This month I’m teaming up with a bunch of fabulous free from bloggers, to bring you the very freshest, seasonal recipes. Check out the links at the bottom of this post for more details. The recipes I’m sharing today all use beetroot as the main ingredient.

Not only is it delicious and very plentiful right now, but it’s also exceptionally nutritious. Due to it’s high vitamin C content, beetroot could help boost your immune system, and fend off coughs and colds in the cooler months. It’s also high in potassium and manganese, and contains folate which is a B vitamin.

Personally I think beetroot is way underrated, and we should all be enjoying it as much as we can while it’s still in season.

Beetroot and goats cheese quiche, with a grain free crust

Ingredients (for 6-8 slices)
(pastry) 150g finely ground walnuts
60ml oil or melted butter
(filling) 3 free range eggs
200ml goat milk, or free from milk
Tbsp dijon mustard
Half a leek, cooked until soft in a little oil or butter
2 tbsp oil or two large knobs of butter
Salt and pepper
200g beetroot, peeled and cut into little discs
Tbsp dried mixed herbs
100g goats cheese, cut into little discs

quiche

Method:
– preheat your oven to 170C fan assisted/180C non-fan/350F/GM4

– coat the beetroot slices in a tbsp of oil/melted butter, the mixed herbs and a little salt and pepper then arrange on a non-stick baking tray and roast for 40 mins. When cooked allow to cool, but leave the oven on

– when the beetroot is almost ready, grease a flan dish well with oil or butter

– to make the pastry simply combine the ground walnuts with the oil/butter in a large bowl and mix well. Place into the centre of the greased dish and flatten down with the back of a tablespoon until the bottom and sides of the dish have a thin even layer covering them

– if you have a powerful blender or food processor whizz up the eggs, milk and mustard for about 20 seconds until you have a frothy milkshake consistency

– if you are mixing by hand, whisk your eggs for a full minute to get them nice and fluffy, then gradually add the milk, then the mustard last

– spoon the leeks over the bottom of the pastry, and arrange your beetroot on top. Scatter the goats cheese over the top of the beetroot, then pour the egg mixture all over

– bake for 30 mins, allow to cool and serve with a huge salad

Fermented Beetroot with Garlic, Ginger and Balsamic Vinegar

Ingredients (for two 500ml jars)
2 medium sized beetroot with leaves attached
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, grated finely
large clove of garlic, chopped finely
tbsp sea salt
filtered water

fermented beetroot

Method:
– before you start, ensure that the jars you are using are sterile

– grate your beetroot bulbs and chop up the leaves, then place in a large bowl

– add the garlic and ginger and mix well

– sprinkle over the salt, then pour over the balsamic vinegar and mix well

– pack tightly into your two jars, then cover with as much water as necessary to ensure the beetroot is totally submerged

– place on a tray with a cloth underneath and lightly screw the lids on. Check at least once a day for a week to ensure that no extra water is needed, and that it’s fermenting as it should be. The longer you leave this to ferment, the tastier it will become

Ridiculously healthy beetroot chocolate cake

Ingredients (for 8-10 slices)
4 eggs
200g freshly grated beetroot
100ml coconut oil
100g coconut flour
50g coconut sugar (you may need more according to your taste)
25g cacao powder
tsp vanilla

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Method:
– preheat your oven to 170C fan assisted/180C non-fan/350F/GM4, and grease an 8-inch cake tin

– beat the eggs with the sugar, oil and vanilla until light and fluffy

– put the beetroot into a large bowl, and add the cacao and coconut flour, mix well

– pour over the egg mixture and incorporate well

– pour into your cake tin, and bake for 30-40 minutes until cooked all the way through

– serve hot or cold, I like mine with a big dollop of fermented double cream

I also used powdered organic beetroot in this paleo rainbow cake to colour the pink layer


Check out the other #FreeFromHarvest posts from these fabulous bloggers

Intolerant Gourmand – GF, DF Blackberry Flapjacks

Intolerant Gourmand – GF, DF Apple Crumble

Glutarama – GF, DF, EF Beetroot Brownie Cake

Easy Peasy Foodie – Copy Cat Nando’s  

The Adventures of an Allergy Mummy – Butternut Squash Soup with a Kick

Free From Fairy – Sausage Stuffed Marrow

Dairy Free Kids – Apple and Blackberry Crumble

Paleo Crust – Vegan Roast Squash and Ginger Soup

The Peachicks Bakery- No. 17 Allotment Pickles

Free From Farmhouse – Vegan Pumpkin Lentil Pasta

Gluten Free Alchemist – Mocha Pear Upside Down Cake

Julie’s Family Kitchen – GF Almond, Pear and Chocolate Cake 

Le Coin de Mel – Vegan Pasta with 10 Hidden Veg Sauce

Following my article detailing my journey to being truly sugar free, I’ve decided to share a lot more recipes here on the blog. What better to kick start the new feature than my ultimate free from cheesecake? 

Over the last few years I have created some awesome (if I do say so myself) sugar free deserts, which also happen to be grain (not just gluten!) and dairy free too. The best feedback I get is that you would never know they are ‘free from’. I take this as a huge compliment, and am chuffed to know that some of my most sugar addicted friends are the biggest fans of my work. Not to mention my hubby, who has a very sweet tooth. 

blueberry cheesecakeThis cheesecake is a seriously tasty piece of pie – exceptionally rich and decadent, yet devoid of all the ingredients that cause so many of us such horrible digestive problems. The only spanner in the works would be if you have to avoid nuts, because two of the three layers are made from them.

Although it’s what I call a show stopping desert, it is unbelievably easy to make, providing you have a powerful blender or food processor. I have a Vitamix (lucky me) which makes light work of grinding up nuts and dried fruit.

This recipe is free from: gluten, grains, dairy and refined sugar

Ingredients
(crust) 200g macadamia nuts
50g dates
15g desiccated coconut
(filling) 220g cashew nuts
120ml lemon juice
120ml coconut oil
2-4 tbsp honey
tsp lemon oil
(topping) 250g blueberries

Method
blueberry cheesecake– I have used a traditional 26cm flan dish, which I’d highly recommend as it makes the perfectly sized end result which you can cut into thin slices. As I said before, it’s a very rich desert and a little goes a long way

– to make the crust, put the macadamias and dates into your blender or food processor and whiz until they come together to form a sticky dough

– scatter the desiccated coconut onto the bottom of the dish which helps the crust not to stick, then press the dough down firmly 

– now make your filling by adding the cashews, lemon juice and oil, coconut oil and honey to your blender or food processor. Then whiz until you have the consistency of a very very thick milkshake (as pictured). I find that two tbsp of honey is more than enough for my palate, but sweeten yours according to taste

– pour the filling evenly on top of the crust, cover with cling film and place in the freezer for 30 mins

– to make the topping simply place your blueberries into a saucepan over a high heat. You can use fresh or frozen, they both work just as well. When you hear sizzling after 30 seconds or so turn the heat low and simmer for 10-15 mins

– once the blueberries are cooked and have cooled down, take the cheesecake out of the freezer and pour them over the top. Then re-wrap in cling film and place back in the freezer for at least three hours until you’re ready to serve

– remove from the freezer 30 mins before you want to serve and allow to defrost a little before slicing and serving

This really is the most AMAZING free from cheesecake you’ll ever taste. Trust me, I’m fussy with my treats 😉

pumpkin-spiced-latte-blog-photoFor a coffee lover like me there is something magical about pumpkin spiced latte. One sip and I’m fully immersed in all things crunchy leaves, bonfires and looking forward to the C word (see what I did there?) As it’s the first day of autumn, I though it was pretty fitting to share my sugar free, dairy free recipe.

It probably won’t come as a surprise to learn that I usually avoid Starbucks like the plague. Last year, after seeing pumpkin spiced latte advertised all over their windows, I was lured into one and couldn’t resist – those coffee shops smell so damn good. I kicked myself shortly after taking my first sip though, because it was essentially just a sickly sweet syrupy coffee that had a vague taste of cinnamon about it.

Not good for a sugar avoider such as myself. I had four or five mouthfuls and chucked the rest away, feeling very disappointed. I bought a pumpkin that very afternoon, and set to work creating my own puree, so I had it to hand when I next fancied a pumpkin spiced latte. I hope you enjoy it as much I do. 

Ingredients for the pumpkin spiced puree

Small pumpkin (about 1.5kg in weight)
2 tbsp coconut oil
1-2 tbsp cinnamon
1-2 tbsp Chinese five spice
4-6 cloves
tsp vanilla
honey/maple syrup to taste if you need the sweetness 

Method

pumpkin-vitamix

1. Take a small pumpkin (approx 1.5kg) and slice into 12 pieces. Scrape out the seeds with a desert spoon and discard. Place on a baking tray, drizzle over 2 tbsp coconut oil and roast in a preheated oven (175C) for 45 mins.

2. Remove from the oven and allow to cool down. Meanwhile get your other ingredients ready, as per above list.

pumpkin-puree3. Once the pumpkin is cool, peel if you wish, or leave the skin on (I always peel if it’s not organic). Then place it into your blender or food processor, and add your spices, honey and coconut oil, and whiz up to a puree. This will keep in a glass jar in your fridge for a few weeks.

4. When you’re ready to make your drink, simply pour a freshly brewed black coffee into your blender/food processor, add 2 tbsp of pumpkin puree and 2 tbsp coconut oil (and sweeten to taste if needs be). Whiz on high and blend for the perfect dairy free pumpkin spiced latte.

5. Drink immediately for autumnal coffee heaven.

pumpkin-spiced-latte