Coeliac disease is a serious lifelong autoimmune disease caused by a reaction to gluten. Once diagnosed, it is treated by following a gluten free diet for life. 1 in 100 people in the UK have the condition.

My blog started in 2014 as a way to come to terms with this, but I’ve recently relaunched it to be more of a hub to help others and to offer delicious and nutritious recipes and tips.

When my kids were first diagnosed, we emptied out our food cupboards and decided to go completely gluten free. It was an overwhelming experience. In one way there was a huge sense of relief that my children could now start to get better but on the other hand we had to change the way we lived.  My first online shop took me two weeks as I looked through every single ingredient and then cross checked it against the Coeliac UK electronic database. It’s slightly easier than that nowadays with their new app and more things are gluten free.

After the initial change I started to feel quite poorly as we were eating a lot of gluten free pasta and bread and I found myself in a food rut unsure of what to eat. I was working full time and was at a loss as to how to improve things. I sought refuge in a private dietician due to our youngest being in such ill health and eventually a natural nutritionist who both helped me and the family improve our health and get into good eating habits.

We cut out sugar and processed foods and started eating a much healthier diet. We also began to improve our general gut health under the guidance of the nutritionist.  It did take up considerable time, but after lots of practise and finding new habits, we are all so much more healthy and happy because of it. Through my journey so far, I have found a good balance of offering kids a highly nutritious diet along side empowering them to love food, cooking and take control of their own health.

I’ve chosen Cherry and Pecan Raw Brownie recipe for Kitchen Table Coach readers as it’s not only really simple to make, but it is delicious and is a sure way to take away any chocolate or sweet cravings.  It takes 10 minutes and anyone, even kids, can make this as long as you have any bog standard food processor or blender.  It’s a perfect pick me up treat or an alternative to an after dinner chocolate. You can even sprinkle it with petals, other nuts or dried raspberry powder to make a decadent but healthy gift to a friend.

Cherry and Pecan Raw Brownie Recipe

BROWNIE BASE:

150g dates, stones removed
50g whole almonds (you can use ground almonds for a smoother texture or if your food processor isn’t very powerful)
50g hulled hemp seeds
50g raw cacao powder
50g dried black cherries
30g pecan nuts
50g coconut oil
1/2 tbsp maple syrup
TOPPING:
50g 70% dark chocolate, chopped
1 tbsp coconut cream

SPRINKLES:

pecan – is what I have done here
5g pistachios, chopped or
2g freeze dried raspberry

DIRECTIONS

    1. Put the dates, almonds, hemp seeds, cacao into a food processor and blitz until well mixed.
    2. Add the cherries, coconut and maple syrup and mix together to bring it all together.
    3. Then add or stir in the broken bits of pecan nuts.
    4. Spoon the mixture into an 18cm (7in) square cake tin.
    5. Put the tin into the freezer for around 15 minutes, to firm up the brownie mix.
    6. Meanwhile, melt together the dark chocolate and coconut cream in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water.
    7. Once the chocolate mix has melted, smooth it over the top of the brownies, sprinkle with the pecans, pistachios or raspberries and allow to set in the fridge for 5 minutes.
    8. Cut into squares and serve, or store in the fridge for up to a week.