Spiced Ginger Cake

2015-Betty-UK_Ginger_graphic-desktopAs you know, I love to bake and creating recipes is something I really enjoy doing, however sometimes, a kit can be so helpful to have in the cupboard so that a cake can be made without having to get lots of ingredients in, if you’re in a hurry!

So, yesterday, I tried out the Spiced Ginger Cake from Betty Crocker and used the Cream Cheese Style Icing to ice the cake.

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I was really impressed with how the mix came together – I did have to add 3 eggs, some oil and water, so it wasn’t as simple as mix and go, but it was relatively easy and with the help of my mixer, a smooth cake batter was achieved so quickly without having to weigh out ingredients or go through different stages. Everything was simply tipped into the mixing bowl, the mixer was turned on and a few minutes later, the mixture was ready!

After I had prepared the mixture, it only needed pouring into two cake tins and baking for 23 minutes – perfect time to give the kitchen a quick clean up (needed for me as I was in the middle of my usual cooking and baking lots of things at once!) or just sit down and relax with a book for a while.

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The cakes came out of the oven perfectly risen and all I had to do was transfer them to a cooling rack once they had cooled a little in the tins.

Once the cakes were cooled, it was time to grab a palette knife and sandwich them together. I used around half of the tub of Cream Cheese Style Icing which was so easy to spread and held the cakes together well.

For the top of the cake, I used the other half of the Cream Cheese Style Icing. I decided to go for a smooth finish rather than the peaked finish.

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If you’re looking for an impressive-looking cake that is quick to bake and put together, this cake is for you! I was thinking after I’d finished that you could add some butterscotch pieces to the top of the icing for an extra finish although as you can see from the pictures, the Spiced Ginger Cake with the Cream Cheese Style Icing looks lovely without anything added on.

And right now… the cake is in transit as the boy has taken it to work today and I’m hoping it’s gone down well!

Have fun baking!

Rubelle’s Moon

     As a side note: this is not gluten or wheat free.

Triple Chocolate and Oat Cookies

CSudxIiW4AAvncHThese are a really great way of using up any oats you may have lying around and are also a very delicious treat to have in! They’re a soft cookie rather than a crunchy biscuit and taste great with a cup of tea – perfect for this time of year.

This recipe was passed on to me by a friend and with a few tweaks here and there, I’ve decided to share it with you.

Ingredients

115g Dairy Free Margarine or Butter

115g Soft Light Brown Sugar

1 Egg

1 Tsp Vanilla Extract or Essence

140g Self-raising flour (can be gluten free)

85g Porridge oats (can be gluten free)

115g Plain Chocolate Chips

50g White Chocolate Chips

50g Milk Chocolate Chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 190 degrees C. I use fan assisted, so adjust accordingly.
  2. Grease a large baking tray (if you have 2 the same size, grease them both – I don’t, so I baked my cookies in two batches!)
  3. Using a food mixer or wooden spoon, cream together the sugar and butter.
  4. Slowly add in the egg and beat with a whisk or beater attachment.
  5. Add in the flour to the mixture and slowly fold the ingredients together.
  6. Next, add in the oats and all three varieties of chocolate chips and stir it all up until everything is combined.
  7. Place heaped teaspoonfuls on the prepared baking tray (trays if you’re lucky to have 2!) – they don’t need to be neat, but you need to leave enough room to allow for the cookies to spread when they are baking.
  8. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes and check on the cookies – if they are beginning to turn golden, they are ready, if not, give them another few minutes.
  9. Leave on the tray to cool for a couple of minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

Keep your cookies in a tin and enjoy them with your friends… or on your own with a good book and a brew!

Enjoy!

Rubelle’s Moon

Haagen-Dazs and Warm Brownie

15353011_0_640x640So, I was asked by Haagen-Dazs to review their chocolate ice creams as part of National Chocolate Week… however clearly the world and his neighbour have been buying ALL of the chocolate ice cream in the shops near me, so, it was time to get creative!

I bought the Pralines and Cream ice cream and decided I would make an extra-chocolatey chocolate brownie to serve the ice cream with! Having been asked to make the desert for dinner, I thought I would rope my friends into helping me out to review the ice cream – as much as I would love to eat all the ice cream on my own, I decided to share! The recipe for the brownie is at the bottom of this post.

CSqPfHEWIAAR_WuThe ice cream was amazing – of course! The praline was sugary and crunchy and the ice cream was rich and delicious and of course, very creamy. We chose to eat the brownie warm, so the result was a combination of warm chocolate and cold ice cream – the perfect accompaniment to a Saturday night in!

I will still keep a look out for chocolate ice cream as there are two flavours I really want to get my hands on – Belgian Chocolate and Chocolate Salted Caramel. And, as soon as I track down one or both of these flavours, I’ll keep you posted!
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How to make your own Chocolate Brownie to serve with the ice cream (try to get hold of the chocolate flavours if you can!)

Ingredients

100g Dairy Free Margarine or Butter

70g Caster Sugar

180g Soft Light Brown Sugar

125g Plain Chocolate

1 Tbsp Golden Syrup

2 Eggs

1 Tsp Vanilla Extract or Essence

100g Plain Flour (can be gluten free)

2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder

1/2 Tsp Baking Powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C (I use fan assisted so adjust accordingly).
  2. Grease a rectangular or square brownie tin and line JUST the bottom.
  3. Put the butter, sugars, chocolate and syrup into a pan and heat over a medium heat, stirring until all of the ingredients have combined and are melted.
  4. Remove this mixture from the heat and tip into a bowl – leave to cool (not until cold, just so it isn’t hot anymore).
  5. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and vanilla together and add to the cooled chocolate mixture.
  6. In another bowl (or in your food mixer – I use my KitchenAid), place the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. Then, slowly add the chocolate mixture and mix on a low speed. Keep adding the mixture to the dry ingredients until it is all combined.
  7. Scoop the mixture into the prepared brownie tin and place the tray into the oven for 25 minutes.
  8. Leave the brownie to cool in the tin, on a wire cooling rack.
  9. Once the brownie has cooled, cut into squares and serve.
  10. If you want to have warm brownie with your ice cream, put it back into a low oven between 100 and 150 degrees C.

Enjoy!

Rubelle’s Moon

Hypnobirthing… really?

As we’ve reached the 10 week countdown to NovemberBaby making his arrival, I’ve started to give more thought to how D-Day is going to happen.

13729683ba20ddc87d0d6966e85b009eYesterday I went on a tour of the maternity ward so I’m feeling a bit more clued up about what to expect when I do go in! It’s all very calm and relaxed and absolutely nothing like ‘One Born Every Minute’ – probably more to do with the fact that the ward is very small but it’s just not the manic, chaotic place I had it in my head to be! I’m sure on a busier day, things could be a bit more mayhem and a bit less chill, but I had a very positive experience of looking around the ward! I’m not going to say I’m looking forward to the experience, but I’m certainly looking forward to the result of being up there as NovemberBaby will be here!

2ae863f8dcfcf38fa36c7763b07fb81dWe talked about pain relief on the tour and birth plans. I haven’t written a birth plan yet and am not 100% sure on what I would put in it exactly so that will be my next question for the midwife when I see her. However, I have researched into what is available in terms of pain relief so that on the day, I know what I’m being asked and what exactly it is that I want. The NHS have some super information which outlines what is available and there are videos you can watch too – http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pain-relief-labour.aspx#close I’d recommend giving this page a read if you are heading towards your own maternity ward experience any time soon!

what to expect when you're expecting book coverOne aspect I have been exploring has been ‘Hypnobirthing’. I heard about this idea through reading my wonderful book ‘What to expect when you’re expecting’ – a book I would say is a top buy for anyone expecting. It’s full of useful information, pictures, facts, Q&As and covers everything you might be anxious about week-to-week.

So, what is Hypnobirthing? That was my first question. And, I found my answer here at hypnobirthing.co.uk –

  1. HypnoBirthing is a complete birth education programme, that teaches simple but specific self hypnosis, relaxation and breathing techniques for a better birth. HypnoBirthing is much more than just self hypnosis or hypnotherapy for childbirth.

This website is really informative and this caught my eye – “How to release any fears you might have about childbirth…regardless of where they come from” I absolutely love the idea of overcoming any fears and dispelling any negative feelings I have about birth as I know that it is my own anxiety that makes me feel stressed and worried, so this approach looked perfect.

First of all, I downloaded a load of podcasts so I could get an insight into what hypnobirthing is. My favourite podcast to listen to was the BBC 5 Live ‘Bump Club’ podcast which you can listen to here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01qzfzm/episodes/downloads They have an episode dedicated to hypnobirthing and I really liked the fun but informative approach to the presenting and the fact that they interviewed professionals AND mums-to-be and new mums, giving a great, varied response. I’ve since listened to the rest of the ‘Bump Club’ podcasts and would really recommend them all! I listened to a variety of other hypnobirthing podcasts, but this one really captivated me and kept me interested.

f05a6c0b6c3d544c97603bf0edca9f0aWhen listening to the different podcasts and doing my research online, I discovered that through positive thinking and creating a calmer, more positive environment in which you give birth into can actually have an impact on breastfeeding your baby! This is something that I am keen to make a good attempt at and so this was another point to hypnobirthing – anything that was going to help with breastfeeding was, in my mind, a great addition to the whole birthing process!

I then went on to Amazon and searched for a suitable book to read and came across a book and CD combination which I bought and have already started reading and listening to. The set comprises 3 CDs for the different stages of pregnancy and labour:

  1. Colour and Calmness – relaxation for birth
  2. Confidence and Power – fear release
  3. Peace and Relaxation -further relaxations

I’ve so far listened to the ‘Fear Release’ cd and am aiming to listen to it at night as I fall asleep – it’s important you don’t listen to the CDs when you are actually doing something as they are so relaxing and could interfere with your concentration on the task you should be doing (e.g. driving!) As I move through the next 10 weeks, I’ll start listening to the other 2 CDs in preparation for D-Day as they are more centred around the actual day itself. The book is based on the hypnobirthing approach developed by Katharine Graves is designed to appeal ‘to those who have an interest in promoting calm and natural births and positive early years development’.

aa1bde25c815aada8842117fc3e4c7b9Another aspect that appeals to me about hypnobirthing is that it is developed with both mums AND dads-to-be in mind! Most preparation for the birth seems to be geared towards the mum and it could be seen that the big day is all down to the mum, when in fact, there is a lot of input from the dad on the day (or whoever your birth partner is!) so this approach really sounded ideal to me as I like the fact the NovemberBaby’s daddy can get involved too! I know that on the day, I will need his support and this calm approach will hopefully be a benefit to both of us and, according to the blurb on Amazon, it will allow us to ‘…look forward positively to the birth of their baby.

So, I’m giving it a go! I’ll keep you updated with progress, but for now, I think this is the most mental preparation I will do for the big day, everything else will be down to ensuring I have the right bags for me and NovemberBaby, that his daddy can find the car keys and we have change for parking. I’ve got an app that I can tick off the essentials and check that I have everything ready. So, now, not only are my bags organised, my thoughts are too and I’m feeling a lot calmer about the day!

If you have any thoughts or ideas about hypnobirthing, please let me know through commenting or drop me an email: rubellesmoon@gmail.com

Rubelle’s Moon

Why I bought a Tripp Trapp

I’m so excited now… 28 weeks and only 12 weeks to go until NovemberBaby arrives 🙂 Can’t wait… but I can… as there is so much to do, prepare, get ready and take in!

We seem to be pretty organised with everything – and then something else crops up and it’s like OHMYLIFE I have to get that?! What EVEN is that?! But then we get it, put it in the collection pile and one day, it will go in the draws or cupboards where it belongs (the nursery furniture is apparently arriving next week, but honestly who knows… it’s taken the company 8 weeks longer than anticipated so I shall just be glad when it’s here…)

CLfQmHrWEAAeMxyOne thing that took no thinking was the high chair… well for me anyway! I knew which one, what colour and how much it was going to cost and I also knew it would last a lifetime and become a very useful item – more than just a highchair! How did I know this? Because I had one as a baby/child and still have it at my parents’ house now, 26 years later! What’s the make? It’s a Tripp Trapp, made by a wonderful company – Stokke.

You may have heard of Stokke, you may have seen their strollers in various baby shops, but it’s their Tripp Trapp high chair that presents wonderful design coupled with practicality and for myself and the boy (soon to be the dad!) It’s a winning combination and as we are both from art/design backgrounds and have a long-standing love of all things Scandinavian, it was easy for me to ‘pitch’ this highchair as being the one we needed for NovemberBaby. The Tripp Trapp was Stokke’s first product for children and was launched in 1972 – the iconic Tripp Trapp® chair designed by Peter Opsvik. So, that would explain why I have one… I’m a 1989 baby and as I said, I’m from an art/design background and my parents are both huge fans of furniture that is both aesthetically pleasing and hardworking in terms of practicality and usage. You can see our Tripp Trapp to the left!

CNGIYoUW8AEq0z7When I say hardworking, I mean it! My 26 year old chair has been my chair, my sister’s, it’s been there for all of my cousins when they have visited (there are enough of them… I’m the oldest!), it’s even been the reason my cousin’s have ended up with their own Tripp Trapp and that’s just the highchair possibilities. It has served as a kitchen chair for years on end and prior to that it was a dining room chair when we didn’t have a kitchen table, it’s currently in the study serving as a computer chair for my dad and has part time use as a clarinet stand when needed! Sometimes the Tripp Trapp is a useful step ladder (no sock feet on it though please… slippy wood and cotton-enclosed feet a winning combination they are not!) and when the chair was in the kitchen, mum and dad’s chocolate labrador puppy (now a 9 year old dog!) decided he would experiment with the durability of the Tripp Trapp wood (it’s safe to say that even labrador puppy teeth had a job cutting through the tough exterior!) That’s my original Tripp Trapp on the right!

The Tripp Trapp grows with the baby and as they get older, various parts can be removed and changed so that it goes from being a highchair to a regular chair! It can support a variety of weights and as is evidenced through our continual use of the chair, it hasn’t given out yet under anyone’s weight!! This was another factor that appealed to us as we like the idea of something that can go from room to room as and when it is needed over the years and that does not just become another bit of limited life-span baby kit.

So, when talking to my dad about what he and my mum could get for the baby, dad said he’d quite like to get NovemberBaby a Tripp Trapp and I was over the moon! And when it arrived, I set about building it straight away.

About our new Tripp Trapp –

We ordered it in Natural, the same as my own one! Here’s where you can find out more: https://www.stokke.com/global/highchairs/tripp-trapp/1001.html

Stokke - Tripp TrappWe also ordered this lovely Baby Set in White – https://www.stokke.com/global/w/accessories/1593.html as the set I had with my Tripp Trapp is no longer available… I had a leather strap on mine which I tried to find an image of what it would have looked like and found this one from Norsk Design.

And finally, for added comfort, we ordered the Tripp Trapp Cushion in Beige Stripe – https://www.stokke.com/global/w/accessories/1003.html

Something we haven’t ordered yet and which I am debating is the Tripp Trapp Newborn Set – https://www.stokke.com/global/w/accessories/1866.html?dwvar_1866_color=110#_ Do you have it? If you do, I’d love to hear about it as I haven’t seen one in store and this is a massive leap on from what was available to my own parents! It looks lovely and I would love to find out more, if you could drop me an email rubellesmoon@gmail.com

I’m so happy to have a Stokke Tripp Trapp and will keep you updated with photos of it as it is used and as it grows with NovemberBaby!

Rubelle’s Moon

Wheat Free Cinnamon, Oat and Raisin Cookies

11326600_1607170266223437_2128860159_nThese can be gluten free too if you use gluten free oats 🙂

I’ve been looking for healthy, homemade treats that will keep me fuller for longer. I know oats are good for keeping you full if you have them for breakfast as they release their energy slowly so I thought if I could incorporate that into a snack then I’d be onto a winner!

These are super simple cookies and remind me of the sort of treat I used to make when I was younger. They are somewhere between a cookie and a flapjack and are so delicious!

They are still a bit of a treat as they have golden syrup in them, but they are packed with oats and raisins so they’re an every now and again type of snack!

Ingredients:

  • 50g Dairy free margarine
  • 50g Soft brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Golden syrup
  • 1 Medium size egg
  • 1 Tsp Ground cinnamon
  • 50g Doves farm gluten free flour
  • 1 Tsp Gluten free baking powder
  • 80g Porridge oats
  • 50g Raisins

Recipe:

  1. Heat oven to 160 degrees C – I use a fan assisted oven, so adjust your temperature as required.
  2. Grease and line a large baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
  3. First, combine the flour, baking powder, oats and raisins and mix together using a whisk or electric mixer. Then, transfer this dry mixture to a bowl.
  4. In another bowl, cream the margarine/butter and sugar together until soft – you can use a spoon to do this. I put the ingredients into my KitchenAid.
  5. Add in the golden syrup and continue to beat.
  6. Then, add in the egg and ground cinnamon continue mixing.
  7. Add the dry ingredients to the butter/cinnamon mixture and either swap the whisk to the beater on your mixer or continue mixing by hand until all of the ingredients are combined.
  8. Use a dessert spoon to scoop the cookie dough mixture onto the baking sheet – make sure you allow enough room for the mixture to spread!
  9. Bake until the cookies are lightly golden… this should take around 10-12 minutes. But, if your fan assisted oven is like mine, the two extra minutes can be the difference between lightly golden and charred to a heap, so keep an eye on your cookies after 10 minutes!
  10. Remove your cookies from the oven, they should not be crunchy or crispy, they should be soft to the touch.
  11. Leave them on the tray to cool a little and settle, then when they have firmed up (5-10 minutes), transfer them to a wire cooling rack.

These are so delicious when they are warm, so if after a few days of baking, you’re having a ‘I need a warm cookie’ moment, pop your cookie in the microwave for 20 seconds to get that ‘just baked’ taste!

Enjoy!

Rubelle’s Moon

Gluten Free Sweet Potato bread

20111114-133946I’ve made this quite a few times and have used a variety of recipes… but now, I’ve managed to adapt and create my own recipe and am so happy to be able to share it with you now 🙂

This is somewhere between a cake and a bread and can be eaten on it’s own with a cup of tea or, it’s great with sweet chilli jam and savouries (ham/cheese/sundried tomatoes… that kind of thing!)

It’s a great loaf and one you’re sure to crave as a tasty replacement to regular bread.

Happy baking!

First, you’ll need to make 200g of my Sweet Potato Puree:

1 x 300g sweet potato

2 x Tbsp Caster sugar

1 x Tbsp Milk (can be dairy free if you wish)

First, you need to peel and cube one small sweet potato, boil it for 20 minutes or until soft, then drain it and set the potato into a small bowl.

Then you just need to blend the potato with a hand blender and a tbsp of milk, slowly adding in the sugar until you have a really smooth puree which you can set aside until you need it – couldn’t be easier.

This can be made in advance, so you could batch make it and then freeze it so you had some in for when you need it.

Ingredients:

½ Tsp Dried yeast

½ Tsp Bicarbonate of soda

1 Tsp Gluten free baking powder

1 ½ Tsp Ground ginger

½ Tsp Ground cinnamon

¼ Tsp Mixed spice

70g Caster sugar

50g Soft light brown sugar

1 Medium egg

100ml Vegetable oil

150g Golden syrup OR Agave nectar

200g Pureed pumpkin

180g Doves Farm plain flour

75g Chickpea flour

100ml Hot water

Recipe:

  • Heat the oven to 175° celsius and grease a loaf tin.
  • Whisk the dry ingredients together (but NOT the sugar) – the yeast, bicarb of soda, baking powder, all the spices, the flour into a large mixing bowl.  I put mine into the KitchenAid and whisked the dry ingredients slowly together.
  • Put the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  • Now whisk the oil, egg and milk together in a different bowl (or in your food mixer).
  • Add the sugar and continue to whisk.
  • Now tip the dry mixture into the bowl and either use a wooden spoon or the beater attachment to combine the wet and dry ingredients together.
  • Finally, add in the sweet potato mixture and the 100ml of water.
  • You’re done! Now, pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin, put your lovely loaf into the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes, cover with foil and put back into the oven. You will need to bake your loaf for another 25 minutes.
  • Finally, remove your loaf from the oven and leave to cool for 5-10 minutes in the tin before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Enjoy!

Rubelle’s Moon

Bump and me… We workout! Keeping fit while pregnant.

ae0becfa4b90b8e1ab539da089ff2d41Finally, I’ve found something I can enjoy doing to keep me fit while pregnant!! YAY! I’m at week 24 now… 25 on Sunday and have found my want to exercise has really come back. I was really into the gym before being pregnant and was there 4-5 times a week doing a variety of classes, so it is good to feel like I want to workout again. The first Trimester was so hard as I was so sick so was unable to continue with any workouts then, and even into the Second Trimester, I was still experiencing nausea and sickness so found it hard to fit in a decent routine. Now, I’m heading towards the Third Trimester (week 27/28 depending on what you read and want to believe) and have a burst of energy. This is probably also helped by the fact that it is the summer holidays now!

I love to exercise for many reasons… it’s ‘me time’, I feel good when I’ve done it, I know that I’m looking after myself, I feel better about myself as I know I look better (happier and toned). But now, there’s another reason – I want to have a healthy pregnancy and as much as the whole birth thing freaks me out, it’s got to happen and as long as I am keeping myself fit and healthy, I am doing all I can to prepare myself for D-Day!

5e7ea73b0cb95d6c0ba16eea2c5f55b9Speaking to my own mum, I know how much she enjoyed swimming both when pregnant and then afterwards when my sister and I were small (and even now… we all love swimming and find it a great way to relax and tone up). So, this was an excellent reason for me to give it a go. And, of course, she was right and I loved it and am now trying to go a few times a week.

7-red-free-weights-lgnI’ve also been enjoying doing some VERY light free-weights in the evenings… Not much, just some simple reps of arm exercises. These only take me a maximum of 10 minutes and I try to do these in the evening just to keep my arms toned up. Pre-pregnancy I was doing HIIT, Bodypump and Kettlebells so I was quite into my strength training, so doing some light weight work has been good to keep me focused although I am by no means pushing myself like I was before.

What-to-expect Occasionally I do an exercise DVD. These are great for switching up my routine while ensuring I am doing safe exercises for pregnancy. The ones I enjoy are ’10 Minute Solutions Prenatal Pilates’ and ‘What to expect when you’re expecting – The Workout’. These are both great as you can do as many of the 10 minute sections as you feel like and they are catered specifically for pregnancy. I’ve always been a fan of exercise DVDs and have a big collection of them that I would do pre-pregnancy, so these two DVDs have been great to give me a bit of a boost when I’ve needed it.51+gPa7I3IL._SY300_

My other top exercise is walking – when the boy is home, we like going out in the evening for a walk around the local area and when he isn’t here, I like to walk into town, walk as much as I can when I’m out or if my friend is dog walking, I love to tag along and head out for a walk in the countryside. It’s low impact and I find I sleep a whole lot better when I’ve been out for a decent walk.

What exercises do you do while pregnant?

What exercises did you do?

Have you any tips or advice?

What about DVD suggestions?

I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions – rubellesmoon@gmail.com

Rubelle’s Moon

Remembering not to eat shark…

f6980fc771a75cd6064ad17c1272b346     … this has been tough as shark is pretty much a staple in our home… Or not. Honestly, some of the things I have found out about what to eat and what not to eat when pregnant have been an absolute minefield of information. Not to mention all of the ‘advice’ from well wishers who were pregnant so many years ago that things have changed quite considerably since then. Just google ‘What to eat when pregnant’ and you will be presented with a whole host of information! Most of which is conflicting and a vast majority is massively out-dated. I quite liked typing the same thing into Pinterest too as the visuals are fascinating: https://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=what%20to%20eat%20when%20pregnant

410cfd6048b19f9c97114fa12eb95f86In terms of my wheat free diet while pregnant, I am having to really re-evaluate what foods I am cutting out and also am using this time when my body seems to be surprisingly well to introduce some VERY low amounts of wheat e.g. a biscuit or some crisps once or twice a week. I want to ensure I am not depriving mine and the baby’s bodies of really important nutrients and since my tolerance is much higher at the moment, I figure I am okay to do this. Having spoken to my Gastroenterologist, I am fine to do this, as long as it does not cause me discomfort or put me in an uncompromising situation with my health. So, as soon as any of my being ‘glutened’ traits start to show up, I know I’ve over done it and immediately take that item away from my ‘safe list’. If I do find myself with my usual symptoms, I know what to do, but for anyone new to this – here is my guide to what I do in such a situation: https://rubellesmoon.wordpress.com/healthy-habits/i-have-a-gluten-over-or-how-not-to-get-glutened/

I know many of you will think I’m totally mad doing this, but it is safe for me as I do not have Coeliac Disease, I have IBD and Gastritis and living by a low wheat diet really helps me to reduce and manage my symptoms along with my medications. I would however never recommend doing anything like this without the correct medical support and of course, if you have Coeliac Disease then this is totally out of the question for you.

In my opinion – and I’m not a medically trained professional, so I stress, this is only my opinion – the only website I use for food advice is the NHS website. It is clear and concise and is maintained by the service that manages mine and the growing baby’s healthcare, so I head over to this link if I’m in doubt: http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/917.aspx?CategoryID=54#close 6fb0489e91be576fccd2127beb91e5af

Things that I do eat lots of: Fruit, vegetables, nuts, rice cakes, pom bears, popcorn… basically anything that is either low fat or has natural energy that will keep me full up for longer and will ensure I don’t get horrible sugar spikes. be669d355eae4dbf4058ba09aa9941df

Things I’m really missing: Having more than 2 cups of tea in a day, decent coffee, goats cheese, sushi, medium-rare steak, seared tuna steak, smoked meats… and of course a glass of prosecco! As a side note from the prosecco – I’ve totally abandoned alcohol for the duration of being pregnant. This is a personal choice and one that many people have different opinions on, but personally, for me, I’ve said no and will continue to say no. This is from a keeping myself healthy point of view in that I know alcohol changes the acidity in my stomach and would therefore likely exacerbate my Gastritis, something I really don’t need given how sick I have been and how much I know that I will end up with heartburn. My other point of view is that the baby doesn’t need or want it and has no choice on what I put in me… so I just feel that it is my responsibility to eat and drink with the baby in mind.

What have I been craving? Nothing specific, just more savoury stuff than sweet, which according to old wives tales is linked to the fact our baby is a boy. I already eat a pretty crazy diet of whatever I fancy and whenever I fancy it (not in terms of junk food, in terms of what my body suddenly wants… so one minute I really want gherkins and the next I’m wanting apple wedges with peanut butter. So, this part hasn’t really changed. There are more things that I really don’t want at the moment – rich food that sits heavy is not a great choice so sadly, I’ve learned that steak is not my friend and I wind up with horrendous heartburn (meal out with the parents and then meal out with my colleagues both resulted in glasses of milk being brought to me and uncomfortable night’s sleep were had both times!) I’m enjoying having to really think about what I put into my body even more so than usual, so as much as I might really want to have something quick and yummy from the shelf, I’m taking the time (and am fortunate at this time of year, with being a teacher, to have the time) to make things from scratch and to think about the nutritional value of what I’m shovelling inside me.ecf81676cfea090c85a1d950c6e6f800

In line with talking about steak… i’ve put a useful little visual in here so you can tell how cooked your steak is!

A typical day of food for me:

Please bear in mind I do not count calories and especially right now, I am not thinking about weight gain or calorie content as I know through my own mindset, this is not a good path for me to head down! But with that, I do make health conscious choices and I do know when I have over done it and what I need to do to make up for any indulgences.

Breakfast

Fat Free Greek Yoghurt with sliced grapes and sliced banana and a little sweetner (stevia or truvia) or reduced sugar peanut butter.

OR

Gluten free bread x 2 small slices with reduced sugar peanut butter and sliced grapes on top (my healthier version of peanut butter and jelly).

Lunch – (if at home)

Soup and 3 x rice cakes.

OR

Rice salad – rice with stock or flavouring with tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, peppers, sweetcorn… whatever salad I have in the drawer!

If I’m out and about I might have a sandwich, panini, bowl of soup or whatever else takes my fancy – this is one of the moments when I know that as long as I am making good choices, I can enjoy the fact that I am pregnant and can have a little bit of what I fancy! 4a89ab4d3bf3f8f04e0b8ad820c0d330

Dinner/tea/evening meal (whatever you want to call it!) (again if I’m at home) –

Fish, rice or gluten free pasta, broccoli, peas, spinach and bouillon stock.

OR

Chicken risotto and salad.

OR

Sweet potato with beans and low fat cheese.

OR

Roasted sweet potato with chicken or fish and vegetables.

Snacks throughout the day

Flapjack, apple, banana, yoghurt, sesame snaps, Nakd bar, popcorn, rice cakes, fruit juice.

Hopefully this little post is helps you to see what I am eating and drinking at the moment.

Have any of you had any interesting experiences with what to eat and drink during pregnancy?

Has anyone got any advice they would like to share?

Rubelle’s Moon

Gluten Free Banana Loaf

Over the last few weeks I’ve got right back into baking again! It’s been the last few weeks of term and I’m now on my summer holidays, so I’m going to keep up the blogging and baking 🙂 I’m glad to be back in the kitchen and it’s good to be reminded how much I love to bake and cook and that as long as I have time, I’ll bake/cook/create!

This is THE easiest banana loaf I’ve ever made. I’ll warn you now – it’s veryyyyyy moist! Like the kind of loaf where you cut it open and you know everything is cooked but it looks like it isn’t once it’s cooled. That’s because of all of the moisture in the recipe – the bananas, the melted dairy free margarine, the eggs and the milk. But, it is so delicious and it is 100% cooked!!

Also… I’ve used granulated sugar as I completely forgot to get caster sugar when I went shopping… so feel free to swap this in if you are an organised individual!

I’ve just realised that I have no photos to go with this recipe… it was so quick to make I clearly didn’t even register the photo part so I’ll make it again soon and get some photos to add in 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 125g dairy free margarine
  • 150g Granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract or flavouring
  • 1 Medium egg, beaten
  • 2 Very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 200g Gluten Free self raising flour
  • 60ml Milk (dairy free or lactose free… whichever you choose)

Recipe:

  1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C – I use a fan oven so adjust your temperature as appropriate.
  2. Grease and line a medium sized loaf tin.
  3. Melt the margarine, sugar and vanilla… I put them in a microwaveable container and blasted them for 30 seconds on a very low heat. You can melt them on a low heat in a saucepan if you like, but I found the microwave means nothing gets burned!
  4. Tip the mixture into your mixer and add the mashed bananas, mix well on a medium speed or by hand, until the ingredients are combined.
  5. Add the egg and continue to mix to combine everything.
  6. Sift in the flour and now slowly mix the ingredients, adding in the milk as you go.
  7. Pour into the prepared tin.
  8. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
  9. Then cover with tin foil and bake for a further 10 minutes or until a skewer/knife (I use a cool palette knife) comes out clean.
  10. Leave to cool and enjoy with a cup of tea!

Enjoy!

Rubelle’s Moon