This week’s post is truly inspirational, and may well come at a perfect time for some of you if you’ve overindulged over Easter…
When I invited Melissa from The Glen House to take part in my guest post series I knew that it may well be a challenge for her to fulfil the guidelines of bringing a vegetarian, sugar free, gluten free, healthy dish, but she jumped at the chance of being involved, which made me very happy! Lovely, friendly, vivacious, Melissa makes amazing cakes, she loves baking, and eats very differently from me, but her post captures the essence of the series completely, I hope you enjoy it..
So, Melissa, what would you feed me?
Elaine asked me write a post that was gluten free and sugar free. Me? Me that uses copious amounts of sugar, chocolate, butter and flour in her posts and in her every day life? Why not, I thought!
But I wasn’t thinking.
Elaine and I are from the opposite ends of the foodie spectrum; she’ll often post a piece and my response would be something along the line that “it would be great covered in chocolate”. Elaine posts healthy dishes and snacks, whilst I write about cakes and cookies. How on earth could I write her sort of post?
I knew I’d have to stick to what I know, there was no point just serving up a fruit salad or a plate of veg. I needed to make Elaine something ‘sweet’ like a cake or muffin, but I had to use her sort of ‘sugar’. I had to put myself in her shoes…
So, for the month of March I gave up sugar. I GAVE UP SUGAR. I-GAVE-UP-SUGAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No more cakes, biscuits, muffins, Haribo, chocolate, alcohol…. Even bananas and mangos were off limit! I stopped snacking altogether and stuck to three meals a day. While I was at it, I did away with potatoes and bread too! After two days of mind blowing headaches, I was ok. My sugar fix came from berries, I rekindled my long lost love affair with avacodos and my palette began to change. I lost a stone and a half in four weeks by eating this way- not diet AT ALL, just eating properly.
New ways of cooking and baking called out to me; I discovered Ella Woodward of Deliciously Ella fame and Sarah Wilson, who has written several books on life without sugar. I began to understand how to use nuts and fruit to replace eggs, butter and sugar and how I can replace normal flour with healthier alternatives. So, I’m making Elaine a recipe I’ve come up with myself, based on my research.
Banana, Date and Pecan Muffins
1 cup pecans
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup dates
2 large bananas
1/2 cup almond milk
2 tsp gluten free baking powder
vanilla (I used Dr Oekter vanilla grinder)
a pinch of maldon salt
Preheat the oven 180 degrees and line a muffin tin. Blend the pecans to a fine powder in a food processer. Add them into a bowl with the other dry ingredients and stir. Mix the milk, dates, bananas and vanilla and blend until smooth. Stir the wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients and spoon into the muffin cases. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
I enjoyed my banana goodies with a cup of liquorice tea (try it, it’s amazing!)
32 days after giving up sugar and I can still count the amount of sugar based ‘treats’ I’ve had on one hand. I can’t honestly say that I will give up sugar completely, but I will never go back to eating the amount I did before. NEVER.
Darling Melissa, I LOVE your muffins, but more than that, I love how you embraced the challenge and what you achieved for yourself. What you have done isn’t easy, sugar is a drug and not easy to give up, and you achieved that. Huge respect from me, honey! I hope you feel fabulous xx