“Cheesy” buckwheat & flax drop-scones (gluten-free, vegan, no added fat)

Cheesy bread drop scones

When I don’t have any eggs to hand I am pleased to revert to a fat-free healthier option and use chickpea flour as an alternative. I use a coarse ground chickpea flour called maghaj but gram flour works just as well.

I love nutritional yeast, it’s very tasty and low calorie. It is fat-free, full of vitamins, high in fibre. has lots of protein and it has a lovely cheesy flavour. It also has a long shelf life so you can always have some in the cupboard as a standby for recipes like this, Nutritional yeast and real Parmesan or grated cheddar work equally well.

 

Traditional flax production for linen

Traditional implements for linen production on display in Booth Pinezhsky Museum.

Prior to industrialisation even small farmers grew flax to produce linen for their own needs from home grown flax. In the UK and other Northern Europe countries linen was the only widely available alternative to wool until cotton became available. The flax used for linen production usually comes from slightly different varieties of the species of Linum usitatissimum than linseed or flax for human consumption. It is also harvested differently.

Tools for making flax, processed flax stalks and linen
Tools for making flax, processed flax stalks and linen

Flax and traditional linen production: ancient Russian instruments and the materials they were used on in the traditional production of linen from flax plants and their fibre.(Booth Pinezhsky Museum). 1-beater, 2-fiber after scutching Llano, Llano 3-fiber tow after the first 4-Llano after the second fiber tow, tow 5, 6 -Taylor (canvas threads from Llano), 7 – row (from hemp canvas threads), 8, 9 – Brushes for Sanchez flax and hemp, 10-comb for cleaning flax and hemp, 12, abusive pattern. Photo 3 November 2006. Photo by Schekinov Alexey Victorovich November 3 2006

The simple equipment was typically homemade and everything from growing to harvesting, scutching to spinning and weaving was carried out by the family.

Flax fibres before processing into linen. In the foreground a broken stem shows the fine linen fibres beginning to separate out.
Flax fibres before processing into linen. In the foreground a broken stem shows the fine linen fibres beginning to separate out.

Traditional flax growing and linen production is written about and illustrated in “How a Shirt Grew in the Field”, a children’s book, originally in Russian.

 

Malt loaf, gooey, squidgy and gluten-free

Gluten-free flax and buckwheat maltloaf

Luscious gooey malt loaf

One of the things I miss most being wheat-free, cereal-free and gluten-free is the gorgeous Soreen malt loaf; but now I have made my own and it’s just right.  I love the flavour combination of slightly, burnt raisins and malt. All squidgy and gooey served with a good spread of best butter; it’s worth the calories.   Just the thing with a cup of tea in the afternoon, elevenses or whenever you need some malty sustenance. So scrummy after all these years without malt loaf.

Loaf or traybake

If you don’t have a loaf-tin no matter, just use a baking tray.  I find the traybake an excellent option as it doesn’t cry out for butter like the loaf. 😉

Gluten-free maltloaf
Gluten-free malt loaf

Superior sports energy

Malt is an amazing and technically superior sports food because unlike other sugars which break down into glucose and fructose, which is what gets stored as fat, malt breaks down only into glucose which is used for energy, Ideal during endurance sport – or hard work in the garden – when fuel reserves are low. Add to that omega-3 from the ground flaxseed and vitamin b from the buckwheat it’s a lot of superfood in a cake.  I take it out as an energy top up on long walks or runs.

Turmeric, cauliflower & linseed bread

Cauliflower turmeric linseed bread slices
Cauliflower ingredient for gluten-free bread
Cauliflower ingredient for gluten-free bread

This is very easy to make.

Lots of wonderful nutritious stuff going on in a delicious savoury bread.  Full of all the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, polyphenol power of linseed, turmeric & cauliflower and no gluten of starch in sight!  You can make sandwiches with it or just have it in the fridge for something tasty and  healthy to take the edge off your appetite when come home ravenous. It’s savoury and nice on it’s own, add it to your lunch-box, it’s a great way to increase your vegetable and dietary fibre intake.

All ingredients are super low GI and starch free so suitable for weight loss and diabetic diets. Linseed also gives you a helping of omega-3 for good measure.

Turmeric has a great reputation for being anti-inflammatory, it needs both black pepper and oil to get the best from it.  This recipe provides both, the ground linseed proves the necessary oil.

Recommendation for using linseed for anxiety

The oceans' wildlife is conserved by use of sustainable linseed omega-3

“Flax Oil Cures Anxiety” from the EarthClinic website.

In a cutting from an unidentified newspaper passed to me by a Flax enthusiast: Sharon from the US reports that having increased her daily dose of linseed(flaxseed) oil that contained ground linseed particles (High Lignan Cold-pressed Flax [Linseed] Oil) her anxiety and adrenaline levels reduced Continue reading

The origins and history of linseed and flax

Field of linseed towards gate

The origins of the linseed and flax

Field of linseed in flower
Field of linseed in flower

Linum usitatissimum is just one species of the Linum family. Some are annuals others perennial.  The original ancestor of our domesticated flax and linseed  Linum biienne, was a little wild plant widely spread across Eurasia. It had delicate wiry stems and dainty blue flowers. Way back in history our ancestors  would have found linseed amazingly useful Continue reading

Culpeper’s Herbal: FLAX

Linseed is a Culpeper herbal remedy for constipation.

Flax (linseed) remedies from Culpeper’s Complete Herbal,

Culpeper herbal entry for flax (linseed) detail 1
Culpeper herbal entry for flax (linseed) detail 1

by Nicholas Culpeper, 1653

The entry for flax/linseed in interesting in many ways. Apart from nicely clarifying part of the relationship between flax and linseed; in those days they were growing flax for clothing and the seeds were really a by-product, but usually called linseed – even though they had come from “flax” plants.

Flax in 1653, as good then as it is now

His reference to using linseed for tumours and the use of linseed oil as clysters (enemas) has similarities with the Budwig Protocol.

Culpeper refers to it as useful, it’s Latin name, usiatissimum, means “useful”. Three and a half centuries later and linseed is still being used for treating the same complaints and we thought it was a new idea using linseed oil as a remedy for asthma!

Culpeper herbal entry for flax (linseed) detail 2
Culpeper herbal entry for flax (linseed) detail 2

Culpeper’s Complete Herbal, entry for flax/linseed:

FLAX.— (Linum Usiatissimum)

Time.— It flowers in June, the seed only is used.

Government and Virtues.— Mercury owns this useful plant. The seed, which is usually called linseed, is emollient, digesting, and ripening ; of great use against inflammations, tumours, and imposthumes, and is frequently out into formentations and cataplasms, for those purposes.  Cold-drawn linseed oil is of great service in all diseases of the breast and lungs, as pleurisies and peripneuemonia, coughs, and asthma and consumption.   It likewise helps the colic and stone, both taken by mouth, and given in clysters.   The oil, by expression, is the only official preparation.

 

Buy online: Culpeper’s Complete Herbal is available from Amazon

 

Raw Blackcurrant Ice-Cream with Linseed (dairy-free, sugar-free and no saturated fat)

Sugar-free, saturated-fat-free, dairy-free blackcurrant & banana ice-cream recipe.

Healthy Ice Cream Recipe

This recipe came about after going out for summer walk over the South Downs with a friend who decided to.restore herself with a blackcurrant ice cream; knowing her ice cream was laden with dairy, saturated fat and sugar didn’t make it any less tempting.  So as soon as I got home I made this recipe which is sugar-free, saturated-fat-free, dairy-free and low GI and much lower in calories. Since then I have been working on perfecting and find it makes and excellent breakfast during warm weather as well as satisfying dessert.

Having learnt how to make this sort of ice cream, healthy and delicious, brimming with all the goodness of fresh fruit and Flax Farm cold-pressed linseed (flaxseed) oil and ground linseed (omega-3, soluble and insoluble fibre, antioxidants,lignans)  I am never going to buy conventional ice creams and sorbets ever again. Check out our recipes for other varieties to keep your healthy with these super treats that are somewhere between conventional ice creams, sorbet and semifreddo desserts.

Quick and Easy to Make Homemade Ice Cream

This healthy ice home made cream recipe has the added benefit of being incredibly quick and easy to make – useful when you need an emergency dessert!

For dinner parties dress it up with sweetened fruit coulis and toasted flaked almonds, your guests will love it.

 

Linseed: flax and its other names

Field of ripe linseed and seedheads

Linum usitatissimum

Linseed, traditional bronze linseeds
Linseed, traditional bronze linseeds

Linseed was one of the first plants cultivated by man probably around 10,000 years ago and has been widely grown throughout the temperate zones. Consequently if has developed a lot of different names.

Its scientific name is Linum usitatissimum, meaning “the most useful linum” referring to its uses from food, medicine, beauty products, Continue reading

Pineapple, Banana and Passionfruit Ice with Linseed (dairy-free, sugar-free and no-added saturated fat)

Healthy Sorbet Style Ice Cream Recipe

I think this is my favourite ice cream or sorbet of all time.  I first made it getting back after a ParkRun on a hot July morning; just the ticket!

Another benefit is it’s super quick and easy to make.  It’s really refreshing but much healthier than a sorbet and more satisfying. I love making my own ices this way, I can’t think I will ever want to buy them from shops again and these healthy ice creams and sorbets go down well even with those who are still adverse to eating healthily.