Basic Bikkies In A Hurry – 2 ways!

So – the food landscape looks pretty different at the moment.

People are panicking, the shelves are bare in many shops and we are all a little unsure about what lies ahead.

Well to start – please take a deep breath. Let’s try to keep calm. Wash your hands well, stay away from others if you’re at all unwell and keep an eye out for reputable updates.

And please – be kind. Be patient and take care of those who are vulnerable or isolated.

It terms of food – let’s get back to basics!

Here are some simple bikkies you can make for lunchboxes or afternoon tea, in a hurry, with your pantry basics. Plus they fit vegans and most food allergies too!

There is a vanilla almond version and a choc muesli version

The basic recipe for both starts with:

  • 125g butter/plant based butter
  • 1/3 cup icing sugar (if you’re a sweet tooth you can boost this to 1/2 cup)
  • 1 egg OR 1 quantity of egg replacer

Preheat your oven to 180C

Allow the butter to soften to room temperature.

Whisk into the butter the sugar and egg until smooth and well combined.

For the vanilla almond version, now add in:

  • 1.5 cups plain flour (OR 1 1/4 cups GF flour and 1 tsp psyllium)
  • 1/2 cup almond meal (OR seed meal)*
  • 1.5 tsp GF baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Fold all dry ingredients into the butter mixture until well combined into a stiff dough.

*1/2 cup of roughly crushed cornflakes works well here too.

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For the choc muesli version, now:

Place 1/2 cup rolled oats (OR shredded coconut) and 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds into a blender/processor/nutribullet etc and blitz into a coarse flour.

Then, to the butter mix, add:

  • 1 1/3 cups plain flour (OR 1 cup plus a flat tbsp GF flour and 1 tsp psyllium)
  • 1.5 tsp GF baking powder
  • 1 rounded tbsp cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • the ground oat mix
  • a handful of diced dried fruit (sultanas, cranberries, dates, apples all work well)

Fold all dry ingredients into the butter mixture until well combined into a stiff dough.

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For both versions of the bikkies, once you have the stiff dough, use a teaspoon of dough to form small balls.

Lay on a lined baking sheet and press down gently. Leave some room for spreading.

Cook for about 15 minutes, or until well risen and golden. They will be soft to touch when you remove from the oven but will harden as they cool on the tray.

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Each batch makes about 18-20. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to a week

 

 

Egg Wraps

A couple of months ago I saw Dr Michael Mosely’s idea of using what is essentially a very thin spread omelette base to use as a substitute for a grain based wrap.

Pretty cool if you need to avoid gluten (several of us). Or if you need to keep an eye on your carbohydrate intake (Me thanks to PCOS).

Except 1 single egg wasn’t really enough for a meal for my husband or I so, to make a more filling option that gives a decent vegetarian source of protein with your meal … this is how we make ours:

  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 tsp hemp seeds
  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast
  • pinch flaked pink salt
  • 1/2 tsp Italian style herbs, or 1 tsp fresh chopped thyme
  • optional: small spray of olive oil

Whisk the eggs together, then add in all the other ingredients and whisk again until well combined and frothy.

If you’re not sure about how non-stick your frying pan is, then give it a little spray of olive oil and set to a medium heat.

Pour in the egg mix and swirl around the pan until it is evenly distributed over the whole base.

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Allow to cook gently for about a minute, then test that the side of the egg are well cooked, slide a spatula underneath to the centre and then flip it over to briefly cook the other side.

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Remove from heat and lay on plate. Eat warm or cold.

Treat it like a normal wheat based wrap – We fill ours with a variety of salad and it keeps us full of ages – plus … it’s really delicious!

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You can make several in advance and store them in the fridge for a couple of days – lay a paper towel between each one for storage.

Enjoy!

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If Macros are important to you … are are the details for just the wrap – you will need to account for your own fillings:

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Fragrant Stewed Apples (and the best ever apple sauce!)

Such simple comfort food!

We often wind up making this recipe when the apples (or pears!) we’ve bought are really floury or soft but we don’t want them to go to waste. My biggest little one is very excited whenever this recipe appears. He has Oral Allergy Syndrome and reacts quite badly to raw apple, but cooked he can handle it!!

Like most of my recipes I take the simple (lazy?!) option!

As well as taking less time, leaving  the skin on the fruit is terrific for the added fibre and nutrients. Very simple, and you don’t need to add any extra sweeteners.

  • 6 apples (whichever kind you like)
  • peel of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 6 cloves
  • 1/4 cup water

Thermal Cooker Method: Core and slice the apples, place them in the machine, sprinkle over cinnamon and cloves. Then use a peeler to remove the yellow layer only of the lemon. Add the strips to the top of the apples.

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Add in the water and set for 15 minutes, speed 1, ST.

Stove top method: place all of the ingredients into a large sauce pan, cook, stirring frequently, with the lid on in between stirring. Will take about 15-20 minutes on the stove.

If you want a sweeter fruit desert, add in a handful of sultanas during the last few minutes of cooking.

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Place in an air tight container in the fridge and use for up to a week. Remove the peel and cloves before serving.

If you want a most delicious, fragrant, thick apple sauce instead, follow the same steps as above, then remove the lemon rind and either transfer to a blender or set a speed 4 for 15 seconds, scrape down and repeat.

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How can I use stewed apples?

  • Eat them on their own!
  • Mix it with yoghurt for breakfast or dessert
  • Use it as a topping for your soaked overnight oats
  • Add it to your cereal
  • Add in some roasted, crunchy nuts and have it for an afternoon ‘pick-me-up’
  • Serve it as a side to a soft tea cake

And the sauce?

  • Perfect if you’re doing baby food
  • Mix it through yoghurt
  • Use it as an egg or sugar replacer in cakes and baking (check out my Apple, Pumpkin and Oat muffins, or my Maple Cinnamon Weet-bix slice)
  • Use it with you next pork roast or pulled pork burgers.
  • Freeze it in ice cube trays so you can grab it out at short notice
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Delicious with yoghurt for dessert!

Enjoy 🙂

Maple Ginger Pear Tea Cake

My husband’s request for cake is always ginger cake with lemon icing … Lots of icing!

Super simple and easy to knock up when you’ve got visitors arriving… Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

  • 1 3/4 cups spelt flour (I do half wholemeal) OR 1 2/3 cups plain GF flour mix
  • 1/4 cup almond/seed meal
  • 2 tsp GF baking powder
  • 2 heaped tsp ground ginger
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 medium sized pear (or apple)
  • 4 tbsp aquafaba OR 1 whole egg
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice
  • 2 tbsp mild tasting oil

Mix together all of the dry ingredients (speed 4, 10 seconds), then set aside.

Core and dice the pear (leave the skin on). Dice and then steam until soft (a few minutes in a microwave or ST Sp 1 for a few minutes)

Blend together the soft pear, syrup, oil and aquafaba/egg until smooth (speed 7, 8 seconds).

Pour the wet mix into the dry and mix until well combined (speed 4, 8 seconds, scrape down and repeat).

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Pour into a lined baking tin and place into a preheated moderate oven for about 30 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

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Allow to cool before icing.

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I actually enjoy this cake without icing …. but icing is pretty well Peter’s whole reason for eating cake, so there was no way I was going to be able to leave it off!

For the Icing:

  • 2 tsp vegan butter, very soft
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • pure icing sugar – between 1/2 and 1 cup depending on the consistency you want.
  • Fine lemon zest to top

Whisk all ingredients together until well combined and smooth. If you want an icing to drizzle over, use less icing sugar. If you want a thick icing to spread on the cake, use the increased amount.

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Top with zest before serving.

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This one freezes and defrosts well.

It is particularly nice accompanied by a good cuppa or our yummy ginger cordial mixed with soda water

Enjoy 🙂

 

Grilled Mango Crumble

Fruit based desserts are my favourite!

I love chocolate and sweets as much as the next person but there is something about the amazing natural sweetness and huge variety in fruit which makes it such a delight… And when you can pick the fruit from your own backyard it is so much the sweeter!

We picked our first backyard mango for the season a couple of days ago and I wanted to do somethinga little special with it. I guess this is like a faster, deconstructed version (MasterChef come at me 🤣) of my favourite apple and berry crumble

  • 2 tsp vegan butter melted/light tasting oil
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats OR shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup puffed rice OR GF rice bubbles
  • 1/3 cup almond meal OR plain flour of choice
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp extra coconut sugar
  • 1/3 cup mixed pumpkin and hemp seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon/mixed spice
  • 2 large fresh mango cheeks
  • Yoghurt of choice (dairy and coconut both work well with the flavours)

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Mix together all dry ingredients and stir through melted butter until well combined.

Tip into a medium hot frying pan, and toast, stirring regularly, until golden brown and crunchy. Then remove from the heat.

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‘hedhehog’ your mango cheeks by scoring deeply in a grid pattern, down to the skin, but not through.

Hold the edges of the mango and push up in the middle to pop up the squares.

Sprinkle each with 1/4tsp of coconut sugar.

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Place mango under a hot grill. Watch it carefully! Allow the sugar to melt and start to caramelize. This only takes a few minutes.

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Remove from oven, top with crumble mix and serve with a dollop of natural yoghurt.

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Serve immediately.

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Enjoy 😊

Cranberry & White Choc Muesli Cookies

My big boy has been having a tough time lately. So when we have an afternoon at home (which is rare!) he is pretty keen to spend one on one time with me.

Pre-teens often don’t want to sit and talk in a formal, eye contact kind of way … so cooking and working along side each other provides a really good opportunity to talk and try to sort somethings through.

Today he asked to make cookies. We’d tried a white choc cranberry cookie from the shops recently but they were SUPER sweet and his tummy didn’t feel so great after them (probably would have been ok if he had one and not three though!!)

So we adapted our regular choc chip cookies and came up with these beauties.

  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 1/3 cup spelt flour (half wholemeal) OR 1 1/4 cup GF Flour plus 1 tsp psyllium
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats OR shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp GF baking powder
  • pinch pink salt flakes
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice or cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 cup white choc chip (which ever suit your diet – Sweet William is a winner for us)
  • 150g vegan butter, melted (but not too hot or it will melt your choc chips!)
  • Optional: zest of 1/2 an orange, finely grated

In your food processor or thermal cooker place the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, oats and cinnamon. Blitz to a coarse flour (speed 8, 8 secs)

Add in the cranberries and seeds and mix again until combined (Speed 4, 6 secs). Blitz for longer if you want less obvious ‘bits’

Add in the butter through the chute at the top whilst mixing (on Speed 4) and mix until well combined (about 10 seconds)

Add in the chocolate and mix until just combined (Speed 4, 6 seconds)

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Form a teaspoon full into a ball and spoon onto a lined baking tray, allowing space to spread. Press down gently.

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Cook in a preheated moderate oven for 14-15 minutes.

They will be soft when you remove them from the oven. Allow to cool on the tray for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. They will be crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside.

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Makes about 20.

Enjoy!!

Frozen yoghurt ice creams

I don’t remember any family from my childhood that didn’t have Tupperware icy pole moulds!

There are loads of different moulds you can buy now, but whichever you choose to use, they are fabulous for making simple, healthy, tasty, waste free desserts.

This recipe is very flexible. Make it more or less creamy depending on the amount of yoghurt you use. It’ll be less ice creamy and more of an icy pole if you leave out the banana and switch to other fruit.

In our freezer we had a heap of mango left over from a self picking expedition where we went slightly (*understatement!) overboard! And then we had 2 bunches of our homegrown bananas ripen very quickly so we’d peeled and frozen them too. So when we were after dessert these were a no-brainer!

  • 4 mango cheeks, frozen or fresh (tinned peaches or apricots are a great alternative here)
  • 2 medium frozen bananas
  •  approx 400g of yoghurt of choice (dairy, soy, coconut and almond all work well)
  • Optional: 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup

Put everything in a high powdered blender/bullet/thermo machine and blitz until very smooth. If you’re using a thermo machine, make sure you drop frozen chunks of fruit through the top on to already spinning blades. Start at Speed 4 and then work up to 8 for a smooth finish.

Pour into your moulds. This quantity fills 12 of the Tupperware moulds pictured.

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Stick in the freezer for 4 hours, or until frozen.

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Enjoy!

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P.S. Our Dairy and soy yoghurt recipe is linked above, but if you can have tree nuts, and you want yo buy your yoghurt, we have recently found a GF, DF almond milk yoghurt that is really yummy

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