Simple Cinnamon Granola

Mmmmmm granola. Fabulous crunchy texture that adds interest to breakfast.

It is so versatile and you can really load it up with great stuff to boost your fats and protein – nutrients that are missing from most store bought cereals!

I do make a yummy crunchy granola (that you can find here) but I was after an even quicker and more simple granola that I could make in bulk and have on standby in the pantry for everyday breakfast (or dessert!).

I am conscious that it is really easy to eat sweet granola, so for another option, I am using cinnamon here instead of a sweetener (although there is an option to add more sweetness if you are so inclined!). Cinnamon is so light and fragrant that it works well to give the perception of sweetness without the sugar.

I make this one in a double batch, but the ingredients listed below are for just a smaller single batch.

See below the main recipe for ideas on making this granola Gluten free and Grain free

  • 1 cup rolled oats**
  • 1 cup mixed seeds (or nuts if you like) – I love a mixture of pumpkin, sunflower, flax and hemp seeds.
  • 2 tsps good Olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • OPTIONAL: 2 tsps honey/maple syrup

Mix together dry ingredients.

Sprinkle with cinnamon then mix well to evenly coat.

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Drizzle over oil and mix well to evenly coated. If you’re adding honey or maple syrup, drizzle it over here, together with the oil – it helps to spread further if it is warmed first.

Place under a hot grill and bake until  golden. Shake the tray several times during

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Allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

**To make this one coeliac friendly, use a mixture of puffed rice and shredded coconut, in whichever ratio you like best. For grain free use a mixture of buckwheat groats and coconut flakes.

Throw it in your yoghurt, eat it with milk or with some stewed fruit – my favourite is with yoghurt and a few berries!

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Enjoy 🙂

Fruit and Nut Cookies

I love the combination of crunchy nuts and seeds and the sweet, chewiness of dried fruit. Add in some whole grains and just a touch of dark chocolate and it really is a winning combination!

These are a delicious and satisfying morning tea or afternoon snack.

A note on the dried fruit –  always try to opt for the fruit that is naturally dried instead of being preserved with sulphites – it’ll be a darker colour, but it is a better option for those who are sensitive to those additives. You can usually find them in a health food shop or in a bulk buying store.

And before you get too worried about the sugar content of 1.5 cups of dried fruit – remember it is split over 24 cookies …. 1.5/24 = 0.0685 cups of dried fruit. It’s not a massive quantity and it’s still a good source of fibre that comes packaged together with the sweetness!

  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 2/3 cup dried apples
  • 8 medjool dates
  • 1 heaped cup mixed nuts and seeds (roughly 160g) *
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats OR shredded coconut
  • 1 1/2 tsp GF baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Fine Zest of 1/2 orange
  • 1 1/4 cups wholemeal spelt flour OR 1 cup GF flour mix
  • 160g vegan butter,  melted
  • 1 large egg OR 3 tbsp aquafaba OR 1 flax egg
  • OPTIONAL 1 handful of your favourite dark choc chips

*obviously you need to use nuts and seeds that are safe for your diet.   When we make these nut free we use a mix of pumpkin, sunflower,  hemp,  chia and flax seeds. When we eat these at home we use them as an opportunity to get in the nuts that we have now passed food challenges for and need to consume weekly (macadamia,  walnut, brazil and hazelnut). Mix and match to find your favourites!

Place the apples and cranberries in your food processor or thermal cooker and pulse multiple times,  until finely chopped.

Whilst processing  (sp 4) add the pitted dates one at a time through the top chute. Now process until the dates are finely chopped (sp 6, 6 secs)

Add in the nuts and seeds and pulse multiple times until they are roughly chopped.

Add in the oats (or coconut) and process until oats are fine (speed 5, 8 secs)

Now add in your flour, baking powder, orange zest and cinnamon and process until evenly combined (speed 4, 10 secs).

Continue processing (speed 4) whilst you add in the melted butter and egg (or substitute) through the top chute. Mix until evenly combined and the mix turns to a rough dough.

Stir through your choc chips now if using.

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Take heaped teaspoons of the mix, and form into balls before pressing on to a lined baking tray.

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Bake in a preheated moderate oven for about 15 minutes, or until golden.

Cookies will be soft when removed from the oven. Leave them in the tray for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.

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Makes about 24 and keeps well in an airtight container for a week.

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Watch out for the cookie monster while they are cooling!

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Enjoy 🙂

Butternut butter bean sausage rolls

Sausage rolls are a massive favourite with my kids … and husband!

They are easy to make in bulk, and freeze and they are perfect for hiding veggies, so it is nice to know that they can be a slightly healthier option for my family – Obviously they’re still wrapped in pastry so they’re definitely a ‘sometimes’ food!

This is a simpler version of my veggie loaded sausage rolls and are Harry’s current favourite 🙂

I use Chevup sausages in my mix. They are a skinless, gluten free, Aussie beef sausage with about half the saturated fat of normal sausages – I feel much happier about using them than the questionable sausage mince that is commercially available. You can find more details about them here.

The sausages I use have great flavour, so if you are using regular beef mince, there is a note below the main ingredients for a couple of extra things for you to add.

Gluten, egg, dairy, nut and soy free pastry is the next issue. There are many GF pastries out there but they are often really disappointing. Obviously use the one that suits your diet and that you enjoy.

I have used this pastry from the Gluten Free Bakery:
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And it does a pretty good job. But ….

if you live in WA you really, REALLY have to check out Busy Bees Gluten Free pastry (I buy from Weigh n Pay in Woodvale)! It is amazing! It comes in a long roll and it handles just like wheat based pastry. It is soft and easy to work with and even non GF people have been happy to eat it!

  • 8 Chevup sausages
  • 250g butternut pumpkin
  • 400g tin butter beans (drained)
  • 1 tsp dried Italian herbs
  • 1/2 tsp pink salt
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/3 cup hemp seeds
  • 2 tsp coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 4 sheets of your puff pastry (1 used 3 regular and 1 ‘everything free’)

If you are not using the Chevup sausages, use

  • 450g beef mince, plus
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp mild paprika
  • 1/4 tsp garlic flakes
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos

Finely blitz the pumpkin. (Speed 6 for 8 seconds, scrape down and repeat).

Add the additional flavourings and oil, if not using chevvups and process again (Speed 5, 8 seconds)

Add the sausages or mince, to the processor and process until it is quite smooth (Speed 6, 10 seconds at a time, scrape down in between).

Add the butter beans and process until well combined (speed 5, 10 seconds, scrape and repeat)

Add the nutritional yeast, hemp seeds, salt, aminos and herbs and then process again until evenly combined and fairly smooth (speed 6, 10 secs, scrape and repeat)

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Cut the pastry sheets in half and divide the mixture up between the sheets.

I find it is best to place it in a thin line down the middle of the pasty.

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Roll the pastry over the top of the mix to form long cylinders.

Lay on a lined baking tray with the join side facing down (helps the join to hold together as it puffs).

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Cook in a preheated 210C oven until meat is cooked and pastry is puffed and golden brown. (Use a short burst under the grill to get them extra golden and flaky). Takes about 35-40 mins in my oven.

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Enjoy 🙂

Apple Berry Crumble

Apple crumble was a regular dessert feature in my house growing up and I have always loved it.

My husband jokes that he knew that he was going to marry me when I brought him a bowl of it as sustenance during exam study time at uni! That was a looong time ago – tomorrow we celebrate 16 years together, so it seemed like a good time to bring this one out again 🙂

Over those many years, I have added to my mum’s recipe, adapted it to suit our diet and boosted its nutritional value. I hope you enjoy it too!

  • 2 tbsp vegan butter/coconut oil
  • 1 cup rolled oats*
  • 1 cup puffed rice OR GF rice bubbles
  • 2/3 cup plain flour (spelt or GF) OR almond meal
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 cup toasted seeds**
  • zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon/mixed spice
  • 2 large tins sliced apples (or home made stewed ones if you are more organised!). Pear works well here too.
  • 2 cups frozen blueberries or raspberries

*To make this a coeliac friendly, replace the oats with an extra cup of puffed rice plus 1/4 cup rolled quinoa

**I like the combination of 1/3 cup each of pumpkin, sunflower and hemp seeds – but use your favourites.

Start by mixing together the seeds and toasting them in a pan under your grill until they are golden brown – watch them carefully as they only take a few minutes. Toss them to make sure you get an even coverage.

Place apples and berries in a large greased baking dish.

Sprinkle fruit with the lemon juice, zest and the cinnamon. Then set aside.

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Mix together all of the dry ingredients and then pour over the almost melted butter. Stir until well combined and evenly coated.

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Evenly spread the crumble mix on top of the fruit mix and then place in to a preheated moderate oven for about 40 minutes, or until golden brown and the juices are bubbling.

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Ready for the oven
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Ready for our bellies!

Serve warm, on its own or with the custard or ice cream your diet allows.

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This makes quite a large crumble … well, because everyone loves crumble and this often comes to family gatherings – there are a lot of us! If you don’t need quite so much, it’s easily halved. Or better still, just make this size, and gradually eat it for dessert for the next few days 😉 It lasts well in the fridge, but is better reheated in the oven than the microwave as it will keep the crumble topping more crunchy.

Enjoy 🙂

 

Boosted Breakfast Bars

My crew are on school holidays – hooray!!!

Holidays means slower mornings, adventures, time together …. and food. So much food!

I’m always astounded at how much more my kids neeeeed to eat in the holidays, when compared to what they eat from their lunchboxes during the school term. They tell me that it is because at school they stuff in what they can super fast so that the don’t miss out on their precious play time – apparently holiday are then for catch up!

These gorgeous bars are fibre filled, have a good serve of polyunsaturated fats and with a sweetness that comes from whole fruit, they’ll satisfy you and keep you going for ages. They work well as morning tea on the run too.

  • 1 cup GF weetbix
  • 1 cup rolled oats OR 1 cup fruit free GF muesli
  •  3/4 cup wholemeal spelt flour OR plain GF flour mix plus 1 tsp psyllium
  • 1 rounded tsp GF baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 heaped tbsp hemp seeds
  • 8 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 large overripe banana
  • 2 heaped tbsp seed butter (or nut butter that suits)
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice

Place all of the dry ingredients together in your processor/thermal cooker/bullet and pulse a few times until the ingredients are roughly chopped and well combined. Then set aside.

Place the dates, seed butter, milk and vanilla into your thermal cooker. Cook on 90C, Speed 2 for 3 mins. Add in the banana and cook on speed 3, 90C for a further minute. Then boost up to speed 4 for 8 seconds.

To cook this one without a thermal cooker, place the dates, seed butter, milk and vanilla into a saucepan and cook over a low heat, whilst whisking regularly until the mixture is well melted – the dates will still be quite large. Add in the banana and continue to cook, whilst whisking for a further 2 minutes. Then transfer the whole mix to a blender or processor, then process until smooth.

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Now add the dry ingredients back to the wet and process until just combined (Speed 2, about 15 seconds). The mixture will be quite thick and sticky.

Scrape into a line 20×20 baking tray and use a spatula to smooth out and press down into the tin.

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Place into a preheated 180C oven and bake for 18-20 minutes until risen and golden brown.

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Allow to cool for about 15 minutes in the tray before moving to a cooling rack  to finish cooling before slicing in to 8 bars.

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These will last several days in an airtight container in the fridge, or freeze them individually to pop into lunchboxes or grab on your way to work.

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Enjoy

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Chocolate, Date and Chick Pea Cookies

Family favourites – delicious and nutritious!!

Itchin' Kitchen

Today we were heading out to a party but when I went to the freezer to grab out a safe cake for miss Ellie – there were none left … eek!

So, with an hour to go before we needed to leave … these cookies were the made-up-on-the-spot result. They have now been a firm favourite for the past 4 years!

I use legumes in soooo many things, little powerhouses of fibre and protein and so good for your gut health – but I was inspired to add legumes to my cookies by TRTLMT

We most often use chick peas, but when I’m after a little variety, or the pantry dictates, we also used butter beans and kidney beans. They are all delish!

My little miss loves them – I’m pretty sure she’d eaten about 6 of them by the end of the day while I wasn’t paying too much…

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Savoury Hemp Seed Scones

Scones are such a wonderful comfort food. Today I think I am channelling my Nanna and great Gran as I make their stew and Scones 🙂 🙂

I love to make traditional foods that actually contribute something beneficial to our dietary intake so, with these scones we’ve replaced some of the white flour with a wholegrain flour as well as adding in Hemp seeds and Nutritional yeast – both plant based, allergy friendly complete protein sources. They are good sources of B vitamins and fibre and the hemp seeds help to give us heart healthy poly unsaturated oils and one of the very few plant based sources of vitamin D.

Very easy to make and very popular with my little ones – hope you enjoy them too.

  • 3 cups spelt flour (1/3 wholemeal)
  • 4 tsp GF baking powder
  • 4 rounded tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/2 tsp pink salt
  • 2 rounded tbsp hemp seeds
  • 85g cold vegan butter
  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • extra flour for rolling

Place all of the dry ingredients together in the processor and process until well combined (Speed 4, 8 seconds).

Add in butter and pulse several times until the mix resembles bread crumbs.

Add in the milk and process to combine, adding the milk mixture slowly through the top chute. (Speed 4, about 15 seconds)

Tip on to floured surface and bring dough together until just smooth.

Roughly roll out to about 2cm thick and use scone cutter to cut out.

Place cut out dough onto a line baking tray and then into a preheated 200C oven for about 20-25 minutes or until golden and the bottoms sound hollow when they are tapped.

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These are delicious on their own as a snack, served warm with a little butter or a cheese that suits your diet, or even as a side to dinner, instead of a bread roll or damper (we’re having ours with a slow cooked stew tonight).

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Enjoying a ‘tester’ scone with a cuppa in the garden – Bliss!

Makes about 20. They freeze and defrost well.

Enjoy 🙂

P.S. If you would like a sweet scone rather than savoury, simply leave out the Nutritional yeast and add in 2 tbsp of coconut sugar.

**I haven’t made a GF version of these ones yet. I’d start by replacing the spelt with a good GF flour mix at about 2.5 cups and add in a tsp of psyllium husks. Add a little more flour if it is too sticky and be careful not to overwork the dough. Let me know if you try it and I’ll update when I do.