Regular readers of the blog know how I love to adapt recipes and break those rules, so when Indigo Herbs of Glastonbury offered to send me their gluten-free baking bundle to try out, well, how could I refuse!
Indigo Herbs is a UK-based company and enthusiastic advocates of healthy, natural living that’s affordable. They also believe in looking after our environment and only taking what we need; living side by side with nature.
The package arrived containing coconut flour, coconut sugar, coconut butter, banana powder and black and white raw sesame tahini. All the items were organic and sustainably sourced in line with Indigo Herbs ethos.
I used standard recipes and adapted them using the gluten-free ingredients, so without further ado, here are the two recipes I came up with:
Rhubarb & Sultana Tea Bread
- 250ml Rhubarb Fruit tea (you could use any red fruit tea)
- 275g Sultanas
- 2tsp Organic Banana Powder
- 50g Coconut Flour
- 150g Rice Flour
- 50g Ground Almonds
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 75g Coconut Sugar
- 1 egg
- 150ml Almond Milk
- Add the banana powder to the tea and soak the sultanas overnight or for at least two hours.
- Preheat the oven to 170c/325F/Gas3 and line a 900g loaf tin.
- Mix the flours, ground almonds and baking powder together in a large bowl.
- Add the fruit, egg and sugar and combine.
- Mix in the milk until you have a biscuit like mixture. The mixture won’t a soft dropping consistency but don’t panic.
- Tip the ingredients into the loaf time and press down.
- Cook in the middle of the oven for approximately an hour. You can use a skewer to check it’s cooked. It should come out clean when placed in the middle of the loaf. Place a baking tray on the shelf above to stop the edges from catching.
- Remove from oven and leave to cool.
- Slice and serve with a cuppa!
Tahini & Dark Chocolate Cookies
(makes sixteen cookies)
- 75g Coconut Butter
- 100g Coconut Sugar
- 75g White Sesame Tahini
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 25g Coconut Flour
- 75g Rice Flour
- 150g Plain Chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 180c/160c(fan)/350F/Gas4
- Cream together the butter and the sugar.
- Add the egg and tahini and beat.
- Add the flours and the baking powder and mix well. You should have a soft dropping consistency.
- Place teaspoons of mixture on a lined baking tray and cook in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Cool on a wire rack
- Once the cookies are cooled, melt the chocolate slowly in a glass bowl over a pan of hot water
- Dip each of the cookies in the chocolate to cover half of each cookie.
- Leave to cool on the rack and enjoy with hot chocolate.
I did worry that everything might just end up tasting of coconut. This isn’t the case. You do need another gluten-free flour as the coconut flour really can’t be used on its own. I tried it, it didn’t work. The packet recommends using up to 30% coconut flour in your recipe. This seems to work well and provides some more fibre in the recipes too.
The coconut sugar is a little like brown sugar. There has been much debate about coconut sugar and many feel it is healthier than raw cane sugar. It is, but only marginally as it still contains fructose. No sugar is better than any sugar but since this is never going to happen in our house this coconut sugar is a healthier alternative akin to honey perhaps and certainly a lot more sustainable than raw cane sugar.
I’ve tried tahini before but never in a sweet baking product and these cookies were seriously moreish. You could even kid yourself they are a bit healthy. I’m going to try the black tahini in a stir fry and I’ll let you know how that goes. This doesn’t taste overpoweringly of coconut either.
The banana powder is something I’ve never tried before and I’m not a great fan of banana but this has a more subtle flavour than the dried banana pieces I’ve had before and really added to the fruit giving it an almost rhubarb and custard flavour.
As for the coconut butter, I know how brilliant it is for the skin so I was intrigued as to how it would work in baking. I behaves the same way as butter when cooking with it and in fact creams down with the sugar much more easily.
I really enjoyed giving these products a go and I was really impressed with how the recipes turned out. Why not pop over to the Indigo Herbs website and have a look. There are some great ideas for alternative, healthier and sustainable products.
What are your favourite gluten-free products? Are you going to try out these recipes? Don’t forget to let me know below!