Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.
A decadent vanilla layer cake that contains no sugar and no gluten – you must be dreaming, right? No, this is real life, thanks to Carolyn Hartz’s Sugar Free Baking book, set for release in October.
“We all know that we should decrease our sugar intake, but the assumption is that if you give up sugar, you are giving up desserts and treats – this is just not the case!” says Carolyn.
Free of white sugar and hidden sugars such as agave and rice malt syrup, this recipe is the ultimate sweet-treat in which you can certainly have your cake and eat it, too!
150g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra to grease
100g Perfect Sweet xylitol
3 extra-large eggs
200g almond meal
1 tsp gluten free baking powder
Pinch of salt
180 ml milk, lukewarm
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
500ml whipping cream
400g fresh berries of your choice
200g Perfect Sweet Berry Jam
75g Dark bitter chocolate, melted (optional)
Rose petals or edible flowers to decorate (optional)
- Preheat oven to 150˚C/130˚C fan-forced. Grease a 24cm round cake pan with butter and line with baking paper.
- Use an electric beater to beat the butter and xylitol in a medium bowl until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat well.
- Mix the almond meal, arrowroot, gluten free baking powder and salt together in a separate bowl. Add to the egg mixture and combine on low speed. Add the lukewarm milk and vanilla and stir until combined.
- Pour mixture into prepared cake pan and bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- Cool in pan for 10-15 minutes then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Repeat this recipe twice for the remaining layers.
- To assemble, whip the cream in a medium bowl until soft peaks form.
- Set aside 1 cup of the whipped cream and 150g of the fresh berries to decorate the top layer.
- To assemble, place the first cake layer on a serving plate and spread over half the jam, then half the remaining cream and top with half the remaining berries. Gently place the second cake layer on top and repeat. Place the third cake layer on top and finish with the reserved whipped cream and berries. If using, drizzle with melted chocolate and serve.
Tip: It is best to have the milk lukewarm as it gives the cake a better texture. It’s also recommended that you use strawberries when making your jam for use in this recipe.
This healthy oat pancakes recipe is so versatile it can be enjoyed as a savoury breakfast, a post-workout snack or as a dessert. It’s sugar free, high in protein and has the right balance of low-GI carbohydrates so it will keep you feeling satisfied for longer.
Serves 4 (8 pancakes)
2 cups Oatmeal
1/3 cup coconut flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup reduced fat milk
4 rashers fat-trimmed bacon
1 tablespoon oil for cooking
300 g reduced fat ricotta
Maple syrup (optional)
- Using a food processor, blend the oats until a fine consistency. Add in the coconut flour, eggs, baking powder and milk. Blend until smooth.
- Heat a non-stick pan. Cook bacon rashers until crispy. Set aside on paper towel to drain and keep warm.
- Using a non-stick fry pan, heat a tablespoon of oil on medium heat. Measure in 1/3 cup measures of the batter. Turn the heat to low, cook for two minutes on each side. Repeat the process with remaining batter.
- Serve pancakes topped with a spoonful of ricotta and a rasher of bacon.
- Add a drizzle of maple syrup for a more indulgent breakfast.
Rather than adapting a crazy crash-diet that won’t actually benefit your body in the longterm, there are eating plans which aim to make lifelong changes. The Clean and Lean Diet was created by trainer to the celebrities, James Duigan as a good mix of lean ‘curvy, slim and healthy, not scarily honed or skinny’ and clean ‘a body cleared of toxins’ as said by Duigan himself.
What are you allowed to eat?
Duigan suggests that in order to be successful within the Clean and Lean Diet, foods must be eaten in their most natural state. Heavily processed foods are not encouraged, since they quite obviously look and taste different to what they’re actually made out of. Stick to food which has a total of six ingredients or less.
Fresh unprocessed foods are the main focus, and every meal should include three key products: protein, fat, and vegetables. A variety of vegetables are encouraged, so don’t just stick to one – otherwise the diet won’t work for you in this way.
How does it work?
The principle behind the diet is quite simple, that the body doesn’t naturally cling to fat whilst it’s in the body. So eliminating harmful toxins altogether will lead to a slimmer waistline, and a stronger and well-rounded physique.
If you’re looking for cheat meals, the Clean and Lean Diet does form some type of flexibility for that sweet tooth. Although coffee is usually discouraged from other diets, you are allowed to have one a day – better make the most of it!
Since the focus is mainly on fresh fruits and vegetables, you will find that your body will change the way it processes food. This may lead to a faster metabolism, increased energy, and a slimmer waistline as the diet moves onwards from the six-month mark.
There is no way to a achieve a healthy standard of living without some daily or weekly exercise. The Clean and Lean Diet encourages followers to partake in their favourite sports or activity at least 2-3 times a week in order to stay active. Even walking instead of taking the car is a conscious effort which will no-doubt make your body feel better!
Who else follows the diet?
Celebrity fans include much of the Victoria’s Secret angels such as Lara Stone and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley who have been on the eating plan for a number of years. Although, you don’t have to be a supermodel to make the diet work for you! Actor Hugh Grant also follows Duigan’s easy steps to achieving a healthier lifestyle one step at a time.
Do you have to count calories?
Absolutely not. The Clean and Lean Diet is not only easy to follow, but it’s also really effective because there aren’t any major rules to abide by. If you do find yourself digging into a packet of chips, you can always salvage the rest of the day by eating something healthy, and engaging in one of your favourite sports.
One of the Clean and Lean fundamentals is that your past does not equal your future, and there is always another chance at a fresh start.
What does a sample eating plan look like?
Water with lemon and lime, bread with half an avocado, or poached eggs with asparagus
Spinach and salmon omelette
Spicy salsa chicken and avocado salad
Would you try The Clean and Lean Diet?
Image via Rosie Huntington-Whiteley Fans