Sweet Potato Chocolate Brownies

My mum used to make a pumpkin, chocolate and walnut cake. It was delicious. I have a vivid memory of my two closest primary school friends fighting over an extra piece of this cake that my mum had popped in my lunch box. Most of it ended up crumbled on the grass, some smeared on their faces, but enough in their bellies to bring a smile of ‘good cake’.

Perhaps the fighting it provoked scarred me, but otherwise I’m not sure why I haven’t experimented with vegetables in my own baking before now. The sweetness that erupts from pumpkin and sweet potato after a solid roast is comparable to a treat from the candy store.



Makes 16 squares

  • 3 cups mashed roasted sweet potato*
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tbs melted coconut oil
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 4 sachets of stevia
  • ½ cup almond meal
  • ½ cup gluten free flour
  • ½ cup walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Line a slice tray with baking paper (or grease with coconut oil and dust with GF flour).
  2. Combine eggs, coconut oil, peanut butter and vanilla extract in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Add the mashed sweet potato and mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
  4. Gently fold the dry mixture through the wet mixture until fully combined.
  5. Pour batter into prepared tin.
  6. Bake in oven for 40 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and allow to stand for 15 minutes before cutting.

Enjoy warm or at room temperature. These brownies can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days, in the fridge for 4 days or frozen for several months.

*To prepare mashed roasted sweet potato: heat your oven to 200°C; place washed un-peeled whole sweet potatoes onto a tray and roast for approximately 1 hour; remove from oven and when cool enough to touch, gently peel away the skin; place in a bowl and mash.

This recipe is a variation of one from ‘nourish by ashlyn’. http://nourishbyashlyn.com/2013/12/13/vegetables-can-be-deceiving-paleo-sweet-potato-chocolate-brownies/

Sweet potato quinoa balls


These balls of goodness are simple, tasty and nutritious. Eat them whenever, wherever and however you like – they are so versatile. Hard to beat crunchy and warm – fresh out of the oven though!

This basic recipe can easily be adapted to suit your taste. I split my mix in two – adding homemade pesto to one half and ground cumin & coriander to the other.


  • 1 cup of dry quinoa (white grain quinoa tends to result in a softer texture – try red or black grain if you prefer a rougher/crunchier mix)
  • 400-500g sweet potato
  • 1 zucchini, grated and squeezed
  • sesame seeds for rolling
  • optional – pesto, spices, …


  1. Preheat over to 180 degrees celcius.
  2. Prepare your sweet potato. Roast the sweet potato WHOLE until it is cooked through. Remove the skin of the sweet potato and mash the flesh.
  3. Prepare your quinoa. Bring the quinoa and 1.5 cups of water to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until tender and the liquid has been absorbed (15-20 minutes).
  4. Place the quinoa, sweet potato, zucchini and (optional) ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Mix well and then leave to cool.
  5. Form small balls of the mixture and roll in sesame seeds.
  6. Bake the balls in a moderate oven until crispy on the outside.

Baking banana bread with banana flour.


This was my first experience using banana flour, and it certainly won’t be the last.

I had absolutely no idea what to expect. Banana flour is perhaps one of the lesser known gluten free flours and so it is harder to source information on the net about it. What was clear is that it is a fantastic source of resistant starch, perhaps one of the richest in the world, and also high in potassium, magnesium, dietary fibre and vitamin E.

This banana bread is light, yet moist. Without a doubt the lightest, fluffiest baking I’ve done yet with a healthy gluten free flour!

BANANA BREAD (using banana flour)

  • 450g mashed ripe banana
  • 150g banana flour
  • 80g coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • juice of 1/2 a lime (or equivalent of lemon)
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 3 tbsp water


  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.
  2. Combine the banana, flour, coconut oil, baking soda and lime. Mix well in a food processor or blender to make a batter.
  3. Combine the chia seeds and water.
  4. Stir the chia seed mixture through the banana batter.
  5. Pour the mixture into a lightly greased (or lined) bread baking tin.
  6. Bake for 45-60 minutes until golden and cooked through.

Bon appétit!

Passionfruit, lime and blueberry raw walnut cake

IMG_3597I don’t know why I haven’t combined these flavours before. They make for one hell of a flavour bomb.

Raw vegan cakes can be troublesome on the low FODMAP diet as they are generally packed with cashews, dates and honey. Walnuts and maple syrup have proven to be perfectly respectable substitutes. The dates, however, are difficult to replace in the base. If you can tolerate a small amount of dates, I highly recommend using them. If you’d rather not, the base can be made by increasing the quantity of nuts and adding maple syrup and coconut oil.

This raw treat is best stored in the freezer and eaten slightly thawed (5 mins out of the freezer).


(this recipe makes a rather large quantity – feel free to halve it)

Crust (choose option 1 or 2)

  • Option 1: low fodmap
    • 1 cup of almonds (raw or roasted if you prefer)*
    • 1/8 cup of coconut oil, melted
    • 1/8 cup of maple syrup
  • Option 2: regular
    • 1/2 cup of almonds (raw or roasted if you prefer)*
    • 1/2 cup of dates, de-seeded

*Feel free to experiment with nut combinations in your crust. I quite like a mix of almonds and brazil nuts.

Passionfruit & lime layer

  • 1 1/2 cups of raw walnuts, soaked for at least 5 hours (overnight is best)
  • Juice of four limes
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup of passionfruit pulp (or more)

Blueberry layer

  • 1 1/2 cups of raw walnuts, soaked for at least 5 hours (overnight is best)
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)


  1. Prepare the crust by placing crust ingredients in a food processor and pulsing until the mixture holds together.
  2. Press the crust mixture into a medium sized rectangular baking dish.
  3. Combine the coconut oil and maple syrup for both layers in a small saucepan and heat until liquid.
  4. Combine half of the coconut oil and maple syrup mixture with the remaining passionfruit & lime layer ingredients (walnuts, lime, passionfruit) and blend in a powerful blender until smooth.
  5. Spoon/pour the passionfruit & lime mixture over the crust layer.
  6. Combine the remaining coconut oil and maple syrup mixture with the remaining blueberry layer ingredients (walnuts, lemon, blueberries) and blend in a powerful blender until smooth.
  7. Spoon/pour the blueberry layer mixture over the passionfruit & lime layer.
  8. (optional) Decorate your raw cake with a little extra passionfruit!
  9. Freeze until solid. Serve slightly thawed.


Ps. I should note that the inspiration for my raw cakes comes from My New Roots: http://www.mynewroots.org/site/2011/01/raw-cashew-dreamcake-2/


Zucchini and Pea Fritters

FullSizeRender 5I love cooking at my parents’ place. Not only is my mum a wealth of cooking knowledge but she is a great kitchen hand and her garden is overflowing with organic produce. Her leeks, dill, mint, arugula and cherry tomatoes all made their way onto our breakfast plates this morning.

These zucchini fritters were laborious but totally worth it!


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(serves 4-5, makes 12-14 fritters)


  • 1 ½ cup chopped leeks
  • 450g squeezed grated zucchini (To prepare this use approx 800g of fresh zucchinis. Grate and salt them and then leave to stand for 15 minutes before squeezing to reduce liquid content)
  • 2/3 cup frozen peas
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • ½ cup almond meal
  • ½ bunch of dill, chopped
  • ½ bunch of mint, chopped
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • Extra oil for cooking (I used coconut oil)

To serve

  • Avocado salsa: avocado, cherry tomatoes, dill
  • Lemon wedges
  • Arugula


  1. Sauté the leeks in a pan with a little oil for approx. 10 minutes. Add the ground cumin and coriander. Sauté for another minute.
  2. In a mixing bowl combine the sautéd leeks with the remaining ingredients.
  3. Heat some coconut oil in a large fry pan.
  4. Dollop a heaped spoonful of batter into the pan. Slightly spread it out to form a circular shape. Cook each side for approx. 3 minutes or until golden. Repeat with the remaining batter.
  5. Serve the fritters with an avocado salsa, lemon wedges and handful of arugula.

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Sweet Potato and Ricotta Gnocchi

Gnocchi has long been on my ‘to make’ list. Never did I think it would be quite so easy and delicious. M & I scoured the internet for a suitable low fodmap recipe. Sweet potato, ricotta and sage stuck out as the perfect combination (and it was). Dinner was a dish of delightful pillows of deliciousness!

We used a recipe of Paola from ‘Italy on my mind’ (http://italyonmymind.com.au/2013/11/03/sweet-potato-and-ricotta-gnocchi-gluten-free/) with a few variations. She suggests using 1 ½ – 2 cups of gluten free flour and butter to cook the sage in. We only needed 1 cup of my gluten free flour* and opted for coconut oil to fry the sage. If you prefer more of a sauce for the gnocchi then a greater quantity of coconut oil will be needed. The gnocchi is so flavoursome that we found it paired perfectly with crispy fried leaves of sage and required nothing more! Furthermore, we browned the gnocchi in a fry pan after boiling it. This certainly improved the flavour of the gnocchi and improved their appearance too.

This recipe does contain lactose. The quantity however is suitable for the low fodmap diet. Quantities of ricotta up to 40g per person and 60g parmigiano should be tolerated by most people.


(serves 4)

  • 800g sweet potatoes
  • 150g ricotta (we used light and it worked well)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Large pinch nutmeg (or a little more!)
  • ¾ cup parmigiano cheese
  • 1 – 1 ½ cup gluten free flour (plus extra for dusting and rolling AND potentially for your dough depending on consistency).
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 24 sage leaves
  1. Bake the whole sweet potatoes in a pre-heated oven (200 degrees) for 45-60 minutes or until soft.
  2. Remove from oven and peel.
  3. Mash the sweet potato.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the ricotta, cheese, salt, nutmeg and egg yolk, adding the mashed sweet potato last.
  5. Add ½ cup flour to the potato mixture. Mix and check consistency. Continue to add flour in ½ cup increments until the dough is soft but cohesive. It should be able to be rolled into a long sausage. We only needed 1 cup flour, but Paola’s recipe calls for up to 2 cups. The quantity you require will depend on the content of your gluten free flour.
  6. Lay some baking paper on the bench and scatter with flour.
  7. Cut the dough into 3 portions. Roll one portion into a long sausage, cut into bite size pieces and make an imprint on one side with a fork (this tradition developed to help the sauce stick to the gnocchi). Repeat this process with the other 2 portions.
  8. Boil a large pot of water.
  9. Add one piece of gnocchi. When it rises to the surface, it’s cooked. If it stays intact the consistency is right. If it falls apart add more flour to the dough.
  10. Boil all of the gnocchi (half at a time depending on the size of your pot). Place the cooked gnocchi on a tray covered with a tea towel or cling wrap to prevent it drying out.
  11. Heat a fry pan and gently brown the boiled gnocchi.
  12. In a separate pre-heated pan add the coconut oil and sage. Fry until the sage is crispy.
  13. Serve the gnocchi on four plates and divide the sage leaves equally among them. Sprinkle with extra parmigiano if you please! Buon Appetito!

*I bought my gluten free flour from Kunara Food store on the Sunshine Coast (http://www.kunara.com.au). It contains a mix of brown rice flour, tapioca flour, quinoa flour and sorghum flour. It worked perfectly in this recipe.

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Coconut and Carrot Soup

soup ingredients

Sundays are perfect for a big cook-up. This coconut and carrot soup is great to make in bulk and then freeze some for later. What’s particularly good about this soup is its nourishing ingredients – packed with ginger, turmeric and chilli it’ll clear your sinuses and boost your immunity. Another plus about this soup – it’s great hot or cold! The recipe is a low fodmap variation of Lorna Jane’s Coconut & Carrot soup (http://www.movenourishbelieve.com/recipes/recipe-of-the-week-coconut-carrot-soup/).



  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup of shallots, chopped
  • 1kg carrots, chopped
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves, chopped
  • 1 lemon grass stem, chopped
  • 2-3 inch piece of turmeric, chopped
  • 4 inch piece of ginger, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 4 Tbsps fish sauce
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 2 cups water
  • a couple of pinches of salt
  • bunch of coriander (to garnish)


  1. Sauté shallots in coconut oil in a pot over medium heat.
  2. Once softened, add carrot, kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass, turmeric, ginger, chilli and fish sauce.
  3. Stir and cook for 2 minutes (until fragrant).
  4. Add coconut milk, water and salt.
  5. Simmer on a low heat for 15 minutes (or until the carrot is soft).
  6. Cool for a few minutes before pouring into a blender (or using a stick blender). Blend until smooth.
  7. Garnish with coriander and serve hot or cold.


Crumb and Co – Isabel’s baking

My friend Isabel is a marvellous baker. In fact, she’s given up her position as an auditor in the city and enrolled in a pastry school in London. On the 5th of January she’ll head over there to further enrich her baking experience. I can’t wait to sample the goodies she’ll be producing this time next year!

Isabel’s baking generally isn’t low fodmap, but she has whipped up some delicious fodmap friendly treats this year (and no one has been the wiser!). Below I’ve included her low fodmap recipes for Berry Sour Cream Tart, Dairy Free Vanilla Ice Cream and two delectable roulades she made for her birthday dinner. There is some lactose in the tart and roulades, so if you are very sensitive to lactose, beware. A serve of 125ml of sour cream is considered OK on the low fodmap diet and 125ml of whipped cream is low fodmap (125ml serve of unwhipped cream is OK).

If you have Instagram – scope out Isabel’s baking at ‘crumb and co’.




  • 135grams Rice Flour
  • 20grams Tapioca Flour
  • 45grams Potato Starch
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 100g butter
  • 1 egg

*note: Isabel replaced the tapioca flour and potato starch with rice flour and it was delicious.


  • 200g frozen berries
  • 3tbsp Rice Flour
  • 300g sour cream (this isn’t great for Fodmap but as you said it would only be a small portion for each slice and up to 125ml is ‘OK’)
  • ½ icing sugar
  • 3 egg yolks


For the pastry

  1. Blend all dry ingredients in a food processor.
  2. Add the butter and process until resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. Add in the egg and blend until pastry dough forms (may need to add some water if the mixture doesn’t form into a dough)
  4. Remove dough from the processor and press into a tart dish and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  6. Place baking paper in the base of the tart and fill with rice or dried beans and blind bake for 15 minutes.
  7. Remove the paper and cook for a further 10 minutes.

For the filling

  1. Combine all filling ingredients (expect for frozen berries) and whisk until smooth.
  2. Pour over filling into tart tin and scatter on the frozen berries.
  3. Bake at 160C for about 45minutes or until set.
  4. Allow to cool before removing from the tart tin.
  5. Dust with icing sugar once cool and serve.




  • 2 vanilla pods
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla bean paste
  • 1x400g tin of light coconut milk
  • 300ml unsweetened soya milk
  • 165g Maple Syrup (add less or more according to taste/sweetness required)

Method: Mix all ingredients together and place in freezer to set.




  • 5 egg whites
  • 275g caster sugar
  • 20g flaked almonds (at my birthday dinner I didn’t put these on as I didn’t have any)

For the filling

  • 150ml double cream
  • Vanilla
  • Berries


  1. Preheat oven for 160C. Line a tray with baking paper.
  2. Whisk egg whites in a bowl with an electric mixer until they form soft peaks.
  3. Continue to whisk whilst gradually adding the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is stiff and glossy.
  4. Spread meringue onto prepared tin and sprinkle with almonds.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until firm to touch.
  6. Remove and allow to cool.
  7. As with the chocolate roulade, I put a damp teatowel over the roulade whilst it is cooling as this helps with the rolling.
  8. Once cool, lightly whip the cream and vanilla and then spread over meringue. Top with berries.
  9. Roll up meringue firmly and slowly and chill in the fridge until serving.
  10. Dust with a little bite of icing sugar and cocoa powder if desired.


* Please note this recipe is huge and impressive but it you don’t want something to serve around 15 people then halve the recipe and reduce the cooking time to 18-20 minutes and use 6 eggs instead of 11.


  • ¾ cup cocoa (the best you can afford)
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • 60g softened, unsalted butter
  • 11 eggs, separated
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • Whipped Cream
  • Berries


  1. Pre-heat oven to 180C.
  2. Add the boiling water to the cocoa and mix to a paste. Stir the butter into the cocoa mixture and combine well.
  3. Put the egg yolks and HALF the sugar into a bowl and mix until pale and light. Add the cocoa mixture to this.
  4. In another large bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy then add the cream of tartar.
  5. Beat to soft peaks then slowly add the sugar, a little at a time, until all is incorporated and the whites form stiff peaks.
  6. Take a spoonful of the egg white mixture and mix into the yolks to lighten it.
  7. Then gently fold the remaining whites together with the yolk mixture.
  8. Place into a prepared tray and bake for 25-30 minutes
  9. The cake should rise up and be springy to touch
  10. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with some extra cocoa. Place damp tea towels over the cake and allow to cool completely.
  11. Once cool, cover with cream and berries and roll using the baking paper from the tin to support as you go and peeling it away gently.
  12. Place in the fridge until ready for serving. Dust with extra icing sugar and cocoa if desired.

Blueberry Chia Pudding


Chia pudding is a wonderful breakfast option for those on the low fodmap diet. The neutral flavour of chia seeds means you can never get tired of this pudding! One of my favourite variations is blueberry chia pudding. Remember to whip this up the night before so it’s nice and firm in the morning.


Serves 2

  • 1/4 cup of chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup milk ( used almond milk but you use whatever you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup of blueberry purée (blitz some blueberries with a little water in a blender)
  • 1/2 banana, blueberries, some LSA, cinnamon and yoghurt (to serve)
  • optional: maple syrup to taste
  1. Combine chia seeds, milk, blueberry purée and maple syrup (if using).
  2. Place in the fridge overnight.
  3. Add your toppings and enjoy!

Buckwheat Breaky


This is what I shall be waking up to tomorrow morning! It’s delicious. I started making it when I lived in Switzerland and it has been a favourite low fodmap breakfast ever since! It is not only low fodmap and healthy BUT super filling & tasty. If you haven’t tried buckwheat before… be warned: it might not be your thing. The flavour is strong and distinct (whatever that means!) and is considered ‘an acquired taste’. I love it though.

BUCKWHEAT BREAKY (2 generous serves)

  • 1 cup dry buckwheat groats
  • ½ cup + a slurp of milk (regular, soy, almond, your preference!)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • Pomegranate, passionfruit, blueberries (or your choice of fruit)
  1. Soak the buckwheat groats in at least 2 cups of water overnight
  2. In the morning: drain the groats
  3. Add the milk and banana
  4. Blend with an immersion blender
  5. Pour into 2 bowls or leave half for tomorrow morning
  6. Pile on the fruit et prendre plaisir… enjoy!