Gluten Free Anzac Biscuits

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Gluten Free Anzac Biscuits

For my non Australian and New Zealand readers I will need to explain what Anzac Biscuits are.
ANZAC is a term derived from the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps which fought during World War I at Gallipoli in Turkey.

Anzac Biscuits are often assumed to have been sent to the soldiers in care packages at the time. Whether that is true or not I don’t know but what is true is that the biscuit has become a popular part of Australian and New Zealand culture. It is traditionally made with rolled oats, flour and golden syrup (light treacle) and interestingly doesn’t contain eggs. Again, reasons for this range from egg shortages at the time to needing to use ingredients that wouldn’t spoil on a long ship journey. Whatever the reason, the biscuit is delicious and one I remember fondly from my childhood.

Fortunately it can be made gluten free, and by substituting the butter in the original recipe with coconut oil, can also be dairy free and vegan. The end result is a tastybiscuit that is both chewy and crunchy at the same time,and one you can snack on and not feel guilty.

So here they are, my gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar free, vegan, Anzac Biscuits.


1 cup almond meal
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup organic desiccated coconut
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
1/4 cup organic virgin coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon water


In a large mixing bowl combine almond meal, slivered almonds and desiccated coconut. (If you don’t have almond meal, simply put a cup of almonds in the spice grinder or food processor and grind into a powder).

In a small pot combine honey/maple syrup and oil and heat gently.

In a small bowl mix the baking soda and water together and then pour into the honey/maple syrup pot and mix until it starts to froth.

Once it froths pour into the dry nut ingredients and mix completely until combined. You might need to add a small amount of water to ensure the mixture sticks together.

Take spoonful’s at a time and roll into balls in your hands and then place on a baking paper lined oven tray. With a fork gently flatten the balls (not too much or they will break apart).

Place in a preheated oven for about 25-30 mins at 120 degrees C until golden brown.

Remove and allow to cool before removing from the tray. While hot they are still fragile but will harden up once cool.


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Where to find Gluten-free Desserts in Ubud, Bali

Gluten free Lemon Ricotta Almond Cake with pomegranate molasses
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I spent a month in Ubud and I have to say it’s a foodie’s paradise. I haven’t been anywhere that can compare with Ubud in terms of providing such a great range of high quality food options at an affordable price. Particularly for people with dietary restrictions. In a previous post I had mentioned that having cows milk in your coffee was unusual in Ubud as there are so many other options, but it doesn’t just stop there. If you are vegetarian, vegan, gluten intolerant, lactose intolerant or just want some healthy dining options, there is plenty to choose from, especially if like me you are looking for gluten-free desserts.

My choices on where to dine were based on my own food intolerances, namely gluten and dairy, but also a desire to eat healthy and avoid refined sugar. After extensive and arduous research, at great risk to my waistline, I narrowed it down to the following favourites for gluten-free desserts:

The easiest places to get gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free desserts are the two Raw Food Cafes in town:

Seeds of Life 

A vegan cafe with great smoothies and salad bowls. Has an extensive selection of raw desserts to choose from.


Another vegan cafe, this one on the edge of Ubud in the area called Penestenan. Great smoothies and in my opinion the best raw desserts in town. Many of the desserts are sold out by mid afternoon so get there early.

A takeaway portion of the gluten and dairy free Coconut Cheesecake
A takeaway portion of the gluten and dairy free Coconut Cheesecake

Other Cafes:


This little Patisserie does a great range of macarons but also have Gluten and dairy-free cakes available

The gluten free and dairy free Choco Nest Cake at Caramel
The gluten-free and dairy-free Choco Nest Cake at Caramel

Gaya Gelato

Gaya Gelato has branches all over Bali and two in Ubud. All their ice-creams are gluten-free but they also have a range of dairy-free sorbets. Their range changes daily so keep checking back for new flavours. The great thing about Gaya Gelato is that they take food intolerances seriously and label each flavour clearly as to whether it is gluten-free, dairy free, nut free etc. My favourite is the Cioccolato Arancia!

Gaya Gelato
Gaya Gelato

Atman Kafe

An extensive menu with Gluten and dairy free options. Delicious Kombucha. But my favourite  dish has to be the Coconut bread with Berry Compote and Coconut cream. Gluten-free, dairy -free, and refined sugar-free. Absolutely delicious! Sadly I only discovered it a few days before leaving but had it for breakfast every day after that.

Gluten free Coconut Bread with Berry Compote and Coconut Cream
Gluten free Coconut Bread with Berry Compote and a side of Coconut Cream and Palm Sugar

Kismet Cafe 

I believe this cafe serves the best Coconut Milk Latte in Ubud, something I had never had until visiting the town, but has now become a favourite way to get my caffeine fix.Also has some great vegetarian food options.

Coconut Latte

Seniman Coffee 

A hip coffee shop often filled with people running businesses from their laptops. Great coffee and cashew milk or coconut milk offered as non-dairy options

Coffee with a Side of Coconut Milk
Coffee with a Side of Coconut Milk

The Elephant  

A vegetarian restaurant with a beautiful view. Lovely place to sit and while away the hot afternoon hours over a cup of tea. The food is not great in my opinion, except for one dish. The Lemon Ricotta Almond Cake with Pomegranate Molasses. Gluten-free and to die for! It does have some dairy as it includes Ricotta but I took the risk and it was worth it. So good I ordered two!

Gluten free Lemon Ricotta Almond Cake with pomegranate molasses
Gluten free Lemon Ricotta Almond Cake with pomegranate molasses

Special Mention:

Hujan Locale 

Fabulous food from around the region with a separate Gluten free menu. One of my favourite restaurants in Ubud. They have gluten-free desserts too.


Locavore is perhaps one of the most expensive restaurants in Ubud. At the time of writing it cost IDR500,000 per person for the 5 course degustation menu. However after eating there I can honestly say it is worth every penny and I would gladly go back again. The 5 courses actually end up being about 15 courses once you factor in all the different Amuse Bouches which come between course. The meal is beautifully spaced, taking about two hours from start to finish but you never feel that you are waiting for the next course or that too many dishes are coming at the same time. The reason I mention them here is that they can cater for any food intolerances you may have. I had a fully gluten-free meal and left the restaurant with a full and satisfied stomach. Sensational food at a fraction of what it would cost you for something similar in Europe. You have to book a table in advance as they are extremely popular.

Their new outlet, Locavore to Go, serves a delicious gluten-free sweet potato bread. Great for breakfast.

Breakfast at Locavore to Go, with gluten-free Sweet Potato Bread
Breakfast at Locavore to Go, with gluten-free Sweet Potato Bread


Don’t forget to visit my Author Page on Amazon to check out my Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-Free Dessert Cookbooks

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Coconut Latte – Dairy Free

Coconut Latte
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Coconut Latte

Recently I spent a month in the delightful town of Ubud in Bali. It’s a beautiful place and if you haven’t been it’s well worth visiting.

What makes it even better is that for those of us who follow a gluten free and dairy free diet, there are countless options for eating out. In fact I have never been to a town where there are so many food options available for those who are gluten and lactose intolerant, but more about that in another post.

Indonesia is one of the great coffee growing nations of the world, and consequently Ubud has a thriving coffee culture with delightful coffee shops on almost every street. However what is interesting is that cows milk is almost an exotic ingredient here. Every coffee bar has non-dairy alternatives from the familiar soya milk, to cashew milk and coconut milk.

Now I have been a die-hard black coffee drinker for years but after visiting Ubud, my new addiction  is a Coconut Latte!

It’s delicious and the fat content in the coconut milk seems to blunt the effect of the caffeine, so you don’t get a caffeine spike followed by a crash. Instead it seems to have a gradual effect and I never felt hyper even after drinking two Lattes in quick succession. The coconut milk ensures a lovely creamy drink that despite the caffeine does actually have some health benefits. I’ve written about the health benefits of coconut many times before, but in summary, coconut is anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial.

I wanted to reproduce a Coconut Latte once I got home and after a couple of experiments found that it was easy to replicate even without a specialised coffee machine and milk steamer.

So here is how you too can do it:

I won’t go into the actual coffee making part because you will all have your own way of making the espresso. Personally I use a stovetop espresso maker.

For the coconut milk I use Kara coconut cream. It’s the same brand they use in Ubud and I found it works really well in the Latte. It also doesn’t contain any preservatives or emulsifiers.

Shake the can/carton first and measure 200 ml per cup into a small pot. If the coconut cream is really thick you can add water.

On a slow heat stir the coconut milk constantly until the milk becomes hot. It’s important to do this slowly as coconut milk can burn very easily.

Once the coconut milk is hot enough pour it into a blender and blend on high speed for 30 secs.

Its important to blend the coconut milk as it aerates the milk and gives a similar effect to using a milk steamer. You can also use a hand blender to get the same effect.

In each cup pour a small measure of espresso and then pour the blended coconut milk over the top.

Sweeten to taste. (The coconut cream has a sweetness all on it’s own so taste first before adding your preferred sweetener).


Don’t forget to visit my Author Page on Amazon to check out my Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-Free Dessert Cookbooks

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Allergy Free eating in Europe!

Cafe Central Budapest
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For the past few years I have been based in India. A country where until very recently, the concept of gluten free has been dismissed as some unusual fabrication from the west.

I have lost count of the times that I have been told that “it’s all in your mind” and “don’t worry it doesn’t have wheat in it, I put bread crumbs instead”. Things are changing slowly but I have grown used to the fact that when I eat out, I have to be very careful and can forget about having any dessert.

My wife and I had planned a lengthy trip to Europe and before going I was a little nervous about how I would manage to explain my gluten and lactose intolerance to restaurant staff in another language.

It turned out that I had nothing to worry about!

Language never turned out to be an issue, Europeans being incredibly multilingual making me feel very inadequate with my single language of English.

However what surprised and delighted me the most was that the European Union enacted a law in December 2014  that requires restaurants to label their menus with the allergens that each dish contains.

Menus now have a guide to allergens and then beside each dish are the letters pertaining to the allergens as listed in the key.

The 14 foods currently included in the European Union Food Allergen List  are:



Cereals Containing Gluten (wheat, rye and barley)




Tree Nuts

Soy (soya)






Sulfur Dioxide (Sulfites)

So it was easily to select a dish and see whether it contained gluten or lactose or any number of other allergens, some of which I never knew were allergens but certainly happy that I don’t suffer from. Celery for example!

The picture I took below is of a menu in German, although a lot of restaurants have English menus as well. But once you have seen one you just need to remember the letter for your allergen. For example if you have an allergy to gluten you remember the letter A and if you have an allergy to dairy products then you remember the letter G.

German Food Allergen Guide

Both of the desserts below for example contain milk and nuts.

Guide to Food Allergy

Even better were the fabulous Cafes in Vienna with their delicious coffees and incredible pastries. Every Cafe I visited had at least one gluten free or dairy free pastry.

Gluten Free Chocolate Mousse Cake
A Gluten Free Chocolate Mousse at Vienna’s famous Cafe Sacher
Gluten Free Fragilité, at Vienna's Café Demel
Gluten Free Fragilité, at Vienna’s Café Demel

It’s safe to say in the span of one month I ate enough cakes and pastries to make up for all the years I have spent in India!

Cafe Central Budapest
The famous Cafe Central in Budapest once a favourite meeting place for Hungarian writers
Cafe Central Interior
Cafe Central Interior


Gluten Free Hungarian Poppy Seed Cake
Gluten Free Hungarian Poppy Seed Cake


Don’t forget to visit my Author Page on Amazon to check out my Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-Free Dessert Cookbooks

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Naan Berenji – Persian Rice Cookies

Naan Berenji - Persian Rice Cookies
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Naan Berenji - Persian Rice Cookies

During my recent trip to Iran I visited a small town called Qamsar which is famous for making rose-water and I was fortunate enough to see them making it in front of me. The rose petals are picked in the early morning and then boiled in a large vat. The steam condensates and is then collected and cooled and the resulting rose infused water is then bottled. I brought some back with me and wasn’t sure what to do with it until, while researching traditional Persian recipes, I found a recipe for Rice Cookies which are gluten-free as well as contain rose-water.

Qamsar Roses

Qamsar Rosewater Still


(I have found rose-water available on Amazon here)


The original recipe calls for white rice flour and confectioner’s sugar. I have replaced these with red rice flour and coconut palm sugar but you could also use brown rice flour. I find palm sugar to be quite sweet so after experimenting found a ratio that is not too sweet and consequently the sugar content is much lower than the original recipe.

Red rice flour has many advantages over white rice flour. The process of milling the rice grain to make white rice removes the bran and germ thereby removing all the good stuff.
The rice germ contains B vitamins, calcium, zinc and iron, manganese, selenium, magnesium and other nutrients. We need calcium and magnesium to maintain healthy bones and teeth and to reduce the risks of osteoporosis and arthritis. Magnesium is also useful in lowering blood pressure. Because red rice is higher in fibre the rate at which it is converted into blood sugar is slower so you don’t get the insulin spike associated with white rice.
The thing that makes red rice stand out though is that it contains an anti-oxidant called anthocyanin. This is what gives it it’s colour. This anti-oxidant is believed to be anti-inflammatory and in lab tests have been shown to inhibit tumours.

Poppy Seeds are used as a garnish for the cookie and they come in two colors, black and white. The traditional rice cookie with it’s use of white rice results in a white cookie, and black poppy seeds are sprinkled on top. However using red rice flour and palm sugar the resulting cookie is brown and therefore as a contrast I used white poppy seeds, but the choice is up to you.

Poppy seeds contain minerals like calcium, potassium, magnesium and iron and are rich in dietary fibre and essential fatty acids (EFA). They are a good source of the EFA, Oleic Acid which helps lower the “bad” cholesterol LDL and increases the levels of the “good” cholesterol HDL.
The seeds are also an excellent source of the B-complex vitamins.

So here is my version of Naan Berenji – Persian Rice Cookies, gluten-free, dairy free and refined sugar-free.


2 cups Red or Brown Rice Flour

1 cup Coconut Palm Sugar (blend into a fine powder in the food processor)

1 cup Virgin Coconut Oil

½ cup rose water

2 eggs

Poppy Seeds



Separate the eggs and keep the whites to one side. In a bowl mix the egg yolks, palm sugar and coconut oil. Mix well.

Add the red rice flour and rose-water and mix well

In a separate bowl beat the egg whites then fold into the rice flour mixture.

Wrap the dough in cling film and rest overnight in the fridge. This will prevent the cookies spreading into each other when cooking and to ensure a more even consistency of the dough. It will also make the dough easier to work with when it is chilled.

The next day preheat the oven to 150 C.

Take teaspoonfuls of the mixture and roll into balls and place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Using a fork press them flat, at the same time making criss/cross indentations in the top of each ball. Sprinkle poppy seeds on top and bake in the oven for 20 mins.

Allow to cool before serving.


For more Cookie recipes like this take a look at my Cookies eBook on Amazon:

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Naan Gerdooee – Persian Walnut Cookies

Persian Walnut Cookies
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Persian Walnut CookiesI’ve made Walnut Cookies  before but after my recent trip to Iran I decided to try some Persian sweets and found this recipe for Naan Gerdooee, or Persian Walnut Cookies to give their English name. I have to say these are much tastier than my earlier recipe. They are crispy on the outside but nice and chewy in the center. Next time I may add some dark chocolate chips to the recipe as this I think will complement the walnut quite well.

Naan Gerdooee are usually made with powdered white sugar, I instead used organic Coconut Palm Sugar and ground it to a powder in the mixer.

Coconut Palm Sugar is made from the sap of the Coconut Palm flowers. Although it is not  an ingredient used in Iran I prefer to use it because it has a lower GI than white sugar and it is full of minerals and vitamins. It also contains a fibre called Inulin which helps slow the absorption of glucose keeping blood sugar levels down. Coconut Palm sugar is used in many Asian herbal medicines and is a great cure for acidity. Just dissolve a teaspoonful in warm water and drink it. It is high in calories though so don’t overindulge in it thinking that it is a health food and you can eat as much as you want to.

These Persian Walnut Cookies are of course gluten-free, and dairy-free.


6 egg yolks
1/3 cup powdered organic palm sugar
1 tsp vanilla powder
3 cupswalnuts
(Optional) 1/3 cup of dark chocolate chips, darker the better


Put the walnuts in a food processor and chop into a coarse meal. Keep to one side.

In a bowl whisk the egg yolks with an egg beater until combined. Add half the palm sugar and mix. Add the remaining sugar and keep whisking for a few minutes until the consistency is creamy.

Add the vanilla powder and walnut meal (and chocolate chips if you are adding) and mix until you get a moist dough.

Using two teaspoons place dollops of the mixture on a baking paper lined oven tray and garnish each one with half a walnut.

Cook for 20 minutes at 150 C.

Remove and cool before serving.

Enjoy with a nice hot glass of Iranian black tea!

For more Cookie recipes like this take a look at my Cookies eBook on Amazon:

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The hidden dangers of food coloring!

Food colorings
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Food colorings

One thing I always do, and make sure that I tell other people to do, is “read the label” whenever I buy packaged food. It is often horrifying to discover what is added to an innocent looking food item in order to preserve it’s shelf life or to appear more attractive.

One of the items to be careful of are food colors, particularly in candies and foods aimed at children. If these food colors are made from artificial substances it could be doing you and your family a lot of harm.

Food dyes are synthesized from coal tar and more recently petroleum. Food colors come in two forms, dyes, which are water soluble and are found in powdered items and liquids, and lakes which are not water soluble and are found in food items containing fats and oils.

A number of these artificial food colorings have been linked to adverse reactions and food allergies.
Attention Deficit Disorder in children for example, is often attributed to the ingestion of food colors yet despite this they are most frequently found in foods aimed at children, for example, soft drinks, fruit juice concentrates, cereals and candies.

The most commonly used artificial colors and their known side effects are as follows:

Blue #1 (Brilliant Blue)

Linked to kidney tumours when tested on mice. Banned in parts of Europe.

Blue #2 (Indigo Carmine)

Causes a statistically significant incidence of tumours, particularly brain gliomas, in male rats. The Centre for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) says “It should not be used in foods.” Banned in parts of Europe.

Citrus Red #2

When tested on rodents was shown to cause tumours of the bladder and other organs.
Commonly used to colour the skins of oranges.

Green #3 (Fast Green)

Caused tumours in the bladder and testes of male rats

Red #3 (Erythrosine)

Banned by the FDA for cosmetics and externally applied drugs when it was found to be a thyroid carcinogen it is still used however in candies, maraschino cherries, and sausage casings.

Red #40 (Allura Red)

One of the most commonly used colours, it has been linked to hyperactivity in children and allergic reactions. It also caused tumours of the immune system when tested on mice. Banned in many European countries.

Yellow #5 (Tartrazine)

Another very common food colour, it is known to cause severe allergic reactions as well as hyper activity in children. Banned in many European countries.

Yellow #6 (Sunset Yellow)

Another color that causes severe allergic reactions in humans and has caused adrenal tumours in rodents. Banned in many European countries.

Sadly, the last three, probably the worst of them all, account for 90% of all food dyes used!

Whilst there is increasing awareness of the side effects of artificial colors resulting in countries requiring the strict labeling of colors in food, these colors are still being used. Most people don’t read the food labels so continue to consume the offending ingredients.

Companies use artificial food colors because they are cheaper and easier to use but it is not necessary. In fact many companies in the US which use artificial colors make the same product for Europe using natural colors as the use of artificial colors is either banned or highly restricted.

It’s interesting to compare the ingredient list for Skittles in the US to that in the UK

UK Skittles

E100 Curcumin
E120 Cochineal
E160a Carotene, alpha-, beta-, gamma-
E160e Beta-apo-8′-carotenal
E132 Indigo Carmine
E133 Brilliant Blue

Most of the colors in the UK version are naturally derived although it does still contain the bad blue colours linked to adverse side effects

Compare it to the US version which has:

Titanium Dioxide
Red 40 Lake
Yellow 6
Yellow 5
Blue 1 and 2

Bowing to consumer pressure, Nestle has now in fact removed all artificial colors from it’s products like Smarties, in UK and other European countries, replacing them with colors made from ingredients such as carrots and hibiscus.

If you make your own sweets and treats then it is easy to avoid these artificial colors and there are many ways you can add color to the dish.
For example beet juice provides the color red, Spinach juice the color green, and saffron or turmeric can provide yellow. If you need blue try blueberry juice. None of these have any adverse side effects and in fact they can be a beneficial addition to your diet.

So my advice? Make your own! If you can’t, then read the label carefully!

A useful resource to find out more about the detrimental effects of artificial food coloring is the CSPI report available here

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Quinoa Superfood Cookies

Quinoa Superfood Cookie
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Quinoa Superfood Cookie

Quinoa Superfood Cookies

This recipe is packed full of nutrition and is another cookie you can eat a lot of without worrying about the effects on your health.

Quinoa is an ancient grain originating from Central and South America and has become very popular in recent times.

It is gluten-free, and packed full of vitamins and minerals, including the B vitamins, vitamin E, Iron, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium. It also has higher protein content than wheat flour. It contains plant anti-oxidants which are anti-inflammatory and anti-viral, and is high in fiber.

Goji Berries are another superfood which has become increasingly popular. Originating from China and Tibet, they are an excellent source of Vitamin C   and contain high levels of antioxidants. Apparently they have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years as treatment for a number of ailments. In any event, adding more fruit to your diet, especially in the form of berries is always a good thing.

This recipe makes a delicious soft cookie and of course is gluten and dairy free.


1 cup almond flour

1 cup cooked Quinoa

2 eggs

¾ tsp baking soda

¾ tsp salt

1/3 cup almond butter

¼ cup virgin coconut oil

¼ cup honey

1 tsp vanilla essence

¾ cup goji berries


In a food processor mix together the quinoa, almond flour, salt and baking soda until you get an even crumb. Pour into a large mixing bowl and stir in the goji berries.

In another bowl whisk together the honey, almond butter and oil. Once combined add in the eggs and mix well.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Using two spoons put dollops of the mixture onto a baking paper lined oven tray, making sure to leave enough space between them as they spread while baking.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 150 degrees C for approx. 12-15 mins.

Remove and allow to cool before serving.


To see more cookie recipes like this why not check out my new Cookies eBook on Amazon!



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Dairy Free Banana Kheer

Dairy Free Vegan Banana Kheer
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Dairy Free Vegan Banana Kheer

Banana Kheer

I had some bananas veering on the wrong side of ripe so rather than toss them in the compost I decided to make my version of a popular Indian dessert called Kheer.

Kheer is usually made with milk, ghee and lots of white sugar, none of which form part of my diet. So I made a dairy free, refined sugar-free, vegan version using coconut milk and coconut palm sugar.

It’s delicious, nutritious and very easy to make.

You can adjust the sweetness to your own preference. I always prefer desserts less sweet and the raisins in this lend their own sweetness to the dish. You could also use any other sweetener like honey or maple syrup.
Another option is to make the Kheer with cooked rice instead of the banana and make it into a rice pudding.


2 cups Coconut milk

1 ripe Banana chopped into small pieces

½ cup slivered almonds and cashews

¼ cup Raisins

½ tsp Cardamom powder

Pinch of cinnamon powder

1 tbsp palm sugar (adjust to taste)


First lightly toast the almonds and cashews in an oven tray on a low heat and put to one side.

In a saucepan pour the coconut milk and add the banana pieces, raisins, cardamom powder, cinnamon, and palm sugar. (Start by adding half the palm sugar and add more if you require more sweetness)

Bring to a boil, stirring all the while, until the banana pieces are soft and almost falling apart.

Then add the toasted nuts and stir for another minute or so.

Pour into individual dessert bowls and either eat immediately as a hot dish or refrigerate and eat later cold


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Lea’s Mum’s Amaretti Cookies

Amaretti Cookies
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Amaretti Cookies

Lea’s Mum’s Amaretti Cookies

A few years ago my wife and I made a trip to Italy. Being lactose and gluten intolerant I was understandably nervous about eating in the land of pizza and pasta. However I was pleasantly surprised as Italy is well set up for people with these food allergies and I had plenty of delicious options to try.

While in Milan, Lea, a good friend of ours, invited us around for dinner and, along with her mother, had prepared a beautiful array of dishes which were gluten and dairy free.

One of my favorite items were the Amaretti cookies, which also became my go-to sweet snack while in Italy. I made sure I got the recipe from Lea’s Mum and was surprised at how easy they are to make.

These are gluten-free and dairy-free, and only have 4 ingredients. Very simple to make and delicious. Crispy on the outside and soft and chewy in the middle.

I have changed the recipe a little and substituted palm sugar for the refined white sugar that normally goes into these cookies.

Palm sugar has a lower GI and contains more micro nutrients than it’s refined cousin. However it is not as simple as substituting one for one and it took me about 3 attempts to get the cookie right, adjusting proportions and cooking temperatures. But apart from the sugar proportions and the cooking temperatures this recipe remains faithful to the original that I tasted on that lovely evening in Milan.

So here we go with thanks to Lea and her Mum:

Lea’s Mum’s Amaretti Cookies – Gluten free, dairy free, and now refined sugar free.


200 gms almond flour

100 gms palm sugar

2 egg whites

1 tsp almond essence


In a mixing bowl add all the ingredients and mix until combined. The mixture will be moist and sticky but don’t worry.

Cover the mixture and place in the fridge for two hours. This will firm it up and make it easier to work with.

After two hours, roll a teapoonful of the mixture at a time into balls and place on a baking paper lined oven tray.

While cooking they will spread slightly into dome shapes.

Place in the oven at 175 degrees C (don’t preheat the oven) for approx. 10 mins.

Monitor them closely so that they don’t burn or brown too much.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool and harden. You can, while they are still soft, place a piece of candied fruit or an almond sliver in the middle of each.

Buon Appetito!

To see more cookie recipes like this why not check out my new Cookies eBook on Amazon!


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