It’s that time of year again when my parents avocado trees are dripping with fruit and the local markets are full of gorgeous avo’s ready for the picking. I’ve been filling my bag with them at the markets, for a very decent price, and I can’t wait for my parents visits when (hopefully) they come with arms full of them. Of course, nothing beats the simple avo on toast combination , and I can’t go past that. But when I have so many I look to other ways of including them in my diet. Smoothies are one of my favourite things and I don’t think a day goes by when I don’t have one. So it’s no wonder that the avo’s have ended up in my smoothies. They are perfect in a vibrant green smoothie, with lots of kale, mint, lemon and cucumber, adding a very welcome creamy texture.
Today I mixed it up with a very decadent shake, using the avocado to make the drink extra thick and creamy. This is the perfect breakfast treat or dessert. It’s packed with the goodness of raw cacao for that rich chocolate flavour, mesquite adds a lovely hint of caramel and is a good source of calcium & potassium as well as stabilising blood sugar levels and of course the hero avocado is high in vitamin K and healthy monounsaturated fats.
Cacao & avocado shakes
- 1 large frozen banana
- 1/2 large avocado
- 2 ice cubes
- 2 sprigs of mint
- 2 tbsp cacao powder
- 2 tsp mesquite powder
- 2 tsp almond butter
- 2 medjool dates, pitted
- 2.5 C unsweetend almond milk
Place the banana, avocado flesh, ice, mint cacao powder, mesquite powder, medjool dates & almond milk into a high speed blender. Blend for 1 minute or until thick & creamy. Pour into 2 glasses and top with an extra sprinkle of cacao & a few cacao nibs. Drink immediately.
Ever since my sister got her very spoilt dog a waffle maker for christmas (crazy, I know). And although Ebony, the dog, loves waffles she’s not too good at cooking them. So, since then, I have been searching for the perfect waffle recipe. After many failed attempts (too crispy, too soft, doughy or dry), I have finally found a fail proof recipe that is SO delicious! The coconut kefir acts like a raising agent, with its natural bacteria, and produces fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside waffles.
These waffles have become a favourite breakfast of mine that is perfect for the weekend and mid-week too due to their simplicity. Soaking the oats overnight means all you have to do in the morning is blend and let the waffle maker do its magic!
I have been making my own coconut kefir over the last month, i simple combine kefir grains with coconut milk and sit it a room temp for around 36 hours. I then shake it up and store it in the fridge for up to 1 week. It’s also delicious with granola and in smoothies.
Coconut kefir waffles
Makes approx. 4 waffles
- 1/2 C raw buckwheat groats, soaked overnight
- 1/2 C hulled millet, soaked overnight
- 1 C coconut kefir (I make my own by fermenting coconut milk with kefir grains)
- 1 banana
- 1 tsp vanilla powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Strawberries, coconut yoghurt, hemp hearts, banana & pure maple
- Banana, natural peanut butter & shaved dark chocolate
- Blueberries, cashew cream & grain free granola
- Pineapple, kiwi fruit, coconut cream & coconut nectar
- Start this recipe the night before by soaking your buckwheat and millet in a large bowl covered generously with filtered water. I always add a squeeze of lemon or apple cider vinegar too when soaking grains.
- In the morning rinse your grains well and place in a high-speed blender with the coconut kefir, banana, vanilla and cinnamon.
- Blend on high for 1 minute or until a completely smooth and creamy texture. Set aside for around 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat your waffle iron to the desired setting, I like to have mine of the 2nd highest function for a nice, crispy outside.
- When heated, pour in approximately 1/3 C of the batter. Close and let the waffle maker do its thang.
- While the waffles are cooking prepare your desired toppings.
- If you are cooking for a crowd keep the cooked waffles, covered with a tea towel, in a 150 degrees celcius oven.
- However, these are best served hot off the waffle maker!
Imagine crispy puffs of quinoa and buckwheat, crunchy peanut butter, creamy tahini, a hint of sea salt and dark chocolate all rolled into one bar. It’s the chocolate bar of my dreams. And now I can have it everyday because, really, it’s not as unhealthy as you might think. Puffed quinoa and buckwheat are both nourishing seeds, which makes them gluten frees, and they are packed with protein and calcium. So we’ve got a chocolate bar that’s both delicious and nutritious!
A little peanut butter and tahini are also great sources of protein and healthy fats, which will help keep you full for longer. These really are the chocolate bar you should be reaching for when the 3pm slump hits. That’s exactly what I’m doing now, along with a big cup of tea. It’s the perfect post tennis treat.
I also made these for my parents last weekend and they thoroughly enjoyed them. Especially my Dad. Now that the recipe is up, my mum might even make them for him!
Don’t be shy with your pinch of sea salt as it really lifts these bars to the next level. Also, feel free to add whatever nuts or seeds you have on hand instead of the pistachios and almonds. Of course, these bars can also be made vegan by using an alternative sweeter such as rice malt syrup or maple syrup, however I truly love the taste of a beautiful floral honey.
Chewy chocolate bars
- 1 1/2 C puffed quinoa
- 1 1/2 C puffed buckwheat
- 1/4 C flaked almonds
- 1/2 C pistachios, roughly chopped
- 1/4 C chia seeds
- 1/2 C honey
- 1/4 C natural peanut butter
- 1/4 hulled tahini
- 40g drak chocolate (70% cocoa solids minimum)
- Combine the puffed quinoa, puffed buckwheat and chia seeds in a large bowl. Set aside.
- In a heavy based pan, gently toast the almonds and pistachios over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
- Combine the honey, peanut butter and tahini in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until combined.
- Add the toasted nuts and tahini mixture to the puffs, quickly mix to combine.
- Press into a lined lamington tin (30 x 15 cm), you may need to wet your palms slightly to prevent the mixture sticking to you.
- Refrigerate for about 4 hours, or until set firmly.
- Remove from the fridge and slice into even sized bars. Gently melt the dark chocolate then use a small spoon to drizzle it over each bar. Pop them back into he fridge for the chocolate to set. Serve, or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Hey friends! After a very long drought from food blogging I am finally back with a new recipe. This is for all those thoughtful people who have been telling me how much they love my blog & recipes – so i’ve come back feeling very inspired to keep getting recipes out to you all! Hopefully with a little more regularity. I wouldn’t put the lack of posts down to me not cooking so much, but rather not having enough time to take all the photos and write up the recipe. I certainly have still been busy in the kitchen, making lots of hearty soups, curries (inspired by my trip to Sri Lanka – a post on that to come soon), lentil pies, warm salads and pasta. This pasta recipe in particular has been on regular rotation in our home, due to its simplicity, deliciousness and the fact that my boyfriend would eat pasta every night if I let him!
What has been keeping me busy is some very tricky chemistry units at university (who would have thought there was so much chemistry involved with Nutrition!?) and a new part-time job as a cook! So after spending most the morning cooking when I get home I just want to gobble up my food without even a thought about taking a photo.
Anyway, here it is. I hope you enjoy this dish as much as my family and I do, and that it might just become a delicious family staple. Plus, it’s super good this time of the year with all the garlic and kale to keep your immune system strong.
Serves 4, vegan & gluten free options
- 375g wholegrain penne pasta (I use spelt or buckwheat)
- 200g baby kale leaves, washed
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/4 C local extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large head of broccoli or romanesco, cut into florets
- 1/2 C walnuts, toasted in a dry pan, roughly chopped
- Sheeps milk romana or nutritional yeast, to serve
- Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Once boiling add your kale and garlic. blanch for 2-3 minutes, until a vibrant green, no longer.
- Scoop out the kale and garlic and place in a blender with the oil. Add 1/4 – 1/2 C of the cooking water. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Blend until a super smooth, pourable consistency, adding more water if necessary.
- Meanwhile, pop the pasta in the pot of boiling water. 5 minutes before the pasta is due to be ready (according to packet directions) add in the broccoli florets. Continue to cook until the pasta is al dente. The broccoli should be just soft.
- Drain and stir through the blended kale sauce. Serve with the toasted walnuts and a little romano cheese or nutritional yeast. A drizzle of good EVOO is a nice addition too.
Show me your greenalicious pasta on Instagram by tagging #goodnessgraciouskitchen
The last few days of Autumn are shining upon us which means my breakfasts have started to heat up. On the mornings when I don’t have to eat my breakfast post yoga & in the car, I enjoy beautifully creamy, warm oats with an assortment of toppings. Lately we have been getting the last of the passionfruit from my parents vines, lots of bananas at the markets and the first of my favourite golden kiwifruit. These make the most delightful topping on creamy coconut porridge.
I’ve got one more week left of this semester at University then a couple of weeks of exams. After that, my boyfriend, my parents and I will be packing our bags and heading to Sri Lanka! I’m beyond excited and can’t wait to swim in the warm ocean, walk through some splendid tea plantations and feast on fragrant curries. We’re heading through the hill country then to the east coast. I would be forever grateful if any of you have some travel advice and must see/do places. I’m also hoping to do an Ayurveda cooking class, so any information about that would be most welcome.
Anyway here is a beautifully warming porridge recipe with a little tropical inspiration.
Creamy Coconut Porridge
- 1 C rolled oats (gluten free if necessary), soaked overnight
- 1 C coconut milk
- 1 tsp vanilla powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamon
- 3 passionfruit, pulp scooped out
- 2 bananas, sliced lengthways
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp coconut sugar
- 1 golden kiwi fruit, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp coconut flakes, toasted
- Coconut milk, extra to serve
- Coconut syrup (the sap from the coconut palm), to serve
- Soak the oats overnight in a generous amount of water. Drain in the morning and place in a small saucepan along with the coconut milk and 1 C of filtered water.
- Place the saucepan over very low heat and add the vanilla, cardamon and cinnamon. Bring to a low simmer and stir for 5-10 minutes or until thick and creamy.
- While the porridge is cooking, heat the coconut oil in a small frypan. Sprinkle the sliced bananas with coconut sugar before placing cut side down in the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until golden. Flip and cook the other side for 1 minute before turning off. Set aside.
- When the porridge is ready pour into your serving bowl and top with the caramelised bananas, passionfruit pulp, kiwi and coconut flakes. Serve with extra coconut milk and coconut syrup.
Cauliflower has officially made a come back. Its no longer that plain, overcooked until watery vegetable but rather the hero of so many different dishes. We’ve seen it as pizza bases, a rice alternative, in cakes, in bread and of course flavoursome soups. But my favourite way has got to be roasted until the edges are charred and crispy and the inside still has a little bite. Here it is roasted with turmeric, cummin and cinnamon which lifts the mellow flavour of the cauliflower while also adding a little sweetness.
Now don’t get me started on eggplant because it is quite possible one of my favourite things now after years of hating it as a kid. Roasting, like the cauliflower has got to be my favourite way to cook it. Once again the edges get crispy and charred but the inside is buttery soft and so delicious.
I’ve paired these two beautiful vegetables with green lentils, lots of fresh parsley, sweet dates, tangy pomegranate jewels and a creamy tahini dressing to really create a satisfying salad that is perfect for any day or night.
Warm cauliflower and aubergine salad
serves 4 as a side or 2-3 as a main
- 1/2 large head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tsp cummin seeds
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 aubergine, sliced into wedges
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tsp smokey paprika
- 1/2 C green lentils
- 1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
- 1/4 of a preserved lemon, finely chopped
- 2 C baby spinach leaves
- 5 medjool dates, roughly chopped
- 1/4 c raw almonds, roughly chopped
- pomegranate jewels, to serve
- tahini dressing, to serve (recipe below)
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Line two baking trays with baking paper. Toss the cauliflower florets with 1/2 the olive oil, the turmeric, cumin and cinnamon. Spread out on the baking tray and place in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes.
- Slice half way down along the wedges of aubergine, making sure not to cut all the way through. place on the other baking tray and drizzle with the rest of the oil, the chilli flakes and paprika. Place into the oven for 30 minutes, or until charred on the edges and soft and gooey on the inside.
- Rinse the lentils before placing in a saucepan and covering well with lots of water. Bring to the boil over medium heat before turning to low, covering and cooking for 20 minutes. Refresh under cold water and set aside.
- Combine the cooked lentils, roasted cauliflower, parsley, baby spinach and preserved lemon in a large bowl. Add the roasted aubergine on top followed by the almonds, pomegranate jewels and spicy tahini dressing.
- Serve immediately.
Spicy tahini dressing
makes 3/4 C
- 1/4 C tahini
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tsp raw honey
- salt and pepper to taste
- water, to thin, about 3/4 c
- Place everything but the water in a bowl and stir to combine. Slowly add the water until the desired consistency is reached. Its nice to have it quite runny so its a good drizzle consistency.
- Use for the salad and store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days.
This may sound like a totally indulgent and luxurious dessert but really its not so bad for you at all! The ‘cream’ filling is made from raw cashews and coconut milk which is fluffy and flavoursome and so much better for you than a regular cream filling! Along with a nut base and fresh seasonal fruit on the top it’s the perfect guilt-free treat. My mum has been going all out and taking a slice for her morning tea at work, piled high with sweet figs and tangy passionfruit it’s the perfect morning indulgence. It would also be beautiful on an afternoon high tea platter.
The cream cake filling is scented with vanilla beans and raw local honey which adds not only sweetness but floral fragrances making it the perfect backdrop for whatever seasonal fruit you have on hand. I have chosen figs and passionfruit as our garden is bursting with them both at this time. Plus, the sweetness from the figs and tang from the passionfruit work beautifully together. I would also say mango and raspberries would be a delicious topping. Strawberries, kiwifruit, peaches and even cherries. Choose whatever fruit you have available in abundance and by doing this you will be getting the tastiest option. Sprinkle a few little mint leaves on top and you have a picture perfect and flavour packed treat!
For the base, I have chosen to use mainly buckwheat groats as these make the dessert a little lighter, there’s only so many nuts we can have, right?! But by including a few walnuts the base still has a delicious nutty flavour and is packed with nutrients.
Notes about the recipe
I like to make the cream cake and place it sliced in a tupperware in the freezer without adding the topping. This way it will last up to 1 month frozen. Before serving I simply remove the desired amount of slices 30 minutes prior and top with the fresh fruit topping.
To achieve a really creamy filling it is best to use a high speed blender, such as a vitamix.
Vanilla & honey cream cake with seasonal fruit
makes approximately 16 slices
for the base
- 1/2 C raw walnuts
- 3/4 C buckwheat groats (buckinis)
- 1/2 C shredded coconut
- 8 fresh dates, pitted
- 4 dried figs
- 2 tbsp virgin coconut oil
- a pinch sea salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
for the cream filling
- 2 C raw cashews (soaked overnight)
- 1/2 C full fat coconut milk
- 2 T raw honey (or maple syrup)
- 1 tsp vanilla bean powder
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
for the topping (choose whatever locally grown, seasonal fruit you have available)
- 1 C sliced fresh figs
- 4 passionfruit, pulp only
- a few fresh mint leaves
- edible flowers to decorate, if desired
- Start but soaking your cashews overnight or for at least 6 hours.
- For the base, place the walnuts, buckwheat and coconut into a processor and blitz for about 1 minute, or until a rough crumbly textures is achieved. Add the dates, dried figs, coconut oil, sea salt and cinnamon before processing again until a sticky texture.
- Press this mixture firmly into a lined 20×30 cm tin. Place into the freezer.
- For the cream filling, drain the cashews and place in a high speed blender along with all the other filling ingredients. Blitz for 2-3 minutes or until a VERY creamy texture is achieved. Check the balance of flavours as you may need to add a little more honey if you’ve got a sweet tooth.
- Pour the filling over the base and place back into the freezer to set for 4-6 hours. Once completely set slice into 16 bars. If serving now top with fig slices, passionfruit pulp and mint leaves and let sit for 30 minutes to thaw.
- Otherwise store the slices in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Show me your creations by tagging #goodnessgraciouskitchen on Instagram xx