October 16, 2011

Sugar-free rhubarb macaroon slice


As I am entering week three in my sugar-free trial (read more about it here and here) , I realise that I am starting to forget that there even are foods I'm not eating any more. In the beginning of the diet, what felt like something was missing ("if no fruit, then what can I eat??"), is now something I'm not even thinking about. Some say it takes 21 days to break a habit, which in my case would mean another week, so I definitely feel like I'm on a good path here!

What has changed? Well not much after the first week to be honest, and I still feel less bloated, I feel calmer, I feel like I have more patience (although my fiancé could still argue I need to work on this) and I feel like I have more energy. I am really curious to see what the next few sugar-free weeks will bring with them!

In the meanwhile, this little treat is something that kind of grew on me. In the past (and this is obviously a while a go), I wasn't a big fan of coconut at all. I always thought it was way too sweet, which, I now realise, was probably because of all the added sugar in the coconutty foods I had tried. Once you've been off sugar for a while, and your taste buds have readjusted, you'll realise that coconut - in its natural form - is actually sweet enough on its own. 

Sugar-free rhubarb macaroon slice*

Base

100g quinoa flakes

50g coconut flakes (no sugar added)
50g rolled oats**
1 tablespoon raw pure cacao nibs (total sugars 3.6g/100g)
80g virgin coconut oil
2 large egg whites (free-range,organic)

Filling

200g rhubarb, cut into 1 cm slices
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon pure, ground vanilla

Top

3 large egg whites (free-range, organic)
50g fine desiccated coconut (no sugar added)

*If you're not on a sugar-free diet, don't expect this treat to taste very sweet. Those who are used to less sugar, will probably find it just satisfying enough, it all its natural sweetness.

**You could make this totally gluten-free by using uncontaminated oats, or simply replacing the 50 grams of oats with more quinoa flakes.

1. Preheat oven to 180C and line a 25cm x 15cm baking tray with baking paper.

2. For the filling, place the rhubarb, ground cinnamon and vanilla, along with a dash of water (a couple of tablespoons) into a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to boil, then let simmer while you make the base and the filling. Stir the mixture every now and then and just let it cook until quite thick. Set aside to cool.

3. For the base, place the quinoa flakes, coconut flakes, oats and cacao nibs into a food processor. Grind the ingredients into a fine-ish mixture, then add the coconut oil and grind until the mixture comes together. Beat in the egg whites. Spoon the dough in the baking dish and, using your hands, spread on the baking sheet into a 1-2 cm thick base.

4. For the topping, beat the egg whites in a clean bowl until thick. Carefully fold in the coconut. 

5. Spread the rhubarb filling on the base into a thin layer. Spread the coconut 'meringue' on top.

6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, then let cool completely before cutting. This is best eaten within 2 days. The top doesn't freeze very well, so I recommend eating it while fresh.