Tag Archives: healthy

Gluten and dairy free banana upside down cake …

This is one of the easiest recipes for a cake! And it tastes sooooo good.

upside_down_banana_cake

I made this cake for Saturday’s family lunch – the family loved it!

Recipe courtesy of Bakerita.

Ingredients
Glaze:

4 tablespoons melted coconut oil
½ cup coconut sugar
2 sliced bananas

Batter:
1½ cups mashed banana
3 eggs
⅓ cup almond butter (or nut butter of choice)
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
⅓ cup coconut flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon sea salt

Method
1) Preheat the oven to 177ºC (350ºF). Grease a 9” springform pan and place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with baking paper or alfoil.
2) Combine the melted coconut oil and coconut sugar. Spread in the bottom of the prepared pan.

coconut_sugar_and_oil

coconut_sugar_and_oil - mixed

bottom_layer

3) Arrange the banana slices over the coconut sugar. Set aside while you prepare the batter.

sliced_bananas

bottom_layer - bananas

4) In a large bowl or mixer, combine the mashed bananas, eggs, coconut oil, vanilla extract and nut butter until fully combined.

batter_1

batter_2

5) Add the coconut flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and sea salt to the wet ingredients and mix well.

dry_ingredients

batter

6) Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly.

pour_batter

top_layer

7) Bake in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes or until the cake is lightly golden brown. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean.

baked

FYI, the photo below is the reason why you need the baking sheet to be covered with baking paper (or alfoil). As the cake is baking, the coconut oil and sugar will ooze (leak) from the bottom of the springform tin.

baking_sheet

8) Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes, and then carefully flip out onto a plate.

The aroma that filled my kitchen was just heavenly. The caramelized bananas is the best bit – just saying :) The cake is super moist.

banana_cake

coffee_and_cake

“When a banana gets rotten people love to tell you that you can make banana bread out of it. I have never seen anyone actually do it.” ~ Greg Fitzsimmons

 

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valentine’s day cookie sandwiches …


The best way I said I love you on Valentine’s Day was with a delicious HEALTHY dessert recipe. Who needs roses, wine and chocolate anyways? I made these no bake bite sized cookie sandwiches for our weekly Tuesday night family dinner. Yeah, the family liked them :)

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Recipe courtesy of Rabbit Food For My Bunny Teeth

Ingredients

Outer dough
1 cup pitted Medjool dates (pitted)
1/2 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup walnuts
3 Tbsp raw cacao powder (or 4 Tbsp cocoa powder)
1/2 tbsp pure vanilla extract

Filling
1/2 cup raspberries
2 Tbsp coconut flour
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 Tbsp honey or agave
1 tsp vanilla

Makes about 24 one inch heart shaped sandwiches.

Method
1) Blend the sunflower seeds and walnuts in a food processor until finely ground but not a nut butter consistency.

walnuts_sunflowerseeds

seeds_crushed

2) Add the cacao powder and vanilla extract and blend again until mixed evenly.

cacaopowder_vanilla

3) Remove pits from dates. Add the the dates and process until a dough like mixture is formed. You should be able to sculpt the dough without crumbling.

dates

dough

4) Remove the dough from the food processor and transfer onto a large piece of wax paper. Cover the top of the dough with wax paper, and flatten with a rolling pin.

flatten

5) Place the flattened dough in the freezer (with both sheets of wax paper) while you make the filling.
6) For the filling, combine raspberries, coconut flour, coconut oil, honey, and vanilla in a food processor and blend until smooth.

filling_ingredients

filling.jpg

7) Transfer the filling mixture onto a large piece of wax paper.
8) Cover the top with another piece of wax paper and use a rolling pin to flatten.
9) Transfer the filling (with wax paper) to the freezer.
10) While the filling is setting, remove the outer dough from the freezer and remove the top layer of wax paper. Using a 1 inch heart shaped cookie cutter, cut the dough into hearts.

dough_hearts

11) Remove the filling from the freezer and remove the top layer of wax paper. Using the cookie cutter, cut the filling into hearts.

filling_hearts

12) Place one heart of filling over one cookie heart, and top with another cookie heart to form a sandwich. Store in the freezer until served.
Note: Frozen raspberries in the filling can be used to expedite the setting process.

If you’re short on time, skip the filling and just make the cookies. Also, you can use other shaped cookie cutters to make different shaped cookie sandwiches.

cookie_hearts

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.” ~ Helen Keller

 

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raw vanilla coconut fig slice …

Because of our long hot dry summers (and Mediterranean climate) figs grow very well in South Australia.

My mum has a couple of huge fig trees in her backyard and, without fail, every year there’s always a heavy crop of figs for us (the family) to enjoy. That’s if the birds don’t get to them first!

fig_tree

fig_tree_closeup

One of the joys of growing figs is being able to eat them fresh from the tree! Or better yet – making a dessert with them.

fig_slice

This recipe is courtesy of Secret Squirrel.

Ingredients
Walnut Fig Base
½ cup walnuts
¼ cup almonds
2 tablespoons desiccated coconut
2 tablespoons flax seeds (I used psyllium husk instead)
½ cup dried figs
½ cup medjool dates
½ tablespoon water
½ teaspoon cinnamon

Vanilla Coconut Cashew Cream
½ cup cashews (soaked in water overnight)
½ cup coconut milk
½ cup desiccated coconut
2 tablespoons maple syrup
½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Fresh figs to decorate
10.5cm x 20.5cm loaf tin

Method
1) Walnut fig base – add all ingredients into a food processor and process until the mixture sticks together when pressed between the fingers.

base_ingredients

base_ingredients_processor

base_ingredients_mixed

2) Line tray with cling film. I used baking paper.
3) Pour mixture into tin and carefully press firmly using the back of a spatula until base is completely flat and even.

base

4) Put into the freezer to set, whilst you make the vanilla coconut cashew cream.
5) Vanilla coconut cashew cream –  add cashews to a food processor and process for a few minutes.

cashews

cashews_processed

6) With the food processor still running, slowly add the coconut milk, maple syrup and vanilla bean paste.

milk_syrup_paste.jpg

7) Keep processing until the mixture becomes very smooth and creamy.

milk_syrup_paste_mixed

8) Add desiccated coconut and pulse to combine.

coconut

coconut_cream

9) Pull the walnut fig base out of the freezer and fill with the coconut cashew cream layer.

coconut_cream_layer

10) Put back into the freezer for 2 hours to set. Slice can be kept in the freezer until serving. (Let it defrost for approximately 15 minutes for cream to soften).
11) Decorate with fresh figs, slice carefully with a sharp knife and enjoy this delightful treat with your family and friends.

figs

The family loved the fig slices. They went even so far as to say that it was one of the better desserts that I have made. Big call. But the slices did look amazing (vibrant colours) and the combination of the dried figs in the base and the fresh figs on the top was delicious!

sliced

sliced_

“To eat figs off the tree in the very early morning, when they have been barely touched by the sun, is one of the exquisite pleasures of the Mediterranean.” ~ Elizabeth David, An Omelette and a Glass of Wine.

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chocolate salami (salame di cioccolata) …

The inspiration for this recipe came last Saturday afternoon when I stumbled upon Season 2 of the Spring Baking Championship TV show on the SBS Food channel. One of the contestants had to use curry powder in her recipe. She decided to make chocolate salami with dried fruits, nuts and curry powder. Whilst watching her bake I wondered if there was a ‘raw’ chocolate salami recipe that I could try – without the curry powder! Later that night Pinterest got a good working over. I pinned that many chocolate salami recipes it wasn’t funny. All I had to do now was to go through the recipes and pick out the one that I could try. I wanted a gluten free, dairy free and vegan recipe. I found a recipe that I could adapt.

This recipe comes from Vera’s Cooking – however I have tweaked it a bit.

The original recipe consists of dates, prunes, walnuts, coconut milk and vegan dark chocolate.

My recipe has dates, cranberries, walnuts, almonds, pistachios and dairy free choc chips. Very easy to make with a delicious result. It’s a little bit whimsical as you can trick your dinner guests into thinking that’s it’s the real thing. A perfect decadent dessert. Serve with a cup of coffee or tea :)

chocolate_salami_1

chocolate_salami_2

Ingredients
1 cup dates, pitted
1/3 cup cranberries
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup pistachios
1/2 cup almonds
100g dairy free choc chips
Icing sugar, to coat.

ingredients

Note: I doubled the recipe to make 2 chocolate salami logs.

Method
1) Process the dates and the cranberries together in a food processor until well blended. Tip – soaking the dates in hot water for 5 minutes prior to processing will make it easier for the dates to be processed.

dates_cranberries

2) Put the chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl and place the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.

choc_chips

melted_choc_chips

3) Process the nuts until they’re well blended.

mixed_nuts

blended_mixed_nuts

4) Add the melted chocolate and mix well until incorporated.

bowl_of_mixture

add_chocolate

mixture

5) Form the mixture into a log on baking paper. (If you double the recipe, like I did, divide the chocolate mixture in half. I went so far as to weigh the mixture – yep, that’s the Virgo in me!)

logs

6) Roll up the logs in cling wrap and twist the ends to seal. Roll back and forth to make the logs evenly round. Refrigerate for about 2 hours.

sealed

refrigerate

7) Remove the cling wrap from the logs then roll them in icing sugar until coated. Leave the logs at room temperature for about 15 minutes before serving!

coated

coated_

8) You can tie the chocolate logs like a real salami with baking string (there are plenty of instructions on YouTube) or just leave it unstrung. Cut into slices and serve. Enjoy! FYI, it’s a great conversation piece.

Here’s the video that I watched to help me string the salami – go to the 3.05 minute mark > Chocolate salami

strung

This recipe is a keeper. You can use whatever you like to replicate the look of the ‘fat’ in the salami so long as you have the binding ingredients like the dates and cranberries.

These will last in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or you can freeze them for up to a month.

I did try another another recipe. This recipe is courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis >> chocolate dessert salami. I substituted the ‘two 5 inch long plain biscotti, coarsely crushed’ with 70g of gluten free Leda Arrowroot biscuits.

leda_arrowroot_biscuits

The logs are slightly  smaller and the slices don’t hold their form when you cut them. The slices are a bit crumbly. However the flavour of chocolate, orange and coffee is to die for. May have to keep practicing this recipe until I get it right ;)

chocolate_salami_3

chocolate_salami_4

“Late on a Friday night, I’m home with my dog drinking chocolate milk and eating salami slices. I need to get my partying under control.”

 

 

deep dish apple pear tart …

I had a few Granny Smith apples that I wanted to use and bake with. I looked for a recipe online. The recipe had to be raw, gluten free and dairy free. I found a recipe – thanks to Pinterest and Sweetly Raw.

apple_pear_tart

The crust is a cashew coconut crust. The filling is apple, pear, dates and cinnamon. The tart is topped with a coconut drizzle.

It makes one deep 8″ tart, or a 9″ tart of regular depth. If you have a regular tart pan (sides about 1″ high), you’ll have some crust and filling leftover for a snack for yourself.

Ingredients
Crust
1 1/3 cups cashews
1 1/3 cups shredded coconut
2 1/2 – 3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 pinches salt
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon melted coconut oil

Apple pear filling
4 large apples, peeled, cored, and quartered
2 ripe pears, cored and diced (no need to peel)
4-6 medjool dates
1 teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste
Splash of lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt

Coconut Drizzle
1 tablespoon melted coconut butter
2 1/2 teaspoons hot water
1 teaspoon melted coconut oil
2 drops vanilla stevia

Method
Crust
1) Grind the cashews and coconut into flour in a food processor.

cashews

cashews_coconut

2) Add the remaining ingredients. Process to combine.

remaining_ingredients

3) Press the mixture evenly into a deep 8″ tart pan with removable bottom.

crust

4) Chill in the freezer while making filling.
I put the crust in the fridge and let it chill overnight.

Apple pear filling
1) In a food processor puree 2 of the apples, with the dates, cinnamon, lemon, vanilla and salt until as smooth as possible (stop and scrape the sides down a few times). Transfer to a large bowl.

apples

dates_cinnamon

apple_puree

The food processor wasn’t working for me so I used the stick blender. Worked a treat :)

apple_pureed

2) Pulse the other 2 apples in the food processor until chopped, NOT pureed. Add to the puree.
3) Add the diced pears. Stir all together. Add a bit more chopped apple or pear if the mixture is too wet.

To save on time I chopped the apples and pears at the same time.

apples_chopped

chopped

4) Spread into the tart crust.

filled_tart

Coconut drizzle
1) Stir all ingredients together in a small bowl. Make sure to keep warm or it will cease.
2) Drizzle over the tart.

I served the tart to my family. The tart was enough for 11 people with one piece left over. The family loved it!

leftover

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

 

 

chocolate and peanut butter slice …

This is such an easy slice to make. And with natural ingredients you can’t go wrong.

chocolate_peanut_butter_slice

The recipe is courtesy of Wholefood Simply.

They are delicious, decadent and addictive.

Ingredients
Chocolate layer

1 cup crushed peanuts
1 cup desiccated coconut
3 tablespoons cacao powder or cocoa
2 tablespoons honey / rice malt syrup
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 pinch of salt

Peanut butter layer
8 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon honey / rice malt syrup
3 tablespoons maple syrup
4 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons coconut cream
1/2 teaspoon concentrated natural vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Method
1) Line a square 20cm tin with baking paper overhanging the sides for easy removal.
2) Place the ingredients for the chocolate layer into your processor and at high speed until the mixture is well combined and resembles a fine, sticky crumb.

crushed_peanuts

coconut

cocao_malt_syrup

chocolate_layer

3) Press the mixture firmly into your prepared tin and set aside.

chocolate_layer_base

4) Place the ingredients for the peanut butter layer into your processor and blend until the mixture is smooth and well combined.

peanut_butter_

coconut_oil_cream

rice_malt_syrup

peanut_butter_layer

5) Pour the mixture over your base, level the top and place the slice into the fridge or freezer to set and to store.

peanut_butter_layer_

peanut_butter_layer__

Slice. Serve. Eat and enjoy.

slice

sliced

I have made these slices twice now – in a week! They were a hit with family and friends! This could be my go to recipe. Someone suggested to me that you could make bliss balls with the chocolate layer. What a good idea. I must try that.

Note: if you don’t like peanuts you can substitute the peanuts in the chocolate layer with any nuts of your choice. And then you can substitute the peanut butter with almond butter, cashew butter or some other nut-free butter.

slices

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

 

 

 

cappuccino slice …

For this week’s family dinner night dessert I modified last week’s recipe (rainbow paddle pop slice) and added a couple of flavours. Chocolate and coffee – a match made in heaven!

sliced_

Step 3 of the original recipe was to split the cashew cream into small bowls and colour into desired colours using natural food dyes. This week, instead of using food colouring, in one bowl I added coffee (1 tablespoon decaf coffee granules mixed with hot water) and in the other bowl I added chocolate (2 teaspoons of cacao powder mixed with hot water). The third bowl was just cashew cream.

chocolate_coffee

Then I repeated the steps of the original recipe.

Step 4 – Using a spoon, spoon the colours randomly over the base until you’ve used all of the colours up.

spooned

Step 5 – Using a knife, swirl the colours around. Give the whole loaf tin a shake to flatten the slice. Freeze the slice overnight. Slice with a hot, wet knife and enjoy! Keep it in the freezer and just defrost slices as you need. Enjoy!

knifed

frozen

sliced

“When coffee dreams, it dreams of chocolate.”