Although one doesn't want to over do snacks on the GAPS diet, they do have their place to add variety and to help children and young people (and us young at heart folks!) to 'stick' to it. Remember that ideally 85% of what we eat should be meats, vegetables and fats, keeping fruit and baked goods to be eaten between meals so that they don't interfere with digestion. Ideally , sweeter things should be served with fat (like butter or cream) to 'iron out' blood sugar spikes.
Our routine involves a mid-morning snack, usually served with cream or with a milk kefir smoothie.
If you are not doing GAPs but would like to reduce your dependence on grains or are grain-free, these make a delicious alternative,
To this end I like trying out new ideas. Here are three of our latest favourites. The first was inspired by a recipe in the Daily Telegraph's New Year fitness programme. The second is a chocolate cake that has evolved by trial and error. The third is a recipe you will find anywhere, with a GAPS twist. All rely on dates to sweeten them. I have found 'Whitworths block dates' to be the most cost effective way of buying dates.
50g linseed (flax seed) - from the health food shop or a superstore
1 cup walnuts (100g)
1 cup dessicated coconut (85g) preferably free from additives)
1 cup dates (180g) soaked in water to soften them
50g butter melted
1 heaped tablespoon peanut butter ('Meridian' brand is GAPS legal)
1. Grind the flax seeds to powder (I use my smoothie maker for this).
2. Chop the dates up small in the food processor.
3. Put the linseed in the food processor with the walnuts and add the dates (minus the soaking water -
you can drink that!). Mix together.
4. Melt the butter.
5. Add the melted butter, peanut butter and coconut to the date mixture and mix it all together.
6. Put in a prepared, greased, lined 8x8 baking tin.
7. Bake for 20 mins Gas 4, fan 160 deg., other 180 deg.
This is so moist and grain cake-like, you can serve it to guests and they won't know the difference! No coconut flour or other strange ingredients and only 2 eggs. You will need to keep it in the fridge though. It makes 16 small pieces, but you won't want a big one as it's quite rich. Serve with cream for a decadent experience! No grains or sugar in sight! Just don't tell them the ingredients! It will probably become our staple birthday/general celebration cake from now on.
1 cup soaked and wet cashews
1 cup tightly packed diced courgette
1 cup dates, soaked to soften them
4 oz butter (1/2 cup) melted
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter very soft (4 0z)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup cocoa or to your taste
1 tsp vanilla (optional - no alcohol or additives for GAPS diet - Waitrose do one)
6 hours before starting, put the cashews in a bowl of water and leave to soak. Drain before using.
1. Grind the nuts in a food processor until they resemble breadcrumbs.
2. Add in the courgette and spin again until no lumps remain.
3. Add the dates and mix again. doing them individually helps to achieve the soft texture.
4. Then add the eggs and melted butter.
5. Add the cocoa cocoa powder and mix to incorporate.
6. finally add the baking soda and pulse just to mix in.
7. Divide between two 8 in. cake tins, greased and lined.
8. Bake Gas 4, fan 160, or 180 deg. until a knife inserted comes out clean, approx. 30 mins.
9. Leave to cool before taking out of the tins.
10. Mix the butter, cocoa and honey together, with the vanilla if using until well combined and silky.
I do taste the icing to make sure it's sweet enough, if not add more honey, or chocolaty enough.
11. Spread over the top and inside of the cake.
Variation: you can make 15/16 small cup cakes instead, baking for about 25 mins. top with the butter icing and store in the fridge if they last that long!
Nothing earth shattering here, though I tried to use dates to sweeten them to lessen/replace the sugar/honey. Obviously we can't use any kind of thickener as used in conventional recipes. Sons thought they were wonderful.
1. Soak 5 or 6 dates or equivalent from a block in a mug of hot water. Once soft, blitz them (just the dates) with a stick blender.
2. Take as many egg whites as you have (4 is a good number to make a good sized batch)
3. Whisk until they stand up in peaks.
4. Carefully fold in the dates.
5. Then measure out 2 cupfuls of desiccated coconut ( for 4 eggs whites) and fold that into the mixture too. (Or how ever much it takes to get a mixture that holds together)
You could add some cocoa, vanilla (make sure it is GAPS legal), or raisins or other dried fruit as long as it still holds together when you put spoonfuls on a greased and lined baking tray.
6. Pop in the oven Gas 4, fan 160 or 180 deg. and check after 10 minutes. Coconut burns quite easily.