Friday, September 27, 2013

Gluten-free, low FODMAPs hummingbird cake

You all know by now how much I love a sweet little something to have with my morning cuppa. I've collected and developed hundreds of recipes for healthier versions of pancakes, muffins and fruit breads, and regularly bake something on Sundays to provide morning tea supplies for the week.

I've been trying for ages now to find a recipe for a healthier and FODMAPs-friendly hummingbird cake. I LOVE hummingbird cake - the moist, sweet, delicious combination of banana, pineapple and coconut is just so... yummy.

Ideally, I wanted a flourless cake that paid homage to the flavours and fruitiness of hummingbird cake, but my experiments with coconut flour and almond meal failed. The taste was fine, but it just would not "set" and the texture was kind of weird. Either I wasn't getting the quantities right, or there was something about the pineapple that was reacting with the other ingredients.

In desperation I asked the internet for help, putting out a call for suggestions on Facebook. And of course, the lovely (and clever) Viviane of Chocolate Chilli Mango came to my rescue. I followed her suggestion and shelved the idea of a flourless cake, instead going for a wheat-free version with a little protein boost. I also lowered the sugar content (and calories) by swapping some of the brown sugar for Natvia and the result was FABULOUS. It's light, it's moist and it captures the essence of traditional hummingbird cake flavours.

This is gluten-free and also lactose-free and low in FODMAPs. Coconut is one of those foods around which there's a bit of confusion re FODMAPs. But I've done my research and according to the latest info from Monash University, coconut milk is F.I.N.E.  Shredded or desiccated coconut contains a moderate level of sorbitol, but a serving of quarter of a cup should be well tolerated by those of us sensitive to polyols. To be on the safe side, I used coconut milk for fat, moisture and flavour and reduced the shredded coconut to just a few tablespoons in the entire cake. The coconut flavour is still there, and I've had no IBS issues this week, even though I've eaten the cake pretty much every day.

I'm pronouncing this experiment: Mission Successful!

The recipe is over here. I urge you all to grab a can of crushed pineapple and give it a whirl this weekend, because it's awesome.



Sara said...

Yummmmmm! Definitely making that one. Also, the Vanilla WPC is being mixed over the weekend so I'll get some away to you on Monday.

I'm so happy that you are nailing down your IBS issues, it must make such a difference to that little thing called 'quality of life'. It always amazes me the people I've met that would rather just suffer pain and take meds than sort their food sensitivities.. :-/ People are strange. X

Kek said...

I can the "pain" of giving up some foods be worse than enduring the physical symptoms caused by eating things that just aren't kind to your body? I totally get the initial resistance...the grieving process of having to give up or cut down on things that you've always eaten and that you enjoy. But surely sanity has to prevail in the end? People definitely are strange.

I look forward to a parcel from NZ...You are a definite keeper. xx

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