Monthly Archives: February 2014

Gluten Free Friday Treat: Choc-Meringues



Makes 24 meringues| Hands-On Time: 30m|


  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 5ml Vanilla essence
  • 5ml instant espresso powder
  • 1ml salt
  • 1 pinch cream of tartar
  • 125ml sugar
  • 110g dark chocolate, melted and cooled to room temperature


1. Heat oven to 100’C.

2. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites with the vanilla, espresso powder, salt, and cream of tartar on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Very gradually (1 tablespoon at a time) beat in the sugar; increase mixer speed to high and beat until the mixture holds glossy peaks.

3. Drop heaping tablespoon-fulls of the mixture onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them 2cm apart.

4. Bake until dry, crisp, and firm, about 2 hours. (The meringues are done when they release easily from the parchment.)

5. Turn off the oven, prop open the door about 1cm (use the handle of a wooden spoon), and let the meringues sit inside for 1 hour. Slide the parchment (with the meringues on top) onto racks and let cool completely.

Peel the meringues off the parchment, then dip the bottom of each into the chocolate, allowing any excess to drip off. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets and refrigerate just until the chocolate is set, 25 to 30 minutes. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

2 Meringues = 1 Starch


Hunger Hormones And Appetite Suppressants

The two hormones that play the biggest role in our appetite are Leptin and Ghrelin. Leptin is a hormone, made by fat cells, that decreases your appetite. Ghrelin is a hormone that increases appetite, and also plays a role in body weight.

GHRELIN: (appetite increaser), is released primarily in the stomach and signal hunger to the brain. Ghrelin levels increases when one is under-eating and decreases when one is over-eating. Ghrelin plays a role in determining how quickly hunger returns after a meal. Ghrelin levels increases before a meal, signaling hunger, and then decreases for more or less 3 hours after a meal.

LEPTIN: helps signal the brain that there are enough energy stores in the body. However, many obese people fail to respond to leptin’s signals.  Obesity causes a resistance to leptin’s appetite suppressing effects.



Pine nuts have more protein content than other nuts and seeds and also possesses pinolenic acid, which can stimulate specific sensors in the brain that are responsible for telling you that you’re full.

Almonds are rich in Vitamin E, antioxidants and magnesium that has been shown to increase feelings of fullness in people and help with weight loss.


Moderate intake of coffee (1 – 2 cups per day) stimulates the central nervous system and suppresses the appetite. Caffeine can also boost t he metabolism that aids in weight loss.


Ginger helps with digestion and increase energy, which then lead to decreased feelings of hunger. Ginger also has fat burning and metabolism boosting properties. Cinnamon helps lower your blood sugar levels, which n turn helps to control your appetite.


The omega 3 and 9 fats signal to the brain that one’s stomach is full by increasing leptin levels. Good sources of these fats include: (omega 9) avocado, olives and (omega 3) salmon, mackerel and tuna (fresh, not tinned).


Spicy food is known to increase fat-burning metabolism naturally and act as an appetite suppressant by temporarily dulling the tongue’s ability to sense sweet. By adding cayenne pepper to a dish, more calories are burned and weight loss is made easier. The spiciness in wasabi also suppresses appetite and has anti-inflammatory effects.


Apples are filled with soluble fiber and pectin, which help you feel full. They also regulate your glucose and boost your energy levels.

7.   WATER

Slight dehydration can easily be mistaken for hunger. By drinking 1 – 2 glasses of water before a meal, fewer calories would be consumed due to a feeling of satiety.


Any food high in fiber will give a feeling of satiety and reduces hunger. These foods include; oatmeal, sweet potato, low GI breads, fruits and vegetables, especially the green leafy veggies.

9.   TOFU

A rich plant-based protein source, tofu isn’t just for vegetarians! Tofu is high in an isoflavone called genistein, which has been shown to suppress appetite and lower food intake.


Green tea can help you to stop mindlessly snacking, and it is shown that the catechins in green tea help to inhibit the movement of glucose into fat cells, which slows the rise of blood sugar, preventing high insulin levels and therefore also preventing fat storage.  When the blood sugar is more stable, so is the hunger.