Put a smile on your plate

By Sarah Wilson

Put a smile on your plate and on little faces. Our fun, fab recipes from I Quit Sugar guru Sarah Wilson can help ease the family off the white stuff.

Choc avo brekkie smash

PREPARATION TIME 15 minutes (plus 1 hour setting)



2 ripe avocados, halved and deseeded

125ml coconut cream, chilled

4 tablespoons raw cacao powder

1 tablespoon chia seeds

2 teaspoons rice malt syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract or a sprinkle of vanilla powder

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

salt, to taste

175g frozen berries

1½ teaspoons granulated stevia

60g shredded coconut or rolled oats


1 Blend the avocado, coconut cream, raw cacao, chia seeds, rice malt syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and salt in a blender until smooth. Scrape the mixture into a bowl, cover and chill the mixture in the fridge for at least 1 hour to set.


2 While the mousse mixture is setting, pulse the frozen berries and stevia in a blender to form a chunky purée. Stop before the mixture is too smooth.


3 Line up 4-6 sterilised jars or glasses. Spoon 4 tablespoons of the mousse mixture into the base of each jar. Spoon a layer of berry purée over the top and then a layer of shredded coconut or rolled oats. Repeat the process until the jars are full.


4 Serve immediately or seal and leave in the fridge for up to 2 days.


TRICKY TIP Go easy on the chocolate, using less cacao for young children who might not have the palate for it yet. This is healthy enough for breakfast – easily transportable and it’ll keep the kids going until lunchtime.






Cucumber laughing heads




1 cucumber

4 tablespoons cream cheese, softened, or enough to fill the cucumber as described

50g thinly sliced ham

1 teaspoon capers


1 Cut the cucumber in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon.


2 Fill one ‘tunnel’ generously with cream cheese and the other with a thin layer of ham. Press the two layers together, squeezing so that the cream cheese meets the ham, then slice carefully into 3cm rounds.


Place two capers on the cream cheese for eyes, as in the picture.



Add some fronds of fennel to make eyebrows.





Cheese & bacon pops

PREPARATION TIME 10 minutes (plus chilling)

COOKING TIME 5 minutes



120g cream cheese, softened

60g grated cheddar or crumbled goat’s cheese

4 tablespoons chopped herbs (thyme or basil are great)

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

4 rashers bacon

3-4 tablespoons crushed pecans or almonds


1 Combine the cheeses, half the herbs, salt and pepper in a bowl.


Divide into eight bite-sized pieces, roll into balls and insert a bamboo skewer or thin lolly stick into each ball. Refrigerate overnight or freeze for 20 minutes.


Meanwhile, cook the bacon until crispy. Allow to cool then dice finely or crumble up and mix with the crushed nuts and the remaining herbs. Roll the balls in the bacon and nut mixture and serve.





Ham & cheese cauliflower pizza


COOKING TIME 45 minutes




1 cauliflower, grated (by hand or in a food processor until it’s rice-sized, but not pulverised) and par-cooked (steamed or boiled), well drained, cooled slightly and water squeezed out

100g goat’s cheese or 115g grated cheddar cheese

2 eggs

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste



75ml good-quality low-sugar tomato sauce or my homemade tomato sauce (see recipe below)

60g grated cheddar cheese

100g shaved ham


Preheat the oven to 200C (gas 6). Line a baking tray with baking paper. To make the base, mix the cauliflower with the cheese and eggs in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper.


2 Using a wooden spoon or your hands, shape the mixture into 1 large pizza base or 4 small, directly on the prepared tray. The bases should be about 1cm-1½ cm thick. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until firm and golden, then remove from the oven.


3 To make the topping, smear the homemade tomato sauce over the base or bases. Sprinkle with half the cheese and then scatter the ham on top. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.


4 Bake for a further 8-10 minutes, until the cheese has melted and serve warm.









2 × 440g cans whole peeled tomatoes (or 675ml passata)

½ onion, chopped

75ml apple cider vinegar

4 teaspoons rice malt syrup (or 2 teaspoons granulated stevia)

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Bring all the ingredients to the boil in a saucepan, crush the tomatoes with the back of a spoon then stir to distribute the spices. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 50 minutes or until the sauce reduces by almost half and is quite thick.


2 Blend with a hand-held blender or in a food processor. If the sauce is still a bit runny, return it to the heat and reduce for a little longer.


3 Divide the mixture into 2 × 250ml sterilised glass jars and store in the fridge for up to one month.


Fluffy raspberry muffins


COOKING TIME 30 minutes



250g gluten-free flour, sifted

2½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

250ml unsweetened almond milk (use regular milk or coconut milk to make the recipe nut-free)

125g butter, melted

2 eggs, whisked

75ml rice malt syrup

180g frozen or fresh raspberries


1 Preheat the oven to 180C (gas 4). Line a muffin or cupcake tray with 12 paper cases.


Combine the sifted flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Pour in the milk, butter, eggs and rice malt syrup. Mix until a batter forms. Gently stir through the raspberries.


3 Spoon the mixture into the prepared paper cases and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the muffins are well risen and a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the centre.


Remove from the tray and allow to cool on a wire rack before serving.






Raspberry ice cream sodas

PREPARATION TIME 15 minutes (plus 5 hours freezing)




1 x 400ml can coconut cream

1 tablespoon rice malt syrup

½ teaspoon vanilla powder


500g raspberries, fresh or frozen

flesh of 1 coconut, blitzed in a food processor (optional)

250ml water or coconut water from the coconut, if using



750ml soda water or natural mineral water

shaved coconut (optional), to serve


1 To make the ice cream, mix all the ingredients in a blender, or using a hand-held blender, until smooth and creamy. Pour into a freezer-safe container and leave in the freezer for 5 hours, stirring every hour to ensure the mixture remains creamy. Alternatively, use an ice-cream maker, if you have one.


To make the raspberry drink, place the raspberries, coconut flesh, if using, and water in a blender or food processor. Blend on high until smooth to make a purée.


3 To assemble, place 4 tablespoons of the raspberry purée in each of four glasses and slowly add the soda or mineral water and stir until combined. Top with a scoop or two of the Simple Coconut Ice Cream. Sprinkle with shaved coconut if you like.


TRICKY TIP Store remaining purée in an airtight container in the fridge and leftover ice cream in the freezer.





Aussie mango coconut lollies

PREPARATION TIME 5 hours (includes freezing)



35g desiccated coconut

1 x 400ml can coconut cream

1 tablespoon rice malt syrup

175g diced frozen mango


1 Blend the desiccated coconut, coconut cream and rice malt syrup in a blender or using a hand-held blender until well combined and pour into 4-6 ice lolly moulds until one-third full. You will have coconut mixture remaining for the next step.


2 Freeze for one hour until just set. Add the mango to the remaining coconut mixture and blend until smooth.


3 Top up the moulds with the mango mixture, insert the sticks and freeze for at least 4 hours.


TRICKY TIP For some extra crunch add a sprinkle of chopped macadamia nuts after pouring in the mango mixture.






Gluten-free choc-chip cookies


COOKING TIME 20 minutes



180g buckwheat flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla powder

½ teaspoon sea salt

125g unsalted butter, softened

125ml rice malt syrup

1 egg

100g dark chocolate (85 per cent), coarsely chopped (you can add a pinch of stevia to counteract the dark chocolate for younger kids) or good-quality dark chocolate chips


1 Preheat the oven to 160C (gas 3). Line two baking trays with baking paper.


2 Combine the flour, baking powder, vanilla powder and salt in a large bowl.


In a separate bowl, beat the butter and rice malt syrup with an electric mixer until creamy. Add the egg and beat until combined.


Add the butter mixture to the dry ingredients and combine with a wooden spoon. Fold through the chocolate (and stevia if using).


5 Roll tablespoons of the mixture into balls and place 4cm apart on the lined trays. Press down slightly.


Bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly golden. These cookies are delicious and almost cake-like in texture. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Enjoy the cookies warm out of the oven, or cold if you prefer. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.








Today’s recipes are from I Quit Sugar Kids’ Cookbook by Sarah Wilson, to be published by Bluebird on 15 June, price £9.99. 



To pre-order a copy for £6.99 (a 30 per cent discount) until 18 June, visit you-bookshop.co.uk or call 0844 571 0640; p&p is free on orders over £15.