Salted Lemon Bites

May 23, 2013 § 2 Comments

I wanted to make a muesli bar without oats but it kept turning into dough, so instead we have these salty little balls. I’ve renamed them bites though, because I’m prudish. A little rebranding goes a long way right? Just like salt. I love good quality sea salt – we have an amazing brand here in Aotearoa called Malcolm Harker, and his delightful kelpy salt contains all sorts of essential minerals and trace elements. But best of all it tastes complex and rich. It especially lifts sweet dishes. Together with lemon to cut through the creaminess of the nuts and the softly sweet dates, this is a treat you could eat for breakfast.

I promise I don’t only make sweet treats…time to add some more savoury dishes.

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Salted Lemon Cashew Bites (raw, vegan, gluten free)

1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup medjoul dates
Juice of half a lemon (about 1-2 tsp)
Zest of 1 lemon
Generous pinch sea salt

Place almonds and cashews in food processor and process until it makes a rough crumb. Add pitted dates, lemon zest and juice, and salt and process again until it forms a dough. Pinch pieces of dough and roll into bite-sized balls. Keep refrigerated.

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Easy Gluten Free, Oil Free, Sugar Free Choc Chip Cookies

May 18, 2013 § Leave a comment

Cold rainy days always make me feel like baking. Sadly my kids don’t feel the same way. Why help mum bake when you can be outside sloshing in the rain, pretending the broom is a weed whacker, pulling out my plants and traipsing mud through the house? Though they’re happy to eat the whole batch once cooked. Which is fine by me, because I made healthy chocolate chip cookies mwahaha.

These are gluten free (made with my obsession, chickpea flour, so they’re a little more bread-y than normal cookies), sugar free if using cacao nibs instead of choc chips, and oil free. They’re also quick and easy to make, which is great when you have to spend the rest of the afternoon cleaning mud off the floor.

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Choc Chip Cookies (gluten free, sugar free if using cacao nibs, vegan, oil free)

1 cup chickpea flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 banana, mashed
2 large, soft medjoul dates
1/3 cup buttermilk alternative (combine your milk alternative – I used rice milk – with 1 tsp apple cider vinegar)
1/4 cup almond butter
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup vegan choc chips or cacao nibs for sugar free version
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
4 tbsp water

Preheat oven to 180degC and line a baking tray with baking paper. Combine the flaxseed and water in a bowl and set aside. Combine chickpea flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Combine mashed banana, almond butter, buttermilk, dates and vanilla in a food processor and process until well combined. Add flaxseed and pulse until combined. Pour wet mixture onto dry and stir until just combined. Add in nuts and choc chips and stir until just combined. Scoop spoonfuls onto the baking tray lined and flatten gently with wet fingers to about 1cm thick. bake in oven for 6-9 minutes, checking to make sure they don’t burn. Cool slightly but best served warm!

Vegan Fudge. Oh Yes.

May 11, 2013 § 3 Comments

I have a sick daughter so not much time to write but bear in mind two things: vegan fudge is delicious and made from coconut BUT it should still be an occasional treat. So I keep trying to tell myself.
If you don’t have time/don’t want to make coconut butter, I have made a new discovery – creamed coconut, which as far as I can tell is the same thing, just smoother. I bought the Edward & Sons Organic Creamed Coconut from iHerb (wordpress wouldn’t let me link, sorry) but I’m sure you can find it at local Asian grocers too.

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Toasted Coconut and Vanilla Fudge (vegan, gluten free, nut free, soy free)

3 cups desiccated coconut
1 tsp vanilla paste
1 tbsp liquid sweetener (agave/maple syrup etc)
Pinch salt
1 tbsp lucuma (optional)

Make your toasted coconut butter by laying the desiccated coconut on a tray and toasting lightly in the oven on 180degC for 5-10 minutes until just browned. Place this coconut in the food processor and process until it becomes a smooth runny butter – this can take up to 10 minutes so give your machine a couple of breaks and scrape down the sides – don’t blow your processor up!
Once you’ve made toasted coconut butter, pour out half the mixture into a jar and store for later (more fudge!). Place remaining butter in a pot on the lowest setting on the stove and immediately add the rest of the ingredients, stirring gently to combine. Press gently into silicon cups or a baking paper lined tin and place in freezer for an hour or two, then store in the fridge thereafter.

*To make a chocolate version, add 2 tbsp cacao powder and a little extra sweetener if desired.

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Russian Fudge or Salted Caramel Fudge (vegan, gluten free, soy free)
4 tbsp creamed coconut
2-3 tbsp maple syrup, to taste
1 tsp vanilla paste or powder or scrape out one vanilla pod (do not use an alcohol based extract)
1 heaped tbsp lucuma
1 tsp maca
1 heaped tbsp almond butter
Pinch salt

Melt creamed coconut very gently in a pot on the lowest setting on your stovetop. In a separate pot, do the same with the remaining ingredients, just until combined and slightly warmed. Add this to the coconut and stir gently to combine. Press gently into silicon cups or a baking paper lined tin and place in freezer for an hour or two, then store in the fridge thereafter.

*To make the salted caramel version, add a little sprinkle of salt on top, or add a little extra, to taste, to the mixture.
**You could probably omit the lucuma and maca if you don’t have them, I was putting them in there because I was originally trying to make a ‘superfood’ fudge, but I’ll try a simpler version and let you know.

Sneaky Greens: Lime Tart

May 6, 2013 § Leave a comment

If he had his way I’m pretty sure my three-year-old son would live on porridge, toast, feijoas and sugar. (Yes I realise this is probably to do with an imbalance/deficiency – at this stage his gut has improved a lot from where it used to be.)
In any case, getting veges into kids is not always easy. Sometimes he’ll hoof down a bowl of vege filled stew, or chomp on a pile of raw crudites dipped in hummus or almond butter, but the rest of the time he would rather be banging holes in the wall while wearing nothing but a toolbelt and earmuffs than eating anything green.

Treats, however, are a different story. So I have resorted to doing the thing I swore I’d never do (okay there are about a million of those now – I was a perfect parent before I had kids), and I hide vegetables in things.

Just be warned, there is a limit to how much greenery you can hide in something like this, but limes and lemons definitely help more than the sweetener.

Pick your greens carefully too – spinach and chickweed aren’t too strong, and you could probably do kale leaves too (minus the stems). You can read more about one of my fave edible weeds here.

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Lime Tart (raw, vegan, gluten free)

1/2 cup macadamia nuts
1 ripe avocado
Juice and zest of 2 limes
1 heaped tsp liquid sweetener (honey/agave/coconut nectar/maple syrup)
5 drops liquid stevia (optional)
1 tbsp almond butter (optional)
2 tbsp milk (almond/soy/rice whatever you prefer)
Handful of greens – I used spinach and chickweed

For the base, place macadamias in food processor and process until it makes a fine crumb – you want it oily enough to press into a tart tin but not so oily it’s turned into butter. Press firmly into two or three small tart tins (I found some mini loose bottom ones on trademe). Place in freezer.
For the filling, place all remaining ingredients in high speed blender and blend until it makes a smooth mousse and everything is incorporated well (you could do in food processor or normal blender too but chop vegetables finely first – they will also be more visible than if done in a Vitamix or similar). Check the taste as you go – you may only want to start with the juice of 1 lime and 1/2 tsp sweetener – or you may want to add extra.
Scoop mousse onto base and serve!

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