A friend of mine recently gave me a huge bag of limes from her tree, lucky me, I love limes. So, it got me thinking about different ways that I could use them. Usually I peel them, cut them up, and freeze them in a bag in the freezer. But this time I wanted to experiment a bit and find ways to use them in food.
As a kid, I used to love the lemon slice that my mum would make, however, having taken on a more ‘clean’ way of eating, that particular lemon slice is off the menu. So, I thought I could try and make a healthier version, changing it up to use the limes I now have.
The juice from a ‘normal’ sized lime, has around 22% of the daily requirements of vitamin C. Vitamin C has many health benefits, such as giving the immune system a good boost, helping with the absorption of iron, helping to treat a cold, helping with wound healing, keeping the skins elasticity, and helping control asthma symptoms.
Lime peel has been shown to improve heart health, by helping to prevent plaque build-up in the coronary arteries, which can reduce the chances of having cardiovascular disease. The juice of limes contains something called flavonol glycosides, which have antibacterial and antifungal properties, as well as antioxidant and anti-cancer benefits. More specifically, it has been shown that the juice from limes can help prevent cholera.
Other ingredients in my tangy lime and chia slice add to the health benefits of the lime, making this a slice that can be eaten at any time, not just as a treat. The sugar content has been kept very low, which is good for the waistline, but also keeps the tanginess and tartness of the limes. Which is a flavour that I love.
Xylitol is used as the sweetener in the bottom layer of the slice. I decided to us this instead of any other sweeteners because of its relatively similar sweetness to sugar (with 40% less energy). It has a minute level of 7 on the GI scale, meaning that it won’t cause a spike in blood sugar levels, as well as being great for dental and bone health. The only down side of this sweetener is that is toxic to animals, so make sure your pets don’t eat this slice.
Rice malt syrup is the other sweetener that I have used (in the top layer). It is 100% fructose free. Fructose is digested in the liver, putting extra strain on an already hard working organ, leading to fat storage and weight gain. By using a sweetener that is fructose free, we are essentially slowing down the digestion of the sugars in the rice malt syrup, preventing the sugar crash that can happen from other types of sugar.
Wholemeal spelt flour is closely related to wheat, however, it is one of the oldest cultivated types of grain in human history. Over time, wheat grains have been bred and changed to fit into the bread market that needs the bread to be made faster, and to a certain standard. Tone of the changes that is made is the changes to the gluten in the wheat, which is possibly the cause for the increase in people who aren’t able to tolerate eating gluten. Spelt is full of nutrients (iron, copper, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, selenium, niacin, thiamin, B6 and folic acid), as well as containing high amounts of protein and dietary fiber. With all of these vitamins and minerals, it is no surprise that spelt can improve digestion, cholesterol, circulation, help with hormone regulation, and improve bone health. This makes it my first choice to use as a flour.
Gelatin powder is flavorless, odorless and tasteless, making it perfect to be used as a gelling agent in foods as it does not overtake the flavour of the dish. It is made from the collagen found in the bones of animals. The brand I use is called Great Lakes Gelatin, and it has high amounts of the amino acids proline, glycine and alanine. The hydrolyzed collagen found in this product can be easily used by our bodies, allowing it is help with cell growth, joint lubrication and tissue growth.
Chia seeds are related to the mint plant, and grow native to South America. These tiny seeds pack a real nutritional punch, with few calories/kilojoules. Chia seeds are high in antioxidants, are 40% fiber, are 14% protein (very high for a plant product), have a high Omega-3 content (higher than salmon), contain nutrients important for bone health (calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and protein), and the fact that they are so small means they can be added to food without really noticing them.
The final ingredient that I want to talk about is chicken eggs. The humble egg has two main components; the white and the yolk. The egg white has over half of the total protein contained in the egg, as well as vitamin B2, selenium, vitamin D, B6, B12, zinc, iron and copper. The yolk has more fat and calories/kilojoules than the egg white, and is a source of cholesterol, vitamins A, D, E K, and lecithin (which makes it a good emulsifier). Many people avoid the egg yolk due to the cholesterol content, but eggs these days contain a lot less cholesterol than they used to, with the health benefits outweighing the risks. So, I say (unless you have very high cholesterol already) to eat the whole egg and reap the benefits.
Tangy lime and chia slice
2 Tablespoon/ 20g unsalted butter
2 tablespoons/ 20g coconut oil (can omit butter and use 4 tablespoons of coconut oil)
¼ cup/ 55g xylitol
1 cup/ 195g wholemeal spelt flour (can sub for gluten free flour if you need to)
1 Tablespoon arrowroot flour
the zest of 1 lime grated super fine
3 whole eggs
¼ cup/ 80g rice malt syrup
the juice of 4-5 very ripe limes (around 140g)
1 Tablespoon of wholemeal spelt flour (or gluten free flour)
1 Tablespoon of Great Lakes gelatin (red packet)
2 Tablespoons of white chia seeds
Line a square tin with baking paper. Spray the tin with a spray oil to help the paper stick. Then pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.
Mix all of the base layer ingredients together until it looks crumbly, then press it into the bottom of the square tin, trying to make it as even as possible.
Put it in the oven to brown up. This will probably take around 20 mins, depending on the size of the tin. A smaller tin will have a thicker base, therefore taking a bit longer.
While the base layer is cooking, whisk the top layer ingredients together, and set aside.
Once the base is browning, take it out of the oven. Give the top layer mixture a quick stir, then pour it over the base layer.
Put is straight back in the oven and cook until set. You will be able to tell when it is set when you lightly touch the center and it doesn’t feel wet anymore. This will take around 20 mins also. Again, if the layers are thicker, then it might take a little but longer.
Once the slice is cooked, let it cool a bit before cutting it up. The top layer will continue to firm up as it sets.
- Line a cake tin with baking paper. Spray the tin with oil spray to help the baking paper to stick to the pan and not move around. Preheat the oven to 180 decrees celcius
- Add all of the base layer ingredients to the Thermomix bowl, mix on speed 4 for 10 seconds, to combine all of the ingredients and create a crumbly texture.
- Press into a cake tin to create the base. Bake in the oven for around 20 mins, until browned.
- Once the base layer is cooked, add the top layer ingredients to the Thermomix bowl and mix on speed 4 for 20 seconds. Pour the mixture over the base straight away and put back in the oven, cook until set. This will take 20-30 mins, you will be able to tell when it is set when you lightly touch the center and it doesn’t feel wet anymore.
- Once the slice is cooked, let it cool a bit before cutting it up. The top layer will continue to firm up as it sets.
I cut mine into 12 slices, however, it is very tart, so if you aren’t used to it, you might want to make the squares smaller.
Protein – 55.9g
Fat – 66g
Carbs – 200g
Energy – 7352 Kj/2119 Cals
Per Serve (12):
Protein – 4.7g
Fat – 5.5g
Carbs – 16.7g
Energy – 612.7 Kj/ 176 Cal
-If you want to make it a bit sweeter, add half a cup of the rice malt syrup to the top layer. I like the tartness of the limes, so I don’t add much.
-Lemon, orange, blood orange, or any citrus would work well in this recipe.
I find that the tangy nature of this slice takes the edge of any other sweet cravings I might have, hopefully it will for you all as well.