gluten free dairy free lamingtons …

Happy Australia Day! What better way to celebrate Australia Day than to make home-made lamingtons.

Lamingtons are an Australian specialty consisting of a square of sponge cake coated in chocolate and shredded coconut.

double_layer_lamingtons

With various food intolerances in my family thankfully I was able to find a paleo recipe :) It’s a simple recipe that makes delicious and healthy lamingtons.

The recipe is courtesy of Eat Drink Paleo.

Ingredients
For the sponge cake
3 whole eggs
1/2 cup tapioca flour/arrowroot
3/4 cup almond meal
2/3 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
just under 2/3 cup coconut oil, melted
4 tablespoons rice malt syrup *
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the chocolate & coconut icing
• 1/2 cup cocoa powder
• 2/3 cup coconut oil
• 2 tablespoons rice malt syrup *
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 3 tablespoons coconut or almond milk
• 1 1/2 cup desiccated coconut (unsweetened)

*  I used maple syrup instead.

Method
1) Preheat oven to 165C (330F).
2) Grease a 2 cm-deep, 20cm x 30cm (base) baking tray pan with some olive oil. Line with baking paper, leaving a small overhang on all sides. The oil will soak through making the paper easier to mould to the tray. I used dairy free butter to grease the baking tray.

lined_baking_tray

3) Dissolve coconut oil, malt syrup and vanilla extract and whisk together until well incorporated, set aside. Measure out tapioca flour and almond meal.

coconut_oil

maple_syrup_vanilla

whisk

whisked

almond_meal_tapioca

4) Using an electric mixer on high setting, beat eggs for 5 minutes until thick and foamy.

eggs

beating_eggs

beaten_eggs

5) Gradually add coconut oil mix while beating the eggs.

coconut_oil_mixture

beaten_coconut_oil

6) Add baking powder, tapioca and almond meal. Get a whisk and fold for 10-15 seconds until final ingredients are incorporated. You could also use an electric mixer on the lowest setting.

tapioca_flour

almond_meal

beaten_almondmeal_tapioca

7) Pour mixture into the prepared pan. Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Turn the sponge cake onto a wire rack and set aside to cool completely.

filled_baking_tray

baked

cooling

8) When the sponge cake has cooled down, trim the edges off and cut into 4 equal strips. I didn’t want any wastage so I kept the edges :)

strips

9) To make chocolate icing, combine coconut oil, cocoa, vanilla, coconut milk and rice syrup in a bowl. Blend using an electric mixer on low setting or a whisk for 1 minute. Spread coconut on a plate.

chocolate_icing

beating_chocolate_icing

10) Spread a thin layer of chocolate icing on one side of the sponge cake strips. Stick each two strips into one, chocolate sides in. Cut strips into equal lamington pieces – as small or as big as you like.

layered_strips

layered

squared

11) In this final stage, you have to work pretty fast as the icing will start to harden a little. If the icing starts to set, add 1-2 tablespoons of hot water and whisk through again. Using two forks, dip and coat lamington squares with a thin layer of chocolate icing and then dip and roll in coconut. Set aside on a wire rack.

chocolate_coconut

chocolate_coated

lamingtons

12) Stand for 1-2 hours before serving. Store in an air-tight container, placed on some baking paper, for a few days. You can store in the fridge but they will firm up.

These lamingtons were so moist and flavoursome. The family had them and loved them!

“We are one, but we are many. And from all the lands on earth we come. We’ll share a dream and sing with one voice. I am, you are, we are Australian.” ~ I Am Australian, The Seekers.

 

raw cherry ripe bars …

The recipe is in Donna Hay’s ‘Fresh and Light’ magazine. I don’t have the magazine – the recipe was passed onto me by a friend from gym. She has the magazine and told me about the recipe. I had cherries left over from Christmas/New Year so I was very much interested in the recipe.

Ingredients
6 fresh dates, pitted
1 cup (80g) desiccated coconut
1/3 cup (80 ml) melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1 1/2 cups (210g) fresh cherries, pitted
100g raw organic 70% dark chocolate, melted *

Coconut base
1 cup (150g) cashews
1 cup (80g) desiccated coconut
2 tablespoons rice malt syrup **

*  I used dairy free raw organic coconut milk chocolate.
** I used maple syrup but an liquid sweetener can be used.

Method
1) To make the base, place the cashews, coconut and rice malt syrup in a food processor and process for 1-2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl until the mixture starts to come together.

2) Press the mixture into the base of a lightly greased 20cm x 20cm baking tin lined with non-stick baking paper and refrigerate for 20 minutes or until set.

3) Place the dates, coconut, coconut oil and vanilla in a food processor and process for 1 minute or until the mixture starts to come together.

4) Add the cherries and process for a further 30 seconds  or until the mixture is just combined.

5) Place the coconut mixture over the base and use a palette knife to spread evenly. Refrigerate for a further 30 – 40 minutes or until firm.

6) Pour over the chocolate, smooth the top with a palette knife and refrigerate for 1 hour or until set.

7) Slice using a hot knife and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

These are the perfect treats to have for morning or afternoon tea. These are much better than the store bought cherry ripe bars!

Makes 20. These bars will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

“Cherries of the night are riper than the cherries pluckt at noon … in the cherry pluckt at night, with the dew of summer dwelling, there’s a juice of pure delight, cool, dark, sweet, divinely smelling …” ~ Robert Graves

rocky road bliss balls …

Happy 2016! May it be all that you hope it will be :) x

Bliss balls are basically a mixture of dried fruit and nuts which are blended together, rolled into a ball before putting them in the fridge to set. You can use anything to make bliss balls (any combination of of nuts/dried fruit/seeds will work.) The main ingredient is either dates or figs – they are the binding sticky ingredient.

These bliss balls are delicious and simple to make. You can whip these up in no time!

These bliss balls are raw, gluten free, grain free, dairy free, egg free and refined sugar free. And healthy :)

The recipe courtesy of Wholefood Simply.

 

Ingredients
2 cups walnuts
12 medjool dates, seeds removed
3 tablespoons cacao or cocoa
1/2 teaspoon concentrated natural vanilla extract
1/2 cup pistachios
1/2 cup macadamias
1/2 cup goji berries
1/2 cup cranberries

Method
1) Place the walnuts, dates, cacao or cocoa and vanilla into your food processor and blend at high speed until the mixture resembles a sticky crumb.

2) Add the pistachios and macadamias and quickly pulse to roughly crush.

4_ingredients

3) Add the goji berries and cranberries and gently mix to combine.

4) Use your hands to press and shape the mixture into balls.

5) Place in the fridge to set.

 Eat and enjoy!

I have made these a few times. [ I made them for the family – they liked them. I made them for our family get together on Christmas night. I even made them for a group of firefighters at the opening of our local fire station :) ]

These bliss balls are perfect little guilt free treats. They are balls of protein and energy – i.e. superfood in a ball form!

“People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and the New Year, but they really should be worried about what they eat between the New Year and Christmas.” ~ Author unknown

 

paleo donuts …

“Mmm … donuts!”

A few weeks ago I started to see pins, about paleo donuts, on my Pinterest feed. OMG! Who doesn’t love donuts? Especially healthy ones! The pins reminded me that mum had a Ronson donut maker in her pantry. I had to make these donuts!

ronson_donut_maker

I borrowed the donut maker and, much to my disappointment, the donut maker didn’t quite work for me – the batter got stuck. And cleaning the appliance was a nightmare. Bugger! I went looking for donut pans in the stores – no one stocked any. What!?! So I searched online and found both tin pans and silicon pans. Because of the success that I had with silicon muffin pans I opted for the silicon donut pan. I purchased one from eBay. [In hindsight, I should have bought 2. Guess what? There are more of these pans for sale on eBay …]

donut_molds

Anyways, all that was needed now was a recipe to try. Well, there’s no shortage of recipes online. I eventually chose 2 recipes with ingredients that I already had in the pantry. Easy!

These 2 recipes – amazing and quick to make! They’re both one-bowl recipes. The donuts came out perfectly! And they’re paleo friendly :) Perfect mini treats to give to kids. And big kids too ;)

Forget the Krispy Kreme donuts and the Gourmet Glaze donuts – these donuts are the better healthier alternative donuts.

Almond baked donuts

almond_donuts

The recipe is courtesy of Southern In Law.

Ingredients
1 cup (100g) almond meal / flour
3 tablespoons (65g) honey *
2 large eggs (100g)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

* Can also use maple syrup, coconut nectar or agave.

Method
1) Preheat your oven to 150C/300F.
2) Grease your donut pan and set aside.
3) In a mixing bowl, mix together all of your ingredients until smooth.

coconut_flour

honey

eggs+vanilla

baking_powder

mixer

mixed

donut_mixture

4) Fill your donut pans with your mixture, filling each donut cavity 1/2 way full. Tip – the mixture was runny so I used a piping bag to fill the donut mold.

donut_mold

5) Bake for 10-15 minutes, keeping an eye on them and taking them out as soon as your donuts are cooked and a skewer inserted into the middle removes clean. Be sure not to overcook them as they’ll dry out!

donuts.jpg

6) Allow to cool before removing from the tins and eating as they are or top with whatever your heart desires.

These donuts will keep in the fridge or at room temperature for 3-4 days stored in an airtight container. If you live in a really humid climate keep them in the fridge so that they last longer, however, they will keep fine at room temperature if it’s not too hot!

These donuts were moist, light and delicious! I made 12 of these donuts.

Chocolate donuts

The recipe is courtesy of Elana’s Pantry.

Ingredients
¼ cup coconut flour
¼ cup cacao powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
4 large eggs
½ cup coconut oil
3 tablespoons maple syrup

Topping – 1/2 cup chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon palm shortening.

Method
1) In a food processor, pulse together coconut flour, cacao powder, salt, and baking soda. (I used a hand mixer.)

2) Pulse in eggs, coconut oil, and maple syrup until thoroughly combined.

wet_ingredients

donut_batter

3) Fill each well of the donut mold half way full of batter. Tip – the mixture was runny so I used a piping bag to fill the donut mold.

4) Bake at 350° for 15-18 minutes.
5) Remove donuts from pan and place on a cooling rack.

6) In a saucepan, melt chocolate chips and shortening. **
7) Drizzle donut with chocolate glaze.
8) Cool and serve.

** I made a chocolate glaze using coconut oil, maple syrup and cacao powder. Mix 2 tablespoons of each ingredient until smooth. Dunk the donuts into the chocolate glaze and place the donuts in the freezer for a couple of minutes for the glaze to set. Yum!!

I made 20 of these donuts.

glazed_donuts

I’m now keen to try out the other 531,000 paleo recipes that are out there …

“The only circle of trust you should have is a donut.”

 

 

raw chocolate raspberry slice …

This is a delicious and guilt free treat. Very easy to make.

raspberry_choc_slice

Recipe courtesy of Frankie’s Feast.

The base layer is crunchy and nutty, the raspberry layer is sweet and the chocolate layer is – well, it’s chocolate, enough said.

Ingredients
Base Layer
1 cup almonds
1/3 cup cacao
1/3 cup desiccated coconut
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1/2 cup dates, soaked

Raspberry Layer
2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
2/3 cup raw cashews, soaked for 6 hours or overnight
1/2 cup desiccated  coconut
1/3 – 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (depending on preferred sweetness)
1 tablespoon chia seeds

Top Layer
1/2 cup of coconut butter (or cacao butter or coconut oil)
1/2 cup of cacao powder
1/4 cup of organic maple syrup

Method
1) Pour boiling water over the dates and leave to soak.

2) Process the almonds, cacao and coconut in your food processor until they are a flour-like consistency.

3) Add coconut oil and dates and process. Press this mixture into a square pan (I used a rectangular pan) and put in the freezer to chill while you make the next layer.

4) Process all ingredients for the middle layer except the chia seeds until combined.

If you have time to soak the cashews, then do it. It’s not a problem if you don’t get to soak the cashews.

5) Add chia seeds and pulse once or twice to stir through. Taste and add extra maple syrup if desired.

6) Pour this over the top of the base layer and return to the freezer to set before topping with the chocolate layer.

7) For the chocolate layer, melt cacao butter over a low heat, before whisking in the cacao powder. Once smooth, add the maple syrup. Start with a quarter cup and add more if you prefer things a little sweeter.

(The next time I make these slices I will make the chocolate layer with coconut oil.)

8) Pour this layer over the raspberry layer and place it back in the freezer to set (approx. 2-3 hours).
9) Remove from the freezer when firm and slice into desired size. Store in the freezer and remove about 15 minutes before serving. The defrosting time will depend on how big you have cut your slices.

“Like love, chocolate is always a delight to receive or to give.” ~ Mary Jane Finsand

 

coco-choc bounty tarts …

Chocolate and coconut as a combination – absolutely delicious!

Recipe courtesy of Wellness with Taryn.

These tarts are a raw healthier version of the bounty bars – a chocolate bar manufactured by Mars, Incorporated.

Ingredients – sugar, desiccated coconut, glucose syrup (sources include wheat), milk solids, cocoa butter, cocoa mass, invert sugar, vegetable fat, emulsifiers (471, soy lecithin), humectant (glycerol), salt, natural flavour (vanilla extract) and peanuts. Mmm …. healthy – not!

This recipe is quick and easy.

Ingredients
Base
1 cup Medjool dates, pitted
1 cup raw cashew nuts
2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt
1 1/2 tablespoons cold pressed coconut oil, melted

Coconut filling
2 1/2 cups shredded coconut (non-bleached, non-sweetened)
1/2 cup cold pressed coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup coconut cream
1/4 cup agave nectar

Chocolate drizzle
2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
2 tablespoons cold pressed coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons agave nectar (I used maple syrup)

A little extra coconut oil for greasing the muffin tray and sticking the two mixtures together.

Method
1) Grease your muffin tray with a little coconut oil. This will help the tarts to be removed easily. I used silicon mini muffin trays so no coconut oil was needed.
2) In a food processor add the cashew nuts. Pulse for a few seconds. Add the pitted dates, raw cacao, salt and coconut oil. Process the mixture until all is combined and sticky. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides.

*if the base is not sticky enough, add a little bit of water. I added 10 mls.

3) Remove and divide evenly into the muffin tray. Spread a little coconut oil onto the back of a spoon, and use this to press the base down firmly until level. Gently poke a few holes into the top of each base with a fork, and place into the freezer to set while you make the coconut filling.

4) For the coconut filling, place all ingredients into the food processor, and blend until everything is combined well, and a thick paste has formed.

5) Remove the muffin tray with the bases from the freezer and using a teaspoon, quickly drop a few drops of melted coconut oil over the areas where you poked them with a fork. This is to help the two mixtures stick together, by using a little melted coconut oil.

6) Quickly before the coconut oil solidifies, evenly pour out the coconut filling on top of each base. Pop back into the freezer to set.
7) The chocolate drizzle is really simple. In bain marie style, bring to boil a little water in a pot on the stove, turn off once boiled. In a glass mixing bowl (or any bowl that’s not plastic), add the coconut oil. Place the glass mixing bowl over the pot of boiling water and using a whisk, stir the coconut oil until it’s melted. Gradually add the raw cacao powder and right at the end, add the agave.

8) Remove from the heat and stir your smooth chocolate sauce. If your sauce is too runny, add a little more raw cacao powder, and coconut oil (or vice versa). The mixture shouldn’t be too warm, so spoon it into one corner of a plastic zip lock/sandwich bag.

9) Twist the end until your mixture is firm and you have a piping bag. Remove the muffin tray from the freezer, and gently drizzle your chocolate sauce over the Bounty tarts. You can go wild and decorate as you please. Have fun!

Just like a bounty bar only healthier! Guilt free too! Enjoy :)

“Coconut is one of those love-hate ingredients.” ~ Marcus Samuelsson

vegan peanut butter and jam brownies …

Peanut butter and chocolate is the best food combination. Ever. I’ve said that a million times before. So what happens when you add extra ingredients and flavours? More deliciousness! :)

This recipe is courtesy of Green Press.

These brownies are a mix of textures and flavours.

Chia seeds are loaded with antioxidants and are high in protein and omega 3 fatty acids. And they are one of the few trendy ‘superfoods’ that are actually worthy of that term.

I made these for a birthday party and the guests liked them. These sweets were different to what they’re used to. I usually measure the success of my desserts by running a taste test  past my nephew 4 year old Jake. Kids can be so fussy these days. Guess what? Jake liked these brownies  – they must be alright then ;)

Chia Jam
Ingredients
3 cups date paste (blend 2 cups dates with 1 cup water)
3 cups mixed berries (fresh or frozen)
4 cups water
250g chia seeds

Method
1) Blend all the ingredients together.

2) Place in a container and stir 250 grams of dry chia seeds through your mixture.

3) Allow to soak for three hours.

Brownie recipe
Ingredients
3 cups walnuts
1/2 cup raw cacao
1.5 cups dates (soaked in water)

Topping
Ingredients
Chia jam (see recipe above)
Peanut butter

Method
1) Line a brownie tray with baking paper.
2) Blitz walnuts in a food processor until finely ground.

3) Add cacao and process again.

4) Add the dates and process until all combined.

5) Press the mixture firmly into the line pan using a spatual to smooth the mixture. Put in the fridge for an hour to firm up.

6) Remove from fridge and spread peanut butter on top. Set in fridge for further 15-20 minutes.

7) Spread chia jam on top. Set in the fridge for about 20-25 minutes.

8) Slice and serve. Enjoy!

“It’s like peanut butter and chocolate. Each is great, but they’re better together.”