Home Food is a collection of 55 carb conscious recipes for comfort eating. It’s written by Trish van der Nest a mother of four, lawyer and homoeopath. Trish grew up in a family of cooks and foodies and has been collecting recipes for years. Her focus is creating dishes with fresh ingredients, real food and she has an eye on what is healthy. The recipes contained within Home Food are some of Trish’s favorite dishes, many updated versions of old family recipes and all with a connection to someone in her life.


The recipes are uncomplicated to make with easy to source ingredients. She includes starters, sauces, salads (I love the broccoli salad), vegetarian dishes, fish and seafood (I’ve bookmarked the braid snoek with apricot glaze), mains and desserts. It also includes recipes with a distinct South African feel like the braaid snoek and mielie bread.  There’s something in here for everyone, but I think it’s a recipe book that would be particularly useful for those following a carb-conscious diet, especially those with diabetes. She uses sweetener sparingly, only in the sweet recipes and chooses to use xylitol not sugar. Xylitol is a sugar substitute safe for diabetics as it does not raise blood sugar. I found her dessert section particularly useful as it is hard to find desserts that are gluten and wheat free along with being made with a diabetic friendly sweetener.


I chose to share her recipe for a wheat and gluten free Carrot Cake, a recipe she adapted specifically to be both wheat and sugar free. It’s flavourful, manages to be perfectly moist and not crumbly and is delicious alone or with a cream cheese icing. It’s a recipe I’ll be remaking again and again. The only changes I made was using fructose rather than Xylitol. Fructose is a sugar found naturally in fruit and is diabetic friendly and my preferred sugar alternative. I used her same quantities so you can easily substitute it for xylitol if you prefer. I also omitted the crystalized ginger – if you want that add in 75grams chopped crystalized ginger to the batter before baking.


Wheat and Gluten Free Carrot Cake from Home Food [Sugar + Dairy Free]


Wheat and Gluten Free Carrot Cake from Home Food

A sugar free, wheat free and gluten free carrot cake that's flavorful and deliciously moist. From the cookbook Home Food by Trish van der Nest.
Course: Desserts, Snacks
Dietary: Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Vegetarian, Wheat Free
Servings: 1 23cm round cake



  • 1 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 3/4 cup fructose or xylitol
  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cup grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts


  • 125 grams cream cheese
  • 6 tablespoon crème fraiche
  • 1/4 cup fructose dissolved in a little hot water


  • Preheat the oven to 180C and prepare a 23cm cake tin with baking paper and non-stick spray.
  • Place the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, salt and cinnamon in a mixing bowl and mix.
  • Combine the rest of the ingredients and add them to the dry ingredients.
  • Add the batter to your prepared cake tin and bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the tin for 30 minutes before removing and allowing it to cool completely on a wire cooling rack.
  • To make the icing combine the cream cheese and crème fraiche. Add in the dissolved fructose and mix. Once the cake is completely cooled decorate it with some icing as well as chopped nuts and crystalized ginger.


You can use xylitol in place of fructose.
If you want add in 75 grams chopped crystalized ginger to the batter before baking.


Wheat and Gluten Free Carrot Cake from Home Food [Sugar + Dairy Free]


Home Food was given to us by LAPA Publishers a division of Penguin Random House South Africa and is available here. LAPA Publishers nor the author approved or reviewed this piece prior to publication. Opinions are our own. The recipe is reprinted with permission, images are our own.


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