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

 

 

 

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!

 

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

 

Fat banana pancake

gracebancroft

This is the perfect lazy Sunday breakfast when you feel like pancakes but don’t want to stand at the stove flipping them all morning. With this ‘fat’ pancake you just pop it in the oven while you get on with your morning and soon enough its golden and bubbling with sweet juices from the banana, ready to be gobbled up. Saying that, it makes this the perfect treat for any day of the week really.

The flavours I have gone with lend to a tropical theme but any seasonal fruit would be delicious, such as grilled peaches or caramelised apple. Caramelising the bananas first really enhances their flavour and gives them a beautiful golden colour without having to achieve that and overcooking the batter.

Eggs are a beautiful breakfast ingredient as they are a complete source of protein and combined with the healthy fats and some complex carbohydrates you will be full until lunch time!

gracebancroft

Fat banana pancake

Serves 4.

Ingredients 

1/2 C almond meal

1/2 t gluten free baking powder

2 T buckwheat flour

2 T rolled oats

2 T desiccated coconut

1/2 t ground cinnamon

zest and juice of 1 lime

3 free range organic eggs

2/3 C coconut milk, plus extra

1 T coconut sugar

2 T extra virgin coconut oil

2-3 bananas, sliced lengthways

Method 

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees celcius. Place a 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil in your baking dish (roughly 20cm in diameter) and pop it in the preheating oven until melted.

Whisk together the almond meal, baking powder, buckwheat flour, oats, coconut, lime zest and cinnamon.

Squeeze half the juice of the lime over the sliced bananas and sprinkle over the coconut sugar. Heat the remaing tablespoon of coconut oil in a small frypan and cook the bananas cut side down until golden and caramelised.

Meanwhile, in a small jug whisk together the eggs and coconut milk then pour into the dry ingredients. Whisk until the mixture is smooth. Pour into your prepared baking dish and top with the bananas, caramelised side up.

Place in the preheated oven and cook for 25-30 minutes or until golden and puffed.

Serve with a squeeze of lime juice, shredded coconut and coconut milk.

gracebancroft

Enjoy! And get creative with other seasonal fruit.

 

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

Christmas cookies

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I can’t believe its the festive season again, already! I have been a bit slow at getting into the Christmas spirit but here is the first of hopefully a few Christmas recipes. As of yet we don’t have a christmas tree up in our home but the smell of these cookies wafting around has reminded us that once again ‘its the season to be jolly’!

I wanted these cookies to be a mix between traditional gingerbread and shortbread but without the butter, eggs, refined flour and sugar. They are beautifully spicy, almost buttery from the coconut oil and with a lovely crisp texture, perfect for dunking in your afternoon cup of tea. I have shaped mine into a few giant gingerbread men as i had a really cool cookie cutter from my late Grandmother but regular gingerbread would also be delicious! I have also shaped some stars and christmas trees which are great presented in a little bag or mug as a christmas present.

Get your kids in the kitchen to help you with this easy, healthy recipe and enjoy the start of a beautiful festive season!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Christmas Cookies

Ingredients

1 C rolled oats, gluten free if necessary

1 C almond meal

½ C rice flour

1 t gluten free baking powder

1 t ground ginger

1 t ground cinnamon

1 t ground allspice

½ C raw honey

½ C unrefined coconut oil

1 t vanilla extract

¼ – ½ C plant milk, I used almond

Method

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius and line 2 large trays with baking paper.

Pulse the oats in a blender/food processor to achieve a rough flour consistency. Place the oat flour into a mixing bowl along with the almond meal, rice flour, baking powder and spices. Combine.

Melt the honey, coconut oil and vanilla extract over a bowl of boiling. Add to the dry ingredients along with enough plant milk to achieve a dough consistency. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.

Sprinkle rice flour over your bench top and roll the dough out to roughly ½ cm thickness. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters. I used giant gingerbread, star and Christmas tress cutters. Use a little mixed peel and flaked almonds to make eyes and buttons.

Carefully place onto the lined trays and bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden.

Perfect served to impromptu Christmas visitors with a cup of tea.

Enjoy!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Nut butter cookies

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Peanut butter seems make everything delicious, whether it be sweet or savory it is usually a taste sensation. These cookies are no exception, with peanut butter being the star ingredient and cacao nibs giving that lovely rich chocolate crunch they are ridiculously delicious. Of course these do not have to be made with peanut butter, almond, brazil nut or a combination would achieve the same texture. But through my experience I have found peanut to be the winner.

The mix freezes really well and can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. I like to make a big batch of the cookie dough so whenever i have unexpected guests i can just roll some onto the tray, bake and then have delicious fresh cookies to serve!

I have posted about the benefits of cacao before but just to refresh, it is the raw unprocessed cocoa bean that is full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. So enjoy the chocolate that is good for you!

You can make your own peanut butter by slow roasting 1 1/2 C raw peanuts until golden and shiny. Then simply place in your high speed blender and blend until the oils have released and your desired consistency is achieved (slightly crunchy or smooth).

Peanut butter and cacao cookies, makes 20

1 C gluten free rolled oats

2/3 C buckwheat flour

1 t baking powder

1/3 C cacao nibs

1/3 C macadamia oil or coconut oil

1/2 C coconut nectar

1 C natural peanut butter

1/3 C tahini

1 t vanilla extract

 Method

Process the oats in a food processor until a course flour consistency. Place in a large mixing bowl and add all the other dry ingredients (buckwheat flour, baking powder, cacao nibs), combine.

Melt the wet ingredients (macadamia oil, coconut nectar, peanut butter, tahini and vanilla) in a saucepan over low heat.

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry until all combined.

Place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

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

Use a tablespoon to scoop the mix and roll into balls. Place on the tray and flatten slightly.

Bake for 10 -15 minutes or until golden brown. They will be soft but when they cool will crisp up.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Enjoy!