Everyone loves the Great British Bake Off, right?! Even with the switch to Channel 4 and the introduction of the dynamic duo of Toksvig and Fielding.
This hour (if you record and skip through the ads!) of Tuesday night comfort telly no doubt inspires a week of baking – see any social media for proof! But for those of us minded to keep the refined carbs and processed grains to a minimum – or for anyone on a therapeutic diet, can we still join the party and get busy with the baking?
Yes of course we can! It’s fantastic that the Bake Off encourages people to experience the deep satisfaction of making your own food from scratch. And there are literally thousands of websites available to mine for inspiration.
Following bread-week, I’m immediately drawn to dig out the Hemsley & Hemsley and crack out a sweet potato loaf, followed by the flax bread. Once you’ve mastered the basic version, the sky’s the limit for what you can do then. I like to add extra seeds for a really hearty loaf that’s great for toasting, and some black cumin seeds for an extra savoury hit – not to mention a tonne of amazing health giving properties!
Even better than that, unlike the GBBO creations, your flax loaf will take top max 10 mins to prepare, and won’t give you RSI kneading! Check out these recipes too: https://healyeatsreal.com/top-10-grain-free-bread-recipes/
If you’re feeling cakey don’t let a low carb diet stand in your way! You’ll be amazed how easy it is to create fantastic desserts using a little dried fruit, a banana or a pear. Have a scroll through these: http://www.sugarfreerecipes.co.uk/sugar-free-cakes-category.html
You’ll find some recipes use granulated artificial sweeteners. For heaven’s sake don’t touch these with a barge pole! Artificial sweeteners are proven to mess up your gut flora, which is something you’ll be doing your utmost not to do if you have any health goals at all. On top of that they confuse the way your body releases insulin and stores fat. That’s in addition to the problems associated with baking ingredients that aren’t necessarily stable when heated.
For special occasions when you want to make a regular cake using sugar, you can always use brown sugar, or coconut sugar.
Yes it’s still sugar, but at least it’s got a tiny amount of mineral content to boot, and the taste isn’t so ear-poppingly sweet! It’s a good idea to keep those taste buds calibrated low, so you don’t need as much sweetening for something to taste like a treat. https://elanaspantry.com/category/desserts/ has lots of these.
The most important thing about GBBO is that it takes loads of practice to get as good at baking as these guys! So if your first attempt at a gluten free, grain free or sugar free bake goes awry and – heaven forefend – you end up with a soggy bottom, don’t give up, just try again!
The internet is full of chatrooms with nutritionally aware bakers who are happy to give you the benefit of their wisdom. And if you’re keeping it sugar free, gluten free and grain free, the only soggy bottom you’re in danger of, is under your cake.☺