugar

300 ml cream

1 tbsp gelatine

2 tbsp hot water (boil the kettle, and stop if just before it boils)

1 cup juice either from the mango jar, or pineapple juice if you have it

 

Put the cream in a mixer and beat until soft peaks form.  In the meantime, mash the mango in a small bowl.  Mix the gelatine and hot water, then sieve into the juice.  Slowly pour the juice into the cream while the beaters are still running, and then continue beating the cream until stiff peaks form.  Fold through the mashed mango, then put into a bowl and refrigerate for at least two hours, longer if possible.

Mediterranean Rice Salad

This is nice when the rice is still a little warm, although it is also good eaten cold too (especially on a warm day).  As all the flavour comes from the herbs, I haven’t dressed it with any fatty, sugary dressings, so it is very low in all those nasties.

Mediterranean rice salad

Mediterranean rice salad

1 cup of rice, cooked (it will bulk up to approximately 3 cups once cooked)

Pinch of salt

200g small tomatoes (I used a mixture of the cherry tomatoes and the yellow “snacking” ones), halved

3 sprigs of fresh basil (about a handful), chopped

4 sprigs of lemon thyme, picked

1 radish, halved and sliced finely

4 spring onions, sliced finely

1/2 red capsicum, chopped finely

1 lettuce leaf, chopped finely

1 stick of celery, sliced very finely

 

Cook the rice with the salt (I prefer the absorption method)*.  While it is cooking, prepare the salad vegetables and place in a bowl.  When the rice is ready (drain if appropriate) mix with the vegetables.

 

*I find the easiest way to cook rice is to use a 3 to 1 water to rice ratio (3 cups of water to 1 cup of rice).  I put the rice, water and salt in a microwave safe container, and microwave on high (covered) for 10 minutes.  I then stir the rice, take off the cover and put back in the microwave for about 3-4 minutes – depending on the strength of the microwave.  When the rice is ready, all the water should be absorbed.  Fluff with a fork and allow to cool slightly before using.  This is also a good method to cook rice for fried rice – if you spread it out on a tray and let it dry before using it you will get a better end product – if the rice is still sticky it won’t fry up properly.