Sunday 24 February 2013

Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns

Very simple and easy to make

gluten free hot cross buns


1 qty of guar gum loaf dough (recipe in both books) with one extra tablespoon rice malt syrup  added when mixing

Guar gum bread recipe (traditional method)

How to proof yeast and bread dough

If you are not on RPAH Elimination or Failsafe Diet, add one tsp of mixed spice to your dough and a half a cup of sultanas or currants


pipe crosses on your doughRoll into nine even size balls and place into a greased square cake tin, press down slightly

To make the cross mixture, combine 1/4 cup rice flour with approx 3-4 tablespoons of water to make a smooth paste. Put into a piping bag

Pipe crosses onto your balls of dough


Rise as per the recipe and then bake 180 - 200 degrees until hollow (approx 45mins)
brush with sugar glaze
While still hot, brush with sugar glaze 

combine 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small pot and bring to the boil, simmer till reduced for about 5 mins
NOTE : To be sugar free, you can make a glaze from rice syrup and water... use the same quantities as above

Bon Voyage

Off to Finland we go!

Majestic Ice Junior Australia
Majestic Ice Junior - Team Australia
I am going away with my daughter and her sychronised iceskating team on Tuesday... we are off to Croatia and Finland to represent Australia at the Junior World Championships.

We will be gone for two weeks... so if you have been thinking of purchasing a printed book, please place your order by Monday evening. Otherwise books will be posted upon my return on 15th March.

eBooks will continue to download automatically

Catch you all soon!


Saturday 23 February 2013

Gluten Free Salt Dough

Fun to make crafty items and paint... or use for Christmas Tree decorations

salt dough steps

My son's class were making salt dough snakes this week... but with wheat flour, so I created some gluten free dough that would be safe for him to use.


1/2C fine white rice flour
1/2C tapioca
1/2C rock salt
1t guar gum
1/2C water


Pulverise rock salt in Thermomix 10-15sec speed 9
Add flours and gum combine 10sec speed 4
Add water slowly through the lid speed 4

Stop adding water when dough comes together... add slowly and wait a few seconds to see if that is enough to bind. Guar gum takes a moment to bring it together...

You are after a playdough consistency

Remove from Thermomix bowl and roll on baking paper (with a bit of rice flour if a bit sticky)

Roll into shapes, animals or cut with cookie cutters

Bake 150 degrees celcius until hard... time will vary depending on how thick your creations are... anywhere from one hour to three hours. These took one and a half hours.

Allow to cool and then paint!

Fine Almond Meal in Thermomix

The impossible... right???

almond cookies

Well I have read all sorts of hints and tips on how to get your almond meal fine in the Thermomix... none got it very fine. Ok for some recipes, but terrible for cookies.

After some mouldy activated nuts, I decided I had better keep them in the freezer.

I wanted to make some Almond Bread and just chucked in some almonds and pulverised for 20sec speed 9... and low and behold, the meal was nice and fine!

The problem with nuts is they are full of oil and as you grind them, the heat releases the oils... hence a few seconds for a coarse flour, a bit too long and you have nut butter. When the nuts are cold, you get a bit longer before the oils are released so the Thermomix can make a finer meal.

I am using Almonds with the skin on, if you used blanched nuts, you would no doubt get an even finer result.

Very pleased I don't need to purchase expensive almond meal any more to make my cookies!

So the secret is simple



Sunday 17 February 2013

Pumpkin Soup

Delicious and Creamy... eat as is, or with some shredded chicken

pumpkin soup

This soup is light but filling as it has lots of healing fats and broth...


1/4C duck fat
1/4C ghee
1/2 butternut pumpkin
2C broth


Peel and chop pumpkin and put in a pot with the fat and ghee
Stir on medium heat as the fats melt
Once melted, simmer for 10 minutes
Add the broth and cook until pumpkin is soft
Puree in the Thermomix for 20 seconds Speed 8

cup a soup

To Serve,
simply drink from a cup with a dollop of yoghurt or top with shredded chicken, some crispy kale and toasted nuts

Crispy Kale - toss some finely sliced kale in coconut oil and fry until crispy
Toasted Nuts - chop some walnuts and stir over medium heat until golden and crunchy

Wednesday 13 February 2013

Gingerbread Cookies

Chewy spicy and lovely...

gingerbread almond cookies


1 1/2C fine almond meal
1/2C honey
3T coconut oil
1T ghee
1/4t mixed spice
1/4t ground ginger
1/4t salt
1/4t bicarb soda


Warm honey, oil and ghee in a small pot
Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl
Add melted liquids and stir until combined with a wooden spoon

Roll into small balls and place on a lined baking tray with space between to allow for spreading (they double in size)
Press flat with either your hand or a damp cup

Bake 180 degrees for 15 minutes until lightly golden... watch carefully as the honey cooks quickly

Cool on the trays (they will harden on cooling)

If you store in the pantry, they will remain chewy... If in the freezer, they are super crunchy

gingerbread steps
To flatten cookies, use a flat measuring cup... dip in water and press gently but firmly on cookie ball... carefully lift off cup... then repeat for remaining cookies

Sunday 10 February 2013

Sticky Chicken

Delicious moist drumsticks coated in a combination of honey and soy... but is totally failsafe

sticky chicken

So we can't have honey and soy sauce when on a low chemical diet, but amazingly Rice Malt Syrup will caramalise and give us a similar flavour. This is a very simple and delicious meal


Combine 1/4C Sunflower or Canola Oil with 1/4C Rice Malt Syrup
Coat your chicken drumsticks (skin removed) in this mixture
Place in a greased baking dish
Do not overcrowd your chicken

Bake for approx 40 minutes, basting every 10 minutes
As the sauce starts to turn golden, coat your chicken in the sauce

Once chicken is cooked and golden all over, serve with rice and a vegetable stir fry

Almond Bread

Lovely and light... satisfies my craving for cake and bread

almond bread

This makes a very small quantity and a thin slice. I use a small dish 18x12cm. It works well doubled.


1/2C activated almonds
1T coconut flour
1T honey
1/4t bicarb soda
2 eggs



Using your Thermomix, Process almonds until they are almost a paste 30sec speed 8
Add honey, 10sec speed 4
Add eggs, 20sec speed 4
Add flour, 10sec speed 4

Pour into lined baking dish (don't be alarmed it should be runny)
Bake 180 degrees for 20 minutes until golden
Lift out of tin and cool on rack

Slice and freeze in portions if desired.

Sunflower Seed Cookies

A nut free lunch box filler...

sunflower seed cookies
Cookies before baking...



1C sunflower seeds
30g ghee
1T raisins
1t cinnamon


Pulverise sunflower seeds in your Thermomix, 10sec speed 9
Add remaining ingredients and process 15sec speed 4

Roll into balls and flatten with your hand or the back of a flat measuring cup
**If the cup sticks to the cookie, cover the rolled ball with baking paper then press lightly with the cup... remove paper and repeat with remaining cookies

Bake 180 degrees for 10 minutes until lightly golden
Cool on tray

Store in freezer for a crisp snack... can store in the pantry as well

White Sauce

Creamy Cauliflower...

white sauce

Use this white sauce as a soup or for lasagne or just a dollop on top of some baked salmon...


half a head of cauliflower
3 heaped T duck fat
3 heaped T ghee
1C broth (lamb or chicken)


Cut off all the fibrous parts of the cauliflower
Place the florets into your pot with the fat and ghee
Cook over medium heat, stirring as the fat melts... combine it all together
Reduce to a low heat, place lid on pot and cook for 10-15 minutes... stirring occasionally
Add the broth once the cauliflower has started to soften
Replace the lid and cook until very soft

Pour mix into your Thermomix, blend 20 seconds speed 8
Add salt and pepper to taste, combine10 seconds speed 4

This is very thick, just right for a white sauce for lasagne or to dollop... If you want to use it for a thinner soup, add another cup of broth.

white sauce steps

Saturday 9 February 2013

Rice Free Please!

Gluten free and Rice Free

buckwheat and millet

Lots of you are asking for some rice free recipes... there are lots of fabulous gluten free grains out there and although my family do not tolerate them, I have done some experimenting for you.

Some of the alternative grains are very high in protein and other nutrients and make an excellent addition to your baking:


These are my favourites... All except the sorghum are considered seeds not grains so are suitable for grain free diets (nice!). Some have very strong flavours so I have found they work well in combination with eachother.

In my second book 'Thirty Second Baking' I have used millet and buckwheat. They work really well together and impart a beautiful flavour. You can exclude the small amount of rice in these recipes and just simply increase the millet and buckwheat flour.

If you have a Thermomix, you can grind your own flour from these grains. If not, all of these are available at health food shops, even some supermarkets.

Sorghum flour can be found at Indian grocers labelled, Jawar Atta. It has a lovely texture and is an excellent replacement for rice. It is a grain so not for the grain free folk. You can subsitute it entirely for all the rice in my recipes as it has a lovely mild flavour.

What about the starch?

You still need some starch in the recipes... keep the ratio as stated in the recipe for best results.

Converting rice recipes

In my recipes, I often use a portion of white rice and brown rice. When you start to experiment with the flavours of these other gluten free flours, I recommend you replace the white rice flour with one of the above flours and the brown with another.

For example,
instead of white rice flour... use buckwheat flour
instead of brown rice flour... use millet flour

For example,
instead of white rice flour... use sorghum
instead of brown rice flour... use buckwheat

For example,
instead of white rice flour... use buckwheat
instead of brown rice flour... use quinoa

For example,
instead of white rice flour... use sorghum
instead of brown rice flour... use amaranth

Use any combination you like... even using 1/4C of each of the flours will produce a great result. The melding of the flavours is delicious!

I will be posting some grain free recipes using Millet and Buckwheat on my Beyond Failsafe Blog

I look forward to hearing your favourite combination!

Gluten free What???


Lots of people get nervous and panic when told they can't have gluten anymore... what am I going to eat now?

There is still plenty to eat, but you will have to become a good label reader and bake yourself some treats.

What is the difference between baking with and without gluten

When you bake with wheat flour, everything is pretty easy as the grain has all the things it needs to hold together and become beautiful and light when made into a cake or bread etc. When you remove gluten, you need to find a product that will help bind the ingredients together and give them a similar light fluffy texture.
There are a few extra ingredients needed to try to achieve something similar.... Something to bind and hold the flour together, something to help it rise, something to make it fluffy and light, something to stablise it, something for crunch.
Firstly gums are used to do this, the main ones being Xanthan and Guar. They are both unique and serve a very different purpose in a recipe. Many people say they are interchangeable but I have found this not to be the case.
Xanthan gum gives cakes and breads the light fluffy texture we need without the gluten. You need only a tiny amount in most cases. Xanthan gum is made from fermented corn sugar so if you are allergic to corn you can’t use it at all. Often brands are similar with ingredients but for Xanthan I have found one brand to be superior, NuVit. You can usually find it at Coles Supermarkets. If you are not having baking successes with your current brand, give it a go.
Glucona Delta Lactone (GDL) is an alternative to Xanthan and is derived from rice. It helps improve the texture and works in combination with bicarb to rise the baked item beautifully. It will increase stability, improve texture and make baked goods light and fluffy.
Guar gum is a fabulous binder and stabiliser. It is activated by liquid, so you will notice it working as you increase the liquid in your recipes. I also use it in sauces to keep all the ingredients from splitting. It many of my recipes guar also serves as an egg replacer. 
I don’t use gums at all in my biscuits as I have never found it necessary.
One thing to remember when baking with gums, don't go crazy with the liquids... add them slowly. The gums can only absorb so much and if you add too much liquid, they will lose stability and the dough will collapse.
The texture of gluten free baking is a bit unusal and different to what you might be used to when baking with wheat. Bread dough is not soft and stretchy... it will be sticky instead.
Psyllium is also often used to help bind and stablise gluten free dough. I use it in bread... it helps to hold the dough together and support it as it rises. It makes a great egg replacer too.
Extra baking powder helps the doughs and batters rise. You need to keep it in balance with the gums and liquids otherwise you will have a cake/bread that rises beautifully, only to collapse when done. Check your brand is gluten free... Wards is a great brand available at most supermarkets.
Balance between these extra ingredients is really tricky and will take some practise. Follow recipes and learn how these new things interact and behave before you start experimenting.

Crunch is often lacking in gluten free baking. Starch is used to get that texture we are after. You can use tapioca, arrowroot or corn starch. Just a portion of the flour needs to be starch... if you use too much, which is often the case with premix gluten free flours, you get a chalky taste. Potato starch is very difficult to work with as often it produces gummy results.

Please consider when baking gluten free that there will be lots of ingredients... subsituting often doesn't work. It takes a lot of trial and error to get a recipe to be lovely and you need to follow the recipe. If you change something you will not get the same result.... be patient with yourself while you are learning the new textures and ingredients... they will soon become your friend
Happy Baking!


Friday 8 February 2013

Honey Chicken

Honey Chicken... just like the Chinese Takeaway...

Honey Chicken


Moist cubes of chicken, coated in batter and soaked in honey!


Yes it is gluten, dairy and egg free and is low chemical and failsafe


Firstly cube your chicken breast
Roll in a small amount of rice flour

Dip in your batter
(use the battered fish recipe which will be found in my recipe book: Kersten's Kitchen)

Drop pieces in hot sunflower or canola oil
Cook until golden and drain on paper towel

Warm some Rice Malt Syrup in the microwave for a few seconds (until thin and runny)
Pour over your chicken pieces and toss to coat evenly

Honey Chicken Method

Serve with rice and a vegetable stir fry
(a failsafe recipe can be found in Kersten's Kitchen recipe book)

Meal Time

What to eat?

meal time

Breakfast Lunch Dinner...

I think one of the big challenges when going grain free is working out what to eat for each meal.

Breakfast is tricky when you are accustomed to eating cereal or toast... lunch is a sandwich... dinner not so tricky as most would think meat and veg pretty normal. How do you do grain free toast and cereal for breakfast... so you go searching for nut bread recipes... when in fact the easy solution is to think of each meal as suitable for any time of the day.

Soup can be for breakfast, lunch or dinner... oh no you say... I am not having soup all the time. Unless you decide to do hard core GAPS and do Intro, I am not saying that at all. I am saying OPEN YOUR MIND lol to other possibilities. Meat balls for breakfast... my kids do it every day. At the start they were horrified (as you might be) but now if I give them some toast they ask for meat :)

You need to make yourself and your children (if they are joining your diet changes) just try it over and over... until it becomes habit.

And give yourself some variety... here are some ideas I love

  • thai salmon fish cakes with spinach and avocado and a dollop of goat yoghurt
  • omelette with salmon, kale, tomato and a dressing of yoghurt with garlic and dill
  • scrambled eggs with avocado and kraut (pour over some broth for a soup)
  • lasagne - zucchini becomes your lasagne sheets, cauliflower an amazing white sauce
  • seared scallop creamy soup
  • pumpkin soup with chicken, crispy kale and toasted walnuts
  • creamy cauliflower soup with chicken
  • zucchini noodles with broth and slow cooked lamb
  • crunchy herb topped roast chicken or turkey breast
  • slow cooked lamb with honeyed carrots and roast butternut squash


Be creative... think of all the things you can eat and how you might combine them. Some may work, others not so much... Soup is open for creation! Chuck in some broth, veg and meat... top with some kraut and a dollop of yoghurt... simple

My fav fast meal is roast chicken thigh (cooked in coconut oil), topped with kraut and yoghurt.

There are plenty of sweet goodies too... as you might have noticed from my failsafe recipes, I am rather fond of baking

So in these early phases of changing from failsafe to healing... think outside the square and be open to all the possibilites.

Buckwheat Crepes

Grain free Crepes/Wraps

You can use these sweet as crepes or as wraps for savoury...




1/2 C buckwheat kernals
1/2 C hulled millet
1 C water
2 T goat whey
1/2C tapioca starch
2 large eggs or 4 small


buckwheat and millet flour

Prepare your flour

Using your Thermomix, grind the buckwheat and millet 130 sec, speed 9
(if you don't have a TMX, buy flours instead)
Put flours into a big glass bowl
Add water and whey and stir to combine
Cover with gladwrap and leave to ferment for 6 hours (or overnight)


Prepare batter

Add tapioca and eggs and whisk until you have a smooth batter

cook crepesCook

Warm a small amount of ghee in a pan and pour on a 1/4C of batter, swirl the pan around until the batter coats the whole pan

Carefully flip when the edges start to come away from the pan
Cook a minute or so on the other side

Watch with care as these cook very quickly

Serve with yoghurt and honey or maple syrup for a sweet treat
Use as a wrap to make your lunch

crepes - sweet or savoury

TIP: Can be frozen, between layers of baking paper and defrosted on the bench or microwave before use.

Are you still Failsafe and want to make these? Just omit the whey and the fermenting and mix batter and use right away. The fermenting process will create amines...


When doing recipes here are the abbreviations:

C = Cup
T = Tablespoon
t = teaspoon

1C = 250ml
1T = 15ml
1t = 5ml

Buckwheat Pancakes

Pancakes with Fruit


1/3C buckwheat kernals
1/3C hulled millet
1/4C tapioca starch
1T coconut flour
1/4t bicarb soda
1C kefir (coconut or goat/cow)
1 egg

sliced banana
sliced strawberries


Prepare flour

Grind buckwheat and millet in Thermomix, 1 min speed 9
(If you don't have a TMX, buy flours)
If you want to ferment these grains, add kefir now and leave for 6 hours (or overnight)

Prepare batter

Add other ingredients and whisk to combine
Stand 30 mins to thicken


Add a little ghee to the pan on medium heat
Pour in a small amount of batter (these work best if they are small - medium in size)
Drop in a few pieces of fruit (if desired)
Once bubbling, carefully flip
Cook a few minutes on the other side

Serve with yoghurt or maple syrup/honey

If you want to keep these Failsafe,
omit the coconut flour and do not ferment, use water instead of the kefir. Add the water slowly and stop when you have a thick batter (it should still pour but not be runny)

Coconut Cookies

Crunchy Cookies...

these remind me of the cookies in the big biscuit tins my parents would receive at Christmas

coconut cookies



70g ghee
30g coconut oil
55g honey
1/2 vanilla bean (seeds only)
1T dessicated coconut
1/2C tapioca starch
1/2C hulled millet
1/2C buckwheat kernals
1/4t bicarb soda


Grind millet and buckwheat in Thermomix for 130sec speed 9
Add remaining ingredients and combine 15sec speed 4
Scrape down if necessary and mix 10sec speed 4
Roll into balls and press lightly with a fork
OR use a cookie press
Bake 180 degrees for 15 minutes until lightly golden
Honey burns quickly so please check often... if you have a very hot oven, reduce temp to 160
Store in an airtight container in pantry

Chocolate Cupcakes (grain free)

Chocolate Coconut Cakes

These taste like chocolate cakes to me, but if you don't eat a lot of coconut, they will taste like a lamington

chocolate cupcakes



5 eggs
130g honey
1/2C coconut oil
3T coconut flour
1/4C raw cacao
1/2t bicarb soda
pinch salt


Put all ingredients into your Thermomix bowl and combine 20sec speed 5

Do not be alarmed that this is indeed a very runny batter... if it was normal gluten free flour it would never work, but coconut flour absorbs A LOT of liquid, so it will all be ok when baked...

Pour into patty cases (half fill)

Bake for 15 mins 180 degrees celcius until puffed and when pressed gently in the centre, they spring back

Remove from the muffin tray and cool on racks

Once cool you can ice with chocolate avocado mousse and top with coconut or just serve warm with icecream and chocolate sauce

Chocolate Avocado Mousse

Cacao plus Avocado equals amazing

Who would have thought these two ingredients together could be so delicious and flexible... You can enjoy this as a mousse, as an icecream, as an icing on cupcakes, as a slice, or just with a spoon!

Chocolate Avocado Mousse


2 avocadoes
70g coconut oil
60g raw cacao
2-3 heaped T honey (to taste)
1/2 vanilla bean (seeds only)


Put all ingredients in Thermomix and combine 20sec speed 5
Taste and add more honey if you like it sweeter

As a mousse:

Put in a container and store in the fridge - eat with a spoon or use as a spread

As an icing:

Use straight away, put cupcakes in fridge to set, then remove cakes half an hour before serving


As an icecream:

Freeze... it will set hard. If you use it within a couple of hours of making, it will still scoop. For longer storage times, remove from the freezer an hour before use.

As a slice:

Prepare a base, spread topping... freeze until set (one hour approx), then slice into portions and freeze each portion ready for use

Nut Base:

150g ground nuts (pecans or walnuts combine well with this dish)
100g dates
Combine and spread on the base of a small lined dish, top with mousse

Cookie Base:

Use Coconut cookie recipe
120g cookies
40g ghee
Chrush cookies and combine with ghee
Spread on the base of a small lined dish, top with mousse