Raw Cross Buns

Dairy Free – Gluten Free – Grain Free – Refined Sugar Free – Raw – Vegan – Paleo

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My husband looks forward to Easter for one reason and one reason only; Hot Cross Buns! He lives for them. So considering we are both gluten intolerant now the prognosis of his HCB addiction hit him hard. I had to really talk him down from the bakery ledge the other day as he was going to throw bloatedness, itchiness and general discomfort to the wind for the sake of some gluten goodness. They say grief goes through 12 stages right? Poor soul. So I have been keeping my eye out for a gluten free recipe to try and ease his pain. And as soon as I saw this recipe on fab raw food blog Rawified I knew I had to give it a crack of my own version… and i’m pretty stoked with the result.

These little bun bites are delicious! They taste identical to hot cross buns which is slightly confusing as they are an entirely different texture (obviously they are not going to have that glorious fluffiness that only refined white bread has!). While I would have easily downed 3 hot cross buns in my past life these are so rich and nutrient dense that you only need one before you are totally satisfied. Plus they are full of Omega’s, protein, fiber and deliciousness. Enjoy!

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Ingredients

Dough

  • 2 cups raw almonds 
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup cashew pulp (made from cashew milk… see recipe here) OR 1 cup cashews if you haven’t made milk **see note
  • 2 tablespoons sweetener of choice (agave, raw honey, maple syrup etc)
  • 3 tablespoons ground flax seed (aka linseed)
  • 3 large dates
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

** If you have prior notice to making these then I would urge you to try the milk! You are going to use the same amount of cashews in the recipe anyway and if you just soak them 6 hours before (preferably the night before) you can get a good litre of non-dairy milk as a bonus!

Icing

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 2 tablespoons sweetener of choice – i used maple YUM (agave, raw honey, maple syrup etc)
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt (if you don’t have that table salt is fine)

Method

Dough

  1. Using a food processor grind up your almonds to a fine powder (and if you are using whole cashews instead of cashew pulp add these too)
  2. Add all other ingredients except the raisins. Pulse your food processor until the ingredients are well mixed.
  3. Add the raisins and pulse so that they are mixed but not purified.
  4. Shape your dough into balls slightly smaller than golf balls. Flatten them with the back of a spoon. Get a butter knife and carve in a cross shape. As you press the knife in wiggle it side to side so the groove of the cross is opened.
  5. Set aside while you make the icing.

Icing

  1. Using a food processor grind up your cashews to a fine, even powder. This is your icing so you do not want it to be lumpy and bumpy.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and combine until they are a smooth caramel coloured paste.
  3. If you have a piping bag use this to pipe your crosses. Otherwise I just used two butter knifes. I got a bit of icing onto the blade of one knife and then just scraped it into the cross grooves.
  4. Serve with a big smile.

Have a happy healthy Easter!!!

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Olives’ Healthy Anzac Biccies! (Vegan)

Vegan

Preparation time – 10 minutes; Cooking time – 10 minutes

Makes 12 big beautiful biscuits

Finally… after literally years of deliberation… I am ready to plant seedlings into our veggie patches. Helping me with the job is my delightful sister-in-law and my beautiful niece and nephew. So how does one ply a 2 and 3 year old to actually assist with the planting rather than setting themselves to ‘distract and destroy mode’? Well, surely you can’t go past a good old Aussie biscuit for that job? So I quickly make a batch of my version of Anzac Biscuits. While they aren’t super-duper healthy they are free from dairy and are a million times better than anything you are going to find in a packet. Instead of being chock full of butter I used coconut oil and I slightly reduced the flour content by bulking it up with sultana’s instead. Best thing – they took 10 minutes and are delicious.

Such an easy way to create a waste-free healthy treat! And I think it is safe to say that my bribe worked and the little gremlins were all too happy to help with the planting afterwards…

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup wholemeal self-raising flour (if you use plain make sure to add 1 tsp baking/bicarb soda mixed with 1 tablespoon of boiling water + 1/2 tsp salt at Step 3)
  • 2/3 cup dessicated coconut
  • 1/2 Cup sultana’s
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil
  • 2.5 tablespoons golden syrup

Method

  1. Heat oven to 180 C (350 F). Grease a baking tray in preparation.
  2. In a large bowl mix together all the dry ingredients: oats, flour, coconut, sultana’s and sugar.
  3. Melt the coconut oil and golden syrup in a saucepan over a low heat. (if you have used plain flour add the bicarb mix now!)
  4. Pour your golden syrup/coconut mix into the dry ingredients and mix well.
  5. Roll the mixture into 12 even balls (I used a soup spoon to measure them out). It may be a little crumbly so just squeeze it tightly into a ball with your hands.
  6. Place on baking trays and softly press the center of them down with a fork so they are slightly flattened.
  7. Bake in oven for approximately 10 minutes, until the biscuits are golden brown.
  8. They will still be very soft when you remove them from the oven – don’t let it fool you into putting them back in. Everyone loves a soft biccy! Let them cool before removing them from the tray.
  9. Take your prompt from John and… NOM!!!

Nom nom nom

Coconut Vanilla Strawberry Cupcakes (Gluten and Dairy Free)

Dairy Free – Gluten Free – Grain Free 

Preparation time: 10 minutes ; Cook time: 20 – 30 minutes

Makes 12

I often find that Gluten Free muffins, cupcakes, breads, pancakes – anything with a doughy naughtiness about them – have a funny dry texture that leaves you mouth feeling somewhat… powdery? That is why I am so obsessed with coconut flour. Every recipe I use it in turns out delicious and moist and tastes more indulgent than it is. I have spoken of my coconut love before (in my recipe for paleo pancakes – see here) but to sum it up; this is a grain free flour that is backed full of fibre and protein. Plus it is made from a ‘waste’ product; i.e. the husk of the coconut.

Inspired by this recipe by The Wannabe Chef, these cupcakes were super moist and had the most subtle coconut flavour. After I took them out of the oven they did sink a bit but I was actually okay with that because it gave a nice flat surface for me to apply the icing too. This being said, it wasn’t a light fluffy cupcake. I am sure they wouldn’t have sunk had I stopped opening the oven door to ogle them!

Ingredients

Cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons coconut flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (you could also use palm sugar, honey or maple syrup – I was just feeling naughty!)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

‘Cream Cheese’ Frosting 

  • 1 tub tofutti (vegan cream cheese) or normal Cream Cheese if that’s how you roll
  • 1 x Punnet of strawberries
  • Icing sugar to taste

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 175C (350F) and grease your cupcake tin (I use coconut oil but your standard ‘oils’ are fine)
  2. Combine all your ingredients in a bowl and mix to form an even batter
  3. Scoop batter into cupcake wells
  4. Bake for 20-30 minutes – until the tops are firm and a skewer comes out without any mix
  5. Remove from oven and let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting them
  6. Place entire tub of ‘cream cheese’ into a mixer. Then sprinkle in icing sugar bit by bit and taste as you go. I don’t like my frosting too sweet so I hardly use any but others like that tooth-tingling buzz.
  7. Slice up strawberries and place on top of cupcakes.
  8. EAT!!!

Perfect Spinach Salad with “Creamy” Dressing

Vegan – Soy Free – Gluten Free – Paleo

Serves 8 as a side, 4 as a main

I would like to officially motion that making a tasty plant-based salad is an art. Maybe I am fussy but I die a little inside when I arrive somewhere and find that the only option I have is some iceberg salad with a few quartered tomatoes on top. And sometimes I find myself blankly staring at a pile of vegetables and I draw blanks too so it is completely understandable. Who would have thought something so seemingly simple could be so hard to perfect? This is why I have set myself a goal this summer – I am determined to master the art of scrumptious and simple salads! Considering it was 34C today I got to try this one out at a good old family BBQ… and it’s a goodie!

The dressing is a particular win for me! It literally took 5 minutes to make and could be stored ready for any other occasion. Once a massive fan of the Caesar Salad I still sometimes find myself craving a creamy dressing. This is the perfect alternative as the Dijon Mustard makes it feel rich without all the nasty side-effects that come with heavy dairy-based dressings.

Also wanted to shine the spotlight on my newest favorite things!!! At the Hulbert Street Sustainability Fiesta the other day I bought some reusable produce bags from one of my fave company’s: Onya Bags. They are light, washable and come in a whole range of funky colours (in packs of 5 or 8) and you can buy them here. So if you can… make sure you wrap your baby spinach in these sustainable solutions rather than useless plastic produce bags.

Ingredients

Salad

  • Baby Spinach (enough to fill your platter… as this is the base you can judge how much you use)
  • Green Olives – I used about 20. (chilli and garlic went really well!)
  • 2 x Avocados, sliced
  • 1 x Cucumber, sliced
  • Sundried Tomatoes, cut into strips (as many as you want)
  • 50g x Pine Nuts, (I used more because I love ’em)

Creamy Dressing

This dressing will keep for up to a month if you leave out the herbs! I left out the herbs until just before I served with the salad.

  • 3 Tablespoon x Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon x White Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon x Dijon Mustard
  • Some fresh herbs finely chopped (I used a small handful of basil)

Method

Arrange all your salady bits on a platter in a pretty way

Roast or dry fry your pine nuts. Set aside to cool slightly… those little buggers can get hot!

Mix all your dressing ingredients together and shake well. Pour over salad just before serving.

Aaaand… nom nom nom.

Raw Fruit and Nut Chocolate

Vegan – Sugar Free – Gluten Free – Paleo

 Preparation – 10 mins; Freezing time – 1 hour

Makes a massive block! 

Insanely yummy!

And just like that… my life will never be the same again! Everyday, bang on 2pm, I find myself with an all-consuming urge to seek and destroy all chocolate products within a 5km radius. Instead of denying myself though I wanted to try and make my own healthy version. Then I was reading a post on the Wellness Warrior’s blog where she provided a super simple chocolate recipe with just 5 nutritious ingredients and 6 easy steps. Surely it can’t be so simple? Well… IT IS. This is the best stuff I have ever made and both my husband and I took stashes into the office to experiment on our colleagues. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Woot woot! This will only take you a few minutes and is so deliciously indulgent that I can guarantee you will be hooked as well!

Where To Buy

If you can do a regular shop at a health food store or one that allows the bulk purchase of things like grains and flours then you will find all the ingredients you need in the one place. It’s also great for you to take your own container and go plastic free! Otherwise you can check out these alternatives…

  • Dates, Almonds and Maple Syrup – can all be found at supermarkets and grocery stores.
  • Coconut Oil – I have recently heard that Coconut Oil is available in supermarkets  in the Asian food section.
  • Raw Cacao Powder – I have only seen this at health food stores or bulk style shops.

Ingredients

  • 110 grams raw almonds
  • 170 grams coconut oil (try cold pressed, virgin if possible)
  • 4 tablespoons raw cacao
  • A handful of medjool dates, chopped (I will use more next time… probably 15. But I LOVE dates at the moment).
  • ¼ cup maple syrup (make sure it’s 100% pure – not just flavored syrup)

Method

1)   Line a baking tray with baking paper or alfoil and place in the freezer to chill.

2)   Grind almonds in a blender / food processor until they are finely chopped (not quite a powder though).


3)   If your coconut oil is solid, gently warm in a saucepan until it is all liquid (do not boil!).

4)   Remove from heat and stir in the remaining ingredients; almonds, raw cacao, dates and maple syrup.

5)   Pour the mixture onto your tray and spread it out evenly then put into the freezer until it has set. This won’t even take an hour!

6)   Chop the chocolate into chunks or rough squares. For Christmas pressies I am going to try and set the chocolate using cookie cutters shapes too!

NOTE: You’ll need to keep this stuff in the freezer between snacks. That is if you can hold out on the nom nom nom…

NOTE: That is a pregnant belly… not a chocolate belly!!!

 

Fluffy Coconut Pancakes (Grain, Gluten and Dairy Free)

Dairy Free – Gluten Free – Grain Free – Sugar Free

Preparation – 10 minutes; Cooking Time – 10 minutes
Serves 2 – 4 (my husband and I shared and I was really really  full!!!)

In my last recipe post – which was for a grain-free pizza crust – I rabbited on about Coconut Flour being a wonder ingredient. But that is very vague so here I will list of a few of the amazing health benefits of coconut flour.

Gluten Free: I heard the other day that most people of Anglo-Saxon decent are at least a little gluten intolerant and after paying attention to how my body reacted after gluten and I think I fall into this category. Gluten causes an inflammatory response in the body which is not conducive to good health (can lead to organ damage or arthritis). Coconut Flour is free from gluten and is therefore a great substitute!

High in Fiber: We need fiber to keep our gastrointestinal tracts healthy. For every 100g serve of coconut flour we get 39 grams of fiber which is more than most grain based flours. Studies show that a high fiber diet offers protection against chronic diseases such as diabetes, colon cancer and cardiovascular problems.

High in Protein: Coconut Flour has 19g of protein per 100gram which is more than the equivalent amounts of anchovies (14.5g), bacon (15.9g), eggs (12.5g) or pork sausages  (13.9g). I was surprised to see that coconut flour is only just behind fillet steak in terms of protein (20.9g)!

Waste Product = Environmentally Friendly: Coconut flour is a raw material made from a waste product of coconut milk production!

So all in all… a great ingredient. Especially when you miss ‘grainy’ treats like pancakes. I found a similar recipe on the aptly titled Paleo Pancake blog. Enjoy…

Ingredients

  • 4 free-range, organic eggs
  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Coconut oil for cooking fat (only oil you should cook high heat! More on that here)

Method

Preheat frying pan on medium-low heat.

In a bowl, mix eggs together well until frothy.

Mix in coconut milk, vanilla, and honey.

In a your measuring cup combine dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, sea salt) thoroughly.

Sift the dry ingredients into your egg mixture.

Mix well until it is a nice, smooth batter.

Heat coconut oil in the pan. Pour batter to form pancakes. (Mine were about 10-15cm diameter). Cook until edges start to dry and firm then flip and cook through.

Top with real maple syrup, honey, fruit or nice natural jams. DELISH.

How cute is my happy husband…