Pumpkin Cake (Almond Flour)


Bright and moist

A great way to cook with pumpkin and yields a very moist cake.   You can spread this with butter and even toast it if you fancy.   I love the bright colour of it too.  I find that pumpkin gives a dish a natural sweetness and the lovely bright orange colour too.   Feel free to go crazy with adding more spices, as although pumpkin is sweet and moist, it does not have a very strong taste.    So don’t feel too cautious about measuring out the spices.. Yummy, tell me more Diva…

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds

I’ve recently been playing around with Chia seeds and currently enjoy them most in a pudding form that I have for breakfast.   Pudding for breakfast you say? Madness?  No.  It’s a great way to start the day, keeps you full and are full of nutrients.  Chia seeds are gluten and grain free but one tablespoon of the little seeds has more calcium than a glass of milk.  More Omega 3 than Salmon and more antioxidants than blueberries!  They give you energy and are also great for weight loss as they absorb about 12  times their size in liquid.  So will expand and keep you full as well as being nutritious.  They also keep your blood sugar levels at a sensible level.   They are one of the most versatile superfoods.

When added to liquid they create a substance that looks like gelatin.   Or a tapioca pudding.  This gel like substance is due to the soluble fibre in the Chia seed.  This form is often used as an egg substitute.  I’ve tried it without success but will try again.   However, a great substitute for those with an egg allergy.

Allegedly, this little power houses of seeds were used as a staple of their diet and as an energy food.  Runners and warriors would use them for sustenance whilst running long distances or during battle.

Try to keep to one to two tablespoons of seeds a day.   Mix up in a pudding, add to a smoothie, sprinkle over a salad.

Personally, I love making breakfast puddings and chia seed jam with them to get my daily boost of these super seeds!

Tamari Sauce

I do not use soy sauce because of the wheat content in it and use Tamari instead.  Tamari is a type of Japanese soy sauce that is made without wheat and is therefore suitable for those with wheat allergies. It is made from whole soya beans, traditionally brewed and aged in wooden kegs.  Tamari is dark in colour and has a rich flavour, making it useful in marinades and dressings.

Personally, I find this less salty then soy sauce and a great alternative to the dark soy sauce.

Flax Seed

Flax seed is my must  super food of 2012 and beyond…It may be small but it packs a nutritional punch! It is low in carbs, high in fibre, high in most of the B vitamins, magnesium and manganese and rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.

Omega 3 fatty acids are great against heart disease, arthritis, diabetes and some cancers. This is the type of fat that can produce amazing benefits for your heart and cardiovascular system. When you incorporate flax seed in your daily diet you are providing your body with the richest natural source of Omega 3 fatty acids that are available.  This is also great for Vegans and Vegetarians who can obtain their Omega 3 fatty acids without having to compromise their   dietary beliefs.

The fibre content is just amazing and is great for lowering cholesterol and helps stabilizing blood sugar.  It is high in phytochemicals and many antioxidants.   There are very high concentrations of antioxidants present in flax seed. Ligans and other anti-oxidizing compounds are able to repair much of the cellular damage that is wrought by free radicals in your system.  Flax seed is probably our best source of lignans, which convert in our intestines to substances that tend to balance female hormones. Lignan can promote fertility, reduce peri-menopausal symptoms, and help toward the prevention of breast cancer.   They can also prevent type 2 diabetes.

One major point to note is that the flax seeds need to be ground to make the nutrients available.   Flax seed oil does not contain the benefits of ground flax seed either.   I grind mine in a hand processor or sometimes can buy it in flax meal format.   This however, I have purchased in larger supermarkets (normally in the gluten free section in Dubai) but can also purchase this from my organic health shop.   It seems easier to purchase than my beloved coconut flour.

I cannot stress how important it is that you should have flaxseed in your daily diet.   You just need to sneak it in here and there…

I find that Flax seed in Dubai is available in many of the supermarkets, as well as the Organic food store and other health food shops.  It is not too difficult to find.

Coconut Flour

I thoroughly advocate the use of coconut flour. It is my favourite flour to use and is just so healthy for you. Currently I order mine from Amazon as it is not yet stocked in Dubai, but I hear that it should be coming to these shores soon.  As soon as it is in Dubai I will be raising the bunting and shouting this from the rooftops!   Interesting, tell me more Diva..