Hello, I'm Lindsey. I’ve been a cake enthusiast for as long as I can remember. I love baking them, scoffing them and socialising over them. So when I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes a few years ago, it seemed like a drastic and very bleak end to the party. It was quite a shock too as I didn’t really fit the profile. I’d always been a healthy eater, interested in nutrition and eating well.
I was advised by the doc that it would do me no harm to have a small amount of sugar occasionally - but the prospect of a spoonful of a friend’s cake once in a while felt sad. I decided that I would just do without for the rest of my days. A turning point came about 3 or 4 months later when I went to a talk about natural low GI* sweeteners – run by a raw food chef called Anna Middleton.
It was an absolute revelation. I discovered that there were actually some sweet ingredients I could use with impunity, as a diabetic. Other ingredients I was introduced to, although they affected blood sugar to some extent, were still gentler on the body than refined sugar and possible for me to use from time to time in moderation.
This seemed precious information, not only for me as a diabetic but generally too. It’s now known unequivocally that refined sugar is not only highly addictive but also immensely damaging to our health and that our current levels of consumption of the stuff are literally killing us.
It was also around this the time that I noticed eating carbohydrates had a significant effect on my blood sugar levels – carbohydrates such as wheat, potatoes, oats and rice. So I decided to experiment with alternatives – not only in my daily meals but with the ingredients I used for sweet treats too.
Rising to the challenge of making healthier cakes, without the two principle ingredients normally used – refined sugar and white flour - that were still appealing to eat, stoked my enthusiasm for baking even more.
This new chapter of cake baking hasn’t all been a glorious success. I’ve had to stoically chomp my way through a few stodgy sponges and one or two creations in the early days had to go straight in the bin. But now, I’m happy to say, I’ve a growing resource of pretty-damned-delicious cake, pud and biscuit recipes that I’m moved to share with you and spread the love. Some I’ve invented, some have been shared with me by friends, others I’ve adapted from recipes I’ve found. It’s my hope that they will inspire and titillate you. That they will get you reaching for your pinny. And that they’ll demonstrate to you in a practical way that life free from refined sugar and overly sugary natural alternatives, can still be delicious, relatively easy and wholly sustainable.
*low GI (Glycaemic Index) refers to the rate that the glucose from the food you eat is absorbed into your body. Although our cells need glucose to function, ideally it needs to come in a slow steady trickle. Foods that deliver glucose in a large quantity all at once, put a significant strain on the body. These kinds of foods are foods with a high GI (around 65 on the index upwards)