Lunchbox Apple Slice

I love this slice because it is fragrant and lightly sweet, uses only the things that I always have in my cupboard so it is inexpensive, you can have it in the oven in 5 minutes flat and it is really simple to make it allergy friendly.

And even better … my kiddo who has an Oral Allergy Syndrome reaction to raw apple can tolerate some cooked apple so everyone in our family can share!

**See below the main recipe for allergy friendly swaps and more options**

  • 2 large apples
  • 2 cups of flour (I use spelt and do half wholemeal)**
  • 2 tsp GF baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sugar (I like coconut sugar for the caramel taste)
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 185g melted butter

Mix together all of the dry ingredients.

20200829_133516

Add in the melted butter, then core and dice (but don’t peel) the apples and mix them through.

20200829_133554

Press them mix firmly into a greased 20×20 baking dish and place in a preheated 180C for about 25 minutes.

20200829_133913

Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the tin before moving to a wire rack.

20200829_172055

Cut into about 16 squares and serve warm or cold.

20200829_172233

To change it up:

Gluten Free – replace the flour with 1 3/4 cup of a gluten free flour mix plus 1 tsp of psyllium husk. Then replace the oats with shredded coconut or puffed rice.

Dairy Free – use a plant based butter

Can’t do apples? Pears are a great switch

Want something a bit fancier? Crumble some chopped almonds over the top and sprinkle with a tsp of extra sugar before baking and serve warm, with custard.

Got a super sweet tooth? Add in 6 chopped medjool dates or 1/2 cup of sultanas

Not sending it to school? Replace 1/2 a cup of the flour with almond meal

Enjoy 🙂

 

 

Simple Pumpkin Soup

Hooray for soup weather!

This is a soup-er simple meal, really inexpensive and delicious. A pretty mild soup, so it is very kid friendly too.

  • 400g Cauliflower  (1 medium size), roughly chopped
  • 1.2kg Butternut pumpkin roughly chopped
  • 1/2 small brown onion (about 60g), diced
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp garlic infused olive oil
  • 2 tbsp veggie stock paste
  • 10 cups boiling water
  • 225g cream cheese (*dairy, soy or nut based – you can even use a light silken tofu here)

If you don’t have stock paste you can use 3 cups liquid stock and then only 7 cups water.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan then add in the onion and cook, stirring, until it is soft and golden.

Add in the cauliflower and pumpkin plus the stock paste and stir well. Cook down for about 3 minutes then add in the boiling water.

Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the veggies are very soft. *If you need a quicker cooking time you can give the veggies a quick blitz in your food processor first.

Remove from the heat and add in the cream cheese. Use an immersion blender to blend until the soup is very smooth. If you are using a blender/thermo cooker/bullet machine to blend – BE VERY CAREFUL! Allow it to cool quite a bit first and then do small batches.

I love to serve mine topped with roasted pumpkin seeds and pine nuts (switch hemp seeds for nut free) …. Just pop the seeds in a hot, dry frying pan and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes until they are golden brown. Sprinkle on the soup and if you want a little extra kick … sprinkle on a little pinch of chilli flakes!

20200809_122315

20200809_130240

Serves 12.

If Macros are important to you, here they are for 1 serve (roughly 2 ladles of soup) , worked out for the dairy based cream cheese – not including the seed topping.

20200809_143712

This will last several days in the fridge, or it freezes and defrosts well.

Enjoy 🙂

 

 

Crunchy Crumbles

These super speedy little bites are just slight sweet and deliciously crunchy.

They add great fats and proteins as well as some extra fibre and texture to yoghurt.

Add them to plain rolled or soaked oats too.

  • 2 heaped tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 2 heaped tbsp hemp seeds
  • 2 tsp honey OR maple syrup

Place seeds in a hot frying pan.

Dry fry the seeds, stirring regularly until they start to brown … Watch carefully, it won’t take long!

Add in the honey and stir until all the seed are well coated.

Fry until the seeds are golden brown (only another minute or so).

20200716_134916

Remove from frying pan and spread out on a plate (don’t use kitchen paper or they stick!)

Place plate in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes until they have cooled.

20200716_140030

Then break up and sprinkle on.

20200716_141516

Keep the leftover crumbles in an airtight container in the fridge for a week.

If macros are important to you, here are the details for 1/4 of the mix.

20200716_193658

Berry Fruit Compote

So simple to make. Quick and delicious … and you can adapt it to whatever fruits you have lying around.

  • 1 cups frozen berries*
  • 1 medium apple or pear, finely diced
  • Lemon peel (peel into strips for easy removal)
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • Optional: 1-2 tsp maple syrup

*if you are using fresh berries and not frozen, you’ll need to add a little splash of water when you first start cooking.

Place all ingredients into a small saucepan and turn on to a low heat.

Stir regularly until the juices from the berries release.

20200604_152018

Allow the mix to come to a simmer and then leave to a very gentle simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Leave the saucepan partially covered with the lid to stop it splattering!

It is ready when you can very easily slide a fork through the apple and the juices in the pan are becoming thick and sticky.

Remove the lemon peel and if you want a smoother compote, use a potato masher to crush down the fruit.

20200605_104443

Thermo Cooking instructions:

Place all ingredients into a bowl and turn on to Speed 2, 100C. For about 10-12 minutes.

Remove the lemon peel. If you want smoother compote, turn off heating, increase speed to 4, in 5 second bursts until you are happy with the texture, scraping down the sides as required.

—–

Serve warm on cakes, scones or pancakes, or allow to cool and serve with yoghurt, custard or ice cream … or just eat it on it’s own!!

20200605_104331

Enjoy 🙂

Zucchini cake

Such a deliciously light and moist cake …. so good for afternoon tea, picnic and even in lunchboxes.

  • Approx 200g (combined) grated zucchini and carrot (roughly half a medium zucchini and 1 medium carrot).
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce
  • 1/2 cup honey/maple/golden syrup
  • 2 eggs / 2 flax eggs / 2 tsp egg replacer whipped with 4 tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1/3 cup chopped nuts or seeds (hemp seeds or walnuts go really well)
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 3/4 cups plain flour (we do half wholemeal)**
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Optional extra: Top with choc chips of choice

** To make this one coeliac friendly, replace with a plain GF flour, 1.5 cups and 1 tsp of psyllium husk.

Start by grating the veg. After squeezing the moisture out of the grated zucchini you should have about 120g, and another 80g from the carrot. *If you are grating in a food processor or thermo cooker, you will need to take the zucchini out, tip out the liquid in the bottom, then squeeze the zucchini before adding it back in to the bowl.

Add all of the wet ingredients into a bowl and stir well to combine (speed 4, 6 secs).

Add in the baking powder, flour and mixed spice. Fold through gently until the flour is just combined. (Speed 3, 10 seconds)

Then add in the chopped nuts or seeds and fold through until evenly combined. (Speed 3, 8-10 seconds) Do not beat the mix.

Pour into a greased/lined loaf tin and place into a preheated 160C oven.

20200529_121740

Sprinkle the top with some choc chips if you like (only half of family do!)

20200529_125150

Bake for approximately 60minutes or until golden, well risen and a skewer comes out clean. Remember that if you are cooking with GF flour or without egg then you won’t get quite the same rise.

20200529_133648

Allow to rest in the tin for about 15 minutes before removing to an airing rack and allowing to cool.

20200529_173914

Slice and serve, warm or cold. A spread of butter on your slice is delicious too.

20200529_173936

Slice before freezing any left overs and wrap so it is airtight.

20200601_164452
Picnic time – this one with Sweet William White Chips

Enjoy 🙂

 

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.

20200127_114712

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.

20200209_112719

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!

20200127_144153

20200209_112746

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!

20200209_112836

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

20200209_112644

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.

20200116_205652

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.

20200116_212638

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.

20200118_210422

 

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
20200118_205715
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).

20190623_112649

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.

20190623_160758

Allow to cool before icing.

20190623_160659

 

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.

20190623_160821

Top with zest before serving.

20190623_143547

 

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)

20190405_193253

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.

20190405_193107

‘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.

20190406_073800

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

20190406_073815

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

20190405_194856

Serve immediately.

20190405_194730

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)

20190403_164956

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

20190403_164933

 

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.

20190403_164900

Makes about 20.

Enjoy!!