Summer has been one busy, busy time in the Just For Tummies office, with me managing my clinic patients, as well as directing Just For Tummies. However, I did manage to get away to Mallorca in June with my husband Kevin, my son Colin and his wife Anzhelika, and Kevin and I did get away to beautiful North Norfolk in September.
Autumn is now upon us, and it is one of my favourite times of the year. I love the golden leaves, the darker evenings when I can light my wood-burning stove, and the darker mornings when I can cuddle up in bed. Autumn brings Goose Fayre to Nottingham with hot mushy peas and mint sauce, roast chestnuts and mugs of hot tea in the Scout Hut. Halloween and bonfire night brings us ghouls, ghosts and fireworks, with the excited cries of children etc etc
Now it’s time to set your tummy up for Christmas and with this in mind I’m very pleased to launch my Just For Tummies winter warmers recipes to make your tummy glow with happiness. These recipes are brought to you by Sophia Hill, the Just For Tummies nutritional therapist. There will be a delicious, nutritious recipe in every monthly newsletter, and the recipe will also highlight the health benefits of the ingredients. This month’s recipe is a delicious vegan Halloween pumpkin fudge brownie cake. Look out for next month’s recipe, a heart-warming Beef Chilli Casserole with Sweet Potato.
Pumpkin & Chocolate Fudge Brownie – (Gluten & Dairy Free)
About this cake: This cake is free from gluten, dairy, eggs, and is actually full of ingredients that are really nourishing to your body, so you can feel less guilty about indulging in it, it is also rich, decadent and dense so you only need a little slice!
Here is some information about the benefits of the ingredients:
Cacao powder: Rich in minerals, especially magnesium which is essential for the peristalsis action of the bowel, keeping your bowel movements regular. Also, rich in fibre, essential fats but low in sugar.
Pumpkin: A great source of fibre to keep your bowels moving regularly, also a good source of vitamin A which is essential for the repair of the cell membranes in the intestines.
Maple syrup: A good alternative to processed sugars which have been stripped of their nutrition, maple syrup contains vitamins, especially the B vitamins and it has a lower Glycaemic Index than normal sugar, meaning that it causes less of a spike in blood sugar.
Coconut oil: Coconut oil is packed with essential mono-unsaturated fats which are burned as energy rather than being stored as fat. Coconut oil is also anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-microbial helping to fight any bad bacteria in the gut.
Cinnamon: Is great for stabilising blood sugar levels.
½ cup cacao powder
½ cup coconut sugar or soft brown sugar
350g pumpkin puree*(see notes for options)
½ cup pure maple syrup
200g dark chocolate
1 cup coconut oil melted
1/2 teaspoon all spice & 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
Any decorations that you desire!
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees in a fan assisted oven and prep your 8” circle pan with parchment paper, I recommend using a spring form pan so it’s easier to get out.
*First prepare your pumpkin puree if making yourself, or if you want to buy a tin of it then Ocado do an organic one made in a BPA free tin. If you can’t get your hands on a pumpkin, then you can use equal quantity of sweet potato (I found that using 3 medium ones made the right quantity). If using pumpkin, chop in to wedges, deseed and then roast in the oven for around 30 minutes in a hot oven of about 200degrees. Do not use oil on the pumpkin as you want it as dry as possible. If using sweet potatoes just put them in the oven whole. Once cooked and soft, scoop out the flesh and either mash very finely or stick in a food processor to create a really smooth puree.
Next place the cacao powder, sugar, maple syrup, vanilla and pumpkin puree in a large bowl and mix together until combined.
Now melt the baking chocolate and coconut oil together in a saucepan over a very low heat stirring until completely melted. Combine the melted chocolate and oil with the pumpkin mixture and whisk well until fully combined. Pour the batter in to the prepared pan.
Bake in a pre-heated oven for around 55 minutes, if the top looks like its burning then pop a piece of foil over the top.
Allow to cool in the pan for 15 mins or so and then remove the sides of the spring-form pan, wrap in foil backed baking paper and place in the fridge overnight to firm up.
I decorated mine by drawing on spider’s legs with icing or you could use anything else sticky like jam, I then topped this with sesame seeds and used a walnut for the body of the spider. But be as creative as you like!
SEASONAL SURVIVAL KIT
Up to Christmas I am offering 20% off my seasonal saviour, the Seasonal Survival Kit, £39.96 instead of £49.95. This kit will ensure you can ‘Eat, drink and still be merry’ over the festive period. It contains:
- a pot of my award-winning Live Bacteria probiotic capsules to help keep your immune system tip top throughout the season
- a pot of my plant-based Digestive Enzyme tablets to ensure all your food gets properly digested, reducing painful trapped gas, bloating and indigestion, so a god-send for those of you that have IBS
- a pot of Milk Thistle tablets to help support your liver
- and 6 of my hand-blended bio-degradable Tummy Tea pyramids
- the kit comes with a cute little brochure with instructions and extra tummy-tastic tips
SAVE THE DATE – TUMMY TALK LIVE – TUESDAY 14 NOVEMBER FROM 8 – 9
The Countdown to Christmas can be stressful at the best of times, but for those of you that have unhappy tummies, stress can really exacerbate symptoms, making a time of the year that should be joyous, miserable. I’m here to help. Join me LIVE on Facebook, where I will be answering all your questions, and ensuring that you have a Christmas tummy-trouble-free.