Gluten-free | Sugar-free | Dairy-free | Grain-free | Low carb
Makes: 4 serves
I remember my first trip to IKEA fondly. It was with my husband, who knew the big blue and yellow building well, after living in Sweden for a year. He escorted me through the labyrinth-like showroom, pointing out cool-looking chairs, unusual pot plants and Scandinavian-style linen. We then made our way to the large indoor cafeteria, and he insisted I try the meatballs and mash with gravy and jam.
Jam? Why have they put a toast condiment on my meatballs? Perplexed, I soldiered on, and despite my initial scepticism, I enjoyed the Swedish tradition of eating a sweet and tart sauce with creamy mash and savoury meatballs.
Today, I give you my healthy take on these Scandinavian morsels. They're delicious, tender, flavoursome and contain no added sugar, gluten, dairy or any unnecessary additives found in the popular IKEA staple.
Hints, Tips & Tricks
You can use lamb, beef mince, or a combination of beef, lamb, and lean pork mince. The choice is entirely up to you.
I've given you enough ingredients for a small jar of jam to use on pancakes, gluten-free toast, served with coconut yoghurt or on the sides of beef, pork or meatballs.
I use my Zero as Sugar Pure Erythritol to help maintain a sweet taste without adding refined sugar. You'll find this ingredient in many reduced-calorie and sugar-free foods and drinks. If you would like to purchase my Zero as Sugar Pure Erythritol, which's 100% natural, has zero calories, and registers zero on the glycemic index, you can find out more here.
This recipe also calls for inulin powder, a soluble fibre derived from plant-based sources. It is prebiotic, making it a fantastic ingredient for our gut health and a healthy alternative to sugar. You can read more information about inulin powder --> here. Or, if you're wondering where to purchase some, we sell 100% Chicory Inulin Powder for home delivery*! Find out more --> here.
As this recipe is gluten-free, I have also used xanthan gum to provide the elasticity that the gluten would otherwise provide.
This recipe requires roast garlic. A helpful tip for easy roast garlic; Break a garlic bulb into individual cloves keeping the skin on. Crush each clove with the flat side of a cutting knife - not too much as you still want each clove encased (crushing will help you easily remove the garlic once roasted). Create a little parcel by placing the cloves into the middle of a large square piece of aluminium foil and then bringing all the sides into the centre. Place the foil package into a 180°C (356°F) preheated oven for 20 minutes. I usually roast a whole bunch at the beginning of the week and store them in an airtight container in my fridge for the rest of the week.
I also use psyllium husk as a binding agent to ensure the ingredients hold together nicely. As psyllium husk is a soluble fibre and prebiotic, it also helps add more fibre to our diets. The recommended daily fibre intake is between 25 grams to 30 grams, and just one tablespoon of psyllium husk contains around 5 grams of fibre.
This recipe requires Bridget's Sticky Sauce, a healthy cooking sauce I use in many of my recipes. It's simple, healthy and packs a lot of flavour without adding unnecessary calories. If you need the recipe, you can get it here.
- 300 g (10.5 oz) frozen cranberries, raspberries or mixed berries
- 15 ml (1⁄2 oz) fresh lemon juice
- 90 g (3 oz) Zero as Sugar Pure Erythritol
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- 1 kilo (2.2 lb) cauliflower florets, sliced into even-sized pieces
- Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 10-12 small cloves of roast garlic (see hints, tips & tricks section above)
- 350 g (12.5 oz) lean beef mince (ground beef)
- 150 g (5.2 oz) lean pork mince (ground pork)
- 2 tsp Himalayan salt
- 1 tbsp Pure as Inulin Powder
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp finely ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp sugar-free Dijon mustard (I use Maille Dijon Originale Mustard)
- 2 tsp psyllium husks (See hints, tips & tricks section above)
- 1 small onion, peeled and blended till very fine and smooth
- 4 tbsp Bridget's Sticky Sauce
- 200 ml (7 oz) Kombu Water
- 50 ml coconut milk, optional
- We will start by preparing the jam. The jam can be made well ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- For the jam, add the berries, lemon juice and erythritol to a small saucepan on medium and heat until the berries are soft and the erythritol is dissolved. Add the xanthan gum and stir through and then blend the berries in a small food processor or with a stick blender until
- Allow the jam to cool, then place in a sterilised jar and store in the fridge until required. Note: If you like your jam sweeter, feel free to add 30-60 grams (1-2 oz) more erythritol.
- Make the cauliflower mash by adding the cauliflower to a medium-sized saucepan and just covering it with warm water. Give the pot a decent sprinkle of salt and bring the pot to a boil.
- Reduce the pot to a soft boil and cook the florets for 10-15 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender. You can test the cauliflower for doneness by using a fork to see if you can mash a floret easily.
- Drain the water from the cooked cauliflower in a colander, shaking well to remove as much water as possible. This part is important as it will determine whether your mash will come out watery or not.
- Place the drained cauliflower back into the pot, add the garlic and season with a bit of salt before mashing with a handheld stick blender. Alternatively, you can also spoon the cooked cauliflower into a food processor and blend it till smooth.
- Keep the mash warm while you prepare the meatballs and gravy.
To make the meatballs
- Add into a mixing bowl the beef and pork mince, salt, inulin powder, mixed spice, pepper, psyllium husks, mustard, and minced onion, and using spotless hands, mix the ingredients until evenly combined.
- Using scales to help with accuracy, portion and roll the mixture into 40 gram (1.4 oz) balls. Pour the sticky sauce into a bowl and add the meatballs, rolling them around, so you can fully cover them with the dressing.
- Heat a large heavy-bottomed frying pan at a medium to high temperature and add the meatballs. Allow the meatballs to cook and colour for about 4 minutes, rolling the balls as they cook evenly.
- Turn the heat to medium-low and add the kombu water. Place a lid on the pan and allow the meatballs to cook for a further 3-4 minutes, occasionally basting, until the balls are just cooked through. Keep an eye on them as you don't want them to overcook, or they will be dry.
- By this stage, a nice savoury gravy will have started to form under the cooked meatballs. Remove the meatballs from the pan, turn the heat up to high, and bubble the gravy.
- If the pan looks a little dry, add a bit more kombu and taste the sauce for flavour, adding salt, pepper, sticky sauce or mustard where you see fit. If using coconut milk, add it now and stir through.
- Serve the meatballs on top of the warm mash. Pour over some gravy and add a spoonful of your berry jam on the side. If preparing this dish for later eating, keep all the elements separate and combine and heat just before serving.
- The meatballs will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge and up to 3 months in the freezer.