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Guilt-free goodness
by Mitchelle D’Souza September 29, 2017
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What if we told you Dubai boasts of a home-baker capable of whipping up healthy yet decadent treats devoid of health-hindering ingredients such as sugar, gluten, dairy, soy, preservatives and additives? Your eyes are sure to widen in wonderment. Gone are the days when people intolerant of any of the aforementioned ingredients would have to fight the temptation of tucking into sugar and calorie loaded confections. With her repertoire of deft recipes, Kamilla Omarzay has changed the way people look at sweetmeats in the UAE.
 
A quick glance through her website www.thesnacksociety.com, laden with oh-so-delicious looking treats and recipes, minus the usually suspected ingredients, would almost seem deceiving. Gluten- and lactose-intolerant herself, Omarzay devised The Snack Society to reach out to denizens suffering from impediments similar to hers, giving them a chance to enjoy the sweet pleasures of life. The enterprise was born when Omarzay decided to take matters in her own hands, literally, by crafting and baking her own goodies for lack of options in the market.
 
Cooking and baking come as second nature to Omarzay, since as a child her curiosities lead her to explore the culinary art. But it wasn’t until she was diagnosed with being intolerant to a flurry of ingredients and being burned out with her dreary corporate job that she dived into the world of cooking full-time.
 
“In May 2015 I was diagnosed with a long list of foods I am intolerant to, including wheat, dairy and sugar. Removing these things from my diet proved to be even harder after I made a visit to the local supermarket and strolled through their gluten-free, dairy-free and organic aisle, only to find that products were full of refined sugar, artificial preservatives and additives,” she noted.
 
This led her to a journey of discovery wherein she stumbled upon a delish yet healthy recipe shorn of all the troublemaking ingredients.
 
“During a morning scroll through Facebook, I came across a recipe for delicious-looking coconut, date and almond balls made with all natural ingredients. I made them at home and it was epiphany from the first bite. This is where the bumpy, but ultimately happy road to making these energy balls began. I started experimenting with different flavours, creating my own recipes and sharing the results with family, friends and colleagues,” she revealed.
From then on, there was no turning back and a leap of faith into the healthy snack-making business for Omarzay. With recipes such as Grain-free Carrot Cupcakes to Apple and Pecan Pancakes among others, she has the cure for every kind of sweet-tooth. Among those items available for customers to order are Sweet Potato Brownies and Date and Almond Granola bars, each at just Dhs30 per six pieces. And getting to sample these isn’t much of a stretch either as they are delivered right to your doorstep (Dubai and Sharjah, with plans to expand pan emirates soon) in bespoke little boxes. Here she shares the recipe of one of her favourites with us — Paleo Tiramisu.

Paleo Tiramisu

Ingredients for the crust:
1 1/2 cups walnuts
1 cup oats (or coconut flour if you’re looking for a grain free recipe)
1 cup dates
2 tbsp coconut oil

Ingredients for the chocolate layer:
1 cup soaked cashews
1 cup soaked walnuts
1 cup dates
4 tbsp cacao powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
3 tbsp coconut oil
2 shots espresso or 4 heaped tsp instant coffee dissolved in 2 tbsp water
1/3 cup coconut milk

Method:
1. Put all the ingredients for the crust into a food processor and blitz well until a sticky mixture forms.
 
2. Line a 9x5 loaf pan with baking paper and press the mixture for the crust into it and place in the freezer while you make the second layer.
 
3. Place all the ingredients for the chocolate layer into the same food processor and mix well. If your mixture is too thick then add some more coconut milk.
 
4. Pour the chocolate layer over the crust and freeze for 1-2 hours.
 
5. Now to make the cream layer, place all the ingredients into your food processor and mix well for about 3-5 minutes, stopping in between to scrap down any pieces of cashews from the sides of the jug.
 
6. Pour the cream over the chocolate layer and freeze for a further 3-5 hours.
 
7. When you are ready to serve, dust the tiramisu with some raw cacao powder, slice and serve.
 

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