Everything cookies & my thoughts

As I sit down to write this, it is not cookies on my mind but the rice paper rolls, the soy eggs & squash fritters from some well recognised food bloggers who are sharing their stories. These are not any story but the deepest of stories about their families & their childhood. Each one has made my heart swell & my eyes fill with tears as I think about the hardships they  & (their families) faced & the tough decisions. One thing is the same in each story – it’s about finding a safer home. Somewhere they could bring their children up without the threat or fear of violence & persecution. I urge all of you to go & have a read & remember now, while all this craziness is going on in the world that in the end we are all human & we all deserve to live without fear. #immigrantfoodstories

http://www.mydarlinglemonthyme.com/2017/02/nectarine-and-pickled-cucumber-rice-paper-rolls-vegan-gluten-free-immigrantfoodstories.html

http://honestlyyum.com/18507/

http://theyearinfood.com/2017/02/winter-squash-fritters.html

Here are some cookies that will bring a little hope & warmth into your life. They will fill you up & make you feel good.

Everything cookies 

Makes approx. 24 large cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 C whole spelt flour
  • 1 C rolled oats, plus 1/2 C extra
  • 1/4 C brown rice flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 C desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 C raw almond, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 C dried cranberries
  • 1/2 C roughly chopped dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
  • 1/2 C macadamia oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1/4 C rice malt syrup
  • 2 over-ripe bananas

Method

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees celcius & line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Place the 1 C of rolled oats into your blender and pulse for a few seconds to turn into oat flour. Pour into a large bowl and sift over the flours, baking powder, cinnamon & sea salt. Add the whole oats, coconut, almonds, cranberries & dark chocolate. Mix to combine.
  3. In a large jug mash the bananas then add in the oil, vanilla & rice syrup. Whisk together before pouring over the dry ingredients. Mix into a thick dough then with damp hands roll tablespoon size balls. Place onto the trays and flatten with the palm of your hand.
  4. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, until golden. Cool for 5 minutes on the trays before transferring to a wire rack.
  5. Delicious eaten on the day otherwise will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container.

Enjoy & spread love xx

Vegan cauliflower cheeze

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Over the last few months purple cauliflower has been popping up at all the farmers markets over here in Perth. The first time a bought one I was so excited & wanted to do something extra special. It ended up sitting in the fridge for two weeks while I dreamed up all these crazy things I could do with this purple cauliflower cauliflower. In the end I used it in a rush one busy weeknight when I was craving some comfort food. The cauliflower was roasted with garlic before being baked with a fish and creamy sauce made from almond milk. Surprisingly, it was an amazing dish that was gobbled up by all, especially my sister. She would have eaten the whole tray right then. Luckily some was left for our lunches the next day!

Since then we’ve had this cauliflower cheeze on regular rotation & every time it is thoroughly enjoyed. I’m thinking of serving this on Christmas eve and even though it’s quick & easy to make, it tastes indulgent.

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By using purple cauliflower there’s a healthy does of anthocyanins which have anti-innflammatory & antioxidant benefits. Regular cauliflower is also high in vitamin C so no matter what colour you choose its bound to be healthy & nutrient rich.

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Vegan cauliflower cheeze 

Serves 4 as a main, or 6 as a side

Ingredients

  • 2 small or 1 large head of purple cauliflower (if you can’t find it white is just as delicious)
  • 4 T extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp smokey paprika
  • 1/3 C chickpea (besan) flour
  • 800ml unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tbsp white miso paste
  • 1/4 C nutritional yeast flakes, plus 2 tbsp
  • 1/2 C walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp sunflower seeds, roughly chopped

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celcius.
  2. Trim the cauliflower & cut into medium sized florets.
  3. Line a baking tray with baking paper & place the cauliflower on in a single layer. Drizzle with 2 tbsp of the olive oil, sprinkle over the crushed garlic, paprika & season with salt & pepper. Place into the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile prepare your béchamel sauce by heating the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil in a small saucepan. Add the chickpea flour and stir until a thick paste forms. Now, with a whisk in hand, gradually add the almond milk, whisking continually to ensure no lumps. Over a medium heat gently bring to the boil, while whisking every so often. It will take about 10 minutes for the sauce to thicken.
  5. Once thick add in the miso & nutritional yeast. Give the sauce a final whisk before taking off the heat.
  6. Remove the cauliflower from the oven & place in a baking dish. Pour over the béchamel sauce & top with the walnuts, sunflower seeds & remaining nutritional yeast. Season with a little extra salt & pepper & baking at 200 degrees celcius for 30 minutes.
  7. Serve with a crisp green salad.

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Enjoy!

 

Cacao & avocado shakes

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 

Serves 2

Ingredients 

  • 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

Method

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.

Gluten-free coconut kefir waffles

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

Ingredients

  • 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

optional toppings

  • 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

Method

  1. 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.
  2. In the morning rinse your grains well and place in a high-speed blender with the coconut kefir, banana, vanilla and cinnamon.
  3. Blend on high for 1 minute or until a completely smooth and creamy texture. Set aside for around 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, heat your waffle iron to the desired setting, I like to have mine of the 2nd highest function for a nice, crispy outside.
  5. When heated, pour in approximately 1/3 C of the batter. Close and let the waffle maker do its thang.
  6. While the waffles are cooking prepare your desired toppings.
  7. If you are cooking for a crowd keep the cooked waffles, covered with a tea towel, in a 150 degrees celcius oven.
  8. However, these are best served hot off the waffle maker!

Enjoy!

 

 

Cacao & Ginger energy bars

University goes back today, school has been back for a few weeks and I’m sure most of you have been back at work for at least the last month. For me, this means long days at uni filled with chemistry labs and the need something delicious and energising to keep me sustained. I have previously posted the recipe for my Nutty fruit cake, which is a great snack while you’re on the run and is often found in hanging around the bottom of my bag. These bars are another delicious snack and with the addition of cacao which is full of antioxidants, magnesium and iron they really will give you a boost.

I must admit though that these energy bars don’t travel nearly as well as the indestructible Nutty fruit cake however they are just as delicious enjoyed at home with a big cup of tea or a glass of fresh nut milk. Filled with the rich taste of cacao and spicy ginger these are the big kid addition of a chocolate bar so if you want to make them for some little people reduce the ginger and perhaps addd a little honey for a sweeter version.

Cacao & ginger energy bars

makes 16 bars

Ingredients

  • 2 C rolled oats, gluten free is necessary
  • 1/2 C pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1 C pitted dried dates soaked in just boiled water for 10-20 minutes
  • 2 C puffed quinoa or millet
  • 2 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 1- 2 pinches flaky sea salt
  • 3/4 C tahini
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp  freshly grated ginger

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius. Place the rolled oats and pumpkin seeds on a baking tray and pop it into the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the oats are just golden and smelling delicious.
  2. Meanwhile, line a 20x30cm lamington tin with baking paper and set aside. Drain the dates, place in a small bowl and mash with a fork into a sticky smooth paste. Add in the tahini, coconut oil and ginger, mixing to combine.
  3. In a large bowl mix the puffed quinoa, cacao powder and sea salt. Add in the toasted oats and pumpkin seeds.
  4. Finally spoon over the date/tahini mixture and mix quickly to combine.
  5. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared tin and press down firmly with your palm. You may want to wet your hands very slightly to stop the mixture sticking to you!
  6. Place in the fridge to set for about 4 hours before slicing into bars.

 

 

Banana and dark chocolate cookies

Over the past couple of months I have been making these cookies when I have an overflowing bowl of ripe bananas and a need for something sweet other than banana bread. The bananas add a beautiful sweetness and chewy texture while also making these cookies a great energy boosting snack.

I have trialled these on a car trip, where they travelled well and satisfied all the passengers, even my sister who usually complains that nothing is sweet enough. The cookies also made an appearance on a bicycle ride with me today and they were the perfect halfway snack to keep us satisfied until lunch.

Without the chocolate I would be inclined to say these would also make a fabulous breakfast on the run, seeing as they are made of some of the usual breakfast suspects like oats, almonds, buckwheat, chia and coconut.

Banana and dark chocolate cookies

makes approximately 20 large cookies

Ingredients 

  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed (the riper, the sweeter)
  • 1/2 C cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 C raw honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean extract
  • 1 1/4 C buckwheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 C rolled oats (gluten free if necessary)
  • 1 C almond meal
  • 1 C desiccated coconut
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 75g dark chocolate (75% cocoa or more), roughly chopped

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
  2. In a small bowl or jug combine the mashed banana, olive oil, honey and vanilla. Whisk with a fork to combine and set aside.
  3. Sift the buckwheat flour and baking powder into a large bowl then stir in the other dry ingredients.
  4. Add the banana mixture and mix to combine. Finally add in the dark chocolate.
  5. Roll large tablespoons of the mixture onto the prepared trays and flatten with your palm (they won’t spread when cooking).
  6. Place into the preheated oven and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.
  7. Cool on a wire rack before enjoying with a cup of tea!

Almond butter and blueberry smoothies

Right now this is my go-to smoothie combo. If I could, I would have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And I just can’t stop raving about it! Apart from telling all my friends various times, I also thought I better not let you beautiful readers down and give you this super quick and luxurious smoothie, so you too can rave about it.

It’s packed with almond butter and chia to make it super thick and creamy while also providing you with a generous dose of good fats and a complete source of protein. Cacao powder adds a rich but subtle chocolate taste while also being a great source of magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron and potassium.  Maca powder is an ancient vegetable that is great for balancing hormones, relieving stress and boosting energy with a delicious malt flavour. It is best to start with a little if you have not had maca before and gradually increase the amount to suit your taste.  These ingredients really make this a super feel good smoothie far any day of the week! Plus blueberries and bananas, could it get any more super?!

Almond butter & Blueberry smoothie

serves 1 hungry soul for breakfast or 2 as a snack

Ingredients

  • 1 C almond milk
  • 3 frozen bananas
  • 1 heaped tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tsp maca powder
  • 1 tsp raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 C fresh blueberries, to serve
  • Dried rose petals, chia, cacao nibs  and almond butter, to serve if desired.

Method

  1. Measure and place all the ingredients, except the blueberries, into the blender in the order listed.
  2. Blend on high for 1 minute or until thick and creamy.
  3. Pour into 1 large bowl or two smaller jars and pop into the freezer for 5 minutes. The chia seeds will gel and make the smoothie extra thick.
  4. Meanwhile wash your blueberries and slice some in half. Prepare any other toppings you wish to include.
  5. Remove the smoothie/s from the freezer and top with the blueberries and (almond butter, chia, rose petals and cacao nibs).
  6. This smoothie needs a spoon!

Enjoy! Show me your smoothies on Instagram #goodnessgraciouskitchen