Simple carob cake

The finished cake (complete with icing sugar lumps!)

Carob makes a great alternative to chocolate, though it tastes a little different. In the UK, organic carob powder is available on Amazon, from Hatton Hill Organic and Buy Wholefoods Online as well as a few other vendors.

You will need a flour for this cake. In the UK you will find Dove’s Farm Spelt Flour is widely available at supermarkets and does not contain the usual additives. Alternatively, Stoate’s plain flour is currently available online at


  • 125g butter
  • 150g brown sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla powder
  • 100g carob powder
  • 120ml of boiling water
  • 2 medium sized eggs
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 200g Stoate’s plain flour (you could use any other wheat flour free from additives or spelt flour)
  • large pinch of sea salt

For the icing

  • 4 tbsp icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp carob powder
  • 2 tbsp boiling water


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/ 360F
  2. Butter a ceramic loaf tin or other vessel that does not have a PTFE ‘non-stick’ coating. You could use a muffin tin with paper cases, so that the cake does not touch the PTFE, but would need to reduce the baking time as these would cook faster.
  3. Add the sugar, butter and vanilla, to a food processor and mix well
  4. In a separate bowl whisk together the boiling water and carob powder
  5. Add the water/carob mixture to the food processor and blend
  6. Add the eggs, flour, salt and baking powder to the food processor and mix well again
  7. Pour the mixture into the loaf tin
  8. Bake for 30 minutes or until a cocktail stick or piece of spaghetti comes out clean when inserted
  9. The cake is not especially sweet so you may wish to add the icing. Do this by mixing the icing ingredients in a cup with a spoon (you will need to sieve the icing sugar or you will get the white lumps visible in the photo!)

Low Carb Y.A.C.S. Diet Cost Analysis

If you have wondered how much it would cost to go fully organic, while eating the foods recommonded for the low carbohydrate version of the YACS diet then this post is for you.

This analysis is quite specific to the UK so apologies to our global readers.

This post assumes:

  • You have shopped at Sainsburys for everything apart from your coconut milk which you have purchased from Holland and Barrett. This is because Sainsburys is currently lacking any suitable coconut milk. These two shops were chosen because they are widely available to consumers in the UK and because they have physical shops there was no need to take into account postage costs. Waitrose was also considered for its wide choice of organic food and availability of suitable coconut milk but ultimately not recommended for those on a budget as it increased the final shopping total by 18% for a similar basket.
  • That you are eating organically whenever possible, with the exception of a few items which aren’t available from either Sainsburys or Holland and Barrett. These include fennel, shallots, prosciutto and bacon without nitrates and sulphites.
  • That you are cooking for yourself alone. This means that the costing of the recipes are generally for 2 servings, and the extra serving from dinner is eaten the next day at lunch. If you are cooking for multiple people you may either wish to increase the quantities or cook them something different- if they are not YACS eaters.
  • That you want to eat reasonably well and have breakfast and a single snack per day.
  • Drinks weren’t included so you may need to add on the cost of bottled water if you are in a fluoride water region and don’t have a distiller, or you may want to add on the cost of some chammomile tea bags (for example).


The total for the week’s worth of food was £81.15. This compares to a national average of spending approximately £45 a week on food, and that means that the YACS low carb diet is quite expensive compared to a regular diet.


BreakfastLow carb granola2.49
LunchVegetable Curry (leftovers from Sunday)2.80
DinnerNut roast with butter cabbage4.35
SnackHalf a lettuce with almond butter1.15


BreakfastLow carb granola2.49
LunchNut roast with butter cabbage (leftovers)4.35
DinnerRoast chicken with shallots (from The Roasting Tin)5
SnackAvocado (non organic)0.75


BreakfastLow carb granola2.49
LunchRoast chicken with shallots (from The Roasting Tin, left overs)5
DinnerSalmon and broccoli (from The Roasting Tin)4.09
SnackLittle gem lettuce with almond butter1.15


BreakfastLow carb granola2.49
LunchSalmon and broccoli (from The Roasting Tin, leftovers)4.09
DinnerPork Pilbi with butter cabbage (from the Roasting Tin, but with substitutions)3.76


BreakfastLow carb granola2.49
LunchPork Pilbi (leftovers)3.76
DinnerThai Okra (from The Roasting Tin)1.86
SnackHalf a packet of prosciutto (non organic)0.45


BreakfastEggs and Naked bacon1.90
LunchThai Okra (leftovers)1.86
DinnerHalf a whole chicken low carb butter chicken6.85
SnackPacket of cranberries2.20


BreakfastEggs and bacon1.90
LunchHalf a whole chicken low carb butter chicken (leftovers)6.85
Dinnervegetable curry2.02
SnackPacket of walnuts1.90


Due to the Low Carb YACS diet’s expense you may find it difficult to afford depending on your circumstances.

  • If you are a student who finds that carbohydrate makes you feel lethargic or sleepy, you may have to make a compromise such as only eating Low Carb YACS during the exam and revision period, whilst eating a regular moderate carb YACS diet the rest of the year.
  • If the Low Carb YACS diet is within your budget and you find carbs make you lethargic then go for it! It is difficult to put a price on health and wellness.
  • If you want to eat low carb but really can’t afford the budgeted cost then consider not eating organically, (hopefully this will be a temporary decision for you) and making changes such as eating more eggs and more pork mince (e.g. homemade meatballs) as this is a cheaper cut of meat.

Baked apples

Please note, coring the apples is somewhat dangerous so only do this recipe if you are feeling alert!

Serves 2


  • 2 apples
  • 2 tbsp organic raisins
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • juice of half a lemon


  1. Preheat the oven to 160C
  2. Core the apples
  3. Mix the raisins, sugar and mixed spice in a bowl
  4. Stuff the apples with the mixture
  5. Bake for 50 minutes
  6. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with lemon juice

Serve with organic double cream or by itself.

Roast chicken with sweet potatoes & cashews

Serves 4


  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 4 chicken drumsticks
  • 3 sweet potatoes, peeled and chipped
  • 2 onions, peeled and halved

Spice mix

  • 2 onions, peeled and halved
  • 4cm ginger peeled
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 stick of lemongrass
  • 50g cashew nuts
  • 3 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 chilli
  • 1 tsp of chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 3 tbs filtered water


  1. Preheat oven to 180C
  2. Blend the spice mix in the food processor to make a paste
  3. Add the coconut milk and blend again
  4. Put the remaining ingredients in a roasting tin and cover with the spice mix sauce
  5. Place in the over and bake for 1 hour, checking the chicken is cooked through, and the sweet potato is soft before eating

Note the portions are quite small here – just 1 piece of chicken per person so if you need a bit more you could add twice as much chicken to stay low carb or serve with a piadina or rice.