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.

Raw Vegan Coconut Ice

August 14, 2013 § Leave a comment

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Coconut ice sweetened with maple syrup, left, and stevia, right.

Is coconut ice a totally Kiwi thing? I’m going to say yes, because it’s the interwebz and I can claim anything I like.

Man I used to looooove making that stuff, boiling butter and milk and sugar together and adding heaps of coconut. That was my 13-year-old self’s idea of a wild Friday night, before watching Aliens (remember that TV show? They all had pointy spotty heads? I still love sci-fi) and stuffing my face with that sugary goodness. Makes my teeth hurt just thinking about it.

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Well it might be winter here in NZ but I’m sharing one of my first raw recipes with you because it reminds me of summer (strawberries! from the garden!) and of lazy nights well before sick kids kept me awake all night. If you don’t have any strawberries you can just colour the pink half with food colouring (a little beetroot juice goes a long way) but you’ll be missing the incredible and intense strawberry flavour. You need a dehydrator for the strawberry part, and you will need to plan a day ahead. You can also buy freezedried strawberry or raspberry powder in specialty stores – this is a good one you can find in NZ.

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Here’s to summer – and kinder, healthier treats.

Raw Vegan Coconut Ice (raw, vegan, sugar-free depending on sweetener choice, gluten free, nut free)
2 cups strawberries, thinly sliced (or 2 tbsp storebought freezedried strawberry/raspberry powder)
1 cup coconut butter (recipe here, just don’t toast first)
Sweetener of choice to taste – I used a few drops of stevia, but you can add maple syrup, regular sugar, whatever you like.
1 tsp vanilla paste or inside of 1 vanilla pod (just don’t use an alcohol based extract)
Pinch salt

To make the strawberry powder, place thinly sliced strawberries in the dehydrator and dehydrate for at least 12 hours or until completely dry and brittle. Once dry, grind in a coffee grinder until it forms a powder. You will need to do this in batches and it should leave you a little extra. Set aside.
Push some baking paper into a small square tin.
If your coconut butter is hard, melt gently first in a bowl over a pot of water on the stove. Once melted, add sweetener, salt and vanilla and stir to combine. Pour half of the mixture into the tin, squashing it gently with fingers until it’s about a centimetre thick. Pop in fridge for 5 minutes to harden up a little. To the remaining mixture add 2 tbsp of the strawberry powder and stir to combine. Scoop this mixture on top of the base layer and use same method to distribute evenly. Put in fridge to firm up a little – 5-20 min should do – then remove, slice into squares, and place back in fridge to finish firming up.

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