Friday, 25 March 2016

Arthritis Friendly Recipe: Hot Cross Loaf

Here is an easy recipe for a quick Easter hot cross loaf. At it's heart this is a soda bread recipe so there is no kneading or proving, which is great for arthritic hands. It's best eaten warm or within a day or two of making - something we have never had any trouble with. I'd say it is a good fibre-packed, healthy alternative to hot cross buns, but for me inhaling as many hot cross buns as is possible during the Easter period is a tradition in itself. Happy Easter!

Ingredients:

225g wholemeal flour (or you could use 1/2 white and half wholemeal)
25g rolled oats
1 medium egg
150ml milk
1.5 tsp baking powder
75g sultanas
1 tablespoon honey or golden syrup
1 tablespoon mixed peel (or you could use lemon or orange zest)
2tsp mixed spice

Mix the flour, oats, baking powder, spice and dried fruit together in a large bowl. In a separate jug, beat together the egg, milk an honey.

Combine the wet and dry ingredients and give everything a good stir until you get a rough dough. Add a little more flour if the dough seems to wet to hold a loaf shape or a little more milk if it feels to dry to come together.

Flour your hands and roughly shape the dough into a round loaf shape. Pop in on a baking tray and score a cross on it with a sharp knife. Bake for 25-30 minutes until well risen and lightly golden. Allow it to cool on a rack.

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Arthritis Friendly Recipe: Cloud Bread

Other than the chocolate variety, my two year old will not normally touch eggs. This is perhaps unsurprising as I couldn't stand even the sight of them until I decided to learn to cook them myself in my teens and discovered that actually frittatas, tortillas and eggy bread were all pretty delicious. However, as she also isn't fond of meat, I've been on a bit of a mission to encourage her to eat them recently - and I think I have finally cracked it (yes, pun intended) with this gluten free cloud bread. We've eaten these fluffy clouds with fillings for lunch and as a tea time snack with maple syrup. If you follow a low-carbohydrate (such as the AS/London/no starch diet) or a gluten-free diet then they also make a great alternative to a bread roll.

The recipe is quick and easy to make as long as you make sure you whisk the whites until they are really stiff and fold the yolk mixture in carefully. I wouldn't personally attempt this without a stand mixer but there may well be braver and stronger whisk-ers out there than me!


Ingredients:

2 large eggs

30g (2tbsp) light cream cheese
1/4 tsp ground psyllium husk or 2tsp ground flaxseed (optional but helps the texture and adds fibre)
A little sunflower or rapeseed oil for greasing a baking tray

Makes 6 clouds
Preheat the oven to 150C and grease a large baking tray with a little oil.
Carefully separate the eggs. In a small bowl, beat the yolks together with the cream cheese, psyllium husks or flaxseed (if using) until smooth.


In a clean, large bowl whisk the eggs whites until they form stiff peaks. You should be able to turn the bowl upside down without them budging if they are whisked enough.
Fold one spoonful of the whisked egg whites into the yolk mixture to lighten it, then gently tip this yolk mixture into the large bowl of whisked eggs whites. Fold everything together by delicately scooping around the outside and then cutting through the middle with a large spoon. Be very careful not to overmix - it's better to be left with a few little specks of visible egg whites than a floppy mix!


Dollop large spoonfuls of the mixture onto the baking tray, then place in the oven and cook for around 20 minutes or until the clouds are a gentle gold colour.
If you eat the cloud bread immediately it will be very light and puffy but it is also nice the next day split and warmed through.



Arthritis diet notes:
Eggs are packed full of protein, B vitamins, iron and selenium, all nutrients that several studies have shown people with arthritis sometimes struggle to get enough of. Many years ago it was recommended that we restricted our intake of eggs but the advice has changed -  nowadays you can eat as many as you like provided you don't have familial hypercholesterolaemia.

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