Guilt-less Desserts & Treats for your Family
I don’t like to get up on my soap box here at Mummy Made.It. I figure you visit me to get tasty recipes and read my (occasionally) witty stories but sometimes there’s something that irks me so much that I feel the need to (over) share. I usually choose to get all shouty and opinionated when I think my experience might help someone else going through a similar situation… a cautionary tale if you will. So, with this caution in mind, read on if you wish or skip straight to the tasty recipe at the end.
I decided last week that I needed to seek medical advice for an ongoing gut health issue. This was a big step for me as I was trying to self-manage and have spent months researching and trying different protocols. After my initial verbal download to the Dr about my symptoms, fatigue and life her advice to me was this: lets test your Gluten serology and if we don’t find anything take a holiday.
This ‘advice’ floored me for many reasons.
The first (and most obvious) is that I have been 100% gluten free for over 10 years and I’ve already had the testing done. This was of course all in my notes.
The second was the notion that a holiday would fix my problems. I understand the role that stress plays in your health. As a primary health care practitioner myself I help patients identify their stressors and work with them on strategies to make lifestyle changes to make positive changes. It can be varied and is always individual, but there are some stresses in life we simply cannot change. If you have a stressful job you can (sometimes) change jobs or if you have a bad relationship you can (sometimes) remove yourself from that situation and it will help to reduce your stress.
But what if your stress isn’t something that you can simply ‘remove’ from your life? Family, work loads, extra curricular commitments, history and experiences…..
Now please don’t think that stress is automatically a bad thing. We are constantly placing our body under loads, whether it be to get the kids out the door and at school by 9am or braving the supermarket with a hungry and tired toddler. These aren’t negative things but they are things that take energy, patience and can test our resolve as parents and push us to our limits. They’re also not things that are likely to change in the next 5 years, regardless of how many lunch boxes I prepare the night before.
And of course, there is sleep – or more specifically the lack of sleep. I know that if I regularly got 8 hours a night (uninterrupted by either a child, my bladder or the husband snoring) many of my health issues would be better but I can count the number of full nights sleep (still not quite 8 hours but better than 6 hours) I have had in the past two years on one hand (or to be more specific, two fingers). There are all the obvious things to try and increase your sleep; going to bed earlier (but when the kids refuse to actually go to sleep ’til after 9pm then early simply becomes before 11pm), getting up later (hahahahahaha) or taking naps during the day (still laughing!!!). Sleep deprivation is just something most mothers get used to; we learn to function with less and we all live in hope that one day we’ll get more again. Going on holiday will not get me more sleep; especially if it involves 5 people in a camper trailer.
So if you’ve been to a health practitioner and walked away more angry than ‘fixed’ then please know you are not alone. If you’ve ever been told by anyone that you ‘just need to stress less’ than know that I understand the homicidal tendencies you may have had after hearing their ‘advice’. Stress is real, people; but it’s also variable, not always bad and can be helpful for growth. It’s also a part of life, especially with kids, so learning what we can change and what we can’t (and accepting that), as well as looking at what we can do to keep the pendulum from swinging too far to the manic right are the first steps to helping ourselves.
As for me and my ‘stress levels’; I know a good sleep is a luxury that I’m unlikely to see in the near future and I can’t control that so I need to work on other aspects of my life to make up for it. Nutrition and exercise are two things I can control so I will, as is gratitude and creativity. As for those other things, I think Stephen Covey said it best (or at least the Lisa version of this quote) with “you can’t change some one else’s action, only how you choose to react to it”. So I choose to react differently… even to the Dr!
Now that my rant is over (hey, it’s my blog!) let me introduce you to the best Gluten Free Scones ever! Not only are they Gluten Free Scones, they’re also Dairy, Refined Sugar, Egg and Nut Free, Vegan and Paleo friendly Scones. I didn’t think that title would fit in the browser so I shortened it!
I found myself on the weekend without a recipe to publish and share with you this week. I took to my Facebook page to ask for suggestions and there were three that I’ve taken to task, the first being these Gluten Free Scones. Julie requested Scones that actually tasted like real scones, and I knew what she meant. I have tried making Gluten Free Scones in the past and they’ve been either as hard as a rock or have ended up flat like a tough pancake. Scones are hard, man.
But with some experimenting I came up with these Gluten Free Scones and I couldn’t be happier… and so are my family who have been living on a diet of scones, jam and cream for the past two days. The scones are based on a traditional scone recipe with a few noticeable exceptions. I have used a mixture of Arrowroot and Coconut Flour to make the flour base. As neither of these contain raising agents I have added baking powder to the flour. Instead of butter, coconut oil is used. The coconut oil must be firm (or just softened) and not melted. Because of the Gluten Free flour mix I have added a small amount of Vanilla Extract to the recipe. This helps to mask the slightly bitter taste that can come from baked arrowroot.
When making these Gluten Free scones I found the best way was to divide the mixture into 10 equal parts and form small mounds/scone shapes to be placed close together on the tray. You can roll out the dough but that loses some of the air in the mixture and I prefer to make my scones a bit less wide and give them more height. This way they’ll be fluffy in the middle and can be easily cut into two.
What’s your favourite way to eat scones? Mine’s definitely with Jam and Cream although Lemon Curd would be my favourite ‘fancy way’. I have seen people top theirs with butter and cheese (so obviously not dairy free!) and even vegemite (yuck!).
Please make these scones. Maybe it can be your relaxation and eating them can be your bliss!
- 1 1/2 Cups plus 2 Tablespoons Arrowroot, plus an extra 1 Tablespoon for kneading
- 2/3 Cup plus 2 teaspoons Coconut Flour
- 4 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 4 Tablespoons Coconut Oil, hard or slightly softened
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 1 Cup Milk (of choice)
- Jam and cream for serving.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.
- Line and grease a large baking tray.
- Place the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
- Add the coconut oil, in 4 -6 lumps, and use your finger tips to 'rub' the oil into the flour. The mix will resemble bread crumbs.
- Make a well into the centre of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients.
- Using a flat blade knife (I used a butter knife) lightly mix the ingredients together.
- Using wet hands, knead the dough until it comes together in the mixing bowl.
- Place the extra arrowroot onto a clean bench and knead the dough for 1-2 minutes. It should come together and be light and elastic (it will resemble and feel a bit like play doh).
- Divide the dough into 10 equal portions and make into scone shapes, making sure they're at least 3.5-4cm in height. Place on the baking tray. OR
- Roll/push with your hands the dough into a 3-4cm high square. Use a glass/cookie cutter, cut out the scones and place on the baking tray. Cut out more shapes then re-roll and repeat until all the dough is used.
- Bake the scones for 12-15 minutes (depending on size).
- Serve warm with Jam and Cream.