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
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

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

Chia jam (see recipe above)
Peanut butter

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.”

gluten free and dairy free lemon bars …

It’s that time of the year when my meyer lemon tree gives me a whole heap of lemons. And when that happens I’m either giving the lemons away or I’m making lemon desserts.

Note: For other lemon desserts, go to the Recipe Index and search on ‘lemon’ – there’s about 14 lemon recipes that you can try :)

The first lemon dessert for this season are the gluten free (and dairy free) lemon bars. The bars, a classic dessert, are a little sweet and a little tart. Delicious!

This recipe has been adapted from Gluten free On A Shoestring.

1 2/3 cups (233g) gluten free plain flour
1/2 (58g) cup icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
zest of 1 large lemon
9 tablespoons (126g) unsalted dairy free butter, melted and cooled
4 eggs
1 cup (200g) caster sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1) Preheat your oven to 325F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan, line with baking paper that overhang the sides, and grease the baking paper. Set the pan aside.

2) In a medium sized bowl, combine 1 cup (140g) of the flour, icing sugar, salt and lemon zest and whisk to combine, breaking any clumps of lemon zest.

3) Add the butter and mix with a fork until well combined. Press the mixture into the bottom on the prepared baking dish in an even layer. Place the baking dish in the centre of the preheated oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until firm. Remove from the oven and allow to cool briefly.

4) In a medium sized bowl, place the eggs, sugar, baking powder, lemon juice and remaining 2/3 cup (93g) flour, whisking vigorously to combine after each addition.

5) Pour the custard mixture onto the baked crust and return the pan to the centre of the oven. Bake until just set (20 to 25 minutes). The custard is set when it does not jiggle more than a tiny bit in the centre when the pan is gently shaken back and forth. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for about 20 minutes.

6) Place in the refrigerator to chill until firm, about 2 hours and up to overnight. Remove the bars from the pan by running a butter knife or thin spatula around the perimeter of the baking dish, and then lifting the bars out of pan by the overhung pieces of baking paper. Dust lightly with icing sugar and slice into 9 or 12 squares with a large knife. Serve chilled.

These bars are light, tangy, not overly sweet and refreshing. The crust is buttery. The lemon custard (curd) is so creamy. Perfect for morning or afternoon tea. And so easy to make. Try stopping at one!

“If life wanted to hand me lemons I was not only going to make lemonade, but I’d use the zest for cookies, plant seeds for future fruit and turn the rind into compost to grow flowers, all the while giving thanks for lemons.” ~ Bridgette Mongeon

healthy eatmore fudge chocolate squares …

A healthy no bake paleo dairy free and gluten free dessert for you to try! These amazing and delicious little treats are made with whole unprocessed ingredients.

These fudge squares are a healthier version of the Eat-more chocolate bars. FYI, the Eat-more is a chocolate bar made by Hershey. It made up of chewy dark toffee, peanuts and chocolate.

This simple and quick to make recipe is courtesy of Nutritionist In the Kitch.

1 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup almonds, unsalted
1/4 cup walnuts, unsalted
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 ripe bananas
4 tablespoons natural almond butter
1/4 cup more unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tablespoons unpasteurized honey (strict vegans can use agave)

1) Put dates in a bowl with warm water, allow dates to soak for 30 minutes, then drain.

2) Mix together dates, almonds, walnuts, and 1/4 cup cocoa powder in a food processor until well blended.

3) Spread mixture in a 9×5 baking pan (8×8 is okay – which is what I used) until evenly distributed, and press down gently with a spoon.

4) Mix together bananas, almond butter, honey, and the other 1/4 cup cocoa powder in the food processor until well blended.

5) Spread mixture over bottom layer until evenly distributed.

6) Place in freezer for 30 minutes.

7) Cut into 16 squares.

These squares will melt if left at room temperature for too long so keep them chilled. Re-freeze whatever you don’t eat, and enjoy at another time!

These treats are a mix of textures – chewy, crunchy and gooey. It hits the sweet spot that’s for sure.

“Chocolate is cheaper than therapy, and you don’t need an appointment.” ~ author unknown.

raw mini apple pies …

Not only do these mini apple pies look good, they taste good. These cute apple pies are healthy and so simple and quick to make. The crust is gluten free and the apples are coated with a spiced date puree. Yum! They are fresh and filling.  And, say it with me now, there’s no baking involved!

This recipe is courtesy of Eating Bird Food.

Note: I doubled the recipe and used a normal sized muffin tray. I was able to make 12 apple pies. And I used home grown Granny Smith apples – yes, I have an apple tree :)

1 cup dates, pitted
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup raw almonds

Raw apple pie filling
3 medium apples
1 cup dates, pitted
3/4 – 1 cup water, plus additional water for soaking the dates
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
pinch of nutmeg

Makes 12 mini raw apple pies.

1) Place dates, coconut and almonds into a food processor and process until the dates have turned into a sticky paste holding the crust ingredients together.

2) Place a layer of plastic wrap over a mini muffin tin to keep the crust from sticking. (I used a silicon muffin tray so I didn’t use the plastic wrap.)
3) Using a tablespoon, scoop a heaped tablespoon of the crust mixture into 12 muffin cavities and press until the mixture down with your fingers until it starts to go up the sides and form a little crust.

4) Once all 12 crusts are pressed, place the tin into the freezer to allow the crusts to set up while you make the filling.

Raw apple pie filling
5) Soak the dates by placing in a small bowl with just enough water to cover them. Allow them to sit for about 10-15 minutes.

6) Prepare apples while the dates are soaking by coring and chopping into tiny chunks. Place in a bowl and set aside.

Note: I peeled the apples because I wanted a smoother pie filling. If you don’t mind the texture of apple skin, don’t peel the apples.

7) When the dates are finished soaking, drain and discard the water. Add the dates, fresh water (start with ¾ cup), cinnamon, salt and nutmeg into a high powered blender and blend until smooth. Add more water to thin the filling out if needed. The consistency should be thick but pourable like syrup.

8) Pour the date puree over the bowl of apples and stir to combine.

9) Grab the muffin tin with your mini pie crusts from the freezer and fill with apple pie filling.

You will have some apple pie filling left over — you can use it as a topping for pancakes, yogurt, oatmeal, etc.
10) Freeze mini apple pie bites for at least 30-45 minutes. Allow to thaw 10 minutes or so before serving.

You can store the left over pies in the freezer for up to two months.

“Good apple pies are a considerable part of our domestic happiness.” ~ Jane Austen


gluten free lemon poppy seed mini muffins …

You can’t go wrong with the combination of poppy seeds and lemon. You get texture. You get flavour. These mini muffins are healthy, light and moist.

This recipe is courtesy of The Healthy Home Economist. It’s a one bowl quick mix recipe. So simple to make and bake.

1/4 cup coconut flour
4 eggs
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut oil or butter
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (adjust based on how lemony you want the muffins to taste)

1) Soften coconut oil or butter and blend all the ingredients together in a bowl until smooth. (I used coconut oil.)

2) Bake at 180C (350F) for about 10 to 12 minutes.

This recipe makes about 20 mini muffins.

“You realise that muffins are just ugly cupcakes, right?”  ;)

gluten free mince slices …

This is a good simple recipe. Fruit mince slices and pies are normally made at Christmas time. However you can make these slices any time of the year. For us Aussies, these are ideal for winter time – which is right about now :)

This recipe is courtesy of An Aussie With Crohns.

3 cups almond flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
4 tablespoons coconut oil
2 eggs
6 tablespoons honey

3 cups dried fruit
1/4 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg

1) Preheat oven to 160C (320F).
2) Chop dried fruit into small pieces and combine with orange juice in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 3 minutes.

3) Mix in spices.

4) In a separate bowl, combine flours, breaking up any lumps.

5) Melt coconut oil and honey in the microwave, then add to flours.

6) Mix in eggs. Divide mixture in half. (I weighed the dough to get 2 even pieces of dough).

7) Press half of mixture into a  20 cm (8 inch) square pan lined with baking paper.

8) Bake in oven for 5 minutes.
9) Take out of oven and spread with the fruit mixture.

10) Roll the remaining half of the pastry between two pieces of baking paper.

11) Put the pastry on top of the fruit mixture. Prick with a fork.

12) Bake in the oven for a further 15 minutes.
13) Cool before slicing. Freezes well.

The pastry does crumble when cutting into slices. Next time I make these slices I will chop up the mixed fruit. These slices are easier to make than the pies.

These are bite sized pieces of tasty. The flavour of the coconut flour comes through in the pastry and the spiced fruit is delicious.

“They dined on mince, and slices of quince, Which they ate with a runcible spoon; And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand, They danced by the light of the moon.” ~ Edward Lear, The Owl and the Pussycat

fudgy coconut flour brownies …

This recipe came to my attention via Facebook.

The recipe is courtesy of Empowered Sustenance.

The preparation time was so quick – it took me 8 minutes from adding the coconut flour to the mixing bowl to pouring the mixture into the cake pan. (However, I did stop and start to take photos so your prep time would be much quicker!)

The brownies were delicious, moist and definitely fudgy. Not overly sweet. A hit with the family. You’ll find it difficult to stop at one …

1/2 cup minus 1 tablespoon coconut flour (use the “dip and sweep method” to measure or use a kitchen scale and measure 50 grams of the flour)
1/2 cup cocoa powder – substitute carob powder if there is a chocolate sensitivity
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, melted
3 eggs, at room temperature (egg substitutes will not work)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup. I used maple syrup.
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional

1) Preheat the oven to 300F and grease a glass baking dish (8″ x 8″ or 9″ x 9″). I used an 8″ x 8″ cake pan.
2) Mix together all ingredients. You can do this by hand or with an electric mixer or a high-powered blender.

3) Pour into the baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 30 minutes before cutting or removing from the pan.

4) These store well at room temperature or in the fridge for a few days. Make sure you keep them in an airtight container.

“I won the Nobel! And I made Radium brownies to celebrate!” ~ Marie Curie