Using healthy ingredients in cooking can be a lot more complicated than using the traditional combination of refined sugar, wheat and butter (which is almost always foolproof). Throughout the years I have literally ruined thousands of recipes when experimenting with healthier ingredients. It is totally worth it however but something that you won't have to go through since you have this website to lean on. Cooking with healthier ingredients can take time, patience and it can be more costly than using traditional ingredients. Don't give up though and if you carry on you will soon become an expert on cooking all things healthy. Just make sure you follow the recipes very carefully because 'a dash of this and a dash of that' usually doesn't work in healthy cooking. This is especially true for cakes and cookies. If you don't have any experience in cooking at all you don't need to worry because in 2000 I was eating dry pasta because of my lack of culinary skills (I didn't know how to cook it, I am not kidding) and in 2003 I had opened up my own recipe website with thousands of followers. If I can do it, you can do it too.

Below are questions I have gathered throughout the years from my users regarding baking, ingredients, cooking techniques and more. If you click on a question, the answer will appear below.

If you can't find the answer you are looking for, you can contact me directly or you can have a look through the Advice Section.


Can I prepare the ingredients for your breads in the evening to bake in the morning?

To a degree you can. You can combine the dry ingredients in one large bowl and combine all the liquids in another bowl. All you have to do in the morning is to pour the liquid into the large bowl and fold a couple of times.

Can I use your recipes for my breadmaker?

Yes you can although you will need to follow the instructions for 'soda bread' or 'yeast free bread' if those settings are available. You will probably have to play around with baking times and level of liquid in the bread before hitting the perfect combination. To be honest though, there is hardly any gain in using a breadmaker since making my breads takes such an incredibly short amount of time (since there is no kneading or rising time involved). My advice is; skip the breadmaker and use the storage space for something else!

I used traditional muffins cases and they burnt into the muffins, making them unedible.

  • I use very little fat in my recipes and you will not be able to use traditional muffins cases. I prefer to use a silicone muffins pan (or cases) which are available widely. For the best results rub a few drops of coconut oil into the cases to make the muffins pop right out.
  • If you are not able to find a silicone muffins pan you can make your own muffins cases. Place a small, round plate (saucer) on baking parchment. With a pen, draw around the plate. Make 12 circles and cut them out using scissors. Place the muffins cases in a traditional muffins pan. These will work well instead of traditional muffins cases and will not burn into the muffins. You can re-use these cases up to 4 or 5 times (they will look ugly re-used but that shouldn't matter as long as you don't serve the muffins in the cases).

My baking was ruined? What happened?

There could be one million and seven reasons for your baking to go bad. It could be the ingredients, the oven (too high heat or too low), too much humidity in the environment or it could just be one of those days when nothing works out the way it should (I have those all the time)! All recipes are triple tested when I put them on my website so I definitely know that they worked at home. However since I am not familiar with your kitchen, equipment or ingredients you might need to do a 'trial run' of a few recipes before you feel confident using healthier ingredients. Also make sure you follow the recipe carefully and when you are confident enough you can play around with it a bit.

My baking was too dry?

  • Add more liquid next time. Often a few tablespoons are sufficient.
  • Alternatively you can try baking at a lower temperature or for a shorter time (a couple of minutes less).

The bread turned out so heavy, much heavier than when baking traditional breads?

Welcome to yeast free baking! Yeast free breads are never as light and airy as breads made with yeast. It is specifically the yeast that creates air and makes the breads light. Although it is hard making light and airy yeast free breads it is essential that you do not over mix the dough. You will only need to stir the ingredients (once the dry ingredients are incorporated into the wet ingredients) a couple of times (8-10 folds). Often it is only necessary to fold (not stir) the mixture. The less you fold/stir usually the better. This is especially important when baking muffins and tea breads. Although the baked goods will be heavier than baking with yeast you can keep in mind that it takes only minutes preparing the breads (a lot less time than traditional breads) and there is no kneading required and no waiting whilst rising.

The bread turned out too moist/undercooked?

  • Start with half the liquid you think you will need and then add more if needed. Spelt flour is sensitive to moisture and humidity in the environment so you need to take that into consideration when adding liquid. A rainy day or wet laundry can even reduce the amount of liquid needed!
  • Bake for a little longer. Add 5 minutes to the baking time followed by another 5 minutes if needed (and so on) and check regularly. Often when you think something is not ready, only a few additional minutes are needed.
  • Bake at a higher temperature. If you are not using a convection oven you will need to increase the temperature slightly.
  • Use less liquid next time. If you live in a humid environment, this can affect the spelt flour. Also, as the spelt flour gets older it absorbs moisture and you will need less liquid in your baking. Other flour types are also sensitive to moisture, it's not just the spelt flour. I find that there is a huge difference between baking in London (often humid) and Iceland (very dry). Always start with less liquid than stated in the recipe.

The bread turned out very hard on the outside and undercooked on the inside?

  • If the bread was undercooked on the inside but the crust very hard the dough probably contained too much liquid to begin with. Reduce the liquid next time.
  • Also, the oven could have been to warm. Try lowering by a few degrees and bake for longer next time.
  • Start with half the liquid you think you will need and then add more if needed. Spelt flour is sensitive to moisture and humidity in the environment so you need to take that into consideration when adding liquid. A rainy day or wet laundry can even reduce the amount of liquid needed!
  • It is good to keep in mind that the bread dough should not be so wet that it would drop off a spoon easily, however it should be very sticky and it should be quite difficult to knead (due to the stickiness). You should in general not need to knead the dough.

The cookies sometimes become soft very quickly?

I use minimal fat in my recipes which means that the cookies become soft fairly quickly. It depends on the recipe though since some of the cookies will stay crunchy for a few days. The best thing to do is to freeze the cookies you will not be consuming on the same day you make them. You can then re-heat them in the oven (or in a toaster) and they will be like freshly baked.


I am lactose intolerant, what can I use instead of buttermilk in baking?

Combine 1 teaspoon lemon juice in soy milk (or any milk you prefer) and let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. It will curdle, making it ideal for use in baking instead of buttermilk. Add the curdled milk to the remaining amount of milk as per the recipe.