Healthy “Oreos”

 

My son loves Oreos, so I wanted to come up with a healthier version for him.
Buckwheat is gluten-free and is considered a wholegrain, even though it is not in fact a grain. It lowers cholesterol and blood pressure; contains antioxidants and easily digestible protein; is high in fibre and helps to combat diabetes.
I’ve used coconut blossom sugar to replace regular sugar. While it is still a sugar and shouldn’t be consumed in large amounts (like any form of sugar) it is a much better option than processed cane sugar. It’s made by evaporating the nectar of coconut blossoms, so is raw, unrefined and unbleached. This means that it retains nutrients, notably zinc, iron, calcium and potassium. It also contains a fibre called inulin, which makes it much lower GI than regular sugar.
A good rule to remember is that not all calories are equal – you always want your calories to be as nutrient dense as possible. So if you are going to have a treat which contains some form of sugar, rather go for a natural form of sugar which has a higher nutritional value.

Ingredients

For the cookies:
110g organic virgin coconut oil
110g organic coconut blossom sugar
2 eggs
55g raw cacao powder
1/2 tsp organic vanilla powder or extract
1/4 tsp Oryx Desert Salt
280g buckwheat flour
2 tbsp ground flax (you can grind whole flax seeds in a coffee grinder or use pre-ground)
1 tsp aluminium-free baking powder
2 tbsp water

For the filling:
1 cup raw cashews
60ml raw honey
30ml coconut oil
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/4 tsp vanilla powder
1/4 tsp Oryx desert salt


Method

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Sift the cacao powder to remove lumps. Combine with the other dry ingredients and set aside. Cream the coconut oil and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time while beating. Add the dry ingredients and combine well. Add the water only if the dough is a bit dry or crumbly.

Dust your work surface with extra flour and roll the dough out to about 2mm thickness. Cut out into 5 or 6cm circles. Bake on a cookie tray lined with baking paper or silicone mats for 10 – 12 minutes. Allow to cool.

To make the filling, combine all the ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Sandwich two cookies together with the filling and allow to set.
Makes 24 cookies.

Health & happiness!

Love,
Lauren & Raine

Maca-Chilli and Lemongrass-Wheatgrass Chocolates

Chilli & Lemongrass Chocs

The mayans believed that cacao was the drink of the gods, and with good reason! Raw cacao is high in magnesium and all the B vitamins; it promotes cardiovascular health and aids digestion; it is high in anti-oxidants, neutralising free radicals in the body and thereby preventing cancer. Cacao also promotes mental well-being due to containing phenyethylamine and theobromine, organic compounds which stimulate the release of serotonin and dopamine in the brain. No wonder we feel so good after eating chocolate!

Making your own raw chocolate is simpler than you would think, and means you get all the incredible health benefits of raw cacao without the added sugar, dairy or chemical additives. Make sure to buy organic and raw cacao products, rather than regular cocoa, which has been processed and stripped of nutrients.

Ingredients

For the flavoured caramel centres:

50g organic virgin coconut oil
70g raw almond butter
100g runny raw honey or 85ml organic maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
1/4 tsp Oryx desert salt
1 tbsp maca
a pinch of cayenne
5 drops organic lemongrass essential oil
1 tsp wheatgrass powder

For the chocolate:

75g raw cacao paste
25g raw cacao butter
30ml runny raw honey or organic maple syrup
1/4 tsp organic stevia leaf powder (alternatively, use an additional 30ml honey or organic maple syrup)
pinch of Oryx desert salt

 

Method

To make the caramel, place the coconut oil, almond butter, honey or maple, vanilla and salt into a blender and blend for a couple of minutes. You want everything to melt together into a creamy consistency, and the mixture will change colour as you do this. It’s important to blend for long enough, as opposed to just mixing everything together, to get the right consistency. If it doesn’t look right yet just keep on blending!

Divide the mixture in two. To one half add the maca and cayenne, and to the other add the lemongrass oil and wheatgrass powder. Taste each mixture for flavour – you may want to add another pinch of cayenne or a drop of lemongrass, according to your preference. Place the flavoured caramels in the freezer to set while you make the chocolate.

Place the cacao paste, cacao butter, honey or maple, stevia and salt in a glass or stainless steel bowl which can fit over a saucepan. Bring some water to a simmer in the saucepan, and set the bowl over it. The trick with chocolate is to only ever use gentle heat, and to heat all the ingredients together. If you try to melt the cacao over direct heat, or add cold honey to it once it’s been melted, it will seize. Use a whisk to stir the chocolate until everything is melted, well combined and glossy.

Fill your moulds with chocolate one third of the way, making sure to use only half of the chocolate.  If you don’t have moulds, ice trays work just as well. Place in the freezer until set. Now use a small spoon to make a little ball of the set caramel and drop into the centre of the mould, trying to avoid the sides of the mould. Use the maca-chilli caramel for half of the moulds and the lemongrass-wheatgrass caramel for the other half. Fill the moulds with the remaining chocolate so that it pours around the caramel, and covers it. Place in the freezer again until set.

These chocolates do need to be kept in the fridge as they can melt at room temperature. I keep mine in a glass jar, and they can last up to a month (at least, that’s the longest mine have ever lasted before being eaten!)

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine

 

Coconut Ice Cream

Coconut Ice Cream

Making ice cream has always been one of my favourite things to do in the kitchen. It also holds a special place in my memory – when I was 15 a family friend tasted my chocolate ice cream and was so impressed she suggested that I go to chef school! It hadn’t even occurred to me, so that experience was what inspired me to attend chef school.

When I started cutting out dairy and refined sugar I knew that ice cream would be first on my list of things to reinvent. This ice cream is a perfect replacement for traditional vanilla ice cream. It can be eaten on its own or served with something like my Raw Chocolate Tart. It can also be used as a base for other flavours. Omit the coconut flakes and try adding cacao nibs and a few drops of peppermint essential oil, fresh raspberries, or finely chopped dates and nuts. The options are endless – use your imagination!

Ingredients (makes about 600ml)

400ml coconut cream
45ml organic virgin coconut oil
a pinch of Oryx Desert Salt
a pinch of vanilla powder
1/4 tsp stevia leaf powder
45ml raw honey
2 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1/2 cup organic coconut flakes

Method

Place the coconut cream, coconut oil, salt, vanilla, stevia, honey and egg into a high speed blender and blend for about 4 or 5 minutes, until the mixture has heated through, thereby cooking the egg.

If you don’t have a high speed blender, simply blend the mixture until smooth or even use a whisk to combine. Then transfer to a saucepan on a very gentle heat. Stir continuously to prevent the egg from scrambling. There should be steam coming off the custard but it must never boil. To check if the egg is cooked, dip the back of a spoon into the custard and then draw a line across the back of the spoon with your finger. Hold it horizontally and if the custard doesn’t drip it is cooked. With experience you can also taste when it is done. Traditionally ice cream was made with raw egg, so as long as you have good hygiene practices in the kitchen it’s not paramount that the egg be fully cooked. However, cooking the egg does thicken the custard thereby giving a creamier texture to the ice cream.

Place the coconut flakes in a frying pan and lightly toast them over a medium heat. Keep your eye on it and toss regularly as it can burn quite quickly. Turn out onto a chopping board and use a knife to chop into smaller pieces. Add to the custard.

If you have an ice cream machine, simply pour the custard into your prepared machine and churn until done, then transfer to a suitable container and store in a freezer.

If you don’t have an ice cream machine, pour the custard into a sealable container and place in the freezer. Use a whisk to stir the mixture every 20 to 30 minutes. By breaking up the ice crystals regularly as it freezes you achieve a smoother texture. You should do this for at least 2 – 3 hours, until the mixture starts to freeze into a smooth ice cream. At this point you can just leave it in the freezer to freeze completely.

Remember to remove the ice cream from the freezer 5 – 10 minutes before serving, to allow it to soften.

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine

Peppermint Matcha Latte

IMG_4849 (3)

I wanted to start a gentle detoxification of the fertility drugs I had to take, so I decided to start drinking matcha tea. I bought the ceremonial grade (this is the highest grade and should be the one you use if it’s for drinking) and started having one cup a day (can’t have more as I’m breastfeeding). One afternoon I fancied something sweet. I used to love a chai tea latte at Starbucks but I try not to drink any of that anymore, so I wondered if I could make matcha into a latte. Turns out you can, and it’s delicious! You can add the peppermint like I did or have it without.

Ingredients

1 tsp ceremonial grade matcha tea
1 mug full of almond milk
1 tsp agave nectar
1 drop organic peppermint oil

Method

Heat the almond milk in a saucepan over a medium heat. Once it’s hot, add the matcha, stir quite well to get the milk to absorb the powder, then add the agave and peppermint oil and stir until well incorporated.

Pour into a mug and enjoy as a warming, satisfying afternoon drink.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Cauliflower Pizza Base

Cauliflower Pizza 1

We already have a couple of pizza base recipes on the blog, but I came up with a new one recently and it’s definitely my favourite. I use a combination of cauliflower and zucchini with psyllium husks so it is gluten- and grain-free. The mixture comes out a very vivid lime green, which is fun for kids – you can tell them it’s a Shrek pizza 🙂

Ingredients

For the tomato sauce:
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic
1 tin organic tomatoes
3 – 4 dates, pips removed
1/2 tsp dried origanum
1/2 tsp Oryx Desert Salt

For the base:
330g cauliflower
330g zucchini (you could just use 660g cauliflower if you prefer)
1 tsp Oryx Desert Salt
30ml nutritional yeast
2 eggs
125ml psyllium husks

Method

To make the sauce, sauté the onion in some olive oil until it starts to caramelise. Add the garlic and fry for a few more minutes. Add the tinned tomato, dates, and origanum. Simmer over a low heat for 30 – 40 minutes. Add the salt and blend until smooth. The key to a good tomato sauce is balancing the acidity of the tomato with sweetness. So if it doesn’t taste quite right, try adding another date.

For the base, steam the cauliflower and zucchini until tender. Blend with the eggs, salt and nutritional yeast until completely smooth. Then add the psyllium husks and blend to combine. The mixture will be quite thick and gloopy.

Cauliflower Pizza 2

Line a large baking tray (about 30cm x 40cm) with baking paper and then spread the mixture out onto the paper, as thinly and evenly as you can. The easiest is to use the back of a metal spoon, as this sticks to the mixture, helping you to pull and stretch it into a thin base (plastic doesn’t work as well.)

Cauliflower Pizza 3

Spread the tomato sauce over the base and then add your toppings. Here I’ve used a combination of organic cheddar and pecorino, but you could use nut cheese if you wanted to make it dairy-free. I topped it with olives, sun-dried tomatoes and chilli, and added fresh basil after it came out the oven.

Bake at 200 C for 30 – 40 minutes. The base will puff up while baking, but will shrink down again once removed from the oven.

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine

Chocolate Mousse

chocolate mousse

This sugar- and dairy-free dessert is so simple and quick to make, and guaranteed to impress. By using raw chocolate and only a small amount of honey you get a mousse which is rich in flavour and not overly sweet, but even kids love it.
You could use organic store-bought almond or coconut milk, but I much prefer the flavour of homemade. You can make coconut milk by blending 160g fresh mature coconut flesh with 350ml hot water and then straining it through a nut milk bag or muslin cloth (this will make 420ml of milk.) Check out the link below to see how to make almond milk.

Ingredients (serves 6)

420ml coconut or almond milk
150g raw chocolate (I use Gayleen’s Decadence Baking Slab, available at The Organic Emporium)
30ml raw honey
45ml organic virgin coconut oil
1/4 tsp Oryx Desert Salt
1/2 tsp vanilla powder or 1 tsp vanilla extract
3 egg yolks
1 whole egg

Method

If you’ve made the coconut milk yourself it should still be hot. If not, warm the milk in a saucepan until just below boiling point. Pour it into a high-speed blender, along with the chocolate, honey, coconut oil, salt and vanilla. Blend until the chocolate is melted and is well combined. With the blender running, pour the eggs into the blender through the hole in the lid. Continue to blend for another 2 minutes. At this point there should be steam coming off the mixture, thanks to having heated the milk, as well as the friction from the blender heating it further. Therefore the eggs will be cooked.

(If you’re not satisfied that the temperature is high enough to have cooked the eggs you can pour the mousse into a saucepan and cook it over very gentle heat, stirring continuously and never allowing it to boil. You need to be careful when using this method that you do not overcook the egg, thereby scrambling it. To check if it’s ready dip a spoon into the mixture and then wipe your figure down the back of the spoon. The mixture should not run down the line you have created when held horizontally.)

Pour the mousse into a pretty serving dish, or into individual bowls (I used champagne glasses.) Allow to cool to room temperature, then cover with clingfilm and refrigerate until set, preferably overnight. If you’re in a hurry you could place it in the freezer for a couple of hours and then transfer to the fridge. To serve, place halved strawberries on top of the set mousse.

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine

Overnight Oats with Mulberries

Overnight Oats Mulberries

It’s Vitamin K central round my house! As you have probably gathered from my recent posts, I am upping my natural intake of vitamin K in the last eight weeks of pregnancy to prevent having to give my baby the injection after birth. Mulberries are the highest natural source of Vitamin K so I’m stocking up! And what better way to have mulberries than in their natural form, to sweeten up my overnight oats. This was a really delicious breakfast bowl, I’m stuffed! And so satisfied.

Ingredients

1 cup gluten free, organic, rolled oats
2 cups almond milk
1 tbsp almond butter
1 tsp maple syrup (optional)

Toppings:
Handful of dried white mulberries
1 banana, chopped
A sprinkle of desiccated coconut

Method

Simply put the ingredients (excluding the toppings) in a bowl, mix well, cover, and leave in the fridge overnight. You don’t need to add the maple syrup, just depends how sweet you like it.

When you’re ready to eat it, add the toppings. Simples!

Enjoy,

Love,
Lauren