Maple, banana and cinnamon Weetbix slice

We share supper in the evening after church each Sunday.

This week it was my turn on roster. I always try to make sure that I cater for as many food allergies and intolerances as I can so that, at least sometimes, those who might otherwise be left out can join in.

This recipe was a hit – free from gluten, eggs, dairy, nuts, soy, legumes and also vegan… but delicious enough that the non-food allergy folk enjoyed it and several requested the recipe. Winner!

Weetbix slice was a childhood favourite – a regular feature in our school lunchboxes. I’m sure the slice came about as a budget-stretching way of using up the inevitable crumbs at the end of the pack!
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The gluten free version of Weetbix is made with sorghum and although I’m not the biggest fan of the original as such a nutritious cereal, it fits our allergy requirements, my kids are excited and I’m pleased to be able to use them in baking!

  • 160g vegan butter, melted
  • 6 weetbix, crushed (regular or GF)
  • 1 cup plain flour of choice (I use spelt or the White Wings GF blend)
  • 1 rounded tsp GF baking powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup flaked quinoa (or rolled oats if it suits you)
  • 2 tbsp each flax seeds and hemp seeds
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 medium overripe banana

Mix together all dry ingredients (Sp 4, 8 seconds).

In a separate bowl mash the banana well, add in the maple syrup then pour in the melted butter and mix until well. (Butter in first, Sp 3, 100C for 60 seconds, then add in remaining wet ingredients and use Sp 4, 20 seconds, scrape down and repeat if required)

Pour the wet mix into the dry mix and fold together until well combined (Sp 3, 15 secs).

Press firmly into a lined baking tray (mine was 20x20cm).

Bake in a preheated 180C oven for 25 minutes.

All to cool and then ice with maple icing – made with 1 tbsp soft vegan butter beaten into 2 tsp of maple syrup, a pinch of cinnamon and several tbsp of pure icing sugar (add more as required to reach your desired consistency).

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Slice and store in airtight container in the fridge. Makes 16-20 slices.

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Ready to share

Enjoy 🙂

P.S. I’ve had a query about replacing the banana … simply switch it out for about 1/3 of a cup of apple sauce … add a teaspoon more at a time if the mixture seems too dry.

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 🙂

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 🙂

 

Honey oat biscuits

Sometimes you just really need bikkies in a hurry!

This recipe doesn’t need anything special – just 4 basic pantry ingredients and they’ll be cooling on your bench less than 25 minutes after you decided you needed a bikkie!

  • 240g rolled oats
  • 260 flour of choice (wholemeal spelt or a plain gf mix)
  • 200g vegan butter
  • 200g honey or maple syrup

In a large bowl, melt together the honey and butter (Speed 2, 100C about 2 1/2 mins) – then set aside.

Place the oats in your processor/thermal appliance or even bullet and give a couple of quick pulses to roughly shop the oats.

Add in the flour and mix well until combined (Speed 4, 10 secs).

Add in the melted butter mix and mix to combine (Speed 4, 8 secs).

Scoop spoon fulls of mixture on to a line baking tray and then use a fork to slightly flatten them.

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Place in to a preheated 180C oven and bake for 16-18 minutes.

The biscuits will still be soft when removed from the oven. Leave them on the baking tray for 10 minutes (go ahead a ‘test’ one if you must!).

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Move to an airing rack to finish cooling … or just eat them warm!

Makes about 22-24.

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Enjoy 🙂

** I haven’t  made an oat free version of these ones yet. I’d start by increasing the flour mix to 300g and then using a 200g mix of rice puffs, rolled quinoa and shredded coconut to replace the oats. I’ll update with exact quantities when I do!

Seed butter bars

I am a big fan of snacking …. I am so active that 3 meals a day doesn’t work for me. I get shaky and hungry (and maybe a teensy bit cranky!). So I always make sure that I have healthy snacks readily available.

I love my bliss balls (especially the chocolate and salted caramel) and bliss bars, but I have been trying to teach myself to not always reach for sweet tasting stuff. These bars are based on my Choc Bliss Bars … just not chocolate and not so sweet 😉 They are fabulous source of fibre (great prebiotics for your gut health), nutrient dense carbohydrates, amazing plant based fats and even a good dose of protein. The mild sweetness comes from dates, but you’re only getting 1/3 of a date per bar, so they are working more as a binder than a sweetener.

  • 1 cup sunflower seed butter (or nut butter if your diet allows)
  • 8 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1.5 cup rolled oats
  • 90g pepitas
  • 20g flax seeds
  • 20g hemp seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tbsp water

Place the sunflower seed butter, vanilla and cinnamon in your processor/thermal cooker and start mixing (speed 4). Whilst you are mixing add in the dates, one at a time through the chute at the top. Then continue mixing until the date is finely brown down and evenly distributed through the mix (Up to speed 7, for 8 seconds, scrape down and repeat).

Add in the oats and seeds and process until well combined (Speed 4 for 8 seconds, then to speed 5 for 6 seconds)

The wetness of your mix will be impacted by how runny your seed butter was and how moist your dates were, so if your mixture is not starting to clump together, add in 1 tbsp of water at a time and process again.

Tip into a lined tray (mine is 23cm x 29cm), spread out and firmly and evenly press down the mix.

Place it into the freezer for half an hour before removing and chopping in to bars.

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Makes 24 bars, store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

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Enjoy 🙂

Strawberry ice dream

This delicious dessert is like a cross between ice cream and sorbet.

It’s very refreshing and simple to make, no need for any churning, but you do need to make it several hours in advance.

We used up the last of the strawberries that we had frozen after a very over zealous ‘pick your own’ session at a local farm.

  • 3 cups frozen strawberries
  • 270ml coconut cream (Ayam)
  • 2 tbsp rice malt syrup*
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 3 over ripe large bananas

*You can of course use honey or maple syrup if you’d prefer – I choose the rice malt here not because of any mythical ‘sugar free’ properties, but because of its more neutral taste.

In your processor or thermal cooker place the strawberries. Blitz them until they are very finely chopped (almost like crushed ice) speed 4, working up to speed 8 for 10 secs, scrape down and repeat.

Add in the coconut cream, followed by the syrup and vanilla whilst processing (on speed 4), then scrape down and process again.

Add in bananas, one at a time and process until very smooth. (Use speed 6).

Pour into a dish, cover and freeze for at least 6 hours, or over night.

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Remove from freezer about 10 minutes before serving so that it is scoopable.

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If you’re after an extra special treat you can add some chocolate! We make ours by melting 4 squares of chopped dark chocolate together with 1/2 tsp of tasteless coconut oil, then just drizzle away!

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This makes enough for 8-10 serves.

Enjoy 🙂

 

Carrot and zucchini chocolate cake

Chocolate cake is always welcome in our house, and it is especially welcome in muffin form for lunchboxes. I always try to add some extra goodies in to boost their nutritional value.

The carrots and zucchinis were really cheap at the markets so I decided to have a go at something different to my normal beetroot version.

These are quite a bit lighter in texture and they are very happily scoffed by all of the kids and even the biggest sweet tooth.

  • Small zucchini (approx 200g), chopped
  • Medium carrot (approx 80g), chopped
  • Medium banana, very ripe
  • 100g light tasting oil (melted coconut oil or butter works too)
  • 100ml milk of choice
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 250g spelt flour (half wholemeal)
  • 2 tsp gf baking powder
  • 120g coconut sugar
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp mixed spice

In to your bullet/blender/processor/thermal cooker place the veggies, banana, oil, vanilla, vinegar and milk. Then blitz until it is very smooth. (Start on speed 4 then build up to speed 10 for 8 seconds. Scrape down and use speed 10 for 10 seconds).

Add in the dry ingredients and mix gently until evenly combined (speed 4, 8 secs, then scraps down and repeat if required). If you’re mixing this by hand, whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl, pour in the blended wet mix and then fold together.

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Spoon into lined muffin tins and place into a pre heated moderate oven for about 16 minutes, or until well risen and the muffins spring back to gentle touch.

Makes about 14-16 and they freeze and defrost well.

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Enjoy 🙂