Birthday Banoffee

December 18, 2013 § 2 Comments

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So it was my good friend Emma’s birthday yesterday and I wanted to make her a cake. Because I love her and I love making food. And also because I’m a masochist. It’s the kindy holidays and baking and children, while a really good combo on TV ads for flour and plastic storage containers, in my house equals a pre-schooler running around like he’s on P shouting about chopping people’s heads off with a spatula (thanks to all the maple syrup he helps me pour drinks) and a toddler who thinks coconut cream is body paint.
This time I was smart and craftily avoided death by insanity by making the base and caramel layer the night before and after the kids had gone to bed. The only problem was my trusty springform pan was actually a cheap piece of crap and had broken so I had to use a really large one, which meant my cake was more of a thick plate and I broke the crust getting it into a plastic storage container and it ended up being soft the next day anyway and wow this story is getting more riveting by the second.
In short, use a smaller springform pan, and make it to eat the same day. Just not with children.

One of my all-time favourite food bloggers is an 18-year-old Norwegian girl and she is a fecking genius. This recipe is totally lifted from hers (aside from the base) so go check out the original here and ogle her other awesome creations.

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Check out my Steiner candles. Oh yeah.

Banoffee Pie (vegan, gluten free, oil free, soy free, can be made nut free)
Base
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup almond meal (use ground buckwheat if nut-free)
3 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp almond butter (use more coconut butter if nut-free)
2 tbsp coconut butter, melted
Pinch salt

Caramel
3 cups soft pitted dates
1 cup coconut water (from can of coconut cream)
1 tsp vanilla
Good pinch sea salt

Cream
Cream from 1 can Trade Aid coconut milk
1-2 bananas, sliced
Cacao powder

The day before you make the cake, put the can of coconut cream in the fridge.
Turn oven to 160degC.
To make the base, combine all ingredients in a food processor or bowl and process or stir well to combine. Press into a 9″ springform pan and bake in the oven for 5-7 minutes until lightly golden brown. Let cool a bit, then remove carefully onto a wire rack so bottom doesn’t go soggy.
Take coconut cream out of fridge and gently scoop the thick creamy layer from the top into a bowl. Set aside.
To make the caramel, combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until well combined, using half a cup of the coconut water and adding a little more until you’re happy with the consistency (should be thick enough to slice through). Scoop mixture onto cooled base.
Whip coconut cream with an electric mixer until thick, then add banana and stir through. Spoon over the caramel, then top with a dusting of cacao powder. Serve immediately.

Low-Fat, Raw, Vegan, Nut-Free Chocolate Energy Balls

November 26, 2013 § Leave a comment

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Yes, fruit is the ultimate fast-food sweet treat, but sometimes I just want CHOCOLATE. Keeping it low-fat I used buckwheat instead of the oft-used nuts in this recipe, and kept it as simple as possible, but feel free to play around with the ingredients to suit your taste.
Rolling them in sesame seeds or coconut or more cacao powder would be yummy too – great for the kids’ lunchboxes being nut-free, and you can use carob powder instead or just keep them plain vanilla.

Low-Fat Raw Choc Energy Balls (raw, vegan, nut-free, soy-free, low-fat)
3/4 cup buckwheat groats (either raw or sprouted and dehydrated)
1/3 cup soft pitted dates, more or less
1 tbsp cacao powder or carob powder, more or less
Pinch salt (optional – obviously choc and salt go well together but I’m trying to limit mine right now)
1 tsp vanilla powder, paste or extract
1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional, I just like the taste with chocolate)

Place groats in food processor and process until fine but still crumby (you could use buckwheat flour, I just like mine with a bit of crunch). Add remaining ingredients and process until it forms a dough you call roll into balls. If it’s too dry add another date or two and a tiny bit of water until it’s the right consistency. Similarly, adjust the cacao and salt to taste. Roll into balls and store in fridge. Makes approx 16.

Figging Delicious Raw Vegan Double Delight

September 17, 2013 § Leave a comment

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Thanks to a family friend, the extraordinarily talented gardener and food creator Wendy, I was gifted several bags of her homegrown and dried figs. You can taste the Hawke’s Bay sunshine in their chewy, earthy sweetness and it brings me back to my years visiting mum when she lived down there. I still think it’s the most special place on earth.

While it might be doing their simple perfection a disservice to process them into other figgy creations, I just can’t resist. What can I say? It’s a compulsion. Plus I wanted to make some treats for some friends.

Today I give you a healthy-ish Fig and Ginger Slice, and a definite occasional treat, Fig and Vanilla Fudge. Both are vegan and gluten free, and the slice is also raw. Thank you Wendy!

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Fig and Ginger Slice (vegan, gluten free, nut free)
Base
1 cup oat flour (I made mine in a Vitamix with steelcut gluten free oats – could also use ground buckwheat groats instead)
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 small SOFT dates (or 3 large mejools)
Pinch salt
Topping
2 cups dried figs
2 tsp dried ground ginger
1 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Place figs in a bowl and cover with water to soak for at least two hours. Drain and set aside. To make base, combine all ingredients in food processor and process until well combined and the mixture sticks together when pressed between thumb and finger. Add a tiny bit of water if still too crumbly. Press base mix into a baking paper lined square tin.
To make the topping, combine all ingredients in food processor and process until it makes a well combined paste. Scoop onto base and smooth flat. Place in freezer overnight, then cut into slices – keep frozen. Enjoy!

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Fig and Vanilla Fudge
(vegan, gluten free, nut free)
1 cup dried figs
1/3 cup coconut sugar
1/3 cup coconut oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
Pinch salt
5 tbsp brown rice flour

Place dried figs in a bowl and cover with water for at least two hours. Drain and process in small bowl attachment of food processor until a rough paste. Combine sugar, oil, syrup and salt in a small saucepan over a low heat until oil is melted and sugar is no longer granulated. Add rice flour one tbsp at a time and stir well to combine. Add this mixture to the figs in the processor and process until it becomes a smooth paste. Scoop into a sealable container and smooth to make about an inch thick slab. Place in freezer overnight, then slice into pieces and eat the whole lot all at once and feel sick with joy.

4-Ingredient Super Spread (nut free!)

July 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

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In the ongoing saga that is my son’s health we are now removing all nuts. This is a tragedy as we all love them in our house. However, as with all restrictions, it’s also an excuse to get creative. This is a halva-like spread using tahini (I know sesame seed allergies are not uncommon, so sorry to those who can’t have sesame) which is a great source of calcium, and to bump up the nutritional value I added chia seeds and flaxseed, both great sources of omega-3, and dates as the sweetener as they are healthier than any other according to Dr Greger (you can use something else but you might need to adjust the ratios if you do – and yes it does need sweetener or the tahini is too bitter).

You can make your own tahini by grinding sesame seeds but to keep things simple I just used some of the bought stuff.

As for Roman’s health issues (poor digestion, chronic cough, low immunity), we have completed a raft of tests and will be sitting down with his lovely (vegan) doctor on Thursday to go over everything and hopefully formulate a plan. I will share what I learn.

Superseed Spread (nut free, gluten free, vegan, soy free)
3 heaped tbsp tahini
1/2 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 tbsp flaxseed
1/4 cup very soft dates (medjool)
Pinch salt (optional)

Grind the chia and flaxseed together in a coffee or spice grinder. On a plate, mash the dates with a fork until it makes a paste. In a bowl, combine tahini, ground seeds, salt and date paste and mash together with a fork until completely combined.
Use to spread on crackers, bread, toast, muffins, or dollop on muesli or porridge. Store in a clean jar in the fridge. You can double the recipe if you’d like more – this recipe makes about half a cup.

You could also add some cacao/cocoa powder to make a chocolate version – unfortunately this is another banned ingredient for us right now.

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