Spelt & chia hot cross buns with figs, raisins & dark choc

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These buns are filled with all the warm & comforting flavours you can imagine. A fragrant whole spelt dough scented with cinnamon, nutmeg & allspice is then combined with juicy fruit, orange zest & chunks of rich dark choc. It’s the perfect treat to wake up to on easter morning.

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I know I have left it a little late & you might already have given up on making any buns this year but this recipe was just too good not to share. So if you haven’t got plan today pop into the kitchen and you’ll be thanking me later when the smell of spicy fruit is wafting around your home. Otherwise, there is always next Easter!

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Spelt and chia hot cross buns with figs, raisins & dark choc

Ingredients

  • 1 C soy milk
  • 4 tbs raw honey (or maple/ rice malt syrup)
  • 1 tbs instant yeast
  • 2 tbs sourdough starter (if you don’t have just add 2 tbs soy milk, extra)
  • 2 tbs chia seeds, 3 tbs water (mix and let sit for 5 minutes)
  • 1 Orange, zest & juice
  • 1/2 C raisins
  • 1/2 C currents
  • 1/2 c dried figs, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 C mixed peel
  • 1 1/2 C whole spelt flour
  • 2 C white spelt flour
  • 2 tbs ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/4 C macadamia or extra virgin olive oil
  • Soy milk, extra, for brushing

For the crosses

  • 1/4 C white spelt flour
  • 2 tbs water

For the glaze

  • 1/4 lime marmalade

Method

  1. Gently heat the soy milk until just lukewarm. Add the instant yeast and honey. Stir, and let sit for 5 minutes. Add in the sourdough starter and set aside.
  2. Mix the orange juice & zest with the dried fruit.
  3. In a large bowl of a stand mixer combine the flours, spices and salt. Add in the soy milk mixture, chia seed mixture, macadamia oil and fruit mixture. Mix until combine in a firm dough.
  4. Need on a floured bench for 5 minutes. Cover in a large bowl and place in a warm area for 2 hours.
  5. After the 2 hours and when doubled in size knock the dough back. Roll into 16 even sized balls and place on a baking tray. Let rise, covered with a damp detail for 30 minutes, in a warm place.
  6. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.
  7. Mix the flour and water together, pop into a snap lock bag and cut off the corner. When the buns have risen pipe crosses onto them.
  8. Place into the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 180 degrees celsius and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  9. While still warm brush with the lime marmalade.
  10. Serve warm with jam, coconut cream or coconut butter.
  11. 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.

 

 

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

 

Mixed berry and caramel cake

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I am now living back in Western Australia and have enjoyed the end of a wet winter and the start of spring. Between all the unpacking, catching up with friends and finding a job I have sadly not had time to update this blog. But I am back now, with a recipe you wont want to miss!

One of my favourite health food companies, Loving Earth, recently released Caramel and Salted caramel chocolate, both refined sugar free and vegan. I have been excitedly thinking up ways to use these beautiful chocolate bars. The sweet caramel chocolate matches perfectly with the tart berries and creamy vanilla.

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Mixed berry and caramel cake

Ingredients

3 cups of raw cashews, soaked overnight, rinsed

1 cup hazelnuts

1/2 cup loving earth caramelised buckinis

12 medjool dates

3/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1 cup blueberries, thawed

1 cup raspberries, thawed

1 lemon, juiced

6 tablespoons coconut cream

6 tablespoons loving earth coconut nectar

1 tablespoon loving earth acai powder

1 teaspoon vanilla bean extract

6 strawberries, quartered

Method

Place the hazelnuts in a food processor and blend until just crushed. Add the buckinis and dates and blend until combined. You may need to add 1 T water to get a sticky consistency.

Line a 30 x 15 cm tin with baking paper. Press the base mixture into the tin.

Wipe out the processor and add 1 cup of the cashews, the raspberries, 1/4 C of the coconut oil, 1/3 of the lemon juice, 2 T of the coconut cream and 1 T of the coconut nectar. Process until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides as you go. Pour over the base and smooth the top. Place in the freezer while you do the next layer.

Add 1 cup of the cashews, the blueberries, 1/4 cup of the coconut oil, 1/3 of the lemon juice, 2 T of the coconut cream, 1 T of the coconut nectar and the acai. Process until smooth and creamy.

Remove the cake from the freezer and pour the blueberry layer over. Carefully smooth the top. Place back in the freezer.

Wipe out the processor and add the rest of the cashews, coconut oil coconut cream, coconut nectar and lemon juice long with the vanilla bean paste. Process until smooth and creamy.

Take the cake out of the freezer and place the strawberries over the other layers. Pour over the final layer, partially covering the strawberries. Make sure the top is smooth and place back in the freezer for at least 4 hours.

To serve, slice the cake in rectangles, approximately 14. Let sit in the fridge 30 minutes prior to serving. Decorate with strawberries, loving earth caramel chocolate both melted and solid and edible flowers.

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Enjoy!

Farewell Darwin!

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For the last three or so years I have been living in a little tropical paradise. Darwin is a city that is not really a city, it still has a laid back vibe not found in other bustling metro areas. I think its the climate that makes it like this, almost every day is 30 degrees so most the time its too hot to hurry anywhere. One of my favourite things about Darwin would have to be the markets. There are markets nearly every night of the week, all with different things going on. We have markets on the beach, in town, in community shopping centres and in the rural area! My favourite would have to be the Rapid Creaak markets. These are located in a community shopping area, with an organic health store (yay)! Every sunday farmers come in with truckloads of every imaginable tropical fruit and vegetable. The markets have a huge Asian influence going on so there is lots of asian food for sale as well. The laksa’s are to die for! Sticky rice parcels, coconut waffles, banana fritters, tofu yoghurt, coconut ice cream and green papaw salad are all a must try too! Every Sinday morning my mother and I explore these markets and come home with bags bursting with fresh fruit and vegetables. They are absolutely bliss and I am going to miss these markets and the produce very much.

Anyway, as I am moving this week I  have been rather busy packing and not much time for cooking! This cake has been on my mind for a while now as it just embraces the tropical flavours perfectly. If you can’t get your hands on fresh grated coconut flesh, just soak some shredded coconut over night.

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Coconut, lime and mango cheesecake

Ingredients

1 C almonds
1 C dates
1 inch piece of ginger, grated

200g fresh grated coconut
4 limes, juiced
zest of 1 lime
2 T coconut nectar
2 T coconut oil
100ml coconut oil

300g mango

Coconut flakes, fresh fruit, rose petals, lime zest and macadamias to serve.

Line a rectangular lamington tin, 30×15 cm, with baking paper. Place the almonds, dates and grated ginger into a food process. Process for 2-3 minutes or until sticking together. You still want a bit of crunch from the nuts in there. Press into the tin and place in the freezer.

Place the coconut and lime layer ingredients into the food processer bowl. Process for roughly 5 minutes, depending on the power of your processor. You want a smooth and creamy texture. Pour over the base, smooth the top and return to the freeze.

For the final layer, blitz your mango until smooth. Spread over the other layers and smooth the top. Set in the freezer for at least 4 hours.

An hour before serving place the cheesecake in the fridge. To serve slice into rectangles and top with coconut flakes, fresh fruit and rose petals.

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Enjoy!

Double chocolate brownies

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I bet you are thinking that these can’t possibly be healthy, but they are! These brownies aren’t made out of your traditional ingredients but rather beans instead of plain flour. This gives them a lovely chewy, moist texture and make them naturally gluten-free.

I have not iced the brownies as I found them already rich enough but if you feel inclined to the icing recipe from my raw chocolate brownies would be delicious. They are lovely served with coconut ice cream for dessert or a cup of earl grey for afternoon tea.

Please don’t be scared of the beans and give them a try as I promise that you will only taste deliciousness when you devour one.

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Double chocolate brownies

Ingredients

3/4 C black beans, soaked overnight

3 eggs

1/4 C coconut oil

3/4 C coconut sugar

1/2 C cacao powder

1/2 C hazelnut meal

1 t vanilla bean paste

1 t baking powder

1/2 C dairy free dark chocolate, chopped

Method

Drain and rinse the beans thoroughly. Place in a saucepan and cover with water, bring to the boil and simmer for 1 hour or until the beans are tender but still holding their shape.

Once cooked, drain the beans and let to cool. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Line a lamination tin with baking paper.

Place the beans in a food processor and process until a smooth and creamy paste. Add the eggs, coconut oil and sugar and process again until combined. Add all the other ingredients except the dark choc and process until a smooth batter. Stir through the dark choc.

Pour into the lined tin and bake for 30 minutes. They will be lovely and moist inside with a crunchy top. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days or in the fridge for 1 week.

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Enjoy!

Goodness Gracious Granola, part 1

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Granola was one of the first recipes I adapted to incorporate it into my healthy lifestyle. I make a big batch every month and dish out a little over some greek or coconut yoghurt with berries for my breakfast at work every morning.

It is a beautiful way to start your day, providing a perfect balance of carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats. I like to serve mine with coconut yoghurt, almond milk and fresh fruit.

I also love to wrap up a jar of freshly made granola as a gift for loved ones. Since gifting a jar to my boyfriends mother at christmas she has come to adore my granola! It is rather addictive!

This is one version of my granola but there will be more flavour combinations to come, so stay tuned, especially if your a chocolate lover! The recipe is adaptable, feel free to use whatever nuts and seeds you have on hand.

Happy munching 🙂

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Banana and cinnamon granola

Ingredients

1/2 C quinoa flakes

1/2 C gluten free oats

1 C coconut flakes

1/4 C pepitas

1/2 C sunflower seeds

1/2 C buckwheat

1/2 C almonds, roughly chopped

1/2 C macadamias, roughly chopped

1 1/2 t cinnamon

2 very ripe bananas

2 T coconut oil

Method

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees celsius. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.

Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mash the banana and coconut oil together. Add the banana mixture to the dry and give a good mix with your hands. You want all the nuts and seeds to be gooey and sticking together.

Spoon the mixture onto the tray and pat down with the back of a spoon. Set your timer for 10 minutes and then give the granola a good stir. Bake for another 10 minutes and stir again. Keep a close eye as granola can easily burn! I usually cook mine for a total of 30 minutes with a couple of stirs in between.

Leave to cool completely before tipping into an airtight container. Store in a cool dry place for up to 1 month.

Serve with coconut yoghurt, almond milk and fresh fruit. Its also delicious as a smoothie topper and straight from the jar!

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Enjoy!