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

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!

 

 

Vanilla cream cake with seasonal fruit

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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.

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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

Ingredients

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

Method

  1. Start but soaking your cashews overnight or for at least 6 hours.
  2. 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.
  3. Press this mixture firmly into a lined 20×30 cm tin. Place into the freezer.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Otherwise store the slices in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Enjoy!

Show me your creations by tagging #goodnessgraciouskitchen on Instagram xx

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Raw banana crepes

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A few weeks ago I had the most divine breakfast at a beautiful cafe in Perth called The little shop of plenty. They had raw banana crepes on the menu and I knew right away i had to taste them! They were nothing like traditional crepes but absolutely delicious in their own way. Since then, I have had them on my mind and when we had some over ripe bananas hanging around I knew the time was perfect. Plus, it was a Saturday night when I started so I couldn’t resist the thought of waking up to a slow Sunday morning with raw banana crepes!

I have flavoured the crepes with a little cinnamon as it always goes so perfectly well with banana and adds another dimension of sweetness. It’s also loaded with antioxidants and anti-innflamatory properties, so win win! We then filled the crepes with beautiful fresh figs and passionfruit from our garden, coconut cream, a little mint and some raw honeycomb my Dad collected from the bees. It was a sensational combination and I urge you to try it! Otherwise the crepes are delicious with whatever seasonal fruit is available or even almond butter and honey. Let you imagination run wild!

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Notes about the recipe 

You will need a dehydrator to make the crepes. I have a large sunbeam one which wasn’t too expensive and does the job well. The time will depend on your dehydrator settings but as stated in the recipe mine took 4.5 hours at 70 degrees celsius.

This isn’t your regular cope so don’t expect anything fluffy and light. Rather these are chewy in texture and really quite filling.

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Raw banana crepes

Serves 3-4  

Ingredients 

  • 4 ripe bananas, peeled
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbs chia sees
  • 1/4 C filtered water
  • To serve: fresh figs, passionfruit, coconut cream, honey comb, mint and edible flowers. Feel free to use any seasonal fruit you have available. 

Method

  1. Place the bananas, cinnamon, chia and water in a high speed blender and pulse until very smooth and creamy.
  2. Pour 1/4 C onto a lined dehydrating tray and move the tray in a circular motion to evenly spread the mixture into a circle. Repeat until all the mixture is used.
  3. Dehydrate at 70 degrees celcius for 4.5 hours, or until dry and not sticky.
  4. Gently peel off the baking paper. The crepes will keep in an airtight container with paper between each one for up to 1 month.
  5. To serve slice the figs and scoop out the passionfruit pulp. Fill the crepes with the figs, passionfruit, a drizzle of coconut cream, a little honeycomb a few mint leave and  edible flowers. Roll up and enjoy the beautiful fresh flavours!

Enjoy! Show me your crepes on Instagram @goodnessgraciouskitchen #goodnessgraciouskitchen

 

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!