No Added Sugar Fruit Loaf

As I am still sticking to my ‘New Years resolution’ of a healthier beginning. I am still researching ‘better options’ for treats to have with a cup of tea or coffee.

I have had this recipe for a while and it is favoured by my dad (as he is diabetic) but the rest of the family love it too. Obvisouly this doesn’t give a diabetic an excuse to eat the whole thing in one sitting, but it can be kept in an airtight container for a few days or even freeze for a month.

It is great because it has no added sugar. The only sugar this recipe contains is from natural sugar from the dried fruit used. You could also make it low in fat by substituting the butter for a low-fat margarine. Then here comes the bonus… This recipe also uses wholemeal flour that provides a source of fibre too.

lowsugarfruitcake-7036

Ingredients 

100g mixed dried fruit

50g butter or margarine

150ml skimmed milk or soya/almond milk

150g wholemeal flour

2 tsp baking power

1/2 tsp mixed spice

1 tsp cinnamon

1 large egg, beaten

Method

  1. Pre heat oven to 180C or for fan 160C. Grease and line a 1lb loaf tin
  2. In a small pan, put butter, milk and dried fruit in and bring to the boil then simmer for 10 mins
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool before adding the beaten egg.
  4. In a seperate bowl, mix the dry ingredients, then gradually add dry mix to fruit mix.
  5. If the mixture seems a little stiff just add a little milk until you get a ‘slow drop’ off the spoon.
  6. Pour mixture into tin and bake for 30-40 mins or until firm on top and screwer comes out clean.
  7. Leave in the tin for 15 mins, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.

Serve sliced, as it is or with a little butter or low-fat spread.

Happy Baking

Em x

Healthier Beginnings!

  
Happy new year to you all! It’s January, and to many of us, imparticularly me, that means a healthier start to the new year. But hang on, I’m a cake maker, how can I have a healthier year if I bake all those tasty treats, that are full of refinded sugar and butter laced? And yes I am always tempted to eat, sorry I mean ‘test’, what I bake.

So this has got me thinking….?. Is there such a thing as a ‘healthy’ cake/bake/treat? Well to be honest, no there isn’t, in such, that’s why they are called ‘treats’. But wouldn’t it be great if we could maybe reduce the impact slightly and bake a tasty treat, that is ‘lower in fat &/or sugar’?

This has lead me on to doing some investigating. I have researched on the Internet and some baking magazines to find these so called ‘healthier’ treats. The search hasn’t been hard, as most celebrities and top chefs have either brought a book out or an article on healthy living.

I starting off with trying to find my favourite bake, the ‘chocolate brownie’. At this point I’ve either got you intrigued or laughing your head off at the darfed idea of a ‘healthier’ brownie. Come on it has chocolate in it…!

I was surprised with what I found. There are lots of different variants on the web but the one that really caught my eye was in a popular Sunday newspaper supliment, “You”. I was reading about Davina McCall and there was an article taken from Davina’s new book ‘Smart Carbs’. 

The exert talks about ‘smart carbs V dumb carbs’ and how we can make wiser choices, not just with sweet treats but also with meals.

So scanning through, there it was, Davina’s “Chocolate and banana traybake”… now they look good!

Here is the link to ‘You magazine’ online for Davina’s Smart carbs if you would like to see all of her recipes, they do look good! 

But I just had to have a go that this chocolate and banana traybake recipe!

Davina’s recipe uses a 24cm x 24cm tin, which makes approx 16 squares or cut smaller for less calorie intake. You can find the exact amounts used, in the link above.

For myself, I used at 16cm square tin and these are the amounts of ingredients I used to make 9 squares of loveliness! I have also changed a couple of ingredients as I didn’t have the exact ones in my store cupboard. 

Ingredients

134g whole meal plain flour 

35g cocoa powder 

1 tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

120g low fat butter/margarine

100g honey

2 small ripe bananas, mashed

4 eggs

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 160 C for a fan oven or 180 C otherwise. Grease and line your tin
  2. Put flour straight into a bowl and add sifted cocoa, pinch of salt and baking powder into that bowl.
  3. In a small pan, melt gently the butter and honey together. once melted remove from heat and mix in mashed bananas.
  4. In a separate bowl, break eggs and whisk until frothy (you may want to use an electric mixer for this) Then add the dry ingredients, then butter, honey and banana mixture and fold in until well mixed. It should be quite runny.
  5. Pour mixture into tin and bake for about 30 mins or until it has risen and is springy to touch.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10mins before transferring to a wire rack and cut into squares.

You can store in an airtight container for a few days (if they last that long!) or freeze them and consume within a month.

These are excellent once frozen because you can get one out of the freezer, pop it in the microwave, on a non-metallic plate, for a minute or 2 and serve warm with berries, fat free natural yoghurt or creme fraiche. Mmm scrummmy!

  
Have a go yourself and tell me what you think.

Happy Baking

Em x