grain and cane free brownies

I’ve been putting more and more time into creating dishes that are grain and cane sugar free. There are a few reasons for this – obviously the health benefits, but equally because of the challenge and the notion of a hobby that comes with it. And – the thought of being able to eat a sweet treat and not feel so guilty always appeals, agreed? I’ve made some revolting things in the last 9 months (coconut flour is heinous) but these brownies were really something to write home about…

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In a food processor, I added: 150ml of agave nectar (I’ve seen this in Aldi and in health shops), 1 egg, vanilla essence, 1 table spoon of cocoa powder (adjust if you like it stronger), 1 jar of cashew nut butter as pictured (almond would probably work too), a handful of chopped hazelnuts and a teaspoon of baking powder. Whizz that bad boy up and transfer to a lined oven/baking tray.

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I cooked them for about 30 minutes on 150c. Adjust accordingly for how good (or rubbish!) your oven is!
Here are a few of the items I used to look out for:

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Enjoy – and don’t fall into the trap of thinking agave nectar is sugar free and eating the entire batch in one sitting… It’s still packed with sugar! 🙂

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happy belated easter, oh and new year

I’d hate for you to think this blog was normal, conventional, adhered to blog etiquette, was updated regularly, that sort of thing. Thanks to a lack of creativity born most likely out of inclement weather and being on a computer all day at work, we haven’t logged in for a while. Hopefully this post is the start of some more regular blogging – it is sometimes a hurdle to keep thinking of blog content.
First things first – happy belated easter.

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Lately, we’ve had a change of diet which I would like to share. We aren’t 100% on board, we can’t be and never will be but during the week and weekends at home we try to be as primal as possible in our diets. We try to eat fruit, veg, meat, eggs, nuts and seeds, and dairy (full fat produce where possible). You can be as primal as you wish, we aren’t mega strict – many wouldn’t dream of eating dairy! And the results: weight loss, increased energy levels mid afternoon, a more expensive food bill and the satisfaction that we are giving ourselves the best foods available. Essentially, we don’t bulk out our diets with cheap carbs.

So what do we eat now?
Cod baked in flaked almonds and parmesan

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Goats cheesed stuffed mushrooms

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Salads with various meat or fish

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Rhubarb and honey crumble (flaked almonds, coconut flour, desiccated coconut and butter for topping)

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And things we’ve tried that are vile: kelp chips

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Basically folks, lose the sugar and grains during the week, and processed foods at all times and you’ll reap the benefits. It hasn’t been much of a battle but does require you to plan ahead – convenience foods are a no go! More tried and tested recipes coming soon… Bye for now!

Post by Lizzi

that week between christmas and new year

…is a week of finding new homes for all the gifts received (thank you everyone!), rubbing your expanded waistline and wondering why you thought it was ok to gorge yourself from the 24th – 26th of December and of course start (mentally) deciding what you want to achieve in the coming year either by introducing or omitting certain factors from your life.

Therefore, I’m currently sat browsing various foodie blogs looking for new recipes to try – sweet potato breakfast casserole, anyone? (It look delicious, seriously!) Then I shall throw out some clothes, take the (many, many) empty glass bottles to the bottle bank, and think about taking that beloved tree down.

That tree:

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Those bottles, from that party:

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I need to source a sewing machine in 2013 too, to keep me occupied as boyfriend writes his dissertation, which should hopefully give me some more blogging material for the new year. Thank you for all taking time to read our blog. We have had 501 views which I cannot believe… I hoped for 50!!

Happy new year!

Post by Lizzi

life in Somerset

I thought I’d share with you some of my thoughts about life in Somerset.

I moved to Somerset back in October last year. Less than 6 weeks previous to moving, I had been living and working in Australia (latterly in Perth) so you imagine the small anti-climax Bridgwater proved to be. Needless to say, it took me a while appreciate my new surroundings. To the newcomer, Somerset seems to have little more to offer than cider. It is far enough west to be inconveniently isolated, but not far enough to be considered a desirable holiday destination like its superior neighbour Devon. Bridgwater itself could be a picturesque old town but unfortunately my best description would be ‘like Andover’. My first residence was on a dreary modern housing estate, where all the houses were identical and the roads crammed full of cars. The traffic was horrendous and it rained everyday. I don’t even need to mention my pervy Landlord. Are you getting the picture? It wasn’t love at first sight.

However, it wasn’t all doom and gloom. As soon as I ventured to the Quantocks, I realised how beautiful Somerset can be. On a glorious autumnal Saturday morning, I took the A39 west out of Bridgwater not knowing exactly where I heading. Suddenly the landscape transformed into lush rolling hills, open fields and cute old villages. I stopped at a village shop and asked for some nice walks in the area and the old lady pointed me in the direction of Kilve beach. 5 minutes later, I was parked up, and with ordance survey app in hand, I headed off to explore.

Since my first adventure to the east Somerset coast, I have been keen find out what else the area has to offer. Here is a glimpse of what’s on offer…

(n.b. WordPress has a ridiculously bad and hard to format layout. So where headers and photos are oddly placed around the page, believe me, it’s not for want of trying…)

Kilve (Nov ’11)

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Sunset at Burnham-on-Sea Beach (Nov ’11)

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Cheddar Gorge (Dec ’11)

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(These photos do not do Cheddar justice – it was a cold wet day!)

The Mendips (Dec ’11)

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Glastonbury (Jan ’12 and Aug ’12)

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Cothelstone Hill (Oct ’12)

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Dunster and Porklock Weir (Sept’ 12 and Oct ’12)

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Bagborough to Triscombe (Quantocks) (Oct ’12)

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Near Dead Woman’s Ditch (Quantocks) (Nov ’12)

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So I hope you get the gist. Somerset is beautiful – and definitely worth a visit (as am I?). And not many people seem to know that (this sentence is meant to refer to the fact that you should now know that Somerset is worth visiting. You should already know that I am worth visiting*). (I digress) Unlike Devon and Cornwall, the cute villages remain relatively undiscovered. The Quantock hills can get busy on a sunny Sunday, but it’s nice to see people enjoying the countryside. The cider is cheap, and the sun does shine. Just don’t visit us this weekend

*Incase you were unaware, I now live in Taunton. It’s much nicer. No pervy landlord.

Post by Ali