Seed Crunch

Right now I’m loving smoothie bowls. Smoothies just don’t taste as good unless you’re eating it with a spoon. And to make it even better, I love some added crunch on top. But who’s got time for adding crunch? Looking in the cupboard for a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Smoothies are supposed to be a quick, easy meal, right? So, I make up a big jar of crunch and then it’s ready to add to anything.

what you need

½ cup activated buckwheat (or regular buckwheat groats)
½ cup pepitas
½ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup puffed amaranth
½ cup chia seeds
¼ cup sesame seeds
½ cup sultanas (or cranberries)

what to do

put it all in a jar and mix

 

Easy!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Slice

I made this a while ago and have been asked for the recipe from a few different people. Problem was I couldn’t remember what I put into it, so I had to make it again and try it out. And eat it to make sure it was OK. Yep, life’s tough!

what you need

base

16 medjool dates, pitted
water
1 cup almonds
2 tbsp maple syrup

peanut butter layer

1 cup peanut butter, I like crunchy; or any nut butter
¼ cup coconut oil
⅓ cup maple syrup
1 cup peanuts

chocolate layer

1 cup cacao
½ cup coconut oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
buckinis (activated buckwheat) I use Loving Earth Organic Activated buckinis. This is optional but I love the extra crunch. You could use shredded coconut or chic chips

what to do

base

Blend dates with just enough water to make a smooth paste. Add almonds and blend until smooth.

Spread into a 22cm square loose base pan. The base is usually quite sticky and doesn’t look like it will spread out to cover the pan. Get a glass of hot water and dip a large metal spoon into it. Use the back of the spoon to spread the base over the pan.

Place in freezer for an hour.

peanut butter layer

Put peanut butter, coconut oil and maple syrup into blender and blend until smooth.

Mix peanuts through mixture.

Spread on top of base. You may need the spoon again to spread the peanut mixture. Place back in the freezer for another hour.

chocolate layer

Place cacao into large bowl, melt coconut oil if needed and add to cacao. Add maple syrup.

Whisk until well combined

Pour over top of peanut layer.

Top with buckinis and place back into the freezer. The chocolate usually sets pretty quickly as it comes into contact with the frozen peanut layer.

Remove from pan and slice into small squares.

To slice without cracking, fill a glass with hot water, dip the knife into the glass and cut whilst the knife is hot.

This needs to be stored in the fridge.

Makes 36 squares.

You could reduce the amount of time each layer sets in the freezer if you’re in a hurry. Ten minutes is probably the minimum. I tend to do a layer and then go off and do other things then come back to it.

Choc-Orange Cheesecake

I’ve said to myself in the past that I’m never making cheesecake again, and invariably I do. And then I regret the decision. Today was different. Finally, I feel like I’ve mastered the vegan cheesecake. The creamy, thick, deliciousness of the centre that I thought was only possible with cream cheese. I’ve had some good vegan cheesecakes and I’ve had some mediocre ones. Mine have always been mediocre. Not smooth and creamy but gritty and nutty.

Well, today, all that changed. And it just so happened to be because of my new blender. My old blender was great for smoothies, but it has seen better days. We used it a lot. Every day. Smoothies were a daily occurrence. And every now and then I’d put some cashews in and make creme cheese. It was good for blending cashews, but not perfect. So, I bought a new blender. The best part? It’s easier to clean. Actually, maybe the best part now is that it makes good cheesecakes.

I’ve done a lot of riding and running lately and these last couple of days I just can’t seem to get full. Every time I go into the kitchen I end up in the pantry looking for something to eat. And finding something. Not always what I wanted to eat, but it was food. And it didn’t fill me up, because half an hour later I’d be back. Each time thinking I’ll get something really healthy that will really fill me up, but each time getting a snack that didn’t fill the hole in my belly. And boy, have I gone through some food.

Today, after I’d had my first lunch I went into the kitchen to find something for my second lunch. (I don’t normally eat two lunches, but I’m just so hungry). And today I felt like cake. Chocolate cake. Good old fashioned fat and sugar chocolate cake. I was going to make one and not even worry about the ingredients, but somehow I ended up making chocolate cheesecake. I’m not sure how it happened, but it did. Cheesecake. Chocolate and orange cheesecake. And it was so good. And now I want to make more cheesecake. Lime cheesecake, vanilla cheesecake, blueberry cheesecake. Does anyone have a birthday coming up?

This cheesecake was so good that I sent my daughter 3 text messages about it. The first was a picture, the second was the the name of the cheesecake and the third was a simple ‘You’re welcome!’ The problem was she only got the ‘you’re welcome’ text so it didn’t really work out. Never mind, the cheesecake did. And here it is …

What you need
1/2 cup pitted dates
1 1/2 cups raw almonds
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil

3 cups soaked cashews
3/4 cup orange juice
2/3 cup agave
1/4 cup cacao powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon orange extract
1/3 cup melted coconut oil

What to do
Put cashews into a bowl and cover with water. Set aside.

Crust
Blend all ingredients together in a food processor.
Line a springform pan with waxed paper.
Press the mixture into the sides and bottom of pan.
Freeze to set, at least one hour.

Cheesecake
Drain cashews and put into blender. Add the freshly squeezed orange juice, agave, cacao powder, salt, orange extract and coconut oil. Blend on high until smooth and creamy.

Remove the crust from the freezer and pour cheesecake filling on top.

Place the cheesecake back in the freezer for at least 3 hours to set completely.
Once the cheesecake has set, remove it from the fridge/ freezer and top with grated chocolate and orange zest.

Seeded Crispbread

I’ve made crackers before and posted the recipe here. Since then I’ve seen plenty of other recipes, bought seeded crisp bread and made a quite a few varieties. And, for now, I think I’ve got it right.

Here’s my latest crisp bread. Last weekend we had this for lunch topped with homemade basil and shredded carrot and beetroot. It was so delicious that I had to make it again the next day.

I’ve been adding dulse flakes to everything savoury lately. This is optional, but it’s a great way to get seaweed into your diet without noticing the strong flavour. Sea vegetables help alkalise our bodies from the over-acidity of the modern diet
and dulse flakes contain Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, and E, and minerals like potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, chromium, iodine and zinc and trace elements.

Really, all you need to do is through a bunch of seeds in a bowl, mix in some water, spread it on a tray and cook it. But here’s the recipe in a little more detail.

 

what you need
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pepita seeds
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1 cup water
1 tsp salt, or to taste
2 tbsp savoury yeast flakes
1 tbsp dulse flakes

what to do
Preheat the oven to 160C and line a large baking sheet with baking paper.

In a large bowl, mix the seeds together. In a small bowl, mix the water, yeast flakes and dulse flakes. Whisk well. Pour the water mixture onto the seeds and stir until thick and combined.

3. Spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet with the back of a spoon until it’s less than 1/4 inch thick.

4. Bake at 160C for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, carefully flip onto other side and score the base so it is easier to break into pieces. Bake for another 15 minutes. The bottom will be lightly golden in colour. Allow to cool completely on the pan.

raw apple pie

i recently attended a raw food preparation class presented by roar food and this apple pie was one of the dishes they presented. brendan, from roar, suggested that it tastes better when left for a couple of hours as the apples soften and the flavours are enhanced and i agree with him. although, it did taste amazing when we ate it straight after it was made.

 

what you need
½ cup almonds
½ cup macadamias
½ cup walnuts
10 medjool dates
4-5 apples, peeled and cored
2-3 dates extra
juice of ½ orange
juice of ½ lime

what to do

process nuts and 10 dates in food processor – the longer you process it for the smoother the base will be

press into a loose base pie tin and freeze for an hour

process extra dates and juice of lemon and lime, set aside

slice apples thinly, i did mine in a food processor

mix apples with dates and juice mixture

press into base and refrigerate for a couple of hours – it’s best left for 12 hours if you can resist

buckwheat pancakes

on christmas eve i made a decision that i would eat no sugars or grains for eight weeks starting boxing day. i regularly listen to a health podcast and one of the presenters had done a similar challenge. I had read sweet poison and had bought sarah wilson’s i quit sugar. the signs were out there and i felt like i had to listen and give it a go. food and drinks were already organised for christmas day so boxing day was slated as day one. fun fact: my birthday is exactly eight weeks after boxing day!

so what does that look like? no sugar? yep, no sugar of any kind – no processed sugar, no unprocessed sugar, no fruit sugar, no sugar.

just process that for a moment.

no sugar = no fruit.

no fruit for eight weeks.

bring on my birthday!

i joined an online 8 week challenge and started boxing day with no sugar or grains. i’ve said on here before that breakfast is my favourite meal and i love muesli with fruit mixed in and berries on top. that breakfast was out. bircher muesli? nope, out. a fruit smoothie? nope, out, a banana before a workout? out.

really, what is left to eat? my diet is consisting of vegetables, nuts, seeds, some lentils and beans. i started day one with a veggie smoothie. celery, spinach, cucumber, zucchini and water. to be honest it did not go down smoothly!

i needed to find something that could replace my beloved muesli breakfast. i started experimenting with pancakes and these buckwheat pancakes are on their way to doing the trick. i’m still missing my fruity breakfast. i enjoy eating the pancakes topped with mushrooms, spinach and broccolini but sweet breakfasts are so entrenched in my brain that i’m taking some time to convert to a cooked veggie breakfast.

don’t get me wrong, they are not horrible, but when you’re use to having a sweet, fruit filled breakfast these don’t match the standard. i’ve been having these as a snack as well, with peanut butter, either mid morning or early morning before a run or ride.

despite it’s name, buckwheat is not actually a wheat, it is a seed related to rhubarb. buckwheat has amazing health benefits. It has a high concentration of all amino acids which makes it high in protein. it is rich in iron, zinc and selenium (which helps regulate the thyroid and supports a healthy immune system). so you vegans out there if someone asks ‘where do you get your iron/protein?’ tell them ‘buckwheat’.

pancakes might be the wrong term if you’re thinking of sickly sweet blobs of flour with fruit. because i gave up grains, for me, they are like having a veggies on toast breakfast without the toast. give them a go. they are super easy to make and keep in the fridge in an air-tight container for a week.

what you need

1 cup buckwheat flour
2 tbsp flaxseed
1 scoop protein powder (sometimes i use inca inchi, sometimes hemp protein)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
2 cups water
½ cup quinoa flakes
½ cup water, extra, if needed

what to do

combine flour, flaxseed, protein and spices
slowly add water while whisking
stir in quinoa, add more water if necessary
place on hot sandwich press, turn when base is cooked

you can cook them in a pan on the hotplate but i love how easy it is on a sandwich press.

Makes 10

Choc Caramel Pops

last week’s peanut butter cups are all gone and i started thinking about what else i could put inside. my first idea was to make some kind of ice cream after i bought a packet of four small ice creams for $12. i didn’t have the time to get some green coconuts and experiment so i went with caramel.

these choc caramel pops use the same chocolate as in the peanut butter cups and are just as easy to make.

what you need

20 medjool dates, pitted
2 tablespoons peanut butter (or any nut butter)
½ cup cacao
½ cup coconut oil
¼ cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon maca powder (optional)
chia seeds

what to do

blend the medjool dates and the peanut butter in a food processor until well combined. it will be sticky.

place the mixture into the freezer for 10 minutes

take out and roll into balls. it makes around 20. put back into the freezer

mix the cacao, coconut oil, maple syrup and maca powder in a bowl. a thin, tall bowl is best so it’s easy to dip the balls in

take the balls out of the freezer, stick a toothpick into each one and dip into the chocolate mixture. the chocolate will harden almost straight away, so if you’re using chia seeds you need to sprinkle them on quickly so they stick

put back into the freezer to completely harden the chocolate.

store in an airtight container in the freezer

i had some chocolate left over and made some more peanut butter cups, this time i added some goji berries and cacao nibs on the top