Sunday, March 9, 2014

Cinnamon Coconut Squares with Chocolate Topping

Yum, another coconutty treat.  :D  The original name for this recipe is raw bounty squares, but since we don't even get those around here, the name says nothing to me about what it is . . . so the re-name.
Coconut base

2 cups desiccated coconut, unsweetened
165ml coconut milk (2/3 cup + 1 tsp)
3 tbs melted coconut oil
3 tbs coconut blossom sugar
1 tbs cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
  •  combine all ingredients in mixing bowl and mix with a fork until well combined
  • pour mixture into a glass dish lined with wax paper - press the mixture down firmly
  • place in freezer for an hour to set
 Chocolate topping

5 tbs coconut oil
3 tbs cocoa powder
1 tbs coconut blossom sugar
  • combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir while melting over a pot with hot water
  • pour over coconut mixture and place in fridge for 10 mins to set
I decided to put everything in a pot and melt it directly on the stove, except the coconut blossom sugar didn't melt at all, so I added a few squirts of honey but that didn't mix into the coconut-chocolate mixture, so finally I took it off stove and sieved the mixture into a bowl to get rid of the unmelted sugar and globs of honey - I pressed it through the sieve with a spoon and most of the honey went throught but it wouldn't blend in nicely with the chocolate mixture, BUT oh well, I poured it over anyway and it's good.  Maybe I should read properly and follow the recipe next time, I think the coconut sugar burned, since it does burn easily.  Ish.  Of course the honey makes it non-vegan, so keep that in mind if you want to keep this recipe vegan.

These should be kept refrigerated.

They are really tasty though, a keeper for sure. :)

Recipe credit to Make and Bake from Scratch.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Chocolate Fudge in a Bowl

This is really GOOD.  Really chocolatey.  And for the average person, this tiny portion of a few teaspoons is actually enough.  Even for me, and I'm not the average person when it comes to my extreme sweet tooth (or teeth) - I made a double batch once and I must admit it was more than enough.
And you can go from zero to chocolate heaven in about 2 minutes.

3 tbs cocoa powder
2 tsp melted coconut oil
2 tsp honey
  • combine everything in a little bowl and mix with a spoon until completely combined and smooth
  • eat
I melt my coconut oil by putting the oil I need in a glass, boiling some water and pouring it in a bowl and placing the glass in the bowl - stirring the coconut helps melt it quicker.
This is just really good, that's all there is to say about it.

There's more that can be done with this though, I'm sure of it - soon I will experiment and see how I can incorporate this delicious yumminess into something . . . bigger.  :)

Recipe credit to The Rawtarian.

Banana Chocolate Fudge

I've decided to post this recipe only because banana-choc recipes seem to be popular on the net, so there must be folk out there who like it, but after trying a few banana-choc recipes, and being disappointed each time, I've decided I'm not a fan of this combo.
That being said, there's nothing really wrong with it, so those who do like the banana-choc combo may well really enjoy this, so here's to y'all . . .

They DO look YUM though, don't they!
160g very ripe banana
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
2 tbs coconut flour
1 1/2 tbs coconut blossom sugar
1/8 tsp himalayan salt
1/4 cup + 2tbs cocoa powder
  • place all ingrediets in food processor and blend until well combined 
  • grease a glass dish with some coconut oil, press mixture into dish and refrigerate for a few hours until set
  • cut into slices and enjoy! Keep refrigerated.
Recipe credit to Chocolate Covered Katie, with some adaptations of my own.

Savoury Chickpea "Bread"

This is the first time I'm using chickpea flour, and it's resulted in an interesting flavour, I think I like it and will try more recipes with it.

1 cup chickpea flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbs ground flax
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup milk (the recipe says not rice milk as it doesn't react well with the vinegar)
1 tbs water
  • preheat oven to 200C and grease a glass dish (I used about 8x5 inch)
  • combine flax with all wet ingredients and whisk very well
  • in a separate bowl combine dry ingredients and mix well, then pour the wet into the dry and mix until well combined
  • pour mixture into greased dish and bake for about 10-12 mins
  • let cool and cut into squares
This is yummy on it's own as an accompaniment to a dish, or, my fave, served with apricot jam, mmmmm . . . 

Recipe credit to Chocolate Covered Katie

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Veggie Lentil Cottage Pie

This is such a good hearty satisfying yummy dish.  And a good source of protein and fiber.
You can make this dish vegan by using a vegan butter and milk substitute in the mashed potatoes.
250g brown lentils, cooked, drained & set aside
coconut oil for frying
1 leek, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 cup steamed butternut (I pre steamed mine for about 15 mins)
1 cup sliced mushrooms (I used button but you can use others)
1 cup peas (not canned)
3 tomatoes, finely chopped
115g container tomato paste (heaped 1/3 cup)
1 tsp veggie stock powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 bay leaves
1 tsp himalayan salt
1/4 tsp powdered pepper

4 cups potatoes, steamed until soft (about 30 mins - I steamed them while filling was cooking so that mash is fresh & soft when I spread it on filling)
salt & butter to taste
a little milk to make it "fluffier"
  • heat oil and fry onion, leek, salt, pepper, cumin, turmeric & stock powder until onion is translucent, about 5 mins
  • add remaining ingredients with 1 1/2 cup water, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat & simmer 15 mins
  • while it's simmering, chop & steam the potatoes - when they're done, mash them with salt, butter & a little bit of milk - add little milk at a time and add more if you see you want the mash to be more fluffy
  • remove cover and simmer until most of the liquid has been absorbed (it took me about 20 mins), but leave some moisture left, it mustn't be simmered dry
  • place filling into a glass dish (remember to remove bay leaves) & gently spread mash potato over the top
  • serve & enjoyyyy

Friday, February 28, 2014

Sweet Potato Chocolate Brownie Dessert

This is a brownie that's best munched as a pudding, it's very soft . . . and has a sort of fresh taste to it, I think it has something to do with the sweet potato and coconut oil - maybe you'll get what I mean when you try it.
When it comes out the oven it's super soft.
And it's incredibly moist, very pudding-y.

1 3/4 cups peeled, cooked & mashed sweet potatoes (I steam mine for about 25 minutes)
1/4 cup greek yoghurt
egg replacer equivalent to 2 eggs
2 vanilla powder or pure vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup coconut blossom sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3 tbs coconut flour
  •  in a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well
  • grease a glass dish with some coconut oil, pour mixture in and bake at 175C for 30 minutes - it should be firm but it will be very soft to the touch, and gooey inside
  • allow to cool and serve - dish up with a spoon, you'll have to eat this brownie dessert with a fork, it's that soft
You can also refrigerate it for a few hours until it firms up a little more - I left it in over night, then cut into squares and serve - you'll probably still need to munch it with a fork though:

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Fruity Oat Bars

I was once again looking for recipes where I can use up bananas that I otherwise couldn't use in time before they turn totally brown & mushy, and came across this one.  They're good for snacking or lunch boxes, as well as part of a quick breakfast when you're in a hurry. 
3 large ripe bananas
2 cups oats (the gluten-free kind if you want to be sure it's gluten-free)
1 cup desiccated coconut
1/4 cup chopped dates*
1/4 cup chopped cranberries*
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

* You can add more of these fruits if you wish, or add raisins as well.  These bars were tasty but I would add some more fruit next time - it really "spices" up these bars.
  • preheat oven to 180 degree C, line a 16 x 25 cm glass dish with baking paper (extend over the sides so you can pick it up easily) and grease baking paper really well, else it'll stick to the bars - as me, I know
  • mash bananas until smooth, then add remaining ingredients and stir until well combined
  • pour mixture into prepared dish and press down evenly
  • bake for about 30 minutes (until it starts to turn a little golden), cool completely then cut into bars

Vegan Coconut Ice

Here's something to satisfy your coconutty cravings.  I love coconut ice but all the bad kind of sugar in there from the condensed milk and sugar makes me not want to make it anymore.  This one does contain some agave but in total much less sugar than the original coconut ice.  I found this recipe, but it was called white chocolate which is what tempted me to make it in the first place, but to me it's nothing like white chocolate and everything like coconut ice. 
3 cups desiccated coconut
1/4 agave nectar (I'm sure maple syrup will work as well, and honey)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
  • place coconut into food processor and process for about 5 minutes until it's chopped up finely
  • add remaining ingredients and process for about another 5 minutes
  • press mixture into a glass dish and freeze for about 30 minutes so that it can set.  Aftewards it's fine if you keep it in the fridge, but if you keep it at room temp they're go soft 
Lucky for me my husband, who's not a huge desiccated coconut fan, didn't like this at all so it was ALL MINE, hehe.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Tomato Rice Pilaf

This is just about a staple in our house, we all love it, not only because it's tasty but also because it's quick and easy to make (latter part is very important haha).
1 medium - large onion (sliced & roughly chopped)
1 tbs coconut oil
1 1/2 cups white rice
3 cups veggie stock
400g fresh diced tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp himalayan salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/4 tsp ground coriander
  •  fry onion in oil until it starts to become translucent
  • add rice and spices and mix to coat
  • add tomato and stock, bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer until liquid is absorbed, about 20-25 mins
Good as a dish on it's own, or as a side-dish.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Homemade Condensed Milk

This is completely opposite to anything resembling a healthy delight . . . in fact it's a sinful delight, but it's sooo yummy and tastes just about exactly like canned condensed milk.  If you're like me and you do, once it a while, crave a can of condensed milk, this is the recipe for you.
This recipe is actually bad news, because it's WAY too easy to make. :)

1 cup powdered milk
1 cup sugar (I used light brown sugar, but white works too)
1/2 cup boiling water

Place everything into a food processor and blend away until the sugar is dissolved - it may take about 5 minutes at least.  And voila, believe it or not, there's your condensed milk!  As you can see, it makes a good coffee cup-sized portion.

It's quite liquidy though, so if you want it a bit thicker like the canned version, just place it in the fridge for a while.

Note: I accept no responsibility for any weight gain, tighter jeans or ruined diets as a result of posting this recipe.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

How to Make Coconut Milk

I always thought making your own nut milk was a long process needing lots of special equipment, but I was happy to find out, when I actually looked up how to do it, how easy it is!  And the only equipment you need is a blender / smoothie maker and a nut milk bag - if you have a blender in the higher price ranges, the process will probably be a bit quicker, but you don't need anything expensive.

I used 2 coconuts to make close to 1 litre of milk.  I use mature coconuts because I haven't ever seen green ones around here, but it doesn't matter, mature coconuts are perfect.

First pour the water out of the coconuts, you don't want to waste that because it's nutritious.  You're anyway going to use this water when making the milk, but if there's no water in them it's ok too, you just use filtered water instead.  My coconuts never have enough milk in them so I have to use filtered water in addition to the coconut water.

Remove the coconut meat, there's no need to remove the brown "skin", it'll make no difference to the milk. Rinse them in water to get them clean.  Break into smaller pieces and put in a blender.
I only do 1 coconut at a time otherwise the blender is too full and it takes longer to get everything chopped finely.

Add the coconut water you drained out before - pour it through a sieve to get rid of any coconut bits & hair.  If you need to add some more water, add filtered water.  Start with about 1 cup of liquid in total and add more if you see you would like a more diluted milk.  I usually add enough liquid so that it almost covers the coconut in the blender.  Blend until you have desiccated coconut, it only takes a couple of minutes.
Place a nut milk bag in a glass bowl and put everything in the blender into the bag - don't mess any coconut bits outside of the bag into the bowl because you don't want any bits in your milk.
Squish & squish the bag to get ALL the milk out, you wanna squish until no more milk comes out - all you want to have left in the bag is dry as possible desiccated coconut - you can use the coconut to make desiccated coconut.

Pour the milk into a glass bottle and refrigerate.  It keeps for about 3 days in the fridge.

See how to make your own desiccated coconut here (coming soon).

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Vegan Lentil Carrot Burgers

These are a healthy alternative to meat or frozen burger patties.  Unlike most burger patties, these are actually nice when eaten just as is - I made these especially so that baby (well, 1 year & almost 2 month baby) can join us for our burger dinner.  :)
This makes about 9 small burgers.

2 1/2 cups cooked & drained lentils (about 1 cup dried), mashed (I blended them in a food processor - quicker than trying to mash 'em)
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely grated carrots
3 tbs tomato paste
3/4 cup bread crumbs (I used gluten-free bread)
salt to taste
coconut or sunflower oil for frying (coconut will give it a slight coconutty taste)
  • put lentils in a bowl & add all remaining ingredients except oil
  • mix well
  • shape into patties & fry both sides in a little oil until heated through
Make your burger and munch away!

We didn't have burger buns so we had to use sliced bread, and the slices were way bigger than the burgers so I used a cookie cutter to make smaller pieces of bread (this is the only shape I had that was just the right size)
Yum, a good burger.

Peppermint Crisp Tart

Ok, time for another naughty but nice dessert.  :)  Peppermint crisp tart is one of my faves.
It makes about 6 reasonable sized portions.

1 packet tennis biscuits (or some kind of flat coconut cookies if you don't have tennis biscuits)
1 can caramel
250ml fresh cream
1 small slab of peppermint crisp chocolate (I like using Cadbury's 100g peppermint slab - you don't need THAT much chocolate but I like left overs)
  • pour caramel into a bowl and beat with an electric beater to get it smooth & soft
  • pour cream into another bowl and beat until slightly firm - add to caramel and hand-mix until just combined
  • place 1 layer of cookies in bottom of a glass dish (about 20cm x 2ocm) - no need to grease the dish
  • snack on a few of the cookies - there'll be a few to spare
  • pour over half of the caramel mixture, then grate some chocolate over
  • repeat the layers one more time and place in fridge to set, at least an hour
  • eat the rest of the chocolate

Gluten-free Single Serve Chocolate Cake

This is an adaptation of a 5 min microwave cake someone showed me long ago, and I finally decided to make a second attempt at a healthier and gluten-free version (my first attempt turned out horrid), and it turned out surprisingly GOOD!  I'm not a pro at adapting recipes and actually have them turn out good in the end.
This one takes a little longer than 5 minutes to do though.  Unless you have superman's speedy powers.
It really doesn't look impressive as far as cakes go, but the taste makes up for it.
And this version actually turned out more moist and gooey-fudgy than the original, so it's delicious!
2 tbs coconut flour
2 tbs gluten-free flour mix
3 tbs cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
egg replacer equivalent to 2 eggs
3 tbs greek yoghurt
3 tbs coconut oil (liquid)
3 tbs agave nectar
    • combine flours, cocoa powder & baking powder in a coffee mug & mix with a fork
    • add egg replacer & greek yoghurt and mix well to combine fully
    • add coconut oil & mix
    • add agave and mix well to combine, and make sure there's no dry flour in the bottom of the mug
    • microwave for 3 mins

    Greek Yoghurt & Chive Dip

    I made some home-made chips (aka fries) - I use an air fryer for that, so no deep frying in oil.  Anyway, here is a dip I made to go along with the chips . . . yummy . . .
    all is you need is:
    greek yoghurt
    fresh chives
    • put some greek yoghurt into a bowl
    • finely chop chives and mix into yoghurt
    • dip a chip in and munch
     It's a lovely cool fresh dip.  I even tried it as a pasta sauce and that actually worked too.

    Friday, January 24, 2014

    Soft Banana Coconut Cookies

    These are pleasant little high-fibre cookies to snack on.

    You know how you always have those extra bananas lying around, no longer in their prime, waiting for you to find something to do with them, and you swear you'll go google up on banana recipe ideas tomorrow . . . and how those same bananas always end up going black and then you're so relieved to be able to throw them away now and have that weight of finding a recipe finally lift off your shoulders? . . .  No?  It's only me then?

    Well I've found another way to use up that banana before it expands the fruit fly population in my kitchen.
    10 pitted organic dried dates
    1 soft banana
    1 1/2 cups desiccated coconut (not sweetened)
    • throw all ingredients in a food processor & process until smooth
    • the mixture should be a little moist, but not gooey or too dry - just right to shape into little balls & hold their shape - add more banana if too dry, or more coconut if too wet
    • take large teaspoon sized portions & shape into little balls (or something resembling a ball), press slightly flat, place on a buttered baking sheet
    • bake at 165 degree C for about 10 mins.  The cookies should be soft

    Raw Chocolate Cookies

    I'm completely addicted to chocolates & cakes and things, so I'm looking & searching & SEARCHING some more for healthy treats to satisfy my unhealthy cravings, and then I found these cookies - when I first tried them I thought "uhhhh, they taste like coco powder", but then the more I munched 'em, the nicer they became and now I'll definitely be making them again.  So bottom line, these may take a little getting used to, but they do satisfy a chocolate craving, and they ARE tasty.

    In fact, my husband does our shopping every week, and he'll always get us a slab of chocolate for the weekend, and this week I told him not to get me one, 'cause I'm gonna make me some 'a these cookies instead.  A proud moment for me.  :)
    1/2 cup coconut flour
    1/2 cup raw cacao powder (I'm using normal store bought cocoa powder for now, but I'll be making the switch to the raw one soon)
    2 tbs liquid sweetener (maple syrup, honey, agave, I used organic rice syrup)
    4 tbs + 1 tps organic coconut oil, melted
    • put all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix to combine well
    • take teaspoon sized portions, roll into little balls and squish em flat to form a cookie shape
    • place in a glass dish & refrigerate for about 1 hour until "set"                                              
    NOTE: if you use coconut oil in it's semi-solid state, the recipe will still work, but the batter will be reeeeally crumbly - just take teaspoonfulls of mixture and press into shape, it will hold together.

    Sunday, January 12, 2014

    Red Lentil & Veggie Dahl

    This turned out really good, BUT . . . only because we added chutney to it - without that it was nice, but it seriously lacked *something*, and chutney filled the gap perfectly. I'm talking about Mrs Ball original chutney.
    coconut oil for frying
    1 1/2 cups onion, chopped
    2 tbs grated fresh ginger
    1 tbs garam masala
    1 1/2 cups red lentils
    3 cups cauliflower, cut into small pieces (about 1 1/2 inch) (I used broccoli)
    2 1/2 cups carrots, roughly chopped
    1 1/4 cups potatoes, chopped into 1 inch chunks
    1 tsp turmeric
    1 1/2 tsp himalayan salt
    •  in a LARGE pot, heat coconut oil & fry onion & ginger for a minute, then add garam masala & stir
    • add lentils & stir to coat, then add cauliflower, carrots, potatoes, turmeric, 5 cups of water &1 1/2 tsp himalayan salt
    • bring to boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cover.  Simmer until veggies are tender, stirring occasionally, about 30-40 minutes
    • add chutney to taste before serving
    Can be eaten as is, or served over rice.

    Friday, January 10, 2014

    Spiced Date Balls

    These are SO yummy, and what's even better is that they're absolutely healthy so you don't even have to feel bad no matter how many of 'em you munch.  :)
    They're sugar-free, gluten-free, vegan, and raw, so NO nutrients were harmed in the making of this healthy delight.

    1 cup (packed) organic dates, pips removed
    1/2 cup gluten-free oats (not the instant kind)
    2 small carrots, peeled & roughly chopped
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp ground ginger
    1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
    unsweetened dried desiccated coconut for rolling in

    Throw all the ingredients (except coconut) into a food processor and blend until mixed but not totally smooth or pasty.

    Roll teaspoon sized portions into little balls, roll in coconut to cover, and they're good to go!  You can chill them in the fridge first if you like but it doesn't make that much difference in the end.  You get out about 24 balls.

    I've actually been looking for healthier foods & treats that I can make for baby (and ultimately the rest of family too!), so I'm chuffed at having found something that I find divine too (and extra happy that it's so much healthier than cake hehe).