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Majella O'Donnell spelts it out with ancient grain 22.01.14

by Linda McGrory

MAJELLA O'Donnell has turned to the health benefits of an ancient grain to build herself up ahead of major breast cancer surgery next month.
Singer husband Daniel revealed that his wife has been baking with spelt flour as she prepares for a double mastectomy in the coming weeks.
The couple are currently enjoying a new year break at their holiday villa in Tenerife after a tough year that brought Majella's devastating diagnosis and the death of her beloved father Tom Roche.
"It has been a difficult, difficult time but every family gets things that you have to deal with and this was, I suppose, our turn," said the singer.
And he revealed that Majella (53) has been trying out spelt flour as a healthy alternative in the kitchen.
Majella O'Donnell.
Spelt is an ancient species of wheat dating back to the Neolithic period that has been making a comeback in recent years among the wholefood community.
It is said to be rich in vitamins, minerals, fibre and protein and is regarded by many as a superfood that aids digestion, circulation and the immune system.
It is also believed to boost the body's production of the mood-enhancing hormone serotonin.
"She's baking a lemon drizzle cake. We're waiting to see if it rises or not because she's making it with spelt flour to be all healthy," Daniel told BBC radio.
We are waiting for it to come out (of the oven) and shes thinking its not going to rise. Well see how it comes out it might not pass the test, he joked.
The Donegal hitmaker (52), whose own favourite foods are mince and potatoes and some Chinese dishes, was promoting two rescheduled concerts in Croydon and Eastbourne next week. He was forced to cancel the gigs last October when his father-in-law passed away. The bestselling crooner will kick off a month-long tour of Australia and New Zealand on February 21.
Brave Majella raised more than 600,000 for the Irish Cancer Society after having her head shaved live on the 'Late, Late Show' in September.
Daniel said his wife was currently "doing good" but would not accompany him on tour in the earlier part of this year due to her upcoming operation.
"She is going to have a double mastectomy in February and that will mean quite a long recovery period," he added.
Meanwhile, he said he was touched by the loyalty of fans who have supported him throughout his 30-year career.
"We have been very fortunate through the years and it's amazing to think it's been so long since I started doing the shows.
Daniel O'Donnell.
"People are tremendous really, the people who have followed me down through the years to the shows. They are always there waiting to welcome us."
Why not enjoy Daniel's crooner cake:- A recipe similar to the one Majella followed for her tasty bake:
Spelt Lemon Drizzle Cake

7oz butter, softened
7oz caster sugar
3 large eggs
2oz white spelt flour
4 oz ground almonds
2 lemons (juiced and zested)

For icing
Juice of one lemon
5-6 tbsp icing sugar

1. Preheat oven to 180C
2. Grease 8" cake tin and line with baking parchment.
3. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
4. Slowly beat in the eggs.
5. Fold in flour, almond and lemon zest.
6. Gently pour mixture into tin and tap sides to banish bubbles.
7. Bake for 35-40 minutes until sponge is light golden brown.
Spelt Lemon Drizzle Cake.
8. While still hot in the tin, prick about 20 holes in cake.
9. Generously drizzle the lemon juice into the holes and leave to cool.
10. Mix lemon juice into icing sugar to make a smooth paste
11. Remove cake from tin and smooth icing over the top.
12. Simply serve.
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