Strawberry Smoothies

Strawberries are in such delicious abundance in Perth at the moment. So cheap from the markets and loads of berry farms offering huge boxes full to pick yourself … so there’s lots of berry baking to be done!

This is antoher way that we celebrate this amazing little gem that is loaded with antioxidants, fibre and even magnesium and potassium.

Most kids love a bright pink milkshake …. This is just the real version!

  • 6-10 ripe strawberries (depending on their size)
  • 1/2 medium banana, frozen
  • 1 tsp nut or seed butter of choice (we go with sunflower seed butter)
  • Half a dozen ice blocks
  • 1 cup milk of choice (I use unsweetened vanilla almond)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • Optional if you’re a sweet tooth: add a pitted medjool date or a teaspoon of maple syrup
  • Optional if you want to bulk up the fibre: 2 tbsp rolled oats

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Now the process gets very technical …. blend it all until it is smooth 😉 A high powered blender or bullet type  machine is the easiest.

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We use fresh strawberries or frozen …. frozen makes it more like a thickshake …. sometime so thick that I can tip it sideways and the straw stays standing!!

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Enjoy 🙂

Date and Oat Hotcakes

Hotcakes are a regular feature on our breakfast menu – especially on the weekend when we have a little more time together.

I have made lots of different versions over time, Vanilla Almond hotcakes have been our standard, but these one are free of any oil or butter and the mild sweetness comes only from fruit. A great source of fibre and they’ll fill you up and keep you fuelled for ages!

The kids love them and they freeze really well, so they are great to pop into lunchboxes.

This recipe makes a large batch …. I have given up on making batches that are any smaller since they are so quickly demolished here and I never wind up with any left overs to freeze. This makes 45-50 hotcakes. But go ahead and halve the recipe if you don’t have quite as large a hungry hoard to feed!!

  • 3 cups, wholemeal spelt flour OR 2 1/2 cups plain GF flour mix
  • 1/2 cup seeds or nuts of choice
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats OR quinoa
  • 4 tsp GF baking powder
  • 8 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 overripe medium banana
  • 1 tbsp sunflower seed butter
  • 2 3/4 – 3 cups milk of choice (we like unsweetened vanilla almond)
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • butter of choice to serve

Place the dates in a small container, cover with the boiling water and add the vanilla. Set aside.

In your processor/blender/bullet/thermal cooker, place the seeds and oats and blitz until fine (Speed 9, 10 seconds).

Add in the baking powder and flour and mix again until well combined (Speed 5, 12 seconds).

Pour out dry mixture into a large bowl and set aside.

In your processor/blender/bullet/thermal cooker, place the dates and water, banana, seed butter, milk and blend, blend, blend until very smooth (Speed 7, 10 seconds, scrape down and repeat). Start by using the smaller amount of milk.

Pour the wet mix into the dry mix and whisk together until smooth*, if the mixture is too thick, add in the remaining amount of milk and whisk in.

*This whole mixture is too much for the bowl of a thermal cooker. But if you are making a half batch, at this point just add the dry mixture back into the wet mixture that is still in the bowl and mix on speed 4, scraping down every 10 seconds until it is well mixed and smooth.

Pour the batter into a hot, lightly greased frying pan, wait until bubbles appear on the surface, then flip and cook until both sides are golden brown.

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Top with butter of choice and serve.

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That’s a biiig stack!!

Enjoy 🙂

 

The Chocolate Cake

This is one of my most versatile cakes. There are options to cater for gluten, egg, dairy, nut, soy and legume allergies. The cake is vegan and can be more or less sweet depending on your sugar preference. It cooks well as a double batch for bulk cooking and freezing and also makes yummy cupcakes.
We’re taking a big batch off to a picnic today – enjoy!

Itchin' Kitchen

Growing up, my mum was famous for her chocolate cake. So much so that it was known simply as ‘The Chocolate Cake’.

It was the base for most (if not all!) of mine and my brother’s birthday cakes and it made an appearance at a lot of special family occasions. Since our diet has had to change I have so missed that cake! So since we are off to a birthday party tomorrow where we will need to take ‘safe’ cake along for Ellie … here is my attempt at living up to Mum’s cake!

See below the recipe for a coeliac friendly version.

  • 1 3/4 cups spelt flour (half wholemeal)**
  • 2 tsp GF baking powder
  • 1/2 – 3/4  cup coconut sugar (use more or less depending on your sweet tooth!)
  • 2 tbsp cocoa
  • 125g Nuttelex/Vegan butter/tasteless coconut oil
  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 3…

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Mini Chocolate Cheesecakes (no bake)

I love to exercise – it is the thing that keeps me moderately sane (well, that and coffee!). Between 4 little ones, study and running a business, I feel like I have almost no ‘me time’. Exercise is it.

During our cool down stretch post Bootcamp the other night, my lovely trainer Mark (Hi!) was telling us about this Mars Bar Cheese Cake he’d made (just because he could!) and everyone was drooling by the end.

Well,  there pretty well wasn’t a single ingredient that he mentioned that I could use and not many that I ever cook with any way …. but he still had me dreaming about Chocolate Cheesecake! D’oh! Then I had a friend come over for dinner and had an excuse the try out a new dessert …. so here is my version. Allergy friendly and much healthier 😉

  • 225g soy cream cheese (we use Tofutti or Kingland)
  • 4 tbsp aquafaba, room temp
  • pinch  of cream of tartar
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup OR rice malt syrup
  • 1.5 tsp powdered gelatin
  • 30 mls very hot water
  • 1.5 cups Chocolate protein mix
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats OR quinoa
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter or sunflower seed butter
  • 100g dark chocolate

In your food processor place the oats or quinoa and process until they are a fine (Speed 6, 8 seconds).

Then add in the Choc protein mix and process until well combined (Speed 5, 6 seconds)

Add in the butter of choice and pulse multiple time until you have a crumb that resembles wet sand.

Use patty pans to line your muffin tin and spoon heaped tsp of the crumb into each hole. Press down firmly into the tin. Place in fridge.

Mix together the gelatin and warm water and whisk with a fork until dissolved. Set aside. Then work quickly so the gelatin isn’t sitting for too long.

In the small bowl of your stand mixer, place the aquafaba and the cream of tartar and beat on very high speed until soft peaks form (about 5 minutes). Set aside.

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Melt together 80g of the chocolate and the syrup, stirring over a low heat until completely smooth (Speed 2, 80C for about 2 mins)

In the large bowl of your mixer place the soy cheese and beat until smooth (Speed 4, 10 seconds)

Add in the melted chocolate mix and mix well to incorporate (Speed 4, 10 seconds)

Add in the gelatin mix and beat again until well incorporated (Speed 4, 12 seconds)

Pour in the beaten aquafaba and fold through until evenly distribute. (Attach butterfly/mixing tool and use speed 3 for about 20 seconds).

Spoon the chocolate cheese mixture on to the biscuit base and place in the fridge to set for 2 hours.

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Remove from patty pans and top with the remaining 20g of chocolate, grated.

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These last a few days in the fridge, but don’t freeze.

Makes 12.

I haven’t made a vegan version of these ones yet, but you could replace the gelatin with agar agar. Let me know if you do try it!

Enjoy 🙂

P.S. If you’re not able to tolerate soy, then you might like my  Chocolate (avocado based) mousse cake for a similar result.

Foil baked Thai Salmon

We love salmon here so we’re always looking for different ways to enjoy it … And this simple, low mess way was a huge success!

Hope you like it as much as we did!

  • 2 fillets de-boned salmon (ours were roughly 140g ea)
  • 2 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 tsp garlic olive oil
  • 1 tsp red Thai paste
  • 1 small lime
  • 1/2 tsp sunflower seed butter (or peanut butter)
  • 2 tsp coconut cream

Preheat oven to 180C.

Lay salmon, skin side down on foil sheet.

Mix together the aminos, oil, thai paste and the finely grate zest and juice from the lime.

Spoon over the salmon and then close up the foil making sealed packets around the salmon.

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Place in the oven and cook for 15-20mins or until just cooked through (thickness of the fillets will impact the cooking time).

Remove from oven and pour juices from foil packets into a small bowl, add to the hot juices the seed butter and coconut cream. Stir well, until smooth and well combined.

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Serve the salmon with steamed veg of choice, drizzled with the creamy sauce.

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Serves 2.

Enjoy 🙂

 

 

Chocolate Bliss Balls

These are the go to chocolate fix in our house. They are miss Ellie’s absolutely favourite and she usually pinches a couple of balls worth of mix from the machine before I even get to roll them!

Quick and easy to whip up and they are actually a satisfying choc fix that won’t lead to a sugar crash later down the track!

  • 200g natural almonds OR roasted sunflower seeds
  • 50g pepitas
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 12 medjool dates, pitted
  • Mixed spice coconut sugar for dusting (optional).

Place almonds, seeds, cocoa and cinnamon in the food processor and process until fine and crumbly. (Speed 10, 12 secs)

Add dates and vanilla beans  through chute at the top whilst processing and continue until well combined. (Use speed 4 whilst adding the dates then increase slowly up to speed 7 for 15 secs)

The ‘wetness’ of the mixture hugely depends on the moisture content and size of the dates you use, so test the mixture – when squeezed together it should easily form into a ball. Mine was slightly too dry so I needed an addition of 1 tbsp water and another quick blitz.

Form the mixture into small balls and then roll in a covering if you desire. We mostly leave these plain, but occasionally we make up a mix of coconut sugar and mixed spice (about a 5:1 ratio) and sprinkle it over.

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Makes about 20. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. They can keep for 2 weeks … not likely in my house 😀

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For a Christmassy flavoured bliss ball: Remove 1 date and replace it with a small handful of dried cranberries. Replace the vanilla with the finely grated zest of half an orange  and replace the cinnamon with 1/3 tsp of ground cloves.

Enjoy 🙂

Chocolate Seed Slice

Many years ago, Libby Shared her Choc Oat Slice and it was always a winner.

That slice was the base inspiration for this one that we now make in our house.

It is a great afternoon tea and lunchbox friendly too!

  • 150g Nuttelex, or other vegan butter, room temp
  • 100g Sunflower seed butter (or nut butter if your diet/school allows)
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 3/4 cup oats (OR flaked Quinoa OR crushed puffed rice)
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut OR 3 GF weet-bix
  • 3/4 cup seeds (I like a mix of pepitas, hemp, chia and flax)
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • pinch pink salt flakes
  • 1.5 tsp GF baking powder
  • 1 cup flour (GF mix or spelt)
  • 4 tbsp aquafaba (liquid drained from a can on chick peas) OR 1 whole egg plus 1 tbsp water.

*If your diet allows, you can replace some of the seeds with some of your favourite nuts … hazelnuts are particularly yum!

See below the recipe for a twist on this recipe that boosts the fibre and reduces the fat content.

Place the oats, sugar, coconut and seeds into your processor and blitz until quite fine (Speed 7, 8 seconds).

Add in the flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder and mix again until well combined (Speed 4, 6 seconds)

Add in the vegan butter, seed butter and vanilla and pulse several times to combine.

Start processing again and add aquafaba through the top chute as you are mixing (on Sp 4). Process until all combined (about 8 seconds).

Tip into a lined baking dish and press down firmly (the bottom of a glass is helpful).

Place into a preheated moderate oven and bake for approximately 20 mins.

Allow to cool completely then ice if desired, then slice.

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We mostly leave this one plain, but if we ice, we make our icing from:

  • 1 tbsp vegan butter and
  • 1/4 cup chopped dark chocolate, melted together. Then whisk in
  • Pure icing sugar, approx 5 tbsp (add more if needed).

Allow to cool and then slice. Store in the fridge for up to a fortnight (good luck with that!!)

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Enjoy 🙂

For a twist on this one that reduces the fat content and boosts the fibre, I knock back the butter and seed butter to 50g each and add in 1 medium over ripe banana and 1/4 cup tinned chick peas

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