10th February 2018 Helen 1Comment

Serving up great food is the fix for most things – and when you’re trying cutting something as every-present as sugar, ready access to sugarfree treats is a must. My go-to favourite of the moment is this Sugarfree Banana Bread – or more accurately these three variations on Sugarfree Banana Bread: plain, with walnut or with chocolate. All are fab – as tried and tested by my kids – and me! A few thoughts on the ingredients The real sweetness in these recipes comes from over-ripe bananas which I routinely pop into the freezer (in their skins straight in a ziplock…

Sugarfree Banana Bread - Three Ways
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Fast recipe for three types of Sugarfree Banana Bread - plain, with walnut or chocolate. A nice way to use up left over ripe bananas - fresh or frozen.
Servings Prep Time
1 loaf (2lb) 5 minutes
Cook Time
75 - 90 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 loaf (2lb) 5 minutes
Cook Time
75 - 90 minutes
Sugarfree Banana Bread - Three Ways
Print Recipe
Fast recipe for three types of Sugarfree Banana Bread - plain, with walnut or chocolate. A nice way to use up left over ripe bananas - fresh or frozen.
Servings Prep Time
1 loaf (2lb) 5 minutes
Cook Time
75 - 90 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 loaf (2lb) 5 minutes
Cook Time
75 - 90 minutes
Instructions
  1. Preheat the over to 140 C (fan) or 150 C (conventional). Line a 2lb loaf tin with greaseproof / baking parchment or a liner. Prepare your ingredients.
  2. Sift the dry ingredients - the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, into a large bowl and stir to mix.
  3. Making a well in the centre of the mix, add the wet ingredients - the coconut oil, eggs and syrup / nectar if using. Stir to combine.
  4. Add the bananas and raisins / sultanas - and the walnuts and / or cocoa. Mix to just combine being careful not to over-work the mixture.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared bread tin. If making the walnut loaf and looking for a super pretty effect add a little line of walnuts along the top. Alternatively you can add a long slice slice / smaller slices of banana - like I did here - http://thebusymamas.ie/chocolate-and-banana-bread/.
  6. Bake for 75 to 90 minutes or until a skewer into the middle comes out clean.
  7. Remove and cool on a wire rack before turning out. Enjoy slathered with butter and a large cup of tea.
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30th January 2018 Helen

It wouldn’t be January without some sort of purge going on, would it? To be fair, I haven’t made any resolutions or joined any gyms (as if), but in my ongoing pursuit of a waist, and with a little encouragement from my friend and fellow cake maker and eater Emily over at The Nest, I am kicking the sugar – or at least cutting back. And, as everyone knows, misery loves company and, as this house isn’t actually a democracy, whatever goes for mama goes for everyone else. So, the good news for anyone who is equally inclined to cut…

Sugar-free Pancakes and Fruity 'Jam': a fast and (secretly) healthy family favourite
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A two-minute fruity and easy alternative to jam. Perfect on cakes, breads or pancakes - or mixed with natural yoghurt. Recipe works (so far) for strawberries, raspberries or blueberries.
Servings Prep Time
1 bowl / jar 3 minutes
Cook Time
2 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 bowl / jar 3 minutes
Cook Time
2 minutes
Sugar-free Pancakes and Fruity 'Jam': a fast and (secretly) healthy family favourite
Print Recipe
A two-minute fruity and easy alternative to jam. Perfect on cakes, breads or pancakes - or mixed with natural yoghurt. Recipe works (so far) for strawberries, raspberries or blueberries.
Servings Prep Time
1 bowl / jar 3 minutes
Cook Time
2 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 bowl / jar 3 minutes
Cook Time
2 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: bowl / jar
Instructions
  1. Prepare your ingredients.
  2. Put the fruit (frozen or thawed) in the pot with the water and heat gently until the fruit softens (c. 2 minutes).
  3. Add the vanilla, chia seeds and agave syrup (if using) and bring the mixture to the boil. Stir constantly.
  4. Blend using the stick blender until the berries are pureed. Return to the heat and - stirring constantly, allow the mixture to thicken (c. 1 minute).
  5. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. The jam is ready to use straight away or can be stored in a clear, sterilised tub / jar in the fridge for a week.
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19th December 2014 Helen 11Comment

If I don’t post this Basic Cookie Recipe I may as well apply to be in some sort of biscuit-making witness protection scheme.   Emily from The Nest is waiting not-so-patiently since I posted a snap of some Orange and Chocolate Chip Cookies I made for the knitting group on Facebook. As the days have passed there have been Netflix competitions, Christmas posts and even Coddle but no cookie recipe. So, at last, Emily, this is for you – and although I am sorry for the delay, we both know I like stringing you along at this time of the year! Now after…

Basic Cookie Recipe
Print Recipe
A great basic butter cookie which cook in no time, are easily made in advance and can be added to for endless combinations of yummy cookies. From www.thebusymamas.ie
Servings Prep Time
28 cookies 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 minutes 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
28 cookies 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 minutes 10 minutes
Basic Cookie Recipe
Print Recipe
A great basic butter cookie which cook in no time, are easily made in advance and can be added to for endless combinations of yummy cookies. From www.thebusymamas.ie
Servings Prep Time
28 cookies 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 minutes 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
28 cookies 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 minutes 10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: cookies
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 160C (fan) / 170C conventional oven.
  2. Using a paddle attachment on a food mixer, cream the butter until soft. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
  3. Sift the flour and add one spoon at a time to form a dough.
  4. Tip the dough out onto a large sheet of greeseproof paper (say 30cm long) and create a long sausage shape about 4cm in diameter, by gently prodding and rolling it. Wrap in the paper and twist the ends closed. Put into the freezer for ten minutes to firm up.
  5. Remove dough from the freezer and uncover. Slice off into 1cm thick slices and cook on a baking tray (no need to cover or grease) and place in a preheated over.
  6. Check from about 11 minutes but cook for between 12 and 15 minutes until the outer edges of the cookies are a light golden brown.
  7. Remove the tray from the oven and allow to firm for a minute or two and immediately remove using a pallet knife to cool on a wire rack.
Recipe Notes

And the variations are endless. Just add these dry ingredients, or any you like yourself, as you add the flour:

  • Orange and Chocolate: add three drops of orange essence and 75g of dark / milk chocolate chips (or just chopped chocolate)
  • Lemon and Poppyseed: add two to four drops of lemon essence and 2 tablespoons of poppyseeds.
  • Chocolate Chip: add 75g milk chocolate chips.
  • Double Chocolate Chip: add 50g good quality cocoa powder reducing the flour to 250g, and add 100g dark chocolate chips.
  • Vanilla and Cranberries: add 1 teaspoon of vanilla paste (or 1 tsp of vanilla essence) and 50g roughly chopped cranberries.
  • Cranberry and White Chocolate: add 50g roughly chopped cranberries and 75g roughly chopped white chocolate.
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