Coconut, Pineapple + Banana Cake (Wheat & Dairy-Free) at

APRIL 26, 2015
Choosing to eat sugar- and additive free-is all very well and good when you’re in the comfort of your own home, but what about when you’re required to bake for work or family celebrations? This tried and tested Hummingbird Cake recipe has been a winner with even the fussiest of eaters and is my ‘go to’ celebration cake recipe.

Hummingbird Cake is a delicious blend of coconut, pineapple and banana, just like a Pina Colada, which means that no added sugars or flavors are required with this sensation of flavours!

Hummingbird Cake

1 cup Medjool dates
250 grams Gluten Free Self-Raising flour (1 2/3 cups)
2 ripe bananas mashed
1 cup fresh pineapple diced
1/2 tsp cinnamon
50 grams shredded coconut (2/3 cups)
1 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons chia seeds (soaked in 1 tablespoon water) or use 2 eggs if you prefer

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit
In a food processor blend together the dates, chia seeds (or eggs), honey and coconut oil. Add this mixture to all of the other ingredients and stir gently. Pour into a round cake pan that has been oiled and lined with grease proof paper. Bake for 30-45 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack. This is a very dense cake which will not rise a lot.
To ice this I use 1 cup of labneh (yoghurt that has been drained to make cream cheese) and 2 tablespoons honey mixed together, then decorated with pineapple slices and shredded coconut.


Black Sticky Rice Pudding at


Serves 4-6

The Pudding

½ cup black glutinous rice
2 Tbsp white glutinous rice
2 cups cold water
1 pandan leaf, optional
1/3 cup taro root, cut in 1 cm cube *
¼ cup young coconut meat, cut into short strips, optional
½ cup finely chopped palm sugar **
heaping ¼ tsp salt
Sweet corn kernels for garnish, optional
Coconut Sauce

½ cup coconut milk
1 tsp rice flour, or ½ tsp corn starch.
¼ tsp salt
Recipe Notes:

* If you don’t like taro roots, you can substitute with corn kernels or just omit it.
** You can substitute with regular granulated sugar, however, I have not tested the amount needed, so start out with 1/4 cup and taste and adjust from there.


Soak both types of rice together in cold water for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Drain off the soaking water and add the rice to a small pot. Add 2 cups of fresh cold water to the rice and bring to a boil. Let cook for 25-30 minutes or until the rice is fully done. Check doneness by tasting, it should still be chewy but no crunchy in the center.  Be careful: After about 15 minutes, you need to stir it almost constantly. The rice is thick enough at this point to stick to the bottom and burn without enough stirring.

While the rice is cooking, cook the taro. Put the cut taro in a small pot of cold water and 1/4 tsp of salt, bring it to a boil and let it cook for 5-7 minutes until it fully cooks and is fork tender. Drain and set aside.

After the rice is done. Add the palm sugar and salt and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Stir in the taro and the young coconut meat.

For the sauce: Dissolve the rice flour in a little bit of water, and stir until there are no more clumps. Add this slurry to the ½ cup of coconut milk, and bring the mixture to a boil in a small pot, stirring constantly. It should thicken after it has come to a boil.

To serve, spoon the rice into a cute glass bowl or cocktail glass, spoon the coconut sauce over the rice and garnish with some sweet corn kernels. Some people like to stir the sauce into the pudding before eating, others like to keep it a little separate, so do whatever you like!

Coconut Black Rice Pudding at

Makes 4-6 servings
2 – 2 1/2 cups water
1 cup Thai black rice
1 cup light coconut milk
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a medium saucepan, mix 2 cups water, rice and coconut milk, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes or until rice is tender, stirring occasionally. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, make sure to keep a close eye, adding extra water, 1/4 cup at a time, if the rice gets too dry.

Meanwhile, toast the coconut. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the coconut on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes or until golden-brown, stirring once during baking.

When the rice is tender, add the sugar and salt. Simmer for a couple more minutes, or until pudding is desired texture. (Add a little more water for a looser pudding; let cook several more minutes for a drier pudding.) Taste and adjust seasoning. Spoon into individual bowls, top with toasted coconut flakes, and serve.

Additional Notes
• When making this pudding for breakfast, I only use 2 tablespoons of sugar for a less sweet version.

• For a richer pudding, use full-fat coconut milk. Reserve the coconut cream — the thick layer that rises to the top of the can — and use a little to top each serving before adding the toasted coconut flakes.

• You can reduce the cooking time by soaking the rice overnight before cooking. In a medium bowl, cover the rice with cold water and let sit in the refrigerator overnight. Drain and proceed with the recipe, reducing the water to 1-1 1/2 cups and the cooking time to 30 minutes before adding the sugar and salt.

Cauliflower Wings @

1 large head of cauliflower
3/4 bottle of Wing-Time Buffalo Sauce
1 cup + 2 Tbsp  non-sweetened, plain almond milk
3/4 cup chickpea flour
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp curry powder
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Lightly spray a large non-stick baking sheet with oil.

Separate/chop the cauliflower into florets.

Combine the flour, spices and nutritional yeast in a bowl and stir until well combined.

Coat a handful of cauliflower pieces in soymilk and then with the flour mixture. Place on the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until crispy.

While the cauliflower is in the oven, heat the Wing-Time sauce in a medium sauce pan over low heat. Whisk in 2 Tbsp of almond milk.

When the cauliflower is looking crispy, turn it with a wooden spoon and heat the oven to broil. Allow the cauliflower to broil with the oven open for 5-7 minutes or until beginning to brown. Pull it out of the oven and place it in a large bowl. Pour the hot sauce mixture over it and toss to coat.

Serve immediately with celery and ranch or blue cheese!

Cauliflower Breadsticks @

1 head cauliflower, large (7″ – 8″ wide)
1/4 cup egg whites
1/2 cup + 3/4 cup (for topping) Mozzarella/Tex Mex cheese, shredded
1 tsp Italian herb seasoning or any dried herbs like rosemary, basil, parsley
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of salt
Marinara sauce for dipping

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Rinse cauliflower, remove outer leaves and separate into florets with a paring knife. Place cauliflower florets in a food processor and process until “rice” texture. Some coarse chunks are fine.

Place in an oven proof baking dish (I used Pyrex pie dish) and bake for 20 mins. Remove cooked cauliflower from the oven and transfer to a bowl lined with a tea/linen towel (I used glass tea towel from a Dollar store, similar to this one). Let the cauliflower cool down a bit until it is safe to touch, about 15 minutes.

Fold the towel holding by the ends and squeeze the liquid out of the cauliflower “ball” as hard as you can. Be patient and do this a few times until barely any liquid comes out. I squeezed out 1 cup of liquid. Second photo, from right to left: before squeezing, after squeezing, liquid squeezed out.

Increase oven T to 450 degrees F. Transfer cauliflower to a mixing bowl along with egg whites, 1/2 cup cheese, herb seasoning, black pepper, pinch of salt and mix to combine.
Transfer cauliflower mixture onto the baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten with your hands into a rectangle, approximately 9″ x 7″ size and 1/4″ thick.

Bake for 18 minutes, remove from the oven and top with remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Bake for another 5 minutes and then broil until cheese turns golden brown. Cut into 12 breadsticks and serve hot with warm marinara sauce, if desired. P.S. For a lighter version, do not top with cheese.

Storage Instructions: Refrigerate covered for up to 2 days. You can also freeze the breadsticks tightly wrapped in plastic, for up to 1 month. Thaw on a counter or in a microwave.
Nutritional Info (no cheese topping)

Servings Per Recipe: 12

Amount Per Serving = 1 breadstick:
Calories: 33.3
Total Fat: 0.9 g
Cholesterol: 2.5 mg
Sodium: 48.4 mg
Total Carbs: 3.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.8 g
Protein: 3.1 g
WW Points+: 1

Nutritional Info (with cheese)

Servings Per Recipe: 12

Amount Per Serving = 1 breadstick:
Calories: 53.0
Total Fat: 2.2 g
Cholesterol: 6.2 mg
Sodium: 107.6 mg
Total Carbs: 3.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.7 g
Protein: 4.9 g
WW Points+: 1

About stevia and conversion chart

Conversion Chart
Steviva Brands – Stevia Conversion Chart

Not all stevia products are created using the same ingredients. Know the label and know what you are buying. Some stevia products contain fillers, ranging from dextrose to lactose to maltodextrin, as well as a variety of starches and sugars. Check all stevia product labels to ensure you are buying products made from pure stevia extract.

Steviva Brands, Inc. all natural pure stevia powder is 100% pure stevia with no additives whatsoever. Check our label. Our pure stevia extract contains a minimum of 95% steviosides, which are one of the sweet constituents found in the stevia leaf. Another sweet constituent found in the stevia leaf is Rebaudioside A, commonly referred to as RebA. Steviva Brands pure stevia powder contains a minimum of 60% RebA, making our stevia one of the purest you can buy. What ultimately makes our stevia powder the purest is the extraction process itself. Let us walk you through this process. First, we purchase all natural, pesticide free stevia leaves from indigenous farmers in South America. These leaves are dried and ground into a very fine, green powder. The green powder is soaked in water for up to 4 hours to release the sweet components. The water temperature is then lowered to cold, forcing the sweet constituents to rise and float on  the surface. This “float” as we call it is skimmed off the surface and run through a spray dryer. A spray dryer is a large heated room with aerosol nozzles pointing inside, similar to a spray can nozzle. The “float” is sprayed into this heated room. The stevia mist is instantly turned to a dry powder and drops into a catch basin.

Steviva Brands pure stevia extract powder is 200-300 times sweeter than sugar. Thus, a little goes a very long way.  To learn how stevia stacks up against other sweeteners please refer to the conversion chart below.

Sugar Artificial Sweeteners Steviva Blend Fructevia Liquid Stevia Steviva Brands Pure Stevia Powder
2 tsp. 2 tsp. (1-packet) 1 – 1/2 tsp. 1 – 1/2 tsp. 1/4 tsp. 1/16 tsp.
1/4 cup 1/4 cup 2 – 3 tsp. 2 – 3 tsp. 1/2 tsp. 3/8 tsp.
1/3 cup 1/3 cup 3 – 4 tsp. 3 – 4 tsp. 3/4 tsp. 1/2 tsp.
1/2 cup 1/2 cup 1/4 cup or less 1/4 cup or less 1 1/4 tsp. 3/4 tsp.
3/4 cup 3/4 cup 1/3 cup or less 1/3 cup or less 1 3/4 tsp. 1 tsp.
1 cup 1 cup 1/2 cup or less 1/2 cup or less 2 1/2 tsp. 1 1/2 tsp.
2 cups 2 cups 1 cup or less 1 cup or less 5 1/4 tsp. 3 tsp.
What if I Want to Bake or Cook With Pure Stevia Extract?
Steviva Brands pure stevia powder is heat tolerant and works well for cooking and baking. When cooking or baking with Steviva Brands pure stevia powder, we suggest you mix 1/8 teaspoon with 1 cup of unsweetened apple sauce. Because stevia is 200-300 times sweeter than sugar, you lose a lot of volume when replacing the sugar. The unsweetened apple sauce replaces this volume.

What if I Need Brown Sugar?
When recipes require brown sugar you can use an equal amount of Steviva Brands Stevia Blend or Fructevia, with 2 tablespoons of molasses. If you are not using the blend, and need a brown sugar substitute, you can use 1 cup of unsweetened apple sauce, 1/8  teaspoon of Steviva Brands stevia powder, and 2 tablespoons of molasses.

What if I Need Liquid Stevia?
When you buy liquid stevia you are purchasing mostly water. There is only about $.50 cents worth of stevia powder in liquid stevia. Why would you pay $10.00 for $.50 cents worth of stevia? We do not sell the liquid form because we feel it is not fair to our customers, and we don’t want to use any stabilizing additives to produce it. But, it is very easy to make liquid stevia yourself,  and the following recipe will show you how:

Liquid Stevia Directions
      – Mix one part Steviva Brands stevia powder with four parts warm water.
– Optional: 1 drop of grape seed extract (possesses antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties that will preserve the liquid)
– Mix well until all the stevia powder is dissolved.
– Put into a small glass dropper bottle and refrigerate.

Desserts to go with lamb dinners …

Desserts made with fresh fruit and berries are complementary dishes to lamb dinners. Due to the tart and zesty flavor of lemons, they work well with the earthiness of the lamb. An example of a fruit dessert that pairs well with lamb is a lemon and berry tart, which is a pastry made with eggs, sugar, cream and lemons. Berries, such as blueberries and raspberries, are mixed with sugar, vinegar and mint leaves for the filling. Any fruit tart pairs with lamb; the fruits used can be adapted to what is seasonal.

If serving lamb during the spring or summer, a cold dessert is appropriate. Fruit is still a suitable main ingredient. For instance, a frozen berry pie makes a simple, yet elegant dessert. Frozen pies can be made with graham cracker crust, a fruit filling and topped with whipped cream. They just need to freeze for a few hours before serving. Filling can be made from any type of fresh berries mixed with corn syrup, sugar and some lemon juice, if desired.

Light tea cakes also make suitable desserts to follow a main course of lamb. White cakes that have a light texture work well after a rich lamb entree. Mixing fruit into the cake is a welcome addition for a dessert course on a lamb menu. For instance, a cake made with pears, vanilla and cream gives richness without being too overwhelming. Apples could be used as well, especially if the lamb is being served in the autumn or winter months.

For a casual dessert that suits a lamb menu, opt for bars made with fruit. The lightness of the fruit won’t weigh diners down after the lamb meal. Lemon bars are a fitting option; they are easy to make and very light. If you want to add a bit of richness, add vanilla ice cream or whipped cream as a topping or a side to the bars. Substitute berries for the lemons, if preferred, making raspberry or blueberry bars instead.


This recipe has been featured in a post on The Recipe Girl blog: Greek Dinner Party- Main Dishes & Sides.

Yield: 6 SERVINGS prep time: 45 MIN  cook time: 35 MIN

LOVE this! It was a huge hit at our Greek dinner party. We served it as a side dish to lamb. Everyone wanted the recipe. It was even better the next day as leftovers.


1/2 cup pine nuts (about 3 ounces)
1 medium onion
1/3 cup olive oil
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup crumbled feta (about 3 ounces)
1 Tablespoon fine dry bread crumbs

7 (17 x 12-inch) phyllo sheets
5 Tablespoons unsalted butter
6 Tablespoons + 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan


1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. Make filling:
In a shallow baking pan toast pine nuts in middle of oven until golden, about 4 minutes, and cool. Finely chop onion and in a large heavy skillet cook in oil over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened. Squeeze spinach to remove as much liquid as possible and stir with salt into onion. Cook spinach mixture over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until any liquid is evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes, and cool slightly. In a large bowl whisk eggs until combined and stir in spinach mixture, pine nuts, feta, and bread crumbs until combined well. Filling may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring filling to room temperature before proceeding.

3. Stack phyllo sheets and cover with 2 overlapping sheets plastic wrap and then a dampened kitchen towel. In a small saucepan melt butter and cool slightly. Lightly brush a 10 1/2- by 7 1/2- by 1-inch rectangular tart pan with a removable fluted rim with butter.

4. On a work surface lightly brush 1 phyllo sheet with butter. Sprinkle 1 Tablespoon Parmesan evenly over buttered phyllo and repeat layering with 5 more phyllo sheets, butter, and 5 Tablespoons Parmesan. Arrange last phyllo sheet on stack and lightly brush with butter. Transfer phyllo to tart pan, letting excess hang over edge, and spoon filling onto phyllo, spreading evenly. Fold edges of pastry over filling, leaving center uncovered , and lightly brush top of phyllo with butter. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan over exposed filling and bake tart in middle of oven until golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve tart warm or at room temperature.


*The recipe calls for a 10 1/2- by 7 1/2- by 1-inch rectangular tart pan. The tart could also be made using a baking sheet or a jelly-roll pan, as the filling is dense enough to hold its shape on its own.


This recipe has been featured in a post on The Recipe Girl blog: Greek Dinner Party- Main Dishes & Sides.

Yield: 4 SERVINGS prep time: 20 MIN

Good, basic Greek salad. Loved the finely chopped lettuce in this one.


1 large head romaine lettuce, finely chopped
4 medium Roma tomatoes, seeded & finely chopped
1 large cucumber, peeled & finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup pitted & halved Kalamata olives


Combine first 4 ingredients in large bowl. Drizzle oil and vinegar over. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Mix in feta cheese and olives and serve.