I have increasingly begun to realise the benefits of being oven-less, although I must admit I never thought I’d see the day! Despite hailing from a food culture of baking and roasting, reflective of the UK’s cold climate, I am now fully on board with the raw, fast, fresh - and sometimes fried - factors of Thai cuisine.
Thais have the sweetest tooth of any culture I have known – Bangkok is bursting with dessert cafes, sugar is added to everything from salad, to omelettes, to fresh juice. Yet as so many people are starting to realise the negative effects of consuming such inordinate amounts of refined sugar, my most successful workshops have focused on teaching people how to make healthier cakes, snacks and sweet treats; mostly free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar and often vegan too.
Yet so many people I teach – ex-pats and Thais alike – always tell me how willing they are to nourish their brains and frames and ‘be healthier’ but as they have no oven, this is a truly impossible task.
And of course, baking without an oven is rather a challenge :) but there are in fact a multitude of delectable healthy indulgences you can make with just a hob. And there are even more sumptuous treats you can make with no heat at all.
So I've put together my favourite super simple guilt-free desserts and snacks, which can all be made without an oven, hoping that this will inspire people to give them a go; as whipping up healthier desserts, breakfasts and snacks couldn’t be easier – all that’s required is a little creativity. ;)
On the hob:
Rice Pudding –
This can also be made with quinoa or oatmeal and dairy or non-dairy milk. It’s like kind of sweet porridge – my favorite is with coconut milk, desiccated coconut and cinnamon. You could top it with nuts, extra fruit and serve it hot or cold. Check out my blog post on how this can even be made with leftover rice.
No-cook Crumble –
This is version of my gluten-free, grain-free and vegan crumble recipe just without the final stage of placing it in the oven. As you won’t be heating the whole thing, it’s necessary to stew the fruit first, and then spoon the crumble mix on top. By ‘stewing the fruit’ I literally mean chopping up the fruit, simmering it in a saucepan over a low heat with a little honey or maple syrup, and stirring it until it’s softened. My recipe uses apples and blackberries, but you could use any fruits you prefer. Be aware that it’ll be more crumbly than a conventional oven-baked crumble, but trust me - it’ll be just as (if not more!) delicious.
I am a total sucker for pancakes! Fried in coconut oil, these can easily be made gluten-free, dairy-free, and paleo – whoever thought pancakes could actually be good for you? Bananas are the base of my Spinach Protein Pancakes and these Sweet Potato Turmeric Pancakes
These are so simple, they don’t even warrant a recipe :) Just choose your favourite fruit and yogurt – add seeds and/or nuts too if you like – and layer away in a nice glass or jar. Place in the fridge to set for an hour and enjoy! Parfaits can be eaten for dessert or for breakfast – you can even make them the night before to have them ready to grab from the fridge for a breakfast-on-the-go before your morning commute.
In a Blender:
This is quite possibly the healthiest type of ‘ice cream’ ever created. All you need is some frozen bananas, a tiny bit of dairy or non-dairy milk and whatever flavour you would like to add – peanut butter, cacao, berries, vanilla etc. Check out my recipe for my favorite flavour of Matcha
Energy Bites & Bars:
These can be made with a base of any dried fruits – my favourite are these apricot bites, but you could use dates, figs, or even raisins. Just make sure that the dried fruits you use aren’t covered in extra sugar! Check out my Raw Bites recipe for some rawnspiration ;)
No-bake Fruit Tarts:
These are wonderfully simple – made with a base of nuts and coconut and filled with dairy or non-dairy cream or yogurt, you can whip these up in minutes and they make an impressive finale to any dinner. And just to add an exquisite little twist, why not make arrange the fruit so it resembles a rose? Check out the recipe for my raw mango & coconut rose tart.
In a bowl:
And perhaps the easiest and most deliciously indulgent healthy treat of them all – raw chocolates!
Raw Chocolates – Curb your chocolate cravings with these bites of heaven – being a chocolaholic has never been easier, healthier or more delicious! Check out my recipe on the FORM Studios’ blog here: http://formstudios.co.uk/blog/valentine-treats-raw-chocolates