A nutty fruit cake

This cake has been a lifesaver over the last few months. Every time I’m heading to university I try and have a couple of slices in my bag because I never know how hungry I might get, and this is the perfect snack. Especially compared to what the vending machines have on offer (ew). Taking your own snacks somewhere is always a good idea if you’re trying to live a healthy lifestyle. You know exactly what you’re putting into you’re body, as you’ve made it yourself. And this nutty cake is full of all things good so you’ll feel fabulous eating it. Plus, it travels amazingly unlike many other soft cakes or muffins that always seen to get squished under everything else in your handbag!

This recipe was inspired by My New Roots life changing loaf of bread. Sarah’s recipe for the beautiful nut and seed loaf can be found here. I have simply turned the loaf into a bit more of a cake, with lots of fibre rich dried fruit to make it a sweeter treat. My recipe is completely oil free and  has remained vegan, held together only by psyllium seed husk, which is almost like magic fairy dust. It just binds ingredients together so easily so you can have beautiful egg free cakes and bread.

Nutty fruit bread

Makes one large loaf

Ingredients

150g oats

4 tbsp psyllium seed husk

4 tbsp buckwheat flour

4 tbsp flax seeds

250g raw almonds or pecans

100g sunflower seeds

2 tsp baking powder

100g chopped dried figs

1 tsp cinnamon

200g dried dates

250ml water, plus extra

juice of 2 oranges, zest of one

Method

Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Line a loaf tine with baking paper.

Weigh and measure out all the dry ingredients, except the dates, into a large bowl. Add the orange zest and combine well.

Place the dates and the water into a small saucepan. Gentle bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, until the dates and soft. Mash the mixture together with a fork and mix into the dry ingredients. Add in the orange juice and up to 1/2 a cup of water. The mixture should be really thick.

Scoop the mixture into the prepared tin and flatten the top. Place into the preheated oven for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully take the loaf out of the tin and place on a wire rack. Brush the maple syrup over the top before placing it back in the oven to cook uncovered for another 20 – 30 minutes, or until golden brown all over.

Remove and cool completely before slicing with a sharp knife.

Keeps in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 week. Also perfect frozen in slices and lightly toasted before serving.

Enjoy!

 

Warming chocolate muesli

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
This is definitely a weekend treat, maybe even just a Sunday morning treat when you feel like being indulgent. Instead of popping out to your local cafe, wake up a little earlier and toast these beautiful whole grains with natural honey, then stir through that little bit of decadence, dark chocolate chunks. Your whole family will wake up to sweet smells of honey and cinnamon and you’ll be everyones favourite for the day.

I made this on a chilly day when the rain just seemed to keep on coming down. I felt like something warm and nourishing for breakfast but also something a little special and different from my usual oats. Popped quinoa is a fabulous addition to any muesli as it has a beautiful nutty flavour and chewy texture. Quinoa is also a good source of plant protein, so along with the healthy fats from the almonds and complex carbohydrates from the oats you will be full until lunch. I have used organic dark chocolate, 85% cacao and dairy free, I would recommend using this or cacao nibs for a healthier alternative. Of course you won’t get the same marbling affect of the warm milk and chocolate if you opt for the cacao nibs.

Once again this is not your traditional granola or musli, so definitely a weekend or special occasion treat! Now i’ll just have to hide it in the back of the pantry so my sister doesn’t pour it on her cereal EVERY morning, or eat it all straight from the jar.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Chocolate muesli

Ingredients

2 C rolled oats, gluten free if necessary

1 C popped quinoa

1/2 C popped brown rice

1/2 C raw almonds, roughly chopped

1/2 C shredded coconut

1/3 C sunflower seeds

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 C unprocessed local honey

1/4 C goji berries

100g dark chocolate (85% cacao or more)

Warm almond milk, to serve

Fresh berries, to serve

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.

In a large bowl combine the oats, almonds, popped quinoa and rice, coconut, sunflower seeds and cinnamon. Pour over the honey and give it all a good mix. You will have a big sticky mess.

Carefully transfer this to your baking tray and spread it out. Place in the oven for 10 minutes before giving it all a good stir. Let cook for another 5 – 10 minutes, until its all golden and toasted. Cool in the tray.

Once the muesli has cooled stir through the goji berries and dark chocolate.

Serve in small bowl with fresh berries and warmed almond milk.

Leftovers will keep in an airtight jar for 2 weeks.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Espresso Truffles

I have just returned home after a few weeks with my parents in the beautiful South West where I spent most of my time cooking, reading, walking on the beach and playing in the garden. My parents enjoyed many coffee breaks throughout the day and I became quite the barista. Although I don’t drink coffee I enjoy the taste and smell so I put my skills to good use and whipped up these delicious morsels!

Packed full with beneficial fats and minerals such as iron, magnesium and zinc these make the perfect healthy treat. Brazil nuts can of course be substituted with a different nut but I like the flavour and oily (the good kind) texture the brazil nuts give. Maca is a root vegetable from Peru which is high in many vitamins and minerals as well as being a great energy booster. This makes these treats a REAL pick-me-up for when you’re feeling deflated, which to be honest happens to most of us during winter.

Anyway, tomorrow I’m off to the sunny island of Bali to escape the winter chill and hopefully come back bursting with inspiration for new recipes.

Espresso Truffles

Makes ~20 medium sized balls

Ingredients

1/2 C raw brazil nuts

1/4 C desiccated coconut

1/4 C rolled oats

1 tbsp raw cacao powder

1 tbsp raw maca powder

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

10 fresh medjool dates, pitted

1 shot of strong espresso

2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil

Method

In a food processor blend the brazil nuts, desiccated coconut and rolled oats until ground. Add the cacao and cinnamon and give it another quick blitz. Then add the dates, espresso and coconut oil processing until all the ingredients come together.

Roll heaped tablespoons of the mixture into balls and place in a tupperware lined with baking paper. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving. Keep leftovers stored in the fridge for up to 1 week or freeze for 1 month.

Enjoy!

P.S Don’t gobble too many of these before bed time otherwise you might have a sleepless night like I did!

P.P.S This post was meant to be published before my tropical holiday however I had technical difficulties! I am now back after a week of glorious sunshine and will have some Indonesian inspired recipes for you all very soon. X

 

Persimmon and banana muffins with a pecan crumb

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It is currently peak persimmon season here in Perth and as my parents have a tree and the local farmers markets are practically giving them away, I have more than I know what to do with. So I have been getting creative with ways to use this delicious fruit, enjoying them with porridge and on toast but this was my first try at baking with them, and what a treat it was! The persimmon adds a subtle flavour and creates a moist crumb along with the banana. They are very wholesome muffins, I think one could even be grabbed as a quick breakfast snack if your short on time.

When choosing persimmons there are two varieties, astringent and non-astringent. I have used the astringent variety  here as they have very soft, bright orange flesh when completely ripe. If this variety is not ripe the flesh will be quite firm and have an astringent texture in your mouth. Not pleasant at all, so make sure you choose a very ripe persimmon! The non-astringent variety could be used however the flesh is often a lot firmer so once peeled it would be easier to blend to a paste rather than mash.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The pecan crumb adds a really lovely texture to the muffins and as they are so easy to make, its worth another minute for the crunchy crumb on top!

 

Persimmon and banana muffins with a pecan crumb

1 1/2 C buckwheat flour

1/2 C coconut sugar

2 t baking powder

2 t ground cinnamon

1 t ground nutmeg

2 bananas, mashed

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out

1 persimmon, peeled and mashed

2 free range organic eggs

1/2 C plant yoghurt

1/4 C cold pressed macadamia oil

1/4 C pure maple syrup

Pecan crumb

1/3 C rolled oats

1/3 C pecans, roughly chopped

4 T pure maple syrup

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.Grease a 12 hole muffin tin with coconut oil.

Combine the buckwheat flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl. In a separate bowl whisk together the bananas, vanilla, persimmon, eggs, yoghurt, oil and maple syrup.

For the pecan crumb, simply combine all ingredients in a small bowl.

Fold the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined. Spoon into muffin tins and top with a small spoonful of the crumble mix, pressing it lightly into the muffin mixture.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Gently tip the muffins out of the tin and serve warm or store in an airtight container for two to three days.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Enjoy!

Truffles of goodness

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I am so very excited to be sharing a new recipe with you all. I have spent the last two months backpacking around India and been inspired in so many new ways. However this recipe is based on something I was dreaming on after weeks of curry, rice and chai tea so it has no resemblance of Indian flavours! These are the perfect after dinner treat with a cup of camomile tea. I will soon update you all with a selection of healthy Indian recipes, some inspired by a cooking class and others from the infamous street stalls.

The truffles hide a dirty green filling bursting with antioxidants. Matcha green tea powder is one of the highest sources of antioxidants, so you can eat these choccies without a guilty filling, knowing that the cacao and matcha will be fighting all those free radicals floating around your body!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Coconut matcha truffles

Makes approximately 12 small truffles

Ingredients 

For the raw chocolate

1/4 C cacao

1/4 C coconut oil

1/4 C raw honey or pure maple syrup

For the filling

1/4 C coconut butter

2 T matcha green tea powder

2 T raw honey

Method

To make the raw chocolate combine all the ingredients in a bowl over a bowl of hot water. Stir until smooth. Place a spoonful of the chocolate into mini patty pan cases. Freeze for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile mix together the filling ingredients. Once the chocolate is set roll small balls of the filling and place in the centre of the chocolate. Top with 2 teaspoonfuls of the chocolate, repeat until all truffles are complete. Lastly sprinkle on a little Himalayan pink salt. Place back in the freezer for 15 minutes before eating. These will store for a couple of weeks if kept in the freezer.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Enjoy! X